To: Campion; truecompassion; DallasMike; The Iguana
Mel's pretty clearly a better moviemaker than he is a theologian.
I mean, this position of his (technically called "Feeneyism" by Catholics) puts him squarely against such dangerously heretical liberal Catholics as Pope Pius IX and Pope Pius XII.
Your accusation, that Mel is a Feeneyite, is rash. Mel most certainly does not ascribe to Leonard Feeneys heresy. Neither does his much maligned father, Hutton Gibson, who regularly takes the Feeneyites to task in his newsletter. There is no salvation for those outside the Church, is De fide. The teaching of the Popes that you mention is presented below. Mels comments show that he is faithful to Pius IX's declaration: By Faith it is to be firmly held that outside the Apostolic Roman Church none can achieve salvation." I am concerned about your posting because it indicates confusion about Feeneys heresy and/or Magisterial teaching on this matter. If you believe the confusion is mine, a sincere reply would be appreciated.
As I have seen it presented by Feeney and its advocates, the Feeneyite heresy insists on sacramental baptism for membership in the Church, as opposed to St. Thomas baptism of desire and the teaching of Sts. Ambrose and Augustine that catechumens, who die before they attain sacramental baptism, can win salvation on the ground of their faith, their desire for Baptism, and their internal conversion. This was Feeneys error. Not outside the Church there is no salvation, which all Catholics are required to believe.
The following is posted as it is presented in Dr. Ludwig Otts, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma:
Membership of the Church is necessary for all men for salvation (De fide.)
In the Caput Firmiter, the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) declared: The universal Church of the faithful is one outside of which none is saved, (extra quam nullus omnino salvatur). D 430. [D = Denzingers The Sources of Catholic Dogma] This was the teaching also of the Union Council of Florence (D 714), and of Popes Innocent III (D 423) and Boniface VIII in the Bull Unam sanctam (D 468), Clement VI (D 570 b), Benedict XIV (D 1473), Pius IX (D 1647, 1677), Leo XIII (D 1955), Pius XII in the Encyclical Mystici Corporus (D 2286, 2288). As against modern religious indifferentism, Pius IX declared: By Faith it is to be firmly held that outside the Apostolic Roman Church none can achieve salvation. This is the only ark of salvation. He who does not enter into it, will perish in the flood. Nevertheless equally certainly it is to be held that those who suffer from invincible ignorance of the true religion, are not for this reason guilty in the eyes of the Lord (D 1647). The last proposition holds out the possibility that people who in point of fact (actu) do not belong to the Church can achieve salvation Cf. D 1677; 796 (votum baptismi).
The necessity for belonging to the Church is not merely a necessity of precept (necessitas praecepti), but also a necessity of means (nec. medii), as the comparison with the Ark, the means of salvation from the biblical flood, plainly shows. The necessity of means is, however, not an absolute necessity, but a hypothetical one. In special circumstances, namely, in the case of invicible ignorance or of incapability, actual membership of the Church can be replaced by the desire (votum) for the same...
"It is the unanimous conviction of the Fathers that salvation cannot be achieved outside the Church. This principle was extended not only to pagans but to heretics and schismatics as well...
"As against the reproach of intolerance a distinction must be made between dogmatic and civil tolerance. The Church rejects the dogmatic tolerance which would concede the same power of justification and the same value to all religion, or to all Christian confessions (Indifferentism); for there is only one truth."
To: Aestus Veritatis; Campion; truecompassion; The Iguana
By Faith it is to be firmly held that outside the Apostolic Roman Church none can achieve salvation."
But Vatican II expressly allows for the possibility of salvation -- not only for non-Roman Catholic Christians -- but also for Jews, Muslims, pagans, and even those without an "explicit knowledge of God." (link)
Compare this with Unam Sanctum's "it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman pontiff." (link)
These two doctrines are in direct contradiction with one another and cannot be reconciled. Gibson must be conflicted with his desire to follow the Roman Catholic Church and his apparent rejection, at least in part, of Vatican II. He understands -- and rightly so -- that the teachings of the Catholic Church since the 14th century or so and Vatican II cannot both be true.
I can't wait to see this movie but these theological sleights-of-hand make me glad to be a Protestant.
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