Home Forum Mortalium Animos Louie Verrecchio and Jimmy Akin

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  • #5275

    Indignus famulus
    Participant

    Dear Berto,
    Thanks very much for this further explanation, which gives us a better grasp of the concept.

    It occurred to us that the many Saints and Church Fathers who followed the Scriptural advice in “shunning”, avoiding, some not even speaking with heretics, have given us further insight into their understanding of how detrimental it is to even give the appearance of “socializing” or with those who separate themselves from truth. Many of them explain the two causes of that as the danger to the community of contamination with false ideas and bad examples, as well as the clear message it sends to those in need of serious corrections. The pain of the separation was seen as a great act of Mercy.
    It would be easy to misuse this continued connection to the soul of the Church, as if it was never known before, as the reason to ignore all the remedies applied in the past–condemning them as ignorant, leading to the toleration of sin in our midst, which Jesus condemned repeatedly.

    #5276

    Berto
    Participant

    Of course,
    but prepping for a debate means also researching the arguments of an opponent, in order not to get caught unprepared or risking a refutation on unsound basis, leading to an apparent defeat, regardless of the truth of the matter.

    In this case rejecting a (theoretical) use of Soul of the Church from the opponent on the grounds of it being a “modernist development”, as one might superficially think.
    Instead of clarifying its true meaning and even using it at one’s advantage, by highlighting exactly why it cannot possibly apply to others past the specific cases it has been doctrinally used.

    But I’m sure mr. Verrecchio is perfectly familiar with the notion, as it has been used in articles by Siscoe&others before (in attempted refutations of automatic excommunication of heretics).

    #5277

    Cyprian
    Participant

    We should keep in mind during this discussion the possible fact that the VII documents may contain enough that is orthodox in them to dispel many of the heresies that modernists like to propose. The fact that the documents contain orthodox statements had to be the case or the documents themselves would not have been approved. Have the modernists ever been called upon to defend their heresies against orthodox statements in the VII documents themselves, never mind the pre-VII magisterium?

    With that as background, is it possible to dispel the heretical interpretations of VII without even referring to prior Church documents? Another way of looking at this is that those who rely only on VII are bound by the necessary internal inconsistencies of the VII documents.

    For example, John Paul II in the portions reproduced above from UUS by Matthew literally gushes like a young girl – spinning his conception of the Church of the new advent as if it is full of unicorns, rainbows, gossamer-winged butterflies and candy:

    “Albeit in an invisible way, the communion between our Communities, even if still incomplete, is truly and solidly grounded in the full communion of the Saints – those who, at the end of a life faithful to grace, are in communion with Christ in glory. These Saints come from all the Churches and Ecclesial Communities which gave them entrance into the communion of salvation.” (UUS §84)

    But, but but! We, as the reality-based fathers, have to correct our young daughter’s flight of fancy by referring her back to what she has already admitted as authority. JP II recognized Lumen Gentium as the source for some of his [false] beliefs:

    “The Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium stressed that the Catholic Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with these Communities by a true union in the Holy Spirit.” (UUS §11)

    Alright, if LG is his source of authority – JP II has to measure his propositions by ALL that LG stands for, and not just pick-and-choose those portions that advance his agenda. LG also has this statement that rings crystal-clear as a Church bell on a crisp and clear fall morning:

    “This Sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism(124) and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.” (LG 14)

    Now, the most relevant portion of this section of LG 14 is the last sentence: “Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.” If JP II recognizes LG II as one of the sources of his teaching in UUS, he also has to recognize that he is bound by this teaching from LG as well.

    That is, all his flights-of-fancy in UUS are true only if they do not contradict this teaching. Accordingly, when reading the portions from UUS reproduced by Matthew above, we always have to be thinking – “When the issue of salvation of a heretic comes up, we as Catholics believe that the objective teaching of the Church is that the heretic is not saved if he learned that the Catholic Church is the unique ark of salvation established by Our Lord AND refused to enter it prior to death, or in the case of early heretics like Martin Luther – left it!”

    Alright, so this is how one section of UUS reproduced by Matthew above should really read:

    (What JP II said:) “Albeit in an invisible way, the communion between our Communities, even if still incomplete, is truly and solidly grounded in the full communion of the Saints – those who, at the end of a life faithful to grace, are in communion with Christ in glory. These Saints come from all the Churches and Ecclesial Communities which gave them entrance into the communion of salvation.”

