Was St. Isaac Jogues, St. Francis De Sales, etc... wrong?


#1

An honest question?
I am wondering why these great saints would risk horrific tortures and death to Baptize millions of pagans if these pagans could have achieved salvation through their ignorance of the Catholic faith. Would it have not been better to leave them ignorant and allow them to follow their conscience, rather than hear the Word and reject it, and be the cause of their damnation?
Did these saints die in vain for what they thought was what God wanted?
I wanted to know what the Traditional Catholics thought about this.


#2

I suspect that you’re trolling, but I’ll bite.

First, the Church doesn’t teach that the pagans are automatically saved. She teaches that we can hope for their salvation, because of time period or geography or circumstances beyond their control they were not Catechized. Outside of the Church there is no Salvation. But does that mean that Moses is not saved? He was never a Catholic.

Secondly, those great Saints risked their necks because they wanted to and because they were compelled to by the Holy Ghost.

Third, St. Francis De Sales never risked torture to convert pagans. He was the bishop of Geneva and took it upon himself (or was compelled) to reconvert the Calvinists. He was never tortured or martyred like St. Isaac and the North American Martyrs.


#3

Oh, yay! Still yet another EENS thread. We haven’t had one in almost a whole day!

John


#4

What’s EENS?


#5

I suspect that you’re trolling, but I’ll bite.

I’m not trolling, I just want to remove any contradictions that i have in my mind.

But does that mean that Moses is not saved? He was never a Catholic.

Moses could be saved for the same reasons as the Good thief and the Holy Innocents, because he was under the old law. The new is in effect. The Church started at Pentecost and Christ instituted Baptism at the Ascension.

Secondly, those great Saints risked their necks because they wanted to and because they were compelled to by the Holy Ghost.

Why would the Holy Ghost compel these saints to do this if there was no need to convert the pagans.
I think they wanted to Baptize pagans because they had true Charity (concern for souls) and were afraid of even one soul being lost.

Third, St. Francis De Sales never risked torture to convert pagans. He was the bishop of Geneva and took it upon himself (or was compelled) to reconvert the Calvinists. He was never tortured or martyred like St. Isaac and the North American Martyrs.

I made a mistake, I meant to say St. Francis Xavier.


#6

Its an abbreviation for Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus which means: “Outside the Church there is no salvation”.


#7

Wait, why exactly was there no need to convert the pagans? Remember, those who are invincibly ignorant can be saved, but no one says that all of them will be. Certainly it’s better to live in the Light of Christ than to wander in the dark, hoping to cooperate with grace that you don’t even know exists…?


#8

Remember, those who are invincibly ignorant can be saved, but no one says that all of them will be.

Do you believe that if someone hears the Word and rejects it, then they can’t be saved.


#9

If someone hears the Truth, knows that it is true, and rejects it until he dies knowing that he is turning his back on God…then no, that person can’t be saved. That sounds like the sin against the Holy Spirit to me, which we know is unforgivable (final impenitence). But I think phrases like “hears the Word” really need to be qualified.


#10

Even if the phrase is qualified as you just put it, then would it not be a great risk to lose even one soul.
If the missionaries were to just leave the pagans to themselves then there is no risk of someone hearing “the Truth, knows that it is true, and rejects it until he dies knowing that he is turning his back on God” and loses his soul forever; even one soul.


#11

I see what you’re getting at now. But I think there would be a greater risk of losing souls if the pagans had not been exposed to the Truth. Remember, in order to be saved, those who are invincibly ignorant must cooperate with grace that they do not know exists, given to them by [a] God who they do not acknowledge. It’s dangerous to assume that they would have been saved if they had just been left alone - yes, human reason is capable of knowing the natural law, but our reason is usually clouded by our concupiscence and is one of the least reliable forms of revelation. Of course we know that God would be merciful and just, but I’m confident in saying more souls were saved through baptism than would have been given the alternative.


