+++ 49. The Fifth Big Problem With Ignorance: +++
What’s the Point of Catholic Missions for
And so we come to the fifth big problem with ‘salvation through ignorance’.
To wit, what’s the point of the Roman Catholic Church sending Catholic missionaries to non-Catholic people in order to convert them to the Catholic Religion, when, in fact, it is not truly necessary for everyone of intelligent mind to believe in the Catholic Faith?
Why in the world would the Roman Catholic Church, since the very first century with Christ & His Twelve Apostles --- and for thousands of years since then --- act like it’s the most important thing ever to send Roman Catholic missionaries to all kinds of non-Catholic people all over the earth everywhere, if, in fact, it is not truly most urgent and absolutely necessary for every single person of sound & intelligent mind to literally know about, truly believe in, and profess voluntarily, God’s One & Only Roman Catholic Religion in order to save his or her immortal soul?
Do you savvy?
It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out.
Intelligent people saving their souls while dying as non-Catholics makes mincemeat of the idea that it’s vitally imperative for Roman Catholics to convert non-Catholic individuals to the One True Religion of Roman Catholicism!
End of sentence.
+++ 50. How to Categorize Fraudulent ‘Catholics’? +++
Now here is an area where self-styled ‘catholics’ will differ.
Not that they’ll argue about it with each other --- usually --- but, if you talk to them in some depth, you’ll find a remarkable degree of divergence in their opinions regarding ‘salvation’. They definitely do not see eye to eye when it comes to entering Heaven.
For instance, Liberal Novus Ordoists (LNOs) are the most happy-go-lucky. Essentially, there are no rules in their books that could keep a soul out of Heaven. (Except for, maybe, Adolf Hitler, the Nazis, or a real Catholic who believes in ‘no Salvation outside the Church’ correctly. Then LNOs can get curiously strict and damning.)
Indeed, for many of them… perhaps most… there is no such thing as hell.
That idea, they are convinced, was quaintly medieval, sadly cruel and wisely jettisoned with the new-found ‘spirit’ of ‘enlightenment’ and ‘mercy’ at Vatican II.
(People who, after Vatican II, call themselves ‘catholic’ but are not actually what they say they are can best be described as ‘Novus Ordoist’ since post-Vatican II leaders threw away the Latin Mass of ancient times and replaced it with an assembled-by-liturgical-committee rite known as the ‘Novus Ordo’ (Latin for ‘New Order’) which then, by proxy, became symbolic of all the modernization and silliness that followed in the flotsam-and-jetsam-riddled wake of the Vatican II Pseudo-Council.)
Meanwhile, Conservative Novus Ordoists (CNOs) are middle-of-the-road.
Some of them can be pretty broad-minded. Hell exists, they admit, but who knows if anyone winds up there? God is so loving, you know. We can’t judge and we must hope, however uncertainly, that only a small number of souls suffer everlastingly. In any case, it cannot be doubted that some of the souls in Heaven will have died not realizing they were ‘invisibly catholic’.
Whereas other CNOs are more careful. Both Sacred Scripture and the Church have always warned us how few there are that escape the fire of damnation. Who are we to dare to think otherwise? Best to play it safe, be ‘catholic’, and watch out. Nevertheless, they, too, admit at least some of the ‘saved’ die not knowing they were ‘catholic’.
Lastly, Traditional Novus Ordoists (TNOs) tend to be the most cautious.
They may or may not think antipopes since the 1960s are ‘popes’. They definitely don’t like the Novus Ordo Mass or Vatican II. Yet they still like to believe that intelligent people can die not professing Catholicism and, maybe, end up saved, regardless.
This predilection makes them waffle all over the place. Hell exists, yes. Its threat is real, widespread, powerful, deceptive and horribly dangerous --- true.
But who, specifically, actually winds up going there?
Ah, there is the rub.
Most TNOs will never admit, in particular, that anyone went there or goes there. Absolutely, resolutely, they are determined to act as if God via His Church has not actually spoken with precision regarding the conditions of salvation and that --- barring visible evidence to the contrary --- it really is possible, with moral certainty, to know that he or she who dies not professing Catholicity, dies in the state of eternal damnation.
A few TNOs, though, are much more cautious. They admit God via His Church has spoken clearly about the stark requirements of salvation. Notwithstanding, they cling to ‘invincible ignorance’ with surprising tenacity. They will insist that, however unlikely amidst the wickedness of this foul world, somebody could be ‘sincere’ and --- if only upon his or her deathbed, unable to speak and unconscious --- somehow be ‘perfectly contrite’ for their terrible sins despite their lack of Catholicity --- maybe even become secretly Catholic unknown to us! --- and so, just barely, at their last breath, slip into Heaven with no visible Sacrament administered or audible Profession uttered.
This is the gamut of so-called ‘catholics’ nowadays.
+++ 51. And How Is This Wide Ranging Gamut Still +++
Another Stumbling Block for Salvation Heresy?
The huge difficulty with this wide ranging spectrum of so-called ‘catholics’?
Even if you want to think all Novus Ordoists are ‘catholic’ --- from liberal to conservative to traditional, whatever their particular ‘style’ or ‘preference’ or ‘brand’ of ‘catholicity’ --- and that dying in the ‘state-of-an-invincible-ignorance-and-sincerity’ makes you somehow ‘invisibly connected’ to the Church and that this ‘invisible connection’ is an ‘infallible teaching’ of a visible Catholicism, how is it that the understanding of this ‘infallible teaching’ ranges all over the place?
I mean, think about it.
How can a teaching that is now supposed to be ‘infallibly’ clarified and true --- having been upheld with brief but clear references, at the very least, during the Vatican II Pseudo-Council of the 1960s (although some CNOs or TNOs try to push it back all the way to Pope Pius IX in the 1850s) --- vary so wildly in interpretation, whilst, at the same time, this astonishing array of opinion about how ‘salvation-in-the-state-of-ignorance’ works and, exactly, to whom it may apply (a broad range tolerated by most post-Vatican II leaders), is, as well, supposed to reassure an intelligent human being that this teaching is, without doubt, ‘infallibly’ true?
