Has the Catholic Church not contradicted itself already?


#1

Hello

I posted this in another thread but I wanted to explore it in a thread of it’s own. I have been examining both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches with hopes of joining one of the other.

One of the claims of the Catholic Church is that the Pope is infallible and that it cannot err in matters of faith and morals, with that in mind I wanted to explore the “No Salvation Ouside The Church dogma”

Here is an infallible an official declaration about it form a Pope:

Pope Eugene IV ( A.D. 1441 ) " The most Holy Roman Church believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatic’s cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart " into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" ( Matt. 25:21), unless before the end of life the same has been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fasting’s, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed his blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church."

Seems to be very Clear doesn’t it? Now here is what the Catechism says about N Salvation Outside the Church:

[quote]Outside The Church there is no salvation

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? 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.

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.

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.”

This seems to be in direct contradiction to the declaration of Pope Eugene IV and the other declarations that were made by The Church prior to Vatican II. So what gives? Doesn’t this just blows the claim to infallibility out of the water?

salival

[/quote]


#2

Papal infallibility does not mean that everything the Pope says is perfect. It means that when he speaks “ex cathedra” or “in the spirit” on matters of dogma and doctrine, the Holy Spirit will guide him to make a decision that at that time is the best, most perfect decision possible.

Your problem is that you are covering two very distinct and varied time frames. The world of 1441 was enormously different from the world that produced the version of the cathechism you quoted from.

For instance, some of my non-denominational friends argue over the body and blood of Christ, “… unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you will have no life in you.” St. Ignatius of Antioch maintains that only a Eucharist offered at the hands of the bishop, or one whom he has given authority to, (priest) should be considered a valid sacrament. So my friends ask me “If I have not received communion from the Catholic Church, will I be damned?”

To that I reply that it was absolutely mandatory in the first centuries of the church. When the physical manifestation of the church on earth was limited and the faith was young, it was imperative that no one be allowed to teach or practice what they want. If the Reformation occured in the 2nd century, there probably would be no identifiable “Christian faith” today.

But I believe that Jesus and the Holy Spirit knew of the schisms that would come and have guided the church to the proper attitude regarding the relationship of His church to the separated bretheran.

In other words, as the “separated” get themselves into more and more trouble by the millions, Jesus opens the Catholic church to His will on how to resuce them rather than condemn them.

Thal59


#3

[quote=Thal59]Papal infallibility does not mean that everything the Pope says is perfect. It means that when he speaks “ex cathedra” or “in the spirit” on matters of dogma and doctrine, the Holy Spirit will guide him to make a decision that at that time is the best, most perfect decision possible.

Your problem is that you are covering two very distinct and varied time frames. The world of 1441 was enormously different from the world that produced the version of the cathechism you quoted from.
[/quote]

I am sorry but I think that this makes no sense. How can an infallible dogma of the Church be subject to time when it was promulgated under God’s guidence? God is not arbitrary or random.

So can now the Church say that we can believe that Mary is not Queen of Heaven because it was something necessary for only a matter of time? That is something that Pius X condemned, it is the claim that dogmas should change with the times. If there is no salvation outside The Church then there is no salvation outside of The Church, I think that the VII contradicted this by watering down the dogma.


#4

As stated above, papal infallibility applies only to ex cathedra pronouncements. There have only been two (2) ex cathedra pronouncements in 2,000 years. The dogmas of:

[list=1]
*]The Immaculate Conception (1854)
*]The Assumption (1950)
[/list]

Therefore, “No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church” is a non-issue when it comes to papal infallibility.

Maranatha,
Hans


#5

Lets see what Vatican II says in Lumen Genum about this:

Bishops who teach in communion with the Roman Pontiff are to be revered by all as witnesses of divine and Catholic truth; the faithful, for their part, are obliged to submit to their bishops’ decision, made in the name of Christ, in matters of faith and morals, and to adhere to it with a ready and respectful allegiance of mind. This loyal submission of the will and intellect must be given, in a special way, to the authentic teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, even when he does not speak ex cathedra in such wise, indeed, that his supreme teaching authority be acknowledged with respect, and sincere assent be given to decisions made by him, conformably with his manifest mind and intention, which is made known principally either by the character of the documents in question, or by the frequency with which a certain doctrine is proposed, or by the manner in which the doctrine is formulated.

