+++ 21. The Fourth Big Problem With Ignorance: +++
Since When Did God Make ‘Sincerity’
the Eighth Sacrament?
Now we come to the heart of the matter.
Both literally (this is the core notion driving people to misconstrue the idea of an ‘invincible ignorance’, sending out deceptive tentacles in several directions) and figuratively (this is the fourth of seven problems explained, the center around which the others revolve), this is where we probe the sweet poison of a ludicrous idea, carefully draining the dulcet yet deadly venom from its fangs.
Because human beings don’t like to think they go into oblivion at death. No matter how modern --- and no matter how much ‘atheists’ or other philosophical materialists have grown in numbers lately --- human nature desperately wants to believe that physical death is not truly the end of its conscious existence.
Somehow individual lives must continue as conscious entities beyond bodily existence.
Nonetheless, modern people don’t like to think that a Creator (whoever or whatever they think this Creator is, precisely speaking) made them for any purpose apart from just being ‘nice’ to each other, or to ‘love’ everybody, or, perhaps, to learn some deep & profound philosophical ‘secrets’ about ourselves and the cosmos… whatever exactly ‘nice’ and ‘love’ and ‘secrets’ might mean to any particular modernized person.
And so they more and more reject anything religious having to do with sin, obedience, commandments, punishment and hell. These are ‘bad’ words to them, and if you insist on going around talking about them seriously too much to too many people, the vast majority of them today will ignore, ridicule, stigmatize or persecute you.
They certainly won’t like you.
And yet Catholicism dares to say that our Creator is an All-Intelligent & All-Powerful Sentient Being (indeed, Three Persons in One Being) and that the Second Person of this Divine Being became Flesh, a mere human being on earth like ourselves, to sacrifice Himself for our sins and teach us how to save our souls by joining, believing and obeying His Singular Ecclesial Body, the Roman Catholic Church, and Her Infallible Teachings.
Now, my dear reader, you may despise what I’ve just said.
You may even call yourself ‘catholic’ and not actually be the real thing.
In any case, if you don’t think physical death is the end, then you’ve got a problem.
Because real Catholicism may look like a thing of the past, but it’s not. My own existence is proof of that (I was not raised Catholic, rather, I was taught to disdain Catholicism), and the fact that Heaven has allowed me, however incompetently and obscurely, to proclaim its ‘offensive’ but saving truths, is evidence that it has not gone away.
It’s simply hated and ignored, a situation that God permits for a while in order to punish us for our arrogance and sins against His Catholic Religion --- a Religion that has been proclaimed throughout the whole world over the past two millennia --- by allowing this Saving Truth of His to become hidden for a time, so that our final reckoning is all the more just after our willful & stubborn rebellion against His Sole Means of Salvation.
Recollect the scriptural quote from
“And then that wicked one shall be revealed… whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: that all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8a, 9-11 DRC)
“Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: that all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10c-11 DRC)
Ergo, if you hate real Catholicism but can’t stomach thinking human death is oblivion, then you’ve got to make up a fantasy about how your post-physical existence will be very pleasant and not a thing of horrible suffering forever for refusing to use your God-given intelligence --- including our divinely-bestowed freedom of will --- to freely choose to carefully and intelligently seek for His Purpose for our human existence, instead of resting smug in the false religious beliefs nearly everyone today prefers to hold.
A purpose that --- surprise! --- Catholicism dares to tell us is Roman Catholic.
And, if smart enough or honest enough or scared enough to admit that you could be mistaken about your non-Catholic religious beliefs (if only in the privacy of your most hidden away thoughts), then, if still not willing to seek intelligently and steadfastly for our Creator’s Purpose for your existence, you must additionally pretend that you have the most excellent motives --- that you really do mean to do good despite doing what is bad.
Hence, even if Catholicism were totally correct… surely God wouldn’t punish you for failing to figure this out, right?
I mean, God is loving and merciful. He’s kind and forgiving.
So if we’re sincerely wrong… isn’t that good enough?
+++ 22. How Does the ‘Operation of Error’ Operate? +++
(The Baptismal Connection)
Here we shift gears a bit.
In the past chapter I have tried again to include, as much as possible, those people who don’t necessarily think of themselves as Catholic. Now we’re going to focus once more like a laser on persons who call themselves ‘catholic’ --- and even if they’re not in reality what they say they are.
This is because, as far as I can tell, the vast majority of the world today… at least in our richer and more ‘scientific’ part of the earth, shaped by Western Civilization… has hardly any humility when it comes to admitting that they could be wrong about what they prefer to believe concerning religion and philosophy. For though no one else claims the Gift of Infallibility quite like the Roman Catholic Church, the adherents of these various non-Catholic beliefs nevertheless do --- as if they were their own little popes --- act like they’re infallible and, thus, couldn’t ever be wrong about religion or philosophy.
Which doesn’t mean they won’t resort to fallback strategies.
We began this book by pointing out how modern people love to tout the ‘how-can-you-know-which-religion-is-true-when-there-are-so-many-different-religions’ argument. But we also pointed out that most of these same people love to assume this argument out of thin air, without having ever bothered to throw a brief intelligent glance at --- let alone examine carefully --- these various religions or philosophies.
Bringing us back to the present point:
Namely, that they don’t bother to look and examine because they don’t care.
And they don’t care because, when you get right down it, why go around looking and examining when you couldn’t ever, ever, ever, possibly be in the wrong?
Hence… why waste your time?
This is the ignorant, lazy and arrogant mentality we face. It threatens either to infect us --- a deadly, flesh-eating, hemorrhagic plague of the mind --- or else to crush us under its insufferable weight, like some sort of monstrous press bearing down to transfigure immortal souls with despair, like cold iron stamped into shape by a heavy mold.
It is “…the operation of error, to believe lying…” (DRC)
Yet what about those calling themselves ‘catholic’… and even if they’re not?
Most of these people are just as modernized as everybody else when you come to the core of their thinking. They really don’t care what the Catholic Church teaches since they prefer to believe whatever they want to believe when it comes to religious ideas.
Ah, but what about those ‘catholics’ who are conservative and traditional, or at least very learned and well aware of what the Church has taught infallibly from the start?
There’s not many of these people compared to the rest of the world’s population nowadays, yet they do exist. Indeed, compared to the rest of the world, these people can look impressive… acting and talking like they’re truly ‘catholic’.
What about them?
As we remarked, they love to praise the power of ‘ignorance’.
Indeed, a religious ignorance that is so mighty that it is ‘invincible’. That is to say, persons of sound mind who are not Catholic would, if they could --- but they can’t! --- gladly become Catholic, were it possible (but it’s not!) for them to actually know that Roman Catholicism is the One True Religion and what God commands us to be.
As a result, say they, these ‘invincibly ignorant’ persons are invisibly ‘connected’ to God’s Singularly Visible Catholic Body and, in this paradoxical but amazing way, somehow ‘inside’ what they are actually, visibly & objectively outside of.
Which is how, they claim, that they are not denying the infallible dogma of ‘no Salvation outside the Church’. After all, say they, these helplessly unknowing --- and totally unknowable --- intelligent persons are so very, very, very, very, very ‘sincere’.
A ‘sincerity’ that, they insist, makes them invisible and unwitting ‘participants’ in the Sacrament of Baptism since, claim they, these ‘sincere’ yet visibly non-Catholic persons have an ‘implicit desire’ for the Sacrament of Baptism.
Now, an ‘implicit’ desire for baptism
is what scholastic theologians of the early second millennium taught an
intelligent person could have if, in
trying to be Catholic because he or she knew that Catholicism is the only way
to save one’s soul, this hypothetical person nevertheless didn’t
have time to learn about water baptism and thus know to seek for it.
Then, these scholastic theologians speculated intellectually, this hypothetical
person ‘accidentally dies’ before
getting validly baptized in water and, in this unusual way, nonetheless died
whilst truly & visibly joined to the
This is the orthodox theological opinion of an ‘implicit desire’ for baptism.
+++ 23. How Does the ‘Operation of Error’ Operate? +++
(What It Really Amounts to)
Unfortunately, later theologians went beyond this orthodox theological opinion.
These later theologians from the 1400s to the 1900s, in increasing numbers, came to stretch this notion of ‘implicit desire’ to include those human beings who, despite being of a sound and intelligent mind, notwithstanding, were somehow ‘invincibly ignorant’ of the Saving Truth of the True Religion. Consequently, said later theologians, a person could be in a position where it was, supposedly, ‘impossible’ to know Roman Catholicism is the only way to save his or her soul.
Ergo, said they, these people are saved while being non-Catholic, having an ‘invisible connection’ to the Church by possessing an ‘implicit desire’ for water baptism.
And all because these hypothetical people are ‘sincere’.
