Invincible ignorance neither saves nor condemns. So, what is it?

question

…a person who wants to go east, but, by an innocent mistake, gets on a train going west, will, as soon as he finds out his mistake, get off at the next station, and take a train that goes east. In like manner, a person who walked on a road that he, in his inculpable ignorance, believed was the true road to Heaven, must leave that road, as soon as he finds out his mistake, and inquire for the true road to Heaven. God, in His infinite mercy, will not fail to make him find out, in due time, the true road to Heaven, if he corresponds to His grace. Hence we asked the following question in our Familiar Explanation: 

“What are we to think of the salvation of those who are out of the pale of the Church without any fault of theirs, and who never had any opportunity to know better?”

To this question we give the following answer:

“Their inculpable (invincible) ignorance will not save them; but if they fear God and live up to their conscience, God, in His infinite mercy, will furnish them with the necessary means of salvation, even so as to send, if needed, an angel to instruct them in the Catholic Faith, rather than let them perish through inculpable ignorance.” (St. Thomas Aquinas)

More

Lionel Andrades: EWTN position paper at odds with authentic Catholic teaching.

Friday, February 17, 2012

EWTN’S NEW REPORT ON OUTSIDE THE CHURCH NO SALVATION ASSUMES THOSE SAVED WITH THE BAPTISM OF DESIRE ETC ARE EXPLICITLY KNOWN TO US AND SO CONTRADICTS THE DOGMA

EWTN has placed a report on the internet titled Outside the Church No Salvation which criticizes ‘ the rigorist position of Fr. Feeney (that all must be actual members of the Catholic Church to be saved)’ and claims it has ‘been condemned by the Magisterium.’

In other words EWTN says every one does not have to convert into the Church for salvation (Pope Pius IX, Allocution), the baptism of desire and invincible ignorance are defacto, explicitly known cases which contradict ‘the dogma’, the ‘infallible teaching’ (Letter of the Holy Office 1949).Also EWTN suggests that there are is a Magiseterial document which says specifically that Fr.Leonard Feeney was condemned for heresy and which EWTN has not specified.

Outside The Church There Is No Salvation

The doctrine that “Outside the Church there is no salvation” is one that is constantly misinterpreted by those who won’t submit to the Magisterium of the Church.

Lionel: The Magisterium of the Church says all need to enter the Church for salvation. (Dominus Iesus 20, Ad Gentes 7, Lumen Gentium 14, Catechism of the Catholic Church 845,845, Cantate Domino, Council of Florence 1441 etc).

Lumen Gentium 16 and LG 8 are not exceptions to the dogma since we do not know any explicit case of a non Catholic saved in invincible ignorance, good conscience or with ‘elements of sanctification’.

EWTN:

Faith does not depend upon our ability to reason to the truth but on our humility before the Truth presented to us by those to whom Christ entrusted that task. This is why the First Vatican Council taught that it is the task of the Magisterium ALONE to determine and expound the meaning of the Tradition – including “outside the Church no salvation.”

Lionel:

EWTN is contradicting the Magisterial documents cited above.

EWTN:

Concerning this doctrine the Pope of Vatican I, Pius IX, spoke on two different occasions. In an allocution (address to an audience) on December 9th, 1854 he said:

We must hold as of the faith, that out of the Apostolic Roman Church there is no salvation; that she is the only ark of safety, and whosoever is not in her perishes in the deluge; we must also, on the other hand, recognize with certainty that those who are invincible in ignorance of the true religion are not guilty for this in the eyes of the Lord. And who would presume to mark out the limits of this ignorance according to the character and diversity of peoples, countries, minds and the rest?

Lionel:

EWTN assumes that ‘those who are in invincible ignorance of the true religion’ are an exception to the ‘rigorist interpretation’ which is that the Apostolic Roman Church ‘is the only ark of safety, and whosoever is not in her perishes in the deluge.’

The Church Fathers and the popes knew there was no contradiction.This was the error of the Archbishop of Boston Ruchard Cushing and the Jesuits there. Cushingism says every one needs to enter the Church, except, for those in invincible ignorance etc.Since Cushingism assumes that these ‘exceptions’ are defacto known to us in the present times.