    (The necessary gloss mandated by the identified sentence from LG 14 that JP II left out): “Those who apparently live lives of heroic virtue outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church objectively are not saved and are not saints if they knew that the Catholic Church was the unique ark of salvation established by Our Lord for the salvation of souls and resisted until the moment of their death the movements of the Holy Ghost to enter the Catholic Church.”

    That is, only those who are in invincible ignorance (who have not heard proclaimed to them the claims of the Catholic Church regarding her unique status as the ark of salvation) can be saved if they do not enter the Church. All those others who know of the claims of the Church are bound by LG 14: “Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.”

    Using this rationale we do not even have to appeal to pre-VII teaching to dispel false teachings on unity. Those who like to scandalize the faithful are always proposing that ecclesial communities outside the visible boundaries of the Church are producing veritable bumper crops of saints – we need only ask those who make such propositions whether their statements are necessarily restricted to those who did not know of the claims of the Catholic Church regarding her unique status as the ark of salvation established by Our Lord. If they reject such a necessary restriction out of hand they demonstrate that they are not even bound by the VII “magisterium”, never mind the pre-VII magisterium!

    Need we even bring up that Cardinal Kasper is a heretic by VII standards because he apparently rejects the necessity of those who are outside the Church to enter the Church when they understand that the Church is the unique ark of salvation established by Our Lord?

    Also keep in mind that it is the rare protestant who does not know of the claims of the Church regarding her unique status.

    #5278

    Berto
    Participant

    Cyprian,
    I’m not sure, but do not the Kaspers also claim that is impossible to know if those outside the (visible) Church truly understand “the necessity” and therefore, also via the “only God can know a man’s soul” card, we cannot POSSIBLY know if they even need to?
    I’ve heard some NOs say that. According to them even though a Protestant might hear he needs the Catholic Faith daily for his Salvation, he might be “invincibly ignorant” to the fact, and therefore we can’t be sure ourselves he needs to!

    As you can see, it’s not as easy as it seems, and NOism is essentially a labyrith of lies leading one to endless wandering and not even one certainty whatsover.

    #5279

    Indignus famulus
    Participant

    Dear Cyprian,
    We’re learning quite a bit from reading all the above posts, including this last one of yours-which seems very insightful regarding the document of VII.
    Thank you for these efforts. We’re still playing catch-up and it helps. :-)

    #5280

    Berto
    Participant

    Maybe I wasn’t clear above.
    What they try to confuse/object to is:

    a)”Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.”

    We can’t KNOW who actually KNOWS “that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ”, regardless of them hearing about it.
    *via inability to read people’s hearts and minds

    b)Invincible Ignorance. Again via inability to read people’s hearts and minds, we cannot know WHO exactly is Invincibly Ignorant, whatever denomination he may be part of.

    *they extend the concept of I.I. to everyone not esplicitly Catholic

    #5281

    Mike
    Participant

    So Berto, (et al.), From what you quoted from the 1917 Code, if one who’s excommunicated is still internally connected to the Soul of the Church, would that also hold for one who is validly baptized, (e.g. Episcopalian, Lutheran, Orthodox, etc.), and then raised in an heretical sect, that they are internally connected? Is this, or could this, be understood as a partial communion?

    #5282

    Cyprian
    Participant

    @Berto: I understood what you were saying and expected that to be raised as an issue. That is why I was careful to include the word “objectively” in my formulation. We can know (1) whether it was proclaimed to a heretic that the Church is the unique ark of salvation established by Our Lord; (2) what reply we received when we queried the heretic if he understood what the claim of the Church entails; and (3) whether or not the heretic joined himself to the Church before the end of his life. These are objective facts. If the answers to 1, 2 and 3 are Yes, Yes No, we have no objective reason to believe that the heretic ended up any place other than hell.

    Kasper’s argument is duplicitous when you consider his assertion is a blanket assertion – that even those who do come to know that the Church was established by Christ as the unique ark of salvation have no need to convert. It has become public knowledge that people so moved by the Holy Ghost to enter the Church have been counseled by those in the hierarchy not to do so because it is not necessary! When pushed to this extreme it becomes clear that such people counseling others not to convert are religious indifferentists pure and simple and don’t even honor the most narrow understanding of the statement I made reference to in LG 14.

