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Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

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Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  tornpage on Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:01 am

The famous Holy Office Letter of 1949 indicates:

From what has been said it is evident that those things which are proposed in the periodical <From the Housetops>, fascicle 3, as the genuine teaching of the Catholic Church are far from being such and are very harmful both to those within the Church and those without.

It would have been nice if they quoted from From the Housetops, and told us what was "harmful." And what, exactly, was said in there that was "harmful . . . to . . . those without" the Church? I mean, what is there "harmful" about telling them they must become Catholic to be saved - if that is the objectionable proposition in From The Housetops. Neutral

The baptism of desire controversy with Father Feeney arose later, though it may be involved here. So . . . what is it "proposed" in From The Housetops which was declared "harmful"?

Anyone have a clear understanding there. It seems ambiguity abounds with the Church since, well, at least the Holy Office letter.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  tornpage on Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:06 am

And, for a letter which is supposed to enlighten us as to the genuine Catholic teaching on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, it'd be nice if we were told what in FTH was "far from being" a "genuine teaching of the Catholic Church."

Far from, eh?
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  tornpage on Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:44 am

From an article by Monsignor Fenton, posted by MRyan on this site here: http://catholicforum.forumotion.com/t180-fr-joesph-fenton-on-the-1949-holy-office-letter

The doctrinal portion of the Holy Office letter ends with the declaration that, in the light of what the document itself has taught, “it is evident that those things which are proposed in the periodical ‘From the Housetops,’ fascicle 3, as the genuine teaching of the Catholic Church are far from being such and are very harmful both to those within the Church and those without.” The issue of From the Housetops to which the letter refers contained only one article, written by Mr. Raymond Karam of the St. Benedict Center group, and entitled “Reply to a Liberal.”

The most important error contained in that article was a denial of the possibility of salvation for any man who had only an implicit desire to enter the Catholic Church. There was likewise bad teaching on the requisites for justification, as distinguished from the requisites for salvation. The first of these faults has been indicated in a previous issue of The American Ecclesiastical Review.

Msgr. Fenton says that the "most important error" in Karam's article deals with "a denial of the possibility of salvation for any man who had only an implicit desire to enter the Catholic Church."

Here's the pertinent section from Karam's article:

FROM THE HOUSETOPS

Vol. III, No. 3 Spring, 1949

REPLY TO A LIBERAL

By Raymond Karam

PART II. OUTSIDE THE CHURCH THERE IS NO SALVATION

1. Explicit Faith in the Catholic Church and in Her Teaching is Necessary for Salvation.
2. Are there Two Kinds of Membership in the Church?
3. Can a Person Who Remains Separated from the Church be Saved?
4. Are Protestants Formal Heretics?
5. Pope Pius IX’s Real Teaching with Regard to the Salvation of Non-Catholics.
6. Concerning the Question of Ignorance.


PART II

OUTSIDE THE CHURCH THERE IS NO SALVATION

1. Explicit Faith in the Catholic Church and in Her Teachings is Necessary for Salvation

We now come to something more positive and more doctrinal. “The first point to be made,” says Fr. Donnelly, “is that the formula ‘extra ecclesiam nulla salus’ must not be understood in the sense that salvation is impossible for any one who does not believe explicitly in the Catholic Church, and does not accept all the revealed truths proposed by her for belief.”

Is this really the teaching of the Church on this point? Let us see what Holy Scripture and the tradition of the Church have to say.

Our Lord, sending His Apostles to preach His Gospel, said to them: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned.” (Mk. 16,16.)

St. Paul, in his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, (I, 7-10), says: “And to you who are troubled, rest with us when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven, with the angels of His power: in a flame of fire, giving vengeance to them who know not God, and who obey not the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Who shall suffer eternal punishment in destruction, from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of His power: when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be made wonderful in all them who have believed; because our testimony was upon you in that day.”

Again, in the same Epistle (II, 8-11) the Apostle says: “And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of His mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming, him, whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore, God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying; that all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, the official teacher of Catholic Doctrine, on the authority of the Apostle (Heb. XI, 6): “Without faith it is impossible to please God,” says that faith in truths revealed by God is absolutely necessary for salvation. [i] Moreover, implicit faith is not enough, nor is it possible to have implicit faith in some truth if one does not hold explicitly other truths. ii] “Therefore, as regards the primary points or articles of faith, man must believe them explicitly, just as he must have faith.” [iii]

Now, according to St. Thomas, what are the primary points or articles of Faith which must be believed explicitly by a man who wishes to be saved? They are (besides the belief that God is, that He is a rewarder and a punisher): (a) explicit faith in the mystery of the Incarnation, and all the points which are related to it which are found in the Creed; and (b) explicit faith in the Trinity, and in all the points related to it which are found in the Creed. Saint Thomas speaks as follows:

“After the Incarnation, all men, if they wish to be saved, are “bound to explicit faith in the mysteries of Christ, chiefly as regards those which are observed throughout the Church and publicly proclaimed, such as the articles that refer to the Incarnation.” [iv] And, after the Incarnation, all men, in order to be saved, “are bound to explicit faith in the mystery of the Trinity. [v]

We see, therefore, that explicit faith in the articles of the Creed is necessary for salvation. But is this enough? Saint Thomas teaches that it is enough only if the person is unable to know more truths explicitly, and does not deny any articles of the Faith. [vi] On the contrary, a man who professes to hold the truths of the Faith and at the same time explicitly denies even one truth, does not have the Faith at all, and therefore cannot be saved. [vii] This would be true in the case of a man who denied the supremacy and infallibility of the Catholic Church and the necessity of the Church for salvation.

The above clearly refutes Father Donnelly’s statement that explicit belief in the Catholic Church and acceptance of all the revealed truths proposed by her are not necessary for salvation. For further proof that explicit belief in the Catholic Church IS necessary for salvation, let us quote St. Thomas and St. Alphonsus Liguori. SaintThomas says, “Neither formed nor formless faith remains in a heretic who disbelieves one article of faith . . . Consequently, whoever does not adhere, as to an infallible and divine rule, to the teaching of the Church, which proceeds from the First Truth manifested in Holy Scripture, has not the habit of faith, but holds the things which are of faith otherwise than by faith.” [viii]

St. Alphonsus Ligouri says that the motive for believing any truths of the Faith is “that God, the Infallible Truth, has revealed them, and that the Church proposes them to our belief. Behold, then, how we should make an act of faith: ‘My God, because You, Who are the Infallible Truth, have revealed to the Church the truths of the Faith, I believe all that the Church proposes to my belief.’” [ix] Hence, it must follow that belief in the truths which the Church proposes is impossible without belief in the Church itself. Therefore, only those who adhere to the teaching of the Church as to an infallible and divine rule can have real faith and find salvation.

Proof of the necessity of explicit belief in the Catholic Church and the acceptance of all the revealed truths proposed for belief in order to be saved is found all through the writings of the Fathers, the Doctors, and in the Councils. Let us list here a few additional statements:

St. Thomas says, commenting on the Apostles’ Creed: “No man can obtain the happiness of Heaven — which is the true knowledge of God — unless he know Him first by faith: ‘Blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed’ (Jn. 20, 29).” [x]

The Council of Trent, which Fr. Donnelly thinks is in his favor, teaches unmistakably: “Indeed, since the Apostle said that man is justified by faith and freely (Rom. 3, 22-24), these words must be understood in that sense, which the perpetual consensus of the Catholic Church held and expressed, namely, that we are thus said to be justified by faith, since ‘faith is the beginning of human salvation,’ the foundation and root of every justification, ‘without which it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11,6)’ and to come to the fellowship of His children.” (Sess. VI, Chap. 8.) [xi]

St. Robert Bellarmine, S. J., Doctor of the Universal Church, says at the very beginning of his Doctrina Christiana: “We begin the exposition of the dogmas of the Faith of Christ, whose knowledge is necessary for every one who earnestly desires the salvation of his soul.” [xii]

St. Alphonsus Liguori teaches that God calls us in two successive vocations, which necessarily follow a definite order: “This was the first and sovereign grace bestowed upon us, — our vocation to the Faith; which was succeeded by our vocation to grace, of which men were deprived.” [xiii] Thus, sanctifying grace cannot come to an adult in whom faith did not come first.

Pope Pius XI, whom Fr. Donnelly quotes from newspapers, says in his Encyclical Mortalium Animos: “Moreover, when the only Begotten Son of God commanded His legates to teach all nations, He then bound all men with the duty to believe what was announced to them by ‘witnesses preordained by God.’ He attached to His command the sanction, ‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned.’ Now, this double commandment of Christ, which must be observed, to teach and to believe so as to attain eternal salvation, cannot even be understood if the Church does not propose the evangelical doctrine entire and clear and if, in the teaching of it, it is not free from all danger of error.” [xiv]

Pope Pius IX, whose utterances have been so pitilessly mutilated and mistranslated by the liberals of our day, says in his Allocution Singulari Quadam:
“It is necessary that you inculcate this salutary teaching in the souls of those who exaggerate the power of human reason to such a point that they dare, by its power, to investigate and explain the mysteries themselves, than which nothing is more foolish, nothing more insane. Strive to call them back from such a perversity of mind, explaining indeed that nothing was granted to men by God’s Providence more excellent than the authority of the divine faith, that this faith is to us like a torch in the darkness, that it is the leader that we follow to Life, that it is absolutely necessary for salvation, since “without faith it is impossible to please God,” and “he that believeth not shall be condemned.”” (Mk. 16,16) [xv]

Moreover, concerning explicit faith in the Incarnation and the Most Holy Trinity, Pope Innocent XI, in his condemnation of certain errors on moral questions, “Errores varii de rebus moralibus,” includes the following heretical proposition:
“(It is error to believe that) 64. A man is capable (capax) of absolution, however much he may labor in ignorance of the mysteries of the faith, and even though through negligence, be it even culpable, he does not know the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity and of the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” [xvi]

Concerning explicit faith in the Catholic Church and in her supremacy, the Council of Constance condemned the 41st proposition of John Wycliff in which this heretic said that it was not necessary for salvation to believe in the supremacy of the Roman Church. [xvii]

In connection with the question of the necessity of the Catholic Faith for salvation, let me point out the fact that Fr. Donnelly and the other liberals quote texts without seeing that they can be easily turned against them. Thus, the Encyclical Quanto conficiamur by Pius IX is universally quoted by the liberals to support their doctrine that a man totally ignorant of the Catholic Faith can be saved. But what does Pius IX say?
“It is known to Us and to you that those who labor under invincible ignorance of our holy religion, and who, zealously observing the natural law and its precepts engraven by God in the hearts of all, and who, prepared to obey God, lead an honest and upright life, are able, by the powerful workings of God’s light and grace, to attain eternal life.” [xviii]

This means that God, in His mercy, will find a way of enabling the man who is invincibly ignorant of the Church and who follows the natural law to achieve his salvation. But Pius IX nowhere says that this can be done without the Catholic Faith. On the contrary, he explicitly says, a few lines later, that it is a “Catholic dogma that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church.” [xix] Thus, God will find the way to enable that man to save his soul, and this way will be the Catholic Faith and the Catholic Church.

What is more, in the very sentence which the liberals quote to support their false doctrine, Pius IX says that God will enable that man to attain eternal life, not by keeping him in his ignorance of the Faith, but by the workings of His light and grace. God must give sanctifying grace to a person before that person can be saved, and He never gives sanctifying grace apart from or even before the Catholic Faith. It is by enlightening the intellect that God gives us His Faith. Thus, to say that God gives His light to a person is the same as to say that He gives His Faith to that person. Thus, we speak of the “light of Faith.”

As a matter of fact, St. Thomas teaches not only that faith and light go together, but that light is the effect of the Catholic faith. In his Commentary on St. John, Chapter 12, St. Thomas says:
“Illumination, therefore, is the effect of faith: “That whosoever believeth in Me may not remain in darkness.” “May not remain in darkness,” namely, the darkness of ignorance, of infidelity and of perpetual damnation . . . And, nevertheless, unless they are converted to Christ, they shall be led to the darkness of perpetual damnation. “He that believeth not the Son, the wrath of God abideth on him.”” [xx]

Let us repeat here what St. Alphonsus Liguori said: Our first vocation is to the Catholic faith (whose effect is the illumination — light of the soul), which is followed by our vocation to grace. [xxi]

2. Are There Two Kinds of Membership in the Church?

“Secondly,” says Father Donnelly, “baptism of desire confers membership in the Church ‘in voto.’” In Part III of this article, I shall consider the question of Baptism and what Father Donnelly calls “Baptism of Desire.” For the moment, let us examine whether there is any such thing as “membership in the Church ‘in voto.’”

A man cannot be more or less a member of the Church. He either is a Catholic, or he is not a Catholic, for the Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. This means that it is a body in the real sense of the word, and not in a metaphorical sense. Like any other real body, therefore, no member of it can be more or less a part of it. The same soul animates it all, and if a member is separated from the body, it is cut off from it, and is no longer animated by the soul, hence it has no life in it.

Let us ask, therefore, who can be called a member of the Church in any sense? No one can be called a member of the Church in any sense who does not confess the truths of the Faith, does not partake of the Sacraments, and does not submit to the infallible authority of the Supreme Pontiff.

Saint Robert Bellarmine, S. J., says that “the one and true Church is the congregation of men bound together by the profession of the same Christian faith, and by the communion of the same Sacraments, under the rule of the legitimate pastors, and especially of the one Vicar of Christ on Earth, the Roman Pontiff.” [xxii]

Saint Peter Canisius, S. J., Doctor of the Universal Church, asks in his Catechism: “Who is to be called a Christian?” He answers: “He who confesses the salutary doctrine of Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, in His Church. Hence, he who is truly a Christian condemns and detests thoroughly all cults and sects which are found outside the doctrine and Church of Christ, everywhere, and among all peoples, as for example, the Jewish, the Mohammedan, and the heretical cults and sects; and he firmly assents to the same doctrine of Christ.” [xxiii]

Pope Pius XI says in his encyclical Mortalium Animos, “No one is found in the one Church of Christ, and no one perseveres in it, unless he acknowledges and accepts obediently the supreme authority of St. Peter and his legitimate successors.” [xxiv]

One wonders what are the sources for Father Donnelly, S. J.’s strange doctrine? His sources are other liberal theologians, one of whom, Father Caperan, he quotes, and another, Father Bainvel, S. J., whose work he does not name explicitly. Let us give a few examples:

In the third chapter of his book, Is there Salvation Outside the Catholic Church?, Father Bainvel examines some solutions given by other liberals to what they call a “contradiction” in Catholic dogmas. These solutions, “good faith, the soul of the Church, the invisible Church, the necessity of precept,” he finds inadequate and against the teachings of the Church. [xxv] But, in the next chapter, he proposes his own solution!

“The solution of the problem lies in the fact that we can be members of the Church in two ways, externally (visibly) and internally (invisibly).” [xxvi] Father Bainvel claims that he learned this point from St. Thomas:

“This solution is by no means new, for it was advocated by the old theologians, especially by St. Thomas.”[i][xxvii] And he refers the reader to the Summa, part III, q. 68, a. 2, and q. 73, a. 3. The reader, may we say, will find no such thing in either Question 68 or Question 73, Part III of the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas. Nor anywhere else in St. Thomas will the reader find mention of a person being a member of the Church invisibly.

Later in the same book, Father Bainvel says: “This distinction between union with the Church in act and union in desire dates far back into Christian antiquity,” and he gives a quotation from St. Ambrose. [xxviii] Again, the amazed reader finds no mention of this odd doctrine in St. Ambrose, who is speaking, in this instance — as was St. Thomas in the two articles mentioned above — of the reception of Sanctifying Grace in relation to the sacraments and not of invisible membership in the Church or membership of desire.

But this is not the worst! Not only does Bainvel say that affiliation with the Church can be in desire and invisible, but he goes as far as to say that it can even be unconscious, when there is no desire at all of joining the Church! He says, “Souls affiliated with the Church unconsciously are united to her by invisible ties, for they are affiliated with her internally, by an implicit desire, which God is pleased to regard as equivalent to external membership.” [xxix]

This is the end of all Christianity and all sanity.

Now, Caperan, one of Father Donnelly’s main authorities, says the same thing in the following two quotations: “When, by reason of invincible ignorance, incorporation into Catholic society is not realized in fact, even an implicit desire to be so incorporated takes the place of actual incorporation.” [xxx]

And again, Caperan says, “Concerning the necessity of Baptism and the necessity of membership in the Church, an implicit desire which is included in the general will to do God’s will is sufficient.” [xxxi]

It is clear that liberal theologians are teaching that there are two churches, the one visible (having a visible head, the Pope, and visible sacraments), and the other invisible and spiritual. Membership in the invisible church is obtained merely by “righteousness and sincerity.” Some of the liberal theologians, like Karl Adam, for instance, achieve the separation by saying that some men can belong to the “body of the Church,” while others belong only to the “soul of the Church.” Other liberal theologians, like Bainvel and Caperan, while claiming to be dissatisfied with the solution of men of Adam’s school, bring about the same division by saying that some men can belong to the true Church visibly, and others invisibly, and even unconsciously.

This destroys one of the most central doctrines of the Church, for the Church has always taught that she is a visible society and the only kind of membership in her must necessarily be a visible and external one. St. Robert Bellarmine teaches that no one can be a member of the Church who is not visibly affiliated with the one visible society founded by Christ, subject to the authority of His vicar, the Roman Pontiff. To quote St. Robert Bellarmine:
“The Church is a society, not of Angels, nor of souls, but of men. But it cannot be called a society of men, unless it consist in external and visible signs; for it is not a society unless they who are called members acknowledge themselves to be so, but men cannot acknowledge themselves to be members unless the bonds of the society be external and visible. And this is confirmed by those customs of all human societies; for in an army, in a city, in a kingdom, and other similar societies men would not be enrolled otherwise than by visible signs. Whence Augustine, in Book 19 Against Faustus, Chapter 11, says: “Men cannot assemble in the name of any religion, whether it be true or false, unless they be bound together by some fellowship of visible signs or sacraments.”” [xxxii]

This shows clearly St. Robert Bellarmine’s teaching on the subject. Let no one, therefore, misunderstand St. Robert’s statement in another chapter of the same work when he says that catechumens are not in the Church in fact, but in voto. [xxxiii] This in no way states that there are two ways of being members of the Church, in fact and in voto. It simply means that catechumens have the explicit intention of coming into the Church and of becoming members of the Church, which membership they do not at all have at the moment. Saint Robert Bellarmine proves conclusively in various places that catechumens are not members of the Church in any sense. [xxxiv] For example, after giving his definition of the Church, St. Robert says that catechumens are excluded from this definition because they do not have communion of the sacraments. [xxxv]

3. Can a Person Who Remains Separated from the Church Be Saved?

Father Donnelly says, “He (Pius IX) likewise teaches in the same place that only those who are ‘contumaciter’ and ‘pertinaciter’ divided from the Church cannot be saved as long as this condition exists.”

