Home Forum All Things Catholic Archbishop Lefebvre made a mistake?

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  • #5150

    Archbishop Lefebvre on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus according to Mundabor- he made a mistake
    (http://mundabor.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/archbishop-lefebvre-on-extra-ecclesiam-nulla-salus/)
    Archbishop Lefebvre on “Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus”

    Posted by Mundabor

    With every year it becomes clearer what a great man he was: Marcel Lefebvre.
    I am more and more persuaded that if one wants to read contemporary sources of undoubted Catholic orthodoxy, the SSPX is the place where to look…
    First, the late Archbishop sets the main points of the question:
    The Church is the one ark of salvation, and we must not be afraid to affirm it. You have often heard it said, “Outside the Church there is no salvation”–a dictum which offends contemporary minds. It is easy to believe that this doctrine is no longer in effect, that it has been dropped. It seems excessively severe.
    Yet nothing, in fact, has changed; nothing can be changed in this area. Our Lord did not found a number of churches: He founded only One. There is only one Cross by which we can be saved, and that Cross has been given to the Catholic Church. It has not been given to others. To His Church, His mystical bride, Christ has given all graces. No grace in the world, no grace in the history of humanity is distributed except through her.
    Then, he proceeds to explain how proper Catholic doctrine is rightly interpreted:
    Does that mean that no Protestant, no Muslim, no Buddhist or animist will be saved? No, it would be a second error to think that. Those who cry for intolerance in interpreting St. Cyprian’s formula, “Outside the Church there is no salvation,” also reject the Creed, “I confess one baptism for the remission of sins,” and are insufficiently instructed as to what baptism is. There are three ways of receiving it: the baptism of water; the baptism of blood (that of the martyrs who confessed the faith while still catechumens) and baptism of desire.

    (Lionel: Wrong there is only one way of receiving it. De facto there is only the baptism of water. We cannot administer the baptism of desire to any one. We do not know any one who will be saved this year with the baptism of blood and so will not need the baptism of water. Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre assumes that the baptism of desire and baptism of blood are explicit for us and so are exceptions to the traditional intepretation of extra ecclesiam nulla salus. Otherwise why would he mention it? It is relevant only if it is explicit.He has accepted the wrong inference of the Letter of the Holy Office 1949.)

    Baptism of desire can be explicit. Many times in Africa I heard one of our catechumens say to me, “Father, baptize me straightaway because if I die before you come again, I shall go to hell.” I told him “No, if you have no mortal sin on your conscience and if you desire baptism, then you already have the grace in you.”
    The doctrine of the Church also recognizes implicit baptism of desire.

    (Lionel: The baptism of desire refers to a catechumen who sought the baptism of water and was denied before he received it. For us this case is hypothetical. It is always invisible for us and known only to God. We cannot know any such case in 2014 and so it cannot be an exception to all needing the baptism of water for salvation.)

    This consists in doing the will of God. God knows all men and He knows that amongst Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists and in the whole of humanity there are men of good will. They receive the grace of baptism without knowing it, but in an effective way. In this way they become part of the Church.

    (Lionel: And we do not know who they are in 2014.)

    The error consists in thinking that they are saved by their religion. They are saved in their religion but not by it.

    (Lionel: If they are saved in their religion by Jesus and the Church how is this relevant to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus? Since this would be a theoretical case for us. Hypothetical cases cannot be exceptions in 2014 to the literal and traditional interpretation of the dogma according to the Church Councils, popes, saints and Fr.Leonard Feeney of Boston)

    There is no Buddhist church in heaven, no Protestant church. This is perhaps hard to accept, but it is the truth. I did not found the Church, but rather Our Lord the Son of God. As priests we must state the Truth.

    (Lionel: He is correct here.There are only Catholics in Heaven)

    Finally, in case you should think there is a rather easy way to salvation outside the Church, he takes all illusions away from you:
    But at the cost of what difficulties do people in those countries where Christianity has not penetrated come to receive baptism by desire! Error is an obstacle to the Holy Ghost. This explains why the Church has always sent missionaries into all countries of the world, why thousands of them have suffered martyrdom. If salvation can be found in any religion, why cross the seas, why subject oneself to unhealthy climates, to a harsh life, to sickness and an early death? From the martyrdom of St. Stephen onwards (the first to give his life for Christ, and for this reason his feast is the day after Christmas), the Apostles set out to spread the Good News throughout the Mediterranean countries.
    Would they have done this if one could be saved by worshipping Cybele or by the mysteries of Eleusis? Why did Our Lord say to them, “Go and preach the Gospel to all nations?”
    Finally, a concrete example of how the post V II Church could be terribly wrong, and suffer the Truth to be substituted with heresy or worse by the work of the bishops themselves:
    It is amazing that nowadays certain people want to let everyone find his own way to God according to the beliefs prevailing in his own “cultural milieu.” A bishop once told a priest who wanted to convert the little Muslims, “No, teach them to be good Muslims; that will be much better than making Catholics of them.”
    Now please observe this:
    1) This is straightforward, well explained, full of common sense and easy-to-grasp wisdom. Personally, I found that whenever you look for authentic Catholic answers, this is what you find.
    2) This comes from a man of such unflinching orthodoxy

    ( Lionel: It is not orthodoxy to infer that the dead-saved are visible exceptions to Tradition and then to use this same irrational inference in the interpretation of Vatican Council II to contradict extra ecclesiam nulla salus and Tradition. )

    as to be able to suffer excommunication just a few years before death, for the sake of Truth.

