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St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

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St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  MRyan on Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:24 am

Roguejim posted The Commonitory of St. Vincent of Lerins on the Catholic Apologetics sub-forum, but I thought I’d post the section on the development of doctrine here since it is very relevant to these particular discussions.

Within the The Commonitory of St. Vincent of Lerins thread, Columba asked “if he [Vincent of Lerins] would describe todays changes as novel or organic”; thereby suggesting that the Church may have introduced profane novelty into her disciplines and doctrines, for what is not of its nature organic, is profane. St. Vincent of Lerins did not reject 'organic novelty', but did reject any such notion of a living and authoritative Magisterium that could reject tradition by introducing profane novelty into her disciplines, laws and doctrines. If such were the case, it would be a complete contradiction and would prove that the Church is not indefectible.

http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2011/05/the-commonitory-of-st-vincent-of-lerins/#identity

"VI. The Development of Doctrine

What St. Vincent has said in his general rule might seem to preclude the possibility of the development of doctrine. But, that would be to misunderstand his rule, as forbidding every sort of novelty, when in fact his rule forbids only profane novelty, not developmental novelty. He devotes seven paragraphs to the nature of the development of doctrine. First, in his exposition of St. Paul’s injunction to St. Timothy, whom St. Vincent takes to represent the Magisterium of the Church, he writes:

Let that which formerly was believed, though imperfectly apprehended, as expounded by you be clearly understood. Let posterity welcome, understood through your exposition, what antiquity venerated without understanding. Yet teach still the same truths which you have learned, so that though you speak after a new fashion, what you speak may not be new. (p. 53)
Then, anticipating the objection that if we follow the Vincentian canon there will be no doctrinal progress, he writes:

But some one will say, perhaps, Shall there, then, be no progress in Christ’s Church? Certainly; all possible progress. For what being is there, so envious of men, so full of hatred to God, who would seek to forbid it? Yet on condition that it be real progress, not alteration of the faith. For progress requires that the subject be enlarged in itself, alteration, that it be transformed into something else. The intelligence, then, the knowledge, the wisdom, as well of individuals as of all, as well of one man as of the whole Church, ought, in the course of ages and centuries, to increase and make much and vigorous progress; but yet only in its own kind; that is to say, in the same doctrine, in the same sense, and in the same meaning. (p. 54)
Of course the Vincentian canon disallows “alteration of the faith.” But genuine doctrinal development, according to St. Vincent, differs from “alteration of the faith.” Progress “enlarges” the subject, drawing out what is implicitly present, whereas “alteration” transforms it into something altogether different in “kind” (i.e. essence). This development is organic, like that of a growing physical body:

The growth of religion in the soul must be analogous to the growth of the body, which, though in process of years it is developed and attains its full size, yet remains still the same. There is a wide difference between the flower of youth and the maturity of age; yet they who were once young are still the same now that they have become old, insomuch that though the stature and outward form of the individual are changed, yet his nature is one and the same, his person is one and the same. An infant’s limbs are small, a young man’s large, yet the infant and the young man are the same. Men when full grown have the same number of joints that they had when children; and if there be any to which maturer age has given birth these were already present in embryo, so that nothing new is produced in them when old which was not already latent in them when children. This, then, is undoubtedly the true and legitimate rule of progress, this the established and most beautiful order of growth, that mature age ever develops in the man those parts and forms which the wisdom of the Creator had already framed beforehand in the infant. Whereas, if the human form were changed into some shape belonging to another kind, or at any rate, if the number of its limbs were increased or diminished, the result would be that the whole body would become either a wreck or a monster, or, at the least, would be impaired and enfeebled. (p. 55)

In like manner, it behooves Christian doctrine to follow the same laws of progress, so as to be consolidated by years, enlarged by time, refined by age, and yet, withal, to continue uncorrupt and unadulterate, complete and perfect in all the measurement of its parts, and, so to speak, in all its proper members and senses, admitting no change, no waste of its distinctive property, no variation in its limits. (p. 56)
Just as a living body grows and develops, though it remains the same in kind, so the faith of the Church follows “the same laws of progress,” as the Church grows in her understanding and explication of it, realizing more fully what is latent within it, but never changing it in its essence, either by loss or addition. For St. Vincent, the faith is living, and so is the Body of Christ, the Church. Even the works of the saints are like seeds which are planted and grow in time, until later generations reap their harvest. He writes:

For example: Our forefathers in the old time sowed wheat in the Church’s field. It would be most unmeet and iniquitous if we, their descendants, instead of the genuine truth of grain, should reap the counterfeit error of tares. This rather should be the result — there should be no discrepancy between the first and the last. From doctrine which was sown as wheat, we should reap, in the increase, doctrine of the same kind — wheat also; so that when in process of time any of the original seed is developed, and now flourishes under cultivation, no change may ensue in the character of the plant. There may supervene shape, form, variation in outward appearance, but the nature of each kind must remain the same. God forbid that those rose-beds of Catholic interpretation should be converted into thorns and thistles. God forbid that in that spiritual paradise from plants of cinnamon and balsam, darnel and wolfsbane should of a sudden shoot forth.

Therefore, whatever has been sown by the fidelity of the Fathers in this husbandry of God’s Church, the same ought to be cultivated and taken care of by the industry of their children, the same ought to flourish and ripen, the same ought to advance and go forward to perfection. For it is right that those ancient doctrines of heavenly philosophy should, as time goes on, be cared for, smoothed, polished; but not that they should be changed, not that they should be maimed, not that they should be mutilated. They may receive proof, illustration, definiteness; but they must retain withal their completeness, their integrity, their characteristic properties. (p. 57)
There will be change in the shape, configuration, and outward appearance over the course of genuine development, but there will be no change in the nature of the kind. What the Apostles and Fathers sowed, that is what we also should reap, in its developed form, smoothed and polished, but not changed (i.e. in essence), not maimed, and not mutilated. As the Church addresses heresies and gives further definiteness to the faith, the faith retains its completeness, its integrity, and its characteristic properties. The whole of the Catholic faith is dependent on all its parts, such that removing one element of the faith would destroy the whole; likewise, introducing novelty into the faith would corrupt the whole (p. 58)

But the Church of Christ preserves the faith, and develops the doctrine it has received:

But the Church of Christ, the careful and watchful guardian of the doctrines deposited in her charge, never changes anything in them, never diminishes, never adds, does not cut off what is necessary, does not add what is superfluous, does not lose her own, does not appropriate what is another’s, but while dealing faithfully and judiciously with ancient doctrine, keeps this one object carefully in view—if there be anything which antiquity has left shapeless and rudimentary, to fashion and polish it, if anything already reduced to shape and developed, to consolidate and strengthen it, if any already ratified and defined, to keep and guard it. Finally, what other object have Councils ever aimed at in their decrees, than to provide that what was before believed in simplicity should in future be believed intelligently, that what was before preached coldly should in future be preached earnestly, that what was before practised negligently should thenceforward be practised with double solicitude? This, I say, is what the Catholic Church, roused by the novelties of heretics, has accomplished by the decrees of her Councils,– this, and nothing else — she has thenceforward consigned to posterity in writing what she had received from those of olden times only by tradition, comprising a great amount of matter in a few words, and often, for the better understanding, designating an old article of the faith by the characteristic of a new name. (p. 59)
St. Vincent teaches that the Church is a “careful and watchful guardian” of the apostolic deposit, never changing anything in it, but only developing whatever has been left undeveloped, or polishing it further if it has already been developed. This developing of doctrine is what the Councils do as they respond to heresies and resolve doctrinal disputes, and this activity involves putting into writing for the sake of posterity what had been passed down from those of ancient times only by [oral] tradition."[End of citation]

Just prior to this particular selection, the author of the article writes:

We must interpret Scripture according to the traditions of the Universal Church, and the rules of Catholic doctrine, preferring the soundness of the whole to the corruption of the part. Where the Church’s Magisterium in the Universal Councils has answered questions or defined doctrines, we must interpret Scripture in subordination to those Magisterial decisions. Where the Church has not offered Magisterial decisions, we must follow universality, antiquity, and consent, preferring the soundness of the whole to the corruption of a part. Again, this rule indicates St. Vincent’s belief in the indefectibility of the Church; otherwise, it would be possible for the part to be what is sound, and the whole to be corrupt.

When an allegedly novel teaching arises [from a private teacher], and the Church has not yet offered a decision, we should examine the Church Fathers to see whether the teaching is in agreement with what they believed and taught, or whether it is contrary to it. What was believed and taught by all or most of the Fathers carries far greater weight than what was taught by only a few. And if a teacher holds a unique belief, then we should treat that as his own fancy, not as part of the authoritative Apostolic Tradition.
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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  MRyan on Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:44 am

From the same article: (http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2011/05/the-commonitory-of-st-vincent-of-lerins/#identity):

“St. Vincent claims from 1 Cor. 12:27-28 that whoever rejects the ecclesial authority of those persons in the Church whom God has placed in their office, whether Apostles, prophets, or doctors, despises not man, but God. To despise those who were appointed by God as teachers and preachers in His Church, when they are unanimous in Christ in the interpretation of some one point of Catholic doctrine, despises God because unity in the truth comes from God through the persons God has established in the various offices of His Church. To go against that unity and the divinely authorized persons by which it is preserved, is to go against God. That was true not only in the first generation of the Church, but in every succeeding generation, even to his own day. It is on the basis of the unity found through the divinely established Magisterium that St. Paul can exhort believers that there be no divisions among them. Such an exhortation would make no sense if the Magisterium itself could be divided, for there would be no principled way to resolve such divisions. The God who is a God of peace and order (1 Cor 14:33) has established a means by which peace and order is maintained perpetually in His Church, and divisions avoided (1 Cor. 1:10), until He returns. The means He has established, as we saw above, is not Scripture alone. Rather, God has established teaching and ruling offices in His Church, and an abiding Tradition, by which Scripture is to be understood, and questions and disputes are to be answered and resolved. Those who separate themselves from the unity, peace, and order that binds together the [particular] Churches of the saints (i.e. “of Catholics”) through the divinely appointed Magisterium of the Church, separate themselves from the God who has established this supernatural peace in His Church.

According to St. Vincent, heretics know that the novelty of heresy refutes it, and so they dress up their heresy under a name other than its own, and appeal to ancient writers to make it seem that they are not the first to hold this position:

[They] get hold often of the works of some ancient writer, not very clearly expressed, which, owing to the very obscurity of their own doctrine, have the appearance of agreeing with it, so that they get the credit of being neither the first nor the only persons who have held it. (p. 19)"
[END of citation]

That should sound familiar:

The Council of Florence solemnly declared:

“It decrees that transgressors shall be punished as heretics and with other canonical penalties. By these measures the synod intends to detract in nothing from the sayings and writings of the holy doctors who discourse on these matters. On the contrary, it accepts and embraces them according to their true understanding as commonly expounded and declared by these doctors and other catholic teachers in the theological schools.
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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  columba on Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:29 pm

if there be anything which antiquity has left shapeless and rudimentary, to fashion and polish it, if anything already reduced to shape and developed, to consolidate and strengthen it, if any already ratified and defined, to keep and guard it.

Can I draw your attention to the last line in the above extract?
"..if any already ratified and defined, to keep and guard."
What would be considered "already ratified and defined" if not those pronouncements that were made with that very purpose -ratifying" and defining- in mind; i.e, the dogmas of the Church?

What you say?
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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  MRyan on Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:18 pm

columba wrote:if there be anything which antiquity has left shapeless and rudimentary, to fashion and polish it, if anything already reduced to shape and developed, to consolidate and strengthen it, if any already ratified and defined, to keep and guard it.

Can I draw your attention to the last line in the above extract?
"..if any already ratified and defined, to keep and guard."
What would be considered "already ratified and defined" if not those pronouncements that were made with that very purpose -ratifying" and defining- in mind; i.e, the dogmas of the Church?

What you say?
I say the dogmas of the Church are understood by the Church precisely as they were defined. To say otherwise is heresy and to falsely pit one “Magisterium” against another; when they are ONE.

I say its time that you answered the question on the alleged “defined” section of Cantate Domino on blood martyrdom where you present your private interpretation as the “definitive” once declared interpretation of the Church as if the dogmatic statement intended to positively exclude the catechumen and any other faith-filled convert from salvation who has not received the sacrament of baptism. That is NOT the “true understanding” of the Church, the Doctors and the theologians.

I say that you should respond to this:

And certain Feeneyites would have us believe that Cantate Domino, in an almost exact word-for-word rendition of the text of St. Fulgentius, intended to reform and expand upon the meaning of our esteemed Saint by condemning even faith-filled catechumens who die for the name of Christ, when it is clear that St. Fulgentius excluded only those who do not remain in the unity of the Church, and/or heretics and schismatics who refused to enter the Church.

And yet, the same Council of Florence solemnly declared:

“It decrees that transgressors shall be punished as heretics and with other canonical penalties. By these measures the synod intends to detract in nothing from the sayings and writings of the holy doctors who discourse on these matters. On the contrary, it accepts and embraces them according to their true understanding as commonly expounded and declared by these doctors and other catholic teachers in the theological schools.
And then these same uneducated Feeneyite Pharisees tell us that the section on martyrdom is an “ex cathedra” solemn definition that is not to be understood as it was always understood by the Doctors and theologians (by the Church), and in fact needs no “interpretation” by the Church; and that any understanding taught by the Church that does not condemn the catechumen to hell is a “recession in meaning” from the clearly “defined” words under the specious name of a “deeper understanding”.

After all, as Cowboy tells us, the unbaptized martyr is incapable of charity and thus, he cannot be united to Christ by that same bond (of loving God with one’s whole heart ... and God returning love for love by means of supernatural charity).

Pope Pius XII: “Above all, the state of grace is absolutely necessary at the moment of death without it salvation and supernatural happiness—the beatific vision of God—are impossible. An act of love is sufficient for the adult to obtain sanctifying grace and to supply the lack of baptism” (Allocution to midwives)

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Basel, ex cathedra, “The holy synod especially condemns and censures… the proposition[s]: ‘To be a member of Christ, it is not enough to be united with him in the bond of charity; some other union is needed.’”

Anyone who is united to Christ in the bond of charity already possesses the supernatural gift of faith (charity vivifies faith) and is in a state of sanctifying grace. This does not mean that if Baptism has not yet been received it is no longer necessary, for the divine precept is still necessary by a necessity of means. But the bond of charity also presupposes the intention and desire to be baptized, and no one can be untied to Christ in the bond of charity apart from and without Baptism, at least in desire.
What say you?
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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  columba on Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:55 pm

To avoid getting bogged down in tit-for-tat quotes, it would be worth clearing up a few fundamentals. I believe we may be singing from the same hymn sheet regarding what constitutes a doctrine of the faith and the allegiance required from the faithful Catholic to the doctrine. The problem arises when there are conflicting interpretations or (even worse) when there are no definitions of a particular so called doctrine so as one can know precisely what is being proposed for belief.

Here's my understanding:
Throughout the history of the Church, theologians and scholars have labored to find hidden treasures contained within the deposit of faith. Throughout this process they have debated the pro's and con's of such n such a concept, sometimes agreeing with each other and sometimes not. At the end of the process, when all that can be said on the subject has been said and the matter still remains open, it pertains then to the ecclesiastical authorities if they feel competent, to pronounce what must be believed on the matter. In certain occasions (when no doubt remains) these pronouncements take the form of solemn dogmatic proclamations. These, define once and for all what must be held as de fide, and, are defined with such clarity that all misrepresentation be avoided. They are the actual culmination of scholastic labor and the actual fruits of such.

Are we therefore meant to presume that this is not the case; that dogmatic definitions are the beginning of theological debate rather than the conclusion?
If that be the case then the need for conclusive definitions remain, and a higher level of pronouncement (of which the Church has none) must yet be available to make up for what's lacking in her dogmatic proclamations.
We can certainly hold that the ordinary magisterium fulfill their teaching office in presenting what's de fide and what's foreign to the faith regarding those things that have not been dogmatically pronounced upon.
If however the dogmas themselves are unclear renderings of Catholic belief, then the very reason for their existence ceases.