In saying this, Father Donnelly gives us the impression that those who know the Catholic Church and the Catholic Faith can remain outside the Church either innocently and with a good excuse, or obstinately and without excuse, and that only the latter cannot attain eternal salvation. This is against Catholic doctrine. No one can refuse to enter the Church and be saved. When Pope Pius IX mentions those who obstinately remain separated from the Church, he does not contrast them with those who innocently remain separated, but with those who never heard about the Catholic Faith. What he says is that those who are ignorant of the Church because they never heard of it, if they have faithfully kept the natural law implanted in their hearts by God, can, with His help, come to the knowledge of the Catholic Church, in which alone they can be saved. But, on the other hand, those who know about the Catholic Church and refuse to enter her will perish. [xxxvi] It is to emphasize the heinousness of their refusal that Pope Pius IX calls it contumacious and obstinate, not to distinguish between it and some other hypothetical kind of refusal which would not be obstinate.

Moreover, it is open heresy to say that only those who are contumaciously and obstinately divided from the Church cannot be saved. How about babies who die unbaptized, for example? Are they contumaciously and obstinately separated from the Church? Or will Father Donnelly affirm that unbaptized babies are not condemned? However, there is no end to the surprises which one can find in the heretical writings of the liberals.

Further on in his paper, Father Donnelly writes, concerning the same problem of the salvation of those who are separated from the Church, “It is quite one thing to maintain that Protestants or pagans are just as favorably situated with regard to salvation as Catholics, and quite another thing to maintain that they are in bad faith and are to be spurned because they do not submit to a distorted interpretation of Catholic doctrine.”

In other words, Father Donnelly is saying (and this is a favorite liberal theme) that although it is not as easy for Protestants and pagans to get into Heaven as it is for Catholics, we cannot say that it is impossible for them to get into Heaven. We have shown in many places in this article that the contention that a Protestant or pagan can attain eternal salvation while remaining outside the Catholic Church is false. We profess with the whole Catholic tradition that the Catholic Church is the way to salvation. Does Father Donnelly mean to say that there are many ways to salvation, and of these the Catholic Church is the easy way?

Liberalism is a blasphemy against the Incarnation of the Son of God. If there are other ways than the Catholic Church, whether they be easier or harder, the result is that Christ’s Incarnation and death were in vain. Our liberal teachers of doctrine have stopped teaching Christ Crucified, and they are teaching the natural law, morality, good faith, sincerity, and the like. Saint Paul warned us against such blasphemy: “If justice be by the law, then Christ died in vain.” (Gal. 2,21.) And again, “And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? Then is the scandal of the cross made void.” (Gal. 5,11.)

4. Are Protestants Formal Heretics?

Very closely connected with this question of obstinately refusing to join the Catholic Church is the following statement of Father Donnelly: “As for that spirit of hostility manifested in the scarcely veiled assumption that Protestants are to be convicted of bad faith, and henceforth to be treated as formal heretics, etc. . . . ”

Does Father Donnelly mean to say that a Protestant who refuses to believe in the truths of the Catholic Faith and to acknowledge the infallibility and supremacy of the Church is only in material heresy? Let us examine the teaching of the Church and of the Doctors on this point.

Saint Augustine says, “If any there are who defend their opinion, though it be false and perverse, without obstinate fervor, and who seek the truth with all solicitude, ready to correct their opinion when they have found the truth, they are not at all to be accused of heresy.” [xxxvii] And St. Thomas adds, “namely because they do not have a choice contradicting the doctrine of the Church.” [xxxviii]

Only a faithful Catholic who obeys the Church and is ready to correct his opinions according to her admonitions can be in error in this sense, without being a heretic. This we call material heresy. A man who is in material heresy does not intend to contradict the authority and teachings of the Church. On the other hand, a man who does not intend in the least to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church and to be corrected by her cannot be called a material heretic. It is clear, therefore, that Protestants are not material heretics. Are they, then, formal heretics? What is a formal heretic?

Saint Augnstine says, “A heretic is one who either devises or follows false and new opinions.” [xxxix] It is not necessary to tell Father Donnelly that the teachings and opinions of Protestants fall under this last designation, and that Protestants, therefore, hold heresy formally. Of course, if Father Donnelly is referring to those millions of former Protestants who are neither baptized nor call themselves Christians, then we would agree that they are not formal heretics, but pagans. [xl] In either case, however, heretic or pagan, they cannot be saved unless they come to the Holy, Roman, Catholic Church.

5. Pope Pius IX’s Real Teaching with Regard to the Salvation of Non-Catholics

Father Donnelly’s great concern in his paper is that Catholics shall not judge Protestants religiously, or suggest to Protestants that they should become Catholics in order to be saved. If this is the way Father Donnelly feels about the matter (which certainly is not the way any Christian apostle or teacher ever felt), why does he not make this a separate issue? Even if we were to be “nice” to Protestants in Father Donnelly’s sense, namely, even if we were to be completely disinterested in their eternal salvation, does that mean that we should change the doctrines of the Church concerning salvation and the necessary means of salvation?

For example, Father Donnelly says: “Pius IX likewise forbids unconditionally any manifestation by Catholics of a spirit of enmity toward those outside the Catholic Church. ‘But let the children of the Catholic Church in no way whatsoever be hostile to those who are not one with us in faith and love . . . ’ (Denz. 1678).”

Does this mean, as Father Donnelly wants to give us the impression, that Pope Pius IX is asking Catholics not to show those who are outside the Church any indignation on matters of doctrine, and not to tell them that they must become Catholics if they wish to be saved? Father Donnelly claims that this is the meaning of Pius IX in the above quotation. Let us point out that had Father Donnelly completed the sentence of the Pope, the message revealed would have been a completely contrary one.

Here is the full quotation:
“But let the children of the Catholic Church in no way be hostile to those who are not joined with us in the bonds of the same faith and of charity, yea rather, let them always strive to attend upon them and to help them in all the duties of Christian charity, whether they be poor or sick or afflicted with any other calamities, and above all let them strive to snatch them away from the darkness in which they lie miserably, and lead them back to the Catholic truth and to the most loving Mother the Church, who never ceases to extend Her maternal arms lovingly to them and to call them back to her bosom, so that, being grounded and made firm in faith, hope and charity, and being “fruitful in every good work” (Col. 1, 10), they may attain eternal salvation.” [xli]

Can a more deliberate misrepresentation of a Pope’s utterance be found than Father Donnelly’s?

Again: we could also ask Father Donnelly not to take the trouble of underlining sentences in his quotations, because they always turn to his disadvantage. For example, in one of the passages which Father Donnelly quotes from Pius IX, the emphasized phrase proves our point, and not Father Donnelly’s! This is the passage: “But let us, so long as here on Earth we are weighed down by this mortal body which dulls the soul, hold firmly to our Catholic doctrine: ‘one God, one faith, one baptism;’ to try and probe deeper is criminal . . . ” [xlii]

What does this mean? To try and probe deeper than what is criminal? Deeper than the Catholic doctrine: “one God, one faith, one baptism!” Who is probing deeper than this doctrine? Is it the man who confesses one God, one faith, (the Catholic Faith), and one baptism (the gate to the Catholic Church), as the necessary means for salvation? Is it not, rather, the liberal, who goes around dispensing the name of faith to any arbitrary and false opinion and the name of baptism to any feeling or sentiment, however anti-Christian?

6. Concerning the Question of Ignorance

We come, in this section, to the journalistic authorities used by Father Donnelly. Do we need to remind Father Donnelly that a dogmatic issue cannot be decided by quoting a few sentences from a Pope when he had no intention of defining? This is not real loyalty to the Holy Father, nor is it fair to use him in this manner.

Father Donnelly writes:
“More explicitly, Pius XI said: “The limits of vincible or of invincible error are among the most difficult to define, even for the most penetrating intellect. Only God, who is TRUTH, who is ALL TRUTH, who calls every creature to the TRUTH, who gives the means according to His measure to arrive at the TRUTH, only God can with certainty define the limit between vincible and invincible ignorance.” (Allocution published in the L’ Osservatore Romano, 31 January 1938.)”

First, why are we not told by Father Donnelly that this allocution was addressed to scientists, and was dealing primarily with their problems and not with theological questions? However, there are passages in the same allocution where the Pope does speak of theological matters (which Father Donnelly does not quote), concerning the inexcusability of those who should know God but who do not know Him, and concerning the necessity of the Catholic Faith for salvation. Here they are.
POPE PIUS XI, (SPEAKING OF SCIENTISTS): “May not that terrible vision recur to any of them, that terrible vision which, though for a moment, the Apostle of the Gentiles had: namely, that every high intelligence of this kind ought to become deeply interested in the pursuit of the whole truth, so that it might not happen that an intelligence created by God, illuminated by God, would stop at the creature and would not rise to the Creator? To such an intelligence ought to be applied that great, grave and logical condemnation mentioned by the Apostle himself in these terrible words: “ita ut sine inexcusabiles” (so that they are inexcusable); as if to say that they could not have an excuse not to have known the Maker, the Creator, after having known His worlk, His creature.” [xliii]

Likewise, in the same allocution, Pius XI says:
“These words which the Divine Master says and repeats are applicable to the Faith: “You are the light of the world . . . Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candle-stick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.” These words are directed to give, above all, the mission, the preaching, the teaching of the Faith: the teaching of those truths which are indispensable for all, even for those to whom to speak of the necessity of science becomes a cruel mockery because they neither have nor will have a predisposition for it, and yet they are in need of the truth, of that essential truth which Hertz and Marconi acknowledged, together with all those who throughout the world saw the work of the Creator, the truth which resolved the mystery of the world: the truth of the Faith.” [xliv]

It does not seem from these two excerpts that Pius XI is not judging those who do not come to the knowledge of the Truth, or that he says that the Faith is not indispensable for all men.

But this is not all. The same Pope, in his encyclical Mortalium Animos, rebukes those Catholics who try to promote love and unity between the faithful and those outside the Church without trying to convert the latter to the true Faith without which they cannot be saved.

Pius XI says:
“When the question of promoting unity among Christians is under con-sideration, many are easily deceived by the semblance of good. Is it not right, it is said repeatedly, indeed, is it not the duty of all who call upon Christ’s name to cease mutual recriminations together in ties of mutual charity? For who would dare to say that he loves Christ when he will not strive to his utmost to attain that which Christ prayed for to His Father when He asked that His disciples might be “one”? And did not Christ Himself wish His disciples to bear the sign and be distinguished by the characteristic that they love one another: By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another? Would, they add, that all Christians were “one,” for then they might drive out the evil of irreligion which every day spreads more widely and threatens to overturn the Gospel.” [xlv]

Pope Pius XI answers these misrepresentations:
“All remember how John, the very Apostle of Charity, who in his Gospel seems to have opened the secrets of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and who always inculcated in the minds of his disciples the new commandment, Love ye one another, and wholly forbidden them to have relations with those who did not profess entire and uncorrupted the teachings of Christ. If any man cometh to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house nor say to him, God speed you. Since charity is founded in whole and sincere faith, the disciples of Christ must be united by the bond of unity in faith and by it as the chief bond.” [xlvi]

So much for this point. Again, Father Donnelly makes use of an allocution delivered in 1927 by Pope Pius XI to substantiate his own theory about the “judgment of others.” It is with reference to Our Lord’s words from the Cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Father Donnelly implies that Pope Pius XI in this allocution is teaching that Our Lord’s words from the Cross proclaim the innocence of His crucifiers because of their ignorance!

This distortion of the words of Our Blessed Lord, at the most solemn and sad moment of His life, as He is dying for the sins of men, is but one of the instances the liberal theologians use from Sacred Scripture to illustrate their perverse teaching. I will list some other passages they use in this way:

I Cor. 2,8: For if they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory.

John, 16,2: They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doth a service to God.

I Tim. 1,13: Who before was a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and contumelious. But I obtained the mercy of God, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

These texts do not mean what the liberals interpret them to mean. As a rule, the liberal interpretation of these texts is identical with Abelard’s, which interpretation was condemned. We shall give Abelard’s statement, and St. Bernard’s answer to this theory of innocence through ignorance.

The following is Abelard’s heretical teaching:
“. . . about the Jews who crucified Christ and the others who, persecuting the martyrs, thought they were doing a service to God, . . . we answer that those simple Jews indeed were not acting against their conscience, but rather were persecuting Christ out of zeal for their law; nor did they think they were doing evil, and therefore they did not sin; nor were some of them condemned on account of this, but for preceding sins, in punishment for which they fell into this blindness. And among them were those elect for whom Christ prayed saying: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23,24) Nor did He pray that this sin be remitted to them, for this was not a sin, but rather preceding sins.” [xlvii]

St. Bernard, in Chapter 4 of his Epistle to Hugh of St. Victor, says:
“Perhaps he who asserts that one cannot sin through ignorance never prays for his ignorances, but rather laughs at the prophet who prays and says, “The sins of my youth and my ignorances, do not remember.” (Ps. 24,7) Perhaps he even reproves God Who requires satisfaction for the sin of ignorance, and do one of those things which by the law of the Lord are forbidden, and being guilty of sin, understand his iniquity, he shall offer of the flocks a ram without blemish to the priest, according to the measure and estimation of the sin, and the priest shall pray for him, because he did it ignorantly: and it shall be forgiven him, because by mistake he trespassed against the Lord. (Lev. 5,17-19.)

“If ignorance is never a sin, why is it said, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, that the high priest entered alone once a year into the second tabernacle, not without blood, which he offers for his own and the people’s ignorance? (Heb. 9,7.) If the sin of ignorance is no sin, therefore Saul did not sin, who persecuted the Church of God, because he did this, indeed, ignorantly, remaining in incredulity. Therefore, he did well in that he was a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and contumelious, — in that he was breathing threats and slaughter against the disciples of Jesus, — thereby being more abundantly a zealous imitator of the traditions of his fathers! (Gal. 1,13-14) If ignorance is never a sin, then he should not have said, “I obtained the mercy of God,” (I Tim. 1, 13) but, rather, ‘I received my reward,” for certainly, if ignorance renders a man free from sin, then in addition emulation makes him worthy of reward.

“If, I say, one never sins through ignorance, what then do we hold against those who killed the Apostles, since indeed they did not know that to kill them was evil, but, rather, by doing this, they thought they were doing a service to God? (Jn. 16,2.) Then also in vain did our Saviour on the Cross pray for those who crucified Him, since indeed, as He Himself testifies, they were ignorant of what they were doing, (Lk. 23, 24) and therefore they did not sin at all! For neither is it allowed in any way to suspect that the Lord Jesus was lying, Who openly bore witness that they did not know what they were doing, nor should one suspect that the Apostle, emulating his flesh, could have lied as a man when he said, “For if they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory.” (I Cor. 2,8.) Is it not sufficiently clear from these passages in what a great darkness of ignorance lies the man who does not know that one can sometimes sin through ignorance?” [xlviii]

Is ignorance never a sin? Why is it that people are ignorant of the Truth? Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church, asks the same question:
“But why is it, then, that all men have not known it and that, even at this day, so many are ignorant of it? This is the reason: “The light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light.” (Jn. 3,19) They have not known Him, and they do not know Him, because they do not want to know Him, loving rather the darkness of sin than the light of grace.” [xlix]

Saint John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, also tells us:
“Thus see how, speaking of the Jews, Our Lord deprives them of all excuse: “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin,” and Paul again, “But I say: Have they not heard? Yes, verily, their sound hath gone forth into all the Earth.” For there is excuse when there is no one to tell a man, but when the watchman sits there, having this as the business of his life, there is not excuse any longer . . . Whether you go among the Indians, you shall hear this; whether into Spain, or to the very ends of the Earth, there is no one without the hearing, except it be of his own neglect.” [l]

Concerning the “inculpability” of the ignorant Jews who crucified Our Lord, the following proposition of Abelard’s was condemned by the Council of Sens in 1141.
“(It is error to say, with Abelard) 10. That those who crucified Christ, being ignorant, did not sin, and that whatever is done through ignorance is not to be ascribed to sin.” [li]

Moreover, concerning the “innocence” of St. Paul as he was persecuting the Church, the following proposition of John Hus was condemned by the Ecumenical Council of Constance:
“(It is error to say with Hus) 2. Paul was never a member of the Devil, although he did some acts similar to the acts of those who malign the Church.” [lii]

I know from personal experience that these doctrines of Abelard and Hus are being taught in one of the Catholic colleges of this part of the country.

Now, to return to the allocution of Pius XI in 1927, which Father Donnelly used in his paper, — this is the way he quotes it to make his point:
“Sad are these conditions, it is true, but nevertheless they provide some consolation, because the greater the ignorance — and who can ever presume to judge a person’s good faith except God? — the less the responsibility. So true is this that Jesus Himself sought, as it were, His last consolation in the fact of ignorance, when He cried out from the Cross to the Father: “Pardon them, because they know not what they do.”” (Allocution of Pius XI, January 11, 1927; L’ Osservatore Romano of this date.)

If this translation of Pope Pius XI’s allocution is to be trusted, we can be sure that the Pope did not mean by it what Father Donnelly claims that he did. Although we know that in this allocution the Holy Father was not speaking ex cathedra, yet it would be presumptuous to assume that he was teaching heresy, for in the light of the evidence already given it would be heretical to hold that the Jews who crucified Our Lord were not guilty of sin because of ignorance. We wish that liberals would be more careful in the way in which they quote our Popes, or else they will be attributing heretical utterances to the successors of St. Peter, who are the guardians of the Faith.


Notes

[i] St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Part II-II, qu. 2, a.3.

[ii] St. Thomas Aquinas, Op. cit., id. a. 5.

[iii] Ibid. in Corp.

[iv] St. Thomas Aquinas, Op. cit., Part II.II, qu. 2, a. 3.

[v] Id., a. 8.

[vi] Id., a. 6.

[vii] St. Thomas Aquinas, Op. Cit., Part II-II, qu. 5, a. 3.

[viii] Ibid., Ibid., in Corp.

[ix] St. Alphonsus Liguori, Instruction on the Commandments and Sacraments, Part I, Ch. I, Sect. I “On Faith.” n. 6.

[x] St. Thomas Aquinas, Collationes de Pater Noster, et Credo in Deum, Exposition of the Apostles’ Creed, First Article.

[xi] Council of Trent, Sess. VI, Ch. 8, Denz. 801.

[xii] St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctrina Christiana. “Introduction.”

[xiii] St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Incarnation, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ. “Meditation for the Feast of the Epiphany.” (English translation of the Ascetical Works of St. Alphonsus, vol. 4, p. 286).

[xiv] Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Mortalium Animos.

