Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Refuting the Dimonds assertion that canonizations are dogmas

The Dimonds teach that canonizations are infallible and to be held as ex cathedra decrees of the pope. While a Catholic may (and should) certainly hold that the Church has never erred in a canonization, it is nevertheless contrary to Catholic theology and to the Vatican Council to hold that canonizations are "proposed by the Church as maters to be believed by Divine and Catholic Faith", or to propose that disbelieving a canonization is heresy. The Dimonds even acknowledge the decree that they must deny in order to do so, and then they proceed to deny it:

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council, Session 4, Chapter 4, #6: “For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.”

The Dimonds try to use the encyclical of Pope Gregory XVI, Quo Graviora, as a way to prove that the Church's infallibility extends to disciplines as well, and while they are indeed on the right track, they leave out a crucial piece of the quotation:

Pope Gregory XVI, Quo Graviora, Oct 4 1833: “While they contend that the entire exterior form of the Church can be changed indiscriminately, do they not subject to change even those items of discipline which have their basis in Divine law and which are linked with the doctrine of faith in a close bond? Does not the law of the believer thus produce the law of the doer? Moreover, do they not try to make the Church human by taking away from the infallible and Divine authority, by which Divine will it is governed? And does it not produce the same effect to think that the present discipline of the Church rests on failures, obscurities, and other inconveniences of this kind? And to feign that this discipline contains many things which are not useless but which are against the safety of the Catholic religion? Why is it that private individuals appropriate for themselves the right which is proper only for the pope?”

First of all, what are the rights proper only for the pope? These rights are settling doctrinal and disciplinary disputes with an authoritative ruling and defining dogmas. No other earthly power has the right to make a binding decision in these matters, since it is by Divine institution that the pope has these rights.

Now what is pope Gregory referring to in this quote, when he says: “…do they not try to make the Church human by taking away from the infallible and Divine authority, by which Divine will it is governed?”

He is saying that those who would deny the supreme authority of the sovereign pontiff over the Church, not only in matter of faith and morals, but in matters of discipline as well are taking away from the infallible and Divine authority, the Divine will, by which the Church is governed. This does not mean that pope Gregory is defining that the Church is infallible in ALL matters of discipline, but that he is merely reiterating the fact that the pope, though he may err in certain matters, is the representative of Jesus Christ, and that his authority and power come not from himself, but from God, and as such, disciplines instituted by the pope are to be obeyed as though they have come from God Himself.

Furthermore, Pope Gregory XVI is talking here about disciplines, which are bound up with faith and morals, when he says: “do they not subject to change even those items of discipline which have their basis in Divine law and which are linked with the doctrine of faith in a close bond?”

When a pope exercises his authority in a solemn manner for the purpose defining, and thus of binding all of the faithful to obedience in a matter of faith or morals, that is on a point of Divine revelation, then it is a dogma that this exercise is carried out infallibly. It is God the Holy Ghost Himself, who speaks through the lips of the Pontiff.

But is a canonization a point of Divine revelation? Canonizations are certainly bound up with faith and morals in the sense that the pope decides whether or not a person is to be canonized based upon whether or not the evidence shows that they held the Catholic Faith and lived a life of Catholic morality. But the problem here is that they are relying on evidence, which itself is fallible. In order to assert that canonizations are infallible, one would have to assert that the evidence the pope bases his judgment on is also infallible, in much the same way that his judgments on faith and morals are based on the infallible Word of God contained in Scripture and Tradition. Unfortunately for the Dimonds' false position, it is the testimony of men that the pope uses to canonize a person, not the testimony of God.

So, is it heresy to say that canonizations are an exercise of the pope in his fallible capacity? Certainly not. If it was heresy, then it would have been condemned as heresy, by Pope Benedict XIV when he made the following pronouncement:

Pope Benedict XIV: “If anyone dared to assert that the Pontiff had erred in this or that canonization, we shall say that he is, if not a heretic, at least temerarious, a giver of scandal to the whole Church, an insulter of the saints, a favorer of those heretics who deny the Church’s authority in canonizing saints, savoring of heresy by giving unbelievers an occasion to mock the faithful, the assertor of an erroneous opinion and liable to very grave penalties.” - [Quoted by Tanquerey, Synopsis Theologiae Dogmaticae Fundamentalis (Paris, Tournai, Rome: Desclee, 1937), new edition ed. by J.B. Bord, Vol. I. p. 624, footnote 2.]

The pope explicitly states that to assert that the Pontiff had erred in a particular canonization MAY NOT BE HERESY! Why would the pope say this? If it is a dogma that canonizations are infallible, then would this not be a heretical statement on his part?

Consider a comparison, using a hypothetical quotation: “If anyone dared to assert that Jesus Christ is a man only and not also God, we shall say that he is, if not a heretic, at least temerarious…”

This hypothetical statement is a heretical denial that Jesus Christ’s nature as the God-man is an infallible, Divinely revealed truth, in that it allows for the possibility that one who denies the Divinity of Christ may not be a heretic. Heresy, remember is any belief or proposition that contradicts an infallible, Divinely revealed truth of the Catholic Faith.

The next objection that a person might make is that at the time of Benedict XIV, it was not yet defined as a dogma that canonizations are infallible. They might propose a different hypothetical, such as: “If anyone dared to assert that the Blessed Virgin Mary was not conceived wholly free from original sin, we shall say that he is, if not a heretic, at least temerarious…”

This statement, so long as it was not uttered after Pope Pius IX declared the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, would not be heresy at all, since although it was piously believed by most Christians, yet it was not infallibly defined as being a Divinely reveal dogma.

If this is the argument that the Dimonds wish to pursue in the case for the infallibility of canonizations, then the burden rests upon them to produce the dogmatic decree, whereby this infallibility was defined. But they cannot, since the Church has never made this definition, but has in fact dogmatically declared the opposite:

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council, Session 4, Chapter 4, #6, ex cathedra: “For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.”

The Dimonds assert that a canonization is not a “new doctrine” since this would mean a point of Divine revelation, but in saying this, they must admit that it is only in matters intrinsically bound up with Divine revelation concerning faith and morals that infallibility applies, and which is attested to by the above quotation of Pope Gregory XVI, when he says: “…do they not subject to change even those items of discipline which have their basis in Divine law and which are linked with the doctrine of faith in a close bond?”

The word "doctrine" comes from the Latin doctrina, which means "teaching, body of teachings, learning," from doctor "teacher". Simply put, a doctrine is something that is to be believed, and a discipline is something that is to be obeyed. An example of a discipline would be the law of fasting, or of receiving the Eucharist. A canonization is a doctrine and a discipline. It is a discipline insofar as one must profess obedience to the Church’s declaration that the saint is worthy of veneration, and it is a doctrine, which is to be believed with assent of intellect and will (though not of assent of faith), that the saint is in heaven.

The Dimonds also present a quote from Pope Pius VI, in another attempt to defend their heretical position.

Pope Pius VI, Auctorem Fidei, #78: "The prescription of the synod about the order of transacting business in the conferences, in which, after it prefaced "in every article that which pertains to faith and to the essence of religion must be distinguished from that which is proper to discipline," it adds, "in this itself (discipline) there is to be distinguished what is necessary or useful to retain the faithful in spirit, from that which is useless or too burden-some for the liberty of the sons of the new Covenant to endure, but more so, from that which is dangerous or harmful, namely, leading to superstition and materialism"; in so far as by the generality of the words it includes and submits to a prescribed examination even the discipline established and approved by the Church, as if the Church which is ruled by the Spirit of God could have established discipline which is not only useless and burdensome for Christian liberty to endure, but which is even dangerous and harmful and leading to superstition and materialism,—false, rash, scandalous, dangerous, offensive to pious ears, injurious to the Church and to the Spirit of God by whom it is guided, at least erroneous."

