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Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

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Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  Jehanne on Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:02 pm

Mike,

You did an excellent job defending Pope Leo XIII's teachings, stating (emphasis mine):

In his Encyclical on the Holy Ghost, Pope Leo XIII taught nothing less than that which had been handed down “belonging to the inheritance of the depositum fidei … taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium, [and that] The declaration of confirmation or reaffirmation by the Roman Pontiff in this case is not a new dogmatic definition, but a formal attestation of a truth already possessed and infallibly transmitted by the Church.” (CDF Doctrinal Commentary On The Concluding Formula of The Professio Fidei”).

“These sublime truths, …” said Pope Leo XIII in the same major Encyclical, “are the teachings and exhortations which We have seen good to utter, in order to stimulate devotion to the Holy Ghost.”

"Nor should we think that the things taught in Encyclical letters do not of themselves call for assent, on the plea that in them the Pontiffs do not exercise the Supreme power of their Magisterium. For these things are taught with the ordinary Magisterium, of which it is also correct to say: 'He who hears you, hears me.'" (Humani generis)

Of course, Pope Sixtus V, in his encyclical Effraenatam, stated the following:

Noticing that frequently by various Apostolic Constitutions the audacity and daring of most profligate men, who know no restraint, of sinning with license against the commandment "do not kill" was repressed; We who are placed by the Lord in the supreme throne of justice, being counseled by a most just reason, are in part renewing old laws and in part extending them in order to restrain with just punishment the monstrous and atrocious brutality of those who have no fear to kill most cruelly fetuses still hiding in the maternal viscera. Who will not detest such an abhorrent and evil act, by which are lost not only the bodies but also the souls? Who will not condemn to a most grave punishment the impiety of him who will exclude a soul created in the image of God and for which Our Lord Jesus Christ has shed His precious Blood, and which is capable of eternal happiness and is destined to be in the company of angels, from the blessed vision of God, and who has impeded as much as he could the filling up of heavenly mansions, and has taken away the service to God by His creature? Who has deprived children of life before they could naturally see light or could be protected by maternal body from ferocious cruelty? Who will not abhor the cruelty and unrestrained debauchery of impious men who have arrived into such a state of mind that they procure poisons in order to extinguish the conceived fetuses within the viscera, and pour them out, trying to provoke by a nefarious crime a violent and untimely death and killing of their progeny. Finally who will not condemn to a most grave punishment the crimes of those who with poisons, potions and evil actions sterilize women or impede that they conceive or give birth by pernicious medicines and drugs? Sorcerers and evil magicians says the Lord to Saint Moses, you will not suffer, allow and tolerate to live: because they oppose overly shamefully against God's will and, as St Jerome says, while nature receives seed, after having received nurtures it, nurtured body distinguishes in members, meanwhile in the narrowness of the uterus the hand of God is always at work who is Creator of both body and soul and who molded, made and wanted this child and meanwhile the goodness of the Potter, that is of God, is impiously and overly despised by these people. Saint Ambrose says that it is no small and trivial gift of God to give children in order to propagate mankind. It is a Divine gift the fecundity of childbearing woman and at the same time by this cruel and inhuman crime parents are deprived of their offspring that they have engendered; the engendered children of their life; mothers of the rewards of maternity and marriage; earth of its cultivators; the world of those who would know it; the Church of those that would make it grow and prosper and be happy with an increased number of devoted faithful. Therefore for a good reason the Sixth Synod of Constantinople has decreed that persons who give abortive medicine and those who receive and use poisons that kill fetuses are subject to punishment applied to murderers and it was sanctioned by the old Council of Lleida that those that were preoccupied to kill fetuses conceived from adultery or would extinguish them in the wombs of mothers with potions, if afterwards with repentance would recur to the goodness and meekness of the Church, should humbly weep for their sins for the rest of their lives and if they were Clerics, they should not be allowed to recuperate their ministry and they are subject to all Ecclesiastic law's and profane law's grave punishments for those who nefariously plot to kill fetuses in the uterus of childbearing women or try to prevent women from conceiving or try to expel the conceived fetuses from the womb.

If we should accept what Pope Leo XIII taught as being "a formal attestation of a truth already possessed and infallibly transmitted by the Church," should not we accept what Pope Sixtus V taught, also?
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:53 am

Jehanne wrote:

If we should accept what Pope Leo XIII taught as being "a formal attestation of a truth already possessed and infallibly transmitted by the Church," should not we accept what Pope Sixtus V taught, also?
We should accept the teaching and judgments of Pope Sixtus V (in Effraenatam) precisely as LG 25 instructs us: "Religious submission of mind and of will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff even when he is not defining, in such a way, namely, that the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to according to his manifested mind and will, which is clear either from the nature of the documents, or from the repeated presentation of the same doctrine, or from the manner of speaking."

In other words, in this case we submit our minds and wills to the authority of the ecclesia docens, for, as Fr. Most explains:

… we have a case like that envisioned in Canon 752 of the New Code of Canon Law: "Not indeed an assent of faith, but yet a religious submission of mind and will must be given to the teaching which either the Supreme Pontiff, or the College of Bishops [of course, with the Pope] pronounce on faith or on morals when they exercise the authentic Magisterium even if they do not intend to proclaim it by a definitive act." If they do not mean to make it definitive, then it does not come under the virtue of faith, or the promise of Christ, "He who hears you hears me". Rather, it is a matter of what the Canon and LG 25 call "religious submission of mind and of will." What does this require? Definitely, it forbids public contradiction of the teaching. But it also requires something in the mind, as the wording indicates. This cannot be the absolute assent which faith calls for - for since this teaching is, by definition, not definitive, we gather that it is not absolutely finally certain.
Let me elaborate.

Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?
No. Effraenatam (“without restraint”) is a disciplinary Bull , the purpose of which was to establish ecclesiastical penalties “Against those that procure abortions, or give sterility potions, or take them, or help these people, or give them counsel and consent.” It is noted for having dropped “the previous distinction between animated and unanimated fetuses, assigning the punishment of excommunication and the legal sentences for homicide for any intentional abortion.”

As such, it is an act of the Supreme Pontiff’s Apostolic Primacy of Jurisdiction over the disciplines and Laws of the Church. In fact, “a mere three years later, finding that the results had not been as positive as was hoped, his successor Pope Gregory XIV limited the excommunication to abortion of a formed fetus.” (“In the 1869 Bull Apostolicae Sedis, Pius IX rescinded Gregory XIV's not-yet-animated fetus exception and re-enacted the penalty of excommunication for abortions at any stage of pregnancy”.)

In contrast:

“The first condition of salvation is to maintain the rule of the true faith” (VCI). As such, in Divinum Illud Munus (On the Holy Spirit), Pope Leo XIII, as “Supreme Pastor and ruler of his whole fold” and “mindful of his duty … before all others … of defending the truth … so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away … from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine”, exercised his “supreme power of teaching” by affirming the “heavenly doctrine”, as he says in his Encyclical, “concerning the indwelling and miraculous power of the Holy Ghost; and the extent and efficiency of His action, both in the whole body of the Church and in the individual souls of its members, through the glorious abundance of His divine graces.”

This “heavenly doctrine” includes the Catholic explication on The Catholic Doctrine of the Blessed Trinity, The Holy Ghost and the Incarnation, The Holy Ghost and the Church and, the largest section, The Holy Ghost in the Souls of the Just.


So in all truth we can say “Pope Leo XIII taught nothing less than that [“the heavenly doctrine”] which had been handed down “belonging to the inheritance of the depositum fidei … taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium, [and that] The declaration of confirmation or reaffirmation by the Roman Pontiff in this case is not a new dogmatic definition, but a formal attestation of a truth already possessed and infallibly transmitted by the Church.” (CDF Doctrinal Commentary On The Concluding Formula of The Professio Fidei”).

Furthermore, there was no “debate” among theologians that needed to be settled with respect to the magisterial truths proposed by Pope Leo XIII on The Holy Ghost in the Souls of the Just, for these were truths “already possessed and infallibly transmitted by the Church”.

With respect to the sanctification of the just under the old dispensation the matter yet to be settled pertains to the divergent theological opinions on how the Holy Ghost operates on such favored souls. This is a technical question the Church leaves theologians free to debate in the same manner as with Limbo and with the theological opinions on the various modes of grace.

In fact, Jehanne, the Eastern theologians taught the same doctrine as their Latin counterparts, as this excerpt from an Eastern Orthodox site demonstrates:

It is important to understand a couple things about the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. The first thing to note is that all the sacrifices were pointing to a future reality. They themselves could not substitute for the death of the person, cleanse sins, provide forgiveness, or do anything. Their value lay in the concept of "icon" as understood in Orthodoxy. They were essentially windows that allowed those prior to Christ to participate in His sacrifice by faith through these icons [“signs”]. So, we read in Hebrews after St. Paul discusses the Old Testament sacrificial system:

Heb 9:9-14 EMTV which was symbolic for the present time, according to which both gifts and sacrifices are being offered, which are not able, in respect to conscience, to make perfect the one performing the service, (10) concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances which are imposed until a time of reformation. (11) But Christ came as a High Priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. (12) Not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered once for all into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption.

Only union with God can save us, not the fulfillment of the Law. This is why the juridical understanding of atonement is incomplete. What it can show us, like the Law, is our sinful condition. It can show us that we are in bondage due to sin. We are not justified to the Law; rather, the Law shows us our sin and indicates to us the gravity of our situation. The Law cannot give us the solution to our problem; it can only show us the problem. That is why the juridical view cannot give us the answer to the atonement for it is a solution based upon the fulfillment of the law. Such a basis for our salvation, righteousness and justification is contrary to the Gospel that Christ has given us. (http://www.orthodoxconvert.info/Q-A.php?c=Salvation-Blood%20Sacrifices%20and%20Forgiveness)
As the more “common doctrine” of the Latin Church at the time of Pope Sixtus V, the presumption of loss (no other option) for aborted infants cannot be said to be the “Catholic” (universal) opinion since it was not shared by the Eastern Church (whose opinion in this matter is more akin to the CCC), and neither did it enjoy a universal moral consensus even among the western theologians. For example, the opinion of the esteemed Cajetan (who taught a “vicarious baptism of desire” for non-baptized infants) influenced many theologians and despite the concerns of the fathers of the Council of Trent, they refused to formally condemn his views.

The Church still has not accepted Cajetan’s views as an established doctrine, but she clearly leans in his favor with her doctrine of “hope”.

Your excellent question, Jehanne, asks if what Pope Sixtus V stated in his disciplinary Bull concerning the presumed loss of aborted infants who are said to be “excluded from the blessed vision of God”, is in the same infallible category of “heavenly doctrine” …. “belonging to the inheritance of the depositum fidei … taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium”, and a “confirmation or reaffirmation … of a truth already possessed and infallibly transmitted by the Church.”

The short answer, in my opinion, is no. This does not mean that because Effraenatam is a disciplinary Bull it cannot infallibly confirm or reaffirm “a truth already possessed and infallibly transmitted by the Church”; neither does this mean that everything within Divinum Illud Munus is necessarily protected from any possibility of error; and understood correctly, Effraenatam does in fact at least indirectly confirm the infallible truth from the deposit of faith that holds that those who die in original sin alone (without the grace of baptism) “are excluded from the blessed vision of God” (de fide definita).

However, as we already know (protests notwithstanding), to confirm the dogmatic truth that all of those are lost who die in original sin alone is not the same as saying that God cannot remove the stain of original sin and save these same souls by a means not available or known to the Church “in the present economy” (Pope Pius XII, Allocution to midwives).

Speaking of which, I would classify the exhortation of Pope Sixtus V as being in the same category as that of Pope Pius XII, who taught:

In the present economy there is no other way to communicate that life to the child who has not attained the use of reason. 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; to the still unborn or newly born this way is not open.

Though it is indeed true that Pope Sixtus V was simply repeating the more common theological opinion that presumes that God will not intervene to save such souls, never has the Church, even with its current doctrine of “hope”, presumed their salvation; and in this respect, the admonition of Pope Sixtus is not only appropriate, it cannot be in error with respect to being opposed to dogma or being harmful to the faith.

And, as you know, Jehanne, the Church still teaches that “All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism”, which is a reaffirmation of the 1958 Holy Office instruction: “Therefore this Supreme Congregation, with the approval of the Holy Father, warns the faithful that infants are to be baptized as soon as possible.”

Hope that helps.
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:52 pm

http://zadokromanus.blogspot.com/2006/10/some-thoughts-about-limbo.html

Item of interest:

[T]the Catechism of the Catholic Church can say no more than:

As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,” allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism.
The scandal of the millions of unborn babies killed through abortion also challenges the Church in a manner not dissimilar to the way in which the discovery of new and unevangelized countries during the age of exploration challenged the Church to meditate on the prospects of salvation for those who have never had the chance of hearing the Gospel. In the initial edition of Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II seemed to propose a development in the Church’s teaching on the fate of the victims of abortion. He wrote:

I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. […] If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. […] You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord.

However, as Dominic Farrell LC notes:

Among other things he (Pope John Paul II) pointed out that they are able to ask forgiveness from their aborted child, “who is now living in the Lord”. This phrase implied that the souls of aborted infants are currently in heaven. However, it was removed from the official Latin version. It seems the Pope had taken too strong a position on a question still under discussion. The official edition says instead, “However, you can entrust your baby to the Father and his mercy with hope.” It basically repeats the Catechism’s position. (Is Limbo in Limbo, http://www.catholic.net/the_road_to_heaven/template_channel.phtml?channel_id=16)
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  Jehanne on Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:16 pm

Of course, everyone likes to quote #1261. The following is rarely quoted:

1250 Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called. The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.

The above is in harmony with the Catechism of Pope Pius X, who also taught:

Pope Pius X Catechism

11 Q. When should infants be brought to the Church to be baptized?
A. Infants should be brought to the Church to be baptized as soon as possible.

12 Q. Why such anxiety to have infants receive Baptism?

A. There should be the greatest anxiety to have infants baptized because, on account of their tender age, they are exposed to many dangers of death, and cannot be saved without Baptism.

13 Q. Do parents sin, then, who, through negligence, allow their children to die without Baptism, or who defer it?

A. Yes, fathers and mothers who, through negligence, allow their children to die without Baptism sin grievously, because they deprive their children of eternal life; and they also sin grievously by putting off Baptism for a long time, because they expose them to danger of dying without having received it.

And, of course, our present Pope said this about the Catechism of Saint Pope Pius X:

“The faith, as such, is always the same. Therefore, St. Pius X's catechism always retains its value, … There can be persons or groups that feel more comfortable with St. Pius X's catechism. ... that Catechism stemmed from a text that was prepared by the Pope himself [Pius X] when he was Bishop of Mantua. The text was the fruit of the personal catechetical experience of Giuseppe Sarto, whose characteristics were simplicity of exposition and depth of content. Also because of this, St. Pius X's catechism might have friends in the future.”
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:59 pm

1250 Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called.50 The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. the Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth. 51 (CIC, can. 867:

867 §1 Parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptised within the first few weeks. As soon as possible after the birth, indeed even before it, they are to approach the parish priest to ask for the sacrament for their child, and to be themselves duly prepared for it.

§2 If the infant is in danger of death, it is to be baptised without any delay.)
Jehanne, excellent, this passage should be cited more often! But, are you suggesting that this passage is in conflict with #1261, which also makes clear the urgency of Baptism with the same understanding that “hope”, unlike “faith”, is not the assurance of things hoped for?

As you demonstrated, The Catechism of Pope St. Pius X repeats the same admonition:

A. There should be the greatest anxiety to have infants baptized because, on account of their tender age, they are exposed to many dangers of death, and cannot be saved without Baptism.
Absolutely true, and the Church knows of no means other than the instrument and sacrament of Baptism that can assure the infant of salvation. But, once again, the “hope” of salvation simply places “hope” in the mercy of God by suggesting that the grace of Baptism may be applied to souls directly by God by a means unknown to the Church “in the present economy”.

Effraenatam, the Catechism of Pope Pius X and the CCC #’s 1250 and 1261 are in harmony (emphasizing different aspects of the same doctrine), even if the latter provides, under the Church’s cautious guidance, a ray of hope that you would appear to want to erase by falsely affirming (as you did in the past), “[W]hat was defined was that infants who die without sacramental Baptism are forever excluded from the Beatific Vision: http://catholicism.org/ad-rem-no-4.html").

You have yet to address the fact that the presumed loss of non-sacramentally Baptized infants was never a "universal" doctrine (it is not shared by the East), and that even among the Latins, theologians have never formed a universal moral consensus.

I wish you would stop trying to pit the pontifical Magisterium of Popes Paul VI, JPII and Benedict XVI against the Magisterium "of a previous age", for they are ONE, and cannot be opposed on matters of faith and salvation.





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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  Jehanne on Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:31 am

MRyan wrote:Effraenatam, the Catechism of Pope Pius X and the CCC #’s 1250 and 1261 are in harmony (emphasizing different aspects of the same doctrine), even if the latter provides, under the Church’s cautious guidance, a ray of hope that you would appear to want to erase by falsely affirming (as you did in the past), “[W]hat was defined was that infants who die without sacramental Baptism are forever excluded from the Beatific Vision: http://catholicism.org/ad-rem-no-4.html").

You have yet to address the fact that the presumed loss of non-sacramentally Baptized infants was never a "universal" doctrine (it is not shared by the East), and that even among the Latins, theologians have never formed a universal moral consensus.

