Saturday, October 1, 2011

Catholic Theology on Luther's Revolt

Your last post, Carol, reflects the idolatry of all those Christians (and not just Catholics, either) who place denominational membership above the redeeming blood of Jesus and the sanctifying grace and power of His Spirit. Those two factors remain the same, regardless of whether people believe in transubstantiation, consubstantiation, sacrament or ordinance.

I assure you, Carol, many evangelical Protestants and Eastern Orthodox believers will see the kingdom of Heaven before popes, archbishops and even some Catholic apologists. Not for nothing did St. John Chrysosdom say, "The floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops."

From time to time, a reader will post a comment like the one above that implies redemption and salvation can be found in a smorgasbord of religions.

While technically true that salvation belongs to Our God and will be through Christ, it's one of those cases when a little bit of knowledge taken out of context can be a dangerous thing. Because, in a nutshell, it all depends on what you knew, when you knew it and your state of mental health.

The theology of redemption and salvation is a complicated subject. I can't do it justice here. But, in light of some recent exchanges and comments, I want to make a few clarifications on Catholic theology for the record.

This is a Roman Catholic blog. People who make their way here who are not Roman Catholic, or worse, are (or were) but have an ax to grind against Her, they're eventually going to be offended by the Roman Catholic theology posted at TTC. Nevertheless, Roman Catholic Theology is what it is. There is only One Church Headed by Christ containing His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

Christ's Church did not (and will not ever in the future splinter). We have His promises. You are either in Christ's Church or you are out of It. There is no 'denomination' of It.

Luther walked away from Christ's Church and started his own Church. In a time our Church's history when there was much corruption, he despaired. The despair fed his anger and emotions and caused a multitude of sins. It all blew up, as it always does. He lost his way. Walked away from Christ's Body and Blood, the guidance of His Head and the sanctifying grace that flows from the rivers of His Sacraments. Luther's church has splintered into microscopic 'denominations'.

According to Catholic theology, will those who have joined (or inherited their religion from their family) a church defected from Christ with a man at the head or a religion that rejects the Divinity of Christ's Body and Blood, be saved?

If you never had the opportunity to learn and know the truth through no fault of your own, if you are sick of mind and body, perhaps even if the scandal of the wolves in sheep's clothing and the sins of priests and Bishops have driven you to be spiritually sick - Catholic theology teaches that Christ will pardon and grant Mercy to some in those situations. Not a soul will enter the Kingdom except through Christ.

If you are of sound mind and intellect and Christ has afforded you every opportunity to know that there is only one religion that is headed by Him, Whose gifts flow from the Church He Died to leave us here on earth, and you have walked away because you think you have outsmarted His guidance on this or that teaching, and you have bolted to sit in a church or religion headed by mammon which affirms and consoles your rejection of the Church Headed by Christ, you are deluding yourself if you believe you are on the road to salvation.

Can you love Christ while hurting Him?

Can you sever yourself from Christ while still loving Him?

Can you gather with other people severed from Christ in other places?

You sure can. But you better know you are a child who has run away and it is the source of much anguish, both to you and to Him.

Not too long ago, I drove myself to the cliff of despair. It is fresh in my memory. I couldn't take the circuses at the Sacred Liturgy and cunning lies being spoon fed to the people in the pews.

The eyes of my soul see everything from the point of redemption. Looking back, I suppose it all blossomed from the personal practices of trying to keep myself in a state of grace. From there, my baptismal duties developed as a mother, a daughter, a friend. Eventually, sitting in the pews watching my fellow Catholics being hoodwinked and tempted became too painful to watch. I know the consequences of sin - both the miseries of ignorance and sin while living and the obstacles to salvation. The pain the situation brings to Christ is palpable to me. Most readers of TTC have made this same journey and by no means are we alone. We're just a small pocket gathered.

At the cliff of despair, watching the fleecings overpowered me. The use of invalid matter, invalid prayer and the intentions of the wayward priests and wolves causes a great scandal. There isn't a dimes worth of difference between the counterfeit church in China and the liars and thieves of our faith in Roman collars and miters right here in the good old US of A. The situation was laid out in Scripture and Christ's guidance is clear. We are to mosey on down the road. Many times I walked out of Mass. For months at a time, I couldn't bring myself to go to Mass. When things got bad, I stood at the edge of the cliff of despair. I dug into the validity of the Orvus Nordo. Eventually, I made my way to Confession and admission and surrender, the subservience, was just enough sanctifying grace to keep me hanging by a thread.

One day, kneeling in the Confessional, the priest said "All of your observations are valid. The situation is bad but these things are being used by the devil to deceive you and keep you away from The Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ". I looked at the Crucifix hanging a few inches from my face and everything buried underneath the subterfuge of despair, emotions, sin and the distance from Sanctifying Grace came into the to light in that moment. I was cutting myself off from Christ Himself.

I know well the meaning of Christ's warning that if you do not drink of the Body and Blood of Christ, you have no life within you.

If you know of Transubstantiation and you reject It and replace it with a thesis of ordinance orconsubstantiation, and you are out there on the internet spreading these errors, there is no greater blasphemy. If you're cruising the internet for Catholic forums and depositing this blasphemy to try to convince Christ's elect, you've got a pirate in your driver's seat that is taking you to the depths of his kingdom and it does not have a happy ending.

Good luck to you with it. I can't and won't let you kid yourself and others on this blog. I don't have any way of knowing who is in a state of grace when they come to read. When it comes to the theology of salvation in a forum I have accountability for to Christ, I am not a chance taker.

