Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus in Dante’s Paradiso

In Canto XIX, Dante has ascended to the sphere of Jupiter, where the souls of just rulers, joined together in the shape of an eagle, address him in one voice.  Dante works up the courage to ask a question that has always bothered him about divine justice.  The eagle anticipates him:

“…your vision–which / must be a ray of that Intelligence / with which all beings are infused–cannot / of its own nature find sufficient force / to see into its origin beyond / what God Himself makes manifest to man; / therefore, the vision that your world receives / can penetrate into Eternal Justice / no more than eye can penetrate the see / for though, near shore, sight reaches the sea floor, / you cannot reach it in the open sea; / yet it is there, only hidden by the deep. / Only the light that shines from the clear heaen / can never be obscured–all else is darkness / or shadow of the flesh or fleshly poison. / Now is the hiding place of living Justice laid open to you–where it had been hidden while you addressed it with insistent questions.

“For you would say ‘A man is born along / the shoreline of the Indus River; none /  is there to speak or teach or write of Christ. / And he, as far as human reason sees, / in all he seeks and all he does is good; / there is no sin within his life or speech. / And that man dies unbaptized, without faith. / Where is the justice then that would condemn him? / Where is his sin if he does not believe?”

A good question, and we see that twentieth-century Catholics weren’t the first to ask it.  The eagle gets the Job non-answer:

“Now who are you to sit upon the bench, / to judge events a thousand miles away, /when your own vision spans so brief a space? / …O earthly animals, o minds obtuse! / The Primal Will, wich of Itself is good, / from the Supreme Good–Its Self–never moved. / So much is just as does accord with It; / and so, created good can draw It to / itself–but it, rayed forth, causes such goods….Even / as are my songs to you–past understanding–/ such is Eternal Judgment to you mortals.”

God is just by metaphysical necessity.  Why should you puny mortals even think that you could understand what makes His ways righteous?  Just believe that they are.  Dante humbly accepts this response.  The eagle then goes on to remind Dante that wicked Christians too will be damned, and will suffer far worse divine wrath than pagans.

Next the eagle points out some of the souls that make up its shape.  To Dante’s astonishment, two of them are the pagan (and Christian-persecuting) emperor Trajan and the Trojan warrior Ripheus.  “Can such things be?” Dante starts to ask (as well he would, since it seems to flatly contradict what he’s just been told).  Again the eagle anticipates:

“When these souls left their bodies, they were not / Gentiles–as you believe–but Christians, one /with firm faith in the Feet that suffered, one / in Feet that were to suffer.  One, from Hell, / where there is no returning to right will, / returned to his own bones, as the reward / bestowed upon a living hope, the hope / that gave force to the prayers offered God / to resurrect him and convert his will. / Returning briefly to the flesh, that soul / in glory–he of whom I speak– believed / in HIm whose power could help him and, believing, / was kindled to such fire of true love / that, when he died a second death, he was / worthy to join in this festivity. / The other, through the grace that surges from / a well so deep that no created one / has ever thrust his eye to its first source. / below set all his love on righteousness, / so that, through grace on grace, God granted him / the sight of our redemption in the future; / thus he, believing that, no longer suffered / the stench of paganism and rebuked / those who persisted in that perverse way / … How distant, o predestination, is / your root from those whose vision does not see / the Primal Cause in Its entirety! / And, mortals, do take care–judge prudently: for we, though we see God, do not yet know all those whom He has chosen…”

 (In the former case, Dante invokes the medieval folk story that God had redeemed Trajan from hell as a favor to the saintly Pope Gregory I.)  So, there is some hope for that Indian after all?  Why didn’t the eagle just say so in the first place?  Two reasons:

  1. Dante’s hope for those outside the visible Church is a lot different from what one gets in Catholic schools these days.  He doesn’t believe that good people automatically go to heaven.  We’ve already met the righteous pagans in Limbo, early on in the Inferno.  Limbo is a perfectly just reward for natural virtue.  Holiness is an entirely different quality, on requiring virtue no doubt, but something far more than this.  For heaven, grace and faith are required.  God can offer these to men without contact with the visible Church, but this is something extraordinary.  Dante seems to think it rather rare.  Not even his mentor Virgil is accorded such an honor (even though he would have been an obvious candidate–remember how Statius credits Virgil with prophesizing the birth of Christ in Purgatory, Canto XXII).  Furthermore, this gift of faith has a definite cognitive component.  Ripheus may not have been told everything about the Incarnation, but he knows enough to reject those elements of paganism incompatible with the Gospel.  Dante would have found the post-VII presumption that the Church’s atheist communist persecutors are “anonymous Christians” (because they care so much about the poor, don’t you know) extremely perverse.
  2. Too quick an invocation of salvation by implicit desire obscures how radical, how outside the realm of mere natural virtue, any positive response to the call of grace is.  Those offered grace in extraordinary ways as are the invincibly ignorant must make a huge “leap in the dark”, more so than normal Christians.  On must radically trust in God and believe in His intent to redeem mankind without even the knowledge of Christ on which we ordinary Christians rely.  To understand this, Dante had to first make such a leap of faith himself, by accepting the eagle’s first answer, that God’s ways just are just, and that he shouldn’t try to understand it.  This fits into the larger setup of the Paradiso; Dante’s soul is being progressively transformed to be able to take in more and more of the truth, culminating in the beatific vision of the Trinity.

9 Responses

  1. The idea that non-Christians can be saved comports with Holy Scripture.

    Consider Abraham. Abraham was not only pre-Christian, he was pre-Jewish. Abraham had neither Jesus’s atonement nor the 10 Commandments to live by… yet he was saved! Paul is clear, this was done “by his faith”, meaning, because of his trust in and love of God.

    “Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all” (Romans 4:16).

    My essay on this subject is found here How Non-Christians are Saved: Paul’s Theology of Works and Universalist Faith.

  2. I am giving what would be called the position of classical, confessional Protestantism. (Contemporary Protestantism, even evangelicalism, is a dreadful mess.) I believe it is the correct position, that is, the position taught by Scripture and held by Christ and the Apostles.

    Abraham was saved on account of his faith in the true and living God, even though he did not have the Scriptures and did not know Jesus the Messiah.

    But Moslems and Western pagans explicitly deny that the Bible is Scripture and that Jesus is Messiah. Therefore they are not analogous to Abraham. They are not simply ignorant of the details of the faith, they reject it. They do not have faith in God, which all Christian traditions hold to be necessary. They cannot be saved by works.

    In order for an individual to be saved by works alone, he would have to hold to the law perfectly, with not even one transgression. “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” [James 2:10, NASB] This is impossible both by empirical observation and because man is tainted with original sin. Therefore works are not sufficient.

    But faith is sufficient, because genuine faith leads to works: Faith causes a man to be accounted righteous before God and to be regenerated, to be a new creature who desires to do good works to glorify God. “Sola fide” does not mean that a man can be saved by faith apart from works. It means faith causes good works, not the other way around.

    By the way, when James says that Abraham was justified by works (James 2:21), he means “proved” righteous. Abraham was not justified in the theological sense of being accounted righteous before God by his works, he was proved righteous before men by his deeds. Furthermore, “faith without works” is not real, saving faith, because real faith always results in works.

    To return to the original point: God can indeed reveal Himself to individuals outside of the formal mechanisms of scripture and church. But we must not make presumptions on His mercy. When in doubt, evangelize.

  3. I do suspect that most of this talk about salvation outside the visible Church is an excuse not to evangelize.

  4. Thank you for this piece! I would note two things:

    1.) First, Ripheus died before the time of Our Lord and hence before the preaching of the Gospel. “Extra ecclesiam nulla salus” does not apply when the “ecclesia” does not exist yet. He was saved (according to Dante) outside the Synagogue/Chosen People, but that’s not the same thing.

