A Question on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus
#21
If you take EENS to mean what it says, then there is nothing confusing.

The confusion arises when one attempts to re-define what is infallibly defined - whenever that happens, EENS is reduced to a meaningless formula every time.

All I know is that if we, as Catholics, cannot be sure - and can only *hope* to persevere in the faith so as to *hope* to attain eternal salvation, what chance do those who have no Baptism, Communion, Confession, Priests, Last Rites, Our Blessed Mother etc. have?

I'm often reminded of the terror every single one of us will face at our judgment - even the saints shook in their boots:

Unheard of these days but said at Requiem Masses is Dies Irae:

That day of wrath that dreadful day,
Shall heaven and earth in ashes lay,
As David and the Sybil say.

What horror must invade the mind
When the approaching Judge shall find
And sift the deeds of all mankind!

The mighty trumpet's wondrous tone
Shall rend each tomb's sepulchral stone
And summon all before the Throne.

Now death and nature with suprise
Behold the trembling sinners rise
To meet the Judge's searching eyes.

Then shall with universal dread
The Book of Consciences be read
To judge the lives of all the dead.

For now before the Judge severe
All hidden things must plain appear;
No crime can pass unpunished here.

O what shall I, so guilty plead?
And who for me will intercede?
When even Saints shall comfort need?



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#22
I am convinced more and more that our present crisis is the result of many in the Church rejecting EENS.  Once you believe that man can save himself by being a "devout" Protestant, or a "devout" muslim, or a "good" Jew, you are rejecting Original Sin.  This is a neo-Pelagianism.  From there you get into the "dignity of man", but in a twisted sense.  And soon you reject Augustine and reject that the City of Man, the Earthly City is the City of the Devil.  Once you understand this progression, you see that Vat. II was inevitable.

I think that after the SSPX and the Vatican are done correcting the errors in Vat. II, the next step in the restoration will be to tackle EENS, and get the Church back to a more Augustinian perspective.

I am 90% a Feenyite.  However, I think baptized Protestants can get to heaven if they are not formal heretics, and if they avoid mortal sin.  A tall order, but theoretically possible.  I think pure Feenyites disagree with me on this.

Also, I hate when people say "you can be saved, unless you know the Catholic Church is the True Church and reject it".  How many people know that the Church is the True Church, but reject it?  Gee, it is the True Church, and so I have to belong to it.  No, I'll take a pass and jump into hell.  When you go down this line, the only people in hell turn out to be Catholics, who "reject" the Church through sin.  All the Prots, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and pagans go to heaven via the sacrament of ignorance.  Very twisted.  Pope Pius XII was referring to this argument (and I believe the Feeny letter) when he said such people were trying to turn his prior encyclical on EENS into a "meaningless formula".
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#23
(02-27-2010, 12:53 AM)SearchingCatholic Wrote: Also, most protestants are fed an unconscious anti-Catholicism. 

In my experience, it's hardly unconscious.  Baptists in particular seem to actively foster anti-Catholicism in their congregations.

But that is for another thread.
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#24
(02-28-2010, 04:39 PM)James02 Wrote: I am convinced more and more that our present crisis is the result of many in the Church rejecting EENS.  Once you believe that man can save himself by being a "devout" Protestant, or a "devout" muslim, or a "good" Jew, you are rejecting Original Sin.  This is a neo-Pelagianism.  From there you get into the "dignity of man", but in a twisted sense.  And soon you reject Augustine and reject that the City of Man, the Earthly City is the City of the Devil.  Once you understand this progression, you see that Vat. II was inevitable.

I think that after the SSPX and the Vatican are done correcting the errors in Vat. II, the next step in the restoration will be to tackle EENS, and get the Church back to a more Augustinian perspective.

I am 90% a Feenyite.   However, I think baptized Protestants can get to heaven if they are not formal heretics, and if they avoid mortal sin.  A tall order, but theoretically possible.  I think pure Feenyites disagree with me on this.

