How is a Catholic to respond when somebody asks, “Have you been saved?”

“Yes, I believe in Jesus and received his justifying (sanctifying) grace when I was baptized into his Church. Jesus saved me. And at those times when I have sinned gravely and lost this grace, I returned to the Lord to be cleansed again by him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) where I again received his justifying grace.

I am strengthened in my personal relationship with him by my worship of him and receiving him in Holy Communion at Mass; through my prayer, devotion and reading of the Scriptures; by my study of the teachings of the faith; through my good works prepared beforehand by him for me to perform while in his grace.

I have been saved, am being saved, and have supernatural hope that I will be saved.  I believe this because the Church, established by Jesus, through which this grace flows to me, teaches me that this is so.”

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Direct descendants of the “Unknown Assailants” who crucified Jesus Christ (formerly identified as “the Jews”) are twisting the words of the Pope and the documents of Vatican II to suit their own ends

The Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ says Nostra Aetate 4,Vatican Council II.

Pope Benedict XVI in the second volume of his book Jesus of Nazareth says not all Jews were responsible for the death of Jews except for the Jewish leaders of that time who called for the death of Jesus. This is the message in Nostra Aetate 4,Vatican Council II. So there was nothing new in the pope’s statement. He was repeating Vatican Council II 1965.

When I read the newspaper statements from the Jewish Left leaders commenting on the book I had wondered if the pope had said that it was not the Jews who were responsible but some other people!

Nostra Aetate 4 also says that the Jews are the ‘people with whom God in His inexpressible mercy concluded the Ancient Covenant.’ The Ancient Covenant is concluded according to Vatican Council II. Yet American bishops and cardinals deny this. So does the ADL.

Nostra Aetate 4 says that the ‘Church is the new people of God’. Catholics are the New People of God. Catholics are the Chosen People of God, now. It is no more the Jews.

Ad Gentes 7 , Vatican Council II says all need Catholic Faith and the baptism of water for salvation. All, includes the Jews. According to Vatican Council II the Jews in the present time are not saved since they do not have Catholic Faith and the baptism of water. According to Vatican Council II they need to convert into the Catholic Church for salvation.

The Jewish Left has been protesting against these teachings of Vatican Council II. -Lionel Andrades

Vatican politics is affecting Catholic dogma, especially as it applies to the conversion of the Jews

Pope Benedict XVI in Light of the World-Conversations with Peter Seewald says Jews do not have to convert in the present times. Pope Benedict XVI says that he has revised the ancient liturgy (on Good Friday) so that it does not say that Jews need to convert in the present times but that they will convert in a future time (eschatological time).

So he is saying that he has revised the Good Friday Prayer for the Conversion of the Jews which now says Jews do not have to convert in the present times.(1) This is a rejection of the Nicene Creed in which we pray “I believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sin”.Jews do need the baptism of water in the present time.

The pope is saying that without the baptism of water given to adults with Catholic Faith, Jews in general, are saved in their religion.

Vatican Council II mentions the possibility of non Catholics being saved in invincible ignorance, a good conscience etc. It does not state that they are saved in general in their religion. Since in general the normal means of salvation is Catholic Faith and the baptism of water.(AG 7).

The Vatican received a threat from the Chief Rabbinate and the Government of Israel over the issue of the Good Friday Prayer for the Conversion of Jews it was reported in the secular newspapers here.There was the threat of war. The pope diffused the tension with a front page report in the L’Osservatore Romano in which it was said that Jews do not have to convert in the present time.

This message was repeated in Light of the World-Conversations with Peter Seewald (Ignatius Press). The pope told Seewald that there is only one means of salvation and all who are saved are saved through Jesus.True. However this can also be a partial truth and denial of a defined dogma offensive to the Jewish Left. Offensive to the pro-Sodom and Gomorrah Zionists posing as Jews.Yes all those who are saved are saved through Jesus and the Church, Jesus’ Mystical Body, however every one needs to enter the Church with the baptism of water and Catholic Faith (Ad Gentes 7, Vatican Council II, dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus,Dominus Iesus 20 etc).

