Author Topic: Implicit BOD  (Read 1595 times)

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Offline DecemRationis

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Re: Implicit BOD
« Reply #30 on: September 15, 2020, 05:51:54 PM »
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  • Yes, this is a big problem with the circumcision position.  I personally do not believe that circumcision remitted Original Sin, as it were, ex opere operato.  So in the OT there were no just women who were saved, not even the likes of St. Ann?  There's something missing with the circumcision theory.  St. Paul seemed to indicate that OT justification came through faith in the coming Redeemer.

    And then there's Trent:


    Quote
    CHAPTER I.
    On the Inability of Nature and of the Law to justify man.

    The holy Synod declares first, that, for the correct and sound understanding of the doctrine of Justification, it is necessary [Page 31] that each one recognise and confess, that, whereas all men had lost their innocence in the prevarication of Adam-having become unclean, and, as the apostle says, by nature children of wrath, as (this Synod) has set forth in the decree on original sin,-they were so far the servants of sin, and under the power of the devil and of death, that not the Gentiles only by the force of nature, but not even the Jews by the very letter itself of the law of Moses, were able to be liberated, or to arise, therefrom; although free will, attenuated as it was in its powers, and bent down, was by no means extinguished in them.

    https://history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/ct06.html

    Shawn side-stepped the issue when I brought it up with a straw man stuffed with imaginary claims on my part that one couldn't follow St. Alphonsus and accusations of "grievous error" in St. Alphonsus and the pre-Vatican II Church that made him a saint/doctor that spelled out an interregnum well before Vat II.  

    St. Paul indeed indicated that OT justification came through faith, and spent chapters of Romans pointing that out with regard to the OT saint of saving faith, Father Abraham. One could argue that Abraham's faith was not implicit - Christ said Father Abraham "saw his day and was glad" in the Gospel of John - but here's my point again, differently worded.

    Even if one were to maintain that one could be justified by circumcision, it would be true that one could also be justified under the old dispensation by, as St. Alphonsus says, "perfect conversion to God by contrition and love of God above all things" moved by the grace ("wind") of the Holy Ghost.

    If one could also be justified that way after the promulgation of the Gospel, it appears to me then that Trent would be just blowing so much smoke in saying that the manner of justification, under the "law of grace," "since the promulgation of the Gospel, cannot be effected without the laver of regeneration, or the desire thereof."  
    I believe in the Apostolic Catholic Church. I reject and denounce the malfeasant or “dysfunctional papal or episcopal Newchurch.” - Father Paul Trinchard

    Offline DecemRationis

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    Re: Implicit BOD
    « Reply #31 on: September 15, 2020, 05:54:19 PM »
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  • It was highly disputed among the Church Fathers how the OT just were actually justified and/or saved.  Some Church Fathers actually believed that the reports of the dead coming from their tombs after the Resurrection was for the purpose of their getting baptized, so strongly did they believe in the necessity of Baptism for salvation.  Others felt that circumcision was required ... leaving the problem of whether the "noble pagan" could be saved.  Others felt that it was faith in the coming Redeemer.  It's not entirely clear.  All the Church Fathers agree, however, that the new economy of salvation after the "promulgation of the Gospel" (the term of St. Thomas) was different and that one could not draw conclusions from the OT dispensation to the requirements for salvation after Our Lord.

    I personally believe that the OT just were temporarily raised from the dead and baptized.  If that was not the case, then I believe that God still in an extraordinary manner bestowed the character of Baptism on the OT just so they could enter heaven, since I regard the Baptismal character as being what gives the human soul the capacity to see God as He is in the beatific vision, a faculty which human beings lack by nature.  It is also the mark by which God recognizes in baptized souls the image of His Son and thus admitting them into the family of the Holy Trinity as adopted sons.  That is my biggest issue with Baptism of Desire.  I would be much less averse to the theory if the BoD theorists actually held that those who are justified by BoD somehow receive this character in an extraordinary manner rather than the common opinion that anyone can enter into the Beatific Vision without it.