So count me among those who idolize Christ and the Church He laid down His Life to Leave us.

Worthy is the Lamb.


Jerry said...

While technically true, it's those cases when a little bit of knowledge taken out of context can be a dangerous thing. Because, in a nutshell, it all depends on what you knew, when you knew it and your state of mental health.

Carol, that's modern speculation. If it comes down to subjective "what you knew, when, and your mental state," then there is no objective way to hold anyone responsible for anything.

The dogmatic ex cathedra pronouncements of the Church are very clear on the need to be in the Church and subject to the pope. E.g., I've quoted pope Boniface VIII several times here. While those declarations admit no exceptions, the only exceptions discussed by some Fathers and Doctors of the Church regard baptism of "desire" and "blood." Even in those exceptions (which I find doubtful), the subject had to profess the true Faith and have to will to receive baptism. There was never an exception to the requirement of Faith. Ignorance was never regarded as remitting Original Sin, as St. Thomas Aquinas made clear.

Opening the speculation beyond that of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church only leads us away from Christ. They had the mind of Christ. Deviating from them is at the core of what ails the Church today on so many fronts. With the issue of salvation, modern speculation poses a dilemma of charity and knowledge. We come to imagine that we know more than they, and we know a more charitable God than the stringent one Who required entry into the Catholic Church.

This is foolishness, of course. In our folly, we lose the glorious image of the God of Providence (no, not Rhode Island!), the God Who hunts down each of us with undying attentiveness, as you just posted. The life-giving Faith will be provided to all who pay attention to the Attentive One, without any doubt.

You and I are part of God's attentiveness, too, in helping others come into the Church. Those who speculate on this dogma invariably become weak on converting non-Catholics. Many priests today scoff at the need for conversion of Lutherans! My father likely suffers eternally now with Luther partially because of faithless priests and bishops named Groeschel and Weakland.

Carol, I don't count you among the equivocators who would let souls stay in their falsehoods. But please be careful about giving speculators any ammo.

Anonymous said...

whoa, what's Fr Groeschel done to be lumped with Weakland?

Jerry said...

What's Fr Groeschel done?

Glad you asked. I come from parents of mixed marriage, a Catholic mom and Lutheran dad. If there was any possibility of converting my dad, it was ruined by Weakland and Groeschel. Weakland once visited the Lutheran den my dad attended in Milwaukee and told them that Catholics could receive communion there.

But Fr. G was worse. In the 90's, my dad would watch EWTN with my mom. He loved Fr. G. Why? Because G praised his Protestant and Jewish friends. G made it clear that they were OK where they were, i.e., holding a false faith. My dad loved that syncretic attitude because it was identical to his own. In other words, Fr. G. confirmed my dad's heresy. In 2006, my dad went to spend eternity with his beloved Luther.

Fr. Groeschel leads souls to Hell. My dad is one of his victims.

Carol said...


I told ya I couldn't do it justice! My heart and mind were speaking about Luther's revolt and Christendom. I absolutely, 100% agree that Catholic theology teaches that one has to be Baptized.

Any wisdom on how I can add a couple of sentences that limits the post to Christendom and affirms Baptism? Let me know if there's anything else that is ambiguous.

I'm sorry to hear about your Dad. At the end, we don't have the knowledge of knowing whether the soul repents and asks for and receives God's mercy. I think we will be pleasantly surprised to see who is in heaven. It is too painful to think otherwise.

Jerry said...

Hi Carol,

I didn't mean to pick on you. This is just one of my favorite subjects.

If you want, here's a quote from St. Thomas Aquinas that dovetails with your discussion of the Blessed Sacrament:

"The reality of the Blessed Sacrament is the unity of the Mystical Body, outside which there can be no salvation; for there is no entering into salvation outside the Church."

Terry Nelson said...

Sometimes you remind me of St. Catherine of Genoa - that is a good thing. God bless you.

susan said...

Let me just ask a quick question for clarity;
Do you not accept the teachings of the current Pope (and the last few), and do you not accept the validity of the current CCC?

And this isn't a provocation, I'm just asking a serious question for clarity and discernment.

Jerry said...

Hi Susan,

You'll have to be more specific because there's a lot in the CCC. The CCC quotes Vatican I's declaration that without the Catholic faith no one has ever been justified -- a binding, infallible teaching. The CCC also says that baptism of desire (BoD) is "conviction," and that actual baptism is the only known way to be saved. Hence, as far as I can tell, the CCC confirms what was always believed. The stuff on unconscious yearning (if I'm recalling -- maybe paraphrasing) is speculation, like BoD. At least BoD has some ancient precedent. The unconscious and subconscious stuff is modern.

The recent popes, like the CCC, give some of this and some of that. The ancient teachings are binding. The new stuff isn't clearly compatible, but isn't binding. So I only profess the ancient because it can't be wrong and can never be changed.

Carol said...

Jerry, No worries, I don't feel picked on. I cleaned up a sentence which may or may not make it clear enough. Let me know.

I am not sure I'm holding onto the belief that some poor village of pagans who have never come across an evangelist, left in their ignorance through no fault of their own - will not be granted mercy. But I admit I need to do more homework on that particular point of theology.

susan said...

Hi Jerry,

I wanna start off by saying that I really enjoy your thoughts and intellect...I've said before that Carol gets the finest regular commentors in the blogosphere, and I have a feeling this is going to make for a good 'discussion'.

While I absolutely, emphatically agree that "the ancient...can't be wrong and can never be changed", I also understand that our understanding of the Deposit of Faith is continually being given new light (not new revelation) and deeper understanding by the movement of the Holy Spirit in the teaching Church (Magisterium). This is what Christ promised would be in effect till the end of time...point of Doctrine.

