To those with conservative views on salvation

I guess this is a traditional catholicism question, as it tends to be traditionalists who hold to the more literal meaning of extra ecclesia nulla salus, and further that you have to both believe and practice everything the Church teaches to avoid dying in a state of mortal sin. i.e. the kind of views advanced by St Leonard of Port Maurice and others.

Does it ever keep you awake at night, or interfere with your prayers, or make you angry or cold towards God, to think that if you ever do get to heaven, the vast majority of those you loved on earth, maybe even your own parents, spouses and children, won’t be there, and therefore you’ll know that they are in hell for all eternity. Don’t you think that would diminish your joy in heaven, no matter how wonderful it is to be with God?

Sorry, but if you suggest that we hold some kind of opinion then you are wrong. Of course it depends on what you mean “more literal meaning”. If you mean that there is not possibility for anyone to be saved if he is not formally Catholic, then this is wrong. But otherwise there are many people who adhere to Indifferentism and think that all that matters is that you are a “good Christian”. Of course this is wrong. Church never believed that. Church Fathers didn’t believe that. The Popes condemned that.

Does it ever keep you awake at night, or interfere with your prayers, or make you angry or cold towards God, to think that if you ever do get to heaven, the vast majority of those you loved on earth, maybe even your own parents, spouses and children, won’t be there, and therefore you’ll know that they are in hell for all eternity. Don’t you think that would diminish your joy in heaven, no matter how wonderful it is to be with God?

To answer your last question: absolutely not because in heaven there is no such thing as sadness. In heaven the most souls can do is pity those in hell, but they will never be sad.

But I’m not trying to think of this. Why would I? I trust in the mercy of God. Do you not have a friend who is currently on his “way to hell”?

Something that I always hear is that God is not bound by the sacraments. Meaning, a person can certainly gain grace and salvation by making use of the sacraments, and the catholic church. But God doesn’t only save those who do so.

The way I see it, you’re best bet in gaining salvation is through the church. It’s not a one time event, it’s something that you must ‘work out with fear and trembling’ and that working out certainly can occur with the help of the church and the sacraments. (which doesn’t mean, btw, that you just have to ‘do’ the sacraments and you’re saved. The sacraments are there for us as conduits of God’s grace and to repent and convert our lives. There’s a lot more to it then going through the motions and checking them off the list.) The catholic church has the fullness of faith, and to get the full benefit of God’s graces and opportunities for salvation, you’re best off in the catholic church.

That doesn’t mean, though, that God will only save those that do so. IMO, there are many non-catholics that certainly can come to salvation and are holy people. God isn’t restricted to saving only those that are in the church, He certainly may choose to work outside the lines or grant salvation where He deems that it is proper.

So I hope that even those I love who aren’t catholic may some day come to be catholic. But even if they don’t, I pray for them and hope that God may chose to save them outside the church. Heck, I hope that for some of my family that’s IN the church, for that matter!

I don’t know if I’ll be sad for them in heaven if they don’t make it there. I’ve heard it stated that we chose to follow God, and conversely if not then we chose to go to hell. If people do end up there, then it’s through their own choice. As much as it will hurt to not have them with me in heaven, if i make it there, it will be their choice. You gotta trust in Jesus that He’ll do everything He can to get them to Heaven.

All of this underscores the fact that it is important to try to spread God’s Word to those who don’t have it, and try to bring them into the church and into salvation.

It makes me sad here on earth that my loved ones and friends are not Catholic. They’re missing so much here on this earth.

A number of errors need to be corrected here:

Read the following link, which contents will be summarized below:

iteadthomam.blogspot.com/2007/09/extra-ecclesiam-nulla-salus-and.html

  1. Firstly, “Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus” is not an “opinion” or a “sliding scale” teaching about which some Catholics can hold “conservative” views and others “liberal” ones.

The FACT is that outside the Catholic Church (which is the only Church) there is no salvation. None. No qualifications, no hemming and hawing, no relativist heresies.

This is a dogmatic, infallible teaching of the Church found in Sacred Scripture, the teachings, both ex cathedra and universal ordinary of the popes, councils of the Church, catechisms, and anywhere else you would like to look.

