Important Christian Dogma You Must Believe to be Saved

Important Christian Dogma You Must Believe to be Saved

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, The Athanasian Creed, Sess. 8, Nov. 22, 1439, ex cathedra: “Whoever wishes to be saved, needs above all to hold the Catholic faith; unless each one preserves this whole and inviolate, he will without a doubt perish in eternity.” (Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 1, pp. 550-553; Denzinger 39-40.)
PART 1.

INFALLIBLE CATHOLIC DOGMA AND DOCTRINE YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT

INTRODUCTION

The unchanging dogma Outside the Catholic Church There is No Salvation and the necessity of the Sacrament of Baptism for Salvation, was defined as a truth by our first pope St. Peter himself:

“… the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ… Nor is there salvation in any other.  For there is no other name, under heaven, given to men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).

There is no salvation outside of Jesus Christ, and the Catholic Church is His Mystical Body.  Since there is no entering into the Catholic Church of Christ without the Sacrament of Baptism, this means that only baptized Catholics who die in the state of grace (and those who become baptized Catholics and die in the state of grace) can hope to be saved.

If anyone abideth not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth.” (John 15:6)

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis (# 22), June 29, 1943:   “Actually only those are to be numbered among the members of the Church who have received the laver of regeneration [water baptism] and profess the true faith.”

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis (# 27), June 29, 1943: “He (Christ) also determined that through Baptism (cf. Jn. 3:5) those who should believe would be incorporated in the Body of the Church.”


THE KEYS OF ST. PETER AND HIS UNFAILING FAITH

It is a fact of history, scripture and tradition that Our Lord Jesus Christ founded His universal Church (the Catholic Church) upon St. Peter.

Matthew 16:18-19-“And I say to thee: That thou art Peter: and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.  And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”

Our Lord made St. Peter the first pope, entrusted to him His entire flock, and gave him supreme authority in the universal Church of Christ.

John 21:15-17-“Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me?  He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee.  He saith to him: Feed my lambs.  He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee.  He saith to him: Feed my lambs.  He saith to him a third time: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me?  Peter was grieved, because he had said to him the third time: Lovest thou me? And he said to him: Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee.  He said to him: Feed my sheep.”

And with the supreme authority that Our Lord Jesus Christ conferred upon St. Peter (and his successors, the popes) comes what is called Papal Infallibility.  Papal Infallibility is inseparable from Papal Supremacy – there was no point for Christ to make St. Peter the head of His Church (as Christ clearly did) if St. Peter or his successors, the popes, could err when exercising that supreme authority to teach on a point of Faith.  The supreme authority must be unfailing on binding matters of Faith and morals or else it is no true authority from Christ at all.

Papal Infallibility does not mean that a pope cannot err at all and it does not mean that a pope cannot lose his soul and be damned in Hell for grave sin.  It means that the successors of St. Peter (the popes of the Catholic Church) cannot err when authoritatively teaching on a point of Faith or morals to be held by the entire Church of Christ.  We find the promise of the unfailing faith for St. Peter and his successors referred to by Christ in Luke 22.

Luke 22:31-32- “And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have all of you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.”

Satan desired to sift all the Apostles (plural) like wheat, but Jesus prayed for Simon Peter (singular), that his faith fail not.  Jesus is saying that St. Peter and his successors (the popes of the Catholic Church) have an unfailing faith when authoritatively teaching a point of faith or morals to be held by the entire Church of Christ.

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, 1870, ex cathedra:“SO, THIS GIFT OF TRUTH AND A NEVER FAILING FAITH WAS DIVINELY CONFERRED UPON PETER AND HIS SUCCESSORS IN THIS CHAIR”Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, 1870, ex cathedra:“… the See of St. Peter always remains unimpaired by any error, according to the divine promise of our Lord the Savior made to the chief of His disciples: ‘I have prayed for thee [Peter], that thy faith fail not ...’”

And this truth has been held since the earliest times in the Catholic Church.

Pope St. Gelasius I, epistle 42, or Decretal de recipiendis et non recipiendis libris, 495: “Accordingly, the see of Peter the Apostle of the Church of Rome is first, having neither spot, nor wrinkle, nor anything of this kind (Eph. 5:27).”

The word “infallible” actually means “cannot fail” or “unfailing.”  Therefore, the very term Papal Infallibility comes directly from Christ’s promise to St. Peter (and his successors) in Luke 22, that Peter has an unfailing Faith.  Though this truth was believed since the beginning of the Church, it was specifically defined as a dogma at the First Vatican Council in 1870.

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, 1870, Session 4, Chap. 4: the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra [from the Chair of Peter], that is, when carrying out the duty of the pastor and teacher of all Christians in accord with his supreme apostolic authority he explains a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by the universal Church... operates with that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished that His Church be instructed in defining doctrine on faith and morals; and so such definitions of the Roman Pontiff from himself, but not from the consensus of the Church, are unalterable.”

But how does one know when a pope is exercising his unfailing Faith to infallibly teach from the Chair of St. Peter?  The answer is that we know from the language that the pope uses or the manner in which the pope teaches.  Vatican I defined two requirements which must be fulfilled: 1) when the pope is carrying out his duty as pastor and teacher of all Christians in accord with his supreme apostolic authority; 2) when he explains a doctrine on faith or morals to be held by the entire Church of Christ.   A pope can fulfill both of these requirements in just one line, by anathematizing a false opinion (such as many dogmatic councils) or by saying “By our apostolic authority we declare…” or by saying “We believe, profess, and teach” or by using words of similar importance and meaning, which indicate that the pope is teaching the whole Church on Faith in a definitive and binding fashion.

So, when a pope teaches from the Chair of Peter in the manner stipulated above he cannot be wrong.  If he could be wrong, then the Church of Christ could be officially led into error, and Christ’s promise to St. Peter and His Church would fail (which is impossible).  That which is taught from the Chair of Peter by the popes of the Catholic Church is the teaching of Jesus Christ Himself.  To reject that which is taught by the popes from the Chair of Peter is simply to despise Jesus Christ Himself.

Luke 10:16- “He that heareth you, heareth me: and he that despiseth you despiseth me…”

Matthew 18:17 -“And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.”

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, 1896: “…Christ instituted a living, authoritative and permanent Magisterium… If it could in any way be false, an evident contradiction follows; for then God Himself would be the author of error in man.”


NO SALVATION OUTSIDE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

The following statements on Outside the Catholic Church There is No Salvation are from the highest teaching authority of the Catholic Church.  They are ex cathedra Papal decrees (decrees from the Chair of St. Peter).  Therefore, they constitute the teaching given to the Catholic Church by Jesus Christ and the Apostles.  Such teachings are unchangeable and are classified as part of the solemn magisterium (the extraordinary teaching authority of the Catholic Church).

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino,” 1441, ex cathedra ( infallible statement from the chair of Peter): “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the Church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”

As we can see from this infallible statement from the chair of Peter, no one at all can be saved unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives.. Yet, many people today who call themselves Catholic or Christian, boldly and obstinately assert the direct opposite of this statement and claim that protestants, heretics, Jews, schismatics and even Pagans can attain eternal life.

Pope Gregory XVI, Summo Iugiter Studio (# 2), May 27, 1832: “Finally some of these misguided people attempt to persuade themselves and others that men are not saved only in the Catholic religion, but that even heretics may attain eternal life.”

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, The Athanasian Creed, Sess. 8, Nov. 22, 1439, ex cathedra: “Whoever wishes to be saved, needs above all to hold the Catholic faith; unless each one preserves this whole and inviolate, he will without a doubt perish in eternity.” (Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 1, pp. 550-553; Denzinger 39-40.)

Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, Constitution 1, 1215, ex cathedra: “There is indeed one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which nobody at all is saved, in which Jesus Christ is both priest and sacrifice.”

Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, Nov. 18, 1302, ex cathedra: “With Faith urging us we are forced to believe and to hold the one, holy, Catholic Church and that, apostolic, and we firmly believe and simply confess this Church outside of which there is no salvation nor remission of sin… Furthermore, we declare, say, define, and proclaim to every human creature that they by absolute necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff.”

Those who refuse to believe in the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation until they understand how there is justice in it are simply withholding their Faith in Christ’s revelation.  Those with the true Faith in Christ (and His Church) accept His teaching first and understand the truth in it (i.e., why it is true) second. A Catholic does not withhold his belief in Christ’s revelation until he can understand it. That is the mentality of a faithless heretic who possesses insufferable pride.  St. Anselm sums up the true Catholic outlook on this point. 

St. Anselm, Doctor of the Church, Prosologion, Chap. 1: “For I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand.  For this also I believe, that unless I believed, I should not understand.”


CONCERNING THOSE BAPTIZED VALIDLY AS INFANTS BY MEMBERS OF NON-CATHOLIC SECTS

The Catholic Church has always taught that anyone (including a layman or a non-Catholic) can validly baptize if he adheres to proper matter and form and if he has the intention of doing what the Church does.

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Exultate Deo,” 1439: “In case of necessity, however, not only a priest or a deacon, but even a layman or woman, yes even a pagan and a heretic can baptize, so long as he preserves the form of the Church and has the intention of doing what the Church does.” (Denzinger 696)

The Church has always taught that infants baptized in heretical and schismatic churches are made Catholics, members of the Church and subjects of the Roman Pontiff, even if the people who baptized them are heretics who are outside the Catholic Church.  This is because the infant, being below the age of reason, cannot be a heretic or schismatic.  He cannot have an impediment which would prevent Baptism from making him a member of the Church.

Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Sess. 7, Can. 13 on the Sacrament of Baptism: If anyone shall say that infants, because they have not actual faith, after having received baptism are not to be numbered among the faithful… let him be anathema.”

