Ordinary vs extraordinary means of salvation

I’m wondering about this. I hear some Catholics claim that God is not bound to ordinary means of salvation(meaning through the Sacraments and the Church which he established), but that God may be able to save souls through extraordinary means(such as to intercede immedietaly at the point of that person’s death).

What are your thoughts on this? :confused:

=Faith3Faith;7402348]I’m wondering about this. I hear some Catholics claim that God is not bound to ordinary means of salvation(meaning through the Sacraments and the Church which he established), but that God may be able to save souls through extraordinary means(such as to intercede immedietaly at the point of that person’s death).

What are your thoughts on this? :confused:

God can be describe as “Every Good Thing Perfected” and this certainly would be a GOOD THING.

That said, the proposition comes dangerously close to “Predestination” which quite simply is a Spiritual Impossibility in that it both denies God’s “Goodness” [being Fair and Just] and also denines humainty the God given right, by virtue of the manner in which God Created us, with the Spiritual Gifts of mind, intellect, FREEWILL and soul, precisely so we could AND WOULD decide for ourselves; where we chose to spend Eternity.

God only affirms our personal life choices.

The only possibility I can envision and it would be EXTREMELY rare; MIGHT be for someone who has led a JUST life with NOT having had the opportunity [not rejected but NO opportunity] to know God while on earth.

So is it posible? YES. Likely? Not very.

God Bless,
Pat

Predestination,

Can you show me the dogmatic teaching which teaches “extraordinary means” of salvation as being a truth?

I think whoever the OP has been listening to is confused by the following:

CCC 1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.

CCC 1257, which describes the normative means of salvation, leads to the extraordinary means of salvation:

CCC 1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.

CCC 1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

CCC 1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery."63 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

**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,"64 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.

CCC 1281 Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, can be saved even if they have not been baptized (cf. LG 16).

God is not bound by what his Church has already established as a dogma?

So did Jesus lie when he told Peter, “What you bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven” ?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is not infallible. Please give only already established infallible dogmatic teachings as evidence that “extraordinary means” of salvation is a truth.

I believe I remember seeing infallible teachings of the Church that says there is no remission of sins outside of the Church and outside of the Sacraments of the Church.

Neither is the catechism in error, as the Church is protected from teaching error. Simply put, we do not know how or why God chooses to save anyone in particular, and the Church has not declared that “thou shalt be saved in this manner and in no other manner shalt thou be saved”. In the case of children who die unbaptized, it simply is not known what their eternal status is. The Church clearly states this. Dogmatic declarations are made only in response to heresy. You might have to study the history of heresies to locate what you are looking for. Who or what is challenging you in this regard?

God is all-powerful, He is not bound by our rules or perception. I think always to the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard. It doesn’t matter if you are a lifelong Catholic baptized from brith and devout until death, or one who may not have been baptized at all but repentant at death, God can save whom He choose and we eventually will be paid the same wage we agreed to.

Actually you will find that the Catechism itself claims that it is not an infallible source of the Church’s teaching.

Actually you are incorrect. The Church has declared infallibly that “thou shall be saved in a particular manner and in no other manner shalt thou be saved”.
Here is an example of just one infallible dogmatic statement, of which I can present many more…

Pope Eugene IV, The Council of Florence, “Exultate Deo,” Nov. 22, 1439, ex cathedra:* “Holy baptism, which is the gateway to the spiritual life, holds the first place among all the sacraments; through it we are made members of Christ and of the body of the Church.* And since death entered the universe through the first man, ‘unless we are born again of water and the Spirit we cannot,’ as the Truth says, ‘enter into the kingdom of heaven’ [John 3:5]. ***The matter of this sacrament is real and natural water.” **DZ 696

=Faith3Faith;7402632]Can you show me the dogmatic teaching which teaches “extraordinary means” of salvation as being a truth?

PLEASE reread CAREFULLY and FUULY what post # 2says…:o

Salvation outside of the embrace of the CC remains POSSSIBLE [all though quite rare and very difficult].

WHY?

Because God in order to be a Just and Good God in morally obligated to provide AT-LEAST SUFFICIENT grace for one to come to know God.

Therefore, if for valid reasons a person is TRULY unable to know God…. Countries under persecution for example could by a just life [which reflects basic Christian values] could be saved by an implicit Baptism of Desire.

