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  #1  
Old May 19, '10, 1:14 pm
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SGT ROCK 33 SGT ROCK 33 is offline
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Default Invincible Ignorance....

On defining the dogma, defining infallibly, not elaborating, outside the church there is no salvation, why was this exception of the invincably ignorant always left out?

I know of at least seven times that this dogma has been defined, and in fact, the exception of invincible ignorance has actually been excluded. As we all know, the Church cannot introduce "new" doctrines or dogmas, as everything had been revealed to the apostles. "The Holy Ghost was not promised to the successors of Peter that by His revelation they might disclose new doctrine, but that by His help they might guard sacredly the revelation transmitted through the apostles and the deposit of Faith, and might faithfully set it forth." (Db 1836 in The Sources of Catholic Dogma, p. 456)

Furthermore, it seems contrary to the dogma that “no one,” (Pope Pius IV; Benedict XIV; Pius IX) “nobody at all,” (Innocent III) “nobody, even if he shed his blood in the name of Christ”(Eugene IV) can be saved as a non‐Catholic.

So, how does this new teaching reconcile with prior infallible teachings which exclude this particular exception?

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  #2  
Old May 19, '10, 2:03 pm
SouthpawLink SouthpawLink is offline
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Default Re: Invincible Ignorance....

Try reading Fr. Michael Muller (The Catholic Dogma), or Fr. J. Fenton's various The American Ecclesiastical Review essays on the issue. Also of importance is Suprema Haec Sacra, issued by the Holy Office in August 1949, which deals explicitly with the issue.

Invincible ignorance doesn't save. Everyone who is saved must be in a state of sanctifying grace (through perfect contrition) and possess divine faith. Such people are within the Church in voto (in desire), even though they aren't actual members (in re), which can only come about by baptism and profession of the true faith.
  #3  
Old May 19, '10, 2:10 pm
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Default Re: Invincible Ignorance....

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthpawLink View Post
Try reading Fr. Michael Muller (The Catholic Dogma), or Fr. J. Fenton's various The American Ecclesiastical Review essays on the issue. Also of importance is Supreme Haec Sacra, issued by the Holy Office in August 1949, which deals explicitly with the issue.

Invincible ignorance doesn't save. Everyone who is saved must be in a state of sanctifying grace (through perfect contrition) and possess divine faith. Such people are within the Church in voto (in desire), even though they aren't actual members (in re), which can only come about by baptism and profession of the true faith.
I appreciate your suggestions. But I am more interested in the infallible teachings of the Church. Can you point out the dogma of desire? I am unaware of any dogma on desire... Without trying to start a baptism of desire debate, I am unaware of any such dogma infallibly defined by the Popes. I am aware of some of the writings of the Saints, but I have never seen this proclaimed as a dogma of the faith.

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Old May 19, '10, 2:35 pm
tugbaby tugbaby is offline
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Default Re: Invincible Ignorance....

The only question I have is, are the quotes from the previous popes treuly Ex-Cahedra, infallible teachings? The difficulty with infalibility has been illustrated in numerous posts on this site. There a relatively few infallible teachings in the history of the Church.
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Old May 19, '10, 2:35 pm
IntegraCatholic IntegraCatholic is offline
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Default Re: Invincible Ignorance....

Quote:
Originally Posted by SGT ROCK 33 View Post
I appreciate your suggestions. But I am more interested in the infallible teachings of the Church. Can you point out the dogma of desire? I am unaware of any dogma on desire... Without trying to start a baptism of desire debate, I am unaware of any such dogma infallibly defined by the Popes. I am aware of some of the writings of the Saints, but I have never seen this proclaimed as a dogma of the faith.

God Bless
It's not infallibly defined, but it is a part of the magisterium. This is not a break with tradition when rightly understood. If someone tries to claim that a person can die in inculpable ignorance of the true faith and still be saved, that does seem to be a contradiction of tradition. If someone is truly inculpably ignorant, God will send him either a missionary or angel to teach him the true faith. This is the explanation given by St. Thomas and is in keeping with the de fide pronouncements of the Church, which became ever clearer after his death. I recommend Fr. Muller, as Southpaw did. He has written extensively on it and is one of the most renowned theologians of the 19th century. He also had the added benefit of being around when this discussion came to the fore under Bl. Pius IX. Here is a short article about the issue: http://www.cfnews.org/invig.htm. Also see his Questions and Answers on Salvation (see questions 40 & 41): http://traditionalromancatholicism.o...Salvation.html. He address the entire issue at length here: http://www.romancatholicism.org/muller/muller.htm.
  #6  
Old May 19, '10, 2:39 pm
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Default Re: Invincible Ignorance....