Also, I hate when people say "you can be saved, unless you know the Catholic Church is the True Church and reject it".  How many people know that the Church is the True Church, but reject it?  Gee, it is the True Church, and so I have to belong to it.  No, I'll take a pass and jump into hell.  When you go down this line, the only people in hell turn out to be Catholics, who "reject" the Church through sin.  All the Prots, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and pagans go to heaven via the sacrament of ignorance.  Very twisted.  Pope Pius XII was referring to this argument (and I believe the Feeny letter) when he said such people were trying to turn his prior encyclical on EENS into a "meaningless formula".

James, I think you are conflating knowledge and belief here.  You can be told that the Church is the true Church and why, but your will must assent to those truths in order to believe them.  Obviously, in that situation it would be strange for the person to reject what they believe.  However, the will can also withold its assent to those truths for whatever reason, and reject the Church, even though they know what the Church teaches and why.  In fact, assenting to the truth in this way is  the theological virtue of Faith.  I've known plenty of people who are more or less culpable because they have a pretty good idea of what the Church teaches and why but refuse to assent to the truth, and I also think this makes up the vast majority ( in varying degrees) of people who consciously reject Catholicism.  Unless they are given special graces, there is plenty of room for condemnation there, I think (by God of course, not by us), and I really don't think it makes up a negligible part of the world.  But I also agree with Bishop Sheen when he says that many people hate what they think the Church is, rather than what She actually is.  This could be due to laziness, intellectual dishonesty, etc., which I think are also more or less damnable. 
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#25
People burn in hell because of Original Sin, not for rejecting the Catholic Church.  We know of only one way to remove Original Sin -- Baptism.
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#26
(02-28-2010, 04:39 PM)James02 Wrote: When you go down this line, the only people in hell turn out to be Catholics, who "reject" the Church through sin.  All the Prots, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and pagans go to heaven via the sacrament of ignorance.  Very twisted.  Pope Pius XII was referring to this argument (and I believe the Feeny letter) when he said such people were trying to turn his prior encyclical on EENS into a "meaningless formula".

Yes, you are correct here. This happens because learned and the wanna be learned reduce to a meaningless formula the dogma of EENS.

The liberal mis-interpretations of EENS all boils down to two things........
1) Very convenient for the living.
2) Not at all for the dying.

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#27
Excellent discussion here, people.

(02-28-2010, 04:39 PM)James02 Wrote: I am convinced more and more that our present crisis is the result of many in the Church rejecting EENS.  Once you believe that man can save himself by being a "devout" Protestant, or a "devout" muslim, or a "good" Jew, you are rejecting Original Sin.  This is a neo-Pelagianism.  From there you get into the "dignity of man", but in a twisted sense.  And soon you reject Augustine and reject that the City of Man, the Earthly City is the City of the Devil.  Once you understand this progression, you see that Vat. II was inevitable.

Very well said.

JonW wrote: “James, I think you are conflating knowledge and belief here.  You can be told that the Church is the true Church and why, but your will must assent to those truths in order to believe them.  Obviously, in that situation it would be strange for the person to reject what they believe.  However, the will can also withold its assent to those truths for whatever reason, and reject the Church, even though they know what the Church teaches and why.  In fact, assenting to the truth in this way is  the theological virtue of Faith… This could be due to laziness, intellectual dishonesty, etc., which I think are also more or less damnable.”

You are onto something here.  Everyone gives lip-service (ala Judas Iscariot) to “The Truth” as if they reflexively loved the truth; but nobody who is honest does. 

Like pigs wearing lip stick, I never met a truth I didn’t hate to kiss.  ALL truths are inconvenient truths.  Al Gore got the article wrong in his documentary “AN Inconvenient Truth.”  For example, here are the biggies. 
 All life dies.
 The price of animal life is vegetable or animal death.
 Good people do bad things to good people.
 Aging
 Rotting
 Live birth
 Evolution
 Entropy
 Original Sin

-- Cheers, Albert Cipriani
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#28
(02-28-2010, 07:18 AM)Nic Wrote: The DOGMA of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (No Salvation Outside the Church) is, in today's modern ecumenical neo-Church, the most misunderstood, misrepresented and outright denied dogma of the Faith.  This dogma has been so clearly defined that it leaves little to debate over.