    (Lionel: It is true Vatican Council II was being interpreted with an irrational premise which came from the Letter of the Holy Office 1949. So he was correct about Vatican Council. However he did not know that the Council could have also been interpreted without the premise . The magisterium was of no help to him.They were not aware of the false premise being used in the interpretation.)

    You can think for yourself how probable it is this is not a fair and accurate representation of infallible Magisterium.
    I have very often found that the critics of the SSPX love to criticise them based on preconceptions they have heard of – probably by some tambourine priest – and uncritically accepted. These people are seriously good, infinitely better Catholics than those priests and bishops calling them “schismatics”, or worse.
    Irrespective of the final outcome of the SSPX-Vatican talks,

    (Lionel: The final outcome of the talks, the second round, depends upon understanding this error made by Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX bishops and priests.)

    I would encourage everyone to inform themselves about the SSPX position (Lionel: It is irrational, non traditonal and heretical) on whatever matter, rather than indulging in criticism by hearsay.
    You will discover they take their name very, very seriously.
    Mundabor

    -Lionel Andrades
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2014/10/archbishop-lefebvre-on-extra-ecclesiam.html

    #5191

    Berto
    Participant

    Lionel, I doubt there is someone here who shares your view, or cares enough about the issue, sadly.

    Also thank you for this, I was not aware Lefebvre, instead of baptising catechumens explicitly asking for it, simply told them “nah, it’s ok, we got baptism of desire”.
    That is nothing short of irresponsible…

    #5192

    I was not aware Lefebvre, instead of baptising catechumens explicitly asking for it, simply told them “nah, it’s ok, we got baptism of desire”.
    That is nothing short of irresponsible…

    Lionel:
    Oh no! Don’t get me wrong.
    Archbishop Lefebvre appealed to affirm extra ecclesiam nulla salus as it was traditionally known.( I do not have the quote here with me at this moment)
    He would never say that the baptism of desire is an exception and so someone should not be baptised with water.

    He rejected Vatican Council II and was indirectly rejecting the error in the Letter of the Holy Office but as a traditionalist he was affirming the dogma on exclusive salvation in the Church, according to Tradition. Since he held on to Tradition he could not be wrong inspite of the magisterium’s confusion.

    His misreading of the Letter of the Holy Office 1949, I think, was an oversight. Something which was there and still is there, as you note, in the Catholic Church on such a big scale.

    #5196

    Berto
    Participant

    Lionel, the very text you posted says this:

    “Many times in Africa I heard one of our catechumens say to me, “Father, baptize me straightaway because if I die before you come again, I shall go to hell.” I told him “No, if you have no mortal sin on your conscience and if you desire baptism, then you already have the grace in you.””

    How is that:
    a)responsible
    b)traditional

    Also “The error consists in thinking that they are saved by their religion. They are saved in their religion but not by it. ”

    This does not make sense and is almost surely erroneous.

    #5200

    “Many times in Africa I heard one of our catechumens say to me, “Father, baptize me straightaway because if I die before you come again, I shall go to hell.” I told him “No, if you have no mortal sin on your conscience and if you desire baptism, then you already have the grace in you.””

    How is that:
    a)responsible
    b)traditional
    Lionel: We cannot tell anyone that the baptism of desire is equal to the baptism of water and one does not need the baptism of water.

    Also “The error consists in thinking that they are saved by their religion. They are saved in their religion but not by it. ”
    This does not make sense and is almost surely erroneous.

    Lionel:
    If he implies that this is an exception to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus then it is irrational.

    #5201

    Berto
    Participant

    Lionel,
    maybe this is nothing of importance, but I just read Father Gruner’s comments on EENS here:

    I’m referring to first sets of comments directly below the video.
    He seems to be a fervent supporter of a somewhat correct interpretation of the dogma.
    Maybe you can contact him, and seeing how he has a relatively big media apparatus behind him, you can encourage him to promote orthodoxy on the matter to a wider audience.

    Berto.

    #5220

    Here is Fr.Gruner’s good reply.
    Thank you for your conscientious reply. Bishop Hay did much more justice to the need for a fuller, cogent argument (as you point out) than a single quote can demonstrate. You can find his full treatment of this important topic in his book, The Sincere Christian, in the Appendix titled, “An Inquiry, Whether Salvation Can Be Had without True Faith, and Out of the Communion of the Church of Christ?” (This classic text is online at https://archive.org/stream/worksofbishophay02hayuoft#page/n363/mode/2up See pages 274-365 in the electronic pagination, corresponding to pages 259-348 of the printed book.)

