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Author Topic: All the NOers seem to be semi-pelagians...  (Read 13108 times)

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Offline Gregory I

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All the NOers seem to be semi-pelagians...
« on: January 06, 2012, 01:38:16 AM »
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  • It would seem that one of the favorite modern heresies that gets trumped up by the NO "church" and treated as "orthodox" is the heresy of semi-pelagianism. Specifically, that part of the heresy that attempted to grant infants who died without baptism a sort of blessedness that was distinct from eternal life in the kingdom of heaven. This view has of course been condemned especially at the Council of Carthage XVI With St. Augustine in attendance.

    Now, I am not a Jansenist. I am an Augustinian. There is perhaps little more than a hair's breadth of difference, but I found this interesting in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, on Baptism:

    Necessity of Baptism

    "If the knowledge of what has been hitherto explained be, as it is, of highest importance to the faithful, it is no less important to them to learn that the law of Baptism, as established by our Lord, extends to all, so that unless they are regenerated to God through the grace of Baptism, be their parents Christians or infidels, they are born to eternal misery and destruction. Pastors, therefore, should often explain these words of the Gospel: Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

    Infant Baptism: It's Necessity

    "That this law [just previously mentioned] extends not only to adults but also to infants and children, and that the Church has received this from Apostolic tradition, is confirmed by the unanimous teaching and authority of the Fathers."

    Besides, it is not to be supposed that Christ the Lord would have withheld the Sacrament and grace of Baptism from children, of whom He said: Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me; for the kingdom of heaven is for such; ° whom also He embraced, upon whom He imposed hands, to whom He gave His blessing.

    It seems pretty clear that the Catechism definitely taught that all the unbaptized who die go to MISERY and DESTRUCTION. And this LAW of the necessity of baptism extends to infants, and that the penalties do as well.

    SO, I suppose my question is...who is responsible for watering down the Augustinian teaching? Trent clearly did not side with Aquinas's opinion on limbo, and St. Augustine's teachings have at various times been officially promulgated as the doctrine of the church itself (The Tractoria of Pope Innocent I and Zosimus).

    I feel inclined to side with Blaise Pascal and blame the moral laxity (and doctrinal simple-mindedness) of the Jesuits. Anyone else?
    'Take care not to resemble the multitude whose knowledge of God's will only condemns them to more severe punishment.'

    -St. John of Avila


    Offline Raoul76

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    All the NOers seem to be semi-pelagians...
    « Reply #1 on: January 06, 2012, 02:08:47 AM »
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  • Quote
    Now, I am not a Jansenist. I am an Augustinian.


    Yeah, that's what the Jansenists thought.  And the Protestants.

    Augustine was a Catholic, not an "Augustinian."  He didn't invent some alternate Church.  This poor guy has had more havoc done in his name!  Everyone wants to be St. Augustine, the hammer of heretics, not seeing that what made him great was really his humility.  They just want the glory of hammering -- or so they think -- heretics.

    That being said, Father Ratzinger, who abolished limbo ( in his own feverish mind ), is certainly a semi-Pelagian and worse, being a kind of living embodiment of all the Modernist filth that has washed up on the shores of Babylon.

     
    Readers: Please IGNORE all my postings here. I was a recent convert and fell into errors, even heresy for which hopefully my ignorance excuses. These include rejecting the "rhythm method," rejecting the idea of "implicit faith," and being brieflfy quasi-Jansenist. I also posted occasions of sins and links to occasions of sin, not understanding the concept much at the time, so do not follow my links.


    Offline Gregory I

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    All the NOers seem to be semi-pelagians...
    « Reply #2 on: January 06, 2012, 02:29:45 AM »
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  • Ok, Mr. Technically correct, I am a Roman Catholic who holds to the Theological School of Augustinianism that was refined during the 17th century, which was admirably defended by Cardinal Henry Noris and Declared by the Pope to be completely orthodox and free of heresy.

    "Henry Noris (-1704) was chosen by the Hermits of St. Augustine to defend the honour of Augustine and the Order. He formulated what is known as the “Strict Augustinian School” in his Historia Pelagiana. Several popes favoured him during his lifetime and Pope Benedict XIV wrote an apologia in defence of him after his death. He was Papal Librarian under Innocent XII. The punishment of infants is identically the same as that of adults “generically and specifically” in the flames of hell and varies only in degree. He vigorously denied that the infants would have any natural happiness. In his view the Scholastics were contrary to the popes, the councils and the Fathers. Jesuits attempted to have the book condemned and it was cleared by the Holy Office in 1672, 1676 and 1692."