First of all, this in no way means that canonizations are infallible, nor does Pope Pius dogmatically condemn the above proposition. If this were a dogmatic condemnation of a heretical proposition, then it would be condemned as HERETICAL, plain and simple, with no need for "false, rash", etc. And again, this decree from Auctorem Fidei deals with disciplines not doctrines, and proposes that it is false to say that a discipline of the Church could lead one into superstition and materialism. The Dimonds are truly grasping at straws here.

Canonizations are NOT dogmatic definitions, are not doctrines to be believed de fide Divina et catholica. To assert otherwise is to deny the Vatican Council, as quoted at the beginning of this article.

Pope Gregory IX, in Bull of Canonization of St. Francis of Assisi Mira Circa Nos, July 16, 1228 states: "Plainly a life such as his, so holy, so passionate, so brilliant, was enough to win him a place in the Church Triumphant. Yet, because the Church Militant, which can only observe the outer appearances, does not presume to judge on its own authority those not sharing its actual state, it proposes for veneration as Saints only those whose lives on earth merited such, especially because an angel of satan sometimes transforms himself into an angel of light (II Cor 11:14). In his generosity the omnipotent and merciful God has provided that the aforementioned Servant of Christ did come and serve Him worthily and commendably. Not permitting so great a light to remain hidden under a bushel, but wishing to put it on a lampstand to console those dwelling in the house of light (Mt 5:15), God declared through many brilliant miracles that his life has been acceptable to God and his memory should be honored by the Church Militant."

Pope Gregory stated that the Church Militant can only observe the outer appearances, and does not "presume to judge on it's own authority those not sharing in it's state (i.e. the Church Militant). He specifically states that a canonization's purpose is to show forth the external life and works of the person canonized as a model of imitation for the faithful, while making clear that the Church Militant cannot judge the interior disposition of a soul who is no longer sharing the state of the same; that is to say any soul who has departed from the Church Militant and out of this life.

But as with any disciplinary teaching, the canonization needs to be firmly held to by the Catholic Faithful unless the discipline is evil or contradicting some other dogmatic teaching of the Church.

And herein lies the error of Richard Ibranyi, another person the Dimonds have attempted to refute on various issues (with varying levels of success or failure, depending on the issue). While a saint may appear to have made a heretical statement or two in his lifetime, canonizations, themselves, do not contradict any dogma since the Church provides for four subjective excuses for objectively heretical statements:

(1) loss of the use of reason (e.g. senility, insanity),

(2) ignorance (material heresy),

(3) retraction prior to death, and

(4) mistranslation or tampering.

These are sufficient for a saint to be excused from the sin of heresy, thereby allowing the saints entrance into heaven and allowing Catholic faithful to petition the saint for intercessory prayers.

Make no mistake, a declaration of canonization is not a papal decree stating that every TRANSLATED WRITTEN WORK attributed to the saint is free from all objective error. On the contrary, it is simply a statement that the Church believes the deceased to have lived a holy life and died free from the guilt of any unforgiven mortal sins, including heresy.  Again, the saint is believed to have never willfully opposed the teachings of the Church.

Moreover, since lay people do not have access to the papers of the canonization process, it is impossible for any lay person to know for certain that an error was made in the canonization process and that the saint really did die with the subjective guilt of mortal sin on his soul.

Condemnations of heretics are infallible, as the Dimonds assert, but only in the sense that the Church infallibly declares the heresies attributed to them to be contrary to Divinely revealed dogma. There is always the possibility that a person may have been framed, and while the works attributed to him are rightly condemned as contrary to Divine revelation, the person himself may very well have been a saint, who wrote or taught no such heresy, EXCEPT when the Church anathematizes a person by

Catholic Encyclopedia, Excommunication, Effects of Invalid or Unjust Excommunication: "An excommunication is said to be null when it is invalid because of some intrinsic or essential defect, e.g. when the person inflicting it has no jurisdiction, when the motive of the excommunication is manifestly incorrect and inconsistent, or when the excommunication is essentially defective in form. Excommunication is said to be unjust when, though valid, it is wrongfully applied to a person really innocent but believed to be guilty. Here, of course, it is not a question of excommunication latæ sententiæ and in foro interno, but only of one imposed or declared by judicial sentence. It is admitted by all that a null excommunication produces no effect whatever, and may be ignored without sin (cap. ii, de const., in VI). But a case of unjust excommunication brings out in a much more general way the possibility of conflict between the forum internum and the forum externum, between legal justice and the real facts. In chapter xxviii, de sent. excomm. (Lib. V, tit. xxxix), Innocent III formally admits the possibility of this conflict. Some persons, he says, may be free in the eyes of God but bound in the eyes of the Church; vice versa, some may be free in the eyes of the Church but bound in the eyes of God: for God's judgment is based on the very truth itself, whereas that of the Church is based on arguments and presumptions which are sometimes erroneous. He concludes that the chain by which the sinner is bound in the sight of God is loosed by remission of the fault committed, whereas that which binds him in the sight of the Church is severed only by removal of the sentence. Consequently, a person unjustly excommunicated is in the same state as the justly excommunicated sinner who has repented and recovered the grace of God; he has not forfeited internal communion with the Church, and God can bestow upon him all necessary spiritual help. However, while seeking to prove his innocence, the censured person is meanwhile bound to obey legitimate authority and to behave as one under the ban of excommunication, until he is rehabilitated or absolved."

The Church is indeed the pillar and ground of the Truth. Just because canonizations of saints are not dogmas does in no way take away from this fact. In matters Divinely revealed, the Church always proclaims, preaches and defines the infallible truth by God the Holy Ghost, and even though canonizations are not Divinely revealed dogmas, we must be entirely subject to the pope who declared them, giving them the assent of intellect and will.

Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, Nov. 18, 1302, ex cathedra: "Furthermore, we declare, say, define, and proclaim to every human creature that they by absolute necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff."

This article is one in an important series on The Dimonds' soul damning errors.

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?

Refuting the Dimonds schismatic denial that age of reason non-Catholics have a positive obligation to reject their sect and profess the true Faith

This article is one in an important series on The Dimonds' soul damning errors, but the reader would do well to first become acquainted with the Catholic teaching concerning invincible ignorance.

The Dimonds are schismatic and heretical for denying that children of heretics are to be held as schismatic upon attaining sufficient use of reason and clinging to their heretical sect, despite valid baptism. The schism of the Dimonds stems both from their refusal to assent to the teaching of Pius IX, in Singulari Quadem, which asserts that it is unlawful to presume invincible ignorance (which only God can judge) in such cases and from their denunciation of Catholics who are faithful to these principles.  They are heretical because they deny the dogma:

Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctum, Nov. 18, 1302, ex cathedra: "Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff."

Here, briefly, is why such children are in schism, regardless of the presence or absence of obstinacy (for a supplement to this article, please read "On the absence of salvation among heretics and schismatics and those in communion with them"):

The Dimonds admit that upon attaining the use of reason, all are immediately bound by the Divine Law, and they also rightly assert that there are no exceptions to the Divine Law. But this is where they start to get fuzzy. They neglect to acknowledge that obedience to the Divine Law includes first and foremost (as common sense will tell anybody) obedience to the First Commandment. This includes a positive obligation to reject false religions and profess the true religion.

This neglect causes them to fail to acknowledge that such children are in schism, that is they are adhering to a false sect, professing a false religion.  St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us a very important principle in this regard:

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Prima Secundae Partis, Q. 103, A. 4:  "All ceremonies are professions of faith, in which the interior worship of God consists. Now man can make profession of his inward faith, by deeds as well as by words: and in either profession, if he makes a false declaration, he sins mortally."

In other words, any person above the age of reason who makes a profession to a religion which rejects the papacy is immediately schismatic.

The Dimonds also agree that the only ways to lose the Faith are heresy, schism and apostasy, but they try to argue that only obstinacy constitutes schism. But their quotes from Pope Pius IX and Clement VI do not state that ONLY people who are obstinately separated from the Church are schismatic.

Pope Pius IX, Quartus Supra, January 6, 1873: “For the Catholic Church has always regarded as schismatic those who obstinately oppose the lawful prelates of the Church and in particular, the chief shepherd of all.”

