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Necessity of Infallibility

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Necessity of Infallibility

Post  tornpage on Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:57 am

Those of you following the discussion on explicit/implicit faith might have noticed the term, "necessity of infallibility" come up. MRyan had referred to an argument of Ludovicus where Lud calls St. Thomas's view of the necessity of explicit faith in Christ after the promulgation of the Gospel a "necessity of infallibility." Here's specifically how Lud describes it in this context:

God intends that after the advent of Christ, every man who dies justified also dies with explicit knowledge of Christ.

Interestingly, I was reading in Pascal's Provincial Letters late last night, and the phrase comes up in his letter XVIII to the Jesuit, Father Annat:

It thus appears, father, that your opponents are perfectly at one with the modern Thomists, for the Thomists hold with them both the power of resisting grace, and the infallibility of the effect of grace; of which latter doctrine they profess themselves the most strenuous advocates, if we may judge from a common maxim of their theology, which Alvarez, one of the leading men among them, repeats so often in his book, and expresses in the following terms (disp. 72, n. 4): "When efficacious grace moves the free will, it infallibly consents; because the effect of grace is such, that, although the will has the power of withholding its consent, it nevertheless consents in effect." He corroborates this by a quotation from his master, St. Thomas: "The will of God cannot fail to be accomplished; and, accordingly, when it is his pleasure that a man should consent to the influence of grace, he consents infallibly, and even necessarily, not by an absolute necessity, but by a necessity of infallibility." In effecting this, divine grace does not trench upon "the power which man has to resist it, if he wishes to do so"; it merely prevents him from wishing to resist it. This has been acknowledged by your Father Petau, in the following passage (Book i, p.602):. "The grace of Jesus Christ insures infallible perseverance in piety, though not by necessity; for a person may refuse to yield his consent to grace, if he be so inclined, as the council states; but that same grace provides that he shall never be so inclined."

http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/texts/pascal/letters-c.html#LETTER%20XVII

I believe in a "necessity of infallibilty" both as to explicit faith and God's efficacious grace: all of the elect will have an explicit faith in Christ before they die, and God predestines them and infallibly causes their salvation such that, while the will simply and absolutely maintains the power of saying no, none of the elect will say no to this grace, i.e. God's will guarantees infallibly that none of the elect shall be lost, and none will in fact resist his will.

It occurs to me that almost everyone here believes also in the sacrament of baptism as a "necessity of infallibility": all of the elect will receive sacramental baptism.

This term, "necessity of infallibility," demands some serious attention, I think.

And the foremost question is: if the Church teaches that any of these "necessities of infallibility" are in fact not necessary (i.e., that events such as salvation happen without them), what then?

What I mean is, how does one react to a magisterium that teaches things opposed to what we or St. Thomas believe to be "necessities of infallibility"? It seems to me you either reject your previously held beliefs, or you reject this "magisterium." Because either we're wrong, or they are, on an issue directly tied to salvation and the faith?

I'll use the example of what I believe as to "efficacious grace," which is the so-called "Thomist" position. The Molinist position is contrary to it. Only one can be "right." The Church allows both positions; she doesn't teach one. See the difference? I can hold my views as to efficacious grace, and not be against the Church.

If, as JPII teaches, "[n]Normally, it will be in the sincere practice of what is good in their own religious traditions and by following the dictates of their own conscience that the members of other religions respond positively to God’s invitation and receive salvation in Jesus Christ, even while they do not recognize or acknowledge him as their Savior" - then those of us who hold that all of the elect will be baptized before entering heaven, or that they will come to explicit faith in Christ, are wrong.

Either JPII's right, or we're wrong.

And what JPII teaches is what the "Arians" in possession of our Churches teach.

I don't think you can put your head in the sand about this; anyway, I can't.
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Re: Necessity of Infallibility

Post  Roguejim on Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:28 pm

From the article here (http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2011/06/reflections-%E2%80%93-graduating-catholic-from-a-reformed-seminary/) I pulled the quote below.


"Though Vatican II affirmed the truth that some men may be saved apart from a conscious knowledge of Christ as Savior (a truth affirmed by the WCF as well in the case of infant mortality and mental retardation), the Council maintained with clarity that salvation comes only through Christ."
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Re: Necessity of Infallibility

Post  tornpage on Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:40 pm

Jim,

Yeah, I know what JPII and those who agree with him do: everyone is saved by Christ, etc.

The "infant" and "mental retard" thing is irrelevant to the discussion, which concerns what type of faith is necessary according to the necessity of having supernatural faith for salvation. We are discussing whether an "implicit faith" is sufficient - you know the discussion. An infant or retard has no conscious faith, neither implicit or explicit. It's irrelevant, and a separate issue.
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Re: Necessity of Infallibility

Post  tornpage on Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:41 pm

I'm afraid to ask, but what's "WCF"?
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Re: Necessity of Infallibility

Post  DeSelby on Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:35 pm

tornpage wrote:I'm afraid to ask, but what's "WCF"?

"Westminster Confession of Faith" would be my guess. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Necessity of Infallibility

Post  Jehanne on Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:54 pm

It is interesting to note, historically, how when "implicit faith" in the Blessed Trinity & Incarnation came on the scene (in the 18th-century) how the Church's teachings on religious liberty began to erode:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/46116957/Social-Kingship-of-Our-Lord
http://www.sspx.org/against_sound_bites/defense_of_the_inquisition.htm
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Re: Necessity of Infallibility

Post  columba on Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:09 pm

tornpage wrote:I'm afraid to ask, but what's "WCF"?

"World Convention of Faiths" I would say. scratch
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Re: Necessity of Infallibility

Post  tornpage on Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:11 pm

"World Convention of Faiths" I would say.

Too bad we can't buy a vowel.

On another note:

Either JPII's right, or we're wrong.

Does anyone have a iightbulb they can spare?
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Re: Necessity of Infallibility

Post  columba on Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:14 pm

Tornpage wrote:
Either JPII's right, or we're wrong.

What worries me more than you or I being wrong is that everyone from the apostles to Bellarmine would also be wrong.

I can understand the infallibility of God's grace not being opposed to a free response of the will. It does make sense as explained above. It does not contradict reason. The infallibility of grace and mans free will are logically reconcilable, whereas, the necessity of explicit faith (since the promulgation of the Gospel) and the sufficiency of implicit faith are two totally opposing doctrines. If one is correct it automatically renders the other incorrect
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Re: Necessity of Infallibility

Post  Roguejim on Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:30 am

DeSelby wrote:
tornpage wrote:I'm afraid to ask, but what's "WCF"?

"Westminster Confession of Faith" would be my guess. Rolling Eyes


Correct.
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Re: Necessity of Infallibility

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