    #5283

    Cyprian
    Participant

    @Berto: One other point. If one could succeed in pinning the likes of Kasper down, he may admit that one of the reasons he believes that an heretic may not “know” that the Church is the unique ark of salvation established by Our Lord is because he was not able to convince himself of the claim from the external evidence and arguments available to him.

    CraigV has already made mention of the fact that the modernists essentially blot out the concept of supernatural faith, divine revelation and our responsibility to assent to those truths revealed to us by the Almighty. In so doing they also render the decrees of Vatican I a dead letter. Just to make it easier on those reading this thread I will reproduce the relevant portions of VI already made mention of by CraigV.

    “Chapter 3
    On faith

    1. Since human beings are totally dependent on God as their creator and lord, and created reason is completely subject to uncreated truth, we are obliged to yield to God the revealer full submission of intellect and will by faith.

    2. This faith, which is the beginning of human salvation, the Catholic Church professes to be a supernatural virtue, by means of which, with the grace of God inspiring and assisting us, we believe to be true what He has revealed, not because we perceive its intrinsic truth by the natural light of reason, but because of the authority of God himself, who makes the revelation and can neither deceive nor be deceived.

    * * *

    6. Now, although the assent of faith is by no means a blind movement of the mind, yet no one can accept the gospel preaching in the way that is necessary for achieving salvation without the inspiration and illumination of the Holy Spirit, who gives to all facility in accepting and believing the truth [20].

    7. And so faith in itself, even though it may not work through charity, is a gift of God, and its operation is a work belonging to the order of salvation, in that a person yields true obedience to God himself when he accepts and collaborates with his grace which he could have rejected.

    8. Wherefore, by divine and Catholic faith all those things are to be believed which are contained in the word of God as found in Scripture and tradition, and which are proposed by the Church as matters to be believed as divinely revealed, whether by her solemn judgment or in her ordinary and universal magisterium.

    9. Since, then, without faith it is impossible to please God [21] and reach the fellowship of his sons and daughters, it follows that no one can ever achieve justification without it, neither can anyone attain eternal life unless he or she perseveres in it to the end.

    10. So that we could fulfill our duty of embracing the true faith and of persevering unwaveringly in it, God, through his only begotten Son, founded the Church, and he endowed his institution with clear notes to the end that she might be recognized by all as the guardian and teacher of the revealed word.

    11. To the Catholic Church alone belong all those things, so many and so marvelous, which have been divinely ordained to make for the manifest credibility of the Christian faith.

    * * *

    Chapter 4.
    On faith and reason

    1. The perpetual agreement of the Catholic Church has maintained and maintains this too: that there is a twofold order of knowledge, distinct not only as regards its source, but also as regards its object.

    2. With regard to the source, we know at the one level by natural reason, at the other level by divine faith.

    3. With regard to the object, besides those things to which natural reason can attain, there are proposed for our belief mysteries hidden in God which, unless they are divinely revealed, are incapable of being known.

    Wherefore, when the Apostle, who witnesses that God was known to the gentiles from created things [29], comes to treat of the grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ [30], he declares: We impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glorification. None of the rulers of this age understood this. God has revealed it to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God [31]. And the Only-begotten himself, in his confession to the Father, acknowledges that the Father has hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to the little ones [32].

    4. Now reason, does indeed when it seeks persistently, piously and soberly, achieve by God’s gift some understanding, and that most profitable, of the mysteries, whether by analogy from what it knows naturally, or from the connection of these mysteries with one another and with the final end of humanity; but reason is never rendered capable of penetrating these mysteries in the way in which it penetrates those truths which form its proper object.

    For the divine mysteries, by their very nature, so far surpass the created understanding that, even when a revelation has been given and accepted by faith, they remain covered by the veil of that same faith and wrapped, as it were, in a certain obscurity, as long as in this mortal life we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, and not by sight [33].

    5. Even though faith is above reason, there can never be any real disagreement between faith and reason, since it is the same God who reveals the mysteries and infuses faith, and who has endowed the human mind with the light of reason.

    * * *

    13. For the doctrine of the faith which God has revealed is put forward not as some philosophical discovery capable of being perfected by human intelligence, but as a divine deposit committed to the spouse of Christ to be faithfully protected and infallibly promulgated.

    Canons

    2. On revelation

    * * *

    2. If anyone says that it is impossible, or not expedient, that human beings should be taught by means of divine revelation about God and the worship that should be shown him : let him be anathema.

