Tuesday, July 22, 2014
No Dimond In The Rough
Few topics cause as much controversy in Traditionalist circles than that of "Baptism of Desire" (BOD) and "Baptism of Blood" (BOB). In reaction to the Modernists who had been trying to apply BOD to just about everyone (e.g. Fr. Karl Rahner and his ilk, calling pagans "anonymous Christians") and reducing the dogma Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus Est (Outside the Church There Is No Salvation) to a meaningless formula, Fr. Leonard Feeney denied BOD and BOB. He claimed that the Church had gotten it wrong, that BOD and BOB (even when properly understood) were heretical. Ultimately, Fr. Feeney was excommunicated in 1953 by Pope Pius XII. He was reconciled to the Vatican II sect in 1972 by Montini (Antipope Paul VI) without having to abjure his heresy.
Good people were unfortunately taken in by Feeney, including Fr. James Wathen, whose book The Great Sacrilege was one of the first and best refutations of the invalid Vatican II bread and wine service. (See my last post of 7/17/14 "An Even Greater Sacrilege"). My last post discussed the Feeneyite heresy, and I received a comment that those who uphold the Church's teaching (e.g. Fr. Cekada and Bishop Dolan) should debate the most prolific Feenyites today; the so-called "Dimond Brothers" of Most Holy Family Monastery in New York. They are self-proclaimed "Benedictines" whose major work is a book entitled Outside of the Catholic Church There is Absolutely No Salvation which anyone can view and download for free on their website.
I responded in the comments section of my last post that I would present the case that Fr. Feeney and his followers are heretics. As Fr. Cekada has pointed out, Feeneyites have, at the root of their error, the rejection of legitimate Church authority. I will make but one argument in this post to show how even the most rabid Feeneyites (Dimonds) got it all wrong.
Feeneyites are of the opinion that Catholics need only to accept ex cathedra pronouncements of the popes and Ecumenical Councils, while everything else is basically "up for grabs" and subject to error. If their private interpretation of an ex cathedra statement is alleged to "conflict" with any doctrine not so defined, then it is an error. Since BOD and BOB have not been the subjects of an ex cathedra pronouncement, and it (allegedly) conflicts with ex cathedra pronouncements on Baptism and the necessity of belonging to the Church for salvation, they argue that BOD and BOB are heretical.
I will now set out the case of how wrong they are in this matter.
I) What Catholics Must Believe
Catholics are BOUND to believe everything proposed by the extraordinary and ordinary Magisterium of the Church. The Feeneyites would like us to forget the latter and only accept the former. In what does the Ordinary Magisterium consist?
According to theologian Ott: The promulgation by the Church (of dogma)may be made either in an extraordinary manner through a solemn decision of faith made by the Pope or a General Council (Iudicium solemne) or through the ordinary and general teaching power of the Church (Magisterium ordinarium et universale). The latter may be found easily in the catechisms issued by the Bishops." (See Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, TAN reprint from 1955, pg. 4--Emphasis mine).
According to theologian Van Noort: "Clearly if a truth is capable of being declared an object of divine-catholic faith through the force of this ordinary and universal teaching, there is required such a proposal is unmistakably definitive........The major signs of such a proposal are these: that the truth be taught throughout the world in popular catechisms, or even more importantly, be taught by the universal and constant agreement of theologians as belonging to faith." (See Van Noort, Dogmatic Theology, Newman Press, 3:222, 1960--first emphasis in original; emphasis after ellipsis mine).
According to theologian Tanquerey: "B. The Ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church......
I. The Morally Unanimous Preaching (Teaching) of the Bishops
Bishops teach the flock entrusted and subject to them by means of catechisms, by synodal directives, mandates , and in public sermons. If it is evident from these documents that some doctrine is being set forth universally as an object of faith, then nothing else is required for this doctrine to be accepted de fide. Bishops spread throughout the world, but with the Roman Pontiff forming one Corporate Body, are infallible when declaring a teaching on faith or morals." (See Tanquerey, Manual of Dogmatic Theology I:177, 1959--Emphasis in original).
Therefore, a truth declared in catechisms, is as certain as dogmas proclaimed ex cathedra. Since God is the Author of all Truths of Faith any alleged contradiction between Truths stems from ignorance (culpable or inculpable).
II) BOD AND BOB ARE CLEARLY TAUGHT IN ALL PRE-VATICAN II CATECHISMS
The popular Baltimore Catechism, the Catechism of Pope St. Pius X, and the Catechism of the Council of Trent (approved by none less than Pope St. Pius V), all teach BOB and BOD. They are therefore to be accepted de fide (of Faith). But, wait! In Outside of the Catholic Church There is Absolutely No Salvation (hereinafter OCC), the Diamonds try to impeach the Catechism of the Council of Trent (CCT)!
On pgs. 135-139 of OCC, we read:
"The Catechism of the Council of Trent is not infallible. Fathers John A.McHugh, O.P. and Charles J. Callan, O.P. wrote the introduction for a common English translation of the Catechism of the Council of Trent. Their introduction contains the following interesting quote from Dr. John Hagan, Rector of the Irish College in Rome,about the Catechism’s authority.Catechism of the Council of Trent‐ Fifteenth printing, TAN Books,Introduction XXXVI: “Official documents have occasionally been issued by Popes to explain certain points of Catholic teaching to individuals, or to local Christian communities; whereas the Roman Catechism comprises practically the whole body of Christian doctrine,and is addressed to the whole Church. Its teaching is not infallible; but it holds a place between approved catechisms and what is de fide.”