Here are a couple examples of dogmatic statements. Are they clear or are they vague?

Trent Can. 2. If anyone shall say that real and natural water is not necessary for baptism, and on that account those words of our Lord Jesus Christ: "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit" (John 3:5), are distorted into some sort of metaphor: let him be anathema.

Can. 5. If anyone shall say that baptism is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation: let him be anathema.

After making clear a particular requirement for valid Baptism, i.e, natural water and stating that a distortion of this truth will render one anathema, goes on to state that this Baptism is not optional and attaches another anathema to those who disagree.

Now., your insistence that I/we hold baptism of desire to be part of the deposit of faith and are some kind of heretics if I/we don't, doesn't scare me enough to throw caution to the wind and follow you. Your insistence doesn't bring with it an anathema. (if it does, then show me the words from a high authority) but Trent's does. If Trent were to (miraculously) abolish those anathemas, then I would start lightening up.

No doubt you will state once more that the magisterium are the interpreters of dogma but in doing so you demote dogma to an ill-defined interpretation of Catholic belief when in fact it is the conclusive statement on the same. If it weren't then it would be unjust for the Church to attach those anathemas.

Regarding St Vincent; Your second post seems to be an attempt at making him look as if he is nullifying his statements contained in the OP, when in fact the two are complementary. He first states those things the Church as a true Mother provides for her children in the form of clear teachings while stating how foreign to Her would be any distortion or vagueness concerning matters that pertain to the salvation of her members. Your second post contains his teaching on the submission due to legitimate authority (which no doubt will be that which shows forth all that he stated in the first extract). The confusion mounts, but who be I to judge? I just stick with what I know, Dogma. Makes life so much simpler.

I open your posts with the same excitement a child opens its Christmas presents. Surprised


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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  MRyan on Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:25 pm

Not one to disappoint; it’s Christmas in July and here is another present!

columba wrote:To avoid getting bogged down in tit-for-tat quotes, it would be worth clearing up a few fundamentals. I believe we may be singing from the same hymn sheet regarding what constitutes a doctrine of the faith and the allegiance required from the faithful Catholic to the doctrine. The problem arises when there are conflicting interpretations or (even worse) when there are no definitions of a particular so called doctrine so as one can know precisely what is being proposed for belief.
You do not seem to realize that it is the very “fundamentals” of the Church you say need clearing up that form the basis of my previous post(s).

These are the very same fundamentals that provide the “true understanding” of the Church’s dogmatic proposals, and my challenge does not involve getting “bogged down in tit-for-tat quotes”, but responding to the cited magisterial directives and dogmatic pronouncements that go directly to the fundamental heart of the matter. Instead, you seem intent in avoiding my very direct questions; e.g., the question of your private interpretation of Cantate Domino on blood martyrdom that is opposed to its “true understanding as commonly expounded and declared by these doctors and other catholic teachers in the theological schools”.

In other words, where are the “conflicting interpretations” on baptism of blood according to its “true understanding as commonly expounded and declared” by the Church and “by these doctors and other catholic teachers in the theological schools”? Said another way, where are the “conflicting interpretations” of Cantate Domino that would lead you to believe that this section of the Bull was ever interpreted by the Church in the novel and rigorist so-called “literal” manner proscribed by you?

You seem incapable of responding to the question of whether the section of the Bull on blood martyrdom is an “ex cathedra dogmatic definition” that needs no further interpretation other than the novel meaning you give it; or is it an infallible restatement, qualification and explanation of a dogma that cannot be opposed to, and is in fact harmonious with the Church’s own understanding of baptism of blood as it is commonly and universally presented by her Doctors and teachers in the theological schools.

Can you present even one Doctor, theologian, saint of pope who ever presented an understanding of Cantate Domino on blood martyrdom that would exclude the catechumen from being united to Christ (and to the Church)?

Please answer the question: Is the section on blood martyrdom one of those “solemn dogmatic proclamations” that (using your words) “define once and for all what must be held as de fide, and, are defined with such clarity that all misrepresentation be avoided. They are the actual culmination of scholastic labor and the actual fruits of such.”?

What, cat got your tongue? Columba is at a loss for words? Say it isn’t so!

And yet, when I presented what is considered an actual dogmatic definition (in the form of a solemn condemnation) from the same general Council of Florence, you cannot tell me if the clear meaning of the words is the clear understanding of the “once declared” dogmatic prescription. In fact, by what you have said elsewhere, we may assume that you reject the clear meaning of the words of this ex cathedra definitive pronouncement:

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Basel, ex cathedra: “The holy synod especially condemns and censures… the proposition[s]: ‘To be a member of Christ, it is not enough to be united with him in the bond of charity; some other union is needed.’”

Do you hold that not only is it not enough to be member of Christ in the bond of Charity, but that one cannot be a member of Christ in charity without the bond of incorporation effected by water Baptism? By changing the clear meaning of the words (a clear recession in meaning) of the dogmatic prescription, do “you demote dogma to an ill-defined interpretation of Catholic belief when in fact it is the conclusive statement on the same. If it weren't then it would be unjust for the Church to attach those anathemas.”?

Is this or is this not one of those “solemn dogmatic proclamations” that “define once and for all what must be held as de fide, and, are defined with such clarity that all misrepresentation be avoided. They are the actual culmination of scholastic labor and the actual fruits of such”?

I will return, once again, to the two canons of Trent in due time; but I would first like to stick to the immediate controversy and “fundamentals” by having you respond to Cantate Domino on the Church’s teaching on baptism of blood and the specific ex cathedra condemnation of Basel concerning the alleged insufficiency of the bond of charity to unite one to Christ as His member.

Please answer the question as to whether Pope Pius XII, the Doctors and the theologians are in error and opposed to the dogmatic “definition” of Cantate Domino with respect to the common and “true understanding” of the bond of charity that holds that “An act of love is sufficient for the adult to obtain sanctifying grace and to supply the lack of baptism” (Pope Pius XII, Allocution to midwives).

Your mumbo jumbo beginning with “Throughout the history of the Church, theologians and scholars have labored to find hidden treasures contained within the deposit of faith” is just that. Let’s stick to the actual treasures found in the actual dogmatic teachings of the Church and her actual understanding of the same as proposed by her subsequent authoritative, living and ordinary magisterial teachings, and by her Doctors and theologians when they are unanimous in the same understanding.

I would like to know why your apparent rejection of the “true understanding” of the Fathers, Doctors and theologians on baptism of blood and the bond of charity does not “show an attitude not only of rash contempt for the commonly approved doctrine and discipline, but of special hostility toward the Roman Pontiffs and the Apostolic See.” (Counsel of Florence)

Merry Christmas (and yes, another Irishman won the Open)!



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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  Guest on Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:06 pm

Funny browsing around Bill Strom's site I was reading about development of doctrine and Orestes Brownson gave in insight that kinda threw me, it was so clear and I have never herd it explained that way before He said the "development" of doctrine is purely NEGATIVE! In other words the Church is constantly defining what she believes mainly by saying what She doesn't believe. He wrote it better so here it is a little long but worth the read:
We might multiply similar quotations from Mr. Newman's Essay to almost any extent, and they all show that he regards portions, at least, of the faith as remaining at first, so far as concerned either the formal teaching, or the formal belief of the Church, in a merely latent or virtual state, and that it has been subsequently, or is still to be, realized by developments. Unquestionably he does not mean to assert that there is any thing in the developed doctrine not meant or promised by the doctrine as it was in the beginning, any more than there is that in the chicken which was not meant or promised by the egg ; but he does mean that the faith is developed by the spontaneous process carried on by the mind of the Church herself, under the influence of what he calls the sacramental principle, and which he misapprehends, and also by fierce and protracted controversies, and developed in reference to what it is as positive dogma, as well as in reference to what it is not, in its positive aspect, as well as in its negative aspect. And here is precisely his error.

When the Fathers speak of attaining to a more clear understanding, to more explicit and distinct apprehensions of the faith, and to the consolidation of doctrine, it is always as it is opposed to or opposed by heresies. The new explications and definitions do not make it more clear and explicit in what it is as matter to be positively believed, but simply as the contradictory of the errors those new explications and definitions condemn.

It is only in this sense that the assertion of the Council of Chalcedon, that the faith was already sufficiently explained, can be reconciled with its act of giving a new definition, — or with the uniform declaration of the Church, in defining the faith against novel errors, that she simply opposes to the error the faith which has been taught and believed from the beginning. Moreover, this is the express assertion of St. Thomas:—"In doctrina Christi et Apostolorum veritas fidei sufficienter explicata. Sed quia perversi homines Apostolicam doctrinam, et caeteras doctrines, et Scripturas, pervertunt ad sui ipsorurn perditionem, ideo necessaria fuit temporibus procedentibus explicatio fidei contra insurgentes errores." *(footnote: *Summa, 2.2, Q. 1, a. 10.)

Certainly St. Thomas understands no developments of Christian doctrine, except new explications contra insurgentes errores ; that is, clearer expositions, not of what it is, but of what it is not. He does not, save in this negative sense, allow us to say that "no doctrine is defined till it is violated " ; or that it is latent in Scripture or tradition till a heresy arises to controvert it; for his sense evidently is, that the whole doctrine was sufficiently explained in the beginning. No doctrine is defined as the contradictory of an error before the error has arisen, it is true; but that it is not explicitly taught and believed before, as to all that it is as a positive dogma or a revealed truth, is not true ; and we fall back on Bossuet, St. Thomas, St. Leo, the Council of Chalcedon, the Council of Ephesus, all the Fathers, and all the Popes, uniformly declaring that the new definition is only the express application of the preexisting faith to a novel error, for our authority.

If there be any thing uniformly taught by our theologians, it is that the faith of the Fathers was perfect, that the revelation committed to the Church was complete and entire, and that the Church has, from the first, faithfully, infallibly, taught or proposed it.

If this be true, as it would at least be temerity to question, there can be, there can have been, no latent or merely virtual doctrine waiting for heresy and controversy to call it forth, and to render it formal and actual.

There is implicit belief, — for individuals may be ignorant, some on one point, and some on another ; but there is, save in a very restricted sense indeed, no implicit teaching. All teaching is formal, and what is not formally proposed is not proposed at all. Revelation, in quantum est revelatio, must be formal. Each revealed dogma may imply more than appears or is apprehended ; but the truth implied, if not formally revealed in the truth explicitly revealed, is not a revealed truth, and therefore is not and cannot be a portion of the Catholic faith, unless we assume for the Church gratia inspirations, which she has not,
and does not claim. Her commission was not, to reveal truth,
but to keep, believe, and teach the truth already revealed, —

" Going, teach all nations to observe all things what
soever I have commanded you."

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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  MRyan on Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:21 pm

columba wrote:
Now., your insistence that I/we hold baptism of desire to be part of the deposit of faith and are some kind of heretics if I/we don't, doesn't scare me enough to throw caution to the wind and follow you. Your insistence doesn't bring with it an anathema. (if it does, then show me the words from a high authority) but Trent's does. If Trent were to (miraculously) abolish those anathemas, then I would start lightening up.
The fact that you continue to misrepresent my position by alleging that I insist “that I/we hold baptism of desire to be part of the deposit of faith and are some kind of heretics if I/we don't” is all one needs to know about columba. That baptism of blood and baptism of desire are directly related to a dogma of the deposit of faith is absolutely true since they are critical to a “true understanding” of the Church’s dogma on Baptism (i.e., "right belief"). In that sense, they are at least “implied” in the deposit of revealed truth, but have never been formally “defined” as such.

But, if the Church’s consistent, authentic and authoritative ordinary teaching on baptism of blood and baptism of blood is false, then the Holy See is stained with error, and she is not the infallible and indefectible Church promised by Christ and defined by the Church. She is an imposter, which I am certain you believe she really is.

You know better than to so carelessly misrepresent my position, but you do it anyway. You treat the Church’s understanding of her own dogmas, and the same understanding presented by her Doctors and theologians, with the same contempt and disregard for the truth. The heretics I alluded to are the “transgressors [who] shall be punished as heretics”; those who reject the doctrines the Church “accepts and embraces … according to their true understanding as commonly expounded and declared by these doctors and other catholic teachers in the theological schools”; and if the shoe fits, wear it.

Funny that not even the St. Benedict Center cites your favorite canons of Trent as “infallible” prescriptions against baptism of blood and desire; but, in the case of Canon 2, for example, the “official position” holds it only as an “infallible minor premise” that forms part of a non-infallible syllogism that concludes with the fallible and allegedly “strong argument” that says "True and natural water is necessary for salvation." Even as a "strong argument" it is pretty weak and is not supported by the Magisterium or the "true understanding" of the Doctors and theologians.

In other words, you cannot get even the Feeneyite mother ship to take your rigorist and novel position on the Church's “true understanding” of her sacred canon on the necessity of natural water for baptism, and her canon against turning the words of our Lord into a metaphor for water Baptism, when baptism of blood and baptism of desire violate neither; as the Church teaches and as her Doctors and theologians unanimously explain.

Why can't you provide the testimony of just one saint, Doctor, theologian or pope who ever taught that baptism of blood and baptism of desire are condemned by these sacred Canons of Trent?

Why can’t you do so if your alleged “literal” interpretations of these sacred canons are true? Do you really propose that you and a few of your fellow traveling Feeneyite savants are the only one’s to hold to the “true understanding” of the sacred canons, when it is obvious to even the most obtuse person that the “true understanding” of the Canons is that which is expressed by the authentic Magisterium and by the unanimous consent of her Doctors and theologians?

Seriously, don't you see something very wrong with holding such a novel position that is not supported by a single Saint, Doctor, Theologian or Pope since the Council of Trent who commented upon these sacred canons, and/or on the Church's teachings on baptism of blood, baptism of desire and the bond of charity?

How can the entire Church be in error, and columba correct?

The Council of Florence solemnly declared:

“It decrees that transgressors shall be punished as heretics and with other canonical penalties. By these measures the synod intends to detract in nothing from the sayings and writings of the holy doctors who discourse on these matters. On the contrary, it accepts and embraces them according to their true understanding as commonly expounded and declared by these doctors and other catholic teachers in the theological schools.
You are an authority of one; and a confused one at that.
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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  Jehanne on Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:48 pm

MRyan wrote:Pope Eugene IV, Council of Basel, ex cathedra: “The holy synod especially condemns and censures… the proposition[s]: ‘To be a member of Christ, it is not enough to be united with him in the bond of charity; some other union is needed.’”

Do you hold that not only is it not enough to be member of Christ in the bond of Charity, but that one cannot be a member of Christ in charity without the bond of incorporation effected by water Baptism? By changing the clear meaning of the words (a clear recession in meaning) of the dogmatic prescription, do “you demote dogma to an ill-defined interpretation of Catholic belief when in fact it is the conclusive statement on the same. If it weren't then it would be unjust for the Church to attach those anathemas.”?

Please answer the question as to whether Pope Pius XII, the Doctors and the theologians are in error and opposed to the dogmatic “definition” of Cantate Domino with respect to the common and “true understanding” of the bond of charity that holds that “An act of love is sufficient for the adult to obtain sanctifying grace and to supply the lack of baptism” (Pope Pius XII, Allocution to midwives).

Mike,

You are pounding on "open doors" again. It is our belief that someone who has perfect charity will, as with Cornelius, be given the graces to receive Baptism and become Catholic. To clarify the position of this "Feeneyite," perhaps some Q&A would help:

Question 1

Question: If someone has perfect charity and is seeking the Creator God, will the One and Triune God always give that person the graces to become Catholic?

Answer: Yes, absolutely, such an individual will become Catholic, eventually, if he/she cooperates with God's graces.