    This is what I mean.  :jester:

    Plus, notable Jansenist errors:

    1. The gifts of Adam in paradise were intrinsic to his nature. (They were gifts, not particular to his nature).

    2. The Victorious delight of grace is INTRINSICALLY IRRESISTIBLE. (The Victorious Delight of Grace infallibly attains its end, but is NOT irresistible. It CAN be resisted, but it is also true that men do NOT resist it. Fine distinction)

    3. Mass in Vernacular.

    4. Attrition is not sufficient for repentance, even in the confessional. (Attrition is NOT sufficient for repentance OUTSIDE the confessional. However, it is acceptable as a motive for repentance IN the confessional. COT)

    5. The Church can err in her preservation of Christian doctrine. (Nope. But parties can rise and shrink).

    I could go on. But, you get my drift. I accept the Bull unigenitus. THe Augustinianism I am talking about is legit and orthodox and free of Calvin and Jansenus.
    'Take care not to resemble the multitude whose knowledge of God's will only condemns them to more severe punishment.'

    -St. John of Avila

    Offline Telesphorus

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    All the NOers seem to be semi-pelagians...
    « Reply #3 on: January 06, 2012, 03:15:57 AM »
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  • But calling belief in limbo semi-pelagian is condemned.

    Offline Pyrrhos

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    All the NOers seem to be semi-pelagians...
    « Reply #4 on: January 06, 2012, 03:33:10 AM »
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  • Quote from: Telesphorus
    But calling belief in limbo semi-pelagian is condemned.


    Right, it is "false and rash and as slander of the Catholic schools" (Denz. 1526, De poena decedentium cuм solo originali)
    If you are a theologian, you truly pray, and if you truly pray, you are a theologian. - Evagrius Ponticus


    Offline Gregory I

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    All the NOers seem to be semi-pelagians...
    « Reply #5 on: January 06, 2012, 08:01:06 AM »
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  • Hang on a second, you think there is no such thing as an erroneous notion of limbo? What is limbo in y'all's opinion?

    I will tell you righ tnow, it is NOT a middle state between heaven and hell. St. Thomas presents limbo as a PART of hell.

    The issue is not whether or not unbaptized infants are in hell, they are.

    The issue is whether or not they suffer positive Punishment. I take the position of St. Robert Bellarmine. They suffer Positive punishment in Hell.

    Nobody denied this from 430 ad until the time of Aquinas.

    If it is obviously wrong, what took so long?

    Also, it has been promulgated by the Pope that there is no happy blessed middle state for unbaptized infants. The Findings of the XVI council of Carthage were officially promulgated by Popes Innocent I and Zosimus and ratified at the Ecuмenical Council of Ephesus.

    Also, the particular censure of that Canon of the False Synod of Pistoia does not say that Limbo is absolutely true, nor does it condemn the teaching of Augustine.

    Plus, Let's look at the Council of Lyons:

    "All those who die in mortal sin, or in original sin alone, descend to Hell where they are punished, but with disparate punishments." De Fide.

    How many kinds of People die in original sin alone? Only infants and Idiots.


    Therefore, they suffer definite PUNISHMENT, not natural bliss.

    Also, like I said before, Limbo, as understood by Aquinas, is not a middle state. It is the edge of Hell.

    It is condemned to believe in a happy middle state between heaven and hell for unbaptized infants.
    'Take care not to resemble the multitude whose knowledge of God's will only condemns them to more severe punishment.'

    -St. John of Avila

    Offline TKGS

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    All the NOers seem to be semi-pelagians...
    « Reply #6 on: January 06, 2012, 08:26:46 AM »
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  • I have never been able to keep the names of all the various heresies straight, so I'll take you word that "semi-pelagianism" is the heresy that unbaptized babies go to heaven.

    With the wide-spread cancer of abortion plaguing the Western world since the 1960s, the actual, physical deaths of thousands of babies a day was no longer a remote, theoretical issue.  It wasn't confined to pagan lands in remote Third World locations they only read about in National Geographic.  "Christian" lands were now seeing, literally, thousands of infant deaths every day.

    In addition to this reality, Western society was prospering in the aftermath of World War II and technological advances meant that there were relatively few people who had to struggle on a daily basis just to survive.  The death of an infant (who was "wanted") was fast becoming a rarity rather than an accepted and normal part of "man's struggle to survive".  Large families also became the exception rather than the norm.  People found that they had much more leisure time (as all of us who post of forums have much of) and they began to contemplate their soft lives and the reality of abortion.

    Couple all of this with the general loss of faith by much of Western civilization and people started asking questions about the fate of these aborted babies (and, by extention, all infant deaths).  Priests and bishops, who were also experiencing a loss of faith, could not reconcile their human understanding of "love" and "compassion" with hell for those "innocent" souls:  the babies who died in the womb or before baptism.  At the same time, Catholic theologians and clergy who, during and after the War, had been forced together with the clergy of heretical sects and Jєωs were hearing the constant drumbeat that Christianity somehow caused "The Haulocaust" and were ashamed of Christ.  They began to work out a theology that could eventually allow for everyone, except, possibly, the worst of the worst, to achieve salvation by exaulting "invincible ignorance", the "anonymous Christian", "Baptism of Desire" (in an extreme and perverted sense), etc.  Rather than speak the truth, they salved the consciences of people who questioned (either because they had been involved with an abortion, knew someone who had been, or was just a week-kneed liberal) by telling them that aborted babies will find their way to heaven.  The two heresies began to work together and feed off each other.

