Hope or Presumption?
#91
Quote:Then you can support my assertion that Catholics may equally hope unbaptized infants don't have a way of salvation.  After all, God's mercy is commensurate with his justice, and we have no indication of a meritorious act taking place.

Yes, you may equally "hope" that infants dont have a way to salvation. Certainly, hope is not obligatory. To say it is required...is the opposite error to saying that one may not have it at all. One can certainly take our unknowing either way. And though I find such a position odd (why not have hope when you may?), it does serve to remind us that our hope cannot turn into presumption. That their salvation is certainly not a given.

But, you need to stop with this Pelagian idea that salvation is "merited" through baptism (or desire, martyrdom, etc). Those may be means or channels God uses, but you are using the term "merit" incorrectly to apply to them. The whole point of water baptism (especially an important reason to insist on infant baptism) is that salvation is entirely extraneous and gratuitous. It does not arise from any act or merit of ours. Grace is simply given to the non-resistant through water baptism, and potentially other channels God may use (including, likely, but not limited to...desire, blood, etc). Even in theoretical baptism of desire or blood, you must understand that the desire or martyrdom is, in itself, something totally free from God that the person would be able to consent to only if God offered it and enabled it first.
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#92
The way I understand it -- and I could be wrong -- is that Baptism is the ordinary means of salvation, the means which Christ Himself instituted. Thus God is "bound" (as it were) to be true to His Word and infuse sanctifying grace and the indelible mark to those who come forward to the font.  As for those who do not come forward, God is NOT "bound" (for lack of a better word). This is why Baptism is so important. Because without it, God makes no guarantees, no promises. But that's not saying God won't (or can't) provide a means of salvation, for nothing is impossible with God.  Seeing as any infant (baptized or unbaptized) is incapable of cooperating with God's grace and making a personal decision of faith, the parents, godparents, and the whole Church make that decision for him. They promise to raise the child in the Faith. When the child grows up he is still bound to those promises made at baptism. Even so, nobody "merits" salvation. Christ has merited it for us by His death on the Cross. The most we can do is fully cooperate with what HE has already earned for us, though we are undeserving. God would be fully JUST in sending ALL of us to hell... I think we can all agree on that. But are we denying His mercy? And certainly there is no sin at all in HOPE. Hope is one of the three theological virtues. We can HOPE in God's mercy, and leave it go at that, without being "heretics." Hope does not equal = presumption.  - Lisa
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#93
Quote:The way I understand it -- and I could be wrong -- is that Baptism is the ordinary means of salvation, the means which Christ Himself instituted. Thus God is "bound" (as it were) to be true to His Word and infuse sanctifying grace and the indelible mark to those who come forward to the font.  As for those who do not come forward, God is NOT "bound" (for lack of a better word). This is why Baptism is so important. Because without it, God makes no guarantees, no promises. But that's not saying God won't (or can't) provide a means of salvation, for nothing is impossible with God.

Exactly!!! Yes, you are entirely correct. God is not bound in justice to give salvation any other way, He hasnt revealed a promise like that, but we may hope in His mercy.

Quote:Seeing as any infant (baptized or unbaptized) is incapable of cooperating with God's grace and making a personal decision of faith, the parents, godparents, and the whole Church make that decision for him.

Sort of.

An infant may not make a positive decision, but they can be assumed to passively non-resist, which is all we can naturally do in the face of Grace anyway.

The consent by the sponsors...manifests this assumed non-resistance by phrasing it positively, but of course a child baptized in an emergency with no sponsors or promises really is baptized still, and obviously no one can really make a decision for another person.

Quote:God would be fully JUST in sending ALL of us to hell... I think we can all agree on that. But are we denying His mercy?

He wouldnt be Just to send someone who hadnt committed a mortal sin to the hell of the damned. Positive punishment is only warranted by a personal sin. However, I know what you mean. Without grace, He would be perfectly Just to not give any of us the Beatific Vision (and thus leave us in the "natural default" state that came to be called Limbo).

But since He is bound to His word, He wouldnt be Just to deprive someone in a state of grace of heaven. He would not be Just if He sent a baptized infant to hell, etc


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#94
7HolyCats Wrote: He wouldnt be Just to send someone who hadnt committed a mortal sin to the hell of the damned. Positive punishment is only warranted by a personal sin. However, I know what you mean. Without grace, He would be perfectly Just to not give any of us the Beatific Vision (and thus leave us in the "natural default" state that came to be called Limbo).