Because if ‘salvation through ignorance’ has been both infallible & accepted for quite some time amongst Roman Catholics (a few CNOs or TNOs even dare to claim --- albeit wrongly, badly mangling and misinterpreting a paucity of old texts --- that Catholics of old taught ‘salvation’ for intelligent souls visibly outside the Church), WHY isn’t this ‘salvation through ignorance’ teaching then perfectly uniform amongst everyone everywhere, not to mention (if indeed ancient) everyone everywhen?
How can it be ‘infallibly’ true when it’s not uniform and unchanging?
How is it God left earlier Catholics in the dark about this ‘dogma’?
+++ 52. What If You Tell ‘Sincerely Ignorant’ People +++
the Truth and Make Them Guilty of Sin, But Never Tell the
‘Insincerely Ignorant’ and Leave Them Guilty in Sin?
And, if that were not enough, consider this:
How can it be a good idea to send Catholic missionaries to non-Catholic people when, if these ‘ignorant’ but intelligent people of sound mind are truly invincible and inculpable in their ignorance --- and, therefore, surely safe in their ‘sincerity’ about false religion --- it would then likely jeopardize the eternal safety of their immortal souls by telling them about Catholicism and then cause them, in their natural obstinacy & disbelief, to reject the Church’s Infallible & Saving Truth, whilst, if left alone in their ‘sincerity’ --- undisturbed by plain & clear Roman Catholic Teaching --- they would consequently never run the atrocious risk of rejecting a Catholic person’s testimony about the Faith?
Do you get it?
It’s a no-win situation.
Tell ignorant but ‘sincere’ people about the One True Religion, and you might send them to hell if they refuse to believe what you both rationally and politely tell them.
Or, on the other hand, don’t tell ignorant but insincere people about the One True Religion and you surely help them hasten to hell since they’ll never seek the truth on their own with minds that are rational & curious, and, as a result, wind up damned both for their sins of immorality and their sin of (insincere) unbelief.
How are you, a material and visible creature, supposed to be able to perceive the immaterial and invisible state of a person’s soul and know which is which?
What can we do to distinguish between the two possibilities?
And how is this supposed to help us save souls?
Because you do remember (don’t you?) that the purpose of the Church is for human beings to be safely inside of Her --- and whether you want to think this ‘insideness’ is visible or ‘invisible’. Meanwhile, this purpose of salvation fails miserably if a person --- and whether visibly or ‘invisibly’ --- winds up dying outside Her Ark of Safety.
+++ 53. Why Does Tolerance Work Only
Which brings us to one other thing before we finish explaining the fifth big problem with ignorance about True Religion and the salvation of one’s immortal soul.
Namely, why does tolerance work only one way?
Most Novus Ordoists will put up with an astounding array of widely differing interpretations when it comes to the teaching of ‘salvation-in-the-state-of-ignorance’, even to the point of these differences being radical and outright contradictory.
It doesn’t seem like they care.
They will still gladly, most of them, extend the title of ‘roman catholic’ to such a person and act as if disagreements of this sort are of no consequence. They are both of them members of --- and worshipping within, say they --- the ‘same’ religion.
Nonetheless, take one step toward orthodoxy and… bam!
Tolerance flies out the door.
This is most evident with LNOs and CNOs, but even TNOs (who are a tiny fraction of Novus Ordoists overall) will often exhibit an identical prejudice.
As long as you call yourself ‘catholic’ and they think that you think that ‘ignorance’ and ‘sincerity’ have an amazing power to save intelligent yet non-Catholic souls --- to whatever extent this power may or may not operate --- then the festival of ‘love’, ‘friendliness’ and generally inexhaustible ‘patience’ goes on indefinitely.
Deviate one iota toward Salvation Dogma, however, and… well, let’s just say it’s not pretty. Why is this? Why does tolerance go in only one direction?
Not that this all by itself would make them real Catholics if they were, any of them, suddenly tolerant and friendly toward a real Catholic sticking up for ‘no Salvation outside the Church’ in its most ancient, narrow and correct sense.
But why can’t they be tolerant toward the actual dogma as well?
Most of them can put up with all kinds of radical and contradictory opinions when it comes to heretical notions about ‘ignorance’, ‘sincerity’ and ‘salvation’. They’ll still talk to these Novus Ordoists calmly & respectfully, even treat them like they’re ‘catholic’.
So why can’t they do the same with a real Catholic? Why can’t they talk about the Salvation Dogma calmly & respectfully, too? What’s going on here?
I think any intelligent, honest & truly Roman Catholic person knows the answer or is bound to figure it out eventually.
The truth is stark:
It is the Spirit of Modernism, the zeitgeist of our era. It is the diabolical spirit of their father in the matter of religion, Satan, the adversary & accuser of our souls.
You may not want to believe me, dear reader.
You may want to think I’m being ‘alarmist’ or needlessly ‘harsh’.
Although it bears noting how a reading of Sacred Scripture in the Gospels shows you an example of Jesus Christ Himself speaking frankly to His audience in the same way. To wit, telling them --- ostensible members of the Old Testament Catholic Church --- that their father is the devil. (John 8:44)
But the mystery here begging to be explained doesn’t go away just because of your lack of experience & curiosity, or because of your bias & unbelief. If you say you’re ‘catholic’ yet really, really, really don’t like my defense of the Salvation Dogma --- maybe you even get mad reading this book, perhaps over & over again, several times --- then, precious soul, you know exactly what I’m talking about… and to whom I refer.
+++ 54. What’s the LNO Agenda for ‘Missions’? +++
Yet back to the subject at hand.
Why conduct Catholic missions for non-Catholic people?
Why, as a visible
member of the One & Only Roman
Catholic Church, try to convert
any human being of a sound and intelligent
mind to this
How does telling ‘ignorant’ and ‘sincere’ people about Catholicism do them any good when they’re already ‘fine’ just as they are when it comes to their fate in eternity?
And so the ‘catholic’ silliness commences.
For LNOs (Liberal Novus Ordoists), it’s a no-brainer.
There is no good reason to convert anyone to Catholicism.