Leading us to point out the obvious:
That this opinion of later theologians regarding an ‘implicit desire’ for water baptism is rank HERESY, specifically DENYING what real Catholics since the most ancient of times have always literally understood --- and explicitly taught & believed --- the infallible doctrine of ‘no Salvation outside the Church’ to mean. Namely that, for a person of SOUND MIND, it is always absolutely necessary for a rational human being to know Catholicism is true --- being the ONLY way to save his or her immortal soul --- and that an ‘implicit desire’ for the water of Holy Baptism, IF this speculative opinion is actually correct, can apply SOLELY to those of intelligent mind who know that every infallible teaching of Jesus’ Visible Body is true and do indeed visibly resolve to know & obey whatever God’s Religion COMMANDS.
Which then also means, where it is necessary to know, that a Catholic who has the duty to distinguish between those who are REALLY Roman Catholic and those who are NOT, can, with thorough investigation, know for a morally certain fact that a person is VISIBLY connected to a VISIBLE Catholic Church, the notion of an ‘invisible link’ being, in this instance, A COMPLETE & DAMNABLE LIE.
We will look at the irrefutable evidence for the imperative necessity of knowing Catholicism is true in order to save your soul, when you are a person of sound mind, in just a moment. Right now, though, we make this simple observation:
That such ‘invincibly ignorant’ persons being saved whilst non-Catholic has, in reality, absolutely nothing to do with the Sacrament of Baptism, of them having no knowledge of Catholicism yet somehow ‘implicitly’ yearning for the Church’s sacramental water.
Rather, it has everything to do with intelligent people who are purportedly ‘sincere’.
These later theologians, who claim to be ‘catholic’ --- including less learned people who are ‘conservative’ or ‘traditional’ looking and claim to be the same --- have created, out of thin air (and even though they don’t realize it or would never admit it), the new & novel teaching of a totally imaginary eighth ‘sacrament’.
Viz., the ‘Sacrament of Sincerity’.
Yet how is it God changes the unchangeable Deposit of Faith?
How could He later add an eighth ‘sacrament’ and make it invisible?
How could His Church contradict Herself and now teach there is an eighth & invisible ‘sacrament’, in addition to the Seven Visible Sacraments She has always guaranteed are all that exist and that we mortals can see, hear & feel with our bodily senses?
+++ 24. Who Am I? +++
Now we’re getting to the heart of the problem.
And now, too, it’s time to look at the infallible proof.
To wit, what has the Church actually said regarding the means of salvation?
Can it ever be ‘invisible’ and based solely on an intelligent person’s supposed… indeed, subjectively claimed or merely hypothetically imagined… motive of ‘sincerity’?
If you’re not truly Catholic and have no humility to admit that Roman Catholicism could be utterly true --- and thus your non-Catholic beliefs at least partly false --- then this section of the Helplessly Ignorant book is going to be meaningless to you.
Although, let’s be honest.
If you’re not that humble while still getting this far in your reading of Helplessly Ignorant, then you’re not going to want to think that any of this book is relevant to you.
After all, who am I?
As a matter of fact, less than nobody since I am a horrible sinner.
Consequently, both Catholics and non-Catholics can excoriate me soundly. I have no wealth, fame or power in this world, and I have no holy orders, high degree or jurisdiction from the Church.
I’m just a human being, and a bad one at that.
If, then, God intends to use me or this book to help anyone (and whether or not the individual claims to be ‘helplessly ignorant’), then He’ll have to do it through His Divine Power without any real ability on my part to do so successfully.
I’m actually a hindrance to this goal, a liability.
The only thing I can point out is that I am not asserting to speak merely for myself. Rather, I am simply trying to repeat what God’s Singular Catholic Church proclaims to all of us infallibly. It’s up to God whether or not my words are useful to Him.
I’m just a very poor messenger trying to convey His Very Real Message.
The Message itself, though, stands upon its own.
+++ 25. Where Is the Proof? +++
(The Athanasian Creed)
But the proof?
We consider Exhibit 1:
“Whoever wills to be saved [whoever wants and resolves to save his or her soul], before all things, it is necessary that he hold [it is necessary that he or she knows and believes and professes] the Catholic Faith: which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled [unless everyone keeps all of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Religion the same and unchanged since earliest times in the understanding of their minds, and also in their public life and actions, or profession of these teachings], without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.” (Athanasian Creed, Articles 1 & 2, all emphasis & annotations added)
We say again:
“…without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.” (Ibid.)
Ah, so here we see one of the four great and infallible creeds of Catholicism telling us, in no uncertain terms, that it is the Faith of the Catholic Church that we must profess, and not just belong ‘invisibly’ to this Church without actually being Catholic. And that, should we not keep this Faith, we are most certain to “perish everlastingly.”
I.e., go to hell forevermore.
Incidentally, the Athanasian Creed comes from the fourth century. It was composed by the marvelous St. Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria in Egypt (the second greatest diocese and patriarchate of the world in ancient times, right after Rome, the first and greatest), in response to the awful Arian plague of heresy that swept over Christendom in the AD 300s, and continued to spiritually infect regions of Christendom thereafter in the next three centuries under various forms of its principal religious lie (which lie was the denial of Jesus’ Deity, the fact that He was not merely a Man from conception within His Mother’s Virginal Womb but was, also, truly and fully God from all of eternity).
Modern scholars of the last two or three hundred years mock the notion that Athanasius wrote it, but they argue from a lack of evidence rather than true evidence. That is to say, since, claim they, no manuscripts still exist from the mid-first millennium obviously stating that Athanasius composed it, then he must not have.
This is a logical fallacy and proves nothing.
Indeed, this hatred of the Athanasian Creed --- and its plain opposition to salvation heresy --- is revealed in the fact that the Anglican Church suppressed its recital in Britain near the beginning of the 20th century, and that a bad pope allowed its suppression in the Catholic Church in the middle of the same century right before the pseudo-council of Vatican II started. That is to say, the Athanasian Creed for centuries on end had been recited by Roman Catholic monks and priests and nuns for the hour of prime in the Divine Office for every Sunday of the year, year after year as the liturgical cycle goes round and round. Then, suddenly, it was reduced to just once a year (literally, only once in the whole year!), and then, after Vatican II, dropped altogether.
Clearly, people today do not like the Athanasian Creed.
Yet even IF they don’t want to think St. Athanasius composed it… this still doesn’t prove anything substantial concerning the argument at hand in this chapter.
That the Athanasian Creed IS the Roman Catholic Church speaking infallibly --- and that this infallible statement, part of which we quoted above, plainly does NOT uphold the heretical notion that it doesn’t matter what religion you are, that God still gladly takes you into Heaven no matter what, provided that you are ‘sincere’.
The proof that the Athanasian Creed is an infallible Church teaching?
It has, in my opinion, been recognized as infallible from at least the fifth, if not the fourth, century. Nevertheless, were there any doubt, the Council of Florence during the fifteenth century (and which is certainly an ecumenical council of the Church, approved by the pope of the time, and thus teaching us infallibly!) included the entire text of the Athanasian Creed within its infallible teaching, hence making it clear that this Creed, certainly, without any doubt, is the Catholic Church teaching us infallibly!
For instance, in the text put forth from Session 8 of the Florentine Council and the Bull of Union with the Armenians (who were schismatic against the Roman Catholic Church at that point in time, but some of them, at a minimum, in response to the Bull then did penance for their schism, and, consenting to its requirements --- which included profession of the Athanasian Creed --- submitted and returned into union).
Here is the first of several infallible proofs that ‘salvation-in-the-state-of-ignorance-via-sincerity’ is a heresy… and that it has not ever, since most ancient times, been taught or understood to be an ‘infallible teaching’ of the Catholic Church.
+++ 26. Where Is the Proof? +++
(The Florentine Proclamation)
Yet need we more proof?
We consider Exhibit 2:
“The most Holy Roman Catholic Church firmly believes, professes, and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews, heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV’s Cantate domino, Paragraph 12, all emphases added)
We say once more:
“No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Ibid.)
+++ 27. Could There Be an Exception? +++
Hmmm, so here we see one of the Church’s infallible councils, under the auspices and with the approval, naturally, of the pope of that time (or else it could not be an infallible council, however true and good it might be otherwise), telling us, in no uncertain terms, that a human being can’t save his or her soul simply by being ‘nice’ (to wit, the person’s “almsgiving” --- charitable gifts or actions to help those in need --- being “great”, i.e., huge and enormous, or immense and wealthy), nor can any human being save his or her soul just because he or she calls one’s self ‘catholic’ or ‘christian’ or says ‘I believe in Jesus’, etc., without actually being what he or she claims to be… and even though this person is brave enough --- or unlucky enough --- to be murdered by another (and obviously hateful) human being who very much doesn’t like that this person is of a traditional-type religion calling itself ‘catholic’ or ‘christian’ or etc., etc., etc.
What happens to such non-Catholic people, says the Council of Florence?
“…they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels…” (Ibid.)
