Author Topic: The Catechumen  (Read 1761 times)

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Offline Motorede

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Re: The Catechumen
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2017, 12:09:05 PM »
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  • Why did the Church insist on catechumens receiving instruction before the sacrament?  Why not baptize as soon as they have expressed a desire to submit to the Church’s doctrine?  It seems to me to be a tacit admission that a catechumen is already under the Church’s protection.  If I were a catechumen wouldn’t I have a good case to argue that it is an injustice to risk my eternal salvation in order to prove my good faith?  What percentage of catechumens fall away before baptism and what percentage fall after?  My guess is that the greater number fall after.  So why not baptize after a simple profession of faith?  That certainly would have resulted in more souls being saved during times of persecution.  How would we condemn a catechumen for having a friend baptize him before the instruction?  There seems to be a conflict between the good of the individual and the good of the society as a whole there and I don’t see how that could be.
    Clemens: I would argue that all of the sacraments are contracts, in the sense that God promises to give me what I want  if I promise to do/believe what He requires. But how can I say that I believe/accept the Faith if  I don't know the Faith? Hence the instruction period. 

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #16 on: November 22, 2017, 12:14:37 PM »
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  • Here St. Robert, in his formula, is saying that true conversion supplies for the Sacrament, therefore making the Sacrament not necessary. It's true that he said it's necessary in re vel in voto later on, but he contradicted himself earlier when he denied the necessity of it.

    No, it's not a contradiction.  He's saying that the Sacrament is necessary in voto ... like the way Trent says that Confession is necessary saltem in voto.  I don't agree, but the way he articulates it clearly avoids heresy.


    Offline Motorede

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #17 on: November 22, 2017, 12:27:24 PM »
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  • Yes, indeed.  I pointed this out to LoT once, that God must positively will for people to be saved via BoD rather than by receiving the Sacrament.  LoT conceded this.  So I asked him why God would will that.  He responded something about how God must want them to receive some temporal punishment due to sin in Purgatory (pushing that faulty St. Alphonsus theory).

    And, yes, the emotional aversion people have to "nice people" or "sincere people" not being saved is that they would go to hell -- and they have a very monolithic idea of hell where everybody is tossed indiscriminately into a burning furnace, with a kindly old Jewish grandmother who gave her life for her children right next to Joe Stalin, suffering the same torments.  But one of the EENS definitions points out that the torments are of varying degrees.  And I too believe that there are many in hell who suffer very little.  And I believe that a BoD would remit a great deal of the suffering they would experience, while a BoB would eliminate nearly all of it ... putting people into a near-limbo state.  But the superntural gift of the beatific vision is owed to no one; it is above our nature and is not even required for our perfect natural happiness.  Beatific vision is a free gift of God and He gives it to whomever He chooses.
    And this^ makes me remember Father Wathen's chilling observation that "one doesn't go to hell because he's so bad, he just doesn't go to heaven because he's not good enough". 

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #18 on: November 22, 2017, 12:59:24 PM »
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  • So when he says that true conversion supplies for the Sacrament, you don't see that as meaning "in lieu of"? As in, if the Sacrament cannot be had, true conversion will suffice. Not to mention the error that some "necessity" may prevent the reception of the Sacrament.
    The brings me to another point. What about the others who clearly claimed that the Sacrament is not necessary and it's effects may be attained through Baptism of Blood or Desire, or the teaching that Infants don't need Baptism? You seem to be quite afraid to call this error what it is. Wouldn't you agree that the necessity of infant Baptism had been defined way before some taught that it isn't necessary? Wouldn't you agree that saying that the temporal punishment is not taken away clearly indicates it is not the Sacrament which is received, even in voto, thereby making the Sacrament not necessary?

    St. Robert says that true conversion supplies for the Baptism OF WATER.  He's distinguishing it from Baptism of Desire.  If you believe in BoD in the first place, then it's possible that a necessity might prevent the reception of the Sacrament in re.  That simply cannot be used as a premise or argument in favor of BoD.

    Those who say that the Sacrament is not necessary or that infant Baptism is not necessary simpliciter are heretics; those who say that it's necessary saltem in voto are not.