It’s merely a personal preference. Love the religion or philosophy that you are? Then don’t change. It’s not important. You’re perfectly dandy being non-Catholic. Or, oddly, are you attracted to the particular rites and ceremonies or ‘profound’ theology of Novus Ordoism? Well, okay, then go ahead and be a Novus Ordoist if that’s what you really, really, really want and nobody important or powerful is too offended or upset at you doing so… and just as long as you don’t do so claiming, stupidly & ridiculously, Catholicism is the only way that God’s given you to save your immortal soul.
That would be bad.
Medieval Catholics were dumb. They thought they had to preach to everybody all over the world and convert poor pagans to the Catholic Church lest they go to hell. Oh, and by the way, ‘proselytizing’ is a hideous word. Nobody does that anymore.
We’re smarter now.
We’re more modern and up-to-date.
Hence, if we must as Novus Ordoists do something for non-Catholic people somewhere else in the world and call it ‘missions’ --- which is a very old-fashioned and rather backwards-sounding term nowadays --- we do so not to convert anyone, but for the greater and more noble goal of ‘social justice’. We feed the poor, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, heal the sick, and, in general, make everyone more modern and more free, helping them to be the best (modern) Hindu, Muslim, or etc., he or she can be.
We are so much more enlightened than Catholics used to be.
Thank God for
+++ 55. What’s the CNO Agenda for ‘Missions’? +++
Meanwhile, CNOs (Conservative Novus Ordoists) aren’t too far behind.
Yes, they are conservative, so they don’t go so far as the LNO when it comes to modernist thought. Nevertheless, they are Novus Ordoists, and thus don’t dare to think the person they haven’t told about ‘catholicism’ --- or have told about ‘catholicism’ (as politely and subtly as can be, incidentally) but, because he or she can’t help being uncomfortable with the Church because of his or her upbringing, rejects Roman Catholicism --- certainly winds up in hell forever without visible Catholicity.
So why does the CNO conduct ‘missions’?
In part, for the same reason the LNO does ‘missions’ (if the LNO can even stand the thought of calling what they do ‘missions’):
To wit, feeding the poor, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, healing the sick, and --- to a lesser yet still significant extent --- helping everyone be more modern and more free, making sure a Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist or Jainist, or what-have-you, is the best (at least somewhat modernized) Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist or Jainist, or what-have-you, someone like he or she could ever be.
On the other hand, the CNO does believe in hell.
And the CNO does indeed admit (if only theoretically) that some people of bad will might wind up going there after death (although this makes the CNO nervous and inclined to find ways to believe such people are few in number… perhaps zilch).
Hence, the CNO will also, usually, if discoursing on the topic long enough, add that becoming ‘catholic’ is the best way to ensure the safety of your soul, and that --- in spite of who knows how many people are ‘saved’ in the state of ‘ignorance’ and ‘sincerity’ --- well, you know, it’s only charitable and compassionate to want such people to become ‘catholic’ so they can experience as many graces and divine assistance as is possible.
That is to say, true & visible Catholicism may not be needed to save a soul, but it’s ‘safer’ and makes life on earth so much more spiritually ‘deep’, ‘rich’ and ‘rewarding’.
+++ 56. Whither Missions, Then? +++
This kind of thinking has caused no end of problems for the CNO position.
E.g., the well-informed & honest CNO cannot deny that the priesthood, monasteries, nunneries and, yes, those involved in missions themselves… not to mention the amount of conversions… plummeted in terms of sheer statistics immediately after the conclusion of the Vatican II Pseudo-Council during the 1960s.
It doesn’t matter how they juggle statistics in the longer run --- facts are facts.
Clergy left the priesthood in droves, monks and nuns abandoned their vows en masse, participants in missions did the same or else openly mocked and repudiated the purpose of missions to convert people as the Church has sought since the first century, and far fewer people converted to what was now supposed to be ‘catholicism’ than before Vatican II, while most so-called ‘catholics’ no longer went to ‘mass’ or became something entirely different, like Protestant or Atheist or New Age or etc., etc.
This is the reality.
There was no ‘springtime’ of
spirituality and religion in the wake of
I mean, ponder it carefully and be frank with yourself:
If visible & actual Roman Catholicism is NOT truly the only
way to save one’s immortal soul, then
why believe that the
Social justice or a ‘deeper’ and ‘richer’ spiritual life?
You can practice social justice by being a social worker in a poverty-stricken urban area for the government, or join the Peace Corps and help countries that are dirt poor.
You can get a ‘deeper’ or ‘richer’ spiritual life by becoming a Buddhist monk in the Country of Tibet, or move to the State of California and practice a more recent and ‘westernized’ version of Buddhism in wealthy Marin County in the Bay Area.
+++ 57. A New Gospel? (Part 1) +++
This is a real concern.
We are not making this up.
And if you’re going to call yourself ‘catholic’ while disavowing the former goal of missions --- which was to convert the unconverted to Catholicism lest the intelligent person of sound mind wind up in hell forever --- then you are going to have to grapple, too, with real life, especially if you lived through Vatican II and its aftermath.
In other words, we used to do missions to proselytize.
Now, however, Vatican II not only makes that unnecessary for a purported ‘catholic’ today --- since any intelligent human being you encounter can be both ‘ignorant’ and ‘sincere’ and hence already on his or her way to Heaven as an ‘invisible member’ of the ‘church’ --- but also makes vivid how it is very definitely no longer polite to attempt to convert anyone to the Catholic Church, and no matter how courteous the effort!
So what are ‘missions’ for?
You don’t have to be a great intellectual or deep scholar to think through the obvious effect this new and anti-Catholic reasoning had on people who grew up Catholic prior to Vatican II and thus thought it was in some way necessary for the Catholic Church to convert non-Catholics to Her Singular Faith.
It’s pretty straight forward.
The sudden ‘official’ change in belief about how people save their souls --- or at least how most people save their souls, since salvation heresy had been percolating behind the scenes in a much more ‘conservative’ form --- and that visible membership in the Church is no longer necessary for salvation, very easily explains why conversions and missions and other aspects of a now thoroughly phony ‘roman catholicism’ catastrophically plummeted after the 1960s.
