Without Obedience to the Holy See, No One can Be Saved

Without Obedience to the Holy See, No One can Be Saved

+St. Louise de Marillac+

(This blog begins a continuing series that will be divided into several parts in order to present a condensed version of why we owe obedience only to the Roman Pontiffs and Ecumenical Councils, the Holy Office and Sacred Congregations, the unanimous opinions of the Early Church Fathers regarding Holy Scripture, Canon Law and the unanimous opinions of the theologians. Catholics struggling to sort out issues on these matters need to set their affairs in order, as our time on this earth may be short. We see the plagues that God threatened to send as punishment to a wicked and disobedient people descending upon us. “And we helping do exhort you that you receive not the grace of God in vain. For he saith: In an accepted time have I heard thee and in the day of salvation have I helped thee. Behold, now is the acceptable time: behold, now is the day of salvation,” (2 Cor. 1-2). Therefore, “Let him who reads, understand” Matt. 24:15.)

It is the solemn duty of every baptized Catholic to save their God-given souls and rightly inform their intellects regarding the necessary means they must take to accomplish this task. That is the earthly mission God has entrusted to us as members of Christ’s Mystical Body. Ordinarily, the hierarchy would assist us in this endeavor. But who today qualifies as valid and licit bishops and priests and how can we make this determination? This is the dilemma that faced Catholics exiting Vatican 2. The various bishops and priests offering their services to the faithful repeatedly emphasized that their very salvation was at stake — Catholics could not save their souls without attending a Latin Mass and receiving the sacraments. And they presented themselves as the vessels of election designated to deliver this salvation, for how often have you heard these men say they must function in order to guarantee the salvation of souls?

Unfortunately, our salvation not only depends on the reception of the Sacraments and attending Holy Mass. These are definitely precepts we must follow, in normal times, provided the necessary precautions are taken to assure their validity and liceity. But first we have a higher obligation, and that is to ensure that regardless of what we do, we obey God’s Holy Will. Rev. Aldolphe Tanquerey, that great master of the spiritual life, wrote: “Now to conform our wills to that of God is assuredly to cease to do evil, and to learn to do good. Is not this the meaning of that oft repeated text: ‘FOR OBEDIENCE IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICES’ (1 Kings XV, 22; Osee VI, 6; Matt IX, 3 also XII, 7) In the New Law, Our Lord declares from the very moment of His entry into the world that it is with obedience that He will replace the sacrifices of the Ancient Law: ‘Holocausts for sin did not please Thee. Then I said: Behold I come … that I should do Thy will, O God.’ (Hebrews X, 6-7; Phil 11, 8; Phil, IV, 3). And in truth, it is by obedience unto the immolation of self that He has redeemed us: ‘He was made obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross.’ (John 4, 34) In the same way, it is through obedience and through the acceptance of God-ordained trials in union with Christ that we shall atone for our sins and cleanse our soul.” (The Spiritual Life, pages 240-241).

We must remember these words well. Christ forever gave us perfect example in these matters by fulfilling every point of His Father’s will. He enjoined our imitation of Him in this practice of perfection when he told us: “For whosoever shall do the will of My Father that is in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother … not everyone that saith to me ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the Kingdom …but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter … heaven.” (Matt 12, 50; Matt 7, 21). St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church, explains further that there are TWO parts to the will of God; the will of signification and the will of good pleasure. St. Francis lists the following four parts belonging to God’s will of signification as:

  1. the commandments of God and of His Church,
  2. the evangelical counsels (poverty, chastity, obedience),
  3. divine inspiration, and
  4. those duties peculiar to our chosen vocation…,” (Holy Abandonment, Rt. Rev. Dom Vital Lehody O.C.R., p. 9).

Commenting further, St. Francis writes: “Obedience to the Commandments, both divine and ecclesiastical, is of obligation for all, because there is question here of THE ABSOLUTE WILL OF GOD WHO HAS MADE SUBMISSION TO THESE ORDINANCES A CONDITION OF SALVATION.”  Notice that first of all, we must obey the commandments of God and of His Church. It might surprise some Catholics that the same Roman Pontiff who expected us, in better times, to attend Mass at least weekly and receive the Sacraments, also made subjection to him in ALL things a condition for salvation.

 Unam Sanctam, Pope Boniface VIII, Nov. 18, 1302

“We declare, say, define and proclaim to every human creature that they, by necessity for salvation, are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff,” (DZ 469).

The Vatican Council, Pope Pius IX, 1869

“…The faithful… are bound by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, not only in those things which pertain to faith and morals, BUT ALSO THOSE WHICH PERTAIN TO THE DISCIPLINE AND GOVERNMENT OF THE CHURCH, so that the Church of Christ, protected not only by the Roman Pontiff, but by the unity of communion as well as the profession of the same faith, is one flock under one highest shepherd. THIS IS THE DOCTRINE OF CATHOLIC TRUTH FROM WHICH NO ONE CAN DEVIATE AND KEEP HIS FAITH AND SALVATION.” (DZ 1827).

Immortale Dei, Pope Leo XIII, Nov. 1, 1885

As regards opinion, whatever the Roman Pontiffs have taught or shall hereafter teach must be held with a firm grasp of mind and, as often as occasion requires, must be OPENLY PROFESSED. Especially in regards to the liberties so-called, which are sought after in these days — all must stand by the judgment of the Apostolic See AND THINK AS SHE DOESand let the past be redeemed by a special submission of all to the Apostolic See.”

And regarding all these things in which we must be subject to the Roman Pontiff, we are told by a sainted pope:

 Acerbo Nimis, Pope St. Pius X, April 15, 1905

“Pastors of souls… are certainly obliged by the precept of Christ to know and to nourish the sheep confided to them; now to nourish is first of all to teach. “I will give you,” God promises by the mouth of the Prophet Jeremias, ‘pastors according to my own heart, and they will feed you with knowledge and doctrine.’ And so the Apostle said, ‘Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel,’ indicating thus that the first office of those who are set up in any way for the government of the Church is to instruct the faithful in sacred doctrine.” After all, in conveying jurisdiction to the Apostles, Christ said “Go ye therefore and teach all nations…”: Baptizing came second. So why did those Traditional priests and bishops rounding up Catholics post-V2 fail to educate them first, and provide the Sacraments and Mass (IF they were unquestionably validly ordained and still possessed jurisdiction) only later, if at all? And when and if they did educate them regarding the higher truths (outside the basic catechism), why was it primarily those things taught by theologians, and not teaching issuing directly from the lips of the Roman Pontiffs?!

 Oath Against Modernism, Pope St. Pius X, Sept. 1, 1910

And if this pontiff is not visibly with us, it is even more important to understand and obey those teachings they left us, teachings of the living or continual magisterium “the doctrine of faith transmitted from the apostles through the orthodox fathers, always in the same sense and interpretation, even to us…”

 Nor are Catholics only to obey with a firm assent those teachings of the extraordinary of ordinary magisterium.

Tuas Libentur, Pope Pius IX, 1863: “It is not sufficient for learned Catholics to accept and revere the aforesaid dogmas of the Church…It is also necessary to subject themselves to the decisions pertaining to doctrine which are issued by the Pontifical Congregations, and also to those forms of doctrine which are held by the common and constant consent of Catholics as theological truths and conclusions, so certain that opinions opposed to these same forms of doctrine, although they cannot be called heretical, nevertheless deserve some other censure,” and the Pope adds that the theologians he is speaking to are bound in conscience to accept these teachings (DZ 1684).

We learn more about this from Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton in the August 1949 issue of the American Ecclesiastical Review (AER) — “The Doctrinal Authority of the Papal Encyclicals, Pt. I”: “Even when the Holy Father does not propose [doctrinal and disciplinary teachings] as part of his infallible magisterium… God has given [him] a kind of infallibility distinct from the charism of doctrinal infallibility in the strict sense. He has so constructed and ordered the Church that those who follow the directives given to the entire kingdom of God on earth will never be brought into the position of ruining themselves spiritually through this obedience. Our Lord dwells within His Church in such a way that those who obey the disciplinary and doctrinal directives of this society can never find themselves displeasing God through their adherence to the teachings and commands given to the universal Church militant. Hence there can be no valid reason to discountenance even the non-infallible teaching authority of Christ’s Vicar on earth.” In support of this, Msgr. Fenton cites the Vatican Council teaching that the faithful are to give a continuing assent to those papal documents which proscribe and forbid those errors the council determines are closely related to “heretical wickedness” (DZ  1820; Can. 1324).

Remember: There can be no visible, juridic Church, contrary to Traditionalist claims, without the Pope. It is the pope alone who can teach infallibly and command the faithful; it is he alone we are to obey regarding matters of faith, morals and discipline NOT Traditionalists.

 Pope Pius IX teaches this fact from his own mouth: “May God give you the grace necessary to defend the rights of the Sovereign Pontiff and the Holy See; for without the Pope there is no Church, and there is no Catholic Society without the Holy See.”

The Vatican Council, referring to John 21:15, decreed: “To this teaching of Sacred Scripture, so manifest as it has always been understood by the Catholic Church, are opposed openly the vicious opinions of those who perversely deny that the form of government in His Church was established by Christ the Lord; that to Peter alone, before the other apostles, whether individually or all together, was confided the true and proper primacy of jurisdiction by Christ…” (DZ 1822).

