Catechism of Catholic Church
1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery."63 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.
Compendium of the Catechism
262. Is it possible to be saved without Baptism?
Since Christ died for the salvation of all, those can be saved without Baptism who die for the faith (Baptism of blood). Catechumens and all those who, even without knowing Christ and the Church, still (under the impulse of grace) sincerely seek God and strive to do his will can also be saved without Baptism (Baptism of desire). The Church in her liturgy entrusts children who die without Baptism to the mercy of God.
I am thinking that the CCC is heretical is saying one can be saved "without knowing Christ." St. Thomas, for example, himself taught that in these days, after the promulgation of the Gospel, all men must have explicit faith in the Trinity and Incarnation to be saved.
In any event, in discussions with others, I have referred to the Athanasian Creed. In every case I believe - I don't remember a single argument or attempt to avoid the point - my "opponent" did not address the argument for explicit faith in Christ and the Catholic faith from the AC, and ignored it.
People quibble and "redefine" terms with regard to the Bull Cantate Domino
- such as the definition of Jew and Pagan therein - but the AC corners them in no uncertain terms, and they simply ignore the "inconvenience" of addressing it.
I have not heard any dispute that the AC is infallible. I have not heard anyone offer any type of articulated evasion of its clear and straightforward, infallible terms. We all know what it says, but I print it here again:
Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is all One, the Glory Equal, the Majesty Co-Eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father Uncreate, the Son Uncreate, and the Holy Ghost Uncreate. The Father Incomprehensible, the Son Incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost Incomprehensible. The Father Eternal, the Son Eternal, and the Holy Ghost Eternal and yet they are not Three Eternals but One Eternal. As also there are not Three Uncreated, nor Three Incomprehensibles, but One Uncreated, and One Uncomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not Three Almighties but One Almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not Three Gods, but One God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not Three Lords but One Lord. For, like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion to say, there be Three Gods or Three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father, and of the Son neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
So there is One Father, not Three Fathers; one Son, not Three Sons; One Holy Ghost, not Three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is afore or after Other, None is greater or less than Another, but the whole Three Persons are Co-eternal together, and Co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity.
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting Salvation, that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.
God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the substance of His mother, born into the world. Perfect God and Perfect Man, of a reasonable Soul and human Flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood. Who, although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but One Christ. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into Flesh, but by taking of the Manhood into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by Unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one Man, so God and Man is one Christ. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into Hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into Heaven, He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.
The CE says this about the "damnatory" or "miniatory" clauses (no salvation without the Catholic faith) of the AC:
The "damnatory", or "minatory clauses", are the pronouncements contained in the symbol, of the penalties which follow the rejection of what is there proposed for our belief. It opens with one of them: "Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith". The same is expressed in the verses beginning: "Furthermore, it is necessary" etc., and "For the right Faith is" etc., and finally in the concluding verse: "This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved". Just as the Creed states in a very plain and precise way what the Catholic Faith is concerning the important doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation, so it asserts with equal plainness and precision what will happen to those who do not faithfully and steadfastly believe in these revealed truths. They are but the credal equivalent of Our Lord's words: "He that believeth not shall be condemned", and apply, as is evident, only to the culpable and wilful rejection of Christ's words and teachings. The absolute necessity of accepting the revealed word of God, under the stern penalties here threatened, is so intolerable to a powerful class in the Anglican church, that frequent attempts have been made to eliminate the Creed from the public services of that Church. The Upper House of Convocation of Canterbury has already affirmed that these clauses, in their prima facie meaning, go beyond what is warranted by Holy Scripture. In view of the words of Our Lord quoted above, there should be nothing startling in the statement of our duty to believe what we know is the testimony and teaching of Christ, nor in the serious sin we commit in wilfully refusing to accept it, nor, finally, in the punishments that will be inflicted on those who culpably persist in their sin. It is just this last that the damnatory clauses proclaim. From a dogmatic standpoint, the merely historical question of the authorship of the Creed, or of the time it made its appearance, is of secondary consideration. The fact alone that it is approved by the Church as expressing its mind on the fundamental truths with which it deals, is all we need to know.
The CE simply asserts that is "evident" that this only applies to a culpable or willful rejection. No, it is not "evident." St. Thomas did not think it evident; St. Augustine did not think it "evident" - and they could see pretty well. The traditional teaching of the millenia is that faith, regardless of one's culpability in lacking it, is necessary to remove, for example, the taint of original sin, and that while one may not be guilty of not having this faith if one hasn't heard the gospel, the lack of the faith still prevents salvation to those who lack it, and who need it (as all do) for salvation. And, as St. Thomas and St. Augustine teach, in the age of the New Covenant, one must have explicit faith in Christ. The AC embodies this.
I have also argued that Trent pointed out this difference in the economy of faith since the promulgation of the gospel, and that indeed that is why the translation to justification since "cannot be effected" without baptism or the desire for the same, which "desire" must include explicit faith in Christ, otherwise there's no difference between those who, like Adam (and one person I discussed this with mentioned Adam's "implicit" faith in Christ in "clinging to his wife," which St. Thomas mentioned as example of how the need for faith in Christ was met implicitly before
the promulgation of the gospel), lived before the gospel promulgation, and those living now, since.
Council of Trent, Session VI
A description is introduced of the Justification of the impious, and of the Manner thereof under the law of grace.
By which words, a description of the Justification of the impious is indicated,-as being a translation, from that state wherein man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace, and of the adoption of the sons of God, through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. And this translation, since the promulgation of the Gospel, cannot be effected, without the laver of regeneration, or the desire thereof, as it is written; unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.
Any observations as to the application of the AC and the lack of the Catholic faith as only applying to the "culpable," or on the issue of the sufficiency of "implicit faith" in Christ being sufficient since the promulgation of the Gospel, would be appreciated.
Please cite Magisterial
authority for your points, thank you.