But since He is bound to His word, He wouldnt be Just to deprive someone in a state of grace of heaven. He would not be Just if He sent a baptized infant to hell, etc 

I know what you're saying, too. My point is: God is Just no matter what He does. He didn't have to create us. After creating us, He could have left us to a purely natural end, like the animals. After we sinned, He did not have to send a Redeemer. And He would still be JUST. .
 
But.... God so loved the world that He gave His only Son for its redemption (Jn 3:16). It is keeping with God's justice that the wicked are punished and the good are rewarded, we know that. But we are taught that God is also merciful and gives everyone sufficient grace for salvation, and that it is not His Will that anyone perish. Since we know that many die without Baptism (those who lived before Christ, infants who die before or shortly after birth, and all those in faraway pagan lands who never heard the Gospel), can we not say that if God chooses to save them He would still be Just, as well as merciful? 


As you said, all we can do is hold God to His Word. We know He is bound by His Word. With that in mind, there are many scripture verses which allow for salvation that do not mention Baptism. Too many to list, but here are a few:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
"Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. But he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has life eternal, and I will raise him up on the last day." "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and hinder them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven."  "For their angels always behold the face of my Father in Heaven." "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son for its redemption, that whosoever shall believe in Him, shall have eternal life." "Call on the name of Jesus, and ye shall be saved." "He who acknowledges me before men, so will I acknowledge him before my Father which is in Heaven." "Not all those who say Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven. But only those who do the will of my heavenly Father." "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God."  Seeing God sounds like beholding the Beatific Vision to me. So, which "Word" are we going to hold Almighty God up to? All of the above are means of salvation.. and they are all the Word of the Lord. If God cannot contradict Himself (and certainly He can't), then there may also be extraordinary means of entering heaven, outside of the ordinary means, which is Baptism. 
 
- Lisa
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#95
Quote:But, you need to stop with this Pelagian idea that salvation is "merited" through baptism (or desire, martyrdom, etc). Those may be means or channels God uses, but you are using the term "merit" incorrectly to apply to them. The whole point of water baptism (especially an important reason to insist on infant baptism) is that salvation is entirely extraneous and gratuitous. It does not arise from any act or merit of ours. Grace is simply given to the non-resistant through water baptism, and potentially other channels God may use (including, likely, but not limited to...desire, blood, etc). Even in theoretical baptism of desire or blood, you must understand that the desire or martyrdom is, in itself, something totally free from God that the person would be able to consent to only if God offered it and enabled it first....

An infant may not make a positive decision, but they can be assumed to passively non-resist, which is all we can naturally do in the face of Grace anyway....

The consent by the sponsors...manifests this assumed non-resistance by phrasing it positively, but of course a child baptized in an emergency with no sponsors or promises really is baptized still, and obviously no one can really make a decision for another person.

And I say you need to stop with these Jansenistic ideas that interior grace is assumed to be passively non-resisted.

Declared and condemned as heretical:

Quote: "In the State of fallen nature one never resists interior grace." DZ 1093

Quote:"The Semipelagians admitted the necessity of a prevenient interior grace for each act, even for the beginning of faith; and in this they were heretics, because they wished this grace to be such that the human will could either resist or obey."DZ 1095

How does water Baptism confer grace: ex opere operato.  How does Baptism of Blood confer grace to infants: virtual ex opere operato.  Baptism of Desire and Perfect Contrition, which is the interior reception of sanctifying grace in the soul, is only available to those who can use their free will - ex opere operantis. Unbaptized infants with no free will and no known exterior act?  Make believe.









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#96
Quote:And I say you need to stop with these Jansenistic ideas that interior grace is assumed to be passively non-resisted.

I didnt say it assumed to be in all cases, only in the case of infants before the age of reason.

The semipelagian error quoted seems to be that efficacious grace is not infallible. Certainly not something I ever posited, nor does it really touch on this question.

Quote:How does water Baptism confer grace: ex opere operato.  How does Baptism of Blood confer grace to infants: virtual ex opere operato.  Baptism of Desire and Perfect Contrition, which is the interior reception of sanctifying grace in the soul, is only available to those who can use their free will - ex opere operantis. Unbaptized infants with no free will and no known exterior act?  Make believe.