Statistics that any capable person can confirm if one looks for one’s self at publicly available data and doesn’t try to ‘explain away’ the devastating plunge from the late ’60s to the 1980s with yet later numbers (say, from the 1990s, or from the ’00s of the early 21st century, etc.). These later statistics can be made to look, ‘spun’ superficially in a certain way (and ignoring for the moment the question of whether or not most of the people purportedly represented by these later post-Vatican II numbers, apart from valid baptism, can be correctly labeled as ‘Novus Ordoist’ since they don’t even bother going to Novus Ordo religious services, ‘confession’ or so forth), as if ‘catholics’ recovered from this precipitous dive and returned to more ‘normal’ and impressive numbers.
Numbers that a smart and honest person cannot help realizing, were the horrific plunge to have never occurred in the first place --- and if the former growth curve had continued being the norm --- then mere momentum all by itself would have made the statistics significantly higher by far than they are at the present time.
(This reminds the learned of a popular Mark Twain quote. “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” (Emphases added.) He attributed the statement to 19th century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli in a serial excerpt from his rambling, anecdotal autobiography in the literary magazine, North American Review in 1906. Historians say this was incorrect. The point, though, is pertinent… that either partial or overly sweeping statistics, when taken out of context, can be very misleading and amount to the sin of a hurtful lie against those who expect and deserve the truth. For more sensitive readers, please pardon the quote’s flippant use of the word “damned”.)
+++ 58. A New Gospel? (Part 2) +++
This radical change for ‘missions’ and consequent plunge in ecclesial statistics even galvanized John Paul II --- the longest reigning post-Vatican II antipope from 1978 to 2005 --- to devote an ‘encyclical’ (released on 7 December 1990, the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of Vatican II’s statement on ‘missions’, Ad gentes) regarding the new purpose of ‘missions’ after the revolutionary ‘re-orientation’ of the Vatican II Pseudo-Council and its religious repercussions.
In Paragraph 2 of his antipapal encyclical, Redemptoris missio, he notes the plunge in fortunes whilst clinging to the remarkably enduring fantasy of a ‘springtime’ of spiritual renewal for so-called ‘christianity’ in the wake of Vatican II:
“Nevertheless, in this ‘new
springtime’ of Christianity there is an undeniable negative tendency, and the present document is
meant to help overcome it. Missionary
activity specifically directed ‘to the nations’ (Ad gentes)
appears to be waning… Difficulties
both internal and external have weakened
the Church’s missionary thrust toward non-Christians, a fact which must arouse concern among all
who believe in Christ. For in the
Church’s history, missionary drive has always been a sign of
vitality, just as its lessening
is a sign of a crisis of faith.” (Emphases added.
Apostrophes in this quote represent quotation marks in the text from the
John Paul II then goes for the jugular and acknowledges a sobering fact, stating the Novus Ordo problem succinctly in Paragraph 4 of this same antipapal encyclical:
“Nevertheless, also as a result of the changes which have taken place in modern times and the spread of new theological ideas, some people wonder: Is missionary work among non-Christians still relevant? Has it not been replaced by inter-religious dialogue? Is not human development an adequate goal of the Church’s mission? Does not respect for conscience and for freedom exclude all efforts at conversion? Is it not possible to attain salvation in any religion? Why then should there be missionary activity?” (Emphases added, except for italicization of the first interrogatory clause, which is in the text as posted at http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_07121990_redemptoris-missio.html and retrieved on 24 June 2016.)
+++ 59. A New Gospel? (Part 3) +++
For the real Catholic who is paying attention, this is a stunning admission.
Isn’t “human development an adequate goal of the Church’s mission?” he asks. (Ibid.) That is to say, “Isn’t it enough to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, heal the sick, and, in general, help everyone on earth be more modern and more free?”
Indeed, John Paul II went so far as to query, “Does not respect for conscience and for freedom exclude all efforts at conversion?” And he continues, “Is it not possible to attain salvation in any religion?” (Ibid.)
Wherefore he concludes with a very sensible and logical question:
“Why then should there be missionary activity?” (Ibid.)
To be fair, John Paul II is not meaning to say, in this last quote --- to put it into full context with everything he says in the encyclical --- that this is all ‘missions’ amounts to. He does elsewhere maintain that there is a kind of ‘spiritual aspect’ to Novus Ordo ‘missions’ that is still ‘valid’ or ‘important’.
Yet he also does not ever deny that this shocking quote is perfectly true.
To the contrary, in Paragraph 10 of Redemptoris missio (Latin for ‘the mission of the Redeemer’) he confirms what he said previously and goes into further detail:
“The universality of salvation means that it is granted not only to those who explicitly believe in Christ and have entered the Church. Since salvation is offered to all, it must be made concretely available to all. But it is clear that today, as in the past, many people do not have an opportunity to come to know or accept the gospel revelation or to enter the Church. The social and cultural conditions in which they live do not permit this, and frequently they have been brought up in other religious traditions. For such people salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church…” (All emphasis added.)
+++ 60. A New Gospel? (Part 4) +++
Did you get that, my dear reader?
Salvation is ‘universal’, says he.
Which at least suggests here in this context, at a bare minimum, that not only does he think everyone in the human race can be saved, but, as well, that he might dare to think everyone in the human race surely does get saved no matter what they do or say!
(John Paul’s other writings or speeches proves this niggling suspicion beyond a doubt. He did indeed gravitate toward ‘universalist’ heresy, which claims hell is empty.)
Yet he was supposed to be such a conservative ‘pope’.
I.e., staunchly CNO.
So shouldn’t ‘salvation’ have something to do with Christ or His Church?
“The UNIVERSALITY of salvation means that it is granted NOT ONLY to those who EXPLICITLY BELIEVE IN CHRIST and have ENTERED THE CHURCH…” (Ibid.)
You mean Christ & His Church have nothing to do with ‘salvation’?
“For such people salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does NOT make them FORMALLY A PART OF THE CHURCH…” (Ibid.)