Mike, I've been reflecting on this a bit, and even though I am "on break," I want to visit the forum here to clarify something with you. First off, the views of Orthodox theologians, at least after the Great Schism, don't count. And, why should they? If the deny the Primacy of the Pope as defined at the First Vatican Council, then why should their views matter? In any case, I think that it is silly to appeal to them over Saint Thomas and the other scholastics, none of whom (including Cajetan, Gerson, etc.) taught the universal salvation for all infants who end this life without sacramental Baptism.

Now, I want to focus on what Pope Sixtus V taught, as he is the Vicar of God, so what he taught and not what "theologians thought" is what matters here. Now, as I quoted above, Pope Sixtus V wrote the following:

by which are lost not only the bodies but also the souls?

Now, of course, we believe the following:

892 Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a "definitive manner," they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful "are to adhere to it with religious assent" which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it.

Now, if "souls are not lost," how can it be said that Pope Sixtus V did not teach error from the Chair of Peter? Or, are you saying that his assertion could be false yet simply "not contrary or harmful to the Faith"? Yet, how could false assertions not contain some harm? Why should we view the Dogma of the Assumption as being historically true and not just as being perhaps false but yet it is still "true," as it is not contrary or harmful to the Faith?
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:46 pm

Jehanne wrote:
MRyan wrote:Effraenatam, the Catechism of Pope Pius X and the CCC #’s 1250 and 1261 are in harmony (emphasizing different aspects of the same doctrine), even if the latter provides, under the Church’s cautious guidance, a ray of hope that you would appear to want to erase by falsely affirming (as you did in the past), “[W]hat was defined was that infants who die without sacramental Baptism are forever excluded from the Beatific Vision: http://catholicism.org/ad-rem-no-4.html").

You have yet to address the fact that the presumed loss of non-sacramentally Baptized infants was never a "universal" doctrine (it is not shared by the East), and that even among the Latins, theologians have never formed a universal moral consensus.
Mike, I've been reflecting on this a bit, and even though I am "on break," I want to visit the forum here to clarify something with you. First off, the views of Orthodox theologians, at least after the Great Schism, don't count. And, why should they? If the deny the Primacy of the Pope as defined at the First Vatican Council, then why should their views matter? In any case, I think that it is silly to appeal to them over Saint Thomas and the other scholastics, none of whom (including Cajetan, Gerson, etc.) taught the universal salvation for all infants who end this life without sacramental Baptism.
Sorry, Jehanne, but it makes no sense to argue that the teachings of the “Orthodox theologians” on a non-defined matter (the viability of salvation for non-sacramentally baptized infants) “don’t count” because they deviated from the Church in other areas such as the dogma of Papal Primacy.

In fact, when I said that the common opinion of the West (of presumed loss) “is not shared by the East”, I made no distinction whatsoever between pre and post Schism for the simple reason that in Eastern theology “that such moral unanimity and dogmatic definitiveness was ever achieved seems unlikely, given Eastern understanding of original sin, baptism, and theosis.” (Alvin Kimel; http://catholicforum.forumotion.com/t891p50-old-covenant-circumcision-removed-original-sin)

And that “understanding” (leaving the question open) has not changed, and is reflected in the current teaching of the Church (the doctrine of “hope”).

We should also note that contrary to your suggestion, the doctrine of “universal reconciliation” remains more a pre-Schism (and discredited) doctrine of Origen and St. Gregory of Nyssa than that of the post-Schism Eastern theologians such as Photius and Maximus the Confessor, the latter of whom taught “that in works of St. Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, where restoration is mentioned, it is not accepted by the Church." So I am not the one make the "silly" argument.

And we should also keep in mind that Origen and St. Greogory were not of one mind since “Origen's premises of the pre-existence of souls and the originally pure spiritual nature of all creatures … were rejected by Gregory”, and

It is with this in mind that the fathers of the council [Fifth Ecumenical Council] pronounced their anathema on "those who accept the pre-existence of the soul and the apocatastasis that is connected with it." Because of Gregory's generally accepted authority and sanctity, the sixth century opponents of Origenism were disposed to remain silent about those of his views which were, if not coincident with, at least reminiscent of the "impious, impure, and criminal teachings of Origen." However, Gregory's Origenism was not entirely with out effect on his authority, and he was read and cited less frequently than the other "chosen fathers." (http://paxexsistovos.blogspot.com/2012/07/st-gregory-of-nyssa-apocatastasis-and.html)
I cite this because it is important to understand the specific error of Origen being condemned by the Fifth Ecumenical Council, which is not apocatastasis per se, but apocatastasis when it “is connected with” the heterodox notion of “the pre-existence of the soul”, which notion St. Gregory of Nyssa rejected.

The fact of the matter is that the doctrine of universal restoration has never been “accepted by the Church” (and neither has it been condemned), while the doctrine of “hope” for the salvation of non-sacramentally baptized infants is now an accepted doctrine.

I hope you can see that this has nothing to do with the “Primacy of the Pope”, or with any of the other doctrinal errors of the Orthodox Churches.

The question before us is whether the common presumption of eternal loss (no other option) for non-sacramentally baptized infants can be said to be the sole “Catholic” (universal and infallible) doctrine, and I maintain that it cannot since it was not shared by the Eastern Church (whose opinion in this matter is more akin to that of the CCC), it did not enjoy a universal moral consensus even among the western theologians (though this is a good debate), and, though St. Thomas Aquinas favored eternal loss, he also established and confirmed the theological premise for “hope” when he taught, for example:

"children … before the use of reason, being as it were in the womb of their mother the Church, [may] receive salvation not by their own act, but by the act of the Church", and, "Children … can … be subject to the action of God, in Whose sight they live, so as, by a kind of privilege, to receive the grace of sanctification; as was the case with those who were sanctified [in their suffering … and] in the womb." (STL, III, q. 68, art. 9 & 11, ad 1)
But the most compelling argument comes from the authority of the Pope through the living Magisterium.

As I said, “With your ‘theological certain’ claim, you are also acknowledging that your opinion that ‘Infants who die without Sacramental Baptism in Water do not go to Heaven’ has never been definitively settled by the Church, and thus your entire thesis rests on your ‘theologically certain’ claim since not a single one of your ‘dogmatic’ proofs can prove one way or the other that ‘They do not go to Heaven’”, except in the context of having died in original sin.

Jehanne wrote:Now, I want to focus on what Pope Sixtus V taught, as he is the Vicar of God, so what he taught and not what "theologians thought" is what matters here. Now, as I quoted above, Pope Sixtus V wrote the following:

by which are lost not only the bodies but also the souls?
Now, of course, we believe the following:

892 Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a "definitive manner," they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful "are to adhere to it with religious assent" which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it.
Now, if "souls are not lost," how can it be said that Pope Sixtus V did not teach error from the Chair of Peter?
Jehanne, this is not an “either/or” definitive matter that one must choose in order to avoid “error”. Again, by affirming the more common opinion and assumption of eternal loss (since the Church knows of no means in the present economy other than water baptism that can assure the aborted infant of salvation), Pope Sixtus V is NOT defining or making definitive (as a matter of faith) the “no hope” doctrine. As I said, “in this respect, the admonition of Pope Sixtus is not only appropriate; it cannot be in error with respect to being opposed to dogma or being harmful to the faith.”

Jehanne wrote:Or, are you saying that his assertion could be false yet simply "not contrary or harmful to the Faith"? Yet, how could false assertions not contain some harm? Why should we view the Dogma of the Assumption as being historically true and not just as being perhaps false but yet it is still "true," as it is not contrary or harmful to the Faith?
No, I am saying that so long as the question remains open, the presumption of eternal loss (or of salvation) can never be culpable "error".

And, I find your analogy to the dogma of the Assumption to be entirely misleading and inappropriate, for the dogma which declares “that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory” is NOT of the same historical pedigree as the doctrine of eternal loss for infants who die without the sacrament of baptism. Rather, Pope Pius XII referred to the consistent tradition of both East and West for Mary's bodily assumption, and it is this same consistent historical and Apostolic tradition that the Orthodox cite as the reason why they say the formal definition was unnecessary.

When Pope Sixtus V said “in order to restrain with just punishment the monstrous and atrocious brutality of those who have no fear to kill most cruelly fetuses still hiding in the maternal viscera. Who will not detest such an abhorrent and evil act, by which are lost not only the bodies but also the souls?”, he was NOT saying that such presumption is taken “from the universal agreement of the Church's ordinary teaching authority” from which “we have a certain and firm proof, demonstrating that” the eternal loss of infants who die without benefit of water Baptism “is a truth that has been revealed by God and consequently something that must be firmly and faithfully believed by all children of the Church." (Munificentissimus Deus)

Again, Jehanne, the Church cannot be opposed to herself in matters of faith and salvation.

And, just as there is a consistent tradition in both the East and the West that holds that Mary died before she was assumed into Heaven, since the definition of the Assumption is silent on this question, Catholics can legitimately believe that Mary did not die before she was Assumed into Heaven; so too can Catholics entertain the possibility of “hope” for the extra-sacramental salvation of infants – especially when the Church establishes and approves the very basis for this hope.

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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  Jehanne on Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:29 pm

MRyan wrote:When Pope Sixtus V said “in order to restrain with just punishment the monstrous and atrocious brutality of those who have no fear to kill most cruelly fetuses still hiding in the maternal viscera. Who will not detest such an abhorrent and evil act, by which are lost not only the bodies but also the souls?”, he was NOT saying that such presumption is taken “from the universal agreement of the Church's ordinary teaching authority” from which “we have a certain and firm proof, demonstrating that” the eternal loss of infants who die without benefit of water Baptism “is a truth that has been revealed by God and consequently something that must be firmly and faithfully believed by all children of the Church." (Munificentissimus Deus)

Mike,

I would be grateful if you could provide some quotes from the Eastern theologians on the fate of infants who die without sacramental Baptism, because the only major quote that I am aware of is from St. Gregory of Nazianzus, who, according to the Old Catholic Encyclopedia, "may be taken as representative":

It will happen, I believe . . . that those last mentioned [infants dying without baptism] will neither be admitted by the just judge to the glory of Heaven nor condemned to suffer punishment, since, though unsealed [by baptism], they are not wicked. . . . For from the fact that one does not merit punishment it does not follow that one is worthy of being honored, any more than it follows that one who is not worthy of a certain honor deserves on that account to be punished. [Oration 40, no. 23]

In the past, you've told me that Saint Gregory's views were basically equivalent to Pelagianism. Still, are there any theologians other than Origen and St. Gregory of Nyssa who did not believe in universal reconciliation yet who taught that all infants who end this life without sacramental Baptism will go to Heaven?

In the past, you have told me that you accept the infallibility of the following canon from Carthage:

“It has been decided likewise that if anyone says that for this reason the Lord said: 'In my house there are many mansions': that it might be understood that in the kingdom of heaven there will be some middle place or some place anywhere where happy infants live who departed from this life without baptism, without which they cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, which is life eternal, let him be anathema. For when the Lord says: 'Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he shall not enter into the kingdom of God' [John 3], what Catholic will doubt that he will be a partner of the devil who has not deserved to be a coheir of Christ?" (Pope Zosimus at the Council of Carthage XVI, Canon 3, Denzinger, 30th edition, p.45, note 2).

If the following webpage is correct:

http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/num17.htm

then it would seem that the above canon is, indeed, infallible. In fact, the Old Catholic Encyclopedia on its entry on Limbo states that the Council of Carthage may have "the force of an ecumenical definition," and if so, what would be the point of Pope Sixtus V defining something that had already been defined? Indeed, if the above canon from Carthage is an infallible definition, would not Pope Sixtus V's teaching be an example of that definition and its impact in the real world? And, why would the Holy Spirit allow and/or guide Pope Sixtus into teaching something which, in fact, never happens in reality? And, would not that make his teachings, and those of the Councils of Lyons and Florence into a hypothetical "null set" which, in fact, never happens? And, what would be the point of the Spirit of the Lord guiding His Church into defining something which never happens? Are we "allowed to hope" that such is, indeed, true?

Okay, we're covering some old ground here, but I want to 'dot' and 'cross' my theological Is & Ts.
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:08 pm

Jehanne wrote:
MRyan wrote:When Pope Sixtus V said “in order to restrain with just punishment the monstrous and atrocious brutality of those who have no fear to kill most cruelly fetuses still hiding in the maternal viscera. Who will not detest such an abhorrent and evil act, by which are lost not only the bodies but also the souls?”, he was NOT saying that such presumption is taken “from the universal agreement of the Church's ordinary teaching authority” from which “we have a certain and firm proof, demonstrating that” the eternal loss of infants who die without benefit of water Baptism “is a truth that has been revealed by God and consequently something that must be firmly and faithfully believed by all children of the Church." (Munificentissimus Deus)
Mike,

I would be grateful if you could provide some quotes from the Eastern theologians on the fate of infants who die without sacramental Baptism, because the only major quote that I am aware of is from St. Gregory of Nazianzus, who, according to the Old Catholic Encyclopedia, "may be taken as representative":

It will happen, I believe . . . that those last mentioned [infants dying without baptism] will neither be admitted by the just judge to the glory of Heaven nor condemned to suffer punishment, since, though unsealed [by baptism], they are not wicked. . . . For from the fact that one does not merit punishment it does not follow that one is worthy of being honored, any more than it follows that one who is not worthy of a certain honor deserves on that account to be punished. [Oration 40, no. 23]
In the past, you've told me that Saint Gregory's views were basically equivalent to Pelagianism. Still, are there any theologians other than Origen and St. Gregory of Nyssa who did not believe in universal reconciliation yet who taught that all infants who end this life without sacramental Baptism will go to Heaven?
No, Jehanne, never have I said “that Saint Gregory's views were basically equivalent to Pelagianism”. If you have proof for such a statement, please produce it so I can correct the record.

As far as providing “some quotes from the Eastern theologians on the fate of infants who die without sacramental Baptism … who taught that all infants who end this life without sacramental Baptism will go to Heaven”, I think you are once again missing the point, for the question is not whether any of the Eastern theologians taught “that all infants who end this life without sacramental Baptism will go to Heaven”, the point is that the Eastern theologians did not accept the western notion of “punishment” for the “guilt” of original sin in the sense of “what Catholic will doubt that he [unbaptized infants] will be a partner of the devil who has not deserved to be a coheir of Christ”.

The prevailing Eastern understanding of the doctrine of original sin holds that the inheritance from Adam was mortality, not guilt.

The Eastern Fathers simply did not accept the prevailing Augustinian doctrine of a just positive punishment for the “guilt” of original sin alone. However, this does not mean that they accepted an “implicit” Limbo or a natural state of “eternal bliss”; they simply left the mystery as a mystery by leaving it in the hands of God, leaving the fate of unbaptized infants in a sort of “limbo” status.

Your citation from St. Gregory the Theologian (of Nazianzus) is representative of the theology of the East where it is generally believed “that those last mentioned [infants dying without baptism] will neither be admitted by the just judge to the glory of Heaven nor condemned to suffer punishment, since, though unsealed [by baptism], they are not wicked. . . . For from the fact that one does not merit punishment it does not follow that one is worthy of being honored, any more than it follows that one who is not worthy of a certain honor deserves on that account to be punished.”

In fact, this same thinking is reflected in the words of St. Ambrose found in Volume 2 of Jurgen's The Faith of Early Fathers, Liturgical Press, 1979, pp. 169-170, under St. Ambrose of Milan, Abraham [A.D. 387], paragraph 1324:

[2, 11, 84] ”Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (4)." 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 have the honor of the kingdom (5)."

Note "(5)" by Jurgens says:

"The present sentence makes it clear that when St. Ambrose says that in the preceding "no one is excepted," he means that the Scriptural utterance expresses no exception; he does not know whether or not some logical exception, e.g. state of infancy or actual impossibility or non-culpable ignorance, may have been presumed and left unexpressed."
If you wish to infer that the limbus infantum doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas is implied in the doctrine of St. Gregory of Nazianzus, I have no problem with that (leaving other differences aside) since neither one can be accused of promoting the heresy of Pelagius and his denial of original sin.

Jehanne wrote:
In the past, you have told me that you accept the infallibility of the following canon from Carthage:

“It has been decided likewise that if anyone says that for this reason the Lord said: 'In my house there are many mansions': that it might be understood that in the kingdom of heaven there will be some middle place or some place anywhere where happy infants live who departed from this life without baptism, without which they cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, which is life eternal, let him be anathema. For when the Lord says: 'Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he shall not enter into the kingdom of God' [John 3], what Catholic will doubt that he will be a partner of the devil who has not deserved to be a coheir of Christ?" (Pope Zosimus at the Council of Carthage XVI, Canon 3, Denzinger, 30th edition, p.45, note 2).
Again, Jehanne, this is what I actually said with respect to the subject canon:

You use words like “infallibility” without any context whatsoever, as if an authentic ancient dogmatic canon, the positive and infallible inverse of which is difficult to discern without the guidance of the Church, can be easily discerned by laymen. The fact that the Church has never understood the canon in the "infallible" sense you read it, speaks volumes.

It is infallible only in the sense that their perceived loss, and the punishment they may or may not receive (with the exception of loss of the beatific vision) cannot be opposed to the faith.
We’ve discussed the subject footnoted canon at length, and I don’t know why we need to rehash this. But you do seem intent on imposing an “infallibility” on the canon without telling us what, precisely, is being infallibly declared as revealed truth, except your unsubstantiated suggestion that Carthage infallibly declared that an unbaptized infant “will be a partner of the devil” since he “has not deserved to be a coheir of Christ”.

