Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Absurdity of Separated Brethren

Before Protestants were "separated brethren"...


Q. Does the Lord make use of apostate Catholics, such as Martin Luther, Calvin, John Knox, Henry VIII., King of England, to reform the manners of the people?

A. The thought is absurd. The lives of those men were evil, and it is only the devil that makes use of them to pervert the people still more. The Lord makes use of His saints, such as a St. Francis of Assisium, a St. Dominick, a St. Ignatius, a St. Alphonsus, to convert the people and reform their evil manners by explaining to them the truths of faith, the commandments, and the necessity of receiving the sacraments with proper dispositions, and by setting them in their own lives the loftiest example of faith, purity, and all Christian virtues.

Q. Are there any other reasons to show that heretics, or Protestants who die out of the Roman Catholic Church, are not saved?

A. There are several. They cannot be saved, because

1. They have no divine faith.

2. They make a liar of Jesus Christ, of the Holy Ghost, and of the Apostles.

3. They have no faith in Christ.

4. They fell away from the true Church of Christ.

5. They are too proud to submit to the Pope, the Vicar of Christ.

6. They cannot perform any good works whereby they can obtain heaven.

7. They do not receive the Body and Blood of Christ.

8. They die in their sins.

9. They ridicule and blaspheme the Mother of God and His saints.

10. They slander the spouse of Jesus Christ —:the Catholic Church.

Q. What is the act of faith of a Protestant?

A. O my God, I believe nothing except what my own private judgment tells me to believe; therefore I believe that I can interpret Thy written word—the Holy Scriptures —as I choose. I believe that the Pope is anti-Christ; that any man can be saved, provided he is an honest man; I believe that faith alone is sufficient for salvation; that good works, and works of penance, and the confession of sins are not necessary, etc.

Q. Have Protestants any faith in Christ?

A. They never had.

Q. Why not?

A. Because there never lived such a Christ as they imagine and believe in.

Q. In what kind of a Christ do they believe?

A. In such a one of whom they can make a liar, with impunity, whose doctrine they can interpret as they please, and who does not care about what a man believes, provided he be an honest man before the public.

Q. Will such a faith in such a Christ save Protestants?

A. No sensible man will assert such an absurdity.

Familiar Explanation of Christian Doctrine
For the Family and More Advanced Students in Catholic Schools (1875)
(pgs 70, 91-93, 97-98; with imprimatur)

43 comments:

HikoBills said...

"Wow," is all I can say.

EA said...

Oh, Oh, let me..."That's not an official teaching of the Catholic Church, but private statements of the author. And even though it received the Imprimatur from the local bishop that in and of itself is not an assurance that every statement is accurate. It only means that in total it does not contradict any Catholic Teachings. Furthermore, the fact that you use this text as a shameful anti-Catholic smear is reprehensible. I never ceased to be amazed at the depths to which you will descend in your hatred of the One True Church."

; ^ )

Andrew said...

I don't know about you, but I would rather be called a heretic than patronized with the label "separated brother".

BillyHW said...

Revolting against the Church Jesus Christ founded is not "okay."

There is no salvation outside the Church, and what you've posted is just a flowery elaboration of that doctrine.

Still, it would be nice if you, um, maybe had a look at documents from, say, the Council of Trent, or Vatican I and II, or encyclicals like Dominus Iesus, rather than a grade school textbook from the 19th century.

kaycee said...

In reality, "Separated Brethen" is just a kinder, gentler way of saying heretic. The words have changed but the meaning is still the same. It's just part of the change in tactics to draw heretics back to the "one true church". Other stealth words include faith, gospel, "unanimous consent", etc...

EA nailed it.

Howard Fisher said...

To be steeped in Roman Catholic history is to cease being modern post-Vatican II Roman Catholic.

:-)

Tim Enloe said...

James, Carrie, Rhology, or others who write on this blog - I don't know how to get hold of any of you, and I have a question to ask about your understanding of sola fide since there is so much rhetoric here about Rome's "false Gospel" and RCs in no way being any kind of brotherly relation to us.

Assuming that all of you recognize that saving faith in Reformation theology is composed of three elements - notitia, assensus, and fiducia - what do all include in notitia, and how do see notitia relating to fiducia?

Please don't take this question the wrong way - I'm not making apologies for the problems of Catholic soteriology. Like you, I believe that the Reformation was right and Catholicism was (and is) wrong on the point of sola fide. However, it would seem that there is a difference between the substance of theology and particular polemical strategies used to defend the substance. In this case, there is ample precedent in Reformed theology for a view which refuses to "maximize" the content of notitia and relegate fiducia to the primarily intellectual sphere of "understanding sound doctrine." I could cite you Turretin, Hodge, Dabney, and Berkhof on these matters if necessary, and I'd like to know if any of you feel that your own seemingly contrary stand on the relationship of notitia to fiducia is somehow normative for all "orthodox" Reformed people.

I think some of you need to show that you've thought about this point as a contextualizing or mitigating factor regarding your rather repetitious and "flat" reproduction of the Reformers' rhetoric about the "false Gospel" of Rome. And certainly I think you need to account for yourselves if you're going to associate with people who demand an absolute antithesis between true and false brothers on this point, and treat other Protestants who disagree with you like they are pariahs. Thanks.

Ben Douglass said...