    Thanks for addressing the issue directly and squarely.
    I believe in the Apostolic Catholic Church. I reject and denounce the malfeasant or “dysfunctional papal or episcopal Newchurch.” - Father Paul Trinchard


    Offline DecemRationis

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    Re: Implicit BOD
    « Reply #32 on: September 15, 2020, 05:57:43 PM »
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  • Right, but he's speaking about the OT economy of salvation.  He clearly teaches that explicit faith in at least the Holy Trinity and Incarnation are necessary for salvation "since the promulgation of the Gospel" (i.e. in NT times).
    Exactly. 
    I believe in the Apostolic Catholic Church. I reject and denounce the malfeasant or “dysfunctional papal or episcopal Newchurch.” - Father Paul Trinchard

    Offline DecemRationis

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    Re: Implicit BOD
    « Reply #33 on: September 15, 2020, 05:59:41 PM »
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  • Very interesting, thank you. I believe that later (i.e. 1800s) editions of St. Alphonsus' Theologia Moralis may have been modified, just like e.g. the Catechism of St. Peter Canisius was modified in the early 1800s to teach BoD, which the original doesn't. Also, what they sell as "Catechism of St. Pius X" is not the one he himself wrote as a Priest. His own doesn't teach any BoD.
    And very interesting itself. And you'd be just the guy to get to the bottom of it. 
    I believe in the Apostolic Catholic Church. I reject and denounce the malfeasant or “dysfunctional papal or episcopal Newchurch.” - Father Paul Trinchard

    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: Implicit BOD
    « Reply #34 on: September 15, 2020, 07:35:02 PM »
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  • Sean, the definitions of “implicit faith” are not consistent between all those you list.  That’s the problem.  


    Offline forlorn

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    Re: Implicit BOD
    « Reply #35 on: September 15, 2020, 08:02:55 PM »
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  • From what I've seen explicit baptism of desire(a catechumen consciously wishing for baptism) has been taught by various theologians throughout basically the entirety of Church history, and has strong basis in Trent. And implicit baptism of desire in the sense of an earlier stage catechumen, who doesn't yet understand the sacraments well enough to wish for baptism, but who wants to be Catholic and believes in the Trinity etc., seems like it could be a logical extension of explicit BOD, even though there doesn't appear to be as much support for it. 

    But for the invincibly ignorant and infidels, 99.9% of support for it seems to come during and after the 1800s. I want to understand the logic behind it because almost every clergyman alive teaches it, and even +ABL taught it, but it just seems like a novelty and a flat-out contradiction of EENS to me. I don't believe that the entirety of the clergy could have fallen into heresy on such a basic dogma, but as of yet I haven't seen any good arguments defending their position. It's bizarre really.

    Offline ByzCat3000

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    Re: Implicit BOD
    « Reply #36 on: September 15, 2020, 08:49:25 PM »
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  • I think that two different considerations are typically conflated in this notion of "implicit" Baptism of Desire.

    There's the idea of implicit desire for Baptism proper and then idea of implicit faith.

    So, for instance, I am converted to the Church and want to become a Catholic, but I do not form the explicit intention "I desire to be Baptized."  One can see the DESIRE here to be implicit in the desire to become a Catholic.

    Then there's the notion of implicit faith, which many have promoted.  "I am a well-meaning pagan who follow my lights regarding the natural law."

    So this discussion gets confused the the degrees of "implicit"-ness, i.e. the degrees of separation from the explicit.

    It's absolutely indisputed that supernatural faith is required for salvation.  Lots of modern BoDers focus on the "desire" (an act of the will) but ignore the intellectual requirements for salvation, as if one can will to have supernatural faith without believing anything.  What's at issue is what are the requirements to have supernatural faith.  Can faith be implicit in my desire to know God?  All theologians agree that SOME things must be explicitly believed, with the vast majority (and absolute unanimity before the year 1600) holding that explicit belief in the Holy Trinity and Incarnation were necessary for salvation.  In other words, no Jew, Muslim, or any kind of infidel can possibly be saved.

    This was believed by all Catholics everywhere for the first 1600 years of Church history, meeting the criteria for infallible dogma based on the OUM.  Yet some Jesuits felt they were permitted to theorize that these were not necessary and that it was sufficient for supernatural faith just to believe in a God who rewards the good and punishes the wicked.  This was motivated by the desire to extend the possibility of salvation to infidels.

    Of course, recent Novus Ordo developments hold that atheists can be saved without ANY explicit belief whatsoever.

    I hold that Rewarder God theory is objectively heretical based on the teachings of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium.  Those who lived before Vatican II might be excused of formal heresy because the OUM had not clearly been defined, but this notion must now be rejected as absolutely heretical.
    When has it been explicitly defined exactly, if not before Vatican II?  And why don't any of the trad clergy seem to realize this?

