Rorate Caeli

¡Viva Cristo Rey!

SSPX Consecrates a New Church in Mexico

DICI reports that on Saturday November 8, 2008, His Excellency Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X, consecrated the new church of Leon in the land of the Cristeros. Leon, an industrial city in the heart of Mexico with just over one million inhabitants, is the 6th largest city in the country and the largest city in the state of Guanajuato. The new church is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary. Its construction started in 2002-2003 and was funded entirely by the district of Mexico without any help from abroad.

30 comments:

crusader88 said...

Excellent news! The SSPX continues to grow by leaps and bounds... they are the genuine defenders of Tradition.

Anonymous said...

some questions -- off-topic, but the ability to comment on other recent posts is not currently available on my server's copy of these web pages:


1. Regarding the 'True Faith' post: Is Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (EENS) a dogma of the Catholic Church *as understood* by the early Church Fathers and in the *same meaning* as those who have defined it and proclaimed it?

The current Catechism seems to redefine EENS in a way that cannot be supported by earlier dogmatic pronouncements on the subject by the Popes of the Church -- in other words, it is no longer understood as "the words themselves" (Quo Primum?) define it. (See also: Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 16).

Also: I have been told that John 3:5 is scriptural support for EENS -- but didn't the early Church Fathers teach that heretics should be baptised, and that baptism could also be done *by* those who are outside of the Church?


2. Is the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church part of the infallible Magisterium?



Thanks for your help,

Keith

QuantaCura01 said...

A new SSPX church in Mexico, another in France and sadly here in the diocese of Fresno, CA. we have priestless parishes. Let us pray for full union with Rome and the SSPX soon. Good priests help form good vocations but in Fresno, Ca. traditional orders are not allowed into the diocese even though the faithful have asked for them and one order has offered a priest but the Fresno bishop has said no. Pray for vocations and pray for the diocese of Fresno, we need alot of help.

Jordanes said...

Is the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church part of the infallible Magisterium?

No. It incorporates both infallible doctrine and non-infallible expressions of the Church's common teaching or the magisterium of recent Popes. A case in point is John Paul II's opinion (for that is all it is) that conditions in modern societies are such that recourse to capital punishment is hardly ever needed, if ever.

This is how Cardinal Ratzinger and Cardinal Schoenborn explain the new Catechism's authority:

"What significance the Catechism really holds for the common exercise of teaching in the Church may be learned by reading the Apostolic Constitution Fidei depositum, with which the Pop promulgated it on October 11, 1992 -- exactly thirty years after the opening of the Second Vatican Council: 'I acknowledge it [the Catechism] as a valid and legitimate tool in the service of ecclesiastical communion, as a sure norm for instruction in the faith.' The individual doctrines which the Catechism presents receive no other weight than that which they already possess. The weight of the Catechism itself lies in the whole. Since it transmits what the Church teaches, whoever rejects it as a whole separates himself beyond question from the faith and teaching of the Church." (Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, pp.26-27, emphasis added)

Is Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (EENS) a dogma of the Catholic Church *as understood* by the early Church Fathers and in the *same meaning* as those who have defined it and proclaimed it?

Yes. (Keeping in mind that individual Fathers have erred in various matters.)

The current Catechism seems to redefine EENS in a way that cannot be supported by earlier dogmatic pronouncements on the subject by the Popes of the Church -- in other words, it is no longer understood as "the words themselves" (Quo Primum?) define it. (See also: Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 16).

EENS has never been understood by the Church to mean that only those who are formally members of the Catholic Church in good standing may be saved.

Also: I have been told that John 3:5 is scriptural support for EENS

It is, though more specifically it teaches the necessity of baptism for salvation.

but didn't the early Church Fathers teach that heretics should be baptised,

Some did. St. Cyprian of Carthage, for example, famously mistaught that heretics who repented and joined the Church needed to be rebaptised, since he held only the Church and her members can validly baptise. Pope St. Stephen, however, reminded him that the teaching he had received from Sts. Peter and Paul is that, all other things being equal, Trinitarian baptisms performed by heretics are valid.

and that baptism could also be done *by* those who are outside of the Church?

Yes, that is the correct teaching, and one that was held by many early Fathers.

Anonymous said...

I have a question. Is Rorate Caeli now associated with SSPX? I have always enjoyed the site and am very hopeful for the progress in relationship between SSPX and the Holy See. However, I thought that Rorate Caeli was in full communion with Rome.It seems to be increaingly an SSPX outreach. Please clarify ASAP. Thank you

Anonymous said...

What I find ironic, the ones considered 'outside' the formal Church structure are growing leaps and bounds beyond the 'established NO'. By their fruits you will know them!
Viva Christo Rey!

Anonymous said...

"EENS has never been understood by the Church to mean that only those who are formally members of the Catholic Church in good standing may be saved."

Whatever it means to say the Church has never understood EENS in this way, that's a statement that needs to be reconciled with the historical fact that certain persons who dogmatically proclaimed EENS did seem to think that that was what they were saying.

From the Council of Florence-Basel-Ferrara held in 1431-1445, came the following decree:

"It (the council) firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the catholic church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Catholic Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the church's sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed his blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the catholic church."

Of course, the Church now teaches that EENS does not mean that one must be physically joined to the Catholic Church in order to be saved. But it never taught it? Looks like some theological fancy footwork going on here.

Anonymous said...

