EENS and ¿Invisible? Catholics
#21
JBH, I don't see how Southpaw "misused" Mystici Corporis.

SPL, hat tip for providing Tanquerey. I was just about to ask for that before I read this thread.
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#22
For what it's worth, Fr. Brian Harrison takes a comprehensive look at the issue and concludes that explicit faith is required, but there is no reason this can't be infused at the moment before death for those whom God knows lived a naturally honorable life. There are some interesting citations in the footnotes, including an attempt to reconcile the traditional ecclesiology with what seems like the more liberal teaching of Pope John Paul II.

Part 1: http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt149.html
Part 2: http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt150.html

Part 1 also has an interesting analysis on the necessary and sufficient requirements for church membership and salvation. It's a very good study that is quite charitable to the "Feeneyite position."
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#23
Thank you for that.  I shall put it on my list-- which is, unfortunately, getting rather long just at the moment...
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#24
Ray, thank you for the links. I've been reading through it. I read through it once pretty quickly, but now I'm slowly going and making sure I'm not missing something. He's essentially saying what I've been saying all along.

Case in point per the reality of Protestantism, in contradiction to TrentCath's point of view:

Quote:A short personal testimony may serve to illustrate the point here. I am a convert from Protestantism, brought up in a strongly Calvinist, anti-Catholic family and social environment. In making my first confession at age 26, prior to being received into the Church, I had plenty to confess, but did not mention among my sins my previous lack of subjection to the Roman Pontiff. That was because I was not conscious before God of any culpability in that respect. Ever since early adolescence I had had a basic knowledge of who the Pope was and of the fact that he and his Church demanded the subjection of all Christians to his authority. And so, as a young Presbyterian who had practically never heard or read anything good about the Pope and his religion, I certainly had at that stage a conscious, explicit and habitual will not to be subject to his authority. But as soon as I became convinced, after several years of intermittent reading and praying on this subject, that I needed to subject myself to the Pope, and that failure to do so would be mortally sinful disobedience to Christ himself, I took steps to join the Catholic Church. I don’t believe I ever sinfully resisted the Holy Spirit’s promptings during my journey of faith. For in my earlier youth it simply never even crossed my radar screen that the papal so-called ‘Antichrist’ – any more than Buddha or Krishna or Mohammed – could possibly have any claim on my allegiance. I really think I was then invincibly ignorant in that regard.

Unless my thorough reading reveals something off, he contradicts TrentCath's view and is pretty much saying what I've been saying all along.

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#25
(08-14-2012, 01:13 AM)jonbhorton Wrote: Ray, thank you for the links. I've been reading through it. I read through it once pretty quickly, but now I'm slowly going and making sure I'm not missing something. He's essentially saying what I've been saying all along.

Case in point per the reality of Protestantism, in contradiction to TrentCath's point of view:

Quote:A short personal testimony may serve to illustrate the point here. I am a convert from Protestantism, brought up in a strongly Calvinist, anti-Catholic family and social environment. In making my first confession at age 26, prior to being received into the Church, I had plenty to confess, but did not mention among my sins my previous lack of subjection to the Roman Pontiff. That was because I was not conscious before God of any culpability in that respect. Ever since early adolescence I had had a basic knowledge of who the Pope was and of the fact that he and his Church demanded the subjection of all Christians to his authority. And so, as a young Presbyterian who had practically never heard or read anything good about the Pope and his religion, I certainly had at that stage a conscious, explicit and habitual will not to be subject to his authority. But as soon as I became convinced, after several years of intermittent reading and praying on this subject, that I needed to subject myself to the Pope, and that failure to do so would be mortally sinful disobedience to Christ himself, I took steps to join the Catholic Church. I don’t believe I ever sinfully resisted the Holy Spirit’s promptings during my journey of faith. For in my earlier youth it simply never even crossed my radar screen that the papal so-called ‘Antichrist’ – any more than Buddha or Krishna or Mohammed – could possibly have any claim on my allegiance. I really think I was then invincibly ignorant in that regard.

Unless my thorough reading reveals something off, he contradicts TrentCath's view and is pretty much saying what I've been saying all along.

???

Personal testimony doesn't beat theological teaching nor the teaching of the popes, moreover you've been trying to argue that Invincible ignorance wasn't even necessary so not sure what you're trying to argue here....