    The idea that unbaptized babies go to heaven is a heresy; it is part and parcel of the heresy of universal salvation.  

    If you ask virtually any Conciliar priest (go ahead, ask an FSSP priest or a "tradition-friendly" Novus Ordo priest) if aborted babies go to hell and I doubt that you will find many who will answer in the affirmative.  There will be a few, but it will be precious few.  Many will answer unequivically that they are saved.  Others my equivocate, and their answers will be muddy; but, make no mistake, they will leave you with the impression that he told you (even if he did not actually say it) that these babies will go to heaven.  And a very distinct minority will tell you that these babies will go to hell for they have not Sanctifying Grace.

    It is clear that this heresy is the teaching of the Conciliar church and that the vast majority of people who worship with the Conciliar church believe in that heresy with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.  It is what they teach.  Their preaching against abortion (that once-a-year sermon on "Respect Life Sunday") is based only upon humanistic reasons and not on spiritual reasons.  While the human element should indeed be discussed, it is not the primary reason abortion is wrong and these reasons cannot be the sole reasons against the practice.  The "Golden Rule" just doesn't work with people who have lost faith in the One True God and believe in the evolutionary model of "survival of the fittest."

    So, to answer your question on the modern origin of this attitude amongst the people of the Novus Ordo, it is simply a loss of faith and a clergy who refuse to see or teach the Truth.

    Offline Telesphorus

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    All the NOers seem to be semi-pelagians...
    « Reply #7 on: January 06, 2012, 08:32:39 AM »
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    Nobody denied this from 430 ad until the time of Aquinas.


    Quite a stretch.

    The bottom line: if you say limbo without fire is somehow pelagian, you're adhering to a condemned position.

    Do so at the peril of your soul.


    Offline Gregory I

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    All the NOers seem to be semi-pelagians...
    « Reply #8 on: January 06, 2012, 02:56:15 PM »
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  • Quote from: Telesphorus
    Quote
    Nobody denied this from 430 ad until the time of Aquinas.


    Quite a stretch.

    The bottom line: if you say limbo without fire is somehow pelagian, you're adhering to a condemned position.

    Do so at the peril of your soul.


    NO, if you say LIMBO exists midway between hell and heaven, you are adhering to an equally condemned position.

    LIMBO has always been taught to be a part of hell. I am simply reemphasizing that.

    And no, it is not a stretch, it is a fact. Since the Death of St. Augustine, until the Time of Peter Abelard in the 14th century, the Universal Consensus amongst theologians was that unbaptized Children who died were positively punished in the flames with other sinners; nevertheless, they received the least AMOUNT of punishment.

    Abelard was the First to say that the Primary punishment for original sin apart from actual sin was the deprivation of the beatific vision, whilst the punishment for ACTUAL sin was the punishment of Fire. Nevertheless, the infants still suffered the Pain of loss. Then St. Thomas took this view and decided that Infants do not actually SUFFER in Hell, because they have no knowledge of what they are missing out on. Nevertheless, they are considered 'punished" for not being allowed to be in the presence of God.

    My response to this is very simple; it seems the council of Lyons and Florence contradict St. Thomas, so I confess what the ecuмenical councils taught, and the regional councils promulgated by ecuмenical councils and popes also taught. I do not condemn the idea that unbaptized infants may be in a place of lesser punishment as long as it is a part of hell; I condemn the notion that they can share any kind of blessedness apart from the life of heaven and NOT be in hell in SOME sense.
    'Take care not to resemble the multitude whose knowledge of God's will only condemns them to more severe punishment.'

    -St. John of Avila

    Offline Pepsuber

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    All the NOers seem to be semi-pelagians...
    « Reply #9 on: January 06, 2012, 03:33:56 PM »
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  • Semi-pelagianism, briefly put, is the heresy that teaches that man can make a choice for God on his own. That is, a man can of his own free will and unaided by grace, can put his faith in God. Initial justification, therefore, is within man's power. How this applies to the salvation of unbaptized infants is beyond me. Maybe there's a connection in there somewhere.

    I would add however that many people of all stripes today are Semi-pelagians or even Pelagians.

    Offline Darcy

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    All the NOers seem to be semi-pelagians...
    « Reply #10 on: January 06, 2012, 03:36:38 PM »
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  • I will tell you what we were taught in the fifties--preVII.

    Babies that die without Baptism including miscarriages--abortion was not even a consideration at the time---go to Limbo. Limbo was described as being analogous to a closet in Heaven and the suffering consisted of not being able to ever gaze upon the countenance of the Lord.
    Mothers could Baptise their infants through desire if they were unable to perform the physical sacrament.

    If this is not true then shouldn't infants be baptised while still in the womb or at least as they escape the birth canal?

    These are concrete simple explanations given to simple faithful Catholics at the time and decades and centuries prior. I don't know what else to say.

    Everyone can't have, nor is smart enough to hope to have, a PhD in Canon Law.

     :heretic:


    Offline Gregory I

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    All the NOers seem to be semi-pelagians...
    « Reply #11 on: January 06, 2012, 03:49:45 PM »
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  • Quote from: Darcy
    I will tell you what we were taught in the fifties--preVII.

