A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism

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Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism

Postby jelly » Sat May 24, 2014 5:20 pm

Blitz, you're still just speaking "Christianese." And you've entirely missed the point. Stop taking it for granted that everyone else is familiar with the same legalistic theology that you grew up with.
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Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism

Postby Sherlock » Tue May 27, 2014 10:56 am

John Chrysostom wrote:Also to draw this into a larger debate we've been having for quite awhile. Even saying that is an accurate quote, which I am not, has this been the teaching of the Catholic church since the beginning?


In short, no, it is not. :)
The teaching of the Catholic Church has always been something called "extra Ecclesiam nulla salus" or, loosely translated, "No Salvation outside of the Church".

Below are some relevant quotes on the subject:

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence:
Whoever wishes to be saved, needs above all to hold the Catholic faith; unless each one preserves this whole and inviolate, he will without a doubt perish in eternity.”


Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, Constitution 1, 1215:
“There is indeed one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which nobody at all is saved, in which Jesus Christ is both priest and sacrifice.”


Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, 1302:
“With Faith urging us we are forced to believe and to hold the one, holy, Catholic Church and that, apostolic, and we firmly believe and simply confess this Church outside of which there is no salvation nor remission of sin… Furthermore, we declare, say, define, and proclaim to every human creature that they by absolute necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff.”


Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos 1832:
“With the admonition of the apostle that ‘there is one God, one faith, one baptism’ (Eph. 4:5) may those fear who contrive the notion that the safe harbor of salvation is open to persons of any religion whatever. They should consider the testimony of Christ Himself that ‘those who are not with Christ are against Him,’ (Lk. 11:23) and that they disperse unhappily who do not gather with Him. Therefore, ‘without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate” (Athanasian Creed).


Obviously, these sorts of statements are not particularly palateable to those wishing to promote a broadly ecumenical approach to Catholicism, therefore this teaching got watered down significantly during the course of Vatican II and later years. I would hazard a guess that very few Catholics today (through no fault of their own) have neither read nor heard of the teaching of extra Ecclesium nulla salus.

It's not hard to see why when you read the below - taken from the new Catechism, which Pound Foolish has quoted:

“Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door.Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

“Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.” (Quoting the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, 16)


Another major Vatican II document Gaudeiem et Spes states:

All this holds true not only for Christians, but for all men of good will in whose hearts grace works in an unseen way. For, since Christ died for all men, and since the ultimate vocation of man is in fact one, and divine, we ought to believe that the Holy Spirit in a manner known only to God offers to every man the possibility of being associated with this paschal mystery. (22)


I would encourage the reader to compare the two writings and come to your own conclusion.
Last edited by Sherlock on Tue May 27, 2014 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism

Postby Simon Magus » Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:49 pm

@Blitz I totally agree, only knowledge of salvation will save you. And totally agree that this physical world cannot point the way to God, how could anything physical do that?
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Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism

Postby Pound Foolish » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:04 pm

Sherlock wrote:
John Chrysostom wrote:Also to draw this into a larger debate we've been having for quite awhile. Even saying that is an accurate quote, which I am not, has this been the teaching of the Catholic church since the beginning?


In short, no, it is not. :)
The teaching of the Catholic Church has always been something called "extra Ecclesiam nulla salus" or, loosely translated, "No Salvation outside of the Church".

Below are some relevant quotes on the subject:

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence:
Whoever wishes to be saved, needs above all to hold the Catholic faith; unless each one preserves this whole and inviolate, he will without a doubt perish in eternity.”


Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, Constitution 1, 1215:
“There is indeed one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which nobody at all is saved, in which Jesus Christ is both priest and sacrifice.”


Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, 1302:
“With Faith urging us we are forced to believe and to hold the one, holy, Catholic Church and that, apostolic, and we firmly believe and simply confess this Church outside of which there is no salvation nor remission of sin… Furthermore, we declare, say, define, and proclaim to every human creature that they by absolute necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff.”


Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos 1832:
“With the admonition of the apostle that ‘there is one God, one faith, one baptism’ (Eph. 4:5) may those fear who contrive the notion that the safe harbor of salvation is open to persons of any religion whatever. They should consider the testimony of Christ Himself that ‘those who are not with Christ are against Him,’ (Lk. 11:23) and that they disperse unhappily who do not gather with Him. Therefore, ‘without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate” (Athanasian Creed).


Obviously, these sorts of statements are not particularly palateable to those wishing to promote a broadly ecumenical approach to Catholicism, therefore this teaching got watered down significantly during the course of Vatican II and later years. I would hazard a guess that very few Catholics today (through no fault of their own) have neither read nor heard of the teaching of extra Ecclesium nulla salus.

It's not hard to see why when you read the below - taken from the new Catechism, which Pound Foolish has quoted:

“Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door.Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

“Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.” (Quoting the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, 16)


Another major Vatican II document Gaudeiem et Spes states:

All this holds true not only for Christians, but for all men of good will in whose hearts grace works in an unseen way. For, since Christ died for all men, and since the ultimate vocation of man is in fact one, and divine, we ought to believe that the Holy Spirit in a manner known only to God offers to every man the possibility of being associated with this paschal mystery. (22)


I would encourage the reader to compare the two writings and come to your own conclusion.


I can't find those quotes anywhere online. Could you tell where you got them? If online, which website, in book form, which book.