The Diamonds omitted this line from Dr. Hagan: “At the very least it has the same authority as a dogmatic Encyclical.” Catholics MUST accept this because as Pope Pius XII stated: “It is not to be thought that what is set down in Encyclical Letters does not demand assent in itself, because in these the popes do not exercise the supreme powers of their magisterium. For these matters are taught by the ordinary magisterium, regarding which the following is pertinent ‘He who heareth you, heareth me.’; and usually what is set forth and inculcated in Encyclical Letters, already pertains to Catholic doctrine.” Humani Generis (1950), D 2313. Emphasis mine.
This leads us right back to what the theologians have taught about catechisms and the Ordinary Magisterium! In the next few sections, Dimond attempts to show where and why he thinks the Roman Catechism is in conflict with the Council of Trent and other papal documents. His purpose is to demonstrate that if the Catechism is erroneous on other points of doctrine, he can logically argue against the pertinent phrase -- the one that clearly teaches BOD for adults--- to the absolute necessity of Baptism under all conditions. His argument, then, will be that the Roman Catechism is outright heretical through implication.
He continues:“The fact that the Catechism of Trent is not infallible is proven by the fact that small errors can be detected within its text. For example:
Catechism of the Council of Trent, Tan Books, p. 243: “For the Eucharist is the end of all the Sacraments, and the symbol of unity and brotherhood in the Church, outside of which none can attain grace.”
Here the Catechism teaches that outside the Church none can attain grace. This is not true. Predisposing or prevenient graces are given to those outside the Church so that they can turn to God, change their lives and enter the Church. Without these graces no one would ever convert. Pope Clement XI in the dogmatic constitution Unigenitus (Sept. 8, 1713) condemned the proposition that, “Outside the Church, no grace is granted.” Thus, what we have here is an error in the Catechism of Trent. The Catechism probably intended to teach that outside the Church no sinner can attain sanctifying grace, which is true, since outside the Catholic Church there is no remission of sins (Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, 1302, ex cathedra). Nevertheless, God allowed the Catechism to err in this manner because it is not infallible in everything it teaches.”
Dimond omits the context of the Catechism that implied sanctifying grace. Dimond is going out of his way in an attempt to find an error that’s not really there. He needs to find that error to demonstrate that the Catechism is faulty which he thinks gives him the right to question those paragraphs that clearly teach Baptism of Desire.
Notice also that Pope Clement XI didn't specify what grace he was speaking about either. He didn't say “actual”, “predisposing or prevenient” grace. Dimond would have to conclude that Pope Clement XI erred too, since outside the Church no sanctifying grace is granted. He claims the CCT to be heretical on this point while clearly taking sources out of context and ascribing error where none exists.
Next he states:
“Furthermore, in the entire Catechism of the Council of Trent there is no mention at all of the so‐called “three baptisms,” nor is there any mention of “baptism of desire” or “baptism of blood,” nor is there any clear statement that one can be saved without the Sacrament of Baptism. What we find, rather, is one ambiguous paragraph which seems to teach that one can achieve grace and righteousness without baptism."
The Catechism says baptism for infants should not be delayed “Since infant children have no other means of salvation except Baptism…”
This statement clearly implies that there is another means of salvation besides Baptism for those above the age of reason. Then the Catechism concludes what it is:
“The delay is not attended the same danger as in the case of infants, which we have already mentioned; should any foreseen accident make it impossible for adults to be washed in the salutary waters, their intention and determination to receive Baptism and their repentance for past sins, will avail them to grace and righteousness.”---In other words, BOD!!
Now come two "whoppers":
“Even though the Catechism of Trent is not infallible in every sentence, as just proven, taken as a whole it is an excellent catechism which expresses the Catholic Faith accurately and effectively.”
So a catechism that teaches rank heresy can nevertheless express the Catholic Faith "accurately and effectively?"
"But most importantly, the Catechism of Trent makes statement after statement clearly and unambiguously teaching that the Sacrament of Baptism is absolutely necessary for all for salvation with no exceptions, thereby repeatedly excluding any idea of salvation without water baptism.”
So the CCT contradicts itself! Why attack it if the CCT supposedly proves your interpretation of BOD and BOB? Didn't he say there was one "ambiguous paragraph," yet the CCT " makes statement after statement clearly and unambiguously" against BOD. Which is it? Completely unambiguous or ambiguous in part? It teaches heresy concerning grace, yet that's ok as long as it's good "taken as a whole."
I could go on but I feel no need to belabor the obvious. BOD and BOB by inclusion in catechisms as well as being taught by all pre-Vatican II theologians is infallibly certain through the teaching of the universal and ordinary Magisterium. I'd put the Dimonds publication OCC right in the trash can with their DVD on UFOs.
The only thing Most Holy Family Monastery produces are flawed Dimonds teaching 24 carat heresy.