But… could there not be any exceptions at all, according to the man, Pope Eugene IV, who promulgated this infallible declaration in AD 1441, while invoking his supreme authority, to the entire Catholic Church under the title of Cantate domino?
“…unless before death they are joined with Her…” (Ibid.)
Well, to be precise, this is not really an ‘exception’ to Catholic strictness about how to save one’s soul and hence how narrow the road to Heaven really is. Nevertheless --- and just to make sure we’re being really thorough and covering all bases so that no intelligent person can fail to understand --- Who is the “Her” we are to be joined with?
“The most Holy Roman Catholic Church…” (Ibid.)
This sounds impressive. All the same, it’s still ‘narrow-minded’ and ‘restrictive’ as judged by modern (and modernist) standards. Couldn’t there be some sort of ‘deeper’ way to understand this rather ‘harsh-sounding’ teaching, could there not be a ‘loophole’, so to speak, for ‘development’ of this ‘nasty-looking’ and ‘offensive’ doctrine, a way we can see the ‘mercy’ of God and not just His very, very ‘severe’ justice, leaving room for a person who is ‘helplessly ignorant’ about Catholicism, while, at the same time, ‘utterly sincere’ in the mistaken --- unintentionally so, though! --- non-Catholic religious convictions he or she holds?
“…The… Roman Catholic Church… preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews, heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her…” (Ibid.)
No way to get around it.
This is the language of total exclusion.
Notwithstanding, can there not be even one single exception?
“No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Ibid.)
Again --- the inescapable language of total exclusion.
There is no room left for any option that could be called an ‘exception’.
+++ 28. Have You Thought It Through? +++
Think about it.
No matter how much someone may want to mangle the understanding of an ‘invincible ignorance’ into meaning a person of normal intelligence could find it ‘impossible’ to seek for the True Religion and find out that this True Religion is Catholic, the supposedly ‘invincibly ignorant’ (yet non-Catholic) human being is --- in objective reality and precisely as Pope Eugene IV and the Council of Florence infallibly point out --- indisputably either a pagan, a Jew, a heretic or a schismatic.
To be schismatic means that someone refuses to acknowledge --- let alone obey! --- a true religious authority as the true religious authority, all the while claiming to be a part of that particular religious body over which this authority is the real and objective head.
To be heretical means that someone refuses to profess --- let alone believe! --- what either the religious authority of this religious body, or any member of the body, teaches when such people tell him or her what both members and head assure us is the infallible religious truth and the only way to save our souls.
To be Jewish (primarily in the religious sense, and not so much in the ethnic sense) means that someone refuses to recognize --- let alone admit! --- that their Messias (also spelled ‘Messiah’ and signifying the same thing as the titles of ‘Christ’ or ‘the Anointed One’) has come to earth as a Man, that He is wholly God, too, from all of eternity, and that this unique God-Who-Became-a-Human-Being commands them to be Roman Catholic in order to save his or her soul.
+++ 29. What Does It Mean to Be a Jew? +++
(The Ethnic Factor, Which Is Least Important)
Incidentally, this ‘Jewishness’ --- as conveyed by the word “Jews” in Cantate domino --- is significant because it is overwhelmingly the ethnicity of the Jews which has adhered to Talmudic Judaism… and hardly any other human ethnicity.
An ethnicity that comes, strictly speaking, from St. Abraham via St. Isaac via St. Jacob. (Please see Acts 21:39 & Romans 1:16, for instance, as proof that St. Paul the Apostle calls both himself and those of his ethnicity “Jew” (DRC), and Romans 11:25-27 for proof that, as he quotes from the Old Testament passage of Isaias [Isaiah] 59:20, Paul notes that the Jews --- who he here calls “Israel”, an alternate name for Jacob --- descend from “Jacob”. (DRC)) That is to say, a Jew is ethnically a Jew because, in terms of bloodline and physical human descent, the Jew descends from these most ancient patriarchs of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
(There is a centuries old debate about Jewishness that invokes many different things. Not least of which is the historical fact that the word ‘Jew’ originates and derives from, etymologically speaking, the word ‘Juda’, the name for the tribe from which the great king, St. David, sprang (see 2 Paralipomenon [1 Chronicles] 2:1-15 & Matthew 1:1-6 for biblical evidence of David’s genealogy), and which is distinct from the other eleven of the twelve tribes of the Israelites, the term ‘Israelite’ coming from the scriptural fact that God nicknamed St. Jacob “Israel” (Genesis 32:27-28 DRC). However, all of the different sides in this debate are ultimately mistaken --- in spite of whatever valid points they may or may not have --- since they ignore the simple scriptural and historical truth that Jewishness, ethnically speaking, comes from the ancient venerable patriarchs of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, period.)
Yet sometimes this general rule of thumb can be misleading.
For instance, we find that Sacred Scripture in the Old Testament provided for the possibility of conversion to the Old Testament Church (see, for example, Exodus 12:48). What’s more, we see this actually happen with Rahab and her household… who were definitely NOT ethnically Jewish! (See Josue [Joshua] 2:1, 8-14, 17-19, 6:17, 22-25.)
Indeed, Rahab and her tribal ethnicity were slated to be destroyed by the invading Jews as, under God’s orders, they took over the Holy Land and eradicated its former wicked inhabitants, but, due to Rahab’s kindness to the Jewish spies who had arrived earlier --- she hiding them from her people’s attempts to find them, and she also believing in the One True God of the Old Testament Jews and very much wanting to be a part of the totally correct religion which He had commanded the Jews to follow --- they instead spared both her and any person taking refuge in her house while they invaded.
This example, by the way, the early Church Fathers often cited as evidence of God’s Mercy --- that He would be willing to save anyone at all, despite their former wickedness (both Old & New Testaments tell us how Rahab was a prostitute before her conversion to the True Religion of the Old Covenant era, for instance, see again Josue [Joshua] 2:1 & 6:17, as well as Hebrews 11:31 & James 2:25) --- and thus evidence of ‘no Salvation outside the Church’ since no one at all was saved outside her house during the all-consuming infliction of God’s Wrath, via the Jews, on her very wicked people.
To top it off, Rahab is ONE OF THE HUMAN ANCESTERS within the lineage of the Human Nature of Jesus Christ, the Eternal-God-Who-Became-a-Human-Being, having married the Jewish man, Salmon, after her conversion to the Old Testament Church! (See Matthew 1:5)
+++ 30. What Does It Mean to Be a Jew? +++
(The Religious Factor, Which Is the Most Important)
So precisely when did things go bad for the Jews of the Old Testament Church?
They kept apostatizing from the True Religion of Old Testament times.
Viz., they kept rejecting both their One True God and His One True Religion.
A simple, thorough reading of the entire Old Testament (meaning: the part of the Bible that Jews themselves have to this very day, despite not being Roman Catholic) confirms this fact repeatedly. Finally, God sent them into exile under the Babylonian Empire as punishment. This occurred during the 500s BC.
(Refer in the Bible to the passages of 4 Kings [2
Kings] 24:1-4 & 24:10-25:11, for details of the two separate forays the
Babylonian army made against the Jews, eventually razing Jerusalem to the
ground. This was the southern
Here during the Babylonian Exile the True Religion started to be twisted into the rudiments of Talmudic Judaism.
This is what Jesus again and again chided the pharisaical leaders of the Old Testament for doing when He admonished them for their bad or foolish “tradition of men” (e.g., Mark 7:8 DRC). The admonishment was not, however, for having any religious traditions per se --- which can be either good or bad, depending on the situation --- but for the fact that most, if not all, of their pharisaical traditions were bad, and only served their own greedy interests by keeping them rich and powerful while disobeying God’s commandments and taking advantage of the poor whilst still appearing, publically, to be so very ‘religious’ and ‘virtuous’ in the eyes of the people as they did so.
The point is, by the time these leaders murdered Jesus on the Cross for opposing them, and for not being the Messias that they wanted --- which was a prophet that would restore to them the power and the glory and the riches of Solomon’s Empire --- they continued twisting the Old Testament Religion into what is best called ‘Talmudic Judaism’.
‘Judaism’, because this signifies that they no longer wholly obeyed God by keeping His True Religion (which Religion became known as ‘Roman Catholicism’ during New Testament times of the past 2000 years since their Messias, Jesus Christ).
And ‘Talmudic’, because it is essentially the very big book of the Talmud --- a mammoth, nay gigantic!, compendium of all the traditions and learned commentary of their teachers --- that religious Jews now follow, and not so much the Old Testament, which has become much less crucial to them over the past two millennia.
+++ 31. What Does It Mean to Be a Jew? +++
(Ethnic Jews Can Be CATHOLIC Since God Loves Them)
At any rate, no real Catholic ‘hates’ Jews for being Jewish.
We say again:
No real Catholic ‘hates’ Jews for being Jewish.