Wow! this is really a big news.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes wrote:


Is the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church part of the infallible Magisterium?

No. It incorporates both infallible doctrine and non-infallible expressions of the Church's common teaching or the magisterium of recent Popes.


That's what I thought -- thank you for the clarification.


This is how Cardinal Ratzinger and Cardinal Schoenborn explain the new Catechism's authority:

"What significance the Catechism really holds for the common exercise of teaching in the Church may be learned by reading the Apostolic Constitution Fidei depositum, with which the Pop promulgated it on October 11, 1992 -- exactly thirty years after the opening of the Second Vatican Council: 'I acknowledge it [the Catechism] as a valid and legitimate tool in the service of ecclesiastical communion, as a sure norm for instruction in the faith.' The individual doctrines which the Catechism presents receive no other weight than that which they already possess. The weight of the Catechism itself lies in the whole. Since it transmits what the Church teaches, whoever rejects it as a whole separates himself beyond question from the faith and teaching of the Church." (Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, pp.26-27, emphasis added)



That is a beautiful description. Thank you!


Is Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (EENS) a dogma of the Catholic Church *as understood* by the early Church Fathers and in the *same meaning* as those who have defined it and proclaimed it?

Yes. (Keeping in mind that individual Fathers have erred in various matters.)


O.K. . . . . But:


The current Catechism seems to redefine EENS in a way that cannot be supported by earlier dogmatic pronouncements on the subject by the Popes of the Church -- in other words, it is no longer understood as "the words themselves" (Quo Primum?) define it. (See also: Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 16).

EENS has never been understood by the Church to mean that only those who are formally members of the Catholic Church in good standing may be saved.


From all that I have read, this statement of yours is not supportable by any document that the Catholic Church has ever officially promulgated from the office of the Pope or under his direction and imprimature -- infallibly or otherwise. That is, until Vatican II and afterwards.


So, would you please provide specific references and documentation that support your position here.


I'm not looking to get into some sort of weird Internet argument here, where egos start becoming more important than the subject at hand -- I am simply looking to see if you or anyone else can provide any proof to the contrary of all that has been written about EENS in the past. I am interested in seeing if you can provide myself and this forum with an official, dogmatic pronouncement by the Catholic Church that clearly, unambiguously, and literally defines the dogma of EENS in words that agree with the logic and meaning inherent in your statement, or in words that would give explicit rise to the logic and meaning inherent in your statement. Why? Because EENS is a dogma of the Catholic Church; and therefore one cannot be a Catholic without accepting this dogma with graciousness and humility.

For what it may be worth to you, I have heard one or two good arguments in the past that argue against the clear, dogmatic definition of EENS: that none outside the Catholic Church are saved. For example: A fellow once said to me that God's charity, mercy, and love are not limited by the sacraments of the Church; and that therefore God may admit whomever He wants into Heaven -- whether they are a member of the Catholic Church or not. To me, this is beautiful reasoning; and something to keep in mind and to think seriously about. Love trumps the Law. Charity trumps logic. No one who reads the Holy Bible can ever be in doubt concerning God's Infinite Mercy, and His Willingness to forgive those who repent of their sins, no matter how many times they commit them. But if this idea is true, this idea still contradicts the dogmatic definition of EENS.


I have also been told that article numbers 846-848, and 851 of the Catholic Catechism are suitable definitions of how a Catholic of today is supposed to interpret EENS. In other words, the words in these articles of the Catholic Catechism, according to such logic, are new, dogmatic pronouncements -- part of the infallible magisterium of the Holy Roman Catholic Church -- that alter and suppress previous dogmatic pronouncements and definitions of EENS by the Church. Now, if they are indeed new dogmatic pronouncements on EENS, then I have never been told by any regular or secular authority of the Church that they in fact are intended to be such, and have not ever been shown any document of the Catholic Church that does in fact define them as such. It is perfectly clear to anybody that reads the words in these articles of the Catechism, that they are simply not in logical agreement with the words of earlier dogmatic pronouncements on the subject of EENS. Their words -- and the logic and meaning of their words -- are simply different than that which has been dogmatically defined in the past.


Also: I have been told that John 3:5 is scriptural support for EENS

It is, though more specifically it teaches the necessity of baptism for salvation.


You are absolutely correct. Baptism is required for salvation; but the act of baptism does not confer automatic salvation. Here's a reference that I found online that discusses this distinction:


"Anyone who receives the sacrament of baptism, whether in the Catholic Church or in a heretical or schismatic one, receives the whole sacrament; but salvation, which is the strength of the sacrament, he will not have, if he has had the sacrament outside the Catholic Church [and remains in deliberate schism]. He must therefore return to the Church, not so that he might receive again the sacrament of baptism, which no one dare repeat in any baptized person, but so that he may receive eternal life in Catholic society, for the obtaining of which no one is suited who, even with the sacrament of baptism, remains estranged from the Catholic Church."

- Fulgentius of Ruspe, 'The Rule of Faith', A.D. 524




but didn't the early Church Fathers teach that heretics should be baptised,

Some did. St. Cyprian of Carthage, for example, famously mistaught that heretics who repented and joined the Church needed to be rebaptised, since he held only the Church and her members can validly baptise. Pope St. Stephen, however, reminded him that the teaching he had received from Sts. Peter and Paul is that, all other things being equal, Trinitarian baptisms performed by heretics are valid.