Is it a revealed truth, Jehanne, that there cannot be “some place anywhere where happy infants live who departed from this life without baptism”? If so, then the common doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas (and the Church) is a heresy. In fact, have you not argued in the past that the Church has “erred” in its conflicting “infallible” declarations?

I am on record as saying that I accept the authenticity of the footnoted canon, and have gone to great lengths to explain the essential difference between the Pelagian notion of a state of eternal natural bliss, which corresponds to an unbaptized infant’s right to "eternal life" (while being deprived of the beatific vision), and the common limbus infatum doctrine accepted by the Church. The difference may be subtle, but is crucial to a correct understanding of Carthage and the heresy it was condemning; and I am quite confident in saying it was condemning neither the Catholic doctrine of Limbo, nor the doctrine of "hope".

One more time, this is taken from New Advent Encyclopedia:

Councils were nowhere more frequently called in the Primitive Times than in Africa. In the year 418-19, all canons formerly made in sixteen councils held at Carthage, one at Milevis, one at Hippo, that were approved of, were read, and received a new sanction from a great number of bishops, then met in synod at Carthage. This Collection is the Code of the African Church, which was always in greatest repute in all Churches next after the Code of the Universal Church. This code was of very great authority in the old English Churches, for many of the Excerptions of Egbert were transcribed from it. And though the Code of the Universal Church ends with the canons of Chalcedon, yet these African Canons are inserted into the Ancient Code both of the Eastern and Western Churches. These canons though ratified and approved by a synod, yet seem to have been divided or numbered by some private and unlearned hand, and have probably met with very unskilful transcribers, by which means some of them are much confounded and obscured, as to their sense and coherence. They are by Dionysius Exiguus and others entitled ‘The Canons of the Synod of Africa’. And though all were not originally made at one time, yet they were all confirmed by one synod of African bishops, who, after they had recited the Creed and the twenty canons of the Council of Nicaea, proceeded to make new canons, and re-enforce old ones.

An extremely interesting point arises as to what was the authority of the collection as a collection, and how this collection was made? There seems no doubt that the collection substantially as we know it was the code accepted by the Council of Trullo, the canons of which received a quasi-ecumenical authority from the subsequent general imprimatur given them by the Seventh Ecumenical Council, the Second of Nice.

Canon 110. (Greek cxii. bis)

That infants are baptized for the remission of sins


“Likewise it seemed good that whosoever denies that infants newly from their mother's wombs should be baptized, or says that baptism is for remission of sins, but that they derive from Adam no original sin, which needs to be removed by the laver of regeneration, from whence the conclusion follows, that in them the form of baptism for the remission of sins, is to be understood as false and not true, let him be anathema.

For no otherwise can be understood what the Apostle says, By one man sin has come into the world, and death through sin, and so death passed upon all men in that all have sinned, than the Catholic Church everywhere diffused has always understood it. For on account of this rule of faith (regulam fidei) even infants, who could have committed as yet no sin themselves, therefore are truly baptized for the remission of sins, in order that what in them is the result of generation may be cleansed by regeneration.”

The following, says Surius, is found in this place in a very ancient codex. It does not occur in the Greek, nor in Dionysius. Bruns relegates it to a foot-note.

[“Also it seemed good, that if anyone should say that the saying of the Lord, In my Father's house are many mansions is to be understood as meaning that in the kingdom of heaven there will be a certain middle place, or some place somewhere, in which infants live in happiness who have gone forth from this life without baptism, without which they cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, which is eternal life, let him be anathema. For after our Lord has said: Unless a man be born again of water and of the Holy Spirit he shall not enter the kingdom of heaven, what Catholic can doubt that he who has not merited to be coheir with Christ shall become a sharer with the devil: for he who fails of the right hand without doubt shall receive the left hand portion.”] (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3816.htm)
And of course, we cannot ignore the fact that some scholastics have questioned the authenticity of this footnoted canon (given the fact that some canons “seem to have been divided or numbered by some private and unlearned hand, and have probably met with very unskilful transcribers, by which means some of them are much confounded and obscured, as to their sense and coherence”), and we cannot ignore the fact that this particular canon “does not occur in the Greek, nor in Dionysius” as attested by Bruns, Hefele and Denzinger.

But really, Jehanne, if you wish to posit the infallible “sense and coherence” of the subject canon, go right ahead, but don’t be surprised when your “infallible” rendition is called into question.

If the following webpage is correct:

http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/num17.htm
Jehanne, the webpage is “correct”, but it has nothing to do with the alleged “infallibility” of the subject canon, or your interpretation thereof, but with defending Pope Zosimus against his detractors (for allegedly approving the teaching of Pelagius) and proving that “St. Augustine … absolutely denies that any approbation of the denial of original sin can be found either in the acts of the trial of Celestius or in the letters of the Pope to Africa.”

Jehanne wrote:then it would seem that the above canon is, indeed, infallible.
Then please provide the specific infallible “sense and coherence” of the subject canon by telling us exactly what is being defined as a revealed truth, or is being made definitive by the supreme teaching authority of the Pope in union with the Council Fathers.

Good luck with that.

Jehanne wrote:
In fact, the Old Catholic Encyclopedia on its entry on Limbo states that the Council of Carthage may have "the force of an ecumenical definition," and if so, what would be the point of Pope Sixtus V defining something that had already been defined?
Please demonstrate where “the Old Catholic Encyclopedia” states that the subject footnoted canon “may have ‘the force of an ecumenical definition’," (it does, or it doesn’t), and, once again, please provide the definition being prescribed as a revealed or definitive truth (and binding as such on all the Faithful).

Jehanne wrote:
Indeed, if the above canon from Carthage is an infallible definition, would not Pope Sixtus V's teaching be an example of that definition and its impact in the real world? And, why would the Holy Spirit allow and/or guide Pope Sixtus into teaching something which, in fact, never happens in reality? And, would not that make his teachings, and those of the Councils of Lyons and Florence into a hypothetical "null set" which, in fact, never happens? And, what would be the point of the Spirit of the Lord guiding His Church into defining something which never happens? Are we "allowed to hope" that such is, indeed, true?

Okay, we're covering some old ground here, but I want to 'dot' and 'cross' my theological Is & Ts.
Yes, the ground is old, and you simply serve up these re-hashed arguments as if I never responded to each and every one of your misplaced objections and logical fallacies.

Before you can cross a theological T, you should understand the ecclesiology behind the theology you are trying to cross. Without such a contextual understanding, you are simply engaging in private interpretation that imposes a heavy "infallible" doctrinal burden where it does not belong.

The Magisterium exists, and has not been silent on this matter, while giving us a certain degree of freedom in those non-defined areas.


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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  Jehanne on Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:29 pm

Mike,

I posted the link from "Pope Zosimus and Pelagianism" because it contained the following, but the section from the document is too long to quote here in its entirety:

Pope Zosimus Condemns the Pelagian Heretics in Tractoria

It was not long before St. Zosimus wrote a very different letter, the famous tractoria or tractatoria, which finally condemned the heretics. Let Marius Mercator tell the story:

"When the bishops of Africa wrote an answer exposing the whole cause which had been threshed out there, sending the acts of their councils which had been held about him whether present or absent, he was then called for a fuller hearing, that he might hasten to fulfil his promise of condemning the aforesaid chapters [of Paulinus], and so be absolved from the excommunication he had undergone from the African bishops. [35] But not only did he not appear, but he fled from Rome, and for this was condemned by the said Bishop Zosimus, of blessed memory, in a very long and complete document, in which the chapters of which he was accused are contained, and the whole case of Celestius himself and his yet more depraved master Pelagius is plainly related. Of these writings we note that similar copies were sent to bishops, to the Churches of the East, to the province of Egypt, to Constantinople and Thessalonica and Jerusalem."

After quoting passages of Pelagius' writings, Mercator continues:

"All these chapters are contained in that letter of Bishop Zosimus, of blessed memory, which is called tractoria, by which Celestius and Pelagius are condemned." [36]

The tractoria of Zosimus is lost, and we do not know its date. The trial of Celestius would naturally be as soon as might be after March 18th or 21st, when the Pope wrote to Africa. This is implied by the passages from Mercator and St. Augustine just quoted. In fact the Pope had been waiting for nothing but the reply of the council, and he had already waited six months instead of two. At all events it took place before April 30th, for on that date a rescript of the Emperor Honorius expelled Celestius and Pelagius and their partisans from Rome; any summons to attend and any condemnation for non-appearance must have been previous to this, unless they were a mere farce; while Celestius could just as well be expelled after he had fled as could Pelagius, who had not been there for years.

Pope Zosimus Final Decision to be Signed by All Bishops

As a fact, nothing could be more generous than the way in which he repaired the error of his kind heart had prompted, for to his tractoria he appended the constitutions of the African council, to be signed with it by all the bishops of the world. This subscription was made doubly obligatory by a second decree of the Emperor Honorius in the following year; it already obliged as a Papal demand. No one will suppose that Pope Zosimus considered that the signatures of the bishops would give to his decision an ecumenical force which it would otherwise have lacked. It was to be a notification of a decree, and the subscription to it would be a submission, as well as an episcopal judgment increasing the moral weight of the document. The Gallican view is no more countenanced by other contemporaries than by St. Augustine. All hail the decision as final, [40] and none lays any stress on the consent of Christendom as giving it validity.

On the contrary, St. Prosper says the Pope had "armed all the bishops with the sword of Peter," (Africanorum conciliorum decretis beatae recordationis Papa Zosimus sententiae suae robur annexuit, et ad impiorum destruncationem gladio Petri dexteras omnium armauit antistitum). [41] Again, he says that the approbation of the African council was a condemnation of Pelagianism throughout the world: "Concilio apud Carthaginem habito ccxiv episcoporum, ad Papam Zosimum synodi decreta perlata sunt, quibus probatis, per totum mundum haeresis Pelagiana damnata est." [42] He thus introduces a quotation from the tractoria: "Sacrosancta beati Petri sedes ad uniuersum orbem sic loquitur." [43] (The sacred see of Peter thus addresses the whole world.)

Marius Mercator writes:

"(The tractoria) was sent to Constantinople and throughout the world, and was strengthened (roborata) by the subscriptions of the Holy Fathers. Julian and his accomplices refusing to sign it, and to consent (consentaneos se facere) to those Fathers, were deposed not only by imperial laws, but also by ecclesiastical decrees, and banished from all Italy. Many of them came to their senses, and being corrected of their errors, returned as supplicants to the Apostolic See, and being accepted, received back their sees." [44]

The last portion of the passage is sufficient indication that "roborata" in the first portion does not mean a strengthening of the weak, but a reinforcement to the strong. St. Possidius, who was one of the five bishops who sent to St. Innocent a common letter, writes in his life of St. Augustine:

"And since these heretics were trying to bring the Apostolic See round to their view, African councils of holy bishops also did their best to persuade the holy Pope of the City (first the venerable Innocent, and afterwards his successor, St. Zosimus), that this heresy was to be abhorred and condemned by Catholic faith. And these bishops of so great a See (tantae sedis) successively branded them, and cut them off from the members of the Church, giving letters to the African Churches in the West, and to the Churches of the East, and declared that they were to be anathematized and avoided by all Catholics (eos anathemandos et deuitandos ab omnibus Catholicis censuerunt). The judgment pronounced upon them by the Catholic Church of God was heard and followed also by the most pious Emperor Honorius, who condemned them by his laws, and ordered them to be treated as heretics. Wherefore many of them have returned to the bosom of holy Mother Church, whence they had wandered, and are yet returning, as the truth of the right faith becomes known and prevails against the detestable error." [45]

Clearly St. Possidius considers that the Popes had the right which they claimed, of deciding the faith for all Catholics.

In the last month of this year, 418, St. Zosimus died, after a lingering illness. He is numbered among the saints, and the generosity of his character shines through the unfortunate mistakes which fill his short pontificate, and which history is not allowed to pass over. His contemporaries, with the exception of those heretics to whom he was too kind, have nothing but praise for his memory.

Point is that Pope Zosimus elevated the canons of Carthage to that of the Solemn Magisterium:

"Pope Zosimus of blessed memory directs us, when writing to the bishops of the whole world." (Ephesus; Denzinger 134)

"We[Zozimus], however, by the inspiration of God have referred all things to that of our brothers and co-bishops." (Ephesus; Denzinger 134)

"The same teacher Zosimus trained us, who, when he spoke to the bishops of the whole world." (Ephesus; Denzinger 135)

"Furthermore that which was determined in the decrees of the synod of Carthage [418 AD], we have embraced as the Apostolic See’s own." (Ephesus; Denzinger 136)

"But although we do not dare to esteem lightly the deeper and more difficult parts of the questions which they [Augustine and Zozimus] have treated in more detail who have restrained the heretics, we do not consider it necessary to add what their writings, according to the aforementioned regulation of the Apostolic See, have taught us." (Ephesus; Denzinger 142)

As far as the canon in question, what do you think that it is teaching us? That infants go to Hell proper to suffer a positive punishment? Not necessarily. As you pointed out, the dogma of the Assumption was silent as to whether or not the Blessed Mother physically died. Likewise, the phrase "will be a partner of the devil" could be interpreted as being nothing more than exclusion from Heaven and not necessarily a "positive punishment" in Hell, although, one could read it that way. Again, the canon allows for a certain amount of theological opinion, as does the dogma of the Assumption.

Finally, you've acknowledged that the "common opinion" of the Church's theologians was that Limbo was a real place where at least some of the souls of unbaptized children went upon their deaths and that, for centuries, this theological opinion was openly taught. In your opinion, "how did this opinion arise?" What are its origins in Catholic theology?

Finally, while Saint Thomas did teach the following:

"Children while in the mother’s womb have not yet come forth into the world to live among other men. Consequently they cannot be subject to the action of man, so as to receive the sacrament, at the hands of man, unto salvation. They can, however, be subject to the action of God, in Whose sight they live, so as, by a kind of privilege, to receive the grace of sanctification; as was the case with those who were sanctified in the womb." (Summa Theologica IIIa, q.68, a.11, ad 1)

he also taught,

"Those who are sanctified in the womb, receive indeed grace which cleanses them from original sin, but they do not therefore receive the character, by which they are conformed to Christ. Consequently, if any were to be sanctified in the womb now, they would need to be baptized, in order to be conformed to Christ’s other members by receiving the character." (Summa Theologica IIIa q.68, a.1, ad 3)

I believe that Saint Thomas is silent on what would happen if those "who are sanctified in the womb" would die before being born. He may have believed that such individuals were predestined to be at least born physically.
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:45 pm

Jehanne wrote:

Mike,

I posted the link from "Pope Zosimus and Pelagianism" because it contained the following, but the section from the document is too long to quote here in its entirety:

"All these chapters are contained in that letter of Bishop Zosimus, of blessed memory, which is called tractoria, by which Celestius and Pelagius are condemned." [36]

The tractoria of Zosimus is lost, and we do not know its date.
Point is that Pope Zosimus elevated the canons of Carthage to that of the Solemn Magisterium:
Point is the tractoria of Zosimus containing “all of these chapters … by which Celestius and Pelagius are condemned … is lost”.

Point is that is possible that this footnoted canon which was omitted from the standard ancient Greek Codex, is included with those canons which "probably met with very unskilful transcribers, by which means some of them are much confounded and obscured, as to their sense and coherence."

Point is you have yet to demonstrate when and where this footnoted canon was ever dogmatically received into the Church.

Point is, even assuming its authenticity is genuine ("as it is written"), it needs to be interpreted in relation to the heretical Pelagian claim that “children just born are in the same state as Adam before his fall”.

Point is when you say “Pope Zosimus elevated the canons of Carthage to that of the Solemn Magisterium” you have yet to demonstrate A) that the subject footnoted canon (as it is written) was included in his tractoria, and B) you have yet to identify the specific dogmatic prescription that was formally condemned by the anathema, except to say that we do not have to understand the condemned proposition by the meaning of the words “as it is written”!

In other words, you are telling us that the infallible declaration of the Solemn Magisterium that declared “if anyone should say that the saying of the Lord, In my Father's house are many mansions is to be understood as meaning that … there will be a certain … some place somewhere, in which infants live in happiness who have gone forth from this life without baptism, without which they cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, which is eternal life, let him be anathema”, does not necessarily condemn anyone who says “there will be … some place somewhere, in which infants live in happiness who have gone forth from this life without baptism”.

However, you are trying to sell us on the idea that the infallible canon of the Solemn Magisterium did in fact condemn anyone who says “without baptism … they cannot enter the kingdom of heaven” can also mean “In the present economy there is no other way [other than Baptism] to communicate that life to the child who has not attained the use of reason”; meaning, you suggest, the Church has infallibly condemned anyone who says the canon can be read to mean that these same infants cannot be saved without the grace of baptism, thus leaving the question of an extra-sacramental means of transmission open to God.