I'm not sure why Fr. Muller is so hostile to the idea that God can use the wicked as a scourge to bring His people/Church to reform. He used the Babylonians in this manner under the Old Covenant, why not Luther, Calvin, etc., under the New? For that matter, He used pagans and apostate Jews to effect the Atonement.

Also, elements of Fr. Muller's characterization of Protestantism are appropriate only to liberal Protestantism. He fails to appreciate traditional Protestant positions and the real possibility of holding them in good faith.

Rhology said...

Tim,

I'm pretty busy right now in some evilution debates, but here are a few things.


RCs in no way being any kind of brotherly relation to us.

I don't say that. It's impossible to know the state of most people's hearts, given that I haven't talked to most people. It's more about the -ism.


I don't know how to get hold of any of you

Well, my email is right there on my blogger profile page. James Swan's is on the right sidebar of this blog, if I'm not mistaken.

I'm not up on my Latin, nor am I well-read in the Reformers. I don't see why the dogmas of Purgatory and the treasury of merit don't answer the question well enough, to be honest.
And it's not as if there aren't other serious doctrinal obstacles to rapprochement between RCC and Reformed churches.

Peace,
Rhology

Agellius said...

Andrew writes, 'I don't know about you, but I would rather be called a heretic than patronized with the label "separated brother".'

You rock, dude. : )

Dozie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Carrie, You found an old Catechism which I do not have in my library. Cool!

Unfortunately, you either forgot to mention or probably more accurately to say that you didn't know that Father Mueller had been censoredwas by the Superior General of his religious order for writing the very passage you have quoted here. His case was one of the ones that was relied upon later as a precedent by Cardinal Cushing to excommunicate Fr. Feeney much later. I do wish you would do some background research before you post some of this stuff.

Further, it should be noted is that the Catholic Church has always taught is that there is a difference between material heretics and formal heretics, the former can be saved despite their ignorance or bias, the latter can not because they know differently and yet still choose not to belong to the Catholic Church.

Thank you for allowing to particpate here.

God bless!

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Hoffer,
Can you back up your claim?

Brian Kelly has a very positive review of the book, from a traditional Romanist perspective, here (link) which makes no mention of the excommunication you mention.

-TurretinFan

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello Mr. Fan,

Before I address your question, I must apologize to all for the many typos and grammatical errors in my last comment. I will try not to comment on things at 1 am in the morning in the future. One of my cats decided he needed to see me put fresh water in the water dish before he would drink out of it and pestered me until I did his bidding.

To address your query, Fr. Muller was not excommunicated-he was censored. He was no longer premitted to write or to be published. He was never expelled from the Church itself.

I hope to find something a bit more official for the readers here than "Hoffer on Church Discipline." In the meantime, here is a link to an article titled: "The Case of Father Michael Mueller." It is found on the same website that you linked to: http://catholicism.org/father-mueller.html.

And in case anyone is interested, The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is an order founded by Fr. Feeney, who was excommunicated for his anti-ecumenical views and disobedience. Here is an article that some might find interesting since it talks about Mr Matatics as well, who appears to be the poster child of some folks here to prove that the Catholic Church is not united: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=963.

God bless!

Paul Hoffer said...

Here is another discussion pertaining to Fr. Mueller found at a traditionalist's site:

http://www.geocities.com/adam_todm/USCatholic_History/Americanism.html

"There can certainly be no doubt as regards the reason for the silencing of the courageous Redemptorist priest Michael Mueller, another 19th-century figure. His medium of spreading and defending the Faith was at first newspaper articles and debates, and then books. Father Mueller authored over 30 books on the Faith, including an approved catechism published in 1875. When liberals began to attack what he wrote he began his defense of the Catholic dogma of the necessity of the Church for salvation, and thus the necessity of men to join it. His biggest selling, and most talked about, book was called The Catholic Dogma: Outside the Church There is Positively No Salvation. All the books were always best sellers for that era. Suddenly, people were interested in the controversy. Fr. Mueller's publishers could not print the volumes fast enough. Yet, he was finally silenced by his American superiors. Today, his name is hardly known. He died a holy death in 1899 in Maryland. To be silenced for teaching a most fundamental Catholic teaching, a truth revealed by God that is necessary for belief, by one’s American Catholic superiors exemplifies the tragic condition of the Faith in America by the end of the 19th century."

If you wish Mr. Fan, I can try to find a more authoritative source for you...

Carrie said...

I do wish you would do some background research before you post some of this stuff.

I saw copies of the Catechism listed on many Catholic sites, mostly traditionalists. Is there somewhere in particular that says this book has been censored or retracted?

In your article it states:

"In 1875, Michael Mueller published a book in catechism style entitled Familiar Explanation of Christian Doctrine, which carried the imprimatur of Archbishop Roosevelt Bayley of Baltimore, and which had been examined by several prominent theologians. Praised highly by many priests, bishops, and laymen, the book sold extremely well."

Paul Hoffer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Carrie, I apologize if my tone was a bit thin. In my discussions with some traditionalist Catholics, or more appropriately, sedevacantists, I have had quotes from Fr. Mueller's books thrown at me before. I should have shown you the courtesy of asking you what the source for the book was before I commented.

Your question is a very fair one and that I shall endeavor to find an answer to it. I must confess that I do not know all of the nuances of canon law and how the censoring of a priest and his writings impact the validity of a previously given imprimatur.