Question 2

Question: If a catechumen sheds his/her blood for Christ yet who dies without Baptism, will that person go to Heaven?

Answer: Yes, absolutely, such a person would go to Heaven without delay, even if he/she died without Baptism.

Question 3

Question: Are there individuals in Paradise, such as catechumens who have been martyred, who have died without Baptism?

Answer: Probably not. Given the absolute Sovereignty of the One and Triune God over His Creation, it is much more probable than not that everyone, without exception, who attains Heaven, the Beatific Vision, will have died with sacramental Baptism.

Question 4

Question: Did the Church Fathers universally teach Baptism of Desire and/or Blood?

Answer: Yes, the teaching was universal, and therefore, is part of the Deposit of Faith, however, Saint Augustine developed the teaching and came to realize that none of God's elect will pass from this life without Baptism.

Question 5

Question: Must faithful Catholics believe in Baptism of Desire and/or Blood?

Answer: Yes, absolutely, but one is also permitted to believe, as did Saint Augustine (one of the Church's principle Doctors), that Baptism of Desire and/or Blood will never happen in the complete absence of sacramental Baptism in Water.

Question 6

Question: Did the Council of Trent teach Baptism of Desire?

Answer: Not explicitly. The Council could have defined the matter unambiguously and completely, say, by saying, "If anyone says that someone who has perfect charity with the vow to Baptized and yet who dies without Baptism cannot attain Heaven, let him be anathema" or something like that, but obviously, the Council made no such statement.

Question 7

Question: Do modern Popes believe in Baptism of Desire?

Answer: All of them, without exception; however, looking at the historical record from the first millennium of the Catholic Faith, belief in Baptism of Desire was much more sporadic. Clearly, some Popes did not hold to the idea, and as they were closer, in time and space, to the Apostles, their view is probably the correct one.

Question 8

Question: Was Baptism of Desire ever applied to Jews, Muslims, etc.?

Answer: Only recently, after the Enlightenment, did theologians begin teaching that a person could be saved without Baptism or any desire, even an implicit one, to receive it. Implicit faith and desire is, historically, a theological novelty.

Question 9

Question: Can Popes promulgate theological error?

Answer: Yes, absolutely. Some Popes taught error with respect to abortion.

Question 10

Question: How should we, as Catholics, understand the infallible declarations of the Church?

Answer: The question is one of history; the definitions should be understood as they were understood when the ink was drying.
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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  columba on Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:14 pm

MRyan wrote:
Instead, you seem intent in avoiding my very direct questions; e.g., the question of your private interpretation of Cantate Domino on blood martyrdom that is opposed to its “true understanding as commonly expounded and declared by these doctors and other catholic teachers in the theological schools”.

Not at all.. My interpretation isn't a private one. I believe that; "even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church."
You accuse me of giving some kind of heterodox meaning to the words of Pope Eugene IV. If there be a heterodox meaning in his words then this is not my fault but of course there is none. Pope Eugene was merely stating that those outside the Church can merit nothing salvific as they are cut off from Christ. In order to be joined to Christ they must be sacramentally Baptized either formally or miraculously.
I believe in one Baptism for the remission of sins. How that one Baptism is provided will be governed by God's providence but there still remains one Baptism and that is of natural water.

In other words, where are the “conflicting interpretations” on baptism of blood according to its “true understanding as commonly expounded and declared” by the Church and “by these doctors and other catholic teachers in the theological schools”? Said another way, where are the “conflicting interpretations” of Cantate Domino that would lead you to believe that this section of the Bull was ever interpreted by the Church in the novel and rigorist so-called “literal” manner proscribed by you?

I don't know where these conflicting interpretations come from. It seems Mike that your interpretation is incorrect (though understandably so) as the Church has given the common understanding of the saints and doctors by including in the credo the words. "I believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. To incorporate your interpretation this would have to be corrected to "three Baptisms."

Can you present even one Doctor, theologian, saint of pope who ever presented an understanding of Cantate Domino on blood martyrdom that would exclude the catechumen from being united to Christ (and to the Church)?

I thought I already provided a quote or two but anyway, here they are again.

How many sincere catechumens die unbaptized and are thus lost forever?
When we come into the sight of God, none will say, "Why was this man led by God's direction to be baptized, while that man, although he lived properly as a catechumen, was killed in a sudden disaster and not baptized?" Look for rewards, and you will find nothing but punishments! Of what use would repentance be if Baptism did not follow? No matter what progress a catechumen may make, he still carries the burden of iniquity, and it is not taken away until he has been baptized.
(from Augustine the Bishop, by Fr Van Der Meer, p 150)

"It is obvious that we must grieve for catechumens should they depart this life without the saving grace of Baptism."
(St John Crysostom)

"You are outside Paradise, O catechumen! You share the exile of Adam."
(St Gregory of Nyssa)

"One is the Baptism which the Church administers, of water and the Holy Ghost, with which catechumens need to be baptized. Nor does the mystery of regeneration exist at all without water. Now, even the catechumen believes, but, unless he be baptized, he cannot receive the remission of his sins, nor the gift of spiritual grace."
(St Ambrose)

"If you were able to judge a man who intends to commit murder, soley by his intention and without any act of murder, then you could likewise reckon as baptized one who desired baptism, without having received Baptism. But, since you cannot do the former, how can you do the latter? Put it this way: if desire has equal power with actual Baptism, you would then be satisfied to desire Glory, as though that longing itself were Glory."
(St Gregory Nazienzen)


Please answer the question: Is the section on blood martyrdom one of those “solemn dogmatic proclamations” that (using your words) “define once and for all what must be held as de fide, and, are defined with such clarity that all misrepresentation be avoided. They are the actual culmination of scholastic labor and the actual fruits of such.”?

Judging by the tone and the error it's refuting I would say Yes.

What, cat got your tongue? Columba is at a loss for words? Say it isn't so!

It isn't so.

And yet, when I presented what is considered an actual dogmatic definition (in the form of a solemn condemnation) from the same general Council of Florence, you cannot tell me if the clear meaning of the words is the clear understanding of the “once declared” dogmatic prescription. In fact, by what you have said elsewhere, we may assume that you reject the clear meaning of the words of this ex cathedra definitive pronouncement:

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Basel, ex cathedra: “The holy synod especially condemns and censures… the proposition[s]: ‘To be a member of Christ, it is not enough to be united with him in the bond of charity; some other union is needed.’”

Where am I disagreeing with this? Without Baptism there can be no supernatural charity nor union with Christ. Explain to me where Pope Eugene is throwing out Baptism as the means to this union? Even those who are baptized can be lacking in supernatural charity and lose salvation but they could only have it to lose if they received it first through incorporation into Christ through sacramental Baptism.

Do you hold that not only is it not enough to be member of Christ in the bond of Charity, but that one cannot be a member of Christ in charity without the bond of incorporation effected by water Baptism? By changing the clear meaning of the words (a clear recession in meaning) of the dogmatic prescription, do “you demote dogma to an ill-defined interpretation of Catholic belief when in fact it is the conclusive statement on the same. If it weren't then it would be unjust for the Church to attach those anathemas.”?

No.. I think it is you who does that even you do it without intent.
Where an anathema is attached I take it literally.

Is this or is this not one of those “solemn dogmatic proclamations” that “define once and for all what must be held as de fide, and, are defined with such clarity that all misrepresentation be avoided. They are the actual culmination of scholastic labor and the actual fruits of such”?

It's not I who's complicating it.

Please answer the question as to whether Pope Pius XII, the Doctors and the theologians are in error and opposed to the dogmatic “definition” of Cantate Domino with respect to the common and “true understanding” of the bond of charity that holds that “An act of love is sufficient for the adult to obtain sanctifying grace and to supply the lack of baptism” (Pope Pius XII, Allocution to midwives).

An allocution to midwives does not constitute a dogmatic statement. Pope Pius XII was reinforcing to midwives the absolute duty of early Baptism for infants.

Your mumbo jumbo beginning with “Throughout the history of the Church, theologians and scholars have labored to find hidden treasures contained within the deposit of faith” is just that. Let’s stick to the actual treasures found in the actual dogmatic teachings of the Church and her actual understanding of the same as proposed by her subsequent authoritative, living and ordinary magisterial teachings, and by her Doctors and theologians when they are unanimous in the same understanding.

Again here you imply that dogmatic statements are the beginning of theological debate rather than the conclusion. It's not I you should accuse of mumbo jumbo but the dogmatic statements themselves.

I would like to know why your apparent rejection of the “true understanding” of the Fathers, Doctors and theologians on baptism of blood and the bond of charity does not “show an attitude not only of rash contempt for the commonly approved doctrine and discipline, but of special hostility toward the Roman Pontiffs and the Apostolic See.” (Counsel of Florence)

For all the above reasons.
I have no contempt for Doctor, Father or Pope but some of the latter day Roman Pontiffs do seem to have a dislike (if not contempt) for dogma and tradition.

The fact that you continue to misrepresent my position by alleging that I insist “that I/we hold baptism of desire to be part of the deposit of faith and are some kind of heretics if I/we don't” is all one needs to know about columba. That baptism of blood and baptism of desire are directly related to a dogma of the deposit of faith is absolutely true since they are critical to a “true understanding” of the Church’s dogma on Baptism (i.e., "right belief"). In that sense, they are at least “implied” in the deposit of revealed truth, but have never been formally “defined” as such.

it's not that I misrepresent you; I just don't agree with your conclusions. I do however agree that baptism of desire/baptism of blood have never been formally defined. As to whether or not they are implicit in the deposit of revealed truth, I will await a formal declaration on the matter with their proper definitions and insistant language without which it is impossible to have 100% surety either way.

But, if the Church’s consistent, authentic and authoritative ordinary teaching on baptism of blood and baptism of blood is false, then the Holy See is stained with error, and she is not the infallible and undetectable Church promised by Christ and defined by the Church. She is an imposter, which I am certain you believe she really is.

The Church has never defined the terms baptism of desire/baptism of blood let alone impose them as de fide. Your claim that the Church now teaches that these are in fact de fide puts her undetectability on the line if it ever should be determined that they weren't after all de fide.

You know better than to so carelessly misrepresent my position, but you do it anyway.

Sorry Mike. It was unintentional. Just call it poetic justice for the times that you misrepresented me and others here and we'll call it quits. Wink

You treat the Church’s understanding of her own dogmas, and the same understanding presented by her Doctors and theologians, with the same contempt and disregard for the truth. The heretics I alluded to are the “transgressors [who] shall be punished as heretics”; those who reject the doctrines the Church “accepts and embraces … according to their true understanding as commonly expounded and declared by these doctors and other catholic teachers in the theological schools”; and if the shoe fits, wear it.

Those Doctors and theologians of whom you say I have contempt, are the same doctors and theologians from whom I have received many favors recently and over the years through their intercession. I'm content that they have not judged me thus.

Funny that not even the St. Benedict Center cites your favorite canons of Trent as “infallible” prescriptions against baptism of blood and desire; but, in the case of Canon 2, for example, the “official position” holds it only as an “infallible minor premise” that forms part of a non-infallible syllogism that concludes with the fallible and allegedly “strong argument” that says "True and natural water is necessary for salvation." Even as a "strong argument" it is pretty weak and is not supported by the Magisterium or the "true understanding" of the Doctors and theologians.

In other words, you cannot get even the Feeneyite mother ship to take your rigorist and novel position on the Church's “true understanding” of her sacred canon on the necessity of natural water for baptism, and her canon against turning the words of our Lord into a metaphor for water Baptism, when baptism of blood and baptism of desire violate neither; as the Church teaches and as her Doctors and theologians unanimously explain.

I think I've mentioned this before but I don't class myself as a Feeneyite as I'm a relative newcomer to his writings. That I find myself in agreement with him is coincidental and probably providential too. He is among others a good antidote to the virus of Modernism. I could well be deviating from the mother ship but I have you to point that out to me.

Seriously, don't you see something very wrong with holding such a novel position that is not supported by a single Saint, Doctor, Theologian or Pope since the Council of Trent who commented upon these sacred canons, and/or on the Church's teachings on baptism of blood, baptism of desire and the bond of charity?

How can the entire Church be in error, and columba correct?

Seriously? No.
The reason columba is correct is because without Baptism columba would be deprived of whatever supernatural virtues he received at that hour and wouldn't even be in the race. As it stands, whatever prayers, good works or shedding of blood I might do will be meritorious and conducive to mine and others salvation.
Like saint Paul, I don't claim to have won but at least I can say I'm in the race.
It was the Church who taught me this and I am correct because the Church is correct.

You are an authority of one; and a confused one at that.

In your opinion.. There's nothing confused in believing One Faith, One Church and One Baptism.
Permitting other baptisms as salvific leads to permitting other faiths and other churches as salvific. Need I elaborate?
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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  MRyan on Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:49 pm

columba wrote:
MRyan wrote:
Instead, you seem intent in avoiding my very direct questions; e.g., the question of your private interpretation of Cantate Domino on blood martyrdom that is opposed to its “true understanding as commonly expounded and declared by these doctors and other catholic teachers in the theological schools”.
Not at all.. My interpretation isn't a private one. I believe that; "even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church."

You accuse me of giving some kind of heterodox meaning to the words of Pope Eugene IV. If there be a heterodox meaning in his words then this is not my fault but of course there is none. Pope Eugene was merely stating that those outside the Church can merit nothing salvific as they are cut off from Christ. In order to be joined to Christ they must be sacramentally Baptized either formally or miraculously.

I believe in one Baptism for the remission of sins. How that one Baptism is provided will be governed by God's providence but there still remains one Baptism and that is of natural water.

Your novel interpretation is most certainly a “private one”, for not only is it opposed the “true understanding” of the Church, you cannot produce in any way, shape or form anything resembling a "common consensus" from the Doctors, theologians, saints and popes that is in agreement with your novel interpretation.

The dogma according to columba: “"Every one that confess me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in Heaven." That is, except those who confess Him falsely by being obstinate heretics, schismatics and … faith-filled catechumens or last minute converts who are impelled by grace to confess Christ and shed their blood for love of Him. And this is a “defined” dogma of the Church; yessireee.

You said Pope Eugene “was merely stating” Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, and indeed he was; to which you added your own interpretative spin which says only those who are formally or miraculously baptized in water can be “joined to Christ”, meaning no one can be united to Christ in the bond of faith, charity and intention without the actual sacrament. However, by the very fact that baptism of blood has been taught openly for centuries and is taught by the authentic and ordinary magisterium of the Church with the same “true understanding” as that held by the unanimous consent of her Doctors and theologians proves that you are dead wrong in your “private interpretation”.

So you take your private novel interpretation (which is in fact a fallible syllogistic conclusion) and impose it on the Faithful (and on the Church) as a binding dogma. For how can you not do so if what you say is true? Your syllogism goes like this:

Major premise: There is no salvation outside the Church
First Minor premise: Only by water baptism can one have his sins remitted and become a formal member of the Church
Second minor premise: The catechumen is not a formal member of the Church
“Defined” Conclusion: The catechumen cannot have a justifying faith and charity (unity with Christ and the remission of sins), even if he should shed his blood for Christ

You are telling us that your syllogistic conclusion is a binding article of divine and Catholic Faith. After all, you say, these solemnly defined articles of faith “define once and for all what must be held as de fide, and, are defined with such clarity that all misrepresentation be avoided.”

Let’s see how the Church avoids all misrepresentations of her true understanding of the once defined dogma:

The Catechism of the Council of Trent: … should any unforeseen accident make it impossible for adults to be washed in the salutary waters, their intention and determination to receive Baptism and their repentance for past sins, will avail them to grace and righteousness.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church: For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament. … The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament. (1259, 1258)
These are just two examples (you know there are many more .. but I’ll spare you) of the Roman Catholic Church sort of “forgetting” that there is a defined binding article of Faith that defined once and for all what must be held as de fide, and, are defined with such clarity that all misrepresentation be avoided; yet the Church just can’t seem to avoid misrepresenting her own once declared “true understanding” of a defined dogma that was “defined with such clarity that all misrepresentation be avoided”.