    Babies that die without Baptism including miscarriages--abortion was not even a consideration at the time---go to Limbo. Limbo was described as being analogous to a closet in Heaven and the suffering consisted of not being able to ever gaze upon the countenance of the Lord.
    Mothers could Baptise their infants through desire if they were unable to perform the physical sacrament.

    If this is not true then shouldn't infants be baptised while still in the womb or at least as they escape the birth canal?

    These are concrete simple explanations given to simple faithful Catholics at the time and decades and centuries prior. I don't know what else to say.

    Everyone can't have, nor is smart enough to hope to have, a PhD in Canon Law.

     :heretic:


    That is not inaccurate, nor is it an issue of canon law. The only part of this you weren't told is that LIMBO, according to St. Thomas Aquinas, who invented the modern idea of Limbo, is a part of Hell. It does not exist OUTSIDE of Hell. So all unbaptized children are in HELL. The only really speculative part is what they suffer in this part of Hell. It is NOT a middle place.

    No, a parent's desire to baptize the child doesn't count as BOD for children.
    'Take care not to resemble the multitude whose knowledge of God's will only condemns them to more severe punishment.'

    -St. John of Avila

    Offline Telesphorus

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    All the NOers seem to be semi-pelagians...
    « Reply #12 on: January 06, 2012, 04:08:35 PM »
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  • You say limbo is semi-pelagian.  Auctorem Fidei condemns the proposition that belief in limbo is pelagian.  

    Your position is condemned.  You need to retract it.

    Or you can rave about babies being thrown into the flames like a self-righteous maniac.

    You aren't a feeneyite are you?

    Offline s2srea

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    All the NOers seem to be semi-pelagians...
    « Reply #13 on: January 06, 2012, 04:31:09 PM »
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  • Phyrros, Hobble, et all- can you upload any docuмents on this subject?

    I don't know how accurate this is, but I know Tele and others has referenced Newadvent.org before.

    Quote
    (Late Latin limbus) a word of Teutonic derivation, meaning literally "hem" or "border," as of a garment, or anything joined on (cf. Italian lembo or English limb).

    In theological usage the name is applied to (a) the temporary place or state of the souls of the just who, although purified from sin, were excluded from the beatific vision until Christ's triumphant ascension into Heaven (the "limbus patrum"); or (b) to the permanent place or state of those unbaptized children and others who, dying without grievous personal sin, are excluded from the beatific vision on account of original sin alone (the "limbus infantium" or "puerorum").

    In literary usage the name is sometimes applied in a wider and more general sense to any place or state of restraint, confinement, or exclusion, and is practically equivalent to "prison" (see, e.g., Milton, "Paradise Lost," III, 495; Butler, "Hudibras," part II, canto i, and other English classics). The not unnatural transition from the theological to the literary usage is exemplified in Shakespeare, "Henry VIII," act v, sc. 3. In this article we shall deal only with the theological meaning and connotation of the word.

    Limbus patrum

    Though it can hardly be claimed, on the evidence of extant literature, that a definite and consistent belief in the limbus patrum of Christian tradition was universal among the Jєωs, it cannot on the other hand be denied that, more especially in the extra-canonical writings of the second or first centuries B.C., some such belief finds repeated expression; and New Testament references to the subject remove all doubt as to the current Jєωιѕн belief in the time of Christ. Whatever name may be used in apocryphal Jєωιѕн literature to designate the abode of the departed just, the implication generally is

    that their condition is one of happiness,
    that it is temporary, and
    that it is to be replaced by a condition of final and permanent bliss when the Messianic Kingdom is established.

    In the New Testament, Christ refers by various names and figures to the place or state which Catholic tradition has agreed to call the limbus patrum. In Matthew 8:11, it is spoken of under the figure of a banquet "with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven" (cf. Luke 8:29; 14:15), and in Matthew 25:10 under the figure of a marriage feast to which the prudent virgins are admitted, while in the parable of Lazarus and Dives it is called "Abraham's bosom" (Luke 16:22) and in Christ's words to the penitent thief on Calvary the name paradise is used (Luke 23:43). St. Paul teaches (Ephesians 4:9) that before ascending into Heaven Christ "also descended first into the lower parts of the earth," and St. Peter still more explicitly teaches that "being put to death indeed, in the flesh, but enlivened in the spirit," Christ went and "preached to those souls that were in prison, which had been some time incredulous, when they waited for the patience of God in the days of Noah" (1 Peter 3:18-20).

    It is principally on the strength of these Scriptural texts, harmonized with the general doctrine of the Fall and Redemption of mankind, that Catholic tradition has defended the existence of the limbus patrum as a temporary state or place of happiness distinct from Purgatory. As a result of the Fall, Heaven was closed against men. Actual possession of the beatific vision was postponed, even for those already purified from sin, until the Redemption should have been historically completed by Christ's visible ascendancy into Heaven. Consequently, the just who had lived under the Old Dispensation, and who, either at death or after a course of purgatorial discipline, had attained the perfect holiness required for entrance into glory, were obliged to await the coming of the Incarnate Son of God and the full accomplishment of His visible earthly mission. Meanwhile they were "in prison," as St. Peter says; but, as Christ's own words to the penitent thief and in the parable of Lazarus clearly imply, their condition was one of happiness, notwithstanding the postponement of the higher bliss to which they looked forward. And this, substantially, is all that Catholic tradition teaches regarding the limbus patrum.