You are also ignoring a very astute observation made by Cardinal Dulles, who is cited by Fr. Al Kimel:

It is a basic rule of dogmatic hermeneutics that dogmatic statements, whether conciliar or papal, do not give direct answers to issues that were not seriously debated. In Avery Cardinal Dulles’s words: “No doctrinal decision of the past directly solves a question that was not asked at the time” (The Survival of Dogma, p. 185). If the question “Do all infants who die without baptism die in original sin?” was not being discussed and argued in the 14th century, as it apparently was not, then the Council of Florence cannot be invoked as providing a definitive, irreformable answer to the question. It may well be that many of the doctors of the council took for granted the possibility, and indeed the reality, of an infant dying “in original sin only”; but this still does not allow us to state that this opinion was formally proposed by the council. (http://pontifications.wordpress.com/original-sin/)
In other words, “If the question ‘Do all infants who die without baptism die in original sin?' was not being discussed and argued” at the Council of Carthage, “as it apparently was not, then the Council of [Carthage] cannot be invoked [especially a footnoted canon of questionable authenticity] as providing a definitive, irreformable answer to the question.”

Enough for now, I’ll address the rest when I can.
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  Jehanne on Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:14 am

Mike,

I look forward to your reply. Just as a point of clarification, #1261 in the CCC states that we "are allowed to hope," and by implication, "we are allowed not to hope." Indeed, I believe that there are excellent reasons "not to hope" that all infants who die without sacramental Baptism go to Heaven. For having such a "hope" would allow some to claim that abortion is a "sacrament" (small 's') which confers sanctifying grace and that an abortionist is, hence, a "minister" of such sanctifying grace. I would not claim this, of course, but others almost certainly would.

Secondly, it is a fundamental teaching of the Church that "thy will be done," and since I cannot do better than St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, I will quote from him:

First, it is answered that God, by antecedent will, wishes all to be saved, and therefore has granted universal means for the salvation of all; but these means at times fail of their effect, either by reason of the unwillingness of some persons to avail themselves of them, or because others are unable to make use of them, on account of secondary causes (such as the death of children), whose course God is not bound to change, after having disposed the whole according to the just judgment of his general Providence; all this is collected from what St. Thomas says. Jesus Christ offered His merits for all men, and instituted baptism for all; but the application of this means of salvation, so far as relates to children who die before the use of reason, is not prevented by the direct will of God, but by a merely permissive will; because as He is the general provider of all things, He is not bound to disturb the general order, to provide for the particular order.

So, we should conform our wills to the "just judgment of his general Providence" and be accepting of the fact that not everyone, infant children included, will be saved.
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:44 am

Before continuing, I would like to revisit some of what we already covered by providing some additional context and a summation of my response to Jehanne’s comment that “Pope Zosimus elevated the canons of Carthage to that of the Solemn Magisterium”.

Of the 138 Canons listed by New Advent Encyclopedia, with the exception of Canon 24 defining the Canonical Scriptures, the first 107 Canons of Carthage, and the last 21, are disciplinary in nature. Only with Canon 108, “the Synod against the heresy of Pelagius and Celestius”, does Carthage formally announce its intention to define and condemn said heresies (in canons 109-116). The condemned heresies are as follows (titles):

Canon 109. (Greek cxij. continued.) That Adam was not created by God subject to death
Canon 110. (Greek cxii. bis) That infants are baptized for the remission of sins
Canon 111. (Greek cxiij.) That the grace of God not only gives remission of sins, but also affords aid that we sin no more
Canon 112. (Greek cxiij. continued.) That the grace of Christ gives not only the knowledge of our duty, but also inspires us with a desire that we may be able to accomplish what we know
Canon 113. (Greek cxiiii.) That without the grace of God we can do no good thing
Canon 114. (Greek cxv.) That not only humble but also true is that voice of the Saints: If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves
Canon 115. (Greek cxvi.) That in the Lord's Prayer the Saints say for themselves: Forgive us our trespasses
Canon 116. (Greek cxvii.) That the Saints say with accuracy, Forgive us our trespasses
Again, the subject canon that Jehanne appears to want to elevate to a definition of the Supreme Magisterium is relegated to a foot-note by Bruns, Denzinger, Hefele and others because “It does not occur in the Greek, nor in Dionysius” though it “is found in this place [after canon 110] in a very ancient codex.”

The questionable authenticity of the footnoted canon is compounded by that fact that the original tractoria of Bishop Zosimus (containing these chapters and canons) is lost.

However, even assuming the authenticity of the footnoted canon (“as it is written”), “it needs to be interpreted in relation to the heretical Pelagian claim that ‘children just born are in the same state as Adam before his fall’.”

Neither should we discount the fact that the Council Fathers did not appear to be concerning themselves with “defining” or condemning the doctrine that denies “without which [baptism] they cannot enter the kingdom of heaven”, or with “the question ‘Do all infants who die without baptism die in original sin?'”, for neither Pelagius nor Celestius taught that non-baptized infants could enter the kingdom of heaven.

Rather, the heresy of Pelagius and Celestius asserted “that Adam's sin affected him alone and not his descendants also” (Canon 2, Council of Orange), thus suggesting In my Father's house are many mansions is to be understood as meaning there will be a certain middle place or some place somewhere, in which infants live in happiness who have gone forth from this life without baptism (‘without which they cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, which is life eternal’), giving these same infants a natural right to "eternal life" (while being deprived of the beatific vision).

It is important that we take note of the critical distinction that differentiates this heresy from the common limbus infatum doctrine of Aquinas and the Church.

In other words, it is likely that the various Council Fathers were not concerned with condemning the notion of a limbus infatum - per se (as it would develop), but more specifically with condemning the heresy that says because “children just born are in the same state as Adam before his fall” then In my Father's house are many mansions is to be understood as meaning there must needs exist … someplace somewhere a place (a mansion in my Fathers house) in which infants live in happiness who died without the grace of baptism; a place, in other words, where they may enjoy “eternal life” without the stain of original sin.

So, yes, Jehanne, that is certainly heretical, and that’s the way I understand the footnoted canon “as it is written”.

The Council of Orange, btw, provides a much more thorough and precise condemnation of the semi-Pelagian heresies (though it is silent on the subject of the footnoted canon of Carthage), while both Carthage and Orange condemn the Pelagian heresy that denies the inherited transmission of original sin to infants.
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  tornpage on Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:59 am

MRyan,

Sorry, I can't resist this topic, and we've always had very good discussion about it here.

Did Christ die for the sin[s] (transmitted original sin or other) of infants who die in infancy without baptism?

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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:02 pm

MRyan wrote:
The condemned heresies are as follows (titles):

Canon 109. (Greek cxij. continued.) That Adam was not created by God subject to death

[...]
Should have said, "the denial of the following truths are condemned as heretical".
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:14 pm

tornpage wrote:MRyan,

Sorry, I can't resist this topic, and we've always had very good discussion about it here.

Did Christ die for the sin[s] (transmitted original sin or other) of infants who die in infancy without baptism?
Always nice to hear from you.

Of course He did, for He wills the salvation of all men and died for all men for the remission of sins - so that all sins might be forgiven. In other words, He offers to all men the grace of salvation; but, as Jehanne just cited St. Alphonsus, "He is not bound to disturb the general order, to provide for the particular order."



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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  tornpage on Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:21 pm

Of course He did, for He wills the salvation of all men and died for all men for the remission of sins - so that all sins might be forgiven. In other words, He offers to all men the grace of salvation; but, as Jehanne just cited St. Alphonsus, "He is not bound to disturb the general order, to provide for the particular order."

So He died for their sins and wants to save them but it's more important to Him that the "general order" be preserved? His desire to save them there is impotent, and has virtually no meaning, or rather power, since the infants do not frustrate it or posit any volitional impediment to it being achieved, but they are nonetheless not saved.

You are comfortable with that?
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  tornpage on Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:28 pm

Never mind. You will likely say, "we don't know if they're not saved."

But let me try to make some kind of advance, in my knowledge if nothing else.

Are you saying the "general order" would be "disturbed" if the infants were saved? How so? What does that mean - "He is not bound to disturb the general order, to provide for the particular order?"

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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  tornpage on Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:46 pm

Mike,

I'm sorry for the loaded rhetorical question: "[y]ou are comfortable with that?" I know you're comfortable with that.

I just listened to the first three parts of a four part debate between Mike Brown (who is not a Calvinist) and James White on certain aspects of the Calvinist understanding. They are good friends, and have a great respect for each other, despite their differences. That came across in the debate, and it was nice to see/hear.

I know the same could be said for you and I - despite our differences.

I hope to pursue this topic with you again, and will strive mightily to keep it "clean" - try to avoid sarcasm, loaded rhetorical questions in the future, etc.

I asked you if Christ died for the sins (including transmitted original sin) of infants who died in infancy without baptism. You said "yes, " and added, citing St. Alphonsus, ""He is not bound to disturb the general order, to provide for the particular order."

I sincerely do not understand that qualification, and how that adds anything to your "yes" response to my question. If you're of a mind to respond, and if we can continue to discuss this in the spirit of Brown/White, that would be great.

Mark
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:51 pm

tornpage wrote:Mike,

I just listened to the first three parts of a four part debate between Mike Brown (who is not a Calvinist) and James White on certain aspects of the Calvinist understanding. They are good friends, and have a great respect for each other, despite their differences. That came across in the debate, and it was nice to see/hear.

If you're of a mind to respond, and if we can continue to discuss this in the spirit of Brown/White, that would be great.

Mark
Mark,

I can appreciate the spirit of respect which should mark this exchange, and I too will try to abide by that same spirit. And I will return to your questions in due time.

However, its interesting once again that you would mention the arguments of James White, who, along with Sproul, Piper and Mahaney represent a view akin to some "lala land where historic Calvinism remains the beautiful, beaming, baby-loving doctrine it’s always been", by which unbaptized infants are saved.

Unfortunately, the "Reformed" view seems to have "reformed" the true doctrine of Calvinism,

For example, 19th C. Reformed theologian Dr. H. J. Van Dyke openly asserted, "Now let us be candid with ourselves, and even with our opponents. Historic Calvinism does include what Calvin himself calls the horribile decretum, that by the election and predestination of God many nations, with their infant children, are irretrievably doomed to eternal death” (all bold mine, Variations within Calvinism, pp.39-40). (http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/peter_lumpkins/2010/08/on-calvinism-and-infant-salvation-a-brief-proposal-part-ii-by-peter-lumpkins.html)
And, it gets better. Speaking about the Synod of Dort (1619), the same author (Lumpkin) writes:

Arminian scholars apparently brought an objection against unconditional predestination resting upon the injustice it imposes upon infants dying in infancy, a strategic move Warfield calls “shrewd” and “irritating.”

Of this, Dr. Phillip Schaff writes:

"In the Synod of Dort (1619) the Calvinists, including the delegates of the Church of England, asserted in various shapes infant reprobation and infant damnation against the Arminians, who at first admitted a sort of negative hell for some infants (the poena damni, as distinct from the poena sensus), but afterwards positively maintained the salvation of all infants dying in infancy" (bold mine, Creed Revision in the Presbyterian Churches, p. 19; quoted in Elect Infants, John Vant Stephens, p.61).
Hence, the post-Reformation view of all infants dying in infancy are saved is distinctively an Arminian contribution to Reformed Christianity, definitively not a Calvinist contribution.

So my question to you is what is the contribution of Calvinism and a reformed "Reformed" theology to the teaching of the Catholic Church with respect to the "hope" of salvation for unbaptized infants?

Where Calvinism was excused, do the Arminians and the Molinists now have a place at the table of Reformed theology?
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:30 pm

Tornpage wrote:

Mike,

I'm sorry for the loaded rhetorical question: "[y]ou are comfortable with that?" I know you're comfortable with that.
That’s OK, Mark, I knew it was rhetorical – we’ve gone over this a few times already.

Tornpage wrote:
So He died for their sins and wants to save them but it's more important to Him that the "general order" be preserved? His desire to save them there is impotent, and has virtually no meaning, or rather power, since the infants do not frustrate it or posit any volitional impediment to it being achieved, but they are nonetheless not saved.

You are comfortable with that?
Yes, I am, for I see no contradiction.

Your question logically presupposes that if unbaptized infants are not saved, then it is not just that infants should be born in original sin -- which would appear to frustrate the will of God who wills the salvation of all men.

So it is just that infants are conceived with the stain of original sin (the privation of sanctifying grace), but it is not just should God allow them to die in that state?

If that is true, why is original sin an inherited sin and not a sin that is transmitted once man has the moral capacity to fall into sin (and does so fall), as the Pelagians believe?

You also seem to be positing that because not all men are saved, then God does NOT will the salvation of all men, but if God wills the salvation of all unbaptized infants (who cannot cooperate with His grace), then God will remove the stain of original sin in all unbaptized infants by an extraordinary means unknown to the Church.

Are you saying the "general order" would be "disturbed" if the infants were saved? How so? What does that mean - "He is not bound to disturb the general order, to provide for the particular order?"
Yes, that’s what I am saying. It is “important to Him that the ‘general order’ be preserved”, but it is no more important than preserving the other ordinary/general contingencies (such as the sacraments) that have been established for our sanctification/salvation, to which He is not bound when He chooses to effect the same end by an extra-ordinary means.

Since the Church knows of no means other than Baptism that can assure the salvation of infants, she is reluctant to declare with definitive certitude that God’s universal will “disturbs the general order” in each and every case (divine intervention), though she knows God has in fact done so when, for example, He saved the Holy Innocents and sanctified John the Baptist in the womb.

However, you raise an interesting point that deserves further scrutiny, when you say:

His desire to save them there is impotent, and has virtually no meaning, or rather power, since the infants do not frustrate it or posit any volitional impediment to it being achieved, but they are nonetheless not saved.

Let’s focus on the word “volitional” by which you mean if infants are saved due to the will of God (whose will cannot be impeded by an infant who cannot frustrate His will, but neither can he cooperate with God’s will and the offer of grace), then the act of salvation is simply a pure gift requiring no response/cooperation by the infant - by which God will remove the stain of original sin and the infant will enjoy an eternity of bliss in the beatific vision.

But now let me ask you a question. How is it that an aborted infant, for example, who not only has no free will, but does not have the mental capacity even to know and to love God, can be said to enjoy the beatific vision? Along the same lines, how will this same aborted infant know that he is deprived of the beatific vision of God?

Are you suggesting that God will develop, post mortem, the infants mind and will so he can know Him and enjoy His presence for all eternity?

If so, why do you appear to take exception when theologians speak of a vicarious baptism of desire by which the desire of the Church and her saints for the infants salvation may result in an infant receiving the virtue of faith vicariously; a faith that may only be fully realized in the beatific vision through a direct intervention by God?

If an unbaptized infant can receive the gift of the virtue of faith vicariously (the Church through the Godparents) in Baptism, why can’t this same infant (who dies before he receives baptism) receive the same virtue of faith vicariously through the desire of the Church (by the desire of his parents, the Saints, etc.)?

In each and every case of “desire”, there is an extra-ordinary intervention, but it is an intervention of the Church who serves as the chosen instrument for effecting the will of God --whose purpose is served either through the divinely established ordinary means, or by an extra-ordinary means, even when the means is unknown to the Church.

Again, that extra-ordinary “means” of salvation, when it comes to unbaptized infants, is unknown to the Church, so she is reluctant to assure the salvation of unbaptized infants when it has not been revealed by what means God will intervene, but she has confidence that He will do so, and places her hope in the same.

It would appear, Mark, that the “will of God” in your view is imposed and realized by “fiat” without any consideration for the established means (either directly or indirectly) by which our Lord intended that His will should be effected, and without any consideration for ordinary contingencies which may or may not impede an infants salvation.

In the Catholic view, if infants are saved, and we are given grounds to hope that they are, then they are not saved without the desire of the Church or the virtue of faith, both of which are supplied by the Church, even vicariously. The means by which this is accomplished remains unknown, at least in the present economy.
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  tornpage on Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:38 pm

So my question to you is what is the contribution of Calvinism and a reformed "Reformed" theology to the teaching of the Catholic Church with respect to the "hope" of salvation for unbaptized infants?

Where Calvinism was excused, do the Arminians and the Molinists now have a place at the table of Reformed theology?

No surprise here, but I don't think one can speak of a "Reformed" position on infants who die without baptism. I recall White saying somewhere that he believes God acts with infants as He does with adults - he exercises His sovereignty with regard to them, too. It's a gratuitous and free choice by God to save some, all or none. I'm not sure if his view is the majority view among Reformed.

I have an article bookmarked that I haven't read in awhile. I pull it up and paste it here, and we can read it (for me, reread it) together:

11. INFANT SALVATION

Most Calvinistic theologians have held that those who die in infancy are saved. The Scriptures seem to teach plainly enough that the children of believers are saved; but they are silent or practically so in regard to those of the heathens. The Westminster Confession does not pass judgment on the children of heathens who die before coming to years of accountability. Where the Scriptures are silent, the Confession, too, preserves silence. Our outstanding theologians, however, mindful of the fact that God's "tender mercies are over all His works," and depending on His mercy widened as broadly as possible, have entertained a charitable hope that since these infants have never committed any actual sin themselves, their inherited sin would be pardoned and they would be saved on wholly evangelical principles.