    I told you that I reject the temporal punishment position.

    Offline Augustinus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #19 on: November 22, 2017, 01:34:18 PM »
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  • Wow. Baptism of water is the Sacrament of Baptism yes or no?
    If it is, which it is, then he is definitely saying that the Sacrament is not necessary and true conversion provides what is lacking from not receiving the Sacrament.
    It is an error and if held obstinately, after the definitions of Vatican 1, is a heresy. No matter how you try to justify it, they are saying that the Sacrament is not necessary.

    Then we have St. Alphonsus who says: "Baptism of blood is the shedding of one's blood, i.e. death, suffered for the faith or for some other Christian virtue. Now this Baptism is comparable to true baptism because, like true Baptism, it remits both guilt and punishment as it were ex opere operato… Hence martyrdom avails also for infants seeing that the Church venerates the Holy Innocents as true martyrs. That is why Suarez rightly teaches that the opposing view is at least temerarious."

    He says it is comparable to true Baptism because it is not Baptism, the Sacrament. Therefore, he is saying that the Sacrament is not necessary and that infants may be saved if they are killed for the faith, and even teaches that to oppose this is temerarious. This is another direct contradiction to Dogma as a result.
    Is this statement heretical-
    “The only people who could be saved without sacramental water baptism are those who profess they have no other means of salvation.”
    Where is the denial of necessity?
    The saints are few, but we must live with the few if we would be saved with the few. O God, too few indeed they are; yet among those few I wish to be!
    -St. Alphonsus Liguori. (The Holy Eucharist, 494)


    Offline Clemens Maria

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #20 on: November 22, 2017, 01:34:55 PM »
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  • And, just as with the origins of BoD itself, this is nothing but speculation on your part and based on a number of assumptions ... that it would be "an injustice".  Cries of "unfair" and "unmerciful" -- presumptions all against the goodness of God -- are what's behind BoD.  There's NO ACTUAL THEOLOGY BEHIND IT ... just emotional "reasoning" such as in your post here.
    I momentarily forgot the history of this debate so let me clarify.  I'm not talking about some falsely imagined injustice of God.  I'm talking about the bishop (or priest).  Our Lord commanded the bishops to go forth and baptise.  So they have an obligation to save souls by baptising them.  They can't validly baptise anyone unless the one to be baptised assents beforehand.  But someone who requests entrance into the catechumenate has already expressed a desire and consent (at least implicitly) for baptism.  So why wait for months of instruction?  The Ethiopian eunuch was baptised after less than a day of instruction.  Someone who requests entrance into the catechumenate presumably already has some knowledge about what he is getting into.  And it wouldn't take long to find out.  So why insist on months of instruction unnecessarily putting the salvation of the soul at risk?  Wouldn't it also be presumption to assume that God will preserve a soul from death just so you (the bishop or priest) could be satisfied that they know the faith in great detail?  God permits murder too but the murderer is condemned.  So why would the bishop make catechumens study for months before baptism?  And if God will preserve the elect from death before baptism, why baptise a catechumen who is in imminent danger of death?  Why not just trust that God will preserve them?  (That would be presumption, right?)  After all, it is more important that they be instructed before baptism than that they survive long enough to be baptised.  Right?


    Canon 1239: “Those who have died without baptism are not to be given ecclesiastical burial. Catechumens who die without baptism through no fault of their own are to be counted among the baptized.”

    Is that heretical?  Did the pope approve a heretical law to be imposed on the entire Church?  Or is it simply supposed that the death of the catechumen is prima facie evidence that they were culpable for not having received baptism?  If that's the case, then every catechumen has a duty to get baptised immediately without delay the moment they realize they cannot be saved without baptism.  The law requiring reception of instruction cannot bind in this case.
    My conclusion is that a centuries-old practice of the Church indicates that it was understood that a catechumen had the same protection that any other member of the Church has with regard to their salvation.  No catechumen will be damned unless they were culpable of some grave sin.  As to whether that is because God will make sure they are baptised with water or in voto, that seems less important to me than the principle that "Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 10:32

    Offline Augustinus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #21 on: November 22, 2017, 02:00:51 PM »
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  • If you will look above at what I highlighted in your statement you'll see that this part implies that there is salvation without the prerequisite Sacramental Water Baptism. Yes, it is erroneous. If held to obstinately, it is heresy.
    How about this comparable statement: "The only people who could be saved outside the Church are those who profess that they have no other means of salvation". It automatically assumes salvation outside the Church. Therefore, it contradicts Dogma.
    I think you’re missing the point- The efficacy for their salvation lies precisely in the affirmation of Dogmatic Truth- the acknowledging that for them, they have and desire no other option.