True. And now I myself understand the distinction -- baptism is needed for salvation, but baptism does not confer automatic salvation.


and that baptism could also be done *by* those who are outside of the Church?

Yes, that is the correct teaching, and one that was held by many early Fathers.


Accepted, understood. And now, if you would be so kind, would you please supply myself and the rest of this forum with documentation and references that support your statement on EENS above.



Thank you,



Keith

Jordanes said...

Of course, the Church now teaches that EENS does not mean that one must be physically joined to the Catholic Church in order to be saved. But it never taught it? Looks like some theological fancy footwork going on here.

Yes, the Church often engages in theological fancy footwork as she clarifies and even corrects earlier teachings or statements.

Keeping in mind that Florence was the same council that mistaught what was required for valid ordination, note that Florence's teaching requires Jews, schismatics, and pagans to be united to the Church before death. Does that mean through baptism by water, or can there not be "baptism of blood" and "baptism of desire"?

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02258b.htm#IX

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

Re: Rorate Caeli and SSPX.

Rorate Caeli, as a rule, reports on news and developments in the "Trad" world. That it reports on events in the SSPX should surprise no one, and is not intended to be an endorsement of the SSPX. The fact is that the SSPX remains an important and significant force, and for us to pretend that it does not exist will only (rightfully) discredit us.

To characterize Rorate Caeli as an "SSPX outreach" is unfair, given the different posts that have been made on this blog, not to speak of the vigorous defense of Pope Benedict XVI that has been continuously made by my fellow contributor, Jordanes. And, in case no one's noticed, we do not shirk from occasionally carrying news of celebrations of the Novus Ordo in Latin -- not exactly the sign of an SSPX outreach!

Perhaps what is faulted by some is Rorate's lack of hostility towards the SSPX. The fact is that Rorate hopes for reconciliation between Rome and SSPX, and to for us to adopt an explicitly anti-SSPX attitude would, at the very least, be counter-productive at this point in time.

Furthermore, as a contributor to Rorate Caeli, I can affirm that the individual contributors here have complete freedom to post what they like. What one contributor posts need not be seen as mirroring the position or sentiments of the other contributors.

On a more personal note: I myself am not associated with the SSPX, I've had some rather severe run-ins with people associated with the SSPX, and many of my posts cannot by any stretch of the imagination be considered as even remotely pro-SSPX or as advancing the SSPX agenda.

Anonymous said...

God bless the SSPX. Who knows where the Church would be today without them ...

New Catholic said...

I have nothing to add to Mr Palad's comment, with which I agree wholeheartedly. Our contributors are completely free and uncensored in the choice of the contents of their posts. Let us all continue to pray for a full and rapid reconciliation between the Holy Apostolic See and the SSPX.

Omaha Greg said...

Regarding the EENS questions, and the request for documentation, a good overview of this question was written by Fr. Peter Stravinskas:
http://www.amazon.com/Salvation-Outside-Church-Peter-Stravinskas/dp/193170936X

And one personal thought I would add, be careful about pulling out medieval quotes--whether they be from popes, councils, or individuals--without reading them within the corpus of the entirety of Tradition (just as we don't take snippets of Scripture without comparing them with the rest). Most of those quotes put forward by those attempting to show a contradiction (such as the examples given in this thread) are given by Catholics to Catholics in a Catholic society vastly different from our own. But you can find quotes going back to the earliest centuries (let alone examples from Scripture itself) testifying to the possibility of "baptism of desire", both explicit and implicit.

Long-Skirts said...

Annon said...
"...the ones considered 'outside' the formal Church structure are growing leaps and bounds beyond the 'established NO'. By their fruits you will know them!
Viva Christo Rey!

CON - TRADITION

Tradition drives in cars
Through country and through city,
While Bishops shift in sand
And sink with souls, a pity.

Tradition flies in planes
From ocean coast to coast
Under Mary's mantle blue,
Our solitary boast.

Tradition travels far,
Twas all in Our Lord's plan
To preserve the Holy Faith
For woman and for man.

Tradition lives and moves,
The pews, the families fill,
While Bishops sink in sand...
Tradition takes the Hill!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Msgr Klapp Cardinal Castrillon
talks a lot of the sspx and that make him no less faithfull to the church. Likewise he was made it clear that the Holy See and the Holy Father Himself wants to incorporate the sspx to the church.So as faithful and obedient children to the Most holy father and the mother church we should pray for this and not bicker about the details!

Jordanes said...

A fellow once said to me that God's charity, mercy, and love are not limited by the sacraments of the Church

That is more or less what the Catechism says at No. 1257: "God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments."

and that therefore God may admit whomever He wants into Heaven -- whether they are a member of the Catholic Church or not.

Yes, God may admit them. That's not saying that He will, or that there is a good reason to hope that He will, but certainly He may do so. For non-Catholics, it would require that they be invincibly ignorant of their need to seek baptism, and there is just no way we can be sure if those who die are invincibly ignorant or not. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't -- God is the Judge. It would be rash, careless, and frankly uncharitable to assume that non-Catholics will as a rule make it to heaven. All it takes to send a departed soul to hell is one unremitted mortal sin, and all it takes to deprive a soul of heaven is unremitted original sin. The souls of us all are in grave peril, and it is the grossest dereliction casually to assume that a soul who was not openly joined to the Church before death will be saved, just as it is presumptuous to conclude that the same soul is numbered among the damned.

