I don't know if I believe in the Catholic Chruch anymore :Infallibility
Jesus is God. Pray for the Gift of Faith. If you lost it, the Lord will restore it to you. Go back to confession. Make an act of faith that Jesus is God.

If He is God, and He is, then follow Him.

If He is God, then believe Him and His words.

He established One Church. I think you know it is the Catholic Church. But it's in a mess right now because of its members. Don't add to that.

Believe in Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Divine words...that despite everything you see on a human level, the gates of Hell will NOT prevail ! BELIEVE Our Lord! Go Back to the Sacraments, pray the rosary, and where the Scapular. Your trying to figure it all out, and it doesn't work that way, especially in these times.
I see way too much discouragement here. Jesus said to deny ourselves. The way we do that is NOT paying attention to our doubts and dryness, and take courage in the Lord! Come on guys!! Make a thousand acts of trust in Jesus throughout the day if you have to.

Psalm 25:
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
I trust in you, let me not be disappointed;
do not let my enemies triumph.
Those who hope in you shall not be disappointed,
but only those who wantonly break faith.
It would be nice if someone could answer my objection to the infallibility of the church. That's the thread I originally wanted to make but I ended up writting a bio instead.
I have also looked at the Baptism of Desire issue many times and I understand a lot of what you are saying.

In my opinion, even though some theologians did hold to the idea that implicit faith can save, just because in the past few hundred years this view has arisen does not mean that it is true. There have been a lot of theologians who still hold to the traditional view--even after Vatican II. One can look at Father Michael Muller, Monsignor Fenton (who in his work claims that the implicit view is the minority one), Father Harrison, and even some manualists like Van Noort. I am not mentioning the SBC because many people seem to find them very...controversial. 

Also, one thing to keep in mind is that even the implicit view is not quite as liberal as it may seem. Even the implicit view holds to be saved one is saved not by invincible ignorance but supernatural faith. The supernatural faith is the belief in God as a rewarder and it is said that implicit in this is faith in Christ and in the Trinity. So there is not quite as much of a contradiction between the implicit view and the traditional teaching insofar as both hold that supernatural faith is necessary for salvation.

It seems to me that the implicit view does not lead to the Anonymous Christian Heresy. If we look at pagans who have not been evangelized yet, it is clear that the ordinary course of providence has not affected them. The ordinary course of providence is receiving the Faith by hearing the Faith from men of the Church. If God is to enlighten one of these pagans with faith before missionaries actually arrive this would be a miracle. It would be a very rare, exceptional event since it is against the way God usually works. Consequently, there is no reason at all to believe that all of the pagans are already saved since in fact only a very small number are saved given that miracles are exceptional events, not common events. I believe one of the founders of the implicit view, Suarez, said something similar to the idea of such scenarios as miraculous since he said they occur "per accidens" or contrary to the ordinary course of Providence.

With that being said, I myself struggle to see why the implicit view has been allowed. It might have something to do with the spread of Molinism as opposed to Thomism. I do not agree with the implicit view; I think Tradition teaches explicit faith but I do not think that the Church's infallibility has in any way been compromised by the allowance of the implicit view since allowance is not the same as acceptance, the old view still can be held and has been held, and even the new view is not quite as different to the old as it may seem at first glance.

Regarding your questions about reason, Vatican I holds that God can be proven with the light of natural reason. I would suggest reading about Aristotelian metaphysics. It is necessary for one to reject the lies of this age in order to get back to the roots of common sense. Once that is achieved Aquinas's proofs for the existence of God conclusively establish the existence of God. Faith itself does not come from reason but there are many miracles and such which back it up.

Even so, the apologetic route can be very complicated at times so the Church has always held up the simple Faith of children as exemplary as well.

I myself have investigated many other religions and even from the perspective of natural law they all seem very defective. Many are polytheistic or Pantheistic or embrace many immoral practices. Catholicism is the only one that seems consonant with the natural order.

There is nothing more beautiful than Catholicism and the society it produced: Christendom. Amidst a world of darkness even the light of Rome and Greece is filled with the darkness of immoral practices and selfishness; it is only in Catholicism that there has existed a true devotion toward duty and orientation and love of God called charity, which is most beautiful and noble.
Supernatural faith is something that has to be given to you by God, right?  Like, it's not something you can just foster on your own?
(05-19-2016, 05:55 AM)brogan Wrote: I grew up in a very conservative Novus Ordo family. Lost my faith as a teen for the most part but reverted in college in a big way. I was actively involved in the Novus Ordo, going to mass everyday, praying a holy hour and rosary everyday. I was trying to be perfect. This point in my life, when very active in the Novus Ordo, is when I felt closest to God.