[xv] Pius IX, Singulari Quadam, Denz. 1645.

[xvi] Pope Innocent XI, Errores varii de rebus moralibus (4 March, 1679), n. 64. Denz. 1214.

[xvii] Council of Constance, Sess. VII, Errors of John Wycliff, n. 41, Denz. 621.

[xviii] Pius IX, Quanto Conficiamur, Denz. 1677.

[xix] Ibid.

[xx] St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Gospel of St. John, Ch. XII, Lect. VIII, n. 6.

[xxi] St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Incarnation, etc., Cf. note 13.

[xxii] St. Robert Bellarmine, On the Church Militant, (Latin Ed. Venice, 1721) Bk. III, Ch. II, (Tom. 2, p. 53D).

[xxiii] St. Peter Canisius, Catechism, “First Question.”

[xxiv] Pius XI, Enc. Mortalium animos.

[xxv] Bainvel, Op. cit., Ch. III, pp. 25ss.

[xxvi] Id. Ch. IV, p. 37.

[xxvii] Ibid.

[xxviii] Bainvel, Op. cit., Ch. VI, p. 54.

[xxix] Ibid.

[xxx] Rev. Louis Caperan, Le Probléme du salut des Infideles (new ed., Toulouse, 1934). Vol. II, p.102.

[xxxi] Louis Caperan, Union Missionaire du Clerge (October, 1945 and January, 1946) article entitled, “La mission de l’ Église et les missions dans le plan providential du salut.”

[xxxii] Saint Robert Bellarmine, On the Church Militant, Bk. III, Ch. XII (Tom. 2, p.71 D-E).

[xxxiii] Id. Bk. III, Ch. II, (p. 54B).

[xxxiv] Id. Bk. III, Ch. III, (p. 54 D, D, A, B) — Also: Bellarmine, On Penance, Bk. II, Ch. XIV (Tom. 3, p. 525B).

[xxxv] Bellarmine, On the Church Militant, Bk. III, Ch. II, (Tom. 2, p.53E)

[xxxvi] Pius IX, Quanto Conficiamur, Denz. 1677.

[xxxvii] St. Augustine, Epist. XLIII Ad Glorium, Eleusium, Felicem Grammaticos et caeteros, Ch. I (J. P. Migné, Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Latina, Vol. 33, p. 160.)

[xxxviii] St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Part II-II, qu. 11, a. 2, ad 3.

[xxxix] Id., a. 1, S. C.

[xl] St. Thomas Aquinas, Op. cit. Part II-II, qu. 10, a. 5, In Corp.

[xli] Pius IX, Quanto Conficiamur, Denz. 1678.

[xlii] Pius IX, Singulari Quadam, Denz. 1647.

[xliii] L’ Osservatore Romano, 31 January, 1938.

[xliv] Ibid.

[xlv] Pius XI, Mortalium Animos.

[xlvi] Ibid.

[xlvii] St. Bernard, Epist. CXC., Capitula Haeresum Petri Abaelardi, Cap. XI, (Migné, Vol 182).

[xlviii] St. Bernard, Epist. LXXVII, to Hugh of St. Victor, De Baptismo, etc., Cap. IV (Migné, P. L. Vol. 182).

[xlix] St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Incarnation, etc., (Cf. note 13). “Meditation VIII for the Novena of Christmas” (Ascetical Works, Vol 4, p. 33).

[l] St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, Homil. V, n. 4, Chrysostom, Vol. 9, part 1, p. 55A-B).

[li] Council of Sens, 1140 or 1141, Errors of Peter Abelard, n. 10, Denz. 377.

[lii] Council of Constance, Sess. XV, 1415, Errors of John Hus, n. 2, Denz. 628.

Perhaps we can discuss where in here is the "most important error contained in [the] article . . . a denial of the possibility of salvation for any man who had only an implicit desire to enter the Catholic Church."

In my read of the article, it appears that Karam seems to be equating "explicit belief in the Catholic Church" with at least explicit faith in Christ (or the Trinity and His Incarnation) and the absence of a denial of any truth of the Catholic faith. If that's "very harmful" error . . . I'll be damned, since I believe that too. Very Happy

Some I'm confused about Karam's "most important" error.

More later.

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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  MRyan on Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:21 pm

Tornpage,

Before beginning an expanded discussion on “The most important error contained in that article” (“a denial of the possibility of salvation for any man who had only an implicit desire to enter the Catholic Church”), I think it would help that we understand where (I believe) Karam begins to go wrong by addressing what it means to Karam “to enter” or to be IN “the Catholic Church”.

Karam writes:

2. Are There Two Kinds of Membership in the Church?

“Secondly,” says Father Donnelly, “baptism of desire confers membership in the Church ‘in voto.’” In Part III of this article, I shall consider the question of Baptism and what Father Donnelly calls “Baptism of Desire.” For the moment, let us examine whether there is any such thing as “membership in the Church ‘in voto.’”

A man cannot be more or less a member of the Church. He either is a Catholic, or he is not a Catholic, for the Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. This means that it is a body in the real sense of the word, and not in a metaphorical sense. Like any other real body, therefore, no member of it can be more or less a part of it. The same soul animates it all, and if a member is separated from the body, it is cut off from it, and is no longer animated by the soul, hence it has no life in it.

Let us ask, therefore, who can be called a member of the Church in any sense? No one can be called a member of the Church in any sense who does not confess the truths of the Faith, does not partake of the Sacraments, and does not submit to the infallible authority of the Supreme Pontiff.
Karam appears to be suggesting that no one who is not a formal “member” of the visible Catholic Church can be united to that same Mystical Body “in any sense”, and cannot thus live the life of grace necessary for salvation since they cannot be a part of the Catholic Church, outside of which there is absolutely no salvation.

So is Karam correct when he states that “catechumens are not members of the Church in any sense.”? No.

The problem is with Karam’s fixation on the definition of “membership” that, he suggests, positively excludes someone from being united to the Mystical Body in any sense, to include the sense that defines unity through the bonds of faith, charity and desire. We can see where Karam runs into trouble when he comments on the teaching of St. Rober Bellarmine:

This shows clearly St. Robert Bellarmine’s teaching on the subject. Let no one, therefore, misunderstand St. Robert’s statement in another chapter of the same work when he says that catechumens are not in the Church in fact, but in voto. [xxxiii] This in no way states that there are two ways of being members of the Church, in fact and in voto. It simply means that catechumens have the explicit intention of coming into the Church and of becoming members of the Church, which membership they do not at all have at the moment. Saint Robert Bellarmine proves conclusively in various places that catechumens are not members of the Church in any sense. [xxxiv] For example, after giving his definition of the Church, St. Robert says that catechumens are excluded from this definition because they do not have communion of the sacraments. [xxxv]
Karam clearly suggests that Bellarmine cannot be understood to mean that catechumens, who are in the Church in voto, can belong to the Church as members in any sense other than actual membership by water Baptism.

What IS the intended sense of Bellarmine’s statement that a catechumen may be IN the Church “in voto”, that Karam says we are not to misunderstand? Can a catechumen who is in the Church in voto be saved without becoming an actual member in re?

St. Bellarmine asks and answers the question: “How then are catechumens saved if they are outside the Church?’ And answers: “When it is said that no one is saved outside the Church, this should be understood of those who do not belong to the Church either in reality or in desire, as theologians commonly say about Baptism. But since catechumens are in the Church, if not really (re), at least in desire (voto), they can be saved. Nor is there any valid objection in the analogy of Noe’s ark, outside of which no one was saved, since analogies are not perfect in all respects.”

So it would appear that Karam is the one who misunderstood Bellermine; hence, it should be obvious that if, as Karam suggests, there is no possibility of salvation without actual membership in re in the Catholic Church, any doctrine of an invisible incorporation being effected by an implicit desire for baptism and/or to enter the Church is anathema sit.

And, I believe, this is precisely why “On September 24, 1952, three weeks after its publication in full [The Holy Office Letter], the Center addressed a letter to Pope Pius XII in which it protested:

“This Protocol is substantially defective in that it contains heresy insofar as it states that one can be saved under certain conditions outside the Roman Catholic Church and without personal subjection to the Roman Pontiff …” (Brother Robert Mary, M.I.C.M, Tert., Father Feeney and the Truth About Salvation, by p. 21)
Before addressing those “certain conditions” by which the Holy Office Letter says that someone who has the implicit desire to enter the Church may be belong to her in voto, keep in mind what Br. Andre said in the other thread:

In response to your inquiry, I can say that Brother Francis taught that the adherent of the so-called "baptism of desire," in the strict sense in which it was taught by St. Thomas Aquinas and other orthodox theologians, cannot be called a heretic, or have his orthodoxy questioned in the least … I should explain that by the words "the strict sense," above, I mean that sense which does not deny the necessity of explicit Catholic faith and subjection to the Holy Father.
How can the catechumen be subject to the Holy Father except in desire and “voto”? See where this is going?

Let the fireworks begin.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  tornpage on Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:41 pm

Mike,

Thanks. Will digest and respond when I get a chance.

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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  MRyan on Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:51 pm

Reply to a Liberal Part III: Baptism
After confirming the strong tradition for baptism of blood as a substitute for baptism in water when necessity dictates, and providing the testimony of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Fulgentius, St. Augustine and St. Robert Bellarmine, Karam says:

Martyrdom is a substitute for the baptism of water only in case of a catechumen who has the Catholic Faith and confesses Christ and His Church, and who, because of his apprehension by pagans or heretics, is unable to receive the baptism of water.

… Therefore Bellarmine rightly concludes that salvation can be attained by:

"Those who are killed for Christ in the confession of the true Faith, and in the unity of the Church
. For heretics and schismatics cannot be martyrs, since they place an obstacle to the grace of God by their sin of infidelity and schism, in which they actually persevere. 67"
In other words, the doctrine of Baptism of Blood (without water Baptism) was not an issue for Raymond Karam ... or the St. Benedict Center.

Karam on Baptism of Desire:

(d) Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Question 1 : Can Sanctifying Grace Precede the Reception of a Sacrament?

Let us come now to the third kind of baptism, namely the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Oops; Fr. Feeney on the Baltimore Catechism, “in answer to the question, ‘How many kinds of Baptism are there?: There are three kinds of Baptism: Baptism of Water, Baptism of Desire, and baptism of Blood.'

This is heresy!” (Fr. Feeney, Bread of Life, pp 116-117)

Continuing with Karam on Baptism of Desire:

In answer to our third question, therefore, we shall say that, according to the majority of the Fathers and Doctors, baptism of the Holy Spirit, without the actual reception of Baptism of water, can be sufficient for salvation if the following five conditions are fulfilled:

First, that person must have the Catholic Faith. (We have already proved that no one can be saved without the Catholic Faith, and that not even the Sacrament of Baptism can be profitable for salvation if the subject who receives it does not confess the Catholic Faith.)

Second, he must have an explicit will or desire to receive the Sacrament of Baptism. For example, St. Bernard says that he must have an “entire yearning for the sacrament of Jesus.” 86

Third, he must have perfect charity. For St. Robert Bellarmine says that only “perfect conversion can be called baptism of the Spirit, and this includes true contrition and charity. ” 87 St. Augustine says that he must have “faith and conversion of the heart. ” 88 St. Thomas says that, as in the case of the Sacrament of Penance, so also in the Sacrament of Baptism, if sanctifying grace is to be received previous to the Sacrament, a perfect act of charity is necessary, for “if an adult is not perfectly disposed before baptism to obtain remission of his sins, he obtains this remission by the power of baptism, in the very act of being baptized. ” 89 St. Bernard says that “right faith, God-fearing hope, and sincere charity” must be present. 90

Fourth, he must have an explicit will to join the Catholic Church, — for, as we have shown, not even actual Baptism is profitable for salvation if it is received outside the Catholic Church (except for babies) and without an explicit will to join the Church. Much less, therefore, does baptism in voto profit for salvation if it does not include an explicit will to join the Catholic Church.

Fifth, he must be dying and, although yearning for the Baptism of Water, is unable to receive it because of an absolute impossibility, not because of a contempt for it.
As we can see, Karam rejected neither Baptism of Blood nor Baptism of Desire, though it is clear that he rejected any notion of an “implicit desire” for the sacrament (as taught by St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Liguori and other Doctors), and he rejected any notion of an implicit desire to enter the Church. Thus,

“The most important error contained in that article was a denial of the possibility of salvation for any man who had only an implicit desire to enter the Catholic Church.”
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  tornpage on Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:43 pm

Mike,

I don't think St. Robert recognized an "implicit desire" for baptism.

Ok. As I suspected, the issue is tied up with baptism of desire, and the necessity of an explicit desire to enter the Church is one of Karam's conditions for baptism of desire.

I wonder how this could be error on Karam's part when we had no Magisterial expression of it prior to the Holy Office letter, or, rather (arguably) by Pius XII in his encyclical Mystici Corporis?

This is where I get back to St. Robert. If he only mentioned an explicit desire as in the catechumen - the great doctor of Ecclesiology - how is it error on Karam's part to follow him? Catechumen have an explicit desire to enter the Church.

And doesn't Karam somewhere mention that catechumen do subject themselves to the Holy Father? They meet the condition.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  tornpage on Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:51 pm

Mike,

You quoted Karam in the place I was thinking of:

catechumens are not in the Church in fact, but in voto. [xxxiii] This in no way states that there are two ways of being members of the Church, in fact and in voto. It simply means that catechumens have the explicit intention of coming into the Church and of becoming members of the Church, which membership they do not at all have at the moment.

Catechumen are not members according to Pius XII's famous definition - they are not baptized. And one of Karam's five conditions for baptism of desire is not membership.

What's the problem, again?
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  MRyan on Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:07 pm

tornpage wrote:Mike,

You quoted Karam in the place I was thinking of:

catechumens are not in the Church in fact, but in voto. [xxxiii] This in no way states that there are two ways of being members of the Church, in fact and in voto. It simply means that catechumens have the explicit intention of coming into the Church and of becoming members of the Church, which membership they do not at all have at the moment.

Catechumen are not members according to Pius XII's famous definition - they are not baptized. And one of Karam's five conditions for baptism of desire is not membership.

What's the problem, again?
Karam on Baptism of Desire:

In answer to our third question, therefore, we shall say that, according to the majority of the Fathers and Doctors, baptism of the Holy Spirit, without the actual reception of Baptism of water, can be sufficient for salvation if the following five conditions are fulfilled:

First, that person must have the Catholic Faith. (We have already proved that no one can be saved without the Catholic Faith, and that not even the Sacrament of Baptism can be profitable for salvation if the subject who receives it does not confess the Catholic Faith.)

Second, he must have an explicit will or desire to receive the Sacrament of Baptism. For example, St. Bernard says that he must have an “entire yearning for the sacrament of Jesus.” 86

Third, he must have perfect charity. For St. Robert Bellarmine says that only “perfect conversion can be called baptism of the Spirit, and this includes true contrition and charity. ” 87 St. Augustine says that he must have “faith and conversion of the heart. ” 88 St. Thomas says that, as in the case of the Sacrament of Penance, so also in the Sacrament of Baptism, if sanctifying grace is to be received previous to the Sacrament, a perfect act of charity is necessary, for “if an adult is not perfectly disposed before baptism to obtain remission of his sins, he obtains this remission by the power of baptism, in the very act of being baptized. ” 89 St. Bernard says that “right faith, God-fearing hope, and sincere charity” must be present. 90

Fourth, he must have an explicit will to join the Catholic Church, — for, as we have shown, not even actual Baptism is profitable for salvation if it is received outside the Catholic Church (except for babies) and without an explicit will to join the Church. Much less, therefore, does baptism in voto profit for salvation if it does not include an explicit will to join the Catholic Church.

Fifth, he must be dying and, although yearning for the Baptism of Water, is unable to receive it because of an absolute impossibility, not because of a contempt for it.
As we can see, Karam rejected neither Baptism of Blood nor Baptism of Desire, though it is clear that he rejected any notion of “implicit desire” for the sacrament (as taught by St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Liguori and other Doctors), and he rejected any notion of an implicit desire to enter the Church. Thus,

“The most important error contained in that article was a denial of the possibility of salvation for any man who had only an implicit desire to enter the Catholic Church.”
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  MRyan on Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:39 pm

tornpage wrote:
I don't think St. Robert recognized an "implicit desire" for baptism.
Actually, as Fr. Hardon explains, I think he did, even if not directly:

St. Robert does not expressly treat of this class of people anywhere in the Controversies. For one thing, it was beyond the evident purpose of his writings. However, his doctrine can be gathered from what he says elsewhere, on the subject of Baptism in the case of those who never explicitly desire to receive the Sacrament. The immediate question is whether they can be saved, but ultimately whether they can belong to the Church, because outside the Church, at least through membership in voto, there is no salvation.

Note that we here wish to see whether Bellarmine would extend his term “catechumen” to include also those who only implicitly desire Baptism and, therefore, implicitly “twice-over” desire to become members of the Church.

Following St. Thomas, whom he quotes, [56] Bellarmine would not require an explicit desire for Baptism as a condition for salvation, for those living in countries where the Church has not yet been established. This is confirmed by the letter of St. Bernard, on which Bellarmine based his doctrine, at least in part. “How many are there, throughout the world,” Bernard asks, “who die in complete ignorance of what Jesus said secretly that night to Nicodemus. (Unless a man be born of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven). What then? The law has not yet been promulgated, and they are already held responsible for breaking it? …. God forbid.” [57]

Logically, therefore, if desire for Baptism equivalates membership voto in the Church, and if, according to Bellarmine, this desire, among pagans at least, may be either explicit or implicit as a condition for salvation --- then, in either case, membership voto in the Church is the result. Otherwise he would be saying that implicit desire is enough to be saved, but not enough to enter voto into the Church --- which would contradict the supposit of his whole argument, namely, that at least voto membership is required for salvation.
Make sense?

tornpage wrote:I wonder how this could be error on Karam's part when we had no Magisterial expression of it prior to the Holy Office letter, or, rather (arguably) by Pius XII in his encyclical Mystici Corporis?
Neither were there any magisterial expressions for the possibility of salvation for those mired in invincible ignorance until Pope Pius IX sought to clarify the issue. But, as you know, “implicit desire” has a valid traditional pedigree and the absence of any “official” magisterial pronouncement does not diminish its validity as a “proximate rule of faith”. In other words, the Holy Office did not make this up out of the blue; it is simply a case of the magisterium catching up with these traditional doctrines by affirming their validity.

Karam affirmed the doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas on baptism of desire, but ignored his and the other Doctor’s teaching on implicit desire. Note too that most Feeneyites tend to cite only St. Thomas’ teaching on the necessity of faith by hearing (and thus argue if God will send even by miracle someone to evangelize, He will provide the sacrament as well), but ignore his teaching on Faith being brought directly by internal inspiration.