This means that all baptized infants wherever they are, even those baptized in heretical non-Catholic churches by heretical ministers, are made members of the Catholic Church.  They are also made subject to the Roman Pontiff (if there is one). So, at what one point does this baptized Catholic infant become a non-Catholic – severing his membership in the Church and subjection to the Roman Pontiff?  After the baptized infant reaches the age of reason, he or she becomes a heretic or a schismatic and severs his membership in the Church and severs subjection to the Roman Pontiff when he or she obstinately rejects any teaching of the Catholic Church or loses Faith in the essential mysteries of the Trinity and Incarnation.

Pope Clement VI, Super quibusdam, Sept. 20, 1351: “…We ask: In the first place whether you and the Church of the Armenians which is obedient to you, believe that all those who in baptism have received the same Catholic faith, and afterwards have withdrawn and will withdraw in the future from the communion of this same Roman Church, which one alone is Catholic, are schismatic and heretical, if they remain obstinately separated from the faith of this Roman Church.  In the second place, we ask whether you and the Armenians obedient to you believe that no man of the wayfarers outside the faith of this Church, and outside the obedience of the Pope of Rome, can finally be saved.”

So, one must be clear on these points: 1) The unbaptized (Jews, Muslims, pagans, etc.) must all join the Catholic Church by receiving Baptism and the Catholic Faith or they will all be lost.  2)  Among those who are baptized as infants, they are made Catholics, members of the Church and subjects of the Roman Pontiff by Baptism.  They only sever that membership (which they already possess) when they obstinately reject any Catholic dogma or believe something contrary to the essential mysteries of the Trinity and Incarnation.  In the teaching of Pope Clement VI above, we see this second point clearly taught: all who receive the Catholic Faith in Baptism lose that Faith and become schismatic and heretical if they become “obstinately separated from the faith of this Roman Church.”

The fact is that all Protestants who reject the Catholic Church or its dogmas on the sacraments, the Papacy, etc. have obstinately separated from the Faith of the Roman Church and have therefore severed their membership in the Church of Christ.  The same is true with the “Eastern Orthodox” who obstinately reject dogmas on the Papacy and Papal Infallibility.  They need to be converted to the Catholic Faith for salvation.


MATERIAL HERESY

The children or people that are baptized in heretical communities cannot become heretics until they reach the age of reason or until they adopt any heretical views that are opposed to the Catholic Church. This means that some of those baptized persons who are now going to a heretical or schismatic “Church” might not yet be heretics even if everyone else in the same Church are heretics. However, when these children reach the age of reason, many of them might fall into an error called “material heresy.”

The term “material heresy” is used to describe persons who believe in a heresy without knowing that they are contradicting the Catholic Church’s official and infallible teaching. There’s no such thing as a material heretic in the dogmatic teaching of the Church. There are heretics; there are schismatics; and there are Catholics.  Material heretic is simply a name for a Catholic who is erring in good faith about a dogma.  In other words, it’s another name for a mistaken Catholic.  It’s a person who is holding a false position – one that is strictly incompatible with Catholic dogma.  However, that person is not obstinate against that dogma.  He would change his position immediately upon being informed of the true position.  The “material heretic” is a Catholic. This is very important to understand. Many Catholic saints have been material heretics. St. Thomas, for example, did not believe that Mary was conceived immaculately (Summa Theologica, Part. III, Q. 14, Art. 3, Reply to Obj. 1) even though it is now a defined dogma that Mary was conceived immaculately, and no wonder that even Saints have erred in their teaching, for it is very hard to imagine that a human can know every Church teaching that exists.


THE NATURAL LAW

The natural law is written on the heart of all men, so that all men know that certain things are against God’s law and that certain things are in accordance with the natural law of charity, etc.

As the Haydock Bible and Commentary correctly explains about Romans 2:14-16,

these men are a law to themselves, and have it written in their hearts, as to the existence of a God, and their reason tells them, that many sins are unlawful: they may also do some actions that are morally good, as by giving alms to relieve the poor, honoring their parents, etc. not that these actions, morally good, will suffice for their justification of themselves, or make them deserve a supernatural reward in the kingdom of heaven; but God, out of His infinite mercy, will give them some supernatural graces” which if they continue to cooperate with they will get more graces and eventually be exposed to the Catholic Faith, which they must have to be saved.”

All baptized infants are Catholics, even if they are baptized in a Methodist church-building, etc.  This is de fide.  These baptized Catholics, when they reach the age of reason in a Protestant building, if they hold the Trinity and the Incarnation (which are the two essential mysteries of the Catholic Faith) hold the absolutely essential mysteries of the Catholic Faith.

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Athanasian Creed, Sess. 8, Nov. 22, 1439, ex cathedra: “Whoever wishes to be saved, needs above all to hold the Catholic faith; unless each one preserves this whole and inviolate, he will without a doubt perish in eternity.– But the Catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in the Trinity, and the Trinity in unity... But it is necessary for eternal salvation that he faithfully believe also in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ...the Son of God is God and man... This is the Catholic faith; unless each one believes this faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.”

If they don’t know about any other Catholic dogmas (other than the Trinity and Incarnation) then they are not heretics but Catholics [Christians], unless they hold a position that is incompatible with Faith in the Trinity and Incarnation or deny a truth that all know about God and the natural law or deny something that they know to be clearly taught in Scripture.  For instance, if the baptized person described above claims to believe in the Trinity and Incarnation but holds that all religions are more or less good, then he is a heretic and does not have the Catholic Faith (even before he knows that such a position is condemned by the Church) because his belief is incompatible with true Faith in the Trinity as the one true God, which belief he must have to be said to have the Catholic Faith in its simplest components.

Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos (# 2), Jan. 6, 1928: “…that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy...  Not only are those who hold this opinion in error and deceived, but also in distorting the idea of true religion they reject it...”

Another example would be if the baptized person who believes in the Trinity and the Incarnation (which are the simplest components of the Catholic Faith) and has never heard of other Catholic dogmas holds that man does not have free will (which some Protestants teach).  This person would also become a heretic even before he has seen his position condemned by the Church and before he has heard of other Catholic dogmas (other than the Trinity and Incarnation) because he is rejecting a truth which all know to be true from the natural law, namely, that man has a free will.  Thus, he is denying a truth all know about man from the natural law and he is a heretic.

Another example would be if the baptized person who believes in the Trinity and Incarnation (the Catholic Faith in its simplest components) and has never heard of other Catholic dogmas refuses to believe that God is a rewarder and a punisher.  This person is a heretic, even though he has never seen that his position is condemned by the Church and has never heard of other Catholic dogmas, because he rejects a truth he knows to be true from the natural law, that God is a rewarder and a punisher of our actions (see Heb. 11:6).

A large majority of Protestants today believe in the doctrines of “faith alone” and “eternal security.” These doctrines contradict both the natural law and reason which says that every man shall be rewarded or punished for his deeds. It also contradicts, word for word, the teaching of James 2 in scripture, which teach that faith without works is dead, and that man is not saved by faith alone. This person who believes in faith alone or eternal security is a heretic, even though he has never seen that his position is condemned by the Church and has never heard of other Catholic dogmas, because he rejects a truth he knows to be true from the natural law, that God is a rewarder and a punisher of our actions, and that faith alone does not justify a man only, but our deeds also.

Other common heresies against the natural law is to hold that birth control or natural family planning, also called nfp, which many “Catholics” practise to avoid conception, (which makes them guilty of the mortal sin of contraception) is acceptable, or if a person is to hold that abortion is acceptable, or if a person is to hold that the consuming of mind altering drugs to the point where the conscience is impeded is acceptable. These examples would all fall under the category of deadly sin, because he is rejecting a truth which all know to be true from the natural law, namely, 1) that abortion is murder, 2) that contraception or nfp deliberately frustrates the natural power to generate life, 3) and that mind altering drugs such as smoking marijuana is a mortal sin, just like getting drunk is.

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (# 23), June 29, 1943: “For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy.”

We can see that it’s the teaching of the Catholic Church that a man is severed from the Church and Salvation by heresy, schism or apostasy.

The baptized children who reach the age of reason in Protestant, Eastern Schismatic, etc. church buildings and believe in the Trinity and the Incarnation (the essential components of the Catholic Faith) and who don’t reject any Catholic dogma because they don’t know of any other than the Trinity and Incarnation, and who don’t embrace any of the positions like those described above, which are directly incompatible with Faith in God, Jesus Christ, the Trinity, the Natural Law or what they know to be clearly taught in Scripture, would be Catholics in a heretical church building.


THERE IS NO SALVATION FOR MEMBERS OF ISLAM, JUDAISM OR OTHER HERETICAL OR SCHISMATIC NON-CATHOLIC SECTS

So far we’ve seen that it’s an infallibly defined dogma that all who die as non-Catholics, including all Jews, pagans, heretics, schismatics, etc. cannot be saved.  They need to be converted to have salvation.  Now we must take a brief look at more of what the Church specifically says about some of the prominent non-Catholic religions, such as Judaism, Islam, and the Protestant and Eastern schismatic sects.  This will illustrate, once again, that those who hold that members of non-Catholic religions can be saved are not only going against the solemn declarations that have already been quoted, but also the specific teachings quoted below.


SPECIFIC CATHOLIC TEACHING AGAINST JUDAISM

Jews practice the Old Law and reject the Divinity of Christ and the Trinity.  The Jews reject Our Lord Jesus Christ and call him a deceiver, yet many “Christians” say that they are good? This is mind-blowing! The Church teaches the following about the cessation of the Old Law and about all who continue to observe it:

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, 1441, ex cathedra: “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and teaches that the matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament, the Mosaic law, which are divided into ceremonies, sacred rites, sacrifices, and sacraments… after our Lord’s coming… ceased, and the sacraments of the New Testament began, and that whoever, even after the passion, placed hope in these matters of the law and submitted himself to them as necessary for salvation, as if faith in Christ could not save without them, sinned mortally. All, therefore, who after that time (the promulgation of the Gospel) observe circumcision and the Sabbath (not to be mistaken with the Christian Sabbath) and the other requirements of the law, the holy Roman Church declares alien to the Christian faith and not in the least fit to participate in eternal salvation.”