  1. It is FALSE to say that one “need not be” a formal Catholic to be saved.

As the above link points out, baptism is necessary, absolutely necessary, for salvation (Cf. Jn 3:5). The above link also notes that “necessity” here does NOT mean “It’s probably a good idea to be baptized, but Our Lord is merciful and will save some unbaptized people anyway.” No. Baptism is necessary for salvation. That is the infallible teaching of Our Lord and of His Church.

  1. It is FALSE to state that “one’s best bet” to be saved is in the Church, but that salvation can somehow happen elsewhere.

  2. The teaching of the Church, to repeat, is infallible:

“It (the Catholic Church) firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Mat. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”

seattlecatholic.com/article_20020816_A_Keelhaul_of_the_Faith.html

  1. To the original poster who asked about whether one would be “sad” to learn of the damnation of family or friends; Pope Blessed Pius IX replies as follows:

Here, too, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, it is again necessary to mention and censure a very grave error entrapping some Catholics who believe that it is possible to arrive at eternal salvation although living in error and alienated from the true faith and Catholic unity. Such belief is certainly opposed to Catholic teaching. There are, of course, those who are struggling with invincible ignorance about our most holy religion. Sincerely observing the natural law and its precepts inscribed by God on all hearts and ready to obey God, they live honest lives and are able to attain eternal life by the efficacious virtue of divine light and grace. Because God knows, searches and clearly understands the minds, hearts, thoughts, and nature of all, his supreme kindness and clemency do not permit anyone at all who is not guilty of deliberate sin to suffer eternal punishments.

In short, the reprobate, as St. Leonard of Port Maurice reminds us, has chosen his own eternal separation from God. Mortal sin, to be mortal, is deliberate. A mortal sin is a heinous offense against God because it is a deliberate choice to offend Infinite Goodness.

If you are granted the unspeakable grace of eternal happiness with Infinite Goodness, you will not be sad that those who died unrepentant of having grievously offended Infinite Goodness are punished, no matter how close you were to those offenders during earthly life.

Catholic truth need not be pleasant to the modern ear; what matters is that it is the truth.

As Pope Leo XII noted:

It is impossible for the most true God, who is Truth Itself, the best, the wisest Provider, and the Rewarder of good men, to approve all sects who profess false teachings which are often inconsistent with one another and contradictory, and to confer eternal rewards on their members.

Outside of the Church there is no salvation. Period, fullstop.

That is not the way I deal with it. I deal with the issue by praying every day that everyone one of my family members will be saved (at this time, I am the only Catholic). Since I have started saying that prayer, three have died.

The first was my aunt, who received all of the sacraments on her death bed.

The second was my grandmother, who died wearing the scapular while I was praying the Divine Mercy chaplet over her bed. Without asking for it, or expecting it, I received a shocking sign that she had been saved at the moment of death. I say “shocking” because when it happened I was completely shocked by it since it was so striking and unexpected.

The third to die was my grandfather. A wonderful man who grew up during the depression. Unfortunately, he died outside of the visible boundaries of the Church, and without any external signes that he was saved. How do I deal with that? Since I wasn’t there when he died, or wasn’t able to get a Preist to him, I do what Padre Pio did. I pray every single day without exception that God will grant him the grace of conversion at the moment of death. Since God is outside of time, he can apply those prayers to any moment in human history. I believe that if I am faithful to this pray for the rest of my life, I have much reason to hope that God will grant it.

So, rather than be bitter or angry with God that our family members have not corresponded to the grace to covert (which is not the fault of God), let us to our part by praying for them. That is the proper response.

Ragarding your last question: God the Father explained this to Catherin of Sienna, as recorded in the book The Dialogue. He explained that in heaven the human will is so perfectly united to the will of God that we will have absolutely no sadness if one of our family members is in hell. That is hard to imagine now while we are on earth, but I believe it to be true.

If I can find that section of the book I’ll post in here for you.

I am suprised you haven’t already the answer to your questions since they are pretty common questions. There are several popes and early church Fathers and doctors of the church that adress you questions quite a bit.

I will give you two benefits of the doubt here.

  1. you have forgotten some of the things of the church fathers you have read in the past.