    Everyone admits that a catechumen leaning on BoD would be damned for presumption. So really it is only effective if treated as non-existent.

    Therefore, there is no heresy because there is a positive denial that baptism could be optional for them. That’s the way this one exception would prove the rule, the exception can only exist through affirming the rule.

    This is St. Bellarmines argument, that Catechumens ARE saved in the Visible Church, but in the vestibule as it were. Clinging to the Ark that is tossed in the waves as opposed to being brought inside.
    The saints are few, but we must live with the few if we would be saved with the few. O God, too few indeed they are; yet among those few I wish to be!
    -St. Alphonsus Liguori. (The Holy Eucharist, 494)

    Offline Clemens Maria

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #22 on: November 22, 2017, 02:26:57 PM »
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  • Yes, indeed.  I pointed this out to LoT once, that God must positively will for people to be saved via BoD rather than by receiving the Sacrament.  LoT conceded this.  So I asked him why God would will that.  He responded something about how God must want them to receive some temporal punishment due to sin in Purgatory (pushing that faulty St. Alphonsus theory).

    And, yes, the emotional aversion people have to "nice people" or "sincere people" not being saved is that they would go to hell -- and they have a very monolithic idea of hell where everybody is tossed indiscriminately into a burning furnace, with a kindly old Jewish grandmother who gave her life for her children right next to Joe Stalin, suffering the same torments.  But one of the EENS definitions points out that the torments are of varying degrees.  And I too believe that there are many in hell who suffer very little.  And I believe that a BoD would remit a great deal of the suffering they would experience, while a BoB would eliminate nearly all of it ... putting people into a near-limbo state.  But the superntural gift of the beatific vision is owed to no one; it is above our nature and is not even required for our perfect natural happiness.  Beatific vision is a free gift of God and He gives it to whomever He chooses.
    Then a priest should not baptise someone who is in imminent danger of death.  They should be given months of instruction before baptism so as to make sure that they are more likely to remain in a state of grace until death.  Baptising someone who requests it without instruction would be too risky because they might culpably doubt a doctrine or entertain an unnatural thought in the moments between their baptism and their death.  That would cause them to be plunged into the deepest depths of hell.  Therefore we should not risk it.  We should just let them go to the higher parts of hell where they won't suffer as much.


    Offline Augustinus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #23 on: November 22, 2017, 03:03:28 PM »
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  • Again, I understand why you would say it is an error, and I am sympathetic to that. But, as stated in the thread on Theologians, it is a fact the Church’s approves theologians, whom Pope Pius IX teaches we are to adhere to, have, since the time of Hugh of St. Victor, Chosen to admit the single exception for catechumens, and they say that this exception is made because Christ said, no less absolutely than his requirement of baptism, “Whoever confesses me I will confess before my father.”

    Now if some posit an individual who professes Christ, but dies without baptism through no fault of his own, and that such a person could not be saved, do they make Christ a liar?

    I am trying to work it out, because I want to be faithful to all the Church requires all around and certainly don’t want to commit any sins of temererity in confessing the truth.

    But it does strike me, we cannot extend the arguments that God would go to extraordinary means to provide people with faith to baptism. This is because faith is more necessary than baptism, because the object of baptism is the grace received, which can never be received without faith. But baptism, being merely an INSTRUMENTAL cause of grace, could be set aside in favor of another instrument.
    The saints are few, but we must live with the few if we would be saved with the few. O God, too few indeed they are; yet among those few I wish to be!
    -St. Alphonsus Liguori. (The Holy Eucharist, 494)

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #24 on: November 22, 2017, 03:21:23 PM »
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  • Then a priest should not baptise someone who is in imminent danger of death.  They should be given months of instruction before baptism so as to make sure that they are more likely to remain in a state of grace until death.  Baptising someone who requests it without instruction would be too risky because they might culpably doubt a doctrine or entertain an unnatural thought in the moments between their baptism and their death.  That would cause them to be plunged into the deepest depths of hell.  Therefore we should not risk it.  We should just let them go to the higher parts of hell where they won't suffer as much.

