In Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, theologian Fr. Ludwig Ott devised a rather elaborate “hierarchy of truth” and categorized many doctrines accordingly. Of course, this is his personal opinion, but it’s a pretty well-informed opinion.
The highest category is de Fide (of the Faith).
Sometimes people come here and ask if there is a list of infallible doctrines. Of course, there is no such list, and no such list could be created. But it would certainly be possible to create a list of doctrines that Ott labeled de Fide (and, perhaps, cent. certa), and that would probably be in the neighborhood of the mythical list of doctrines.
I thought that was defined by the Council of Florence. What am I missing?
“the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in original sin alone, go down straightaway to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains.” Source: papalencyclicals.net/Councils/ecum17.htm
Shhhh… we aren’t supposed to talk about Florence any more. Didn’t you get the memo?
CCC 1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say: ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,’ allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church’s call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.
Lol. I know you are joking, but for lurkers and myself, the joke is that the Church doesn’t back down from its ecumenical councils, which makes David’s statement intentionally ironic. The Catechism cites Florence, for one thing. The CDF didn’t contradict Florence in the document about infants who die without baptism, it doesn’t repudiate Limbo but rather says it is a permissible theory. (It is a merciful one too.) And the theory that baptism of desire could save some infants through some unrevealed manner is compatible with Catholic Tradition.
Interestingly, the CDF advisory document that David cited earlier explicitly reaffirms the teaching of Florence: “Original sin implies a state of separation from Christ, and that excludes the possibility of the vision of God for those who die in that state.” Source: THE HOPE OF SALVATION FOR INFANTS WHO DIE WITHOUT BEING BAPTISED
Yes, of course. Monty Python fans will recognize my Limbo “blunders” from the “Knights Who Say ‘Nee’” skit (Part B) in Holy Grail.
but for lurkers and myself, the joke is that the Church doesn’t back down from its ecumenical councils, which makes David’s statement intentionally ironic.
But, while I was, indeed, joking in my post, the substance of what I said could be accurate. Time to put jokes aside.
There’s a myth that everything that an Ecumenical Council teaches is somehow automatically infallible. Just as a Pope MAY teach infallibly, but often does not, an Ecumenical Council MAY teach infallibly, but often does not. There is nothing in Catholic doctrine to support any idea of “automatic infallibility.”
Every knowledgeable Catholic understands that teachings which are not protected by infallibility could possibly change. But apologists are reluctant to admit that this has ever actually happened.
I’m not one of those apologists. I am of the opinion that the Catholic Church taught (not infallibility) the Limbo of Infants for centuries. I learned about it in Catholic grade school from the Baltimore Catechism, in which it was termed “the common belief.” Ahem, that’s another term for (non-infallible) doctrine. Is there a definition for “doctrine” that somehow precludes the “common belief” of the Church?
The operative word being “implies.” I’m not so sure this word “reaffirms” the teaching of Florence (which was rather unequivocal).
That statement need not be the basis of any grief for the prospects for the soul in question. It does not foreshadow “suffering”. But it does raise questions given the belief that the soul is eternal.
It seems self-evident to me that the legions of babies and others who die without baptism do not “suffer” after death on account of their non-baptism - what culpability for anything can attach to a baby? As to their actual status - who knows.