Author Topic: A different angle  (Read 745 times)

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Offline St Jude Thaddeus

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A different angle
« on: December 30, 2010, 02:16:37 PM »
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  • OK, let me try to get at this salvation issue from another angle.

    When I was growing up, I was told that non-Catholics could go to Heaven if they were good people, that no one of us could understand the Mind of God and that we had no right to judge what was in another person's soul.

    Then, as a questioning adolescent, I inevitably asked, "OK, if anyone can get to Heaven, then why are we Catholic?" None of my Protestant friends and neighbors had to go through what we went through--confessions, no rock music, only fish on Friday, polished shoes, "don't touch yourself there", etc. I was told that God tests some people more than others, than we were "special" because we were Catholics but that didn't make us better than anyone else; in fact, it was just the opposite. We were the greatest of sinners (as evidenced by whatever disobedient act my sister or I had recently committed) and so we needed more rules and regulations than others. On the other hand, a lot of those Protestants were simply "bad people" and so it didn't make any difference what church they went to anyway. The important thing was to do as you were told and stop asking so many questions.

    Is that true? Were Mom and Dad right? Are we Catholics, the new People of Israel, the Heirs to the Promise, because God has decided to use us as an example to the others? Is that why the Jews were the Chosen People in the Old Testament? Is it just a case of "tough love" whereby God demands more of us than others because He wants us to Be All That We Can Be, kind of like the U.S. Army?

    The anti-Feeneyite poem seems to suggest the same thing:

    Quote
    But if you have been baptized, be aware:
    the obligations in your face do stare!

    Though countless men have all been baptized well,
    You never know who you could meet in Hell!


    Being baptized seems to place a bigger burden on a person than on others, just like fulfilling the obligations of the Old Covenant placed on the Jews.

    If that's true, then, and I'm not saying it's not true, then the major advantage of being Catholic would seem to be in this earthly life. Here, because we hold the Truth, and receive greater graces and consolations through reception of the Sacraments, we avoid a lot of the confusion and error into which non-Catholics or bad Catholics fall. Our lives make more sense and have more purpose. We do not fear the future: we hope for it.

    A good-hearted Protestant, pagan, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. doesn't receive these consolations during his life, but he does go on to his eternal reward in Heaven if he has at least tried, to the best of his ability, to follow the natural law written in his heart and worship God as best he can. Is that right?

    These are sincere questions, not a Feenyite trap. I am not a Feenyite and I was not raised a Feenyite. I'm not here promoting a Feenyite agenda, or in the employ of any Feenyite organization. I may be an MK Ultra Victim, as I refuse to partake of the Blessed Green Herb, but otherwise as far as I know my intentions are pure.

    My only beef with the above arguments, which do have some validity, is that we have all seen how, taken to excess, they can lead to religious indifferentism.

    If the Church has always taught a less strict understanding of EENS, then how did She avoid Her members from falling into indifferentism in the past? Why did the Church always seem in the past to be more strict on this issue?
    St. Jude, who, disregarding the threats of the impious, courageously preached the doctrine of Christ,
    pray for us.

    Offline Telesphorus

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    A different angle
    « Reply #1 on: December 30, 2010, 02:21:08 PM »
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  • Quote
    If the Church has always taught a less strict understanding of EENS


    There's a huge difference between "nice non-Catholics go to heaven" - "all those without water baptism are damned."

    A huge gap.  Neither of them is a Catholic position.

    The Feeneyite position is an attempt to close all loopholes but is obviously inconsistent with God's mercy.



    Offline Belloc

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    A different angle
    « Reply #2 on: December 30, 2010, 02:23:44 PM »
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  • why be Catholic?

    out of 100 Catholics, maybe only 5 will sever see heaven

    Out of non-Catholic Christians (those professing Trinity and Baptism), maybe only 1 or 2 will ever see Heven and unlike Catholics, always go through Purgatory...

    guess that thought or something like it kept Catholics on the straight/narrow from indifferentism........
    Proud "European American" and prouder, still, Catholic

    Offline St Jude Thaddeus

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    A different angle
    « Reply #3 on: December 30, 2010, 02:35:44 PM »
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  • Quote from: Telesphorus
    Quote
    If the Church has always taught a less strict understanding of EENS


    There's a huge difference between "nice non-Catholics go to heaven" - "all those without water baptism are damned."