Rather, Catholics have always sought to convert Jews to Catholicism. Truly, any ethnic Jew can be part of the Roman Catholic Church; his or her being ‘Jewish’ could never disqualify the Jewish person from taking this course.
And why would Catholics seek to do this, to convert Jews to Catholicism?
Because the Catholic ‘hates’ the Jewish person?
No, because if a real Catholic truly ‘hated’ a Jew for being Jewish then he would leave the Jewish person utterly alone and never bother telling him or her that it was necessary to become Catholic in order to save his or her soul. Then this poor Jewish person would almost certainly wind up going to hell forever since he or she is convinced, without any doubts, that any Jewish person is safe --- and whether or not this person is ‘religious’ --- just as he or she is, without converting to another religion. Which, of course, from a Catholic’s point of view, is truly the most hateful thing he could ever do to a Jew, abandoning that person to the eternal consequences of dying in a false religion!
Ergo, just as Catholics have insisted --- and just as Paul himself says, inspired by the Holy Ghost in his New Testament Letter to the Romans --- we seek to convert Jews to Catholicism because God loves them. Just as God loves everyone and wants them to be Catholic so as to be able to save their immortal souls, so, too, God loves those who are ethnically Jewish and wants them to save their immortal souls. Indeed, He cares for them in a unique way since He loved their patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac & Jacob), making them a promise, and that promise will be fully fulfilled when, before the world as we know it ends, He by His powerful and charitable graces converts most, if not all, ethnic Jews to the Roman Catholic Religion before Jesus Christ returns to the earth as our judge.
(Please see Romans 11:25-29 specifically for the scriptural evidence of what I have just said. See all of Chapters 9 to 11 of the Letter to the Romans in the Bible for the full context and proof of this unique concern that God has for ethnic Jews due to His remarkable love for them and His promise to their ancient patriarchs.)
Yet should a reader still have animosity against the Catholic Church for supposed ‘crimes’ against the Jews or other non-Catholics, then please read Protestant Protests Rebutted , especially Chapters 13 to 15, which deal very carefully and explicitly with the battle between Jews & Catholics, and why this battle has never been due to some sort of Catholic ‘hatred’ of Jews because they are ethnically Jewish, but because the Jews, in their very real hatred of Catholicism, have constantly tried to undermine Roman Catholics. You may find it in the Books & Articles section of this website.
+++ 32. And What Exactly Is a Pagan? +++
Last but not least, we turn to the first category of those listed who cannot be saved, in their state of being non-Catholic, without, first, converting to the Catholic Faith.
To wit, “…pagans… Jews, heretics and schismatics…” (Ibid.)
To be pagan means that someone refuses to serve solely --- let alone worship in the completely right way as the One True Most High God over all other so-called ‘gods’ of the pagans! --- Our Creator as He has commanded all of humanity to worship Him in the Religion of Roman Catholicism, He intentionally making them in His Image for this very (and very much religious) purpose.
Which then means, by definition and as a result of the teachings of the Church, that a pagan is a kind of ‘catch-all’ term, amounting to any intelligent human being who, being intelligent and living long enough, ought to know better, and is thus culpable when he or she serves an entity in some religious fashion other than his or her Singularly Divine and Eternally Uncreated Creator, which false deity may even wind up being the person’s own merely human --- yet narcissistically pagan --- self.
That is to say, even a self-styled ‘atheist’ or ‘agnostic’ unavoidably has religious beliefs and is, therefore, covered by the Council of Florence’s specific mention of pagans as being amongst those who cannot enter into Heaven dying as pagans.
To wit, an atheist asserts dogmatically that no Creator exists (or, at the very least, the atheist asserts dogmatically that it is impossible to ‘prove’ that a Creator exists) while an agnostic asserts dogmatically that he or she cannot ever know for sure a Creator exists (or, at the very least, the agnostic asserts dogmatically that it is impossible to ‘prove’ which religion, if any, is totally true and hence what the Creator commands us to believe).
As a result, both atheists and agnostics make themselves into their own personal religious authorities, asserting that they can determine fully on their own --- as if such a person ought to be his or her sole religious authority --- what is religiously true and what is religiously false, or what is morally right and what is morally wrong.
Or, to put it yet another way:
Both atheist and agnostic act like their own little gods, mere human creatures that, nonetheless, each set up his or her own self as an ‘infallible authority’ with each one of them, then, as individuals, ‘infallibly declaring’ what they believe is religiously true, and what they believe is religiously right, consequently ignoring, ridiculing, persecuting or otherwise opposing all contrary religious teachings as false or unknowable.
Are you starting to comprehend, my dear reader?
The Florentine Proclamation --- Pope Eugene IV’s infallible Cantate domino --- makes it inarguable, for the person who claims to be truly Catholic, that no human being of intelligent mind can get into Heaven without being truly Catholic!
It’s absolutely nonsensical and unintelligible that God’s Holy Church would bother, with the Divine Protection of the Holy Ghost, to proclaim so carefully and blatantly who cannot be saved --- using the language of total exclusion --- and then turn around, centuries later, start to backtrack, and tell us that, after all --- and contradicting its previous infallible and explicit assertions --- there are exceptions.
Who are you, mere creature, to defy our Creator’s Ecclesial Body’s carefully explicit and totally infallible statements and dare to say otherwise?
Why should any of us believe you?
+++ 33. Who Are You? +++
And, if you should try to turn it around and wield the same rhetorical sword on me, the author, then remember this:
I’m not pretending to be omniscient or infallible all by myself.
I’m not going around claiming to be a prophet, apostle, priest or anyone special other than that --- while wicked & contemptible --- I am, indeed, a real Roman Catholic.
All I’m doing is saying, “Listen to God’s Infallible Catholic Church.”
Whereas everyone else who is intelligent but non-Catholic is saying:
“No. Listen to me. Or listen to my religion’s founder. Or my religion’s leader. Or listen to the scientists of the last century. Or believe whatever you want to believe --- just as long as you don’t dare to tell me the Roman Catholic Church is our Creator’s One & Only Way to save my soul and that we must obey His Roman Catholic Commandments. That is offensive and unbelievable!”
And, guess what?
Dear soul, if in the end that’s how you think and feel, then you’re exactly what the Council of Florence was talking about… to wit, any of those who are “…pagans… Jews, heretics and schismatics…” (Ibid.)
But the truth is the truth.
And the truth is that the truth doesn’t depend on what you want to be true.
The truth is the truth regardless of what you want.
So, do you really want the truth?
Then you’d better set aside all of your other wishes and be prepared to believe, using your divinely-endowed intelligent mind, what is actually & infallibly true despite whatever it is you wanted to believe in the first place, before seeing the truth.
Is it just too difficult?
My dear reader, nothing is too hard with our Creator helping us.
Just ask for His help.
Just ask His Mother --- the Blessed Virgin Mary --- for Her help.
Ask your guardian angel (because you do have one!) for his help. Just because you can’t see him doesn’t mean he isn’t there or that he doesn’t care. He’s perfectly all-loving and is assigned to your soul for your entire earthly life for the sole purpose of making you Catholic, and, provided this is done, making sure you can die a good Catholic.
To see the truth, you have to know and see the Author of That Truth.
That is to say:
The truth about truth perceived, insomuch as we perceive the origin of that truth.
You want to know the truth?
You want to know how to save your soul?
Want to know exactly who you are?
Then you must know the One Who made everything out of nothing and that He is what makes something real, and thus makes that something real to be true as well, that He made our souls and bodies in His Image, for the very purpose of making us all for Himself, in order to share Himself with us eternally.
He gives us intelligent minds for this reason, to be able to see Him.
For us poor little material and visible creatures to be able to see the Great & Mighty Maker Who is Immaterial and Invisible, being an Uncreated Spirit from All Eternity. And He gave us freedom of will, in order to choose to seek Him, to choose to do that which we must do in order to fulfill His Sacred & Divine Purpose in making us to look like Him, to please Him, and to be with Him forever and ever, world without end, amen.
+++ 34. Where Is the Proof? +++
(The Boniface Bull)
Nonetheless, do we need still more proof?
We consider Exhibit 3:
“Urged by faith, we are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic. We believe in her firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins... Therefore, if the Greeks [Eastern Schismatics, who practice what is called ‘eastern orthodoxy’ in recent times] or others should say that they are not confided to Peter and to his successors [that they are not subject to the Roman Papacy], they must confess not being the sheep of Christ [admit they are not truly Christians since they are not truly followers of Christ], since Our Lord says in John ‘there is one sheepfold and one shepherd.’ [John 10:16b] ...Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII’s Unam sanctum, Paragraphs 1, 3 & 9, all emphases & annotations added)
“We believe in her [the Roman Catholic Church] firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins... Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Ibid., annotation added)
So, according to this infallible papal bull put forth in AD 1302, not only must we “firmly” profess in harmonious union with the Church --- “with simplicity” --- that “outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins…”, but, in addition to that vital requirement, we must staunchly profess “…that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Ibid.)