Then we have Pope Leo XIII in Satis Cognitum, who taught: “Above all things the need of union between the bishops and the successors of St. Peter is clear and undeniable. This bond once broken, Christians would be separated and scattered, AND WOULD IN NO WISE FORM ONE BODY AND ONE FLOCK. ‘The safety of the Church depends on the dignity of the chief priest, to whom if an extraordinary and supreme power is not given, there are as many schisms as there are priests’ (St. Hieronymus, contra Luciferianos, n. 9). It is necessary, therefore, to bear this in mind, viz., that nothing was conferred on the apostles apart from Peter, but that several things were conferred upon Peter apart from the apostles… Hence the teaching of Cyprian that heresies and schism arise and are begotten from the fact that due obedience is refused to the supreme authority… Christ the Lord, as we have quite sufficiently shown, made Peter and his successors His vicars (emph. Leo’s). to exercise forever in the Church the power which He exercised during His mortal life. Can the Apostolic College be said to have been above its master in authority?”

Revs. Devivier and Sasia wrote the following: “As it is to the character of the foundation that a building owes its solidarity, the close union of its parts, and even its very existence, it is likewise from the authority of Peter that the Church derives Her unity, her stability, and even Her existence Herself. The Church, therefore, cannot exist without Peter.”

Pope Pius XII confirmed this truth for our times in Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, when he wrote infallibly that:

We declare invalid and void any power or jurisdiction pertaining to the Roman Pontiff in his lifetime, which the assembly of Cardinals might decide to exercise (while the Church is without a Pope)… If anything contrary to this prescript occurs or is by chance attempted, we declare it by Our Supreme authority to be null and void.” And if the cardinals couldn’t even exercise it, certainly questionable bishops cannot!

We could be asked to render an accounting of our lives before the Divine Judge at any moment. He will inquire whether we obeyed all those decrees of his Vicars and the laws of His Church. He will demand an accounting of the use of our time: How much of it was spent in studying our faith to learn the dogmas we are bound to believe, what time was spent in prayer to preserve our faith and to honor and adore Him. What will we say? How will we explain resorting to men who we could not even verify as lawful pastors? For not learning our faith as we ought? For not defending it to others for reasons of human respect or fear of reprisal? We owe nothing to Traditionalists but everything to our own souls. This is our entire purpose in life. Without a true pope there is no Church, so we need not worry we are erring in this matter. Most of those reading this blog know why we are to keep the faith at home in these times, just as so many other Catholics in England, Japan, Russia and other places have in times past.  But reasons for this will once again be presented in a future blog revisiting the use of epikeia.

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Without Obedience to the Holy See, No One can Be Saved

Modified Feeneyism is still contrary to the faith

+Sts. Adrian and Eubulus+

Integral truth is ever the sole objective of what is written on this site. And by that I mean presenting the truths of faith as taught in divine revelation, confirmed as taught in divine revelation by the popes and councils, further confirmed by the testimony of the Fathers, Doctors and Scholastic theologians, and understood always in that sense in which it has been defined by the Church. As Pope Pius XII taught in the infallible encyclical Humani generis, “Together with the sources of positive theology, God has given to His Church a living Teaching Authority to elucidate and explain what is contained in the Deposit of Faith only obscurely and implicitly. This Deposit of Faith our Divine Redeemer has given for authentic interpretation not to each of the faithful, not even to theologians, but only to the Teaching Authority of the Church.” This is why the teachings of the Roman Pontiffs and Ecumenical Councils are the primary sources on this site, and only those theologians in strict conformity to these teachings are quoted. With this in mind, we move on to the subject at hand.

The charge has been made by certain parties that false accusations of Feeneyism have been leveled at the website truecatholics and a disservice done to those operating it and to the faithful. One would need to be schizophrenic to accept at one and the same time what the truecatholics site advances as their beliefs and what the Catholic Church teaches regarding baptism of desire and invincible ignorance. Truecatholics claims to accept Pius XII as the last true pope. But one cannot accept one as a true pope and at the same time deny or question what that pope (and his predecessors) have taught. And this according to the Vatican Council as pointed out in the blogpost for Feb. 28. If we intend to adhere to Canon Law — and we must, especially in this case — we are bound to follow the dictates of Canon 1325 regarding heresy. This canon reads: “The faithful are bound to profess their faith publicly whenever silence, subterfuge or their manner of acting would otherwise entail an implicit denial of their faith, contempt for religion, an insult to God or scandal to their neighbor.”

In this case we are dealing with an implicit denial of faith and scandal to the neighbor. The word implicit means implied, not directly denied. If I were to appear to accept or even just ignore the public statements below or fail to publicly denounce them, when I have been asked to address them, this would amount to silence and imply that I believe them to be correct. The statements themselves, which directly contradict papal teaching, hold that those not adhering to what they say are outside the Church. These false doctrines being promoted on truecatholics are the same ones held by many Feenyites, in varying degrees; in reality it is only a modified form of Feeneyism. For while those running this site do not come out and embrace Feeney himself, or openly pronounce Pope Pius IX and Pope Pius XII heretics, they do so by implication. They offer as proofs incomplete and out-of-context quotes from the popes, doctors of the Church, theologians and some saints and clergy, just as the Feeneyites do and on the same topics — Feeney doctrines without connection to Feeney. But this is not how Catholics are expected to determine matters of faith, as seen above.

We also have been accused of creating division by drawing attention to these issues, but we cannot fulfill our duty to profess the faith and limit as far as possible any scandal to our neighbors if we do not present the truth on this matter. The following is only a partial list of some of the errors found at the truecatholics site.

“Water baptism only forgives sins”

There is no forgiveness of sins and hence no possibility of salvation without a correct and proper Baptism of Water and a correct and proper Profession of Faith” (https://truecatholics.org/catholicism/baptism-is-necessary-for-salvation/)

Benns comment: Pope St. Pius V condemned the following errors of Michael du Bay: “Perfect and sincere charity, which is from ‘a pure heart and a good conscience and a faith not feigned’ [I Tim. 1:5], can be in catechumens as well as in penitents without the remission of sins” (DZ 1031). And also: “A catechumen lives justly and rightly and holily, and observes the commandments of God, and fulfills the law through charity, which is only received in the laver of Baptism before the remission of sins has been observed” (DZ 1033).

“There is no such thing as Invincible ignorance”

Ignorance has never been a means of salvation. (Fr. Goffine, 1687) Today, there are many wicked heresies like invincible ignorance, which have fooled people into believing ideas condemned by Christ and His Catholic Church. They cause unthinking, deceived people to fall into heresy and fall outside the pale of the Church. No heretic shall be worthy of eternal life.” Pope Eugene IV, ex Cathedra, Cantate domino, 1441. (https://truecatholics.org/?s=Invincible+ignorance).

Benns Comment (From Suprema haec sacra, approved by Pope Pius XII): “Therefore, in order that one may obtain eternal salvation, it is not always required that he be incorporated into the Church actually as a member, but it is required that at least he be united to it by intention and desire. However, this desire need not always be explicit, as it is in catechumens; but, when a person is involved in invincible ignorance, God accepts also an implicit intention (votum) which is so called because it is included in that good disposition of the soul whereby a person wishes his will to be conformed to the will of God. These things are clearly taught in that dogmatic letter which was issued by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Pius XII, on June 29, 1943, “On the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ.” For in this letter the Sovereign Pontiff clearly distinguishes between those who are really (in re) incorporated into the Church as members and those who are joined to it only in intention (in voto)” (emph. in bold throughout this document is the editor’s unless otherwise noted).

The Holy Office itself classifies this papal teaching on invincible ignorance as part of a dogmatic letter, meaning the entire letter addresses dogmatic issues. This is not even to mention what Pope Pius IX teaches on invincible ignorance in Singulari quadam: “Certainly we must hold it as of faith that no one can be saved outside the apostolic Roman Church, that this is the only Ark of salvation, and that the one who does not enter it is going to perish in the deluge. But, nevertheless, we must likewise hold it as certain that those who labor in ignorance of the true religion, if that [ignorance] be invincible, will never be charged with any guilt on this account before the eyes of the Lord. Now, who is there who would arrogate to himself the power to indicate the extent of such [invincible] ignorance according to the nature and the variety of peoples, regions, talents, and so many other things? For really when, loosed from these bodily bonds, we see God as He is, we shall certainly understand with what intimate and beautiful a connection the divine mercy and justice are joined together.”

And from Pope Pius IX’s Quanto conficiamur moerore: “It is known to Us and to you that those who labor in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion, and who, carefully observing the natural law and its precepts which God has inscribed in the hearts of all, and who, being ready to obey God, live an honest and upright life, can, through the working of the divine light and grace, attain eternal life, since God, who clearly sees, inspects, and knows the minds, the intentions, the thoughts, and the habits of all, will, by reason of His goodness and kindness, never allow anyone who has not the guilt of willful sin to be punished by eternal sufferings. But it is a perfectly well known Catholic dogma that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church, and that those who are contumacious against the authority of that same Church, and who are pertinaciously separated from the unity of that Church and from Peter’s successor, the Roman Pontiff, to whom the custody of the vineyard has been entrusted by the Saviour, cannot obtain eternal salvation.” In other words, no slack is given to those accept the Church as instituted by Christ yet who deliberately ignore the clear teachings and infallible pronouncements of the Holy See.