Do we have to contradict Pope Pius IX to say that the Church may also regard as schismatics those who adhere to false sects in ignorance? Of course not. We would have to if he said “For the Catholic Church has ONLY regarded as schismatic…”

Pius IX has in fact made a statement that indicates obstinacy is not required for schism, but that merely by being deceived, one may become schismatic:

Pope Pius IX, Graves Ac Diuturnae, #3: "This sect overthrows the foundations of the Catholic religion, shamelessly rejects the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Vatican Council, and devotes itself to the ruin of souls in so many ways. We have decreed and declared in Our letter of 21 November 1873 that those unfortunate men who belong to, adhere to, and support that sect should be considered as schismatics and separated from communion with the Church."

The principle is clearly laid out by this Pope of the Catholic Church. Any sect that rejects the dogmatic definitions of the Vicar of Christ is a heretical sect, and good willed or no, we learn that that any of those "unfortunate men who belong to, adhere to, and support that sect should be considered as schismatics and separated from communion with the Church."  He says "unfortunate", not obstinate.

The Dimonds propose another quote:

Pope Clement VI, Super Quibusdam, September 20, 1351: “…We ask: In the first place whether you and the Church of the Armenians which is obedient to you, believe that all those who in baptism have received the same Catholic faith, and afterwards have withdrawn and will withdraw in the future from the communion of this same Roman Church, which one alone is Catholic, are schismatic and heretical, if they remain OBSTINATELY separated from the faith of this Roman Church. In the second place, we ask whether you and the Armenians obedient to you believe that no man of the wayfarers outside the faith of this Church, and outside the obedience of the Pope of Rome, can finally be saved.”

These quotes proposed by the Dimonds, not only do not constitute a dogmatic definition of schism but neither do they address the question of people who are unwittingly separated due to their ignorance or being deceived. It can in no way be said that people professing to be Lutheran, ‘Old Catholic’, Eastern ‘Orthodox’, Novus Ordo, or SSPX, even though they all believe themselves to be the true Church of Jesus Christ, are in fact labouring for the true religion, and the Church has taught that such people are guilty in this matter in the eyes of God, UNLESS their ignorance is invincible.

Pope Pius IX, Singulari Quadem, December 9, 1854: "For it must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood; but, on the other hand, it is necessary to hold for certain that they who labor in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, are not stained by any guilt in this matter in the eyes of God."

This quote refers to the sin of infidelity, or refusal to submit to Christ and His true Church. Schism is infidelity to the true religion and any profession of a faith other than Catholic, and adherence to a false sect is manifest schism, even if it is done through ignorance. It is the sin of infidelity by omission of one's duty to reject false worship, and commission by making a false declaration.

If Lutherans are not held guilty in the eyes of God on account of invincible ignorance, they are nevertheless not Catholic, as their religion is manifestly opposed to the Catholic religion.  Therefore if they are truly inculpably ignorant, then God will bring them into the Faith before their deaths.  Whereas if a person already believes and professes himself to be Catholic, though he is subject to a heretical or religious superior, if God deems him invincibly ignorant of the nature of such subjection, then he has not in fact committed the sin of schism, and remains Catholic.

As has been already mentioned, schism is constituted in being separated from the unity of Faith and government of the Holy Catholic Church. While it is clearly necessary that reasoning Catholics knowingly subject themselves to the Apostolic See and its teachings, it is equally clear that failure to reject heretical and schismatical sects, which are of themselves non-Catholic, is enough to show that these people are in schism and not in the Catholic Church. They will remain schismatic until they exercise the duty to reject their false religions and join the Catholic Faith.

The Dimonds hold out the example of St. Vincent Ferrer in an attempt to argue that the understanding of Singulari Quadem presented in this article is heretical. They don’t actually say that this understanding denies any particular dogma, but that it is heretical on the account that it involves an implicit suggestion that St. Vincent was ignorant of the true religion, even though he was a Catholic.

Please note the following points well:

A person who subjects himself to the Roman Pontiff is subject to the true religion (if he also has the habit of faith).

A person who is subject to an invalidly elected or a heretical antipope is also no longer submitting himself to the valid authority of the Church, but to a false religion, one without Christ or His Vicar as its head (regardless of whether or not he believes rightly concerning faith or morals).

Now, St. Vincent Ferrer was not schismatic, since Pope Pius IX taught invincible ignorance is the only way a person can be exonerated of the guilt of infidelity one would incur by labouring outside of the true religion. St. Vincent was indeed labouring outside the legitimate canonical authority of the Catholic Church, being subject to one who was not the Vicar of Christ, but was still a man who was orthodox in belief, showing no external signs of heresy.

Since St. Vincent invincibly believed that he was following the true Roman Pontiff (which is attested to by the fact that the Church has canonized him, and never once called him schismatic), he is not stained by any guilt in this matter in the eyes of God - and having already entered the Catholic Church by baptism and holding the Faith whole and inviolate, he cannot be said to have incurred the punishment otherwise inherent to submitting oneself to an antipope.  St. Vincent Ferrer submitted to Antipope Benedict XIII, with no way of being able to know that he was such.  If Benedict XIII had been publicly knowable as an antipope, those submitting to him would have been ipso facto excommunicated from the body of Christ.

Furthermore, this understanding of the teaching of Pope Pius IX also has support from one of the Fathers of the Church, St. Augustine:

St. Augustine (The Catholic Dogma, Fr. Michael Müller): "But those who through ignorance are baptized there (with heretics), judging the sect to be the Church of Christ, sin less than these (who know it to be heretical); nevertheless they are wounded by the sacrilege of schism, and therefore sin not light, because others sin more gravely."

Note that St. Augustine says through ignorance, not invincible ignorance. Their ignorance would almost certainly be culpable - invincible means "impossible to overcome by study", according to St. Thomas. If someone has joined a heretical sect, following God's grace and asking the right questions would allow them to quickly overcome their ignorance by spotting the inconsistencies of the sect's heresies. Hence St. Augustine does not hesitate to mark such people as schismatic.

St. Augustine, On Baptism (Against the Donatists), Chapter 4: "And just as baptism is of no profit to the man who renounces the world in words and not in deeds, so it is of no profit to him who is baptized in heresy or schism; but each of them, when he amends his ways, begins to receive profit from that which before was not profitable, but was yet already in him."

Also, the Dimonds present Canon 2314 from the '1917 Code of Canon Law' in defense of the sede vacante position (despite it's invalidity due to promulgation by a heretical antipope):

1917 "Code of Canon Law", Canon 2314, §1: "All apostates from the Christian faith and every heretic or schismatic incur the following penalties: (1) ipso facto excommunication;”

But they leave out the following two canons:

(3): “…if they have joined a non-Catholic sect or have publicly adhered to it, they incur infamy ipso facto…”

Canon 2200 §2: "Positing an external violation of the law, dolus [evil will] in the external forum is presumed until the contrary is proven."

So even the '1917 Code of Canon Law' is against them, teaching that, not only in this matter, but also in regard to their sacrilegious reception of Sacraments at the hands of apostate priests.

The Dimonds even further deny a proposition taught by their antipope Pius XI (11):

Antipope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos (#11), 1928: "Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors. "

This quote is presented, not to give credence or any semblance of authority to Pius XI himself, but to show that the Dimonds are inconsistent and contradicting a man they recognize as a pope.  Certainly, though he may have gotten many things right, Pius XI is nevertheless a manifest heretic and a schismatic who must be denounced as not ever having held the office of the papacy.  But if the Dimonds were to hold him as a pope, then they would have to be consistent and understand the dogmatic definition of Pope Boniface VIII in light of Pius XI's words.  In other words, they would have to hold that nobody above the age of reason is subject to the Roman Pontiff unless he ACCEPTS, RECOGNIZES and OBEYS the office of the papacy as having supreme authority.

