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EENS
#11
(03-23-2010, 09:12 PM)Walty Wrote: I've spent a decent amount of time trying to find a traditional consensus of just what EENS means and I've found no such thing. 

Well, I agree with Denziger, the Popes, and ABL.

Pius IX

Quote:"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 punishment."

Abp. Lefebvre

Quote:"Evidently, certain distinctions must be made. Souls can be saved in a religion other than the Catholic religion (Protestantism, Islam, Buddhism, etc.), but not by this religion. There may be souls who, not knowing Our Lord, have by the grace of the good Lord, good interior dispositions, who submit to God — God in so far as these people can conceive Him — and who want to accomplish His will. There certainly are not many such persons, because these people, not being baptized, suffer more than Christians the effects of original sin. But some of these persons make an act of love, which implicitly is equivalent to baptism of desire. It is uniquely by this means that they are able to be saved. Implicit baptism means the Church: by the very fact that baptism of desire is found implicitly in their act of charity and submission to God these persons belong to the Church. They are saved by the Church, by Our Lord Jesus Christ. For there is baptism of water, baptism of blood, baptism of desire (that of catechumens), then baptism of implicit desire, which is contained in an act of true love of God. How many are saved by this form of baptism? God alone knows. It is a great mystery for us. One cannot say, then, that no one is saved in these religions, but if he is saved, it is always by his attachment to the mystical body which is the Catholic Church, even if the persons concerned do not know it." (Against the Heresies, Pages 216-217)

How much more traditional do you want than those two?
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#12
I guess my rub with this is that there seems to be a tension with previous statements about the nature of the Church and EENS.  If one must be saved through the Church and yet can still be saved as a card-carrying Buddhist visibly outside the Church at least physically then we must conclude that there is a difference between Christ's Church and the visible Roman Catholic Church. Or am I missing something?  According to this, Christ's Church must be said to extend outside of the hierarchical Church and that leads us a lot closer to the language in Vatican II about "subsisting" as opposed to "is."
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#13
(03-23-2010, 09:51 PM)Walty Wrote: I guess my rub with this is that there seems to be a tension with previous statements about the nature of the Church and EENS.  If one must be saved through the Church and yet can still be saved as a card-carrying Buddhist visibly outside the Church at least physically then we must conclude that there is a difference between Christ's Church and the visible Roman Catholic Church. Or am I missing something?  According to this, Christ's Church must be said to extend outside of the hierarchical Church and that leads us a lot closer to the language in Vatican II about "subsisting" as opposed to "is."

My problem isn't with the correct understanding of "subsists in" but the ambiguity of those words.  Everyone who is saved is saved by virtue of the graces of the Church.  How Christ puts those to use besides Sacramentally  is up to Him as head of the Church.  We don't know how He does it - everything is conjecture.

The Pope quoted in Denziger's says:  "on the other hand, it is necessary to hold for certain"

That means we don't have a choice.  This possibility that non-Catholics can be saved is an element of belief.  If not dogmatic, it is as close to one can get because the Pope is telling us what we should hold magisterially.

How does it work?

"it is unlawful to proceed further in inquiry."

I chalk this up to Rome has spoken, the matter is settled.  I don't need to know.  As a Catholic, my job is different than a Buddhist's.  I'm supposed to try and convert him, that's all I know.  How or if he is saved is up to Christ.

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#14
(03-23-2010, 09:57 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote:
(03-23-2010, 09:51 PM)Walty Wrote: I guess my rub with this is that there seems to be a tension with previous statements about the nature of the Church and EENS.  If one must be saved through the Church and yet can still be saved as a card-carrying Buddhist visibly outside the Church at least physically then we must conclude that there is a difference between Christ's Church and the visible Roman Catholic Church. Or am I missing something?  According to this, Christ's Church must be said to extend outside of the hierarchical Church and that leads us a lot closer to the language in Vatican II about "subsisting" as opposed to "is."

My problem isn't with the correct understanding of "subsists in" but the ambiguity of those words.  Everyone who is saved is saved by virtue of the graces of the Church.  How Christ puts those to use besides Sacramentally  is up to Him as head of the Church.  We don't know how He does it - everything is conjecture.

The Pope quoted in Denziger's says:  "on the other hand, it is necessary to hold for certain"

That means we don't have a choice.  This possibility that non-Catholics can be saved is an element of belief.  If not dogmatic, it is as close to one can get because the Pope is telling us what we should hold magisterially.

How does it work?

"it is unlawful to proceed further in inquiry."

I chalk this up to Rome has spoken, the matter is settled.   I don't need to know.  As a Catholic, my job is different than a Buddhist's.  I'm supposed to try and convert him, that's all I know.  How or if he is saved is up to Christ.

Yes, I have always believed that it is possible for Buddhists or Muslims who are totally ignorant to reach heaven.  It seems quite clear that that has always been the teaching of the Church.  But my question is just as you have pointed out: how does it happen?  I'm a lover of Neo-Scholasticism and I must admit that I want to know out of curiosity and because I'm weird and have trouble sleeping at night unless I've made sense of all this in my brain, but, beyond that, and more importantly, I'd like to understand how such a thing is possible (the salvation of those outside the visible Church) because there seems to be a tension with the definition of Christ's Church (traditionally the visible, hierarchical Roman Catholic Church) and this belief in the possible salvation of those outside Her.