Many people, who call themselves Catholic, do also boldly assert in contradiction of this infallible statement by Pope Eugene IV in the Council of Florence, that Jews who either reject Christ or who have not found or accepted Christ as their Messiah, can be saved. They also contradict our Lord’s words in the gospel.

John 3:36 “He that believeth in the Son, hath life everlasting; but he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Pt. I-II, Q. 103, A. 4: “In like manner the ceremonies of the Old Law betokened Christ as having yet to be born and to suffer: whereas our sacraments signify Him as already born and having suffered.  Consequently, just as it would be a mortal sin now for anyone, in making a profession of faith, to say that Christ is yet to be born, which the fathers of old said devoutly and truthfully; so too it would be a mortal sin now to observe those ceremonies which the fathers of old fulfilled with devotion and fidelity.”

Pope Benedict XIV, Ex Quo Primum (# 61), March 1, 1756: “The first consideration is that the ceremonies of the Mosaic Law were abrogated by the coming of Christ and that they can no longer be observed without sin after the promulgation of the Gospel.”

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (#’s 29-30), June 29, 1943: “And first of all, by the death of our Redeemer, the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been abolished… on the gibbet of His death Jesus made void the Law with its decrees [Eph. 2:15]… establishing the New Testament in His blood shed for the whole human race.  ‘To such an extent, then,’ says St. Leo the Great, speaking of the Cross of our Lord, ‘was there effected a transfer from the Law to the Gospel, from the Synagogue to the Church, from many sacrifices to one Victim, that, as our Lord expired, that mystical veil which shut off the innermost part of the temple and its sacred secret was rent violently from top to bottom.’  On the Cross then the Old Law died, soon to be buried and to be a bearer of death…”

Thus, those who obstinately defends that faithless Jews who reject Christ can be saved and willfully contradict these infallible teachings of the Church, is a heretic, and will receive the full force of the automatic condemnation.

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino,” 1441, ex cathedra: “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives...”


SPECIFIC CATHOLIC TEACHING AGAINST ISLAM

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Basel, Session 19, Sept. 7, 1434: “… there is hope that very many from the abominable sect of Mahomet will be converted to the Catholic faith.”

Pope Callixtus III, 1455: “I vow to… exalt the true Faith, and to extirpate the diabolical sect of the reprobate and faithless Mahomet [Islam] in the East.”

The Catholic Church considers Islam an “abominable” and “diabolical” sect.  [Note: the Council of Basel is only considered ecumenical/approved in the first 25 sessions, as The Catholic Encyclopedia points out in Vol. 4, “Councils,” pp. 425-426.]  An “abomination” is something that is abhorrent in God’s sight; it’s something that He has no esteem for and no respect for.  Something “diabolical” is something of the Devil.  Islam rejects, among many other dogmas, the Divinity of Jesus Christ and the Trinity.  Its followers are outside the pale of salvation so long as they remain Muslims.

Pope Clement V, Council of Vienne, 1311-1312: “It is an insult to the holy name and a disgrace to the Christian faith that in certain parts of the world subject to Christian princes where Saracens [i.e., the followers of Islam, also called Muslims] live, sometimes apart, sometimes intermingled with Christians, the Saracen priests, commonly called Zabazala, in their temples or mosques, in which the Saracens meet to adore the infidel Mahomet, loudly invoke and extol his name each day at certain hours from a high place… There is a place, moreover, where once was buried a certain Saracen whom other Saracens venerate as a saint.  This brings disrepute on our faith and gives great scandal to the faithful.  These practices cannot be tolerated without displeasing the divine majesty.  We therefore, with the sacred council’s approval, strictly forbid such practices henceforth in Christian lands.  We enjoin on Catholic princes, one and all… They are to remove this offense together from their territories and take care that their subjects remove it, so that they may thereby attain the reward of eternal happiness.  They are to forbid expressly the public invocation of the sacrilegious name of Mahomet… Those who presume to act otherwise are to be so chastised by the princes for their irreverence, that others may be deterred from such boldness.”

While the Church teaches that all who die as non-Catholics are lost, it also teaches that no one should be forced to embrace baptism, since belief is a free act of the will. 

Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei (#36), Nov. 1, 1885: “And, in fact, the Church is wont to take earnest heed that no one shall be forced to embrace the Catholic faith against his will, for, as St. Augustine wisely reminds us, ‘Man cannot believe otherwise than of his own will.’”

The teaching of the Council of Vienne that Christian princes should enforce their civil authority to forbid the public expression of the false religion of Islam shows again that Islam is a false religion which leads souls to Hell (not Heaven) and displeases God.


SPECIFIC CATHOLIC TEACHING AGAINST PROTESTANT AND SCHISMATIC SECTS

The Catholic Church also teaches that those baptized persons who embrace heretical or schismatic sects will lose their souls.  Jesus founded His Church upon St. Peter, as we saw already, and declared that whoever does not hear the Church be considered as the heathen and publican (Matthew 18:17).  He also commanded His followers to observe “all things whatsoever” He has commanded (Matthew 28:20).  The Eastern schismatic sects (such as the “Orthodox”) and the Protestant sects are breakoff movements that have separated from the Catholic Church.  By separating themselves from the one Church of Christ, they leave the path of salvation and enter the path of perdition.

These sects obstinately and pertinaciously reject one or more of the truths that Christ clearly instituted, such as the Papacy (Matthew 16; John 21; etc.), Confession (John 20:23), the Eucharist (John 6:54), and other dogmas of the Catholic Faith.  In order to be saved one must assent to all the things which the Catholic Church, based on Scripture and Tradition, has infallibly defined as dogmas of the Faith.

Below are just a few of the infallible dogmas of the Catholic Faith which are rejected by Protestants and (in the case of the Papacy) by the Eastern “Orthodox.”  The Church “anathematizes” (a severe form of excommunication) all who obstinately assert the contrary to its dogmatic definitions. 

"To understand the word anathema…we should first go back to the real meaning of herem of which it is the equivalent.  Herem comes from the word haram, to cut off, to separate, to curse, and indicates that which is cursed and condemned to be cut off or exterminated, whether a person or a thing, and in consequence, that which man is forbidden to make use of.  This is the sense of anathema in the following passage from Deut., vii, 26: ‘Neither shalt thou bring anything of the idol into thy house, lest thou become an anathema like it. Thou shalt detest it as dung, and shalt utterly abhor it as uncleanness and filth, because it is an anathema.’”

Thus, a Protestant or an “Eastern Orthodox” who obstinately rejects these dogmatic teachings is anathematized and severed from the Church, outside of which there is no salvation.  It’s quite interesting that, in issuing these dogmatic canons, the Church says: “If anyone shall say…. let him be anathema [anathema sit]” as opposed to “If anyone shall say… he is anathema [anathema est].”  This qualification of “let him be” allows room for those Catholics who may be unaware of a particular dogma and would conform to the teaching of the canon as soon as it were presented to him.  The person who is obstinate, however, and willfully contradicts the dogmatic teaching of the Church receives the full force of the automatic condemnation.

The point here is that if one is able to reject these dogmas and still be saved, then these infallible definitions and their accompanying anathemas have no meaning, value or force.  But they do have meaning, value and force – they are infallible teachings protected by Jesus Christ.  Thus, all who reject these dogmas are anathematized and on the road to damnation.

Pope Pius XI, Rerum omnium perturbationem (#4), Jan. 26, 1923: “The saint was no less a person that Francis de Sales… he seemed to have been sent especially by God to contend against the heresies begotten by the [Protestant] Reformation.  It is in these heresies that we discover the beginnings of that apostasy of mankind from the Church, the sad and disastrous effects of which are deplored, even to the present hour, by every fair mind.”

Pope Julius III, Council of Trent, Session 13, Can. 1 on the Eucharist, ex cathedra:"If anyone denies that in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist there are truly, really, and substantially contained the Body and Blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore the whole Christ, but shall say that He is in it as by sign or figure, or force, let him be anathema."

Pope Julius III, Council of Trent, Session 14, Canon 3 on the Sacrament of Penance: “If anyone says that the words of the Lord Savior: ‘Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins ye shall retain, they are retained’ [John 20:22 f.], are not to be understood of the power remitting and retaining sins in the sacrament of penancelet him be anathema.”

Pope Julius III, Council of Trent, Session 14, on Extreme Unction and Penance: “These are the things which this sacred ecumenical synod professes and teaches concerning the sacraments of penance and extreme unction, and it sets them forth to be believed and held by all the faithful of Christ.  Moreover, the following canons, it says, must be inviolately observed, and it condemns and anathematizes forever those who assert the contrary.”

Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Session 6, Chap. 16, ex cathedra:"After this Catholic doctrine of justification - which, unless he faithfully and firmly accepts, no one can be justified - it seemed good to the holy Synod to add these canons, so that all may know, not only what they must hold and follow, but also what they ought to shun and avoid."

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, 1870, Sess. 4, Chap. 3, ex cathedra: "… all the faithful of Christ must believe that the Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff hold primacy over the whole world, and the Pontiff of Rome himself is the successor of the blessed Peter, the chief of the apostles, and is the true vicar of Christ and head of the whole Church... Furthermore We teach and declare that the Roman Church, by the disposition of the Lord, holds the sovereignty of ordinary power over all others… This is the doctrine of Catholic truth from which no one can deviate and keep his faith and salvation."


THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM IS NECESSARY FOR SALVATION

To further show that the Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for salvation, I will quote numerous infallible statements from the Chair of St. Peter.

Pope Paul III, The Council of Trent, Sess. 7, Can. 5 on the Sacrament of Baptism, ex cathedra: “If anyone says that baptism [the Sacrament] is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation (cf. Jn. 3:5): let him be anathema.”

This infallible dogmatic definition from the Chair of St. Peter condemns anyone who says that the Sacrament of Baptism is not necessary for salvation.  The Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for all for salvation, first of all, because, as the Council of Trent defines, all men (except the Blessed Virgin Mary) were conceived in a state of original sin as a result of the sin of Adam, the first man.  The Sacrament of Baptism is also necessary for all for salvation because it is the means by which one is marked as a member of Jesus Christ and incorporated into His Mystical Body.  And in defining the truth that all men were conceived in the state of Original Sin, the Council of Trent specifically declared that the Blessed Virgin Mary was an exception to its decree on Original Sin.  But in defining the truth that the Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for salvation, the Council of Trent made no exceptions at all.

Pope Eugene IV, The Council of Florence, “Exultate Deo,” Nov. 22, 1439:  “Holy baptism, which is the gateway to the spiritual life, holds the first place among all the sacraments; through it we are made members of Christ and of the body of the Church.  And since death entered the universe through the first man, ‘unless we are born again of water and the Spirit, we cannot,’ as the Truth says, ‘enter into the kingdom of heaven’ [John 3:5].  The matter of this sacrament is real and natural water.”

Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, Constitution 1, 1215, ex cathedra: “But the sacrament of baptism is consecrated in water at the invocation of the undivided Trinity – namely, Father, Son and Holy Ghost – and brings salvation to both children and adults when it is correctly carried out by anyone in the form laid down by the Church.”

Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas (# 15), Dec. 11, 1925 :  “Indeed this kingdom is presented in the Gospels as such, into which men prepare to enter by doing penance; moreover, they cannot enter it except through faith and baptism, which, although an external rite, yet signifies and effects an interior regeneration.”

We see here that one cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven without faith and the external rite of baptism (i.e., the Sacrament of Baptism). Ignorant people nowadays contradict this fact and claim that people can reach heaven without a real and actual water baptism. One could easily understand if a person were ignorant of these facts and believed that a person or infant could be Saved without the sacrament of baptism since many have been wrong on this issue, even Saints. But when one has seen these infallible dogmatic declarations from the Popes, and still obstinately hold to the position that people or infants can be saved without real and actual water baptism, he is a heretic. A heretic is a person who obstinately, willfully and knowingly hold an opinion which he knows to be in opposition with what the Church teach.

Pope Paul III, The Council of Trent, Can. 2 on the Sacrament of Baptism, Sess. 7, 1547, ex cathedra:  “If anyone shall say that real and natural water is not necessary for baptism, and on that account those words of Our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit’ [John 3:5], are distorted into some sort of metaphor: let him be anathema.”

Pope Benedict XIV, Nuper ad nos, March 16, 1743, Profession of Faith: “Likewise (I profess) that baptism is necessary for salvation, and hence, if there is imminent danger of death, it should be conferred at once and without delay, and that it is valid if conferred with the right matter and form and intention by anyone, and at any time.”

Catechism of the Council of Trent, Baptism made obligatory after Christ’s Resurrection, p. 171: “Holy writers are unanimous in saying that after the Resurrection of our Lord, when He gave His Apostles the command to go and teach all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, the law of Baptism became obligatory on all who were to be saved.”

For a person to assert that salvation can be attained invincibly or ignorantly by Jews, pagans, heretics or schismatics without baptism or the Catholic Faith, is truly the most evil of doctrine since it renders Faith in Jesus Christ and the true Catholic Faith meaningless. According to this erroneous world view, anyone who is “good” can attain eternal life.

Many people like to object against these truths as “bitter” or “uncharitable.”But this is not true.    The “foundation of charity is faith pure and undefiled” (Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, #9). Some will also say that they cannot understand the justice behind these infallible declarations by God through the Popes. But it is not our job to question God’s laws and decrees. Our job is to believe first and understand second. Yet, if one looks at this situation clearly, one can understand the justice behind it. Adam and Eve brought death and original sin on every human being through their sin of eating the forbidden fruit. Did they fall for just desiring the fruit? NO! They fell after eating a real physical fruit. If you cannot accept that all of humanity must be baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, how can you accept that all of humanity fell into sin because of Adam and Eve ate a physical fruit?

Here are some very relevant quotes from the Revelations of St. Bridget that describes the power of a real baptism and how real water must be joined to the sacrament of baptism for baptism to be efficacious:

“The Mother appeared again and said: “My son, you still have need of a horse and saddle. The spiritual signification of the horse is baptism. Just as a horse has its four legs and carries a man on the journey he must accomplish, so too baptism, as signified by the horse, carries a man in the sight of God and has four spiritual effects. The first effect is that the baptized are liberated from the devil and bound to the commandments and service of God. The second effect is that they are cleansed from original sin. The third is that they are made God's children and coheirs. The fourth is that heaven is opened to them. Yet how many there are today who, having reached the age of reason, pull the reins on the horse of baptism and ride it off on a false path! The baptismal path is true and rightly followed when people are instructed and upheld in good moral habits before reaching the age of reason and when, upon reaching the age of reason and carefully considering what was promised at the baptismal font, they keep their faith and love of God intact. However, they ride away from the right path and rein the horse in when they prefer the world and the flesh to God. The saddle of the horse or of baptism is the effect of the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ, which gave baptism its efficacy. What is water if not an element? As soon as God's blood was poured out, God's word and the power of God's outpoured blood entered into the element. Thus, by the word of God, the water of baptism became the means of reconciliation between humankind and God, the gate of mercy, the expulsion of demons, the way to heaven, and the forgiveness of sins. So those who would boast of the power of baptism should first consider how the effect of baptism was instituted through bitter pain. When their mind swells up with pride against God, let them consider how bitter their redemption was, how many times they have broken their baptismal vows, and what they deserve for their relapses into sin.” The Revelations of St. Bridget, Book 4, Chapter 74

As we can read from this splendid teaching by our Holy Mother, the water received the blood of our Lord when he died for our sins, and that is why the water can have such a great efficacy that it can even wash away original sin when it is used with the invocation of the name of the Holy Trinity. Here comes another good example from St. Bridget's revelations about the efficacy of baptism:

Christ describes why a three year old boy is tormented by a demon: “And even though the boy is born by the seed of the father and mother, the devil still has the greatest power over him, for he is not reborn through the true baptism, but is only baptized in the way that women are accustomed to baptize, who do not know about the words of the Holy Trinity. That is why the boy may be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; then he will be cured.”


BELIEVE DOGMA AS IT WAS ONCE DECLARED

There is only one way to believe dogma: as holy mother Church has once declared.

Pope Pius IX, First Vatican Council, Sess. 3, Chap. 2 on Revelation, 1870, ex cathedra: “Hence, also, that understanding of its sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained, which Holy Mother Church has once declared; and there must never be a recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding.”

One of the main problems with most traditional “Catholic” groups and the heretical Second Vatican Council - the Vatican II “Church” - is the constant and obstinate deviation from the true literal meaning as the dogmas once was infallibly declared. As we learn above, there can never be a recession from the true meaning of the dogmas as they were once declared under the specious name of deeper understanding. Thus we are forced to accept the dogmas as they are written under pain of mortal sin.

This definition of the First Vatican Council is critically important for dogmatic purity, because the primary way the Devil attempts to corrupt Christ’s doctrines is by getting men to recede (move away) from the Church’s dogmas as they were once declared.  There is no meaning of a dogma other than what the words themselves state and declare, so the Devil tries to get men to “understand” and “interpret” these words in a way that is different from how holy mother Church has declared them.

Many of us have dealt with people who have attempted to explain away the clear meaning of the definitions on Outside the Church There is No Salvation by saying, “you must understand them.”  What they really mean is that you must understand them in a way different from what the words themselves state and declare.  And this is precisely what the First Vatican Council condemns.  It condemns their moving away from the understanding of a dogma which holy mother Church has once declared to a different meaning, under the specious (false) name of a “deeper understanding.”

Besides those who argue that we must “understand” dogmas in a different way than what the words themselves state and declare, there are those who, when presented with the dogmatic definitions on Outside the Church There is No Salvation, say, “that is your interpretation.”  They belittle the words of a dogmatic formula to nothing other than one’s private interpretation.  And this also is heresy. For its not our own interpretation which defines the dogmas, the dogmas define themselves, as have been shown. A person claiming otherwise will make himself guilty of bearing false witness. And this also is mortal sin.


THOSE WHO DIE IN ORIGINAL SIN OR MORTAL SIN DESCEND INTO HELL

As I have proven above, there is no possible way for children to be freed from original sin other than through the Sacrament of Baptism.  This, of course, proves that there is no way for infants to be saved other than through the Sacrament of Baptism.  So the following definitions merely affirm what has already been established: no child can possibly enter the kingdom of Heaven without receiving water baptism, but will rather descend into Hell.

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Letentur coeli,” Sess. 6, July 6, 1439, ex cathedra: “We define also that… the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in original sin alone, go straightaway to hell, but to undergo punishments of different kinds.”

Pope Pius VI, Auctorem fidei, Aug. 28, 1794: “26.  The doctrine which rejects as a Pelagian fable, that place of the lower regions (which the faithful generally designate by the name of the limbo of the children) in which the souls of those departing with the sole guilt of original sin are punished with the punishment of the condemned, exclusive of the punishment of fire, just as if, by this very fact, that these who remove the punishment of fire introduced that middle place and state free of guilt and of punishment between the kingdom of God and eternal damnation, such as that about which the Pelagians idly talk” – Condemned as false, rash, injurious to Catholic schools.