So with than in mind and taking the quote provided, doesn’t the quote fits the criteria of infallibility? Specially when it is often repeated different times and also promulgated by Councils?

Also, ALL of the Canons of the Councils are inflalible, there may be only two ex-Cathedra pronouncements which were not arrived at by a Council. but Every council aproved by the Pope bears the mark of infallibility. That is whay they are formulated: “If anyone says…let him be anathema.”

[quote=Hans A.]As stated above, papal infallibility applies only to ex cathedra pronouncements. There have only been two (2) ex cathedra pronouncements in 2,000 years. The dogmas of:

[list=1]
*]The Immaculate Conception (1854)
*]The Assumption (1950)
[/list]

Therefore, “No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church” is a non-issue when it comes to papal infallibility.

Maranatha,
Hans
[/quote]


#6

Was this statement made in council?


#7

[quote=salival]One of the claims of the Catholic Church is that the Pope is infallible and that it cannot err in matters of faith and morals, with that in mind I wanted to explore the “No Salvation Ouside The Church dogma”

This seems to be in direct contradiction to the declaration of Pope Eugene IV and the other declarations that were made by The Church prior to Vatican II. So what gives? Doesn’t this just blows the claim to infallibility out of the water?
[/quote]

No. There is a group of “Catholics” who use this argument to claim that Vatican II changed doctrines, and that the Popes since have been automatically excommunicated and that the Papacy has been vacant.

Every statement by a Pope is not an infallible statement. It must be consistent with what the Church has always taught. The confines of what constitutes an infallible declaration are very narrow. “Invincible ignorance” is the term historically for what the CCC illuminates in the paragraphs 847 & 848 that you cited.

In paragraph 846, the CCC reaffirms that the Church in necessary for salvation.

Here is a paragraph I exerpted from the Papal Infallibility tract on the CA website:

…people wonder how infallibility could exist if some popes disagreed with others. This…shows an inaccurate understanding of infallibility, which applies only to solemn, official teachings on faith and morals, not to disciplinary decisions or even to unofficial comments on faith and morals. A pope’s private theological opinions are not infallible, only what he solemnly defines is considered to be infallible teaching.

For more info on the history of “no salvation outside” see this tract:

catholic.com/library/Salvation_Outside_the_Church.asp

I hope this helps.

jb


#8

[quote=PioMagnus]Was this statement made in council?
[/quote]

Yeap in the Council of Basel (a.k.a. Florence):

piar.hu/councils/ecum17.htm


#9

If an Ecumenical Council, like Vatican II, authoritatively taught something that *seems *to conflict with previous authoritative statements, then examine it closely. What *looks *like a contradiction, upon further examination, really is not.

Vatican II clarifies that “those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics”—referred to by Pope Eugenius as those who cannot be saved—are precisely those who DO “know that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ” and “refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.”

But what about those who DO NOT “know that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ. . .”? Pope Eugenius’s statement didn’t address that question, but Vatican II did. And so there is no contradiction.


#10

[quote=Asimis]Yeap in the Council of Basel (a.k.a. Florence):

piar.hu/councils/ecum17.htm
[/quote]

Basel and Florence are not the same. Pope Eugenius IV did not accept any of the decrees of the Council of Basel.


#11

That looks all fine and dandy but here is what the quote says:

The most Holy Roman Church believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatic’s cannot become participants in eternal life…

It is very clear, it does not says those who rejected the Catholic Church or those who joined it and the left it, it not only includes those but EVERYONE who is “not living withing the Catholic Church”.

This is in direct contradiction to what VII stated when it says that the Muslims and Jews are included in the plan of salvation and that other Christian denominations even while not being in full communion with The Catholic Church can obtain salvation.

[quote=Vincent]If an Ecumenical Council, like Vatican II, authoritatively taught something that *seems *to conflict with previous authoritative statements, then examine it closely. What *looks *like a contradiction, upon further examination, really is not.