What I do know is that given his censorship and silencing for expressing such views, should lead one who is aware of such to question the legitimacy of the controversial positions that he has taken even though it is pre-Vatican II. In a legal setting, I would be much afraid of relying on a source that was questionable to support a legal contention unless I had no other choice. I forget that many folks are not similarly trained. The transistion from a legal fora to an apologetics one is not always equivalent.

Further, even if Fr. Mueller's rather polemic expression of EENS in his Catechism was appropriate for his time, Vatican II and subsequent documents have more fully developed the doctrine. Since my Church has seen it fit to authoritatively call Protestants "separated brethren" in UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIO it is not for me to question such.

In DOMINUS IESUS (2000), Cardinal Ratzinger, more familiarly known as Pope Benedict XVI wrote:

16. "The Catholic faithful are required to profess that there is an historical continuity — rooted in the apostolic succession53 — between the Church founded by Christ and the Catholic Church: “This is the single Church of Christ... which our Saviour, after his resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care (cf. Jn 21:17), commissioning him and the other Apostles to extend and rule her (cf. Mt 28:18ff.), erected for all ages as ‘the pillar and mainstay of the truth' (1 Tim 3:15). This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in [subsistit in] the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him”. With the expression subsistit in, the Second Vatican Council sought to harmonize two doctrinal statements: on the one hand, that the Church of Christ, despite the divisions which exist among Christians, continues to exist fully only in the Catholic Church, and on the other hand, that “outside of her structure, many elements can be found of sanctification and truth”, that is, in those Churches and ecclesial communities which are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church. But with respect to these, it needs to be stated that “they derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church”.

17. Therefore, there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him. The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches. Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the Catholic Church, since they do not accept the Catholic doctrine of the Primacy, which, according to the will of God, the Bishop of Rome objectively has and exercises over the entire Church.

On the other hand, the ecclesial communities which have not preserved the valid Episcopate and the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic mystery, are not Churches in the proper sense; however, those who are baptized in these communities are, by Baptism, incorporated in Christ and thus are in a certain communion, albeit imperfect, with the Church. Baptism in fact tends per se toward the full development of life in Christ, through the integral profession of faith, the Eucharist, and full communion in the Church.

“The Christian faithful are therefore not permitted to imagine that the Church of Christ is nothing more than a collection — divided, yet in some way one — of Churches and ecclesial communities; nor are they free to hold that today the Church of Christ nowhere really exists, and must be considered only as a goal which all Churches and ecclesial communities must strive to reach”. In fact, “the elements of this already-given Church exist, joined together in their fullness in the Catholic Church and, without this fullness, in the other communities." Therefore, these separated Churches and communities as such, though we believe they suffer from defects, have by no means been deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church.”

I guess the point that needs to be made is this: Were Fr. Mueller living today, he would be required to believe what is stated above. Additionally, if he had written anything to the contrary prior to that, he would be required to update and restate his opinions in conformity of the above teaching of the Church.

Andrew, to your point about whether it is condescending for me, as a Catholic, to call you a separated brethren as opposed to a heretic, I couldn't call you either unless I considered you a member of the Church, now could I? Christians are all brothers and sisters by virtue of their baptism. Like any contentious family, whether we are on speaking terms or not does not alter that fact.

God bless!

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Hoffer:

Given that the book in question has recently been republished by a "Catholic" printing house (traditionalist, to be sure, but not schismatic, as far as I know) it seems unlikely that Rome has ever formally condemned the writings in question, even if it was not deemed prudent to promote them for a time.

-TurretinFan

Paul Hoffer said...

Mr. Fan:

Whether some albino Opus Dei ninja monk hidden deep within the catacombs beneath the Vatican has gotten around to writing up a formal condemnation of Fr. Mueller's writings is quite irrelevant. The issues that Fr. Mueller wrote on were definitively decided in UNITATIS REDINTERGATIO and DOMINUS IESUS. Citing to him on this point would be like citing to an far out-of-date Encyclopedia Britannica. His writings may not be out-of-date on other issues, but on this one, he is.

As for his works still being published, Fr. Mueller was a prolific writer and wrote on many topics aside from whether Protestants are Christians. There is a great deal of worthwhile material in Fr. Mueller's books that is completely orthodox and non-controversial. I have of a book he wrote on the Eucharist that seems perfectly fine (I have only perused it, not read it all the way through).

What I am saying is this: Fr. Mueller was censored over the issue of ecumenicism and Protestants. The view that Vatican II defined is not the view that is set out in the book that Carrie cited. Now it may upset some here that the Catholic Church recognizes that Protestants are Catholics in some sense or form and thus capable of perhaps being saved because of what graces that God chooses to bestow on them through the retained Catholic elements of their churches, but there it is. Hence, if my Church says you are separated brethren, then you are as far as Catholics are concerned.

Thus, it does little good to cite to an authority that was questionable even by post-Vatican I and pre-Vatican II standards as proof of what Catholics presently understand and teach as to one of its tenets. It would be far more interesting and entertaining to see how you all deal with DOMINUS IESUS or UNITATIS REDINTERGATIO since they present the present understanding of the Church.

God bless!

Paul Hoffer said...

