Author Topic: The Catechumen  (Read 1765 times)

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Offline Ladislaus

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Re: The Catechumen
« Reply #30 on: November 22, 2017, 03:51:33 PM »
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  • 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?

    No, I've never said that BoD is heretical.  What this simply means is that the Church has left OPEN the possibility that such a one might be saved.  Just because someone receives Christian burial, it doesn't mean that there's any certainty regarding their salvation.  Nor is this any kind of doctrinal statement but merely a pastoral law.  Nor does this law, as is roundly misinterpreted, mean that they WERE to be counted among the baptized absolutely speaking.  Obviously.  Otherwise catechumens could receive the Sacraments.  Look at the context of the law.  FIRST PART:  Law ... only the baptized can be given ecclesiastical burial.  SECOND PART:  [for the purposes of this law, catechumens are considered baptized] i.e. a fancy legalistic way of saying that catechumens may receive ecclesiastical burial.  In other words, first the general principle, then a statement that it applies also to catechumens and is not considered an exception to the principle.  It's just legal language and it does not say that catechumens are just like the baptized absolutely speaking.

    Offline Clemens Maria

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #31 on: November 22, 2017, 04:12:56 PM »
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  • 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?  
    Yes, that is exactly my point.  I know it is stupid and I don't believe it.  So how would you explain the Church's various practices regarding this point?
    1. Church requires catechumens to undergo months of testing/instruction before reception of baptism.
    2. Church baptises catechumens who are in imminent danger of death regardless of how well-instructed they are.
    3. Church promulgates a law: 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.”
    How do you explain all of the above in a consistent and logical manner?  The only way I can explain it is that catechumens are guaranteed to receive the same benefits as members of the Church.  If a priest/minister can't baptise you before death then God will baptise you before death.  If you are an unrepentent sinner, you will be punished as an unrepentent sinner.  To me there is an essential difference between someone who visibly associates himself with the Catholic Church (the catechumen) and one who secretly desires to enter the Church.  I think one has a claim on the benefits of membership in the Church and the other does not.  And the above 3 practices seem to confirm that.


    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #32 on: November 22, 2017, 05:26:23 PM »
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  • Augustinus,

    The problem in rejecting BOD for me isn't the theologians, whose speculation the Church may simply tolerate for various reasons.

    The problem for me is that those who reject BOD read Trent as indicating that there is no justification without the receipt of water baptism, and anathematizing anyone who says otherwise - e.g., BOD. We've discussed that recently here; the thread should be in this forum near the top I believe.

    Then the Church goes and makes doctors men who did just that, say otherwise, and publicly taught what the Church had recently (very recently with regard to St. Robert) anathematized, BOD - St. Alphonsus and St. Robert Bellarmine, for example.


    St. Alphonsus actually said the opposite of what Feeneyites say Trent said by saying BOD was "de fide" - which would be unquestionably heretical teaching, and yet he's made a doctor.  

    I no longer find the Feeneyite view of Trent credible in light of this.  

    Those radicals who condemn BoD as heretical are actually in the minority of Feeneyites.  In fact, most are Dimondites ... who actually reject a lot of what Father Feeney held and would repudiate being called Feeneyites.  As you know, I battled against these guys myself on that other thread ... and I don't believe in BoD.  So you're wrongly throwing the Feeneyite view out the window because of the radical Dimondite view that's in the minority.  Father Feeney himself considered his view on BoD an OPINION and stood ready to be corrected by the Church on the matter.  His major battle was with those who used BoD to undermine EENS and establish a heretical new ecclesiology.  An analogy would be regular sedevacantists vs. dogmatic sedevacantists.  I don't dismiss sedevacantism simply because the dogmatic sedevacantists are overstating their case.

    I do, however, appreciate your honesty in the bolded section above.  I sense in you someone who's actually honestly seeking the truth on this matter ... and that's rare on both sides of this issue.  And I even appreciate the honesty of Karl Rahner who, while personally promoting Anonymous Christianity, admits in intellectual honesty that there was little or no support for the salvation of anyone who wasn't a member of the visible Church among the Church Fathers ... vs. the modern dishonest BoDers who pretend and falsely claim that there was a unanimous consensus among the Fathers in favor of BoD.  Rahner would have loved to find such evidence among the Fathers ... but he was honest and admitted that he did not.  And, honestly, I'm neither here nor there on the catechumen + explicit faith issue.  One can uphold that while still maintaining the necessity of the Sacraments and without compromising Tridentine ecclesiology ... that the Church is a visible society whose members are known (vs. V2 ecclesiology where the Church has a lot of unknown and invisible participants).

