[quote=CollegeKid]I realize this, what I’m trying to find out is if at one point in Church history it was taught that there is no such thing as an “implicit baptism” which it sometimes looks like from the Papal Quotes presented by, among others, USMC, that more or less say one must be part of the One, Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church to be saved.
There is what is known as the objective and subjective orders. Objectively, in order to be saved a person must be united visibly to the Catholic Church. They must be a fully baptized “card carrying” Catholic. That is the objective truth and what the dogmas often quoted teach.
However, subjectively, it is possible for a person to be united to the Church without being visibly united. This is not the norm, but it is possible.
It is possible based on the interior disposition and knowledge of the person. For example, a child that was baptized in a heretical Church, as long as that baptism was valid, is a member of the Church, even though it doesn’t appear so.
Likewise, it is possible for an adult who, following the actual graces given him, believes in the two necessary articles of faith - the Trinity and Incarnation - rejects no dogmas of the Catholic faith, and has been baptized (either by water or desire); if they have, in addition to their faith, perfect contrition (which is a supernatural gift of God) and remission of their sins, they can be united to the Church spiritually. Of couse, only God know who such people are. “Man seeth the things that appear, but God beholds the heart”.
I will explain why the Church, prior to 1960, did not place too much emphasis on the subjective level, but rather taught the objective truth.
For one, when the focus is placed on the subjective it leads to confusion for those who are now well grounded in the finer points of Catholic theology. They hear that it is possible for a person who is not a formal member of the Church to be saved, and they think the Church no longer teaches what it used to teach.
In my opinion, focusing on the subjective leads first to confusion, and finally to a denial of the objective truth. I will give an example of how it works in the form of a discussion between two people. We will use abortion as our topic.
*Question: Is abortion a mortal sin?
Answer: Of course it is. It is the taking of a human life and a great evil before God. Of course it is a mortal sin!
Question: Oh, really? So are you saying that a women living in China who is forced to have an abortion is committing a mortal sin? She was forced!
Answer: Well, no I am not saying that…
Question: So you admit that abortion is not always a mortal sin. And in fact, depending on the circumstances there may be no sin at all, right?
Answer: Well, I guess, if they were forced… but…
Question: But what about fear, or a nervous disorder. The Church teaches that fear or nervous disorders can diminish the cuplability of the sin. And also, you know, there has to be full deliberation for the sin to be mortal, and they must know it is wrong. Many of the young girls do not know how bad it is. Are you saying that they are all guilty of a mortal sin?
Answer: Well, I’m not saying that. I understand that we have to fully know we are doing wrong for it to be a mortal sin; and I know that the Church teaches that fear, or nervousness, can dimimish our guilt… I have heard that … but…
Question: So you admit that abortion is not always a mortal sin, and in fact, given the fear these girls are experiencing in being pregnant at a young age, and how this fear, anxiety and nervousness is clouding their better judgment, wouldn’t you admit that abortion is probably rarely ever a mortal sin?
Answer: I don’t know? I’m not sure… I can’t say for sure.
Question: So, let me again ask you: Is abortion a mortal sin or not?
Answer: I guess it all depends on the circumstances.*
See how it works? At first the person was certain the abortion was a mortal sin, but after the questioner began to place the focus on the subjective state of the person, they weren’t too sure.
The answer is: Abortion is always an objective mortal sin.
The exact same tactic used in the example above regarding abortion, has been used to undermine the doctrines of the Catholic faith. And that is precisely why the majority of Catholics today reject the dogma that outside the Church there is no salvation. It is due to an over emphasis on the subjective, to the exclusion of the objective. And this sme tactic is being used in other areas of the Church and world to undermine the truth.
There is an article titled “Deception under the appearance of good”, by Harold Welitz. You ought to look it up online and read it. It discusses and exposes this tactic pretty well.