Feeneyites and Salvation vs. Justification


#1

The Feeneyites contend that baptism of desire provides justification, but not salvation. They say this to be the case because baptism of desire conveys justification, that is a remission of sins, but does not join a person to the Body of Christ, that is the Church. According to them, only water baptism can join a person to Christ’s Body.

How is this addressed? Please answer only the specific question. I am aware of all the Magisterial documents speaking about EENS and whatnot, but I do not know A) on what basis they make this claim (even if it is bad, they must have some arguement to try to make this claim), and B) what the response is to it. Please answer these questions :slight_smile:


#2

[quote=Lazerlike42]The Feeneyites contend that baptism of desire provides justification, but not salvation. They say this to be the case because baptism of desire conveys justification, that is a remission of sins, but does not join a person to the Body of Christ, that is the Church. According to them, only water baptism can join a person to Christ’s Body.

How is this addressed? Please answer only the specific question. I am aware of all the Magisterial documents speaking about EENS and whatnot, but I do not know A) on what basis they make this claim (even if it is bad, they must have some arguement to try to make this claim), and B) what the response is to it. Please answer these questions :slight_smile:
[/quote]

This seems to be the biggest logical gap in their case. I cannot seem to find anything teaching the formal seperation of justification and salvation. I know they have different meanings, but they tend to come and go together.

Mark
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com


#3

It is simply weaseling on the part of the Feeneyites in a desperate attempt to preserve the errors that they preach.

The Feeneyites believe that when the Catholic Church became instituted, formal reception of the Sacrament of Baptism instantaneously became intrinsically necessary for the salvation of every man, woman, and child, no matter where they were living on the planet. The fact that hundreds of millions of people were living in invincible ignorance of the Gospel in Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas means nothing to the Feeneyites.

Fr. Feeney’s erroneous assertion that salvation became was dependent on the intrinsic necessity of the formal reception of the Sacrament of Baptism was addressed in the **Letter Of The Sacred Congregation Of The Holy Office ** which teaches: In His infinite mercy God has willed that the effects, necessary for one to be saved, of those helps to salvation which are directed toward man’s final end, not by intrinsic necessity, but only by divine institution, can also be obtained in certain circumstances when those helps are used only in desire and longing. This we see clearly stated in the Sacred Council of Trent, both in reference to the sacrament of regeneration and in reference to the sacrament of penance [1].

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

However, this desire need not always be explicit, as it is in catechumens; but when a person is involved in invincible ignorance God accepts also an implicit desire, so called because it is included in that good disposition of soul whereby a person wishes his will to be conformed to the will of God.

These things are clearly taught in that dogmatic letter which was issued by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Pius XII, on June 29, 1943, On the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ [2]. For in this letter the Sovereign Pontiff clearly distinguishes between those who are actually incorporated into the Church as members, and those who are united to the Church only by desire.

Discussing the members of which the Mystical Body is composed here on earth, the same august Pontiff says: "Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed."
Toward the end of this same encyclical letter, when most affectionately inviting to unity those who do not belong to the body of the Catholic Church, he mentions those who “are related to the Mystical Body of the Redeemer by a certain unconscious yearning and desire,” and these he by no means excludes from eternal salvation, but on the other hand states that they are in a condition “in which they cannot be sure of their salvation” since “they still remain deprived of those many heavenly gifts and helps which can only be enjoyed in the Catholic Church” [3]. With these wise words he reproves both those who exclude from eternal salvation all united to the Church only by implicit desire, and those who falsely assert that men can be saved equally well in every religion [4]; also Pope Pius IX in the encyclical letter, Quanto conficiamur moerore [5].

But it must not be thought that any kind of desire of entering the Church suffices that one may be saved. It is necessary that the desire by which one is related to the Church be animated by perfect charity. Nor can an implicit desire produce its effect, unless a person has supernatural faith: “For he who comes to God must believe that God exists and is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Heb. 11:6). The Council of Trent declares [6]: “Faith is the beginning of man’s salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, without which it is impossible to please God and attain to the fellowship of His children” [7].

[1] Denzinger, nn. 797, 807.

[2] AAS, Vol. 35, an. 1943, p. 193 ff.

[3] AAS, 1. c., p. 243

[4] cf. Pope Pius IX, Allocution, Singulari quadam, in Denzinger, n. 1641 ff.