Wonder of wonders, you also allege that the Church just might one day “define” baptism of blood and baptism of desire, at which time you will finally accept these teachings (since you obviously believe that religious submission of the mind and will pertains only to defined dogmas, and those doctrines you actually agree with after you are done sifting them and bouncing them against your private interpretations of dogma).

So we are supposed to believe that an alleged binding matter of divine and Catholic faith that positively and definitively excludes the remission of sins and unity with Christ before or without water baptism, that has been “defined with such clarity that all misrepresentation be avoided”, might have been misrepresented by you all long. But, until such time, you will continue to insist that the Church is teaching a heretical doctrine that is clearly opposed to her own dogma that was “defined with such clarity that all misrepresentation be avoided”.

Sure, columba, keep selling that silly swill to the uneducated masses … well, to cowboy, anyway, who seems to be enamored with your private presentations of Church teaching; even if they are opposed to the unanimous teachings of the Doctors and theologians; and even if they are opposed the authentic and ordinary Magisterium. Like you, he rejects the doctrines of baptism of blood, he rejects the Church’s de fide teaching on justification “by the desire thereof” that includes the remission of sins; and of course he rejects the ex cathedra declaration condemning the notion that the bond of charity is not sufficient to make one a member of Christ. You two were made for each other and should be selling DVD’s from your own website.

But, I digress.

The Church also believes in ONE Baptism for the remission of sins and no one can have this remission without at least the desire for baptism (which includes a sincere contrition).

This “true understanding” of the remission of sins prior to and even without actual water Baptism is so well established as a universal doctrine that NEVER has it been challenged or taught otherwise by the Church. Of course you will tell us that the universal testimony of the Doctors and theologians (such as that found in the Catechism of the Council of Trent) are “fallible” and erroneous witnesses to the truth, which means they teach heresy for denying your rigorist interpretation of a dogma that cannot leave itself open to misrepresentation, even if the Church constantly “misrepresents” it.

Not even the select few Fathers you continue to cite in a desperate attempt to “prove” that they “rejected” baptism of desire support your allegation on the remission of sins. Just one example:

St. Gregory of Nazianzus (Oration Eight) "Her whole life was a purification for her, and a perfecting. She had indeed the regeneration of the Spirit, and the assurance of this from her previous life. And, to speak boldly, the mystery (baptism) was for her practically only the seal, not the grace."

Now, according to the dogma defined by columba, how can anyone have the grace of the sacrament of Baptism (“She had indeed the regeneration of the Spirit ... from her previous life”) without the seal of Baptism and without the remission of sins? The Church solemnly condemned the proposition of Baius that charity could coexist in man with the state of mortal sin. “This proposition was condemned by the Church, chiefly for the reason that Baius, as far as we know, denied that the act of charity really involves the infused virtue of charity, that the latter involves the grace of adoption, and that sanctifying grace involves remission of the guilt.” (Fr. Matthias Scheeben, The Mysteries of Christianity, Ch. 22)

Doctor of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas, teaches:

"a man may, without Baptism of Water, receive the sacramental effect from Christ's Passion, in so far as he is conformed to Christ by suffering for Him. Hence, it is written (Apoc. 7:14): ‘These are they who are come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’ In like manner a man receives the effect of Baptism by the power of the Holy Ghost, not only without Baptism of Water, but also without Baptism of Blood: forasmuch as his heart is moved by the Holy Ghost to believe in and love God and to repent of his sins: wherefore this is also called Baptism of Repentance. Of this, it is written (Is. 4:4): ‘If the Lord shall wash away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall wash away the blood of Jerusalem out of the midst thereof, by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.’ Thus, therefore, each of these other Baptisms is called Baptism, forasmuch as it takes the place of Baptism. (STl, III, q 66. a 11)
And of course we could add to this the same explicit teaching of at least six other Doctors of the Church, along with the universal moral consensus of approved theologians, about which the Council of Florence solemnly declared:

“It decrees that transgressors shall be punished as heretics and with other canonical penalties. By these measures the synod intends to detract in nothing from the sayings and writings of the holy doctors who discourse on these matters. On the contrary, it accepts and embraces them according to their true understanding as commonly expounded and declared by these doctors and other catholic teachers in the theological schools.
Your obvious contempt for the Church and her Doctors and theologians is most unfortunate.

columba wrote:
MRyan wrote:
In other words, where are the “conflicting interpretations” on baptism of blood according to its “true understanding as commonly expounded and declared” by the Church and “by these doctors and other catholic teachers in the theological schools”? Said another way, where are the “conflicting interpretations” of Cantate Domino that would lead you to believe that this section of the Bull was ever interpreted by the Church in the novel and rigorist so-called “literal” manner proscribed by you?
I don't know where these conflicting interpretations come from.

You don’t know because there aren’t any – that was the while point of my rhetorical question. You have the temerity to propose that your private interpretation, and that of a handful of radical Feeneyites, represents the “true understanding” of the Church, and that what was actually taught for over 1500 years is a “conflicting interpretation” of baptism of blood (that is actually only opposed to your own interpretation), as if a conflict has ever existed.

Such arrogance would be laughable if it weren’t so pitiful. It is as laughable as those lay “Latin experts” who don’t know a lick of medeivel Latin but have the temerity to provide the “true translation” of the Latin text of Trent, Sess. 6, Ch. 4 that is clearly opposed to the unanimous consensus of the Doctor’s and theologians who were actually fluent in the language of the Church and familiar with her traditions and doctrines.

Simply amazing. I think the Greeks had a word for this – hubris.

columba wrote:It seems Mike that your interpretation is incorrect (though understandably so) as the Church has given the common understanding of the saints and doctors by including in the credo the words. "I believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. To incorporate your interpretation this would have to be corrected to "three Baptisms."
Still laughable. My interpretation is incorrect, though “understandably so” since it is the same “incorrect” understanding taught by the Church which is the same “incorrect” universal understanding of the Doctors and theologians. Gee, so forgive me for getting it so wrong when not a single Pope, Doctor or theologian has ever been so obtuse as to think the “common understanding” of the “one Baptism for the remission of sins” precludes the threefold distinction commonly known as the “three Baptisms”.

Do you just mindlessly blurt this stuff out without giving a second thought to what you are actually saying? You say “the Church has given the common understanding of the saints and doctors” by the words of the credo; yet, you cannot produce anything resembling a “common understanding” of the Doctors and theologians that proposes that one cannot have the remission of sins without water Baptism or that one cannot be united to Christ in the bond of charity. In point of fact, the universal testimony and the teaching of the theological schools is the very opposite.

In other words, you simply make up the "true understanding" as you go, Doctors and theologians be damned, and then tell us that the "true" and "common understanding" is that of one or two Fathers who you have conveniently taken out of context ... an especially virulent Feeneyite affliction.

How many times must the Doctors, theologians and the Church explain to you that baptism of desire and baptism of blood are considered “baptisms” only in an analogous sense in that they are not true sacraments, but neither do they stand alone or apart from the One Baptism since they provide the essential fruit and grace of the sacrament?

As St. Thomas taught: “Thus, therefore, each of these other Baptisms is called Baptism, forasmuch as it takes the place of Baptism.”

Doctor of the Church, Saint Robert Bellarmine taught the same “true understanding” of the doctrine:

"Perfect conversion and penitence is rightly called baptism of desire, and in necessity at least, it supplies for the baptism of water. It is to be noted that any conversion whatsoever cannot be called baptism of desire; but only perfect conversion, which includes true contrition and charity, and at the same time a desire or vowed intention of baptism" (De Sacramento Baptismi, Liber I cap. VI).

Doctor of the Church, Saint Alphonsus Ligouri defines the baptism of blood (sanguinis) as:

"The baptism of blood is the shedding of blood, or death suffered for the faith or for some other Christian virtue... this baptism... remits the fault and the punishment due sin" (Theologia Moralis, Tomus III, Tract II,).

The threefold distinction of baptisms is referred to by Hugh of Saint Victor as follows:

"On the Triple Baptism. There is a triple baptism, the river, the flame and the blood. The river in water, the flame in penance, the blood in martyrdom".

And these THREE ARE ONE and inseparable from their binding link with each other – for each testifies to the Humanity of Christ which (merit) is poured out in the redemptive shedding of water and blood. Of course, that is only the common understanding of the Doctors, Fathers and theologians; and what the hell do they know; I mean we have columba and cowboy who are more than capable of providing the “true understanding” of the Church; notwithstanding that annoying and contravening solemn declaration of the Council of Florence:

“the synod intends to detract in nothing from the sayings and writings of the holy doctors who discourse on these matters. On the contrary, it accepts and embraces them according to their true understanding as commonly expounded and declared by these doctors and other catholic teachers in the theological schools.”

Darn, there’s that pesky dogmatic declaration again.

I think I’ll end it there, and address the rest in separate posts to keep this somewhat manageable.
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MRyan

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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  MRyan on Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:55 pm

columba wrote:
MRyan wrote:
Can you present even one Doctor, theologian, saint of pope who ever presented an understanding of Cantate Domino on blood martyrdom that would exclude the catechumen from being united to Christ (and to the Church)?
I thought I already provided a quote or two but anyway, here they are again.

How many sincere catechumens die unbaptized and are thus lost forever?

When we come into the sight of God, none will say, "Why was this man led by God's direction to be baptized, while that man, although he lived properly as a catechumen, was killed in a sudden disaster and not baptized?" Look for rewards, and you will find nothing but punishments! Of what use would repentance be if Baptism did not follow? No matter what progress a catechumen may make, he still carries the burden of iniquity, and it is not taken away until he has been baptized.
(from Augustine the Bishop, by Fr Van Der Meer, p 150)
Here, let me help you, columba, by citing another relevant passage from Augustine’s "Retractions" – 400AD:

Or how can they fail to be saved by water… the same unity of the ark saved them, in which no one has been saved except by water. For Cyprian himself says, The Lord is able of His mercy to grant pardon, and not to sever from the gifts of His Church those who, being in all simplicity admitted to the Church, have fallen asleep within her pale.‘ If not by water, how in the ark? If not in the ark, how in the Church? But if in the Church, certainly in the ark; and if in the ark, certainly by water. …nor can they be said to have been otherwise saved in the ark except by water.
Are we to suppose that St. Augustine’s alleged “rejection” of “baptism of desire” is based at least partially on the testimony of St. Cyprian, who was the first Father that I am aware of ever to articulate the dogma of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, and was also the first Father to articulate the theological principles that form the basis for both baptism of blood and baptism of desire, as we read in his letter No. 73 to Jubaianus:

§22. On which place some, as if by human reasoning they were able to make void the truth of the Gospel declaration, object to us the case of catechumens; asking if any one of these, before he is baptized in the Church, should be apprehended and slain on confession of the name [of Christ], whether he would lose the hope of salvation and the reward of confession, because he had not previously been born again of water? Let men of this kind, who are aiders and favorers of heretics, know therefore, first, that those catechumens hold the sound faith and truth of the Church, and advance from the divine camp to do battle with the devil, with a full and sincere acknowledgment of God the Father, and of Christ, and of the Holy Ghost; then, that they certainly are not deprived of the sacrament of baptism who are baptized with the most glorious and greatest baptism of blood, concerning which the Lord also said, that He had "another baptism to be baptized with" (Lk. 12:50). But the same Lord declares in the Gospel, that those who are baptized in their own blood, and sanctified by suffering, are perfected, and obtain the grace of the divine promise, when He speaks to the thief believing and confessing in His very passion, and promises that he should be with Himself in paradise. Wherefore we who are set over the faith and truth ought not to deceive and mislead those who come to the faith and truth, and repent, and beg that their sins should be remitted to them; but to instruct them when corrected by us, and reformed for the kingdom of heaven by celestial discipline.

§23. But some one says, "What, then, shall become of those who in past times, coming from heresy to the Church, were received without baptism?" The Lord is able by His mercy to give indulgence, and not to separate from the gifts of His Church those who by simplicity were admitted into the Church, and in the Church have fallen asleep.
In his De Baptismo, St. Augustine argues for Baptism of blood and, by extension, Baptism of desire while discussing the epistle of St. Cyprian cited above:

The same blessed Cyprian sees no small proof that suffering can sometimes take the place of Baptism … I find that not only suffering for the sake of Christ can replace that which is lacking in Baptism, but also faith and conversion of the heart (fidem conversionemque cordis), if perhaps the shortness of the time does not permit the celebration of the mystery, of Baptism" (De bapt. IV 22, 29).
There you go columba; and, since you insist on citing St. Augustine as “proof” against baptism of blood and baptism of desire, let’s help you out by citing a few more passages:

"Baptism is ministered invisibly to one whom has not contempt of religion (the Catholic Religion) but death excludes." (On Baptism, Against the Donatists (De Baptismo), Bk. IV, Chap. 22.)

You may here behold another danger, out of which he will never escape except by regret and a recall of his words. For who can offer up the body of Christ for any except for those who are members of Christ? Moreover, from the time when He said, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven;" and again, "He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it;" no one becomes a member of Christ except it be either by baptism in Christ, or death for Christ. (On the Soul and Its Origin, Book 1, Chapter 10)

For whatever unbaptized persons die confessing Christ, this confession is of the same efficacy for the remission of sins as if they were washed in the sacred font of Baptism. For He Who said, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God," made also an exception in their favor, in that other sentence where He no less absolutely said, "Whosever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven"; and in another place, "Whosoever will lose his life for my sake, shall find it." For what is more precious than a death by which a man's sins are forgiven, and his merits increased an hundredfold? For those who have been baptized when they could no longer escape death, and have departed this life with all their sins blotted out, have not equal merit with those who did not defer death, though it was in their power to do so, but preferred to end their life by confessing Christ, rather than by denying Him to secure an opportunity of Baptism. (The City of God, Chapter Seven, Of the death the un-baptized suffer for the confession of Christ)
Of course, we could cite St. Augustine ad nauseaum, but you will no doubt use the old Jehanne “Augustine rejected baptism of desire” theory proposed by Fr. Rahner and a couple of others without actually making the effort to read his particular tracts in order to get the full context.

For example, here is the citation typically brought forward as “proof” that St. Augustine came to “reject” baptism of desire:

If you wish to be a Catholic, do not venture to believe, to say, or to teach that 'they whom the Lord has predestinated for baptism can be snatched away from his predestination, or die before that has been accomplished in them which the Almighty has predestined.' There is in such a dogma more power than I can tell assigned to chances in opposition to the power of God, by the occurrence of which casualties that which He has predestinated is not permitted to come to pass. It is hardly necessary to spend time or earnest words in cautioning the man who takes up with this error against the absolute vortex of confusion into which it will absorb him, when I shall sufficiently meet the case if I briefly warn the prudent man who is ready to receive correction against the threatening mischief." (On the Soul and Its Origin 3, 13)
All well and good, but all references to the primary subject matter have been removed, the subject being infant Baptism. Let’s examine this particular text a bit more closely in order to the full flavor of the subject matter in the context St. Augustine was speaking:

On the Soul and Its Origin, in Book 3, Chapters 12-13:

If you wish to be a catholic, refrain from believing, or saying, or teaching that "infants which are forestalled by death before they are baptized may yet attain to forgiveness of their original sins."
And, after a lengthy discourse on the Good Thief, with the “how” of the Good Thief’s sanctification being a sticky and changeable point for St. Augustine (but he never wavered in his teaching on baptism of blood and baptism of desire); he says;

If you wish to be a catholic, do not venture to believe, to say, or to teach that "they whom the Lord has predestinated for baptism can be snatched away from his predestination, or die before that has been accomplished in them which the Almighty has predestined." There is in such a dogma more power than I can tell assigned to chances in opposition to the power of God, by the occurrence of which casualties that which He has predestinated is not permitted to come to pass. It is hardly necessary to spend time or earnest words in cautioning the man who takes up with this error against the absolute vortex of confusion into which it will absorb him, when I shall sufficiently meet the case if I briefly warn the prudent man who is ready to receive correction against the threatening mischief. Now these are your words: "We say that some such method as this must be had recourse to in the case of infants who, being predestinated for baptism, are yet, by the failing of this life, hurried away before they are born again in Christ." Is it then really true that any who have been predestinated to baptism are forestalled before they come to it by the failing of this life? And could God predestinate anything which He either in His foreknowledge saw would not come to pass, or in ignorance knew not that it could not come to pass, either to the frustration of His purpose or the discredit of His foreknowledge? You see how many weighty remarks might be made on this subject; but I am restrained by the fact of having treated on it a little while ago, so that I content myself with this brief and passing admonition.
So why is it that when we see these citations, all references to infant baptism have been removed? Given the context, it should be obvious that Augustine was not commenting on whether God predestines every one of His elect to Baptism, and never did he make such a claim. The more immediate and relevant context was to answer the question as to whether the example of the Good Thief could serve as a precedent for the automatic salvation of infants, and whether God could predestine infants to glory, but not to Baptism. One has to know the arguments of Augustine’s opponent, Vincentius Victor, to understand the context of this particular tract.