Such, for instance, was the position held by Charles Hodge, W. G. T. Shedd, and B. B. Warfield. Concerning those who die in infancy, Dr. Warfield says: "Their destiny is determined irrespective of their choice, by an unconditional decree of God, suspended for its execution on no act of their own; and their salvation is wrought by an unconditional application of the grace of Christ to their souls, through the immediate and irresistible operation of the Holy Spirit prior to and apart from any action of their own proper wills . . . And if death in infancy does depend on God's providence, it is assuredly God in His providence who selects this vast multitude to be made participants of His unconditional salvation . . . This is but to say that they are unconditionally predestinated to salvation from the foundation of the world. If only a single infant dying in irresponsible infancy be saved, the whole Arminian principle is traversed. If all infants dying such are saved, not only the majority of the saved, but doubtless the majority of the human race hitherto, have entered into life by a non-Arminian pathway."72

Certainly there is nothing in the Calvinistic system which would prevent us from believing this; and until it is proven that God could not predestinate to eternal life all those whom He is pleased to call in infancy we may be permitted to hold this view.
Calvinists, of course, hold that the doctrine of original sin applies to infants as well as to adults. Like all other sons of Adam, infants are truly culpable because of race sin and might be justly punished for it. Their "salvation" is real. It is possible only through the grace of Christ and is as truly unmerited as is that of adults. Instead of minimizing the demerit and punishment due to them for original sin, Calvinism magnifies the mercy of God in their salvation. Their salvation means something, for it is the deliverance of guilty souls from eternal woe. And it is costly, for it was paid for by the suffering of Christ on the cross. Those who take the other view of original sin, namely, that it is not properly sin and does not deserve eternal punishment, make the evil from which infants are "saved" to be very small and consequently the love and gratitude which they owe to God to be small also.

The doctrine of infant salvation finds a logical place in the Calvinistic system; for the redemption of the soul is thus infallibly determined irrespective of any faith , repentance or good works, whether actual or foreseen. It does not, however, find a logical place in Arminianism or any other system. Furthermore, it would seem that a system such as Arminianism, which suspends salvation on a personal act of rational choice, would logically demand that those dying in infancy must either be given another period of probation after death, in order that their destiny may be fixed, or that they must be annihilated.

In regard to this question Dr. S. G. Craig has written: "We take it that no doctrine of infant salvation is Christian that does not assume that infants are lost members of a lost race for whom there is no salvation apart from Christ. It must be obvious to all, therefore, that the doctrine that all dying in infancy are saved will not fit into the Roman Catholic or Anglo-Catholic system of thought with their teaching of baptismal regeneration; as clearly most of those who have died in infancy have not been baptized. It is obvious also that the Lutheran system of thought provides no place for the notion that all dying in infancy are saved because of the necessity it attaches to the means of grace, especially the Word and the Sacraments. If grace is only in the means of grace—in the case of infants in baptism—it seems clear that most of those who have died in infancy have not been the recipients of grace. Equally clear is it that the Arminian has no right to believe in the salvation of all dying in infancy; in fact, it is not so clear that he has any right to believe in the salvation of any dying in infancy. For according to the Arminians, even the evangelical Arminians, God in His grace has merely provided men with an opportunity for salvation. It does not appear, however, that a mere opportunity for salvation can be of any avail for those dying in infancy."73

Though rejecting the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, and turning the baptism of the non-elect into an empty form, Calvinism, on the other hand, extends saving grace far beyond the boundaries of the visible Church. If it is true that all of those who die in infancy, in heathen as well as in Christian lands, are saved, then more than half of the human race even up to the present time has been among the elect. Furthermore, it may be said that since Calvinists bold that saving faith in Christ is the only requirement for salvation on the part of adults, they never make membership in the external Church to be either a requirement or a guarantee of salvation. They believe that many adults who have no connection with the external Church are nevertheless saved. Every consistent Christian will, of course, submit himself for baptism in accordance with the plain Scripture command and will become a member of the external Church; yet many others, either because of weakness of faith or because they lack the opportunity, do not carry out that command.

It has often been charged that the Westminster Confession in stating that "Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved by Christ" (Chap. X. Sec. 3), implies that there are non-elect infants, who, dying in infancy, are lost, and that the Presbyterian Church has taught that some dying in infancy are lost. Concerning this Dr. Craig says: "The history of the phrase 'Elect infants dying in infancy' makes clear that the contrast implied was not between 'elect infants dying in infancy' and 'non-elect infants dying in infancy,' but rather between 'elect infants dying in infancy' and 'elect infants living to grow up.' " However, in order to guard against misunderstanding, furthered by unfriendly controversialists, the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A. adopted in 1903 a Declaratory Statement which reads as follows: "With reference to Chapter X, Section 3, of the Confession of Faith, that it is not to be regarded as teaching that any who die in infancy are lost. We believe that all dying in infancy are included in the election of grace, and are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit, who works when and where and how He pleases."

Concerning this Declaratory Statement Dr. Craig says: "It is obvious that the Declaratory Statement goes beyond the teaching of Chapter X, Section 3 of the Confession of Faith inasmuch as it states positively that all who die in infancy are saved. Some hold that the Declaratory Statement goes beyond the Scripture in teaching that all those dying in infancy are saved; but, be that as it may, it makes it impossible for any person to even plausibly maintain that Presbyterians teach that there are non-elect infants who die in infancy. No doubt there have been individual Presbyterians who held that some of those who die in infancy have been lost; but such was never the official teaching of the Presbyterian Church and as matters now stand such a position is contradicted by the Church's creed."74

It is sometimes charged that Calvin taught the actual damnation of some of those who die in infancy. A careful examination of his writings, however, does not bear out that charge. He explicitly taught that some of the elect die in infancy and that they are saved as infants. He also taught that there were reprobate infants; for he held that reprobation as well as election was eternal, and that the non-elect come into this life reprobate. But nowhere did he teach that the reprobate die and are lost as infants. He of course rejected the Pelagian view which denied original sin and grounded the salvation of those who die in infancy on their supposed innocence and sinlessness. Calvin's views in this respect have been quite thoroughly investigated by Dr. R. A. Webb and his findings are summarized in the following paragraph: "Calvin teaches that all the reprobate 'procure'—(that is his own word)—'procure' their own destruction; and they procure their destruction by their own personal and conscious acts of 'impiety,' 'wickedness,' and 'rebellion.' Now reprobate infants, though guilty of original sin and under condemnation, cannot, while they are infants, thus 'procure' their own destruction by their personal acts of impiety, wickedness, and rebellion. They must, therefore, live to the years of moral responsibility in order to perpetrate the acts of impiety, wickedness and rebellion, which Calvin defines as the mode through which they procure their destruction. While, therefore, Calvin teaches that there are reprobate infants, and that these will be finally lost, he nowhere teaches that they will be lost as infants, and while they are infants; but, on the contrary, he declares that all the reprobate 'procure' their own destruction by personal acts of impiety, wickedness and rebellion. Consequently, his own reasoning compels him to hold (to be consistent with himself), that no reprobate child can die in infancy; but all such must live to the age of moral accountability, and translate original sin into actual sin."75

In none of Calvin's writings does he say, either directly or by good and necessary inference, that any dying in infancy are lost. Most of the passages which are brought forth by opponents to prove this point are merely assertions of his well known doctrine of original sin, in which he taught the universal guilt and depravity of the entire race. Most of these are from highly controversial sections where he is discussing other doctrines and where he speaks unguardedly; but when taken in their context the meaning is not often in doubt. Calvin simply says of all infants what David specifically said of himself: "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; And in sin did my mother conceive me," Psalm 51:5; or what Paul said, "In Adam all die," 1 Corinthians 15:22; or again, that all are "by nature, the children of wrath," Ephesians 2:3.
We believe that we have now shown that the doctrine of election is in every point Scriptural and a plain dictate of common sense. Those who oppose this doctrine do so because they neither understand nor consider the majesty and holiness of God, nor the corruption and guilt of their own nature. They forget that they stand before their Maker not as those who may justly claim His mercy, but as condemned criminals who deserve only punishment. Furthermore, they want to be independent to work out their own scheme of salvation rather than to accept God's plan which is by grace. This doctrine of election will not harmonize with any covenant of works, nor with a mongrel covenant of works and grace; but it is the only possible outcome of a covenant of pure grace.

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/boettner/predest.iv.iii.xi.html
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  Jehanne on Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:45 pm

Interesting. In Calvin's theology, then, aborted infants are among the Elect?! So, a woman can have assurance that her baby will go to Heaven simply by the act of killing it.
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  tornpage on Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:01 pm

Your question logically presupposes that if unbaptized infants are not saved, then it is not just that infants should be born in original sin -- which would appear to frustrate the will of God who wills the salvation of all men.

That is not a presupposition I make.

So it is just that infants are conceived with the stain of original sin (the privation of sanctifying grace), but it is not just should God allow them to die in that state?

If - I deny this - God wills the salvation of all men, and Christ died for all men, then, yes, I do believe it would be unjust for God to not save those infants. The Catholic Church (not I) says that God died for all men, and that He wills all to be saved. It says God gives sufficient grace to all men, and that if men cooperate with that grace, they will be saved. It then saves it doesn't know if these infants are saved or not. To which I say, if God wills their salvation, and gives them sufficient grace to be saved and they do nothing to oppose it, it must logically follow that they are saved.

For me, when the fact and fate of these infants meets the Church's position on God's universal salvific will and the provision of sufficient grace for salvation to all men, the Church's consistency and reliability falls apart.

I will answer your other questions in due time.

Let me note now that they seem to go back to the issue of God's universal salvific will, which we have covered before extensively - not that one or both of us could not benefit from going over that ground.

But now the issue I am raising is different: not God's will, put the purpose of Christ's death, and whose sins (and what sins) were paid for by His death.

You say Christ died for the sins of all men(which you believe means every single one), including the sins of these infants. Does that include their stain of original sin? Your theology, and the theology of the Church, allows for the possibility that these infants are not saved. So I follow up and will ask, relatedly -

In what sense did Christ die for the sins of these infants according to Catholic theology if that same theology entertains the possibility that they are not saved?

While I disagree, I can see the "logic" as to adults - they commit sins, thereby "rejecting" Christ's sacrifice and offering on their behalf.

But what about those infants?
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:27 pm

Jehanne wrote:
As far as the canon in question, what do you think that it is teaching us? That infants go to Hell proper to suffer a positive punishment? Not necessarily. As you pointed out, the dogma of the Assumption was silent as to whether or not the Blessed Mother physically died. Likewise, the phrase "will be a partner of the devil" could be interpreted as being nothing more than exclusion from Heaven and not necessarily a "positive punishment" in Hell, although, one could read it that way. Again, the canon allows for a certain amount of theological opinion, as does the dogma of the Assumption.
So, the anathema specifically condemning anyone who says “that for this reason the Lord said: 'In my house there are many mansions': that it might be understood that in the kingdom of heaven there will be some middle place or some place anywhere where happy infants live who departed from this life without baptism, without which they cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, which is life eternal”, could be read to mean that it is actually OK to hold that there is “some place [e.g., Limbo] where happy infants live who departed from this life without baptism’.

And not only is it kosher to hold this view, it is also apropos to suggest that while it is true that anyone who departs this life in original sin alone “has not deserved to be a coheir of Christ”, it is not necessarily true that he “will be a partner of the devil” (which is a clear reference to the fallible doctrine of St. Augustine).

If you cannot find fault with my explanation which demonstrates that the “some place somewhere” of the Pelagians (where infants reside who die in a state of preternatural justice sans original sin) is NOT the limbus infantum of Aquinas and the Church, then we can accept your qualifications. However, I would also add that the last section containing "will be a partner of the devil" follows the formal anathema, and it is not thus part of the solemn ex cathedra condemnation (if the words of condemnation are authentic).

As you should know by now, I do NOT hold that the footnoted canon is saying “That infants go to Hell proper to suffer a positive punishment?” (I'm surprised that you would ask me such a question). That is the “opinion” of others who say that is precisely what it is saying, and that it is de fide (such as romancatholicism.org).

More to the point, I am simply pointing out the inconsistency of dismissing the so-called “literal” interpretation of the formal condemnation regarding the very subject and error of the Pelagians addressed by the Canon (some middle place or some place somewhere where unbaptized happy infants go), and turning right around and insisting that the attendant passage (which is not the direct subject or concern of the condemnation) which says “without which [baptism] they cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, which is life eternal” is the actual subject of the anathema, when the Pelagians do NOT even deny that unbaptized infants cannot enter the kingdom of heaven!

So tell me, Jehanne, do the words “without which [baptism] they cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, which is life eternal” allow “for a certain amount of theological opinion" and qualification by the Church? A yes or no would be nice. If “no”, you’ll have some explaining to do.

Jehanne wrote:Finally, you've acknowledged that the "common opinion" of the Church's theologians was that Limbo was a real place where at least some of the souls of unbaptized children went upon their deaths and that, for centuries, this theological opinion was openly taught.
Yes, it became the "common opinion" after supplanting that other more severe "common opinion" that lasted some 800 years. I would also argue that since at least the 16th century the "common opinion" did not enjoy a universal moral consensus, and that it is no longer the "common opinion". The Church's "opinion" tends to tip the "opinion" scale heavily in her favor.

Jehanne wrote:In your opinion, "how did this opinion arise?" What are its origins in Catholic theology?
It arose out of necessity. Each "common opinion" was a logical explanation to a difficult and unresolved question - as it was understood "in the present economy" (the theology was and is still developing).

Jehanne wrote:
Finally, while Saint Thomas did teach the following:

"Children while in the mother’s womb have not yet come forth into the world to live among other men. Consequently they cannot be subject to the action of man, so as to receive the sacrament, at the hands of man, unto salvation. They can, however, be subject to the action of God, in Whose sight they live, so as, by a kind of privilege, to receive the grace of sanctification; as was the case with those who were sanctified in the womb." (Summa Theologica IIIa, q.68, a.11, ad 1)


he also taught,

"Those who are sanctified in the womb, receive indeed grace which cleanses them from original sin, but they do not therefore receive the character, by which they are conformed to Christ. Consequently, if any were to be sanctified in the womb now, they would need to be baptized, in order to be conformed to Christ’s other members by receiving the character." (Summa Theologica IIIa q.68, a.1, ad 3)


I believe that Saint Thomas is silent on what would happen if those "who are sanctified in the womb" would die before being born. He may have believed that such individuals were predestined to be at least born physically.
That's fine, Jehanne, but keep in mind that when St. Thomas says "the character, by which they are conformed to Christ", he qualifies this by then saying "if any were to be sanctified in the womb now, they would need to be baptized, in order to be conformed to Christ’s other members" of the Mystical Body. He is referring here to a formal incorporation and the fact that it is the character that marks one with the sign of privilege to receive the sacraments of the Church.

St. Thomas always speaks of the character in this context -- that of the indelible priestly sign and seal that bestows upon each of the Faithful the right to participate in the divine life of the Church with the other members of the same Body. Any speculation on the function and purpose of the baptismal character beyond this is just that, speculation.

It is charity and grace that conforms one to Christ, and it is the baptismal seal which marks one as one of the Faithful members of the visible Church on earth, with all the attendant rights and privileges the priestly seal bestows.

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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  Jehanne on Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:53 pm

Mike,

Please correct me if I am wrong but the only Magisterial teaching on the fate of infants who die without Baptism is #1261 in the CCC, of course, excluding the "retraction" (to quote Father Brian Harrison) which Pope John made in Evangelium Vitae. If you know of any other Magisterial references, please let me (us) know. You can, of course, quote Saint Jerome and his "professed agnosticism" on the exact fate of infants who die without sacramental Baptism, but I could, of course, quote Saint Augustine who was, at least in his final years, quite explicit and gnostic about their ultimate fate. If you're going to cast his beliefs as being "theological opinion," how much more so can we make the same claim about Saint Ambrose who basically had "no opinion."

Now, back to abortion. Is it a "sacrament" (small 's') or not? And, is an abortionist a "minister" of sanctifying grace? And, when exactly, is an aborted child "sanctified" from original sin? Right before the procedure? During? After?

As for #1261 CCC, it, of course, states, that we "are allowed to hope..." Does that language, in your opinion, "allow us not to hope?" And, if we are, indeed, "allowed not to hope," then how can #1261 be expressing a doctrine of the Catholic Church? What "theological grade" would you attach to it?
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  tornpage on Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:50 am

Mike,

You also seem to be positing that because not all men are saved, then God does NOT will the salvation of all men

Not exactly - at least in this context. I am looking (or have looked, since, again, you appear to be focused on our old question of the universal salvific will) at certain things that have been asserted - quite logically I believe - as necessary for the existence of a true will to save all men by God. I did not make up these conditions, but Catholic theologians have asserted their necessity for the universal salvific will to be true. These conditions are put forth (not by me, although I agree that these conditions are necessary for such a will) as a sine qua non for the existence of such a will on the part of God.

I give you (once again) St. Alphonsus:

If then God wills all to be saved, it follows that He gives to all that grace and those aids which are necessary for the attainment of salvation, otherwise it could never be said that He has a true will to save all

At the Called to Communion site their is a link to various lectures by Catholic thinker/theologian Lawrence Feingold. One of his discussions is on the universal salvfic will. I will point to the notes to that discussion, which highlight the problem as I see it, and point out the inconsistency (in my view of course):


Real Possibility of Salvation for All (53′)

Sufficient grace to be saved is given to everyone who reaches the age of reason. Christ died for all men. God wills all men to cooperate with that grace, and thus God predestines no one to hell.

http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2011/11/lawrence-feingold-on-gods-universal-salvific-will/

I do not understand how the necessary sufficient grace (per St. Alphonsus) is given to infants, and here it is said that it is given "to everyone who reaches the age of reason," which I can understand, since everyone who reaches the age of reason has the intellectual and moral capacity to make responsible choices (putting aside the issue of mentally deficient adults, whom I would classify with the infants). I deny that such grace is given to infants who die without baptism, and Mr. Feingold apparently drops the fiction that it is - good for him. Yet the infants are among "all" men, and I therefore assert that, the necessary condition not being established and provided to "all" men, God does not will the salvation of all men, and salvation is not a real possibility for "all" - at least not on the basis of the conditions which it is said are necessary for that possibility to be real for all.