Here Pope Pius VI condemns the idea of some theologians that infants who die in original sin suffer the fires of Hell.  At the same time, he confirms that these infants do go to a part of the lower regions (i.e., Hell) called the limbo of the children.  They do not go to Heaven, but to a place in Hell where there is no fire.  This is perfectly in accord with all of the other solemn definitions of the Church, which teach that infants who die without water baptism descend into Hell, but suffer a punishment different from those who die in mortal sin.  Their punishment is eternal separation from God.

Pope Pius XI, Mit brennender Sorge (# 25), March 14, 1937: “‘Original sin’ is the hereditary but impersonal fault of Adam’s descendants, who have sinned in him (Rom. v. 12).  It is the loss of grace, and therefore eternal life, together with a propensity to evil, which everybody must, with the assistance of grace, penance, resistance and moral effort, repress and conquer.”


THE UNBAPTIZED CHILDREN AND THE LIMBO OF THE CHILDREN

The Catholic Church teaches that aborted children and infants who die without baptism descend immediately into Hell, but that they do not suffer the fires of Hell.  They go to a place in Hell called the limbo of the children.  The most specific definition of the Church proving that there is no possible way for an infant to be saved without the Sacrament of Baptism is the following one from Pope Eugene IV.

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Session 11, Feb. 4, 1442, ex cathedra: “Regarding children, indeed, because of danger of death, which can often take place, when no help can be brought to them by another remedy than through the sacrament of baptism, through which they are snatched from the domination of the Devil [original sin] and adopted among the sons of God, it advises that holy baptism ought not be deferred for forty or eighty days, or any time according to the observance of certain people…” (Denz. 712)

Pope Eugene IV here defined from the Chair of Peter that there is no other remedy for infants to be snatched away from the dominion of the devil (i.e., original sin) other than the Sacrament of Baptism.  This means that anyone who obstinately teaches that infants can be saved without receiving the Sacrament of Baptism is a heretic, for he is teaching that there is another remedy for original sin in children other than the Sacrament of Baptism.

Pope Martin V, Council of Constance, Session 15, July 6, 1415 - Condemning the articles of John Wyclif  - Proposition 6: “Those who claim that the children of the faithful dying without sacramental baptism will not be saved, are stupid and presumptuous in saying this.” - Condemned

The arch-heretic John Wyclif was proposing that those (such as ourselves) are stupid for teaching that infants who die without water (i.e., sacramental) baptism cannot possibly be saved. He was anathematized for this assertion, among many others. And here is what the Council of Constance had to say about John Wyclif’s anathematized propositions, such as #6 above.

Pope Martin V, Council of Constance, Session 15, July 6, 1415: “The books and pamphlets of John Wyclif, of cursed memory, were carefully examined by the doctors and masters of Oxford University… This holy synod, therefore, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, repudiates and condemns, by this perpetual decree, the aforesaid articles and each of them in particular; and it forbids each and every Catholic henceforth, under pain of anathema, to preach, teach, or hold the said articles or any one of them.”

So those who criticize Catholics for affirming the dogma that no infant can be saved without the Sacrament of Baptism are actually proposing the anathematized heresy of John Wyclif.  Here are some other dogmatic definitions on the topic:

Pope St. Zosimus, The Council of Carthage, Canon on Sin and Grace, 417 A.D.- “It has been decided likewise that if anyone says that for this reason the Lord said: ‘In my Father’s house there are many mansions’ [John 14:2]: that it might be understood that in the kingdom of heaven there will be some middle place or some place anywhere where the blessed infants live who departed from this life without baptism, without which they cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, which is life eternal, let him be anathema.” (Denz. 102, authentic addition to canon 2.)

Pope Paul III, The Council of Trent, On Original Sin, Session V, ex cathedra:  “If anyone says that recently born babies should not be baptized even if they have been born to baptized parents; or says that they are indeed baptized for the remission of sins, but incur no trace of the original sin of Adam needing to be cleansed by the laver of rebirth for them to obtain eternal life, with the necessary consequence that in their case there is being understood a form of baptism for the remission of sins which is not true, but false: let him be anathema.” (Denz. 791)

This means that anyone who asserts that infants don’t need the “laver of rebirth” (water baptism) to attain eternal life is teaching heresy. St. Augustine was perhaps the most outspoken proponent of the apostolic truth that infants who die without Baptism are excluded from the Kingdom of Heaven (since they have original sin).

St. Augustine, A.D. 415: “Anyone who would say that infants who pass from this life without participation in the Sacrament [of Baptism] shall be made alive in Christ truly goes counter to the preaching of the Apostle and condemns the whole Church, where there is great haste in baptizing infants because it is believed without doubt that there is no other way at all in which they can be made alive in Christ.” (Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 3: 2016.)

The Revelations of St. Bridget also corroborates this infallible dogmatic truth revealed by God in Book 5, Interrogation 6:

First question. Again he appeared on his ladder as before, saying: "O Judge, I ask you: Why does one infant emerge alive from the mother's womb and obtain baptism, while another, having received a soul, dies in the mother's belly?"

Answer to the first question. The Judge answered: "You ask why one infant dies in the mother's belly while another emerges alive. There is a reason. All the strength of the child's body comes, of course, from the seed of its father and mother; however, if it is conceived without due strength, because of some weakness of its father or mother, it dies quickly. As a result of the negligence or carelessness of the parents as well as of my divine justice, many times it happens that what was joined together comes apart quickly.

Yet a soul is not brought to the harshest punishment for this reason, however little time it had for giving life to the body, but, rather, it comes to the mercy that is known to me. Just as the sun shining into a house is not seen as it is in its beauty - only those who look into the sky see its rays - so too the souls of such children, though they do not see my face for lack of baptism, are nevertheless closer to my mercy than to punishment, but not in the same way as my elect." - The Revelations of St. Bridget, Book 5, Interrogation 6, Question 1

More proof:

“But consider my goodness and mercy! For, as the teacher says, I give virtue to those who do not have any virtue. By reason of my great love I give the kingdom of heaven to all of the baptized who die before reaching the age of discretion. As it is written: It has pleased my Father to give the kingdom of heaven to such as these. By reason of my tender love, I even show mercy to the infants of pagans. If any of them die before reaching the age of discretion, given that they cannot come to know me face to face, they go instead to a place that it is not permitted for you to know but where they will live without suffering.” - The Revelations of St. Bridget, Book 2, Chapter 1

These fascinating sentences clearly affirm infallible Catholic dogma by teaching that no one can see God's face without water baptism. Yet, they also give us explicit confirmation that these children are in a state of light and mercy, though not in the same way as those in Heaven.


BAPTISM OF BLOOD AND BAPTISM OF DESIRE – ERRONEOUS TRADITIONS OF MAN

In this document, I have shown that the Catholic Church infallibly teaches that the Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for salvation.  I have also shown that it is only through receiving the Sacrament of Baptism that one is incorporated into the Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation.  I have also shown that the Catholic Church infallibly teaches that the words of Jesus Christ in John 3:5 – Amen, amen I say unto thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God – are to be understood literally: as they are written.  This is the infallible teaching of the Church and it excludes any possibility of salvation without being born again of water and the Holy Ghost.  However, throughout the history of the Church, many have believed in the theories called baptism of desire and baptism of blood: that one’s desire for the Sacrament of Baptism or one’s martyrdom for the faith supplies for the lack of being born again of water and the Holy Ghost.  Those who believe in baptism of blood and baptism of desire raise certain objections to the absolute necessity of receiving the Sacrament of Baptism for salvation.  I will respond to some of the major objections made by baptism of desire and blood advocates; and in the process, I will give an overview of the history of the errors of baptism of desire and baptism of blood.  In doing this I will demonstrate that neither baptism of blood nor baptism of desire is a teaching of the Catholic Church.


THE FATHERS ARE UNANIMOUS FROM THE BEGINNING

The Fathers (or prominent early Christian Catholic writers) are unanimous from the beginning that no one enters heaven or is freed from original sin without water baptism.

In 140 A.D., the early Church Father Hermas quotes Jesus in John 3:5, and writes: 

“They had need to come up through the water, so that they might be made alive; for they could not otherwise enter into the kingdom of God.”

This statement is obviously a paraphrase of John 3:5, and thus it demonstrates that from the very beginning of the apostolic age it was held and taught by the fathers that no one enters heaven without being born again of water and the Spirit based specifically on Our Lord Jesus Christ’s declaration in John 3:5.

In 155 A.D., St. Justin the Martyr writes:

“… they are led by us to a place where there is water; and there they are reborn in the same kind of rebirth in which we ourselves were reborn… in the name of God… they receive the washing of water.  For Christ said, ‘Unless you be reborn, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.’  The reason for doing this we have learned from the apostles.”

Notice that St. Justin Martyr, like Hermas, also quotes the words of Jesus in John 3:5, and based on Christ’s words he teaches that it is from apostolic tradition that no one at all can enter Heaven without being born again of water and the Spirit in the Sacrament of Baptism.

In his dialogue with Trypho the Jew, also dated 155 A.D., St. Justin Martyr further writes:

“… hasten to learn in what way forgiveness of sins and a hope of the inheritance… may be yours.  There is no other way than this: acknowledge Christ, be washed in the washing announced by Isaias [Baptism]…”

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, 350 A.D.:

“He says, ‘Unless a man be born again’ – and He adds the words ‘of water and the Spirit’he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God…..if a man be virtuous in his deeds, but does not receive the seal by means of the water, shall he enter into the kingdom of heaven.  A bold saying, but not mine; for it is Jesus who has declared it.”