We must also remember (as cited above) that in the same On the Soul and Its Origin, in Book 1 Chapter 10, St. Augustine taught “Moreover, from the time when He said, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven;" and again, "He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it; "no one becomes a member of Christ except it be either by baptism in Christ, or death for Christ.”; and now, in Book 3 we are supposed to believe that St. Augustine does an about face and “rejects” all of his previous teachings on baptism of blood and baptism of desire?

If Fr. Rahner and a couple of others wish to maintain that St. Augustine reversed his long-held position, they are free to do so; but if you ask me, they are guilty of a superficial reading of the Saint and are not consistent at all with the opinion of the Patristic Scholars, Doctors and Scholastics who were more than familiar with all of Augustine’s works.

columba wrote:"It is obvious that we must grieve for catechumens should they depart this life without the saving grace of Baptism." (St John Crysostom)
Yes, it is obvious that we should grieve; but that does not mean that all such souls are damned. And what would St. John Chrysostom have said about the Church granting Christian burial to the good-willed catechumen -- already under the reign of Pope St. Pius X? He would have submitted immediately, gladly and obediently. Also, St. John Chrysostom’s Pannegyric on Saint Lucian, 2, where he calls martyrdom “a baptism” where “there is a taking away of sins and wonderful and marvelous cleansing of the soul; and just as those being baptized are washed in water, so too those being martyred”; while not conclusive, at least strongly suggests that he is of one mind with his peers on the efficacy of blood martyrdom even without the sacrament.

columba wrote:"You are outside Paradise, O catechumen! You share the exile of Adam." (St Gregory of Nyssa)
Did you know, columba, that Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, “did not enjoy the benefit of infant Baptism, and remained for many years unbaptized, according to the custom of the time. It is unclear whether he delayed it himself, or it was delayed for him.”?

Did you also know that “Gregory was first moved to make a public avowal and receive holy Baptism due to an extraordinary vision in which he was made to take part. While his mother Emmelia was at her sacred retreat at Annesi, she implored her son to attend a service commemorating the holy Forty Martyrs. At his mother's behest he went, though reluctantly … He withdrew to the garden, where he was overtaken by sleep. He beheld a vision of the very forty martyrs. They reproved him for his lack of zeal, and started to strike him with rods. Only through the efforts of one of the warrior martyrs did he escape the thrashing.

The rest, as they say, is history; but isn’t it revealing that the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste, according to tradition, had a direct hand in the conversion of our esteemed Saint, and that one of these martyrs of Sebaste has always been held by tradition as an on-the spot un-baptized convert (who also had a vision impelling him to convert) and replacement for one of the martyrs who got cold feet while huddled on the bitterly cold frozen lake.

Ah, but we are to believe that this same Saint of Nyssa “rejected” baptism of blood and baptism of desire. Sure he did, because there is no explicit written testimony of his having endorsed these doctrines and what is not explicitly affirmed can be explicitly rejected, according the Feeneyite laws of patristic commentary. After all, if a Father provided strong testimony as to the necessity of baptism, this is “proof” enough that he “rejected” baptism of desire. And if he chastised the catechumen [for having “contempt” for the sacrament through his sloth in receiving it] and/or lamented his fate if he was not finally baptized, why this is “proof” enough that he “rejected” baptism of desire. Please.

columba wrote:"One is the Baptism which the Church administers, of water and the Holy Ghost, with which catechumens need to be baptized. Nor does the mystery of regeneration exist at all without water. Now, even the catechumen believes, but, unless he be baptized, he cannot receive the remission of his sins, nor the gift of spiritual grace."
(St Ambrose)
And this is the same St. Ambrose who taught:

"Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." No one is excepted: not the infant, not the one prevented by some necessity. They may, however, have an undisclosed exemption from punishments; but I do not know whether they can have the honor of the kingdom. Abraham, 387 A.D, The Faith of the early fathers, Vol 2, pg. 169)
Does that sound like a "rejection" of baptism of blood and baptism of desire? It is an honest admission that he simply does not know, but he certainly did not close the door, and his further testimony suggests he held it open:

Although we are baptized with water and the Spirit, the latter is much superior to the former, and is not therefore to be separated from the Father and the Son. There are, however, many who, because we are baptized with water and the Spirit, think that there is no difference in the offices of water and the Spirit, and therefore think that they do not differ in nature. Nor do they observe that we are buried in the element of water that we may rise again renewed by the Spirit. For in the water is the representation of death, in the Spirit is the pledge of life, that the body of sin may die through the water, which encloses the body as it were in a kind of tomb, that we, by the power of the Spirit, may be renewed from the death of sin, being born again in God" (The Holy Spirit 1:6[75-76] – 381 AD)

But I hear you lamenting because he [the Emperor Valentinian] had not received the sacraments of baptism. Tell me, what else could we have, except the will to it, the asking for it? He too had just now this desire, and after he came into Italy it was begun, and a short time ago he signified that he wished to be baptized by me. Did he, then, not have the grace which he desired? Did he not have what he eagerly sought? Certainly, because he sought it, he received it. What else does it mean: ‘Whatever just man shall be overtaken by death, his soul shall be at rest [Wisdom 4:7]’?" (Sympathy at the Death of Valentinian – 392 AD)
What just man shall be overtaken by death, his soul shall be at rest. He shall have received the grace he desired in Baptism, precisely as the Catechism of Trent, and the Church, teaches. And, St. Aquinas makes the same reference to this teaching by St. Ambrose:

I answer that, The sacrament or Baptism may be wanting to someone in two ways. First, both in reality and in desire; as is the case with those who neither are baptized, nor wished to be baptized: which clearly indicates contempt of the sacrament, in regard to those who have the use of the free-will. Consequently those to whom Baptism is wanting thus, cannot obtain salvation: since neither sacramentally nor mentally are they incorporated in Christ, through Whom alone can salvation be obtained.

Secondly, the sacrament of Baptism may be wanting to anyone in reality but not in desire: for instance, when a man wishes to be baptized, but by some ill-chance he is forestalled by death before receiving Baptism. And such a man can obtain salvation without being actually baptized, on account of his desire for Baptism, which desire is the outcome of "faith that worketh by charity," whereby God, Whose power is not tied to visible sacraments, sanctifies man inwardly. Hence Ambrose says of Valentinian, who died while yet a catechumen: "I lost him whom I was to regenerate: but he did not lose the grace he prayed for." (Stl, III, Q. 68, A. 2)
St. Aquinas had a mastery of the teachings of the Fathers that you do not share, and he was able to resolve only apparent contradictions by presenting their teachings in their true light.

columba wrote:"If you were able to judge a man who intends to commit murder, soley by his intention and without any act of murder, then you could likewise reckon as baptized one who desired baptism, without having received Baptism. But, since you cannot do the former, how can you do the latter? Put it this way: if desire has equal power with actual Baptism, you would then be satisfied to desire Glory, as though that longing itself were Glory." (St Gregory Nazienzen)
So let’s ignore St. Gregory’s “Orations” where he clearly suggests that one may in fact be united to the Church before Baptism by desire:

St. Gregory of Nazianzus, 18.5 [at funeral of his father, a convert]:(c. 374 AD): "He was ours even before he was of our fold. His way of living made him such. For just as many of ours are not with us, whose life makes them other from our body (the Church), so many of those outside belong to us, who by their way of life anticipate the faith, and need (only) the name, having the reality (ergon).

St. Gregory of Nazianzus (Oration Eight) "Her whole life was a purification for her, and a perfecting. She had indeed the regeneration of the Spirit, and the assurance of this from her previous life. And, to speak boldly, the mystery (baptism) was for her practically only the seal, not the grace."
Wait a minute, columba, you said that no one can have the grace (the fruit) of baptism (to include the remission of sins) without the actual sacrament. And you recruit St. Gregory of Nazianzus, who speaks very “boldly” against your position, as an ally? Do you take us for fools?

I also responded previously to your citation of St. Gregory by saying:

it should be clear, if you would remove the blinders, that St. Gregory is not necessarily referring to that desire rooted in true charity, faith and a proper intention, but a disposition where one assumes "that he is within the kingdom of heaven who merely desires to attain to it, but refrains from doing that which pertains to the kingdom." Those are his exact words from the same Oration, so why can't you stick to the script?

Btw, that "the Doctrine that Baptism of Water may be replaced by the Baptism of desire or by Baptism of Blood is not, as is some times supposed, a recent development of doctrine, it is taught for instance by St. Gregory Nazianzen in a sermon preached in 381 [Orat. 39, In Sancta Lumina, 17; P.G. 35; 356], where mention is made of the Baptism of water, of Martyrdom and of tears. It must be observed that we do not hold that there are three kinds of Baptism, for in the creed read in the Mass, we confess one Baptism for the remission of sins, the actual reception of which, however, may be replaced in either of the two ways mentioned." (Outlines of Dogmatic Theology, Sylvester J. Hunter, S.J.. 1896, Vol III, No. 696, Pg. 228 )
And, going back to your citation, we should read with care what St. Gregory is saying with respect to a human authority that cannot judge a man as a murderer who has only the intention to murder; nevertheless, under the immutable law of God, he is already a murderer by the very fact of his murderous intention. For God takes the intention as fact; and, as Augustine, Aquinas and St. Gregory taught, God, under certain conditions, accepts the properly disposed desire for the deed:

St. Aquinas (Stl, III, Q. 68, A. 2, Reply to Objection 3): “The sacrament of Baptism is said to be necessary for salvation in so far as man cannot be saved without, at least, Baptism of desire; ‘which, with God, counts for the deed’" (Augustine, Enarr. in Ps. 57).

But, nice try.

Isn’t it clear to you by now that it is extremely plausible and even extremely likely that when St. Gregory says he “cannot see” how anyone can say “he is within the kingdom of heaven who merely desires to attain to it, but refrains from doing that which pertains to the kingdom", that he simply likens this rash assumption with equating the desire for murder with the actual crime (under human law); but this does NOT mean that he rejects the law of God Who accepts the desire for the deed, which his other writings clearly demonstrate?

Is that so hard for your to understand?

In summary:

There are no Fathers or Doctors or Theologians or Popes or Councils expounding at length why the Church teachings of baptism of blood and baptism of desire are to be rejected, clear until Peter Abélard [teachings condemned] taught his unprecedented claim that not even a chaste and holy fear and love of God could save a person if they were not baptized (denying only baptism of desire), and clear until Fr. Feeney and some of his compatriots began claiming the same for the holy (but unbaptized in water) martyrs. But one finds many places, at least much as I have identified in this and previous installments, where the reasons to believe in both baptism of blood and baptism of desire have been expounded upon at length, and directly on topic by the saint, pope, or doctor who is doing the speaking. It is where the person is expounding at length that their true position is to be most taken, for there they directly address, in full, the topic to which they have otherwise made only the most brief, incomplete, and glancing reference. (http://www.dailycatholic.org/issue/08Nov/nov3str.htm) *Note, I am not endorsing the sede views of the author
The only thing you have demonstrated, columba, is your mastery of the Feeneyite knack for providing a select few out-of context citations, and for sticking your head in the sand when your allegations are either proven to be outright misrepresentations, or at least extremely unlikely. In fact, the only Father you can probably make a legitimate claim to is St Gregory of Nyssa, and even here, the fact that we have no record of his support for baptism of blood and baptism of desire does not mean that he was opposed to these doctrines. His strong language on the necessity of Baptism is not unlike those of his peers, who also defended baptism of blood and baptism of desire.

That you simply wipe the table clean of the 1500 years of consistent teaching of he Doctors and theologians in favor of a handful of out of context citations, really does tell us a lot about a certain desperation to alter the truth in favor of one’s false ecclesiology, which fits in quite nicely with the desperate attempt to falsify the “true understanding” of the Church’s dogmas by treating with open contempt the authentic, living and authoritative ordinary magisterium of the Church.

I think Fr. Laisney put it very well:

Allow me here a short overview, in order to keep the important points in mind. The core error of the followers of Fr. Feeney is that they hold their own private interpretation of some passages of the Scripture, rejecting the interpretation given by the Councils, Fathers and Doctors of these same passages; they also hold their own private interpretation of some other quotes of the Councils and Doctors, as if these quotes were against the explicit and unanimous teaching of the Catholic Church. Their private interpretation is that the necessity of belonging to the Church requires absolutely the necessity of receiving in re the baptism of water, and that the necessity of baptism of water is so absolute a necessity, that it excludes baptism of blood and baptism of desire. Their thesis is so exclusive that any Doctor or saint supporting baptism of blood is a testimony against their position.

They completely forget that the holy Doctors that they reject have been approved by the Church on the very points that they reject: the passages of St. Ambrose and St. Augustine are cited by almost every single Doctor and theologian who treat this subject, and have even been explicitly referred to by a pope. They are absolutely unable to bring a single ecclesiastical author, much less a saint, a Doctor or a pope, who explicitly says that St. Cyprian, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, St. Thomas, etc., were wrong on the particular point of baptism of blood and of desire. So much for the arguments of authority that they bring. (Is Feeneyism Catholic?)
That pretty much sums it up.
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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  MRyan on Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:53 pm

And it continues:

columba wrote:
MRyan wrote:
Please answer the question: Is the section on blood martyrdom one of those “solemn dogmatic proclamations” that (using your words) “define once and for all what must be held as de fide, and, are defined with such clarity that all misrepresentation be avoided. They are the actual culmination of scholastic labor and the actual fruits of such.”?
Judging by the tone and the error it's refuting I would say Yes.
So, judging by the “tone and the error it's refuting”, the section of Cantata Domino on blood martyrdom (not being efficacious for those who have not remained within the bosom and unity of the Church) does NOT clearly suggest by the tone and context that it is refuting the error that holds that those too can be saved who obstinately refuse to enter the Church, as well as those who have not “remained” in her, i.e., heretics, apostates and schismatics.

No, according to columba, the Bull solemnly “defined” that the faith-filled Catechumen is positively excluded from being united to the Church since “only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation”; “even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ”.

And that, according to columba, is the “true understanding” of Cantata Domino’s solemn ex cathedra “definition” that must be believed with divine and Catholic Faith. And if that is not what the Church, her Doctors and theologians teach, well, that’s too bad for them; but that is the irreformable and “once declared” solemnly “defined” dogma.

But not only is the section of the Bull on blood martyrdom not a solemn definition, it does not say what columba portends; and neither does the Church understand it as saying any such thing. Columba says his understanding of the non-misrepresentable defined dogma that positively precludes the salvation of the un-baptized martyred catechumen is, well, “implied”.