Msgr. Fenton comments on Singulari quadam in his The Catholic Church and Salvation: “The dogma that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church is in no way opposed to the truth that God is all-merciful and all-just… Invincible ignorance, of the true Church or of anything else, is not considered by God as a sin. The dogma that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church in no way implies that invincible ignorance is sinful… It is not within the field cither of our competence or of our rights lo search out the way in which God’s mercy and His justice operate in any given case of a person ignorant of the true Church or of the true religion. We shall see how these divine attributes have operated in the light of the Beatific Vision itself… God is never outdone in generosity. The person who tries to come to Him will never be forsaken. As a matter of fact, the movement toward God, like all good things, originates from God Himself.”

 “Heretics won’t go to heaven”

It is true. Heretics cannot go to heaven. This is Church dogma. Council of Florence, Pope Eugene IV, ex Cathedra, 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 ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire “which was prepared for the devil, and his angels,” (Mt. 25:41) unless before death they are joined with Her…”

Benns Comment: In the absence of anyone to abjure their heresy and absolve them, heretics can be joined to the Church by desire if they repent before death.

Only stay-at-home Catholics will save their souls”

Only true Catholics who stay at home on Sunday (i.e. don’t attend any “masses”) are in the true Catholic Church” (https://truecatholics.org/catholicism/stay-at-home-catholic-overview/).

Benns Comment: Those who are invincibly ignorant do not have to be actual Church members to be saved, and this does NOT contradict outside the Church no salvation, as our last blog piece explained. As written, the last statement above by truecatholics is at least ambiguous and misleading. And I have news for those teaching in this manner: The only way that anyone can be considered to be in the true Catholic Church after having attended NO and Traditional “masses” is by a desire to do penance and return to the Church in which they were baptized. Those who have excommunicated themselves by such attendance are outside the Church, as schismatics, and are no longer members. This according to Canon Law and the penalties for communicatio in sacris. So welcome to the club of those aspiring to be saved without membership in the Church!

Public adherence to a non-Catholic sect is all that is required under Can. 2314 to ipso facto incur infamy of law, and unless or until we see a true pope again, there is no way to reverse it. Rev. Adolphe Tanquerey, whose theological texts were used worldwide to train priests and theologians, points out that, “All theologians teach that publicly known heretics, those who belong to a heterodox sect through public profession, or those who refuse the infallible teaching of the authority of the Church, are excluded from the body of the Church, even if their heresy is only material heresy,” (Manual of Dogmatic Theology, Vol. II). This means that although there is often no sin involved, the excommunication still binds.

For many different reasons it could be argued that the full rigor of the law would not be applied to the laity in this case who were participating in false worship which they thought at the time was the true liturgy of the Church. Therefore a dismissal of the penalty by the Roman Pontiff would not be strictly required, especially when a true pope is not available. But it most likely would apply to those posing as clergy who provided the services, for they were self-appointed leaders and as such were bound to a greater degree of knowledge. Even so, the material heresy would remain in lay persons. This, however, could be resolved by following Canon 18 regarding doubts about certain laws and their application. This canon refers those in doubt to parallel passages of the code and the mind of the lawgiver. One Canon that would apply to this situation prescribes a three-year probationary period for religious who have been dismissed. Here we are not talking religious or those in major orders, but the laity. It seems a rule can be deduced from this canon that would fit the situation of stay-at-home Catholics, but this is a topic for another time.

Is baptism of desire really only fidei sententiae proxima?

Theologians use the term Fidei sententiae proxima to identify doctrines as truths of revelation which have not been finally promulgated by the Church. The identification of baptism of desire as Fidei sententiae proxima has led some to believe that the teaching on this doctrine is not binding on Catholics because it wasn’t “infallibly decreed.” They cite as their source for this belief Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, (which I never use as a source; the reason for this will be treated below.) They say it can be held as an opinion, which some future Pontiff might reverse. Yet Pius XII’s teaching on the subject is found in Mystici corporis Christi, which Suprema haec sacra (see above) identifies as a “dogmatic letter.” But those wishing to dismiss baptism of desire as a permitted opinion only do not reference that encyclical and they dismiss Suprema haec sacra as not binding on them in way of assent. Their difficulties could be resolved by reading Pope Pius XII’s infallible encyclical Humani generis, but this is not something they see the need to do either. The best way to explain why baptism of desire is not just an opinion to be tolerated is found in Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton’s The Catholic Church and Salvation below.

In Pt. I, p. 1 of his work, Msgr. Fenton lists the documents he will examine in the course of his demonstration of the salvation dogma as follows: A profession of the Catholic faith issued by the Fourth Lateran Council, the twelfth in the series of Oecumenical Councils, in 1215, during the pontificate of Pope Innocent III; the Bull Unam sanctam; the decree for the Jacobites, the Bull Cantate Domino; Pope Pius IX’s Singulars quadam and Quanto conficiamur moerore; Pope Pius XII’s Mystici Corporis Christi, Suprema haec sacra and Humani generis.

He then comments: “As authoritative statements of the teaching Church, all of these pronouncements of the Holy See and of Oecumenical Councils must be accepted with true internal consent by all Catholics. What they teach on the subject or this dogma is what all Catholics arc bound in conscience to hold. It is definitely not enough for Catholics to receive these declarations with what has been called ” respectful silence.” It is not sufficient that they merely refrain from overt statements rejecting what has been taught in these authoritative documents of the ecclesia docens. Every Catholic is strictly bound in conscience to make what the Church has taught in this way his own view, his own conviction, on this subject. And, as a result, it is objectively wrong for any Catholic to hold an explanation of the Church’s necessity for salvation which is in any way incompatible with what the Church has taught authoritatively about this dogmaThe first three of these pronouncements are contained in documents of the Church’s solemn teaching activity. THE OTHER FIVE BELONG TO THE ORDINARY MAGISTERIUM OF THE HOLY SEE. THE HOLY OFFICE LETTER SUPREMA HAEC SACRA IS AN ACT OF A ROMAN CONGREGATION. THUS, ACCORDING TO THE RULE SET FORTH IN CANON 7 OF THE CODEX IURIS CANONICI, IT MUST LIKEWISE BE CONSIDERED AND DESCRIBED AS AN ACT OF THE HOLY SEE.

“In Tuas Libentur, Pope Pius IX taught: “…It is not enough… to receive and to venerate the… dogmas of the Church, but it is also necessary that they [German theologians attending a convention the Pope was addressing] subject themselves to the doctrinal decisions of the Pontifical Congregations and to those points of doctrine that are considered by the common and constant agreement of Catholics as theological truths and conclusions which are so certain that opinions opposed to these points of doctrine still merit some other theological censure, even though they may not be designated as heretical” (end of Msgr. Fenton quotes. See also the Vatican Council, DZ 1820, Canon 1324.)

Furthermore, Humani generis, released two years prior to Suprema haec sacra, teaches infallibly that the pope has the power to permanently end theological discussions and disputes, and in Suprema haec sacra, also Feeney’s later excommunication, there can be no doubt that this is exactly what Pope Pius XII and the Holy Office intended to do. From Humani generis: “If the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents propose to pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and the will of the same Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians.”

As stated in the last blog, there was much misunderstanding and misrepresentation regarding the teaching on baptism of desire and outside the Church no salvation as it developed over time. Pope Pius XII knew this and cut through the confusion to give a clear explanation of how this teaching of the Church was to be understood. Rome, therefore, has spoken and the discussion has ended. And this teaching by Pope Pius XII is only a reiteration of what was taught by Pope St. Gelasius in 493 A.D. (DZ 161). To assist readers in further dispelling this confusion, there is one other topic that must be addressed.

Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma

In an effort to sort out the many perplexing theological issues of the day, Catholics have often turned to this condensed work as a ready and reliable reference. However its reliability, especially regarding church membership, has been questioned by at least one theologian, a professor of theology at the Oblate College in Washington, D.C. (1955), In a January 1956 book review for the American Ecclesiastical Review, John J. King, O.M.I. points to the dangers in compressing Sacred Theology into one “digest.” He admits that Ott succeeded in accomplishing brevity in his work but credits him with “something less than success” in achieving clarity… This lack of uniform clarity makes this a somewhat dangerous book to use.”

He commends the “obvious scholarship” Ott brings to his work but says nowhere does “his exposition of dogma suffer so much from the process of compression as in the treatment of the axiom [‘outside the Church no salvation’].” He challenges Ott’s statement that, “In view of the necessity of membership in the Church for salvation, it is understandable that the possibility of salvation for those outside the Church is mentioned only hesitantly.” (p. 310, 311). “At the very least, this wording is confusing,” Rev. King comments. “It is, in fact, a distortion of the Catholic teaching. For the statements of the magisterium insist upon the absolute necessity of the Church, and not the necessity of membership of the Church” (emph. King’s). This statement is key to rightly understanding the proper context of the teaching on baptism of desire. Ott’s statement, he continues, “throws doubt upon the essential point if the dogma; for outside the Church no one at all is saved… It is one thing to be outside the Church and quite another to be without membership in the Church. One who is outside the Church cannot obtain salvation. One who is not a member of the Church can, in certain circumstances, attain salvation.”

He also challenges Ott’s use of “membership in the Church by desire,” calling it out of harmony with Mystici Corporis Christi. He cites Ott’s “confusing terminology,” noting that it is too close to that concept of an invisible or “other’ Church condemned in the encyclical. But he does note that Ott’s work was released before the publication of Suprema haec sacra. In his conclusion, Rev. King states that although the book is intended for use by students and seminarians, it is clearly inadequate for this purpose and “could readily confuse and mislead seminarians.” He also notes there are few quotes from the magisterium, Scripture or Tradition. His final paragraph reads: “Dr. Ott’s book may be useful on occasion as a quick reference; provided that the inquirer does not expect to receive a complete treatment of any given point; and provided also that he later seeks clarification and amplification of a more detailed source.” So certainly, if this would be confusing to seminarians, it would not be suitable as a reference for the laity. And it accounts for much of the confusion on this topic and many others.