Then some modernist things started to bother me. I didn't like JPII kissing the Koran and hinting at the possibility of universal salvation, among  so many other things. I started going to an indult mass and eventually attended an SSPX parish for many years.

Papal impeccability isn't part of the deal. We could, theoretically, have a Pope who goes to brothels every night, kills a few people,  etc., and he'd still be the Pope. So things like Koran-kissing, Pope Francis's loose, imprudent talk, etc.:  you've got to not let it get to you. You've got to let it roll of you like water off a duck's back.

(05-19-2016, 05:55 AM)brogan Wrote: But the SSPX's disobedience to whom they called the pope started to bothered me. I began to read more and more about sedevacanitism and eventually became convinced. It appeared that the Novus Ordo really was teaching a different religion than the religion St. Francis followed. I ended up moving very far away so that I could live close to a sedevacantist parish.

But eventually after many years some questions about sedevacantism began to bother me. How can we get a new pope? What about the problem of Ordinary Jurisdiction? It states in canon law that priests must be acting under Ordinary Jurisdiction for certain sacraments, like confession, to be valid. But if there are no valid bishops alive today who have ordinary jurisdiction where does that leave us? The sedevacantists are very vague on this. They just believe "Oh there must be at least one validly ordained Bishop somewhere in the world who holds the true faith (rejects all VII and the new mass, etc) and therefore still possess Ordinary Jurisdiction. Umm ok, where is this Bishop? Why doesn't he speak up?  It's 2016 now. The number of Bishops alive who were consecrated in the pre-1968 rite is shrinking by the day. And none of them are speaking up in defense of sedevacantism.

So...I started to doubt the sede thesis. And I've overall just been very uninspired for the past 5 years or so. I started missing Sunday mass occasionally.  Where should I go to mass anyway? I went back to the indult for a while but now for the past year I haven't been going at all.
I went on Easter and Christmas and that's it for this past year.

And probably largely as a result of my never going to mass and never praying I've started to have a lot of doubts. Specific doubts about Catholicism and then, to a lessor degree, doubts about religion altogether.

Like Magister said, you're cutting yourself off from sources of grace. It's no wonder why you're feeling and thinking as you do. If I were you, I'd find an indult Mass and go, starting off with Confession.

(05-19-2016, 05:55 AM)brogan Wrote: I'm not going to lay down any quotes here. Everyone is perfectly capable of researching this themselves. The issue is the way modern Novus Ordo Catholics talk about Baptism of Desire is totally different than what the mind of the church used to be. It was heavily debated and contested at the Council of Trent over whether or not unbaptized catechumens could be saved. At Trent they were talking about people who had already begun the program to receive baptism and join the Catholic church but somehow died before actually receiving the water baptism they didn't know if they had a chance at salvation. Then sometime in the 18th century the idea of invincible ignorance came around.  But this teaching directly contradicts former ex cathedra statements that no one could be saved without baptism into the Catholic Church and total adherence to all of its tenants. And what's been taught in the Novus Ordo church since Vatican II is that basically any person in any religion, or no religion at all, can attain salvation. The modern Church of today teaches a fundamentally different religion then was taught at Trent. There have been so many "infallible statements" about needing to be baptized into the Catholic Church and total adherence to the pope. At the very least this casts extreme doubt on the doctrine of infallibility. In fact this contradiction makes infallibility impossible if the modern Catholic Church is the true Catholic Church.

My take on EENS is that of Lefebvre, which I'll include at the bottom of this post. Bottom line:  God knows who belongs to His Church and who doesn't. We're supposed to do what He's told us to do, which is to love Him and our neighbor, to do His Will, to preach the Gospel, etc.

(05-19-2016, 05:55 AM)brogan Wrote: I just don't know if I can dance around that issue anymore. Infallibility seems to be provably false. The church formally taught infallible things which it now contradicts.

But She doesn't. I think you're misunderstanding EENs. The presesntation of Catholic teaching has certainly been mangled since the Council, with catechesis being wretched, with outright heretic priests out there, etc., but there's been no incident of a dogma being contradicted in any way that's intended to be seen as infallible.