Mr. Fan:

One last thought on the matter, the fact that a Catholic or any publisher for that matter chose to print a book is a matter of individuals exercising their First Amendment rights. Jack Chick and a couple of anti-Catholic fundamentalists aside, I do not know very many folks who actually believe that the Catholic Church has the power to prevent a printer in another country what it may or may not print. Now you could say "gotcha" if the printer was the Vatican.

Agellius said...

Isn't it "censured", not "censored"?

Paul Hoffer said...

Agellius, Maybe he was censored when he was censured? Thanks for the correction. Among the many graces God has blessed me with, infallible spelling and typing skills are not among them.

God bless!

The Dude said...

Paul,
Do you agree with the sentiments from the compendium to the baltimore catechism here (from 1921 admittedly) with question 121 and the reply given to "Suppose, however, that there is a non-Catholic who firmly believes that the church to which he belongs is the true Church, and who has never--even in the past--had the slightest doubt of that fact--what will become of him?"

Protestantism's lack of a valid sacrament of penance has always seemed to me like it should really be a big issue for RCs, but seems glossed over a lot in the wake of vatican 2 and ecumenism; seems quite likely (as the author says) that many Protestants who cannot submit to RCism have committed grave sins and realize it (mortal sin), yet truly believe they are forgiven but do not have perfect contrition which would be the only substitute for the lack of sacramental confession.

Carrie said...

Now it may upset some here that the Catholic Church recognizes that Protestants are Catholics in some sense or form and thus capable of perhaps being saved because of what graces that God chooses to bestow on them through the retained Catholic elements of their churches, but there it is.

Paul,

As I have understood the stance of Vat-II and recent documents on this topic, and as you seem to indicate in the portion I bolded above, it is not a certainty that Protestants are saved outside the Catholic Church, but only a possiblility.

So unless you are saying that it is a 100% certainty that some Protestants will be saved, the idea that no Protestants will be saved outside the church is still a valid possibility.

I would assert that you Catholics have simply softened your language to look more ecumenical, but in reality, the possibility that no one outside the Catholic Church can be saved has not been completely ruled out.

Thus, it does little good to cite to an authority that was questionable even by post-Vatican I and pre-Vatican II standards as proof of what Catholics presently understand and teach as to one of its tenets.

I disagree. It shows how your church has been inconsistent doctrinally over time, despite the typical battle cry of "to deep in history is to cease to be Protestant". It appears to be deep in history is also to cease to be a post-Vatican II Catholic.

Carrie said...

Do you agree with the sentiments from the compendium to the baltimore catechism here (from 1921 admittedly) with question 121

(posted below - sorry for the lack of formatting)

*121 Q. Are all bound to belong to the Church?

A. All are bound to belong to the Church, and he who knows the Church to be the true Church and remains out of it, cannot be saved.

Anyone who knows the Catholic religion to be the true religion and will not embrace it cannot enter into Heaven. If one not a Catholic doubts whether the church to which he belongs is the true Church, he must
settle his doubt, seek the true Church, and enter it; for if he
continues to live in doubt, he becomes like the one who knows the true Church and is deterred by worldly considerations from entering it.

In like manner one who, doubting, fears to examine the religion he
professes lest he should discover its falsity and be convinced of the
truth of the Catholic faith, cannot be saved.

Suppose, however, that there is a non-Catholic who firmly believes that the church to which he belongs is the true Church, and who has never--even in the past--had the slightest doubt of that fact--what will
become of him?

If he was validly baptized and never committed a mortal sin, he will be saved; because, believing himself a member of the true Church, he was doing all he could to serve God according to his knowledge and the dictates of his conscience. But if ever he committed a mortal sin, his
salvation would be very much more difficult. A mortal sin once committed remains on the soul till it is forgiven. Now, how could his mortal sin be forgiven? Not in the Sacrament of Penance, for the Protestant does not go to confession; and if he does, his minister--not being a true
priest--has no power to forgive sins. Does he know that without
confession it requires an act of perfect contrition to blot out mortal sin, and can he easily make such an act? What we call contrition is often only imperfect contrition--that is, sorrow for our sins because we fear their punishment in Hell or dread the loss of Heaven. If a Catholic--with all the instruction he has received about how to make an
act of perfect contrition and all the practice he has had in making such acts--might find it difficult to make an act of perfect contrition after having committed a mortal sin, how much difficulty will not a Protestant have in making an act of perfect contrition, who does not know about
this requirement and who has not been taught to make continued acts of perfect contrition all his life. It is to be feared either he would not know of this necessary means of regaining God's friendship, or he would be unable to elicit the necessary act of perfect contrition, and thus
the mortal sin would remain upon his soul and he would die an enemy of God.

If, then, we found a Protestant who never committed a mortal sin after Baptism, and who never had the slightest doubt about the truth of his religion, that person would be saved; because, being baptized, he is a
member of the Church, and being free from mortal sin he is a friend of God and could not in justice be condemned to Hell. Such a person would attend Mass and receive the Sacraments if he knew the Catholic Church to be the only true Church.

I am giving you an example, however, that is rarely found, except in the case of infants or very small children baptized in Protestant sects. All infants rightly baptized by anyone are really children of the Church, no
matter what religion their parents may profess. Indeed, all persons who are baptized are children of the Church; but those among them who deny its teaching, reject its Sacraments, and refuse to submit to its lawful pastors, are rebellious children known as heretics.