I have also been told that article numbers 846-848, and 851 of the Catholic Catechism are suitable definitions of how a Catholic of today is supposed to interpret EENS.

They address the subject suitably well. Much of what they say is drawn from Lumen Gentium, of course, which is a highly authoritative dogmatic constitution.

In other words, the words in these articles of the Catholic Catechism, according to such logic, are new, dogmatic pronouncements -- part of the infallible magisterium of the Holy Roman Catholic Church -- that alter and suppress previous dogmatic pronouncements and definitions of EENS by the Church.

To the extent they reiterate prior doctrine, or formally and explicitly define a new dogma, they would be infallible. What the Catechism says does not "suppress" previous pronouncements, since it doesn't substantially differ from those pronouncements, but it does "alter" them in the sense that it augments or completes what had been said before, drawing out certain themes that before had been only implicit or unstated.

It is perfectly clear to anybody that reads the words in these articles of the Catechism, that they are simply not in logical agreement with the words of earlier dogmatic pronouncements on the subject of EENS. Their words -- and the logic and meaning of their words -- are simply different than that which has been dogmatically defined in the past.

Different, yes, but difference doesn't necessarily mean contradiction or not in logical agreement. Vatican II and the Catechism favor a positive and a gentler formulation of the principle rather than a negative or sterner one . . . and of course positive formulations have their limits, as do negative ones.

You may find it worthwhile to compare the teaching in Lumen Gentium with that found in chapter 7 of the first draft of Vatican I's abandoned Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, which never was approved by the Church since the danger of war prevented Vatican I from finishing its work. Thus, this teaching is not official, but does reflect the mind of the Church at that time:

"Furthermore, it is a dogma of the faith that no one can be saved outside the Church. Nevertheless, those who are invincibly ignorant of Christ and his Church are not to be judged worthy of eternal punishment because of this ignorance. For they are innocent in the eyes of the Lord of any fault in this matter. God wishes all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth; and if one does what he can, God does not withhold the grace for him to obtain justification and eternal life. But no one obtains eternal life if he dies separated from the unity of faith or from communion with the Church through his own fault. If anyone is not in this ark when the flood rages, he will perish. Therefore, We reject and detest that irreverent and irrational doctrine of religious indifferentism by which the children of this world, failing to distinguish between truth and error, say that the gate of eternal life is open to anyone, no matter what his religion. Or else they say that, with regard to religious truth, only opinion in varying degrees of probability is possible and certainty cannot be had. Likewise, We condemn the ungodliness of those who shut the door of the kingdom of heaven to their fellow men with the false pretense that to desert the religion in which one was born, or educated and brought up, even if that religion is false, is unbecoming; or that it is not at all necessary for salvation. They blame the Church for professing itself to be the only true religion and for condemning and proscribing all religions and sects separated from communion with it, as if justice could ever have anything in common with iniquity, or light associate with darkness, or Christ meet with Belial."

Anonymous said...

Msgr. Klapp,

I said a prayer for you at our FSSP mass today. I prayed and continue to pray for you to have genuine charity and clarity to do God's will.

Because you are clergy, I find your remarks disparaging and ask that you would take advice from your fellow NO (my presumption), Cardinal Schönborn so that you " may contemplate, repent and ask God for his forgiveness. Let us pray all together for the Holy Church!”. See "In the Viennese Tradition",this blog.

I am thankful for Rorate Caeli, it helps me to clarify the confusion you allude to, RC doesn't add to it; perhaps this confusion can even be called 'diabolical disorientation'?

Your pot shots at the FSSP priest simply points this poison out all the more. Makes me more resolute in thinking that the V2/NO is unclean...this despite stalwart and charitable defense of the NO here on Rorate Caeli.

I pray the SSPX will be regularized and that Priests such as you would hear the truth.

Joe B said...

Most American Catholics probably believe that Baptisms by blood or desire must be rare, and so those possibilities don't affect their daily lives too much. That's what I suspect, too, and thus for all PRACTICAL purposes they shouldn't even enter into the answer to the question, "Do I need to be a Catholic to be saved?" However, the eye of the needle that seems to need some sizing is the one about invincible ignorance, as this one could apply to anywhere from about .000001 to 99 percent of non-Catholics. But I suspect most Catholics think closer to the latter. This has impact on the "all religions are more or less the same" debate, as I believe it sits at the bottom of the reasoning and has devastating consequences to many Catholics' willingness to defend their faith with urgency. We trads probably wouldn't fall out of our chairs to hear it, but I think there would be some serious walkouts in Novus Ordo Masses if a parish priest were to say that your nice old Baptist Aunt Suzie is 99% likely to be in Hell, no thanks to your not trying to encourage her conversion.

That is, if invincible ignorance really is rare. But is it? Has it been stated authoritatively by the Church to be rare? If not, better size that eye, because I think it has a major impact on the mushy modern Catholic mind.

Adam said...

Msgr Klapp,

If I may be so bold, I ask that you please be more charitable when speaking of others, especially brother priests. The priest whom you have derided happens to be a holy priest, a priest entirely faithful to the Church and one of my dearest friends. I admit that I have no idea what prayer is used today in the Novus Ordo, but if you offer the Traditional Mass, this should be familiar:

Excita, quaesumus Domine, potentiam tuam, et veni: ut ab imminentibus peccatorum nostrorum periculis, te meramur protegente eripi, te liberante salvari: Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.

