I am going to make a final attempt to answer the rabid Feeneyites--or Neo-Feeneyites-- who go farther than Feeney himself in their denial of Baptism of Desire (BOD) and Baptism of Blood (BOB). This will be my last word on the topic for awhile. Two of my readers who left comments on my prior posts (George R and Vox Clamantis) are beholden to the Neo-Feeneyite heresy. I will deal with Vox first. His comments will be followed by my response in red. I apologize in advance that some of Vox's comments come with parts that are not visible in my mail, however we can ascertain his arguments with ease. He is responding to my last post of August 6, 2014.
Vox: You write: (blank)
This is contains an argument from probability, a false trilemma and a false argument from authority. Simply because a great number of studied people held a certain opinion doesn’t make that opinion true. Even Thomas Aquinas was ultimately overruled concerning the Immaculate Conception. And just because studied people are usually probably right doesn’t make them right. The point is that studied people are capable of erring (and no, it doesn’t make them heretics). I also don’t believe one of the options must be that Trent taught something ambiguous or heretical. I think it’s very clear that explicit desire for baptism *and* the actual reception of Baptism are necessary for salvation.
you claimed, in reference to one of my quotes about the council of Trent, that my citation of the given portion did not rule out other means. However, we need to dissect this statement: (blank)
To change the order of the words, but not the meaning, it says:
The meaning couldn't be more clear.
There is one thing very clear Vox: you don't understand, nor will you accept Church teaching even when it is clearly spelled out for you.
1. Catholics are bound to believe the teachings of the universal and Ordinary Magisterium of the Church.
Proof: “Further, by divine and Catholic faith, all those things must be believed which are contained in the written word of God and in tradition, and those which are proposed by the Church, either in a
solemn pronouncement or IN HER ORDINARY AND UNIVERSAL TEACHING POWER [magisterium], to be believed as divinely revealed.” Vatican Council I, Dogmatic Constitution on the Faith (1870), DZ 1792.
The Code of Canon Law (1917) imposes the same obligation. ( See Canon 1323.1)
2. What comprises the teaching of the universal and Ordinary Magisterium?
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).
The universal and constant agreement of the theologians that something belongs to the faith is not a case of some "studied people" who can be wrong, nor is it a fallacious appeal to authority. It is HOW THE CHURCH TEACHES US FREE FROM ERROR.
Proof: “For even if it were a matter concerning that subjection which is to be manifested by an act of divine faith, nevertheless, it would not have to be limited to those matters which have been defined by
express decrees of the ecumenical Councils, or of the Roman Pontiffs and of this See, but would have to be extended also to those matters which are handed down as divinely revealed by the ordinary teaching power of the whole Church spread throughout the world, and therefore, by universal and common consent are held by Catholic theologians to belong to faith.” Pope Pius IX, Tuas Libenter (1863),DZ 1683 (Emphasis mine)
3. The Church cannot give evil laws or teach error, let alone heresy
Proof: "The Church’s infallibility extends to… ecclesiastical laws passed for the universal Church for the direction of Christian worship and Christian living.… But the Church is infallible in issuing a doctrinal decree as intimated above — and to such an extent that it can never sanction a universal law which would be at odds with faith or morality or would be by its very nature conducive to the injury of souls.…If the Church should make a mistake in the manner alleged when it legislated for the general discipline, it would no longer be either a loyal guardian of revealed doctrine or a trustworthy teacher of the Christian way of life. It would not be a guardian of revealed doctrine, for the imposition of a vicious law would be, for all practical purposes, tantamount to an erroneous definition of doctrine; everyone would naturally conclude that what the Church had commanded squared with sound doctrine. It would not BE A TEACHER of the Christian way of life, for by its laws it would induce corruption into the practice of religious life." [Van Noort, Dogmatic Theology. 2:91. His emphasis.]
The same is held by all pre-Vatican II theologians, most notably Hermann, Dorsch, Schultes, Zubizaretta, Iragui, and Salaverri. In addition, the proposition that the Church could err in Her universal disciplinary Laws was condemned by Pope Pius VI (Auctorum Fidei), Pope Gregory XVI (Mirari Vos and Quo Graviora), Pope St. Pius X (Pascendi Domenici Gregis), and Pope Pius XII (Mystici Corporis).
4. BOD and BOB are taught by the universal and constant agreement of the theologians, pre-Vatican II catechisms, and the 1917 Code of Canon Law.
(a) All pre-Vatican II theologians taught BOD and BOB
(b) All pre-Vatican II catechisms taught BOD and BOB
And the "clincher:" The 1917 Code of Canon Law promulgated by Pope Benedict XV, and adhered to by Popes Pius XI and XII teaches in Canon 737: "Baptism, the gateway and foundation of the Sacraments, actually OR AT LEAST IN DESIRE is necessary for all for salvation." (Emphasis mine) This canon ends the debate on the Church's official interpretation of Canon 4 of the Council of Trent regarding the Sacraments in General. Further, canon 1239.2 of the 1917 Code teaches: "catechumens who through no fault of their own, die without Baptism, are to be treated as Baptized." (Emphasis mine).