I said I gave you an example that can scarcely be found, namely, of a
person not a Catholic, who really never doubted the truth of his
religion, and who, moreover, never committed during his whole life a
mortal sin. There are so few such persons that we can practically say
for all those who are not visibly members of the Catholic Church,
believing its doctrines, receiving its Sacraments, and being governed by its visible head, our Holy Father, the Pope, salvation is an extremely difficult matter.

I do not speak here of pagans who have never heard of Our Lord or His
holy religion, but of those outside the Church who claim to be good Christians without being members of the Catholic Church."

Agellius said...

Carrie:

That all sounds spot-on to me. I came into the Church in the early 90s (well after V2), and I was never taught anything officially that contradicts it.

Turretinfan said...

"Whether some albino Opus Dei ninja monk hidden deep within the catacombs beneath the Vatican has gotten around to writing up a formal condemnation of Fr. Mueller's writings is quite irrelevant."

Leaving aside the attempts to make formal condemnation sound silly,

... formal imprimatur, and no formal condemnation ...

Totally irrelevant to those who wish to promote an agenda - totally relevant to those interested in the truth.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

"One last thought on the matter, the fact that a Catholic or any publisher for that matter chose to print a book is a matter of individuals exercising their First Amendment rights. Jack Chick and a couple of anti-Catholic fundamentalists aside, I do not know very many folks who actually believe that the Catholic Church has the power to prevent a printer in another country what it may or may not print. Now you could say "gotcha" if the printer was the Vatican."

Gone are the good old days when they could, eh?

{rolls eyes}

The fact that someone published it is hardly the relevant fact - the relevant fact is that it was a "Catholic" printing house, where the Vatican would have at least some modicum of "moral authority" if not the actual ability to shut down the presses and have the printers turned over to the local authorities to be burnt to a crisp at the stake.

-TurretinFan

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi "TD" and Carrie, To answer both your direct and implied questions, my belief of EENS is bit broader than what is in the Baltimore Catechism or in Fr. Mueller's work particularly when it comes to Protestants.

Before I give you my view, I would offer the suggestion that reason that the books you are referencing are a bit more rigorous or absolute in their position is due to the fact that the books are catechisms and nor theological treatises. When one starts our learning something, one usually is taught the rules before one is taught the exceptions to it. Fr. Mueller's book and the Baltimore Catechism were both designed for children or for those adults who are just learning the faith and were not ready for the nuancing of the rule EENS.

Here is what I believe when it comes to EENS:

1) All salvation comes through Christ. Man can only be saved through the merits of Christ.

2) The Church is the sacrament of salvation through which all graces flow. (This is the view of the Church that is discussed in LUMEN GENTIUM.)

3) EENS does not mean "Outside the Church there is no salvation." EENS means "Outside of the Church there is no MEANS of salvation. ( I will focus on this later.)

4) The Church as the Mystical Body of Christ has both visible and invisible components. Members properly so-called are incorporated by baptism and maintain their membership in the Mystical Body by both profession of faith and submission to the Church's authority. Any one of these elements lacking and the person cannot be considered to be a member of the Church.

5) The fullness of truth subsists in the one holy Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Church (Lumen Gentium §8).

6) Protestant denominations, ecclesial communities, or other belief systems to the extent that they proclaim truth proclaim a portion of what the Church possesses and professes. To put it another way, to the extent that another church professes a truth that the Catholic Church holds, they too are catholic.

7) Any salvific efficacy or grace Christ wishes us to have is derived from such truths that come from the Church. Therefore salvation of anyone, whether they be Catholic or Protestant, comes through the Church, whether the person is aware of it or not.

Contrary to Carrie suggests, I can show you throughout the history of the Church ECF's, doctors and others who are part of the Magisterium have traditionally held and taught in the Church for centuries that the elements of sanctification, or grace, exist outside the visible and formal structure of the Church, even within heretical and schismatic non-Catholic denominations.

To what extent, I do not know. Rather than despair, I hope and trust in the mercy of God, who can read all men's hearts.

Now TD, you brought up the necessity of confession. Confession is important because it the means that Christ gave His Church so He can forgive our sins and to give us graces to help us not repeat them. However, with that said, our sins can be forgiven outside of penance through an act of perfect contrition. Contrary to what the Baltimore Catechism says it is not hard to say such an act of contrition:

"O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen."

Now there is nothing to prevent a Protestant from praying something like this and have their sins forgiven. The difference is that with the sacrament of penance, our sins are always forgiven by Christ. With an act of perfect contrition, we do not have such assurance. Furthermore with an act of contrition there is no grace given to help form the purpose of amendment never to commit those sins or any sins, for that matter, in the future.

One of my favorite writers, Father Ronald Knox, talks of this concept in Chapter 14 of his book "The Hidden Stream: Mysteries of the Christian Faith."

Lastly, as a Catholic, having the fullness of faith, it is incumbent on me to share that faith, that hope, that love with non-Catholics. To give is better than to receive.

God bless!

Carrie said...

Paul,

I don't think you dealt with the thrust of my assertion.

I said: "So unless you are saying that it is a 100% certainty that some Protestants will be saved, the idea that no Protestants will be saved outside the church is still a valid possibility."

Can you say with 100% certainty that those outside the RCC will be saved, or is it just a possibility?

Considering you said "To what extent, I do not know. Rather than despair, I hope and trust in the mercy of God, who can read all men's hearts" I am assuming it is only a possibility.