Allow me this small digression. Did the Holy Office Letter overextend its hand with its alleged mistranslation of Mystici Corporis Christi? Is it true that the more precise translation (we are told) that goes “… zealous and eager to tear themselves out of that state in which it is not possible for them to be without fear [Latin: secure] regarding their eternal salvation.” is “mistranslated” as “look to withdrawing from that state in which they cannot be sure of their salvation.”?

Bro. Robert Mary translates “securi” (Fr. Hardon’s Latin text says “secure”) as “free from care, unconcerned, fearless”, while the Latin on-line dictionary has “securus” meaning “safe, secure, free from care, unworried, unconcerned.” Is “cannot be sure” closer in meaning to “cannot be secure” or “cannot be unconcerned” than “cannot be without fear”? Granted that no one can be “sure” of their salvation, not even the Baptized, but we get the gist of what Pope Pius XII is saying without accusing the Holy Office of a “deliberate” and “intentionally deceptive” mistranslation.

And of course, we know that “even though they may be ordained toward [‘orinentur’: to be ordained or disposed towards] the mystic Body of the Redeemer by a certain unknown desire and resolution”, was translated as “For even though unsuspectingly they are related in desire and longing…”

However, in calling these alleged mistranslations deliberate and deceitful in that they were introduced with the intention of changing the meaning and intent of Pope Pius XII, it is Br. Robert Mary and Feenyites in general who, in my opinion, overplays their hand by exaggerating the significance of these minor differences in translations. For example, “that state in which it is not possible for them to be without fear [without concern or worry], regarding their eternal salvation” does not change the fact that a certain unknown desire/longing and disposition towards the Mystical Body does not mean that a given soul cannot have a certain “relationship” with and disposition towards the Church that will, perhaps, culminate in a supernatural faith vivified by a perfect charity, without which, as the Letter also states, this “implicit desire” to enter the Church and certain “relationship” can bear no salvific fruit.

Sorry for the detour.

tornpage wrote:And doesn't Karam somewhere mention that catechumen do subject themselves to the Holy Father? They meet the condition.
Yes, but what condition is that; that one’s explicit intention to be subject the Roman Pontiff is what is meant by “we declare, say, define, and proclaim to every human creature that they by necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff”? How can one be entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff when only those of the baptized Faithful are subject to his jurisdiction? After all:

“… since the Church exercises judgment on no one who has not previously entered it by the gate of baptism. For what have I to do with those who are without (1 Cor. 5:12), says the Apostle. It is otherwise with those of the household of the faith, whom Christ the Lord by the laver of baptism has once made ‘members of his own body’ (1 Cor. 12:13).” (Trent, On the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance, Sess.14, Chap. 2)

Does the Roman Pontiff exercise “judgment” on the unbaptized catechumen? In other words, is “subjection” to the Roman Pontiff one of binding forensic necessity only for those who fall under his jurisdiction (or who know of this necessity and there are no obstacles to Baptism), or is it also one of spirit and intent? If also the latter, why couldn’t an implicit intention to enter the Church suffice for those to whom the essential mysteries have been revealed, but not necessarily the mystery of the Mystical Body and the requirement to join her?

Why then does Karam insist that an explicit intention to enter the Church must manifest itself to every creature, or there is no salvation?

That is the “error”, the tendency to dogmatize one's “opinion” and accuse others of heresy when they allegedly teach salvation by “implicit desire”; when often enough the dispute is over a difference in terminology rather than theology, as in the case of Church “membership” (the dispute over theology and doctrine is centered more today on the issue of “true” justification). And, as the Holy Office reminds us, “it was not to private judgments that Our Savior gave for explanation those things that are contained in the deposit of faith, but to the teaching authority of the Church.” The issue was this:

…the same Sacred Congregation is convinced that the unfortunate controversy arose from the fact that the axiom, "outside the Church there is no salvation," was not correctly understood and weighed, and that the same controversy was rendered more bitter by serious disturbance of discipline arising from the fact that some of the associates of the institutions mentioned above refused reverence and obedience to legitimate authorities.
And yes, I know that the other extreme in this situation seems to have been given a free pass: Those Fr. Feeney went after for their heretical doctrines, indifferentism, liberalism, Marxism and syncretism. Life isn’t always fair, and Fr. Feeney never got his day in court … but there is no use rehashing all of that.

This is significant: I believe Br. Andre parts company with Karam when Br. Andre says “I believe that such an act [desire for Baptism … a “commanded act” of Charity] can be included (implicit) in any supernatural act of the Love of God.”, provided only that the implicit desire is grounded in supernatural faith (explicit) and willingnes to be subject to the Holy Father; thus there is no reason why this same commanded act of charity cannot include an implicit desire to be subject to the Holy Father. And I believe Br. Andre would agree; and not agree with this:

“This Protocol is substantially defective in that it contains heresy insofar as it states that one can be saved under certain conditions outside the Roman Catholic Church and without personal subjection to the Roman Pontiff …” (Brother Robert Mary, M.I.C.M, Tert., Father Feeney and the Truth About Salvation, by p. 21)
Since the Holy Office Letter makes it clear that the implicit desire to enter the Church must be grounded in supernatural faith (and nowhere suggests that an explicit Faith in our Lord is NOT included in the same) and perfect charity, this charge of heresy is based entirely on the teaching of the Holy Office on implicit desire; whereas, as Karam indicates, only an “explicit” desire to enter the Church (which thereby expresses one’s intention to be subject to the Holy Father) will suffice for salvation.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  MRyan on Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:03 pm

tornpage wrote:Mike,

You quoted Karam in the place I was thinking of:

catechumens are not in the Church in fact, but in voto. [xxxiii] This in no way states that there are two ways of being members of the Church, in fact and in voto. It simply means that catechumens have the explicit intention of coming into the Church and of becoming members of the Church, which membership they do not at all have at the moment.

Catechumen are not members according to Pius XII's famous definition - they are not baptized. And one of Karam's five conditions for baptism of desire is not membership.

What's the problem, again?
Sorry for the redundancy in my last post in response to your question; but I wanted to highlight the "real" problem. With respect to "membership", I'll get back with you on the problem of inconsistency which tends to misrepresent the doctrine of Bellarmine.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  Jehanne on Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:00 pm

Here is the original article:

http://catholicism.org/rtal-intro.html
http://catholicism.org/rtal-part1.html
http://catholicism.org/rptal-part2.html
http://catholicism.org/rptal-part3.html
http://catholicism.org/rtal-concl.html

It really comes down to this:

Condemned Error 41: It is not necessary for salvation to believe that the Roman church is supreme among the other churches. (Council of Constance)

http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Councils/ecum16.htm

One cannot have "implicit submission" to the Pope, as I explain on my blog:

http://unamsanctamecclesiamcatholicam.blogspot.com/2011/04/implicit-submission-another-absurdity.html

"Baptism of Desire," even if it exists apart from Sacramental Baptism of Water, has nothing to do Karam's arguments.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  DeSelby on Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:13 am

MRyan wrote:Bro. Robert Mary translates “securi” (Fr. Hardon’s Latin text says “secure”) as “free from care, unconcerned, fearless”, while the Latin on-line dictionary has “securus” meaning “safe, secure, free from care, unworried, unconcerned.” Is “cannot be sure” closer in meaning to “cannot be secure” or “cannot be unconcerned” than “cannot be without fear”? Granted that no one can be “sure” of their salvation, not even the Baptized, but we get the gist of what Pope Pius XII is saying without accusing the Holy Office of a “deliberate” and “intentionally deceptive” mistranslation.

And of course, we know that “even though they may be ordained toward [‘orinentur’: to be ordained or disposed towards] the mystic Body of the Redeemer by a certain unknown desire and resolution”, was translated as “For even though unsuspectingly they are related in desire and longing…”

However, in calling these alleged mistranslations deliberate and deceitful in that they were introduced with the intention of changing the meaning and intent of Pope Pius XII, it is Br. Robert Mary and Feenyites in general who, in my opinion, overplays their hand by exaggerating the significance of these minor differences in translations. For example, “that state in which it is not possible for them to be without fear [without concern or worry], regarding their eternal salvation” does not change the fact that a certain unknown desire/longing and disposition towards the Mystical Body does not mean that a given soul cannot have a certain “relationship” with and disposition towards the Church that will, perhaps, culminate in a supernatural faith vivified by a perfect charity, without which, as the Letter also states, this “implicit desire” to enter the Church and certain “relationship” can bear no salvific fruit.

Sorry for the detour.

tornpage wrote:And doesn't Karam somewhere mention that catechumen do subject themselves to the Holy Father? They meet the condition.
Yes, but what condition is that; that one’s explicit intention to be subject the Roman Pontiff is what is meant by “we declare, say, define, and proclaim to every human creature that they by necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff? How can one be entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff when only those of the baptized Faithful are subject to his jurisdiction? After all:

“… since the Church exercises judgment on no one who has not previously entered it by the gate of baptism. For what have I to do with those who are without (1 Cor. 5:12), says the Apostle. It is otherwise with those of the household of the faith, whom Christ the Lord by the laver of baptism has once made ‘members of his own body’ (1 Cor. 12:13).” (Trent, On the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance, Sess.14, Chap. 2)

Does the Roman Pontiff exercise “judgment” on the unbaptized catechumen? In other words, is “subjection” to the Roman Pontiff one of binding forensic necessity only for those who fall under his jurisdiction (or who know of this necessity and there are no obstacles to Baptism), or is it also one of spirit and intent? If also the latter, why couldn’t an implicit intention to enter the Church suffice for those to whom the essential mysteries have been revealed, but not necessarily the mystery of the Mystical Body and the requirement to join her?

Why then does Karam insist that an explicit intention to enter the Church must manifest itself to every creature, or there is no salvation?

Just a few things, MRyan, if you please . . .

Ok, the translation you use for the passage from Unam Sanctam: “We... declare, say, define, and proclaim to every human creature that they... by necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff.

. . . is an unusual one, for the reasons highlighted.

“we declare, say, define, and proclaim to every human creature that they by necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff.”

Compared to, for example,

"we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff."

In this instance would you agree the meaning conveyed is different? I know you may find it ironic that I would bring this up -- after you went into translation issues a paragraph earlier; but I find it ironic that you would use that translation of Unam Sanctam with a major difference from what is commonly used in English, disregarding truly minor differences -- and it bears on the points you went on to made immediately afterwards; at least I think they do. I'll look at it again.

Am I out of line here? Smile
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  Jehanne on Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:47 am

The official translation is here:

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/b8-unam.html

"Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff."

The whole concept of "implicit submission" is heretical and absurd because it denies human free will. How does one who has "implicit submission" to the Pope ever be guilty of schism??? I have asked this question before, and it remains unanswered. Saint Thomas, of course recognized this:

"All ceremonies are professions of faith, in which the interior worship of God consists. Now man can make profession of his inward faith, by deeds as well as by words: and in either profession, if he make a false declaration, he sins mortally." (Summa Theologica I-II, Q.103, A.4)

"For children baptized before coming to the use of reason, afterwards when they come to perfect age, might easily be persuaded by their parents to renounce what they had unknowingly embraced; and this would be detrimental to the faith." (Summa Theologica II-II, q. 10, a. 12)

As Mike has noted, the whole question of Baptism of Desire and/or Blood was moot for the Saint Benedict Center in the beginning of their movement. Later on, Father Feeney came-up with what everyone agrees was a theological novelty -- the Providence, Sovereignty, and Perfection of the One and Triune God in bringing Sacramental Baptism in Water to each and every one of His elect. This seemed to "plug the hole in the dike" with respect to the question of catechumens being members (or not) of the Church. Father Feeney's ideas were novel, much in the same that Saint Thomas' idea of the Limbo of the Children was a development of Saint Augustine's view. So Father Feeney developed Saint Thomas' thoughts further.

As I have said before, the question of Baptism of Desire and/Blood is moot. Yes, the Church has taught both doctrines since Her earliest days, but as Brian Kelly pointed out in his article on Saint Augustine, the question of Baptism of Desire was hardly one that was "settled," for if it was, it is simply question-begging as to why Saint Augustine changed his opinion on the matter several times throughout his life. Even catechumens who (allegedly) died without Baptism were still conditionally Baptized after they have died, if such was possible. If the Church truly believed in Baptism of Desire and/or Blood, what would be the point of baptizing these individuals after their deaths?? So, Baptism of Desire or not, Sacramental Baptism in Water has always been considered extremely important, even for those who are in a state of physical death, and who, of course, at that point cannot express any "desire" one way or the other.

More to the point, Protestants and Orthodox are formally schismatics and/or heretics due to the fact that they deny Catholic dogma and/or the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff. In this respect, they are not Christians. When this happens (if it happens) for an infant Baptized outside the canonical boundaries of the Church is anyone's guess. Age 7, 14, or later? But if any Protestant or Orthodox individual is reading these words, then, yes, you have lost your salvation, if you were in a state of grace to begin with. To say otherwise is to deny human free will and the grace of the One and Triune God, as well as His Revelation to the World.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  MRyan on Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:23 am

DeSelby wrote:
MRyan wrote:Bro. Robert Mary translates “securi” (Fr. Hardon’s Latin text says “secure”) as “free from care, unconcerned, fearless”, while the Latin on-line dictionary has “securus” meaning “safe, secure, free from care, unworried, unconcerned.” Is “cannot be sure” closer in meaning to “cannot be secure” or “cannot be unconcerned” than “cannot be without fear”? Granted that no one can be “sure” of their salvation, not even the Baptized, but we get the gist of what Pope Pius XII is saying without accusing the Holy Office of a “deliberate” and “intentionally deceptive” mistranslation.

And of course, we know that “even though they may be ordained toward [‘orinentur’: to be ordained or disposed towards] the mystic Body of the Redeemer by a certain unknown desire and resolution”, was translated as “For even though unsuspectingly they are related in desire and longing…”

However, in calling these alleged mistranslations deliberate and deceitful in that they were introduced with the intention of changing the meaning and intent of Pope Pius XII, it is Br. Robert Mary and Feenyites in general who, in my opinion, overplays their hand by exaggerating the significance of these minor differences in translations. For example, “that state in which it is not possible for them to be without fear [without concern or worry], regarding their eternal salvation” does not change the fact that a certain unknown desire/longing and disposition towards the Mystical Body does not mean that a given soul cannot have a certain “relationship” with and disposition towards the Church that will, perhaps, culminate in a supernatural faith vivified by a perfect charity, without which, as the Letter also states, this “implicit desire” to enter the Church and certain “relationship” can bear no salvific fruit.

Sorry for the detour.

tornpage wrote:And doesn't Karam somewhere mention that catechumen do subject themselves to the Holy Father? They meet the condition.
Yes, but what condition is that; that one’s explicit intention to be subject the Roman Pontiff is what is meant by “we declare, say, define, and proclaim to every human creature that they by necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff? How can one be entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff when only those of the baptized Faithful are subject to his jurisdiction? After all:

“… since the Church exercises judgment on no one who has not previously entered it by the gate of baptism. For what have I to do with those who are without (1 Cor. 5:12), says the Apostle. It is otherwise with those of the household of the faith, whom Christ the Lord by the laver of baptism has once made ‘members of his own body’ (1 Cor. 12:13).” (Trent, On the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance, Sess.14, Chap. 2)

Does the Roman Pontiff exercise “judgment” on the unbaptized catechumen? In other words, is “subjection” to the Roman Pontiff one of binding forensic necessity only for those who fall under his jurisdiction (or who know of this necessity and there are no obstacles to Baptism), or is it also one of spirit and intent? If also the latter, why couldn’t an implicit intention to enter the Church suffice for those to whom the essential mysteries have been revealed, but not necessarily the mystery of the Mystical Body and the requirement to join her?

Why then does Karam insist that an explicit intention to enter the Church must manifest itself to every creature, or there is no salvation?

Just a few things, MRyan, if you please . . .

Ok, the translation you use for the passage from Unam Sanctam: “We... declare, say, define, and proclaim to every human creature that they... by necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff.

. . . is an unusual one, for the reasons highlighted.

“we declare, say, define, and proclaim to every human creature that they by necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff.”

Compared to, for example,

"we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff."

In this instance would you agree the meaning conveyed is different? I know you may find it ironic that I would bring this up -- after you went into translation issues a paragraph earlier; but I find it ironic that you would use that translation of Unam Sanctam with a major difference from what is commonly used in English, disregarding truly minor differences -- and it bears on the points you went on to made immediately afterwards; at least I think they do. I'll look at it again.

Am I out of line here? Smile
Not at all, for you highlight an important point: English translations to the official Latin magisterial texts are not always consistent. But inconsistency does not translate to bad intentions and nefarious agendas, but it may reflect one’s unintended “bias” with respect to one’s own understanding. I think it is safe to say that any “official” translation reflects the honest interpretation of the translator who strives to be as accurate as possible. Since the more “official” translations will be reviewed by a host of theologians and ecclesiastical sources, any translation that is too far off from the “mind of the Church” and its intended meaning of the Latin text will, one may assume, be corrected.

We see this, as you know, even in the translations to the Council of Trent where, for example, in Sess. 6. Ch 4 “sine” is not always translated as the more literal “without”, but also as “except through”; i.e., “cannot be effected, without the laver of regeneration or its desire” vs. “cannot be effected except through the laver of regeneration or a desire for it.”

When properly understood, it doesn’t make any difference for they both mean the same thing, unless one’s objection to “except through” simply reflects one’s bias to change the meaning of the disjunctive “or” so that it means that both the sacrament and its desire are at all times necessary for justification. The Church has never understood it in this manner … and that is the point … how does the Church understand a particular magisterial text? I’m not sure that someone with a Latin dictionary is qualified to tell us without recourse to the common opinion of the theologians and the traditional understanding of the Church that may be known by her other corroborative official teachings.

We see these same principles at play with the translation of “voto” in the same passage. Despite the fact that “vow” is the primary meaning for “votum”, the secondary meaning “desire” is the more common translation for, as the CE indicates, the Council of Trent did not want to limit the intention to receive baptism to one of vowed intention, which is of course necessary, but also wished to convey the supernatural aspect of “desire” as it is commonly understood in “baptism of desire” as a vow/intention to receive baptism that is animated by perfect charity.

In other words, one may have the vowed intention (votum) to receive baptism without possessing the necessary charity that makes one a living "member" of the Body. To be a member of the mystic Body without the divine life of grace is not that “justification” defined by Trent; hence, no one (of the impious) can be justified without Baptism, or without at least the intention and desire for Baptism.

However, as is the case with Mystic Corporis Chrtisti, the NCWC (predecessor of the USCC/NCCB) translations are often the “official” English translations, though there is nothing that can guarantee 100% accuracy. If you are familiar with the works of Fr. Fenton and Fr. Harrison, they will sometimes provide their own translations or corrections to NCWC translations (or Denzinger’s) with what they believe is a more accurate representation of the mind of the Church conveyed in the nuance of the Latin text.

