Friday, April 24, 2015

Michael Voris: How to Get Into Heaven

This is a good followup to yesterday's discussion on Pope Francis and his martyrdom of ecumenism. Michael Voris of Church Militant TV devoted a Vortex episode to the issue of what is necessary to get into Heaven. His argument is simple.

  • what is necessary is to die in a state of grace, and not in mortal sin
  • the Church provides the normal means for staying in a state of grace, i.e. confession
  • without confession (available only to Catholics) one is stuck in one's sins barring some extraordinary avenue, such as a perfect act of contrition
  • therefore, while being Catholic is not required to get into Heaven, as a practical matter it is extremely unlikely for a non-Catholic to die in a state of grace

Raising the hypothetical question of the good Protestant's salvation, it is "moot," as far as the Church goes. It is not whether he died outside or inside the Church, but whether he died in a state of grace. He closed by saying salvation comes "through" the Church, which is quite different from saying one must be "in" the Church.

Now, Mr. Voris may be correct, and probably is, as far as he goes. It seems to the Bear, however, to be a bit legalistic, and ignores the dimension of "belonging:" belonging to the body of Christ; attachment to the true, nourishing vine.

It also skirts the dogma of extra ecclesiam nulla salus (EENS) -- there is no salvation outside the Church. Popes and councils have declared this, and the Fathers have taught it. To raise it today is to be accused of Feenyism. Yet the historical fact of these infallible teachings is a big, embarrassing, stumbling block. They are not couched in Mr. Voris' terms of practical benefit, but of being in, of belonging.

Now the Bear doesn't know what to think because no one will face up to the facts. He suspects EENS can neither be swallowed nor spat out. It cannot be swallowed because it is incompatible with ecumenism and interfaith activity. It is contrary to the whole drift of the age. It cannot be spat out because that would be admitting the Church was wrong about an infallible dogma.

So the whole matter is safely left to the occasional Bear with an interest in historical curiosities.

Mr. Voris's argument is appealing and easy to follow, but is it the whole story?

This is one of the the hardest questions Catholics ponder. For converts, especially, it can be very painful, for if it is necessary to be in the Catholic Church to be saved, what is there to say about dear relatives who rejected, whether out of prejudice or laziness, our invitations to investigate the Church?

This would not be a profitable topic for discussion but for its practical impact. To the extent we believe the Church is not necessary for salvation, we slide into indifferentism and universalism. The evangelical spirit has been all but snuffed on account of these twin heresies. Getting people inside the Church matters.

The Bear is not accusing Mr. Voris of being wrong. Perhaps the Bear is drawing a distinction without a difference. We both acknowledge that, one way or another,  the Catholic Church is the ordinary means of salvation. It is hard enough for us to be saved with all the assistance of the Church. May God have mercy on the souls of those who perish outside of it.

16 comments:

  1. I thought that baptism incorporates a person into the Church - although imperfectly if it is received within another ecclesial body. Certainly I was not rebaptised (even conditionally) when I was received into the Church.

    Yes, thinking of my relatives and friends outside the Church is painful. But it's no more painful than thinking of my Catholic relatives and friends who dissent from the teachings of the Church. In many cases they, like the non-Catholics, believe what they have been taught from childhood, sadly.

    May God have mercy on all our souls, and send us holy shepherds!

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  2. I'm not worrying so much about the folks outside the Church but rather the vast majority in it who don't or seldom go to Confession, who are selective in their beliefs about Church teaching, etc. These are the folks who should know better and so are much more culpable. And beyond this who are the most culpable? Why it is the Bishops and priests who never mention hell, confession, sexual morality, etc. It is all beyond sickening. God help us all.

    Michael Dowd

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  3. There are usually 2 practical extremes that are wrong. Feenyism which says that it is impossible for non-Catholics to be saved, the bad EENS interpretation. Flip side is the bad assumption that it is easy for non-Catholics to be saved, hence why convert. It is rare that non-Catholics can be saved, but possible.

