Repost : Archbishop Lefebvre made a mistake on two points : The Letter of the Holy Office and Nostra Aetate etc
JUNE 10, 2014
Archbishop Lefebvre made a mistake on two points : The Letter of the Holy Office and Nostra Aetate etc
Cardinal Ratzinger never corrected him
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre assumed like so many others that salvation now seen and known only to God, was also seen by us humans on earth. These deceased, allegedly visible were then supposed to be exceptions to the traditional interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla sulla. This was the error of Cardinal Richard Cushing, the Archbishop of Boston and the Jesuits in the Boston Case. They then carried the error, over into Vatican Council II.They were blocked however in Vatican Council II. No where is it said that these cases known only to God are also visible to us and so are exceptions to the traditional teaching.According to the text they were back to square one.However the media helped many to infer that these cases were explicit.Archbishop Lefebvre also accepted this error.
Archbishop Lefebvre assumed that being saved with the baptism of desire is visible in the flesh and so is an exception to extra ecclesiam nulla salus. He did not make the distinction between what is hypothetical and that which is real.The confusion can be seen in his statements.
He then assumed that Nostra Aetate 2 ( a ray of the Truth) was also an exception to the dogma outside the Church no salvation.
The Church is the one ark of salvation, and we must not be afraid to affirm it. You have often heard it said, “Outside the Church there is no salvation”--a dictum...
Yet nothing, in fact, has changed; nothing can be changed in this area...
Does that mean that no Protestant, no Muslim, no Buddhist or animist will be saved? No, it would be a second error to think that. Those who cry for intolerance in interpreting St. Cyprian's formula, “Outside the Church there is no salvation,” also reject the Creed, “I confess one baptism for the remission of sins,” and are insufficiently instructed as to what baptism is. There are three ways of receiving it: (Lionel: Three ways of receiving it defacto, in real life. No there is only one way, the baptism of water. It is visible and repeatable.The baptism of desire cannot be given to any one) the baptism of water; the baptism of blood (that of the martyrs who confessed the faith while still catechumens) and baptism of desire. (Yes - hypothetically. No - de facto. Yes- in theory.No - in real life.We can only administer and know the baptism of water.The baptism of desire and blood are known only to God. We cannot see any one on earth saved with the baptism of desire etc. So it is not relevant or an exception to "Outside the Church there is no salvation".)
Baptism of desire can be explicit.Many times in Africa I heard one of our catechumens say to me, “Father, baptize me straightaway because if I die before you come again, I shall go to hell.” I told him “No, if you have no mortal sin on your conscience and if you desire baptism, then you already have the grace in you.”( Lionel: Yes if he has the desire but cannot receive the Sacrament he can be saved.However we cannot say that this case or any other such case is an exception to all needing Catholic Faith and the baptism of water (AG 7,Vatican Council II ) in 2014 to go to Heaven and avoid Hell.)
The doctrine of the Church also recognizes implicit baptism of desire. This consists in doing the will of God. God knows all men and He knows that amongst Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists and in the whole of humanity there are men of good will. They receive the grace of baptism without knowing it, but in an effective way. In this way they become part of the Church.' Evidently,certain distinctions must be made. Souls can be saved in a religion other than the Catholic religion (Protestantism, Islam, Buddhism,etc.), but not by this religion. There may be souls who, not knowing Our Lord, have by the grace of the good Lord, good interior dispositions,who submit to God...But some of these persons make an act of love which implicitly is equivalent to baptism of desire. - Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre ("Against the Heresies",p.216) (emphasis added)
The Letter of the Holy Office with comments.