Along with this idea of God willing the salvation of "all" men, the Church holds to the view that no one is in hell who has not committed personal, mortal sin. This presents the Church with a bit of a problem: if these infants are not saved (and the Church allows that they might not be, and this is Jehanne's view - which I believe is consistent, and leave to him the problem of how then God desires the salvation of the unbaptized infant - if he believes that), then they must be someplace else, not having committed personal, mortal sin, and hence not worthy (for lack of a better word) of hell. Hence the development of Limbo.

There is no need to imagine presuppositions not stated on my part. I've laid out all my reasons and all the necessary suppositions above.

Since we seem to have engaged again on the universal salvific will, perhaps I'll start another thread on the whose sins Christ paid for on the Cross, and for whose sins He died.



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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  tornpage on Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:24 am

Interesting. In Calvin's theology, then, aborted infants are among the Elect?! So, a woman can have assurance that her baby will go to Heaven simply by the act of killing it.

Jehanne,

If the text I cited is right about what Calvin believed - if you write down what I've read from Calvin, you could fit in on a matchbook cover - Calvin believed that no one is in hell who hasn't committed personal, mortal sin - he would apparently agree with the Catholic Church on that. Since infants have not committed mortal sin, he views them as being in heaven, since Scripture does not appear to entertain any other possible abode for them other than there, or hell.

I believe St. Augustine, apparently reading Scripture as Calvin in seeing only two possible alternatives, and acknowledging that they lacked the necessary faith or sacrament of faith (necessary to remove original sin), saw them as being in hell, albeit suffering lesser punishment.

I don't know how Calvin deals with the issue of original sin in the case of the infants. Perhaps he read Romans 5 as indicating that Christ freed all men from original sin on the cross, since he apparently believes that anyone who dies before committing personal sin goes to heaven - original sin does not appear to bar anyone according to Calvin.

I would agree with St. Augustine, and his understanding of original sin.


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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  Jehanne on Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:49 am

Calvin was simply wrong, "big time." Two books, Elect in the Son and Life in the Son, written by the late Robert Shank, a Protestant Arminian scholar will lay to rest any notion of Calvin's private interpretation of the Scriptures.

I was raised as an Arminian in the Evangelical Church of America. Theirs is kind of a strange theology. They believe in original sin, yet believe that all infants who die in childhood will be redeemed. Yet, they believe correctly that salvation can be lost after it has been attained. Their concept of sin is very fuzzy, in that they do not differentiate between venial and mortal sin, so it is unclear as to what types of sin could cost someone his/her eternal salvation. They have no sacraments (except Baptism and Matrimony), of course, and no priesthood.

While growing up, I sometimes would wonder, "Am I saved?" I went through a period of time during my early teenage years where I suffered from night terrors about dying and going to Hell. My father and I both talked to my pastor about it, who could offer me no assurance that if I died that I would go to Heaven. I felt that I was "sinning constantly" and so came to believe that I was simply destined for Hell.

Eventually, I embraced the OSAS ("Once Saved, Always Saved") theology through the writings of the Protestant radio evangelist Charles Swindoll, but I could not bring myself to believe in any of it, because there is so much Biblical evidence against it. Later, through reading Shank, it became crystal clear to me that OSAS was just a spin-off of Calvinism and its idea of unconditional predestination. Eventually, I drifted into agnosticism, and after going to college, went on with my life.

Many years later I came to Roman Catholicism through the miracles of the Church, and after that, all of my "theological qualms" (or, rather, most of them) would be resolved. No longer do I have the intense struggles with dying and going to Hell, largely, of course, because of the sacramental priesthood which the Catholic Church provides and the sacramentals which are available to we Catholics, such as the Rosary. (I realize, of course, that non-Catholics do pray the Rosary, but that's another topic as to the graces which they may receive from doing so.) Most of all, I can read the Bible and passages such as 1 John 5 with a "straight face" and not have to pitifully rationalize the "sin leading to death" passage (as well as many others) as the OSAS advocates do.

As for infants and the Triune God's universal salvific will towards them, I believe that such is like artificial contraception. Just as parents can deny their future child his/her very own existence through contraception which will prevent conception and ensoulment, so, too, they can deny their future child his/her very own life through abortion and infanticide. And yet, God does not intervene in either of those two instances, at least regularly. So, too, it seems completely reasonable and plausible that two parents could deny their infant baby eternal life through contempt and/or neglect of sacramental baptism.

The alternative, for me, is to believe that abortion is an instrument of sanctifying grace and/or that it will always confer such, and I do not believe that to be the case.
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:01 am

Jehanne wrote:

Please correct me if I am wrong but the only Magisterial teaching on the fate of infants who die without Baptism is #1261 in the CCC, of course, excluding the "retraction" (to quote Father Brian Harrison) which Pope John made in Evangelium Vitae. If you know of any other Magisterial references, please let me (us) know. You can, of course, quote Saint Jerome and his "professed agnosticism" on the exact fate of infants who die without sacramental Baptism, but I could, of course, quote Saint Augustine who was, at least in his final years, quite explicit and Gnostic about their ultimate fate. If you're going to cast his beliefs as being "theological opinion," how much more so can we make the same claim about Saint Ambrose who basically had "no opinion."
We’ve gone over this many times, and it is quite simple. If the Church has never defined or settled definitively (and she hasn’t) “the fate of infants who die without Baptism”, then there are no magisterial directives that can be said to have definitively settled this issue. And neither does the CCC #1261, Evangelium Vitae or Lumen Gentium, beyond offering the hope of salvation to these same infants.

Your opinion on the respective teachings of St. Augustine and St. Ambrose is not relevant to settling this question, though it is clear that St. Ambrose did not consider the question closed.

Jehanne wrote:
Now, back to abortion. Is it a "sacrament" (small 's') or not? And, is an abortionist a "minister" of sanctifying grace? And, when exactly, is an aborted child "sanctified" from original sin? Right before the procedure? During? After?
These questions are insulting. How you can equate the “procedure” of abortion to an instrument for the transmission of sanctifying grace, and expect me to take you seriously?

Tell us, Jehanne, were Herod's soldiers who slaughtered the Holy Innocents acting as God's "ministers" for administering the "sacrament" of baptism in blood? When exactly were the Holy Innocents sanctified? Right before being murdered? During? After?

Tell us, inquiring minds would like to know.

That some non-Catholic type abortion rights advocates already treat abortion as a “sacrament” is hardly relevant, and the logic that holds that if it is taught that aborted infants are among the blessed in heaven, that this will only encourage more abortions, is simply without merit.

I remember reading of a canonized saint and mother who once prayed that our Lord should take her child rather than let him live long enough to commit a mortal sin (and possibly lose his soul). So I guess the Church's teaching that affirms that baptized infants who die before reaching the age of reason are assured of salvation only encourages parents to withhold critical medical treatment and to allow their children to die rather than see them survive only to risk seeing them fall into mortal sin without the assurance of contrition or sacerdotal forgiveness.

Heck, why not encourage the "sacrament of infanticide" rather than risk having children offend our Lord and possibly lose their souls, especially in this age of total degeneracy?

It is the same logic as your "abortion as sacrament" fallacy.

Jehanne wrote:
As for #1261 CCC, it, of course, states, that we "are allowed to hope..." Does that language, in your opinion, "allow us not to hope?" And, if we are, indeed, "allowed not to hope," then how can #1261 be expressing a doctrine of the Catholic Church? What "theological grade" would you attach to it?
Yes it allows us “not to hope”, at the risk of accusing the authentic ordinary magisterium of the Church of teaching an erroneous inauthentic doctrine. I know of many, such as Fr. Harrison, who have no problem with that (at least not after his “eureka” moment upon discovering an alleged “magisterial” prescription against “hope” in the encyclical Effraenatam).

Fr. Harrison is mistaken, but I suppose that is besides the point.



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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:20 am

Jehanne wrote:
The alternative, for me, is to believe that abortion is an instrument of sanctifying grace and/or that it will always confer such, and I do not believe that to be the case.
Jehanne, you are confusing some basic principles. Neither abortion nor the slaughter of the Holy Innocents can be considered as positive goods and instruments for the transmission of sanctifying grace, but only as murderous instruments and evil acts against the lives of innocents who are created in God’s image.

That the blood shed in each instance can be said to be analogous to the shedding of one’s blood for Christ does not change the mortal sin involved in the murderous act itself. This is why your insistence on calling abortion a “sacrament” for the transmission of grace is blasphemous. Only our Lord can derive a positive good (grace) from an evil act, while leaving the murderous ministers and instruments of evil to their own demise.
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  Jehanne on Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:44 am

MRyan wrote:
Jehanne wrote:

Please correct me if I am wrong but the only Magisterial teaching on the fate of infants who die without Baptism is #1261 in the CCC, of course, excluding the "retraction" (to quote Father Brian Harrison) which Pope John made in Evangelium Vitae. If you know of any other Magisterial references, please let me (us) know. You can, of course, quote Saint Jerome and his "professed agnosticism" on the exact fate of infants who die without sacramental Baptism, but I could, of course, quote Saint Augustine who was, at least in his final years, quite explicit and Gnostic about their ultimate fate. If you're going to cast his beliefs as being "theological opinion," how much more so can we make the same claim about Saint Ambrose who basically had "no opinion."
We’ve gone over this many times, and it is quite simple. If the Church has never defined or settled definitively (and she hasn’t) “the fate of infants who die without Baptism”, then there are no magisterial directives that can be said to have definitively settled this issue. And neither does the CCC #1261, Evangelium Vitae or Lumen Gentium, beyond offering the hope of salvation to these same infants.

We all, of course, agree that it is de fide that those who die "in original sin alone" are excluded from Heaven. In this respect, Limbo would be a theological conclusion.

MRyan wrote:Your opinion on the respective teachings of St. Augustine and St. Ambrose is not relevant to settling this question, though it is clear that St. Ambrose did not consider the question closed.

In my debates with the Orthodox on the Catholic Answers Forum before I got banned here a few weeks ago, they are quite good at citing from the Church Fathers (of which, I was told, that there are 124 or so men) as to why the dogma of Papal Primacy defined at the First Vatican Council is false. So, we can all cherry-pick statements from the various Church Fathers to support our various points of view.

MRyan wrote:
Jehanne wrote:
Now, back to abortion. Is it a "sacrament" (small 's') or not? And, is an abortionist a "minister" of sanctifying grace? And, when exactly, is an aborted child "sanctified" from original sin? Right before the procedure? During? After?
These questions are insulting. How you can equate the “procedure” of abortion to an instrument for the transmission of sanctifying grace, and expect me to take you seriously?

Tell us, Jehanne, were Herod's soldiers who slaughtered the Holy Innocents acting as God's "ministers" for administering the "sacrament" of baptism in blood? When exactly were the Holy Innocents sanctified? Right before being murdered? During? After?

Tell us, inquiring minds would like to know.

No, they were not, at least in a direct sense. However, the Holy Innocents were likely all circumcised anyway, and even if they were not, they were all martyred in the Name of Jesus Christ. So, unless one is going to claim that every child who is murdered before the Age of Reason is also a martyr for Christ, it's kind of "apples & oranges" here. And, once we go down that path, how about infant children who die from accidents, disease, or suffer miscarriages in the womb. Are those children also martyrs?

MRyan wrote:That some non-Catholic type abortion rights advocates already treat abortion as a “sacrament” is hardly relevant, and the logic that holds that if it is taught that aborted infants are among the blessed in heaven, that this will only encourage more abortions, is simply without merit.

On the Saint Benedict Center website, there is a documented example of this.

MRyan wrote:I remember reading of a canonized saint and mother who once prayed that our Lord should take her child rather than let him live long enough to commit a mortal sin (and possibly lose his soul). So I guess the Church's teaching that affirms that baptized infants who die before reaching the age of reason are assured of salvation only encourages parents to withhold critical medical treatment and to allow their children to die rather than see them survive only to risk seeing them fall into mortal sin without the assurance of contrition or sacerdotal forgiveness.

Well, she didn't kill him, did she? Other canonized Saints claimed to be able to talk to animals. Maybe they did, maybe not. I do not know. Again, we're "quote mining" here on which to base our theological principles.

MRyan wrote:Heck, why not encourage the "sacrament of infanticide" rather than risk having children offend our Lord and possibly lose their souls, especially in this age of total degeneracy?

It is the same logic as your "abortion as sacrament" fallacy.

Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, a Doctor of the Church, had no problem affirming that infants who die without sacramental Baptism go to Heaven if they are martyred for Christ, yet he had no problem either affirming the existence of the Limbo of the Children. So, for him, it was never an either/or type problem.

MRyan wrote:
Jehanne wrote:
As for #1261 CCC, it, of course, states, that we "are allowed to hope..." Does that language, in your opinion, "allow us not to hope?" And, if we are, indeed, "allowed not to hope," then how can #1261 be expressing a doctrine of the Catholic Church? What "theological grade" would you attach to it?
Yes it allows us “not to hope”, at the risk of accusing the authentic ordinary magisterium of the Church of teaching an erroneous inauthentic doctrine. I know of many, such as Fr. Harrison, who have no problem with that (at least not after his “eureka” moment upon discovering an alleged “magisterial” prescription against “hope” in the encyclical Effraenatam).

Fr. Harrison is mistaken, but I suppose that is besides the point.

About what? That Pope Sixtus V, in his Papal bull Effraenatam, was actually teaching in virtue of his office as opposed to merely regurgitating a "common opinion"?
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  Jehanne on Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:01 am

MRyan wrote:
Jehanne wrote:
The alternative, for me, is to believe that abortion is an instrument of sanctifying grace and/or that it will always confer such, and I do not believe that to be the case.
Jehanne, you are confusing some basic principles. Neither abortion nor the slaughter of the Holy Innocents can be considered as positive goods and instruments for the transmission of sanctifying grace, but only as murderous instruments and evil acts against the lives of innocents who are created in God’s image.

That the blood shed in each instance can be said to be analogous to the shedding of one’s blood for Christ does not change the mortal sin involved in the murderous act itself. This is why your insistence on calling abortion a “sacrament” for the transmission of grace is blasphemous. Only our Lord can derive a positive good (grace) from an evil act, while leaving the murderous ministers and instruments of evil to their own demise.

They are not "shedding their blood for Christ." No motive exists to murder these babies because they are Christians. In fact, at least the majority of practicing abortionists are "church goers"! I use "sacrament" with a small 's', and no, I do not believe that sanctifying grace occurs with abortion, and so no, I do not believe that it is a "sacrament" or that it confers and/or results in sanctifying grace nor do I believe that the Holy Spirit confers such grace as a result of an abortion.
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:15 am

tornpage wrote:Mike,

At the Called to Communion site their is a link to various lectures by Catholic thinker/theologian Lawrence Feingold. One of his discussions is on the universal salvfic will. I will point to the notes to that discussion, which highlight the problem as I see it, and point out the inconsistency (in my view of course):

Real Possibility of Salvation for All (53′)

Sufficient grace to be saved is given to everyone who reaches the age of reason. Christ died for all men. God wills all men to cooperate with that grace, and thus God predestines no one to hell.

http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2011/11/lawrence-feingold-on-gods-universal-salvific-will/

I do not understand how the necessary sufficient grace (per St. Alphonsus) is given to infants, and here it is said that it is given "to everyone who reaches the age of reason," which I can understand, since everyone who reaches the age of reason has the intellectual and moral capacity to make responsible choices (putting aside the issue of mentally deficient adults, whom I would classify with the infants). I deny that such grace is given to infants who die without baptism, and Mr. Feingold apparently drops the fiction that it is - good for him. Yet the infants are among "all" men, and I therefore assert that, the necessary condition not being established and provided to "all" men, God does not will the salvation of all men, and salvation is not a real possibility for "all" - at least not on the basis of the conditions which it is said are necessary for that possibility to be real for all.
Mark,

“To say that God wills all men to be saved would be empty if it did not include some kind of universal means so that all can be saved. (16′)”

This is absolutely true, and cannot be read in isolation and apart from the truth which says: “Sufficient grace to be saved is given to everyone who reaches the age of reason. Christ died for all men. God wills all men to cooperate with that grace, and thus God predestines no one to hell”, for both statements are true.

Sufficient grace to be saved IS given to everyone who reaches the age of reason (who are given the opportunity to cooperate with that grace), and sufficient grace to be saved IS given even to those who have not reached the age of reason, even if they cannot cooperate with that grace except vicariously through the Church.

The truth is the Church simply does not know with definitive certitude the means by which unbaptized infants can be saved. But we know this, if they are saved, and we are given good reasons to hope that they are, they are not saved apart from the instrument of salvation, the Church. And if baptized infants who have not reached the age of reason receive the virtue of faith vicariously through the desire and Faith of the Church (as the Church infallibly teaches), then there is no reason, as theologians speculate, why this same desire and vicarious faith cannot also serve as the means of sanctification for unbaptized infants.

And that is a very plausible and consistent answer to “how the necessary sufficient grace (per St. Alphonsus) is given to infants”. As I’ve repeated ad nausem, the theological principles and precedent for this have been clearly established and affirmed by St. Thomas Aquinas, and by the examples of the Holy Innocents and the sanctification of St. John the Baptist in the womb, even if Aquinas did not see how theses same principles could apply generally to infants without the instrument of Baptism.