(05-19-2016, 05:55 AM)brogan Wrote: And then there's other questions I have. Why doesn't God make his existence easier to demonstrate to non-believers?  Why would God make it so hard for modern people to know him? There's no proof of God's existence. We have to have faith. Why did God give us an intellect if what he really wanted was for us to shut off our minds and just except that he exists?

I don't think He does make it hard. He's always been there, and is here now just as He was when the state of the Faith was strong in the world. It isn't He Who's failed; it's modern man following materialist scientism rather than God.

Faith doesn't require "shutting our minds off." Faith and reason go together (see Fides et Ratio). It was a Catholic who came up with the Scientific Method itself. It was Catholics who invented universities and the Trivium and Quadrivium. Etc., Etc.

(05-19-2016, 05:55 AM)brogan Wrote: In the ancient world there was all types of horrible things that took place. Human and child sacrifice were common. All manor of wickedness was part of so many cultures. Why didn't God reveal himself to these people? Why reveal himself to only the Jews? And why wait 195,000 years after human beings have been on earth to even reveal himself to the Jews?

Beats me.

(05-19-2016, 05:55 AM)brogan Wrote: Moreover, why would God mandate, or even merit, that you believe in him to be on the "good side of the fight," to begin with? I mean, what sense does that really make? What sort of loving god would make salvation depend upon believing in Him on bad or non-existent evidence?

Personally, I don't think that's how it works, to be honest. I think God wants us to believe in Him because He is Truth, because doing so will make our lives and societies ordered, etc., but I don't believe He holds it against those who want to believe but who simply don't -- with that being a very different thing than obstinate scientism and the typical nonsense one sees from atheists in Youtube comments, etc. To whom much is given, much is required. And vice versa. He know our hearts; He knows our minds. He knows who's trying and who isn't. He knows those to whom much has been given, and those to whom little has been given. He'll save whom He wills. He's offered us the way of perfection through His Church, which is the font of Truth. There are members of the soul of the Church who don't know they're members at all -- and there are apparent formal members of the Church who are in reality dead members who will not be saved.

(05-19-2016, 05:55 AM)brogan Wrote: And we believe that Jesus walked on water, turned water into wine, cured the blind, died and rose from the dead based upon texts written by people who saw none of this with their own eyes. What about the blind and sick and starving today? Why not cure them? And the text also talks about a talking bush and magical giants who were fallen angels that slept with human women and a flood that covered the whole earth. And this all started because a rib-woman ate an apple from a magic tree at the behest of a a talking snake.

And before he did any of this stuff with the Jews he created this giant monsters called dinosaurs just for kicks? What was the actual point of that? Just to fill us with wonder?

And why did God order the death of so many men, women and children in the Old Testament?

Quote:In Genesis 7:21-23, God drowns the entire population of the earth: men, women, children, fetuses, and animals.
In Exodus 12:29, God the baby-killer slaughters all Egyptian firstborn children and cattle because their king was stubborn.
In Numbers 16:41-49, the Israelites complain that God is killing too many of them. So, God sends a plague that kills 14,000 more of them.
In 1 Samuel 6:19, God kills 50,000 men for peeking into the ark of the covenant.
In Numbers 31:7-18, the Israelites kill all the Midianites except for the virgins, whom they are allowed to rape as spoils of war.
In 2 Kings 2:23-24, some kids tease the prophet Elisha, and God sends bears to dismember them.

These questions make me wonder if man creates religions to make sense of things. I mean Christians must believe that all the other thousands upon thousands of religions that have ever existed are all made up by people. Only Christianity is actually true and weren't we lucky to be born in this 1% of human history that Christianity existed. Weren't we lucky to be born into a country that predominately is only this faith. I mean if we were born in Iran we would probably be Muslims, if we were born in Thailand we would be Buddhists. But we just happen to be lucky enough to be born in the right place and the right time in history to know the only true religion that has ever existed.

Again, you're misunderstanding EENs. Some Muslims, some Buddhists, some Jews, will be in Heaven -- not because of their religions, but in spite of them, and only, SOLELY, by the grace of Christ. He knows our hearts and minds; it's for Him to decide. We are to do what He's told us in the meanwhile.

