Aug 23, 2007

What Catholics Do NOT Believe!

The year 1884 is the date when my beloved Grandmother was born, so I'm always interested in HOW the Catholic Church taught its eternal truths during that period. EWTN reprints from a 1884 discussion by the Very Rev. Joseph Di Bruno, D.D. on what Catholics do NOT believe.

Two of the total list of seven items include:

4. Catholics do not believe that a man can by his own good works, independently of the Merits and Passion of Jesus Christ and of His grace, obtain salvation, or make any satisfaction for the guilt of his sins, or acquire any merit.


6. Catholics do not believe that it is in the power of the Church to add to the truths contained in the "deposit of faith," that is, to frame or enforce any doctrine which has not for its source the written or unwritten word of God, or authority from the same. Nor do they believe, when the Church makes a Definition in matters of faith, that this definition or article of faith is a new doctrine; it is only a solemn declaration and a clearer statement of what was believed, at least implicitly (that is, in an implied way, or inferentially), in the time of the Apostles, though some private persons might have doubted of it.

Now, read the remaining five here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for an excellent post!

I know I'm a little late in responding here, but after reading your post and reading your link to what the EWTN has on their website (in particular, what they wrote in point #7, copied below); I wouldn't mind having a discussion on your blog of the concept of 'Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus' (EENS), or 'Outside the Church there is no salvation'. And I would REALLY appreciate it if you could start a new blog-post on my question that I am asking here.

So most importantly, I'd like to hear from educated parties as to
what the position of the SSPX is on EENS. Why? Well, because the
long-awaited Motu Proprio on the Tridentine Latin Mass has finally
been published, and many folks throughout the world are expecting to see a proclamation of some kind regarding the canonical status of
the SSPX folks within the Catholic Church. I believe that the SSPX's views on EENS will be key to any further discussions and/or
publications from the Holy Father regarding the SSPX.

So, I've been reading many SSPX publications lately, given this
prospect of new discussions between Rome and the SSPX. And within the SSPX's publications, I have read what appear to be extreme views on EENS; to the effect that only Catholics within the Holy Roman Catholic Church may be saved. Now, I am well-versed on the concept of EENS and its history within the Catholic Church, and I would like to use your forum to clear up for me whether or not the SSPX holds
to an extreme position on EENS. I particularly welcome comments
from SSPX folks themselves on this issue, should you agree to start
a post on my suggested topic here.

Thanks in advance for your consideration,



"7. Catholics do not believe that Protestants who are baptized, who
lead a good life, love God and their neighbor, and are blamelessly ignorant of the just claims of the Catholic Religion to be the one true Religion (which is called being in good faith), are excluded from Heaven, provided they believe that there is one God in three Divine Persons; *that God will duly reward the good and punish the wicked; that Jesus Christ is the Son of God made man, who redeemed us, and in whom we must trust for our salvation; and provided they thoroughly repent of having ever, by their sins, offended God.

Catholics hold that Protestants who have these dispositions, and who have no suspicion of their religion being false, and no means to discover, or fail in their honest endeavors to discover, the true Religion, and who are so disposed in their heart that they would at any cost embrace the Roman Catholic Religion if they knew it to be the true one, are Catholics in spirit and in some sense within the Catholic Church, without themselves knowing it. She holds that these Christians belong to, and are united to the "soul," as it is called, of the Catholic Church, although they are not united to the visible body of the Church by external communion with her, and by the outward profession of her faith.

Very different is the case of a person who, having the opportunity, neglects to learn from genuine trustworthy sources what the Catholic Religion is and really teaches, fearing, that were he to become convinced of the truth of the Catholic Faith, he would be compelled by his conscience to forsake his own religion, and bear the worldly
inconveniences attached to this step. This very fear shows a want of good faith, and that he is not in that insurmountable ignorance
which could excuse him in the sight of God, nut that he is one of those of whom it is said in Psalm xxxv. 4, "He would not understand that he might do well."

Fairness, no less than common sense, teaches that a man should study and examine the teaching of the Catholic Church from Catholic
sources before condemning her. Surely no man ought to reject
Catholic doctrine if he has not made himself well acquainted with
them. Nor is is fair to form a judgment from misrepresentations made by ill-informed, interested, or prejudiced persons; one should
rather, by the study of authorized Catholic works, judge of the
truth with that calm and unprejudiced mind which the all-important subject of Religion deserves. Thus having heard both sides, you will be in a state to pass a right judgment and not in danger of being misled by prejudice.

Our Saviour gave no hope of salvation to the Samaritan woman unless she entered the one true Church of the tine, saying to her who was destitute of a sure guide: "You adore that which you know not; we adore that which we know; for SALVATION IS OF THE JEWS". (St John iv. 22.) So likewise there is no salvation for any one who, having by God's grace come to the knowledge of the truth, obstinately refuses to join the true Church of God.

There was no safety out of the Ark of Noah during the deluge, and no
one can be saved who is in no sense within the true Church,
prefigured by the Ark. According to St. Cyprian: "No one can have
God for his Father who has not the Church for his Mother. If any one
could escape the deluge out of the Ark of Noah, he who is out of the
Church may also escape." (Book on the Unity of the Church.)

It is hard to understand how a Protestant can daily say in the
Apostles' Creed, as many happily do still say, "I believe in the
Holy Catholic Church," without at least a thought arising in his
mind, that perhaps after all the Church which alone is truly
Catholic or universal, both in name and in fact, has more claim on his love and obedience than his own denomination, which really is
not Catholic."