#12

You are making some mistaken assumptions when you suppose that all pagan peoples fell on their knees worshiping a benevolent Deity that showered his children with abundant blessings because of their goodness. The reality is not all pagan societies were pristine in their worship. In the Americas human sacrifice was common in many cultures it was a part of their religion. The same is true in all of human history. In the old testament children were offered up by their parents to the god Molech to give them abundant crops and material items, The children were burned to death. So it becomes pretty evident that missionaries and prophets have always been necessary to share the Good News to all people.


#13

The Church does still teach that outside of her there is no salvation.

Vatican II in Lumen Gentium says “those who know that the Church is instituted as necessary, yet refuse to enter or remain in her cannot be saved.”


#14

The answer to this is simple: the pagans worshipped false gods, which is always gravely sinful.

The innocently ignorant can only be saved if they acknowledge the one God whos existence is knowable with certainty from reason alone, and observe his natural moral law. The pagans did neither. Their rotten morals came from their idolatry.

Even if we were to speak of a hypothetical society of invincibly ignorant people who believed in God and observed the natural law, it would be better that they know Christ and His Church, because this gives them access to the Sacraments. Salvation is an extremely difficult matter without them.


#15

Are you saying Jesus should be disobeyed??

Matt 28:18-20

18 Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”


#16

That is not accurate. The Church does not teach that “millions of pagans” will achieve salvation outside of the Church and Christ. Most pagan religions are polytheistic and follow questionable immoral practices. Their consciences need to be touched by the grace of God in order to begin the process of salvation for them. This cannot be done being left alone to their own devices.


#17

Why would Jesus command us to do this if it wasn’t absolutely and unconditionally necessary to be Baptized, to achieve Salvation? Our loving and just Lord wouldn’t put us in harm’s way if it could somehow be avoided right?


#18
  1. JP II, REDEMPTORIS MISSIO (# 10),1990: “THE UNIVERSALITY OF SALVATION MEANS THAT IT IS GRANTED NOT ONLY TO THOSE WHO EXPLICITLY BELIEVE IN CHRIST AND HAVE ENTERED THE CHURCH.”

This makes it sound like the pagans don’t need to be touched by the grace of God.
It looks to me like you don’t have to explicitly even believe in Christ let alone do all He commanded. Am I wrong?

  1. Cardinal Walter Kasper, Prefect of Vatican Council for Promoting Christian Unity: “… today we no longer understand ecumenism in the sense of a return, by which the others would ‘be converted’ and return to being Catholics. This was expressly abandoned by Vatican II.”

This teacher in the Church teaches that we don’t even need to convert anyone to the Church according to the Council.

  1. Vatican II, Nostra aetate # 2:
    “In Buddhism, according to its various forms, the radical
    inadequacy of this changeable world is acknowledged and a
    way is taught whereby those with a devout and trustful spirit
    may be able to reach either a state of perfect freedom or, relying on their own efforts or on help from a higher source, the
    highest illumination.

This last part seems to say that Buddhism can lead to salvation by itself, or am I misinterpreting “highest illumination”?


#19

The church emphatically teaches that there is NO SALVATION OUTSIDE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.
The Church, however, seems, since Vatican II, to use the “rule of thumb” that what is contained in other religions *which has already been revealed as true in our own *can be looked upon as a means of grace that God can use *if He so desires *to offer salvation to them. In other words, *God may choose *to use the elements of true religion prefigured in some religions to lead their followers, not into salvation itself, but to offer them - to give them opportunity - for salvation. That’s a big difference.


#20

No one is saved through ignorance–ignorance only is a possible excuse for guilt in certain matters. God will bring the means to salvation to those who truly desire it–sometimes through “normal” means like such missionary saints, other times through extraordinary ways known only to Himself.

Part of evangelization is to convince others to repent of their sins and turn to God (which involves being Baptized). I think you presume everyone who is ignorant already repents of their sins and loves God above all things–we should not presume such. We should neither presume the salvation or despair of the damnation of anyone, including ourselves.

We seek to do what God commanded, but we also do not despair of others if we fail in our weakness–ultimately He is the Saviour.


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