That is all for now. I'll get back to the rest of you.
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Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism

Postby Sherlock » Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:43 pm

Most of these writings are pretty easy to locate if you just google the titles, but I will post a couple links here:

Mirari Vos: http://www.ewtn.com/library/encyc/g16mirar.htm
Unam Sanctum: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/B8-unam.asp

Vatican II documents: http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/v2all.htm

Of course the vatican also publishes electronic copies of most (if not all?) encyclicals.
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Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism

Postby Jonathan » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:14 pm

Luther had something to say about extra ecclesiam as well:

Therefore he who would find Christ must first find the Church. How should we know where Christ and his faith were, if we did not know where his believers are? And he who would know anything of Christ must not trust himself nor build a bridge to heaven by his own reason; but he must go to the Church, attend and ask her. Now the Church is not wood and stone, but the company of believing people; one must hold to them, and see how they believe, live and teach; they surely have Christ in their midst. For outside of the Christian church there is no truth, no Christ, no salvation.


So, Sherlock, my question is then what does Rome say about other denominations? To give more on where I stand, I'll add that shortly before his excommunication, Luther had made some comment about salvation existing outside of the church, but not outside Christ. He later expanded on the idea, saying that the marks of the church are the administration of word and sacrament, and not "apostolic succession", all as an argument that Rome wasn't the only church, and that there could be Christians outside of the Roman church (and while he himself was still a part of the church of Rome, he often clashed with bishops about whether the Greek Christians were really saved). And I agree with him.
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Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism

Postby John Chrysostom » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:27 pm

Thank you Jonathan for agreeing with Luther that us Greek Christians are saved. Here are actually some interesting letters between Patriarch Jeremiah II of Constantinople and the Lutherans. http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/jeremiah.aspx The first thing that is made clear is that the Lutherans accept the Seven Eccumenical Councils, I wonder if you do the same?

Of course Patriarch Jeremiah II does not agree with you or Luther that Apostolic Succession did not define the Church, after all how could they when the Nicean Creed itself says that we believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church? But Patriarch Jeremiah II goes even further.
Let no one undertake or think anything contrary to the decisions of the Holy Apostles and the Holy Synods. He who uprightly keeps this principle will be a partner with us in our rejoicing, a member of our community and one who holds the same faith. But what communion would one have with us, who rejects the aforementioned canons and opposes the Apostles and shamelessly turns himself against the Holy Apostles? What part could he have with us? Somewhere one of the teachers [of the Church] says to those who strive to be pious: "One who speaks contrary to the things which have been decided—even though he is trustworthy [cf. l Cor 4:2; 9:1], lives as a virgin, does wonders, and prophesies—is a wolf in sheep's clothing, who causes the ruin of the sheep."
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Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism

Postby Jehoshaphat » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:38 am

The CCC states that
Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or remain in it.


But it also says that
838 The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter."322 Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church."323 With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist."324


So yes the Church is necessary for salvation but more people are included in the church than you would expect.
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Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism

Postby Sherlock » Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:13 am

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches....



By which I am assuming they are referring to the Second Vatican Council and not the Council of Florence or the Fourth Lateran Council as expressed in my earlier post?

The point I was trying to make is that you are quoting exclusively from the CCC published in 1985 which borrows heavily from the Second Vatican Council documents. The body of Church writing on this subject stretches much further back than the 1960's and indeed (arguably) presents a much clearer picture of the Church's teaching on this subject. If you have not done so, I would also suggest picking up a copy of the Baltimore Catechism, or read it online here. This is still the go-to book for many people looking for a clear picture of what the catholic church teaches.

On a tangential note, I wish they mentioned these things in the religious ed classes. I was fed such a steady diet of Vatican II all the way through college that I really wasn't even aware of any of the development of doctrine prior to the 1960's! What nonsense that was. ;)

-- 24 Jun 2014 05:24 pm --

Jonathan wrote:Luther had something to say about extra ecclesiam as well:

Therefore he who would find Christ must first find the Church. How should we know where Christ and his faith were, if we did not know where his believers are? And he who would know anything of Christ must not trust himself nor build a bridge to heaven by his own reason; but he must go to the Church, attend and ask her. Now the Church is not wood and stone, but the company of believing people; one must hold to them, and see how they believe, live and teach; they surely have Christ in their midst. For outside of the Christian church there is no truth, no Christ, no salvation.


So, Sherlock, my question is then what does Rome say about other denominations? To give more on where I stand, I'll add that shortly before his excommunication, Luther had made some comment about salvation existing outside of the church, but not outside Christ. He later expanded on the idea, saying that the marks of the church are the administration of word and sacrament, and not "apostolic succession", all as an argument that Rome wasn't the only church, and that there could be Christians outside of the Roman church (and while he himself was still a part of the church of Rome, he often clashed with bishops about whether the Greek Christians were really saved). And I agree with him.


Thanks Jonathan for bringing up this point. I think it is a good one to mention, as many people would paint Luther as sort of a theological renegade when, in many ways, he he initially had no intention to separate from Rome. Therefore, it is not surprising to see that Luther also subscribed to extra ecclesiam as well. I think over time the meaning of "outside the Church" has been interpreted in a variety of ways and, indeed, what it means to be a member "of the Church" has also been subject to debate as many who profess the Nicene Creed would tell you that the word"Catholic" is intended to be used in the literal sense of the word, meaning universal, or body of believers. I think the Second Vatican Council also subscribed to this, as expressed in the various documents that came out of it. At the same time, I would probably conclude that the early popes and councils as I quoted earlier took a very literal meaning of extra ecclesiam as referring only to the Roman Church and those who acknowledge her authority.

I suppose this inconsistency is in many ways the heart of confusion then, and why many are left - quite unfortunately! - to prudentially determine for themselves as to what the catholic church teaches on this matter today.
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