The pope and his Curia have put away the defined dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus which Pope Pius XII called an ‘infallible teaching’.

Read more from Lionel Andrades

Editor’s note: Let’s be fair and rational: If Jews need not convert, why should anyone else?

The Old Covenant is no more, and even if the Old Law still applied, it never had the power to save a soul. That places Jews and (non-Christian) gentiles in exactly the same position of eternal jeopardy … with the only hope for salvation being Jesus Christ and his (universal) Catholic Church.

If this is the “New Evangelization” we’re all in big, big trouble!

An open letter to “ex” Catholics – wherever they might be

by Doug Lawrence

Dear “Ex”,

There’s no such thing as an “ex” Catholic. When you were baptized you became an adopted child of God, a living temple of the Holy Spirit, a citizen of Heaven, co-heir with Jesus Christ, and a member of the church.

Your immortal soul received a special, indelible mark, identifying you as one of God’s very own. You also received a number of unique rights and privileges, the most important of which is the right to expect God to freely accept all your prayers and petitions.

None of this was merely temporary, or subject to revocation.

The corruption and hypocrisy of some who lead the church is shameful and scandalous, yet such things should no more keep you from being authentically Catholic than corrupt politicians and congressmen should keep you from being authentically American.

The most important thing at stake is the eternal salvation of your own personal soul, and for that you need to fully and faithfully participate in all of the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church … the only church that Jesus Christ ever founded … for that express purpose.

If you’re old enough and intelligent enough to post opinion pieces on the internet, you’re old enough and intelligent enough to satisfactorily work through adult questions of faith, without merely throwing up your hands and walking away.

In any case, God loves you, and God will provide … but things begin to look much, much better once you take the time to discern your proper place in the whole scheme of things, stand up for God’s honest truth, and begin to properly pursue the high purpose for which you were created.

Of course, none of that really matters if you remain estranged and/or separated from Christ and his church.

There has always been a direct relationship between corruption in the church and the need for authentic, faithful Catholicity. The more corrupt the church evidently appears … the more good, faithful, well informed, mature Catholics are needed … in order to help turn things around.

I suspect the problem you have with the Catholic church is actually rooted some intractable, personal moral issue … and not something that is specific to any of the current public scandals. If that’s true, then you’re in denial and the only real barrier to effective reconciliation is your own personal pride.

When dealing with things of God, its typically left up to us mortals to first apologize and then ask forgiveness. Catholics … including voluntarily separated ones … typically accomplish that by going to confession, after which the subject will necessarily, never be brought up again. I speak from personal experience.

God is good. His Catholic Church is troubled, but still quite capable of saving souls and ministering to all the needs of the faithful, and Jesus Christ specifically set things up that way, just for you. Why not give it one more try?

If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your heart.

Love,

Doug

A reader’s premise: Women are second class citizens in the Catholic Church.

by Doug Lawrence

(This particular commentary is excerpted from a recent Catholic Q&A posed by one of our readers.)

Reader’s Premise: Women are second class citizens in the Catholic Church.

Doug responds:

You have a right to that opinion, but it seems to me that your opinion is based on a popular but erroneous secular humanist/feminist misconception.

The Catholic Church is not a club, not a social group, not a democracy, and certainly not merely an earthly organization. The Catholic Church is the communion of all true believers in Jesus Christ, spanning both Heaven and Earth, whose main purpose is the salvation of souls and the glory of God.

“Fairness” is a matter for divine judgment, as it doesn’t and truly cannot exist in this fallen world.

Our blessed hope is that God will take care of these seeming inequities for us in the next age, when he rights every wrong and makes all things new. In the mean time, we are called to have faith in God and in the only Church that Jesus ever founded, for the purpose of our salvation.

The “door” to the Catholic Church remains the sacrament of baptism, which is open to males and females, alike.

Once baptized, both male and female Catholics, without exception, are adopted children of God, members of the church, living temples of the Holy Spirit, citizens of Heaven, and co-heirs with Jesus Christ.