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Originally Posted by tugbaby View Post
The only question I have is, are the quotes from the previous popes treuly Ex-Cahedra, infallible teachings? The difficulty with infalibility has been illustrated in numerous posts on this site. There a relatively few infallible teachings in the history of the Church.
There is no doubt that the previous Popes defined this dogma infallibly. The definitions clearly meet the requirements of infallibility set forth at Vatican I.

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Old May 19, '10, 2:48 pm
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Default Re: Invincible Ignorance....

Quote:
Originally Posted by IntegraCatholic View Post
It's not infallibly defined, but it is a part of the magisterium. This is not a break with tradition when rightly understood. If someone tries to claim that a person can die in inculpable ignorance of the true faith and still be saved, that does seem to be a contradiction of tradition. If someone is truly inculpably ignorant, God will send him either a missionary or angel to teach him the true faith. This is the explanation given by St. Thomas and is in keeping with the de fide pronouncements of the Church, which became ever clearer after his death,
Thanks for the links.

The way St. Thomas explains it is that there is no such being as the invincably ignorant. That if a person were to live a good life and follow the natural law, of course, God would reveal the truth to that person either by natural or supernatural means. So, technically, this disproves the invincably ignorant exception. If one were to have the truth revealed by God, the person would cease to be ignorant and would indeed, be within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.

Clearly, this is misunderstood by many Catholics...

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Old May 21, '10, 9:41 am
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Default Re: Invincible Ignorance....

Quote:
Originally Posted by SGT ROCK 33 View Post
The way St. Thomas explains it is that there is no such being as the invincably ignorant. That if a person were to live a good life and follow the natural law, of course, God would reveal the truth to that person either by natural or supernatural means. So, technically, this disproves the invincably ignorant exception. If one were to have the truth revealed by God, the person would cease to be ignorant and would indeed, be within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.
The corollary implied here is that baptism is not necessary for a person to be “within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church”—that a personal revelation of the truth suffices.

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  #9  
Old May 21, '10, 10:21 am
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Default Re: Invincible Ignorance....

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Originally Posted by Yggdrasil View Post
The corollary implied here is that baptism is not necessary for a person to be “within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church”—that a personal revelation of the truth suffices.

That's not what the Church teaches....
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Old May 21, '10, 10:29 am
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Default Re: Invincible Ignorance....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yggdrasil View Post
The corollary implied here is that baptism is not necessary for a person to be “within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church”—that a personal revelation of the truth suffices.


Pope Paul III,
The Council of Trent, Sess. 7, Can. 5 on the Sacrament of Baptism, ex cathedra: “If anyone says that baptism [the Sacrament] is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation (cf. Jn. 3:5): let him be anathema.”


Pope Innocent III,
Fourth Lateran Council, Constitution 1, 1215, ex cathedra: “But the sacrament of baptism is consecrated in water at the invocation of the undivided Trinity – namely, Father, Son and Holy Ghost – and brings salvation to both children and adults when it is correctly carried out by anyone in the form laid down by the Church.”


Pope Benedict XIV,
Nuper ad nos, March 16, 1743, Profession of Faith: “Likewise (I profess) that baptism is necessary for salvation, and hence, if there is imminent danger of death, it should be conferred at once and without delay, and that it is valid if conferred with the right matter and form and intention by anyone, and at any time.”


Pope Pius XI,
Quas Primas (# 15), Dec. 11, 1925 : “Indeed this kingdom is presented in the Gospels as such, into which men prepare to enter by doing penance; moreover, they cannot enter it except through faith and baptism, which, although an external rite, yet signifies and effects an interior regeneration.”

There are many more references, but as you can see, the Church has always taught that baptism is necessary for salvation.