Aside from that we're not protestants, just like we don't believe that you can know you're saved (in almost all cases) we don't believe you can know with any certainty whether you're invincibly ignorant, so personal testimony is not worth much I'm afraid.
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#26
I've been deficient on the full application of invincible ignorance, admittedly, as what I was trying to explain is explained by this article as invincible ignorance.  This is a theologian applying his own past history of it. Again, one has to have something to be reasoned from for age of reason to apply. All signs pointing to Antichrist Pope or otherwise doesn't = subject to authority, via ignorance of reason to even believe in his ability to have authority to begin with. It'd be no different than some old man randomly claiming to be your dad and "you better listen to him as your father!". Uh, no. Go pound sand old man. Same difference. Or think of a black man who never knew his father. He has always been told he's black. His mom is black. He is told by an old white man one day, "it's me, dad!". He never knew, nor had ANY reason to suspect he was the son of a white father as he appeared totally black. This happens. Or a black father and a white mother. Many protestants are in this situation.

Here he goes into the same thing St. Augustine did re: heresy/schism:

Quote:So what did the Florentine Fathers understand by the term heretic? Neither their document nor any other magisterial statement of that era includes a formal definition of the word. But we can safely assume that they, like most of their learned Catholic contemporaries, would have wanted to follow the two authorities who at that time were generally considered the greatest doctors of the Church: St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. The latter teaches that heresy is the sin, springing from a bad motive (“pride or covetousness”), of one who “intends to assent to Christ” (i.e., wants to be a Christian), but who “corrupts Christian faith” by adhering obstinately to his own false opinion on a certain matter instead of accepting the real teaching of Christ proposed by the Church.2 Equally important for our purposes, however, is the fact that Thomas goes on to cite Augustine, in a passage later enshrined in the Decretals, as an authority endorsing his own view that the simple fact of holding – and even defending – a false doctrine is not sufficient to make one a heretic, no matter how grievous the error may be; for it is precisely the conscious, obstinate and presumptuous pitting of one’s own doctrinal judgment against that of the authority established by Christ that constitutes this sin:

As Augustine says (Ep. xliii), and we find it stated in the Decretals (xxiv, qu. 3, can. Dixit Apostolus), “By no means should we accuse of heresy those who, however false and perverse their opinion may be, defend it without obstinate fervor, and seek the truth with careful anxiety, ready to mend their opinion when they have found the truth”, because, to wit, they do not make a choice in contradiction to the doctrine of the Church.3

Now, is it really plausible today to assert or presume that, of all the hundreds of millions of professing Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant and other non-Catholic Christians around the world, there are none who hold and defend their erroneous beliefs “without obstinate fervor”? None who “seek the truth with careful anxiety, ready to mend their opinion when they have found the truth”? But the moment we admit there are such sincere truth-seekers among their ranks, we are admitting they are not “heretics” in the sense we must presume the Fathers of Florence gave to that word. Similar considerations will apply in determining what they meant by “schismatics”. For St. Thomas (again, relying on the authority of Augustine) emphasizes that the sin of schism consists in a “rebellious” act, by which one “obstinately scorns the commandments of the Church and refuses to submit to her judgment”.4 The Catechism of the Council of Trent, which in the next century simply resumed the centuries-long ordinary magisterial teaching which we must assume was also that of the Florentine Fathers, also stresses rebelliousness against known authority as an essential element in both schism and heresy. It does so with a striking military analogy: among those “excluded from the pale of the Church,” says the Catechism, are “heretics and schismatics, because they have severed themselves from the Church, nor do they belong to the Church any more than deserters belong to the army from which they have deserted”.5 But how realistic is it to classify those Protestant, Anglican or separated Eastern Christians who have never in their life been aware of the Catholic Church’s God-given authority, much less actively served under her banner, as having “severed themselves” from the Church, thereby becoming ‘deserters’ from her ranks?