Traditionalists wish to receive simple and brief answers to their doctrinal questions, but scholastic theologians would not have toiled for years and written voluminous explanations of dogma if such explanations were easily had and could be readily reduced to a simple formula. Here papal documents are our surest bet, especially those which are most recent, for generally speaking they are succinct, not unduly lengthy and to the point. And as Pope St. Pius X teaches us in the Oath against Modernism, concerning the external arguments of revelation, or divine facts, “These same arguments have been especially accommodated to the intelligence of all ages and men, even of these times.” Pope Pius IX, commenting on the plea of certain individuals to more fully explain the Vatican Council decrees, wrote: “I will not do it. It is clear in itself and has no need of other comments and explanations. Whosoever reads that Decree with a dispassionate mind has its true sense easily and obviously before him” (Discourse given by Pius IX on July 20,1871; quoted by Henry Cardinal Manning).

In conclusion, the teachings of truecatholics are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church whether they accept Leonard Feeney as their leader or not. They attempt to revisit a matter settled by Pope Pius XII long ago and pretend one can still hold an opinion diametrically opposed to what the pope taught. This misunderstanding of how the continual magisterium actually functions and how we are to believe what the popes have taught are divisive and are dangerous to the faith of Catholics. And we would be considered as heretics ourselves if we did not point this out to the faithful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Without Obedience to the Holy See, No One can Be Saved

False accusations of “papal heresy” by Feeneyites and others

+St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows+

A blessed Lent to all, and may we use this time wisely to better compassionate Our Lord’s sufferings during His Passion and comfort Him during this time of wholesale evil and irreligion.

Feeneyites, having seen that they are losing ground, are working feverishly to repair the inroads made into their position over the years by this author, other stay-at-home Catholics and indirectly by certain sedevacantists. Those operating Feeneyite-related websites and blogs and sites such as “truecatholics” have redoubled their efforts to erase what is left of the Catholic Church while pretending to champion its teachings. They are nothing more than a faction of the Modernist movement, which always attacks authority and its source yet wishes to retain many of the other Catholic teachings and practices; that is, at least those which work to their benefit and can be accommodated to their perverted understanding of the faith.

Several non-Catholic Traditionalist-style sects, most of whom express Feeneyite sympathies, attempt to base their entire premise on the claim that those believing there can be baptism of desire reject the dogma of “outside the Church no salvation,” and those so rejecting therefore are heretics. They include in their anathema Benedict XV, Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII, or at least in their website copy insinuate past popes have fallen into error. They ignore the fact that Pope Pius XII, in approving the issuance by the Holy See of the instruction Suprema haec sacra, specifically confirms this dogma as follows:

“The unfortunate controversy [which occasioned the action of the Holy Office] arose from the fact that the axiom ‘outside the Church there is no salvation’ was not correctly understood and weighed, and that the same controversy was rendered more bitter by serious disturbance of discipline arising from the fact that some of the associates of the institutions mentioned above [St. Benedict Center and Boston College] refused reverence and obedience to legitimate authorities. Now, among those things which the Church has always preached and will never cease to preach there is also contained in that infallible statement by which we are taught that there is no salvation outside the Church. However, this dogma must be understood in the sense in which the Church itself understands it. For Our Saviour gave the things that are contained in the deposit of faith to be explained by the ecclesiastical magisterium and not by private judgmentsNo one will be saved who, knowing the Church to have been divinely established by Christ, nevertheless refuses to submit to the Church or withholds obedience from the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth.

“In His intimate mercy God has willed that the effects, necessary for one to be saved, of those helps to salvation which are directed towards man’s final end, not by intrinsic necessity, but only by divine institution, can also be obtained in certain circumstances when these helps are used only in intention or desireThis we see clearly stated in the Sacred Council of Trent, both with reference to the sacrament of regeneration and with reference to the sacrament of penance. In its own way, the same thing must be said about the Church, insofar as the Church itself is a general help to salvation.

“Therefore, in order that one may obtain eternal salvation, it is not always required that he be incorporated into the Church actually as a member, but it is required that at least he be united to it by intention and desire. However, this desire need not always be explicit, as it is in catechumens; but, when a person is involved in invincible ignorance, God accepts also an implicit intention (votum) which is so called because it is included in that good disposition of the soul whereby a person wishes his will to be conformed to the will of God. These things are clearly taught in that dogmatic letter which was issued by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Pius XII, on June 29, 1943, “On the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ.” For in this letter the Sovereign Pontiff clearly distinguishes between those who are really (in re) incorporated into the Church as members and those who are joined to it only in intention (in voto).

The Feeneyites direct all their ire toward this document which addresses the errors of their founder. They rail at it and condemn it as a non-infallible document which has no authority whatsoever to bind them. Likewise they rail at the excommunication of Feeney two years later for his failure to heed this letter to his superior, Abp. Cushing of Boston, and desist from his false teachings which unquestionably have to do with dogmatic definitions. While they call the excommunication a “disciplinary matter,” Pope Pius IX, clearly teaches that such disciplinary matters fall within the range of infallible definitions and decisions in his Quartus Supra. While it is true Suprema haec sacra is not of itself infallible, the author of the letter makes it clear that the actual dogma Feeney contradicted is contained in Mystici Corporis, which IS dogmatic. So not being able to overcome this major hurdle, Feeneyites, like their founder, declared Pope Pius XII a heretic in order to wipe out his encyclical on the Mystical Body.

Fenton wrote in his The Catholic Church and Salvation: “The Holy Office letter is the first authoritative document to bring out in full explicitness the teaching that the Church is necessary for salvation both with the necessity of precept and with the necessity of means. A thing is said to be necessary for salvation with the necessity of precept when it has been commanded in such a way that, if a person disobeys this order, he is guilty of mortal sin. A means necessary for salvation, on the other hand, is something which a man must have if he is to attain eternal salvation. This paragraph brings out two truths about the Church as a necessary means to the attainment of eternal salvation. First, there is the fact that the Church is a means necessary for salvation only by divine institution and not by intrinsic necessity. Second is the fact that the means necessary for salvation by divine institution can produce their effects, as the document says, ‘in certain cases’ when there is only a will or desire to possess these things.” The Council of Trent’s teaching on the efficacy of grace in the case of baptism of desire explains these two separate elements.

But regardless of this explanation and despite numerous proofs that the Church did teach this doctrine throughout the centuries — something they deny and have consistently refused to recognize — Feeneyites insist there are few instances of the Church’s continual teaching on baptism of desire. They follow the course of all heretics and ignore the teachings of popes and councils, as demonstrated below.

The Popes and the Councils

An examination of the Index for the Sources of Catholic Dogma show no less than five listings on the teaching that those desiring Church membership can be saved without being actual Church members. DZ 388 is Innocent II’s Letter to the Bishop of Cremona, a determination that a priest who died without Baptism was freed from original sin and saved his soul because he persevered in the faith 388 (DZ 388, circa the 1140s). In Debitum pastoralis officii, from Pope Innocent III, (August 28, 1206), we find: “You have, to be sure, intimated that a certain Jew, when at the point of death, since he lived only among Jews, immersed himself in water while saying: ‘I baptize myself in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.’ We respond that, since there should be a distinction between the one baptizing and the one baptized, as is clearly gathered from the words of the Lord, when He says to the Apostles: “Go baptize all nations in the name etc.” (Matthew 28:19), the Jew mentioned must be baptized again by another, that it may be shown that he who is baptized is one person, and he who baptizes is another. … If, however, such a one had died immediately, he would have rushed to his heavenly home without delay because of the faith of the sacrament, although not because of the sacrament of faith,” (DZ 413).

Then is listed Boniface VIII’s Unam Sanctam: “The Church, because of the unity of the spouse, the faith, the Sacraments and the charity of the Church… is that seamless tunic of the Lord (John 19:23) which was not cut but came forth by chance” (DZ 468). So it is not just the Sacraments, but also the charity of the Church, with Christ as the head of His Mystical Body, by which souls are saved; Christ alone knows who is included in this Body. The Council of Constance in 1415, also previous Bulls of Pope Martin V, in addressing the errors of John Hus, condemned the notion that the “foreknown, although at one time he is in grace is never a part of the Holy Church;” only the predestined are actual Church members (DZ 629, 631). This means that the Church condemns the teaching that grace outside Church membership is not sufficient to procure salvation. The Systematic Index notes: “The predestined are not always necessarily members of the Church.” The teachings of the Council of Trent (DZ 796, 847) also are listed in the Index. Several other condemned teachings on the workings of grace are mentioned as well, but it would be too difficult to adequately explain them in this short post.

Decades later, Pope St. Pius V condemned the following errors of Michael du Bay: “Perfect and sincere charity, which is from ‘a pure heart and a good conscience and a faith not feigned’ [I Tim. 1:5], can be in catechumens as well as in penitents without the remission of sins.” And also: “A catechumen lives justly and rightly and holily, and observes the commandments of God, and fulfills the law through charity, which is only received in the laver of Baptism before the remission of sins has been observed.” (DZ 1031, 1033). In his dogmatic Bull Unigenitus, Clement XI in 1713 condemned the proposition by the Jansenist Quesnel which falsely stated that: ‘outside the Church, no grace is granted,’ (DZ 1379).