Futhermore, your statement that “I deny that such grace is given to infants who die without baptism, and Mr. Feingold apparently drops the fiction that it is - good for him” is entirely without merit, for I do not see anywhere where Mr. Feingold said that sufficient grace is not offered (“given”) to infants, and they cannot thus be saved, and in fact, he cites numerous magisterial passages that suggest that God does indeed offer all men the grace of salvation and wills that all men be saved.

I find it strange that Calvinists appeal to “unconditional election”, but many of them remain mute when it comes to the election of infants born to heathen parents, almost as if their salvation is conditioned upon the faith or non-faith of the parents. Stranger still, “Luther and Calvin denied our ability to cooperate with grace”.

Anyway, I’ll save the subject of “Calvinism” for another post.

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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  tornpage on Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:11 pm

Mike,

And if baptized infants who have not reached the age of reason receive the virtue of faith vicariously through the desire and Faith of the Church (as the Church infallibly teaches), then there is no reason, as theologians speculate, why this same desire and vicarious faith cannot also serve as the means of sanctification for unbaptized infants.

And that is a very plausible and consistent answer to “how the necessary sufficient grace (per St. Alphonsus) is given to infants”. As I’ve repeated ad nausem, the theological principles and precedent for this have been clearly established and affirmed by St. Thomas Aquinas, and by the examples of the Holy Innocents and the sanctification of St. John the Baptist in the womb, even if Aquinas did not see how theses same principles could apply generally to infants without the instrument of Baptism.

It's one thing to speculate on how sufficient grace could reach unbaptized infants, but that is insufficient when the principle at issue requires the fulfillment of a necessary condition - that sufficient grace for salvation is offered to every human being.

I don't think I'm nitpicking here. If one cannot say the necessary condition for a principle to be true is established, you cannot assert that principle is true.

If A, then B . . . not perhaps A, then B. If A is only perhaps, the argument fails.

A human sense of justice requires that, if God wills the salvation of all men, He must give all men the opportunity to be saved. Obviously, you, I and St. Alphonsus share that human sense. Unlike you and St. Alphonsus, I do not assume God does will the salvation of all men. I have to be persuaded. So I look at Scripture (not in discussion here, and not necessary at present) and the reasons advanced for, or the justifications underpinning that, belief, and I find them wanting - again, it does not appear to me that the necessary condition - asserted as necessary by the people who assert belief in God's universal salvific will (St. Alphonsus) - is fulfilled.

the examples of the Holy Innocents and the sanctification of St. John the Baptist in the womb, even if Aquinas did not see how theses same principles could apply generally to infants without the instrument of Baptism.

Aquinas did not see it because he was a brilliant and logical man. The case of the Holy Innocents and St. John the Baptist are peculiar and unique; their example cannot serve as analogous to the situation of all human infants or all men - and it is all men that God purportedly desires to save. You say that St. Thomas established and affirmed the theological principles and precedent for how sufficient grace is offered to all (that is what we are discussing) infants, and yet even he did not see how they served to support your proposition. The theological principles you have apparently expounded "ad nauseam" do not stretch far enough to support your point.

Mark
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  Jehanne on Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:35 pm

Saint Thomas understood it:

The words of the Apostle, “God will have all men to be saved,” etc. can be understood in three ways. First, by a restricted application, in which case they would mean, as Augustine says (De praed. sanct. i, 8: Enchiridion 103), “God wills all men to be saved that are saved, not because there is no man whom He does not wish saved, but because there is no man saved whose salvation He does not will.” Secondly, they can be understood as applying to every class of individuals, not to every individual of each class; in which case they mean that God wills some men of every class and condition to be saved, males and females, Jews and Gentiles, great and small, but not all of every condition. Thirdly, according to Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 29), they are understood of the antecedent will of God; not of the consequent will. this distinction must not be taken as applying to the divine will itself, in which there is nothing antecedent nor consequent, but to the things willed. To understand this we must consider that everything, in so far as it is good, is willed by God. A thing taken in its primary sense, and absolutely considered, may be good or evil, and yet when some additional circumstances are taken into account, by a consequent consideration may be changed into the contrary. Thus that a man should live is good; and that a man should be killed is evil, absolutely considered. But if in a particular case we add that a man is a murderer or dangerous to society, to kill him is a good; that he live is an evil. Hence it may be said of a just judge, that antecedently he wills all men to live; but consequently wills the murderer to be hanged. In the same way God antecedently wills all men to be saved, but consequently wills some to be damned, as His justice exacts. Nor do we will simply, what we will antecedently, but rather we will it in a qualified manner; for the will is directed to things as they are in themselves, and in themselves they exist under particular qualifications. Hence we will a thing simply inasmuch as we will it when all particular circumstances are considered; and this is what is meant by willing consequently. Thus it may be said that a just judge wills simply the hanging of a murderer, but in a qualified manner he would will him to live, to wit, inasmuch as he is a man. Such a qualified will may be called a willingness rather than an absolute will. Thus it is clear that whatever God simply wills takes place; although what He wills antecedently may not take place." (Summa Theologica Ia, q.19, a. 6, ad 1)
"God wills all men to be saved by His antecedent will, which is to will not simply but relatively; and not by His consequent will, which is to will simply." (Summa Theologica Ia, q.23, a.4, ad 3)
"It is due to the mercy of Him “Who will have all men to be saved” (1 Tim. 2:4) that in those things which are necessary for salvation, man can easily find the remedy. Now the most necessary among all the sacraments is Baptism, which is man’s regeneration unto spiritual life: since for children there is no substitute, while adults cannot otherwise than by Baptism receive a full remission both of guilt and of its punishment. Consequently, lest man should have to go without so necessary a remedy, it was ordained, both that the matter of Baptism should be something common that is easily obtainable by all, i.e. water; and that the minister of Baptism should be anyone, even not in orders, lest from lack of being baptized, man should suffer loss of his salvation." (Summa Theologica IIIa, q.67, a.3)
"The saints are said to pray for us in two ways. First, by “express” prayer, when by their prayers they seek a hearing of the Divine clemency on our behalf: secondly, by “interpretive” prayer, namely by their merits which, being known to God, avail not only them unto glory, but also us as suffrages and prayers, even as the shedding of Christ’s blood is said to ask pardon for us. In both ways the saints’ prayers considered in themselves avail to obtain what they ask, yet on our part they may fail so that we obtain not the fruit of their prayers, in so far as they are said to pray for us by reason of their merits availing on our behalf. But in so far as they pray for us by asking something for us in their prayers, their prayers are always granted, since they will only what God wills, nor do they ask save for what they will to be done; and what God wills is always fulfilled—unless we speak of His “antecedent” will, whereby “He wishes all men to be saved”. For this will is not always fulfilled; wherefore no wonder if that also which the saints will according to this kind of will be not fulfilled sometimes." (Summa Theologica Suppl. q.72 a.3)
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  tornpage on Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:01 pm

Jehanne,

In the context of our discussion: what exactly do you think St. Thomas understood with regard to infants who died without the sacrament of baptism?
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:02 pm

Tornpage wrote:
MRyan wrote:

You also seem to be positing that because not all men are saved, then God does NOT will the salvation of all men
Not exactly - at least in this context.
Then why did you say that you “do not assume God does will the salvation of all men.”? What “context" am I missing?

Mark wrote:
I am looking (or have looked, since, again, you appear to be focused on our old question of the universal salvific will) at certain things that have been asserted - quite logically I believe - as necessary for the existence of a true will to save all men by God. I did not make up these conditions, but Catholic theologians have asserted their necessity for the universal salvific will to be true. These conditions are put forth (not by me, although I agree that these conditions are necessary for such a will) as a sine qua non for the existence of such a will on the part of God.

I give you (once again) St. Alphonsus:

If then God wills all to be saved, it follows that He gives to all that grace and those aids which are necessary for the attainment of salvation, otherwise it could never be said that He has a true will to save all
I have no problem with this for the jury is still out on the means (“those aids which are necessary for the attainment of salvation”) by which sufficient salvific grace (which is offered to all men) will manifest itself in unbaptized infants in the general order (meaning the manifestation of God's particular will).

Since you deny that there exists a particular Will by which the one universal Will of God is realized (two components of the same will), it is no wonder that you do not understand Catholic teaching, let alone Catholic theology.

And, since you have no authoritative position on the matter except to tell us your private opinion that says you “deny that such [sufficient] grace is given to infants who die without baptism”, meaning of course that you believe that God does NOT will the salvation of all men, though you say “not exactly” (I could have sworn that you once said you believed such infants are saved), I would ask that you tell us what the specific sine qua non conditions for salvation are since you “agree that these conditions are necessary … as a sine qua non for the existence of such a will on the part of God.”

I don’t understand. If, as you appear to hold, God’s election is unconditional such that IF unbaptized infants are damned, they are damned unconditionally regardless of whether the grace of baptism is offered to them, and if they are saved (and you admit you cannot demonstrate that they aren’t saved since Reformed theology is all over the map and leaves the question open while trying very hard to convince modern Calvinsits that “Historic Calvinism does [NOT] include what Calvin himself calls the horribile decretum), how can there be necessary conditions when God’s election is unconditional? What is the definition of “unconditional”, again?

So is Baptismal regeneration one of the necessary conditions for unconditional election?

I will assume for the moment that that you would agree that other necessary conditions for an unconditional election are the supernatural virtues of faith and charity. If so, can you explain how the virtues of faith and charity are realized in a baptized infant when he cannot make an act of faith or charity?

Can you explain how the habits of faith and charity (IF you believe they are infused in Baptism) without being actualized as virtues, satisfy for the necessary conditions of a profession of the true faith and a true love of God?

How can they be said to be necessary sine qua non for the existence of such an unconditional will and election on the part of God if they cannot be actualized?

Who or what supplies for the "necessary" virtue of faith of the baptized infant, or is the virtue of faith not necessary for the salvation of baptized infants who are unable to profess the faith?

If not, why is baptism necessary for infants when it can supply the grace of regeneration, but not the virtues of faith and charity by which the habit of faith is actualized and vivified?

What is regeneration in Christ without the virtues of faith and charity?

Does Reformed Christianity have an answer? Do you?

If you do not have an answer, and can give us only your unqualified private opinion on the fate of unbaptized infants, why do you have this bone to pick with the Catholic Church when she refuses to definitively settle this matter while affirming both the necessity of baptism (the only means she knows of that can assure salvation) and God's universal salvific will and love of children that gives us hope that He will provide the means for their salvation?

I always find it at least slightly amusing that non-Catholics who "protest" the loudest against the teachings of the Church have no answer of their own to the same question, and are actually all over the map.

I am not goading you, Mark, I simply do not understand your position, and I hope that you will make an attempt to answer my questions.











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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  tornpage on Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:03 pm

Jehanne,

And more relevantly: do you believe God has a desire to save infants who die without the sacrament of baptism?
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  tornpage on Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:30 pm

Mike,

I thought I was quite clear in my last response to you. I don't know how I could be clearer.

If a proposition requires that for A to be true B must be the case, and B is not the case, then the proposition isn't true - on its own terms.

If you don't see that, we won't benefit from discussing this further.

If you can humor me and make it simple, just tell me how God provides sufficient grace for salvation to infants who die without being provided the sufficient grace of the baptism?

If you can't, I see no reason to believe in a universal salvific will, since the necessary condition for believing God has one isn't met.





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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  Jehanne on Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:54 pm

tornpage wrote:Jehanne,

And more relevantly: do you believe God has a desire to save infants who die without the sacrament of baptism?

Yes, but "He is not bound to disturb the general order, to provide for the particular order." Does God will that an infant be denied his/her very own existence through the use of artificial contraception? Certainly not! However, does He interfere with the "natural order" to bring conception and ensoulment about? Rarely, it would seem.

As for Saint Thomas, his views are, I think, very clear. Infants who die without sacramental Baptism are, with few exceptions, excluded from Heaven. Why should we think that infants who perish from abortion and those who perish after the reception of sacramental Baptism have the exact same fate? I would ask Mike, "Is it even possible for an individual to die in original sin alone?" If so, under what conditions could this take place?
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:35 pm

Mark wrote:
Mike,

I thought I was quite clear in my last response to you. I don't know how I could be clearer.

If a proposition requires that for A to be true B must be the case, and B is not the case, then the proposition isn't true - on its own terms.

If you don't see that, we won't benefit from discussing this further.

Proposition A: “Not all men are saved"
Proposition B: Therefore, “God does NOT will the salvation of all men”
Proposition C: “not exactly”

Proposition A: “I do not assume God does will the salvation of all men”
Proposition B: Therefore, I do not assume all men are saved
Proposition C: “not exactly”

Proposition A: “The Catholic Church (not I) says that God died for all men, and that He wills all to be saved”
Proposition B: I (not the Catholic Church) say that God did NOT die for all men, and that he does NOT will the salvation of all men
Proposition C: “not exactly”

“If a proposition requires that for A to be true B must be the case, and B is not the case, then the proposition isn't true - on its own terms.

If you don't see that, we won't benefit from discussing this further.”
Apparently, I’m still missing the “context” of “not exactly”!

Mark wrote:
If you can humor me and make it simple, just tell me how God provides sufficient grace for salvation to infants who die without being provided the sufficient grace of the baptism?

If you can't, I see no reason to believe in a universal salvific will, since the necessary condition for believing God has one isn't met.
OK, I’ll humor you.

If God saves unbaptized infants, and we have sold grounds for hoping that He does, He effects their regeneration both gratuitously (by His simplistic will) and vicariously through the desire and faith of the Church - by means of the grace of baptismal regeneration (sanctifying grace). Just as in baptized infants, the virtue of faith is supplied by the desire and faith of the Church.

“How” this might transpire has never been revealed and remains a mystery, but it is no mystery that there is NO salvation outside of and apart from the Church, and God will not dispense with the “sacrament of salvation” (the Church) if and when He chooses to save an unbaptized infant in an extra-ordinary manner unknown to the Church “in the present economy”. He did so with the Holy Innocents (the “Mystical Body” was present in the person of the child Jesus) and He can do so whenever he so chooses.

Humor me and tell me what part of this you do not understand?

When you can muster the humor, do you mind answering my questions relative to the absence of the virtues of faith and charity in the souls of baptized infants, and who or what supplies these virtues until the child of Reformed parents comes of age, or dies before they can be actualized?

It is an infallible truth that these virtues are supplied by the Catholic Church in all validly baptized infants, so how are these same virtues supplied according to Reformed Christianity, and/or according to Mark?
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  Jehanne on Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:40 pm

MRyan wrote:If God saves unbaptized infants, and we have sold grounds for hoping that He does, He effects their regeneration both gratuitously (by His simplistic will) and vicariously through the desire and faith of the Church - by means of the grace of baptismal regeneration (sanctifying grace). Just as in baptized infants, the virtue of faith is supplied by the desire and faith of the Church.

Mike,

How does the above not run afoul of the following:

"The practice has arisen in some places of delaying the conferring of Baptism for so-called reasons of convenience or of a liturgical nature a practice favored by some opinions, lacking solid foundation, concerning the eternal salvation of infants who die without Baptism. Therefore this Supreme Congregation, with the approval of the Holy Father, warns the faithful that infants are to be baptized as soon as possible..." (Acta L, 114)
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:49 pm

Jehanne wrote:
MRyan wrote:If God saves unbaptized infants, and we have sold grounds for hoping that He does, He effects their regeneration both gratuitously (by His simplistic will) and vicariously through the desire and faith of the Church - by means of the grace of baptismal regeneration (sanctifying grace). Just as in baptized infants, the virtue of faith is supplied by the desire and faith of the Church.

Mike,

How does the above not run afoul of the following:

"The practice has arisen in some places of delaying the conferring of Baptism for so-called reasons of convenience or of a liturgical nature a practice favored by some opinions, lacking solid foundation, concerning the eternal salvation of infants who die without Baptism. Therefore this Supreme Congregation, with the approval of the Holy Father, warns the faithful that infants are to be baptized as soon as possible..." (Acta L, 114)
The latter presumes that the assurance of salvation for unbaptized infants has a "solid foundation", thereby justifying a delay of infant baptism for "reasons of convenience". The doctrine of "hope" provides no such solid foundation or assurance, but only a solid foundation in the "hope" that God will intervene to save these same children.

I hope you can recognize the obvious distinction.
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:32 pm

tornpage wrote:
If you can humor me and make it simple, just tell me how God provides sufficient grace for salvation to infants who die without being provided the sufficient grace of the baptism?

If you can't, I see no reason to believe in a universal salvific will, since the necessary condition for believing God has one isn't met.
Mark,

I assume you meant to say "since the necessary condition for believing in God hasn't been met"?

If so, and once again, can you explain how the necessary condition for believing in God is met in the baptized infants of Reformed parents when these same infants cannot profess the true faith? The virtue of faith must be provided by another means extraneous to the infant, so can you tell us who or what supplies the virtue of faith for the baptized infant?

The "Reformed Church"? The parents? What about an infant born and baptized in a non-believing household?










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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  Jehanne on Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:33 pm

MRyan wrote:
Jehanne wrote:
MRyan wrote:If God saves unbaptized infants, and we have sold grounds for hoping that He does, He effects their regeneration both gratuitously (by His simplistic will) and vicariously through the desire and faith of the Church - by means of the grace of baptismal regeneration (sanctifying grace). Just as in baptized infants, the virtue of faith is supplied by the desire and faith of the Church.

