CCC vs. Council of Trent?
#1
Brethren,

May the Peace of Christ be with you all.

I am having some trouble reconciling two paragraphs, one from the Council of Trent and the other from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. They are as follows:

Quote:CCC 819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276

[273] LG 8 § 2.
[274] UR 3 § 2; cf. LG 15.
[275] Cf. UR 3.
[276] Cf. LG 8.


Quote:Council of Trent Session VII - Celebrated on the third day of March 1547, under Pope Paul III, Decree Concerning The Sacraments, Canons On The Sacraments In General, it is written: "Canon 4. If anyone says that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary for salvation but are superfluous, and that without them or without the desire of them men obtain from God through faith alone the grace of justification,[2] though all are not necessary for each one, let him be anathema."

[2] Cf. Sess. VI, chap. 7 and can. 9.

It seems as though the CCC is telling us that salvation without the Sacraments is ordinarily possible, whereas the Council of Trent is saying that under ordinary circumstances, it is impossible for a man or woman to be admitted to the Beatific Vision without having lived a life with the Sacraments.

Any assistance on this matter would be helpful.

Your humble servant always,

And may Our Lady keep you near Her most Immaculate Heart,

Ryan
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#2
error post (actual post below)
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#3
Trent specifically says "all are not necessary for each one." Each person does not need to receive all the sacraments to be saved.  The CCC quote in context is talking about Christian groups, which is elsewhere defined as people who are baptized.  Their possible salvation is not completely unrelated to the sacraments--in fact, they have received at least one (in some cases, like the Eastern Orthodox, they may have received more than one). In any event, Trent also says "without them or without the desire of them" so even the desire for baptism could suffice.  

All of this of course assumes the person is otherwise properly disposed for salvation.
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#4
Fair enough. How does it square with the declaration from the Council of Florence, which reads:

Quote:It [the Council] firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the catholic church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the catholic church before the end of their lives; that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the church's sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed his blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the catholic church.
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#5
(07-17-2017, 09:30 PM)Sanguis Christi Wrote:
Quote:CCC 819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276

[273] LG 8 § 2.
[274] UR 3 § 2; cf. LG 15.
[275] Cf. UR 3.
[276] Cf. LG 8.

The problem with Lumen Gentium is that it says the Roman Catholic Church and the Mystical Body of Christ are not one and the same thing.  To say the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church means that the whole Church of Christ is not specifically identified with the Catholic Church but rather a larger body than just the Catholic Church.  Some parts Catholic and some parts non-Catholic form to make up the one Church of Christ.  

Heretical or schismatic groups were not really acknowledged as proper "Churches" before this document.

Pope Pius IX: "None [of these religious societies differing among themselves and separated from the Catholic Church], not even taken as a whole, constitutes in any way and are not that one, Catholic Church founded and made by Our Lord and which He wished to create. Further, one cannot say in any way that these societies are either members or parts of that same Church, because they are visibly separated from Catholic Unity." (Apostolic Letter Jam vos omnes, September 13, 1868)

Pope Leo XIII: "Jesus Christ never conceived of nor instituted a Church formed of many communities which were brought together by certain general traits - but which would be distinct one from another and not bound together among themselves by ties which make the Church one and indivisible - since we clearly profess in the Creed of our Faith: " 'I believe in one...Church.' " (Satis Cognitum.)

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 9), June 29, 1896: "The Church alone offers to the human race that religion - that state of absolute perfection - which He wished, as it were, to be incorporated in it.  And it alone supplies those means of salvation which accord with the ordinary counsels of Providence."
 
Pope Pius X, Editae saepe (# 29), May 26, 1910: "The Church alone possesses together with her magisterium the power of governing and sanctifying human society.  Through her ministers and servants (each in his own station and office), she confers on mankind suitable and necessary means of salvation."

"By means of religious indifference, crafty men deceitfully pretend that people can attain eternal salvation in the practice of any religion, as though there could be any fellowship of light with darkness. These men conclude that not only sons of the Church but also others, however estranged they may remain from Catholic unity, are equally on the road to salvation and are able to achieve everlasting life. Words fail Us from utter horror in detesting and abhorring this new and terrible insult! " - Pope Pius IX 

The Church alone has the legitimate worship of sacrifice and the salutary use of the Sacraments. Hence, to possess true holiness, we must belong to her and embrace her, like those who entered the Ark to escape perishing in the Flood-  Catechism of Trent

Any valid sacraments existing outside the "visible" Catholic Church do not in anyway belong to non-Catholic groups as implied.  For instance, Baptism is a Catholic sacrament that is valid not depending on if the minister is a non-Catholic or not, assuming the formula and intention are correct.  However, when administered to adults who embrace heresy, can be valid, but not efficacious.  

To state that Christ uses heretical and schismatic "ecclesial communities" as a "means of salvation" is novel, to say the least.  
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#6
(07-20-2017, 11:59 AM)Sanguis Christi Wrote: Fair enough. How does it square with the declaration from the Council of Florence, which reads:

Quote:It [the Council] firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the catholic church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the catholic church before the end of their lives; that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the church's sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed his blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the catholic church.

