This is perfectly consistent with what I was taught in school.
There is something called The Doctrine of Implicit Faith
The way it was explained to me is that if someone gets the message, it doesn't matter whether or not they accept Jesus as their personal savior. Obviously, they understood the important part, and that counts.
This is a key difference between Catholics and some of the Protestant faiths. They might argue that no matter what you do, no matter how good of a person you are, if you don't accept Jesus as your personal savior, you are doomed to hell. Period.
Catholics do not believe that.
In a way, this goes all the way back to the "Faith vs. Works" debate.