I hope--if you pray the traditional Office--that you will take this prayer to heart during this week and will realize the truly perilous nature of sin, especially sins against charity.

-A Former Seminarian of the FSSP

Canary said...

The way I understand it is that the Church and the sacraments are the ordinary and only revealed means for salvation. Only through the sacraments (and baptism of desire/blood) do we know for certain that someone has been saved. From this perspective, no one outside the Catholic Church, as far as we know, is saved. But it is possible that other people are saved and of course we fervently hope that they are, but we just don't know. But never can we ever say that someone is damned! That is something only Our Lord knows.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes wrote:


> A fellow once said to me that God's charity, mercy, and love are not limited by the
> sacraments of the Church

That is more or less what the Catechism says at No. 1257: "God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments."


And yet, after the death of the last living Apostle, the world has received sufficient information for its salvation. EENS is De Fide. The Pope is infallible when he speaks ex cathedra (De Fide). EENS has not been dogmatically defined once, but on three separate occasions. God is not bound by His sacraments. But as a Catholic, you must believe in EENS.


My interest is still to try and discover if you or anyone else can provide me with documentation and reference for a dogmatic pronouncement by the Catholic Church to support your earlier statement ("EENS has never been understood by the Church to mean that only those who are formally members of the Catholic Church in good standing may be saved."). Every written statement by regular and secular authorities of the Catholic Church on the subject of EENS before Vatican II -- dogmatic, non-dogmatic, fallible, infallible -- are all statements that clearly support the original meaning of EENS: That no one at all outside of the Catholic Church may be saved.


And, as previously discussed, it is understood that baptism does not confer automatic salvation. Baptism is merely one of the things that is required for salvation. 'Salvation', in and of itself, is not achieved spontaneously through baptism; 'salvation' is not one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church.

Salvation, according to the Catholic Church that Christ instituted, requires via dogmatic pronouncement (EENS) that one not only be baptized, but also that one be a member of the Catholic Church. Also, one must persevere without mortal sin in the Catholic faith until death overtakes his body.


So unless you can show me dogmatic pronouncement(s) to the contrary, I believe that the Church has always understood EENS "to mean that only those who are formally members of the Catholic Church in good standing may be saved." And, that EENS as a formal, dogmatic pronouncement of the Church, lays upon its current members a sacred requirement to believe it and to understand it in the words that it uses to convey its clear and distinct meaning. But I'm willing to accept dogmatic pronouncement to the contrary, if anyone present here can provide me with a copy of it. If it exists, I'll accept it as a good Catholic should.


> and that therefore God may admit whomever He wants into Heaven -- whether they are a
> member of the Catholic Church or not.

Yes, God may admit them. That's not saying that He will, or that there is a good reason to hope that He will, but certainly He may do so. For non-Catholics, it would require that they be invincibly ignorant of their need to seek baptism, and there is just no way we can be sure if those who die are invincibly ignorant or not.

Maybe they are, maybe they aren't -- God is the Judge. It would be rash, careless, and frankly uncharitable to assume that non-Catholics will as a rule make it to heaven. All it takes to send a departed soul to hell is one unremitted mortal sin, and all it takes to deprive a soul of heaven is unremitted original sin. The souls of us all are in grave peril, and it is the grossest dereliction casually to assume that a soul who was not openly joined to the Church before death will be saved, just as it is presumptuous to conclude that the same soul is numbered among the damned.



There is (to my knowledge) no dogmatic pronouncement that states that "For non-Catholics, it would require that they be invincibly ignorant of their need to seek baptism." This is not dogma. This is not De Fide. EENS is dogma; EENS is De Fide. Baptism does not confer automatic salvation. As EENS is dogmatically defined one must also add that in addition to baptism, those who are outside the Catholic Church must become a member of the Catholic Church in order to receive salvation.


> I have also been told that article numbers 846-848, and 851 of the Catholic Catechism
> are suitable definitions of how a Catholic of today is supposed to interpret EENS.
>
> They address the subject suitably well. Much of what they say is drawn from Lumen
> Gentium, of course, which is a highly authoritative dogmatic constitution.
>
> In other words, the words in these articles of the Catholic Catechism, according to such
> logic, are new, dogmatic pronouncements -- part of the infallible magisterium of the
> Holy Roman Catholic Church -- that alter and suppress previous dogmatic pronouncements
> and definitions of EENS by the Church.

To the extent they reiterate prior doctrine, or formally and explicitly define a new
dogma, they would be infallible.



I agree.


What the Catechism says does not "suppress" previous pronouncements, since it doesn't substantially differ from those pronouncements, but it does "alter" them in the sense that it augments or completes what had been said before, drawing out certain themes that before had been only implicit or unstated.


I'm sorry . . . but did you just say that the Catechism "doesn't substantially differ from these pronouncements [earlier dogmatic pronouncements of EENS]?" Did you just say that the dogma of EENS was "altered," "augmented," and "complet[ed]?" Did you just say that "certain themes" were "drawn out" that "before had been only implicit or unstated?"


Jordanes, I respect you very much. You're good people; I'm sure of it. But can you guess why the following video just came to my mind?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLxTuBtQ7ak


O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding the profane novelties of words, and oppositions of knowledge falsely so called.

- 1 Timothy, 6:20


Brother Catholic: What the Catechism states in article numbers 846-848 directly contradicts the dogma of EENS, as it has been dogmatically defined. These articles contradict EENS in meaning. Both the dogma of EENS and the Catechism in these articles cannot both be simultaneously true.