The "old" teachings are certainly binding, but the "new" teachings are every bit as much so (and I don't like to use the delineations old and new because it sets about to divide a Kingdom where there can be no division)...either Christ's Church teaches Truth thru it's Magisterium (Peter and the bishops in union with Peter) until the end of time or it doesn't. If you believe that it does, then the "new" teachings (which aren't suggestions or speculation) must be seen as development and unfolding of our understanding of the "old"--not in conflict with it.

The Holy Father's been very clear on this, and is in fact the signer of the Imprimi Potest of the current CCC. To dismiss the teaching therein is to join ranks with the Pius X'ers or worse, the sedavacantists. Either way, it would be denying the words of Christ and the Rock to whom He gave the keys. I've struggled with this myself, and have come to the conclusion that "I Believe", though I don't always's either Christ's Church or it isn't; the Holy Spirit either guides the Magisterium or He's let a "strong man' bind Him.

I wish I had time to look up all the citations you asked for, but I have to teach a class tomorrow and need to prep; but they're all there and very clearly not suggestions; plus they all reference Scripture, Fathers, Doctors, past Councils, VII documents (which are truly quite beautiful and in no way in conflict with prior teachings). The "Subjects" index gives pretty quick reference guides to pages and paragraphs. When the CCC is emphatically taught by 2 Popes (and I can only imagine more in the future) as a "sure norm for the teaching of the Faith", to dismiss it's teachings as speculation is treading in dangerous waters for a believing Catholic.

Peace be to you, and a blessed Sabbath vigil.

Karen said...

Eloquent reminder for me of why I ride out the darkness and confusion of our beloved Church even though it is becoming more of a trial, especially with respect to members of my own family. Ironically the darker it gets, the more God seeme to illuminate my way - in many respects, thanks to people like you!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Carol,

God reward you immensely.

Today, I was about to jump off that cliff. Two things stopped me, one of them being your poignant post.

I will remember you and yours at Mass and Holy Communion tomorrow. More than that, I cannot do.


Anonymous said...


Re: Fr. Groeschel - I couldn't agree more.

I would rather deal with a blatant liberal than deal with one who cloaks his liberalism in a traditional habit.


Jerry said...

When the CCC is emphatically taught by 2 Popes (and I can only imagine more in the future) as a "sure norm for the teaching of the Faith", to dismiss it's teachings as speculation is treading in dangerous waters for a believing Catholic.

Thanks, Susan. I appreciate your thoughts, and they seem to affirm everything I profess. You seem to be saying or implying that someone's (my) salvation is in danger when he dismisses thr solemn teaching of a pope. I agree.

But additionally, you think I am rejecting some solemn teaching of a pope, specifically regarding the possibility of salvation for someone outside the Church. There are two problems with such a teaching. First, multiple popes have solemnly defined ex cathedra that no one at all can be saved outside the Church. Can both teachings be simultaneously true?

Second, if my disagreeing with papal teaching costs me my soul, but someone outside the Church, who necessarily disagrees with the pope on something, can be saved, how are we to understand punishable versus worthy or excusable infidelity? If my conscience tells me that I cannot simultaneously profess Pope Boniface VIII and some sentence in the CCC, how could my fault be greater than a man's who rejects both Boniface VIII and much of the CCC?

Is every paragraph in the CCC binding? For example, the CCC teaches that BoD is a conviction. Am I bound to believe BoD actually happens? The CCC admits lack of certitude in that case. Another example, the first edition of the CCC taught that homos do not choose their condition. That sentence got changed. Which version was binding? Was the original sentence ever binding? Or yet another example, the CCC teaches that the Jews murdering Our Lord was a "tragic misunderstanding," something that no pope or saint in antiquity ever thought. Our Lord clearly taught that the stewards of the vineyard recognized the owner's Son (in St. Matthew). When the CCC presents something so obviously novel, can it be binding? Especially when it is not compatible with what came before?

Yes, doctrine can develop. However, it can never contradict what came before. It cannot even change it. The earlier teaching is always to be admitted in the exact wording and meaning it had when first delivered to the Church (Vatican I).

Again, I don't see that I am rejecting any definitive solemn teachings, but rather, I'm upholding such teaching.

Karen said...


Welcome back from the cliff - glad you did not jump! We need you!


susan said...

Jerry, I think one of the issues of contention is the phrase "no salvation outside of the Church", and what exactly that means.

It is my understanding that the Church teaches that to mean that the Church given to the world by Jesus Christ as the ongoing means of salvation and dispenser of Grace through the channels of the Sacraments is the Catholic Church...necessary and vital to man's salvation as She is the Bride and Mystical Body of Christ. Grace flows through Her, period.

Those who receive a valid Baptism (and this could even be done by a pagan with the proper intention, valid matter and form) enter into the Church. If they are raised in a protestant tradition, they are imperfectly joined, but somehow joined mystically nonetheless, to varying degrees according to the Truth retained...Orthodox being much closer than say, Methodist.

How much will they be responsible for, what is the onus and culpability of each individual soul?...With an understanding of Faith as a gift from God, I don't presume to know; that's up to God's judgment, justice, and mercy. I don't know mitigating factors, I can't see invincible ignorance, but I and everyone else will at the Final Judgment.

Their journey would be MUCH harder without a perfect union to the Church, and access to the other Sacraments, but is it strictly impossible?...the Church says no, and if I say yes I set myself up as more Catholic than the Pope. And you can't pick and choose which Pope's teaching, and which age's Magisterium, you choose to accept as valid, otherwise just throw out everything since Trent, and/or accept nothing that isn't stated as explicitly Ex Cathedra...that throws out an awful lot.