To sum up:

Does the Divine Law not teach to profess the true religion? Does the Divine Law not teach to reject heresy, heretics and communion with heretics and all other enemies of God? Not only is it forbidden by Divine Law to reject the Catholic Church, but it is commanded that we MUST reject false worship, failure to do so being schism.

Pope Pius IX (9), Singulari Quadem, December 9, 1854: "For it must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood; but, on the other hand, it is necessary to hold for certain that they who labor in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, are not stained by any guilt in this matter in the eyes of God. Now, in truth, who would arrogate so much to himself as to mark the limits of such an ignorance, because of the nature and variety of peoples, regions, innate dispositions, and of so many other things? For, in truth, when released from these corporeal chains "we shall see God as He is" [1 John 3:2], we shall understand perfectly by how close and beautiful a bond divine mercy and justice are united; but, as long as we are on earth, weighed down by this mortal mass which blunts the soul, let us hold most firmly that, in accordance with Catholic teaching, there is "one God, one faith, one baptism" [Eph. 4:5]; it is unlawful to proceed further in inquiry."

So even though it is possible that God may very well judge this or that person who is objectively in a heretical sect to have been invincibly ignorant and not culpably ignorant of the fact that the sect is not the true Church, the Catholic Faithful must judge based on objectively knowable facts, and adherence to a sect is both objective and knowable, while the internal disposition of any particular individual is not. It is unlawful, therefore, to hold that such adherents are Catholics until they explicitly abjure and enter into communion with the Catholic Church.

More from The Catholic Dogma, Fr. Michael Müller

"Those who have learned theology well," says St. Basil, “will not allow even one iota of Catholic dogmas to be betrayed. They will, if necessary, willingly undergo any kind of death in their defence." (Apud. Theod., lib. 4, Hist. Eccl., c. xvii.)

Almighty God, who is just and condemns no one without his fault, puts, therefore, such souls as are in invincible ignorance of the truths of salvation, in the way of salvation, either by natural or supernatural means...

Almighty God can also, by a miracle, carry a priest to a person invincibly ignorant and living up to the dictates of his conscience; or he can carry such a person to a priest--­or make use of an angel or a saint to lead him to the way of salvation...

About these miraculous conversions Dr. O. A. Brownson well remarks:--

“That there may be persons in heretical and schismatical societies, invincibly ignorant of the Church, who so perfectly correspond to the [prevenient] graces they receive, that Almighty God will, by extraordinary means, bring them to the Church, is believable and perfectly compatible with the known order of his grace, as is evinced by two beautiful examples recorded in Holy Scripture. The one is that of the eunuch of Candice, Queen of Ethiopia: he, following the lights that God gave him, though living at a great distance from Jerusalem, became acquainted with the worship of the true God, and was accustomed to go from time to time to Jerusalem to adore him. When, however, the Gospel began to be published, the Jewish religion could no longer save him; but being well disposed, by fidelity to the graces he had hitherto received, he was not forsaken by Almighty God; for when he was returning to his own country from Jerusalem, the Lord sent a message by an angel to St. Philip to meet and instruct him in the faith of Christ, and baptize him (Acts, viii. 26). The other example is that of Cornelius, who was an officer of the Roman army of the Italic band, and brought up in idolatry. In the course of events, his regiment coming to Judea, he saw there a religion different from his own,--the worship of one only God. Grace moving his heart, he believed in this God, and following the further notion's of divine grace, he gave much alms to the poor, and prayed earnestly to this God to direct him what to do. Did God abandon him? By no means; he sent an angel from heaven to tell him to whom to apply in order to be fully instructed in the knowledge and faith of Jesus Christ, and to be received into his Church by baptism. Now, what God did in these two cases he is no less able to do in all others, and has a thousand ways in his wisdom to conduct souls who are truly in earnest to the knowledge of the truth, and to salvation. And though such a soul were in the remotest wilds of the world, God could send a Philip, or an angel from heaven, to instruct him, or, by the superabun­dance of his internal grace, or by numberless other ways unknown to us, could infuse into his soul the knowledge of the truth. The great affair is, that we carefully do our part in complying with what he gives us; for of this we are certain, that, if we be not wanting to him, he will never be wanting to us, but, as he begins the good work in us, will also perfect it, if we be careful to correspond and to put no hindrance to his designs.

“However, in all the instances of extraordinary or miraculous intervention of Almighty God, whether in the order of nature, or in the order of grace known to us, he has intervened ad Ecclesiam, and there is not a shadow of authority for supposing that he ever has miraculously intervened or ever will intervene otherwise. To assume that he will, under any circumstances, intervene to save men without the medium ordinarium, (the Church) is perfectly gratui­tous, to say the least. To bring men in an extraordinary manner to the Church is easily admissible, because it does not dispense with the revealed economy of salvation, nor imply its inadequacy, but to intervene to save them with­out it appears to us to dispense with it, and to imply that it is not adequate to the salvation of all whom God's goodness leads him to save. That those in societies alien to the Church, invincibly ignorant of the Church, if they corre­spond to the graces they receive, and persevere, will be saved, we do not doubt, but not where they are, or without being brought to the Church. They are sheep in the prescience of God, Catholics, but sheep not yet gathered into the fold. “Other sheep I have," says our Blessed Lord, "that are not of this fold; them also I must bring; they shall hear my voice; and there shall be made one fold and one shepherd." This is conclusive, and that these must be brought, and enter the fold, which is the Church, in this life, as St. Augustine expressly teaches."

But is no one brought to the Faith and Church of Christ but those who correspond as they ought with the graces received before?

“God forbid," says Bishop Hay: “for, though it be certain that God will never fail to bring all those to the Faith and Church of Christ who faithfully correspond with the graces he bestows upon them, yet he has nowhere bound himself to bestow that singular mercy on no other. Were this the case, how few, indeed, would receive it! But God, to show the infinite riches of his goodness and mercy, be­stows it on many of the most undeserving; he bestowed it even upon many of the hardened Jews who crucified Jesus Christ, and of the priests who persecuted him to death, even though they had obstinately opposed all the means he had previously used by his doctrine and miracles to convert them. In this he acts as Lord and Master, and as a free disposer of his own gifts; he gives to all the helps necessary and sufficient for their present state; to those who cooperate with these helps he never fails to give more abundantly; and in order to show the riches of his mercy on numbers of the most undeserving, he bestows his most singular favors for their conversion. Hence none have cause to complain; all ought to be solicitous to cooperate with what they have; none ought to despair on account of their past ingratitude, but be assured that God, who is rich in mercy, will yet have mercy on them, if they return to him. Those only ought to fear and tremble who remain obstinate in their evil ways, who continue to resist the calls of his mercy, and put off their conversion from day to day. For though his in­finite mercy knows no bounds in pardoning sins, however numerous and grievous, if we repent, yet the offers of his mercy are limited, and if we exceed these limits by our obstinacy, there will be no more mercy for us. The time of mercy is fixed for every one, and if we fail to embrace its offers within that time, the gates of mercy will be closed against us. When the bridegroom has once entered into the marriage-chamber the doors are shut, and the foolish virgins who were unprepared are for ever excluded, with this dreadful reproach from Jesus Christ, --I know ye not, depart from me, ye workers of iniquity. Seeing, therefore, that no man knows how long the time of mercy will last for him, he ought not to delay a moment; if he neglect the present offer, it may be the last. That hour will come like a thief in the night when we least expect it, as Christ himself assures us, and therefore he commands us to be always ready."

"Let us mark well: To assert that acts of divine faith, hope, and charity are possible out of the Catholic Church is a direct denial of the article of faith: There is positively no salvation out of the Catholic Church; for, on account of these acts, God unites himself with the soul in time and eternity. If these acts, then, were possible out of the Catholic Church, there would be salvation out of the Catholic Church, to say which is a direct denial of the above article of faith, and therefore the assertion is heretical."