    Offline SeanJohnson

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    Re: Implicit BOD
    « Reply #37 on: September 15, 2020, 09:11:14 PM »
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  • When has it been explicitly defined exactly, if not before Vatican II?  And why don't any of the trad clergy seem to realize this?

    I think Lad meant Vatican I, not Vatican II.

    But I already supplied a quote from St. Thomas explaining that implicit faith (his term) suffices, so long as there is an explicit faith in at least one article of faith.

    Yet I remain unclear about what precisely he thinks Vatican I said which would purport to annul the common and constant teaching of the OUM (and the EM, per Trent) on BOD.
    Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

    -I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-


    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: Implicit BOD
    « Reply #38 on: September 15, 2020, 09:50:18 PM »
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  • Quote
    From what I've seen explicit baptism of desire(a catechumen consciously wishing for baptism) has been taught by various theologians throughout basically the entirety of Church history, and has strong basis in Trent.
    The whole 'explicit' vs 'implicit' has caused a grand scale of confusion.  That's the problem.  St Thomas and St Alphonsus use the terms specifically, while Modernists/liberals use it too generally.
    .

    Quote
    And implicit baptism of desire in the sense of an earlier stage catechumen, who doesn't yet understand the sacraments well enough to wish for baptism, but who wants to be Catholic and believes in the Trinity etc., seems like it could be a logical extension of explicit BOD, even though there doesn't appear to be as much support for it.
    I would say that what you describe above is an orthodox theory of BOD, which St Thomas and Alphonsus would agree with.  The key elements are there, 1) "wants to be catholic" = desire for the Church = desire for Baptism.  2) Believes in the Trinity, which includes belief in Christ's Incarnation (if you believe that Christ is God then it's logical to say you believe He came to earth and was born of a Virgin), therefore both of the minimal doctrines necessary to join the Church are present.
    .
    The heresies of BOD arise when people start saying that "implicit desire" is sufficient for BOD, but they define "implicit desire" in some abstract/non-catholic way.  When the catechumen has no understanding/desire for 1) baptism, 2) entering the Church, 3) the doctrines of the Incarnation and Trinity....then it is impossible for him to have "implicit desire" for baptism.
    .
    As the Holy Office letter (1800s?) to the missionaries said, the native indians could not be baptized (even if on their death bed) if they did not have an understanding/acceptance of (at least) the Incarnation/Trinity.  When St Thomas and St Alphonsus spoke of "implicit desire of baptism", their definition ALWAYS included these 2 doctrines, as a necessity.
    .
    Thus, when we hear of +ABL or any other prelate who speaks of the "invincibly ignorant" having BOD, this is impossible, for no one can desire baptism/Church without knowing/accepting these minimum doctrines of the Faith.  Contrary to what V2's Lumen Gentium heretically proposed, those who desire to do "god's will" and who are "sincere" in seeking God cannot be saved in such a state.  Those that seek God will infallibly find Him, in His Church, this Scripture tells us many times.  But UNTIL they find the Church, and UNTIL they learn/accept (at least) the Incarnation/Trinity, they cannot and do not have either the minimum implicit nor explicit faith/desire for baptism necessary for salvation.  These were the errors that Fr Feeney was fighting way back in the 40s.
    .
    Thus, it is heretical to say that "good willed" joos, muslims, pagans, etc can be saved.  For anyone who has learned enough to know/accept the Trinity/Incarnation is no longer a joo, a muslim or a pagan.  Once someone believes in these 2 doctrines, they are a catechumen, thus eligible for BOD, if they are truly sincere, and if they die before actual reception of the sacrament.

    Offline ByzCat3000

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    Re: Implicit BOD
    « Reply #39 on: September 15, 2020, 10:07:17 PM »
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  • I think Lad meant Vatican I, not Vatican II.

    But I already supplied a quote from St. Thomas explaining that implicit faith (his term) suffices, so long as there is an explicit faith in at least one article of faith.

    Yet I remain unclear about what precisely he thinks Vatican I said which would purport to annul the common and constant teaching of the OUM (and the EM, per Trent) on BOD.
    Fair enough that he probably meant Vatican I.

    Ugh so the issue is there are multiple conversations going on here that are all being labeled "BOD."

    Ladislaus has opinions on other things related to BOD and EENS.  But what's *really* getting him here is the idea of "implicit faith", ie. that Jews, Muslims, Pagans, etc. could be saved by implicit BOD, faith in a God that rewards, and perfect contrition.  The meat of his argument is that *this* contradicts the Tradition of the Church for the first 1600 years of its history.