The Catholic Church has solemnly defined three times by infallible declarations that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. The most explicit and forceful of the three came from Pope Eugene IV, in the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441, who proclaimed ex cathedra: "The Most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, also Jews, heretics, and schismatics can ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire 'which was prepared for the devil and his angels' (Mt. 25:41) unless before death they are joined with Her... No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ can be saved unless they abide within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church."

The other two infallible declarations are as follows: There is one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which no one at all can be saved. Pope Innocent III (Fourth Lateran Council, 1215).

We declare, say , define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff. Pope Boniface VIII, (Unam Sanctam, 1302).

On top of this, we have the unanimous consent of the Church Fathers on the subject, which holds GREAT weight.  So many Fathers, saints and popes of the past have commented on this

St. Irenaeus (130-202), Bishop and Martyr: "The Church is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account we are bound to avoid them . . . . We hear it declared of the unbelieving and the blinded of this world that they shall not inherit the world of life which is to come . . . . Resist them in defense of the only true and life giving faith, which the Church has received from the Apostles and imparted to her sons."
St. Augustine (354-430), Bishop and Doctor of the Church: "No man can find salvation except in the Catholic Church. Outside the Catholic Church one can have everything except salvation. One can have honor, one can have sacraments, one can sing alleluia, one can answer amen, one can have faith in the Name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and preach it too, but never can one find salvation except in the Catholic Church."

St. Fulgentius (468-533), Bishop: "Most firmly hold and never doubt that not only pagans, but also Jews, all heretics, and all schismatics who finish this life outside of the Catholic Church, will go into eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels."

Pope St. Gregory the Great (590-604): "The holy universal Church teaches that it is not possible to worship God truly except in Her and asserts that all who are outside of Her will not be saved."

St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226): "All who have not believed that Jesus Christ was really the Son of God are doomed. Also, all who see the Sacrament of the Body of Christ and do not believe it is really the most holy Body and Blood of the Lord . . . these also are doomed!"

St. Thomas Aquinas (1226-1274), the Angelic Doctor: There is no entering into salvation outside the Catholic Church, just as in the time of the Flood there was not salvation outside the Ark, which denotes the Church."

St. Louis Marie de Montfort (1673-1716): "There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. Anyone who resists this truth perishes."

St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621), Bishop and Doctor of the Church: "Outside the Church there is no salvation...therefore in the symbol (Apostles Creed) we join together the Church with the remission of sins: 'I believe in the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins"...For this reason the Church is compared to the Ark of Noah, because just as during the deluge, everyone perished who was not in the ark, so now those perish who are not in the Church."

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787), Bishop and Doctor of the Church: "All the misfortunes of unbelievers spring from too great an attachment to the things of life. This sickness of heart weakens and darkens the understanding, and leads to eternal ruin. If they would try to heal their hearts by purging them of their vices, they would soon receive light, which would show them the necessity of joining the Catholic Church, where alone is salvation. We should constantly thank the Lord for having granted us the gift of the true Faith, by associating us with the children of the Holy Catholic Church ... How many are the infidels, heretics, and schismatics who do not enjoy the happiness of the true Faith! Earth is full of them and they are all lost!"

Pope Pius XII (1939-1958): Some say they are not bound by the doctrine which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing. Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation. Others finally belittle the reasonable character of the credibility of Christian Faith. These and like ERRORS, it is clear, have crept in among certain of our sons who are deceived by imprudent zeal for souls or by false science." (The dates for the two Popes are the years they reigned as Sovereign Pontiffs.)



This means, and has always meant, that salvation and unity exist only within the Catholic Church, and that members of heretical groups cannot be considered as "part" of the Church of Christ. This doctrine has been the consistent teaching of the Popes throughout the centuries.