  2. your questions are NOT rhetorical.

The church clearly defines what the Literal meaning the Phrase extra ecclesia.

I am wondering if you can give a reason why you think the extra ecclesia phrase was formulated?

If everyone was going to heaven what is prayer for?

This is a perfect illustration of the proper response to non-Catholic family and friends.

As Our Lady of Fatima said, “Many souls go to Hell because they have no one to pray or make sacrifices for them” (emphasis mine).

Our reply should be, not to grow despondent, but to take out a Rosary and begin to pray.

Anonymous2

The FACT is that outside the Catholic Church (which is the only Church) there is no salvation. None. No qualifications, no hemming and hawing, no relativist heresies.

This is a dogmatic, infallible teaching of the Church found in Sacred Scripture, the teachings, both ex cathedra and universal ordinary of the popes, councils of the Church, catechisms, and anywhere else you would like to look.

The Church also teaches that one can be saved through Baptism of desire… such as the thief on the cross. That if through no fault of their own one is unaware of the true Church and it’s teachings. A true desire to do all that God commands, but the inability to know where that truth can be found.

SD

Here it is.

[quote=Catherin of Siena] Of the glory of the Blessed

"Similarly, the just soul, for whom life finishes in the affection of charity and the bonds of love, cannot increase in virtue, time having come to naught, but she can always love with that affection with which she comes to Me, and that measure that is measured to her. She always desires Me, and loves Me, and her desire is not in vain – being hungry, she is satisfied, and being satisfied, she has hunger, but the tediousness of satiety and the pain of hunger are far from her. In love, the Blessed rejoice in My eternal vision, participating in that good that I have in Myself, everyone according to his measure, that is that, with that measure of love, with which they have come to Me, is it measured to them. Because they have lived in love of Me and of the neighbor, united together with the general love, and the particular, which, moreover, both proceed from the same love. And they rejoice and exult, participating in each other’s good with the affection of love, besides the universal good that they enjoy altogether. And they rejoice and exult with the angels with whom they are placed, according to their diverse and various virtues in the world, being all bound in the bonds of love. And they have a special participation with those whom they closely loved with particular affection in the world, with which affection they grew in grace, increasing virtue, and the one was the occasion to the other of manifesting the glory and praise of My name, in themselves and in their neighbor; and, in the life everlasting, they have not lost their love, but have it still, participating closely, with more abundance, the one with the other, their love being added to the universal good, and I would not that you should think that they have this particular good, of which I have told you, for themselves alone, for it is not so, but it is shared by all the proved citizens, My beloved sons, and all the angels – for, when the soul arrives at eternal life, all participate in the good of that soul, and the soul in their good. Not that her vessel or theirs can increase, nor that there be need to fill it, because it is full, but they have an exultation, a mirthfulness, a jubilee, a joyousness in themselves, which is refreshed by the knowledge that they have found in that soul. They see that, by My mercy, she is raised from the earth with the plenitude of grace, and therefore they exult in Me in the good of that soul, which good she has received through My goodness.
[/quote]