[5] Denzinger, n. 1677

[6] Council of Trent, Session VI, chap. 8

[7] (Denzinger, n. 801


#4

Thank you for the letter. As I said, I am aware of thiese items. I would like information pertaining to the specific claim which they make. Has not one Feeneyite ever offered a reason for this arguement? For example, Matt16_18, I know that towards the end of your debate with Hammer he said that he could explain why baptism of desire would put a person in a state of grace but not save them if he had a few minutes. Have you ever heard his explanation?


#5

[quote=Lazerlike42]Thank you for the letter. As I said, I am aware of thiese items. I would like information pertaining to the specific claim which they make. Has not one Feeneyite ever offered a reason for this arguement?
[/quote]

When the Feeneyites teach that Baptism is necessary for salvation, they are stating the objective without allowing any possibility of a subjective exception.

To support their position, they will quote numerous infallible statements from the magisterium that say a person MUST be baptised with water - and there are numerous such statements.

Many of the Feeneyites either ignore other magisterial statements (or completely twist the obvious meaning) which state that desire for baptism can suffice for salvation.

Others do not ignore those statements. Instead, they try to make them fit in with their teaching on the absolute necessity of water baptism by saying, as you wrote above, that the desire for Baptism can suffice for justification, but not salvation.

In my dealings with them, I have not seen them produce any magisterial statements to support the claim that baptism of desire can produce justification, but not salvation. They simply draw that conclusion due to the fact they they have other magisterial statements that say a person MUST be baptized with water. Just as the modernist and liberals who focus exclusively on the subjective end by denying the objective, similarly - as a reaction to the modernists and liberals - the Feeneyites focus on the objective and end by denying the subjective.

When they teach that a person must be baptized, they are teaching the objective truth, which is why there are so many magisterial statements to back it up. However, the Church allows for the possibility of exceptions to this rule.

It is also worth noting that the Council of Trent taught that confession was necessary to have mortal sins forgiven, which is objectively true, yet it also stated that a person could have their sins forgiven by perfect contrition, as long as they intended to confess their sins. In this case, the Feeneyites agree with both the objective and subjective.

Yet they cannot understand that it is the exact same as with baptism. Objectively speaking, water baptism is necessary for salvation, just as confession is necessary to have mortal sins forgiven; but subjectively a person can have a mortal sin forgiven by perfect contrition, and obtain justification (and salvation) by a desire for baptism.

Pope Pius XII: “In the case of other, more necessary sacraments, when the minister is lacking, he can be supplied through the force of divine mercy, which will forego even external signs in order to bring grace to the heart. To the catechumen who has no one to pour water on his head, to the sinner who can find no one to absolve him, a loving God will accord, out of their desire and love (charity), the grace which makes them His friends and children even without Baptism or actual confession” (Dear Newlyweds, page 13).


#6

Calling people Feeneyites is seen by them as a perjorative term. If you really want a discussion with them, using this label for them isn’t going to get you very far in terms of establishing an atmosphere of charity.


#7

Actually, in talking to those who hold to the position of Fr. Feeney, I was told by them, that they do believe that the salvation of baptism by desire is indeed hypothetically possible. However, this possibility never actually occurs because John 3:5 has been seen as without exception. And technically, this belief falls into the realm of acceptable Catholic belief. After all while the Church says that salvation is possible for these who are outside the Church, the Church never says it actually happens. The Church is silent on how often or how few times this actually happens.
As Catholics, we are free to hold that it happens from one spectrum to the other, that all are saved by desire or that none are saved by desire.

By the way, I do not hold to the views of Fr. Feeney.


#8

I think that you have me confused with the Matt1618 that wrote this:Hammer turns to Mush, By Matt1618

… he said that he could explain why baptism of desire would put a person in a state of grace but not save them if he had a few minutes. Have you ever heard his explanation?

I have heard Feeneyites make the claim that the explicit baptism of desire justifies but does not save. This is something that they pull out of thin air. I agree with USMC’s post # 5. :thumbsup:


#9

[quote=Dan-Man916]Calling people Feeneyites is seen by them as a perjorative term. If you really want a discussion with them, using this label for them isn’t going to get you very far in terms of establishing an atmosphere of charity.
[/quote]

I am not in any dialogue. I am using the term here because it identifies the ideas I am discussing to people here who can help.

I think that you have me confused with the Matt1618 that wrote this:

Sorry! I thought it was you :stuck_out_tongue:


#10

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