    Limbus infantium

    The New Testament contains no definite statement of a positive kind regarding the lot of those who die in original sin without being burdened with grievous personal guilt. But, by insisting on the absolute necessity of being "born again of water and the Holy Ghost" (John 3:5) for entry into the kingdom of Heaven (see BAPTISM, subtitle Necessity of Baptism), Christ clearly enough implies that men are born into this world in a state of sin, and St. Paul's teaching to the same effect is quite explicit (Romans 5:12 sqq.). On the other hand, it is clear from Scripture and Catholic tradition that the means of regeneration provided for this life do not remain available after death, so that those dying unregenerate are eternally excluded from the supernatural happiness of the beatific vision (John 9:4, Luke 12:40, 16:19 sqq., 2 Corinthians 5:10; see also APOCATASTASIS). The question therefore arises as to what, in the absence of a clear positive revelation on the subject, we ought in conformity with Catholic principles to believe regarding the eternal lot of such persons. Now it may confidently be said that, as the result of centuries of speculation on the subject, we ought to believe that these souls enjoy and will eternally enjoy a state of perfect natural happiness; and this is what Catholics usually mean when they speak of the limbus infantium, the "children's limbo."

    The best way of justifying the above statement is to give a brief sketch of the history of Catholic opinion on the subject. We shall try to do so by selecting the particular and pertinent facts from the general history of Catholic speculation regarding the Fall and original sin, but it is only right to observe that a fairly full knowledge of this general history is required for a proper appreciation of these facts.

    Pre-Augustinian tradition

    There is no evidence to prove that any Greek or Latin Father before St. Augustine ever taught that original sin of itself involved any severer penalty after death than exclusion from the beatific vision, and this, by the Greek Fathers at least, was always regarded as being strictly supernatural. Explicit references to the subject are rare, but for the Greek Fathers generally the statement of St. Gregory of nαzιanzus may be taken as representative:

    It will happen, I believe . . . that those last mentioned [infants dying without baptism] will neither be admitted by the just judge to the glory of Heaven nor condemned to suffer punishment, since, though unsealed [by baptism], they are not wicked. . . . For from the fact that one does not merit punishment it does not follow that one is worthy of being honored, any more than it follows that one who is not worthy of a certain honor deserves on that account to be punished. [Oration 40, no. 23]
    Thus, according to Gregory, for children dying without baptism, and excluded for want of the "seal" from the "honor" or gratuitous favor of seeing God face to face, an intermediate or neutral state is admissible, which, unlike that of the personally wicked, is free from positive punishment. And, for the West, Tertullian opposes infant baptism on the ground that infants are innocent, while St. Ambrose explains that original sin is rather an inclination to evil than guilt in the strict sense, and that it need occasion no fear at the day of judgement; and the Ambrosiaster teaches that the "second death," which means condemnation to the hell of torment of the damned, is not incurred by Adam's sin, but by our own. This was undoubtedly the general tradition before St. Augustine's time.

    Teaching of St. Augustine

    In his earlier writings St. Augustine himself agrees with the common tradition. Thus in De libero arbitrio III, written several years before the Pelagian controversy, discussing the fate of unbaptized infants after death, he writes: "It is superfluous to inquire about the merits of one who has not any merits. For one need not hesitate to hold that life may be neutral as between good conduct and sin, and that as between reward and punishment there may be a neutral sentence of the judge." But even before the outbreak of the Pelagian controversy St. Augustine had already abandoned the lenient traditional view, and in the course of the controversy he himself condemned, and persuaded the Council of Carthage (418) to condemn, the substantially identical Pelagian teaching affirming the existence of "an intermediate place, or of any place anywhere at all (ullus alicubi locus), in which children who pass out of this life unbaptized live in happiness" (Denzinger 102). This means that St. Augustine and the African Fathers believed that unbaptized infants share in the common positive misery of the damned, and the very most that St. Augustine concedes is that their punishment is the mildest of all, so mild indeed that one may not say that for them non-existence would be preferable to existence in such a state (Of Sin and Merit I.21; Contra Jul. V, 44; etc.). But this Augustinian teaching was an innovation in its day, and the history of subsequent Catholic speculation on this subject is taken up chiefly with the reaction which has ended in a return to the pre-Augustinian tradition.