But if something is only “implied” in a dogmatic prescription, does it not require an authoritative interpretation, especially when the doctrine of baptism of blood is a universal teaching of the Church that should have been condemned long ago as a heresy if what columba says is true?

Ah, what silly questions! I should just turn to columba and cowboys for the “true understanding” of the Church’s doctrines. And the Double C’s will also tell us what a defined dogma is, even if it isn’t. That’s how good they are!

columba wrote:
MRyan wrote:
And yet, when I presented what is considered an actual dogmatic definition (in the form of a solemn condemnation) from the same general Council of Florence, you cannot tell me if the clear meaning of the words is the clear understanding of the “once declared” dogmatic prescription. In fact, by what you have said elsewhere, we may assume that you reject the clear meaning of the words of this ex cathedra definitive pronouncement:

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Basel, ex cathedra: “The holy synod especially condemns and censures… the proposition[s]: ‘To be a member of Christ, it is not enough to be united with him in the bond of charity; some other union is needed.’”
Where am I disagreeing with this? Without Baptism there can be no supernatural charity nor union with Christ. Explain to me where Pope Eugene is throwing out Baptism as the means to this union? Even those who are baptized can be lacking in supernatural charity and lose salvation but they could only have it to lose if they received it first through incorporation into Christ through sacramental Baptism.
This is private interpretation and hypocrisy run amok. This is where columba does not accept the obvious meaning of the clear words of a solemn negative condemnation “as it is written” and “once declared”; no, he interprets the words to mean something other than what they actually say; in other words, the "true understanding" is discerned by what is only "assumed", and NOT by what is actually "defined" by the clear meaning of the words, and those words only "as it is written".

The hypocrisy is so deep you can swim it.

And what is assumed is nothing less than another distorted private interpretation of dogma that says that the ONLY efficacious instrument for the infusion of supernatural charity is water Baptism, about which Pope Leo XIII declared; “In the same way in man, nothing is more internal than heavenly grace which begets sanctity, the ordinary and chief means of obtaining grace are external: that is to say, the sacraments” (Satis Cognitum).

St. Thomas Aquinas:
"And such a man can obtain salvation without being actually baptized, on account of his desire for Baptism, which desire is the outcome of "faith that worketh by charity," whereby God, Whose power is not tied to visible sacraments, sanctifies man inwardly. (Stl, III, Q. 68, A. 2)
Fr. Scheeben:

Therefore the Council of Trent declares: "The efficient cause of justification is the merciful God who gratuitously [hence without any merit on our part] washes and sanctifies, signing and anointing with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the pledge of our inheritance"; that is, the inheritance of us, the children of God. [Sess. VI, c.7; Denz., 799]

But as we saw in a previous connection, the sacred humanity of Christ is the organ whereby the Holy Spirit enters into the whole mystical body of Christ, and dwells in it with His supernatural power and activity. The sacraments in their turn are the secondary organs whereby Christ's humanity, or rather the divine power emanating from it, is ordinarily directed toward us, and comes into contact with us. Consequently we must regard the sacred humanity of Christ and the sacraments of the Church as the channels through which the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit reaches us in justification. Hence justification in its substance is accomplished not by an unfolding from within, but by an extraordinary influence and infusion from above and from without.

... The importance of faith in this connection is so great that the faithful of the Old Testament could, by belief in the coming Redeemer, anticipate the efficacy of His merits. After the redemption, special external organs of God's supernatural activity in the sphere of grace were instituted by Christ, organs designed by Christ to transmit the marvelous effects of grace to the subject contacted by them. But if the subject is capable of a personal cooperation in the matter of his salvation, and wishes to share in the efficacy of those organs, he must approach them with faith and transfer their power to himself by faith. And when the activity which proceeds from faith, and by which man disposes himself for grace, has reached such a pitch that, as far as his part is concerned, he again enters into friendship with God, then faith straightway anticipates the power of the sacrament, and draws grace down into the soul before the actual reception of the sacrament. ( The Mystierries of Christianity, Ch.XXIII, The Process of Justification[/i])
Letter of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, Aug. 8, 1949:

Not only did the Savior command that all nations should enter the Church, but He also decreed the Church to be a means of salvation without which no one can enter the kingdom of eternal glory.

In His infinite mercy God has willed that the effects, necessary for one to be saved, of those helps to salvation which are directed toward man's final end, not by intrinsic necessity, but only by divine institution, can also be obtained in certain circumstances when those helps are used only in desire and longing. This we see clearly stated in the Sacred Council of Trent, both in reference to the sacrament of regeneration and in reference to the sacrament of penance (<Denzinger>, nn. 797, 807).

The same in its own degree must be asserted of the Church, in as far as she is the general help to salvation. Therefore, that one may obtain eternal salvation, it is not always required that he be incorporated into the Church actually as a member, but it is necessary that at least he be united to her by desire and longing.
Again, the dogmatic Council of Florence:

“the synod intends to detract in nothing from the sayings and writings of the holy doctors who discourse on these matters. On the contrary, it accepts and embraces them according to their true understanding as commonly expounded and declared by these doctors and other catholic teachers in the theological schools.”

Of course, when Leo XIII says “sacraments”, columba must say that its true understanding is not that which is "commonly expounded and declared by these doctors and other catholic teachers in the theological schools”, and Pope Leo did not mean to include the sacrament of baptism in this falsely portrayed “true understanding”; since the "true understanding" holds that the heavenly grace which begets initial sanctity, contrary to the teaching of the Church and the Doctors and theologians, cannot be internalized without being transmitted through its external and divinely instituted instrument.

In other words, the sacrament of Baptism is not the ordinary and chief means of obtaining initial sanctifying grace, it is the only means; just as it is the only means for effecting a visible and material incorporation with the Church. The latter is correct, but columba once again “assumes” through private interpretation that an internal incorporation with Christ is not possible without the external means of incorporation.

In other words, according to columba, it is a defined dogma of the faith that our Lord cannot choose to act as the direct instrument for the internal transmission of the merit of His blood and the supernatural virtues for an unbaptized catechumen who confesses His name in the “perfect charity” represented by martyrdom, since he is incapable of loving our Lord in “perfect charity” to begin with.

St. Thomas Aquinas and the rest of the Doctors and theologians are “mistaken”; as is the authentic, authoritative and ordinary magisterium of the Church, according to the “dogma” of columba.

So columba asks the self-refuting circular question “Explain to me where Pope Eugene is throwing out Baptism as the means to this union?”; when he does not understand that Eugene is “throwing out” nothing, but understands the dogma as it was written and always held by the Church, that to be member of Christ in the bond of charity is sufficient for one’s salvation … period. This salvific bond presupposes Baptism, or at least the desire thereof (charity!).

And of course we can turn this right around by asking columba to “Explain to me where Pope Eugene is throwing out baptism of blood as a means to this union” with Christ for the faith-filled catechumen in Cantate Domino? And we know “the synod intends to detract in nothing from the sayings and writings of the holy doctors who discourse on these matters. On the contrary, it accepts and embraces them according to their true understanding as commonly expounded and declared by these doctors and other catholic teachers in the theological schools.”

And that “true understanding” of the doctors and theologians on baptism of blood is the same understanding of the Church, as she herself gives ample magisterial witness to, with Pope Pius XII repeating what is commonly held: “An act of love is sufficient for the adult to obtain sanctifying grace and to supply the lack of baptism” (Pope Pius XII, Allocution to midwives).

And columba can only respond the way he must, by saying that Pope Pius XII was mistaken (poor misguided fallible pope that he was; he denied a dogma of the Faith and gee, sure glad its only “material” heresy) and his teaching does not represent the “true understanding” of the Church or of the Doctors and theologians.

Sure, go ahead and create your own reality with your head firmly implanted in the sand by denying that the Church accepts and embraces baptism of blood according to its true understanding as commonly expounded and declared by these doctors and other catholic teachers in the theological schools; it’s what I’ve come to expect.

I would still like to know, columba, why your apparent rejection of the “true understanding” of the Fathers, Doctors and theologians on baptism of blood and the bond of charity does not “show an attitude not only of rash contempt for the commonly approved doctrine and discipline, but of special hostility toward the Roman Pontiffs and the Apostolic See.” (Counsel of Florence)
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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  columba on Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:20 pm

As time is pressing right now I'll supply a quick response. I've read your posts and will fine comb them later for those points that must be addressed lest you feel I'm avoiding them.

I would still like to know, columba, why your apparent rejection of the “true understanding” of the Fathers, Doctors and theologians on baptism of blood and the bond of charity does not “show an attitude not only of rash contempt for the commonly approved doctrine and discipline, but of special hostility toward the Roman Pontiffs and the Apostolic See.” (Counsel of Florence)

You assume my rejection of the Fathers, Doctors and theologians based on your own immovable belief that baptism of desire/baptism of blood are actual doctrines of the faith and not (as I believe and with good reason) theological possibilities.

Lets state it this way. We believe and profess what is knowable and certain; that being, those things revealed by God to His Church for the salvation of souls.
God could have saved the world without the sacrifice of His only Son, but He didn't. He chose in His infinite wisdom to make things as they are. Because He can do all things doesn't mean that He does all things. I have no problem at all in accepting that God (if He so wished) could save a Pagan, a Jew, Mormon or anyone He willed to save without requiring Baptism, explicit or even implicit faith for that matter. This may come as a surprise to you but I believe that God most likely does save many or some in those mentioned categories but if so, they are known to Him alone but will be revealed to us also on the last day.

In order to state with total conviction that any particular catechumen or martyr who died before Baptism has actually gone to heaven, would mean that a human judgement had to be applied in this determination and as we know (by faith) it is only God who can judge hearts and only He who knows the true condition of any soul. So, for all we know, he who appeared saintly and upright in the eyes of man may in God's judgement have been secretly corrupt. I read an account of a saint who was shown hell and in her vision she saw a well respected lady who had recently died and was considered by all to be a pillar of the Church. Our Lady explained to the saint that this woman though appearing to be virtuous, was in fact full of vanity and always dressed in fine clothes, not to please God but to be attractive to men.

I'll have to stop there even though I haven't finished what I was leading up to so please don't reply or you'll put me off my stride. Smile
In a reply to Tornpage you made a comment concerning desire (how one can sin by desire) which I would like to pick up on as it is indeed an excellent point and worth looking in to, but for now I have to part.

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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  MRyan on Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:41 am

columba wrote:As time is pressing right now I'll supply a quick response. I've read your posts and will fine comb them later for those points that must be addressed lest you feel I'm avoiding them.
Actually, I don’t believe you will address my specific arguments on the authentic teachings of the magisterium and the “true understanding” of the Doctors, theologians and schools. You have this way of tap dancing around them and giving us instead your private and flawed “impressions” and false syllogistic conclusions (based on at least one erroneous premise) that you equate with dogma.

But, maybe for once you will prove me wrong and address the actual facts and actual teachings that make up my arguments … but I am not holding my breadth:

columba wrote:In order to state with total conviction that any particular catechumen or martyr who died before Baptism has actually gone to heaven, would mean that a human judgement had to be applied in this determination and as we know (by faith) it is only God who can judge hearts and only He who knows the true condition of any soul.
This only demonstrates your proclivity for distorting the Church’s doctrines as if the Church actually teaches that for baptism of blood and baptism of desire to be true, “we must be able to state with total conviction that any particular catechumen or martyr who died before Baptism has actually gone to heaven”.

Where do you come up with this stuff? How can you be so obtuse after all this time to say something like that?

And your comment about the well-respected lady who was in reality vainglorious is supposed to prove what – that the faith-filled un-baptized martyr who confesses Christ just before being brutally tortured and martyred may be in reality some vainglorious charlatan? Sure; I can really see the relevancy of your analogy (NOT).

But, you are missing the point, as usual. It is true that not every one who says “Lord, Lord” will see the kingdom of heaven, but we are not speaking of being able to read the hearts of men with infallible certainty, but of transmitting the faith as the Church teaches it; and what she teaches about those who are properly disposed, is this:

For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament. … The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament. (CCC: 1259, 1258)
And if your given response is indicative of what will follow, please don’t bother … it would be a wasted effort.
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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  Jehanne on Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:28 am

MRyan wrote:
For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament. … The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament. (CCC: 1259, 1258)

Mike,

All "Feeneyites" agree with the above; can you provide any "Feeneyite" reference which claims that the One and Triune God would ever allow a catechumen who has "repentance for his/her sins, and charity" to die without Baptisml? Do you honestly believe, after all of our conversations, that "Feeneyites" believe that catechumens who are martyered for Christ and who end their lives within His Mystical Body, which is the Catholic Church, are destined for Hell?
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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  MRyan on Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:49 am

Jehanne wrote:
MRyan wrote:
For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament. … The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament. (CCC: 1259, 1258)

Mike,

All "Feeneyites" agree with the above; can you provide any "Feeneyite" reference which claims that the One and Triune God would ever allow a catechumen who has "repentance for his/her sins, and charity" to die without Baptisml? Do you honestly believe, after all of our conversations, that "Feeneyites" believe that catechumens who are martyered for Christ and who end their lives within His Mystical Body, which is the Catholic Church, are destined for Hell?
A thousand time NO; all "Feeneyites" do not agree with the above so quit pretending that you speak for "we Feeneyites". This is not a fruitless debate about an opinion that holds that God will infallibly provide the sacrament, this is about the abject denial of the the salvific efficacy of baptism of blood and baptism of blood themselves.

Do you honestly believe after all of my word-for-word presentations on the "official" position of the St. Benedict Center, which you have never once addressed, that the St. Benedict Center believes that baptism of blood and baptism of desire are salvific, when it is explicitly stated that they are NOT salvific, that they MUST be fulfilled in the sacrament since they cannot make one a "true" heir to the Kingdom and cannot even remit original sin, as Fr. Feeney said, in the "true and fulfilled" sense?

How many times must I cite their own words before this sinks in? If you don't believe me, ask Br. Andre about the salvific nature of baptism of blood and baptism of desire, and see what he tells you. I cited Br. Andre, Br. David Mary, Br. Michael and even Fr. Feeney verbatim, but perhaps you were out to lunch each time those citations were posted.

Columba and Cowboy deny that anyone can be united to our Lord in the bond of charity without water Baptism ... period. If you don't have anything to contribute, then tell someone else what "we Feeneyites" believe; for I know the doctrine of Fr. Feeney and the St. Benedict Center better than you ever will. That's not bluster, its just a fact that has been proven time and again by your consistent misrepresentations of the official position of the St. Benedict Center, and your misguided spin on what Fr. Feeney actually taught.

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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  Jehanne on Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:30 am

I have already posted the "official" position of the Saint Benedict Center:

http://catholicism.org/desire-justification-salvation.html

5. Regarding baptism of desire:

  • No Pope, Council, or theologian says that baptism of desire is a sacrament. Likewise no Pope, Council, or theologian says that baptism of desire incorporates one into the Catholic Church.

  • Question: Without contradicting the thrice defined Dogma, “No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church”, and the infallible teaching of the Council of Trent, how can one define the expression baptism of desire?

Answer: The following definition of baptism of desire can be made which will be totally consistent with the infallible teaching of the Council of Trent and with the thrice defined dogma of “No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church”. This definition of baptism of desire goes as follows:

In its proper meaning, this consists of an act of perfect contrition or perfect love [that is Charity, which necessarily implies that one has the True Faith], and the simultaneous desire for baptism. It does not imprint an indelible character on the soul and the obligation to receive Baptism by water remains. (From page 126 of The Catholic Concise Encyclopedia , by Robert Broderick, M.A., copyright 1957, Imprimatur by Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York, August 31, 1956) (Emphasis mine)

So, exactly, what am I missing here?
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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  MRyan on Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:41 pm

Jehanne wrote:I have already posted the "official" position of the Saint Benedict Center:

http://catholicism.org/desire-justification-salvation.html

5. Regarding baptism of desire:

  • No Pope, Council, or theologian says that baptism of desire is a sacrament. Likewise no Pope, Council, or theologian says that baptism of desire incorporates one into the Catholic Church.