For example, here is Fr. Fenton in his article “Questions About Membership in the Church”:

Now what is precisely the teaching of the Church with reference to membership in the Church? Obviously the basic text of the magisterium with which we must be concerned is the statement in the encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi. To quote Pope Pius XII:

In Ecclesiae autem membris reapse ii soli annumerandi sunt, qui regenerationis lavacrum receperunt veramque fidem profitentur, neque a Corporis compage semet ipsos misere separarunt, vel ob gravissima admissa a legitima auctoritate seiuncti sunt. (AAS, XXXV (1943), 202. In the Gregorian University Press text, with notes by Sebastian Tromp, S.J., this is par. 21.)

The NCWC translation of the Mystici Corporis Christi gives this version of the statement about membership in the Church or the Mystical Body of Christ.

Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed.

The one fairly serious imperfection of this rendering is to be found in the use of the term "unity" as a translation of the Latin "compage." The Latin word carries the implication of a physical connection, of a visible principle of unity. Harper's Latin Dictionary uses the English terms "joining together," "connection," "joint," "structure," and "embrace" as translations of the Latin "compages" or "compago."

The term "member of the Church" can legitimately be applied only to those baptized persons who have not frustrated the force of their baptismal characters by public heresy or apostasy, or by schism, and who have not been expelled from the Church by competent ecclesiastical authority. (http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=1357)
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  MRyan on Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:43 pm

Jehanne wrote:The official translation is here:

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/b8-unam.html


First things first.

You mean the fact that the English translation was “taken from a doctoral dissertation written in the Dept. of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America, and published by CUA Press in 1927” makes it “official”, or the fact that it is commonly translated as such?

Does that make other translations with just as much “authority” as “the Dept. of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America” “unofficial"?

The two translations mean the same thing. The question I raised is one of consistency. You are saying that if one cannot be subject to the Roman Pontiff by virtue of actual Baptism, then one must have at least an explicit conscious vow to be subject to the Roman Pontiff. But “intention” is not the same as being subject to his actual authority and Primacy of jurisdiction.

So where do you get the authority to interpret a solemn ex cathedra definition of the Church that is a clear recession from the obvious meaning of its words; the meaning of which was also dogmatically and infallibly declared by the Council of Trent on what it means to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.

“… since the Church exercises judgment on no one who has not previously entered it by the gate of baptism. For what have I to do with those who are without (1 Cor. 5:12), says the Apostle. It is otherwise with those of the household of the faith, whom Christ the Lord by the laver of baptism has once made ‘members of his own body’ (1 Cor. 12:13).” (Trent, On the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance, Sess.14, Chap. 2)

What is the pope’s authority over someone who is not of the household of the faith by the laver of baptism?

Karam accepted the doctrines of baptism of blood and baptism of desire; meaning, he believed that an unbaptized catholic could be saved without being a “member of his own body” by virtue of one’s Baptism into the household of the faith.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  DeSelby on Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:40 am

MRyan — I have read and pondered over your response; unfortunately, I'm going to have to save responding to it for tomorrow when I have the energy. Thanks. God Bless.

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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  tornpage on Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:09 am

As we can see, Karam rejected neither Baptism of Blood nor Baptism of Desire, though it is clear that he rejected any notion of “implicit desire” for the sacrament (as taught by St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Liguori and other Doctors), and he rejected any notion of an implicit desire to enter the Church.

Mike,

Aren't you assuming that a sufficient "implicit desire" for baptism excludes an explicit desire to be joined to the Church? I'm not saying you're wrong, but merely that to show that some doctors found sufficient an "implicit desire" for baptism does not also mean that they did not require an explicit desire to join the Church. After all, I can imagine one desiring to join the Church of Our Lord and believing that this Catholic Church - you know, the one with the real pedigree of going back to Our Lord and with the beliefs of the apostles and just about all the early Christians - is where they want to be, without yet knowing anything about baptism. An explicit desire to join the Church could be joined with an "implicit desire" to baptism.

So I put you to better proofs on this point.

Maybe you cover that in your next post.

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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  tornpage on Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:37 am

Mike,

Note that we here wish to see whether Bellarmine would extend his term “catechumen” to include also those who only implicitly desire Baptism and, therefore, implicitly “twice-over” desire to become members of the Church.

Following St. Thomas, whom he quotes, [56] Bellarmine would not require an explicit desire for Baptism as a condition for salvation, for those living in countries where the Church has not yet been established.

You quote that from Father Hardon's article. This follows up on my last post: why might not someone have an "explicit desire" to join the Church and also an "implicit" desire for baptism? I understand that if you or Father Hardon can show that Bellarmine can show that St. Robert believes in an "implicit desire" for baptism, that that undermines my claim that Karam followed Bellarmine, but it doesn't touch the Holy Office's claim that Karam was in "error" for insisting on an explicit desire to enter the Church, for the reasons I've mentioned (there can be an explicit desire to enter the Church in someone with an implicit desire for baptism).

But to continue.

This is the footnote which is cited in Father Hardon's article:

[56] Bellarmine’s reference in to De Veritate, q. 14, art. 11, ad 1, where St. Thomas answers the objection that a pagan living in the wilds of a forest, for example, cannot attain to an explicit faith in the truths which are necessary for salvation. He says: “Non sequitur inconveniens posito quod quilibet teneatur aliquid explicite credere, si in silviz vel inter bruta animalia nutriatur: hoc enim ad divinam providentiam pertinet ut cuilibet provideat de necessaries ad salutem, dummodo ex parte ejus non impediatur. Si enim aliquis taliter nutritus, ductum naturalis rationis sequeretur in appetitu boni et fuga mali, certissime est tenendum quod ei Deus vel per internam inspirationem revelaret ea quae sunt ad credendum necessaria, vel aliquem fidei praedicatorem ad eum dirigeret, sicut misit Petrum ad Cornelium.” Here St. Thomas does not directly touch the question of Baptism, nor does he distinguish between explicit and implicit desire for the Sacrament as a condition for salvation. But elsewhere he does. The two classic passages occur in the Summa, where he says: “De Cornelio tamen sciendum est quod infidelis non erat; alioquin ejus operatio accepta non fuisset Deo, cui sine fide nullus potest placere. Habeat autem fidem implicitam, nondum manifestata Evangelii Veritate. Unde, ut eum in fide plenius instruitur, mittitur ad eum Petrus.” 2/2/10/4, ad 3. The second text is even clearer: “Ante Baptismum Cornelius et alii similes consequuntur gratiam et virtutes per fidem Christi et desiderium baptismi implicite vel explicite: postmodum tamen in baptismo majorem copiam gratiae, et virtutum consequuntur.” And this is immediately preceded by the words: “Dicendum quod remissionem peccatorum aliquis consequitur ante baptismum, secundum quod habet baptismum in voto, vel explicite vel implicite; et tamen cum realiter suscipit baptismum, fit plenior remissio quantum ad liberationem a tota poena.” 3/69/4.


Correct me if I'm wrong - I'm too lazy right now to go check the actual passage from the Summa, and I can only pray in Latin (some favorite prayers memorized), but I can't read it very well (other than recognizing various words) - but doesn't that passage speak of an angel or God by internal inspiration filling such a person with the necessary truths for salvation, without answering what those necessary truths are?

The purported authority of Hardon here, relying on Bellarmine's quote of St. Thomas in the passage identified, cannot be relied upon for the proposition that an explicit desire to enter the Church is not necessary, since it only shows - at most, if you accept the speculation (which I concede is reasonable) of Father Hardon that Bellarmine would have accepted an "implicit desire" - that an implicit desire for baptism may be sufficient (since the highlighted language from St. Thomas is preceded by a passage talking about an implied desire for baptism).

So it still does not get us anywhere as to whether the Holy Office is right or justified in claiming that Karam is incorrect for rejecting "an implicit desire to enter the Church."

I'll stop this here, and move on to the next post. This, as with most good discussions, could get lost in long posts, so I think it's best to break down posts point by point.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  tornpage on Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:56 am

Karam affirmed the doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas on baptism of desire, but ignored his and the other Doctor’s teaching on implicit desire.

Yes, he did ignore St. Thomas on implicit desire for baptism. I'm not convinced that he ignored St. Robert on that point, since he followed St. Robert's explicit teaching, and Father Hardon gets there by speculation, reasonable speculation I concede. But you cannot hang Karam on Father Hardon's reasonable speculation as to how St. Robert would have answered the question which he didn't address.

On the subjection to the Pope issue. You cite the famous text - no judgment on those who have not entered by baptism - but it seems to me that you're stretching to use it against Karam here. That is, Karam is saying that a catechumen is subject to the Holy Father by his intention and vow - he deliberately and voluntarily subjects himself, the issue of whether he is legally bound to do so, and whether the pope can pronounce some binding sentence on him, I do not think is important here.

I think it is inconsistent and somewhat perverse for Karam's opponents, who are arguing that intention and desire may meet the requirements for justification, hence baptism, hence salvation, to assert that an intention by the catechumen to be subject to the Holy Father in the Church he is pursing membership in does not meet another requirement, subjection to the Holy Father.

You write, "why couldn’t an implicit intention to enter the Church suffice for those to whom the essential mysteries have been revealed, but not necessarily the mystery of the Mystical Body and the requirement to join her?"

I hear your point, and agree with it, actually. My view is only that "explicit faith" in Christ is required, which includes His Incarnation as man and His being God as part of the Trinity, and that the rest can be "implied."

But that is different from saying that Karam is in "error." I still fail to see how, based on the teaching of the Magisterium up to the Holy Office letter, that Karam is in error for rejecting the sufficiency of an implicit desire to enter the Church.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  Jehanne on Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:46 am

You need to add the explicit desire to enter the Church to the list of "explicit beliefs" that one must hold to, due to what was solemnly declared at the Councils of Constance and Lateran IV:

Condemned Error 41: It is not necessary for salvation to believe that the Roman church is supreme among the other churches. (Council of Constance).

"Where the necessity of salvation is concerned all the faithful of Christ must be subject to the Roman Pontiff, as we are taught by Holy Scripture, the testimony of the holy fathers, and by that constitution of our predecessor of happy memory, Boniface VIII, which begins Unam Sanctam." (Fifth Lateran Council)

Of course, "all the faithful of Christ" would include catechumens, as well as the baptized, even though the Church would not be exercising any canonical jurisdiction over the former. Per the Council of Constance, both catechumens and the baptized would both profess and believe that the "Roman Church (hence, the Roman Pontiff, which means explicit submission to him) is supreme among the other churches."
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  MRyan on Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:43 am

Tornpage,

I am getting way behind. I’ve only just stopped-in to see how far behind I really am, but I cannot stay. I’ll get to it eventually and clarify this whole Karam issue.

One thing you said caught my attention:

I hear your point, and agree with it, actually. My view is only that "explicit faith" in Christ is required, which includes His Incarnation as man and His being God as part of the Trinity, and that the rest can be "implied."


You mean that is your opinion; one that does not appear to be shared by St. Thomas Aquinas:

… all the articles are contained implicitly in certain primary matters of faith, such as God's existence, and His providence over the salvation of man, according to Heb. 11: "He that cometh to God, must believe that He is, and is a rewarder to them that seek Him." For the existence of God includes all that we believe to exist in God eternally, and in these our happiness consists; while belief in His providence includes all those things which God dispenses in time, for man's salvation, and which are the way to that happiness: and in this way, again, some of those articles which follow from these are contained in others: thus faith in the Redemption of mankind includes belief in the Incarnation of Christ, His Passion and so forth. (Summa, II-II, Q. 1, Art 7)
In other words, according to the Angelic Doctor, “belief in the Incarnation of Christ, His Passion and so forth” may be implicit in one’s faith in the Redemption of mankind.

I’ll have more to say on this and the “levels of sophistication” related to the AC ... but thought you would like to mull that one over.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  tornpage on Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:56 am

Mike,

If you read what St. Thomas wrote as indicating an actual, explicit belief in Christ is not necessary after the promulgation of the gospel - yes, I disagree with him.

And, more importantly, he disagrees with himself. Very Happy

Which leads me to believe that he is probably addressing there the requirement of faith in Christ always being necessary for redemption, with such faith being "implied' in the OT saints, for example.

This is a new age.

In any event, if you want to pursue this more, I'd be interesting in reading it.

Though, as you know, Feeneyites (and I guess those who are locked into defending Feeneyites, like moi) - and Jehanne never answered my question as to whether I was a Feeneyite - do not consider themselves "bound" by St. Thomas, since it is not left to the theologians . . . you can recite the rest. Very Happy

I will even more look forward to your argument that faith in the Incarnation and Trinity is not necessary according to the Athanasian Creed. Shocked



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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  tornpage on Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:58 am

I will even more look forward to your argument that faith in the Incarnation and Trinity is not necessary according to the Athanasian Creed. Shocked

And also as to finding out whether you actually believe that? Shocked Shocked
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  DeSelby on Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:28 pm

MRyan wrote:[...]
Not at all, for you highlight an important point: English translations to the official Latin magisterial texts are not always consistent. But inconsistency does not translate to bad intentions and nefarious agendas, but it may reflect one’s unintended “bias” with respect to one’s own understanding. I think it is safe to say that any “official” translation reflects the honest interpretation of the translator who strives to be as accurate as possible. Since the more “official” translations will be reviewed by a host of theologians and ecclesiastical sources, any translation that is too far off from the “mind of the Church” and its intended meaning of the Latin text will, one may assume, be corrected.

We see this, as you know, even in the translations to the Council of Trent where, for example, in Sess. 6. Ch 4 “sine” is not always translated as the more literal “without”, but also as “except through”; i.e., “cannot be effected, without the laver of regeneration or its desire” vs. “cannot be effected except through the laver of regeneration or a desire for it.”

When properly understood, it doesn’t make any difference for they both mean the same thing, unless one’s objection to “except through” simply reflects one’s bias to change the meaning of the disjunctive “or” so that it means that both the sacrament and its desire are at all times necessary for justification. The Church has never understood it in this manner … and that is the point … how does the Church understand a particular magisterial text? I’m not sure that someone with a Latin dictionary is qualified to tell us without recourse to the common opinion of the theologians and the traditional understanding of the Church that may be known by her other corroborative official teachings.

We see these same principles at play with the translation of “voto” in the same passage. Despite the fact that “vow” is the primary meaning for “votum”, the secondary meaning “desire” is the more common translation for, as the CE indicates, the Council of Trent did not want to limit the intention to receive baptism to one of vowed intention, which is of course necessary, but also wished to convey the supernatural aspect of “desire” as it is commonly understood in “baptism of desire” as a vow/intention to receive baptism that is animated by perfect charity.

In other words, one may have the vowed intention (votum) to receive baptism without possessing the necessary charity that makes one a living "member" of the Body. To be a member of the mystic Body without the divine life of grace is not that “justification” defined by Trent; hence, no one (of the impious) can be justified without Baptism, or without at least the intention and desire for Baptism.

However, as is the case with Mystic Corporis Chrtisti, the NCWC (predecessor of the USCC/NCCB) translations are often the “official” English translations, though there is nothing that can guarantee 100% accuracy. If you are familiar with the works of Fr. Fenton and Fr. Harrison, they will sometimes provide their own translations or corrections to NCWC translations (or Denzinger’s) with what they believe is a more accurate representation of the mind of the Church conveyed in the nuance of the Latin text.

For example, here is Fr. Fenton in his article “Questions About Membership in the Church”:

Now what is precisely the teaching of the Church with reference to membership in the Church? Obviously the basic text of the magisterium with which we must be concerned is the statement in the encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi. To quote Pope Pius XII:

In Ecclesiae autem membris reapse ii soli annumerandi sunt, qui regenerationis lavacrum receperunt veramque fidem profitentur, neque a Corporis compage semet ipsos misere separarunt, vel ob gravissima admissa a legitima auctoritate seiuncti sunt. (AAS, XXXV (1943), 202. In the Gregorian University Press text, with notes by Sebastian Tromp, S.J., this is par. 21.)

The NCWC translation of the Mystici Corporis Christi gives this version of the statement about membership in the Church or the Mystical Body of Christ.

Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed.

The one fairly serious imperfection of this rendering is to be found in the use of the term "unity" as a translation of the Latin "compage." The Latin word carries the implication of a physical connection, of a visible principle of unity. Harper's Latin Dictionary uses the English terms "joining together," "connection," "joint," "structure," and "embrace" as translations of the Latin "compages" or "compago."

The term "member of the Church" can legitimately be applied only to those baptized persons who have not frustrated the force of their baptismal characters by public heresy or apostasy, or by schism, and who have not been expelled from the Church by competent ecclesiastical authority. (http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=1357)
Are we on the same page?

I don’t know yet. I understand what you are saying in the above response; that information is useful as reference and was not posted in vain. It wasn’t what I looking for with regard to the Unam Sanctam quote, but that is no problem. In fact, it provides some interesting topics for future discussion.

The reason I pointed out that particular translation of the Unam Sanctam quote is that, to me at least, that translation lends itself to an innocuous, watered-down, domesticated, Steubenvilleistic reading. I was reminded of this (from the CUF website):

Boniface VIII wrote concerning the nature of the Church and the supremacy of the Pope. He did not write concerning the damnation of those who have never heard the Gospel. After expressing the truth that there is only one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism and one Church, he explained that supreme authority of the Pope is both temporal and spiritual. He then ended by declaring: "We declare, say, define, and pronounce, that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." This is not a statement demanding that everyone know the supremacy of the Pope to be saved, but rather is a truthful claim that the Pope authority from God as the legitimate successor of St. Peter, to whom Our Lord entrusted the keys of the kingdom.

Yet, they use the, in my opinion, clearer translation. Go figure.

On Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, they have this to say:

There are two principal errors when it comes to the Church’s teaching on extra ecclesiam nulla salus. Some reject this teaching as both incorrect and arrogant. Others interpret this statement to condemn all those who are not visibly united to the Roman Catholic Church. To come to the proper understanding of this teaching, we must examine it within the context of divine Revelation and Church history. This examination will reveal that the phrase was not formulated to express who would go to heaven and who would go to hell, for only God will judge that. Rather, the phrase expresses an understanding of the Church in relation to her role in the salvation of the world.

Translation or Interpretation?

Many people translate the Latin phrase extra ecclesiam nulla salus as "Outside the Church there is no salvation." This translation does not seem entirely faithful to the Latin meaning, and contributes to the misunderstanding of the phrase.