Ah, so it’s the explicit formality that’s missing for “…such people…”
In other words, Christ & His Church are in there somewhere in this strange, new, murky and opaque Novus Ordo equation for the ‘saving’ of intelligent human souls --- it’s just that it’s really mysterious, complex & invisible to everybody, including the intelligent and ‘saved’ --- but not visibly and thus not actually Catholic --- person.
To wit, everyone in the world is ‘saved’ not because you don’t actually believe in Catholicism, but in spite of not actually believing in Roman Catholicism.
And everyone in the world is ‘saved’ not without visible baptism into Roman Catholicism’s Church, but in spite of no visible baptism into Her Body.
It’s all so very clear when you’re perfectly clear about what you’re…
Well… not exactly… clear about.
+++ 61. A New Gospel? (Part 5) +++
Despite the lack of clarity, do you comprehend, dear soul?
John Paul II baldly defied the four ancient and infallible statements of the Roman Catholic Church that we examined in some detail from Chapters 25 to 40 in this book, Helplessly Ignorant, including the testimonies of two saintly doctors of the Church --- one of them a scholastic theologian and usually thought to be the greatest theologian the Church has ever seen --- that we looked at in Chapter 42, both of whom clearly affirmed the constant and ancient teaching of Catholicism regarding how the absolute necessity of knowledge about the Catholic Faith, for everyone with a sound & intelligent mind, is never made impossible to obtain simply because of their circumstances to begin with, and regardless of how unfavorable one’s situation may look, humanly speaking.
(Please recollect the example they both use of a human being raised in the wilderness by animals devoid of any human contact, which, both Ss. Aquinas & Alphonsus point out, is never enough to stop God from putting the law of natural reason in such an isolated but intelligent human being’s heart and, additionally, if such a person cooperates with this natural law, avoiding evil and doing good, God then sends either a direct inspiration from the Holy Ghost, a celestial angel or a human missionary to tell this person about the teachings of Roman Catholicism which they so badly need to know about, and profess, in order to save their divinely-shaped, priceless & immortal souls.)
It is as I explained above.
For the CNO, ‘missions’ is for the work of ‘social justice’. However, it is also for the goal of making people everywhere in the world more ‘spiritually enlightened’.
Not to save their souls… although the particularly cautious (and non-universalist) CNO will probably mention conversion to their Novus Ordo ‘catholicism’ as a more certain means of assuring ‘salvation’.
No, ‘missions’ for the sake of ‘salvation’ is now passé.
And to insist on missions to non-Catholic people lest all such souls unreached by the Faith & Baptism of Catholicism end up damned in hell is positively verboten.
Such thinking is politically incorrect, undiplomatic and insulting.
+++ 62. A New Gospel? (Part 6) +++
John Paul II himself raised a firestorm in 2000
by issuing, through one of the offices of his Novus Ordo
Unfortunately, from a Protestant or other non-CNO point of view, he dared to mention that Protestants don’t really have something that can be called ‘churches’ (in the ancient sense of valid Holy Orders with valid bishops and valid priests) and that other religions are, regrettably, just the slightest bit ‘deficient’ in comparison to the Religion of Catholicism (but certainly not that non-Catholics can’t be saved, mind you!).
The outcry was indignant and deafening.
Can you imagine what would have happened if he was a real pope and had actually, in a very public and global way, upheld the infallible dogma of ‘no Salvation outside the Church’ in its most ancient, narrow and correct sense?
He would have been savaged and eaten alive.
A return to bloodthirsty, violent and murderous
persecution might have ensued, the likes of which have not been seen since the
tyranny of paganism in the old
Now the altar before which we must bow --- or be cast to the ravenous human beasts of modern religion --- is the altar of ‘one-religion-is-as-good-as-another’. Except for when it comes to the Religion of Catholicism, of course (I mean, after all, what sane & right-thinking modern person, who is infallibly certain in teaching that God’s Church is most certainly not infallibly certain about all of Her teachings, could put up with that kind of lunatic talk about infallibility & salvation?). Per the most modern of people, the Roman Catholic Religion is never as good as another religion (in fact, it’s the worst). Or except when, of course, any traditional religion dares to say --- nay, barely hint! --- that it’s better than another religion, especially religion that is modern and up-to-date. Then, my sweet & gentle reader, be prepared for an utterly vicious, brutal and hate-mongering hurricane of condemnation from the world at large and the powers-that-be.
Oh, you can say that your car is better than another car.
You can say democracy is better than any other form of government.
You can say quantum mechanics appears to be completely correct, all of the time, in all of its predictions about the behavior of subatomic phenomena; or that racism is never, never, never right to believe in, or practice, at any time, in any place, for anyone.
Yet we tolerant and modern-thinking people must draw the line somewhere.
We can’t let judgments of comparative superiority or absolute morality get completely out of hand. Let traditional-thinking people feel free to speak publicly in ways that question or defy modern ways of thinking and you have gone too far!
And so, sweetest & gentlest of readers, when it comes to traditional religion --- particularly the One True Church of Roman Catholicism --- you must always remember and be sure to ‘tremble’ before the awesome threat of this modernist commandment:
Thou shalt NEVER say traditional religion is better or right.
The modern and ‘tolerant’ have no tolerance for that.
+++ 63. What’s the TNO Agenda for ‘Missions’? +++
Let us wend our way back, though, to the last serious-sounding argument that someone may try to wield against the fifth big problem with ‘salvation-via-ignorance-and-sincerity’ --- namely, why do ‘missions’ when people are ‘saved’ without it?
We’ll call it the ‘TNO parry’.
TNO, you’ll recall, stands for ‘Traditional Novus Ordoist’.
That is to say, they love the traditions of Roman Catholicism --- especially the ancient Latin Mass --- and hate the novelties or ambiguities of Vatican II during the 1960s, particularly the ridiculous and modernist ‘reforms’ that followed in its wake.
Notwithstanding, they, like all other Novus Ordoists, are curiously blind to the one novelty of
‘salvation-in-the-state-of-ignorance-and-sincerity’ around which
everything else spins. This is because most TNOs are
a ‘freeze frame’ of Roman Catholics from the 20th
century just prior to Vatican II,
from the 1930s, ’40s & ’50s. Leastwise, in our
part of the world where English is the main language, in the (historically
speaking) mostly non-Catholic yet still vast land of the
I haven’t talked about TNO ‘missions’ till now for two reasons.