    2.) Trajan did not die outside the Church — not the second, final time he died. He, *unlike Ripheus,* lived during the Christian era. He had the opportunity to convert to Christianity but, apparently due to circumstances, this opportunity was not realized during his natural lifetime (in fact, he persecuted the Church, though apparently without real personal malice; he seems to have tried to temper Pliny the Younger). Well, anyway, he was brought back to life by St. Gregory and received *water baptism* in order to die *inside the Church,* in every single sense of the word.

    So the examples that Dante gives shows that God, instead of going out of His way to break the limits of “extra ecclesiam nulla salus,” goes out of His (normal) way to *fulfill* the terms of “extra ecclesiam nulla salus.” Or at least Dante went out of his way to have the two ostensible pagans in Heaven either 1.) predate the coming of Christ, the establishment of the Church, and the preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles, or 2.) be raised from the dead so as to die a second time in the bosom of the Church, with the benefits of the Sacrament of Baptism (not mere desire for Baptism). There is thus no basis for your claim here: “God can offer these [faith and grace] to men without contact with the visible Church, but this is something extraordinary. Dante seems to think it rather rare.” In fact, to judge from the case of Trajan, Dante does not seem to think it possible at all; at least, he doesn’t provide a single instance of salvation completed (stress on the word “completed”) after the coming of Christ *and* outside the visible Church.

    So Dante does not seem to provide anything that would stick in Fr. Feeney’s craw. In fact St. Benedict Center grew in its early years in large part due to Sr. Catherine Goddard Clarke’s lectures on Dante.

    As for Abraham, St. Paul in his Epistle to the Hebrews (11:17-19) says that he believed that God could raise the dead to life, which solves the conundrum of the sacrifice of Isaac; Abraham was perfectly willing to sacrifice Isaac because He trusted that God would still restore his son to him so as to complete the earlier promise of posterity through Isaac. Hence, Abraham had a foreshadowing of faith in the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross (also prefigured in the sacrifice of Melchisedech) and His Resurrection.

    Best,
    Bonifacius

  5. Hello Bonifacius,

    I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reply. Thank you for correcting me about Trajan. For some reason, when I read that he was brought back into the flesh for a “short time”, I got it into my head that he was only revived for an instant, long enough to make some mental faith act. But the text doesn’t say that.

    One could, I suppose, say that this case gives us hope for all of the damned, because God could presumably resurrect them too at some time in the future before Judgment. I tend to think, though, that people who latch onto such possiblities are looking for an excuse not to evangelize.

  6. This causes me to free associate to all the nice priests who carousel around American parishes talking about their “missionary” work and soliciting donations. Curiously, 100% of their presentation focuses on feeding, clothing, and sheltering poor people and 0% of their presentation focuses on converting people to the One True Faith. And this is true of each and every one of these missionary priests.

    They seem kind of dissimilar to, say, the North American Martyrs, missionary priests who were trying to convert the Huron to Catholicism.

  7. Friday, October 7, 2011
    LEGIONARY OF CHRIST PRIEST FR.RAFAEL PASCUAL AFFIRMS CANTATE DOMINO, COUNCIL OF FLORENCE
    Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, University Pontifical Regina Apostolorum, Rome in his office today morning said he was familiar with the text of the dogma Cantate Domino and he would endorse it in public.

    Fr. Rafael Pascual said he and other Legionaries of Christ priests took an oath in Church to be faithful to the Magisterium of the Church and he showed me on his computer the text of this oath.

    He took exception to a report (1) I e-mailed him which indicated that the Legionaries of Christ priests have not affirmed the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    Fr. Pascual who is the Director of the Master of Science and Faith Institute knew that the dogma on extra ecclesiam nulla salus, Cantate Domino (2) was in accord with Vatican Council II (LG 14,AG 7) (3), Dominus Iesus 20 (4) and other Magisterial text.

    The Church also affirms it may be mentioned that non Catholics can be saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire. However the Church Fathers, popes and Councils always new that these cases were implicit and so did not contradict the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. They are only known to God and we would not meet any such case in person. Also no Magisterial text claims that they are explicitly known to us. -Lionel Andrades

    1.

