Protestants are right! (NOT!)

Well, not really (sorry guys). There is one thing, though, that I believe Protestants are right about. That thing is the widely held belief amongst Catholics that to get to Heaven, you merely have to “be good.” If you live a good life, so they say, you will go to Heaven. So, religion and faith is really irrelevant. Many Catholics lack the pre-Vat 2 zeal for their faith that Catholics used to have and now actually view the Church indifferently in comparison to the religions of heretics, infidels, and pagans. So, many modern Catholics are basically the Pelagians that St. Augustine fought so hard against. This belief in “working your way to Heaven” is largely why CINOs are so surprised to hear that the Church has ALWAYS taught that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. Now, I know the Church does not interpret this dogma so literally as Fr. Feeney did, but I think that the ignorance or avoidance of this ‘intolerant’ and ‘judgmental’ dogma has lead to a decrease in evangelization. It truly is, IMHO, the most neglected teaching of the Church. We NEED to evangelize. We shouldn’t be telling Muslims to be good Muslims and Hindus to be good Hindus (like Mother Teresa did) or Jews to be good Jews (like the USCCB tried to do). So, I have 3 different questions:

  1. How can we combat this indifferent attitude?
  2. Exactly how does the Church interpret this dogma?
  3. This isn’t really as important, but I just got done reading Peter Kreeft’s A Refutation of Moral Relativism (which is a *great * book!) and I was disturbed at the very end by something that was said. The book is set up like an interview. This is what was said:

Interviewer - “You mean if we’re good, we’ll go to heaven and have mystical experiences.”

Interviewee - “Yes. Now you’re speaking simply and clearly. Like my namesake (blessed be his name): ‘Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.’”

So, isn’t that statement considered Pelagianism? Also, could you guys try to use as many pre-Vat 2 & non-CCC sources as possible please (simply to show continuity of belief, and yes, I know about that one by Justin Martyr, but I need more than that)?

Thanks for your help! :thumbsup:

First let me ask, What does CINO & IMHO mean?

Second, I don’t know how one would fight an indefferent attitude? I have often thought about it. Can’t figure it out.

[quote=Montie Claunch]First let me ask, What does CINO & IMHO mean?
[/quote]

CINO = Catholic in name only
IMHO = in my honest opinion

haha, sorry about that

[quote=JSmitty2005]CINO = Catholic in name only
IMHO = in my honest opinion

haha, sorry about that
[/quote]

No No. Don’t be. I need to keep up with the times. But, anyway on with your question.

[quote=JSmitty2005]CINO = Catholic in name only
IMHO = in my honest opinion

haha, sorry about that
[/quote]

Oh, I always thought that IMHO stood for: In My Humble Opinion. I guess it could be both…

I agree. Recently there has been this idea floating around like it doesn’t matter whether you have been baptized. It seems to matter little what faith you are. The Church always taught the absolute necessity of baptism until recently. I never thought of it as being pelagianism but that seems to be a good assesment.

We should avoid mentioning baptism of desire and that of blood. We should remain silent on the salvation of those who are not Catholic as was normally done before. We should simply say we do not know. All we know is that baptism is the only way we know of salvation. It may be possible that a non-Catholic will be saved but as of now it is an absolute necessity that all become Catholic.

I just have to say, i don’t understand where you are getting that CINO’s are the only ones saying you just have to be a good person to get to heaven. ALL of my non-Catholic family members and especially the anti-Catholic in-laws think Jesus loves you and flowers and candy are nice and why think about penance or sacrifice when Jesus loves everyone? God’s love isn’t about RULES! Whatever. Anyhoo, this apathy anywhere is a threat everywhere.

Protestants are right, and that is true, when they attack what the Catholic Church doesn’t teach. We should point that out to them too.

Example:
You know you are right we shouldn’t worship Mary, and many people even some poorly taught Catholics believe that we do, would you like to know what Catholicism really is, because apparently someone has misinformed you.

We need to have better Catechesis, we need to teach CINO’s what it means to be Catholic. Or else they become prey to that sort of attack which is focused on half truths.

The way to combat this indifferent attitude is to stress the importance of truth as we have become a little to friendly to the common truths we all hold and being scared of standing up for the differences.

God Bless
Scylla

A Refutation of Moral Relativism (which is a great book!) and I was disturbed at the very end by something that was said. The book is set up like an interview. This is what was said:

Interviewer - “You mean if we’re good, we’ll go to heaven and have mystical experiences.”

Interviewee - “Yes. Now you’re speaking simply and clearly. Like my namesake (blessed be his name): ‘Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.’”

If you took these two sentences in isolation they could be construed as a Pelagian view, but remember (i) the beatitude is a direct quote from Christ and (ii) in Peter Kreeft’s book the interviewee is a Muslim scholar rather than a Christian scholar. From my (limited) understanding, the Muslim position is close to a Pelagian position in that salvation is mainly about what man does, not what God has done for us.

Check out Kreeft’s web page with his autobiography (“hauled aboard the ark”) which addresses the misconception that many Catholics have.

There is something called “invincible ignorance”.