Vatican II clarifies that “those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics”—referred to by Pope Eugenius as those who cannot be saved—are precisely those who DO “know that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ” and “refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.”

But what about those who DO NOT “know that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ. . .”? Pope Eugenius’s statement didn’t address that question, but Vatican II did. And so there is no contradiction.
[/quote]


#12

[quote=jordan]Basel and Florence are not the same. Pope Eugenius IV did not accept any of the decrees of the Council of Basel.
[/quote]

Ok, is there any article online dealing with the rejection of the council or parts of it?

By the way the Council started at Basel and was moved to Florence.

Thanks.


#13

Well, you may call it a contradiction, but I think it is only a development in the understanding of the meaning of “outside the church, no salvation.” After all, in A.D. 1441, there was only one Christian Church. It was either the Catholic Church, Judaism, Islam, or nothing.

As the CCC points out, the obverse of “outside the church no salvation” is that all salvation comes through the Church. Even the AD 1441 statement leaves a little wiggle room that “unless before the end of life the same has been added to the flock”. Today we might recognize that perhaps God grants to all a final choice of faith, a final chance to be added to the flock–even in the final moments of their life–something that was not particularly recognized back then.

The current formulation tries to allow for the infinite Mercy of God. The old formulation did not seem to have that latitude. The only danger of the current formulation is that it might allow people to become too complacent. The Church is the standard, normal, and expected means of salvation, which all should make use of. And everyone who gets to heaven gets there through the grace of Christ through the Catholic Church.


#14

[quote=Asimis]This is in direct contradiction to what VII stated when it says that the Muslims and Jews are included in the plan of salvation and that other Christian denominations even while not being in full communion with The Catholic Church can obtain salvation.
[/quote]

Direct contradiction is too strong a term. Eugenius spoke about those not living within the Church. Vatican II clarified what it means to live within the Church, i.e. visible union is not the only possibility. So are the two in contradiction? No. Was it horribly unwise to make such a proclamation without any attempt to show its continuity with previous teaching? Egregiously so.


#15

[quote=Andreas Hofer]Direct contradiction is too strong a term. Eugenius spoke about those not living within the Church. Vatican II clarified what it means to live within the Church, i.e. visible union is not the only possibility. So are the two in contradiction? No. Was it horribly unwise to make such a proclamation without any attempt to show its continuity with previous teaching? Egregiously so.
[/quote]

I think they (in VII) should have been much more clear about what they meant as to avoid the current confusion. I mean it makes sense once you dig out and do a lot of “mental gymnastics” which shouldn’t be the case really.


#16

[quote=JimG]As the CCC points out, the obverse of “outside the church no salvation” is that all salvation comes through the Church. Even the AD 1441 statement leaves a little wiggle room that “unless before the end of life the same has been added to the flock”. Today we might recognize that perhaps God grants to all a final choice of faith, a final chance to be added to the flock–even in the final moments of their life–something that was not particularly recognized back then.
[/quote]

I think a better way of speaking about this is focusing on the honest cooperation with grace made by the individual throughout the course of his life instead of hypothesizing about ‘another shot’ at salvation. This is based on a presumption that the teachings of Vatican II on extra ecclesiam nulla salus were not meant to offer hope only to those who have never heard a single word about Chrisit in their entire life. All others, after all, have already received an opportunity to choose life - there’s no reason to assume we must always be given “one more chance.” Rather than create an “out” for the unevangelized, the developments of Vatican II seem much more to bring the primacy of conscience to the fore, extending hope to all those who sincerely follow their conscience while still not becoming Christian for one reason or another.


