Thursday, September 10, 2015

Be the Real Church

Eponymous Flower has a good summary of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus: there is no salvation outside the Church (EENS). To that the Bear would add Pope Boniface VIII's 1302 bull Unam Sanctam, and the Council of Florence's (1441) strong statement, although examples could be multiplied all the way up to (but not including) Vatican II.

Look, if the Church is just one option among many religions, then it is not the Church. At best it is a church. But Noah didn't have a yacht club, he had an ark, as in one, singular, only.

Things started falling apart when the Spirit of Vatican II went all Chairman Mao and let a thousand flowers bloom. St. Pope John XXIII threw open the windows to the world at the exact moment the windows should have been shut, locked, and the Holy Office reinforced with 100,000 inquisitors, because the world was losing its mind.

If you aren't the Church, but one face on the holy polyhedron Pope Francis likes to talk about, then, frankly, you should just shut up and stop pretending you've got anything on the sweaty Bible-thumper in Arkansas, or a mullah in one of the vacation paradises of the Islamic world. Because it's just a matter of degree of error, if you're not the Church. If you're not THE CHURCH -- the ark of salvation, the Bride of Christ -- then just shut up already. We don't want to be part of an all-engulfing amoeba-cult where everyone churns merrily along through the cosmos.

You are either the Church or you're not. You can't be "just so much of the Church that doesn't make people uncomfortable." You can't be the better-to-be-with-us-but-whatever-you-are-is-fine-Church. You can't be an unbalanced or incomplete Church. You can't be the Church of the Poor, or the Church of Mercy, if you are not also the Church of Hard Truth. If you're not willing to be the Church, then admit that God made a huge mistake. Admit you've been lying to people for centuries. Admit that the Protestants are right with their "invisible Church of believers." Pack it up, sell it off and let the rest of us start over.

How many bishops would stand up and assert that there is no salvation outside the Church?

The Bear wagers not one, no not a single one.

And yet it is a dogma of the Church.

For once and for all, stop pretending EENS doesn't exist, and confront it forthrightly. If you can find a way to legitimately put it to rest, then have at it. But don't just mince around it pretending it never happened. When did we become so gutless?

But the Bear knows they won't. Because it's kryptonite to Modernists. They can't endorse it because what they're calling the Church blows up in their faces. And they can't deny it because it is dogma, and once they actually start denying dogma, there goes their special authority on anything. They're just a bunch of old men in silly outfits.

Interesting pickle they have themselves in. Once they start admitting their dogmas are wrong, they saw off the branch they're sitting on. So they lie to the world by silence and pretense, without ever having the guts to confront the past and deal with it forthrightly. Ecumenism, no-fault Catholic divorce, it's all part of the same pattern of abandoning the truth of the past for accommodations to the present and the collapse of the future.


  1. The people don't know any better. It was generally a safe bet to follow the pope and now they do not even have that as far as standing up for doctrine and teaching. Our Lord Himself will need to sort all this out!

  2. You Feeneyite you! ;)

    Excellent piece, as usual Bear...the tares are shaking themselves out. We shall see what Our Lord does with this whole mess. I'm puttin' on my seatbelt.

    1. I am beginning to think that Fr. Feeney was the canary in the coal mine. I don't pretend to know all about the various "exceptions" for lack of a better word to EENS, but I don't see how you get around the core dogma. Personally, no one would be happier if EENS were not dogma, but, well, it is what it is.

    2. I was yankin' your paw Bear..I think the good Fr. Feeney was indeed the canary. His writings are sublime; he was a good and holy priest who remained Catholic, while many of his brethren who wore scarlet became effectual protestants. I think he and Ab. Lefebvre are praying very hard for us right now, in the glory of the Beatific Vision.

      And don't apologize for is Divinely revealed beauty and Truth....I for one am grateful for it and hinge my salvation upon it.

  3. There's no such thing as Islam, there's no such thing as Protestanism, there's no such thing as Judaism. Meditating on that always makes me feel better.

  4. Dangerous reading---all those pre-Vat 2 documents. Surprised Frank hasn't resurrected the Index of Forbidden Books and placed all those pre-Vat 2 docs on it.

    Careful, Bear, you'll wind up a sede like me ;-).

    Seattle Kim

    1. That's why my paw is nailed to the floor in front of my favorite pew.

  5. EENS is the only logical conclusion to the teaching of Jesus. If this were not the case martyrdom would be pointless. Our friends over at SSPX surely believe the Catholic Church is the only true Church and it is quite ironic they were expelled for effectively advocating this.

    Where is the true Church now? In my opinion it is comprised of all the people who believe all the teachings of the Catholic Church and try to practice them. Anyone who does not believe all the teaching is effectively not a Catholic.

    1. That sounds a bit like the "invisible Church" of the Protestants. I know what you mean, but I cling to the idea that the boundaries of the visible Church delineate the safe zone. Hence my tiresome insistence to nail your foot to the floor in front of your favorite pew and die there. Otherwise, if I followed my inclinations, I might go full sede myself.

