Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Salvation and "Unity"

Here's one for all Catholics who actually believe in the EENS doctrine (no salvation outside the Church) Remember that doctrine? Despite what some would have you think, it hasn't gone away, it just appears to have been modified...

How do we reconcile it with this statement from the Catechism of the Catholic Church?
819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276

Comments most welcome!


318@NICE said...

That's fine, but then why does the Vatican get so upset that certain groups aren't under the direct shepherding of the Pope? According to the new catechism, who cares? What's the big deal. So what they say and how they act seem to contradict themselves.


Karin said...

Which protestant wrote that garbage??

Karin said...

Forgot to add...this "new" view came to us from Vatican II.
We would never of had this problem/issue before Vatican II...what I would give for the good old days again!!!!!

paramedicgirl said...

Dave, I think the Catholic church should just welcome the SSPX back in the new spirit of ecumenism. After all, by their own language, Christ uses other churches as a means of salvation, right? Yeah, right. I wonder if it was Cardinal Kaspar who proofread this text and gave it a pass.

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Adoro te Devote said...

I think that we need to remember that the doctrine of "mercy" trumps even the worst dissident, the worst sinner, etc.

The reality is that many do not have the opportunity to really understand the fullness of the truth of Christ...

The Church ALSO teaches that although other religions share a portion of the Truth, they do not have the whole thing and thus they will only be held responsible by God for what they DO know. Are Baptists good Baptists, or are they Cafeteria Baptists? (they exist, likely hang out with Cafeteria Catholics, Cafeteria Lutharans, and Unitarians), and really, they're just confused. Or lost in navel-gazing, or something.

There is no way to Heaven but through Jesus Christ, and I don't see that this passage negates that, esp. considering the Church's continued teaching on Judgment, through which every soul must pass. Everyone, from every religion, every lack of religion, must go through this Judgment, and then we enter the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Divine Mercy, NEITHER of which is a new teaching.

No matter how much we might want to condemn others to Hell for not believing as we do, the fact is that we're off the hook because God hasn't asked for our opinion. We are to pray for these souls, bring them into the Church through our witness and our love, and our ability to teach (etc)...and it is GOD'S job to convert them.

They have portions of the Truth...but they're missing the main point.

Personally, I'm not willing to say they're going to Hell. Y'all go ahead if you wish...I'd rather go out and hand them the link they're missing to render all this moot.

Flame me if you wish. But don't take the CCC out of context because just as you can't take the Bible verses as you wish, you can't take the CCC as you wish. The teachings are there for all of us.

Anonymous said...

819 of the CCC makes sense only in the mind of the "Spirit of Vat II"

Anonymous said...

adoro te devote said:
No matter how much we want to condemn others to hell for not believing as we do, the fact is we're off the hook because God hasn't asked for our opinion.

God did not ask for our opinion, but God did give us His. That is what the Catholic Faith was once based on, what God expected from mankind. Unfortunately this has been given a totally contradictory meaning.

Adoro te Devote said...

Yeah...God told us what we all have to do, and we are responsible for our own souls.

We lead others as we can...we don't beat them over the head with the Catechism.

By the way...that "beating" thing? That's how Baptists chased me back home. It doesn't work to convince one of "Truth" (which they're missing a huge chunk of, especially the rapturists who happen to be insane).

My point is that we can discuss this all we want, but really...why? We're not the ones called to serve on the Particular Judgment Panel. This isn't Heavenly Idol.

The greatest lesson I learned this year in my advent in teaching RCIA, was that it wasn't what I said or did...it was how I SHOWED them Christ. I still have no idea how that happened, and I did my best to be orthodox, I took unpopular stances, etc...but those weren't the things that convinced anyone.

Yeah, OK< it'd be great if God knocked everyone onto their asses (or off of them, as it were ) and blinded us/them, (as appropriate), but that's not gonna happen. Instead, for most of them out there, God is sending us...and we have to have a strategy that leaves the idea of "discussion" open, leaves the door open to God to do the work...and us to be the hands. We have to be careful not to get in our own way.

Oh, and the term "Spirit of Vatican II" has been so corrupted...it just makes me sick.

I've actually heard a very solid priest use the term, very appropriately and in the correct context, and I nearly died from shock.

I normally hate that term..it usually means "Corruption of Vatican II".

Yeah, there's problematic wording in the VII documents, but the vast majority of the problems arise from people who don't know how to work from definitions as the basis, forget that the documents were written by theologians in a hermeneutic of continuity, and they forget that the main focal point of all definitions in this regard is "theological", not "secular materialistic random preferential relativism".

Definitions go a long ways if they are actually used.

And you know what?! I recently learned how hard it is to find a theological definition from solid theological sources, having learned this lesson from 3 recent papers for my first grad level theology course.

Most people who use the term "Spirit of Vatican II" not only don't know what they're talking about, but they're making up their own definitions according to their own viewpoints without reference to anything other than...themselves.

Not the best source with which to judge the Council, but those ignoramuses are what must people use to judge it anyway.

paramedicgirl said...

Adoro, the problem I have with CCC819 is that it appears contradictory to EENS. It clearly states that many elements of truth and sanctification are found outside the CC. It seems to be preaching ecumenism to me and that it is NOT necessary to be Catholic to get to heaven. That's where the confusion lies. It's almost like it's an appeasement to a doctrine that some people find too harsh.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it Pope Benedict then Cardinal, who said the Council needs to be interpreted in light of Tradition. Apparently the "interpretation" that has become popular is not the true Council. This would include the interpretation found in the catechism that is based on the "interpretation" of the Council.