Mike,

How does the above not run afoul of the following:

"The practice has arisen in some places of delaying the conferring of Baptism for so-called reasons of convenience or of a liturgical nature a practice favored by some opinions, lacking solid foundation, concerning the eternal salvation of infants who die without Baptism. Therefore this Supreme Congregation, with the approval of the Holy Father, warns the faithful that infants are to be baptized as soon as possible..." (Acta L, 114)
The latter presumes that the assurance of salvation for unbaptized infants has a "solid foundation", thereby justifying a delay of infant baptism for "reasons of convenience". The doctrine of "hope" provides no such solid foundation or assurance, but only a solid foundation in the "hope" that God will intervene to save these same children.

I hope you can recognize the obvious distinction.

It's a subtle one, to be sure! You may have missed my other question, but before "reformulating" it, consider this from Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (1955):

"Souls who depart this life in the state of original sin are excluded from the Beatific Vision of God." -- De fide.

How would this ever happen? Under what conditions, scenarios, situations, etc. could it ever occur? Is it even possible? If so, can we ever be certain that it happens?
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:51 pm

Let me see if I can answer my own question:

BAPTISMAL THEOLOGY WITHIN REFORMED EVANGELICALISM

By Pastor Mark Horne, Copyright © 2005

http://www.hornes.org/theologia/mark-horne/baptismal-theology-within-reformed-evangelicalism

Thus, it is absolutely true that baptism will have no saving benefit apart from faith. But degrading baptism as a sure (albeit conditional) promise from God can only encourage suspicion rather than trust in God’s Gospel as it applies to the recipient. Here’s a better way:

I know it is a common belief that forgiveness, which at our first regeneration we receive by baptism alone, is after baptism procured by means of penitence and the keys (see chap. 19 sec. 17). But those who entertain this fiction err from not considering that the power of the keys, of which they speak, so depends on baptism, that it ought not on any account to be separated from it. The sinner receives forgiveness by the ministry of the Church; in other words, not without the preaching of the gospel. And of what nature is this preaching? That we are washed from our sins by the blood of Christ. And what is the sign and evidence of that washing if it be not baptism? We see, then, that that forgiveness has reference to baptism. This error had its origin in the fictitious sacrament of penance, on which I have already touched. What remains will be said at the proper place. There is no wonder if men who, from the grossness of their minds, are excessively attached to external things, have here also betrayed the defect, not contented with the pure institution of God, they have introduced new helps devised by themselves, as if baptism were not itself a sacrament of penance. But if repentance is recommended during the whole of life, the power of baptism ought to have the same extent. Wherefore, there can be no doubt that all the godly may, during the whole course of their lives, whenever they are vexed by a consciousness of their sins, recall the remembrance of their baptism, that they may thereby assure themselves of that sole and perpetual ablution which we have in the blood of Christ (John Calvin, Institutes, IV, 15, 4).
According to Calvin, then, the ministry of the Word is not to be set against Baptism as the true origin of God’s work of Grace. Just as baptism is God’s instrument of Grace, so the Gospel addresses the hearer, if he is baptized, as one who is set apart to God and promised the forgiveness of sins through the blood of Christ.

Perhaps it would be good to point out here that this was no idiosyncratic opinion that died with Calvin and was ignored by others. The Council of Trent actively assaulted the Reformed on this very point. The condemning sentence reads:

If anyone says that by the sole remembrance and the faith of the baptism received, all sins committed after baptism are either remitted or made venial, let him be anathema.
Of course, many times in Trent one finds only a charicature of Reformed Doctrine being condemned. But in this case, the Reformed identified this cursing as a cursing of true doctrine. This basic position was still considered orthodox and Reformed as late as the time of Francis Turretin:

Does baptism… take away past and present sins only and leave future sins to repentances? Or does it extend itself to sins committed not only before but also after baptism? The former we deny; the latter we affirm against the Romanists.…
II… [T]he Romansists teach… “The virtue of baptism does not reach to future sins, but the sacrament of penitence is necessary for their expiation.” Thus, the Council of Trent expresses it: “If anyone shall say that all the sins which are committed after baptism are either dismissed or made venial by the recollection of faith of the received baptism alone, let him be anathema (session 7, Canon 10, Schroeder, p. 54)….

XII. …However, we maintain that by baptism is sealed to us the remission not only of past and present, but also of future sins; still so that penitence (not a sacramental work and what they invent, but that which is commanded in the gospel) and especially saving faith is not excluded, but is coordinated with baptism as a divinely constituted means of our salvation (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, vol. 3).



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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  George Brenner on Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:20 pm

Mike,

I find myself spending less time then before on this forum; not that there is not an abundance of truth, nonsense ( imho) factual information, opinions, debates, soul searching and arguments. I think now that I reflect and pray a little longer before I see the need or compulsion to post. There were times when I could not wait to reply and found myself being a little impulsive, sarcastic or frustrated. Although it still baffles me that much of what is said gets recycled over and over again and you would think that those of good will ( no names, because I have no one in mind) would says yes, thanks for the correction or I was missing something or OOOP's or I was wrong or I had not considered that etc. I have had to say oops to some or apologize to others on this forum in the past and probably will again in the future. It seems highly unlikely to me from a common sense view that there is not more consensus on more topics; after all we all want to be good Catholics. It appears that information aided with the help of divine grace is provided at times and just vanishes into thin air with no impact. We always have to ask ourselves if we are compelled to stand pat or only try to defend stubborn positions that we hold as true because of pride and/or ego. How could I possibly know the answer to this for then I would be judging intent when I do not have the slightest clue what is in another persons heart, mind and soul. But then again each of us can answer that question for ourselves. I was ready to post a few days ago and had scribbled all my notes on my pad, when I decided to just sit on it. So now I am ready to say a few things.

I think of myself as the least intelligent poster on this forum and yet I thank God for my ignorance, for I am but a lowly sinner and trust unquestionably in God's love, Justice and mercy. God owes me no explanations or motivation for His actions. I seek truth and yet accept the fact that it is all but certain that when we enter eternity some of our most profound beliefs will be found to be shallow or incorrect or plain nonsense. What we think, believe, explain or defend is an ongoing journey influenced in many cases by pride, ego, family tree, culture, acquaintances, circle of friends, enemies, education, persuasion and most importantly prayer, study, meditation along with the need for the spiritual breath of God, Heaven and Angels.

In the final analysis we will only be frustrated or perplexed at our meager attempts to posses full truth, understanding and all the answers if we do not willingly accept that these desires to know it all can only be found in God Himself. It is no wonder that many of the Saints were canonized by single tasking and staying focused on their mission and cause. By example a Saint who dedicated their life to caring for the sick and poor spent every day administering to their physical and spiritual needs. There must be great wisdom and reward in dedicating one's life to the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

The Doctors of the Church were blessed with Supernatural graces that enabled them to pass on their meditations, writings and beliefs to us for all ages. Yet their advanced wisdom pales when compared to the design and perfect will of God. They struggled, prayed, changed their mind on some issues and wrestled with understanding truth as they developed their life teachings. They did not have all the answers but were our spiritual leaders to thank , admire and learn. A sense of inner spiritual peace can only begin to be realized when we accept that we will NEVER have answers to all of our deepest questions. The Church itself continues to develop and understand the great mysteries of God's design. This is ongoing and this journey will probably never be completed on earth and may or may not be completely answered in the afterlife for us. Frustration can be avoided or greatly minimized by simply accepting the fact that we do not know the full truth that is known by God. If we debate or try to prove the Salvic will of God for instance in the case of aborted or miscarried babies our best attempts will fall short and be wanting for specific confirmation. Perhaps many must continue to probe and search for after all "that's the stuff forum's are made of." But at this moment in Church history we can not and will not be certain of their absolute fate. For me the Church gives me prayer and hope that God may will and provide for their eternal comfort up to and possibly including being with God Himself. Some might suggest as I believe that it is also possible that Angels can and do baptize. After all angels are 'messengers' with assigned duties. I think that we will possibly be shocked beyond belief to find out exactly how much Angels really do. Would I proclaim or teach that this is what happens? Of course not. I would be starting my own religion. I had the same thoughts as you, Mike on one poster who claimed that we had the right to not hope or that Doctors? or Mothers? were creating small s Saints or small s sacraments. I further agreed and had also thought about Herod and the good thief etc. I would though strongly encourage anyone and at ALL times when given the choice by Our Church between 'Hope' in the mercies of God and no hope or damnation to always chose hope rather than no hope or God forbid that anyone paint God into a corner in any manner. I would go on to caution anyone to judge not and hope not lest you will be judged by the criteria that you judge and hope by. Live and teach and be an example of our Catholic Faith in reverence and purity and leave the impossible to grasp mercies to God alone. God will provide the necessary help , graces and intervention if necessary to all that deserve and would worthily(and MOST importantly) accept His help for their Salvation. No one attains or looses salvation by good or bad fortune.


Everything on earth is fleeting. The will and design of God is harmonious , perfect and eternal. " Our time " on earth is unique, special and never to be replicated again. Jesus died for all of our sins and gave us the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church outside which there is No Salvation. God wills that all may be saved but sadly only few or many will answer the call. There is very little if any value to be gained ever from putting any stock or acceptance of the teachings of any heretic or fallen away Catholic unless they were reunited to the Church before their death. Ex Cathedra pronouncements, Doctrinal Decrees, the Church Magestarium must be adhered to, believed as truth with conviction along with the daily practice of our Catholic Faith.

"Our Time" on earth , depending on our age is pre Vatican Council II through post Vatican Council II. Is this the worst Crisis of Faith that the Church has ever gone through? I do not know. I can not remember where I read that it can take one whole generation to cause a Crisis in the Church and up to three generations for the successful remedy.

Before God, I pray for the healing in the rupture between the Vatican and SSPX. I am saddened by those who are quick to point out abuse but seldom if ever look and find the good, the struggling and the Church Militant wherever they exist. I know of many diligent, holy and devout Catholics who battle to restore our Church to reverence and tranquil seas. An elderly priest in homily said very recently that it will take a great effort by Church layman to restore the faith. Just as in the time of Moses "He saith to them: Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so." ..... and it will come to pass that the abuses and irreverence and crisis of faith will pass away. And so we pray.

JMJ,

George
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:44 pm

George,

As usual, you’re spot on, and eloquent in your analysis.

Thanks for those thoughtful words of wisdom.
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Re: Is Pope Sixtus V's Effraenatam infallible?

Post  MRyan on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:38 pm

tornpage wrote:
Mryan wrote:

And if baptized infants who have not reached the age of reason receive the virtue of faith vicariously through the desire and Faith of the Church (as the Church infallibly teaches), then there is no reason, as theologians speculate, why this same desire and vicarious faith cannot also serve as the means of sanctification for unbaptized infants.

And that is a very plausible and consistent answer to “how the necessary sufficient grace (per St. Alphonsus) is given to infants”. As I’ve repeated ad nausem, the theological principles and precedent for this have been clearly established and affirmed by St. Thomas Aquinas, and by the examples of the Holy Innocents and the sanctification of St. John the Baptist in the womb, even if Aquinas did not see how theses same principles could apply generally to infants without the instrument of Baptism.
Aquinas did not see it because he was a brilliant and logical man. The case of the Holy Innocents and St. John the Baptist are peculiar and unique; their example cannot serve as analogous to the situation of all human infants or all men - and it is all men that God purportedly desires to save. You say that St. Thomas established and affirmed the theological principles and precedent for how sufficient grace is offered to all (that is what we are discussing) infants, and yet even he did not see how they served to support your proposition. The theological principles you have apparently expounded "ad nauseam" do not stretch far enough to support your point.
That St. Thomas found reasons to conclude that the application of this “privilege” extended only by exception to baptism of blood (e.g., the Holy Innocents) and to certain infants in the womb (John the Baptist and others - “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” [Jer 1:]), and did not extend to infants generally does not detract from the truth and concrete precedence of the theological principle itself which recognizes the freedom of God to effect the same end as He so wills.

The objection arises from the common opinion that says any exception to the sacramental form of regeneration must entail a conscious movement of the will to desire Baptism (with the requisite faith and charity/contrition), explicitly or implicitly, and barring that, it must be transmitted through the ordinary instrument of the Church instituted for such an end. The Holy Innocents could not make an act of faith, not even implicitly since they could not conform their wills to God except vicariously; but, through their suffering for Christ, they are, by that very fact, already joined to the Church, and if they were already joined to the Church is it not plausible that the Church also supplied the faith of the Church vicariously to these same martyred children? Do we know for a fact that all of the slain children were circumcised? Would that have made a difference to our Lord?

Our Lord will never act apart from the “sacrament of salvation”, the Church, when and if unbaptized children, being “subject to the action of God”, are sanctified “by a kind of privilege”; a privilege stemming from “the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,’ allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism.”

So you are simply wrong when you say “The case of the Holy Innocents and St. John the Baptist are peculiar and unique; [in that] their example cannot serve as analogous to the situation of all human infants or all men - and it is all men that God purportedly desires to save”, for these examples, peculiar and unique as they may be, do in fact serve as precedents for the theological principles that say ‘Children … can … be subject to the action of God, in Whose sight they live, so as, by a kind of privilege, to receive the grace of sanctification”.

Let me say it another way, again citing the theological principles of St. Thomas (as taught by Tanquerey):

“Baptism of water is really necessary by necessity of means, but extrinsically only, according to the positive will of God. But what is necessary only extrinsically can be supplied through something else; it was altogether fitting that this would be supplied through charity or perfect contrition, which are the best depositions". (Tanquerey, A Manual of Dogmatic Theology, Vol II, 1959, Pg. 229)
In the same way, we can say that for infants an “act of faith” (which requires the use of reason) “is really necessary by necessity of means, but extrinsically only, according to the positive will of God” (for infants cannot make an act of faith). “But what is necessary only extrinsically can be supplied through something else; it was altogether fitting that this [act of faith] would be supplied” [for infants] by the Church in the sacrament of Baptism, in re or in voto.

Summary: Faith is necessary as an intrinsic necessity of means, for without faith no one can be justified or saved. However, the act of faith requires the use of reason, which infants do not have, which is why the Church supplies (vicariously) for the faith of the infant in the sacrament of Baptism. And, while the Church knows of no other means that can assure the sanctification of the infant, our Lord is not restricted to the Sacraments to effect the same end, and may in fact act through the instrument, desire and faith of His Church (and the communion of saints) to regenerate unbaptized infants as He so wills.

When you say “Aquinas did not see it because he was a brilliant and logical man”, your statement implies that the “logic” of Aquinas should have prevented other theologians and the Church from developing the theology underpinning this undefined and unsettled doctrine -- as if St. Thomas should have the last (and only) word.

But there are two sides of the logic of St. Thomas, and St. Thomas emphasized one side to the exclusion of the other, as was customary because of the assumptions common to his time. In my "Mercy Reigns" thread, John F. McCarthy puts it like this:

[St. Thomas] reaches his conclusions on the punishment of little children from the demerits of Adam, rather than arguing to the reward of little children because of the merits of Christ. It was the strongly pessimistic theological tradition of St Thomas's time that seems to have disposed him to take for granted that aborted children die in original sin, but the outlook of today is far more positive and open to the hope of their salvation. And what St Thomas says in the citations that will be given below seems to provide a foundation for the belief that aborted babies are granted the grace of salvation.
And I would refer you to those same "foundations" or theological principles of St. Thomas (detailed in the Mercy Reigns thread -- too numerous to be listed here) that you say "do not stretch far enough to support your point" without a shred of evidence demonstrating why they do not support not only my point, but the same point made by numerous theologians.

By your reasoning, we can also say that the “logic” of the brilliant St. Augustine and the Church Fathers led most if not all of them to hold that unbaptized infants suffer the positive torments of hell ("the strongly pessimistic theological tradition of [his] time", or said another way "the strongly pessimistic theological tradition in the present economy"). And you would be right ... the logic was solid, given the theological traditions of the time.

We can also say that the sound “logic” of Aquinas led him to conclude that the flesh of our Blessed Mother had to be stained with original sin before she was made Immaculate at her “quickening” by a special privilege of God. If we carefully examine his logical arguments, we can say his reasoning is extremely logical and is based on solid theological and Scriptural principles.

However, as presented by Wikipedia, here is the other side of the debate, the penetrating logic of the brilliant John Dons Scotus:

Citing Anselm of Canterbury's principle, "potuit, decuit, ergo fecit" (God could do it, it was appropriate, therefore he did it), Duns Scotus devised the following argument: Mary was in need of redemption like all other human beings, but through the merits of Jesus' crucifixion, given in advance, she was conceived without the stain of original sin. God could have brought it about (1) that she was never in original sin, (2) she was in sin only for an instant, (3) she was in sin for a period of time, being purged at the last instant. Whichever of these options was most excellent should probably be attributed to Mary. (Ordinatio, III d.3 q.1) This apparently careful statement provoked a storm of opposition at Paris, and suggested the line 'fired France for Mary without spot' in the famous poem "Duns Scotus's Oxford," by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

This argument appears in Pope Pius IX's declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
How’s that for being “logical”?

Despite "a storm of opposition", the "most excellent" argument of theologians and the Church offers the hope of salvation to unbaptized infants, for God can do it, it is appropriate, therefore "the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: 'Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,' allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism."






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