The Church has long admitted other forms of being "joined to" the Church in a salvific way other than strict membership (membership being defined as a visible unity based on Baptism, profession of faith, and hierarchical obedience.).  An example is belonging "in voto."  That text says all those categories will not be saved "unless they are joined to the Catholic Church before the end of their lives."
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#7
BC Wrote:The problem with Lumen Gentium is that it says the Roman Catholic Church and the Mystical Body of Christ are not one and the same thing.  To say the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church means that the whole Church of Christ is not specifically identified with the Catholic Church but rather a larger body than just the Catholic Church.  Some parts Catholic and some parts non-Catholic form to make up the one Church of Christ. 
There certainly was controversy regarding the phrase after the Council with various interpretations being put forth. Some saw it like you do, some (like, say, Tromp) saw it as a stronger version of "is" implying a permanent identity, rather than just a present one. Of course, Vatican II in the decree on the Eastern churches uses "is" (I was having trouble with the quote function, so the italics are the quoted texts):

Orientalium Ecclasiarium: "The Holy Catholic Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ, is made up of the faithful who are organically united in the Holy Spirit by the same faith, the same sacraments and the same government and who, combining together into various groups which are held together by a hierarchy, form separate Churches or Rites."

Of course, that didn't stop the interpretation you propose from gaining traction immediately afterward.  The Church later clarified that such an interpretation is erroneous and that the Church of Christ cannot be said to subsist anywhere other than the Catholic Church (even if elements properly belonging to the Church are found elswhere, like the priesthood or Eucharist, etc.). Subsistence does not imply an identity larger than the Catholic Church, but only the Catholic Church, despite elements being found elsewhere.

Dominus Iesus, quoting the Notification on the book "Church: Charism and Power": The interpretation of those who would derive from the formula subsistit in the thesis that the one Church of Christ could subsist also in non-Catholic Churches and ecclesial communities is therefore contrary to the authentic meaning of Lumen gentium. “The Council instead chose the word subsistit precisely to clarify that there exists only one ‘subsistence' of the true Church, while outside her visible structure there only exist elementa Ecclesiae, which — being elements of that same Church — tend and lead toward the Catholic Church.”

CDF Note on the Doctrine on the Church: Christ “established here on earth” only one Church and instituted it as a “visible and spiritual community”[5], that from its beginning and throughout the centuries has always existed and will always exist, and in which alone are found all the elements that Christ himself instituted.[6] “This one Church of Christ, which we confess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic […]. This Church, constituted and organised in this world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him”.[7]

In number 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium ‘subsistence’ means this perduring, historical continuity and the permanence of all the elements instituted by Christ in the Catholic Church[8], in which the Church of Christ is concretely found on this earth.

[i]It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them.[9] Nevertheless, the word “subsists” can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe... in the “one” Church); and this “one” Church subsists in the Catholic Church.[10][/i]

The Church can be said to be "present and operative" in those separated communities because of the Sacraments that are properly hers, such as the example you provided with Baptism, or with other Sacraments (they are valid in those other communities because of the Church's power there, not because of that community's own power).

If one admits that strict, visible membership is not absolutely necessary for salvation (I know you don't, but this has been the more common position since well before Vatican II), then these sacraments which are by definition communal acts (other than a priest's self-communion), make those communities derivative means of salvation presuming proper dispositions, etc.--but again, only because of the "presence and operation" of the actual means of the Church.

But back to "subsists", to quote one of the major proponents of your interpretation, Leonardo Boff, after these clarifications were issued:

Leonardo Boff: The interpretation that the Cardinal gives to "subsiste" as "subsistence" or "hipostasis"‹which "could occur only once" as he said in his conference (Il Regno, loc. cit. 237b), or, in other words, only in the Catholic Church‹therefore makes "subsiste" a synonym of "is". The Cardinal himself says this in writing, "subsistit is a special case of "esse" (to be)" (ib. 237b). Giving this interpretation to the word voids the will of the Council Fathers, who wanted to change "is" for "subsiste". They wanted to avoid the pure and simple identification of the Church with the Catholic Church. For Ratzinger, the other "churches" were not really Church, they simply had "the elements of Church". This would be like saying, "Only my house is really a house; your house simply has the elements of a house, such as bricks, windows, and doors; all of this is not really a house, only the elements in fact derive from my house." Such a statement, aside from being arrogant, is, in the thinking of the Council Fathers, mistaken. Ratzinger has returned to a pre-Vatican II time.
http://www.muenster.de/~angergun/boff-subsistit-in.html
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#8
Well I think the variation in interpretation is explained becaused L.G. was deliberately written ambiguously. 

I think Cardinal Ratzinger could shift between being the conservative Catholic hero and theological revolutionary adeptly, but it is undeniable that the whole goal of all this language was Ecumenism, and convergence not conversion. 

"The first schema of 1962 still clung to the traditional scholastic formula which saw membership in the Church as dependent on the joint presence of three prerequisites: baptism, profession of the same faith and acceptance of the hierarchy headed by the Pope. Only those who met these requirements could be called members of the Church. Obviously, this was a very narrow formulation......... ".