Also, it's really important to remember that the Church teaches us that WE are bound by the Sacraments; God is not. Being in total and perfect union with the Church of Christ, we have a particularly heavy responsibility, both in our own lives and in witness to others, of living and spreading the fullness of Truth, and bringing as many souls into that union as possible and as granted us to do by God's grace. To whom much is given, much will be expected, and we have been given fullness of the Deposits of Grace and Faith...awesome responsibility; and awesome onus.

When the Church thru all of its ages will not state with certitude that Judas is condemned, how on earth can we say that one Baptized into Christ (though in imperfect union with His Church) and living a faith in Christ they've been taught since childhood, and doing so with a breathtakingly tangible love of Christ displayed in their lives is condemned? I will again say that the understanding of "outside of the Church" has been clearly defined and developed by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Jerry, I've gone thru the anger at everything that didn't fit into my very traditional sensibilities and understanding, and I finally came to the place where I said, either I become my own pope and set myself up as the arbiter of what the teaching of the past means with no room for the Holy Spirit to shed further light; or I allow and accept the Church's right to do it and say "Amen", even when it rankles.

I believe it was either Steve Ray or Scott Hahn who told the following story (badly paraphrased):

'When I first came into the Church, an old protestant friend of mine asked me what I would do if the Church suddenly came out with a teaching that went against Scripture and it's own doctrines. I said I would probably have to leave the Church.
The second year he asked me the same question, and I said that I would have to pray, and fast, and ask for discernment on what to do.
The third year he asked me again and I said, "The Church will never do that"...and I knew I was home.'

Jerry, I'm home. The CCC isn't a compendium of good suggestions; it's the teaching of the Church.

May God bless you my brother.

StevenD - jasper said...

Veronica, please stay. We can't let men keep us away from His church and Holy Communion.

I love Carol's post's. The internet is filled with junk and trash, this is one of the bright spots.

Jerry said...

Hi Susan,

You seem to be saying that someone can be saved outside the Church. For example, someone who is a Lutheran all his life.

I can't see it because such a concept was never believed and was anathema throughout the history of the Church. The popes defined ex cathedra that "... none of those existing outside the Catholic Church ... No one, let his almsgiving be great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood
for the Name of Christ, can be saved unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church." That's Pope Eugene IV in Council, defining. A triple "no one." But you say someone, and claim the CCC teaches you so, and that it is of the Holy Spirit. God cannot contradict Himself.

You wrote, the Church teaches us that WE are bound by the Sacraments; God is not.

Where does that come from? I've heard it before, but it makes no sense at all. God is bound to make the Sacraments fruitful, and did so by shedding His Precious Blood. The sacraments are necessary for salvation, and this is definitive teaching from the Council of Trent.

You seem to be painting me as the bogeyman in this discussion (e.g., the CCC is a "compendium of good suggestions"), as if I'm not adhering to the definitive teaching of the Church. Why shouldn't I turn the tables, and I get to be Inquisitor? For example, do you profess the triple "no one" of Pope Eugene in the Council of Florence? Can you then turn around and say "someone?"

The Church can't teach both "x" and "not x", right? She teaches either "x", "not x", or neither. How do we know which? How do we know when She has proclaimed "x" and that "x" can never be changed? This reminds me of the time an Opus Dei priest summoned me in over this very topic of salvation. He tore me up and down - classic mind-control technique. He pushed the ex cathedra teachings off the table. I asked him "how do I know when I have a teaching that can never be changed, a teaching in which I can place divine Faith?" No answer. He couldn't answer, of course. There is no way to "set the bar" in a way that excludes Pope Eugene IV, Pope Boniface VIII, et al. He went to his grave without providing me an answer. God have mercy.

susan said...

God have mercy indeed. And Jerry, I'm not trying to paint you as a bogeyman, and I'm certainly not trying to act as an inquisitor; I'm just trying to have a friendly discussion with a brother in Christ.

I paraphrased the quote on being bound/not bound by the Sacraments from CCC 1257. We agree that the Sacraments are fruitful and channels of Grace; that grace being necessary for the salvation of the world. But can I, or you, or anyone else tell God what He himself can do, how He Himself can use His own divine life and merits of His death and Resurrection? I only have to look at Job 38 and forward to start trembling in my shoes when I presume to tell God what He must do. We are bound by the fence; He is not.

He has given man the fullness of revelation for man's salvation in His Son and through His Church; and that same Church speaks with His voice through the Holy Spirit till the end of time. But has he expressed everything about Himself to man? We couldn't hold it. Remember St. Augustine walking along the beach trying to figure out all there was to know about the Trinity? The little angel put Him in His place. God had given us the necessary means for us to use for our salvation, but is HE bound absolutely by these strictures in the way we are? CCC 1257 is clear on that.

And I don't presume to question the teachings of Pope Eugene or Boniface or any others, including John Paul II and Benedict XVI. I simply aver that what the Church teaches today, and will teach tomorrow and a billion years from now, will be in line and congruent with what She has always taught; and She will continue to be led and guided by the Holy Spirit teaching through the Magisterium of every age. If WE fail to see the congruence, or accept the doctrinal development, then it is our want and failing, not God's, or His Church's. Either He guides Her to the end of time as He promised (not to the end of Trent), or He doesn't; and if you choose to say that He hasn't for the last 50 years or so, then you join a long line of ‘protesters’. That's not an accusation, that's not an inquisition, it's simply a statement of protest Christ's own words on binding and loosing and the final authority of the Church.