5. Therefore BOD and BOB are taught by the universal and Ordinary Magisterium and MUST be believed by all who wish to remain Catholic.
A Catholic who does not assent to the Ordinary Magisterium, but rejects it as "optional" and only adheres to ex catherda pronouncements, rejects Vatican I and is a heretic.
So, Vox, your argument stands refuted. Aquinas wrote at a time when theologians were sharply divided as to whether Mary was conceived without sin or pre-sanctified. The Ordinary Magisterium had not declared it. Such is not the case with BOD and BOB. I'll continue with Vox's missive, just to show how obdurate modern day Neo-Feeneyites really are in their heresy.
Vox: You said, concerning my assertion that all true justification begins, is increased, or is regained through the Sacraments: Be careful Vox! An Act of Perfect Contrition with the DESIRE for sacramental Confession will absolve a PERSON OUTSIDE the sacrament of Penance. If you deny this, you are a heretic.
I counter: If any one denieth, that, for the entire and perfect remission of sins, there are required three acts in the penitent, which are as it were the matter of the sacrament of Penance, to wit, contrition, confession, and satisfaction, which are called the three parts of penance;...let him be anathema. ~ Council of Trent, Session 14, Canon 4
In any event, I’d like to get your comment on what the introductory paragraph of the 7th Session of Trent means (particularly the starred portion): For the completion of the salutary doctrine on Justification, which was promulgated with the unanimous consent of the Fathers in the last preceding Session, it hath seemed suitable to TREAT of **the most holy Sacraments of the Church, through which all true justice either begins, or being begun is increased, or being lost is repaired.** (http://history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/ct07.html)
Your private interpretations have once again led you to error and heresy. According to theologian Pohle:
"According to the Council of Trent, 'it sometimes happens that contrition is perfect through charity and reconciles man with God before the Sacrament (of Penance) is actually received'" (See Pohle, The Sacraments 3:139)
Vox, you have given my readership a perfect example of what happens when you take it upon yourself to be a substitute Magisterium who can interpret the "true meaning" of Trent or any other teaching. The theologians, under the guidance of the popes, keep the meanings of dogma the same as when the Church first pronounced them and understood them. If you think you can pick up a copy of Denziger and read through it to decide what it means for yourself, you are deluded. I'm a lawyer, do you really think you could pick up a legal document and understand it as I do (if you're not a lawyer)? We have a name for non-lawyers who try their own cases. In criminal law, we call them "convicts," and in civil law we call them "the losing party." Have a non-doctor try "diagnosing himself" and treating himself using "web md" and you'll probably end up calling him a "cadaver." Just as we must turn to lawyers for legal help to understand the law, and doctors to understand medicine, we must turn to the Church's Magisterium to understand our faith. To depend on ourselves leads us to become heretics, and in serious danger of losing our souls.
Vox: So, the impossibility being spoken of is something that is only temporary, ie. the catechumen hasn't died before Baptism. I wouldn’t say that this is private, or that I’m being arrogant. I’m reading the text and assessing the meaning. That’s it. Let’s not call names, huh? You wrote: It contains heresy? Really? And YOU found it! How did the Church survive before Leonard Feeney, the so-called Dimond "Brothers", and Vox? The Catechism was APPROVED by St. Pius and was praised by his successors Popes Benedict XV, Pius XI, and Pius XII. This would make St. Pius X a heretic and he could not possibly have been either a pope or a saint! His approval would be all that's needed here to be a heretic, not his "PERSONAL scholarship."
Calling names now, huh? I read the idea, realized that it contradicted authoritative statements by Leo XIII and Pius XI, and reacted accordingly. And that Pius X gave approval to a catechism with an erroneous idea inside doesn’t mean he’s a heretic. He could simply have trusted that his understudies wrote a good catechism, and simply signed it without reading. Can you give proof that a pope who calls for the publication of a book with an erroneous doctrine that he didn’t write, and maybe didn’t even read, is a heretic for that very reason?
You're not being arrogant when you substitute your private opinion for that of the Church? Not only are you arrogant, you're spiritually blind! You CAN'T simply "read the text" and decide for yourself the meaning apart from what the Church has always taught. I didn't call names nor am I doing so now. Your arrogance and blindness to the Truth even lead you to deny the efficacy of perfect contrition outside confession to remit sin. Sad. Can I supply proof that a pope who approves a book with an erroneous doctrine, (that he maybe didn't read) is a heretic? As Sarah Pallin would say, "You betcha!"
