Salvation through confusion?
#1
(this is a thought exercise, not something I wish to claim or believe)

In very generic terms, we say:

- that salvation comes from Christ through the Church

- to attain salvation, one must be free of actual mortal sin upon death

- to commit a mortal sin, one must have full knowledge that what he is doing is grave matter

- the state of the Church today has caused such massive confusion, that the vast majority of Catholics are probably unaware of the mortal nature of many of their sins

- therefore, they do not have full knowledge, and therefore are not committing actual mortal sins

- without any actual mortal sins on their soul, they will be saved (most likely through Purgatory)

- therefore it is quite possible that the confusion spread by the Church is saving souls, since in this modern age most Catholics are outright rejecting Church teaching due to abuse, scandals, and poor teaching

- It is probably not far fetched to say that more souls will be saved, via Purgatory, through a confusing Church, than if the Church taught clearly since fallen human nature in this modern age is very weak to resist temptation

So ultimately, if a case can be made that the vast majority of people do not have "fuill knowledge" of mortal sin because the Church has failed to teach effectively, then is there really a problem with the Church spreading such confusion?
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#2
I have had similar thoughts, more along the lines of it's better to stay ignorant than to learn about the faith, so one is less responsible.

But the problem with both lines of thought like this is - Why did Jesus give us the Great Commission to go out and teach all He commanded them if it's better people stay ignorant?

I think it's like this. Can people be saved without being baptized - Yes, the thief on the cross was. Is that supposed to be normative - no. But because God loves us He makes exceptions if they are justified, which is up to Him alone.
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#3
(10-02-2019, 06:23 AM)Markie Boy Wrote: Can people be saved without being baptized - Yes, the thief on the cross was.

That was before the New Covenant, which hadn't started yet. Baptism wasn't required.
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#4
Sometimes it is easy to forget that there have been bad Popes, that there have been occasions when the church has been both ineffective and confusing.  We live in momentous times when it seems schism is a real possibility.  We are under attack in our own countries, ridiculed and sometimes killed for our beliefs.  These things have happened before and yet the Church survived and the truth survived.  The reason for this has a good deal to do with Christ's faithful being able to discern BS.  We are responsible in every way to follow what Christ has shown us to be the truth.  The Pope may fall into heresy, our local priest may decide to marry a gay couple and introduce his lover to his congregation.  We may see some serious BS issuing forth from the Amazon very soon.  Can we as Catholic's use any of that nonsense on our judgement day?  My inclination is that it will not sway our creator one inch.
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#5
I would say that most cases of those who are lead into error and put all the burden of responsibility for their sins on present day pastoral negligence will be spit out of our lords mouth, as many will have willfully chosen not to challenge what they know is wrong - “where their heart is, so will their treasure be”. 

I do not include the mentally incapable in this, nor well intentioned people who can reason, but who never had or have no access to resources of any kind to question otherwise (I.e missions)

Man tends by nature toward the truth. He is obliged to honor and bear witness to it: "It is in accordance with their dignity that all men, because they are persons . . . are both impelled by their nature and bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth once they come to know it and direct their whole lives in accordance with the demands of truth. 

There is 2 thousand years of established Catholic truth that is the Church Militant in all its expanse. If you get hit by a car because the crossing guard tells you to run fast on the orange light, and you are of the age and mentality to question this, you probably should.
"Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."  Matthew 9:10-14
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#6
I was watching EWTN last night.  An old Mother Angelica show replay.  The guest said that when there is confusion, such as priests who do not teach the right things, do not say a reverent Mass, etc., all one has to do is look to the Pope for Truth...…. how times have changed.
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#7
Ignorance is not a means of salvation. While it may be true that those who are ignorant will be judged less severely than those who know the truth and willfully do not live up to it, we ought to remember that only inculpable ignorance can mitigate personal responsibility for sin. How many persons today are truly ignorant through no fault of there own? Is it not much more often the case that people do not want to know the truth? People love their sins, and very often endeavor to numb the perturbations of conscience, and to rationalize their behavior to themselves so that it may appear to them to be good or at least morally neutral. Will such persons be excused? Absolutely not, their guilt remains.

In this day and age anyone who is sincerely seeking God and the truth about God, can very easily find this truth. Even when the hierarchy is to a large decree proclaiming ambiguous and in some cases outright heterodox teachings, God has allowed this to happen in an age where vast amounts of knowledge are easily accessible to the vast majority of people. Those of good will can find the truth. How many follow heretical and ambiguous teachings because such teachings give them comfort in their sins? As scripture says, the people have itching ears, and bring to themselves pastors who will tickle their ears. The heterodoxy of these pastors in no way excuses the people of their sin, in fact very often these pastors are a just chastisement for the sins of the people.