    LEGIONARIES OF CHRIST PRIESTS IN ROME DO NOT DENY THAT THEY AFFIRM AND TEACH THE SECULAR, LIBERAL INTERPRETATION OF EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA
    SALUS
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2010/12/legionaries-of-christ-priests-in-rome.html#links

    2.

    Pope Eugene IV, Cantate Domino (1441): “The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the “eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41), unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as 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.”-, Wikipedia, extra ecclesiam nulla salus

    3.

    Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism(124) and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church.-Lumen Gentium 14

    Therefore, all must be converted to Him, made known by the Church’s preaching, and all must be incorporated into Him by baptism and into the Church which is His body. For Christ Himself “by stressing in express language the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mark 16:16; John 3:5), at the same time confirmed the necessity of the Church, into which men enter by baptism, as by a door.-Ad Gentes 7

    4.

    Above all else, it must be firmly believed that “the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door”. This doctrine must not be set against the universal salvific will of God (cf. 1 Tim 2:4); “it is necessary to keep these two truths together, namely, the real possibility of salvation in Christ for all mankind and the necessity of the Church for this salvation”.- Dominus Iesus 20

  8. Tuesday, November 22, 2011
    CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES SAYS THOSE SAVED WITH THE BAPTISM OF DESIRE, INVINCIBLE IGNORANCE ARE VISIBLE TO US
    Fr.Leonard Feeney was excommunicated it is suggested for repeating the same teaching of the popes, Councils, saints and the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus thrice-defined.

    The Bishops Conference of England and Wales has placed the book Muslims Ask, Christian answer in the section Resources, on its website. (Dialogue With Other Religions/Committee for Relations with other Other Religions). This book by the Jesuit Christian Troll interprets Vatican Council II (LG 16) as referring to cases of invincible ignorance being explicit and known to us. LG 16 contradicts the ex cathedra dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus ?
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/10/bishops-conference-of-england-and-wales.html

    It means every one needs to enter the Church for salvation in the present times but there could be exceptions like those saved in invincible ignorance (LG 16). Cases of those saved in invincible ignorance it is assumed are visible to us and so they are an exception to the dogma.The dogma indicates everyone needs to be an explicit, visible member of the church to go to Heaven.

    If those saved in invincible ignorance were implicit for the English bishops it would not contradict the dogma.It would not be an exception. Since it is allegedly explicitly known, it is an exception to the dogma.

    So in inter religious dialogue it is assumed by the CBCEW that those saved in invincible ignorance are known to us in the present times.Those who have not had the Gsopel preached to them through no fault of their own and are saved are known to us in the present time ?!

    In another report on the website of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales titled Catholics and Other Faiths the error is repeated. Archbishop Emeritus Kevin McDonald of Southwark who is the Chair of the Committe for Relations with Other Religions states that the ‘seeds of the Word’ are present in other religions(1).Theoretically, as a possibility this is acceptable. However the bishop is implying that we know of particular cases so every non Catholic with no exception does not have to enter the Church for salvation.He is implying that this is an exception to the dogma.This is the rejection of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus and Vatican Council II (Lumen Gentium 14, Ad Gentes 7).

    Similarly the Vocation Director of Southwark, England Fr. Stephen Langley has said that candidates with a religious vocation to the diocese would have to accept the doctrine extra ecclesiam nulla salus but the doctrine should not be interpreted in ‘the narrow Feenyite sense’.

    Young Catholics in England would have to say that everyone needs to enter the Church for salvation in the present times but there could be defacto exceptions like those saved with the baptism of desire. The baptism of desire is assumed to be visible and so is an exception to the dogma.The dogma indicates everyone needs to be an explicit, visible member of the church to go to Heaven.

    If the baptism of desire was implicit for candidates it would not contradict the dogma, it would not be an exception. Since it is allegedly explicitly known, it is an exception to the dogma. Candidates with a religious vocation would be accepted who presumably could ‘spot’ these rare exceptional cases.Those who cannot do so will not be able to priests and nuns.