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#27
And more... basically saying what I said before, though in much more detail and more edumacated:

Quote:And let us recall the full radicality of this Protestant critique. It is not that the Southern Baptists (let us say) object to the aforesaid claim simply because they consider their own denomination, rather than “Rome”, to be the one true Church. That would basically be the same kind of objection that many claimants to this or that national throne have made over the centuries against rival claimants: “It is not you, but I, who am the rightful king!” No, the Protestant position cuts much deeper. It is like objecting to someone’s claim to the throne of England on the grounds that no such throne exists! It’s like protesting that anyone at all who claims to be England’s rightful ruler is ipso facto an impostor and potential tyrant whose pretensions must be firmly resisted! For the common position now shared by Protestants is precisely that no single Christian denomination may claim to be the Church founded by Christ, and, therefore, that no leader of any one denomination may dare claim the authority to make doctrinal or governing decisions that bind all Christians. Rather, it is said, each denomination should respectfully recognize many (or even all) of the others as being true, that is, real, “churches”, and so limit itself to making the modest claim of being preferable to the others in one way or another – for instance, by virtue of possessing what it believes is a better understanding of Scripture. In other words, the different organized “churches”, according to this ecclesiology, are seen as being in this respect pretty much like banks, schools, cars, brands of toothpaste, or any other sorts of commodities and services. It is considered legitimate to promote one or other as being of better quality than the rest; but just as it would be outrageous and beyond the pale for Wells Fargo to claim seriously that none of its competitors is truly a bank, or for General Motors to claim that nobody else makes real automobiles, or for Colgate ads to proclaim that what you’ll get in tubes of other brands is not just inferior toothpaste but fake toothpaste – so Protestants right across the liberal-conservative spectrum consider it theologically outrageous and beyond the pale for any single Christian denomination (read: Roman Catholicism) to claim that it is the one and only real Church.9

Now, pre-Reformation churchmen like Aquinas and the Fathers of Florence would have seen this sort of pluralistic, ‘multi-church’ ecclesiology not only as manifest heresy, but as something approaching lunacy. For they saw what should always be obvious to Christians (but now, sadly, is not), namely, that denying the existence of any earthly authority empowered to make final and binding decisions for the one Church of Christ (including interpretations of Scripture) was just as plainly a recipe for religious anarchy as denying the existence of England’s throne would have been for civil anarchy. To help us appreciate how natural it was for our medieval Catholic forebears to be highly skeptical that any Christian could in good conscience reject papal authority altogether, we need only reflect on how skeptical we ourselves would be about the sincerity of anyone who today claimed ‘conscientious objection’ against one of the authorities that our society still believes are legitimate and necessary. For instance, who among us would take seriously a baseball player or cricketer who, not content to lodge a complaint about some particular decision of an umpire, boldly proclaimed his “sincere belief” that no umpire’s decision should ever be binding, since it is (in his opinion) “presumptuous” for any one man ever to try and “impose” his own judgment on the players in the field? And would we not all roll our eyes dismissively at any man who “sincerely” insisted not just that the latest Supreme Court decision is in his opinion unjust, but that no court in the nation should be considered ‘supreme’ over others, or be so “arrogant” and “autocratic” as to claim the final and binding word in any legal dispute?

In short, the medieval European situation was one in which it seemed obvious to just about everybody that there was, and could only ever be, one single and visibly organized Church of Christ. So it seemed equally obvious that no Christian could reasonably expect to be regarded as sincere and in good conscience if he challenged in its entirety the authority of the Roman Pontiff, the only possible guarantor of the Church’s visible unity.
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#28
And now more... saying what I've been saying all along. It's like... yeah, it's like TrentCath is wrong.

Quote:Today, however, the social and cultural situation in the former Christendom is radically different. As we have noted above, centuries of increasing religious pluralism have made it entirely credible – indeed, morally certain – that there are indeed many non-Catholic Christians (believers, on God’s authority, in at least the Trinity and Incarnation) whose doctrinal errors and separation from the Church’s unity are not due to a sinfully proud, scornful, obstinate, or rebellious attitude. Therefore, good-willed modern non-Catholics of this sort do not fit the Council of Florence’s ‘job description’ of heretics and schismatics. But that in turn means the Council has abstained from teaching that such folks are extra Ecclesiam. On the other hand, not being members of the Church, neither are they intra Ecclesiam. So it makes sense to see them as being in that same kind of ‘portico’ situation – neither inside nor outside – in which the Florentine Fathers were already tacitly locating catechumens. In the light of these considerations, we can see as a harmonious development of the Florentine teaching, not as a contradiction of it, the Church’s recent recognition, in magisterial statements beginning in the 1940s, that even some who explicitly deny papal authority can nevertheless be linked to the Church by an unconscious or implicit desire which is sufficient for their salvation.
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#29
And more... keep in mind I'm not quoting this in chronological order. It'd be best if TrentCath just reads the two parts and slays it with his educated erudite awesomeness of brainpower beyond the pale of us mere peasants.