Salvation is not easy, whether one is in the Church or outside. The only hope of salvation for one outside the church lays in making a perfect act of contrition before death, and their not being in the Church is only excusable if due to a genuine invincible ignorance. Salvation is much more accessible to those of us inside the Church, because we have the sacraments. Without the sacrament of penance for example, only a perfect act of contrition could save one's soul after a mortal sin. What implications does this have for the millions of protestants out there! Don't think for a minute the ignorant are more easily saved, the opposite is in fact the case.
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#8
(10-02-2019, 08:35 AM)Paul Wrote:
(10-02-2019, 06:23 AM)Markie Boy Wrote: Can people be saved without being baptized - Yes, the thief on the cross was.

That was before the New Covenant, which hadn't started yet. Baptism wasn't required.

Actually Christ had already stated baptism was required for salvation prior to being crucified. To better understand why the thief on the cross was saved just look to St Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologica Third Part Question 66 which defines Form and Matter for Baptism requirements:

Form:
   (Question: 66 Article 5) I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost"
Matter:
   (Question 66 Articles 3,4)    Water
   (Question 66 Articles 12)     Desire
   (Question 66 Articles 11,12) Blood

The thief received Baptism because he 'desired' to be baptized, or through his 'blood'. Martyrs who die in the belief of and name of Christ without formal water baptism fit this 'blood' Matter requirement.
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#9
(10-03-2019, 01:12 PM)SeekSalvation Wrote: Actually Christ had already stated baptism was required for salvation prior to being crucified.

That doesn't mean the New Covenant had started yet. The Old Law hadn't been fulfilled until His death on the Cross.

Show me something where the Fathers specifically talk about the thief receiving baptism, by blood or otherwise.
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#10
(10-03-2019, 01:12 PM)SeekSalvation Wrote:
(10-02-2019, 08:35 AM)Paul Wrote:
(10-02-2019, 06:23 AM)Markie Boy Wrote: Can people be saved without being baptized - Yes, the thief on the cross was.

That was before the New Covenant, which hadn't started yet. Baptism wasn't required.

Actually Christ had already stated baptism was required for salvation prior to being crucified. To better understand why the thief on the cross was saved just look to St Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologica Third Part Question 66 which defines Form and Matter for Baptism requirements:

Form:
   (Question: 66 Article 5) I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost"
Matter:
   (Question 66 Articles 3,4)    Water
   (Question 66 Articles 12)     Desire
   (Question 66 Articles 11,12) Blood

The thief received Baptism because he 'desired' to be baptized, or through his 'blood'. Martyrs who die in the belief of and name of Christ without formal water baptism fit this 'blood' Matter requirement.

"Baptism of Blood" and "Baptism of Desire" are clearly not Sacramental Baptism. 

In article 11 of that question you cite, St Thomas writes : "each of these other Baptisms is called Baptism, forasmuch as it takes the place of Baptism." He means that these other "baptisms" are called Baptism by analogy. What is analogous does not share to the same degree in the prime analog, and thus is lesser than it. That analogy is often by the effects, as it is with these "baptism". Similarly we speak of a "marriage of the minds" when two people have a union of thought on a project or idea. It does not produce a real "marriage" but produces an intimate union of principles and thoughts. So these "baptisms" aside from Sacramental Baptism are only "baptism" in as much as when they occur, they produce some of the effects, without being a Sacrament themselsves.

They are substitutes which produce some of the effects including the most important which is Sanctifying Grace in the soul, making it capable of salvation, so in short, "desire" and "blood" are not "matter" for the Sacrament of Baptism.

Further, St Dismas did not die as a martyr, nor did he ever express a desire for Baptism. He expressed contrition for sins, just like every other during Our Lord's ministry who came to him to be healed. Frequent were those words "Your sins are forgiven" not "Be healed."

St Cyprian, as St Thomas mentions in article 11 argues from St Dismas that there are other means to be saved aside from Sacramental Baptism, but that only Our Lord can grant this, and so he promotes the notion of Baptism of Blood and of Desire, but he also, is very clear that these are not the Sacrament of Baptism, but substitutes in particular cases.

The only command to Baptize in the Gospels is given to the Apostles and Disciples, not promulgated to all. In order for a law to be binding it must be sufficiently known. St Dismas would not have been party to that expression of necessity.

Now, I'm no supporter of Fr Feeney, and don't want this thread to devolve into a pro- or anti-Feeney battle, but I will say that one of the things that the pro-Feeney crowd has on their side is that many of those on the others like to play fast and loose with the theology. We really have to get the theological ducks in a row when we're talking about such subjects, because short terse arguments which seems to be erudite due to some passing references to a theologian often end up causing confusion or making the Catholic doctrine seem objectionable when it is not.
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