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #33 on: November 22, 2017, 05:35:27 PM »
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  • I think one has a claim on the benefits of membership in the Church and the other does not.

    Let's start here.  I have no problem at all with this position, and I'm not going to spend TOO much time arguing with you.  Indeed, in the case of a catechumen, one can make a case for an imperfect (yet quite visible) membership in the Church due to their profession of the faith.  That does NOT compromise Tridentine ecclesiology.  What DOES undermine Traditional ecclesiology is the "Anonymous Catholic" garbage.  If you accept that, then there's ZERO point in being a Traditional Catholic because that is nothing other than V2 ecclesiology.  If with all the posts I make, I can help open people's eyes to this fact, then I have no issues with you and would leave you in complete peace on the BoD question.  BoD is not THE battle.  Unfortunately the radical Dimondites spend so much of their time battling St. Thomas et al. that they allow a distraction from the MORE FUNDAMENTAL problem ... not to mention discrediting themselves by taking on St. Thomas as a proponent of "heresy".  Indeed, if you wanted to side with St. Thomas against the likes of myself, I can't fault you for that.

    On the other side, conversely, many of the BoDers are proponents of this heretical ecclesiology and Pelagianism.  Then they quote St. Thomas on BoD and pretend that BoD inherently backs up their heresies.  So it goes both ways here.  I always tried to flush them out from hiding behind St. Thomas, exposing the fact that while St. Thomas believed in BoD he did NOT thereby endorse their actual heresies.

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #34 on: November 22, 2017, 05:41:19 PM »
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  • Yes, that is exactly my point.  I know it is stupid and I don't believe it.  So how would you explain the Church's various practices regarding this point?
    1. Church requires catechumens to undergo months of testing/instruction before reception of baptism.
    2. Church baptises catechumens who are in imminent danger of death regardless of how well-instructed they are.
    3. Church promulgates a law: 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.”
    How do you explain all of the above in a consistent and logical manner?  The only way I can explain it is that catechumens are guaranteed to receive the same benefits as members of the Church.  If a priest/minister can't baptise you before death then God will baptise you before death.  If you are an unrepentent sinner, you will be punished as an unrepentent sinner.  To me there is an essential difference between someone who visibly associates himself with the Catholic Church (the catechumen) and one who secretly desires to enter the Church.  I think one has a claim on the benefits of membership in the Church and the other does not.  And the above 3 practices seem to confirm that.

    Well, there's absolutely NO "guarantee to receive the same benefits as members".  That's clearly overstating the case.  What's true is that the Church has left it open that they MIGHT.  When the Church baptizes catechumens in imminent danger of death, the Church CLEARLY understands that there's NO GUARANTEE of a BoD.  I addressed the Canon Law earlier, with the Church leaving open the POSSIBILITY of their salvation.  Prior Church discipline was the OPPOSITE.  When the Church requires lengthy instruction, it's because the Church understands that God's providence will keep those destined for Baptism alive until they receive it ... unless He doesn't will that they receive it.  So I don't see the problem you're trying to present.

    So if catechumens are guaranteed the same benefits as members, why can't they receive the other Sacraments before Baptism?


    Offline Clemens Maria

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #35 on: November 22, 2017, 09:02:18 PM »
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  • Well, there's absolutely NO "guarantee to receive the same benefits as members".  That's clearly overstating the case.  What's true is that the Church has left it open that they MIGHT.  When the Church baptizes catechumens in imminent danger of death, the Church CLEARLY understands that there's NO GUARANTEE of a BoD.  I addressed the Canon Law earlier, with the Church leaving open the POSSIBILITY of their salvation.  Prior Church discipline was the OPPOSITE.  When the Church requires lengthy instruction, it's because the Church understands that God's providence will keep those destined for Baptism alive until they receive it ... unless He doesn't will that they receive it.  So I don't see the problem you're trying to present.

    So if catechumens are guaranteed the same benefits as members, why can't they receive the other Sacraments before Baptism?
    To answer your final question, because they have to receive Baptism before they can receive any of the other sacraments.  Having a guarantee of some future benefit doesn't mean you have already received it.

