Monday, June 3, 2013
Vol. 24, no. 154

No Salvation Outside the Church

"Tough luck, dude, if you were not baptized with water!"

    This dovetails from the Membership in the Mystici Corporis to a primer on the chief dogma of the Church which has been reinforced over the ages ever since Christ bestowed the keys of the kingdom upon Peter for His Church, which alone is the only way to salvation. The Christian Church He instituted is truly One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, which should not be, no, make that must not be confused with the Protestant churches who call themselves Christian. They have eschewed the Primacy of Peter and therefore cut themselves off from the true vine. What we have today are weeds cut off from the vine, some 33,000 different species (sects). That would include the church formed from Vatican II (also called the Conciliar church or Novus Ordo church) that also broke away by veering from Catholic truth. One cannot be paddling about in your own boat on the water and still say that you are safely on the Barque of Peter. However, one can still be saved by the water of Baptism (fluminis), desire (flaminis), or blood (sanguinis) and no Feeneyite can dispute or interpret that the Church ever decreed one could only be saved by water. That should sink their argument.

        "The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined [aggregati] to the Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the Church's sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church."
        Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence,
        "Cantate Domino," 1441, ex cathedra

          Abide - To remain; continue; stay.

          Aggregati - collect, include, group, implicate; (cause to) flock/join together, attach.

          Persevered - Persisted in; remained constant.

    In correspondence with Griff Ruby he wrote about His Holiness' words above:

       Look closely at this paragraph immediately above and one sees two basic parts, the first that teaches that "all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives" (in other words, dealing with those who are outside the Church, and the second, "that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the Church's sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church," which deals with those who are inside the Church. Notice that it is clearly referring to the second part (those inside the Church) when it uses the word "persevered" to specify what they must do. To sacrifice all and give any manner of alms etc. but then fail to persevere within the Church is to be in that category in which "nobody can be saved." Only the first part of this paragraph pertains to those who are outside the Church (and hence required to seek baptism), and the only condition it places upon them is to be "joined to the Church before the end of their lives." Since this does not in any manner address what it takes to be "joined to the Church" it in no way excludes whatever means God may elect to use in some specific case where water baptism was not obtainable but nevertheless sought.

        So, what all this means is that the above quotations can therefore be eliminated as valid proof texts by which some use to deny [Baptism of Blood and Baptism of Desire] BOB/BOD. It has to be clear that none of the above quotes even address BOB/BOD, let alone condemn it, for indeed if any of the above could have been so taken, how is it that so many popes, saints, doctors, fathers, and other formal doctrinal sources could ever possibly ignored these in their affirmation of Baptism of Blood and Baptism of Desire?

    Well, Griff, allow me the opportunity to answer that question for you. Those Popes, Saints, Doctors, Fathers, and other formal doctrinal sources just didn't get it. Common man, get with the program. Obviously (hopefully) I'm being facetious. But it is interesting how far those go who insist on water Baptism/formal membership in the Church for salvation to be possible, without any exception, to try to make their position appear tenable. In order to appear to gain plausibility they have to deny, twist, and misquote an onslaught of authoritative documentation and hope we are stupid enough to fall for it.

    There is one Baptism of God into Eternal Life which can be applied in three ways. The first is the ordinary means of being cleansed of Original Sin and is a Sacrament which is done with water. If one knows this must be done to obtain Eternal Life and refuses to do so he cannot be saved. The extraordinary forms of Baptism (or cleansing of Original Sin) are baptism of blood, when one, before he has the chance to be baptized, or due to inculpable ignorance of the need for Baptism, dies for Christ, and the third form of Baptism is baptism of the Holy Ghost and of repentance, generally phrased in English as, "baptism of 'desire'". Baptism of blood and baptism of desire will be referred to as [BOB/D] later in this document. In Latin this third application of the one Baptism is called baptismus flaminis. While alive on earth, the only way to become of member of the Catholic Church is to be baptized sacramentally with water, profess the Faith, and submit to the Church's legitimate authority. Sacramental water Baptism is the only Baptism that gives the soul an indelible mark, and is what is required before one can receive any of the other sacraments. But the other two forms of Baptism cleanse the soul of Original Sin. Baptism of blood wipes away any penalty for past sins as does sacramental Baptism.