One, they’re a tiny fraction of Novus Ordoists overall. They therefore have not attempted to practice ‘missions’ anywhere in the world. They don’t have the resources… they’re just hanging on to the traditions that they love. Some of them call the post-Vatican II antipopes ‘popes’ (for instance, the SSPX or FSSP). Others don’t (for example, the CMRI or SSPV). It doesn’t really matter.
Apart from the FSSP, none of them obey these Novus Ordo ‘popes’.
And, two, were the TNOs to conduct ‘missions’, their approach would be little different from the most conservative of CNOs. Viz., yes, hell exists and is a real threat. Bad-willed people actually wind up there. But, no, an untold number of people can be visibly non-Catholic whilst --- via ‘invincible ignorance’ and ‘earnest sincerity’ --- getting into Heaven should they die in whatever false and non-Catholic religion they are.
Ergo, were TNO ‘missions’ to exist, it would really only amount to ‘conversions’ to ensure the ‘safety’ of souls that, possibly, are already secure, and, if safe already, to make these souls spiritually ‘richer’ and ‘deeper’ with the advantages of ‘roman catholicism’.
Granted, it would also be for works of social justice. I.e., feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, heal the sick, and (to a much lesser extent than LNOs or CNOs, but still significant) make sure everyone is more modern and more free. In fact, these works of social justice are the ‘ticket’ to conversions, think they. Be nice to people and, provided the niceness is impressive enough and it keeps going on long enough, you’ll persuade at least some people (eventually) to convert for that reason alone.
I mean, infallible truth and supernatural miracles are fantastic… all the same, with plenty of works of ‘corporeal charity’ up your sleeve, you can still play a pretty strong hand of religious poker, right?
+++ 64. Out of Jail But Still Imprisoned? +++
But TNO ‘conversion’ is little more than a ‘get out of jail free’ card.
Some non-Catholics (or at least a few, at a bare minimum) stay out of hell with ‘invincible ignorance’. Yet we can’t count on that, think TNOs. On the other hand, they are really not as cautious and conservative as they might sound to the unwary reader. It is still a most unpleasant thought for them to think of people winding up damned in hell --- as it should be for any real Catholic, too! The typical TNO response to this unpleasant thought, however, is different from a real Catholic’s reaction… and thus still more evidence of the modernist sentiments buried in their hearts, of how they are merely gussied-up Novus Ordoists, draped in the glittering robes of tradition.
They’re like Evangelic Protestants (EPs) who believe ‘once saved, always saved’ after they’ve said their EP ‘sinner’s prayer’. Simply replace the term ‘sinner’s prayer’ with the term ‘sacraments’ and you find that TNOs act similarly, as if becoming ‘catholic’ like them is a ‘once saved, always saved’ type of proposition.
Yes, they will admit that a Catholic could die in mortal sin, unforgiven.
They will admit such hypothetical persons would go to hell.
Yet it’s not just who in specific goes to hell that trips them up, as we mentioned in Chapter 49, describing the various types of fraudulent ‘catholics’. It is, as well, the great number of such souls that rubs them wrong --- particularly when it comes to thinking about the eternal fate of the souls within their very own group of TNO ‘catholics’.
Jesus said “few” find eternal life. (Matthew 7:14 DRC, see 7:13-14 for the fuller context.) He also told His disciples --- to their immense shock and horror --- how difficult it is for a “rich man” to enter God’s Kingdom, i.e., Heaven forevermore. (Mark 10:25-26 DRC. See 10:17-27 for a full understanding of why, and what, Jesus was teaching His disciples at this moment.) How, then, could being a Catholic guarantee Salvation automatically?
Remember, entire nations were, at one time not too long ago, Roman Catholic!
How could Jesus’ words about “few” being saved apply when whole countries for centuries on end were Catholic --- meaning all their individual citizens --- and, thus, as if few (or not that many!) in these places was going to hell forever when they died?
How can it be ‘unthinkable’ that many Catholics, much of the time, go to hell?
Being truly Roman Catholic gives you the hope of saving your immortal soul. Whereas actually getting saved requires being a good Roman Catholic, especially at death.
A well-trained TNO will admit a lot of these things in theory.
But, oh, how it grates to admit, additionally, that, for many Catholics much of the time, it is comparatively few who enter Heaven and comparatively many who end up in hell.
A real and good Catholic is humble about this; the TNO blithe and dismissive.
The real Catholic ponders His Lord’s words in the Gospels about Salvation honestly and gravely; the TNO thinks as he wishes regarding ‘salvation’ of human souls, along with the rest of an apostate world, imprisoned by the heretical thoughts of his own mind.
True, the TNO may not be universalist in his claims for ‘ignorance’.
This objectively good lack of universalist heresy, howsoever, fails to compensate for another lack that is most definitely and objectively bad. A deficit that every single salvation heretic today shares in common, as have all rebels since the beginning:
The lack of a true, proper & sufficient fear of God.
Which in turn means a lack of true, proper & sufficient respect for what it is that God Himself clearly announces via His Very Visible Catholic Church, which is certainly the Infallible & Explicit Truth about the real & actual means of our Heavenly Salvation.
+++ 65. And How Is This Linked to
Do you see how the TNO thinks, precious soul?
And do you understand how their recent predecessors, before 1965, ‘rotted from the inside out’ --- as it were --- the Catholicism that ostensible ‘catholics’ and ‘members’ of the True Church practiced in the century or so prior to Vatican II during the 1960s?
It’s why Vatican II was able to happen.
Bad teaching in seminaries & monasteries from the 1700s and 1800s onward produced more & more heretical priests, bishops, monks and nuns, and bad catechism in parishes & books from the 1800s and 1900s produced more & more heretical laymen and laywomen. By the mid-1900s, most if not all ‘catholics’ were either overtly or covertly heretical.
A very ‘conservative’ form of salvation heresy by today’s standards, granted.