End of sentence.
+++ 35. How to Solve the Modernist Yet +++
Here we have a conundrum for those who call themselves ‘catholic’ --- and even though they don’t, in reality, believe in everything that the Roman Catholic Church teaches, especially in the same and original meaning that all real Catholics have perpetually believed each and every infallible Catholic dogma to mean.
For instance, the Salvation Dogma.
Because, instead of with an utter “simplicity”, these people want to believe in the ‘salvation’ of human souls with a needless and extraneous complexity.
Not that every single doctrine, in every single case, is simple.
There can be teachings difficult to fathom to the extent that we might wish to fathom them… teachings that can appear, superficially, as if they are ‘paradoxical’ or even, to some degree, as if they’re ‘irreconcilable’ (and even though, as Catholics of reasonable and intelligent minds, we know by a faith that is rational --- and not via a faith that is blind --- how they are perfectly logical & compatible, provided our comprehension of them is accurate & thorough). E.g., theological teachings regarding God’s Sovereign, Omnipotent & Omniscient Will vs. (as it were) the nonetheless truly free will of His human or angelic creatures, of His Absolute & Decretive Will vs. (ditto the above parenthesis) His Preceptive Yet Seemingly ‘Permissive’ Will concerning these same creatures, or the beguiling dance between so-called ‘predestination’ and the precious graces that operate within our temporal existence, or the Unicity of God’s Eternal & Divine Being (i.e., His Oneness) in harmony with the supernaturally-revealed Multiplicity of His Equally Divine & Eternal Persons (Three, of course).
Nevertheless, ‘can be difficult’ does not mean ‘always is difficult’.
Furthermore, whether simple or difficult, the correct understanding of a dogma, once propounded clearly enough, does not ever change from that correct and first meaning… and even if the later comprehension of a dogma really does deepen amongst Roman Catholics with the explicit & infallible guidance of the Magisterium of the Church.
Yet that is not the situation here.
The teaching of ‘no Salvation outside the Church’ has been constantly & tenaciously taught and professed and believed by real Catholics “with simplicity”… and never with a needless, extraneous and forked-tongue ‘complexity’.
Indeed, ‘complexity’ that is not merely needless and extraneous, but is needless and extraneous precisely because the proponents of the ‘complex’ version of how souls are ‘saved’ most certainly do not want to comprehend it “with simplicity”.
Hence their ‘forked-tongue’ approach:
They insist on the ‘complexity’ about saving souls in order to make it ‘look’ like they’re only orthodox ‘catholics’ motivated by ‘good will’ and a ‘deep compassion’.
And even though, were they to be both intelligent and honest, they are not actually professing the ancient dogma of ‘no Salvation outside the Church’ in its original sense since they have changed the original and ancient meaning of this simple dogma, that has been held by all real Catholics from earliest centuries, into an abominable heresy that doesn’t merely ‘deepen’ the dogma’s correct understanding, but, rather, contradicts accurate understanding of this dogma’s original and ancient meaning altogether!
That is to say, so-called ‘catholics’ today are telling everyone a heinous lie about the singular means of our salvation, having no real ‘compassion’ for non-Catholic souls since --- in telling non-Catholics they can be fine just as they are, or, at the very least, leaving them to assume out of thin air that they’re perfectly fine believing in things that are religiously false and against what the Church teaches --- they hasten people on the way to hell by helping them remain content whilst visibly outside the Church… and even though, in reality, they’re dying forever in the state of their non-Catholicity.
Are you beginning to grasp the stakes, my dear reader?
Both so-called ‘catholics’ and the vast majority of non-Catholic people nowadays automatically reject, with a kneejerk and stubborn predictability, this clear, plain, simple & explicit infallible truth to embrace a new, modern & damnable idea.
A damnable idea that either says:
One, there never was any reason to believe you need to be an objectively visible member of the Church. That was a mistaken and intolerant ‘prejudice’ that we now know is stupid, medieval & offensive.
Or else, two, there is no longer any reason to believe you need to be an objectively visible member of the Church. This was a needlessly narrow interpretation of earlier Catholics, whereas, thankfully, after Vatican II, ‘catholics’ of the modern era have ‘deepened’ in their understanding of the dogma and now realize that ‘well-meaning’ people visibly outside the Church can still, in numbers known only to God, find ‘salvation’ via an ‘invisible connection’ to this same Church due to their ‘obvious sincerity’.
+++ 36. Still Determined to Find a Loophole? +++
Don’t like to hear these simple facts pointed out to you, dear soul?
But are you, notwithstanding, willing to think further with good logic & reason, seeking the truth with an intelligent mind regardless of your bias to begin with?
Once again, we face the language of total exclusion in this papal bull.
Pope Boniface VIII does not leave the reader of his papal document --- the person who claims to be ‘catholic’, or who is truly trying to be Catholic and therefore actually believes in the God-Given Authority of a legitimate Roman Bishop’s Charism of Infallibility --- any room to wiggle out of what he literally says.
Pope Boniface VIII in his authoritative bull of Unam sanctam does not leave the intelligent person, who carefully reads or hears about these infallible words of his, any room at all to ‘wiggle out of’ or ‘find a loophole’ by which the person of sound mind is then justifiably free to interpret them in some other way apart from their plain, obvious, simple, explicit and indisputable meaning.
For he says:
“…it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff [Roman Bishop, i.e., a legitimate pope].” (Ibid., annotation added)
The word “necessary” means ‘you need this’. While the term “absolutely” in tandem with the word “necessary” means ‘this thing you need is so crucial that there is no other way to get around it and there can be no exceptions at all to the rule’.
Final punctuation redux.
And, as if that were not enough, this fourteenth century pope goes so far as to say that the “absolutely necessary” thing for salvation applies to “every human creature” --- the word “every” in connection with the phrase “human creature” meaning ‘all, everybody, the complete totality of individuals that make up humanity as a whole’. Or, to put it differently in still another way, ‘nobody in the human race is an exception’.
Punctuative finality once more.
Dear reader, this by itself ought to end the clever conniving for good.
Truly earnest and intelligent people who want to consider themselves ‘catholic’ --- all those who are willing to repudiate false religious beliefs and stop contradicting what Roman Catholicism really and infallibly teaches and thus actually become what they want to keep insisting they are --- ought to be willing to get on their knees, humbly beg Heaven’s forgiveness for following and propagating a religious lie that defies the saving truth, and then start believing in, and professing unashamedly, the unchanging dogma of ‘no Salvation outside the Church’ as it has always been understood to mean since the most ancient of times, and as yet another infallible and explicit definition makes undeniably stark is the indisputable saving truth.
But will you?
+++ 37. Are You Familiar With the Royal ‘We’? +++
If you are willing… or are almost willing yet still hung up by your feelings of disgust, fear or hatred of this ‘offensive’ teaching… then ponder the following point.
Pope Boniface --- in his infallible papal bull issued way back in AD 1302 to combat the incipient heresy and schismatic tendencies of Gallicanism that many French Catholics were gravitating toward so as to be able to think themselves ‘justified’ in defying the pope when it came to supposedly earthly or merely temporal matters, such as the selection of French bishops or wars against other Catholic kingdoms, etc. --- uses phrasing that had become customary by the second millennium. To wit, he doesn’t merely state something significant regarding the faith or morals of Roman Catholicism and make it known to the entire Church in a way that is obviously solemn and papal, that amounts to infallible clarification or condemnation. No, he goes further and says repeatedly, with various words meaning the same thing each time:
“… we declare, we proclaim, we define…” (Ibid.)
My dear soul, are you familiar with the ‘royal plural’?
Because a pope or a king or a queen is really just a single person, right?
So why did such people in our part of the world, up until recent times, constantly speak about themselves in the plural, using the word “we” --- in official, public documents --- as if each individual leader over countless others was more than a single person?
Because they represent --- as the head --- a plurality of persons.
Obviously, when a leader representing many, over which he or she rules, uses the language of ‘royal plurality’, he or she is speaking solemnly & officially, representing the entire kingdom and all of its innumerable citizens.
But be there any doubts it’s infallible, customary language made it clear.
That is to say:
“…we declare, we proclaim, we define…” (Ibid.)
Are you starting to get it now?
This is where it becomes ridiculous to say you’re ‘catholic’ while pretending that you can, in defiance of the truth, dismiss these clear, plain & indisputable words.
To “declare” and “proclaim” and “define” amounts to nothing less than both officially and solemnly clarifying something that is drop-dead serious and gravely important, making it beyond dispute --- provided that it is adequately explicit and that the one perusing his words is truly Catholic --- that what he says is guaranteed, by the supernatural power of the Holy Ghost, to be infallible when interpreted rightly.
There’s no way to get around it.
The bull is without error, and its message clear & explicit.