    So if there is no guarantee then it makes perfect sense for a catechumen to insist on being baptised immediately.  In fact it would be unjust for a priest/minister to refuse it.  An unjust law is no law at all.  And since it is legal to baptise a catechumen who is in imminent danger of death then it is not intrinsically evil to baptise a catechumen who hasn't received instruction.  But the Church doesn't do that.  The rule is that they must receive instruction first.

    Also, I don't want to defend +Lefebvre's idea of BOD because I don't agree with it.  However, the story about him telling a catechumen not to worry about not having baptism doesn't prove anything.  I've never heard of anyone settling for BOD.  The most popular definitions of BOD say that it doesn't impart the character of the sacrament.  Who would want that?  Who upon hearing about BOD would cease to desire the Sacrament of Baptism?  Who would forgo the other sacraments for a lifetime because they felt secure that BOD would suffice?  There must have been millions of catechumens who had the same thought as the African guy in the +Lefebvre story.  Why haven't we heard more about catechumens getting baptised immediately?  It must be because they were reassured that they had nothing to worry about as long as they did penance for their sins and obeyed the commandments and precepts and laws of the Church.  But they should worry if there is no guarantee of the reception of the sacrament.  In fact, I think it would be negligent not to baptise them immediately if death would result in them being damned. 

    St. Ambrose sums it up pretty well for me.  "Undoubtedly because he asked for it he received it."  But he asked for the Sacrament, so therefore he must have received the Sacrament at some point.  God knows.  Maybe he was not sincere and he didn't receive it.  But if he was sincere...ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

    I see what you are saying about the molinism vs. Thomistic doctrine of grace.  If the best theologians can't figure it out then I have no chance.  And I'm sure that's why a lot of post-V2 traditionalists are perfectly satisfied with repeating what the Baltimore Catechism, Pius X Catechism, Van Noort, Spirago, Ott, Fenton, Suprema Haec Sacra, etc say.  Very few people have the desire or resources to solve pre-V2 theological controversies.  Most people are content to draw the line at the sacraments.  Which makes sense since that is the most visible manifestation of the problem.  But there definitely were pre-V2 doctrinal issues.

    Offline Clemens Maria

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #36 on: November 22, 2017, 09:32:15 PM »
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  • I consider Suprema Haec to be questionable in its authority and not an act of the OUM. A suspicious private letter to a bishop that was published years later in an English translation in a newspaper or periodical I believe, not in the AAS, etc. Anyway, it only speaks of an "implicit desire" to enter the Church, whatever that means.
    Gary Potter wrote that Suprema Haec Sacra was excerpted in The Pilot (Boston diocesan paper, +Cushing was the publisher) in September 1949, one month after it was written.  Cardinal Marchetti-Selvaggiani was still alive at the time.  Three years later it was published in full in The Pilot after Cardinal M-S had passed.  But my understanding is that it had no Holy Office Seal and it was never entered into the AAS.  So the most likely explanation is that it is merely a private letter from the Cardinal to Archbishop Cushing that was passed off as official.  Not only that but a month later Archbishop Cicognani (Apostolic Delegate to the US) said that Fr. Feeney was not excommunicated.  So it wasn't an official act at all.  I mean how could someone be excommunicated without being notified?  Pope Pius XII never elevated +Cushing to the purple (nor +Montini) who possessed a diocese that typically came with a Cardinal's hat.  And then after Suprema Haec Sacra, Pope Pius XII condemned those who would reduce the dogma to a "meaningless formula" in Humani Generis (August 12, 1950).  What better way to reduce it to a meaningless formula than to say that the correct interpretation is the exact opposite of what it literally says?  So I don't think Pope Pius XII had anything to do with that letter and those responsible for it did not dare to attempt to actually make it an official document of the Holy See.  They ended up having to publish it in Denzinger in the 1960s in order to have a respectable reference for it in V2 documents.

    Offline Clemens Maria

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #37 on: November 22, 2017, 09:47:12 PM »
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  • By the way, not even Suprema Haec Sacra accused Fr. Feeney of heresy.  The only people who accuse him of heresy are people who claim no authority in the Church whatsoever.  Not even the Conciliar sect hierarchy officially claims he was guilty of heresy.  At worst he was judged by pre-V2 authorities to be in error.  The heresy word came from the secular press.  They were the ones that characterized it that way.  But that's not the position of the Holy Office prior to V2 much less is it the position of Pope Pius XII.