LETTER OF THE HOLY OFFICE From the Headquarters of the Holy Office, Aug. 8, 1949. Your Excellency: This Supreme Sacred Congregation has followed very attentively the rise and the course of the grave controversy stirred up by certain associates of "St. Benedict Center" and "Boston College" in regard to the interpretation of that axiom: "Outside the Church there is no salvation." After having examined all the documents that are necessary or useful in this matter, among them information from your Chancery, as well as appeals and reports in which the associates of "St. Benedict Center" explain their opinions and complaints, and also many other documents pertinent to the controversy, officially collected, the same Sacred Congregation is convinced that the unfortunate controversy arose from the fact that the axiom, "outside the Church there is no salvation," was not correctly understood and weighed, and that the same controversy was rendered more bitter by serious disturbance of discipline arising from the fact that some of the associates of the institutions mentioned above refused reverence and obedience to legitimate authorities. (Fr.Leonard Feeney was saying there is no visible baptism of desire. Cardinal Cushing was saying there is.Archbishop Lefebvre is a Cushingite.) Accordingly, the Most Eminent and Most Reverend Cardinals of this Supreme Congregation, in a plenary session held on Wednesday, July 27, 1949, decreed, and the august Pontiff in an audience on the following Thursday, July 28, 1949, deigned to give his approval, that the following explanations pertinent to the doctrine, and also that invitations and exhortations relevant to discipline be given: We are bound by divine and Catholic faith to believe all those things which are contained in the word of God, whether it be Scripture or Tradition, and are proposed by the Church to be believed as divinely revealed, not only through solemn judgment but also through the ordinary and universal teaching office (, n. 1792). Now, among those things which the Church has always preached and will never cease to preach is contained also that infallible statement by which we are taught that there is no salvation outside the Church. However, this dogma must be understood in that sense in which the Church herself understands it. For, it was not to private judgments that Our Savior gave for explanation those things that are contained in the deposit of faith, but to the teaching authority of the Church. Now, in the first place, the Church teaches that in this matter there is question of a most strict command of Jesus Christ. For He explicitly enjoined on His apostles to teach all nations to observe all things whatsoever He Himself had commanded (Matt. 28: 19-20). Now, among the commandments of Christ, that one holds not the least place by which we are commanded to be incorporated by baptism into the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church, and to remain united to Christ and to His Vicar, through whom He Himself in a visible manner governs the Church on earth. Therefore, no one will be saved who, knowing the Church to have been divinely established by Christ, nevertheless refuses to submit to the Church or withholds obedience from the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth. ('Knowing'? Here there was confusion. In principle, in faith, hypothetically, those who know are obligated to enter the Catholic Church to avoid Hell.However only God can judge. We do not know any such case in the present times.So this is not relevant to the dogma.Such a person does not exist in our reality to be an exception.Zero cases of something are not exceptions says the American apologist John Martigioni) Not only did the Savior command that all nations should enter the Church, but He also decreed the Church to be a means of salvation without which no one can enter the kingdom of eternal glory. In His infinite mercy God has willed that the effects, necessary for one to be saved, of those helps to salvation which are directed toward man's final end, not by intrinsic necessity, but only by divine institution, can also be obtained in certain circumstances when those helps are used only in desire and longing. This we see clearly stated in the Sacred Council of Trent, both in reference to the sacrament of regeneration and in reference to the sacrament of penance (, nn. 797, 807). The same in its own degree must be asserted of the Church, in as far as she is the general help to salvation. Therefore, that one may obtain eternal salvation, it is not always required that he be incorporated into the Church actually as a member, but it is necessary that at least he be united to her by desire and longing. However, this desire need not always be explicit, as it is in catechumens; but when a person is involved in invincible ignorance God accepts also an implicit desire, so called because it is included in that good disposition of soul whereby a person wishes his will to be conformed to the will of God. (Invincible ignorance and implicit desire are possibilities of salvation.This was known for centuries. These cases are not explicit for us so they are not exceptions to the centuries old interpretation of Fr.Leonard Feeney. None of the three Church Councils which defined the dogma, mentioned exceptions in the text. There was a campaign in Boston and among the Americanist movement to consider the baptism of desire etc as being an explicit exception. So the Holy Office responded.It was Fr.Leonard Feeney who first complained to the Holy Office regarding the error of the Archbishop of Boston, his superior) These things are clearly taught in that dogmatic letter which was issued by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Pius XII, on June 29, 1943, (AAS, Vol. 35, an. 1943, p. 193 ff.). For in this letter the Sovereign Pontiff clearly distinguishes between those who are actually incorporated into the Church as members, and those who are united to the Church only by desire. Discussing the members of which the Mystical Body is-composed