As to angels and burning bushes and giants and serpents in gardens, etc.:  if you believe Christ rose from the dead, then you have to know that miracles are nothing to God. He created the universe; He can break physical laws as He's the author of them.

Brogan Wrote:I want to know the truth only. I knew it without a doubt before that Christianity was true. I want that back or I want to be done with it completely. I still believe in God but I'm starting to wonder if I even believe in Christianity anymore. The only thing that stops me from saying I'm no longer Christian is personal experiences when I was really trying to live a Christian life. When I was going to daily Novus Ordo mass thats the best I ever felt in my life. And I did witness certain small miracles at that time. Things happened that were just too unbelievable to be mere coincidence. 

I'll leave it at that because this post is getting pretty long. I'm kinda lost these days.

So it seems that you do believe in miracles. If that's so, then you know God exists. If you've got that, then you'll be fine. I beg you to ASK GOD to re-affirm you in the Faith, to show you all Truth, to give you consolation -- a "sign" even. He will NOT let you down if you ask Him in earnest.

What Lefevbre said about EENS, my emphasis:

Archbishop Lefebvre, "Open Letter to Confused Catholics":

"We must say it clearly: such a concept is radically opposed to Catholic dogma. The Church is the one ark of salvation, and we must not be afraid to affirm it. You have often heard it said, "Outside the Church there is no salvation"--a dictum which offends contemporary minds. It is easy to believe that this doctrine is no longer in effect, that it has been dropped. It seems excessively severe.

Yet nothing, in fact, has changed; nothing can be changed in this area. Our Lord did not found a number of churches: He founded only One. There is only one Cross by which we can be saved, and that Cross has been given to the Catholic Church. It has not been given to others. To His Church, His mystical bride, Christ has given all graces. No grace in the world, no grace in the history of humanity is distributed except through her.

Does that mean that no Protestant, no Muslim, no Buddhist or animist will be saved? No, it would be a second error to think that. Those who cry for intolerance in interpreting St. Cyprian's formula, “Outside the Church there is no salvation,” also reject the Creed, “I confess one baptism for the remission of sins,” and are insufficiently instructed as to what baptism is. There are three ways of receiving it: the baptism of water; the baptism of blood (that of the martyrs who confessed the faith while still catechumens) and baptism of desire.

Baptism of desire can be explicit. Many times in Africa I heard one of our catechumens say to me, “Father, baptize me straightaway because if I die before you come again, I shall go to hell.” I told him “No, if you have no mortal sin on your conscience and if you desire baptism, then you already have the grace in you.”

The doctrine of the Church also recognizes implicit baptism of desire. This consists in doing the will of God. God knows all men and He knows that amongst Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists and in the whole of humanity there are men of good will. They receive the grace of baptism without knowing it, but in an effective way. In this way they become part of the Church.

The error consists in thinking that they are saved by their religion. They are saved in their religion but not by it.
There is no Buddhist church in heaven, no Protestant church. This is perhaps hard to accept, but it is the truth. I did not found the Church, but rather Our Lord the Son of God. As priests we must state the truth."


Archbishop Lefebvre, "Against the Heresies," pages 216-217, on Proposition #16 of the Syllabus of Errors, in which Pope Pius IX condemned the following statement: "Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation":

"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."
I actually find the honesty of many on this thread refreshing.  Ever since my own experience that pushed me of Buddhism I've never doubted Jesus Christ,but I have doubted Roman Catholicism quite often. 

Perhaps I'm so comfortable with Jesus Christ because of what I believe was some sort of special grace or perhaps it's because in unabashedly more of a fideist in the way I see things.  I'm also a prayer guy, not much of a philosopher or theologian. 

I notice that the more people think ands think and think, the more the doubts come.  We can accept some sort of worldview on faith and just try to live it, and the doubts go away, but when you start thinking too much they come back. 

All I can offer is to keep struggling or just surrender to a narrative or worldview and try not to think so much.  It's easier said than done though.
(05-20-2016, 05:12 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: My take on EENS is that of Lefebvre, which I'll include at the bottom of this post. Bottom line:  God knows who belongs to His Church and who doesn't. We're supposed to do what He's told us to do, which is to love Him and our neighbor, to do His Will, to preach the Gospel, etc.

Lefebvre is following the teaching of Pope Pius IX from the mid 1800s. In his encyclical SINGULARI QUIDEM he said "Outside of the Church, nobody can hope for life or salvation unless he is excused through ignorance beyond his control."