+++ 38. The ‘One Holy’ Overcome? +++
What’s more, Boniface’s opening words in this bull, in the original and hallowed Latin of Roman Catholicism, are “Unam sanctam…” Which is why official papal documents usually bear titles that are the first two or three or four or five words in their text.
Namely, in this case, the “One holy…”
Which refers, of course, to the ‘One Holy Roman Catholic Church’.
Now, my dear reader, are you prepared to listen
Then think again.
Because it is “One” for a purpose:
To perform a singular task.
And it’s “holy” for a reason:
To be set aside, and employed, by an All-Powerful God for this singular task, to show intelligent & free-willed creatures, made in His image, how to fulfill their purpose, doing what they were designed to do, from all of eternity, in order to be united in a Holy & Divine Matrimony with their Triune Creator without any barriers or obstacles.
In short, to be His without anything else getting in the way.
Could there be a more profound reason to exist?
Not if you’re thinking intelligently.
And not if you’re being honest.
+++ 39. Where Is the Proof? +++
(The Tridentine Symbol)
Notwithstanding, do you dare to demand yet more proof?
Then we consider Exhibit 4:
“This true Catholic Faith, outside of which no one can be saved, which I now freely profess and to which I truly adhere, inviolate and with firm constancy until the last breath of life, I do so profess and swear to maintain with the help of God, and I shall strive, as far as possible, that this same Faith shall be held, taught, and professed by all those over whom I have charge [authority], I, the same (name of one professing the creed), do so pledge, promise, and swear. So help me God and these Holy Gospels of God.” (Tridentine Creed, Article 14, all emphasis & annotations added)
“This TRUE Catholic FAITH, OUTSIDE of which NO ONE CAN BE SAVED, which I now freely profess and to which I truly adhere, inviolate and with firm constancy until the last breath of life…” (Ibid.)
Here we have a parting salvo from the Church’s Infallible Magisterium (not that there aren’t several more infallible statements we could summon up regarding the salvation of souls, were there enough time and the reader had a humble spirit with infinite patience to examine them!), the fourth of Catholicism’s four great creeds thus far in Her long and ever-evangelizing history. A creed that, simultaneously, was a solemn vow taken by priests and other Catholic authorities, be they ecclesial or civil, to uphold the True Religion in the face of Protestant Rebellion with loyalty, opposing every heresy.
To wit, the Tridentine Symbol, or Creed, composed immediately after the Council of Trent in the mid-1500s (the term ‘Tridentine’ derived from the old Latin name for the Italian city of Trent) --- the Church’s greatest infallible council ever yet --- both of them meant for the defense of Catholic dogma against the heresies of Protestantism. Both the council and its creed did this by rigorously and carefully defining and explaining Catholic teachings, and by just as rigorously and carefully condemning the various religious lies taught by newly-arisen Protestants.
Incidentally, ‘symbol’ is now rather old-fashioned when it comes to an official statement of what a person is to believe when professing the Roman Catholic Religion.
Yet ‘symbol’ only meant, in its original sense, that this official statement truly does represent what I --- the person of sound mind --- do freely, firmly and publicly profess to believe in front of my fellow Catholics, thereby visibly proving I am what I claim to be. That is to say, the official statement or ‘creed’ (from the ancient Latin verb ‘credo’, meaning ‘I believe’), composed carefully & explicitly and accurately interpreted & understood, is a correct ‘symbol’ or true representation of what I believe.
+++ 40. Why Believe Rightly? +++
And why would it be important to believe rightly?
What has this to do with anything if, indeed, right belief is not ultimately, in the end, one of the crucial factors that determines the eternal fate of an intelligent person’s soul?
Because so-called ‘catholics’ --- who
in the last few centuries have infested the membership of the Church, at first
quietly and then more openly, thereby changing people’s minds
about what you’re required to believe in order to be truly
Catholic --- positively insist (if, indeed, they’ve even thought it
through, being someone who is learned or traditional) that untold numbers of
human beings can be ‘invisible’ parts of this Visible Body of Jesus
Christ. Meanwhile, as a result of their false thinking --- and given that they
are not ‘universalists’ --- they can’t even pretend to know
with anything approaching moral certainty that such ‘invisibly
connected’ souls are really & truly safe ‘within’
the Church of Rome and, hence, with “fear and trembling” able to
“work out” their “salvation” till their last breath,
being in the perceivable (and, ergo, knowable) condition of
everlasting reward when such a person passes from this life by dying in the
state of grace… which state
of grace, the Church teaches, only someone inside Her can have, if this
someone dies forgiven of any mortal sins for which he or she might have
been guilty after the Sacrament of Baptism. (Philippians 2:12c DRC,
the inerrant testimony coming through
A lack of certainty with a simple origin:
All because they adamantly insist it’s an ‘invisible connection’ to Christ’s Body which really matters, and not a real & actual Profession of His Roman Catholic Faith.
Whereas the Athanasian Creed and Tridentine Symbol tell us the opposite:
How it is not just a purported connection to Christ’ Catholic Body that matters --- whether this connection be visible or supposedly ‘invisible’ --- it is also profession of the Roman Catholic Faith of Christ that matters, which profession must be absolutely free and conscious and intelligent when you’re a human being of sound mind!
Or else why do both Creeds pointedly use the word ‘faith’ and not simply another variation on the importance of being ‘inside’ the Church, which ‘insideness’ self-styled ‘catholics’ nowadays want to interpret to mean a person of sound mind doesn’t truly have to know and profess the teachings of Catholicism in order to be, as they would have it, ‘invisibly’ connected and thus ‘inside’ Her?
Do you get it?
Both Athanasian Creed and Tridentine Symbol make it inarguably & infallibly clear how being inside of the Roman Catholic Church cannot possibly amount to only a purported connection to the Body of Catholicism (and whether or not you want to think the connection can be either visible or ‘invisible’), but must ALSO, in addition to this connection that people today argue over, mean that being inside of Her --- God’s One & Only Roman Catholic Church --- for a human being of sound mind, requires an ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE & BELIEF & PROFESSION OF THE TEACHINGS of God’s Singularly Roman Catholic Faith!
For the Athanasian Creed says:
“Whoever wills to 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.” (Athanasian Creed, Articles 1 & 2, emphases added)
And the Tridentine Symbol says:
“This true Catholic FAITH, outside of which no one can be saved, which I now freely profess and to which I truly adhere, inviolate and with firm constancy until the last breath of life, I do so profess and swear to maintain with the help of God, and I shall strive, as far as possible, that this same FAITH shall be held, taught, and professed by all those over whom I have charge…” (Tridentine Creed, Article 14, emphases added)
End of infallible sentences.
+++ 41. And Why Is Faith So Crucial? +++
But why is faith so crucial?
Because a body is not simply a hunk of flesh.
We state again:
A body is not simply a piece of flesh.
To the contrary, it is an image made out of flesh that is governed by a head with a mind and vivified by a living soul.
Without government by a head with intelligence, the body is only a vegetable, insane or mindless. And without vivification by a living soul, then that very same body is only dead, inanimate and, normally, a rotting corpse.
Consequently, for a person of sound mind, profession of the Catholic Faith whole and entire --- which, by definition, is what right belief is --- makes you one, and hence united, not merely with the Catholic Body, but makes you one, and hence united, with this Catholic Body’s Catholic Head & Mind & Soul as well!
Do you comprehend, precious soul?
For a human being of sound mind, profession of the Catholic Faith WHOLE AND ENTIRE AND UNCHANGED --- which is what RIGHT belief amounts to --- makes the human being one, and hence united, not just with Christ’s Singular Body of Roman Catholicism, but makes the human being one, and hence united, with this Singular Body’s HEAD & MIND & SOUL of Roman Catholicism as well!
+++ 42. Imaginary ‘Sincerity’ Makes You Feel ‘Good’ +++
for Awhile… But What Happens When the Spiritual
Narcotic Wears Off?
The four infallible proofs we have examined makes this conclusion unavoidable, just as the inerrant testimony of the four Gospels of the New Testament in Sacred Scripture make the existence and teachings of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, unavoidable and inarguable, too.
There are other infallible proofs, but these four are sufficient.
Enough to show us that intelligent minds can never be totally ‘invincible’ in their ignorance --- thus making them culpable & guilty when they should have tried harder to seek earnestly for their Eternal Creator’s Purpose for their temporal existence. A Purpose which we know, too, by the infallible testimony of His Church, is to be a good Roman Catholic --- and God has never deigned to add an eighth and invisible ‘sacrament of sincerity’ to the Seven Very Visible Sacraments that His Church assures us He has already given us, and which, Catholicism teaches, are more than adequate, all by themselves, to save any human soul… and no matter what that soul’s religious condition to start with, or where in the world he or she might be.
My dear soul, this much is clear.