    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/11/vocation-director-in-southwarkengland.html

    The Vocation Director at Southwark also has implied that the Catholic Church has condemned the ‘narrow Feenyite sense’. However there is no ‘condemnation’ mentioned in the Letter of the Holy Office 1949. Pope Pius XII in the Letter of the Holy Office referred to ‘the dogma’, the ‘infallible statement’. The dogma like the popes, Church Councils and saints indicate that all non Catholics in Boston,USA need to convert into the Catholic Church to avoid the fires of Hell. This was exactly the teaching of Fr. Leonard Feeney who was not excommunicated for heresy but for disobedience. The excommunication was lifted by the Church without him having to recant.

    So candidates with a religious vocation in England would have to accept also that Fr. Leonard Feeney was ‘condemned’ for holding the same view as the popes, including Pope Pius XII, who referred to ‘the dogma’, the saints and the dogma itself.

    This is the teaching of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales in inter faith dialogue, for candidates with religious vocations and at the Catholic seminaries in Rome like the English and Beda College.

    This new visible baptism of desire doctrine contradicts magisterial documents.It is also irrational. (a) No one knows of a particular case of someone being saved with the baptism of desire and (b) Fr.Leonard Feeney was not excommunicated for repeating the same teaching of the popes, Councils, saints and the thrice-defined dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.
    -Lionel Andrades

    1.
    As Catholics we believe that Christ lived, died and rose from the dead for all people and thatGod’s plan of love embraces the whole of creation. We can joyfully accept ,as was recognized by the Fathers of the Church,that other religions contain elements of truth that we find in Christ.The Fathers of the Church called these elements “seeds of the Word”.The Vatican Council II attributed the positive values present in other religious traditons to the actibe presence of God through through his Word,pointing also to the universal action of the Spirit “at work in the world before Christ was glorified”.(Ad Gentes n.4).-Catholics and Other Faiths report on the website of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales

    BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES SAYS LUMEN GENTIUM 16 REFERS TO EXPLICITLY KNOWN CASES OF NON CATHOLIC SAVED IN INVINCIBLE IGNORANCE

    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/10/bishops-conference-of-england-and-wales.html

    Archbishop Emeritus Kevin McDonald of Southwark implies the ‘seeds of the Word’ in other religions is the ordinary means of salvation and these exceptions are explicitly known
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/11/archbishop-emeritus-kevin-mcdonald-of.html

    NON CATHOLICS CAN BE SAVED IN INVINCIBLE IGNORANCE, BAPTISM OF DESIRE AND IT DOES NOT CONTRADICT THE DOGMA EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS- Daphne McLeod, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, England
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/10/non-catholics-can-be-saved-in.html

    CATHOLIC HERALD, DAILY TELEGRAPH CENSORSHIP OF THE DOGMA CONTROVERSY: NO ADS ACCEPTED

    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/11/catholic-herald-daily-telegraph.html

  9. Tuesday, March 20, 2012
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2012/03/bishop-fellay-frschmidbergerfsspjoseph.html

    Bishop Fellay, Fr.Schmidberger,FSSP,Joseph Fenton seem unaware the baptism of desire is not an explicit exception to the dogma
    From Rorate Caeli comments on Who is a Traditionalist?

    Ecclesia Militans said…
    Brother André Marie,
    I’ve studied the articles and I must say that they do not make a convincing argument against the threefold Baptism.

    Lionel:
    it is important to note that there is only one baptism which is explicit. It is the baptism of water.

    Ecclesia Militans
    Other than quoting the many various forms of the dogma extra Ecclesiam nulla salus and discussions and speculations on St. Augustine’s view, there are only two or three marginal quotes by doctors that speak against the threefold Baptism.

    Lionel:
    We can only accept the baptism of desire and martrydom in pinciple. Explicitly we do not know any case, we cannot judge.If the Church declares someone a martyr we accept it.

    Ecclesia Militans
    As for St. Emerentiana, I see that Fr. Feeney decided to deny Tradition by saying she must have been baptised in water before martyrdom, although she has always been counted as an unbaptized cathecumen who died for Christ and received the Baptism of Blood.