Some people actually and really do experience invincible ignorance.

That is, for various cultural, social, psychological, biological, and other reasons, some people just won’t be Christians (or Catholics, for that matter), in this life.

There are two ways (at least two ways, if not more) of interacting with the invincibly ignorant: (1) keep telling them that they should become Christian; or (2) tell them to be the best Jew/Hindu/Buddhist/Baha’i that they can be.

Of course, you can’t absolutely tell if someone is really invincibly ignorant or not, so you might not know for sure which type of communication to take.

For someone like Mother Theresa, who has been hanging around Hindus for years, I tend to think she would know when to encourage someone to be Christian, and when to encourage someone to simply do the best they can.

See Zenit and zenit for further info.:smiley:

[quote=Ahimsa]There is something called “invincible ignorance”.

Some people actually and really do experience invincible ignorance.

That is, for various cultural, social, psychological, biological, and other reasons, some people just won’t be Christians (or Catholics, for that matter), in this life.

There are two ways (at least two ways, if not more) of interacting with the invincibly ignorant: (1) keep telling them that they should become Christian; or (2) tell them to be the best Jew/Hindu/Buddhist/Baha’i that they can be.

Of course, you can’t absolutely tell if someone is really invincibly ignorant or not, so you might not know for sure which type of communication to take.

For someone like Mother Theresa, who has been hanging around Hindus for years, I tend to think she would know when to encourage someone to be Christian, and when to encourage someone to simply do the best they can.

See Zenit and zenit for further info.:smiley:
[/quote]

In this day and age, I don’t think that invincible ignorance really suffices anymore. After all, at the discovery of the New World, the Church immediately had missionaries sent over to evangelize them, and if anyone was invincibly ignorant, it was them. Also, I’ve read an article that said that “invincible ignorance” neither saves nor damns a person. Furthermore, the idea that we should encourage non-Catholics to be the best pagan, infidel, or heretic that they can be is not in line with the teachings of Christ nor the teachings of the Church. Finally, just having people follow their conscience as to what they believe is true was condemned in Pius IX’s syllabus of errors:

  1. Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true. – Allocution “Maxima quidem,” June 9, 1862; Damnatio “Multiplices inter,” June 10, 1851. (CONDEMNED)
  1. Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation. – Encyclical “Qui pluribus,” Nov. 9, 1846. (CONDEMNED)
  1. Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ. – Encyclical “Quanto conficiamur,” Aug. 10, 1863, etc. (CONDEMNED)

While this dogma may sound tragic, it would be no more tragic than Our Lord suffering His passion and people finding other ways but His to get to heaven!

[quote=JSmitty2005]Well, not really (sorry guys). There is one thing, though, that I believe Prots are right about. That thing is the widely held belief amongst Catholics that to get to Heaven, you merely have to “be good.”
[/quote]

I would beg to differ; I think there’s a difference between what the Church teaches and what some Catholics believe. As always said, when in doubt, go to what is really taught. I like what you asked though:

  1. How can we combat this indifferent attitude?

I think an exposition of the Church’s position would help a lot. That’s the most effective way to combat it.

Hey, I like Protestants as much as the next guy, but I think they’re wrong here.:smiley:

[quote=JSmitty2005]In this day and age, I don’t think that invincible ignorance really suffices anymore. After all, at the discovery of the New World, the Church immediately had missionaries sent over to evangelize them, and if anyone was invincibly ignorant, it was them.
[/quote]

Invincible ignorance doesn’t mean “not having heard of the gospel”. It means “not being convinced of the truth of the gospel”. If I lived in Siberia in 100 A.D., and a Christian missionary came to my town, spreading the gospel, but yet drinking and carousing and doing immoral activities, then I would still be invincibly ignorant, not because I haven’t “heard” the gospel (I have, because the drunken missionary told me), but because the context in which I heard the gospel did not predispose me to believe it. To wit:

As we see every day among our acquaintances, the reasons why many people say no to Christ are many: disappointment, betrayal, poor catechesis, cultural and social conditioning.

Pius IX himself admitted the difficulty of delimiting the cases of invincible ignorance, stating: “Who will arrogate to himself the power to determine the limits of that ignorance according to the character and variety of peoples, of regions, of spirits and of so many other elements?”

Pius IX taught us therefore a great prudence and great respect for those who do not have the gift of faith in Christ. We are not able to understand altogether the reasons for a rejection of faith, nor can we know with certainty that someone who seems to have no faith, in fact has a very imperfect form of faith.

[quote=Ahimsa]That is, for various cultural, social, psychological, biological, and other reasons, some people just won’t be Christians (or Catholics, for that matter), in this life.
[/quote]

Pope Leo XIII talked about these people in Satis Cognitum:

“Christ teaching from the ship signifies that those who are outside the Church can never grasp the divine teaching; for the ship typifies the Church where the word of life is deposited and preached. Those who are outside are like sterile and worthless sand: they cannot comprehend.”