Well, not Revealed, certainly. But it is you who for some reason are assuming that the only channels of grace outside water baptism (and blood for infants) must work ex opere operantis. I see no reason why God couldnt have an invisible means work ex opere operato. You seem to have a logical circle whereby Desire is positively Revealed, and then from that extrapolate that all extraordinary means require a positive act of the will. But the fact is, desire is not positively Revealed, and no where is it laid down that a positive act is required by God for the invisible infusion of grace. Those are all conclusions based on some arbitrary assumption that God has revealed water-desire-and-blood and is likewise limited to that.
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#97
I've skimmed over the first couple of pages of this thread, and am not really willing to waste any more time reading it, so forgive me if this has already been said.  It seems to me the problem with this particular topic is the traditionalist (not traditional) understanding in which Limbo is a must and unbaptized infants can only go to limbo, based on the teaching that without baptism one cannot enter heaven.  I don't really see why it is so hard for the rad-trads to see that even though the Church has definitively taught that baptism is necessary for salvation, the Church has NEVER taught that God does not make a way possible for those who did not receive baptism through no fault of their own (unbaptized infants, those who die before birth, etc.).  I'm not sure why the trads are so hell-bent on such a pharisaical understanding of God.  While one can't presume God does make a way possible, those who prefer to believe in Limbo have neither right nor grounds to condemn those who believe God's mercy will make a way possible for unbaptized infants to enter heaven.
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#98
Melkite Wrote:I've skimmed over the first couple of pages of this thread, and am not really willing to waste any more time reading it, so forgive me if this has already been said.  It seems to me the problem with this particular topic is the traditionalist (not traditional) understanding in which Limbo is a must and unbaptized infants can only go to limbo, based on the teaching that without baptism one cannot enter heaven.  I don't really see why it is so hard for the rad-trads to see that even though the Church has definitively taught that baptism is necessary for salvation, the Church has NEVER taught that God does not make a way possible for those who did not receive baptism through no fault of their own (unbaptized infants, those who die before birth, etc.).  I'm not sure why the trads are so hell-bent on such a pharisaical understanding of God.  While one can't presume God does make a way possible, those who prefer to believe in Limbo have neither right nor grounds to condemn those who believe God's mercy will make a way possible for unbaptized infants to enter heaven.

It is not for the faithful to believe in made up theories with no basis in Catholic teaching.  That's creating a new religion. 

Saint Augustine:

Quote:If you wish to be Catholic, do not believe, do not say, and do not teach that children who die without baptism can obtain the remission of original sin,
De anima et eius origine, Bk. III, Ch. 9.

Cardinal Journet

“in response to the question of whether children who die without baptism, before attaining the use of reason, have some other way of salvation..., all the indications of the Magisterium converge towards one response: No" La Volonte Divine Salvifique sur les Petits Enfants


7HolyCats Wrote:I see no reason why God couldnt have an invisible means work ex opere operato.

I see no reason why you should believe that.  It tends towards modernism:

Quote:Others destroy the gratuity of the supernatural order, since God, they say, cannot create intellectual beings without ordering and calling them to the beatific vision. Humani Generis 26







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#99
Quote:Saint Augustine:


Quote:If you wish to be Catholic, do not believe, do not say, and do not teach that children who die without baptism can obtain the remission of original sin,
De anima et eius origine, Bk. III, Ch. 9.

Cardinal Journet

“in response to the question of whether children who die without baptism, before attaining the use of reason, have some other way of salvation..., all the indications of the Magisterium converge towards one response: No" La Volonte Divine Salvifique sur les Petits Enfants

 

I was unaware that St. Augustine was gifted with infallibility.  As for Cardinal Journet, whoever he is/was, he even says "all the indications."  He did not say that it was impossible, unless it was somewhere else that you did not quote.  Do you have an infallible declaration you can quote that shows the Church definitively teaches God does not make a way possible?  If so, then I'll believe it.  Otherwise, an argument from silence is not an argument at all.

Quote:I see no reason why you should believe that.  It tends towards modernism:
Quote:Others destroy the gratuity of the supernatural order, since God, they say, cannot create intellectual beings without ordering and calling them to the beatific vision. Humani Generis 26

Yes, we know, a merciful God is modernist.  Perhaps this is why trads condemn the Divine Mercy as heretical?  Even this quote above does not say definitively that God creates intellectual beings without calling them to heaven, it only says that he can.


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Quote:Do you have an infallible declaration you can quote that shows the Church definitively teaches God does not make a way possible?  If so, then I'll believe it.  Otherwise, an argument from silence is not an argument at all.

If you only assent to Catholic beliefs based on the criteria of infallibility, then you cannot be a Catholic in good standing.
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