We see that St. Cyril continues the apostolic Tradition that no one enters heaven without being born again of water and the Spirit, based again on an absolute understanding Our Lord’s own words in John 3:5.

Pope St. Damasus, 382 A.D.:

This, then, is the salvation of Christians: that believing in the Trinity, that is, in the Father, and in the Son and in the Holy Spirit, and baptized in it…”

St. Ambrose, 387 A.D.:

“… no one ascends into the kingdom of heaven except through the Sacrament of Baptism.”

St. Ambrose, 387 A.D.:

“‘Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.’  No one is excepted: not the infant, not the one prevented by some necessity.”

St. Ambrose, De mysteriis, 390-391 A.D.:

“You have read, therefore, that the three witnesses in Baptism are one: water, blood, and the spirit; and if you withdraw any one of these, the Sacrament of Baptism is not valid.  For what is water without the cross of Christ?  A common element without any sacramental effect.  Nor on the other hand is there any mystery of regeneration without water: for ‘unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.’ [John 3:5]  Even a catechumen believes in the cross of the Lord Jesus, by which also he is signed; but, unless he be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, he cannot receive the remission of sins nor be recipient of the gift of spiritual grace.”

St. John Chrysostom, 392 A.D.:

“Weep for the unbelievers; weep for those who differ not a whit from them, those who go hence without illumination, without the seal!  …  They are outside the royal city…. with the condemned. ‘Amen, I tell you, if anyone is not born of water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

St Augustine, 395 A.D.:

“… God does not forgive sins except to the baptized.”

Pope St. Innocent, 414 A.D.:

“But that which Your Fraternity asserts the Pelagians preach, that even without the grace of Baptism infants are able to be endowed with the rewards of eternal life, is quite idiotic.”

Pope St. Gregory the Great, c. 590 A.D.:

Forgiveness of sin is bestowed on us only by the baptism of Christ.”

Theophylactus, Patriarch of Bulgaria, c. 800 A.D.:

He that believeth and is baptized, shall be savedIt does not suffice to believe; he who believes, and is not yet baptized, but is only a catechumen, has not yet fully acquired salvation.”

Many other passages could be quoted from the fathers, but it is a fact that the fathers of the Church are unanimous from the beginning of the apostolic age that no one at all can be saved without receiving the Sacrament of Baptism, based on the words of Jesus Christ in John 3:5.  The eminent Patristic Scholar Fr. William Jurgens, who has literally read thousands of texts from the fathers, was forced to admit the following (even though he believes in baptism of desire) in his three volume set on the fathers of the Church.

Fr. William Jurgens: “If there were not a constant tradition in the Fathers that the Gospel message of ‘Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost he cannot enter into the kingdom of God’ is to be taken absolutely, it would be easy to say that Our Savior simply did not see fit to mention the obvious exceptions of invincible ignorance and physical impossibility.  But the tradition in fact is there; and it is likely enough to be found so constant as to constitute revelation.”

The eminent scholar Fr. Jurgens is admitting here three important things:

1) The fathers are constant in their teaching that John 3:5 is absolute with no exceptions; that is, no one at all enters heaven without being born again of water and the Spirit;

2) The fathers are so constant on this point that it likely constitutes divine revelation, without even considering the infallible teaching of the popes;

3) The constant teaching of the fathers that all must receive water baptism for salvation in light of John 3:5 excludes exceptions for the “invincibly ignorant” or “physically impossible” cases.

And based on this truth, declared by Jesus in the Gospel (John 3:5), handed down by the Apostles and taught by the fathers, the Catholic Church has infallibly defined as a dogma (as we have seen already) that no one at all enters heaven without the Sacrament of Baptism.

Pope Paul III, The Council of Trent, Canon 5 on the Sacrament of Baptism, ex cathedra: “If anyone says that baptism is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation (John. 3:5): let him be anathema.”


NOT ALL OF THE FATHERS REMAINED CONSISTENT WITH THEIR OWN AFFIRMATION

Despite the fact that there is a constant tradition from the beginning that no one at all is saved without water baptism, not all of the fathers always remained consistent with their own affirmation on this point.  And that is where we come across the theories of “baptism of blood” and “baptism of desire.” It must be understood that the fathers of the Church were mistaken and inconsistent with their own teaching and the apostolic Tradition on many points – since they were fallible men who made many errors.

The fathers of the Church are only a definite witness to Tradition when expressing a point held universally and constantly or when expressing something that is in line with defined dogma.  Taken individually or even in multiplicity, they can be dead wrong and even dangerous.  St. Basil the Great said that the Holy Ghost is second to the Son of God in order and dignity, in a horrible and even heretical attempt to explain the Holy Trinity.

St. Basil (363): “The Son is not, however, second to the Father in nature, because the Godhead is one in each of them, and plainly, too, in the Holy Spirit, even if in order and dignity He is second to the Son (yes, this we do concede!), though not in such a way, it is clear, that He were of another nature.”

When St. Basil says above that the Godhead is one in Father, Son and Holy Spirit, he is correctly affirming the universal, apostolic Tradition.  But when he says that the Holy Spirit is second in dignity to the Son he ceases to remain consistent with this Tradition and falls into error (material heresy, in fact).  And the fathers made countless errors in attempting to defend or articulate the Faith.

St. Augustine wrote an entire book of corrections.  St. Fulgentius and a host of others, including St. Augustine, held that it was certain that infants who die without baptism descend into the fires of Hell, a position that was later condemned by Pope Pius VI.  As Pope Pius VI confirmed, unbaptized infants go to Hell, but to a place in Hell where there is no fire.

But St. Augustine was so outspoken in favor of this error that it became the common and basically unchallenged teaching for more than 500 years, according to The Catholic Encyclopedia.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 9, “Limbo,” p. 257: “On the special question, however, of the punishment of original sin after death, St. Anselm was at one with St. Augustine in holding that unbaptized infants share in the positive sufferings of the damned; and Abelard was the first to rebel against the severity of the Augustinian tradition on this point.”

This is why Catholics don’t form definite doctrinal conclusions from the teaching of a father of the Church or a handful of fathers; a Catholic goes by the infallible teaching of the Church proclaimed by the popes; and a Catholic assents to the teaching of the fathers of the Church when they are in universal and constant agreement from the beginning and in line with Catholic dogmatic teaching.

Pope Benedict XIV, Apostolica (# 6), June 26, 1749: “The Church’s judgment is preferable to that of a Doctor renowned for his holiness and teaching.”

Errors of the Jansenists, #30: “When anyone finds a doctrine clearly established in Augustine, he can absolutely hold it and teach it, disregarding any bull of the pope.”- Condemned by Pope Alexander VIII

Pope Pius XII, Humani generis (# 21), Aug. 12, 1950: “This deposit of faith our Divine Redeemer has given for authentic interpretation not to each of the faithful, not even to theologians, but only to the Teaching Authority of the Church.’”

The Catholic Church recognizes infallibility in no saint, theologian or early Church father.  It is only a pope operating with the authority of the Magisterium who is protected by the Holy Ghost from teaching error on faith or morals.  So, when we examine and show how Churchmen have erred on the topics of baptism of desire and blood this is 100% consistent with the teaching of the Church, which has always acknowledged that any Churchman, no matter how great, can make errors, even significant ones.


THE THEORY OF BAPTISM OF BLOOD – A TRADITION OF MAN

A small number of the fathers – approximately 8 out of a total of hundreds – are quoted in favor of what is called “baptism of blood,” the idea that a catechumen (that is, one preparing to receive Catholic Baptism) who shed his blood for Christ could be saved without having received Baptism.  It is crucial to note at the beginning that none of the fathers considered anyone but a catechumen as a possible exception to receiving the Sacrament of Baptism; they would all condemn and reject as heretical and foreign to the teaching of Christ the modern heresy of “invincible ignorance” saving those who die as non-Catholics.  So, out of the fathers, approximately 8 are quoted in favor of baptism of blood for catechumens.  And, only 1 father out of hundreds, St. Augustine, can be quoted as clearly teaching what is today called “baptism of desire”: the idea that a catechumen could be saved by his explicit desire for water baptism.  This means that with the exception of St. Augustine, all of the few fathers who believed in baptism of blood actually rejected the concept of baptism of desire. Take St. Cyril of Jerusalem, for example.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, 350 A.D.: “If any man does not receive baptism, he does not receive salvationThe only exception is the martyrs...”

Here we see that St. Cyril of Jerusalem believed in baptism of blood, but rejected baptism of desire.  St. Fulgence expressed the same.

St. Fulgence, 523: “From that time at which Our Savior said: “If anyone is not reborn of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven,’ no one can, without the sacrament of baptism, except those who, in the Catholic Church, without Baptism pour out their blood for Christ…”

Here we see that St. Fulgence believed in baptism of blood but rejected the idea of baptism of desire.  And what’s ironic and particularly dishonest is that the baptism of desire apologists (such as the priests of the Society of St. Pius X) will quote these patristic texts (such as the two above) in books written to prove baptism of desire, without pointing out to their readers that these passages actually deny baptism of desire; for we can see that St. Fulgence, while expressing belief in baptism of blood, rejects baptism of desire, only allowing martyrs as a possible exception to receiving baptism.  (What would St. Fulgence say about the modern version of the heresy of baptism of desire, also taught by such priests of the SSPX, SSPV, CMRI, etc. whereby Jews, Muslims, Hindus and pagans can be saved without Baptism?)

It is also important to point out that some of the fathers use the term “baptism of blood” to describe the Catholic martyrdom of one already baptized, not as a possible replacement for water baptism.  This is the only legitimate use of the term.

