One of the most significant points of conflict between the SSPX and the Holy See has been the issue of the document of Vatican II Nostra aetate, the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions.
Over the years, I’ve said that this document, as well as the document on religious liberty Dignitatis humanae, shouldn’t have to be an obstacle. Of course, ecumenism and religious liberty are intimately intertwined.
Lionel: It is not a problem for Fr.Z since he accepts Vatican Council II with Cushingism as does the magisterium. So he does not have a doctrinal problem with ecumenism,other religions or religious liberty.
He will not interpret Vatican Council II with Feeneyism and then have a doctrinal problem with the Vatican on the issue of other religions, ecumenism and religious liberty.
The issue of religious liberty and ecumenism is difficult and susceptible of many Catholic approaches and views.
Lionel: How can there be different Catholic approaches. Objective reality is the same.
We have the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus which says all need to enter the Church. There are no known exceptions.
Then we had the new extra ecclesiam nulla salus which says all need to enter the Church except for those in invincible ignorance or saved with the baptism of desire. This is irrational approach of Fr. Z. He accepts the new extra ecclesiam nulla salus.It is irrational since there are no known cases of the baptism of desire etc in the present or the past. Humanly we could not know of any such case to have an exception to Feeneyite extra ecclesiam nulla salus..
It is with this second approach that Fr. Z wrongly interprets Vatican Council II. It is magisterial and so for him it is ' a Catholic approach and view'.
It should be acceptable to disagree about various aspects of religious liberty. I am reminded of the case of Fr. Leonard Feeney, SJ, who took a hard-line position about the truth of the Catholic doctrine, “extra Ecclesiam nulla salus … outside the Church there is no salvation”.
Lionel: He calls the centuries old interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus a hard line position.It is the same with the secular media. For Fr.Z this is not a dogma but a doctrine.
So he does not take the hard line position. He interprets extra ecclesiam nulla salus with known exceptions.
He also interprets Lumen Gentium 16 etc as being a known exception to the hard line position on extra ecclesiam nulla salus. So of course Vatican Council II becomes a break with the past for him.
For Fr.John Zuhlsdorf , Fr. Leonard Feeney also should not have interpreted extra ecclesiam nulla salus, without assuming hypothetical cases( baptism of desire etc) are known cases.
This is his philosophical reasoning.Imaginary cases are objectively visible.They are known exceptions to all needing to enter the Church for salvation.
After significant conflict with ecclesial authority, he was censured with an excommunication. Later, he was reconciled and he did not have to abure his hard-line position.
Lionel: He does not know that 'the soft-line position' on extra ecclesiam nulla salus, which is heresy and which was held by the Archbishop of Boston, assumed imaginary cases for human beings, were known exceptions to the Feeneyite interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.This is rational philosophy for Fr. Z. It is prudent philosophy O.K!
The situations of the SSPX and Fr. Feeney are not strictly parallel,
Lionel: They are parallel in the sense that the contemporary magisterium is in heresy and is trying to impose it upon Catholics. They failed with Fr. Leonard Feeney. So far they have not succeeded with the SSPX.
They have succeeded with Fr. Z.
but the example of the later serves to illustrate that Catholics, rather well-informed theologians, can have differing positions about difficult points of doctrine, so long as they do not dissent in a scandalous way from dogma.
Lionel: 'they do not dissent in a scandalous way from dogma'.
They have all rejected the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus( Feeneyite) and have replaced it with extra ecclesiam nulla salus( Cushingite)
There should be some flexibility when an issue is really hard, as the issue of religious liberty is.
Lionel:This is not an issue with extra ecclesiam nulla salus and Vatican Council II ( Feeneyite). It is an issue with extra ecclesiam nulla salus and Vatican Council II( Cushingite)
Do people have a natural right to pursue error, or is this only a civil right?
Lionel:The same above.
Are there really paths to salvation outside the Church?
Lionel: This is an issue only with Vatican Council II Cushingite.
Does what the Second Vatican Council resolve these questions definitively?
Lionel: Yes. If the interpretation is with hypothetical references only being hypothetical.Then there is no ambiguity in Vatican Council II.
We now see at LifeSite that an ice layer has broken in the jam at the Holy See regarding Nostra aetate.
One particular Council document with which the SSPX takes issue is Nostra Aetate (“In Our Time”), a declaration on the Church’s relationship with other religions. Some interpret it as inconsistent with or at the very least muddying the Catholic Church’s teaching that it alone is the one true religion.