    The baptism of "desire" which is the baptism of the Holy Ghost Who moves the heart to repentance, cleanses the soul of Original Sin, but not the temporal punishment due to actual sin. A person needs, among other things - which will be shown below, "perfect contrition" (sorrow for all his sins because of his love for God above all things) in order to be forgiven of mortal sins and for "baptism of 'desire'" to be possible:

    No man obtains eternal life unless he be free from all guilt and debt of punishment. Now this plenary absolution is given when a man receives Baptism, or suffers martyrdom: for which reason is it stated that martyrdom "contains all the sacramental virtue of Baptism," i.e. as to the full deliverance from guilt and punishment. Suppose, therefore, a catechumen to have the desire for Baptism (else he could not be said to die in his good works, which cannot be without "faith that worketh by charity"), such a one, were he to die, would not forthwith come to eternal life, but would suffer punishment for his past sins, "but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire" as is stated 1 Corinthians 3:15. (Saint Thomas Aquinas)

    It is impossible to be validly baptized more than once. Deliberately putting off Baptism until the moment of death so as to avoid Purgatory is rash, foolish, and offensive to God; the Lord does not consider our souls a game, and neither should we. The reason why putting off Baptism is an affront to God, and foolish, is because one can die at any moment without the chance of being baptized, and all the desire in the world won't help a soul that knew the Catholic Church is the One True Church and deliberately put off joining her through sacramental Baptism.

    Here is what the Catholic Encyclopedia teaches on the substitutes for the Sacrament of Baptism:

    Substitutes for the sacrament:

    The Fathers and theologians frequently divide [emphasis mine; note how it says "divide" rather than "add" two additional baptisms] baptism into three kinds: the baptism of water (aquæ or fluminis), the baptism of desire (flaminis), and the baptism of blood (sanguinis). However, only the first is a real sacrament. The latter two are denominated baptism only analogically [emphasis mine] inasmuch as they supply the principal effect of baptism, namely, the grace which remits sins. It is the teaching of the Catholic Church that when the baptism of water becomes a physical or moral impossibility, eternal life may be obtained by the baptism of desire or the baptism of blood.

    The baptism of desire

        The baptism of desire (baptismus flaminis) is a perfect contrition of heart, and every act of perfect charity or pure love of God which contains, at least implicitly, a desire (votum) of baptism. The Latin word flamen is used because Flamen is a name for the Holy Ghost, Whose special office it is to move the heart to love God and to conceive penitence for sin. The "baptism of the Holy Ghost" is a term employed in the third century by the anonymous author of the book "De Rebaptismate". The efficacy of this baptism of desire to supply the place of the baptism of water, as to its principal effect, is proved from the words of Christ [note: not a modern teaching or interpretation]. After He had declared the necessity of baptism (John 3), He promised justifying grace for acts of charity or perfect contrition (John 14): "He that loveth Me, shall be loved of My Father: and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him." And again: "If any one love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him."

        Since these texts declare that justifying grace is bestowed on account of acts of perfect charity or contrition, it is evident that these acts supply the place of baptism as to its principal effect, the remission of sins. This doctrine is set forth clearly by the Council of Trent. In the fourteenth session (cap. iv) the council teaches that contrition is sometimes perfected by charity, and reconciles man to God, before the Sacrament of Penance is received. In the fourth chapter of the sixth session, in speaking of the necessity of baptism, it says that men can not obtain original justice "except by the washing of regeneration or its desire" (voto). The same doctrine is taught by Pope Innocent III (cap. Debitum, iv, De Bapt.), and the contrary propositions are condemned by Popes Pius V and Gregory XII, in proscribing the 31st and 33rd propositions of Baius.

        We have already alluded to the funeral oration pronounced by St. Ambrose over the Emperor Valentinian II, a catechumen. The doctrine of the baptism of desire is here clearly set forth. St. Ambrose asks: "Did he not obtain the grace which he desired? Did he not obtain what he asked for? Certainly he obtained it because he asked for it." St. Augustine (On Baptism, Against the Donatists, IV.22) and St. Bernard (Ep. lxxvii, ad H. de S. Victore) likewise discourse in the same sense concerning the baptism of desire. If it be said that this doctrine contradicts the universal law of baptism made by Christ (John 3), the answer is that the lawgiver has made an exception (John 14) in favor of those who have the baptism of desire. Neither would it be a consequence of this doctrine that a person justified by the baptism of desire would thereby be dispensed from seeking after the baptism of water when the latter became a possibility. For, as has already been explained the baptismus flaminis contains the votum of receiving the baptismus aquæ. It is true that some of the Fathers of the Church arraign severely those who content themselves with the desire of receiving the sacrament of regeneration, but they are speaking of catechumens who of their own accord delay the reception of baptism from unpraiseworthy motives. Finally, it is to be noted that only adults are capable of receiving the baptism of desire. Substitutes for the sacrament

    Saying "there is no salvation outside the Church" is not the same as saying "you must be a formal member of the Church in order to be saved".

    So can one just "desire" their way to salvation? No. Not anymore than I can desire liver and onions to taste like a snickers bar. What has been said and what follows should make this clear. [That desire by itself does not save, not the snickers bar part]

    He who looks at a woman lustfully commits adultery in his heart. "But I didn't commit adultery, I merely desired or wished to commit adultery, and not even that, but only willfully fantasized for a second, why am I guilty of the sin of adultery according to Christ Himself?" Because God judges the heart - knowing if you knew this was wrong and did it anyway - more than the outer actions. He takes the will/desire for the action. That is why willfully consenting to wishing physical harm upon others breaks the fifth Commandment. Would that it were impossible to sin by desire. Then all the white-washed tombs [sinners who appear holy on the exterior] who die in their interior filth could go to Heaven. I certainly would have been culpable of far fewer sins if this were the case.