318@NICE said...

The only problem with this that I have (and one of the main reasons why I left Lutheranism and became Catholic) is that in Baptism and Faith all Protestants are saved, just like Catholics. But here's the crux, Protestants do not have the sacraments, they can't because they do not have Apostolic Succession. What are they to do when they commit mortal sin? Who do they confess to that can really forgive? How can they do pennace if they don't have it nor believe in it? How can they truly persevere in the faith to the end that they may be saved without the sacraments and Church?
In a way, it would not truly be loving for the Catholic Church to tell a Protestant he's okay when he's not and in a way this is the Catholic Church witholding the gifts of Christ to a Protestant who needs them as all God's people do.


Theocoid said...

Make sure to read 819 in light of 846 through 848. Remember that while no one is condemned for being invincibly ignorant, they're not saved by their ignorance either.

819 essentially means that Christ tries to lead all people to the truth, the fullness of which is in the Church. Since some ecclesial communities (Protestant "churches") do have some true elements (for example, necessity of Christ for salvation, necessity of baptism in some sense), they "lead" people to truth, a path that, if followed to its end, leads to the fullness of the truth in the Catholic faith. Everything true that these communities offer is also found in the Catholic faith. The truth they have is partial, so the best chance all believers have is to seek the fullness of the truth.

Anyone who willfully refuses to seek the truth (the fullness of which is in the Church) or who refuses to enter the Church knowing that Christ wills it, or who leaves it knowing that it is the Church ordained by Christ cannot be saved.

Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

I thought we had been over this a few weeks ago viz a strict post on EENS. It is easily reconcilable if one defines ones terms and places it in context. There is nothing here which was not, in fact, even foreshadowed in the OT!

Don't you all make me come over there and start taking names.

paramedicgirl said...

Thanks theocoid, that's probably the best explanation I've heard of 819, which at first glance appears contradictory to EENS. There is so much to Catholicism it's like learning a foreign language.

Simon Peter, what in 819 was foreshadowed in the OT?

Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

The case of the samaritans, the case of god-fearers within political israel, the case of the harlot Rahab, the case of Nebuchanezzer, the three Kings (wise men), the case of Namaan and leprosy: all these are examples of

"many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside the visible confines of Israel."

Sanctification is defined as adherence to the Will of God.

Only a couple of weeks ago the Pope said not a single grace comes to mankind except through the hands of Mary, and, from Her as the neck, not a single grace comes to mankind except through the Body, that is the Church. This does not just mean sanctifying grace, but actual, preveniant graces and so on.

Now, as to saying "Churches" rather than "churches" this refers to the Orthodox, perhaps (I am not sure) the Copts. Eccelesial communities refers to Anglicans, Lutherans and the "traditional" heretical sects (and the Pope just called pentecostals, baptists etc. heretical sects whilst in Brazil)

These Churches and sects are a means of salvation within the terms of EENS so long as one is ignorant through no fault of one's own and does the will of God as he knows it to be. Such persons, under the terms of EENS must still worship God according to the law written on the heart of everyman and must not die in a state of mortal sin, which, though difficult because they are without sacramental confession, and must be *perfectly* contrite, is not impossible, but...

Does Christ use these impefect vessels? Yes. Perhaps it would have been better said thus:

God permissively wills these imperfect vessels, but He does not directly will them, and there is a difference.

My two pennies.

Mark said...

Those who God saves who are not visibly within the bounds of the Catholic Church are saved by the Catholic Church nonetheless. Jesus Christ is the only Way of salvation, no other name is given to man by which he may be saved; and the Catholic Church is the visible continuity of the body of Christ till the end of time.

and that is how I understand it.

paramedicgirl said...

Amen, Mark!

Terry Nelson said...

Simon Peter said it well, as did Mark. Don't worry about it.

318@NICE said...

So then Protestants do not need to become Catholic, Neither do the Orthodox, the SSPX does not have to have full communion with Rome, so then the Vatican should lift all excommunications, even on Martin Luther, for all are saved by the Catholic Church no matter what.
Fair enough. So Luther was right in his day, the Church is invisible and that none need to be part of the Catholic Church, nor be under the Pope to be saved.

Well, I can't go back now.

Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

LOL: come on Dave, I do not know how you get to there from here. That dog won't hunt. You know damn well that is *not* the truth.

You know it Dave...don't you? "Well, I can't go back now."

paramedicgirl said...

It's rather confusing to me too, Dave, that's why I made this post - so I could get a discussion happening to better understand it myself. What I gather, is that the generations who are born into a schism are not as culpable as the generations who initiated the schism. I'm a believer in the EENS doctrine, and I'm not big on ecumenism, Assisi style. The Church has always taught that if a man is outside the Church through no fault of his own, there is hope of salvation.

From the catechism of Pope St Pius X: 29 Q. But if a man through no fault of his own is outside the Church, can he be saved?

A. If he is outside the Church through no fault of his, that is, if he is in good faith, and if he has received Baptism, or at least has the implicit desire of Baptism; and if, moreover, he sincerely seeks the truth and does God's will as best he can such a man is indeed separated from the body of the Church, but is united to the soul of the Church and consequently is on the way of salvation.