I don't want to get overly pedantic, but allow me to get overly pedantic for a moment: Here's what the Catechism has to say in article numbers 846-848:


"Outside the Church there is no salvation"

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.337

848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338




Now here's what the dogma, thrice defined, of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus states:



"There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved."

- Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215.


"We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation
of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff."

- Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.


"The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church."

- Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.




Can you see any differences in meaning? I can. And I'm pretty sure that you can, too.




> It is perfectly clear to anybody that reads the words in these articles of the
> Catechism, that they are simply not in logical agreement with the words of earlier
> dogmatic pronouncements on the subject of EENS. Their words -- and the logic and
> meaning of their words -- are simply different than that which has been dogmatically
> defined in the past.

Different, yes, but difference doesn't necessarily mean contradiction or not in logical agreement.


In this case, we are definitely talking contradiction and logical disagreement, Jordanes.


Vatican II and the Catechism favor a positive and a gentler formulation of the principle rather than a negative or sterner one . . . and of course positive formulations have their limits, as do negative ones.


Indeed they do. But Vatican II and the Catechism appear to be interested in a re-formulation of the dogma of EENS, however; and not merely a more "positive and a gentler" one.


You may find it worthwhile to compare the teaching in Lumen Gentium with that found in chapter 7 of the first draft of Vatican I's abandoned Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, which never was approved by the Church since the danger of war prevented Vatican I from finishing its work. Thus, this teaching is not official, but does reflect the mind of the Church at that time:


Ah -- a first, "no[n]-official" draft, which never saw the light of day or dogmatic pronouncement. Now there's a mystery. Funny how THAT happened. ;)


Let's take a look at this, shall we?


"Furthermore, it is a dogma of the faith that no one can be saved outside the Church.


This, so far, agrees in meaning with the dogma of EENS.


Nevertheless, those who are invincibly ignorant of Christ and his Church are not to be judged worthy of eternal punishment because of this ignorance. For they are innocent in the eyes of the Lord of any fault in this matter.


This, however, does NOT agree in meaning with the dogma of EENS.


God wishes all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth; and if one does what he can, God does not withhold the grace for him to obtain justification and eternal life.


This does agree in meaning with the dogma of EENS, as long as the writer believes that to obtain eternal life, one must act on the graces given to him by God during his lifetime by entering the Catholic Church before he perishes from this world. Such clarification would, I think, be necessary to add to such a statement as this.


But no one obtains eternal life if he dies separated from the unity of faith or from communion with the Church through his own fault.


One's "fault" is not meaningful as it applies to the dogma of EENS. If you are separated from the Catholic Church, you are separated from the Catholic Church. The dogma of EENS makes no allowance for "fault." Those who are outside of the Church -- are outside of the Church. Period. Also, when it comes to idea of "fault," I find the following link to be quite insightful:


http://www.romancatholicism.org/muller/section2.html#8


If anyone is not in this ark when the flood rages, he will perish. Therefore, We reject and detest that irreverent and irrational doctrine of religious indifferentism by which the children of this world, failing to distinguish between truth and error, say that the gate of eternal life is open to anyone, no matter what his religion. Or else they say that, with regard to religious truth, only opinion in varying degrees of probability is possible and certainty cannot be had. Likewise, We condemn the ungodliness of those who shut the door of the kingdom of heaven to their fellow men with the false pretense that to desert the religion in which one was born, or educated and brought up, even if that religion is false, is unbecoming; or that it is not at all necessary for salvation. They blame the Church for professing itself to be the only true religion and for condemning and proscribing all religions and sects separated from communion with it, as if justice could ever have anything in common with iniquity, or light associate with darkness, or Christ meet with Belial."


This is in agreement with the meaning of the dogma of EENS.



Also, in closing, here's what Pope Saint Pius X, Pope Benedict XV, Pope Pius XI, and Pope Pius XII had to say about EENS after Vatican I -- but before Vatican II:


Pope St. Pius X (1903-1914), Encyclical Jucunda Sane: "It is our duty to recall to everyone great and small, as the Holy Pontiff Gregory did in ages past, the absolute necessity which is ours, to have recourse to this Church to effect our eternal salvation."

Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922), Encyclical Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum: "Such is the nature of the Catholic faith that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole, or as a whole rejected: This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved."

Pope Pius XI (1922-1939), Encyclical Mortalium Animos: "The Catholic Church alone is keeping the true worship. This is the font of truth, this is the house of faith, this is the temple of God; if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation… Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ, no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors."

Pope Pius XII (1939-1958), Encyclical Humani Generis, August 12, 1950: "Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation."

Pope Pius XII (1939-1958), Allocution to the Gregorian University (17 October 1953): "By divine mandate the interpreter and guardian of the Scriptures, and the depository of Sacred Tradition living within her, the Church alone is the entrance to salvation: She alone, by herself, and under the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit, is the source of truth."






- Keith

Angelo said...

On the occasion of the 25th anniversay of the founding of Saint Michael the Archangel Church in Farmingville, Long Island, H.E. Bishop Williamson was on hand for the celebration. His sermon delivered Sunday morning, November 23 is now available for listening on Voice of Catholic Radio Long Island:
http://www.voiceofcatholicradio.com/

Mornac said...