    Post-Augustinian teaching

    After enjoying several centuries of undisputed supremacy, St. Augustine's teaching on original sin was first successfully challenged by St. Anselm (d. 1109), who maintained that it was not concupiscence, but the privation of original justice, that constituted the essence of the inherited sin (De conceptu virginali). On the special question, however, of the punishment of original sin after death, St. Anselm was at one with St. Augustine in holding that unbaptized children share in the positive sufferings of the damned; and Abelard was the first to rebel against the severity of the Augustinian tradition on this point. According to him there was no guilt (culpa), but only punishment (poena), in the proper notion of original sin; and although this doctrine was rightly condemned by the Council of Soissons in 1140, his teaching, which rejected material torment (poena sensus) and retained only the pain of loss (poena damni) as the eternal punishment of original sin (Comm. in Rom.), was not only not condemned but was generally accepted and improved upon by the Scholastics. Peter Lombard, the Master of the Sentences, popularized it (Sent. II, xxxiii, 5), and it acquired a certain degree of official authority from the letter of Innocent III to the Archbishop of Arles, which soon found its way into the "Corpus Juris". Pope Innocent's teaching is to the effect that those dying with only original sin on their souls will suffer "no other pain, whether from material fire or from the worm of conscience, except the pain of being deprived forever of the vision of God" (Corp. Juris, Decret. l. III, tit. xlii, c. iii — Majores). It should be noted, however, that this poena damni incurred for original sin implied, with Abelard and most of the early Scholastics, a certain degree of spiritual torment, and that St. Thomas was the first great teacher who broke away completely from the Augustinian tradition on this subject, and relying on the principle, derived through the Pseudo-Dionysius from the Greek Fathers, that human nature as such with all its powers and rights was unaffected by the Fall (quod naturalia manent integra), maintained, at least virtually, what the great majority of later Catholic theologians have expressly taught, that the limbus infantium is a place or state of perfect natural happiness.

    No reason can be given — so argued the Angelic Doctor — for exempting unbaptized children from the material torments of Hell (poena sensus) that does not hold good, even a fortiori, for exempting them also from internal spiritual suffering (poena damni in the subjective sense), since the latter in reality is the more grievous penalty, and is more opposed to the mitissima poena which St. Augustine was willing to admit (De Malo, V, art. iii). Hence he expressly denies that they suffer from any "interior affliction", in other words that they experience any pain of loss (nihil omnino dolebunt de carentia visionis divinae — "In Sent.", II, 33, q. ii, a. 2). At first ("In Sent.", loc. cit.), St. Thomas held this absence of subjective suffering to be compatible with a consciousness of objective loss or privation, the resignation of such souls to the ways of God's providence being so perfect that a knowledge of what they had lost through no fault of their own does not interfere with the full enjoyment of the natural goods they possess. Afterwards, however, he adopted the much simpler psychological explanation which denies that these souls have any knowledge of the supernatural destiny they have missed, this knowledge being itself supernatural, and as such not included in what is naturally due to the separated soul (De Malo loc. cit.). It should be added that in St. Thomas' view the limbus infantium is not a mere negative state of immunity from suffering and sorrow, but a state of positive happiness in which the soul is united to God by a knowledge and love of him proportionate to nature's capacity.

    The teaching of St. Thomas was received in the schools, almost without opposition, down to the Reformation period. The very few theologians who, with Gregory of Rimini, stood out for the severe Augustinian view, were commonly designated by the opprobrious name of tortores infantium. Some writers, like Savonarola (De triumpho crucis, III, 9) and Catharinus (De statu parvulorum sine bapt. decedentium), added certain details to the current teaching — for example that the souls of unbaptized children will be united to glorious bodies at the Resurrection, and that the renovated earth of which St. Peter speaks (2 Peter 3:13) will be their happy dwelling place for eternity. At the Reformation, Protestants generally, but more especially the Calvinists, in reviving Augustinian teaching, added to its original harshness, and the Jansenists followed on the same lines. This reacted in two ways on Catholic opinion, first by compelling attention to the true historical situation, which the Scholastics had understood very imperfectly, and second by stimulating an all-round opposition to Augustinian severity regarding the effects of original sin; and the immediate result was to set up two Catholic parties, one of whom either rejected St. Thomas to follow the authority of St. Augustine or vainly try to reconcile the two, while the other remained faithful to the Greek Fathers and St. Thomas. The latter party, after a fairly prolonged struggle, has certainly the balance of success on its side.

    Besides the professed advocates of Augustinianism, the principal theologians who belonged to the first party were Bellarmine, Petavius, and Bossuet, and the chief ground of their opposition to the previously prevalent Scholastic view was that its acceptance seemed to compromise the very principle of the authority of tradition. As students of history, they felt bound to admit that, in excluding unbaptized children from any place or state even of natural happiness and condemning them to the fire of Hell, St. Augustine, the Council of Carthage, and later African Fathers, like Fulgentius (De fide ad Petrum, 27), intended to teach no mere private opinion, but a doctrine of Catholic Faith; nor could they be satisfied with what Scholastics, like St. Bonaventure and Duns Scotus, said in reply to this difficulty, namely that St. Augustine had simply been guilty of exaggeration ("respondit Bonaventura dicens quod Augustinus excessive loquitur de illis poenis, sicut frequenter faciunt sancti" — Scots, In Sent., II, xxxiii, 2). Neither could they accept the explanation which even some modern theologians continue to repeat: that the Pelagian doctrine condemned by St. Augustine as a heresy (see e.g., On the Soul and its Origin II.17) consisted in claiming supernatural, as opposed to natural, happiness for those dying in original sin (see Bellarmine, De amiss. gratiae, vi, 1; Petavius, De Deo, IX, xi; De Rubeis, De Peccat. Orig., xxx, lxxii). Moreover, there was the teaching of the Council of Florence, that "the souls of those dying in actual mortal sin or in original sin alone go down at once (mox) into Hell, to be punished, however, with widely different penalties."