Lionel: With Vatican Council II and extra ecclesiam nulla salus Cushingite, the Catholic Church is not alone the one true religion.Since it would mean there is salvation outside the Church.
With Vatican Council II and extra ecclesiam nulla salus Feeneyite there would be no salvation outside the Church, since there cannot be known salvation outside the Church for us human beings.________________________
Pozzo said Nostra Aetate is not dogmatic and therefore no Catholic is bound to accept it as such.“Nostra Aetate does not have any dogmatic authority, and thus one cannot demand from anyone to recognize this declaration as being dogmatic,” Pozzo said. “This declaration can only be understood in the light of tradition and of the continuous Magisterium.
Lionel, By continuous Magisterium he means of course the magisterium from after the Council of Trent. Since the Baltimore Catechism (1891) placed the desire for the baptism of water of a theoretical catechumen who dies before receiving it, in the baptism of water section. It was considered a baptism like the baptism of water.This was even though there was no such known catechumen.
Then the Letter of the Holy Office to the Archbishop of Boston 1949, which was made public by the Archdiocese of Boston some three years after it was issued by Rome, assumed that the new baptism of desire was visible and personally known and so it was inferred to be an explicit exception to the Feeneyite interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.An imaginary case was considered non hypothetical. So a new doctrine was born.A new theology was created. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus Feeneyite was eliminated and an extra ecclesiam nulla salus Cushingite was created.
Fr. Z follows the Cushingite irrational version and calls it a doctrine.This is better than the Catechism of the Catholic Church n.846 in which it is called an 'aphorism'.________________________
For example, there exists today, unfortunately, the view — contrary to the Catholic Faith — that there is a salvific path independent of Christ and His Church. That has also been officially confirmed last of all by the Congregation for the Faith itself in its declaration, Dominus Iesus. Therefore, any interpretation of Nostra Aetate which goes into this [erroneous] direction is fully unfounded and has to be rejected.”
Lionel: Dominus Iesus is also based on extra ecclesiam nulla salus Cushingite.The writing is ambiguous.
Archbishop Pozzo interprets Vatican Council II and Dominus Iesus with Cushingism. Cardinal Gerhard Muller and Archbishop Augustine di Noia also at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, interpret Vatican Council II and extra ecclesiam nulla salus with Cushingism.I do not.______________________
Also, Fr. John Hunwicke cites Archbp. Pozzo, the Secretary of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” (my old office) which handles relations with the SSPX. Fr. Hunwicke also relates what the LifeSite piece contained, but includes Archbp. Pozzo’s preamble about something that happened during the Second Vatican Council, specifically about Nostra aetate (my emphases):
“The Secretary for the Unity of Christians said on 18 November 1964 in the Council Hall about Nostra aetate ‘As to the character of the declaration, [PAY ATTENTION] the Secretariate does not want to write a dogmatic declaration on non-Christian religions, but, rather, practical and pastoral norms’. [We are free to disagree with “pastoral norms”.] Nostra aetate does not have any dogmatic authority and thus one cannot demand from anyone to recognise this declaration as dogmatic. This declaration can only be understood in the light of tradition and of the continuous Magisterium. For example, there exists today, unfortunately, the view – contrary to the Catholic Faith – that there is a salvific path independent of Christ and His Church. That [he apparently means “The unfortunate existence today of such an unCatholic view”] has also been officially confirmed last of all by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith itself in its declaration Dominus Iesus. Therefore any interpretation of Nostra aetate which goes into this direction is fully unfounded and has to be rejected”.
It is not disobedience to desire clarifications about really hard questions that result from documents that are fraught with controversial points and that are not dogmatic.
Lionel: Could Fr. Z seek a clarification if extra ecclesiam nulla salus and Vatican Council II can be interpreted with Cushingism( known exceptions to EENS) or extra ecclesiam nulla salus Feeneyite( no known exceptions to EENS).
Would it be acceptable to the CDF if the SSPX and all Catholics interpret Vatican Council II and extra ecclesiam nulla salus with Feeneyism( the baptism of desire is hypothetical and so it is not an exception to Feeneyite EENS)?
I hope this signals a major step forward in relations with the SSPX.
Lionel:The new Cushingite theology is irrational and heretical.It is politically correct.If the SSPX is unilaterally accepted by the Vatican it still means that the SSPX is condoning a heretical and non traditional interpretation of Vatican Council II, as being done by Fr. Z.
Bishop Williamson is correct. The SSPX must wait for Rome to come back to the Faith. Ask them to interpret Vatican Council II and extra ecclesiam nulla salus with Feeneyism.