  6. Fr Feeney went too far, and was condemned under Pope Pius XII. EENS stated another way:

    Salvation would not be possible without the Catholic Church. That means that all graces of salvation come through the Catholic Church, whether a soul knows that or not, or accepts that or not.

    It is possible - for now - for an unbaptized (water, blood) person to be saved, but much less likely. The reason is "invincible ignorance" since God only judges a soul by what he knows. And what a soul knows can be corrupted especially by bad teachings (e.g. Islam, Jehovah Witnesses, etc) or also bad example (bad Catholics, like abortion supporters).

    However, after the Warning, the 6th Seal, the Illumination of Conscience, EENS will be strictly interpreted because God will have enlightened every soul on earth (at age of reason) to knowledge of Him, Jesus our Savior and His Catholic Church. God will remove all invincible ignorance. That day is not far off, and likely in 2016. In the Era of Peace there will be only Catholics. No other false man-made religion will exist.

    1. Fr. Feeney may (or may not) have gone too far on his position with the "exceptions," such as baptism of desire. As for your interpretation of EENS as "no salvation is possible without the Catholic Church," I'm surprised to see you advance such a novel, indeed modern explanation. While that may be true, it has never been the formulation of EENS. I'm afraid the weight of history is against you on this, RC.

  7. Bear, explain what history is against me in detail. Your objection is too general. And have you read the official condemnation of Fr Feeney?

  8. RC, I am very familiar with Fr. Feeney's case. If you are, I am sure you are aware of the surrounding issues, too. Also, Fr. Feeney's excommunication was remitted without any requirement for recantation. As for the broader issue, I refer you to all the Church documents dealing with EENS. You will find they speak of salvation being exclusively for those inside the Church, not the Church being the channel of salvation. I have only heard that explanation in modern times from people who want to vitiate EENS. The documents are there and are plain enough to read. If you can read and conclude they are not talking about belonging to the Church, being inside the Church, and not being extra ecclesiam, than no argument of mine is going to persuade you otherwise.

    1. I do not wish to vitiate EENS.

      Bear, are you a Feeneyite? I ask honestly. You say that you are surprised about me, I say the same about you. I have only heard the Feeney "attitude" from those who interpret EENS against what Pope Pius XII and Vatican II Lumen Gentium say. Recall Lumne Gentium's title - Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. Nothing new, just repeating doctrine.

      1. Do you claim that anyone of the age of reason who does not have water Baptism is always damned?
      2. Do you deny the Baptism of desire?
      3. Do you reject the official explanation, excerpts below?

      I will also add that the invincible ignorance today is higher than when EENS first came out. Two examples of why I say that. First, the original Protestants are all apostates since they abandoned the Catholic faith. Today someone may be from a Protestant family going back hundreds of years. A "pure Protestant" today would be judged less harshly than an original Protestant. Second, the culture and government in Europe was very much Christian, and today very much un-Christian. That too has an effect on the ignorance.

      Now don't infer that I say - unlike Francis the Fake - that one should not convert. Most people go to hell, and especially today, so without the graces of the sacraments, the likelihood of being saved is very low. Possible yes, but certainly not likely.

    2. Excerpts of Fr. Feeney's condemnation.

      Anyway, here are excerpts from Fr. Feeney's condemnation.
      that infallible statement by which we are taught that there is no salvation outside the Church.

      However, this dogma must be understood in that sense in which the Church herself understands it.

      the Church teaches that in this matter there is question of a most strict command of Jesus Christ. For He explicitly enjoined on his apostles to teach all nations to observe all things whatsoever He Himself had commanded (Matt., 28:19-20). Now, among the commandments of Christ, that one holds not the least place, by which we are commanded to be incorporated by Baptism into the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church, and to remain united to Christ and to His Vicar, through whom He Himself in a visible manner governs the Church on earth.

      Therefore, no one will be saved who, knowing the Church to have been divinely established by Christ, nevertheless refuses to submit to the Church or withholds obedience from the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth.

      Not only did the Savior command that all nations should enter the Church, but He also decreed the Church to be a means of salvation, without which no one can enter the kingdom of eternal glory.

      In His infinite mercy God has willed that the effects, necessary for one to be saved, of those helps to salvation which are directed toward man's final end, not by intrinsic necessity, but only by divine institution, can also be obtained in certain circumstances when those helps are used only in desire and longing. This we see clearly stated in the Sacred Council of Trent, both in reference to the Sacrament of Regeneration and in reference to the Sacraments of Penance (Denziger, nn. 797, 807).

      The same in its own degree must be asserted of the Church, in as far as she is the general help to salvation. Therefore, that one may obtain eternal salvation, it is not always required that he be incorporated into the Church actually as a member, but it is necessary that at least he be united to her by desire and longing.

      However, this desire need not always be explicit, as it is in catechumens; but when a person is involved in invincible ignorance, ...

      These things are clearly taught in that dogmatic letter which was issued by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Pius XII, on June 29, 1943, "On the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ." (AAS, Vol. 35, an. 1943, p. 193 ff.) For in this letter the Sovereign Pontiff clearly distinguishes between those who are actually incorporated into the Church as members, and those who are united to the Church only by desire.