    On the other hand, I present you a short list of those important documents, theologians, bishops and doctors that explicitly affirmed the threefold Baptism (most of the quotes are found in the article mentioned in my last comment, if you wish, I can send you the others by mail):

    Lionel:
    In this list it is important to note that none of them said that the baptism of desire and the baptism of blood were explicitly known to us or that we could judge these cases in general or that they were explicit exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    Ecclesia Militans
    St. Cyprian BM, Tertullian, St. Cyril of Jerusalem BCD, St. John Chrysostome BCD, St. Ambrose BCD, St. Augustine BCD, St. Thomas Aquinas CD, St. Catherine of Sienna V, Ecumenical Council of Trent, Catechism of the Council of Trent, St. Alphonsus Liguori BCD, Pope Pius IX, Baltimore Cathechism (19th century), The Cathechism Explained (1899), Cathechism of Pope St. Pius X, Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Code of Canon Law (1917), Catholic Dictionary (1946), Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office (1949), mons.

    Lionel:
    They all were in agrement with Fr.Leonard Feeney.

    Ecclesia Militans
    Joseph Fenton (1952), Archbishop Lefebvre FSSPX, Fr. Schmidberger FSSPX, Bishop Fellay FSSPX…

    Lionel:
    They seem unaware too that the baptism of desire etc are not defacto exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    Ecclesia Militans
    The inescapable conclusion is that the doctrine of Fr. Feeney denies or contradicts the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium as expressed through the above teachings of the said theologians, doctors etc.

    Lionel:
    Fr.Leonrd Feeney said that there is only one baptism, the baptism of water . This is the only explicit baptism. For salvation all people need the baptism of water and there are no known exceptions.This is the teaching of the Magisterium as expressed through the above mentioned theologians, doctors etc.This is the teaching of the following:

    St. Cyprian BM, Tertullian, St. Cyril of Jerusalem BCD, St. John Chrysostome BCD, St. Ambrose BCD, St. Augustine BCD, St. Thomas Aquinas CD, St. Catherine of Sienna V, Ecumenical Council of Trent, Catechism of the Council of Trent, St. Alphonsus Liguori BCD, Pope Pius IX, Baltimore Cathechism (19th century), The Cathechism Explained (1899), Cathechism of Pope St. Pius X, Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Code of Canon Law (1917), Catholic Dictionary (1946), Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office (1949), mons.

    Ecclesia Militans
    It even goes against the Code of Canon Law which was valid at the time (canons 737 & 1239).

    Lionel:
    No magisterial document states that the baptism of desire etc are explicitly known to us or an exception to the dogma.

    Ecclesia Militans
    you can see that to assert that so many theologians, doctors, popes and Church documents were in error for so many centuries is to deny the indefectibility of the Church.St. Alphonsus Liguori calls the baptism of desire de fide,…

    Lionel:
    Yes it is de fide and accepted in principle. It cannot be known explicitly and so it does not contradict the dogma or Fr.Leonard Feeney.

    Ecclesia Militans
    and St. Cyprian BM, back in the 3rd century, seems to call those who do not believe in the Baptism of Blood of the cathecumens “aiders and favourers of heretics”.

    Lionel:
    The baptism of blood is not an exception to the dogma.

    Ecclesia Militans
    In short and precise quote:

    “Outside of the Church, nobody can hope for life or salvation unless he is excused through ignorance beyond his control.“

    Lionel:
    Correct and we do not know any case of a non Catholic on earth who is saved in invincible ignorance or is going to be saved.

    Ecclesia Militans
    e Pius IX, SINGULARI QUIDEM
    http://www.ewtn.com/library/encyc/p9singul.htm

    Lionel:
    No where does Pope Pius IX say that the baptism of desire etc are exceptions to the dogma or that they are explicit. On has to make this wrong assumption.The popes do not make this assumption.

    20 January, 2012 23:34

    -Lionel Andrades

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.it/2012/01/who-is-traditionalist.html

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