In 1690, Alexander VIII had already condemned the Jansenistic proposition of Arnauld that “Pagans, Jews, heretics, and other people of the sort, receive no influx [of grace] whatsoever from Jesus Christ,” (DZ 1295). One other papal condemnation of note is the misinterpretation of the composition of the Mystical Body of Christ by the Hussites which would limit Church membership to the faithful only. This teaching was condemned as heretical in 1794 by Pope Pius VI in Auctorem Fidei (DZ 1515). All of the above can scarcely be dismissed as “ a few instances” of this dogma on baptism of desire, nor can the later teachings of the Church’s two outstanding Doctors below be brushed off as inconsequential by the Feeneyites.

The pre-eminent Doctors

According to St. Alphonsus Liguori: “So then, he that in reality has not received Baptism cannot reach heaven? To this I reply, that he also can be saved if he has conceived an ardent desire to be baptized, and believes in Jesus Christ, as happened to many, who, unable to receive Baptism, supplied its place by their desires.  “Baptism by fire… is the perfect conversion to God through contrition, or the love of God above all things, with the explicit desire, or implicit desire, for the true river of baptism.  As the Council of Trent says (Sess. 14, Chap. 4), it takes the place of the latter with regard to the remission of the guilt but does not imprint a character nor take away all the debt of punishment.  It is called fire because it is made under the impulse of the Holy Ghost, who is given this name… Thus it is of faith (de fide) that men are saved even by the baptism of fire, according to c. Apostolicam, de pres. non bapt. and the Council of Trent, Sess. 6, Chap. 4, where it is said that no one can be saved without the laver of regeneration or the desire for it.”

And from St. Thomas Aquinas, writing in the13th century (1200s): “Secondly, the sacrament of Baptism may be wanting to anyone in reality but not in desire: for instance, when a man wishes to be baptized, but by some ill chance he is forestalled by death before receiving Baptism. And such a man can obtain salvation without being actually baptized, on account of his desire for Baptism, which desire is the outcome of ‘faith that worketh by charity,’ whereby God, Whose power is not tied to visible sacraments, sanctifies man inwardly. Hence Ambrose says of Valentinian, who died while yet a catechumen: ‘I lost him whom I was to regenerate: but he did not lose the grace he prayed for,’” (“Summa Theologica,” Pt. 1, Obj. 1, art. 5, objection 2).

The Catholic Encyclopedia

All of these teachings are reflected in the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia article on predestination: “We may now briefly summarize the whole Catholic doctrine, which is in harmony with our reason as well as our moral sentiments. According to the doctrinal decisions of general and particular synods, God infallibly foresees and immutably preordains from eternity all future events (cf. Denzinger, n. 1784), all fatalistic necessity, however, being barred and human liberty remaining intact (Denz., n. 607). Consequently man is free whether he accepts grace and does good or whether he rejects it and does evil (Denz., n. 797). Just as it is God’s true and sincere will that all men, no one excepted, shall obtain eternal happiness, so, too, Christ has died for all (Denz., n. 794), not only for the predestined (Denz., n. 1096), or for the faithful (Denz., n. 1294), though it is true that in reality not all avail themselves of the benefits of redemption (Denz., n. 795).

“Though God preordained both eternal happiness and the good works of the elect, (Denz., n. 322), yet, on the other hand, He predestined no one positively to hell, much less to sin (Denz., nn. 200, 816). Consequently, just as no one is saved against his will (Denz., n. 1363), so the reprobate perish solely on account of their wickedness (Denz., nn. 318, 321). God foresaw the everlasting pains of the impious from all eternity, and preordained this punishment on account of their sins (Denz., n. 322), though He does not fail therefore to hold out the grace of conversion to sinners (Denz., n. 807), or pass over those who are not predestined (Denz., n. 827). As long as the reprobate live on earth, they may be accounted true Christians and members of the Church, just as on the other hand the predestined may be outside the pale of Christianity and of the Church (Denz., nn. 628, 631). Without special revelation no one can know with certainty that he belongs to the number of the elect (Denz., nn. 805 sq., 825 sq.).

 “…In reality only those reach heaven who die in the state of justification or sanctifying grace, all these and only these are numbered among the predestined, strictly so called. From this it follows that we must reckon among them also all children who die in baptismal grace, as well as those adults who, after a life stained with sin, are converted on their death-beds. The same is true of the numerous predestined who, though outside the pale of the true Church of Christ, yet depart from this life in the state of grace as catechumens, Protestants in good faith, schismatics, JewsMahommedans, and pagans. Those fortunate Catholics who at the close of a long life are still clothed in their baptismal innocence, or who after many relapses into mortal sin persevere till the end, are not indeed predestined more firmly, but are more signally favoured than the last-named categories of persons.”

So for Feeneyites to claim that this understanding of the “outside the Church no salvation” dogma was an innovation is nothing more than sophistry and an attempt to remain loyal to a man who was the first to accuse Pope Pius XII of heresy — their founder, Leonard Feeney.

St. Bellarmine’s teaching perverted

What really happened — and this they fail to tell those they seduce — is that the original teaching of this dogma by St. Robert Bellarmine was so misconstrued and misrepresented by later theologians that it caused all the confusion regarding the right understanding of outside the Church no salvation. These wrongheaded theologians actually reversed the teaching of St. Robert as it was intended to be understood. This perversion of Bellarmine’s teachings is explained at length by Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton in his work The Catholic Church and Salvation, pgs. 165-188. Fenton comments: “Less than a century after his death, the terminology peculiar to St. Robert’s De ecclesia militante was being used to advance the thesis contradictory to his own teaching.” This work is available for free download on the Internet and anyone truly serious about resolving their doubts on this subject are urged to read it. What St. Bellarmine wrote is clear, and he does extend salvation to catechumens and excommunicates. It was his use of the term “soul of the Church” that was later so misappropriated and lent itself to the “invisible Church” heresy condemned in Mystici Corporis. St. Bellarmine explains his position below.

“But it is our teaching that there is only one ecclesia, and not two, and that this one and true Church is the assembly of men bound together by the profession of the same Christian faith and the communion of the same sacraments, under the rule of the legitimate pastors, and especially that of the Roman Pontiff, the one Vicar of Christ on earth. From this definition it is easy to infer which men belong to the Church and which do not belong to it. There are three parts of this definition; the profession of the true faith; the communion of the sacraments, and subjection to the Roman Pontiff, the legitimate pastor.

“By reason of the first part all infidels, both those who have never been in the Church, such as Jews, Turks, and pagans; and those who have been in it and have left it, as heretics and apostates, are excluded. By reason of the second part, catechumens and excommunicated persons are excluded, because the former are not yet admitted to the communion of the sacraments, while the latter have been sent away from it. By reason of the third part there are excluded the schismatics who have the faith and the sacraments, but who are not subject to the legitimate pastor and who thus profess the faith and receive the sacraments outside [of the Church]. All others are included [within the Church in the light of the definition] even though they be reprobates, sinful and impious men…

“The Church is a living body, in which there is a soul and a body. And the internal gifts of the Holy Ghost, faith, hope, charity, and the rest are the soul. The external profession of the faith and the communication of the sacraments are the body. Hence it is that some are of the soul and of the body of the Church, and hence joined both inwardly and outwardly to Christ the Head, and such people are most perfectly within the Church. They are, as it were, living members in the body…. Again, some are of the soul AND NOT OF THE BODY, as catechumens and excommunicated persons if they have faith and charity, as they can have them. And, finally, some are of the body and not of the soul, as those who have no internal virtue, but who still…profess the faith and communicate in the sacraments under the rule of the pastors” (De ecclesia militante, Ch. 2, 3).

Msgr. Fenton comments: “St. Robert obviously was fond of employing the ‘body’ and ‘soul’ dichotomy to explain and illustrate various distinctions within the ChurchIn the second chapter of the De ecclesia militante, ‘soul’ and ‘body’ are metaphorical names applied to two distinct sets of forces or factors that function as bonds of unity within the Church militant of the New Testament… The individual who is ‘de anima ecclesiae’ (soul of the church) is joined to Our Lord in His Church by all ‘the internal gifts of the Holy Ghost,’ or at least by genuine divine faith.” He explains that in a series of successive teachings, later theologians failed to note St. Bellarmine’s soul of the Church was intended to represent the Holy Ghost, and those constituting this soul as being in the state of grace. Later theologians separated the Church into two separate parts, visible and invisible, something St. Robert denies. They treated those associated with the Church’s soul as “invisible members” of the Church when they were not members at all and were not included as Church members by St. Robert.

The Council of Trent definitions on baptism of desire and all other subsequent papal condemnations of errors that would deny its existence were handed down after St. Bellarmine had published his theological works, or sometime after his death. They were made in light of his teaching that such individuals could be saved outside the Church, not within it. None of those theologians following him who distorted this teaching could ever claim to enjoy his stature or consideration by the Pontiffs in their official teachings. Many of St. Bellarmine’s theological conclusions, however, have often been confirmed by papal teaching. What Msgr. Fenton notes about the issuance of Pope Pius XII’s teaching on the true constitution of the Church and baptism of desire sums all this up nicely:

“The greatest favor accorded to sacred theology by the encyclical letter Mystici Corporis Christi was the banishment from theology, once and for all, of this teaching about an ‘invisible Church.’ Since the appearance of the Mystici Corporis Christi, and especially since the publication of the Humani generis and the Suprema haec sacra, the elements that have militated against an accurate explanation of this dogma have lost their force. These documents of the Holy See have manifested the truth of the Church’s necessity for salvation for what it really is, the statement of the dignity of the Catholic Church as the one supernatural kingdom of the living God.”