    Of course the advantage (and responsibility) of having definitions of the Faith is that we have a clear and explicit norm, according to which all non-infallible expressions – such as those of the Second Vatican Council – must be understood.

    That Vatican II’s teachings differ in authoritativeness from all previous ecumenical councils is clear from a variety of admissions even from those involved in the Council. As Pope Paul VI admitted, “In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided any extraordinary statements of dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility….” (General Audience of January 12, 1966, 6th paragraph; http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/audiences/1966/documents/hf_p-vi_aud_19660112_it.html) Cardinal Ratzinger also made this well-known comment: “The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council.” (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Address to the Bishops of Chile, July 13, 1988; http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=3032) Bishop Thomas Morris recalled his “relief” at learning of the Council’s non-infallible theological note, and he admitted that this casual attitude led him to give approval to documents which he knew had been sloppily worded: “I was relieved when we were told that this Council was not aiming at defining or giving final statements on doctrine, because a statement of doctrine has to be very carefully formulated, and I … regarded the Council documents as tentative and likely to be reformed.” (“A Bishop’s Candid Memories of Vatican II,” Catholic World News, January 22, 1997, http://www.catholicculture.org/news/features/index.cfm?recnum=4091&repos=4&subrepos=1&searchid=1265687)

    The dogma that outside of the Church there is neither forgiveness of sins nor salvation, is commonly contradicted today by theologians and clergy, and is perhaps generally even unknown to the Catholic laity, but this does not make the Church’s teaching any less true. The rule of Catholic Faith remains clear in the Church’s solemn definitions. And certainly it would be as manifestly absurd as it is untrue to suggest that the Church’s infallible proclamations are not sufficiently clear so as to allow us to arrive at the truth of Catholic teaching by what the Pope defines, but only through what some non-infallible theologian says about what the Pope defines!

    Here are three precise and infallible expressions of the Catholic teaching, to which we are bound to conform our beliefs:

    “We firmly believe and simply confess that … there is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.” (Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council; Dz. 430, D.S. 802.)

    “We firmly believe and simply confess this [one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church], outside which there is no salvation nor remission of sin.” (Boniface VIII, Bull Unam Sanctam; Dz. 469, D.S. 875.)

    “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 have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Eugene IV, Bull Cantate Domino; Dz. 714, D.S. 1351.)
    ____________________________________________________

    I have written often to Your Questions Answered and also directly to Fr.Gruner and John Vennari but received no acknowledgement or answer.

    While what he says above is correct and traditional he has never corrected the SSPX position. He has never mentioned that the baptism of desire and being saved in invincible ignorance can be accepted as possibilities but not exceptions to the dogma since they are not visible to us in real-time.
    Recently Fr.Paul Kramer made the same SSPX mistake.He is not aware of the eror in the Letter of the Holy Office.
    Even the St.Benedict Centers whom Fr.Kramer criticizes interprets Vatican Council II with the same irrational reasoning.

    #5222

    Berto
    Participant

    Good.
    I don’t understand the SSPX regarding Vatican II, so I will not comment about it but I cannot for the life of me understand HOW the SSPX can cite Bishop Hay nonchalantelly after a whole article bashing “feeneyism” and trying to convince readers BOD BOB II are very real and happening all around us, ergo they are facts.
    The two positions are incompatible.

    About Gruner, yes, his reply (very similar to the one he made to the feller in the comment section) is very clear and uses quote I have used throughout the years trying to argue EENS.

    May I ask, why are you so interested in the SSPX interpretation of V:II, instead of the dogma itself?

    #5223

    Berto:
    HOW the SSPX can cite Bishop Hay nonchalantelly after a whole article bashing “feeneyism” and trying to convince readers BOD BOB II are very real and happening all around us, ergo they are facts.
    The two positions are incompatible.

    Lionel:
    Your right! They are incompatible!
    It is a denial of the dogma.It is heresy.
    It is irrational and non compatible.

    Berto:
    May I ask, why are you so interested in the SSPX interpretation of V:II, instead of the dogma itself?

    Without the mistake they are making now, Vatican Council II would be in agreement with extra ecclesiam nulla salus as it was traditionally interpreted. It would not contradict the traditional teaching on other religions and Christian communities. Since Ad Gentes 7 affirms the dogma.

    With extra ecclesiam nulla salus in position Vatican Council II is traditional on other religions, Christian communities and religious liberty.
    Extra ecclesiam nulla salus is the key.

    It means in dialogue with the Vatican, it is the CDF which must allege that all Jews, Muslims and other non Catholics must convert into the Catholic Church for salvation.Vatican Council II says this and not pre Vatican Council II traditionalists.

    It means that the SSPX can tell the Bishop of Albano that they can accept Vatican Council II in which LG 16,LG 8,UR 3,NA 2 are not exceptions to the dogma. They can ask him if he is willing to do the same.

    There are so many other ramifications once this comes in place.

    #5224

    NOVEMBER 2, 2014

    Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary are making the same error on Vatican Council II as the SSPX and sedevacantists
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2014/11/slaves-of-immaculate-heart-of-mary-are.html

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