Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Pagan babies, rejoice!

Looks like all those unbaptized folks are going to get sprung from Limbo. B16's going to abolish it any day now. Read all about it!

Now prepare for the onslaught of "it was never really a Catholic doctrine" spin. Sorry, folks, limbo was a commonly held belief a mere generation ago, and it's demise the result of a doctrinal change far more common (and drastic): "No salvation outside the church." Remember that one? It's been replaced by the universal salvific will of God. (See Lumen Gentium, 13.)

Thank you, Vatican II.


At 9:48 AM, Blogger Mary Anne said...

Funny thing, I was taught, via information that I'm pretty sure was around before Vatican II, that in the end there are four things: Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell. I was told by a person who was knowledgable about the Church that it was believed that all human beings, regardless of Baptism or not, were precisely given a choice for or against God, but that we on earth, who have been told of the Kingdom are still bound to Baptism. (Read John 3:5).

The idea that you convey about the Church is humanistic, without the Divine element. Theories are NOT doctrines. Nobody has EVER declared limbo to be a doctrine, and not all people agreed with it, although the Not-to-Question factor was a serious problem with the masses of people before Vatican II. The pope, himself, is only infallible when he declares doctrine. Limbo was NEVER DECLARED a doctrine. It's that simple. It was a theory, developed by St. Thomas Aquinas and other theologians who tried to come up with an explanation for the need for Baptism, which is a doctrine.

Truths cannot change. Right is not wrong. Black is not white. Baptism is a doctrine. Baptism will always be necessary, because the result of it has far reaching effects that we could not even begin to imagine without ample faith. Seek and you shall find out.

At 10:56 AM, Blogger CtotheL said...

In the end there is only one thing: God's love. And because of that love, God desires the salvation of all. It is no longer the church's teaching, though it certainly used to be, that explicit faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation, much less baptism. As Lumen Gentium puts it so beautifully, "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God. In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh. On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of the calls He issues. But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things,and as Saviour wills that all men be saved. Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel."

In other words, we shouldn't be too quick to constrain the grace of God.

At 5:18 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

"No salvation outside the Church" still holds, dear Bryan, while it is possible the non-Catholics and non-Christians will be saved, if they are saved it will still be through the salvific work of Jesus Christ, and the grace of the one, true church, our Catholic Church. Yes, that may seem like an arrogant statement, and it would be, if it were not true. It all depends on what the individual knows. If someone knows that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world, and the Catholic Church is the Church founded by Him, and they freely choose to leave, then most likely, they will not be saved, even if they were a "good person." However, if someone was raised in a non-Christian faith and sincerely believed in their religion, and lived a moral life to the best of their abilities, then yes, salvation will most likely be open to them. I say "most likely" because we can never know how God will judge souls; He is love, truth, and justice and He could never do anything that would be "unfair" because that would go against his very nature. But still, this "new revelation" (which is hardly new) can never be misconstrued to mean that belief in Jesus in Christ is not necessary for salvation. As your best friend Pope Benedict so bravely said, "The Catholic religon must never be put on the shelf next to all the other religions."

At 9:40 PM, Blogger Mary Anne said...

Well, anyway, I read your response, and I want to thank you for the beautiful quote from Lumen Gentium, Bryan. You are right to say that God would not make people, and then just throw them away, because it is true, He made us all, everyone in the world, in His own image, and he wants us to share eternal life with Him, to be with Him in Heaven forever.

We can reject Him, but he cannot be unfaithful in His love for us. As a Christian, a Catholic, my prayers and works are not just to be for myself, or my own self-interest, but as an act of gratitude that I owe to God for giving me life, and much more, the promise of eternal life through Baptism. Because I feel so grateful, I want that for each and every person who has ever lived, and so I offer up prayers and works of love for the sake of the world--it is only my duty-- while trusting in Him, His own mighty power, His great mercy, His faithful love, His saving action.


Post a Comment

<< Home