    I suspect that going along with this, Ladislaus would disagree with your interpretation of St Thomas.  At any rate, his opinion alone, while weighty, wouldn't be OUM.  

    I think he's just saying Vatican I clearly established the *idea* of OUM, not that it contradicts BOD per se.

    Now here's the thing.  I think what *you* are arguing for as OUM is just the idea of baptism of desire more generally, which Ladislaus opposes, but less strongly.  But that's a SEPARATE conversation than the conversation about whether salvation by implicit faith is possible.

    Here's where I hit a roadblock though.  Its really hard for me to believe that everyone but Fr. Feeney and Fr. Wathen is just ignorant of something that's easily demonstrable theologically by the OUM.  Almost all of the clergy, whether they take a more HOC position like the FSSP, the Traditionalist R and R priests in the SSPX or SSPX Resistance, *and* the Sedevacantists *all* seem to take the position here.  I could see possible explanations of the discrepancy if some group were to agree with Fr. Feeney (at least on EENS, if not straight up BOD.)  If the Sedevacantists held to the stricter view, perhaps we could say this is the poisoned fruit of V2.  If the R and R were stricter, perhaps we could hold that the issue is giving too much weight to the non infallible teachings of a narrow period of history, say, 1870 to 1960 or so.  But the thing is, *both* groups generally hold to Archbishop Lefebvre's comparatively "loose" EENS that says all sorts of religious people *can* be saved in spite of their errors, not just erring materially Catholics, but also Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.  Almost all of the Sedevacantist and R and R clergy believe salvation is *theoretically open* to such people, just despite their religion and not because of it.  Now I think there's room to make a mistake here.  Just because something *can* happen doesn't mean that its going to, or that we can count on it.  But the issue is, has God dogmatically ruled out the possibility, or not?  Ladislaus (and a few other posters here, and Fr. Feeney and Fr. Wathen in the historical realm) would say that he has, but the *vast* majority of Trad clergy, both sedevacantist and non sedevacantist, would say he hasnt.

    And I don't see nearly enough clear evidence to say that almost all of the Trad clergy are just brazenly wrong here.  Now if someone could truly prove to me that I was obliged to believe that anyone who isn't a formal and visible member of the Church is damned, I would certainly accept it.  But the problem is the "proof" is usually just  verbatim quoting the "plain meaning" of Florence or Unam Sanctum, which the Trad clergy are certainly aware of.  ie. if just quote bombing florence isn't convincing to such intelligent people as Archbishop Lefebvre, Fr. Cekada, Bishop Williamson, Bishop Sanborn, or really pretty much any of the priests and bishops even on the far end of the Trad spectrum, I don't really see why it should be convincing to me.  "Lol I've read Florence I know more than basically all the clergy in the world about EENS."  To be fair to Ladislaus, I know he went to seminary and has been a Catholic for a long time.  He certainly knows more than *me*.

    Still finding this one hard to believe TBH.

    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: Implicit BOD
    « Reply #40 on: September 15, 2020, 10:55:20 PM »
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  • Quote
    Its really hard for me to believe that everyone but Fr. Feeney and Fr. Wathen is just ignorant of something that's easily demonstrable theologically by the OUM.

    Arianism was accepted by 95% (maybe more) of the clergy and faithful, despite it being condemned twice(!), by councils, until finally a 3rd council ended it.
    .
    321 - Arian was denounced for his heresy.
    325 - Ecumenical Council of Nicea condemned Arianism.
    335 - The heresy still raging, St Athanasius is expelled from his diocese for preaching against it.
    338 - St Athanasius exiled again.
    341 - Council at Antioch (non Ecumenical) condemns Arianism.
    356 - St Athanasius exiled for 3rd time.
    362/364 - Exiled 4th and 5th time.
    373 - St Athanasius died.
    381 - Ecumenical council of Constantinople condemns Arianism and creates the Nicene Creed.
    600s - Arianism was still held by some Germanic tribes up until the 7th century.
    1900s - Utinarians hold some Arian beliefs, as do the Jehovah Witnesses, by elevating God the Father above Christ.
    .
    The point is, some heresies don't die quickly (or fully).  The difficulty of "no salvation outside of the Church" has been a difficulty from Day 1, and will remain a problem (humanly speaking) for the Church til the end of the world.  This is why EENS is called "The Doctrine" because it is the most problematic to accept and the most attacked by the Church's enemies.