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like a huge territory in between for mischief.

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    2. There are usually 2 practical extremes that are wrong. Feenyism which says that it is impossible for non-Catholics to be saved, the bad EENS interpretation.
      Lionel:
      Why is Feeneyism wrong, the text of the dogma says exactly what Fr.Leonard Feeney said.
      Why is Feeneyism wrong when Vatican Council II (AG 7, LG 14) says all need faith and baptism for salvation?. This is exactly what Fr.Feeney said.
      Why is Cushingism not wrong for you when you do not know any one saved without 'faith and baptism'?
      Why is Cushingism not wrong for you when you personally do not know any one saved with the baptism of desire and in inculpable ignorance and without the baptism of water?
      Why is the Catechism of the Catholic Church (846,1257) not wrong for you when it suggests there are known exceptions to the traditional and rigorist interpretation of the dogma?
      When you personally do not know of any exceptions and no Church document before 1949 ( Mystici Corporis, Council of Trent) mentions any exceptions, did not the 'magisterium' in CCC 846,1257 make a factual mistake ?
      Why should Catholic students in schools be taught all this irrationality and heresy?


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    3. Feeneyism was condemned by Pope Piux XII, *before* Vatican II. See the details at http://www.romancatholicism.org/feeney-condemnations.html#a2. As usual, the INTERPRETATION of the dogma is the problem. Essence is "However, this [Baptism of] desire need not always be explicit, as it is in catechumens; but when a person is involved in invincible ignorance God accepts also an implicit desire, so called because it is included in that good disposition of soul whereby a person wishes his will to be conformed to the will of God."

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    4. BTW, all this argument over EENS and ecumenism will be moot because of God's coming direct intervention, the "Warning" also called the "Illumination of Conscience." This is the 6th Seal in the Bible (Rev 6:12-17). God will make clear to every soul on earth Who He is, and what Church He established. After that, *no more* invincible ignorance, hence become a practicing Catholic or choose damnation. This is where "And this gospel of the kingdom, shall be preached in the whole world, for a testimony to all nations, and then shall the consummation come." (Matthew 24:14). The "consummation" is the Second Coming, coming soon.

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  4. If you specify that it's formal heresy and schism that are the damnable kind referred to in the declarations of EENS, as opposed to material heresy or schism, the doctrine makes perfect sense.

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  5. An irrationality is being taught at Catholic schools in Detroit, where Michael Voris is based- and he has no comment.

    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2015/04/an-irrationality-is-being-taught-at.html

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  6. Invincible ignorance poses some problems. Is there anything truly invincible that God's grace cannot even reach it? If someone is invincibly ignorant it is assumed they are acting with a heavy dose of 'good will' meaning they would accept the truth had they known it. So in essentially what is being proposed is a scenario similar to the eunuch in the book of ACTS yet God's grace is not able to reach him; a soul in which a miraculous transport of a missionary is not possible. Is that really so? St. Thomas Aquinas did not think so, nor does scripture support this. In fact it's usually the case that those who are 'invincibly ignorant' are those who are being punished such as the case in 2Cor4:3:

    "And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, [4] In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them."

    What is further problematic is that when people discuss invincible ignorance they act as if it's some sort of free pass, a 'get out of jail' card. But let's just say that there is such a person who was 'invincibly ignorant' what does this mean? It means they are not guilty of a sin against the 1st commandment. It does not supply sanctifying grace nor does it move the soul into a state of justification. This isn't a too promising position to be in nor is it a 'solution' to the "problem" of EENS. It raises more questions than it answers.

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    Replies
    1. @Sancte Alphonsus The Church teaches such doctrine about invincible ignorance. Isn't the real question who are you to disagree with the Church?

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    2. The Church teaches such doctrine about invincible ignorance. Isn't the real question who are you to disagree with the Church?