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  #11  
Old May 21, '10, 10:33 am
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Default Re: Invincible Ignorance....

Quote:
Originally Posted by SGT ROCK 33 View Post
That's not what the Church teaches....
Right. The implicit corollary follows from St. Thomas’ explanation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SGT ROCK 33 View Post
There are many more references, but as you can see, the Church has always taught that baptism is necessary for salvation.
Perhaps the teaching could be illustrated by an example. How would Extra ecclesiam nulla salus and “baptism is necessary for salvation” apply to Native Americans who lived and died prior to the arrival of European Christians?
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  #12  
Old May 21, '10, 10:42 am
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Default Re: Invincible Ignorance....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yggdrasil View Post
Right. The implicit corollary follows from St. Thomas’ explanation.

How would Church teaching apply to Native Americans who lived and died prior to the arrival of European Christians?
The same way St. Thomas explains it:


St. Thomas Aquinas, Sent. III, 25, Q. 2, A. 2, solute. 2:
“If a man should have no one to instruct him, God will show him, unless he culpably wishes to remain where he is.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, De Veritate, 14, A. 11, ad 1: Objection“It is possible that someone may be brought up in the forest, or among wolves; such a man cannot explicitly know anything about the faith. St. Thomas repliesIt is the characteristic of Divine Providence to provide every man with what is necessary for salvation… provided on his part there is no hindrance. In the case of a man who seeks good and shuns evil, by the leading of natural reason, God would either reveal to him through internal inspiration what had to be believed, or would send some preacher of the faith to him…”

St. Thomas was not protected by the rules of infallibility, but his teaching falls in line with the teachings of the Church. What would we do without St. Thomas explaining everything to us?

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Old May 21, '10, 10:54 am
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Default Re: Invincible Ignorance....

Sarge, you certainly know how to open up a can of worms.

  #14  
Old May 21, '10, 11:03 am
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Default Re: Invincible Ignorance....

Quote:
Originally Posted by SGT ROCK 33 View Post
St. Thomas Aquinas, De Veritate, 14, A. 11, ad 1: Objection“It is possible that someone may be brought up in the forest, or among wolves; such a man cannot explicitly know anything about the faith. St. Thomas repliesIt is the characteristic of Divine Providence to provide every man with what is necessary for salvation… provided on his part there is no hindrance. In the case of a man who seeks good and shuns evil, by the leading of natural reason, God would either reveal to him through internal inspiration what had to be believed, or would send some preacher of the faith to him…”

St. Thomas was not protected by the rules of infallibility, but his teaching falls in line with the teachings of the Church. What would we do without St. Thomas explaining everything to us?
Fanciful, but not bad. What it supposes, though, is that God can reveal to a person “through internal inspiration, what must be believed.” In this case, God must have performed all of these perfect revelations to right-living Native Americans at the moment of their death, because it does not appear that they were able to teach their family members or their communities the Christian faith. It raises the question of why God would have this means of promulgating the gospel at his disposal, and yet make use of it so secretly.

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Old May 21, '10, 11:27 am
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Default Re: Invincible Ignorance....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yggdrasil View Post
Fanciful, but not bad. What it supposes, though, is that God can reveal to a person “through internal inspiration, what must be believed.” In this case, God must have performed all of these perfect revelations to right-living Native Americans at the moment of their death, because it does not appear that they were able to teach their family members or their communities the Christian faith. It raises the question of why God would have this means of promulgating the gospel at his disposal, and yet make use of it so secretly.

Is it really that difficult to imagine? I would suppose for the non-believer (not assuming that you are) it is difficult to comprehend the fact that ALL things are possible with God. To believe these things, one must be grounded in the faith and be able to recognize that there are just some things we cannot comprehend. God's mercy is infinite, a bottomless cup of love and forgiveness.

It is not impossible for me to imagine that if God wills it and determines that someone is deserving, He would make water pour out of a rock to have someone baptized. We cannot possibly comprehend the fact that there are no limits to what God can do.

This is taken from St. Paul and it touches on this issue:
St. Paul, Romans 1:1820: “For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice: Because that which is known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it to them. For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.”

Pretty straightforward and to the point.


God Bless


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