  • Question: Without contradicting the thrice defined Dogma, “No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church”, and the infallible teaching of the Council of Trent, how can one define the expression baptism of desire?

Answer: The following definition of baptism of desire can be made which will be totally consistent with the infallible teaching of the Council of Trent and with the thrice defined dogma of “No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church”. This definition of baptism of desire goes as follows:

In its proper meaning, this consists of an act of perfect contrition or perfect love [that is Charity, which necessarily implies that one has the True Faith], and the simultaneous desire for baptism. It does not imprint an indelible character on the soul and the obligation to receive Baptism by water remains. (From page 126 of The Catholic Concise Encyclopedia , by Robert Broderick, M.A., copyright 1957, Imprimatur by Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York, August 31, 1956) (Emphasis mine)

So, exactly, what am I missing here?
What you are missing is my most recent reply to this exact same question. I provided chapter and verse, and went into specific detail on precisely what you are "missing" from the very work you cite, as well as from other St. Benedict Center sources.

I spelled it all out for you, again, and if you are too lazy to read my responses, I'm not going to continue to do the heavy lifting for you, let alone to humor you with the same responses over and over again which pass over your head as if they do not exist.

To jar your memory, you ended by ignoring what I presented and said that you are in agreement with Brian Kelly. Of course, you probably missed my response to that as well about not all Feeneyites being in agreement with the mother ship.

Forget it.
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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  Jehanne on Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:08 pm

The Earth moves, Mike; even the present Pope teaches that. So, is Pope Urban VIII, who signed the condemnation against Galileo, or Pope Benedict XVI, who, with Pope John Paul II, rehabilitated him, correct? Which one do we believe?
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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  MRyan on Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:10 pm

Jehanne wrote:The Earth moves, Mike; even the present Pope teaches that. So, is Pope Urban VIII, who signed the condemnation against Galileo, or Pope Benedict XVI, who, with Pope John Paul II, rehabilitated him, correct? Which one do we believe?
Just as I thought; you cannot or will nor address my presentation of the "official" position of the St. Benedict Center that holds baptism of blood and baptism of desire as inherently non-efficacious for a true justification, and thus, they can save no one without their fulfillment in the sacrament; which is not what the CCC teaches.

So much for "we Feeneyites".

Haven't you heard, the earth is flat! In other words, forget it.
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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  Jehanne on Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:28 pm

MRyan wrote:
Jehanne wrote:The Earth moves, Mike; even the present Pope teaches that. So, is Pope Urban VIII, who signed the condemnation against Galileo, or Pope Benedict XVI, who, with Pope John Paul II, rehabilitated him, correct? Which one do we believe?
Just as I thought; you cannot or will nor address my presentation of the "official" position of the St. Benedict Center that holds baptism of blood and baptism of desire as inherently non-efficacious for a true justification, and thus, they can save no one without their fulfillment in the sacrament; which is not what the CCC teaches.

So much for "we Feeneyites".

Haven't you heard, the earth is flat! In other words, forget it.

Once again, I find it amusing that I am the one who is seeking to become a Third Order member of the M.I.C.M., and as such, correspond on a regular basis with Brothers Michael and André Marie, and they have never told me, "Hey, you have no idea what Father Feeney taught and/or what we believe...la da da duh." Let me give it to you in two parts:

1) Perfect charity does reconcile one fully to the One and Triune God.

2) For those in Category #1, the obligation to receive Baptism still remains.

We have no reason to believe that the set of individuals in Category #1 are not, without exception, also present in Category #2, especially given the fact that Category #2 is full of individuals who only have imperfect charity.

Nice dodge, by the way, on the Earth's movement. So, let me ask you again, who's correct:

1) Pope Urban VIII who taught that the Earth does not move.

2) Pope John Paul II who taught that the Earth does move.
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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  MRyan on Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:38 pm

Definition of INCORRIGIBLE

Incapable of being corrected or amended: as a (1) : not reformable : depraved (2) : delinquent; b : not manageable : unruly c : unalterable, inveterate

Synonyms: hopeless, incurable, irrecoverable, irredeemable, irreformable, irremediable, irretrievable, unrecoverable, unredeemable

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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  MRyan on Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:55 pm

Jehanne wrote:I have already posted the "official" position of the Saint Benedict Center:

http://catholicism.org/desire-justification-salvation.html

5. Regarding baptism of desire:

No Pope, Council, or theologian says that baptism of desire is a sacrament. Likewise no Pope, Council, or theologian says that baptism of desire incorporates one into the Catholic Church.

Question: Without contradicting the thrice defined Dogma, “No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church”, and the infallible teaching of the Council of Trent, how can one define the expression baptism of desire?

Answer: The following definition of baptism of desire can be made which will be totally consistent with the infallible teaching of the Council of Trent and with the thrice defined dogma of “No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church”. This definition of baptism of desire goes as follows:

In its proper meaning, this consists of an act of perfect contrition or perfect love [that is Charity, which necessarily implies that one has the True Faith], and the simultaneous desire for baptism. It does not imprint an indelible character on the soul and the obligation to receive Baptism by water remains. (From page 126 of The Catholic Concise Encyclopedia , by Robert Broderick, M.A., copyright 1957, Imprimatur by Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York, August 31, 1956) (Emphasis mine)

So, exactly, what am I missing here?
As I said, you are missing what I wrote previously ... which I will post verbatim again. You are also missing the fact that the obligation to receive baptism for someone who has perfect charity (which cannot be known except by God) has nothing to do with the salvific efficacy of baptism of blood and baptism of desire, and the clear teaching of the CCC. Your statement that "we Feeneyites" are in agreement with the CCC (1258 and 1259) is patently false.

So let's try this again. On page 2 of "The Fathers on Baptism of Blood" thread, I wrote the following:

"Jehanne, the only problem I have with your presentation of the St. Benedict Center article (by Br. David Mary) is the glaring omission of an important section (4), as well the omission of an important section of Br. Michael’s “Reply to Verbum” (http://catholicism.org/feeney-doctrine.html).

Here is the “official” St. Benedict Center position as articulated by Br. Andre Marie and Br. David Mary, respectfully:

Br. Andre: “I do not accept the salvific nature of Baptism of Desire and of Blood (without the sacrament), but I know how very common these theological opinions are.”

Br. David Mary: “4. In Conclusion, Justification can be attained by a person with the Catholic Faith together with at least a desire for the Sacraments. He cannot attain Salvation unless he receives the Sacraments.” (http://catholicism.org/desire-justification-salvation.html)

In fact, Br. Michael, in “A Reply to Verbum”, wrote: “You [Bp. Williamson] state that Father Feeney excluded baptism of desire and blood as ‘means of salvation.’ This he did.” And:

This does not mean that justified, but unbaptized, catechumens are not children of God. They are. But they have not yet been “born of God” fully. (John 1:14) Why not? Because the “power,” which has been given them in “receiving Christ” to be made “the sons of God” (John 1:12) has to be fully actualized in the laver of regeneration. They are in grace, but not yet sealed as “sons” and “heirs.
Let’s unravel the “official” position of the St. Benedict Center. The St. Benedict Center does not accept the salvific nature of Baptism of Desire and of Blood (without the sacrament), and hence, anyone translated to justification without the sacrament (by the desire thereof) cannot attain salvation unless he receives the sacrament.

Why? Because, while those justified (by desire) may be considered “children of God”, they have not yet been “born of God” FULLY (I guess they haven’t been “formally” or “fully” adopted as sons of God). Like the just under the Old Law, their status as “sons” or “children of God” has not been “fully actualized” by the merit of Christ’s blood which, apparently, can only be transmitted or “actualized in the laver of regeneration” where they are “sealed” as true sons and heirs.

Fr. Feeney basically said the same thing in Bread of Life, pg 131:

But, let us suppose an act of perfect love has occurred in a man’s soul. Can this man be said to be freed from original sin by this perfect act of love of God? He cannot, in the true and full sense. There has not been imprinted on his soul, by reason of this perfect act of love of God, the character which Baptism imprints, to seal him as redeemed, and outfit him for the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.
In other words, those justified (by desire) may be in a state of sanctifying grace; but this state of grace is non-salvific in that is has not yet been actualized as making one a true heir to the kingdom because they have not yet been “born of God fully” in that they have NOT yet been freed from original sin in the fulfilled and true sense.

In other words, for the faith and charity filled justified soul, true justification has been realized only in potential.

This is nothing less than the unfulfilled justification under the old dispensation [who at least were assured of their salvation if they died justified], and it is NOT the justification under the new law of grace defined by Trent. Pope Leo XIII marks the clear and dramatic distinctions:

But if they [those under the Old Law] also were numbered among the children of God, they were in a state like that of servants, for "as long as the heir is a child he differeth nothing from a servant, but is under tutors and governors" (Gal. iv., I, 2). Moreover, not only was their justice derived from the merits of Christ who was to come, but the communication of the Holy Ghost after Christ was much more abundant, just as the price surpasses in value the earnest and the reality excels the image. Wherefore St. John declares: "As yet the Spirit was not given, because Jesus was not yet glorified" (John vii., 39). So soon, therefore, as Christ, "ascending on high," entered into possession of the glory of His Kingdom which He had won with so much labour, He munificently opened out the treasures of the Holy Ghost: "He gave gifts to men" (Eph. iv., 8.). For "that giving or sending forth of the Holy Ghost after Christ's glorification was to be such as had never been before; not that there had been none before, but it had not been of the same kind" (St. Aug., De Trin., 1. iv. c. 20). (Divinum Illud Munus, 1897)

And here is how Trent defined the translation to justification under the new law of grace that is not of the same kind as under the Old Law:

Session VI, Ch. IV: A description is introduced of the Justification of the impious, and of the Manner thereof under the law of grace. By which words, a description of the Justification of the impious is indicated, as being a translation, from that state wherein man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace, and of the adoption of the sons of God, through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. And this translation, since the promulgation of the Gospel, cannot be effected, without the laver of regeneration, or the desire thereof, as it is written; unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.

Ch. VII: This disposition, or preparation, is followed by Justification itself, which is not remission of sins merely, but also the sanctification and renewal of the inward man, through the voluntary reception of the grace, and of the gifts, whereby man of unjust becomes just, and of an enemy a friend, that so he may be an heir according to hope of life everlasting.
The last does NOT say “that a man translated and born again as a son of God becomes just so that he may BECOME an heir to the kingdom IF, and only IF he completes the works of the Law (Baptism) that is still lacking”; no, he becomes just “so he may be an heir according to hope of life everlasting” and will remain an heir to the kingdom so long as he is perseveres, by grace, in the grace of justification.

Under the new law of grace, a justified man is a “son of God” and an “heir to the Kingdom” in the true and fulfilled sense – period. The ordinary and chief means of transmission is the sacrament of Baptism; and if someone failed to receive the sacrament out of negligence, he would not be a just man because he would not have a perfect contrition/charity and the necessary intention to be justified by “the desire thereof”.

There you go, Jehanne; the “official” position of the St. Benedict Center that not only denies the salvific efficacy of baptism of desire, it posits that there is no such thing under the new law of grace as a true and fulfilled Justification without its true fulfillment in the sacrament of baptism, which is contrary to the teaching of the Church and the common consensus of the Doctors and theologians."
[END]

So please stop telling me what "we Feeneyites" believe. You can speak only for yourself, and nor for the St. Benedict Center.



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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  Jehanne on Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:45 pm

I agree, in essence, with the comments by Brothers Andre Marie and David, because I hold that it is de fide that everyone, without exception, who attains Heaven will have died with sacramental Baptism in Water, with explicit faith in the Blessed Trinity and Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in full submission, mind and will, to the Roman Pontiff. Perhaps you should try applying the same hermeneutical analysis to Father Feeney's writings as you do with those of Saints Augustine & Catherine, and in doing so, you may find my position to be consistent with that of the Saint Benedict Center. Perhaps they and I (and, Brian Kelly) take slightly different paths, but we arrive, for all practical purposes, at the same conclusion -- only Catholics can attain Heaven.
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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  MRyan on Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:54 pm

Jehanne wrote:I agree, in essence, with the comments by Brothers Andre Marie and David, because I hold that it is de fide that everyone, without exception, who attains Heaven will have died with sacramental Baptism in Water, with explicit faith in the Blessed Trinity and Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in full submission, mind and will, to the Roman Pontiff. Perhaps you should try applying the same hermeneutical analysis to Father Feeney's writings as you do with those of Saints Augustine & Catherine, and in doing so, you may find my position to be consistent with that of the Saint Benedict Center. Perhaps they and I (and, Brian Kelly) take slightly different paths, but we arrive, for all practical purposes, at the same conclusion -- only Catholics can attain Heaven.
You hold that it is de fide that that everyone, without exception, who attains Heaven will have died with sacramental Baptism in Water ... and yet you have the temerity to say that “we Feeneyites” agree with the teaching of the Catholic Church that declares:

For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament … The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament. (CCC: 1259, 1258)
You can’t have it both ways … the sheer duplicity of your contradictory statements is exposed for what it really is. You’ve been “outed”, Jehanne, and it’s about time.

You have “in essence” accused the Catholic Church of denying her own de fide dogma of faith, but this should come as no surprise to anyone when you have “in essence” already accused Sts. Thomas Aquinas and Alphonsus Liguori, the Holy Office, Pope Pius IX, "the councilor authorities" responsible for "the two pertinent documents of Pius IX on invincible ignorance among non-Catholics" (which "were quoted in extensor in the Acts" of VCI), VCII, the conciliar popes, the CCC and other magisterial documents of “formal heresy”.

Neither does it come as a surprise when we consider you are the same person who says he would remain in communion (which necessitates communion of Faith) with a “pope” who is an avowed public apostate or atheist. After all, according to Unam Sanctum, you can’t “judge the pope”; well, at least not after you already judged Christ’s true Vicar (the same true Vicar of Christ who had the permanent principles of divine and Catholic Faith and communion instituted directly into his person by our Lord) to be an avowed public apostate or an atheist.

Theoretically speaking, and avowed public apostate or atheist, after refusing to recant to Church authorities, would soon be exposed as an anti-pope who lost the catholic faith prior to his elevation. Our Lord will not allow such a charade to long continue in His visible Church when He infallibly promised through VCI that the permanent principle of Faith instituted IN the person of His true Vicar would not fail – for Peter’s Faith is the Faith that unifies believers in the communion of Faith.

Our Lord did not institute the permanent principles of faith and communion (and universal Primacy) into an Office, just waiting for Peter to assume the same (“if he ever comes to his senses”), he instituted these permanent principles INTO the very person of Peter. Peter does not “assume” the office of Primacy that is outside of himself, he executes the Office of teaching, governing and sanctifying that is inherent within his very person through the permanent principles of Faith and communion.

I already applied “the same hermeneutical analysis to Father Feeney's writings as [I did] with those of Saints Augustine & Catherine”, and you are the one who refuses to accept what Fr. Feeney actually wrote with respect to the insufficiency of baptism of blood/baptism of desire to remit original sin, at least not in the “true and fulfilled sense” that would result in the gift of divine sonship that makes one an heir to the kingdom.

And that is precisely the “error” of the “official” position of the St. Benedict Center, for it renders the translation to justification by “the desire thereof”, under the new law of grace (as defined by Trent), as a defective species of sanctifying grace that can save no one (non-efficacious) until it is fulfilled in the “true justification” of water Baptism.