    Offline Cantarella

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #38 on: November 22, 2017, 10:42:52 PM »
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  • By the way, not even Suprema Haec Sacra accused Fr. Feeney of heresy.  The only people who accuse him of heresy are people who claim no authority in the Church whatsoever.  Not even the Conciliar sect hierarchy officially claims he was guilty of heresy.  At worst he was judged by pre-V2 authorities to be in error.  The heresy word came from the secular press.  They were the ones that characterized it that way.  But that's not the position of the Holy Office prior to V2 much less is it the position of Pope Pius XII.
    Thank you!
    If anyone says that true and natural water is not necessary for baptism and thus twists into some metaphor the words of our Lord Jesus Christ" Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit" (Jn 3:5) let him be anathema.

    Offline Augustinus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #39 on: November 22, 2017, 11:20:14 PM »
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  • See, I have read “bread of life”, “desire and deception”, “Loyola’s and the Cabots” and “they fought the good fight”.

    All these books have one weakness. They do not address the issue of the consensus of theologians and scholastics. Where’s THAT book?
    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 #40 on: November 23, 2017, 09:32:53 AM »
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  • To answer your final question, because they have to receive Baptism before they can receive any of the other sacraments.  Having a guarantee of some future benefit doesn't mean you have already received it.

    Ah, but then you have JUST hit precisely on Father Feeney's distinction between justification and salvation, the distinction between the present (justification) and the future (salvation) ... with the former being no guarantee of the latter.


    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #41 on: November 23, 2017, 09:35:02 AM »
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  • Thank you!
    '
    ditto that.  I always appreciate intellectual honesty when I see it.

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #42 on: November 23, 2017, 09:38:28 AM »
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  • St. Ambrose sums it up pretty well for me.  "Undoubtedly because he asked for it he received it."  But he asked for the Sacrament, so therefore he must have received the Sacrament at some point.  God knows.  Maybe he was not sincere and he didn't receive it.  But if he was sincere...ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

    Yes, this is an extremely ambiguous passage.  Elsewhere St. Ambrose taught that even sincere catechumens who died without Baptism could not be saved.  Perhaps the idea was that they did not know all the details (before the days of Twitter) and that someone close to him could have baptized him while he lay dying.  Or else he envisioned a possible BoB since he was killed for turning against Arianism.  Or perhaps he received some remission of sin from his Desire and not necessarily salvation itself.  We'll never know and it's a mistake to turn this into a doctrinal statement of support for BoD.

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #43 on: November 23, 2017, 09:41:36 AM »
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  • See, I have read “bread of life”, “desire and deception”, “Loyola’s and the Cabots” and “they fought the good fight”.

    All these books have one weakness. They do not address the issue of the consensus of theologians and scholastics. Where’s THAT book?

    Again, read the CE article on Limbo where there had been similar "theological consensus" ... and my comment that BoD falls in the category of the last bolded passage therein.  So, for instance, if ALL theologians agree that truth x,y, or z is de fide, then that's a very strong sign that it is ... otherwise that would mean a defection of the Ecclesia Credens.  But for lesser truths and speculations, it's a much weaker sign of anything; it could just be an accident of their agreement on a particular issue ... just as it was in the St. Augustine vs. Limbo situation.

    Offline Cantarella

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #44 on: November 23, 2017, 04:28:17 PM »
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  • In fact, I am comfortable with the position of Mr. Karam in his "Reply to a Liberal," which allowed for a salvific BOD where the individual has an explicit desire for baptism and to enter the Church. 
    Mr. Karam also mentioned four other requirements along with the explicit desire for Baptism: that the individual possesses the Catholic Faith (without which it is impossible to please God); that he must have perfect charity; as well as an explicit will to join the Catholic Church (for even Baptisms of Protestants and Orthodox do not suffice for salvation if the person - beyond the age of reason - dies outside the Church); and finally that he must be dying and this last point is important, for when has the Church granted Baptisms certificates of Desire?. If the person is not dying, then the obligation to receive the water Baptism remains. 
    If anyone says that true and natural water is not necessary for baptism and thus twists into some metaphor the words of our Lord Jesus Christ" Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit" (Jn 3:5) let him be anathema.

     

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