Check out these links I found on the web! Basically the point is that Catholics who hold Fr Feeney’s interpretation of EXTRA ECCLESIA NULLA SALUS are still Catholics in good standing with the Church.
Here is an article by Peter Vere, a Canon Lawyer on the matter. Vere has written for Envoy Magazine, appears in the book Suprised By Truth #3, and has written for This Rock magazine. He has also written great apologetic material againsts the Lefebvre schism.
Here he responds to a question on the matter from the Saint Benedict Center in New Hampshire. Now it must be noted that the group in New Hampshire is not approved by the Church. Vere simply answers the question if a Catholic in good standing may hold the same interpretation of “extra ecclesia…” as Feeney. He does not go into the Canonical standing of the group in New Hampshire, but merely the status of the individual Catholic faithful who holds this view.
Another point is that although the Saint Benedict Center in New Hampshire is not Canonically approved by the Church, the Saint Benedict Center in
Still River, MA in fact is. It is approved in the Diocese of Worcester.
They have religious communities of nuns and monks:
(Note that this last website says “Saint Benedict Center in Still River is not associated or affiliated with St. Benedict Center in Richmond, New Hampshire.” The New Hampshire one is the one that is not approved, the Still River one is.)
As you can see in this link, they are listed in the Directory page of religious orders in the Diocese of Worcester (Benedictines of Still River)
So, what does this mean? Not only can a Catholic hold a stricter interpretation of EXTRA ECCLESIA NULLA SALUS and still be in good standing with the Church, but there is actually a religious order officially approved in the Diocese of Worcester that holds this view. I have seen many debates about this issue on these forums and by Catholic Answers apologists such as Jimmy Akin, but I have never heard anyone bring up these two facts.
It comes down to either “Feeneyites” are not heretics (as Catholic Answers seems to infer) and Feeney’s view is in fact a legitimate theological opinion that is allowed within Catholic orthodoxy (as Peter Vere clearly proves)
Peter Vere is wrong which means the Diocese of Worcester (with the knowledge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, mind you!) is officially allowing a heretical group to exist in their diocese!
While I do not necessarily subscribe to Feeney’s view, because I haven’t studied it enough, and therefore don’t wish to get into debates about Feeney’s doctrine itself, this is a very interesting find.