Yet it’s why the out-in-the-open, public and ‘official’ approval of the teaching of ‘salvation through ignorance’ within the documents of the Vatican II Pseudo-Council caused not a ripple of discontent or protest.
Because everyone there had already come to believe in the possibility of a so-called ‘salvation’ in the state of an ‘invincible ignorance’.
They were already acting as if ‘sincerity’ was an eighth ‘sacrament’.
Vatican II merely let the most liberal of so-called ‘catholics’ go way further and act like any visible membership in God’s Singular Body was of no real necessity at all.
Hence the sudden and apparent ‘collapse’ of the Church.
Hence the appalling plunge in statistics afterward.
+++ 66. Are Newer CNOs Any Different? +++
Younger CNOs of the last two or three decades --- shaped as they were by the putatively ‘conservative’ nature of John Paul II’s antipapacy and that of his now ‘retired’ successor, Benedict XVI --- didn’t have this shocking jolt to deal with. They were already weaned on the sweet venom of salvation heresy as formulated by post-Vatican II leaders who interpreted it for everybody else to follow and repeat during the past fifty years.
Consequently, they experienced no bitter disillusionment.
They never thought in the first place that missions is primarily an urgent endeavor to convert non-Catholic souls for the sake of Salvation. Ergo, no crushing disappointment from the upheaval of the 1960s. They were either oddly attracted to the sense of ‘religion’ that conservative Novus Ordoism provides them, or at least convinced that the Novus Ordo ‘church’ is merely Catholicism under a more modern and attractive ‘veneer’.
And they really thought, if fervently CNO, they were joining a noble & exciting ‘modern crusade’ for the ‘culture of life’ and ‘civilization of love’ that the charismatic John Paul II promised with his call for a ‘new evangelization’. (As if the ‘old one’ was ‘worn out’ and in desperate need of ‘updating’, or had ‘failed miserably’ despite the Church of Roman Catholicism having converted a pagan Roman Empire and spread throughout the entire world over the past two millennia with billions upon billions of visible members).
Of course, many of them are now shocked at the disconcertingly and blatantly in-your-face modernist leadership of the present LNO antipope styling himself as ‘Francis’. Even they, Novus Ordo though they be, are conservative enough --- a few of them, at least --- to start wondering aloud, seriously, with no humor intended:
Is the ‘pope’ Catholic?
+++ 67. Eyes Wide Shut or Eyes Long Gone? +++
And they are blind.
They are under the curse God warns of through the minor prophet, Amos, in the Old Testament (Amos 8:11-12), where He takes away testimony of His Singular Religion to punish those who keep going schismatic, heretical & apostate. A punishment that helps ensure these rebellious people go to hell forever since they deserve perpetual fire for not caring one bit what God commands when it comes to the One True Religion. This curse is the same thing as the “operation of error” God sends them “to believe lying” during our era of the Great Apostasy, spoken of by the Missionary Apostle, St. Paul, with an inerrancy guaranteed by the Holy Ghost and stamped with the infallible assurance of God’s Roman Catholic Church. (Please see 2 Thessalonians 2:10 DRC and an explanation of this “operation” in Chapters 21 to 23 of Helplessly Ignorant.)
As a result, they really can’t see yet… they really don’t yet realize… that, if truly Catholic and of an intelligent mind, then anyone --- knowing and professing what you must in order to be Catholic to start with --- can know, with moral certainty, that any notoriously & pertinaciously heretical or schismatic person is not actually Catholic.
This is in ancient canon law for anyone to see.
What’s more, the Catholic Church in Her Canon Law makes no exceptions for the persons of popes. Which is why, when a real Catholic recognizes former popes to be antipopes, he as a lay person is not ‘judging’ or ‘deposing’ mere men from the papacy. He is not pretending to have a ‘jurisdiction’ or ‘authority’ in the Body of God’s Church that he, the layman, doesn’t lawfully have. No, the Church Herself --- the Visible Body of Her Lord, Jesus Christ --- has complete & total jurisdiction over this now openly false man and, as already set up to go in canon law since the most ancient of times, automatically judges, excommunicates & deposes a fallen pope from the Petrine Throne, just as She does with any person at all in Her membership who becomes notoriously & pertinaciously rebellious for everyone with eyes to see.
The real Catholic is merely being a wise Catholic in recognizing this factual truth.
The truth that a man, even if Catholic and a pope to begin with, is no longer Catholic --- and thus no longer the visible head of that which he is no longer a visible member --- if he notoriously (something clear, public & undeniable for any intelligent, patient & fair human being to perceive) and pertinaciously (repeatedly, so that the heresy or schism can’t possibly be a fluke or accidental mistake), and thus inarguably, contradicts & denies what the Religion of Roman Catholicism explicitly & infallibly teaches.
End of sentence.
And what goes for a man who starts out Roman Catholic and a pope, goes for a person who merely pretends (however sincere he may or may not be) to be Catholic and a pope, revealing himself for what he really is when he both notoriously & pertinaciously contradicts the explicit & simple teaching of God’s Infallible Church.
This may astound the reader sporting the title of ‘catholic’ and who tends to be ‘conservative’ or ‘traditional’… but who hasn’t yet ever thought it all out, and isn’t even, maybe, what he or she claims to be in the matter of religion.
Yet this truth isn’t just for clever theologians.
It’s a truth for everyone truly Catholic or willing to be so.
And, if truly Catholic, sooner or later you must ask some vexing questions:
“What’s going on here? Why isn’t the ‘pope’ talking or acting like he’s Catholic? Why aren’t all these people who are plainly not Catholic --- and who obviously don’t like what Catholicism teaches --- still calling themselves ‘roman catholic’? And why isn’t anybody in power doing anything about it? Why is everybody acting like it doesn’t matter? Why on earth is the whole world getting more and more and more hideously evil? Why is everyone determined to be as anti-Catholic as he or she can be? Can this be real?”
Sweet & gentle reader, don’t give up hope.
There are answers.