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Benedict XV heretical again in 1918, Dimonds hypocrites again

Antipope Benedict XV? I think he did indeed. This following excerpt PERFECTLY describes the situation with Benedict XV and his (not too) subtle inculcation of heresy:

1 Thessalonians 5:3: "For when they shall say, peace and security; then shall sudden destruction come upon them, as the pains upon her that is with child, and they shall not escape."

In fact, you can see an example of this heresy war being raged in the following quote from the evil antipope:

Antipope Benedict XV, Quod Iam Diu, (#1-2), 1918: "Soon the [non-Catholic] delegates of the various nations will meet in solemn congress to give the world a just and lasting peace; no human assembly has ever had before it such serious and complex determinations as they will have to take. ... in order that there may come from the [non-Catholic] Congress shortly to be held that great gift of heaven ... the decisions which are to be taken to ensure for ever in the world the tranquility of order and concord be willingly accepted and faithfully carried out by Catholics everywhere."

This is opposed to the words of Christ:

St. John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth"

But Benedict XV asked Catholics to willingly accept and faithfully carry out the peace that the world giveth, a peace which would be dictated by a Godless assembly of post-revolution governments.

And Antipope Benedict XVI, the current antipope, is simply rehashing, albeit more boldly, what was begun by the antipope of the same name nearly a hundred years ago. The following are specific excerpts quoted from the Dimonds' site, which the brothers condemn, despite the striking similarity between these and the teachings of Antipope Benedict XV. This once again shows them to be completely arbitrary in their judgments:

Antipope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Charity in Truth #56: “The Christian religion and other religions can offer their contribution to development only if God has a place in the public realm, specifically in regard to its cultural, social, economic, and particularly its political dimensions. The Church's social doctrine came into being in order to claim “citizenship status” for the Christian religion. Denying the right to profess one's religion in public and the right to bring the truths of faith to bear upon public life has negative consequences for true development. The exclusion of religion from the public square — and, at the other extreme, religious fundamentalism — hinders an encounter between persons and their collaboration for the progress of humanity. Public life is sapped of its motivation and politics takes on a domineering and aggressive character.”

Antipope Benedict XVI teaches the heresy that other religions can offer a true contribution to a positive development in the world. He then says that “denying the right to profess one’s religion in public has negative consequences for true development.” This is heresy. Benedict XVI then utters the heresy that when different false religious beliefs are excluded from the public sphere it hinders the progress of humanity and “public life is sapped of its motivation.”

Antipope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Charity in Truth #57: “Fruitful dialogue between faith and reason cannot but render the work of charity more effective within society, and it constitutes the most appropriate framework for promoting fraternal collaboration between believers and non-believers in their shared commitment to working for justice and the peace of the human family. In the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, the Council fathers asserted that ‘believers and unbelievers agree almost unanimously that all things on earth should be ordered towards man as to their centre and summit’. For believers, the world derives neither from blind chance nor from strict necessity, but from God's plan. This is what gives rise to the duty of believers to unite their efforts with those of all men and women of good will, with the followers of other religions and with non-believers, so that this world of ours may effectively correspond to the divine plan: living as a family under the Creator's watchful eye.”

Antipope Benedict XVI says that believers and non-believers help bring justice and peace to the human family. He then utters the blasphemy that all things on earth should be ordered toward man, instead of God. Benedict XVI then utters the heresy that when believers in any religion on the planet work together the world will more correctly follow the divine plan.

Antipope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Charity in Truth #67: “In the face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth. One also senses the urgent need to find innovative ways of implementing the principle of the responsibility to protect and of giving poorer nations an effective voice in shared decision-making. This seems necessary in order to arrive at a political, juridical and economic order which can increase and give direction to international cooperation for the development of all peoples in solidarity. To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago. Such an authority would need to be regulated by law, to observe consistently the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, to seek to establish the common good, and to make a commitment to securing authentic integral human development inspired by the values of charity in truth. Furthermore, such an authority would need to be universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights. Obviously it would have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated measures adopted in various international forums. Without this, despite the great progress accomplished in various sectors, international law would risk being conditioned by the balance of power among the strongest nations. The integral development of peoples and international cooperation require the establishment of a greater degree of international ordering, marked by subsidiarity, for the management of globalization. They also require the construction of a social order that at last conforms to the moral order, to the interconnection between moral and social spheres, and to the link between politics and the economic and civil spheres, as envisaged by the Charter of the United Nations.”


Still think these men are not evil, heretical antipopes? Still think they're just dumbo bumbling Catholic popes who mean well but get everything wrong and lead souls to hell in the process??

Further Catholic teachings on peace:

Fourth Lateran Council, 1215: "rulers of the christian people keep peace with each other"

Pope Benedict XIV, Peregrinantes, (#4), 1749: "cries to the Lord for pardon and peace for the faithful"

Why only peace for Catholics? Because peace for non-Catholics would not help in their conversions and eternal well-being. Common sense! Benedict XV lies about what true peace is and therefore lies about the Prince of Peace. True peace can only come when all states are CATHOLIC.

Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, (#23), 1832: "Placed as if they were parents and teachers of the people, they will bring them true peace and tranquility, if they take special care that religion and piety remain safe."

And now here's more from the antipope of the early 20th century:

Antipope Benedict XV, Pacem, Dei Munus Pulcherriumum, (#17-19), 1920: "... it is much to be desired, Venerable Brethren, that all States [Catholic and non-Catholic], putting aside mutual suspicion, should unite in one league, or rather a sort of family of peoples, calculated both to maintain their own independence and safeguard the order of human society. ... To come back to what We said at the beginning, We turn affectionately to all Our children and conjure them in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ to forget mutual differences and offences and draw together in the bonds of Christian charity, from which none are excluded and within which none are strangers. We fervently exhort all the nations [Catholic and non-Catholic], under the inspiration of Christian benevolence, to establish a true peace among themselves and join together in an [non-Catholic] alliance which shall be just and therefore lasting."

This is heresy and perhaps the most evil of all heresies, except for the explicit denial of God, because it will lead to the denial of every other dogma. It leads to calling non-Catholic "family" on Earth, which will result in the denial of the salvation dogma and many other dogmas.

Notice the emphasis on creating a worldwide human "family". Is this allowable? Are Catholics and Catholic nations to unite with demons and demon nations? No, this is a denial of Scripture and 2000 years of Catholic teaching that Catholics do not unite with non-Catholics.

It is a dogma that peace can only exist with concord in religious doctrines. Benedict XV denies this dogma. Explicit heresy!

Pope St. Leo the Great, Council of Chalcedon, ex cathedra: "In establishing his disciples in the knowledge of the faith, our lord and Savior Christ said: "My peace I give you, my peace I leave to you"', so that no one should disagree with his neighbour regarding religious doctrines but that the proclamation of the truth would be uniformly presented. But the evil one never stops trying to smother the seeds of religion with his own tares and is for ever inventing some novelty or other against the truth; ..."

Moreover, the Church militant has always held that peace can only exist among Christians, and that we war against heretics.

Pope Innocent IV, Council of Lyons, 1274: "we therefore ordain, with the approval of this holy and general synod, that peace be generally kept in the whole world among Christians"

Pope Clement XIV, Salutis Nostrae, 1774: "they must pray to God for the exaltation of Holy Church, the destruction of heresies, peace among Catholic rulers, and the safety and quiet of the Christian people"

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Athanasian Creed

"Whoever wills to be saved, before all things it is necessary that he holds the Catholic Faith. Unless a person keeps this Faith whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish eternally.

"The Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in the Trinity, and the Trinity in unity, neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is one, the glory equal, and the majesty co-eternal.

"Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit. The Father uncreated the Son uncreated and the Holy Spirit uncreated. The Father infinite, the Son infinite and the Holy Spirit infinite.

"The Father eternal, the Son eternal and the Holy Spirit eternal. Yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal. As also they are not three uncreateds nor three infinites, but one uncreated and one infinite. Likewise the Father is almighty, the Son is almighty and the Holy Spirit is almighty.

"Yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty. Likewise the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God. Yet they are not three gods, but one God.