The Salvation Dogma is logically obvious,
provided you have carefully, intelligently and humbly read the quartet of
infallible proofs from
There are still three more devastating arguments for us to consider --- against the amazing power of ‘ignorance’ and saving efficacy of ‘sincerity’ --- before we are totally finished and ready to wipe the intellectual dust from our hands, tired but satisfied that we have put in a hard day’s work with our God-given minds. Notwithstanding, what we have already seen is more than enough to show you, precious soul, how a supposed ‘sincerity’, while believing in false and non-Catholic things, is merely a spiritual narcotic to take away the excruciating pain of conscience you would feel if, instead, you were wide awake and well aware of the religious lies you may be telling yourself.
Yet what happens when the narcotic wears off?
It will, you know.
No drug lasts forever.
If only when you die… you will wake up and the haze will be gone.
Indeed, if you’ve made it this far reading Helplessly Ignorant with intelligence --- however difficult it may be --- then the drugged stupor is fading like a mist right now.
And the pain of a religious conscience returns like a scream.
The pain of knowing:
“I have a purpose. I’m made for a reason. I’m merely a creature. My Creator gave me a temporary bodily existence to do something important. I still haven’t done what I’m supposed to do. I still need to find, and do, that important something.”
The catch is, when you die, you’ve run out of time.
You’ll never get ‘something’ done then.
Now is the moment.
Seize the day.
Keep reading this book, keep thinking seriously and carefully about religion, and keep looking hard to understand the truth Our Creator gave us intelligent minds to see, promising us we will find it.
As Jesus said:
“Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone that asketh, receiveth [everyone who asks, receives]: and he that seeketh, findeth [he who seeks, finds]: and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened [for him who knocks, the door will be opened].” (Matthew 7:7-8 DRC)
Want to know what you are, why you’re here, and who you’re supposed to be?
Then use your intelligent mind to ask, seek and knock.
Want to think you’re ‘catholic’… but don’t like what this book makes clear?
Then swallow hard, don’t pretend you already know everything you need to know about religion, have humility... and think deeply about the next theological facts.
+++ 43. Where Is the Proof? +++
(Saints Alphonsus & Aquinas)
Because self-styled ‘catholics’ of the modern sort --- who are learned or traditional and know very well that ‘no Salvation outside the Church’ has always meant, with simplicity, exactly what it very plainly says, neither more nor less --- love to tout the ‘invisible connection’ of a so-called ‘implicit desire’ for water baptism that all kinds of very ‘sincere’ non-Catholics of sound and intelligent mind are claimed to have.
That is to say, lots of non-Catholics are ‘inside’ the Church due to ‘sincerity’.
This, they claim, the scholastic theologians taught. How so?
Because, say they, the scholastic theologians of the early second millennium plainly taught the efficacy of a mere ‘desire’ for water baptism, and that this supposed ‘desire’ could be something only ‘implicit’ in a human being. Or, put differently, not actually known, such a person not aware of his ‘implicit desire’ for the Sacrament of Baptism.
Ergo, say they, ‘implicit desire for baptism’ is an ‘infallible’ teaching of the Church, leading ‘catholics’ of modern times to realize --- after all those centuries of much more narrow, restricted thinking --- how explicit knowledge of the Catholic Faith is not truly required. To the contrary, lots of non-Catholics (or at least a few non-Catholics, if you’re very traditional and cautious) could be getting into Heaven without being visibly, explicitly, objectively, knowingly… and thus actually… Catholic.
Problem solved, a supposedly ‘harsh’ teaching of Catholicism made to appear a whole lot ‘nicer’ and less ‘offensive’, as well as self-styled ‘roman catholics’ way more ‘open-minded’ and ‘up-to-date’ compared to their modernized yet non-Catholic peers.
The flaw in this explanation?
It isn’t true.
The above learned or traditional-sounding ‘catholic’ rationalization that the infallible dogma of ‘no Salvation outside the Church’’ doesn’t actually mean, with simplicity, what it very literally and plainly says, is a big, fat, huge lie.
We turn first to a rather recent saint, bishop, monk and official doctor of the Holy Catholic Church, St. Alphonsus Liguori who lived until the end of the 18th century:
“Still we answer the Semi-Pelagians [a type of heretic during the 1st millennium], and say that infidels [people without the Catholic Faith] who arrive at the use of reason [are no longer small children and old enough to start thinking for themselves], and are not converted to the [Catholic] Faith, cannot be excused, because though they do not receive sufficient proximate grace [grace that is all around you and obvious, such as what people raised in good Catholic countries would have by virtue of the Catholic testimony all around them], still they are not deprived of remote grace, as a means of becoming converted. But what is this remote grace? St. Thomas [Aquinas] explains it, when he says that if anyone was brought up in the wilds, or even among brute beasts, and if he followed the law of natural reason, to desire what is good, and to avoid what is wicked, we should certainly believe either that God, by an internal inspiration [an inspiration of the heart or mind], would reveal to him what he should believe, or would send someone to preach the [Catholic] Faith to him, as [just like] he sent Peter [the first pope] to Cornelius [a Roman commander first converted to the Old Testament Religion before becoming a Roman Catholic --- see Acts 10 in the Bible]. Thus, then, according to the Angelic Doctor [St. Thomas Aquinas, see the quote just below], God, at least remotely, gives to infidels [those who aren’t Catholic], who have the use of reason, sufficient grace to obtain salvation [enough grace to become Catholic and die in the state of grace], and this grace consists in a certain instruction of the mind, and in a movement of the will, to observe the natural law [the basic law of religion & morality that God places in every person’s heart who has the use of reason and whether or not he’s Catholic to start with]; and if the infidel cooperates with this movement, observing the precepts of the law of nature, and abstaining from grievous sins, he will certainly receive, through the merits of Jesus Christ, the grace proximately sufficient to embrace the [Catholic] Faith, and [thus] save his soul.” (St. Alphonsus Liguori’s The History of Heresies, Refutation 6, No. 11. All emphasis & annotations added.)
Secondly, we quote from an even more eminent saint, monk and official doctor of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas from the 13th century, to whom Alphonsus refers above, and who begins his defense of the Salvation Dogma in its most ancient, narrow and correct sense by first stating a potential objection people have against needing to know the Catholic Faith to save one’s soul, and then giving the correct answer with a reply:
“Objection: It is possible that someone may be brought up in the forest, or among wolves; such a man cannot explicitly know anything about the [Catholic] faith… Reply [the objection rebutted and answered correctly]: It is the characteristic of Divine Providence to provide every man with what is necessary for salvation… provided on his part there is no hindrance. In the case of a man who seeks good and shuns evil, by the leading of natural reason, God would either reveal to him through internal inspiration what had to be believed, or would send some preacher of the [Catholic] faith to him…” (St. Thomas Aquinas’ Quaestiones Disputatae de Veritate, Question 14, Article 11. Emphases & annotations added.)
+++ 44. How Can a ‘Connection’ to the Church +++
Be Purely ‘Invisible’, When Profession of Her
Catholic Faith Is Always Necessary?
And there you have it.
Two great saints and doctors of the Church --- one of them a scholastic theologian (Thomas Aquinas) --- plainly uphold the infallible dogma of ‘no Salvation outside the Church’ in its most ancient, narrow and correct sense. They tell us clearly, that, even if human beings with intelligent minds are far, far, far away from any obvious and blatant testimony regarding God’s One True Religion of Roman Catholicism… even if the person lives all alone for his or her entire life in the savage wilderness or is raised by wild animals without human contact… this person, nonetheless, has an intelligent mind, and has, as well, the law of natural reason placed in his or her heart by Our Creator.
What does this mean?
That a human being with sound intelligence is automatically compelled to seek for that which is good and to avoid that which is evil. Which, in turn, means a person with truly good intentions (read: anyone who really wants to know the truth about why humans beings exist and what he or she is supposed to do with his or her earthly life) will be unable to avoid the conclusion that a Creator exists and made us for a Purpose.
Finally, it means all people with sound minds and truly good intentions will be absolutely certain to get from God --- whether by direct inspiration of the Holy Ghost within their hearts and minds, or by the testimony of an angel or human being sent for the very purpose of telling them about the Catholic Religion --- everything they need to believe in order to be Roman Catholic, and everything they need to obey in order to be in the state of grace and therefore a good Roman Catholic, so as to be sure to save their priceless & divinely-created souls.
+++ 45. What About Children? +++
Even children, or the cognitively disabled, can’t ‘escape’ completely the need for a profession of the Catholic Faith. Even they, lacking the use of reason that sound human minds possess, must normally have a ‘godparent’ profess ‘for them’, as it were, what a human being must profess to believe so as to enter Heaven and see God Face-to-face forever.
This same principle applies in a case of desperate need.
Say, for instance, that a newborn baby appears to be in danger of immediate death. And say, as well, that no priest or deacon can come in time to administer the Sacrament of Baptism to this infant with all of the usual ritual ceremony.
