Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fr. Leonard Goffine

This brief article is a necessary "public service announcement" to call attention to a book by Fr. Goffine, which is most excellent, however, at least in extant English translations, also contains passages that are potentially troublesome, though they can be still understood in an orthodox manner.

There is a twofold purpose to this article:  The first is to present it as a mostly reliable expositor of Christian beliefs, doctrine and discipline.  The book both presents and defends the true Catholic religion with remarkable alacrity, through reason, the works of the Early Church Fathers, Scripture and above all, deference to the Church's supreme Apostolic authority, established by Jesus Christ Himself.

The second and sad, but necessary, purpose of this article is to to point out passages that can be understood in an orthodox sense, and refute the unfortunate errors that some may be tempted to espouse upon reading them.

Found in the First Sunday After Easter

The above statement highlighted in red is heretical, if interpreted to mean that those who are unknowingly separated from the Church may be saved while remaining in that state.  This, indeed is false, as a simple reading of the Gospels will quite clearly reveal (St. John 3:5, 14:6), and as the Church has solemnly defined.  At this point it behooves the reader to learn the proper meaning of invincible ignorance in Catholic theology, as taught by St. Thomas Aquinas and later by Pope Pius IX, which meaning we must believe Father Goffine was proposing, unless this is merely an insertion by the translator.

Found in the 12th Sunday After Pentecost

The highlighted statement above is heretical, if by "all our neighbors" we include those who are as yet unbaptized, or who do not possess the Faith of Jesus Christ.  Only Catholics are adopted children of God, though all are created in the image and likeness of God and called to become Catholic.  Bear in mind that in a Catholic nation around that time, one's neighbours would have been Catholic, and this likely would have been the mind behind the statement.

Again, this book (unless I have missed other potentially problematic statements) not only teaches the Catholic Faith exceptionally well, but does so in a nigh irrefutable manner.  The greatest advantage of the book is that it predates the fall of the modern hierarchy into heresy.

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