Invincible Ignorance....


#1

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)

[LEFT]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.[/LEFT]

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

God Bless


#2

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

[quote="SouthpawLink, post:2, topic:198964"]
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.

[/quote]

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


#4

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.


#5

[quote="SGT_ROCK_33, post:3, topic:198964"]
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

[/quote]

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: cfnews.org/invig.htm. Also see his Questions and Answers on Salvation (see questions 40 & 41): traditionalromancatholicism.org/FatherMichaelMulleronSalvation.html. He address the entire issue at length here: romancatholicism.org/muller/muller.htm.


#6

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.

God Bless


#7

Thanks for the links. :thumbsup:

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…

God Bless


#8

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.

:smiley:


#9

[quote="Yggdrasil, post:8, topic:198964"]
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.

:D

[/quote]

That's not what the Church teaches....


#10

[FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=4][size=2]Pope Paul III, [/size]
[LEFT][/size][/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Italic]The Council of Trent[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman], Sess. 7, Can. 5 on the Sacrament of Baptism, [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-BoldItalic]ex cathedra[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman]: [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Bold][size=4][size=2]“If anyone says that [/size]baptism [the Sacrament] is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation (cf. Jn. 3:5): let him be anathema.”[/size][/FONT][/LEFT]

[LEFT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][size=2]Pope Innocent III, [/size][/size][/FONT]
[FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Italic]Fourth Lateran Council[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman], Constitution 1, 1215, [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Italic]ex cathedra[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman]: [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Bold]“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 [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][size=2]when it is correctly carried out by anyone [/size]in the form laid down by the Church.”[/size][/FONT][/LEFT]

[LEFT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][size=2]Pope Benedict XIV, [/size][/size][/FONT]
[FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Italic]Nuper ad nos[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman], March 16, 1743, Profession of Faith: [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Bold]“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, [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][size=2]and that it is valid if conferred with the right matter and form and intention by [/size]anyone, and at any time.”[/size][/FONT][/LEFT]

[LEFT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][size=2]Pope Pius XI, [/size]
[/size][/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Italic]Quas Primas [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman](# 15), Dec. 11, 1925 : “Indeed this kingdom is presented in the Gospels as such, into which men prepare to enter by doing penance; [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Bold]moreover, they cannot enter it except through faith and baptism[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman], which, although [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Bold]an external rite[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman], yet signifies and effects an interior regeneration.”[/FONT][/LEFT]

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

[LEFT]God Bless[/LEFT]


#11

[quote="SGT_ROCK_33, post:9, topic:198964"]
That's not what the Church teaches....

[/quote]

Right. The implicit corollary follows from St. Thomas’ explanation.

[quote="SGT_ROCK_33, post:10, topic:198964"]
There are many more references, but as you can see, the Church has always taught that baptism is necessary for salvation.

[/quote]

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?


#12

[quote="Yggdrasil, post:11, topic:198964"]
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?

[/quote]

The same way St. Thomas explains it:

[FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][size=2]St. Thomas Aquinas, Sent. III, 25, Q. 2, A. 2, solute. 2: [/size]
[LEFT][/size][/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Bold]“If a man should have no one to instruct him, God will show him, [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][size=2]unless he culpably wishes to remain [/size]where he is.”[/size][/FONT][/LEFT]

[size=3][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][size=2]St. Thomas Aquinas[/size][/size][/size][/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Italic], De Veritate[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman], 14, A. 11, ad 1: Objection[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman]‐ [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Bold]“It is possible that [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Bold]someone may be brought up in the forest, or among wolves; such a man cannot explicitly know anything about the faith. [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman]St. Thomas replies[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman]‐ [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman]It 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, [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Bold]God would either reveal to him through internal inspiration what had to be believed, or would send some preacher of the faith to him[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][size=2]…”[/size][/size][/FONT][/size][/FONT]

[size=3][size=2]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?[/size][/size]

[size=3][size=2]God Bless[/size][/size][size=3]
[/size]


#13

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

:rolleyes::thumbsup:


#14

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.

:confused:


#15

[quote="Yggdrasil, post:14, topic:198964"]
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.

:confused:

[/quote]

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:
[FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][size=2]St. Paul, [/size][/size][/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Italic]Romans 1:18[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Italic]‐[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Italic]20[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman]: “For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman]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. [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Bold]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: [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][size=2]so that they are inexcusable.”[/size][/size][/FONT]

[LEFT][size=3][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][size=2]Pretty straightforward and to the point.[/size][/size][/size][/FONT][/size][/FONT][/LEFT]

[LEFT][size=3][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][size=2]God Bless[/size][/size][/size][/FONT][/size][/FONT][/LEFT]


#16

I’ll take that as a compliment…:thumbsup:

God Bless


#17

=SGT ROCK: 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?

[LEFT]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.[/LEFT]

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

God Bless

It is a FACT that neither a doctrine or dogma can "be changed." However our is a living Church.1Tim.3: 15 "if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth."

One must accept three facts:

  1. When this Doctine was defined the ONLY Church was the CC. The Protestant Revoluation had not yet either taken palce or was forseen.

  2. While neither Doctrine or Dogma can be altered or deleated; our understanding in the light of a living Church" staying relevant to all; all of the time of a dogma or doctrine can and must take place. Why else does the Church have Theologians if as you say; everything is known, everything is already decided?

  3. Further understanding is possible so long as it does not contradict the defined dogma or doctrine. Such is th case in the issue of salvtaion Through the CC.

The current undestanding and TEACHING of our CC on this issue is

  1. All salvation continues to flow through th CC, which is the One [anONLY] TRUE and COMPLETE Faith.

  2. God who does not think as we do: Isa. 55: 8 -9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

  3. Faith which requires both Wisdom and Understanding are like GRACE; allocated by God to whom it pleases Him to give these gifts; and withholds them from those He choses.