A few comments…

Twice in the past two weeks I have posted stories on this blog relating to the construction of churches by the Society of St. Pius X. It would be erroneous to interpret this as any sort of “backdoor promotion of the SSPX by Rorate Caeli” when it is nothing more than a front door promotion of the Traditional Latin Mass. The Holy See has on several occasions recognized the right of the Faithful to assist at Masses offered by the SSPX particularly when their “rightful aspirations” are not met by the local ordinary. On a personal level, I feel privileged to be a longtime member of a diocesan parish in a large metropolitan area where I can assist at a Traditional Mass every day and twice on Sundays if I so choose. At the same time I know of many people in this country and abroad who do not have that advantage due either to an inconvenient location or a lack of charity on behalf of their bishops. For them the SSPX has filled the gap. I spend some time in France every year and I have absolutely no compunction about assisting at SSPX Masses in areas where I’ve found that the only option is staying home on Sundays. I am grateful for any priest loyal to Pope - regardless of his standing in his own neighborhood – who offers the Mass for the Faithful who are in need of one.

Jordanes said...

Keith, is it really your contention that EENS is the sole exception to the Catholic moral principle that ignorance lessens or even eliminates culpability for sin?

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07648a.htm

Also, while Lumen Gentium is not a pre-Vatican II dogmatic instrument of the Church, it is nevertheless an authoritative teaching of the same Church that previously had defined that there is no salvation outside the Church. The Church didn't lose her ability and authority to teach, define, and clarify the faith in 1962. The draft of the Vatican I constitution is important because, though the Church didn't get a chance to ratify it, it encapsulates what the Church's common teaching was at that time on this subject, and because it served as something like initial raw material for Lumen Gentium (though the regrettable decision was made to set it aside --it's worded much more clearly and forcefully than LG).

Joe B said...

There's that huge eye again. There can't be 1% of pagans that know they need to be Baptized to be saved, and I never met a protestant who understood they had to be Catholic to be saved, so the 'ignorance lessens culpability for sin' argument makes a mockery of EENS. Choosing Baptism and the Catholic faith has nothing to do with ignorance lessening culpability for personal sins.

Jordanes said...

The old Catholic Encyclopedia's essay on ignorance in Catholic moral theology was written by Freemasons???

There's a big difference between vincible ignorance, which only lessens culpability without removing it, and invincible ignorance, which removes it altogether. Of course God alone knows who is invincibly ignorant and who is vincibly ignorant of the fact that outside of the Church there is no salvation, but it's nowhere near as easy to be invincibly ignorant as certain people would like us to believe.

Joe B said...

So we're back to EENS either being true or nearly so. Either that or it was a silly thing to say.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes wrote:


Keith, is it really your contention that EENS is the sole exception to the Catholic moral principle that ignorance lessens or even eliminates culpability for sin?

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07648a.htm



When it comes to Catholic moral *principles*, the Catholic theologians who teach them (in whatever degree of certainty they are taught, excepting, of course, that which is revealed by God Fides Divina or infallible dogma based on the sole authority of the Church Fides Ecclesiastica) are required to believe in all utterances of the Church that are De Fide. Since Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus is held to be De Fide by the Church, it is beyond the ability for theologians -- or any other Catholic -- to question, precisely because EENS is De Fide.


So, Jordanes. I've got a few questions at this point. You're one of the most educated, well-reasoned, and competent writers on this blog. Do you question other dogmas of the Catholic faith as well? I sincerely doubt it -- because if you did, I'm quite certain that you'd be quick to correct yourself. So why do you question the dogma of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus?


To be a good Catholic, one must practice the Catholic faith. One must involve one's self in works of charity. One must attend Holy Mass, receive the Eucharist, pray frequently, go regularly to Confession -- and believe what the Church dogmatically pronounces and holds De Fide. You know the drill -- because you are a highly-educated Catholic, a sincere fellow, a Catholic trad-blogger.


Do you still not see the problem? If you are Catholic, and you don't believe Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus in terms of the meaning of the words that are used in its dogmatic definition, then you as a Catholic don't believe a dogmatic pronouncement of the Catholic faith.


If I'm wrong about all this, then show me where I'm wrong. As I said earlier: My interest is still to try and discover if you or anyone else can provide me with documentation and reference for a dogmatic pronouncement by the Catholic Church to support your earlier statement: "EENS has never been understood by the Church to mean that only those who are formally members of the Catholic Church in good standing may be saved."



Also, while Lumen Gentium is not a pre-Vatican II dogmatic instrument of the Church, it is nevertheless an authoritative teaching of the same Church that previously had defined that there is no salvation outside the Church. The Church didn't lose her ability and authority to teach, define, and clarify the faith in 1962.


I most definitely agree -- the Church did not lose her ability and authority to teach, define, and clarify the faith in 1962. But when it comes to articles of the faith that are De Fide -- articles of faith that are dogmatically pronounced by Popes of the Church -- the Church is not allowed to redefine them, or rescind them.


The draft of the Vatican I constitution is important because, though the Church didn't get a chance to ratify it, it encapsulates what the Church's common teaching was at that time on this subject, and because it served as something like initial raw material for Lumen Gentium (though the regrettable decision was made to set it aside --it's worded much more clearly and forcefully than LG).


Please show me where it may be learned that such "a first, "no[n]-official" draft" -- which never saw the light of day or a dogmatic pronouncement -- supercedes in importance and authority that of a De Fide pronouncement by the Church.