"Likewise the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord and the Holy Spirit is Lord. Yet they are not three lords, but one Lord.

"For just as we are compelled by the Christian truth to acknowledge each person by himself to be God and Lord, so we are forbidden by the Catholic religion to say there are three gods or three lords.

"The Father is made by none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is from the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten. The Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son; not made nor created nor begotten, but proceeding.

"So there is one Father, not three fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits. And in this Trinity nothing is before or after, nothing is greater or less; but the whole three persons are co-eternal together and co-equal.

"So that in all things, as aforesaid, the unity in Trinity and the Trinity in unity is to be worshipped. Whoever, therefore, wishes to be saved, let him think thus of the Trinity.

"It is also necessary for salvation to believe Faithfully the Incarnation of our lord Jesus Christ. The right Faith, therefore, is that we believe and confess that our lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, is God and man. God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the ages; and man, of the substance of his mother, born in the world.

"Perfect God, perfect man, subsisting of a rational soul and human flesh. Equal to the Father according to his Godhead, less than the Father according to his humanity. Although he is God and man, he is not two, but one Christ.

"One, however, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by the taking of humanity into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as a reasoning soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ.

"He suffered for our salvation and descended into hell. On the third day he rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty. Thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. At his coming all shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give an account of their own deeds. Those who have done good shall go into eternal life, but those who have done evil shall go into eternal fire.

"This is the Catholic Faith. Unless a person believes it faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved."

This creed was decreed ex cathdera by Pope Eugene IV at the Council of Florence in AD 1439. It is infallible and an objective and absolute truth. Every single member of the whole human race must know and believe the above in order to be said to hold the Catholic Faith, in order to have a chance to be saved. To deny any article of it at all, including the first and last phrases, is heresy.

Any person who is unaware of any of the points of doctrine contained in this Creed is outside the Church and still in his sins.  While there is such a thing as material heresy - that is heresy without the will to oppose the Church, and it does not always mean a person is in sin, any incorrect belief or lack of knowledge against the above dogmas means certain damnation, unless it is corrected before death, as it is clearly defined:

"Whoever wills to be saved, before all things it is necessary that he holds the Catholic Faith. Unless a person keeps this Faith whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish eternally.  The Catholic Faith is this, [the articles]  This is the Catholic Faith. Unless a person believes it faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved."

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Baptism of Blood is heresy

Addendum: please see I have to stop fighting baptism of desire and admit that I am more confused about the Crisis now than I was when I thought I had a tidy answer

Depending on how you understand it, Baptism of Blood is heresy. The idea that a person can be saved by baptism of blood, when applied to unbaptized persons, like baptism of desire, is a heresy in opposition to the dogmatic definitions from the Councils of Vienne, Florence (Exultate Deo) and Trent, which teach that the sacrament of Holy Baptism is of absolute necessity unto salvation. So an unbaptized person, who is outside the Church, cannot shed blood for the name of Christ and attain salvation, since he has not yet received baptism in water.

Common objection: What about St. Mark 10:38: "And Jesus said to them: You know not what you ask. Can you drink of the chalice that I drink of: or be baptized with the baptism wherewith I am baptized?" Surely this referred to martyrdom as a kind of baptism?

Well yes it did, didn't it? And rightly so. It is a dogmatic truth of the Catholic Faith that baptism is the only sacrament that provides complete and total remission for all sins and forgives all punishment due to sins. And Catholics hold it as true that martyrdom does the same exact thing.

Does this mean that a person who is unbaptized can attain salvation by martyrdom, as the Baptism of blood heretics like to assert? Of course not. Why would they create an unprecedented scenario that rivals the account of the Gospel? If they say that Jesus called his Passion a baptism, and that for this reason unbaptized people who undergo a 'passion' in His name can attain salvation, they ignore a very important part of the Gospel. Jesus was already baptized when He underwent His sufferings and death.

St. Mark 1:9: "And it came to pass, in those days, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan."

Baptism of blood heretics may say they believe in the necessity of water baptism, but then they turn around and say that God is not bound by His own sacraments, and can save whomever He wills. Again they ignore an important part of the Gospel.

St. Matthew 3:13-15: "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan, unto John, to be baptized by him. But John stayed him, saying: I ought to be baptized by thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering, said to him: Suffer it to be so now. For so it becometh us to fulfill all justice. Then he suffered him."

Jesus Christ instituted the sacrament of baptism, the sacrament of Faith, as the sole means by which we may enter into His Church and be adopted as the sons and daughters of God. It is true that by the power of His Divinity, He could save anyone whom He wills, even the non-baptized, but this would be directly opposed to justice, since He has oathed Himself to the sacrament.

St. John 3:5: "Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

The God-man, Jesus Christ, says quite clearly "...it becometh us to fulfill all justice" and since He is unchanging, He is not about to alter the way in which He brings souls to salvation.

Furthermore, martyrdom is not a sacrament, and we know from the profession of faith of Pope Pius IX at the Vatican Council that the reception of sacraments is necessary for salvation.

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council, Session 2, Profession of Faith: "I profess also that there are seven sacraments of the new law, truly and properly so called, instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ and necessary for salvation, though each person need not receive them all. They are: 1. baptism, 2. confirmation, 3. the Eucharist, 4. penance, 5. last anointing, 6. order and 7. matrimony; and they confer grace. Of these baptism, confirmation and order may not be repeated without sacrilege."

So it clearly follows that at least one sacrament is necessary for salvation, that one sacrament being baptism in water. Without this sacrament, a person is not a member of the Church, and cannot attain salvation, even if he sheds his blood for the name of Christ.

Catholic martyrs are those who have been baptized, and have died for the true Faith of the true God, while holding and professing that same Faith. The only sense in which this is similar to baptism, is that by their death, it is believed that they are forgiven for all sins they have committed since their baptism as well as for the temporal punishment due to those sins, and that they fly straight to heaven to meet Him for whom they have died.

As for the final objection, that the Church has the Feast of the Holy Innocents, and recognizes St. Dismas (the good thief) as a saint:

A person might as well argue that Moses was not baptized, since all of these events took place BEFORE the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, before the law of Baptism was promulgated:

Catechism of the Council of Trent, Baptism made obligatory after Christ's Resurrection, p. 171: "Holy writers are unanimous in saying that after the Resurrection of our Lord, when He gave His Apostles the command to go and teach all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, the law of Baptism became obligatory on all who were to be saved."

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?

Limbo of Infants Without Fire is heretical

We already know that unbaptized infants go into hell if they die before baptism, according to the infallible dogmatic definitions fromthe Council of Florence:

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Session 6, ex cathedra: "But the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in original sin alone, go down straightaway to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains."

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Session 11, ex cathedra: "With regard to children, since the danger of death is often present and the only remedy available to them is the sacrament of baptism by which they are snatched away from the dominion of the devil and adopted as children of God, it admonishes that sacred baptism is not to be deferred ..."

So the Limbo that one is free to believe unbaptized infants go into when they die is a part of hell.  However, some have chosen to believe also that there is no fire in Limbo, and often cite a teaching of Pope Pius VI for support.  But Pope Pius VI did not teach Limbo without fire, as some people would have you think, in the following decree:

Pope Pius VI, Auctorem Fidei, #26: "The doctrine which rejects as a Pelagian fable, that place of the lower regions (which the faithful generally designate by the name of the limbo of children) in which the souls of those departing with the sole guilt of original sin are punished with the punishment of the condemned, exclusive of the punishment of fire, just as if, by this very fact, that these who remove the punishment of fire introduced that middle place and state free of guilt and of punishment between the kingdom of God and eternal damnation, such as that about which the Pelagians idly talk,—false, rash, injurious to Catholic schools."

The important things to note here are that he does not condemn anything as heretical, and neither does he condemn any and all doctrines which reject limbo, but only that which does so on a certain premise, as indicated by the words "just as if, by this very fact, that these who remove the punishment of fire introduced that middle place..."