The Latin word "extra" is both an adverb and preposition. Depending on its use in a sentence, the word has different meanings. When used to describe spatial relations between objects, the word is translated as "beyond" or "outside of"(e.g., beyond the creek is a tree; or, James is outside of the room). When used to describe abstract relations between concepts or intangible things, the word is commonly translated "without" (e.g., Without a method, it is difficult to teach). Within the phrase in question, extra is a preposition describing the abstract relationship of the Church to salvation. Considering the Latin nuances of the word, a proper translation would be, "Without the Church there is no salvation." This translation more accurately reflects the doctrinal meaning of the phrase.

I find this “without” argument of theirs to be sophistry. In both instances, with Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus and the quote from Unam Sanctum, it seems to me they attempt to make the dogmas as innocuous as possible by taking a secondary meaning and making it the primary, exclusive, meaning.

Perhaps, for starters, the simplest way to put this would just be to ask you what you make of the above CUF take on Unam Sanctam.
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USING THE DE FACTO-DEJURE ANALYSIS OF RAYMOND KARAM'S ARTICLE

Post  Guest on Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:40 am

From what has been said it is evident that those things which are proposed in the periodical <From the Housetops>, fascicle 3, as the genuine teaching of the Catholic Church are far from being such and are very harmful both to those within the Church and those without.

The doctrinal portion of the Holy Office letter ends with the declaration that, in the light of what the document itself has taught, “it is evident that those things which are proposed in the periodical ‘From the Housetops,’ fascicle 3, as the genuine teaching of the Catholic Church are far from being such and are very harmful both to those within the Church and those without.” The issue of From the Housetops to which the letter refers contained only one article, written by Mr. Raymond Karam of the St. Benedict Center group, and entitled “Reply to a Liberal.”

The most important error contained in that article was a denial of the possibility of salvation for any man who had only an implicit desire to enter the Catholic Church. There was likewise bad teaching on the requisites for justification, as distinguished from the requisites for salvation. The first of these faults has been indicated in a previous issue of The American Ecclesiastical Review.

FROM THE HOUSETOPS

Vol. III, No. 3 Spring, 1949

REPLY TO A LIBERAL

By Raymond Karam

PART II. OUTSIDE THE CHURCH THERE IS NO SALVATION

1. Explicit Faith in the Catholic Church and in Her Teaching is Necessary for Salvation.
2. Are there Two Kinds of Membership in the Church?
3. Can a Person Who Remains Separated from the Church be Saved?
4. Are Protestants Formal Heretics?
5. Pope Pius IX’s Real Teaching with Regard to the Salvation of Non-Catholics.
6. Concerning the Question of Ignorance.


PART II

OUTSIDE THE CHURCH THERE IS NO SALVATION

1. Explicit Faith in the Catholic Church and in Her Teachings is Necessary for Salvation

We now come to something more positive and more doctrinal. “The first point to be made,” says Fr. Donnelly, “is that the formula ‘extra ecclesiam nulla salus’ must not be understood in the sense that salvation is impossible for any one who does not believe explicitly in the Catholic Church, and does not accept all the revealed truths proposed by her for belief.”

Is this really the teaching of the Church on this point? Let us see what Holy Scripture and the tradition of the Church have to say.

Our Lord, sending His Apostles to preach His Gospel, said to them: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned.” (Mk. 16,16.)

St. Paul, in his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, (I, 7-10), says: “And to you who are troubled, rest with us when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven, with the angels of His power: in a flame of fire, giving vengeance to them who know not God, and who obey not the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Who shall suffer eternal punishment in destruction, from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of His power: when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be made wonderful in all them who have believed; because our testimony was upon you in that day.”

Again, in the same Epistle (II, 8-11) the Apostle says: “And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of His mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming, him, whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore, God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying; that all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, the official teacher of Catholic Doctrine, on the authority of the Apostle (Heb. XI, 6): “Without faith it is impossible to please God,” says that faith in truths revealed by God is absolutely necessary for salvation. Moreover, implicit faith is not enough, nor is it possible to have implicit faith in some truth if one does not hold explicitly other truths. ii] “Therefore, as regards the primary points or articles of faith, man must believe them explicitly, just as he must have faith.” [iii]

Now, according to St. Thomas, what are the primary points or articles of Faith which must be believed explicitly by a man who wishes to be saved? They are (besides the belief that God is, that He is a rewarder and a punisher): (a) explicit faith in the mystery of the Incarnation, and all the points which are related to it which are found in the Creed; and (b) explicit faith in the Trinity, and in all the points related to it which are found in the Creed. Saint Thomas speaks as follows:

“After the Incarnation, all men, if they wish to be saved, are “bound to explicit faith in the mysteries of Christ, chiefly as regards those which are observed throughout the Church and publicly proclaimed, such as the articles that refer to the Incarnation.” [iv] And, after the Incarnation, all men, in order to be saved, “are bound to explicit faith in the mystery of the Trinity. [v]

We see, therefore, that explicit faith in the articles of the Creed is necessary for salvation. But is this enough? Saint Thomas teaches that it is enough only if the person is unable to know more truths explicitly, and does not deny any articles of the Faith. [vi] On the contrary, a man who professes to hold the truths of the Faith and at the same time explicitly denies even one truth, does not have the Faith at all, and therefore cannot be saved. [vii] This would be true in the case of a man who denied the supremacy and infallibility of the Catholic Church and the necessity of the Church for salvation.

The above clearly refutes Father Donnelly’s statement that explicit belief in the Catholic Church and acceptance of all the revealed truths proposed by her are not necessary for salvation.

Lionel

IS FR.DONNELLY SAYING THAT EXPLICIT FAITH IS NECESSARY FOR ALL DEFACTO ( IN REALITY,WHEN I MEET A NON CATHOLIC), HOWEVER DE JURE (IN PRINCIPLE) A PERSON CAN BE SAVED WITH THE BAPTISM OF DESIRE OR ANY OTHER EXCEPTION KNOWN TO GOD AND IN THE MANNER GOD WANTS TO SAVE THAT PERSON.

IF DONNELLY SAYS DE FACTO EVERYONE NEEDS TO EXPLICITLY ENTER THE CHURCH AND DE FACTO THERE ARE PERSONS KNOWN WHO ARE BEING SAVED WITH THE BAPTISM OF DESIRE OR IN INVINCIBLE IGNORANCE ,THEN IT WOULD CONTRADICT THE PRINCIPLE OF NON CONTRDICTION. IT WOULD NOT MAKE SENSE.

RAYMOND KARAM DOES NOT SPECIFY WHEN HE IS QUOTING SOME SAINT OR POPE REFERRING TO DE FACTO SALVATION OR JUST TO AN ISSUE CONCEPTUAL AND SOMETHING ACCEPTED IN PRINCIPLE.
NEITHER DOES THE HOLY OFFICE MAKE THIS DISTINCTION BETWEEN DE FACTO AND DE JURE AS THE CDF DID IN DOMINUS IESUS.
SO EVERYONE COULD BE TALKING ACROSS TO EACH OTHER, WITH GOOD INTENTIONS BUT ALL BEING MISUNDERSTOOD.


I received a question via e-mail:
Question: OK so are you saying that anyone who is not Catholic is going to Hell?

Lionel: Do you mean de facto or hypothetically?De facto everyone on earth needs to be a Catholic, with Catholic Faith and the Baptism of water to go to Heaven and avoid Hell. (Cantate Domino, Council of Florence, Ad Gentes 7, Vatican Council II etc).

Hypothetically; as a concept, in principle, a person can be saved with implicit salvation (baptism of desire etc) and it will be known only to God.

De facto we do not know any case of a person saved with the baptism of desire etc.

[i]So are you saying that anyone who is not Catholic is going to Hell?


De facto; in reality, when I meet a non Catholic, I know he is oriented to Hell unless he converts into the Catholic Church.

De jure (in principle), a person can be saved in invincible ignorance etc and it would be known only to God.

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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  MRyan on Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:32 am

Jehanne wrote:You need to add the explicit desire to enter the Church to the list of "explicit beliefs" that one must hold to, due to what was solemnly declared at the Councils of Constance and Lateran IV:

Condemned Error 41: It is not necessary for salvation to believe that the Roman church is supreme among the other churches. (Council of Constance).
The desire to enter the Church is not a “belief” that one can profess; it is the desire to fulfill a divine precept to be united to the mystic Body of Christ. That is NOT the same as professing one’s belief that the Roman church is supreme among the individual churches. Neither is the positive corollary to the condemned error an essential article of Faith that cannot be implicit in other supernatural acts of faith.

The condemned error is from Session 8 (4 May 1415) and is part of the “Sentence condemning various articles of John Wyclif”, as Tanner (Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, papalencyclicals.net), explains:

“Regarding this article, the acts include the following reasons for the condemnation: It is an error if one understands by the Roman church the universal church or a general council, or inasmuch as it would deny the primacy of the supreme pontiff over the other individual churches.”

Really, Jehanne, you have taken the logical fallacy to a whole new level: Revealed truths of divine and catholic Faith that can be known by inference and syllogism.

Jehanne wrote:
"Where the necessity of salvation is concerned all the faithful of Christ must be subject to the Roman Pontiff, as we are taught by Holy Scripture, the testimony of the holy fathers, and by that constitution of our predecessor of happy memory, Boniface VIII, which begins Unam Sanctam." (Fifth Lateran Council)
Since only Baptized members of the Catholic Church are of “the faithful of Christ” and are subject to the supreme authority and jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, it is necessary to each of the Baptized faithful to be subject to the authority of Roman Pontiff in all matters where his authority is supreme (primacy).

Jehanne wrote:
Of course, "all the faithful of Christ" would include catechumens, as well as the baptized, even though the Church would not be exercising any canonical jurisdiction over the former. Per the Council of Constance, both catechumens and the baptized would both profess and believe that the "Roman Church (hence, the Roman Pontiff, which means explicit submission to him) is supreme among the other churches."
The doctrine according to Jehanne. Yep, that’s what it is.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  Jehanne on Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:18 am

Was it wrong for the Church to burn heretics? Yes, No, Maybe? In some circumstances?

Once again, you are denying human free will. You say that one can have the desire to be "united to the mystic (sic) Body of Christ" yet at the same time deny the Primacy of the early head of that body, which is the Pope, who is the Vicar of Christ, who is the Supreme Head. It's like saying that a soldier could be loyal to the US President, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, yet at the same time be disobedient to his commanding officer even when the President has told him that he must obey that individual. Do you think that such a soldier should and ought to be court-martialed for his insurrection?

When can a soldier ever lawfully be disobedient to his commanding officer? The answer is, of course, when the latter is being disobedient to the US Constitution, which is the highest law of the Land. Believe it or not, the Salvation Army understands these concepts very well!

Is there such a thing as a crime against the Catholic Faith? If heresy and/or schism is a transgression against divine law, why should not such be a transgression against civil law as well? Ought not Catholic Princes punish such offenses against the One and Triune God? Should not they seek out such individuals, explain to them clearly their erroneous beliefs, and if they do not recant, punish them with death? Saint Thomas teaches this:

“With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. For it is a much graver matter to corrupt the faith which quickens the soul, than to forge money, which supports temporal life. Wherefore if forgers of money and other evil-doers are forthwith condemned to death by the secular authority, much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death.

On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy which looks to the conversion of the wanderer, wherefore she condemns not at once, but 'after the first and second admonition,' as the Apostle directs: after that, if he is yet stubborn, the Church no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others, by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church, and furthermore delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death. For Jerome commenting on Gal. 5:9, 'A little leaven,' says: 'Cut off the decayed flesh, expel the mangy sheep from the fold, lest the whole house, the whole paste, the whole body, the whole flock, burn, perish, rot, die. Arius was but one spark in Alexandria, but as that spark was not at once put out, the whole earth was laid waste by its flame.'” (Summa Theologica, IIa IIae, q. 11, a. 3)

Do you think that Saint Thomas would agree with you that every heretic and/or schismatic is in a state of "invincible ignorance"?

No one thinks like you do in any other area of life. If you are arrested of a crime, then you are assumed to have free will and are taken to jail, unless you are so insane that you are taken to a mental hospital. The arresting officer decides this; later on, a court does. Virtually all criminal defendants are, however, found to be competent, which means that the Court has determined that they have free will and are capable of making their own choices.

This also applies to hate crimes, where a court determines that someone acted out of malice towards others due to their race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Much in the same way that the Courts of the Inquisitions determined the interior state of a person's (false) profession of faith, so courts of our day determine, based upon evidence, the interior disposition of criminals who commit hate crimes. You cannot say that the latter is possible without making the same claim for the former.

What is true of criminal law is also true of divine law and revelation. One can choose to hear the Gospel, receive it, and believe it. Likewise, one can choose not to believe, and for the Baptized at least, there were consequences for making such a choice. Remember, the very word "heresy" comes from the Latin word haeresis, which means choice.

Saint Thomas taught that for those who lack knowledge that God would supply for them:

"Everyone is bound to believe something explicitly...even if someone is brought up in the forest or among wild beasts. For it pertains to Divine Providence to furnish everyone with what is necessary for salvation, provided that on his part there is no hindrance. Thus, if someone so brought up followed the direction of natural reason in seeking good and avoiding evil, we must most certainly hold that God would either reveal to him through internal inspiration what had to be believed, or he would send some preacher of the faith to him as He sent Peter to Cornelius (Acts 10:20)." (The Disputed Questions on Truth, Q.14, A.11.)
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  Guest on Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:42 am

Jehanne:

We do not know any case of a person saved in invincible ignorance or the baptism of desire. We don’t know any specific case. So we can accept baptism of desire and invincible ignorance only in principle. We can know it only as a concept.

We can never know any such case in reality. We cannot meet someone who has been saved with the Baptism of Desire or in invincible ignorance. So it is never de facto; real, as is the baptism of water. The baptism of water is repeatable and visible. It is de facto.

So when we refer to the baptism of desire it is always de jure (in principle, acceptable). It can never be known in reality.

If it is not de facto to us it does not contradict Cantate Domino on extra ecclesiam nulla salus. (Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus)

So de facto Catholic Faith and the baptism of water are needed for all for salvation, with no exception.

While de jure, in principle, there can be persons known to God only who can be saved with the baptism of desire or invincible ignorance (in the manner known to God).

So affirming the baptism of desire etc does not conflict with the interpretation of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus according to Fr. Leonard Feeney. Fr.Leonard Feeney taught de facto everyone with no exception needed to enter the Church for salvation and de facto or de jure we do not know any case of the baptism of desire. There are conditions and circumstances for the baptism of desire which must culminate in the baptism of water. (Definition of the Baptism of Desire on the website of St.Benedict Center, Catholicism.org )
There is no de facto or de jure baptism of desire (implicit salvation) that we can know of as humans.

It is never de facto and so never in conflict with the dogma.

There can be a baptism of desire de facto known to God (with the conditions and the way God wants ) but it can never be defacto for us.

So the baptism of desire can never be known de facto and can only be accepted in principle I repeat. Since it can never be defacto known to us it does not oppose the dogmatic teaching. Since one accepts it in principle; as a possibility, one cannot be called a heretic. I cannot be called a heretic for rejecting the baptism of desire. I do not. I accept it in principle as a possibility known de facto only to God.Neither can I be called a heretic for affirming Cantate Domino. Since it refers to de facto everyone needing Catholic Faith and the baptism of water the same as Ad Gentes 7 and it is not in conflict with the Church's reference to the baptism of desire (always implicit and dejure for us).

Would you agree?

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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  Guest on Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:51 am

MRyan

A common error at Catholic Universities and of traditionalist priests of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), supporters of Fr. Leonard Feeney and sedevacantists Most Holy Family Monastery is:

They say there is no baptism of desire. They are correct there is no known case of a person saved with the baptism of desire. De facto in reality we don’t know any such case. So in this sense the vague phrase’ there is no baptism of desire’ is correct.

However in its nature, the baptism of desire can never be defacto for us. In its very nature, since it is known only to God; there is no de facto d baptism of desire for us.

It is only de facto for God and for us humans a concept, a possibility, acceptable in principle (de jure).

So the Most Holy Family Monastery(sedevacantist websites) reject the baptism of desire since they assume it is de facto and so contradicts the dogma Cantate Domini.

It would be contrary to the principle of Non Contradiction for the sedevacantist websites’s Dimond Brothers to accept a baptism of desire, which is, defacto for them. They must realize that the baptism of desire can never be known de facto and since it is dejure, known only to God, it does not contradict the Principle of Non Contradiction. So I can affirm Cantate Domino and also the baptism of desire (de jure, a possibility). This is not heresy as the sedevacantist websites would claim, since in principle I accept the possibility of a person being saved with the baptism of desire.

One can affirm Cantate Domino which indicates everyone with no exception, de facto needs to enter the Church and, at the same time believe de jure; in principle, a non Catholic can be saved implicitly (baptism of desire etc) and it would be known only to God.

If one uses the defacto-dejure analysis it is possible to hold the ‘rigorist interpretation’ of the dogma and also affirm the baptism of desire and so not be considered a heretic. It does not have to be an either-or position i.e. the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus or the baptism of desire.




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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  Jehanne on Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:51 am

LionelAndrades wrote:Jehanne:

Would you agree?

Sure. I defined "Feeneyism" on my blog:

"Feeneyism" simply asserts the theological opinion that whomever the One and Triune God predestines to the eternal beatitude, His elect, are also predestined by Him (due to His Sovereignty, Providence, and Perfection) to receive Sacramental Baptism in Water, with no exceptions.

Nice posts; I agree with everything that you state.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  MRyan on Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:17 am

Lionel,

I have never found your “de facto, de jure” arguments entirely convincing because, it seems to me, they miss the mark by overstating certain principles that can be applied to almost any doctrine on faith and morals.

For example, we can say that at least some Baptized members of this forum will be saved (we pray all will be saved); but, since particular cases of salvation cannot be known de facto to anyone other than God, salvation can only be KNOWN de jure. In other words, we can only say de jure (practically speaking) that some members will be saved de facto. But we can also say the same for some non-Catholic members of this forum.

What we cannot say is that any one individual WILL be or HAS been saved (de facto), unless it is revealed as a dogmatic fact (i.e., canonization). That one appears to have died in the good graces of the Church cannot be known de facto.

Let me give you one more example. It is a dogma of the faith that no one can be saved, not even the Baptized, without the gift of final persevering grace. This is de facto, no exceptions. What you say about baptism of desire can be applied here: “They must realize that [final perseverance] can never be known de facto and since it is dejure, known only to God”.

Why you seem to believe the case is different (de jure) for those who may be saved by baptism of desire vs someone who dies as a formal member of the Church (de facto) is puzzling; but suggests to me that by making such a misleading distinction you are calling into question the Church’s authentic magisterial teaching that ASSURES us that someone who dies without having recourse to the sacrament through no fault of their own WILL be saved (de facto) provided they possess the requisite faith, charity and intention (and persevere).