Please show me where it may be learned that such "a first, "no[n]-official" draft" supercedes a De Fide pronouncement by the Church in its binding authority of belief on all Catholics.



Then, please explain to me why Pope Saint Pius X, Pope Benedict XV, Pope Pius XI, and Pope Pius XII said the following about EENS after Vatican I -- but before Vatican II:


Pope St. Pius X (1903-1914), Encyclical Jucunda Sane: "It is our duty to recall to everyone great and small, as the Holy Pontiff Gregory did in ages past, the absolute necessity which is ours, to have recourse to this Church to effect our eternal salvation."

Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922), Encyclical Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum: "Such is the nature of the Catholic faith that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole, or as a whole rejected: This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved."

Pope Pius XI (1922-1939), Encyclical Mortalium Animos: "The Catholic Church alone is keeping the true worship. This is the font of truth, this is the house of faith, this is the temple of God; if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation… Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ, no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors."

Pope Pius XII (1939-1958), Encyclical Humani Generis, August 12, 1950: "Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation."

Pope Pius XII (1939-1958), Allocution to the Gregorian University (17 October 1953): "By divine mandate the interpreter and guardian of the Scriptures, and the depository of Sacred Tradition living within her, the Church alone is the entrance to salvation: She alone, by herself, and under the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit, is the source of truth."






Also: It might help you to keep the following in mind, whenever you think about Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus:


Man did not create the Catholic Church. God -- The Holy Trinity -- created the Catholic Church.

Man did not create the Catholic religion. God -- The Holy Trinity -- created the Catholic religion.





- Keith

Jordanes said...

Keith said: When it comes to Catholic moral *principles*, the Catholic theologians who teach them (in whatever degree of certainty they are taught, excepting, of course, that which is revealed by God Fides Divina or infallible dogma based on the sole authority of the Church Fides Ecclesiastica) are required to believe in all utterances of the Church that are De Fide. Since Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus is held to be De Fide by the Church, it is beyond the ability for theologians -- or any other Catholic -- to question, precisely because EENS is De Fide.

All true, but it doesn't answer my question: Is it really your contention that EENS is the sole exception to the Catholic moral principle that ignorance lessens or even eliminates culpability for sin?

So, Jordanes. I've got a few questions at this point. You're one of the most educated, well-reasoned, and competent writers on this blog. Do you question other dogmas of the Catholic faith as well?

As far as I'm aware, I don't question any dogmas of the faith, not even EENS.

Do you still not see the problem? If you are Catholic, and you don't believe Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus in terms of the meaning of the words that are used in its dogmatic definition, then you as a Catholic don't believe a dogmatic pronouncement of the Catholic faith.

Then I think I'm in the clear there.

As I said earlier: My interest is still to try and discover if you or anyone else can provide me with documentation and reference for a dogmatic pronouncement by the Catholic Church to support your earlier statement: "EENS has never been understood by the Church to mean that only those who are formally members of the Catholic Church in good standing may be saved."

Can you find a dogmatic pronouncement by the Catholic Church that says or means only those who are formally members of the Catholic Church in good standing may be saved? If you can, please show it to me. I'm not aware of any such pronouncement.

Please show me where it may be learned that such "a first, "no[n]-official" draft" -- which never saw the light of day or a dogmatic pronouncement -- supercedes in importance and authority that of a De Fide pronouncement by the Church.

It obviously does not supercede in importance and authority, nor in binding authority, a de fide pronouncement by the Church. Rather, it gives us a really good idea what the mind of the Church on the subject was in 1870. While the Church never got a chance to approve the draft of that dogmatic constitution, it surely did see the light of day, being subsequently translated and published in Catholic texts prior to Vatican II, all of which were granted the nihil obstat and imprimatur.

Pope St. Pius X (1903-1914), Encyclical Jucunda Sane: "It is our duty to recall to everyone great and small, as the Holy Pontiff Gregory did in ages past, the absolute necessity which is ours, to have recourse to this Church to effect our eternal salvation."

Neither Lumen Gentium nor the Catechism deny or question that.

Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922), Encyclical Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum: "Such is the nature of the Catholic faith that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole, or as a whole rejected: This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved."

Again, LG and the Catechism uphold that as well.

Pope Pius XI (1922-1939), Encyclical Mortalium Animos: "The Catholic Church alone is keeping the true worship. This is the font of truth, this is the house of faith, this is the temple of God; if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation… Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ, no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors."

The same teaching is found in LG, the Catechism, and the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

Pope Pius XII (1939-1958), Encyclical Humani Generis, August 12, 1950: "Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation."

I don't see the Church at and after Vatican II doing that, though quite of lot of her wayward children do so.

Pope Pius XII (1939-1958), Allocution to the Gregorian University (17 October 1953): "By divine mandate the interpreter and guardian of the Scriptures, and the depository of Sacred Tradition living within her, the Church alone is the entrance to salvation: She alone, by herself, and under the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit, is the source of truth."

Amen! Alleluia!

Also: It might help you to keep the following in mind, whenever you think about Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus:

Man did not create the Catholic Church. God -- The Holy Trinity -- created the Catholic Church.

Man did not create the Catholic religion. God -- The Holy Trinity -- created the Catholic religion.


Thanks, but I already knew that, nor have I said anything that could even imply that the Church and the Catholic relgion are of human rather than divine origin.