    A huge gap.  Neither of them is a Catholic position.

    The Feeneyite position is an attempt to close all loopholes but is obviously inconsistent with God's mercy.



    Is there a knowable Catholic position that can be applied to an individual case? For example, Belloc brought up on another thread the case of a validly baptized Protestant who dies never having rejected any specific Church teaching.

    Jesus commands us not to condemn others. Does this case fall under that command? Are we to have no opinion on this man's salvation?

    I ask this not to be a pest, but because I see practical implications here.

    Example: My brother-in-law's mother was a Methodist. Her only fault was a slight inclination towards gossip. Otherwise, she raised a fine son, was a good wife to her husband, prayed daily, never missed Sunday service, and had a big picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus over the fireplace. As far as I know, she never specifically rejected any Catholic teaching.

    Now, as a Catholic, how should I have approached this woman? Should I have told her all of the Church's teachings, thus giving her an opportunity to reject them, and possibly damn herself, or would it have been better to keep silent, and not further endanger her soul? I'll give the example of the Immaculate Conception. I'm pretty sure she didn't believe that Mary was conceived without sin, and I doubt that she would have believed that if I had told her. Nonetheless, when promulgating that doctrine ex-cathedra, Pope Pius IX made it clear that its acceptance was obligatory to all Catholics. Would it not have been preferible for her to remain in ignorance of that doctrine, then?  

    How would I know what to do in this case?
    St. Jude, who, disregarding the threats of the impious, courageously preached the doctrine of Christ,
    pray for us.

    Offline St Jude Thaddeus

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    A different angle
    « Reply #4 on: December 30, 2010, 02:37:48 PM »
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  • Quote from: Belloc
    why be Catholic?

    out of 100 Catholics, maybe only 5 will sever see heaven

    Out of non-Catholic Christians (those professing Trinity and Baptism), maybe only 1 or 2 will ever see Heven and unlike Catholics, always go through Purgatory...

    guess that thought or something like it kept Catholics on the straight/narrow from indifferentism........


    This is like something that Mel Gibson told Barbara Walters in that famous interview. He said that he believed that non-Catholics could get to Heaven, but that as a Catholic he was on a "faster track." Would you agree with that statement?
    St. Jude, who, disregarding the threats of the impious, courageously preached the doctrine of Christ,
    pray for us.


    Offline MyrnaM

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    A different angle
    « Reply #5 on: December 30, 2010, 04:26:20 PM »
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  • Sounds like Mel was being politically correct; spiritually incorrect.   He forgot to mention that sanctifying grace makes a non-catholic, CATHOLIC!

    Offline St Jude Thaddeus

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    A different angle
    « Reply #6 on: December 30, 2010, 07:42:47 PM »
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  • Quote from: MyrnaM
    Sounds like Mel was being politically correct; spiritually incorrect.   He forgot to mention that sanctifying grace makes a non-catholic, CATHOLIC!


    Ahhh. So a non-Catholic who received sanctifying grace would become a Catholic in the process? This would mean that there are no non-Catholics in Heaven, then. The fact that they received that grace would cause them to be classified as Catholics.
    St. Jude, who, disregarding the threats of the impious, courageously preached the doctrine of Christ,
    pray for us.

    Offline MyrnaM

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    A different angle
    « Reply #7 on: December 30, 2010, 08:37:16 PM »
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  • Quote from: St Jude Thaddeus
    Quote from: MyrnaM
    Sounds like Mel was being politically correct; spiritually incorrect.   He forgot to mention that sanctifying grace makes a non-catholic, CATHOLIC!


    Ahhh. So a non-Catholic who received sanctifying grace would become a Catholic in the process? This would mean that there are no non-Catholics in Heaven, then. The fact that they received that grace would cause them to be classified as Catholics.


    That has always been my understanding, remember
    One God, One Faith, One Baptism


     

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