here on earth, the same august Pontiff says: "Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed." (This is the traditional interpretation of Fr.Leonard Feeney) Toward the end of this same encyclical letter, when most affectionately inviting to unity those who do not belong to the body of the Catholic Church, he mentions those who "are related to the Mystical Body of the Redeemer by a certain unconscious yearning and desire," and these he by no means excludes from eternal salvation, but on the other hand states that they are in a condition "in which they cannot be sure of their salvation" since "they still remain deprived of those many heavenly gifts and helps which can only be enjoyed in the Catholic Church" (AAS, 1. c., p. 243). With these wise words he reproves both those who exclude from eternal salvation all united to the Church only by implicit desire, and those who falsely assert that men can be saved equally well in every religion (cf. Pope Pius IX, Allocution, , in , n. 1641 ff.; also Pope Pius IX in the encyclical letter, , in , n. 1677). (The explicit-implicit, visible-invisible factor was not clarified. So the confuson persisted) But it must not be thought that any kind of desire of entering the Church suffices that one may be saved. It is necessary that the desire by which one is related to the Church be animated by perfect charity. Nor can an implicit desire produce its effect, unless a person has supernatural faith: "For he who comes to God must believe that God exists and is a rewarder of those who seek Him" (Heb. 11:6). The Council of Trent declares (Session VI, chap. 8): "Faith is the beginning of man's salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, without which it is impossible to please God and attain to the fellowship of His children" (Denzinger, n. 801). From what has been said it is evident that those things which are proposed in the periodical , fascicle 3, as the genuine teaching of the Catholic Church are far from being such and are very harmful both to those within the Church and those without. (Confusion persists. The St.Benedict Center held that there is no visible baptism of desire.Was the Holy Office saying there is ?) From these declarations which pertain to doctrine, certain conclusions follow which regard discipline and conduct, and which cannot be unknown to those who vigorously defend the necessity by which all are bound' of belonging to the true Church and of submitting to the authority of the Roman Pontiff and of the Bishops "whom the Holy Ghost has placed . . . to rule the Church" (Acts 20:28). Hence, one cannot understand how the St. Benedict Center can consistently claim to be a Catholic school and wish to be accounted such, and yet not conform to the prescriptions of canons 1381 and 1382 of the Code of Canon Law, and continue to exist as a source of discord and rebellion against ecclesiastical authority and as a source of the disturbance of many consciences. Furthermore, it is beyond understanding how a member of a religious Institute, namely Father Feeney, presents himself as a "Defender of the Faith," and at the same time does not hesitate to attack the catechetical instruction proposed by lawful authorities, and has not even feared to incur grave sanctions threatened by the sacred canons because of his serious violations of his duties as a religious, a priest, and an ordinary member of the Church. (Confusion persists: Fr.Leonard Feeney was saying there is no visible baptism of desire. There are no exceptions.Did the Holy Ofice like Archbishop Lefebre assume there were visible exceptions?) Finally, it is in no wise to be tolerated that certain Catholics shall claim for themselves the right to publish a periodical, for the purpose of spreading theological doctrines, without the permission of competent Church authority, called the "" which is prescribed by the sacred canons. (Since then the imprimatur is being given to those who say there are known exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. The baptism of desire is considered an exception to extra ecclesiam nulla salus. This is the norm in the Catholic Church after the Boston Case of Fr.Leonard Feeney). Therefore, let them who in grave peril are ranged against the Church seriously bear in mind that after "Rome has spoken" they cannot be excused even by reasons of good faith. Certainly, their bond and duty of obedience toward the Church is much graver than that of those who as yet are related to the Church "only by an unconscious desire." Let them realize that they are children of the Church, lovingly nourished by her with the milk of doctrine and the sacraments, and hence, having heard the clear voice of their Mother, they cannot be excused from culpable ignorance, and therefore to them apply without any restriction that principle: submission to the Catholic Church and to the Sovereign Pontiff is required as necessary for salvation. In sending this letter, I declare my profound esteem, and remain, Your Excellency's most devoted, F. Cardinal Marchetti-Selvaggiani. A. Ottaviani, Assessor. (Private); Holy Office, 8 Aug., 1949.
Today SSPX priests like Archbishop Lefebvre assume that we can see persons saved with ' a ray of the Truth' (Nostra Aetate 2). So UR 3, AG 11, LG 16,LG 8 make Vatican Council II a break with the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.
So many other good Catholics, like the Franciscans of the Immaculate follow this error.If they interpret the Letter of the Holy Office and Nostra Aetate as being implicit for us then the Council could dramatically change for all of them, overnight.
Cardinal Daneels, Cardinal Kaspar, Cardinal Koch,Cardinal Ladaria S.J and others would not be able to cite Nostra Aetate and other text from the Council. They would not be able to say that there is salvation outside the visible limits of the Church, which id defacto and visible for us.Vatican Council II could then no more be a break with Tradition. This error and irrationality. The Holy Spirit cannot teach irrationality and heresy. -Lionel Andrades