    It is clear that Bellarmine found the situation embarrassing, being unwilling, as he was, to admit that St. Thomas and the Schoolmen generally were in conflict with what St. Augustine and other Fathers considered to be de fide, and what the Council of Florence seemed to have taught definitively. Hence he names Catharinus and some others as revivers of the Pelagian error, as though their teaching differed in substance from the general teaching of the School, and tries in a milder way to refute what he concedes to be the view of St. Thomas (op. cit., vi-vii). He himself adopts a view which is substantially that of Abelard mentioned above; but he is obliged to do violence to the text of St. Augustine and other Fathers in his attempt to explain them in conformity with this view, and to contradict the principle he elsewhere insists upon that "original sin does not destroy the natural but only the supernatural order." (op. cit., iv).

    Petavius, on the other hand, did not try to explain away the obvious meaning of St. Augustine and his followers, but, in conformity with that teaching, condemned unbaptized children to the sensible pains of Hell, maintaining also that this was a doctrine of the Council of Florence.

    Neither of these theologians, however, succeeded in winning a large following or in turning the current of Catholic opinion from the channel into which St. Thomas had directed it. Besides Natalis Alexander (De peccat. et virtut, I, i, 12), and Estius (In Sent., II, xxxv, 7), Bellarmine's chief supporter was Bossuet, who vainly tried to induce Innocent XII to condemn certain propositions which he extracted from a posthumous work of Cardinal Sfrondati and in which the lenient scholastic view is affirmed. Only professed Augustinians like Noris and Berti, or out-and-out Jansenists like the Bishop of Pistoia, whose famous diocesan synod furnished eighty-five propositions for condemnation by Pius VI (1794), supported the harsh teaching of Petavius. The twenty-sixth of these propositions repudiated "as a Pelagian fable the existence of the place (usually called the children's limbo) in which the souls of those dying in original sin are punished by the pain of loss without any pain of fire"; and this, taken to mean that by denying the pain of fire one thereby necessarily postulates a middle place or state, involving neither guilt nor penalty, between the Kingdom of God and eternal damnation, is condemned by the pope as being "false and rash and as slander of the Catholic schools" (Denz. 526).

    This condemnation was practically the death-knell of extreme Augustinianism, while the mitigate Augustinianism of Bellarmine and Bossuet had already been rejected by the bulk of Catholic theologians. Suarez, for example, ignoring Bellarmine's protest, continued to teach what Catharinus had taught — that unbaptized children will not only enjoy perfect natural happiness, but that they will rise with immortal bodies at the last day and have the renovated earth for their happy abode (De vit. et penat., ix, sect. vi, n. 4); and, without insisting on such details, the great majority of Catholic theologians have continued to maintain the general doctrine that the children's limbo is a state of perfect natural happiness, just the same as it would have been if God had not established the present supernatural order. It is true, on the other hand, that some Catholic theologians have stood out for some kind of compromise with Augustinianism, on the ground that nature itself was wounded and weakened, or, at least that certain natural rights (including the right to perfect felicity) were lost in consequence of the Fall. But these have granted for the most part that the children's limbo implies exemption, not only from the pain of sense, but from any positive spiritual anguish for the loss of the beatific vision; and not a few have been willing to admit a certain degree of natural happiness in limbo. What has been chiefly in dispute is whether this happiness is as perfect and complete as it would have been in the hypothetical state of pure nature, and this is what the majority of Catholic theologians have affirmed.

    As to the difficulties against this view which possessed such weight in the eyes of the eminent theologians we have mentioned, it is to be observed:

    we must not confound St. Augustine's private authority with the infallible authority of the Catholic Church; and
    if allowance be made for the confusion introduced into the Pelagian controversy by the want of a clear and explicit conception of the distinction between the natural and the supernatural order one can easily understand why St. Augustine and the Council of Carthage were practically bound to condemn the locus medius of the Pelagians. St. Augustine himself was inclined to deny this distinction altogether, although the Greek Fathers had already developed it pretty fully, and although some of the Pelagians had a glimmering of it (see Coelestius in August., De Peccat. Orig., v), they based their claim to natural happiness for unbaptized children on a denial of the Fall and original sin, and identified this state of happiness with the "life eternal" of the New Testament.
    Moreover, even if one were to admit for the sake of argument that this canon of the Council of Carthage (the authenticity of which cannot be reasonably doubted) acquired the force of an ecuмenical definition, one ought to interpret it in the light of what was understood to be at issue by both sides in the controversy, and therefore add to the simple locus medius the qualification which is added by Pius VI when, in the Constitution "Auctoreum Fidei", he speaks of "locuм illium et statum medium expertem culpae et poenae."
    Finally, in regard to the teaching of the Council of Florence, it is incredible that the Fathers there assembled had any intention of defining a question so remote from the issue on which reunion with the Greeks depended, and one which was recognized at the time as being open to free discussion and continued to be so regarded by theologians for several centuries afterwards. What the council evidently intended to deny in the passage alleged was the postponement of final awards until the day of judgement. Those dying in original sin are said to descend into Hell, but this does not necessarily mean anything more than that they are excluded eternally from the vision of God. In this sense they are damned; they have failed to reach their supernatural destiny, and this viewed objectively is a true penalty. Thus the Council of Florence, however literally interpreted, does not deny the possibility of perfect subjective happiness for those dying in original sin, and this is all that is needed from the dogmatic viewpoint to justify the prevailing Catholic notion of the children's limbo, while from the standpoint of reason, as St. Gregory of nαzιanzus pointed out long ago, no harsher view can be reconciled with a worthy concept of God's justice and other attributes.

    Offline Gregory I

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    All the NOers seem to be semi-pelagians...
    « Reply #14 on: January 06, 2012, 05:01:37 PM »
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  • Quote from: Telesphorus
    You say limbo is semi-pelagian.  Auctorem Fidei condemns the proposition that belief in limbo is pelagian.  

    Your position is condemned.  You need to retract it.

    Or you can rave about babies being thrown into the flames like a self-righteous maniac.

    You aren't a feeneyite are you?


    Once again, you fail to make distinctions. Aquinas's understanding of Limbo is not semi-pelagian so long as he maintains it as a part of hell, WHICH HE DOES.

    My position is not condemned, because the Saints held the position I hold. Augustine, Bellarmine, Fulgentius, Isidore, etc...

    Auctorem Fide dis not issue a single anathema. I definitely adhere to it, and I agree with what Pope Pius VI said. I am not a Jansenist.

    The pelagian understanding I attribute to the laity. They seem to think Limbo exists outside of Heaven and Hell, or worse, as a part of Heaven. This is clearly false. TO maintain that unbaptized infants can possibly enjoy blessedness without baptism in some middle realm is a heretical fantasy, condemned by the XVI Council of Carthage which was Presided over by St. Augustine, which in turn was Promulgated by at LEAST two Popes, Innocent I and Zosimus, and Ratified by the Council of Ephesus and the Second Council of Nicea.

    History is a beautiful thing. as I said, St. Augustine's view was promulgated by the Church for over 800 years. St. Thomas's milder views have been promulgated for almost the same amount of time. In terms of doctrinal longevity, it's currently a pretty even split.

    I choose the Councils of the Church, the Popes, and the teachings of perhaps the most influential saint as my authority.

    For example:

    The canons of Carthage XVI are considered to be infallible by Roman Catholic theologians because Pope St. Innocent (-417) and Pope St. Zosimus (-418) approved of them as a rule of the faith. The canons include the following.
     
    “It has been decided likewise that if anyone says that for this reason the Lord said: “In my house there are many mansions”: that it might be understood that in the kingdom of heaven there will be some middle place or some place anywhere where happy infants live who departed from this life without baptism, without which they cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, which is life eternal, let him be anathema. For when the Lord says: “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he shall not enter into the kingdom of God” [John 3:5], what Catholic will doubt that he will be a partner of the devil who has not deserved to be a coheir of Christ? For he who lacks the right part will without doubt run into the left [cf. Matt. 25:41,46].”

    Augustine wrote that the Pelagian doctrine of an intermediate state had been condemned by the “councils and the Apostolic See.”

    St. Augustine: “He who is not on the right is undoubtedly on the left; therefore, he who is not in the kingdom is beyond doubt in eternal fire. [...] Behold, I have explained to you what the kingdom is, and what eternal fire is; so that when you profess that a child is not in the kingdom, you may acknowledge that he is in eternal fire.” (Sermon 294, 3)
     
    St. Augustine: “If a child is not wrested from the power of darkness, but remains there, why do you marvel that he is in eternal fire who is not permitted to enter the kingdom of heaven?” (Unfinished Work to Julian III, 199)

    “Be it therefore far from us so to forsake the case of infants as to say to ourselves that it is uncertain whether, being regenerated in Christ, if they die in infancy they pass into eternal salvation, but that, not being regenerated, they pass into the second death. Because that which is written, “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men,” cannot be rightly understood in any other manner.” (The Gift of Perseverance 30)

    WHat does self-righteousness have to do with anything?

    No, I am not a Feeneyite. Fr. Feeney held beliefs that are neither part of the ordinary or extraordinary magisterium of the Church, and I reject those.

    I told you, I am an Augustinian of the old Rigorist school, a legitimate theological school and position admirably defended by several theologians of the church in the face of the moral laxity and "tolerance" of the Jesuits.



    'Take care not to resemble the multitude whose knowledge of God's will only condemns them to more severe punishment.'

    -St. John of Avila