Teaching BOD and BOB, if not true, would be (according to you) going against the correctly assessed meaning of the infallible decrees of Trent on Baptism, and on various other ex cathedra pronouncements on the necessity of Church membership for salvation. He would, de facto, be teaching that those who are outside the Church are actually inside Her and capable of salvation.
A heretical statement becomes notorious when its existence is established in a public way. This occurs, for instance, when the existence of the heretical statement “is established through authentic public documents… because such documents of their nature are open to inspection by many people, and therefore necessarily bring with them public notice.” (See, Michels, De Delictis et Poenis, 1:140)
Once public, the burden of proof is on the cleric that he is NOT a heretic! “The very commission of any act which signifies heresy, e.g., the statement of some doctrine contrary or contradictory to a revealed and defined dogma, gives sufficient ground for juridical presumption of heretical depravity… [E]xcusing circumstances have to be proved in the external forum, and the burden of proof is on the PERSON whose action has given rise to the imputation of heresy. In the absence of such proof, all such excuses are presumed not to exist.” (McKenzie, The Delict of Heresy, 35, emphasis mine.)
So, the greatest Anti-Modernist of the 20th century commissions a catechism to be written to guide souls to Heaven and he didn't bother to read it! Nor did Pope Benedict XV, Pope Pius XI, or Pope Pius XII who all allowed it to continue as a guide for Catholics to get to Heaven. It wouldn't matter even if true. So, if Pope Pius X allowed such a heresy to be propagated, he was a heretic and neither a pope nor a saint. I do admire the way you continually try to give him an out for what you consider heresy. Perhaps Vox is really Bp. Bernard Fellay.
Vox: I have yet to find any authoritative text that states that members of the Church also include those that *haven’t* received the Sacrament of Baptism. On the question of who is a member from the Church, aside from that 1500s catechism we have the Council of Trent: ...the Church exercises judgment on no one who has not entered therein through the gate of baptism. For, what have I, saith the apostle, to do to judge them that are without? It is otherwise with those who are of the household of the faith, whom Christ our Lord has once, by the laver of baptism, made the members of His own body... ~ Council of Trent, Session 14, Chapter 2
Now you've been introduced to the 1917 Code of Canon Law which is an authoritative text that includes those who haven't been baptized as members of the Church! Will you repent? Unlikely, unless you get some humility. I left out some portions which is just more of the same "My interpretation trumps the Magisterium's constant teaching." Now on to George R, for a moment:
George R: Introibo,
I'm afraid that the situation is objectively more complicated than you seem to think it is. True, BOD has on its side the consensus of theologians, the opinions of some great saints, the express teachings of some catechisms (along with the apparently implied teachings of others). Now normally I would say that is pretty decisive, and I would have no problem with assenting to it... but unfortunately this teaching is open to a whole bunch of objections... and these objections are based upon the express teachings of the popes.
No, your objections are based on your ill-informed conceptions of what you think are the express teachings of the popes.
For example, in your post you write the following:
" This is answered simply enough: In water baptism you are united to the Body of the Church, and by BOD/BOB to the soul of the Church. "
OK, so in BOD you're united to the soul, not the body. Now here comes the SHOE, (Pope Pius XI, Mortaliam Animos):
"For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His PHYSICAL body, is one, compacted and fitly joined together, it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head."
See? According to Pius XI, those not united to the body are not in union with Christ. Evidently, being united only to the soul is not good enough.
Not good enough for YOU George, and your private interpretation. Read the above which I've written carefully. The issue is easy. The Church has spoken, and you must submit or you're not Catholic. Pope Pius XI upheld canon law didn't he? The same canon law which teaches BOD and BOB.
Now I've said it before, and I'll say it again: those who hold to BOB and BOD are NOT thereby heretics; for even if it's a false teaching (as I believe it is), there's so much confusion surrounding it, that anything short of an express papal condemnation of the doctrine will leave faithful Catholics susceptible to believing it. But neither can it be held that those who reject BOD are thereby heretics, even assuming that rejection is erroneous, for the simple reason I gave above -- that it's open to serious objections based of express papal teachings.
You'll say it incorrectly. I have amply demonstrated above that BOD and BOB are taught by the universal and Ordinary Magisterium. It's clear as day, when you don't substitute your private judgement for the teaching of the Church. Those of us who accept it (BOD and BOB) are Catholics. Those who don't are heretics. Your "serious objections" are seriously flawed. Please read what I wrote and I'll be praying for your conversion.
Vox: As a final comment, I wouldn’t call myself a Feeneyite. Feeney believed that Baptism of Desire afforded justification, but not salvation. *I* believe that the Sacrament of Baptism is needed for first justification and membership in the Church
I know, and that's why *you* are a heretic and headed for perdition.Once you've had the correct teaching of the Church presented, you must submit. I'll be praying for your conversion too, and ask my readers to do the same.