    That's just stupid, and you know it.  Church has always hastened the Baptism of catechumens in danger of death, in particular during times of persecution.  Why if there is such a thing as BoD?  

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #25 on: November 22, 2017, 03:24:34 PM »
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  • and they say that this exception is made because Christ said, no less absolutely than his requirement of baptism, “Whoever confesses me I will confess before my father.”

    Now if some posit an individual who professes Christ, but dies without baptism through no fault of his own, and that such a person could not be saved, do they make Christ a liar?

    No such conclusion necessarily follows from the Scripture quote.  Even if Our Lord confesses someone before the Father, does that necessarily equate to the beatific vision?  No, it doesn't -- it could refer to any kind of favorable treatment in their final eternal disposition (e.g. less or no suffering in hell).


    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #26 on: November 22, 2017, 03:29:42 PM »
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  • But it does strike me, we cannot extend the arguments that God would go to extraordinary means to provide people with faith to baptism. This is because faith is more necessary than baptism, because the object of baptism is the grace received, which can never be received without faith. But baptism, being merely an INSTRUMENTAL cause of grace, could be set aside in favor of another instrument.

    God has OFTEN used extraordinary means to get Baptism to His elect.  Read the lives of the saints who raised people from the dead just long enough to baptize them.  But God never HAS to use extraordinary means.  God can simply arrange circumstances in such a way as to ensure that His elect receive Baptism.  In these examples from the saints, God used extraordinary means precisely to show dramatically the NECESSITY of Baptism for salvation.

    Baptism, albeit an instrumental cause, is still necessary by necessity of means for salvation; what type of cause it is makes no difference in terms of its necessity.  You appear to be saying that faith alone saves without the Sacrament and that the grace of the Sacrament can be received WITHOUT the Sacrament.  That's venturing into heretical territory.

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #27 on: November 22, 2017, 03:33:24 PM »
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  • Is this statement heretical-
    “The only people who could be saved without sacramental water baptism are those who profess they have no other means of salvation.”
    Where is the denial of necessity?

    Father Feeney pointed out a great irony in the promotion of BoD.  Can you get to a point where you no longer ardently desire Baptism because you believe that you can be saved without it through Baptism of Desire?  Yes, I believe so.  I desire the desire of Baptism now (since it will save me) and no longer desire Baptism itself.  +Lefebvre reported the story of a native in Africa who implored him to baptize him, worried that he might die before he came back again to baptize him.  +Lefebvre told him not to worry because he had Baptism of Desire.  Didn't that just UNDERMINE this person's ardent desire for Baptism?

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #28 on: November 22, 2017, 03:35:30 PM »
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  • Everyone admits that a catechumen leaning on BoD would be damned for presumption. So really it is only effective if treated as non-existent.

    Ah the irony.  See my previous post about +Lefebvre.

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #29 on: November 22, 2017, 03:43:57 PM »
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  • But someone who requests entrance into the catechumenate has already expressed a desire and consent (at least implicitly) for baptism.  So why wait for months of instruction?  The Ethiopian eunuch was baptised after less than a day of instruction.

    That's a prudential judgment.  I've known priests who baptized people within days after they presented themselves because they were convinced regarding their sincerity.  But their sincerity and their proper dispositions are not always readily known without a period of testing.  So, for instance, I know of a couple "mixed marriage" situations where the potential converts (converting at the insistence of their Catholic prospective spouses) outwardly expressed their assent to Church teaching.  They said and did "all the right things".  Then they were baptized.  Then later the couple separated, and the "convert" AT ONCE stopped practicing the Catholic faith (stopped going to Mass, etc.)  Did they ever truly have the proper dispositions?  Unlikely.  I know of TWO such incidents.  So the Church has deemed it prudent to test the dispositions of catechumens.

     

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