 

EWTN:Again, in his encyclical Quanto conficiamur moerore of 10 August, 1863 addressed to the Italian bishops, he said:

It is known to us and to you that those who are in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion, but who observe carefully the natural law, and the precepts graven by God upon the hearts of all men, and who being disposed to obey God lead an honest and upright life, may, aided by the light of divine grace, attain to eternal life; for God who sees clearly, searches and knows the heart, the disposition, the thoughts and intentions of each, in His supreme mercy and goodness by no means permits that anyone suffer eternal punishment, who has not of his own free will fallen into sin.

Lionel:

Invincible ignorance is not an exception to the literal interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

When CCC 846 says all who are saved are saved through Jesus and the Church this is not a contradiction to CCC 846 also saying that all need to enter the Church as ‘through a door’ and that all need Catholic Faith and the baptism of water for salvation. (AG 7).

EWTN:

These statements are consistent with the understanding of the Church contained in the documents of Vatican II, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as explaining why the rigorist position of Fr. Feeney (that all must be actual members of the Catholic Church to be saved) has been condemned by the Magisterium.

Lionel:

It depends on the interpretation. Do we interpret the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Vatican Council II according to Cushingism or Feeneyism?

 

EWTN:

It is ironic that precisely those who know their obligation to remain united to the Magisterium, and thus on whom this doctrine is morally binding, keep themselves from union with the Roman See on this point.

Lionel:

EWTN is still denying the centuries old interpretation of the dogma and assuming that there are defacto exceptions in Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

EWTN also implies that the popes and Church Councils ex cathedra were wrong. Since it is assumed that they were contradicted by magisterial teachings of popes and Vatican Council II.

EWTN slanders a priest in good standing with the Catholic Church. -Lionel Andrades

1.

Outside The Church There Is No Salvation

——————————————————————————–

The doctrine that “Outside the Church there is no salvation” is one that is constantly misinterpreted by those who won’t submit to the Magisterium of the Church. Faith does not depend upon our ability to reason to the truth but on our humility before the Truth presented to us by those to whom Christ entrusted that task. This is why the First Vatican Council taught that it is the task of the Magisterium ALONE to determine and expound the meaning of the Tradition – including “outside the Church no salvation.”

Concerning this doctrine the Pope of Vatican I, Pius IX, spoke on two different occasions. In an allocution (address to an audience) on December 9th, 1854 he said:

We must hold as of the faith, that out of the Apostolic Roman Church there is no salvation; that she is the only ark of safety, and whosoever is not in her perishes in the deluge; we must also, on the other hand, recognize with certainty that those who are invincible in ignorance of the true religion are not guilty for this in the eyes of the Lord. And who would presume to mark out the limits of this ignorance according to the character and diversity of peoples, countries, minds and the rest?

Again, in his encyclical Quanto conficiamur moerore of 10 August, 1863 addressed to the Italian bishops, he said:

It is known to us and to you that those who are in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion, but who observe carefully the natural law, and the precepts graven by God upon the hearts of all men, and who being disposed to obey God lead an honest and upright life, may, aided by the light of divine grace, attain to eternal life; for God who sees clearly, searches and knows the heart, the disposition, the thoughts and intentions of each, in His supreme mercy and goodness by no means permits that anyone suffer eternal punishment, who has not of his own free will fallen into sin.

These statements are consistent with the understanding of the Church contained in the documents of Vatican II, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as explaining why the rigorist position of Fr. Feeney (that all must be actual members of the Catholic Church to be saved) has been condemned by the Magisterium. It is ironic that precisely those who know their obligation to remain united to the Magisterium, and thus on whom this doctrine is morally binding, keep themselves from union with the Roman See on this point.

Answered by Colin B. Donovan, STL

Link

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

If Protestants can receive salvation, why be Catholic?

Q: If Protestants can receive Salvation, why be Catholic?

A: The original protestant reformers were indeed heretics, and they were certainly primarily responsible for their lack of faith, along with their disobedience and pride.

Those who came later were naturally born into the errors of their fathers, and were, as a result, less culpable.

Today, things have gotten so far out of hand that many/most people wouldn’t recognize the authentic teachings of Jesus Christ if he came down from heaven and preached them himself.

Hence, the Catholic Church asserts: Outside the church there is no salvation, but those who suffer from invincible ignorance MIGHT still be saved. (No guarantees.)

Meanwhile, Catholics have recourse to 2000 years worth of superb study and prayer resources, along with all the other great works, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church.

There’s no question that in all of this, Catholics enjoy the much better part.

Thank God for that!