Benedict is Peter, as much as Boniface and Eugene were. The CCC has his imprimatur; it had JPII's. It IS the teaching of the Church. You may not see or want to accept that there is congruence and harmony with teaching of the past, but there is. And the really ironic thing about this whole discussion is that to deny that places you outside of the Church.

You asked the priest, "how do I know when I have a teaching that can never be changed, a teaching in which I can place divine Faith?" I would simply say to look at what the Church is teaching, as it will be the fullness of all Her teaching to the present time, guided by the Holy can be no other. The Eucharist is a pledge of love and a test of Faith; doctrinal development as taught by the Magisterium can be a visible unfolding of love and a real test of Faith too...but you either believe His words and guarantee, or you don't. I choose to say, 'Lord, to Whom would I go? You have the words of eternal life."

Well, gotta get a couple of hours sleep…busy day Sunday. I look forward to no doubt continuing this tomorrow evening. God bless, and peace to you.

Carol said...


I was unfamiliar with St. Catherine of Genoa and did some reading on her yesterday and this morning. What an amazing saint. Thank you for pointing her out to me - I'm really looking forward to reading more about her. I think I do share a bit of her fire for Christ's Church and the Sacraments and Salvation. Thanks for the encouragement and blessings back to you and your home.

Veronica, I'm so glad you didn't jump!

Jerry - I've read the Catechism of Trent. It is an amazing contribution to Christ's Church. I do not believe there is a thing inconsistent in the current CCC. The difference between the two is the current CCC has been reduced to pablum so that the hard heads and hearts are able to eat and drink of It. This is very consistent with the Holy Spirit. This is very much how He teaches in times of rebellion.

He used women to teach it is necessary to enter the Sanctuary 'clean' - what He later revealed to be a state of grace.

In a rebellious time much like we face today, He commanded Moses to put a serpent on a pole and asked him to reveal to the people that all who look upon it would be saved. We later learned this symbol of salvation is Christ lifted up on His Crucifix.

Christ confounded the Apostles when He spoke to certain crowds in parables. His explanation to them very much explains why the CCC is written the way It is for this present time.

I have to read up on the ex-Cathedra teachings you cite - but I have one question..

"... none of those existing outside the Catholic Church ... No one, let his almsgiving be great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood
for the Name of Christ, can be saved unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church."

Could it be this is referring to those who born into the Catholic Church? The use of the word 'remain' speaks to what I always understood as the teaching of salvation. Those born into the Catholic Church - who then leave It to receive affirmation for their rebellion in this or that teaching from some church of mammon - they are toast. For those who are low IQ, sick of mind, ignorant through no fault of their own - God is ever present to them when they are nearing the end of their life, sending His missionaries to enlighten and baptize. This is why lay people are permitted to baptize with any kind of water in an emergency situation. Doesn't even have to be holy water - though I carry do carry it. (For the record, if anyone reading is ever in an emergency situation - the baptism has to be done with consent. You ask if they accept Jesus Christ as their Savoir and so long as they can nod - proceed with the Baptism. I was taught that at the hour of death, or threat of death, even if the soul has been baptized, we are not re-baptizing in this circumstance, of course. but the acknowledgement and surrender at this moment, bears fruit. It is a reminder to look upon the Crucifix and repent, ask for mercy.)

I also understood the teaching to be the missionaries of Christ will be sent to teach in whatever way the soul is able to understand and if they surrender and look upon Christ's Crucifix and ask for mercy in those final moments, they receive it.

I have a bit of a story to share about salvation that I'm putting together. It involves one of the few miracles that have happened in my life.

Karen, Jasper, Vernonica and all - thank you too for your support and encouragement!

Carol said...

I admit I never really studied the Feeney kerfuffle but I find it hard to believe the Vatican would excommunicate Feeney and publicly correct what they say is a misunderstanding if the teachings did not have room in them for those corrections.

Carol said...

p.s. Veronica - there is no greater gift than to be remembered at the Sacrifice of the Mass -- a thousand thank yous!

Jerry said...

Susan wrote: That's not an accusation, that's not an inquisition, it's simply a statement of protest Christ's own words on binding and loosing and the final authority of the Church.

Susan, it is an accusation. It's serious, and I deny it from the word go.

The pope and bishops don't support your accusation. Not even that Opus Dei priest went as far as you do. He didn't accuse me of denying Christ's words. He didn't pretend that Pope Eugene taught the same as the CCC; he merely pushed it off the table. Irrelevant, but he wouldn't say so. He knew better than you that it wasn't possible to answer my question on how to identify unchangeable teaching without contradicting himself. He simply pointed to the CCC.

The bishops of Worcester, MA, and New Hampshire recognize the communities of St. Benedict Center as fully Catholic. The religious profess the dogma exactly as I have posted here. There is no requirement for them to modify their profession, nor to desist from propagating it. Bp. McManus of Worcester has repeatedly given Confirmation in the traditional rite at the SBC chapel I attend.

Furthermore, this goes back to Pope Benedict, who has approved of the latest recognition in NH. This is consistent with his prior recognition. In 1988, then-Cardinal Ratzinger approved the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (St. Ann's House in Massachusetts) with no requirement for them to modify their belief or teaching.

The bottom line is, you are the one, not the pope, who says I may not profess Pope Eugene and Pope Boniface in their own words, and say they meant exactly what they proclaimed.

Jerry said...

Hi Carol,

Here's Pope Eugene IV, in the Council of Florence. The text is from a bull that reads like a creed:

"[The sacrosanct Roman Church] firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church."