“The worst doctrinal tendencies of our time found their expression in the heresy of Modernism, and it was a basic tenet of the Modernists that the declarations of the ecclesiastical magisterium are to be accepted only when they are interpreted to mean something different from what the Church originally and constantly taught that they mean. The ecclesiastical magisterium, in teaching and guarding this dogma, insists that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church and at the same time likewise insists that people who die without ever becoming members of the Catholic Church can obtain the Beatific Vision.

“Furthermore the Suprema haec sacra has shown us that no one can be ‘within’ the Church even by implicit desire or intention in such a way as to attain the life of grace in it, unless he has true supernatural faith and unless he loves God and his neighbor with the genuine and supernatural affection of divine charity… [Therefore] the non-member of the Church who dies believing God’s message with the assent of faith, loving God with the affection of charity, and sincerely willing and praying to enter God’s ecclesia, will live forever in the social unit within which he willed and prayed to live and for which he was fighting at the moment of his death.”

This concept should not be difficult to understand. One can make a Perfect Act of Contrition when one is not able to go to Confession. This perfect act will remit any mortal sins as long as the intention to confess when able exists. It is the same with Spiritual Communion, (which the saints say sometimes is more efficacious), because one actually longs to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist and for some reason is prevented from doing so. Likewise, one can desire Church membership, explicitly or implicitly in certain cases, and that desire will suffice to unite the soul in some salvific way to the Church without actual membership.

This can occur when there is no way of being able to determine which is the true Church, as is so easily the case today, or it can happen because one truly believes him or herself to be within the true Church and cannot be convinced otherwise (invincible ignorance). Such ignorance, however, is not to be confused with affected ignorance, which is the failure to investigate matters pertaining especially to one’s own salvation, often out of fear it will cause inconvenience, involve hard work or occasion some disruption in the emotions. Pope Pius IX most certainly did not mention affected ignorance, so prevalent among Traditionalists, as an excusing factor for not belonging to the Mystical Body.

So are Benedict XV, Pius XI and Pius XII true popes?

Even if they were in good faith, the Feeneyites could not defend their contention that the popes had denied the dogma of no salvation outside the Church, as the Church Herself understands this teaching, since clearly Pope Pius XII confirmed this dogma in Suprema haec sacra above. Nor, given the wealth of the Church’s teachings on grace, could they deny that those outside the Church, in certain circumstances, can be saved as just explained by Msgr. Fenton. Both teachings are true, and it must be understood that absolutely every baptized person who has the ability to determine which is the true Church of Christ on earth is obligated to belong to that Church and abide by the teachings of Her continual magisterium until death or they will not save their souls. This is the true meaning of “Outside the Church, no salvation.”

Among those teachings are the following: “The judgment of the Apostolic See, whose authority is not surpassed, is to be disclaimed by no one, nor is anyone permitted to pass judgment on its judgment” (the Vatican Council, DZ 1830). And here the Council refers to DZ 330: “The first seat shall not be judged by anyone” (Pope St. Nicholas I). Pope St. Leo IX also says: “By passing a preceding judgment on the great See, concerning which it is not permitted any man to pass judgment, you have received anathema from all the Fathers of all the venerable councils” (DZ 352). And from Pope Boniface VIII: “We declare, say, define and proclaim to every human creature that they by necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff” (Unam Sanctam, DZ 469). And especially in the absence of a true pontiff, we are bound by the decrees of all those pontiffs who went before. No one can question the pronouncements of the popes and remain Catholic, but of course Feeneyites were not Catholic to begin with.

Popes and councils teach that a pope can be judged by his inferiors only in the event he commits some heresy, (and by inferiors is meant the bishops and Cardinals, not the laity,) as happened at the Council of Constance. These teachings were advanced, however, before the definition of infallibility in 1870. At that time, it was determined by the Vatican Council fathers and reported by Henry Cardinal Manning that the pope could only become a heretic as a private person, although such a case had never occurred. The definition of infallibility ruled out the possibility that a pope could ever teach heresy publicly, as pope. The only set of circumstances that would explain what we have experienced since the death of Pope Pius XII is described by one of the popes citing heresy as a reason for judging a pope. That Pope is Paul IV, author of the infallible bull Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, written in 1559. Those wishing to study this further can read the bull itself and the articles explaining the bull on the Articles page and in the Archives. The book The Phantom Church in Rome also explains at great length the process for determining heresy in any given papal claimant, a process that, by infallible papal decree reflected in the Canon Law censures regarding ecclesiastical elections and heresy, can only be conducted by examining the claimant’s statements and actions pre-election.

And finally, since when has anyone ever, in the Church’s history, been taken seriously as the purveyor and teacher of anything when they have denied truths of faith expressed in infallible documents? The Feeneyite sect was condemned and its founder was excommunicated. As demonstrated above, they reject long-held Church teaching that had been badly mutilated and misconstrued by liberal and later Modernist theologians, then. They cannot pretend to act as competent witnesses or accusers; under Canon 2314, they are infamous and as a result they are deprived of the ability to perform valid ecclesiastical acts (teaching, publishing) under Can. 2294 §1. Here we are dealing with people who are attacking the authority of the Church and attempting to interpret privately what the Church reserves to Herself to interpret. They are no different in this respect than those Protestants who held the popes throughout the centuries to be Antichrist. Their accusations are both baseless and worthless.

During an interregnum, nothing can be decided in the absence of the pope. The hierarchy has been gone for decades and according to Church law and the last (infallible) constitution on papal elections (1945), nothing more can be done unless and until we are miraculously provided with a canonically elected Roman Pontiff. Reopen Feeney’s case? Only the Roman Pontiff could decide to do this. Examine alleged papal misconduct/heresy? Only a general council convened by a certainly valid Roman Pontiff could hear the case. Rule on the validity of certain papal elections? This would be a ruling after the fact. It would do well for those attacking these canonically elected popes to remember what happened to the last man who decided he would call out a pope and rouse the faithful to his defense to accuse Christ’s Vicar.

That man, the Dominican monk Savonarola, “spoke with increasing violence against the pope and the Curia… In a series of Lenten sermons he violently lashed the crimes of Rome… [and] was forbidden to preach.. Even then Savonarola refused obedience and again during the Lenten season of 1497 preached with uncontrolled violence against the Church in Rome. On 12 May 1497, he was  excommunicated. [On] 19 June he published a letter ‘against the excommunication’ as being fraudulently obtained and sought to show that the judgment against him was null and void.

“Savonarola became more defiant. Notwithstanding his excommunication he celebrated Mass on Christmas Day and distributed Holy Communion. Even at this juncture the pope desired to act with gentleness, if the obstinate monk would submit, but the latter remained defiant and with his adherents set about calling a council in opposition to the pope” (http://newadvent.org/cathen/13490a.htm). Here Leonard Feeney appears to be a veritable clone of the Dominican, although Savonarola seems to have been far holier, at least in his early years. Historically he had his supporters, among them several popes and saints. But his case has never been reviewed or adjusted.

Eventually Savonarola’s followers abandoned him and he was turned over to the secular authorities, who hanged him and two of his fellow monks then burnt their bodies. As Henry Cardinal Manning observed in one of his many works, the powers that be may come after the papacy, but in the end the heavy stone on which Christ founded His Church will be moved and will grind them to powder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Without Obedience to the Holy See, No One can Be Saved

The Plight of the Faithful in the End Times

+St. Bernadette Soubirous+

I have said I do not believe that catacomb Catholics have cornered the market in this era regarding their salvation, and that is simply a truth of faith. No one can be assured of their salvation, and if those teaching this falsehood would do their spiritual reading and learn their faith, they would know this. Even the great saints were terrified at times that they would lose their souls and redoubled their efforts to love God and serve Him. We all are expected to be those saints, symbolized by the “T” in betrayedcatholics, of a figure with a halo.

Nor do I believe that the bar has been lowered for us today because we have no pope, no Church, no priests, no Catholic schools, no Catholic life. Having said that, I do believe that if catacomb Catholics do their very best to serve Our Lord on this earth and to study their faith, to observe all the laws and teachings of the Church known to them, to perform their daily duties, to fulfill their obligations to defend the faith when the situation so requires, then I believe that will suffice. Whatever mistakes they might make in these times when not everything can be known to them and there is no one to consult regarding difficult moral questions and certain matters regarding faith, will be forgiven.

St. Augustine and St. Hippolytus have opined that the greatest saints shall live in the times of Antichrist (Huchede’s History of Antichrist, p. 28). Fr. Arminjon and St. Therese of Liseux, who read Fr. Arminjon’s works, believed this as well. We have no way to judge who among us may be saints, or what the saints believed would constitute “great saints.” Huchede seems to believe this means illustrious doctors of the Church to defend the faith, but this is an interpretation. St. Augustine merely mentions these saints will be great because they will have to deal with the devil unchained, when the saints then could scarcely deal with him chained. St. Hippolytus said they will be more illustrious than their fathers and will be victorious over the son of perdition. Little St. Therese, as reported in the book Her Last Conversations, “repeated with an air of conviction” this statement of Fr. Bourb’s: “The saints of the latter days will surpass those of the first days just as the cedars surpass the other trees” (1977, p. 101; translated by John Clarke from conversations recorded by the saint’s fellow nuns, sisters, relatives and friends. This conversation was from the “Yellow Notebook” kept by her superior, Mother Agnes.)