    3. If anyone says that a human being cannot be divinely elevated to a knowledge and perfection which exceeds the natural, but of himself can and must reach finally the possession of all truth and goodness by continual development: let him be anathema.

    * * *

    3. On faith

    1. If anyone says that human reason is so independent that faith cannot be commanded by God: let him be anathema.

    2. If anyone says that divine faith is not to be distinguished from natural knowledge about God and moral matters, and consequently that for divine faith it is not required that revealed truth should be believed because of the authority of God who reveals it: let him be anathema.

    3. If anyone says that divine revelation cannot be made credible by external signs, and that therefore men and women ought to be moved to faith only by each one’s internal experience or private inspiration: let him be anathema.

    * * *

    5. If anyone says that the assent to Christian faith is not free, but is necessarily produced by arguments of human reason; or that the grace of God is necessary only for living faith which works by charity: let him be anathema.”

    #5284

    CraigV
    Participant

    In neo-catholic terms, “knowing” of the necessity to enter the Church for salvation means “being convinced” of the necessity to enter the Church for salvation. Now anyone who is actually “convinced” obviously enters, so everyone who doesn’t enter must be in invincible ignorance. Hence…universal salvation.

    It renders the dogma No Salvation Outside the Church into something like this: “There is no salvation outside the Church except for those who are not convinced there is no salvation outside the Church.”

    As Pope Pius XII wrote in Humani Generis: “Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation.”

    I think what we see with post-V2 converts turned V2 apologists (such as Akin) is that they’ve converted into this neo-catholicism and have absorbed this new theology. They have left behind many friends and family members, some now deceased, in their protestantism. They’ve believed for decades that their loved ones were ok where they were. How hard it must be for them to now accept the traditional authentic teaching. Especially considering their now deceased loved ones who died outside the visible bonds of Holy Mother Church. It’s much easier to assume they were saved by equating their lack of being “convinced” with invincible ignorance, than to accept the reality of EENS and simply pray that an unseen miracle happened before the end of their lives and they were incorporated into the Church.

    Hope that makes sense!

    #5285

    Matthew
    Participant

    Dear CraigV,

    That precisely sums up the situation.

    I have noticed a similar misunderstanding in regards to mortal sin, i.e. that only a person who consciously chooses something evil as evil, i.e. who chooses to sin precisely because it is sinful, is guilty of mortal sin. But, what man chooses evil as such? Does not even the worst sinner thinks he procures some good by his sin? Thus, I have heard people argue, it is virtually impossible to commit a mortal sin.

    It seems to me that the same logic is at work in both situations.

    #5286

    Cyprian
    Participant

    Very good discussion again. Thanks to CraigV for clearly explaining how a neo-catholic would understand the word “know”.

    So let us review what is proposed for belief by John Paul II in UUS and by the “Church” in VII.

    VII proposes that the Holy Spirit is working outside the visible boundaries of the Church. Presumably at all times it would seem that the Holy Spirit would be calling those outside the visible boundaries of the Church first, into the Church, because the Church is the unique ark of salvation establish by Our Lord, and second, to increasingly greater lives of sanctity. The ordering of these movements of the Holy Spirit is intentional because it is only in the Church where the entire truth and means of salvation are found.

    Now, according to John Paul II, an individual outside the boundaries of the Church can become a saint even though that individual resists the movements of the Holy Spirit throughout his entire life and dies outside the visible boundaries of the Church.

    Need we even ask that this individual may, during his life of supposed sanctity, may be spreading heresies among those souls who are also being moved by the Holy Spirit to enter the Church, heresies that often deny the very claim of the Catholic Church as the unique ark of salvation? Surely, John Paul II did not claim that those spreading heresy are doing so at the instigation of the Holy Spirit, did he? So one can become a saint even though he does not die to himself, affirmatively resists the movements of the Holy Spirit, and works against the Church by spreading heresy? How does this make any sense?

    #5287

    CraigV
    Participant

    “Surely, John Paul II did not claim that those spreading heresy are doing so at the instigation of the Holy Spirit, did he?”

    Well, here’s a quote from JP2’s Crossing the Threshold of Hope:

    “Although the Catholic Church knows that it has the fullness of the means of salvation, it rejoices when other Christian communities join her in preaching the gospel.” (Page 141, Crossing the Threshold…)

    What do you think he believed?