St. John Chrysostom, Panegyric on St. Lucian, 4th Century AD: “Do not be surprised that I call martyrdom a Baptism; for here too the Spirit comes in great haste and there is a taking away of sins and a wonderful and marvelous cleansing of the soul; and just as those being baptized are washed in water, so too those being martyred are washed in their own blood.”

St. John is here describing the martyrdom of a priest St. Lucian, a person already baptized.  He is not saying that martyrdom replaces baptism.  St. John Damascene describes it the same way:

St. John Damascene: “These things were well understood by our holy and inspired fathers --- thus they strove, after Holy Baptism, to keep... spotless and undefiled.  Whence some of them also thought fit to receive another Baptism:  I mean that which is by blood and martyrdom.”

This is important because many dishonest scholars today (such as the priests of the Society of St. Pius X) will distort the teaching on this point; they will quote a passage on baptism of blood where St. John is simply speaking of baptism of blood as a Catholic martyrdom for one already baptized, and they will present it as if the person were teaching that martyrdom can replace baptism – when such is not stated anywhere.

Some may wonder why the term baptism of blood was used at all.  I believe that the reason the term “baptism of blood” was used by some of the fathers was because Our Lord described His coming passion as a baptism in Mark 10:38-39.

“And Jesus said to them:  You know not what you ask.  Can you drink the chalice that I drink of: or be baptized with the baptism wherewith I am baptized?  But they said to him: We can.  And Jesus saith to them: You shall indeed drink of the chalice that I drink of: and with the baptism wherewith I am baptized, you shall be baptized.”

We see in the aforementioned passage that Our Lord, although already baptized by St. John in the Jordan, refers to another baptism which He must receive.  This is His martyrdom on the cross, not a substitute for baptism of water.  It is His “second baptism,” if you will, not his first.  Thus, baptism of blood is described by Our Lord in the same way as St. John Damascene, not to mean a substitute baptism for an unbaptized person, but rather a Catholic martyrdom which remits all the fault and punishment due to sin.

The term baptism is used in a variety of ways in the scriptures and by the Church fathers.  The baptisms: of water, of blood, of the spirit, of Moses, and of fire are all terms that have been implemented by Church Fathers to characterize certain things, but not necessarily to describe that an unbaptized martyr can attain salvation.  Read the verse of scripture in which the term baptism is used for the Old Testament forefathers:

1Cor. 10:2-4:  “And all in Moses were BAPTIZED, in the cloud, and in the sea: And did all eat the same spiritual food, And all drank the same spiritual drink: (and they drank of the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.)”

I believe this explains why a number of fathers erred in believing that baptism of blood supplies the place of baptism of water.  They recognized that Our Lord referred to His own martyrdom as a baptism, and they erroneously concluded that martyrdom for the true faith can serve as a substitute for being born again of water and the Holy Ghost.  But the reality is that there are no exceptions to Our Lord’s words in John 3:5, as the infallible teaching of the Catholic Church confirms.  Anyone of good will who is willing to shed his blood for the true faith will not be left without these saving waters.  It is not our blood, but Christ’s blood on the Cross, communicated to us in the Sacrament of Baptism, which frees us from the state of sin and allows us entrance into the kingdom of Heaven.

Pope Eugene IV, “Cantate Domino,” Council of Florence, ex cathedra:  “No one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has persevered within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”


SUMMARIZING THE FACTS ON BAPTISM OF BLOOD

As stated already, the theory of baptism of blood has never been taught by one pope, one council or in any Papal Encyclical.  At least 5 dogmatic councils of the Catholic Church issued detailed definitions on Baptism, and not one ever mentioned the concept or the term baptism of blood.  The Council of Trent had 14 canons on Baptism, and baptism of blood is mentioned nowhere.  And, in fact, various infallible statements from the popes and councils exclude the idea.

Pope Eugene IV, “Cantate Domino,” Council of Florence, ex cathedra:  “No one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has persevered within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”

Pope Eugene IV explicitly excludes from salvation even those who “shed blood for the name of Christ” unless they are living within the bosom and unity of the Church!  And, as proven already, the unbaptized are not living within the bosom and unity of the Church (de fide)!  The unbaptized are not subjects of the Catholic Church (de fide, Council of Trent, Sess. 14, Chap. 2); the unbaptized are not members of the Catholic Church (de fide, Pius XII, Mystici Corporis # 22); and the unbaptized do not have the mark of Christians (de fide, Pius XII, Mediator Dei # 43).

If “baptism of blood” truly served as a substitute for the Sacrament of Baptism, God would never have allowed the Catholic Church to understand John 3:5 as it is written in its infallible decrees, as He has (Pope Eugene IV, The Council of Florence, “Exultate Deo,” Nov. 22, 1439, etc.).  This is certain, because the Church’s official understanding of the scriptures cannot err.

Furthermore, God would never have allowed the infallible Council of Trent to completely pass over any mention of this “exception” in its canons on baptism and its chapters on justification as an alternative way of achieving the state of grace.  He would never have allowed all of the infallible definitions from popes on only one baptism to avoid any mention of “the baptism of blood.”

And God would not have allowed Pope Eugene IV to define that nobody, even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, can be saved unless he is in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church, without mentioning the exception of “baptism of blood.”  God has never allowed the theory of baptism of blood to be taught in one council, by one pope, or in one infallible decree, but only by fallible theologians and fallible early Church fathers.  All of this is because baptism of blood is not a teaching of the Catholic Church, but the erroneous speculation of certain fathers who also erred frequently in the same documents. Besides, there would be no need for God to save anyone by baptism of blood (or “baptism of desire”), since He can keep any sincere souls alive until they are baptized.


THE THEORY OF BAPTISM OF DESIRE – A TRADITION OF MAN

Those who have been brainwashed by apologists for the theory of baptism of desire may be surprised to learn that of all the fathers of the Church, only 1 can even be brought forward by baptism of desire advocates as having taught the concept.  That’s correct, only one, St. Augustine.  The baptism of desire advocates will make a feeble attempt to bring forward a second father, St. Ambrose, as we will see; but even if that were true, that would make only two fathers out of hundreds who can be quoted as ever having speculated on the concept of baptism of desire.  So then, what is one to say about the following statements of the priests of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), who have written three separate books on “baptism of desire”?

Fr. Jean-Marc Rulleau (SSPX), Baptism of Desire, p. 63: “This baptism of desire makes up for the want of sacramental baptism… The existence of this mode of salvation is a truth taught by the Magisterium of the Church and held from the first centuries by all the FathersNo Catholic theologian has contested it.”

Fr. Francois Laisney (SSPX), Is Feeneyism Catholic?, p. 79, on Baptism of desire: “It is not only the common teaching, but unanimous teaching; it is not only since the early part of this millennium, but rather from the beginning of the Church…”

These statements are totally false and grievous lies which completely misrepresent the teaching of Tradition and corrupt people’s faith, as we already have seen.  The fathers are unanimously against the concept that anyone (including a catechumen) could be saved without water baptism.  But let us examine the teaching of the one father, St. Augustine, who did express belief (at least at times) in the idea that a catechumen could be saved without the Sacrament of Baptism by his desire for it.


ST. AUGUSTINE (354-430)

St. Augustine is quoted in favor of the concept of baptism of desire, but he admittedly struggled with the issue, sometimes clearly opposing the idea that unbaptized catechumens could achieve salvation, and other times supporting it.

St. Augustine, 400: “That the place of Baptism is sometimes supplied by suffering is supported by a substantial argument which the same Blessed Cyprian draws…Considering this over and over again, I find that not only suffering for the name of Christ can supply for that which is lacking by way of Baptism, but even faith and conversion of heart, if… recourse cannot be had to the celebration of the Mystery of Baptism.”

There are two interesting points about this passage.  The first relates to baptism of blood: notice that Augustine says that his belief in baptism of blood is supported by an inference or an argument that St. Cyprian made, not anything rooted in the Tradition of the Apostles or the Roman Pontiffs. 

St. Cyprian, To Jubaianus (254): “… in regard to what I might think in the matter of the baptism of heretics… This baptism we cannot reckon as valid…”

As we saw already, many of the inferences of St. Cyprian showed themselves to be quite wrong, to put it nicely, such as his “inference” that it was from “apostolic Tradition” that heretics cannot confer baptism, which is wrong, since even heretics can baptize validly.  Thus, St. Augustine is revealing by this statement a very important point: that his belief even in baptism of blood is rooted in fallible human speculation, not in divine revelation or infallible Tradition.  He is admitting that he could be wrong and, in fact, he is wrong.

Secondly, when Augustine concludes that he also believes that faith (that is, faith in Catholicism) and a desire for baptism could have the same effect as martyrdom, he says: “Considering this over and over again…”  By saying that he considered this over and over again, St. Augustine is admitting that his opinion on baptism of desire is also something that he has come to from his own consideration, not through infallible Tradition or teaching.  It is something that he admittedly struggled with and contradicted himself on.  All of this serves to prove again that baptism of desire, like baptism of blood, is a tradition of man, born in erroneous and fallible human speculation (albeit from some great men), and not rooted in or derived from any Tradition of the Apostles or of the popes.

Out of the hundreds of fathers of the Church, the only other one that the baptism of desire advocates even try to quote is St. Ambrose.  They think that in his funeral speech for his friend (the Emperor Valentinian) he taught that the emperor (who was only a catechumen) was saved by his desire for baptism.  But St. Ambrose’s funeral speech for Valentinian is extremely ambiguous and could be interpreted in a variety of ways.  It is thus gratuitous for them to assert that it clearly teaches the idea of “baptism of desire.”