continue…

continuation

[quote=] "And that soul rejoices in Me, and in the souls, and in the blessed spirits, seeing and tasting in them the beauty and the sweetness of My love. And their desires forever cry out to Me, for the salvation of the whole world. And because their life ended in the love of the neighbor, they have not left it behind, but, with it, they will pass through the Door, My only-begotten Son in the way that I will relate to you. So you see that in those bonds of love in which they finished their life, they go on and remain eternally. They are conformed so entirely to My will, that they cannot desire except what I desire, because their free-will is bound in the bond of love, in such a way that, time failing them, and, dying in a state of grace, they cannot sin any more. And their will is so united with Mine, that a father or a mother seeing their son, or a son seeing his father or his mother in Hell, do not trouble themselves, and even are contented to see them punished as My enemies. Wherefore in nothing do they disagree with Me, and their desires are all satisfied. The desire of the blessed is to see My honor in you wayfarers, who are pilgrims, forever running on towards the term of death. In their desire for My honor, they desire your salvation, and always pray to Me for you, which desire is fulfilled by Me, when you ignorant ones do not resist My mercy. They have a desire too, to regain the gifts of their body, but this desire does not afflict them, as they do not actually feel it, but they rejoice in tasting the desire, from the certainty they feel of having it fulfilled. Their desire does not afflict them, because, though they have it not yet fulfilled, no bliss is thereby lacking to them. Wherefore they feel not the pain of desire. And think not, that the bliss of the body after the resurrection gives more bliss to the soul, for, if this were so, it would follow that, until they had the body, they had imperfect bliss, which cannot be, because no perfection is lacking to them. So it is not the body that gives bliss to the soul, but the soul will give bliss to the body, because the soul will give of her abundance, and will re-clothe herself on the Last Day of Judgment, in the garments of her own flesh which she had quitted. For, as the soul is made immortal, stayed and established in Me, so the body in that union becomes immortal, and, having lost heaviness, is made fine and light. Wherefore, know that the glorified body can pass through a wall, and that neither water nor fire can injure it, not by virtue of itself, but by virtue of the soul, which virtue is of Me, given to her by grace, and by the ineffable love with which I created her in My image and likeness. The eye of your intellect is not sufficient to see, nor your ear to hear, nor your tongue to tell of the good of the Blessed. Oh, how much delight they have in seeing Me, who am every good! Oh, how much delight they will have in being with the glorified body, though, not having that delight from now to the general Judgment, they have not, on that account, pain, because no bliss is lacking to them, the soul being satisfied in herself, and, as I have told you, the body will participate in this bliss.

"I told you of the happiness which the glorified body would take in the glorified humanity of My only-begotten Son, which gives you assurance of your resurrection. There, they exult in His wounds, which have remained fresh, and the Scars in His Body are preserved, and continually cry for mercy for you, to Me, the Supreme and Eternal Father. And they are all conformed with Him, in joyousness and mirth, and you will all be conformed with Him, eye with eye, and hand with hand, and with the whole Body of the sweet Word My Son, and, dwelling in Me, you will dwell in Him, because He is one thing with Me. But their bodily eye, as I told you, will delight itself in the glorified humanity of the Word, My only-begotten Son. Why so? Because their life finished in the affection of My love, and therefore will this delight endure for them eternally. Not that they can work any good, but they rejoice and delight in that good which they have brought with them, that is, they cannot do any meritorious act, by which they could merit anything, because in this life alone can they merit and sin, according as they please, with free-will.

“These then do not await, with fear, the Divine judgment, but with joy, and the Face of My Son will not seem to them terrible, or full of hatred, because they finished their lives in love and affection for Me, and good-will towards their neighbor. So you see then, that the transformation is not in His Face, when He comes to judge with My Divine Majesty, but in the vision of those who will be judged by Him. To the damned He will appear with hatred and with justice. And to the saved with love and mercy.”
[/quote]

Here’s a link to the book online. cfpeople.org/Books/Dialog/cfptoc.htm

This is true, except that I would note that noone knows who is saved or not, the ‘sliding scale’ appears when people begin to opine on what only God knows.

  1. It is FALSE to say that one “need not be” a formal Catholic to be saved.

As the above link points out, baptism is necessary, absolutely necessary, for salvation (Cf. Jn 3:5). The above link also notes that “necessity” here does NOT mean “It’s probably a good idea to be baptized, but Our Lord is merciful and will save some unbaptized people anyway.” No. Baptism is necessary for salvation. That is the infallible teaching of Our Lord and of His Church.

[quote]

This is not what the Church teaches. One need not be a formal Catholic to be save, unless you are saying that baptism of desire makes you are formal Catholic. The Church specifically teaches that Jews, Muslims, and even pagans can be saved. CCC 1260. Lumen Gentium 16. Gaudium et Spes 22.

This is not some new or "modernist doctrine. Thomas Aquinas wrote:

[quote]Those who are unbaptized, though not actually in the Church, are in the Church potentially. And this potentiality is rooted in two things–first and principally, in the power of Christ, which is sufficient for the salvation of the whole human race; secondly, in free-will.

[/quote]

Summa Theo. III, q.8 Art. 3.

  1. It is FALSE to state that “one’s best bet” to be saved is in the Church, but that salvation can somehow happen elsewhere.