#17

I feel like ,“shunting the Ecumental Spirit of John Paul II,” and saying sarcastically ,“OH HOW LUCKY WE BE, that our church may be graced by the presence of another agnostic, but…,” I digress… So find and defend some ,“REAL TRUTH,” where you may find it, for there exist no regression in life, no Spiritual backword motion, for after getting one’s house cleaned, Jesus warned of the seven times worse condition if one returns to a life of less truth…

I kind of wish that the next POPE will be from the oriental cultures, becuause I KNOW how much they VENERATE SPIRIT, Spirit which is God, although lately we’ve been caught up in JESUS’S MOTHER so darn much… The only thing that matters to a lot of folks these days is nearness, resemblence to JESUS’S MOTHER… Though greatest of handmaids she be, and humble she be, “IT’S REALLY ALL ABOUT JESUS’S FATHER, and his ESSENCE…”

MT 12:31 Therefore, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.

MT 12:32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

LK 12:10 "Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

JN 3:6 What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit.

Do ,“PENTECOSTALS,” believe their FIREY GIFTS are WRONG, and they are ,"INSPIRED by an INCORRECT SPIRIT? :rolleyes:


#18

Asimis,

I am sorry but I think that this makes no sense. How can an infallible dogma of the Church be subject to time when it was promulgated under God’s guidence? God is not arbitrary or random.

So can now the Church say that we can believe that Mary is not Queen of Heaven because it was something necessary for only a matter of time? That is something that Pius X condemned, it is the claim that dogmas should change with the times. If there is no salvation outside The Church then there is no salvation outside of The Church, I think that the VII contradicted this by watering down the dogma.<<

While God is not arbitrary or random, man is. Protestants have a tendecy to look at the “deposit of faith once and for all delivered to the saints,” as a statue, something set in stone and never changing.

Catholics see that deposit as an acorn that grows into a giant tree that today is still growing branches. God understands that man will grow and develop while at the same time Satan will throw numerous tactics at man that he will not be able to overcome with the Protestant statutory ideal. So, it is not by coincidence that the first proclamation of 1441 (before the reformation) is not identical to the current catechism of 2005 almost 500 years after the reformation.

The “invincible ignorance” cited by Jordan earlier basically proposes that if a person is born into a Protestant denomination, and his mind has been trained from birth to think like a Protestant, then it may be possible that he may never be able to understand Christianity and scripture, through no fault of his own, as Catholics do. This is because Protestants think and reason in the opposite manner that Catholics do. (Catholics think deductively, while Protestants think inductively.)

Therefore, a person of a Protestant denomination, though he may have a true zeal and love for Jesus, may never be able to see the Roman Catholic Church as the apostolic church because its theology appears to go backwards to everything he has been taught.

This is why Pope Eugene IV said the correct thing for his time, while the catechism says the correct thing for the present. Don’t forget, the relationship of those outside the church to the church itself is not doctrine for those inside the church.

Catholic doctrine and dogma pertain to the Catholic, not the schismatic.

Thal59


#19

[quote=Thal59]This is why Pope Eugene IV said the correct thing for his time, while the catechism says the correct thing for the present. Don’t forget, the relationship of those outside the church to the church itself is not doctrine for those inside the church.

Catholic doctrine and dogma pertain to the Catholic, not the schismatic.

Thal59
[/quote]

Your post was good until this point, and perhaps I just misunderstand you, but Catholic doctrine and dogma pertain to all human beings because they are absolute, universal truths. If the Church declares a doctrine concerning those outside the Church it is doctrine for every single human.

Now, some disciplines of sacraments actually do create disparities. One instance is marriage. The marriages of non-Catholics to non-Catholics can be recognized by the Church as valid, but Catholics who intentionally marry outside the Church do not contract valid marriages (e.g. marrying a non-Catholic without a dispensation) because they fall under the judgment of the Church in such matters whereas those outside of its visible structures are not. But the Church making morally binding demands on her children is not the same as the Church declaring a doctrine or dogma.

In short, Catholic dogma and doctrine apply to everyone, Catholic discipline only to Catholics.


#20

Hello JimG.

So just what more did Pope Eugene want from the guy who martyrs himself for Jesus but still burns in hell according to Pope Eugene? I do not see much “wiggle room” in Pope Eugene’s statement. It seems pretty clear that the martyrs faith to die for Jesus would not bring a man to salvation but only becoming a Catholic would bring him to salvation according to Pope Eugene.

**no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved unless they abide within the bosom and unity of the Catholic **

Peace in Christ,
Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com


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