EENS does not mean "Outside the Church there is no salvation." EENS means "Outside of the Church there is no MEANS of salvation.

Again, what document clearly states that there IS (100% - no doubt) a means of salvation outside the church, and not just a possibility that a means exists?

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Carrie:

You asked: Can you say with 100% certainty that those outside the RCC will be saved, or is it just a possibility?

My response: Given what I said in prior remarks, yes-I am as certain as human being can be, that there are Protestants who are saved. And I hope and pray that it will be many, particularly those who interact with me here. (I can say that since we Catholics do believe in power of intercessory prayer on behalf of the living and the dead.)

Now if you are asking me to name names or give you statistics on how many Protestants are saved, that would be a bit more problematic. Given the number of cafeteria Catholics there are, I would hesitate to suggest how many Catholics are saved. At this point and time, I am sure, as sure one can be, that Satan is preparing a warm cozy spot in His place for the many pro-abort Catholic (so-called) politicians who never recant their sinful views.

Although we believe that the means of salvation comes through the Church, we are taught that a person's salvation is a personal matter-solo cum solus-to borrow Protestant Reformer jargon-with Our Lord, and we all must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.

Let me ask you a couple of questions in return, since Catholics, if they are confirmed or baptized as adults, acknowledge that Jesus Christ is our Savior, why is it that Protestants deny that we are "saved" when Protestants claim that is all that is necessary to be saved? Do you believe that any Catholics who remain faithful to their Church are saved?

TF, I am not afraid of history. Your comments about alleged Catholic suppression of printers is amusing given that Reformers, such as John Calvin, John Knox, and Martin Luther claimed liberty of conscience and toleration only for themselves and their followers and actively suppressed all deviation from their own particular flavor of heresy including the use of civil authority to censor, fines, banishments and even executions to suppress Catholicism. And the English Reformation is littered with plenty of corpses of those who dared print anything Catholic. Why don't you provide us with an example of the Catholic Church turning a printer over to civil authorities to be put to death for publishing one of Luther's or Calvin's or even your buddy Turretin's works since you are cock-sure that such occurred?

And you wonder why I question your sincerity about the use of the word "papist" when you put out such stuff...

Turretinfan said...

Hoffer: "TF, I am not afraid of history."

You should be. It's your church's second worst enemy, after Scripture.

Hoffer: "Your comments about alleged Catholic suppression of printers"

Alleged? Are you really such a partisan as to think that it is just alleged? History shows its not just alleged.

Hoffer wrote: "... is amusing given that Reformers, such as John Calvin, John Knox, and Martin Luther claimed liberty of conscience and toleration only for themselves and their followers..."

a) Even if this were true (which it really isn't), I don't trust them but Scripture.

b) But you trust the church who formerly not only engaged in anti-Christian persecution but even launched a genocidal campaign to try to wipe out believers in the valleys of the Swiss Alps (even though that meant killing Romanists as well!).

c) So, how some form of recusal is "amusing" to you just shows your lack of interest in logic (the third great enemy of Catholicism).

Hoffer: "... and actively suppressed all deviation from their own particular flavor of heresy including the use of civil authority to censor, fines, banishments and even executions to suppress Catholicism."

"All deviation" is certainly not true. Suppression of the heresies of Rome (and several other heresies) is true.

Hoffer: "And the English Reformation is littered with plenty of corpses of those who dared print anything Catholic."

What you neglect to point out is that the non-papist English monarchs viewed the papacy as a political threat to their power. In other words, while coincidentally some papists held some bad doctrines, the issue of concern to many of the English monarchs was sedition, not heresy. This concern was justified, as we remember annually on Guy Fawkes day.

But - even so - as noted above, suppression of heresy (as such) did occur, and papists were properly considered heretics for their heretical views.

On the other hand, we don't make the Church of England our rule of faith, although you do make the Church of Rome your rule of faith. So, the moral failings of the Church of England are not problematic in the same way for us as those of Rome are for you.

Hoffer: "Why don't you provide us with an example of the Catholic Church turning a printer over to civil authorities to be put to death for publishing one of Luther's or Calvin's or even your buddy Turretin's works since you are cock-sure that such occurred?"

I'll give you something worse than that: Tyndale, strangled and then burnt at the stake for publishing the English Bible.

Of course, all of Calvin's, all of Luther's, and all of Turretin's works were placed on the Index of Prohibited books, and Rome did seek to suppress them, both that way and other ways.

Despite your emphatic and colorful lie, I didn't insist that any particular printer was handed over to the authorities for specifically the offense of printing Luther's, Calvin's, or Turretin's works.

As you ought to know, printers generally either succumbed to the pressures not to print prohibited books, or fled to places where such publication was possible (for example, Geneva or Wittenberg).

Hoffer: "And you wonder why I question your sincerity about the use of the word "papist" when you put out such stuff..."

The idea of a papist like yourself insisting on being insulted by a descriptive label doesn't surprise me. Nor does the idea of you questioning my sincerity to try to score a few points.

If you held the truly catholic faith of the Scripture, I'd call you a "Catholic," but since you belong to the sect that follows the pope, you're a papist. This ought to be a matter of concern to you: not the label (upon which you are so hung up as to continually whine about it) but the fact of your sect's heretical positions, particularly those relating to the innovation of the papacy.