This seems to be a restatement of #2 and is also not consistent with the Church’s teaching.

  1. The teaching of the Church, to repeat, is infallible:

seattlecatholic.com/article_20020816_A_Keelhaul_of_the_Faith.html

OK. The Church’s teachings are pretty clear on this topic, I don’t take a postion on their infallibility, or really see why it matters.

  1. To the original poster who asked about whether one would be “sad” to learn of the damnation of family or friends; Pope Blessed Pius IX replies as follows:

In short, the reprobate, as St. Leonard of Port Maurice reminds us, has chosen his own eternal separation from God. Mortal sin, to be mortal, is deliberate. A mortal sin is a heinous offense against God because it is a deliberate choice to offend Infinite Goodness.

If you are granted the unspeakable grace of eternal happiness with Infinite Goodness, you will not be sad that those who died unrepentant of having grievously offended Infinite Goodness are punished, no matter how close you were to those offenders during earthly life.

Catholic truth need not be pleasant to the modern ear; what matters is that it is the truth.

As Pope Leo XII noted:

Outside of the Church there is no salvation

. Period, fullstop.

Outside the Church there is no salvation - I don’t think there is any debate on this point within the Church (or much). The real debate is over the extent of the Church. The Church teaches that only God can no to whom His Grace has been extended. Those that have received His Grace are in the Church whether they know or we know it.
[/quote]

While these statements are true, what the poster did not include was that there is more to be said on the topic. This means that ALL salvation comes through Jesus Christ through his Church.

The qualifier on this is #847 of the Catechism:

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:
Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.

The source of this statement is Lumen Gentium, paragraph 16:
vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html

Note that the Magisterium has condemned the position that people must be actual members of teh Catholic Church to be saved; this is consistent with the sources cited above:
ewtn.com/expert/answers/outside_the_church.htm

Thanks for that timely question. It hurts terribly to think I would not see my loved ones - but definitely not angry or cold towards God. I believe what I was taught, and I was raised on the Baltimore Catechism. I remember the question came up during my religious education about what if we did not see those we loved if they attained a different degree in Heaven. I recall being taught that we would be happy just in knowing they had attained Heaven. The topic of their not ending up in Heaven, I don’t recall that being discussed but as previously posted - in Heaven there is no sadness.

However, despite my firm beliefs, it hit home when I experienced the death of my Mom, last year. My fears, despite my deep trust in God’s mercy, (and I know this sounds contradictory) - have put me into a depression beyond description - beyond what a counselor/therapist and perhaps even a priest can resolve - not over her physical death - but fear of “where is she?”. She no longer looks the way I knew her. The gift God gave me in life - that I never appreciated enough - how would I recognize her?

After her passing I’ve had to humor those saying she wasn’t suffering anymore (don’t they get it? - that’s the body - not her soul) - or expressions similar to that she was praying for me now - an angel in Heaven, etc. I believe in Purgatory and finding that many - Catholics - seem to have written it off in a way. Even a deacon in a Novus Ordo parish told me Mom has to be in Heaven by reason of her advanced age (???) I suppose he meant she did her Purgatory on earth - but he didn’t use those words - and it sure didn’t sound like what I was taught.

God is just. He is loving and merciful. He is God. I don’t know His Plan for whether we will meet with loved ones’ souls in eternity. As human beings, we don’t see/understand the Divine Plan. I don’t lose sleep but I worry everyday for my mother’s soul even though I know she was a good person. Sometimes, praying for her before I open my eyes. I never anticipated this reaction. I beg God and Our Lady every day for my mother’s soul’s sake. If we;re blessed to reach Heaven, we will be filled with the joy that all those there have been similarly blessed. It is here on earth, where the fate/current state of our deceased loved ones’ souls is unknown to us - that we suffer a purgatory, perhaps a hell on earth. Some call my purgatory depression, and some think I can’t get over her physical death. They just don’t get it. Because as a Catholic, I have the deepest seeded knowledge of - and belief in - my Faith - and, therefore, concern - knowing we can pray for them, hope for them - but will never know their eternal fate or if we will ever see them again until we ourselves have left this world.