Yes, missionaries holding the cross, receiving whatever affirmation from a dying pagan and then baptizing him, win that soul for Christ. Those of low mental ability can be baptized and saved. Those who never receive the Faith will not suffer punishment for infidelity, however, they cannot enter into the Beatific Vision. This is the case of aborted babies, too. We can rest assured that the Good God has granted them great consolation and mercy. His Providence is beyond our comprehension.

Also, Fr. Feeney wasn't officially excommunicated. The Brothers I know went to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome to see the record, and it doesn't exist. In the 50's, Father was unable to appeal it; Rome wouldn't respond. Father didn't have to recant anything when Bishop Riley received him in the 70's. It's all very curious.

When I first went to St. Benedict Center in 1992, I called the diocese of Worcester. The Vicar General, Fr. Deery, took my call. He could not have been more emphatic: the Slaves are Catholic and no one should say otherwise. He added, "If I had children, I'd send them to their school."

Carol said...

Jerry, I would really have to read it in its entirety to understand why the position of the Vatican is different than Feeney's. What I do know is that it is and that's all I've ever really needed to know. The CCC is the arbiter of substance. That is the teaching of binding and loosening.

BTW -- I've read Susan's replies to you and I don't see where she was making a boogeyman out of you. I see charity about the teaching of binding and loosening. I wholeheartedly agree with her.

The more important issue to me has always been, they have stopped trying to convert those outside the Church. Moreover,and quite frankly worse, they have stopped trying to convert the people sitting in the pews.

Jerry said...

I wholeheartedly agree with her.

Hi Carol,

I stand accused of denying the words of Christ. I don't even know what words I've denied, nor do I know how those words overrule or modify Popes Boniface and Eugene (and more) who undeniably pronounced the words of Christ.

It's just the way things are in the Church today, but they are getting better. My friends in religion suffered terribly from other Catholics for several decades. They were called heretics and schismatics, shunned, and ridiculed. They kept to the old Mass and were accused of denying the will of the pope, of being sedevacantists.

This is all finally getting straightened out. My friends have been vindicated in holding to the ex cathedra teachings, and holding to the old Mass. They are under no requirement to profess any modern teaching (CCC, etc.) or conform to any modern liturgy.

I hope we'll see the resolution to this confusion in our lifetimes. Being a '57 baby like you, I'm not optimistic. I expect it to take at least another 50 years, unless some kind of cataclysm brings it on sooner.

Carol said...

Jerry, I am sorry you feel that way. That's not anyone's intention. We are just trying to be faithful to our baptismal call. All of us. You are losing me when you characterize the deposit of faith as being divided between ancient and modern and the ancient being the only one that holds your allegiance. How you describe convictions is coming across as a rejection of the current catechism. That is clearly not acceptable and so we try to get further clarification.

I have not done the diligence on the documents to unearth the misunderstandings on the position of the Holy See. I do know they have clarified the teaching and that is the end of the matter. There has to be something in the substance of the ex Cathedra teaching that is being misinterpreted.

in the end, one either is in surrender to the authority of the Holy See to teach, refine, clarify or one is not.

susan said...

There is an interesting stream on this very topic, here;

Anonymous said...

God bless all of you for your kindness and, if I may be so bold to ask, please say a prayer for me.

Carol, I didn't forget, and remembered you and yours yesterday as I promised.


Anonymous said...

"I love Carol's post's. The internet is filled with junk and trash, this is one of the bright spots."

Jasper, quite right.

This blog is one of the few (and I do mean few) bright spots on the internet. The rest is capable of sending anyone over the edge!


Anonymous said...


Is that strange email address on your profile page correct? I want to send you one.


Carol said...

Veronica, thanks for your vote of support!

cmmckinley at aol

Karen said...

I will pray that you are given the strength, courage and endurance to persevere through the trials you are currently experiencing. I'm glad that you feel thatt this blog is a safe place to come for support!

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

I would like to ask all of you what you think of....

1. Pope Leo XIII's vision of Christ consigning the Church to Satan (and composing the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel as a result)

2. The prophecy of St. Malachy which claims Benedict ("The Glory of the Olive") to be the penultimage Pope whose successor ("Peter the Roman") will be the final Pope before the Vatican is destroyed

3. The controversies surrounding what the Third Secret of Fatima really says

4> Jesus' own words: "When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith on the Earth?"

breathnach said...

A general apostasy will characterize the end times.

There is nothing shocking about any of these statements. However, the Church remains eternal regardless of the number (or status)of those who become apostates. Christ will find the Roman Catholic Church upon his return.

Anne Catherine Emmerich's visions are in accord with Church teaching on these matters.

Recent works by Roman Catholics on this subject include Father Vincent Miceli and Malachi Martin among others. Monsignor Hugh Benson's classic "The Lord" is an eye opener on the subject.

Even a struggling Catholic like Graham Greene wrote an excellent short story called "the Last Word" which deals with these tribulations of the Church.

There is no fodder in this news for Catholic bashers.

Anonymous said...

Joe, when I die and go to my particular judgment, I don't think Our Lord will be asking me my thoughts on such things...which is to say, what I do think about them has no bearing on my eternal salvation one way or the other.


threehearts said...