This ship imagery has been used by many in the Church. Here is what Popes John Paul I and John Paul II had to say:

•Pope John Paul I - “The ship of the Church is guided by Christ and His Vicar. It alone carries the disciples, and receives Christ. Yes, it is tossed on the sea, but outside it one would perish immediately. Salvation is solely in the Church; outside it one perishes.”

•Pope John Paul II - “There is no entering into salvation outside of the Church, just as in the time of the Deluge there was none outside the Ark which denotes the Church.”

Here’s another that directly addresses the popular Pelagian view of many Catholics:

“He who is seperated from the body of the Catholic Church, however praiseworthy his conduct may otherwise seem, will **not ** be saved.”

Pope Gregory XVI

[quote=JSmitty2005]Pope Leo XIII talked about these people in Satis Cognitum:

[quote=Pope Leo XIII] "Christ teaching from the ship signifies that those who are outside the Church can never grasp the divine teaching
[/quote]

; for the ship typifies the Church where the word of life is deposited and preached. Those who are outside are like sterile and worthless sand: they cannot comprehend."
[/quote]

Correct: “they cannot comprehend” – that is, they have “heard,” but they cannot comprehend the truth in Christ. They are invincibly ignorant.

This ship imagery has been used by many in the Church. Here is what Popes John Paul I and John Paul II had to say:

•Pope John Paul I - “The ship of the Church is guided by Christ and His Vicar. It alone carries the disciples, and receives Christ. Yes, it is tossed on the sea, but outside it one would perish immediately. Salvation is solely in the Church; outside it one perishes.”

•Pope John Paul II - “There is no entering into salvation outside of the Church, just as in the time of the Deluge there was none outside the Ark which denotes the Church.”

True, but no one knows how many people are actually on the ship. There might be lots of stowaways not listed on the list of registered guests.:smiley:

[quote=JSmitty2005]Here’s another that directly addresses the popular Pelagian view of many Catholics:

“He who is seperated from the body of the Catholic Church, however praiseworthy his conduct may otherwise seem, will **not ** be saved.”

Pope Gregory XVI
[/quote]

Sure, but that’s different from saying “All those not visible, registered members of the Church on earth, will not be saved.”

[quote=Ahimsa]True, but no one knows how many people are actually on the ship. There might be lots of stowaways not listed on the list of registered guests.:smiley:
[/quote]

So then the question is, who is in the Church? I think Pius XII directly addressed this question:

Only those are really to be included as members of the Church **who have been baptized and profess the true faith ** and who have not unhappily withdrawn from Body-unity or for grave faults have been excluded by legitimate authority.”

(Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi)

[quote=JSmitty2005]…That thing is the widely held belief amongst Catholics that to get to Heaven, you merely have to “be good.” If you live a good life, so they say, you will go to Heaven.
[/quote]

not “merely being good” but being good certianly helps

[quote=JSmitty2005]… Many Catholics lack the pre-Vat 2 zeal for their faith that Catholics used to have and now actually view the Church indifferently in comparison to the religions of heretics, infidels, and pagans.
[/quote]

Any numbers to back this up?

[quote=JSmitty2005]…This belief in “working your way to Heaven” is largely why CINOs are so surprised to hear that the Church has ALWAYS taught that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. Now, I know the Church does not interpret this dogma so literally as Fr. Feeney did, but I think that the ignorance or avoidance of this ‘intolerant’ and ‘judgmental’ dogma has lead to a decrease in evangelization. It truly is, IMHO, the most neglected teaching of the Church. We NEED to evangelize.
[/quote]

What do you suggest?
Remember you catch more flies with honey and there is nothing wrong with evangelizing by example.
The many questions posted on this site emphasize that there is a lot of misinformation out there about the church. You’ve seen those posts here “Hi, I’m an (insert religion/non-religion here) I’m all for debate but you people say X but we all know that is wrong and whatever you say won’t change my mind”. If we act like those folks we’ve hurt the cause.

Does a JW sticking pamphlets in your door intrigue you? Does one of the random protestant posters here make you say, “Hmm maybe we DO worship Mary.” No. clearly those techniques have limited utility.

Similarly, the typical stand up comedian line of “I used to be Catholic but I’m better now” just perpetuates the myth of a dower, scrupulous, guilt ridden people. We need to show joyous happy, well adjusted people and starting off a conversation with it’s our way or the highway isn’t going to get you too far.

BTW Does anyone else find the term “CINO” offensive and dismissive?
Who can say that they are more Catholic than the next guy? How do you know what is in someone’s heart? If you want to spread the faith it doesn’t seem right to start off by driving away those already inside.

[quote=JSmitty2005]…We shouldn’t be telling Muslims to be good Muslims and Hindus to be good Hindus (like Mother Teresa did) or Jews to be good Jews (like the USCCB tried to do).
[/quote]

We shouldn’t be doing like Mother Teresa did? Do I understand you correctly? :confused:

I’m confused by your post. You appear to complain about Vatican II, mother Teresa, and the USCCB. Surely those are all Catholic and not in name only.

[quote=Ahimsa]Sure, but that’s different from saying “All those not visible, registered members of the Church on earth, will not be saved.”
[/quote]

ewtn.com/vnews/getstory_print.asp?number=63130

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.