      Lionel:
      The 'church' teaches the doctrine of invincible ignorance as being an exception to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus ONLY after Cardinal Francesco Marchetti Selvaggiani and Cardinal Richard Cushing made ' the great leap'.
      Before 1949 magisterial documents only mentioned being saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire. They did not state that these cases are known to us in the present times to be exceptions to the dogma. Neither do they directly state that these cases are exceptions to the dogma.
      The error has to be inferred.
      This was done by Jesuit theologians in Boston.
      Mystici Corporis refers to being saved as such but does not state that these cases are explicit for us.
      Similarly the Council of Trent refers to being saved with implicit desire. It does not state that these cases are known to us or that there is a contradiction of the traditional teaching.
      The false premise was used by Marchetti-Cushing and then the false premise and inference was included in Vatican Council II (AG 7,LG 14,LG 16 etc).Cardinal Ratzinger accepted the error and so CCC 1257 says God is not limited to the Sacraments, as if he would know of some exception when he was working on the Catechism.
      This error has influenced Redemptoris Missio and Dominus Missio which does not affirm the rigorist interpretation of the dogma, because of allegedly known exceptions,
      This is irrationality and heresy being promoted by ' the Church' since 1949.
      The post 1949 Magisterium contradicts the pre-1949 Magisterium.

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  7. Bear, fear not the name-calling that always comes when anyone proclaims the Faith. If it's not 'Feeneyite' it will be something else: 'papist', 'Mariolator'...

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  8. Oh, goody. The chapter in my psr test this week is about "Christian unity". The vocab term "ecumenism" is included. Oh, this'll be fun.

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  9. Feeneyism was condemned by Pope Piux XII, *before* Vatican II. See the details at http://www.romancatholicism.org/feeney-condemnations.html#a2.
    Lionel:
    Those saved with the baptism of desire or in invincible ignorance are in Heaven and we do not know their names.We cannot judge or know who is in Heaven, without the baptism of water.
    Someone in Heaven cannot be an explicit exception to the dogmatic teching on salvation, on earth.
    Someone invisible cannot be an exception today to all needing the baptism of water in the Catholic Church for salvation.
    If someone does make this claim then he implies that we can see the dead who are in Heaven .He infers that these persons in Heaven known only to God, are explicit exceptions to the Feeneyite interpretation of the dogma.
    If a pope, cardinal or bishop says this it is still irrational. It still is a factual error. It is a fact of life that we cannot see people in Heaven.
    If any rational Catholic makes this claim he has to be corrected.
    However this error is widespread in the Catholic Church and was condoned by the Holy Office in 1949 and then in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992).
    The magisterium has made an objective , factual mistake.
    _________________________


    As usual, the INTERPRETATION of the dogma is the problem.
    Lionel:
    Specially when the magisterium uses an irrationality like being able to see or know people in Heaven in the present times, who are there without the baptism of water. Then with this irrationality it is inferred that there is salvation outside the Church.
    Popes, cardinals and bishops have supported this irrational premise and inference.It was not part of the Deposit of the Faith before 1949.
    ___________________________


    Essence is "However, this [Baptism of] desire need not always be explicit, as it is in catechumens; but when a person is involved in invincible ignorance God accepts also an implicit desire, so called because it is included in that good disposition of soul whereby a person wishes his will to be conformed to the will of God."
    Lionel.
    The baptism of desire is ALWAYS implicit for us human beings and explicit only for God. It can never be physically visible for us.
    It was never ever relevant to the literal interpretation of the dogma by Fr.Leonard Feeney.
    So this is a superflous passage in Vatican Council II (LG 16).
    Cardinal Cushing and the Jesuist assumed that the baptism of desire etc referrred to explicit - for -us, seen in the flesh, objectively verifiable cases.
    ___________________________

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  10. Monday, April 27, 2015
    Vocations to the religous life have to accept an irrationality in the
    Catechism of the Catholic Church
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2015/04/vocations-to-religous-life-have-to.html

    ReplyDelete

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