To those of you who are seeking perhaps this book will help "Theology of the Church by Cardinal Journet" or one that is very interesting on who gets to heaven "Get us out of Here" the autobiography of Maria Simma by Nicky Eltz. Be careful of the last one as it is well written but a little poor in its presentation. By the way I completely agree with the views on Fr Groeschel. He does not seem to be Franciscan he wears no sandals an is not covered with the dust of many roads.
Baptism of Desire was always taught this way. If a person wants to be catholic and starts the catechism course in the Church and during the course he dies he is treated as a catholic in every way. But if like the young man he turns aside from Christ as he does not want to give up the riches of the world. He has lost his desire. Matthew 19 verse 16 and following.

Carol said...

Susan, Thank you for posting that valuable link. I had a feeling that part of the misunderstanding was that the statement was not ex cathedra. In my 54 years, I had never heard it described as ex cathedra but I am still learning and wanted to be open to the possibility. Other readers have sent me very valuable info also - and it all really deserves its own post on what constitutes ex cathedra, infallible and a little further clarification on salvation outside of the Church.

I do want to emphasize and affirm Jerry's very valid concerns over the devastating abandonment of converting those outside the Church.

Joseph, I somehow have a feeling that your questions are not really seeking answers but rather opening a door for you to circle back after we answer them to post your errors and misunderstandings of Catholic doctrine.

After speaking with you now numerous times - I am troubled by your presence on Catholic websites posting the things you do.

I will answer your questions, but I'm afraid I can't let those answers be hijacked.

1. Pope Leo XIII's vision of Christ consigning the Church to Satan (and composing the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel as a result)


Pope Leo saw the smoke of Satan in the Sanctuary. The pedophiles, the priests and Bishops collaboration with rapes and murders of unborn children, the Liturgical antics.

Your characterization makes it sound like Christ hands His own Church over to the devil, which is of course, absurd. The devil does not prevail against Christ's Church, as Christ Himself told us.

Christ's Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity - His teachings and Sacraments are pure and salvific and will remain THE one and only course to salvation, in perpetuity.

2. The prophecy of St. Malachy which claims Benedict ("The Glory of the Olive") to be the penultimage Pope whose successor ("Peter the Roman") will be the final Pope before the Vatican is destroyed.


3. The controversies surrounding what the Third Secret of Fatima really says


4> Jesus' own words: "When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith on the Earth?"


susan said...


Great book suggestions! A quick correction though...R.H. Benson's work is "Lord of the World" (he was beyond prescient); "The Lord" is by Romano Guardini and is another classic, though not about the end of the world.

breathnach said...

Susan, thanks for the correction on the title of Mgsr. Benson's book.

Yes, Romano Guardini's "The Lord" is magnificent ( a big influence on Benedict XVI).

Father Guardini is sadly neglected -like so many of the great literary, theological and philosophical Catholic figures of the 20th century "Catholic revival era". His "The End of the Modern World" is another gem.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Carol, you are confusing Leo XII with Paul VI when it comes to the "smoke of Satan." This is the vision to which I refer:

It is true that Satan will never prevail against Christ's church. Whether that "church" includes much of what is called "Catholic," however, is a separate question.'

Christ would never consign His redeemed to Satan. He would and does, however, allow those who reject Him to reap the consequences of their rejection. Tell me, Carol, does the Catholic Establishment (or the Protestant or Greek/Russian Orthodox establishments, for that matter) really behave as if it has fully embraced Christ?

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Here is more information about the Third Secret:

Carol said...

Joseph, again, in this vision, Christ does not consign or hand over his own Church to the devil. The devil is having a good time tempting souls inside of Christ's Church. When Christ said the gates of hell will not prevail against His Church, it means the Roman Catholic Church. Luther's church and all that splintered from it is not Christ's Church. It is Luther's church and outside of the Roman Catholic Church, subject to the loss of salvation of the souls being described in this thread.

Yes, the behavior of 2000 years of saints, martyrs and fruit of sanctifying grace is indeed shining on the hill. You can't reduce THAT for a handful of rogues.

I do not subscribe to speculation about any other content of the third secret other than what Lucy said she said. She is the party who was there. Furthermore, what happens is laid right out in the Book of Revelation and is all we ever need to know.

Carol said...


One more thing. You mention your belief that Luther and your Dad are in hell. It's absolutely incumbent upon us to preach and teach and warn and pray for those on the path of rejecting salvation. Christ confirms with his own words that He only comes to save His own flock and he refers to those who reject Him as dogs and swine, clearly outside of salvation. This is why laity is trying to double up on the mission of conversion, in the face of the abandonment of it by priests and Bishops. But in the end, mortals are incapable of knowing whether enlightnment and grace were victorious with each individual - what takes place between the soul and God in those final moments and hours. We continue to preach the consequences of what will happen if they don't, hope and pray, offer suffering, mortification, etc. I know that one day, we will be surprised to learn their efficacy.

susan said...

Breathnach, Thanks for the tip; I will get and add End of the Modern World to my queue. Reading "The Lord" was like drinking from an ice cold stream on a blistering hot day....mystical poetry and beauty on those pages.

and Carol, AMEN!

Joseph, The Church Christ left is a visible Church, displaying unity...unity in creed, Liturgy, and governance, though not all will be faithful within that Church (wheat and tares). In your enmity toward the "institutional Church", as you call it, you imply that a hidden, disjoint, disconnected amalgam of underground 'believers' make up the true Body. VERY Gnostic viewpoint. No way to square it with Christ's words, especially in John. Paul's development is very clearly antipodal to it throughout his letters, especially 1 Cor and Ephesians.

Carol said...