Catholics of both sexes have equal access to the Mass, the sacraments, and all the other spiritual and substantial resources of the church.

Catholics of both sexes remain children of God’s grace, equal in their God-given spirituality, and equal when it comes to potentially being declared saints of the church.

Catholics of both sexes, by virtue of their baptism, are members of the Royal Priesthood of the Faithful, empowered to approach God personally in prayer, at will, and empowered to share the authentic Catholic faith with any and all who might inquire.

It is only in regard
to the Catholic Ministerial Priesthood
and the Sacrament of Matrimony
where certain distinctions
are necessarily made, as to gender.

It is noteworthy that not just women … but also married men … are typically disqualified from serving in the ministerial priesthood. This would seem to invalidate a very substantial part of the feminist argument.

Meanwhile, the Catholic faith tradition has, as its greatest saint, universal patron, Mother of the Church and Queen of Heaven … the Blessed Virgin Mary … the Holy Mother of God … already truly blessed beyond measure … the authentic, God-ordained role model for every faithful Catholic … regardless of gender.

In light of all this (and more)
it seems to me, the ladies are winning!

May God bless you, shower you with his abundant grace, and lead you to eternal peace and harmony in Jesus Christ, our savior.

Doug

The efficacious virtue of divine light and grace remains our only true hope for salvation.


by Doug Lawrence

The only church that was ever personally founded by Jesus Christ is the one, holy, apostolic and universal church … known today as Catholic.

The ordinary means of personal salvation in Jesus Christ is through baptism … which is “the door” by which someone typically enters … along with a lifetime of subsequent, faithful participation in all of the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church.

Outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. But God is sovereign, merciful, and all powerful … and he can save whomsoever he wishes … for any reason or for none … even in direct exception to the rules of the church, which are necessarily subject to the will of God, in all things.

Yet, anyone God chooses to save is saved only by the effective application of the grace that Jesus obtained for all, on the cross at Calvary.

The Catholic Church itself has canonized only a few thousand saints. Hence, the church claims no direct knowledge of the salvation … or damnation … of the great majority of souls.

In spite of all this, some Catholics maintain
that we can be absolutely confident of the salvation
of other apparently “good” people,
who through no fault of their own,
never became members of the Catholic Church.

Yet we know not of a single one, for certain!

Jesus remains the Blessed Hope of our salvation. Until the moment Jesus, the just judge  personally invites into heaven (or banishes us to hell) the best we can do is depend upon his saving grace, so that we might one day, like Saint Paul, be able to truthfully exclaim:

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:1-8)

St. Paul turned out to be correct, and the Church subsequently confirmed as much, by officially declaring him a saint. Yet we have absolutely no specific knowledge of anyone outside the church ever being admitted to heaven.

But what about St. Daniel the Prophet, St. John the Baptist, St. Dismas – the “good” thief, and the many prophets and patriarchs of old? It remains a complicated subject!

Read Lionel Andrades latest column on this matter.

Baptism of Desire: A hopeful theological premise that lacks the divine certainty of sacramental baptism.

Practically everyone needs the baptism of water for salvation – while in theory a person can be saved with the baptism of desire – Rector, Church Santa Maria Annunziata, Rome

Being saved with the baptism of desire etc he said is an impossibility. ( ‘impossibilisimo’).The Franciscan had got it right. The baptism of desire and invincible ignorance are not ‘practical’ ( defacto) exceptions .To claim that they are practical exceptions would be indifferentism and syncretism. It would be a negation of an infallible teaching. This would be a mortal sin and heresy. The stuff of excommunications. It would be a sacrilege for the priest offering Holy Mass.

Today morning at 10.30 a.m the priest offered Holy Mass in Italian with his face towards the altar and not the congregation. Communicants also received the Eucharist kneeling on a single pew, placed in the centre aisle.He was the Rector of the Church, Santa Maria di Annunziata, Rome. The Rector from the community Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate founded by Fr. Stefano Manelli F.I spoke on the necessity of the baptism of water for all people to go to Heaven.

Read more from Lionel Andrades