It is up to each individual human person to seek God - this is hardwired into our very beings.  Any person who sincerely seeks God with an open and true heart will INEVITABLY be led to the Church that Christ established - the Holy Catholic Church.  I am not trying to boast, but take myself for example.  I was raised in a strictly Protestant family.  All of my relatives and their friends were ALL Fundamentalist Protestants.  I was raised to distrust the Catholic Church.  A few years back, I began growing tired of all the confusion in Christianity.  I did not know who to believe, I didn't know who had the authority.  I began to sincerely seek God, and I myself was led home - a person who was told so many evil things about Catholics.  It has been speculated by those in the Church that even if someone was in such a remote place as to be cut off from the rest of the world, and he or she sincerally sought out God, an angel from heaven would come down to convert him or her.  So, it is really up to the person.  People in today's Church give all kinds of excuses, but the dogma is clearly defined.  If there remained any excuse, then why would a Church be necessary?

Where, in your opinion, does this leave us in regard to the concept of baptism by desire?  Do you believe that all those who are to be saved must have made a personal and official (if possible) conversion to the Church in order to gain salvation I.e. any one who dies a Hindu or Presbyterian etc. is incapable of being saved?  Someone such as C.S. Lewis ( barring a deathbed conversion to the Catholic Church that we are unaware of) must not have merited salvation or else they wouldn't gave died an Anglican? 

I find that explanation at least consistent though it begs the question of how Vatican II was not outright heretical even if it was not binding or infallible. Your thoughts?
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#29
(02-28-2010, 08:29 AM)glgas Wrote:
(02-28-2010, 07:18 AM)Nic Wrote: The DOGMA of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (No Salvation Outside the Church) is, in today's modern ecumenical neo-Church, the most misunderstood, misrepresented and outright denied dogma of the Faith.  This dogma has been so clearly defined that it leaves little to debate over.

The Catholic Church has solemnly defined three times by infallible declarations that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. The most explicit and forceful of the three came from Pope Eugene IV, in the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441, who proclaimed ex cathedra: "The Most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, also Jews, heretics, and schismatics can ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire 'which was prepared for the devil and his angels' (Mt. 25:41) unless before death they are joined with Her... No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ can be saved unless they abide within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church."

The only thing what is missing from your otherwise excellent definition, that the quoted authorities referred exclusively to the temporary membership Militant Church, excluding the eternal membership to the Triumphant Church and the also temporary membership to the Suffering Church.

Quote:We declare, say , define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff. Pope Boniface VIII, (Unam Sanctam, 1302).

Does this document covers the pontificate of John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI or that is different matter?

The problem with the laicus (not magisterial)  interpretation of the Scriptures or Tradition is, that we see thing only in details, on at a time, and could miss the full truth emphasizing something which is particular only. We need the living Magisterium to direct us, and rejecting the living Magisterium of our times leaves as helpless, abandoned, separated from the Truth.

The problem with what you're saying is simple. You're expecting contradictions to just float away. The popes that you have mentioned have proclaimed nothing infallibly while their words often seem to contradict what has been handed down infallibly. You can't follow two contradictory teachings on salvation. It just doesn't work. And I'm not a sede so we can get that out of the way at the onset.
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#30
Also, what are we to make of Protestant baptism?  If it's valid and mortal sin can only be committed with full knowledge wouldn't Protestants make it on ignorance alone?

What of this post-VII idea of "partial communion" by which it can be said that the Catholic Church is both the Church of Christ and the only ark of salvation but also that Protestants may be saved through whatever parts remain in "communion"?  This seems to be a nuiance which does not necessarily contradict the previous infallible statements on EENS.


My major question regarding the traditional read of EENS is what about the heahtens?  Nic's response (that those who wish to find Truth and Salvation will invariably find the Catholic Church) is the only read that makes sense with a merciful and just God.

And still, I don't think the contradictions between the pre and post-Conciliar interpretations of EENS have been fully and clearly sussed out here. 
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