What you seem to be saying is that it is the teaching itself which is called into question as if it is a “practical” de jure teaching that may or not be true, when in fact it is true de facto by the authority of the ecclesia docens, and the Church expects us to accept it as true; Feeneyite objections notwithstanding, and regardless of whether we can know de facto that any one individual died in a state of grace (we can't).

What Feeneites have done is to elevate the sacrament of baptism to a de facto condition for salvation in the same way that persevering grace is absolutely necessary for salvation. While your misapplied principles and Jehanne’s “null sets” (there is no difference) may be laudable in that they seeks to reconcile the Feeneyite doctrine with the Church’s teaching on baptism of desire, they avoid the larger doctrinal issue, which, as the “official” position of the St. Benedict Center tells us, is this:

Feeneyism denies the salvific efficacy of baptism of desire by stating quite clearly that the justification defined by Trent (by “the desire thereof”) is not a true justification in that it cannot translate anyone into a true heir to the Kingdom without water baptism.

This is the heart of the matter; and as soon as friend and foe alike realizes this, we are just spinning our wheels with de jure explanations.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  tornpage on Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:10 pm

Lionel,

I don't like your de facto/de jure distinction. De facto, there are either individuals who are saved without baptism or their aren't. Even if only God knows if there are individuals who are saved by baptism of desire, God's knowledge is fact, exists in the real universe, and, if in fact such individuals exist (even if only known to Him), to assert that one can only be saved by water baptism is false - not to mention contrary to what the Church teaches.

Besides, aren't you just stating what the CCC states, which is that "[t]he Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude"?

The Church also says, "God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments."

Hmmm. I love this concept of "necessity of infallibility." That highlighted language sure sounds like a "necessity of infallibility" to me: God has determined that all of the elect will receive baptism with water, and they do (he has "bound" himself to it). The second observation, "he himself is not bound," indicates that the water baptism necessity is not an absolute necessity of means, which doesn't mean that it is not a "necessity of infallibility" which God has established.

Likewise with "explicit faith in Christ" perhaps. Perhaps such is not an absolute necessity of means after the promulgation of the gospel. If it is a "necessity of infallibility" such that all of the elect will now have explicit faith in Christ before they die, the terminology really doesn't matter. The bottom line remains the same: all of the elect come to explicit faith in Christ before death, and this faith, the Catholic faith, among other things, saves them.

We are told St. Thomas believed that explicit faith in Christ was a "necessity of infallibility," such that "God intends that after the advent of Christ, every man who dies justified also dies with explicit knowledge of Christ."

I love this new concept, "necessity of infallibility." I've got quite a list of "necessities of infallibility" going.

I say (de facto) all of the elect: a) receive the sacrament of baptism (although they "could" receive the grace of the sacrament without it, since He is not bound and He is just); b) have explicit faith in Christ (although of course God "could" save someone with implied faith if justice required such); c) were chosen for salvation by God before any actions or merits on their part, and will not de facto resist the efficacious grace that He will send them to effect his choice (although in their natures, as free beings, their wills are not absolutely necessitated, and one can truly say they "could" reject it); d) will have a devotion to the Blessed Mother by virtue of God's infallible and necessitous determination that all saving graces are to flow from the Trinity through her (although God "could" directly, and without her intercession, bypass her and save someone).

This idea, "necessity of infallibility," really is a wonderful thing.

Now I'll wait for someone to show me that the Church says I cannot believe that any of these things is a "necessity of infallibility," such that all individuals who are saved are de facto saved with all of these things, and that there's not a "necessity of infallibility" that all of the elect say "yes" to the efficacious grace sent to them by God.

Lionel, do you see the distinction? I do not say only God knows de facto, I say it doesn't happen, de facto.

One way of looking at the Church's positing of all these "coulds" is to highlight God's justice in the face of charges of injustice: if anyone met such a such a condition, of course God would save them - He is just, merciful, etc. If you want to talk hypothetically, yes, God would accept or do . . .

But de facto, God has determined necessarily and infallibly that all the elect who are saved meet certain conditions, and I do not believe these "necessities of infallibility" can be shown to violate revealed truth - they rather fit more ideally with it - or be shown to be unjust in light of the way things are de facto.

In light of the nature of man and the way things are, it is not inconsistent or unjust to say that these "coulds" do not happen, and I do not think the Church requires us to say they happen.

There is a disconnect to the extent some of our popes and bishops are saying that these "coulds" do in fact happen, and that is the problem I am having with them, not with any dogma which has been revealed by the Church. Even the official Catechism does not say that any of these "coulds" have happened - you have to look to other documents and statements of the hierarchy for that.

When the hierarchy says these "coulds" do happen, then there is a collision between what I believe and what they teach. This collision appears to be a new phenomenon, with JPII etc. saying that some "receive salvation" without knowing Christ, as well as other things that conflict with my "necessities of infallibility." Very Happy
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  Jehanne on Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:52 pm

MRyan's logic is that because the Church teaches that something can happen obliges us to believe that such does happen. However, let's consider the case of a sincere catechumen who has perfect charity, contrition for his sins, professes the Catholic faith wholly, and professes submission to the Roman Pontiff, and yet who dies (allegedly) without Baptism. At his funeral Mass, we are, by Mike's logic, obliged to "have faith" that something did not happen, that is, that the catechumen in question had, in fact, died without Baptism. This is very strange -- to have faith in things that did not occur. Faith is Hope, and the greatest hope for a catechumen who had (alledgedly) died without Baptism would be to hope that the individual in question had, in fact, been Baptized and had final perseverance (as opposed to just hoping for "final perseverance.") Is not this the idea behind conditional Baptism? I would like Mike to explain to me why the Church baptizes, conditionally, individuals (infants, included) who have died without being Baptized (allegedly) while they were still alive.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  MRyan on Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:42 pm

Jehanne wrote:MRyan's logic is that because the Church teaches that something can happen obliges us to believe that such does happen.
And Jehann’s logic is that baptism of desire is a revealed Truth from the deposit of faith, it just never happens because it is a meaningless “null set”. And he says he follows the theology of Fr. Feeney. Nothing could be more destitute of logic than that.

But notice the art of subtle deception at work here. MRyan is supposed to have said that logic dictates that because something can happen OBLIGES us to believe that such does happen. This of course presupposes that we can know for certain when it DOES happen, when we cannot know any such thing, de facto. But we know it can happen, and may assume that it does in fact happen when certain conditions are fulfilled.

Jehanne’s logic is like saying that MRyan obliges us to believe that perfect charity does happen because the Church teaches that it can happen before reception of the sacrament. But why would the Church teach that it can happen if there are no conditions upon which it actually does happen?

In other words, logic more properly dictates that because the Church teaches that God is not bound by his sacraments and because the Church assures us of the salvation of those who are properly disposed but cannot receive the sacrament, this assurance by the Church was not given in order to confirm a truth that never actually happens, but because the Church acknowledges that it can and does happen; otherwise, she would have no need for the teaching if it were actually a “null set” having no basis in the reality of the world in which we live.

Jehanne would also have us believe that it is illogical to hold that because the Church teaches that a baptized soul who has fallen from grace may be restored to a state of grace under certain conditions when a priest is not be available for confession, that it actually does happen simply because it can happen. The Church teaches that it can happen, and foresees where these same conditions DO and will actually exist, or she never would have taken the time to teach the doctrine. Whether there are few or many who are saved under these exceptional conditions is not our concern.

When it comes to our salvation the Church deals in objective reality, not with “null sets”. In fact, to call what you label a divinely “revealed” truth a meaningless “null set” is preposterous.

Jehanne wrote:
However, let's consider the case of a sincere catechumen who has perfect charity, contrition for his sins, professes the Catholic faith wholly, and professes submission to the Roman Pontiff, and yet who dies (allegedly) without Baptism. At his funeral Mass, we are, by Mike's logic, obliged to "have faith" that something did not happen, that is, that the catechumen in question had, in fact, died without Baptism. This is very strange -- to have faith in things that did not occur. Faith is Hope, and the greatest hope for a catechumen who had (alledgedly) died without Baptism would be to hope that the individual in question had, in fact, been Baptized and had final perseverance (as opposed to just hoping for "final perseverance.") Is not this the idea behind conditional Baptism? I would like Mike to explain to me why the Church baptizes, conditionally, individuals (infants, included) who have died without being Baptized (allegedly) while they were still alive.

Let’s state that again. “Let's consider the case of an allegedly sincere catechumen who has an alleged perfect charity, an alleged contrition for his sins, and allegedly professes the Catholic faith wholly, and allegedly professes submission to the Roman Pontiff, and yet who dies without Baptism.”

Now, do you see the deception at work here when we place the “alleged” elsewhere? You give us an example with an objective set of circumstances; objective because of the sincerity of the catechumen in his charity, in his contrition, in his profession of the faith and submission to the Roman Pontiff, and in his obvious intention that suggests he will do everything that God and the Church asks of him for his salvation; and objective because he does not appear to have received the sacrament of baptism.

These are objective facts; and the fact that there is a possibility that the catechumen was not who he appeared to be and was not sincere in the least; or that there is the remote possibility that he was secretly baptized by a party unknown to his family, his friends or his priest responsible for his initiation into the Church, proves WHAT?

The Church teaches that under these objective conditions; conditions that she accepts as true but not absolutely certain, the non-Baptized catechumen is to be treated as one of the Baptized and is to be given a proper Christian burial; not because she knows he IS saved (or can know of any one’s salvation), but because she knows he is assured of his salvation IF he truly satisfied those same conditions the objective evidence gave witness to.

The "Church baptizes, conditionally, individuals (infants, included) who have died without being Baptized (allegedly) while they were still alive" under various circumstances having NOTHING to do with her teaching on baptism of desire and treating those who have died without the sacrament as if they were Baptized when their lives gave living testimony to their desires.

Where justified, conditional Baptisms are given in every case for the same reason; because the Church KNOWS of no means (meaning a divinely instituted help at her disposal) other than the sacrament of baptism that can assure someone at the point of death with salvation (assuming they are properly disposed .. or an infant).

Your “logic” escapes me.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  MRyan on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:41 pm

LionelAndrades wrote:MRyan

A common error at Catholic Universities and of traditionalist priests of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), supporters of Fr. Leonard Feeney and sedevacantists Most Holy Family Monastery is:

They say there is no baptism of desire. They are correct there is no known case of a person saved with the baptism of desire. De facto in reality we don’t know any such case. So in this sense the vague phrase’ there is no baptism of desire’ is correct.
No, the St. Benedict Center says there is no baptism of desire in the sense that there is no salvific baptism of desire … period. The de facto/de jure argument is irrelevant if the possibility of salvation is positively withheld from anyone who is prevented from receiving the sacrament.

They supposedly acknowledge, as Trent teaches, that a soul may be justified “by the desire thereof” without, or prior to, Baptism. But this, as far as I am concerned, is deceptive; for they do not actually hold that this is a TRUE justification that places one in a state of salvation as an heir to the kingdom should one die in this state of sanctification without benefit of the sacrament. They recognize a form of justifying sanctifying grace effected by “the desire thereof”; but make no mistake that this is a non-fulfilled form of sanctifying grace (since the promulgation of the Gospel) that cannot save anyone without finding its fulfillment in the sacrament.

That is the issue, and it one of doctrine; and it is not about subjective states where we cannot know if baptism of desire exists. If baptism of desire cannot save, whether it exists as a state of grace or not is irrelevant.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  MRyan on Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:32 pm

As a follow-up, if this issue was only about whether one believes that God will provide the sacrament to every one of His elect who is justified prior to Baptism (without denying that justification "by the desire thereof" translates a soul into a state of grace as son of God and a "true" heir to the kingdom), there would be no issue (for me).

But if there exists in the definition of Trent under the law of grace (Trent did not say "under the law of the sacraments") a translation to, and a form of, justifying sanctifying grace that does not truly make one an heir to the kingdom, then that is NOT the justification of the impious under the law of grace since the promulgation of the Gospel as defined by Trent ... it is the unfulfilled justification under the old law.

Session 6, Ch. 4 is dogmatically describing what Justification IS under the law of grace (and the minimum conditions for how it is effected) since the promulgation of the Gospel, and NOT the process or manner of preparation leading to this translation ... these follow in subsequent chapters.



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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  tornpage on Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:34 pm

Baptims of desire is a true doctrine. It is true in the sense that if a person with the Catholic faith, animated by faith and charity, were to die in that state without the sacrament, they would be saved. A just God would ensure this, and the truth would express it - and our faith does.

There is also no reason, in the light of Providence and the Predestination of the elect, to believe that such a thing happens. If not a bird falls to the ground without our Father's leave, why must we believe that He brings any mature adult to salvation without baptism, explicit faith in Christ, or devotion to His mother?

There is a strong flavor, a dominating hint, of contradiction between the doctrines of Providence and Predestination of the elect and the salvation of someone without the Catholic faith or baptism. It makes no sense that efficacious grace would do its work outside of the Catholic faith or baptism. If our hairs are all numbered, certainly the Lord can order the elect's circumstance so that he or she is saved in the fullness of truth.

Mike, you felt the same way, and maybe still do. We must give over when we must give over - for example, yes, the Church does teach baptism of desire, as well it should (again, if a man were to die in such a state, of course God would save him) - but there is absolutely no reason we have to compromise God's infallible power and majesty, and His truth, to the extent that we must believe some are in fact saved without the Catholic faith or baptism.

If we don't have to, why should we . . . when it makes no sense, everything considered.

I think the the Church's teaching about baptism of desire and even the rouge (my view) teachings about implicit faith just indicate that God is just and reality conforms with justice such that if so and so dies in such a state they would be saved . . . but God has even better things in mind for His elect, so don't worry.



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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  tornpage on Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:40 pm

Mike,

In short, there is no reason why I (we) can't believe that water baptism, explicit faith, devotion to Mary - the Catholic faith - are not "necessities of infallibility" for the elect.

And thanks for introducing me to that remarkable concept and phrase.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  tornpage on Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:32 am

St. Francis de Sales, in his Introduction to the Devout Life, makes the point about Providence and Predestination eloquently:

CHAPTER XIII. The Love which Jesus Christ bears to us.

CONSIDER the Love with which our Dear Lord Jesus Christ bore so much in this world, especially in the Garden of Olives and on Mount Calvary; that Love bore you in mind, and through all those pains and toils He obtained your good resolutions for you, as also all that is needful to maintain, foster, strengthen and consummate those resolutions. How precious must the resolutions be which are the fruits of our Lord’s Passion! and how dear to my heart, since they were dear to that of Jesus! Saviour of my soul, Thou didst die to win them for me; grant me grace sooner to die than forget them. Be sure, my daughter, that the Heart of our most Dear Lord beheld you from the tree of the Cross and loved you, and by that Love He won for you all good things which you were ever to have, and amongst them your good resolutions. Of a truth we have all reason like Jeremiah to confess that the Lord knew us, and called us by our name or ever we were born (Jer. i. 5), the more that His Divine Goodness in its Love and Mercy made ready all things, general and individual, which could promote our salvation, and among them our resolutions. A woman with child makes ready for the babe she expects, prepares its cradle, its swaddling clothes and its nurse; even so our Lord, while hanging on His Cross, prepared all that you could need for your happiness, all the means, the graces, the leadings, by which He leads your soul onwards towards perfection.

Surely we ought ever to remember this, and ask fervently: Is it possible that I was loved, and loved so tenderly by my Saviour, that He should have thought of me individually, and in all these details by which He has drawn me to Himself? With what love and gratitude ought I to use all He has given me? The Loving Heart of my God thought of my soul, loved it, and prepared endless means to promote its salvation, even as though there were no other soul on earth of which He thought; just as the sun shines on each spot of earth as brightly as though it shone nowhere else, but reserved all its brightness for that alone. So Our Dear Lord thought and cared for every one of His children as though none other existed. “Who loved me, and gave Himself for me,” Gal. ii. 20. S. Paul says, as though he meant, “for me alone, as if there were none but me He cared for.”

Let this be graven in your soul, my child, the better to cherish and foster your good resolutions, which are so precious to the Heart of Jesus.

And yet some believe that Our Lord evidently chooses to arrange things so that His elect profess the Jewish or Muslim religion and deny His divinity, or arranges it so that they are Protestants who deny the Immaculate Conception of His Mother, her perpetual virginity, her Assumption.

If the Magisterium wants me to believe that, I'm afraid they are going to have to show me how Revelation requires me to believe it. But then again, I do not think the Magisterium would dare insist that I believe that, or proclaim that the truth requires me to believe it, or that it indeed encompasses such a position.

They loosely talk, talk, talk. It's a lot of nothing.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  MRyan on Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:55 am

tornpage wrote:Mike,

In short, there is no reason why I (we) can't believe that water baptism, explicit faith, devotion to Mary - the Catholic faith - are not "necessities of infallibility" for the elect.

And thanks for introducing me to that remarkable concept and phrase.
You're welcome; but in that brief summation are you implying that I am opposed to such “necessities of infallibility”?

I am not opposed; so long as we understand that one’s belief and opinion in such necessities are not infallible, and that such necessities cannot justify accusing the Church of “error” or “heresy” in doctrine (IMHO).

Your “sense” of “contradiction between the doctrines of Providence and Predestination of the elect and the salvation of someone without the Catholic faith or baptism” is understandable, but it is not a true contradiction; it is a tension that is always present between two truths that must be held together, as Dominus Iesus explains:

Above all else, it must be firmly believed that “the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door”. This doctrine must not be set against the universal salvific will of God (cf. 1 Tim 2:4); “it is necessary to keep these two truths together, namely, the real possibility of salvation in Christ for all mankind and the necessity of the Church for this salvation”.

The Church is the “universal sacrament of salvation”, since, united always in a mysterious way to the Saviour Jesus Christ, her Head, and subordinated to him, she has, in God's plan, an indispensable relationship with the salvation of every human being. For those who are not formally and visibly members of the Church, “salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church, but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation. This grace comes from Christ; it is the result of his sacrifice and is communicated by the Holy Spirit”; it has a relationship with the Church, which “according to the plan of the Father, has her origin in the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit”.

21. With respect to the way in which the salvific grace of God — which is always given by means of Christ in the Spirit and has a mysterious relationship to the Church — comes to individual non-Christians, the Second Vatican Council limited itself to the statement that God bestows it “in ways known to himself”. Theologians are seeking to understand this question more fully.

And why does a bird falling to the ground with our Father's leave contradict Providence and Predestination when one of the elect is allowed to die without water Baptism or without an act of explicit faith in our Lord? Since there is not a single soul in heaven who does not possess an explicit Catholic faith, or does not bear the mark of the Holy Ghost (not necessarily the sacramental seal) as one of the regenerated heirs to the kingdom, does it not stand to reason that the fullness of the truth will be revealed by our Lord before a soul is allowed to enjoy the beatific vision?