This might help:

EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS

All are bound by divine law to enter the Catholic Church. Only invincible ignorance can excuse from grave sin anyone who fails to do so. Those who are invincibly ignorant of the duty of joining the Church will not be held guilty by God of failing to do so. But they are not therefore to be considered automatically in the way of salvation. If they fail to observe the natural law engraved on their consciences and the divine positive law insofar as it is known to them, they will certainly be lost.

Nor is fidelity to his conscience enough for the salvation of such a person. Salvation is a supernatural good which can be obtained only by living the supernatural life - it is never a reward for merely natural virtue. Now actual grace is freely distributed by God to all men, but sanctifying grace, the supernatural life, is found exclusively in the supernatural society founded by God. The state of grace exists, to be sure, in some persons who are not visibly united with the Church in her external communion, but only because they are, in fact, already within her in voto - by desire. For the state of grace, or supernatural life, is what salvation depends on. And if it were possible to possess supernatural life outside the Church, the dogma that there is no salvation outside the Church would be false.

Nor is this a mere matter of precept to which exceptions may exist. The necessity for salvation of belonging to the Church is a necessity of means. And whereas invincible ignorance excuses from guilt, it does not supply the want of a necessary means. Those who failed to clamber aboard Noah’s Ark were all drowned in the Flood, irrespective of whether this failure was due to invincible ignorance or not. Does it follow that God will punish by deprival of salvation those who were guilty of no sin by their failure to join the Church? It does not. Anyone who is invincibly ignorant of the duty to enter the Church, but faithfully obeys the dictates of conscience, will receive the supernatural enlightenment necessary to enable him to make an act of supernatural faith. If he co-operates with actual grace by making this act, he can proceed to the act of hope and the act of charity, thereby acquiring the state of sanctifying grace - supernatural life. In this case he is united with the Catholic Church by desire (which remains partly implicit), for by faith he believes whatever God has revealed (even if he knows very little of what that revelation contains) and by charity he desires to accomplish the will of God (though he does not realise that this implies joining the Catholic Church.)

What is the nature of the act of faith made by a person who is invincibly ignorant of the divine authority of the Catholic Church? There is only one virtue of faith: supernaturally firm belief in all that God has revealed. But, of course, a Catholic knows what God has revealed, at least in outline, whereas one who is invincibly ignorant of the Church does not. In this case, his faith must contain the disposition to believe whatever God has revealed, as soon as he shall become aware of it, and must be explicit as to the four essential articles of faith:

(i) The existence of a single God
(ii) That God will reward the just and punish the wicked
(iii) The triune nature of God
(iv) The Incarnation of God the Son for man’s salvation.

(A minority of recent theologians hold that only the first two articles suffice and this view is not condemned, though the contrary doctrine is preferred.)

God will make known His revelation of the necessary articles to anyone who is faithful to conscience, so that the necessary means of salvation may not be wanting to him. The statement that there is no salvation outside the Church is, therefore, absolutely true and admits of no exception whatsoever. For the purposes of eligibility for salvation, the Church includes not only recognised Catholics, but also catechumens and all those who, being invincibly ignorant of the duty to join her, possess true supernatural faith, explicit as to the necessary articles, allowing them to be counted Catholics in voto - by desire.

Thank you for clarifying this! The thief at the side of Christ was always a confusing thing to me. It makes perfect sense now!:slight_smile:

Yes, there is little doubt that those who desire the Sacrament of Baptism, but are prevented from recieving it, do recieve salvic Grace.

But your example is a little off. St. Dismas (the good thief) was saved in the same manner as Abraham or David were, under the Old Covenant. The mandatory nature of Baptism was not made until the Great Commission (Matthew 28) which happend after the Ressurection, and thus well after St. Dismas death.

I think the entire argument over the Baptism of Desire is somewhat disingenious. I believe that all CAN be saved but that is through the grace of God. Many people today and throughout history have made a conscious and knowing rejection of Christ and His Church

The Church was established by Christ as the means on earth to attain salvation. It really isn’t optional. If one knows of the Catholic faith and knowingly rejects it, then they have as far as I can see, thrown away their opportunity at salvation. I don’t think that God requires everyone to know each and every aspect of Catholicism in order to either accept or reject it. You either do or you don’t. If you have heard of it, and very few Christians in the world have not heard of it, and you don’t embrace it then as I see it, you are gone. There are of course the relatively rare instances where one wants to be part of the Church, but is prevented from doing so through no fault of their own. I see them as benefiting from Baptism of Desire, but very, very few others.