The Church commands (for the caretaker who is Catholic and under Her Authority) or at least charitably implores (for the caretaker who is not Catholic and under Her Authority, but willing, for whatever reason, to do what the Church asks) the adult responsible for this baby’s care to bestow water baptism on the poor little infant’s body without delay. This is what has been called in recent times an ‘emergency baptism’. Such that adults acting in this situation do indeed, in a very real sense, profess Catholicism ‘on behalf of’ the babe --- as it were --- since such a tiny human being can never know to do this on and seek help on its own. In fact, when you think about it, Holy Mother Church Herself --- in joining infants to Her Body via sacramental water --- professes the Faith on their behalf so as to supply what they lack, being incapable to know better… just like you, dearest soul, if you’re a parent, do for your child what he or she cannot yet know is needful.
I mean, as a mother or father, don’t you feed the baby who doesn’t feed itself?
Don’t you protect children from cars or predators, etc.?
Certainly you do.
If, then, you cautiously act to feed and protect the child’s body, what about this child’s precious and immortal soul?
If Catholic, don’t you think the soul even more precious than the body?
Of course you do.
By the way, proof of the Church having an adult act ‘on behalf of’ the little child in professing Her Singular Catholic Faith during the Sacrament of Baptism can be found in an old missal of the mid-twentieth century, called The Saint Andrew Daily Missal. Near the back of this lengthy yet compact tome, the text of the ceremonies for administering water baptism under normal circumstances, along with instructions, is printed.
Right before the Apostle’s Creed (the Credo) and the Our Father prayer (the Pater) are recited during the
liturgy of this Sacrament of Baptism, a small instruction in little font says,
“While they are coming into the Church, the godfather in the name of the child repeats the Credo and
Pater.” (The Saint Andrew Daily
Missal, page 1863, section on Holy Baptism. Originally
published by The E. H. Lohman
And what is a godfather or a godmother?
Someone Catholic who, in agreeing to represent the little baby during the liturgical ceremony of the Sacrament of Baptism that a priest or deacon normally performs soon after a child is born, also agrees --- should the Catholic parents of this little baby die or somehow lose the ability to care for their child --- to take responsibility for teaching the child Holy Religion and thus raise him or her as Roman Catholic.
I.e., to carry out the commandment of God to raise such children as His, by making sure they’re Roman Catholic… and which is why, then, such godparents are godparents, representing God on earth in order to take care of the child’s religious needs.
+++ 46. Why Did Scholastic Theologians +++
Speak of an ‘Implicit’ Desire for Baptism? (Part 1)
Oh, and lest you’ve forgotten, what about the term ‘implicit’ desire for baptism?
In fact, how about the phrase ‘baptism of desire’ itself?
Why did scholastic theologians during medieval times coin this peculiar terminology, what was the point of talking about ‘desire’ or ‘implicit’ or ‘explicit’ in reference to the Sacrament of Baptism?
My dear reader, please go elsewhere on this website to peruse the book, Baptismal Confusion: What the Fight Over ‘Baptism of Desire’ vs. ‘Water Only’ Is All About and Where Both Sides Get It Very Wrong, Falling into Heresy or Schism as a Result , for a full and complete description of these theological ideas. Believe it or not, there is a reason learned Catholics came up with them in the first place long ago and there is a need for real Catholics to understand how these theological opinions are just that for the time being… fallible opinions (howsoever eminent their origin and dominant their influence the last few centuries) and not infallible dogmas (not yet, at least).
Baptismal Confusion tells the history of these theological ideas and how real Roman Catholics have always understood them from way back then until more recent times, when the long foretold Great Apostasy has finally erupted out into the open. You can find this writing in the Books & Articles section of The Epistemologic Works, as I mention in passing in Chapter 2 of this tome, Helplessly Ignorant.
In short, though, so-called ‘baptism of desire’ was a theological opinion that St. Augustine of Hippo pioneered in AD 400 in one of his many copious books, presumably inspired by his mentor, St. Ambrose of Milan.
(‘Baptism of desire’ is how it’s been known in the language of English for the past few hundred years. This is a rather poor translation of the venerable Latin phrase ‘baptismus voti’, which a conscientious Latin scholar would more accurately render as ‘baptism of vow’ or ‘baptism of resolution’, and which, tellingly, was in Latin called ‘baptism of spirit’ or ‘baptism of fire’ during the middle ages by highly educated Catholics.)
This opinion tried to explain the perplexing problem of why, when God doesn’t want anyone going to hell --- and when catechumens, who are trying to learn about the Roman Catholic Faith, can appear to be of the best and most sincere intentions --- He might on rare occasion let a catechumen die ‘accidentally’ before he or she can be spiritually reborn and washed clean of sin in water baptism, especially sins of mortality.
Mortal sins that include, incidentally (yet crucially), the mortal (but not personally committed) transgression of Original Sin that every human being --- apart from Jesus & Mary --- has been conceived into since our first parents in the Garden of Paradise, the illustrious (yet sinfully fallen and, at the time, rebellious) Adam & Eve.
Without water baptism, does God really send poor catechumens to hell?
+++ 47. Why Did Scholastic Theologians +++
Speak of an ‘Implicit’ Desire for Baptism? (Part 2)
‘Explicit’ desire for baptism just meant that the catechumen --- the person of sound and intelligent mind trying to learn the infallible teachings of Roman Catholicism --- really does know about, and really does solemnly resolve, and thus intend, to receive water baptism when he or she can do so after his or her time of catechism (instruction) is finished and it’s obvious that this person is sincere about being a good Catholic.
‘Implicit’ desire for baptism meant someone who --- hearing about the Catholic Faith and realizing this is the only way to save his or her soul and wanting to learn about this Faith as a catechumen, as well as obediently resolving to do whatever the Church might command him or her to do in order to obtain salvation --- happens to die ‘accidentally’, supposedly, without finding out about the need for water baptism, let alone being able to resolve, ‘explicitly’, and therefore solemnly, to receive these sacramental waters.
Hence, taught scholastic theologians, such a hypothetical person, wanting to be a catechumen in the Church, would have most seriously vowed to receive water baptism if only he or she could know the Catholic Church commands them to receive it. Their resolution to do so is certainly implicit, asserted they, if not actually explicit.
So teach the scholastics, and their opinion about ‘baptism of desire’ came to dominate the thinking of all learned people within the Church by the 1500s, as well as all Roman Catholics everywhere, period, by the AD 1900s.
Unfortunately, by the 1700s many people calling themselves ‘catholic’ were routinely stretching this notion of the scholastic theologians about ‘implicit desire’ beyond the breaking point. They were routinely and blatantly claiming that an ‘implicit desire for baptism’ was not just for catechumens (people of sound mind knowing Catholicism is true and trying to become Catholic to save their souls) but for everyone else, too!
By the 18th century it had become common for theologians (including priests and bishops) to claim that the idea of an ‘implicit desire’ for water baptism applies not just to people of sound mind who know Catholicism is infallibly true and are trying to become Roman Catholic so as to save their souls, but also to all kinds of people of sound and intelligent mind who have no idea that Catholicism is infallibly true, and, who, consequently, don’t even care to try to become Catholic to save their souls!
This was heresy --- salvation heresy --- and went beyond the pale.
Yet it was popular ‘catholic’ opinion by the mid-20th century.
I.e., they still claimed to be ‘catholic’… but weren’t.
They were modernists and heretics.
+++ 48. What Are You Going to Do? +++
The ball’s in your court, dear reader.
Consider yourself ‘catholic’?
Yet don’t want to believe that ‘no Salvation outside the Church’ means exactly what it says, with simplicity, and without qualifications, provisos or exceptions?
Then you might want to come clean and admit you’re not what you claim to be.
But whether or not you’re willing to admit the truth, you’ll pardon me --- and any real Roman Catholic --- for calling you exactly what you are:
We drive the point home:
You are not truly Catholic when you are intelligent and believe that non-Catholic people with sound minds can die as something other than Roman Catholic --- die while believing in ideas that are false religious teachings and contradict what the Church infallibly & explicitly teaches is true --- and still get into Heaven. By believing this falsehood while stubbornly clinging to the title of ‘catholic’, you are revealing yourself for what you truly are… NOT actually Catholic.
Yet the Church is infallible and She has spoken clearly.
It is not Her fault if you choose to believe a lie about salvation.
You have an intelligent mind.
You have a free will.
The infallible truth is there for the taking.
You just have to be willing to intelligently believe it.
+ + +
Part One of Helplessly Ignorant (Chapters 1-20)
Part Three of Helplessly Ignorant (Chapters 49-69)
Part Four of Helplessly Ignorant (Chapters 70-99)
Part Five of Helpless Ignorant (Chapters 100-134)
Part Six of Helpless Ignorant (Chapters 135-180)
Coda of Helplessly Ignorant (the Dénouement)
+ + +
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