Joseph, I have removed your last outrageous post and will ask you once again to voluntarily stop posting here. I have written confidentially and explained the reasons why on at least a dozen occasions and advised you to seek the assistance of a Catholic priest and the Sacraments. I have explained what this forum is and the discernment that goes into when to respond and when it is clear a poster is hostile to the Catholic Church and Catholics. You have gone over the line far too many times, and posted against the expressed desires of the owner of this blog to leave any room to believe your efforts are of good will or good faith.

I will ask you one more time, please stop posting here. Leave us in our innocence. Please do not make me stifle the conversation of my readers with comment moderation. Forcing me to do that would be a significant burden to me and would impede the freedom to converse among colleagues in our mission.

Please stop.

Anonymous said...

<<"...does the Catholic Establishment (or the Protestant or Greek/Russian Orthodox establishments, for that matter) really behave as if it has fully embraced Christ?">>

Friends, please, please understand this one, maybe not so simple, fact concerning the quote above:

The sins of the sons and daughters of Holy Mother Church have nothing, nothing, nothing to do with the truth! (i.e. what she teaches)

If "the Catholic establishment" is lukewarm - they will be spewed out of Our Lord's mouth (see Rev. 3:16).

If they are stumbling blocks and lead little ones astray - it will be better for them to have a millstone around their necks and thrown into a lake (see Mt. 18:1-6).

If they follow the lead of the "bad Pharisees" - they will be cursed (see most of Mt. 23).

Is there a possiblity of casualties simply because of these individuals? Yes!

This is why, my friends, it is a part of our vocations to teach the true and authentic faith. (Carol is a part of the answer to the problem by simply having this blog! Along with Fr. Z, Les Femmes, etc.)

Say it with me folks:

The gates of Hell shall not prevail!

The gates of Hell shall not prevail!

The gates of Hell shall not prevail!

Learn your faith. Get a catechism and its compendium. Get Ludwig van Ott's "Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma." Get a copy of Fr. Hardon's "The Catholic Catechism" (not to be confused with the CCC). Get a copy of Denzinger's "Sources of Catholic Dogma."

I am no Pollyanna - Joseph and Jerry raise good points. However - Our Lord promised that He would *not* leave us orphans (John 14:18).

He said He would the Magisterium the Holy Spirit (to teach, govern, sanctify) - but this, in another way, pertains to the laity as well.

BE NOT AFRAID! "From now on you will be catching men." (Lk. 5:10)

Catechist Kevin

Anonymous said...

If someone would donate those books to me, I would gladly read them. As it is, it is a challenge to eat and pay the bills at the same time.

Anyone familiar with the history of our Church knows that it has been through times like this and worse already. The fact that the Church is still standing is proof that She is a Divine "institution".

The pope is the Vicar of Christ. That means he is the visible presence of Jesus Christ in our world. To go against him, to not trust him, and to think that you know better than him, is to go against Christ.


Anonymous said...

Dear Veronica,

Four of the five sources I cite are on-line:

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Denzinger's Sources of Catholic Dogma

Fr. Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary (this is *not* his "The Catholic Catechism")

Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (a little tricky to navigate on this site - just follow the instructions if you get an error message)

God love you,
Catechist Kevin

Anonymous said...

Kevin, God reward you! I am particularly interested in the Ott book.


Anonymous said...

Dear Veronica,

Tell you what, I can get you some hard copies of some of the sources I cited (and others, too).

If you would like them - send Carol your private snail-mail and I can get them to you.

Or, if you are understandably cautious - I could send them to Carol - then she could send them to you.

This sound acceptable? :)

Catechist Kevin

Anonymous said...

Kevin, I hardly know what to say...
Your offer is beyond generous.

I have contacted Carol and we will see what we can work out.

Are you sure about this? You're not joking, are you?


Anonymous said...

Dear Veronica,

No, dear, I am not joking (although some of my friends would say I am a big joke! LOL).

(sorry for the delay this evening - I had an adult faith study this evening)

I have already taken the liberty of contacting a fine friend who is the DRE of a huge parish in my diocese.

I told her of the situation (no names, of course) and she has *plenty* of catechetical materials - some of what I mentioned above - and she is fine with passing them on to me...for you. :)

When I get your snail-mail addy from Carol - you can expect your "care package" in short(?) order.

Sound fine?

God love you,
Catechist Kevin

Tommy said...

I have no exceptional knowledge of Catholism. So briefly after reading this sublect on this blog. My thoughts are that God created everyone equal, with an eqaul opportunity to gain salvation. It is estimated that 50% of the worlds population have not had knowledge of the birth of the son of God Jesus and the institution of his Church. So maybe some one can tell me how they can be all be denied Salvation?? When one cmmits the sin of "presumption", he also comits the greatest sin of them all:PRIDE! Thats all I have to say on this subject.

Anonymous said...


God reward you immensely! I offered my Chaplet of the Divine Wounds for you and your intentions last night, and I will pray for you every day. I never forget a kindness.

I will send Carol my snail-mail address.

Please keep me in your good prayers.


Anonymous said...

Oh! And thank your DRE friend also. I have commended this anonymous soul to Our Lord and His Blessed Mother. They know who the person is, and will get the blessings and graces prayed for to whomever it is.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Veronica. :)

I am sure that I was benefitting from your prayers last evening while we were going through our study on what the Church teaches about relativism.

I will be seeing my DRE friend come Wednesday. So, it will be probably be towards the end of next week that I will send out your package.

We'll throw in some neat stuff for you.

BTW, I looked up how much Ott's "Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma" would cost. The *cheapest* I found it was $44!

So, um, I might have a tough time finding that one for you. LOL!

God love you dear & thank you for the spiritual bouquet,
Catechist Kevin

Anonymous said...


I'll be waiting...anxiously!!