    Online Stubborn

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    Re: Implicit BOD
    « Reply #41 on: September 16, 2020, 04:35:51 AM »
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  • Apparently it could, since you do not understand what you are reading here.
    According to the teaching of the Church at Trent, I understand that the matter of the sacrament of baptism is water, and that the sacrament of baptism is necessary for salvation.

    That is what the Church teaches, that is what is written, that is what I read, that is why I understand it as I do. I do not know how to get around understanding it as taught by the Church at Trent, how do you get around this?

    The Highest Principle in the Church: "We are first of all under obedience to God, and only then under obedience to man." - Fr. Hesse

    Online Stubborn

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    Re: Implicit BOD
    « Reply #42 on: September 16, 2020, 04:55:54 AM »
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  • You know this isn't true since you've already read the quote Séan gave.
    Whatever quote Sean gave, in my quote, St. Alphonsus teaches that heretics say that no sacrament is necessary. Certainly we all agree that all sacraments are not necessary for everyone, but dying without at least the sacrament of baptism, then saying that person possibly enjoyed a BOD before death and on that account saved, is in fact saying that no sacrament is necessary. It's really not at all complicated.

    What is a BOD if not salvation via faith alone? Is it salvation via desire alone? 

     
    The Highest Principle in the Church: "We are first of all under obedience to God, and only then under obedience to man." - Fr. Hesse

    Offline ByzCat3000

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    Re: Implicit BOD
    « Reply #43 on: September 16, 2020, 05:10:47 AM »
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  • Arianism was accepted by 95% (maybe more) of the clergy and faithful, despite it being condemned twice(!), by councils, until finally a 3rd council ended it.
    .
    321 - Arian was denounced for his heresy.
    325 - Ecumenical Council of Nicea condemned Arianism.
    335 - The heresy still raging, St Athanasius is expelled from his diocese for preaching against it.
    338 - St Athanasius exiled again.
    341 - Council at Antioch (non Ecumenical) condemns Arianism.
    356 - St Athanasius exiled for 3rd time.
    362/364 - Exiled 4th and 5th time.
    373 - St Athanasius died.
    381 - Ecumenical council of Constantinople condemns Arianism and creates the Nicene Creed.
    600s - Arianism was still held by some Germanic tribes up until the 7th century.
    1900s - Utinarians hold some Arian beliefs, as do the Jehovah Witnesses, by elevating God the Father above Christ.
    .
    The point is, some heresies don't die quickly (or fully).  The difficulty of "no salvation outside of the Church" has been a difficulty from Day 1, and will remain a problem (humanly speaking) for the Church til the end of the world.  This is why EENS is called "The Doctrine" because it is the most problematic to accept and the most attacked by the Church's enemies.
    Here's my difficulty though.  Its one thing for 95% of the clergy to embrace a heresy.  That's easy enough for me to imagine.  In this case we're primarily talking about the minority of the clergy that already rejected the heresy.  Like basically what I'm hearing from you guys is, 95% of the clergy accepted Arianism, but out of the 5% that specifically formed a movement to combat Arianism, 95% of *those* guys are also crypto Arians. 

    I don't know if you are a convert from Protestantism, but I was, and my father is a Baptist "pastor" (and I only say this part to combat the inevitable accusation of personal bias... I don't believe he'll be saved as he is, nor that he is invincibly ignorant).  Protestants are constantly stumbling over themselves to determine which doctrines are "non essential" and which doctrines they can still inter"commune" and see each other as part of "the invisible body of Christ" despite disagreeing on, and attending different churches over.  And Protestants will get very frustrated oftentimes when they hear that we don't believe we're all part of the same "kingdom of God", and that we don't believe in multi denominationalism, etc.  My point is, this doesn't disprove the extremely stringent position taken by Fr. Feeney and Fr. Wathen per se, but this *isn't necessary* in order to be a stumbling block to Protestants and to Catholics who want to get along well with Protestants.  That one technically allows God to work extraordinarily in the life of someone who is invincibly ignorant doesn't really do away with the "scandal" in their minds.


    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Implicit BOD
    « Reply #44 on: September 16, 2020, 05:55:01 AM »
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  • Fair enough that he probably meant Vatican I.

    Ugh so the issue is there are multiple conversations going on here that are all being labeled "BOD."

    Ladislaus has opinions on other things related to BOD and EENS.  But what's *really* getting him here is the idea of "implicit faith", ie. that Jews, Muslims, Pagans, etc. could be saved by implicit BOD, faith in a God that rewards, and perfect contrition.  The meat of his argument is that *this* contradicts the Tradition of the Church for the first 1600 years of its history.