.. the result was that the notion of ‘member of the Church’ could be applied only to Catholics. With such an answer to the question of Church membership, it became very difficult to describe the Christian dignity of the non-Catholic Christian... Accordingly, modifications were made in the text submitted in 1963 to the Council Fathers....."The new text now says unmistakably and clearly, though in passing, that these Christians exist not merely as individuals, but in Christian communities which are given positive Christian status and ecclesial character."

"... the recognition of a plurality of Churches within the Church implies two lines of change:

".. The Catholic has to recognize that his own Church is not yet prepared to accept the phenomenon of multiplicity in unity; he must orient himself toward this reality. He must also recognize the need for a thorough Catholic renewal something not to be accomplished in a day. This requires a process of opening up, which takes time. Meantime, the Catholic Church has no right to absorb the other Churches. The Church has not yet prepared for them a place of their own, but this they are legitimately entitled to."

" A basic unity – of churches that remain Churches, yet become one Church – must replace the idea of conversion, even though conversion retains its meaningfulness for those in conscience motivated to seek it."

(Theological Highlights of Vatican II, p. 65 Joseph Ratzinger, Paulist Press, New York, 1966)

"Vatican II did not use Pius XII's expression, according to which 'the Roman Catholic Church is the only Church of Jesus Christ.' Instead, it preferred the expression `The Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church ruled by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him' because, he said, it wished to affirm "that the being of the Church as such is a larger identity than the Roman Catholic Church." (Cardinal Ratzinger, as quoted in German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine, p. 3 Sept. 2001)
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#9
(07-21-2017, 02:36 PM)BC Wrote: Well I think the variation in interpretation is explained becaused L.G. was deliberately written ambiguously. 

I think Cardinal Ratzinger could shift between being the conservative Catholic hero and theological revolutionary adeptly, but it is undeniable that the whole goal of all this language was Ecumenism, and convergence not conversion. 

"The first schema of 1962 still clung to the traditional scholastic formula which saw membership in the Church as dependent on the joint presence of three prerequisites: baptism, profession of the same faith and acceptance of the hierarchy headed by the Pope. Only those who met these requirements could be called members of the Church. Obviously, this was a very narrow formulation......... ".

.. the result was that the notion of ‘member of the Church’ could be applied only to Catholics. With such an answer to the question of Church membership, it became very difficult to describe the Christian dignity of the non-Catholic Christian... Accordingly, modifications were made in the text submitted in 1963 to the Council Fathers....."The new text now says unmistakably and clearly, though in passing, that these Christians exist not merely as individuals, but in Christian communities which are given positive Christian status and ecclesial character."

"... the recognition of a plurality of Churches within the Church implies two lines of change:

".. The Catholic has to recognize that his own Church is not yet prepared to accept the phenomenon of multiplicity in unity; he must orient himself toward this reality. He must also recognize the need for a thorough Catholic renewal something not to be accomplished in a day. This requires a process of opening up, which takes time. Meantime, the Catholic Church has no right to absorb the other Churches. The Church has not yet prepared for them a place of their own, but this they are legitimately entitled to."

" A basic unity – of churches that remain Churches, yet become one Church – must replace the idea of conversion, even though conversion retains its meaningfulness for those in conscience motivated to seek it."

(Theological Highlights of Vatican II, p. 65 Joseph Ratzinger, Paulist Press, New York, 1966)

"Vatican II did not use Pius XII's expression, according to which 'the Roman Catholic Church is the only Church of Jesus Christ.' Instead, it preferred the expression `The Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church ruled by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him' because, he said, it wished to affirm "that the being of the Church as such is a larger identity than the Roman Catholic Church." (Cardinal Ratzinger, as quoted in German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine, p. 3 Sept. 2001)

I'm glad you quoted Theological Highlights of Vatican II here, it's an eye opening and enlightening read, and I urge more Catholics to read it. What I took from reading that short tome it is that many theological "experts" and others with the power to make their words and ideas shape the Church at the Council desired to change the Church. Ratzinger in that book clearly gives voice to this.  Ultimately I think they succeeded through the Trojan horse of ambiguous verbiage, meaning the documents that came out of the Council could  literally be interpreted in multiple ways.  The rest is history.

I'd say the Catechism of the Catholic Church seems to contradict the Council of Trent on some points because it actually does depending on which way you want to interpret the documents.
Walk before God in simplicity, and not in subtleties of the mind. Simplicity brings faith; but subtle and intricate speculations bring conceit; and conceit brings withdrawal from God. -Saint Isaac of Syria, Directions on Spiritual Training


"It is impossible in human terms to exaggerate the importance of being in a church or chapel before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. I very seldom repeat what I say. Let me repeat this sentence. It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. That sentence is the talisman of the highest sanctity. "Father John Hardon
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#10
I consider the so-called CCC mostly junk.
Council of Trent is my go-to place for authentic doctrine, but in addition I truly respect the St Pius X Catechism for the Laity.
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