So go ahead and jump on the “official” bandwagon and blindly follow your leaders – I expected no less when you finally came around to having to confront your glaring duplicity. But always keep in mind the “true understanding” of baptism of blood and baptism of desire as it is presented in the CCC and other magisterial documents since at least the Council of Trent, and how they represent the true understanding as commonly expounded and declared by the Doctors and theologians; and while doing so, keep in mind this annoying little solemn declaration from the Council of Florence (that you wish would go away) that solemnly prescribed:

“It decrees that transgressors shall be punished as heretics and with other canonical penalties. By these measures the synod intends to detract in nothing from the sayings and writings of the holy doctors who discourse on these matters. On the contrary, it accepts and embraces them according to their true understanding as commonly expounded and declared by these doctors and other catholic teachers in the theological schools.
So keep it up, Jehanne, and tell us once again that the Catechism of Trent, the CCC and the universal teachings of the Doctors and theologians can go to hell; after all, it is de fide, that no one can enter the kingdom without water baptism, and THIS is the de fide “true understanding” of the Church.

So within the smorgasbord of “different paths” known as Feeneyite doctrine, with each path allegedly leading to the same "true understanding" of the Church on Baptism:

1. We have a doctrine that says Justification (a state of sanctifying grace) cannot exist at all without water baptism;

2. We have an “interpretation” of Session 6, Ch 4 that results in a defective form of sanctifying grace that sanctifies, but can neither make one a true heir to the kingdom nor result in the “true and fulfilled” remission of original sin;

3. We have a remnant of neo-Feeneyites who do not deny the true justification “by the desire thereof”, but also say it is “de fide” that no one can be saved without water baptism (and deny the “magisterial” teachings of the Church on baptism of blood and baptism of desire by calling them “non-magisterial”);

4. And then we have the rest, those sympathetic to the cause; who simply hold as a private belief that God will provide water baptism without fail through His good Providence, but they admit (however begrudgingly) that He need not, precisely as the Church teaches.

Jehanne always likes to claim affiliation with the last group of so-called “Feeneyites”, but we know the truth.

The last are not true Feeneyites, but like to pretend they are. The St. Benedict Center embraces them all as one of their own, especially if they have a website sympathetic to the cause. Heck, they’ll even accept Jehanne and his “formal heresy” and “communion [of Faith] with an avowed and public atheist pope” doctrines.

Btw, Jehanne; that you would still claim that St. Catherine of Siena would remain in communion [of Faith – there is no other when it comes to the Pope] with a “pope” who is an avowed public atheist just because she said “even if he was a demon incarnate, I should not raise my head against him”, when the context of her statement was clearly evident when she went on to speak about “evil pastors regarding their fault … the Vicar … [who] does not do justice, we should wait for the punishment and correction on the part of the sovereign judge, God Eternal” and “don’t pay attention to what the demon proposes to you [that inner voice of temptation] under the color of virtue, that is to say to want to do justice (act) against evil pastors regarding their fault”, proves once again that you are blind when it comes to common sense “analysis”.

“A demon incarnate” in this case is hyperbole and a metaphor for a Vicar, even an “evil pastor” (acts like a demon incarnate) who does not do justice.

Sorry to be so blunt, but … DUH! Oh wait, you and columba take this like you do an allegedly defined dogma and “interpret it according to the words, as they are written.” I should have known.

And as far as St. Augustine goes, I know it is too much to expect that you read (much less understand) my explanation to columba that provides the true context of what St. Augustine was saying by providing the full text (the subject was infant Baptism), especially the text immediately following the misleading truncated section you carry under your signature. Context means nothing to you once you latch on to an opinion by Fr. Karl Rahner that suits your purpose, even if it is expressly contrary to that of the Doctors and theologians who were more than familiar with all of Augustine’s writings, and their true context.

What you call “scholarship”, I call superficial analysis, and the more I read of Augustine, the more convinced I am of this fact. When the truncated version is placed into context, if I can see the context straightaway (once I finally read it), so could Aquinas and the rest of the Doctors and theologians who were very familiar with all of Augustine’s writings.

But, anything to “prove” your “position”, even if it is entirely suspect, clearly taken out of context, and not supported at all by the Doctors and theologians.

Isn’t that right, Jehanne? After all, even Brian Kelly agrees with Fr. Rahner, but I don’t remember Brian Kelly citing Augustine’s text in full, or mentioning that the context of his statement on predestination was infant Baptism. But we wouldn’t want a little thing like facts and context to get in the way of one’s favorite story-line.

With Br. Andre now citing Cardinal Dulles on legitimate dissent even from dogmas, what’s a little affirmative head-nod to the scholarship of Karl Rahner if it suits one purpose to “prove” that St. Augustine “changed” his life-long position on baptism of blood and baptism of desire; not to mention all of the theological principles that underscored his teaching that were suddenly eviscerated, without even an “official retraction” or explanation for this alleged full-stop “reversal”.

Oh, I forgot, Augustine was writing his Second Book of Corrections and didn’t get around to explaining his full reversal in doctrine before he died. That’s one of the “official” Feeneyite versions of this tall tale, so might as well run with it, Jehanne.
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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  Jehanne on Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:20 am

Mike,

We can, easily, reconcile Father Feeney's theology with all the sources that you cite. From my blog:

One way to reconcile LG #16 and CCC #848 with Cantate Domino is to assert as de fide, per the latter, that the former, when referring to the group of “invincibly ignorant” persons attaining everlasting life is that LG #16/CCC #848 are describing a “null set” devoid of any human beings whatsoever; therefore, everyone, without exception, who attains Heaven, the Beatific Vision, will do so as a Catholic, that is, as a full member (via sacramental Baptism in Water, with explicit faith in the Blessed Trinity and Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in full submission, mind and will, to the Roman Pontiff) of the Holy Roman Catholic & Apostolic Church.

From this perspective, claims that the Church “changed” her teaching on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus at Vatican II or with Pope Pius IX (as if such were possible) are refuted.

As for modern scholarship, the Saint Benedict Center has collected some quotes, not only from Karl Rahner, but from other scholars:

Father Jurgens: “If there were not a constant tradition in the Fathers that the Gospel message of ‘Unless a man be born again . . . etc.’ is to be taken absolutely, it would be easy to say that Our Savior simply did not see fit to mention the obvious exceptions of invincible ignorance and physical impossibility. But the tradition in fact is there, and it is likely enough to be so constant as to constitute revelation.” (Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 3, pp. 14-15, footnote 31)
Rev. Bernard Otten, S.J., one-time professor of both Dogmatic Theology and the History of Dogma at the University of St. Louis, Missouri, in his Manual of the History of Dogma wrote: “Baptism of water, although ordinarily necessary for salvation, may be supplied by martyrdom, and under certain conditions also by the baptism of desire. The former was universally admitted, but the latter was apparently denied by Chrysostom and Cyril of Jerusalem.” (Vol. I, pg 351) Abbot Jerome Theisen, O.S.B., in his book, The Ultimate Church and the Promise of Salvation, affirms the same of Saint Gregory Nazianzen and adds Saint Basil as being opposed to the speculation.
“. . . we have to admit . . . that the testimony of the Fathers, with regard to the possibility of salvation for someone outside the Church, is very weak. Certainly even the ancient Church knew that the grace of God can be found also outside the Church and even before Faith. But the view that such divine grace can lead man to his final salvation without leading him first into the visible Church, is something, at any rate, which met with very little approval in the ancient Church. For, with reference to the optimistic views on the salvation of catechumens as found in many of the Fathers, it must be noted that such a candidate for baptism was regarded in some sense or other as already ‘Christianus,’ and also that certain Fathers, such as Gregory Nazianzen and Gregory of Nyssa deny altogether the justifying power of love or of the desire for baptism. Hence it will be impossible to speak of a consensus dogmaticus in the early Church regarding the possibility of salvation for the non-baptized, and especially for someone who is not even a catechumen. In fact, even St. Augustine, in his last (anti-pelagian) period, no longer maintained the possibility of a baptism by desire.” (Rahner, Karl, Theological Investigations, Volume II, Man in the Church, translated by Karl H. Kruger, pp.40, 41, 57)

Of course, you like to equate Baptism of Blood with Baptism of Desire, that, by believing in former, one must believe in the latter; the early Fathers, of course, did not see things that way. And, of course, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that they would have objected to Father Feeney's theology, and clearly, Saint Augustine, per Karl Rahner (who's credentials are greater than all of ours), would not have.

If we (or, rather, I) assert Baptism of Desire and Blood as being null sets devoid of any human beings whatsoever, how is that claim heretical?

As for the Pope being a public atheist, let's say that he was insane, mentally ill, under the influence of some drug, possessed by a demon, etc.? Would such be possible, and if so, would he not still be the Vicar of God? And, if so, who are you to judge him?
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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

Post  MRyan on Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:58 pm

Jehanne wrote:Mike,

We can, easily, reconcile Father Feeney's theology with all the sources that you cite. From my blog:

One way to reconcile LG #16 and CCC #848 with Cantate Domino is to assert as de fide, per the latter, that the former, when referring to the group of “invincibly ignorant” persons attaining everlasting life is that LG #16/CCC #848 are describing a “null set” devoid of any human beings whatsoever; therefore, everyone, without exception, who attains Heaven, the Beatific Vision, will do so as a Catholic, that is, as a full member (via sacramental Baptism in Water, with explicit faith in the Blessed Trinity and Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in full submission, mind and will, to the Roman Pontiff) of the Holy Roman Catholic & Apostolic Church.

From this perspective, claims that the Church “changed” her teaching on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus at Vatican II or with Pope Pius IX (as if such were possible) are refuted.
As far as your so-called easy reconciliation, you said that it is de fide that no one enters heaven without water Baptism, and you also said that “we Feeneyites” are in agreement with the CCC (1258 and 1259) which specifically teaches that under certain conditions salvation can be attained without actual water baptism through baptism of blood or baptism of desire.

As I said, Jehanne, you can’t have it both ways. And we are supposed to believe that your ridiculous “null set” theory is supposed to “reconcile” these irreconcilable doctrines by pretending that what the CCC actually teaches is the opposite of what it says because it is a meaningless “null set”?

And you have not reconciled Fr. Feeney’s and the St. Benedict Center’s teaching on the non-efficacious nature and insufficiency of baptism of blood/baptism of desire to save anyone. Fr. Feeney taught that neither of that baptism of desire cannot remit original sin, at least not in the “true and fulfilled sense” that would result in the gift of divine sonship that makes one a “true” heir to the kingdom. And the latter (no one can become justified as a true heir to the kingdom without water baptism) is the “official” position of the St. Benedict Center, which, as far as I am concerned, is a heterodox misrepresentation of Trent’s definition of Justification under the new law of grace.

Let me state it bluntly: The St. Benedict Center denies that under the law of grace (since the promulgation of the Gospel) anyone can receive the gift of divine sonship (the substantial habitation of the Holy Ghost and abiding uncreated gift of the divine Indwelling) by “the desire thereof”, even if they concede that “Getting into the state of sanctifying grace is justification” (Bread of Life, pp. 17-18); but “not as though”, as Mike Malone wrote, “the grace of salvation is already theirs, but strictly in the future tense and in the mode of mere potentiality.” (The Only Begotten)

From chapter seven of the same work, let Mike Malone spell out the Feeneyite doctrine in full:

God is not bound to the sacraments for the distribution of His graces, even that which we call Sanctifying. … However, the grace achieved during the New Testament prior to baptism must be consonant with the grace of the Old Law prior to the arrival of Our Lord and Savior; and this grace is not only deficient in comparison to sacramental justification in the New Law but, alone and by itself, is as insufficient for salvation as was that of the Old. This species of sanctity still requires perfect configuration to Christ found in the New Dispensation solely in sacramental baptism, as well as the commission of the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit brought to us by the mediation of this God-man.

Sanctifying Grace, then, is both an anointment of virtue in the pre-baptized as well as a divine preparation for their reception of the Person of the Holy Spirit Himself when they reach the font of Holy Baptism … Therefore it appears that both the justice and faith of the catechumen prior to Baptism are imperfect and deficient in certain respects … as though, even possessing the State of Grace prior to their baptism, it was neither "true" nor "Christian," and also that the faith they enjoyed previous to baptism was imperfect precisely in that it was not such as could produce Hope and Charity. In short, it appears that the specifically Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity do not validly nor integrally reside in us until we are signed and sealed as temples of the Holy Spirit, Who brings with His abiding presence the perfection of the promised gifts.

Thus, we may possess the most sublime species of justification, even the "fullness" thereof; in fact, Jesus might dwell physically within us, as He did in His Blessed Mother – without our enjoying as yet the infinite Inhabitation of the Third Divine Person.

For "He who is joined to the Lord is one Spirit with Him" (I Corinthians 6:17), but "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His" (Romans 8:9). And That is why Pentecost was uppermost in the mind of Jesus Christ, for any species of grace prior to the coming of the Paraclete was merely a "preparation" for His reception.

The state of sanctity is a disposition for the reception of the Holy Spirit as our most holy Guest. On this account, the soul is called holy in the sense in which we call a church holy when it is made ready for the celebration and reception of the Blessed Sacrament by sacred adornment and the bishop's consecration. As the church thus already holy is again sanctified by the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament, so the soul, already holy by the adornment of grace, is again sanctified by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit: by the Holy Spirit Himself with Whom it is united, to Whom it belongs, and Whom has given Himself to it. (Fr. Matthias Joseph Scheeben (MOC, pp 167-168)
Of course, Mike Malone was the master of taking Fr. Scheeben (and every other theologian he cited against baptism of desire) completely out of context, and I have the book to prove it. That Fr. Scheeben likens the preparation for the divine indwelling to the making holy of a Church in anticipation of the Blessed Sacrament in no way suggests that he (or Trent) intended to separate (in the actual gift of Justification) the created gift of sanctifying grace from the uncreated grace of the divine Indwelling. From the very same text cited by Mike Malone (The Mysteries of Christianity), Fr. Scheeben immediately follows with these words (p. 168):

Although in our case the aforesaid indwelling of the Holy Spirit is in reality conferred with sanctifying grace, it is distinct from sanctifying grace. So we may and must here distinguish the sanctity of consecration as special excellence from the sanctity of habitual grace.
Fr. Scheeben was making an analogy only for the purpose of highlighting the distinction between created grace and the uncreated Indwelling. But what’s a little deliberate misrepresentation of the “reality” of what Fr. Scheeben actually wrote among friends? Does it even matter if it helps promote the cause?

The fact that you completely ignore, Jehanne, the immediate contextual text following your favorite citation of St. Augustine on Baptism and predestination proves that this Feeneyite affliction for ignoring context remains without a cure.

And we both know that your appeal to Fr. Rahner’s exquisite authority and scholarship over my ability to read the actual text is a non-starter, for I need not appeal only to my ability to read, but I can also appeal to the authority and scholarship of St. Aquinas and the other Doctors and theologians who saw no such “reversal” in doctrine by St. Augustine. I suspect they understood the context of what St. Augustine was saying because they were more than familiar with his complete body of work and his methodology; and had a better understanding of the specific arguments St. Augustine was refuting than our modern scholars; and in this case, the subject Augustine was addressing was infant Baptism and the errors of one Vicentius Victor, who, according to Augustine, said:

“We say that some such method as this must be had recourse to in the case of infants who, being predestinated for baptism, are yet, by the failing of this life, hurried away before they are born again in Christ."
To which St. Augustine immediately replied:

Is it then really true that any who have been predestinated to baptism are forestalled before they come to it by the failing of this life? And could God predestinate anything which He either in His foreknowledge saw would not come to pass, or in ignorance knew not that it could not come to pass, either to the frustration of His purpose or the discredit of His foreknowledge? You see how many weighty remarks might be made on this subject; but I am restrained by the fact of having treated on it a little while ago, so that I content myself with this brief and passing admonition.
Ah, that old pesky noun the Fathers would call contextus; its like the uninvited guest at the dinner table who knows you only too well and won’t let you get away with your tall tales.

And Jehanne all but says, “I’d rather believe the scholarship of Fr. Rahner than my own lying eyes”.

That’s fine, Jehanne, believe whatever you like.

I’ll address “modern scholarship” and the rest of your response in a separate post.
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MRyan

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Re: St. Vincent of Lerins on The Development of Doctrine

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