He likely said this because the Thomistic understanding of limbo was one in which the souls of unbaptized infants went to hell, though they did not suffer fire, as opposed to going to some middle place between heaven and hell. He may have believed, however erroneously, that one was free to accept limbo, so long as they did not believe it to be in some middle place, although this is only conjecture, and there is no proof that that is what he thought. What we do know for certain is that he condemned the doctrine that insisted limbo must be rejected because it must necessarily means a middle place. This decree of Pope Pius VI simply asserts that just because one believes in limbo does not necessarily mean that they believe in a middle place between heaven and hell, but it does not actually define, teach or decree that limbo without fire is either a dogma, or even an allowable opinion in itself.

If Pope Pius VI believed that limbo was a dogma of the Faith, he would have condemned any and all doctrines (not only the foundational premise of only one particular such doctrine) which reject it, and he would have condemned them as heretical and not just as false, rash, etc.

An example is Auctorem Fidei #2, which states: "The proposition which states "that power has been given by God to the Church, that it might be communicated to the pastors who are its ministers for the salvation of souls"; if thus understood that the power of ecclesiastical ministry and of rule is derived from the COMMUNITY of the faithful to the pastors,—heretical."

So nobody can argue from this decree of Auctorem Fidei that Pope Pius VI believed that limbo is a dogma of the Catholic Faith, or that he necessarily even believe in it at all. Again, it cannot be said that he was explicitly teaching its existence, since it is implicit in the very words of #26 that one is still free to reject a fireless limbo on other premises, provided they are the correct premises.  The fact is we are bound to reject a fireless limbo on the premise that it contradicts the dogma that all who die outside the Church will go into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Session 11, AD 1442: "It 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 to the Catholic Church before the end of their lives;"

Unbaptized infants are included in "all those who are outside the Catholic Church", and thus will go into the eternal fire. It is really that simple. Pope Pius VI did not deny this teaching, as reading his words carefully will show. It is quite probable that he believed unbaptized infants suffer no fire, but his words do not univocally say so, and there would be no contradiction at all if at the end of Auctorem Fidei #26, he had added: "However the belief in that place of the lower regions (which the faithful generally designate by the name of the limbo of children) in which the souls of those departing with the sole guilt of original sin are punished with the punishment of the condemned, exclusive of the punishment of fire, just as if, by this very fact, that these who remove the punishment of fire denied the Council of Florence, -heretical."

However, since he most likely believed that unbaptized infants suffer no fire, he did not state this. His words are not heretical, but leave open a very big gap that can only be filled by accepting firmly and faithfully the teaching of Pope Eugene IV at the Council of Florence. The most we can do is speculate that he may have believed material heresy, not having taken note of the definition from Florence. However there is no way to prove from the objective sense of the text that he definitely did believe in or teach limbo, and as such he cannot have been called a public heretic, who lost office in the Catholic Church.

Some saints taught this truth:

Saint Fulgentius: “The quality of an evil life begins with lack of faith, which takes its beginnings from the guilt of original sin. In it, each one begins to live in such a way that, before he ends his life, which is ended when freed from its bonds, if that soul has lived in the body for the space of one day or one hour, it is necessary that it suffer with that same body the endless punishments of Hell, where the devil with his angles will burn forever. […] Hold most firmly and never doubt that, not only adults with the use of reason but also children who either begin to live in the womb of their mothers and who die there or, already born from their mothers, pass from this world without the sacrament of holy baptism, must be punished with the endless penalty of eternal fire. Even if they have no sin from their actions, still, by their carnal conception and birth, they have contracted the damnation of original sin.” (To Peter on the Faith 36, 70)

Not to mention, the Council of Carthage also proclaimed this.

Seventeenth Council of Carthage, AD 419: "[Also it seemed good, that if anyone should say that the saying of the Lord, "In my Father's house are many mansions" is to be understood as meaning that in the kingdom of heaven there will be a certain middle place, or some place somewhere, in which infants live in happiness who have gone forth from this life without baptism, without which they cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, which is eternal life, let him be anathema. For after our Lord has said: "Except a man be born again of water and of the Holy Spirit he shall not enter the kingdom of heaven," what Catholic can doubt that he who has not merited to be coheir with Christ shall become a sharer with the devil: for he who fails of the right hand without doubt shall receive the left hand portion.]"

Finally, there is no disputing with the words of St. Gregory the Great:

Pope St. Gregory the Great, Moralia (Morals on the Book of Job, Volume 1) 9: 32“For there be some that are withdrawn from the present light, before they attain to shew forth the good or evil deserts of an active life. And whereas the Sacraments of salvation do not free them from the sin of their birth, at the same time that here they never did aright by their own act; there they are brought to torment. And these have one wound, viz. to be born in corruption, and another, to die in the flesh. But forasmuch as after death there also follows, death eternal, by a secret and righteous judgment ‘wounds are multiplied to them without cause.’ For they even receive everlasting torments, who never sinned by their own will. And hence it is written, Even the infant of a single day is not pure in His sight upon earth. Hence ‘Truth’ says by His own lips, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Hence Paul says, We were by nature the children of wrath even as others. He then that adding nothing of his own is mined by the guilt of birth alone, how stands it with such an one at the last account, as far as the calculation of human sense goes, but that he is ‘wounded without cause?’ And yet in the strict account of God it is but just that the stock of mortality, like an unfruitful tree, should preserve in the branches that bitterness which it drew from the root. Therefore he says, For He shall break me with a tempest, and multiply my wounds without cause. As if reviewing the woes of mankind he said in plain words; ‘With what sort of visitation does the strict Judge mercilessly slay those, whom the guilt of their own deeds condemns, if He smites for all eternity even those, whom the guilt of deliberate choice does not impeach?’”

This article is one in an important series on The Dimonds' soul damning errors.

I have recently received the objection that "Florence does not state that ALL outside the Church go into the fire, but only 'those' listed in the decree, namely pagans, Jews, heretics and schismatics."

First of all, this objection, which is solely based on the word "those", and tries to equate it to the word "these", and which suggests that the definition is deliberately limiting itself to "these" groups of people mentioned, is actually quibbling about a word that does not even exist in the original language of the definition, which is Latin.

Wikipedia, Article (grammar), Variation among languages: "Linguists believe the common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, Proto Indo-European, did not have articles. Most of the languages in this family do not have definite or indefinite articles; there is no article in Latin [...]

"The words this and that (and their plurals, these and those) can be understood in English as, ultimately, forms of the definite article the (whose declension in Old English included thaes, an ancestral form of this/that and these/those)."

Here is the Latin text, to further drive the point home:

The key words to pay attention to are shown below with their translations (available to anyone with the internet):

nullos = no, none, not any

extra ecclesiam catholicam existentes
this should be pretty obvious to any English speaker.  "Outside church catholic existing"

non solum = not only
sed nec = but also, not to mention, nor
atque = as well as, together with, moreover/even

eterne vite fieri posse participes
eternal life made able participate

sed ignem eternum
but eternal fire


So to sum it up, the definition does not (cannot) actually have the word those or these.  The translators who put it into English were not translating word for word, but, at least attempted a translation of sense for sense.  If we were to adopt a more literal translation that is more word for word than the Tanner Edition of the Ecumenical Council's which is quoted, then we would end up with this:

"None existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews, or heretics together with schismatics , are made able to participate in eternal life, but go into eternal fire, etc."

But to drive the point home even further, let us consider the various groups mentioned:

Pagans, i.e. those who worship idols.

Jews, i.e. those who cling sinfully to the obsolete Old Law (or to the Talmud).

Heretics, i.e. those baptized persons who fraudulently maintain the name of Christian despite denying the doctrine of Christ.

Schismatics, i.e. those baptized persons who fraudulently maintain the name of Christian, who reject the authority of the Church or who adulterously commune in religious matters with heretics.

So according to the above decree, then (if we were to accept the already refuted position of the heretics who say that the word "those" makes some kind of intelligible difference in the dogmatic definition), ONLY pagans, Jews, heretics and schismatics are said to go into the fire.