St. Therese and Fr. Bourb were no doubt echoing what they had read in St. Louis Marie de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary: “Almighty God and his holy Mother are to raise up great saints who will surpass in holiness most other saints as much as the cedars of Lebanon tower above little shrubs. …These great souls filled with grace and zeal will be chosen to oppose the enemies of God. By word and example, they will draw all men to a true devotion to her and though this will make many enemies, it will also bring about many victories and much glory to God alone” (#47-48). And while St. de Montfort seems to see these saints working among priests and ecclesiastics (and they did for a time, during the 200 years after his writings, prior to Vatican 2), he does not come as close to predicting their circumstances as does Henry Cardinal Manning, Cardinal Pie or the historian Hilaire Belloc. These three men predicted a time where the faithful would be scattered and alone, totally bereft of the many aids and comforts of the Church and barely able to preserve their faith. Cardinal Manning wrote in his Temporal Power of the Vicar of Jesus Christ:

“The event may come to pass that as our Divine Lord, after His three years of public ministry were ended, delivered Himself of His own free will into the hands of men, and thereby permitted them to do that which before was impossible, so in His inscrutable wisdom He may deliver over His Vicar upon earth, as He delivered Himself, and that the providential support of the temporal power of the Holy See may be withdrawn when its work is done…when the whole number of those whom He hath chosen to eternal life is filled up. It may be that when that is done, and when the times of Antichrist are come, that He will give over His Vicar upon earth, and His Mystical Body at large, [for a time]…The Church would, as in the beginning, again be made up of members voluntarily uniting themselves together throughout the whole world, having indeed a legal recognition here and there, but wandering up and down the earth, without any contact with the nations of the world as such… the Church would descend again, if I may say so, into the Catacombs, and would be hidden from society…”

Louis Edward Cardinal Pie of Portiers, France, close friend of Cardinal Manning’s and favored by Pope St. Pius X, spoke of the time of Antichrist as follows: “The Church, though of course still a visible society, will be increasingly reduced to individual and domestic proportions…. And finally the Church on earth will undergo a true defeat: ‘…and it was given unto him to make war with the saints and to overcome them’ (Apocalypse 13:7). Now, in this extremity, what will be the remaining duty of all true Christians, of all men of faith and courage? The answer is this: spurred on to ever greater vigour by the apparent hopelessness of their predicament, they will redouble their ardour in prayer, their energy in works, and their courage in combat so that their every word and work cries out together:” (and here he recites the first part of the Our Father). “When The Lord taught His Apostles the Our Father, He made it clear that none of His followers could accomplish the first act of religion, which is prayer, without putting himself in relation with all that can advance or retard, favor or hinder, the reign of God on earth and he must do this in proportion to his intellectual attainments and to the extent of the horizon open before him” (from Cardinal Pie’s Kingship of Christ).

And this from Belloc: “The Church will not disappear, for the Church is not of mortal stuff; it is the only institution among men not subject to the universal law of mortality. Therefore we say, not that the Church may be wiped out, but that it may be reduced to a small band almost forgotten amid the vast numbers of its opponents and their contempt of the defeated thing. One of the most intelligent of French Catholics, a converted Jew, has written a work to prove (or suggest) that the first of these two possible issues will be our fate. He envisages the last years of the Church on this earth as lived apart. He sees a Church of the future reduced to very few in numbers and left on one side in the general current of the new Paganism. He sees a Church of the future within which there will be intensity of devotion, indeed, but that devotion practised by one small body, isolated and forgotten in the midst of its fellowmen.”

It seems that men will not number many in this group, and certainly the clergy will be absent, just as they were at the time of the Crucifixion.

“At some distance, two women covered with veils, one of whom leaned upon the other in an attitude which betrayed the most heartrending grief, timidly beheld the proceedings of the Roman soldiers: they were Mary and Magdalen, for Magdalen too was there; and in the distance were perceived the other women from Galilee, who had left all to devote themselves to Jesus, and who had not forsaken him in the hour of punishment and ignominy. “Honor to them!” says Abelard, “for when the disciples and apostles fled like cowards to the mountains, these weak but courageous creatures accompanied Christ even to the foot of the cross and did not leave him till he was laid in the sepulchre!” (The Pictorial Catholic Library, 1886, Murphy and McCarthy).

And so here we are, today, in exactly the situation these two cardinals and an historian predicted we would be, re-enacting Christ’s Passion as played out in His Church. We live in a world where temptations and near occasions of sin have been multiplied 1,000 times and more, and where no one even remembers what the Catholic Church once was and taught — and this includes Traditionalists. Most of us know that we received valid Baptism, but if we were unfortunate enough to have received the other Sacraments after the close of 1958, we have no real certainty we received them validly. We try our best to carry on without these Sacraments, save marriage and Baptism; without spiritual direction, without any real hope of anything changing, except for the worst. And yet we hang on for dear life to faith and hope and do our best to practice charity in a world filled with hate and every imaginable vice. Many of us, whether in the city or the country, live as virtual hermits to avoid contamination by the world. Scarred and dazed by our experiences with the Novus Ordo and Traditionalists, assaulted as fanatics, heretics and apostates by those same Pharisees who also tormented Jesus, abandoned by Trad and Novus Ordo “friends” and family members, we believe we have something in common with St. Paul in the Sexagesima Sunday Gospel. Carrying the banner of final perseverance before us, we beg Our Lord to forgive us for the many sins we have committed in trying to arrive at the safe harbor of the catacombs, and to help us sin no more.

Can we expect a reprieve of any kind in these dreadful times? Should we? St. Paul wrote this about the Christians living during the times preceding the Second Coming: “The testimony of Christ was confirmed in you… Nothing is wanting to you in any grace, waiting for the manifestation of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Who also will confirm you to the end without crime, in the day of Our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor. I, 6-8). And this, less encouraging, from the following source:  “It is supposed that the just who are alive when Christ comes again, and who stand in need of cleansing, will be purified in some extraordinary way — e. g. by the troubles of the last days, by vehement contrition, etc.; but all this is mere conjecture” (The Pictorial Catholic Library, 1886, Murphy and McCarthy). That great preacher of the end times, St. Vincent Ferrar, teaches the following regarding the punishment of those still alive on earth when Our Lord comes again, and grants it greater weight than just a conjecture:

“Saint Thomas Aquinas speaks beautifully of this when he says that this last fire, inasmuch as it precedes the Judgment, will act as an instrument of God’s justice. It will also act like natural fire, inasmuch as, in its natural power, it will burn both wicked and good and reduce every human body to ashes. Inasmuch as it acts as an instrument of God’s justice, it will act in different ways with regard to different people. For the wicked will suffer intensely through the action of the fire, but the good in whom nothing is found which must be purged away will feel no pain from the fire, just as the three children felt nothing in the fiery furnace, although the bodies of these others will not be preserved as were those of the three children. And this will come to pass by the divine power, that without pain or suffering their bodies will be resolved into ashes.

“But the good in whom there is some stain to be purged away will feel the pain of this fire, more or less according to the merits of each. But they will be swiftly purged for three reasons. The first reason is that in them little evil is found, for they have been already in great measure purged by the preceding tribulations and persecutions. The second is that the living will voluntarily endure the pain; and suffering willingly endured in this life remits much more quickly than suffering inflicted after death. This is seen in the case of the martyrs, for if, when they came to die, anything worthy of purgation was found, it was cut away by the pruning knife of their sufferings. And the sufferings of the martyrs were short in comparison with the pains of purgatory. The third reason is that the heat of the fire gains in intensity what it loses through the shortness of the time. But in so far as the fire is active after the judgment its power only extends over the damned, since all the bodies of the just will be impassible” (Angel of the Judgment: A Life of Vincent Ferrer, by S.M.C., Ave Maria Press. Chapter 11, pgs. 102-117)

But what of those who will die before this conflagration? Is it not possible that the end-times tribulations and persecutions also will help to at least shorten their time in the purgatorial fires? We can only hope. Many believe there will be a chastisement that will cleanse the earth of the greater majority of evil persons and allow the Church to function again for a brief time before the persecutions are renewed. Numerous saints and holy people have predicted it. Others believe only in a spiritual chastisement, up to the end.  God tells us no one knows the day nor the hour. Nor do we know exactly what will precede it, in what order or how — only what we read in Holy Scripture. We must pray and keep watch over our souls, that we remain in the state of sanctifying grace, for truly our end could arrive at any moment. We have been so desensitized to sin we often do not even realize that what we do on a daily basis is offensive to God. A general confession — an examination of conscience over the period of our entire life — will often show us the truth of this statement. And a constant watch over our actions each day, concluding in a nightly examination, will help us to become more aware of our particular sins so we may beg God to help us eliminate them. Constant vigilance over our souls and a daily increase in our love for God is the only hope we have of obtaining His mercy and meriting any lightening of our penalty for sin

Do we have what it takes to become the “great saints” foreseen in these times? If we beg God for the graces we need to keep the faith at home, then God will hear our prayers. In these times when everything is so broken that it seems impossible to fix, we must turn our gaze inward and keep it simple. Like St. Therese of the Child Jesus and her little way, we will trust in God on waking each day and ask Him to supernaturalize each of our everyday tasks, to demonstrate our love for Him. This is how St. Therese built her stairway to heaven, and we can ascend that stairway as well. “Jesus does not demand great actions from us,” she said, “but simply surrender and love.” By refusing to attend Traditionalist masses and receive their sacraments, we are surrendering our own will to that of God’s and offering ourselves as a sacrifice instead. Our Lady has led us to this spiritual desert and Her Son’s Church has provided the manna of the Act of Perfect Contrition and Spiritual Communion; also the “eighth” Sacrament, Our Lady’s Rosary. We are not alone; we have not been abandoned. Jesus and His Blessed Mother are enough for us.