St. Thomas did in fact teach that a (pagan) child who reaches the age of reason may be justified and translated to a state of grace as an heir to the kingdom without an explicit belief in our Lord. He said the same thing about Cornelius. That he also taught that God would reveal the essential truths of our Lord is not disputed; what is disputed is that this “necessity of infallibility” is itself infallible, such that the Church would fall into error (heresy) by denying an article of faith if she taught (as she does) that in certain circumstances one may be justified and saved through that faith without which it “is impossible to please God. For he that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and is a rewarder to them that seek him.”

Once again, Dominus Iesus:

The proper response to God's revelation is “the obedience of faith (Rom 16:26; cf. Rom 1:5; 2 Cor 10:5-6) by which man freely entrusts his entire self to God, offering ‘the full submission of intellect and will to God who reveals' and freely assenting to the revelation given by him”.

The obedience of faith implies acceptance of the truth of Christ's revelation, guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself: “Faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God. At the same time, and inseparably, it is a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed”.
Of the renowned theologians and Doctors who followed in the tradition of St. Thomas Aquinas, I do not know of a single one who “dogmatized” his opinion on explicit faith. In fact, the great Spanish Thomist Antonio Royo Marín and Doctor of the Church St. Alphonsus Liguori both expressed their belief that “explicit faith” was the more common and probable opinion while acknowledging with respect the “implicit faith” opinion of other theologians.

At The Catholic Vox, we find this:

Apart from authorities quoted by Tyrrell, the great Spanish Thomist Antonio Royo Marín, O.P., whose theological manuals have been widely used in many Spanish-language seminaries round the world for the last halfcentury, recognizes both St. Thomas and St. Alphonsus as having taught the universal need for explicit faith in the Trinity and Incarnation, and comments that although “it is not proven with absolute certainty that explicit faith is necessary for salvation by necessity of means, this is the most probable opinion” (Teologia Moral, vol. I, 7th edition, [Madrid: BAC, 1996], p. 285, my translation).
And this:

It seems that for Saint Thomas, the infidel of the age of the New Testament has a greater obligation than the gentile living in the time of the Old Testament. The question might well be raised: why isn’t the case of the gentiles of the old law the same as that of the new law unbeliever? In other words, isn’t implicit faith in Christ enough for the unevangelized of today as it was enough for the pagans of the Old Testament? The answer in the negative stems from the fact that a more perfect faith in the Incarnation is required by virtue of the more perfect revelation of the new law (p. 70). [Catholic Vox is working on a better explanation] Tyrrell has a footnote here indicating that this is the way Aquinas is understood by R. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., arguably the greatest Thomist theologian of the last century (cf. The Theological Virtues: Faith [St. Louis: Herder, 1965] p. 224).

Garrigou disagrees mildly with Thomas, opining that what he says is right as a general rule, but that God may still accept implicit faith in exceptional cases. R. Lombardi (1956), M. Labourdette, R. Bernard (1950), and S. Harent (1927) all recognize that Thomas holds a strict view, even though all four disagree with him and take the more liberal view that implicit faith is still (after the coming of Christ) supernatural and salvifically sufficient for sincere pagans…
You know where this is going … if it is true as an absolute necessity that an act or profession of “right belief” through an “explicit Catholic faith” is a dogma affirmed as a binding matter of Faith, how do you wrap your arms around the fact that the great Doctor St. Alphonus Liguori did not condemn “implicit faith”, but simply recognized “explicit faith” as the more “common opinion”; that the great Spanish Thomist Antonio Royo Marín came to the same conclusion, and that your favorite theologian, Garrigou-Lagrange, “disagreed mildly” with St. Thomas by teaching that “implicit faith” was indeed impossible?

Are you really suggesting that this same Doctor and these great theologians, and the Catholic Church, do not understand the Athanasian Creed?

tornpage wrote:I think the the Church's teaching about baptism of desire and even the rouge (my view) teachings about implicit faith just indicate that God is just and reality conforms with justice such that if so and so dies in such a state they would be saved . . . but God has even better things in mind for His elect, so don't worry.
I think we can find agreement here.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  Jehanne on Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:47 pm

MRyan wrote:Are you really suggesting that this same Doctor and these great theologians, and the Catholic Church, do not understand the Athanasian Creed?

Maybe not:

Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Session. 6, Chapter. 3, ex cathedra: "But although Christ died for all, yet not all receive the benefit of His death, but those only to whom the merit of His Passion is communicated."

Crystal clear to me. Theologians can err; so can Doctors of the Church. I'm sticking with Trent on this one.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  DeSelby on Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:33 pm

tornpage wrote:And yet some believe that Our Lord evidently chooses to arrange things so that His elect profess the Jewish or Muslim religion and deny His divinity, or arranges it so that they are Protestants who deny the Immaculate Conception of His Mother, her perpetual virginity, her Assumption....

...Including even Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange.

It never made much sense to me either.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  MRyan on Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:01 pm

Continuing with the alleged “rogue” doctrine thesis (“implicit faith”), allow me to quote again, and highlight, selected texts from Catholic Vox:

the great Spanish Thomist Antonio Royo Marín, O.P., … recognizes both St. Thomas and St. Alphonsus as having taught the universal need for explicit faith in the Trinity and Incarnation, and comments that although “it is not proven with absolute certainty that explicit faith is necessary for salvation by necessity of means, this is the most probable opinion” (Teologia Moral, vol. I, 7th edition, [Madrid: BAC, 1996], p. 285, my translation).

It seems that for Saint Thomas, the infidel of the age of the New Testament has a greater obligation than the gentile living in the time of the Old Testament. … The answer … stems from the fact that a more perfect faith in the Incarnation is required by virtue of the more perfect revelation of the new law (p. 70). Tyrrell has a footnote here indicating that this is the way Aquinas is understood by R. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., arguably the greatest Thomist theologian of the last century (cf. The Theological Virtues: Faith [St. Louis: Herder, 1965] p. 224).

Garrigou disagrees mildly with Thomas, opining that what he says is right as a general rule, but that God may still accept implicit faith in exceptional cases. R. Lombardi (1956), M. Labourdette, R. Bernard (1950), and S. Harent (1927) all recognize that Thomas holds a strict view, even though all four disagree with him and take the more liberal view that implicit faith is still (after the coming of Christ) supernatural and salvifically sufficient for sincere pagans…
So why is “impact faith” considered “rogue” (or "erroneous" or "heresy")? Because “explicit faith” is “infallibly” true regardless of the fact that even the great theologians who agreed with St. Thomas acknowledged that “it is not proven with absolute certainty that explicit faith is necessary for salvation by necessity of means, this is the most probable opinion”?

In other words, is the fact that the theologians teach that the question is open, and not already definitively settled in favor of explicit faith, what makes it “rogue”? Or is it the fact that the Church actually teaches the possibility of the "rogue" doctrine?

When did the Church go “rogue”? At VCII, as some would like to imagine? How about at VCI; about which Fr. Hardon writes:

2. The official teaching of the Vatican Council, in the Constitution Dogmatica de Fide Catholica, is its third chapter, De Fide, where we [find:]

“Since, without faith, it is impossible to please God, Heb. 11/6, and to attain to the fellowship of His children, therefore, without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life. Unless he shall have persevered in faith unto the end. [329]

[My Note: Is the non-explicit “faith” by which Cornelius and the pagan child were/are justified (without such faith “no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life. Unless he shall have persevered in faith unto the end”) that same justification defined by Trent that, under the law of grace since the promulgation of the Gospel, translates the impious into Christ as an heir to the kingdom? Or is it an “unfulfilled” faith and non-efficacious justification that can save no one without and until Baptism and an act of explicit faith in our Lord?]

The significant term in this passage is evidently “faith” (fides). But what kind of faith is meant? Is it an explicit Catholic Faith, or is it something less? If it means an explicit Catholic Faith, then the rigorists are right; if it means anything less, then the highest authority in the Church is against their position. Fortunately, we do not have to resort to conjecture because the history and proceedings of the Vatican Council settle the issue beyond a cavil.

In the original draft of the Constitutio Dogmatica, the pertinent passage reads as follows:

“Moreover, by divine and Catholic Faith all those things must be believed which are contained in the word of God, written or handed down, and which are proposed by the Church, either by a solemn judgment or by her ordinary magisterium, as having to be believed.

“This is that faith without which it is impossible to please God and attain to the fellowship of His children. Therefore, just as without it justification never comes to anyone, so, no one, unless he shall have persevered in the same unto the end, will obtain eternal life.” [330]

But, before the final and definitive form was drawn up and presented to the assembled Fathers for acceptance, an essential amendation was made and the reason for the usage was explained in the following statement of Monsignor Conrad Martin, Bishop of Paderborn, speaking in the name of the Commission De Fide, which he was representing:

“We have made a substitution, in the fifth paragraph, which begins with the words, Haec est illa fides. […] I have explained to you yesterday, Most Reverend Fathers, the reason for this change. The reason, to repeat in brief, is this: to remove the close connection between this and the preceding paragraph, lest it appear that an act of the Catholic Faith is necessary for salvation, for all people. For this is false. I ask you, therefore, Most Reverend Fathers, to accept the formula modified by us.” [331]

The change was accepted, as may be seen in the final wording of the Constitutio. And the reason for the change, we may conclude, was also accepted, by the Vatican Council and by Pius IX, namely, that it is possible for a person to attain to salvation by professing that faith without which it is impossible to please God, but not necessarily, the explicit faith of the Roman Catholic Church, as the rigorist theory would have us suppose. (http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Mystical_Body/Mystical_Body_003.htm#_ednref49)
I know, I know; “Thank goodness the Holy Ghost shut down the Council before an attempt was made to incorporate this heresy into the dogmatic texts!”

And this is always followed by the story of St. Anthony Mary Claret who suffered a stroke at the Council for having to listen to the errors of the liberals assembled therein. Actually, as Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira writes (from his Saint of the Day):

Seeing many liberal Bishops opposing the matter of Papal Infallibility that was being discussed, he [St. Anthony Mary Claret] became indignant and strongly censured them in a speech. Hearing the errors being spoken on this topic, he was so overcome with indignation that the blood rushed to his head and he suffered a stroke from which he never recovered. He died some months later.
Oh, Papal Infallibility and those “liberal” inopportunists. Well, that’s close enough to justify painting a wide swath with the old “modernist” brush.

Not really, unless one wants to portray Cardinal Manning as one of those “liberal inopportunists”.

Cardinal Manning wrote (in 1890) in his Preface to Drs. Wilhelm and Scannell’s “A Manual of Catholic Theology Based on Scheeben’s Dogmatik ” that “Scheeben has fully and luminously exhibited the mind of the Vatican Council in his First and Second Books.” He also said “The Dogmatik of Scheeben is a profuse exposition of the deep things of faith in the light of intelligence guided by the illumination of the Church.”

And you know only too well, Tornpage, the relevant “rogue” teaching within this same Manual:

2. It is an open question whether, after Christ's coming, Faith in the Christian economy is not indispensable. Many texts in Holy Scripture seem to demand Faith in Christ, in His death and resurrection, as a necessary condition of salvation. On the other hand, it is not easy to understand how eternal salvation should have become impossible for those who are unable to arrive at an explicit knowledge of Christian Revelation. The best solution of the difficulty would seem to be that given by Suarez (De Fide, disp. xii., sect. iv.). The texts demanding Faith in Christ and the Blessed Trinity must not be interpreted more rigorously than those referring to the necessity of Baptism, especially as Faith in Christ, Faith in the Blessed Trinity, and the necessity of Baptism are closely connected together. The Faith in these mysteries is, like Baptism, the ordinary normal means of salvation. Under extraordinary circumstances, however, when the actual reception of Baptism is impossible, the mere implicit desire (votuni) suffices. So, too, the implicit desire to believe in Christ and the Trinity must be deemed sufficient. By "implicit desire" we mean the desire to receive, to believe, and to do whatever is needful for salvation, although what is to be received, believed, and done is not explicitly known. The implicit wish and willingness to believe in Christ must be accompanied by and connected with an explicit Faith in Divine Providence as having a care of our salvation; and this Faith implies Faith and Hope in the Christian economy of salvation (see St. Thom., 2 a 2, q. 2, a. 7).
The Church not only has not “closed” the question of explicit faith, she has considered it an open question for a very long time¸ and teaches the same doctrine today.

So when was it that the Church actually lost her mind?

In closing, I'd like to leave you with this same question:

Is the non-explicit “faith” by which Cornelius and the pagan child were/are justified (without such faith “no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life. Unless he shall have persevered in faith unto the end”) that same justification defined by Trent that, under the law of grace since the promulgation of the Gospel, translates the impious into Christ as an heir to the kingdom? Or is it an “unfulfilled” faith and non-efficacious justification that can save no one without and until Baptism and an act of explicit faith in our Lord?
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  MRyan on Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:16 pm

Jehanne wrote:
MRyan wrote:Are you really suggesting that this same Doctor and these great theologians, and the Catholic Church, do not understand the Athanasian Creed?

Maybe not:

Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Session. 6, Chapter. 3, ex cathedra: "But although Christ died for all, yet not all receive the benefit of His death, but those only to whom the merit of His Passion is communicated."

Crystal clear to me. Theologians can err; so can Doctors of the Church. I'm sticking with Trent on this one.
What?

Can someone translate?
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  tornpage on Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:47 pm

The Church not only has not “closed” the question of explicit faith, she has considered it an open question for a very long time¸ and teaches the same doctrine today.

So when was it that the Church actually lost her mind?

There is a lot here to comment on, but I want to comment on this point first.

It's one thing to keep a matter open, which is fine. But when something is kept open by the Church, I do not think it appropriate for pontiffs and bishops to teach it in a public manner such that the rank and file think their teaching is that of the Church, thereby closing the issue for all intents and purposes . . . except for us contrary lay theologians. Very Happy

Take that dispute you and I so fondly have battled over, the dispute between the Thomists and the Molinists over Predestination. As you know, the Church did not decide who was "right." This is indeed a classical "open" issue. I agree with Father GL that only one can be right, and of course I believe passionately that it is the Thomist view. If the Church were to adopt the Molinist view, or if the magisterium synchronically were to start teaching it, I'd have a big problem, since I firmly believe the Thomist position is the truth, and the Molinist false. In any event, neither the "Church" nor the pontiffs teach either version, Thomist of Molinist, since the question is indeed "open," and responsible pontiffs have kept it "open," not teaching one or the other view.

Now, as to "explicit faith," we have a much different situation with this so-called "open" question. If indeed it is "open," JPII has no business teaching implicit faith as if it were the truth, and the Church should not declare it in catechisms and compendiums if, in fact, the issue is "open." You cite theologians saying it's open, and yes, I am aware of that. But someone should have told JPII, and these orthodox bishops of ours, that it is "open," and maybe we wouldn't have our pontiff informing the world in general audiences and encyclicals that some are saved in other religious traditions "without knowing Christ."

So I am, with regard to "explicit faith," in a much different position than I am with my Thomist view on grace. If the magisterium indeed treated it as an open question, I would not be having this problem, and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

I could be wrong about either Thomism or explicit faith, but I greatly doubt it. I do believe in the mission of the Church, and do believe that if the Church rejected Thomism or explicit faith, she would make me understand that, and cogently present it, since if the true Church taught it, it would be truth.

But we have this "rogue" gang teaching implicit faith as if it were adopted sub silentio; they closed the question and we didn't see the door closing, and didn't see the hand on the knob.

It's suspicious, and I'm not going to be the fool. Or, at least, I am going to define what type of fool I am going to be.

A good example of the difference between the Conciliar Church and the pre-V2 Church is the way the one genuinely dealt with an "open" issue, and the way the other is full of prelates who foist their private view onto the faithful.

When did the Church go wrong on this issue? When it closed the door you and the rest of us thought was "open'; when the magisterium actually started teaching the implicit faith "heresy." Shocked

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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  tornpage on Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:53 pm

Mike,

Jehanne is emphasizing "communicated" in the Trent quote. No one to whom Christ "communicates" the merits of His Passion is in the dark about His Passion - you know, is one of those described as "without knowing" or "without recognizing" Christ.

Jehanne makes perfect sense to me here.


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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  Jehanne on Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:54 pm

MRyan wrote:I know, I know; “Thank goodness the Holy Ghost shut down the Council before an attempt was made to incorporate this heresy into the dogmatic texts!”

And this is always followed by the story of St. Anthony Mary Claret who suffered a stroke at the Council for having to listen to the errors of the liberals assembled therein. Actually, as Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira writes (from his Saint of the Day):

Seeing many liberal Bishops opposing the matter of Papal Infallibility that was being discussed, he [St. Anthony Mary Claret] became indignant and strongly censured them in a speech. Hearing the errors being spoken on this topic, he was so overcome with indignation that the blood rushed to his head and he suffered a stroke from which he never recovered. He died some months later.
Oh, Papal Infallibility and those “liberal” inopportunists. Well, that’s close enough to justify painting a wide swath with the old “modernist” brush.

What?!! There were bishops who did not believe in Papal Infallibility? So, that proves that Papal Infallibility is false, right? You can "quote mine" schemas, bishops, and theologians from any Church Council to justify any position that you want to hold. Can you find any Bishop at Vatican I who believed in explicit faith? Was Father Muller wrong when he wrote these words (in 1888) after Vatican 1:

"We also learn from Christ and his Church, that the explicit faith in the mysteries of the Holy Trinity and of the Incarnation of the Son of God is also required as a necessary means of salvation." (Father Muller, The Catholic Dogma, page 10)
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  tornpage on Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:26 pm

Mike,

what is disputed is that this “necessity of infallibility” is itself infallible, such that the Church would fall into error (heresy) by denying an article of faith if she taught (as she does) that in certain circumstances one may be justified and saved through that faith without which it “is impossible to please God. For he that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and is a rewarder to them that seek him.”

Are you saying the Church taught against the "common opinion" of the theologians that explicit faith was necessary? How could an opinion against the Church's opinion be "common"?

You know as late as the Fifties that Msgr. Fenton described the explicit view as the "common opinion" and that he does not understand Hebrews 11:6 as meaning explicit faith in Christ is not necessary - we both know the article regarding the Holy Office Letter and its citation of Hebrews 11:6.

I concede the "Church" is teaching it now, but I want to clarify this with you. Exactly when did the Church start teaching "implicit faith" and the "common opinion" regarding the necessity of explicit faith become "uncommon"?

And the fact that the "common opinion" of centuries was jettisoned by the Conciliar Church makes it even more suspicious.
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

Post  tornpage on Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:39 pm

Are you really suggesting that this same Doctor and these great theologians, and the Catholic Church, do not understand the Athanasian Creed?

They believed "explicit faith" was necessary, so they understood it, yes.

What I will suggest is that they were more temperate and restrained than I. Very Happy
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Re: Holy Office Letter of 1949: What position did it "condemn"?

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