That statement by Pope Pius IX clearly contradicts earlier statements:

Quote:Pope Boniface VIII, Bull Unam sanctam (1302): "We are compelled in virtue of our faith to believe and maintain that there is only one holy Catholic Church, and that one is apostolic. This we firmly believe and profess without qualification. Outside this Church there is no salvation and no remission of sins, the Spouse in the Canticle proclaiming: 'One is my dove, my perfect one. One is she of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her' (Canticle of Canticles 6:8); which represents the one mystical body whose head is Christ, of Christ indeed, as God. And in this, 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism' (Ephesians 4:5). Certainly Noah had one ark at the time of the flood, prefiguring one Church which perfect to one cubit having one ruler and guide, namely Noah, outside of which we read all living things were destroyed… 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."

Quote:Council of Florence, Cantate Domino (1441):
"The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the "eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41), unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. 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 he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church."

All 3 statements can't be infallible.But according to Vatican I, all three statements have to be infallible. Pope Pius IX's teaching of "unless he is excused through ignorance beyond his control" contradicts the earlier infallible statements on the issue.

The earlier statements say "no Jews, heretics, or schismatics" can be saved. A new pope can't just come along and say "unless they are nice Jews, heretics or schismatics." That contradicts the previous statements.

There seems to be no way out of this. Since the mid 19th century the Catholic Church has been issuing "infallible" documents that contradict previous infallible documents. Therefore, infallibility is not true.

And please don't come back with "encyclicals are not infallible". When the Pope 1. intends to teach,  2. as head of the Church,  3. on matters pertaining to faith or morals, 4. and the teaching is addressed to the whole Church, it is infallible. That's what Vatican I teaches. This encyclical of Pius IX clearly meets those criteria.

There are so many "infallible" church document's since Pius IX that contradict the old "infallible" statements. Pius IX created a new religion in the 1860s. It does not teach that one must be a Catholic in the state of grace to go to heaven. Pius IX's religion contradicts the religion that came before it. How could he do this? It should be impossible to contradict previous infallible statements. It's possible because infallibility is not true.

This doesn't mean I have to reject the Church altogether. I could just say, "well of course the documents aren't infallible, they are written by men. So when they defined infallibility they were incorrect. Big deal." But the problem is without the infallibility of the Church what am I supposed to believe about everything? I could just pick and choose which doctrines and dogmas of the Catholic faith I believe in but I'd just be making up my own protestant denomination. Because I now believe that the dogma of infallibility is untrue, I am now a heretic. Doesn't exactly make me feel at ease. And I don't think I could ever be convinced at this point otherwise. I did ok in my logic course at college. "The most certain of all basic principles is that contradictory propositions are not true simultaneously."

P1- Only Catholic's in the state of grace can be saved.
P2-Not Only Catholic's in the state of grace can be saved.

Those propositions cannot both be true! But before Pius IX the church believed and "infallibly taught P1 and after Pius IX the church believe's and infallibly teachers P2.
It would be sad if a thread devoted to someone's struggles and doubts about the Church devolved into the same tired EENS debate with mudslinging and proof texts.

(05-20-2016, 03:10 AM)Melkite Wrote: Supernatural faith is something that has to be given to you by God, right?  Like, it's not something you can just foster on your own?

Right. But you can still ask God for it.

It is infused at God's good pleasure even without Baptism (for instance it's a pre-requisite for conversion if you're above the age of reason), but certainly infused at Baptism.

It is only lost when one sins against the Faith. Even when one has lost the State of Grace, (and thus infused Charity), Faith and Hope still remain, although in a "uninformed" or "dead" state, but even one in a state of grave sin can still profess the Faith and trust that God will fulfill what he has promised to do. Those acts are not in themselves enough to merit, but they can help dispose the soul so it will more easily follow the grace of God when he sends the grace to confess or make a perfect act of contrition.

That first point, however, is important. David Berlinski, that really smart guy in "Expelled", when asked why he was still an "agnostic" despite more or less defending Creationists claims, and accepting the possibility and even likliness of the existence of the God (as understood by the Catholic Faith), he said, something along the lines of "God hasn't given me Faith yet".

Perhaps, true, but if we don't ask for it ... God wants us to ask, even for what is necessary for our salvation. He will always give what is sufficient, but perhaps it will be highly conditioned on our asking for it.

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