      Toward the end of this same Encyclical Letter, when most affectionately inviting to unity those who do not belong to the body of the Catholic Church, he mentions those who "are related to the Mystical Body of the Redeemer by a certain unconscious yearning and desire," and these he by no means excludes from eternal salvation, but on the other hand states that they are in a condition " in which they cannot be sure of their salvation" since "they still remain deprived of those many heavenly gifts and helps which can only be enjoyed in the Catholic Church" (AAS, loc. cit., 342)

      he reproves both those who exclude from eternal salvation all united to the Church only by implicit desire, and those who falsely assert that men can be saved equally well in every religion (cf. Pope Pius IX, Allocution "Singulari quadam," in Denziger, nn. 1641, ff. - also Pope Pius IX in the Encyclical Letter "Quanto conficiamur mœrore" in Denzinger, n. 1677).

      But it must not be thought that any kind of desire of entering the Church suffices that one may be saved.

    3. Vatican II Pastoral Council, Lumen Gentium an absurd and wishy-washy document outside the stream of Catholic dogma interpreted one way, a nice expression of good feelings interpreted another. As for Fr. Feeney, I am not a Feeneyite, solely in that he flatly denied the "exceptions" for lack of a better word, to EENS. I don't think he came out of left field, though. Fr. Feeney's real problem was he was undiplomatic and tinged with anti-semitism. I HOPE for the broadest possible "exception" to EENS, as I am a convert, and my whole family died outside the Church.

      Back to LG. Do you believe Jews and Moslems -- "Great Abrahamic Religions" -- and Hindus, and even Atheists have a realistic chance of salvation. Can they claim invincible ignorance in today's world? Don't they have a duty to inquire into the Church? Would you agree with Dr Ralph Martin that LG is responsible in part for the abandonment of mission by the Church, since it is suggested everybody is saved anyway? How about the ecumenical movement, another fruit of LG. I would be surprised if you thought that was a good thing. We agree on more than we disagree I'm sure.

    4. Bear, Lumen Gentium repeats what Pope Pius XII said regarding Feeneyism on salvation outside the Church. Stick to the detail and don't throw the baby out with the bath water (LG in general). That's my objection. What would a judge say? What's the legal term for staying on the topic?

      Also, you must distinguish between "realistic chance" and possible. I already mentioned that it would be rare. Second, atheists are not included at all since they reject faith in God totally. I was talking about non-Catholic religions. As the Bible says, the fool says there is no God.

      One interesting thing about Muslims is they generally have much better chastity than modernist Christians. Recall Our Lady of Fatima said that most people go to hell for sins of the flesh. Yes, invincible ignorance is possible because of strong biases of what you are taught as you grow up, and how that affects your outlook.

      I will give you another example of wondering how God will judge. I met a woman who left Catholicism to become Jehovah Witness. Why? A priest told her that it would be OK for a boyfriend and her to have premarital sex if they really loved each other and were committed. I planted the seed to ask her to come back.

      Ecumenism as practiced is what Francis preaches - don't bother converting. That is not real ecumenism, which is instead explaining to the other religions the why and wherefore of the Faith, essentially apologetics. Yes, part of proselytism. Just like Francis' mercy is not real mercy in spite of the word used. He too uses deliberate and diabolical ambiguity and much omission.

      Vatican II in general opened the door to abuse because of ambiguous - and deliberately so - language. LG is just one of those documents. And even more so the lax discipline and allowing of heresy to run rampant without correction, e.g. being politically correct long before the term was invented.

      This will all be moot after the Warning since then no one will have any excuse whatsoever. That should occur (opinion) no later than October 2017.

      BTW, since God is not bound by time, please do pray for all your deceased family since they may have repented and been saved, although likely with a long time in Purgatory. God can easily apply future prayers (and indulgences) to past souls. I will also pray for them.

    5. Those who are acquainted with the private lives of Muslims might have a bone to pick with your statement that they are more chaste.

      Thank you for your prayers. My mother was always interested in Catholicism, but my brother is a Mason, as was her father and brother. (Thank God my father was blackballed out of spite.)

      LG's problem, as I'm sure you know, is it's ambiguity. Personally, I doubt a document that that is that ambiguous can be binding on anyone. And, for the record, atheists are specifically included in LG.

      I don't think we are that far apart.

    6. Have no fear about the mason family members, IF you pray the Rosary daily and offer indulgences for their souls. I had a mason uncle who I know was saved (known through private revelation). He suffered much physically near the end of his life and had a lot of Purgatory, but he made it to Heaven.

      As to LG, you are bound to the faithful interpretation thereof, which is the Truth.

      How do you conclude "atheists are specifically included in LG.?"

    7. I propose that Lumen Gentium is such a gaseous and ambiguous document that there is no positive dogma to be found. Which is what would expect in a "Pastoral Council" whose purpose was to set a tone, not declare dogmas. As a lawyer, I would put it "all dicta and no holding."

      As for atheists, I thought paragraph 16. I believe I was mistaken.


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