**From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

" The baptism of desire****The baptism of desire (baptismus flaminis) is a perfect contrition of heart, and every act of perfect charity or pure love of God which contains, at least implicitly, a desire (votum) of baptism**. The Latin word flamen is used because Flamen is a name for the Holy Ghost, Whose special office it is to move the heart to love God and to conceive penitence for sin. The “baptism of the Holy Ghost” is a term employed in the third century by the anonymous author of the book “De Rebaptismate”. The efficacy of this baptism of desire to supply the place of the baptism of water, as to its principal effect, is proved from the words of Christ. After He had declared the necessity of baptism (John 3), He promised justifying grace for acts of charity or perfect contrition (John 14): “He that loveth Me, shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him and will manifest myself to him.” And again: “If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him.” Since these texts declare that justifying grace is bestowed on account of acts of perfect charity or contrition, it is evident that these acts supply the place of baptism as to its principal effect, the remission of sins. This doctrine is set forth clearly by the Council of Trent"

Catholic Catechism:

**1281 **Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, can be saved even if they have not been baptized (cf. LG 16).

**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.”

God’s continued Blessings,
Pat

Ok, we have well established my abject ignorance. Having done that, that I simply cannot understand or comprehend your point in all of this.

So PJM says “salvation outside the Catholic Church is possible”,…while the Catholic Church itself dogmatically declares that “there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church”.

Also, the Catholic encyclopedia and the Catechism of the Catholic Church are not a source of infallible teaching. Please only make your case by presenting infallible dogmatic statements from past Popes and past Church councils. Thankyou. :thumbsup:

So you don’t see by now that the Church says dogmatically that one can only enter Heaven by being a formal member of the Catholic Church through WATER baptism? Therefore where is the dogmatic Church teaching that one can enter Heaven by “extraordinary means” outside of the Church and its Sacraments?

That is the ordinary means of salvation. The normative means. The Church also recognizes that God is absolutely inscrutable and so acknowledges that there are extraordinary means of salvation. Baptism of desire and of blood are also declared as genuine forms of baptism, through the binding and loosing power of the Church.

Frankly, you seem hung up on the word “infallible”. Infallibility is used in extremis. Is what Jesus said “infallible”? How about the words of Jesus to Dismas on the cross in Luke 23:43? There was no water baptism there, yet Dismas is the only person in scripture that Jesus declared would be in heaven. Does this render null and void the necessity of water baptism under normal circumstances? No!

It seems to me that your demand for dogma renders flexible all Church teaching outside of the limited number of dogmatic declarations. You certainly understand that dogma is propounded only as a medicinal response to heresy? Are you saying that truth is only declared if and when it is challenged, resulting in a dogmatic declaration?

Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum, John Paul II:

“This catechism is given to them that it may be a sure and authentic reference text for teaching Catholic doctrine and particularly for preparing local catechisms.”

Then you would do well to write the Vatican and request that the canonizations of Ss. Joseph and John the Baptist be revoked, who died before the foundation of the Church. There are also martyrs celebrated in the 2002 calendar who were Protestant, but died for the faith as “companions” (I don’t know the actual feast). Perhaps you should request that these canonizations be rescinded as well?

=Faith3Faith;7404865]So PJM says “salvation outside the Catholic Church is possible”,…

Also, the Catholic encyclopedia and the Catechism of the Catholic Church are not a source of infallible teaching. Please only make your case by presenting infallible dogmatic statements from past Popes and past Church councils. Thankyou. :thumbsup:

Actually the Catechism is a Catagory Five document carrying the same weight as Canon Law, Grim and the Bible.

Catholic Catechism:

1281 Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, can be saved even if they have not been baptized (cf. LG 16).

**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.”

Then Cardinal Ratzinger [NOW Pope Benedict VI] Granted the "**Imprimi Potest, [erification of it’s TRUTH!

Further: ***Pope John Paul II *personally ordered it’s publication and has this to say in it’s introduction:

QUOTE: It is approved by ME and promulgated by ME in this Apolostolic Letter: Laetamur Magnopere. End QUOTE **

Now let’s see what Canon Law has to say about OFFICIAL Teachings on either Faith [which this clearly is] or Morals, which thisn also covers.

THE TEACHING FUNCTION OF THE CHURCH LIBER III. DE ECCLESIAE MUNERE DOCENDI

Can. 748 §1. All persons are bound to seek the truth in those things which regard God and his Church and by virtue of divine law are bound by the obligation and possess the right of embracing and observing the truth which they have come to know.

