Author Topic: The Catechumen  (Read 1225 times)

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Offline Clemens Maria

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Re: The Catechumen
« Reply #30 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 An even Seven

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #31 on: November 22, 2017, 02:41:46 PM »
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  • 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.

    AES: Not missing the point and I agree that a Catechumen should desire Baptism because there is 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.

    AES: This is irrational. As long as you don't believe in it, it works?

    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.

    AES: Yes, but this contradicts infallible teaching that those not Baptized are not in the Church. Therefore, it is an error.
    "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."


    Offline Augustinus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #32 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 #33 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 #34 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 #35 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 #36 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 #37 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 #38 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.

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #39 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 #40 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 tornpage

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #41 on: November 22, 2017, 04:15:47 PM »
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  • Wrong thread. 
    "[L]et 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."

    Pope Pius IX, Singulari quadem

    Offline tornpage

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #42 on: November 22, 2017, 04:25:59 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.  
    "[L]et 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."

    Pope Pius IX, Singulari quadem

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Catechumen
    « Reply #43 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 #44 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.

     

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