    #5288

    Cyprian
    Participant

    So a natural and undeniable attribute of this meta-structure that John Paul II proposes is a combination of the Church – whose members preach the truth whole and undefiled – and those sects outside the Church who he claims are in partial communion with the Church – whose members in many instances teach error and falsehood.

    How many bible passages do we have to ignore willfully to conclude that this meta-structure is a good thing and that we should willingly join in its “sacraments”, e.g., inter-religious prayer meetings?

    First, we have to ignore that with respect to a Catholic one outside the Church is a non-believer by rejecting one or more teachings the Church proposes for belief and to pretend that in spite of this division we can still have partial unity with the non-Catholic. St. Paul rejects such a
    proposition out of hand:

    “Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as God saith: I will dwell in them, and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore, Go out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: And I will receive you; and I will be a Father to you; and you shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6: 14 – 18

    Note St. Paul did not recommend that we remain in perpetual dialogue with unbelievers, but admonished us to withdraw from their presence! You have to have pretty big britches to believe that as shepherd of the universal flock you can ignore such a clear teaching by St. Paul himself and, in fact, adopt the exact opposite discipline!

    Second, the long-term prospects for such a meta-structure are clearly predicted by Our Lord in Mark’s gospel:

    “And they come to a house, and the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends had heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him. For they said: He is become mad. And the scribes who were come down from Jerusalem, said: He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of devils he casteth out devils. And after he had called them together, he said to them in parables: How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan be risen up against himself, he is divided, and cannot stand, but hath an end. No man can enter into the house of a strong man and rob him of his goods, unless he first bind the strong man, and then shall he plunder his house.

    Amen I say to you, that all sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and the blasphemies wherewith they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, shall never have forgiveness, but shall be guilty of an everlasting sin. Because they said: He hath an unclean spirit.” Mark 3: 20 – 28

    So the destiny of any human entity whose members are not united is eventual collapse. The only question then becomes is whether the Church itself will suffer consequences as a result of the eventual collapse? Why should we even venture the risk of negative consequences in the Church when Our Lord and the Apostles are so clear in their teaching that there can be no unity with unbelievers?

    Third, to even get to the point where we are engaging in an “ecumenical” inter-religious prayer meeting we have to ignore the fact that the non-believer has already rejected the message of the Church that she is the unique ark of salvation. What did Our Lord say of those who reject the message of those who preach in his name?:

    “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.” Luke 10:16)

    So when we preach to the unbeliever that the Church is the unique ark of salvation and the unbeliever rejects that message, not only is the unbeliever rejecting us – he is rejecting Our Lord and the Almighty Himself!

    We also have to ignore that Our Lord instructed us to withdraw ourselves from those who reject His teachings:

    “And into what city soever you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick that are therein, and say to them: The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But into whatsoever city you enter, and they receive you not, going forth into the streets thereof, say: Even the very dust of your city that cleaveth to us, we wipe off against you. Yet know this, that the kingdom of God is at hand. I say to you, it shall be more tolerable at that day for Sodom, than for that city.

    Woe to thee, Corozain, woe to thee, Bethsaida. For if in Tyre and Sidon had been wrought the mighty works that have been wrought in you, they would have done penance long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgement, than for you. And thou, Capharnaum, which art exalted unto heaven, thou shalt be thrust down to hell.”

    We also have to ignore that by being hospitable to those we know have clearly rejected Our Lord’s message that we are participating in some way in their wickedness and causing scandal to the faithful by sending “mixed messages” about the necessary unity of our beliefs:

    “Whosoever revolteth, and continueth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that continueth in the doctrine, the same hath both the Father and the Son. If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him, God speed you.
    For he that saith unto him, God speed you, communicateth with his wicked works.” 2 John 1: 9 – 11

    So in light of all these clear teachings and warnings, do any of you feel confident that the concept of partial unity with unbelievers is a tenable concept? So tenable that we should accept it with docility and join with those who have not gathered with Our Lord and His Church? Or should we reject it as a false doctrine:

    “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

    Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1 : 6 – 10

    #5289

    Matthew
    Participant

    While researching this topic, I came across a German-language catechism class given by Cardinal Marx in 2013 on the article, “I believe in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.” It was so bad, I felt moved to translate part of it, just so that folks can get an idea of how these people think and talk about Holy Mother Church.

    http://theradicalcatholic.blogspot.ch/2014/11/cardinal-marx-on-church.html

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