 

 

 

 

 

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“TrueCatholics” site promotes Feeneyite heresy

“TrueCatholics” site promotes Feeneyite heresy

+ Seven Holy Founders of the Servites +

I recently have received inquiries from readers about the “stay-at-home Catholics” site truecatholics.org. I also have been harassed over the past few months by two individuals, one of them a Feeneyite, disputing various topics covered on betrayedcatholics. These attacks may or may not be related, but often they precede the appearance of wannabe sites or publications claiming to be Catholic.

Before beginning, it will be useful to point out the teaching of Pope St. Pius X in Pascendi Dominici Gregis: “They put their designs for Her [the Church’s] ruin into operation not from without, but from within… The more intimate their knowledge of Her, the more certain the injury.” This can describe Traditionalists of all shades, including the Feeneyites, and some Feeneyites style themselves as “stay-at-home Catholics.” They present with all the external trappings of the Church and nearly all Her teachings, save the one drop of heretical poison here and there that sends souls to hell. They are convinced, of course, that their heresies are actually true teachings of Christ’s Church on earth, as are all heretics. This is especially true of the Feeneyites, who never cease to fiercely defend their errors.

Any stay-at-home minded Catholic pulling up the trueCatholics site would immediately presume they have found like-minded faithful, based on the appearance of its content. All has been designed to attract those searching for answers, with several media options avaialble. An “easy way” to understand what has happened to the Church is offered in short articles that use the “just listen to me” method to present truths of faith. But like so many sites, bite a little deeper into the apple and the worm surfaces. During a brief search of the trueCatholics site, the following heretical statements were discovered:

“Water baptism only forgives sins — There is no forgiveness of sins and hence no possibility of salvation without a correct and proper Baptism of Water and a correct and proper Profession of Faith” (https://truecatholics.org/catholicism/baptism-is-necessary-for-salvation/).

“There is no such thing as Invincible ignorance — Ignorance has never been a means of salvation. (Fr. Goffine, 1687) Today, there are many wicked heresies like invincible ignorance, which have fooled people into believing ideas condemned by Christ and His Catholic Church. They cause unthinking, deceived people to fall into heresy and fall outside the pale of the Church. No heretic shall be worthy of eternal life.” Pope Eugene IV, ex Cathedra, Cantate domino, 1441.

“Heretics won’t go to heaven — It is true. Heretics cannot go to heaven. This is Church dogma. Council of Florence, Pope Eugene IV, ex Cathedra, 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 ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire “which was prepared for the devil, and his angels,” (Mt. 25:41) unless before death they are joined with Her…”

Only stay-at-home Catholics will save their souls — Only true Catholics who stay at home on Sunday (i.e. don’t attend any “masses”) are in the true Catholic Church” (https://truecatholics.org/catholicism/stay-at-home-catholic-overview/).

To find the true teachings of the popes on the above subjects, go to https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/the-saved-and-the-lost-some-points-to-consider/ Baptism of blood and desire are treated in an article available from the Archives and two articles listed under recent articles on the Articles page. The fact that this teaching is not readily apparent and openly stated at the outset on trueCatholics shows that the creators of the site hope to lure in younger Catholics not familiar with some of these longstanding issues with Feeneyites. This way they can redirect them from sites that are truly written for stay-at-home — Catacomb — Catholics while pretending to be in agreement with them, constituting one, big happy family.

After all, many of the quotes and the premises used on betrayedcatholics can be found embedded in the writings on the trueCatholics site in order to make it appear they are on the same page with us. While quotes cannot be copyrighted, they can be considered ingredients of intellectual property when used to construct demonstrations according to the Scholastic method of presentation required by the Church. This is especially true when the books these quotes are taken from cannot be found available for sale or download on the Internet. I have a 4,000-volume library in my home and many of these books are out of print or considered rare. I doubt there are many copies floating around. These erudite Catholics also “borrowed” a declaration from my website which has appeared here since 2003. It also can be found in the opening pages of my first self-published work Will the Catholic Church Survive…? written 30 years ago. Here is the declaration as found on their site:

Anyone can rewrite something they would like to use or ask for permission to use it; that is what professional journalists do. But that aside, what kind of Catholic does not give credit to those who went before him or her in the field of Catholic truth, especially when they are so bold as to accommodate the hard-won fruits of their literary labor?! The trueCatholics site does not once mention betrayedCatholics, and that is not only dishonest, it is also not Catholic. When any scholar or theologian creates a work based on another work, those works are always listed in either footnotes or the bibliography. Not to use the Scholastic method to present truths of faith is to ignore the Church’s orders to do so and to set oneself up as sole authority in matters of faith.

In his comments about these teachings regarding salvation, Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton tells us in his work The Catholic Church and Salvation that Pope Pius XII’s decree against the Feeneyites, Suprema haec sacra “is an authoritative, though obviously not an infallible, document. That is to say, the teachings contained in the Suprema haec sacra are not to be accepted as infallibly true on the authority of this particular document. Nevertheless, the fact remains that much of its teaching — Indeed, what we may call the substance of its teaching — is material which has appeared in previous documents emanating from the Sovereign Pontiff himself and from Oecumenical Councils of the Catholic Church… [However] the Cardinals of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office decreed that these explanations be given, and the Holy Father approved their decision. We are dealing, then, with an authoritative document. It would be wrong for any teacher of Catholic doctrine to ignore or to contradict the teachings contained in this Holy Office letter” (see https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/the-sincere-internal-assent-catholics-owe-papal-pronouncements/). So why are trueCatholics teaching otherwise?

Here there is no denial by Pope Pius XII, but only confirmation, of “outside the Church no salvation.” Fenton writes: “That there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church is a doctrine ‘which the Church has always preached and will never cease to preach’ …as an ‘infallible statement.’ This states clearly that it is a dogma — in other words, one of the teachings which the Church finds in Scripture or in divine apostolic tradition, and which, by either solemn judgment or in its ordinary and universal teaching activity, it presents to the people as something they must believe as a part of divine public revelation… [But] it is to be noted that this conclusion is the practical expression of the meaning of the Church’s necessity of precept. It very definitely is not, either in itself or in its context in in the Suprema haec sacra, an expression of the complete and ultimate meaning of the dogma of the necessity of the Church for salvation.

“The Holy Office letter is the first authoritative document to bring out in full explicitness the teaching that the Church is necessary for salvation both with the necessity of precept and with the necessity of means. A thing is said to be necessary for salvation with the necessity of precept when it has been commanded in such a way that, if a person disobeys this order, he is guilty of mortal sin. A means necessary for salvation, on the other hand, is something which a man must have if he is to attain eternal salvation. This paragraph brings out two truths about the Church as a necessary means to the attainment of eternal salvation. First, there is the fact that the Church is a means necessary for salvation only by divine institution and not by intrinsic necessity. Second is the fact that means necessary for salvation by divine institution can produce their effects, as the document says, ‘in certain cases’ when there is only a will or desire to possess these things.

“The Suprema haec sacra shows that the text of the Mystici Corporis, particularly those sections of the encyclical mentioned in the Holy Office letter, reproves two mutually opposed errors. The first error condemned in the Mystici Corporis is that according to which a man who has merely an implicit desire of entering the Catholic Church is in a situation in which it is impossible for him to attain to his eternal salvation. The second error proscribed is that which holds that men can be saved equally in every religion. Those who taught either error after the publication of Mystici Corporis were guilty of ignoring or defying the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff, teaching in his ordinary doctrinal activity or magisterium” (end of Msgr. Fenton quotes). Therefore, this is the case with the Feeneyites, who cannot accept the fact that certain individuals, (known only to God Himself, Pope Pius IX teaches), can be saved according to the necessity of means. And this, Pope Pius IX also teaches, can happen by way of invincible ignorance. So regardless of whether Suprema haec sacra is infallible, the Feeneyites are denying the teachings of the ordinary magisterium and defying the authority of the popes, just as their founder Leonard Feeney did. And it must be remembered that Feeney was excommunicated from the Church for his defiance.

As has been stated elsewhere, no one is certain of their eternal salvation, and this applies to stay-at-home Catholics. We most fervently wish to be numbered among the elect and are doing everything in our power to see that is the case. But we definitely do believe others can be saved by explicit or implicit desire, because to believe otherwise would be a denial of papal teaching and authority. This was explained in The Saved and the Lost blog post.

One more point needs to be made here. Any group or individual ignoring other existing stay-at-home Catholics then using their premises for one’s own purposes should send up a red flag. It should tell those reading the material on such sites that the only reason the site’s authors would have for ignoring fellow Catholics is if they did not agree with them on some important Catholic doctrine. It is Traditionalists who seek to burrow in and disguise their true intentions only to lead others away from already existing groups. These are the tactics of Protestant sects, not Catholics. As Fr. Demaris tells us in They Have Taken Away My Lord… “It is by faith that the faithful are united… Truth wins, no matter how small the number of those attached to our Lord.” If we have not the faith, whole and entire, we have nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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