Archbishop of Boston Cardinal Richard Cushing’s legacy: Followers include EWTN and SSPX


When I contact the Catechetics and Liturgy Office in the diocese of Sydney they too assume that the baptism of desire and invincible ignorance are an exception to the dogma. So widespread is this issue in the Church.

From the liberals to the SSPX Holy Cross seminary in Australia all assume that there is a visible baptism of desire.

The Archbishop assumed the baptism of desire was visible and so contradicted the dogma outside the church there is no salvation. He assumed that those saved with the baptism of desire and in invincible ignorance were known to us and so it contradicts Fr. Leonard Feeney’s traditional interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

Since the time of the Archbishop Cardinal Richard Cushing it is assumed there are two interpretations of the dogma. 1)the rigorist interpretation of Fr. Leonard Feeney, the popes and saints and 2) the non rigorist interpretation. The non rigorist interpretation says everyone needs to enter the Church for salvation except for those in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire. It is assumed here that the baptism of desire and invincible ignorance are exceptions to the dogma. So this is a ‘new ‘interpretation.

We now know that there is only one interpretation of the dogma, the centuries old interpretation since the baptism of desire and invincible ignorance are not known to us.

It is assumed that Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium 16 (invincible ignorance, good conscience) is an exception to the dogma. This would be assuming that those saved in invincible ignorance are defacto known to us in particular cases. We know that they are not visible and explicitly known to us but known only to God. So they are not exceptions to the dogma.

De facto, everyone needs to enter the Church for salvation. De jure in principle those saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire are known only to God. The baptism of water is explicit. The baptism of desire is implicit.

The Letter of the Holy Office 1949 was addressed directly to the Archbishop of Boston. It was critical of the Archbshop. It mentioned ‘the dogma’, the ‘infallible statement’. The dogma does not mention any exceptions. The dogma also indicates, like Fr. Leonard Feeney, that everyone needs to explicitly enter the Church for salvation.

Today the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), Eternal Word Television Network, Catholic Answers, Society of St. Pius X, Pontifical seminaries and universities, sedevacantists, priests, nuns and lay Catholics are all unknowingly following the legacy of the Archbishop of Boston and the Jesuits of Boston College.

They assume the baptism of desire etc is visible and so is an exception to the dogma.

Probably many readers here too would make the same assumption.

The book the Bread of Life mentions ‘the catechumens’ who die without the baptism of water.

Unlike the Catechetical and the Liturgy Office of the diocese of Sydney, Australia, the Jesuits there and the SSPX Holy Cross Seminary they do not consider the baptism of desire (followed by the baptism of water for them) as exceptions to the dogma.

The Bread of Life was published after the excommunication and before the lifting of the excommunication. He was not required to recant or change his writing.

In The Bread of Life he recognizes that a genuine desire of a catechumen could provide justification. These were rare cases, ‘in certain circumstances'( Letter of the Holy Office 1949). These cases of the baptism of desire were not the ordinary means of salvation. God would then provide the grace for the person to receive the baptism of water.

So in general there were not three types of baptism but only one. Only God could know who was saved with the baptism of blood and desire. So they were not an exception to everyone needing the baptism of water and Catholic Faith to go to Heaven.

De facto, in reality the ordinary means of salvation for all adults is only the baptism of water and Catholic Faith. This is the only explicit means of salvation.

The Baptism of desire cannot be a part of the ordinary means of salvation since we do not know any de facto case.

The Archbishop of Boston Cardinal Richard Cushing was wrong in assuming that the baptism of desire was an exception to the dogma. For the first time in the history of the Catholic Church he made the baptism of desire and invincible ignorance an issue. Then along with the Jesuits he placed this teaching prominently in Vatican Council II.

The media implied that the baptism of desire etc was an exception to the dogma. So they assumed Fr. Leonard Feeney was in heresy and that the Archbishop was a pioneer.

A defacto-dejure analysis of magisterial texts show that the Letter of the Holy Office does not mention this implication. Neither does Vatican Council II, or Lumen Gentium 16 make the false assumption.

Instead Lumen Gentium 16 only mentions invincible ignorance. It does not say that it is an exception the dogma or the ordinary means of salvation. Neither is it an exception to Vatican Council II, LG 14, AG 7.

So Lumen Gentium 16 only refers to a possibility, de jure. Something always implicit and unknown to us. De facto the ordinary means of salvation is LG 14, AG 7 i.e. the baptism of water and Catholic Faith.

So like Vatican Council II (LG 14, AG 7) Fr. Leonard Feeney affirmed the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. He accepted in principle, dejure that a person could be saved with the baptism of desire i.e. a genuine desire with perfect charity, followed by the baptism of water which would all be implicit and known only to God.

The confusion on this issue continues since the media is in the hands of the enemies of the Church.

The magisterium however has approved the communities of Fr. Leonard Feeney and has not retracted the dogma which is in accord with Vatican Council II, the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1257,845,846 ( with a de facto-de jure analysis), Dominus Iesus 20, Redemptoris Missio 55 etc.

The Council of Trent mentions the baptism of desire and we know it is implicit and not the ordinary means of salvation. There is no Church definition which says the baptism of desire excludes being saved with the baptism of water. -Lionel Andrades

From the Merriam-Webster On-Line Dictionary:

Definition of DE FACTO

: in reality : actually

Origin of DE FACTO

Medieval Latin, literally, from the fact

First Known Use: 1601

Definition of DE JURE

1
: by right : of right
2
: based on laws or actions of the state <de jure segregation>

Origin of DE JURE

Medieval Latin

First Known Use: 1611

A note from Lionel Andrades: In the context of this article, the best definition of De Jure would be “in principle”.

Ignorance – Invincible and Vincible