It's a tension that I can't easily put down and that's what I was referring to when I answered, "I don't know."  I really don't know how these two doctrines, which are both de fide, can be reconciled neatly.  They must be reconcilable.  I'm not denying that.  But it just doesn't make sense.
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#15
I put no because baptism of desire is for someone who wants to be baptized. Say for example someone lives in a Muslim Theocracy where Catholicism is not allowed but they believe in the Church they can be saved that was my understanding I could be wrong. As to Muhammadans Jews etc I just leave that up to God and pray for their conversion.
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#16
(03-23-2010, 10:06 PM)Walty Wrote: It's a tension that I can't easily put down and that's what I was referring to when I answered, "I don't know."  I really don't know how these two doctrines, which are both de fide, can be reconciled neatly.  They must be reconcilable.  I'm not denying that.  But it just doesn't make sense.

Well, if you want something to help you sleep at night....  :laughing:

Maybe God gives them one final chance before judgment.  You know, if they did everything else right, maybe their reward just after death is to see Christ in his fullness as the angels did when they fell.  And they can choose to accept him or reject him just as the angels had the choice.  Maybe He does this in the seconds after breathing stops before their soul leaves their body.  Maybe He lets them know the Church is the truth and they can get baptism of desire before they are judged.  Also, see what ABL said.

Or maybe He gives them a Divine Dispensation and our reward, according to Justice, is a higher degree of Sanctity for being Catholic.  Or maybe it's just that they get the same degree of Sanctity for being able to make it as far as they did without the Sacraments.

Or maybe there is another limbo that they go to, but aren't damned, like the limbo for unbaptized children.

We don't know, though.  Anything is possible.
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#17
(03-23-2010, 10:53 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: Or maybe there is another limbo that they go to, but aren't damned, like the limbo for unbaptized children.

Not that it really means much but Dante kind of went this route didn't he?  Were there any righteous pagans actually in heaven?  Weren't they all in that little, nice limbo place around hell?

As far as the choice before dying, I think that would reconcile the two doctrines we're talking about.  These people would still be saved within the visible Roman Catholic Church, just not visibly to the rest of us.  We don't have this weird gap of the Church operating outside of the visible institution.

In the end, I guess we won't know until later. 
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#18
(03-23-2010, 08:34 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: If someone who is invincibly ignorant gets into heaven, they are then part of the Church Triumphant.  Before that, they are not part of the Church because to be part of the Church Militant requires valid Sacramental baptism - desire and blood do not count for that either.

Maybe I misunderstand you. Are you saying that an invincibly ignorant person would go to heaven at which point they would be part of the Church (Triumphant)?

That just sounds very circular to me because according to the teachings of the Church, no one who has no persevered within the bosom of the Church can be saved. The Church teaches that one must be part of the Church first in order to be saved, not that everyone who is saved is then part of the Church.
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#19
(03-23-2010, 11:06 PM)Walty Wrote:
(03-23-2010, 10:53 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: Or maybe there is another limbo that they go to, but aren't damned, like the limbo for unbaptized children.

Not that it really means much but Dante kind of went this route didn't he?  Were there any righteous pagans actually in heaven?  Weren't they all in that little, nice limbo place around hell?

As far as the choice before dying, I think that would reconcile the two doctrines we're talking about.  These people would still be saved within the visible Roman Catholic Church, just not visibly to the rest of us.  We don't have this weird gap of the Church operating outside of the visible institution.

In the end, I guess we won't know until later. 

Well, by definition anyone who is in heaven is part of the Church - the Church Triumphant specifically.  The question really becomes "when and how did they join the Church?"
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#20
(03-24-2010, 12:30 AM)INPEFESS Wrote:
(03-23-2010, 08:34 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: If someone who is invincibly ignorant gets into heaven, they are then part of the Church Triumphant.  Before that, they are not part of the Church because to be part of the Church Militant requires valid Sacramental baptism - desire and blood do not count for that either.

Maybe I misunderstand you. Are you saying that an invincibly ignorant person would go to heaven at which point they would be part of the Church (Triumphant)?

That just sounds very circular to me because according to the teachings of the Church, no one who has no persevered within the bosom of the Church can be saved. The Church teaches that one must be part of the Church first in order to be saved, not that everyone who is saved is then part of the Church.

It's not circular...

Everyone in heaven is part of the Church Triumphant (by definition).
Therefore, if a pagan makes it to heaven,  he is part of the Church Triumphant.

What's missing is the when and how he got into the Church.

"according to the teachings of the Church, no one who has no persevered within the bosom of the Church can be saved"

See Denziger, ABL, etc., that I quoted above.  Someone who (visibly) dies as a pagan did not persevere within the bosom of the Church, did they?  Yet the claims above are that the pagan might be saved.

I think the Pope wrote this for an important reason:  "it is unlawful to proceed further in inquiry."    We should just accept the statement at face value and do what we are supposed to do for ourselves and others.  The Church may have stated the above solely to serve as a statement of truth and nothing actionable or presumable or anything else.

You know, someone might be able to hoist themselves out of a pit of vipers by a thread off a piece of clothing.  That doesn't mean we shouldn't be throwing them a rope, a ladder, and calling a helicopter.
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