If you are a non-Christian, who has never heard of the Church, then I think salvation is attainable. But on the other hand, if you** have** heard of the Church and reject it in favor of Judaism, Islam, Shinto Wicca or whatever, then as I see it you are gone. Very simple… Very hard, but very simple.

If not , where is the line drawn? At what point does indifference and hatred become invincible ignorance if ever? God gave man the means, the intelligence and the manner of salvation. He also gave man the choice of either accepting or rejecting it. In the end result man bears the ultimate responsibility for either accepting or rejecting Christ and His Church. While it may sound harsh to some, God has always been demanding of man and at times, quite harsh.

Good point, Palmas.

I have a question. In Unam Sanctam, the Pope stated that to be saved, persons must be subject to the Roman Pontiff. How many people are there who are not Catholic but are “subject to” the Roman Pontiff? It seems that for someone to be saved, even by desire, it would have to be ignorance or extenuating circumstances preventing them from receiving an actual baptism. Otherwise, a person “subject to the Roman Pontiff” would have been baptized already… or at least a catechumen (had to throw that in there, given my situation).

Oh, also. Is baptism of desire dogma? I know it’s in the catechism, but has any council explicitly made it part of the Faith?

Markstorm,

The moral unaniminity of the Theologians teach both Baptism of desire and Blood. St. Alphonsus classifies it as de fide.

[quote=St. Alphonsus]Moral Theology - (Bk. 6):

“But baptism of desire is perfect conversion to God by contrition or love of God above all things accompanied by an explicit or implicit desire for true Baptism of water, the place of which it takes as to the remission of guilt, but not as to the impression of the [baptismal] character or as to the removal of all debt of punishment. It is called ‘of wind’ ‘flaminis’] because it takes place by the impulse of the Holy Ghost Who is called a wind ‘flamen’]. Now it is de fide that men are also saved by Baptism of desire, by virtue of the Canon ‘Apostolicam De Presbytero Non Baptizato’ and the Council of Trent, Session 6, Chapter 4, where it is said that no one can be saved ‘without the laver of regeneration or the desire for it.’”
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St. Robert Bellarmine (Doctor, A.D. 1621)

  • “Martyrdom is rightly called, and is, a certain baptism.” (On the Sacrament of Baptism, Bk. I, Ch. VI, (Tom. 3, p. 120A))
    “Concerning catechumens there is a greater difficulty, because they are faithful [have the faith] and can be saved if they die in this state, and yet outside the Church no one is saved, as outside the ark of Noah. …] I answer therefore that, when it is said outside the Church no one is saved, it must be understood of those who belong to her neither in actual fact nor in desire [desiderio], as theologians commonly speak on baptism. Because the catechumens are in the Church, though not in actual fact, yet at least in resolution [voto], therefore they can be saved. (Of The Church Militant, III, 3, “Of those who are not baptized”)
  • Douay Catechism (by Henry Tuberville, D.D. 1649)

“Q. Can a man be saved without baptism?

“A. He cannot, unless he have it either actual or in desire, with contrition, or to be baptized in his blood as the holy Innocents were, which suffered for Christ.”

Orestes Brownson

“It is evident, both from Bellarmine and Billuart, that no one can be saved unless he belongs to the visible communion of the Church, either actually or virtually, and also that the salvation of catechumens can be asserted only because they do so belong; that is, because they are in the vestibule, for the purpose of entering, – have already entered in their will and proximate disposition. St. Thomas teaches with regard to these, in case they have faith working by love, that all they lack is the reception of the visible sacrament in re; but if they are prevented by death from receiving it in re before the Church is ready to administer it, that God supplies the defect, accepts the will for the deed, and reputes them to be baptized. If the defect is supplied, and God reputes them to be baptized, they are so in effect, have in effect received the visible sacrament, are truly members of the external communion of the Church, and therefore are saved in it, not out of if. " (The Great Question)

SFD

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