Why do so many Catholics drop the ball when it comes to EENS?
James02 Wrote:He was described as a "just" man by his pagan servants.  This does not prove anything....

First, Aquinas is not infallible, but this is your best argument so far.  However, I have never denied that the unbaptized receive ACTUAL graces.  In fact, an adult who converts can NOT come to regeneration unless he receives these ACTUAL graces.  I have been quoting from the Council of Orange, remember?  Second, Aquinas says that the pagan can receive the forgiveness of his sins.  Does this equate to salvation?   The Jews in the Old Covenant could obtain just as much.  The passage you site is silent on whether this equates to salvation.  Third, when addressing the case of Cornelius, he just says that he receives graces (actual?) and virtues through faith.  He doesn't say the Cornelius was saved before baptism.  You also left out this part:I answer that, As Augustine says in the book on Infant Baptism (De Pecc. Merit. et Remiss. i) "the effect of Baptism is that the baptized are incorporated in Christ as His members."

So the question is whether a good soul like Cornelius can be in the state of Sanctifying grace (which merits heaven) without water Baptism.  You've presented the most liberal Feeneyite position, which is that a good adult soul like Cornelius can even have their sins forgiven with actual graces, but this does not give them Sanctifying grace unless water baptized.  Augustine, whom you've cited, disagrees:

St. Augustine Wrote:That the place of baptism is sometimes supplied by martyrdom is supported by an argument by no means trivial, which the blessed Cyprian adduces from the thief, to whom, though he was not baptized, it was yet said, "Today shall you be with me in Paradise." Luke 23:43 On considering which, again and again, I find that not only martyrdom for the sake of Christ may supply what was wanting of baptism, but also faith and conversion of heart, if recourse may not be had to the celebration of the mystery of baptism for want of time. For neither was that thief crucified for the name of Christ, but as the reward of his own deeds; nor did he suffer because he believed, but he believed while suffering. It was shown, therefore, in the case of that thief, how great is the power, even without the visible sacrament of baptism, of what the apostle says, "With the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:10 But the want is supplied invisibly only when the administration of baptism is prevented, not by contempt for religion, but by the necessity of the moment. For much more in the case of Cornelius and his friends, than in the case of that robber, might it seem superfluous that they should also be baptized with water, seeing that in them the gift of the Holy Spirit, which, according to the testimony of holy Scripture, was received by other men only after baptism, had made itself manifest by every unmistakable sign appropriate to those times when they spoke with tongues. On Baptism Book 4 Ch. 22

So here we have Augustine showing through revelation that one can be saved without water Baptism, while not precluding the moral obligation that everyone has to do it, including Cornelius, as a precept. 


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Re: Why do so many Catholics drop the ball when it comes to EENS? - by PeterII - 08-08-2009, 02:42 PM

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