Luke.10: 21 "In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, *for such was thy gracious will." *

*Heb.9: 12 *"he entered once **for all **into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. [Yes I know Redeemption and Salvation are NOT the same].

1Pet.1: 17 "And if you invoke as Father him who judges each one impartially according to his deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile."

*Heb.6: 10 *“For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love which you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do.”

*Phil.2: 12 *“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;

*Rom.2: 6 *“ For he will render to every man according to his works”

By virtue of a "common Baptism"; with water in the name of the Trinity; and because we share a common beleive in the one TRUE Trinue God"; salvation** is possible**; on the same conditions of being free from Mortal Sin, being Baptized and Believing in the Blessed Trinity, and having obeyed the Commandments and with chairatable works.

Catechism: ** **819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth" are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements." **Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, **whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."

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.

**Canon Law: 749 §2 **The College of Bishops also possesses infallibility in its teaching when the Bishops, gathered together in an Ecumenical Council and exercising their magisterium as teachers and judges of faith and morals, definitively declare for the universal Church a doctrine to be held concerning faith or morals; likewise, when the Bishops, dispersed throughout the world but maintaining the bond of union among themselves and with the successor of Peter, together with the same Roman Pontiff authentically teach matters of faith or morals, and are agreed that a particular teaching is definitively to be held."


#18

[quote="PJM, post:17, topic:198964"]

One must accept three facts:

  1. When this Doctine was defined the ONLY Church was the CC. The Protestant Revoluation had not yet either taken palce or was forseen.

[/quote]

Proclamations after the reformation:

Pope Pius IX, [FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Italic]Syllabus of Modern Errors[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman], Dec. 8, 1864 [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman]‐ [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][size=2]Proposition 16: “Man may, [/size]in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation.” - Condemned[/size][/FONT]

[size=3][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][size=2]Pope Gregory XVI, [/size][/size][/size][/FONT]*[FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Italic]Summo Iugiter Studio *[/FONT]FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman, May 27, 1832: [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Bold]“Finally some of these misguided people attempt to persuade themselves and others that men are not saved only in the Catholic religion, but that even heretics may attain eternal life.”[/FONT][/FONT]

[FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][size=2]Pope Gregory XVI, [/size][/size][/size][/FONT]*[FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Italic]Mirari Vos *[/FONT]FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman, Aug. 15, 1832: “With the admonition of the apostle, that ‘there is one God, one faith, one baptism’ (Eph. 4:5), may those fear who contrive the notion that the safe harbor of salvation is open to persons of any religion whatever. They should consider the testimony of Christ Himself that ‘those who are not with Christ are against Him,’ (Lk. 11:23) and that they disperse unhappily who do not gather with Him. [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Bold]Therefore, ‘without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate (Athanasian Creed)[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman].”[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/size]

[quote="PJM, post:17, topic:198964"]
2. While neither Doctrine or Dogma can be altered or deleated; our understanding in the light of a living Church" staying relevant to all; all of the time of a dogma or doctrine can and must take place.

  1. Further understanding is possible so long as it does not contradict the defined dogma or doctrine. Such is th case in the issue of salvtaion Through the CC

[/quote]

[FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=4][size=2]Pope Pius IX, [/size]
[LEFT][/size][/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Italic]First Vatican Council[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman], Sess. 3, Chap. 2 on Revelation, 1870,[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Bold]“Hence, also, that understanding of its sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained, which [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Bold]Holy Mother Church has once declared; and there must never be a recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding.[/FONT][/LEFT]

[FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][size=2]Pope St. Pius X, [/size]
[LEFT][/size][/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Italic]Lamentabile[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman], The Errors of the Modernists, July 3, 1907, #54: [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman]“[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Bold]The dogmas, [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman]the sacraments, the hierarchy, [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Bold]as far as pertains both to the notion and to the reality, are nothing but interpretations [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman]and the evolution of Christian intelligence, which have increased and perfected the little germ latent in the Gospel.”[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman]‐ [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Bold]Condemned[/FONT][/LEFT]


#19

It’s not that it’s unimaginable, just that it’s strange. It’s difficult to understand why God—who apparently has the means to transmit the complete Christian revelation to individuals—would confine this transmission only to the hour of dying.

If certain pre-colonial Native Americans were capable of having “road to Damascus” moments as St. Paul did (wherein they saw Christ and the faith with perfect clarity), why were these revelations strictly private? Why would the Lord God withhold the preaching of the gospel from the family members and communities of these right-living “anonymous Christians”?

With due awareness of the fact that God is ultimately inscrutable, and that his ways are above our ways as the heavens are above the earth, there is nevertheless St. Thomas’s contention that the faith is essentially compatible with reason. The problem here is that the “extraordinary means” theory is rather bizarre, and somewhat unreasonable. It looks an awful lot like a desperate and contorted attempt to reconcile “no salvation outside of the Church” with objections made after the fact.

The “invincible ignorance” and “extraordinary means” explanations are inelegant ways of circumventing certain difficult and logically unreasonable salvation questions. Whereas the doctrine of apocatastasis (“universal reconciliation”—officially on the books as heretical) was held by several of the Early Church Fathers, some of whom were never anathematized. Intriguingly, it has a marvelous coherency and consistency lacking in the various other formulations.


#20

While you may be right that there were certain people that may have held the universal salvation belief, the Church has always taught otherwise. While they, themselves may not have been formally condemned, the belief in universal salvation most certainly has.

It is possible that there are some things that we just aren’t supposed to understand.

God Bless


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