If still curious or skeptical about what this chapter has said, then, if claiming to be Catholic, please refer to Should You Go to a CMRI Mass or Take Part in the Worship of Other Traditionalists? , especially Chapters 7 through 11, to learn more about automatic excommunications. If vexed by the incredible evil of our times and the terrible confusion of living in a world where self-styled ‘catholics’ aren’t really Catholic and we have no lawful priests or bishops or a pope to whom we may turn for the time being, then read This Is the Great Apostasy... Now, How Do We Make Sure Our Souls Survive It? A version of each resides in the Books & Articles section of this website, The Epistemologic Works.
+++ 68. What Is the ‘TNO Parry’? +++
But what is this thing I call the ‘TNO parry’?
The most cautious of TNOs admit the existence of hell and that a bad-willed human being --- even a person who is supposed to be ‘catholic’ --- could go there. They also acknowledge there may be very few souls who are ‘invincibly ignorant’ and ‘sincere enough’ to wind up ‘saving their souls’ in spite of their lack of visible Catholicity.
This, indeed, was the standard heretical position of many purported ‘catholics’ of the past 150 years when the notion of ‘salvation-in-the-state-of-ignorance-and-sincerity’ was still pretty new and not automatically accepted, carte blanche, by real Catholics still not willing to kowtow before the golden idol of the latest modern theological ‘god’.
Hence, by its very ‘conservatism’ (the fact that it looks so very ‘conservative’ compared to the extremes that self-styled ‘catholics’ are willing to go to nowadays), it appeals to many (who are few in contrast to the majority) and looks, as a result, like the ‘truth’.
That is to say, a very cautious TNO --- just like many, many, many so-called ‘roman catholics’ of the 1930s, ’40s & ’50s right before Vatican II during the 1960s --- thought the same way.
They said that, yes, it is very important to go to poor pagans in far away countries since these people are deprived of the Catholic Faith and, ‘invincibly ignorant’ though they may be, unlikely, without God’s True Religion, to be ‘perfectly contrite’ for their iniquities and thus able to be ‘saved’ in the state of a purported ‘sincerity’ and a consequent ‘invisible connection’ to the Singular Church of God.
Why is this important to understand?
Because a few cautious TNOs may be tempted, if actually reading this book with patience and intelligence, to argue that it’s not a ‘black-or-white’ situation. Yes, they’ll admit, probably only a very few souls are ‘saved’ in the state of ‘invincible ignorance’. Yes, they’ll concede, ‘missions’ is still very, very, very imperative to carry out, since non-Catholic people are hardly likely to be ‘perfectly contrite’ and therefore truly ‘sincere’ in their adherence to their various false religions.
Ergo, say they, it is still crucial to carry out ‘missions’.
That’s why I’m bothering to address this theological ‘parry’ against the soul-piercing thrust of the Catholic Church’s sword-like, explicit & infallible Salvation Dogma.
+++ 69. Is It Either/Or? +++
Cautious TNOs and cautious ‘catholics’ in the decades right before Vatican II (but still infected with the religious disease of ‘salvation through ignorance’) think this very thing. Maybe not consciously and straight out --- since most people aren’t intellectuals or theologians and don’t bother pondering these rather arcane subjects carefully --- nevertheless, believe in them they do.
And whether they realize it or not, what they’re arguing is that it is not either/or.
To wit, it’s not that EITHER you’re intelligent & visibly Roman Catholic OR you’re intelligent & visibly non-Roman Catholic with no ground to stand in-between the two options. Nor is it that EITHER you’re intelligent & visibly Roman Catholic and can go to Heaven OR you’re intelligent & visibly non-Roman Catholic and surely go to hell.
Per such ‘cautious’ people, who have called themselves ‘catholic’, it’s actually that, yes, most non-Catholics do go to hell. This is unfortunate, but unavoidably true. Hence why it is so imperative to conduct ‘missions’. But, no, it’s not actually the case that everybody intelligent yet non-Catholic winds up going to hell. A few might escape this peril.
This is what they think, whether they realize it and admit it, or not.
But what it all comes down to is this one point:
Is this supposedly ‘cautious’ belief based solely on a manmade opinion or the infallible & explicit declarations of God’s One & Only Roman Catholic Church, the Sacred & Ecclesial Body of His Divine Christ?
The attentive reader knows exactly where we’re headed.
Because the answer is plain:
Yes, truly, the supposedly ‘cautious’ TNO or pre-Vatican II ‘catholic’ belief that only a very few intelligent souls can be ‘saved’ via a purported ‘ignorance’ and ‘sincerity’, which results in an ‘invisible connection’ to the Catholic Church, is indeed merely a MANMADE OPINION and has never, ever, been the ancient & explicit teaching of this Divinely Constituted & Absolutely Singular Church.
It is therefore a fallible human idea and not infallible Church teaching.
Ah, but the problem does not end there.
Because it’s NOT just a fallible theological ‘opinion’ or ‘idea’.
The idea of any kind of ‘salvation’ via the means of ‘ignorance’ and ‘sincerity’ is most certainly, without any doubt, in complete & heinous opposition to what the Infallible Church of Catholicism has simply & explicitly declared to be the truth!
Which means, then, that it is a very, very WRONG opinion, an undeniably WRONG idea defying God’s Church and sending souls to hell who believe in it, when, in fact, She has spoken to us with a clear & explicit infallible teaching TO THE CONTRARY.
Dear soul, just review Chapters 25 to 40.
It’s right there, in plain view for any intelligent person to acknowledge.
The four infallible & explicit proclamations that we examined from Chapters 25 to 40 in this book, Helplessly Ignorant, make this bold assertion beyond any reasonable doubt --- to say otherwise is to be culpably ignorant if you’re an intelligent human being refusing to look at the evidence that you ought to be looking for; or when, looking and seeing, you in wicked obstinacy, refuse to admit this clear truth.
Case closed in this particular doctrinal matter.
The answer to this chapter’s title, then?
Is it either/or?
And the rejoinder:
It most certainly is indeed.
God Himself, via His Infallible Church, explicitly says so.
+ + +
Part One of Helplessly Ignorant (Chapters 1-20)
Part Two of Helplessly Ignorant (Chapters 21-48)
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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