-TurretinFan

Agellius said...

Paul writes, "Now there is nothing to prevent a Protestant from praying something like this and have their sins forgiven."

One thing that may prevent them is that most of them don't believe each individual mortal sin needs to be forgiven in order to preserve them in the state of grace, i.e. to prevent their going to hell. Also the part about resolving to avoid sin in the future would probably stick in their craw since they don't believe sin can be avoided.

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Agellius, Unfortunately there are alot of Catholics these days who feel the same way.

Now I do agree with your points to an extent. Some of those notions that Protestants do pose a serious hindrance for sins to be forgiven without resort to the confessional, but I do not believe that such obstacles are insurmountable.

Mr. Fan: You do not do bravado and braggadocio well and neither is becoming on you. I look forward to addressing your comments on my blog. But due to client matters, it will be a couple of days before that can occur. I do hope you can be patient until then.

In the meantime, here is a tidbit for you to gnaw on. I love how Protestants use Tyndale as an example of Catholic perfidy. Unfortunately, history is not on your side. You see, Tyndale was executed in 1536. King Henry VIII separated from the Catholic Church in 1533-34 and by this time was running the Church of England all by his lonesome. Thus, Tyndale's death was an internecine affair-Protestant on Protestant-a heretic English priest executed by a heretic English king. Perchance, you may wish to wash his blood off your collective fingers before you start pointing them at the Catholic Church and hurling empty accusations. Or at least crack open a history book.

In the meantime, God bless!

Carrie said...

Let me ask you a couple of questions in return, since Catholics, if they are confirmed or baptized as adults, acknowledge that Jesus Christ is our Savior, why is it that Protestants deny that we are "saved" when Protestants claim that is all that is necessary to be saved? Do you believe that any Catholics who remain faithful to their Church are saved?


Paul, I actually have a quote ready to post soon that will answer the answer to this question more articulately than I can. Your comment is a good lead in - so answer will be forthcoming.

Turretinfan said...

Hoffer: "You do not do bravado and braggadocio well and neither is becoming on you."

Tsk-tsk ... surely it doesn't take those thing for a little old blogger like me to respond to you.

Hoffer: "I look forward to addressing your comments on my blog."

ok

Hoffer: "But due to client matters, it will be a couple of days before that can occur. I do hope you can be patient until then."

I doubt I will miss it if it never comes to fruition.

Hoffer: "In the meantime, here is a tidbit for you to gnaw on. I love how Protestants use Tyndale as an example of Catholic perfidy. Unfortunately, history is not on your side."

Not "Catholic" perfidy, papist persecution.

Hoffer: "You see, Tyndale was executed in 1536. King Henry VIII separated from the Catholic Church in 1533-34 and by this time was running the Church of England all by his lonesome."

King Henry VIII - that staunchly Reformed king whose conscientious objections to the errors of Rome led him to take action? But I jest, of course. No, he wasn't a papist (how could be called that!), but he wasn't exactly a Protestant either.

Hoffer: "Thus, Tyndale's death was an internecine affair-Protestant on Protestant-a heretic English priest executed by a heretic English king."

Not so.

Hoffer: "Perchance, you may wish to wash his blood off your collective fingers before you start pointing them at the Catholic Church and hurling empty accusations. Or at least crack open a history book."

Your brief encounter with whatever web site informed you of those dates was not enough to make you an historian.

Tyndale was killed in Holland (not in England, not by the English church, and not on English orders or by English consent), even while the Archbishop of Canterbury (the highest ranking real member of England's church) was working to try to get Henry VIII to use his diplomatic power on Tyndale's behalf.

Ah yes, and that archbishop - archbishop Cranmer - was himself martyred in 1556 (twenty years after Tyndale) by Henry VIII's papist daughter Mary.

The account of his martyrdom is famous, for he was not strangled first, but burnt alive:
*** From one account ***
Cranmer had now completely recovered the poise which he had lost when he signed the Recantations, and he meant to restate his full accord with the Reformation and its theology. But he managed his speech with such skill that he was allowed to run on, at some length before its real drift was perceived.

And now, he said, I come to the great thing that troubleth my conscience more than any other thing that ever I said or did in my life, and that is the setting abroad of writings contrary to the truth: which here now I renounce and refuse, as things written with my hand contrary to the truth which I thought in my heart, and written for fear of death and to save my life if it might be: and that is, all such bills which I have written or signed with mine own hand since my degradation: wherein I have written many things untrue. And forasmuch as my hand offended in writing contrary to my heart, therefore my hand shall first be punished; for if I may come to the fire, it be first burned. And as for the Pope, I refuse him as Christ’s enemy and anti-Christ, with all his false doctrine. And as for the Sacrament...

He could get no further; all the pent-up fury of a thunderstruck audience broke out. Ordered to reflect on his Recantations and to refrain from dissembling, Cranmer replied, I have been a man that all my life loved plainness, and never dissembled till now against the truth: which I am most sorry for. And he seized the chance to bear his witness to the Sacramental doctrine which he really believed. And as for the sacrament, he cried, I believe as I have taught in my book against the Bishop of Winchester: the which my book teacheth so true a doctrine of the Sacrament that it shall stand at the last day before the judgment of God!