    The following are necessary for it to be possible for one who is not a formal member of the Catholic Church, to have the baptism of the Holy Ghost ("desire") applied and thus be saved "within" the Church:

    1. Must be united to her (the Church) by desire and longing.

    2. Must be invincibly ignorant that the Roman Catholic Church is the One, True Church, founded by Christ upon the Rock of Peter. Many Novus Ordites know the Catholic Church is the One True Church, some fewer of them hold the Faith in its entirety, or at least do not consciously reject any part of the true Faith. Many of them, we will presume, do not realize that they "fulfill" their Sunday obligation at a Protestant/Masonic worship service which is an incentive to impiety and neither Catholic or a Mass.

        The Novus Ordo person who is invincibly ignorant that the Novus Ordo Church is not the Catholic Church is somehow in a position where he cannot be reasonably expected to realize this. Perhaps one born and raised in the Vatican 2 Church has more of an excuse than one who lived through the changes. Some might be illiterate or not have access to authentic Catholic teaching. We should not speculate about any non-member of the Church in regards to the possibility of his salvation or culpability. Our duty is to pray for them and to help facilitate their conversion in other ways when possible.

        Some who know better, or are in a position to know better, but prefer not to seek the truth of the matter for some fear of what accepting the truth might entail, might claim that they don't know better and may even convince themselves that they do not know better and cannot be reasonably expected to know better. But they must keep in mind that God does know better. You can not fool Him. On the day you are Judged and your eternity hangs in the balance, perception, appearance and excuses will not do. If you even have an inkling that the Novus Ordo is not the Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation, it is incumbent on you to seek the truth of the matter. Not that any human will convince you of this fact. But consider the moment of Judgment when there is no turning back and how perhaps you will wish for all eternity that you had heeded this advice.

        Those who do not seek the truth because they do not want to change their lifestyles on contraception, or do not want to have to travel far for a true Mass, or worry about what their friends might think are not invincibly ignorant, but rather their ignorance is quite "vincible". Purposely avoiding "inconvenient" truths, for whatever reason, eliminates the possibility of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Though we can speculate on generalities, we should not speculate on any particular individuals as to whether they are invincibly ignorant or not.

        We have to keep in mind that we are speaking about the salvation of souls. Those souls who have been validly baptized and adhere to the teachings and liturgy of the Novus Ordo are on the path to Hell despite being baptized with water unless they are invincibly ignorant. As stated before, invincible ignorance by itself is not enough to save them. Why risk eternity for the sake of convenience? Why not definitively resolve the issue on whether or not the Novus Ordo is the true Church or not since your salvation may hang in the balance? Some authentic Catholics may wonder if the members of their family which they provided the facts on this issue are invincibly ignorant, others doubt it possible that they could still be invincibly ignorant. On the surface it would appear that they cannot be invincibly ignorant unless they lack the mental capacity to grasp basic concepts. But we cannot know their culpability. God knows, we must pray that they convert or are on a legitimate road to conversion and in a state of sanctifying grace when their earthly journey ends. Additionally, there are other non-members of the Church who have rejected the faith and who have been validly baptized, but not unto salvation, as supernatural Faith is necessary for salvation. St. Thomas Aquinas with Article 8: Whether faith is required on the part of the one baptized?

    3. Must have a good disposition of soul whereby he wishes his will to be conformed to the will of God. How many assume their wills are conformed to the will of God without giving it much thought? How many block out of their minds for the sake of convenience that some aspect or another of their lifestyles is not conformed to the will of God? Sadly, the world may be so amoral that it really does not realize that fornication and grossly immodest dress are not conformed to the will of God. If they are truly ignorant should they be damned for their ignorance? If they are not ignorant should they get away with their sins? Figuring out the supposed culpability, or lack thereof, of others is not something that can be put in a formula so we can see how it comes out. These are questions answered by an all-knowing God Who looks into the heart and neither damns the good-willed who are truly not aware of offending God nor rewards those culpable of unrepentant evil.

    4. Must have perfect charity i.e. love God above all things. This leads to trying to do all things for love of God. When looking at each of our actions it would be good to ask if what we are doing, or about to do, is for love of God.

    5. Must have supernatural faith.

    In my next installment I will address the Definition of faith and what the Church Fathers and Doctors have laid down.

John Gregory

        "Catholics who remain faithful to Tradition, even if they are reduced to but a handful, they are THE TRUE CHURCH"
        Saint Athanasius, "Apostle of Tradition" AD 373

Monday, June 3, 2013
Vol. 24, no. 154