Quote:ow, being “inside” the Church clearly means being one of her members. So let us consider this concept of “membership” in the Church. What exactly does it mean? And is it in fact an “absolute necessity . . . for salvation”? Significantly. the words “member” or “membership” occur nowhere in the relevant passage of Cantate Domino. However, there can be no doubt that the Florentine Fathers, along with the Church in all ages, understood that a necessary condition of membership in the Church during the present life21 is having received sacramental baptism – baptism of water. Pius XII, in his encyclical Mystici Corporis of 1943, confirmed this in giving an authoritative definition of what membership in the Church involves:

The only persons really to be included among the members of the Church are those who have received the washing of regeneration, who profess the true faith, and who have neither separated themselves wretchedly from the unity of the Body nor been cut off from her by legitimate authority for the commission of grave offences.22

This coincides with another classical account of what membership in the Church, that is, fully belonging to her, consists of. St. Robert Bellarmine defines the true Church as:

. . . the congregation of men bound together by the profession of the same Christian Faith, and by the communion of the same Sacraments, under the rule of the legitimate pastors and especially under the one Vicar of Christ in earth, the Roman Pontiff. From this definition it can easily be ascertained which men belong to the Church and which do not.23

Bellarmine goes on to point out that in virtue of the second element in the above definition (“communion of the same Sacraments”), “catechumens and excommunicates are excluded [from “belong[ing] to the Church”], because the former are not [yet] admitted to the communion of the Sacraments and the latter have been cut off from them”.24 In line with the same constant Tradition, Vatican Council II affirms “the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door”.25 (Once again, the analogy with St. Peter’s Basilica is helpful: only when you pass through those giant doors at the inner side of the portico are you truly inside the Basilica.)

Since this is the constant, ancient Catholic faith, it is clear that, for Pope Eugene IV and the Fathers of Florence, catechumens, who had not entered that ‘door’ of the Church which is baptism, could not be “included among [her] members”.

But does this mean that the Council of Florence judged all catechumens to be extra Ecclesiam exsistentes – “situated outside the Church”? If so, then it would be teaching that all who die as catechumens are certainly destined for the eternal fire, for this is precisely the fate infallibly proclaimed by the Council for all those who die extra Ecclesiam. But it would in fact be totally implausible to attribute such a severe teaching to the Council of Florence. By the time the Council met, there had been a consensus for many centuries that the desire for baptism on the part of a catechumen, if informed by theological faith and charity, will be sufficient for salvation if he/she dies unexpectedly before being able to receive the sacrament. Even more assuredly would a ‘baptism of blood’ save a catechumen who was martyred under persecution.26 This was already the common, approved teaching of theologians, including such great doctors as St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bonaventure. Indeed, Pope Innocent II, three centuries before Florence, in an official response to the Bishop of Cremona, had replied “without hesitation”, citing two great Fathers and Doctors, Saints Augustine and Ambrose, to the effect that desire for baptism could be sufficient to save.27 Then, in 1206, Innocent III responded to an inquiry from another bishop as to whether a certain Jew was validly baptized who, in danger of death, had tried to administer the sacrament to himself. While replying in the negative, the Pope affirmed that if such a Jew had died immediately after such an attempt, he would nevertheless be saved “because of faith of the sacrament” (propter sacramenti fidem), even though he had not truly received “the sacrament of faith” (fidei sacramentum).28 And in the century after Florence, the Catechism of the Council of Trent, promulgated by the authority of Pope St. Pius V, was to teach that, in regard to adults preparing for baptism, the Church does not regard the administration of this sacrament as being so urgent as in the case of newly-born infants, because:

. . . should any sudden accident render it impossible for adults to be cleansed in the saving water, their intention and determination to receive it, and their repentance from their previous ill-spent life, will suffice them to grace and justification.29

Given this context of long-standing, unanimous pre- and post-Florentine theological and magisterial teaching in favor of ‘baptism of desire’, it is clear that the Fathers of this Council must be presumed to have accepted this doctrine. The conclusion that they did so is corroborated by their own text: for catechumens are conspicuous by their absence from the Council’s list of those designated as being extra Ecclesiam. If the Fathers of Florence had wished to stigmatize such persons as being “outside the Church”, then that list, logically, should have read: “not only pagans but also Jews, heretics, schismatics and catechumens”. For this last group plainly does not fall into any of the previous four categories of persons who are said to be “outside the Church”.
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#30
Dang it. First word "ow" is actually "Now".
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