In case you missed the excitement, a lively discussion took place last week at TTC with respect to Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus ~ Outside of the Church, there is no salvation.
Pope Eugene IV's text from the Council of Florence was the source of some confusion:
"[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."
I thought we could use a refresher course Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, the Baptism of Blood and of Desire (both Doctrines of Holy Church) and on ExCathedra and infallible teaching.
There is much to digest. For today, I wanted to point you to the teaching of infallibility from the Catechism with astute comments from our resident Catechist, along with a valuable lesson on the Baptism of Blood and of Desire from a holy and faithful priest.
Here’s the bottom line: There are dozens of Saints who were initiated into the Catholic Church through the Baptism of Blood and Desire, which puts an end to the thesis of Pope Boniface.
Tomorrow, I’ll post a more in-depth treatise on the teaching of infallibility.
I’ll also talk about the many souls coming to Catholic Churches for the Sacred Liturgy, to Catholic schools, apostolates, lectures – etc., being hijacked by those willfully preserving ignorance. Those who know the Teachings of the Church, have rejected Them and are looking for affirmation in these gatherings, others who alienate the flock from the teachings and Sacrament that cultivates repentance and Grace to turn The Father’s House into a fundraising facility for the Bishop, will find no fig leaf in the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church on their day of judgment.
First, commentary from the holy priest (Please pray for his intentions.):
There are dozens upon dozens of non-baptized saints in holy Church listed in the Roman Martyrology Baptism of Blood and Desire are Dogmatic...so says St. Alphonus. Also, the Council of Trent clearly points to Baptism of Desireare part of our Holy Faith as well.
St. Augustine (and others) lamented the fact that individual catechumens died before receiving Baptism. This is only natural. Lacking the omniscience of God, we are always more certain of a person's salvation when he has received the outward sign of the sacrament.
Yet St. Augustine, continuing the passage quoted above, says: For what is more precious than a death by which a man's sins are forgiven, and his merits increased a hundredfold? For those who have been baptized when they could no longer escape death, and have departed this life with all their sins blotted out, have not equal merit with those who did not defer death, though it was in their power to do so, but preferred to end their life by confessing Christ, rather than by denying Him to secure an opportunity of Baptism (emphasis added).
St. Augustine's view was not uncommon. St. Cyril of Jerusalem wrote "If anyone does not receive Baptism, he shall not be saved, except the martyrs, who even without the water shall receive the kingdom."
Perhaps even more impressive is the statement of St. Cyprian who coined the great axiom, "Outside the church there is no salvation."
It was this same saint who wrote that the catechumens who were caught and killed confessing the Name [of Christ] before they were baptized in the Church... holding the integral Faith and truth of the Church... were not deprived of the sacrament of Baptism, being baptized by the most glorious and excellent Baptism, by which the Lord Himself said he had to be baptized [Lk. 12:50].
That those who are baptized in their own blood and sanctified by their passion were glorified and received the Divine promise, is taught to us by the Lord Himself in the Gospel, when He promised to the thief who believed and confessed [the Faith] that he would be with Him in paradise.
Rigorists may claim, by rather devious logic, that "somehow" these men and women must have obtained Baptism of water in their last moments on earth. If not, then these catechumens went to Hell.
Yet to deny Baptism of blood is to impugn the honor of countless holy men and women who are included in the Roman Martyrology. For example, St. Emerentiana (d.304), was still an unbaptized catechumen when, while praying at the tomb of her foster sister, St. Agnes, she was stoned to death by the pagans.
The most famous early statement in favor of Baptism of desire is found in St. Ambrose's De obitue Valentiniani consolatio (funeral oration for Valentinian). Valentinian II (371-392) was the Roman emperor who had previously supported the Arian heretics. Having abandoned his erroneous beliefs, he invited St. Ambrose to Vienne to baptize him, but was assassinated there by one of his generals before this could be accomplished. But I hear that you grieve since he [Valentinian] did not receive the sacrament of Baptism. Tell me, what else is in your power but the desire, the petition? But even for a long time he had this desire, that when he came into Italy, he should be baptized, and recently he\ made known that he wanted to be baptized by me, and so he thought I should be summoned for this reason, before other reasons. Surely because he asked, he received, and hence there is the Scripture: "The just man by whatsoever death he may be overtaken, his soul shall be at rest" If [martyrs] are washed in their own blood, his devotednessand intention washed him.
On the teachings of infallibility in the Roman Catholic Church with commentary from Kevin:
CCC 891 "The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this
infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of
all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a
definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. . . . The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium," above all in an Ecumenical Council. When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine "for belief as being divinely revealed," and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions "must be adhered to with the obedience of faith." This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.
Kevin: Get that? Infallibility extends to the "deposit of divine Revelation
CCC 892 Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles,
teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a "definitive manner," they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful "are to adhere to it with religious assent" which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it.
Kevin: What is this saying? Even when a pope proposes for us (the faithful)
"without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a
'definitive manner,'" - the faithful are to adhere to it (i.e. a Papal
encyclical, apostolic letter, Wednesday audiences, etc.). If he expounds for us on an issue of faith and morals he is exercising his ordinary Papal magisterium - which is infallible.
He has been given the guarantee of the Holy Spirit to guide him in these two
issues (faith and morals). (see John 14:26, 15:26, 16:13, Acts 15:28, Mt. 16:17,
Mt. 10:40, Lk. 10:16)
Infallibility extends to moral issues, too!
CCC 2035 The supreme degree of participation in the authority of Christ is
ensured by the charism of infallibility. This infallibility extends as far as
does the deposit of divine Revelation; it also extends to all those elements of doctrine, including morals, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, explained, or observed.
To sum it up: Infallibility is *not* limited to Papal ex-Cathdera statements and Conciliar documents.
The Universal Ordinary Magisterium (the Pope and the bishops in union with him) protects, upholds, teaches the deposit of divine Revelation infallibly (see CCC 891 above, also see 1 Tim 3:15, Eph. 3:10, and CCC 85).
The Universal extra-Ordinary Magisterium further defines/clarifies the faith via Church Councils infallibly (there have been 21). (see Mt. 18:18)
The Universal Ordinary Papal Magisterium is infallible, too, via, again, when
the pope expounds (teaches)upon issues of faith and morals using Papal
encyclicals, apostolic letters, Wednesday audiences, etc. (also, canonization of saints are infallible declarations of the Ordinary Papal Magisterium).
Finally, the Universal extra-Ordinary Papal Magisterium is infallible - further defining and clarifying a teaching of the faith - and has only been used twice: The declaration of Mary's Immaculate Conception by Pius IX's "Ineffabilis Deus," (1854) and the declaration of Mary's Assumption into heaven by Pius XII's "Munificentissimus Deus" (1950).