    I suspect that going along with this, Ladislaus would disagree with your interpretation of St Thomas.  At any rate, his opinion alone, while weighty, wouldn't be OUM.  

    I think he's just saying Vatican I clearly established the *idea* of OUM, not that it contradicts BOD per se.

    Now here's the thing.  I think what *you* are arguing for as OUM is just the idea of baptism of desire more generally, which Ladislaus opposes, but less strongly.  But that's a SEPARATE conversation than the conversation about whether salvation by implicit faith is possible.

    Yes, I meant Vatican I.  I'm so used to typing Vatican II that it was just a physical memory thing.

    Absolutely, my problem is with implicit faith, and I have on my side St. Thomas Aquinas et al.  Fr. Fenton stated in the 1950s still that the explicit faith in the Holy Trinity/Incarnation position was the majority one.

    With regard to the OUM, I believe that the reason a St. Alphonsus held that implicit faith theory was tenable was because the notion of OUM had not been clearly defined.  But when the Church has believed and taught something for 1600 years unanimously, from the beginning, if that isn't infallible OUM, then there's no such thing as infallible OUM.  Notice, of course, that many BoDers hold that BoD is OUM because so many theologians have believed in it since the time of the scholastics, but then reject the notion that explicit faith is OUM despite the fact that it was unanimously taught and believed by everyone for 1600 years prior to the Jesuit innovators.

    As for BoD being part of OUM, it is clearly not.  Only ONE Church Father unequivocally hypothesized about a BoD, and then he (St. Augustine) ended up changing his mind in his later, more mature years, and issued some of the strongest anti-BoD statements in existence.  His protege, St. Fulgentius, rejected BoD in no uncertain terms.  St. Ambrose's statement is ambiguous and could be understood in several senses, and he also in other places rejected BoD.  We have about 5 or 6 Church Fathers (as Rahner admits) who rejected BoD explicitly and only one who temporarily and tentatively proposed it.  St. Augustine said that he went back and forth on the issue and then decided (at the time) that it "seemed to him that ..."  This is no statement of an authoritative Church teaching that came from the Apostles and was revealed doctrine.  When the majority of Church Fathers rejected BoD, there can hardly be a case made for it being OUM.  After the Fathers, there was hardly any mention of it until the 1100s when Peter Lombard was trying to decide between the opinions of Abelard (anti-BoD) and Hugh of St. Victor (pro-BoD).  He wrote to St. Bernard, who very tentatively sided with pro-BoD based on only the reason that he'd rather be wrong with Augustine than right with his own opinion.  That's hardly an authoritative statement, and evidently St. Bernard was not acquainted with the later works of St. Augustine where he emphatically rejected the notion.  So Lombard put it in his Sentences, considered perhaps THE foundation for the scholastic movement.  St. Thomas then went with it, and then it became viral.  But the history of this opinion clearly demonstrates that it's in the realm of speculative theology.

    Now, whatever you want to think about BoD, I'm not that interested in the question.  I'm only interested in the contention that those who do not have an at least rudimentary explicit Catholic faith can be saved.  ALL OF THE VATICAN II ERRORS can be traced directly to this notion, the new ecclesiology, religious liberty, everything.

    If those who are not visible members of the Church can be saved, then Vatican II's subsistence ecclesiology is in fact a profound statement of this reality, where the subsistent core of the Church consists in the visible body, but there are also in this "Church of Christ" many who are invisibly united to it.  When we have souls who are formally untied to the Church but materially separated, as would be the case in this scenario, then the notion of "separated brethren" makes sense, as does the notion that people can belong in varying degrees to the Church, etc.  If soteriology becomes subjectivized, and people please God and saves their souls based on their subjective dispositions, then religious liberty follows necessarily.  If people save their souls and please God by following their even-erroneous consciences, then since people have a right to save their souls and to please God, then they have right to follow said even-erroneous consciences.

    Those who hold to this novel ecclesiology absolutely undermine any standing they have to criticize the Vatican II theology.  I myself, were I to be persuaded of implicit faith theory, would immediately drop all resistance to Vatican II and cease to be Traditional Catholic.  That is why this question is of central importance to me and why I disagree with Matthew here in claiming that it's of little importance.  EVERYTHING about Traditional Catholicism hinges on this, but +Lefebvre himself did not see it.


     

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