Then Cole thundered out to stop the heretic utterance and to have him away. Cranmer was dragged from the stage and hurried off to the stake. On the same site where not six months before Ridley and Latimer had been called out to play the man, the stake was set up for Cranmer. He knelt on the bare ground besides the stake and gave himself briefly to prayer. Then with cheerful spirit, he put off his upper garments until he stood with bare feet in a long shirt which reached to the ground.
*** For more of the Account
-TurretinFan

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello all, I wanted to expand on my remarks, but I see Mr. Fan beat me to it and suggests that my view of history is askew. No, it isn't askew; my remarks were abbreviated due to a Holy Hour commitment. I didn't have the chance to write up my comments fully.

Remember, Mr. Fan wrote:

"I'll give you something worse than that: Tyndale, strangled and then burnt at the stake for publishing the English Bible."

Now, let’s test the veracity of Turretinfan’s assertion that the Catholic Church had Tyndale killed for publishing a bible.

First, let there be no mistake, Tyndale was tried and convicted of heresy in Belgium by Catholic authorities. On October 6, 1536, he was strangled and then burnt at the stake after he was dead.

However, J.H. Merle Aubigne, the great Protestant historian and no friend of Catholicism, tells us the reason that Tyndale was tried and found guilty in August 1536 and it was not about his publishing a bible:

“Tyndale appeared before the ecclesiastical court. ‘You are charged,’ said his judges, ‘with having infringed the imperial decree which forbids any one to teach that faith alone justifies.’ The accusation was not without truth. Tyndale’s "Unjust[Wicked]Mammon" had just appeared in London under the title: "Treatise of Justification by Faith only." Every man could read in it the crime with which he was charged.”

From the History of the Reformation in the Time of Calvin excerpted here:http://www.williamtyndale.com/0deathwilliamtyndale.htm

Note that contrary to Turretinfan’s assertions, there is nothing that suggest that a Court of the Holy Roman Emperor cared one whit about whether Tyndale had published a bible in English or any other language. He was tried and convicted for teaching doctrine in that country that was contrary to the law of the state. Perhaps TF now may want to complain in the future about the fact that Tyndale was tried and killed for teaching sola fide, but let him stop complaining that he was killed for publishing a bible.

Now I made the charge that Henry VIII was guilty of Tyndale’s death. Why? Because Henry VIII merely had to write a letter and Tyndale would have been set free. Henry chose not to do so. Again, d’Aubigne:

"During this time Poyntz was working with all his might in England to ward off the blow by which his friend was about to be struck. John assisted Thomas, but all was useless. Henry just at that time was making great efforts to arrest some of his subjects, whom their devotion to the pope had driven out of England. ‘Cover all the roads with spies, in order to catch them,’ he wrote to the German magistrates; but there was not a word about Tyndale. The king cared very little for these evangelicals. His religion consisted in rejecting the Roman pontiff and making himself pope; as for those reformers, let them be burnt in Brabant, it will save him the trouble.

[Nota Bene: By this time Henry VIII had already been excommunicated from the Church and had already established himself as the head of the Church of England. Thomas More and Bishop Fisher had already been murdered at the orders of King Henry VIII]

All hope was not, however, lost. They had confidence in the vicegerent, the hammer of the monks. On the 13th of April Vaughan wrote to Cromwell from Antwerp: ‘If you will send me a letter for the privy-council, I can still save Tyndale from the stake; only make haste, for if you are slack about it, it will be too late.’ But there were cases in which Cromwell could do nothing without the king, and Henry was deaf. He had special motives at that time for sacrificing Tyndale: the discontent which broke out in the North of England made him desirous of conciliating the Low Countries. Charles V also, who was vigorously attacked by Francis I, prayed his very good brother (Henry VIII) to unite with him for the public good of Christendom. Queen Mary, regent of the Netherlands, wrote from Brussels to her uncle, entreating him to yield to this prayer, and the king was quite ready to abandon Tyndale to such powerful allies.

Thus, d'Aubigne clearly places blame on Henry VIII here. And murder by omission as opposed to commission is still murder.

The bottom line is this, Tyndale was not executed for publishing a bible contrary to TF's assertion to me.

My orginal question still remains to be answered.

Turretinfan said...

a) Yep, the charge was - in effect - Lutheranism.

b) Nevertheless, the reason he was persecuted was his role as Bible translator/publisher.

c) Yes, if Henry VIII had intervened, it might have saved Tyndale - and Henry VIII didn't.

-TurretinFan

Rhology said...

Yes, Stacey's last emotion-driven paragraph in particular is VERY engaging, not to mention convincing. I mean VERY.

Stacey said...

Rhology,

Thanks, so are you going to head to the nearest church and join up now? :oP (sarcasm underlying for those who cannot get it online)

Rhology said...

Can't, I have to do RCIA before I can "join" or partake in the sacraments. Gonna be a year before I can partake of the medicine of immortality. Sucks, but I guess that's part of my just penance for misinterpreting "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved" to mean that I can be saved if I believe. What was I thinking!?

Wintrowski said...

Rhology,

"Sucks, but I guess that's part of my just penance for misinterpreting "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved" to mean that I can be saved if I believe. What was I thinking!?"

Right, you can be saved if you believe, as belief itself is merely the beginning of salvation. But there is more to do, though, like receiving the "medicine of immortality" (c.f. John 6:53-58).

Glad to see you heading in the right direction now. ;)