Can. 749 §1. By virtue of his office, the Supreme Pontiff possesses infallibility in teaching when as the supreme pastor and teacher of all the Christian faithful, who strengthens his brothers and sisters in the faith,** he proclaims by definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held.**

§2. The college of bishops also possesses infallibility in teaching when the bishops gathered together in an ecumenical council exercise the magisterium as teachers and judges of faith and morals who declare for the universal Church that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held definitively; or when dispersed throughout the world but preserving the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter and teaching authentically together with the Roman Pontiff matters of faith or morals, they agree that a particular proposition is to be held definitively.

*This Canon #749 1 too applies to the CCC

§3. No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident.

Can. 750 §1. A person must believe with divine and Catholic faith all those things contained in the word of God, written or handed on, that is, in the one deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn magisterium of the Church or by its ordinary and universal magisterium which is manifested by the common adherence of the Christian faithful under the leadership of the sacred magisterium; therefore all are bound to avoid any doctrines whatsoever contrary to them.

§2. Each and every thing which is proposed definitively by the magisterium of the Church concerning the doctrine of faith and morals, that is, each and every thing which is required to safeguard reverently and to expound faithfully the same deposit of faith, is also to be firm-ly embraced and retained; therefore, one who rejects those propositions which are to be held definitively is opposed to the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

This Canon too applies precisely to the CCC

**Can. 751 **Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.

**Can. 752 ***** Although not an assent of faith, a religious submission of the intellect and will must be given to a doctrine which the Supreme Pontiff or the college of bishops declares concerning faith or morals when they exercise the authentic magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim it by definitive act; therefore, the Christian faithful are to take care to avoid those things which do not agree with it.***This Canon # 752 applies PRECISELY to the CCC

**Can. 754 ** All the Christian faithful are obliged to observe the constitutions and decrees which the legitimate authority of the Church issues in order to propose doctrine and to proscribe erroneous opinions, particularly those which the Roman Pontiff or the college of bishops puts forth.

So you see my dear friend that your giving l"ittle Ol ME" way too much credit. I am simply Pontificting the positions stated by our Pope and the Magesterium.

If extraordinary means, baptism of desire and baptism of blood are declared dogmatic infallible teachings of the Church, then why haven’t you posted those dogmatic teachings in this Forum by now?

The thief on the cross died before Jesus’ Resurrection and before Jesus instituted Water Baptism in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Therefore the thief died under the Old Covenant and not under the New Covenant. So the thief would not have been required to be water baptized. Therefore Jesus was referring to Abraham’s Bosom when he said “Paradise”. The Catholic Church teaches that baptism for the remission of sins was not instituted by Jesus until after his resurrection.

Actually you are incorrect. Dogmatic declarations of the Church are simply publicly revealed truths from the deposit of already existing divine Apostolic revelation, which can be traced back to the death of the very last Apostle. An example would be the real presence of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. Jesus was not challenged by anyone at the last supper when he declared that this is his body and blood. Also, Jesus was not challenged by anyone when he instituted Water Baptism. The Dogmatic teaching of the Holy Eucharist and Water Baptism began with Jesus and his Apostles.

Dogmatic teachings of the Church is the infallible truth. Now are you claiming that non-dogmatic teachings are infallible and must be believed by the faithful? Are you claiming that the faithful must believe that which the Church deems as being fallible and therefore may not be true?

The faithful are only bound to believe that which has already been established as dogmatic truth. The Church can not bind the faithful to believe fallible teachings which later may be revealed to be an untruth. An example would be the Arian crisis/heresy. Thank God for Saint Athanasius who held to the truth when 98% of all the theologians and bishops were trying to bind the faithful into believing a fallible(heretical) teaching.

Predestination, a la Aquinas and Molinas is part of Catholic teaching. GOd is outside time and knows the fate of those he not only HAS created but will create. That being said, he chooses to bring them into being anyway and thus, predestines their end, but not in a way that contradicts the freedom of the will, for it is based on the foreknowledge of God, and His deliberate choice to act in light of that knowledge.

If I know that if I give my brother a gift, he will respond kindly, and I give the gift, did my giving of the gift destine him to act kindly? No, he had the potential to say no, but he chose the kind response freely, even if my initial actions triggered this response, which is free.

God similarly knows who will and will not respond to the grace he offers all, and yet chooses to create all, thereby predestining the end of all, but not in a way which violates free will, but rather initiates our use of the freedom that is predestined for us!

THat’s right: God predestines our free will. Aquinas taught thus.

Perhaps you didn’t see the quote I posted. Here it is again:

From the Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum, John Paul II:

“This catechism is given to them that it may be a sure and authentic reference text for teaching Catholic doctrine and particularly for preparing local catechisms.”

Doctrine…not pious thought or religious speculation. Doctrine.

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