So the heretics who make this claim need to say one of two things:

1) To be consistent, they must either say that the Council of Florence's definition does not include apostates, properly so-called, who do not technically fit the definition of the above.  They are not schismatics or heretics, since they no longer claim to be Christian (heretics and schismatics do).  Nor does it include atheists, since they worship neither idols, nor practice the old law, nor have many of them even been baptized, let alone do they claim to be Christian.  They would have to say it does not apply to deists, because these recognize that there is a sovereign God, but simply do not profess to know His identity, nor do they worship idols.

As a result of this inevitable misunderstanding of the Council of Florence, they cannot claim that it is heresy to say "deists, atheists and apostates don't go into the fire of hell", in reference to the definition.


2) They can admit that nullos means "no", "none", "not any", and therefore, the dogmatic definition is to be believed as it was declared, namely to say that none of those existing outside the Church may participate in everlasting life, but go into eternal fire.

Quick refresher:  How many ways are there into the Church?  One.  Baptism ALONE.  So it should really be a simple case of applying right reason, which will never contradict the dogmatic definitions of faith and vice versa.  None of those who have not entered the Church through the gate of Baptism can attain eternal life, but will go into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church through Baptism before the end of their lives, whether man or woman, young or old, genius or imbecile, elder or infant.

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?

The Dimonds' soul damning errors

Here are the errors of the Dimonds, of which I am aware, in brief, with references to the teachings they deny (by their fruits you shall know them), and links to articles with more detail:

Their schismatic belief that one may knowingly receive sacraments from heretics and schismatics, contrary to St. Thomas, Galatians 1:8-9 and Titus 3:10-11 and Catholic common sense and constant tradition.

Their heretical belief that canonizations are to be held as ex cathedra dogmatic definitions, contrary to Vatican Council, Session 4, Chapter 4, paragraph 6, decreed by Pope Pius IX (For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.);

Their schismatic denial that validly baptized children who are born and raised in heresy are schismatic upon attaining reason and free will, since at that point they are immediately bound by the divine law (including the law to profess the true religion and be subject and obedient to the Roman Pontiff), which not even the Church can dispense them from, and it is unlawful for the Catholic Faithful to presume invincible ignorance. The Dimonds basically argue that Protestants above the age of reason can be "Catholic without knowing it", while adhering to a sect that rejects the Catholic Faith, and subject to the Roman Pontiff, despite being subject to a religion that rejects the papacy.

Their heretical belief that the limbo of infants exclusive of fire is not only not heresy, but a dogma, by twisting Auctorem Fidei #26 into something it doesn't actually say and attributing to it greater authority than it wields and by making assumptions about the Council of Florence, Session 6 (But the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in original sin alone, go down straightaway to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains- which they translate as "punishments of different kinds"), which are contradicted by the Council of Florence, Session 11 (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...- unbaptized children are part of the "all those who are outside the catholic church").

Their adherence to the line of antipopes beginning with Leo XIII and including the antipopes Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII.  Are you aware, by the way, that the Dimonds actually believe that Benedict XV, Pius XI and Pius XII are true popes AND heads of the beast mentioned in the Apocalypse of St. John!?

With all of these errors and monumental self-contradictions, it is no wonder at all that the Dimonds do not teach the necessity of specific abjuration for converts from heresy and schism.

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Penance and Mortification

Please read also:

Leviticus 5:5: “Let him do penance for his sin”

St. Matthew 4:17: “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say: Do penance, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

There are many things that we can do for the sake of penance. First of all, any suffering we endure with a right intention, offering it up to the Lord, can be counted as penance. Our Lord, in His Sermon on the Mount, gives us a few examples of situations where such a penitential intention would be beneficial:

St. Luke 6:22-34: “Blessed shall you be when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Be glad in that day and rejoice; for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For according to these things did their fathers to the prophets. But woe to you that are rich: for you have your consolation. Woe to you that are filled: for you shall hunger. Woe to you that now laugh: for you shall mourn and weep.

“Woe to you when men shall bless you: for according to these things did their fathers to the false prophets. But I say to you that hear: Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them that calumniate you. And to him that striketh thee on the one cheek, offer also the other. And him that taketh away from thee thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every one that asketh thee, and of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again.

“And as you would that men should do to you, do you also to them in like manner. And if you love them that love you, what thanks are to you? for sinners also love those that love them. And if you do good to them who do good to you, what thanks are to you? for sinners also do this. And if you lend to them of whom you hope to receive, what thanks are to you? for sinners also lend to sinners, for to receive as much. But love ye your enemies: do good, and lend, hoping for nothing thereby: and your reward shall be great, and you shall be the sons of the Highest; for he is kind to the unthankful, and to the evil.”

We are all unthankful and evil, and there is nothing that we can do on our own to even come close to repaying the debt we owe God for sacrificing His only begotten Son for us. The price of our redemption was just too high, yet as our Lord says, the Highest is kind to the unthankful and to the evil. His infinite mercy grants us leniency in paying the debt back to Him, but that does not mean that we are completely off the hook.

All have sinned and are in need of God’s mercy. It is because of this mercy that God allows us time in this world to work. If we put off paying our debts to God, then we may still be given the opportunity to do so in the next world, in Purgatory, but it would be far easier to willingly chip away at it while still in the flesh.

Job 24:23-24: “God hath given him place for penance, and he abuseth it unto pride: but his eyes are upon his ways. They are lifted up for a little while and shall not stand, and shall be brought down as all things, and shall be taken away, and as the tops of the ears of corn they shall be broken.”

What can we do for penance and mortification?

Saints are renowned throughout history for their heroic penances. We should definitely take hints from them. It is true that we may not be saints ourselves, but this is no reason not to emulate them, in fact it is all the more reason to try our best to do so. Our thoughts should be ordered thus:

“I am unworthy to be compared with saints. Nevertheless, it is quite safe to aim at perfection by degrees. What is to hinder me taking up unaccustomed practices? God is able to help me. It often happens that some poor man follows in the path of a mighty and wealthy nobleman. Although the nobleman reaches the inn sooner and enjoys a delicious meal and rests on a soft bed, yet the poor man reaches the same inn, though later and there he partakes of the leftovers from the nobleman's meal. If he had not followed in the nobleman's path and sought the same inn, he would not have enjoyed his nobleman's meal. In the same way I say now that, although I am unworthy to be compared with saints, I do wish to follow along their path, so that at least I might be able to partake of their merits.”

Naturally we should begin to do penance, as we are able and should not presume to exceed our natural abilities. As time goes on, we will be able to do more and more, and we should do so, for the sake of sinners, as penance is also a wonderful way to hope for the conversion and salvation of those we love.

Job 42:10: “The Lord also was turned at the penance of Job, when he prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”

Some possible penitential or mortifying practices include taking cold showers, scourging oneself with a belt or a chain, wearing a hair-shirt, allowing a pebble in the shoe for the whole day, fasting, sleeping without a pillow, or without a blanket, or on the floor, praying while kneeling, genuflecting or bowing (especially on rocky ground or other hard surfaces). The important part of penance is that it is uncomfortable, inconvenient, even painful. Prudence must be your guide when performing penance, in order that you do neither take upon yourself too much nor increase your penances too fast. Doing so much penance that we become incapable of doing our duties, for example, would be sinful, if not also prideful. Nor should you do so little that it is rendered meaningless. As with all things, start small, and work your way up. Finally, do it in private, avoiding boasting and temptations to pride.

O my God, I offer this penance to Thee, in union with all the prayers said by Jesus during His holy life and bitter Passion, to satisfy Thy infinite justice, which I have offended by my many sins. Amen.

O my God, I offer this penance to Thee, in union with all the prayers said by Jesus during His holy life and bitter Passion, to satisfy Thy infinite justice, which I have offended by my many sins, and I offer it for the souls in Purgatory and the conversion of sinners, retaining only enough merit to be granted the grace of final perseverance in the true Faith and in the state of sanctifying grace. Amen.