LITURGICAL TRADITION AND APOSTOLIC BURIAL TRADITION

Besides these clear testimonies of the fathers against the theory of baptism of desire, perhaps most striking is the fact that in the history of the Catholic Church there is not a single tradition that can be cited for praying for – or giving ecclesiastical burial to – catechumens who died without baptismThe Catholic Encyclopedia (1907) had the following to say about the actual Tradition of the Church in this regard:

“A certain statement in the funeral oration of St. Ambrose over the Emperor Valentinian II has been brought forward as a proof that the Church offered sacrifices and prayers for catechumens who died before baptism.  There is not a vestige of such a custom to be found anywhereThe practice of the Church is more correctly shown in the canon (xvii) of the Second Council of Braga (572 AD):  ‘Neither the commemoration of Sacrifice [oblationis] nor the service of chanting [psallendi] is to be employed for catechumens who have died without baptism.’”

There you have the teaching of Catholic Tradition!  No catechumen who died without the Sacrament of Baptism received prayer, sacrifice or Christian burial!  The Council of Braga, in 572 A.D., forbade prayer for catechumens who died without Baptism.  Pope St. Leo the Great and Pope St. Gelasius had earlier confirmed the same Church discipline – which was the universal practice – forbidding Catholics to pray for unbaptized catechumens who had died. This means that the belief in the early Church was that there was no such thing as baptism of desire.  The theory of baptism of desire didn’t become a widespread belief until the middle ages, when St. Thomas Aquinas and some other eminent theologians made it their own, which caused many theologians to subsequently adopt that position out of deference to them, a position on the possible salvation of catechumens who died without baptism which was contrary to the overwhelming belief and liturgical tradition of the early Church, not to mention the Church’s later infallible teaching on the scripture John 3:5.

The true teaching of apostolic and Catholic tradition on this topic is also seen from the teaching of the Catholic Liturgy, which all worshipping Catholics in the early Church acknowledged and believed: namely, that no unbaptized catechumen or unbaptized person was considered part of the faithful.  That unbaptized catechumens are not part of the faithful was held by all of the fathers because it was taught to all Catholics in the liturgy.

Dr. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Membership in the Church, p. 309: “3. The Fathers draw a sharp line of separation between Catechumens and ‘the faithful.’”

This means that no unbaptized person can be saved, because Catholic dogma has defined that no one is saved outside the one Church of the faithful.

Pope Gregory XVI, Summo Iugiter Studio, May 27, 1832, on no salvation outside the Church: “Official acts of the Church proclaim the same dogma.  Thus, in the decree on faith which Innocent III published with the synod of Lateran IV, these things are written: ‘There is one universal Church of all the faithful outside of which no one is saved.’”


POPE ST. SIRICIUS (384-398)

In his letter to the Bishop of Tarragona in the year 385, Pope St. Siricius also shows how the belief in the early Church rejected any concept of baptism of desire.

Pope St. Siricius, 385, [Concerning the necessity of baptism] “Therefore just as we declare that respect for the Easter sacrifice [Paschal time] should not be lessened in the case of any person, in like manner we wish help to be brought with all speed to children who because of their age cannot yet speak, and to those who in any emergency are in need of the water of holy baptism, lest it should lead to the destruction of our souls if, by refusing the water of salvation to those who desire it, each of them, when taking leave of this world, should lose both the kingdom and life.  Indeed whoever suffers the peril of shipwreck, an enemy attack, the danger of siege or desperation resulting from some bodily infirmity, and so asks for what in their faith is their only help, let them receive at the moment of their request the reward of regeneration that they beg for.  This much should suffice for my digression on this subject; now let all priests who do not wish to be wrenched from the firmly-fixed rock of the apostles, on which Christ built his universal church, hold fast to the aforesaid rule.”   (Latin found in Denzinger-Schonmetzer, Latin Edition, 1962, no. 184; an English Translation found in The Christian Faith, Sixth Revised and Enlarged Edition, Staten Island, NY: Alba House, 1996, p. 540.)

I hope that the baptism of desire advocates read this one very carefully.  The Pope declares that the man who begs for regeneration and desires water baptism is still denied heaven if he dies without it!  This quotation from Pope St. Siricius is striking in that it again clearly shows how the early Church rejected belief in the concept of baptism of desire.  The Pope begins by affirming that the observance of Paschal time should not be relaxed.  (He is referring to the fact that Baptisms were historically performed during Paschal time.)  After affirming that this tradition should be maintained, the Pope warns that infants and those in any necessity or danger should be baptized immediately, lest those who desire baptism die and are “deprived of the Kingdom and life” for not having received water baptism which they desired.  This is a clear rejection of the idea of baptism of desire.

This point is made again by the Pope in the second half of the quotation, where he says that when those unbaptized persons “ask for what in their faith is their only help, let them receive at the very moment of their request the reward of regeneration they beg for.”  This means that receiving water Baptism is the only help to salvation for such persons who earnestly desire to receive Baptism.  There is no help to salvation for such persons in their desire or martyrdom, but only in receiving the Sacrament of Baptism.

Pope Paul III, The Council of Trent, Can. 2 on the Sacrament of Baptism, Sess. 7, 1547, ex cathedra:  “If anyone shall say that real and natural water is not necessary for baptism, and on that account those words of Our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit’ [John 3:5], are distorted into some sort of metaphor: let him be anathema.”

As you can see, you are anathematized if you assert that baptism of desire is a Catholic doctrine!


MAJOR OBJECTIONS


SESS. 6, CHAP. 4 OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT

OBJECTION-  In Session 6, Chapter 4 of its decree on Justification, the Council of Trent teaches that justification can take place by the water of baptism or the desire for it!  So there!

ANSWER- [Preliminary Note: If Sess. 6, Chap. 4 of Trent were teaching what the baptism of desire advocates claim (which it isn’t), then it would mean that every man must receive baptism or at least have the actual desire/vow for baptism to be saved.  It would mean that it would be heresy to say that any unbaptized person could be saved if he doesn’t have at least the desire/vow for water baptism.  But 99% of the people who quote this passage in favor of baptism of desire don’t even believe that one must desire baptism to be saved!  They believe that Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, etc. can be saved who don’t desire water baptism.  Thus, 99% of those who quote this passage reject even what they claim it is teaching.  Frankly, this fact just shows the dishonesty and the bad will of most baptism of desire advocates in attempting to quote this passage as if they were devoted to its teaching when, in fact, they don’t believe in it at all and are in heresy for teaching that non-Catholics can be saved who don’t even desire water baptism.]

That being noted, this passage of the Council of Trent does not teach that Justification can take place by the water of baptism or the desire for it.  It says that justification in the impious CANNOT TAKE PLACE WITHOUT the water of baptism or the desire for it.  This is totally different from the idea that justification can take place by the water of baptism or the desire for it.

Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Sess. 6, Chap. 4: “In these words there is suggested a description of the justification of the impious, how there is a transition from that state in which a person is born as a child of the first Adam to the state of grace and of adoption as sons of God through the second Adam, Jesus Christ our savior; indeed, this transition, once the gospel has been promulgated, CANNOT TAKE PLACE WITHOUT the laver of regeneration or a desire for it, AS IT IS WRITTEN: Unless a man is born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5).”

First off, the reader should note that this crucial passage from Trent has been horribly mistranslated in the popular English version of Denzinger, the Sources of Catholic Dogma, which is cited above.

The critical phrase, “this transition, once the gospel has been promulgated, cannot take place without the laver of regeneration or a desire for it” has been mistranslated to read: “this transition, once the gospel has been promulgated, cannot take place except through the laver of regeneration or a desire for it…”  This mistranslation of the Latin word “sine” (without) – which is found in the original Latin – to “except through” completely alters the meaning of the passage to favor the error of baptism of desire.  This is important to keep in mind because this mistranslation is still being used all the time by baptism of desire apologists (often deliberately), including in recent publications of the SSPX and CMRI.  That being mentioned, I will proceed to discuss what the council actually says here. 

Looking at a correct translation, which is found in many books, the reader also should notice that, in this passage, the Council of Trent teaches that John 3:5 is to be taken as it is written (Latin: sicut scriptum est), which excludes any possibility of salvation without being born again of water in the Sacrament of Baptism.  There is no way that baptism of desire can be true if John 3:5 is to be taken as it is written, because John 3:5 says that every man must be born again of water and the Spirit to be saved, which is what the theory of baptism of desire denies.  The theory of baptism of desire and an interpretation of John 3:5 as it is written are mutually exclusive (they cannot both be true at the same time) – and every baptism of desire proponent will admit this.  That is why all of them must – and do – opt for a non-literal interpretation of John 3:5.

But what does the passage in Trent that we just discussed say:  It says infallibly, “AS IT IS WRITTEN, UNLESS A MAN IS BORN AGAIN OF WATER AND THE HOLY GHOST, HE CANNOT ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD.”

But what about the claim of the baptism of desire people: that the use of the word “or” (Latin: aut) in the above passage means that justification can take place by the water of baptism or the desire for it.  A careful look at the correct translation of this passage shows this claim to be false.  Suppose I said, “This shower cannot take place without water or the desire to take one.”  Does this mean that a shower can take place by the desire to take a shower?  No it doesn’t.  It means that both (water and desire) are necessary.

Or suppose I said, “There cannot be a wedding without a bride or a groom.”  Does this mean that you can have a wedding with a groom and not a bride?  Of course not.  It means that both are necessary for the wedding.  One could give hundreds of other examples.  Likewise, the passage above in Trent says that Justification CANNOT TAKE PLACE WITHOUT water or desire; in other words, both are necessary.  It does not say that Justification does take place by either water or desire!


THE CATECHISM OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT

OBJECTION- The Catechism of the Council of Trent taught that one’s determination to receive baptism could avail him to grace and righteousness if it is impossible for him to receive baptism.

Catechism of the Council of Trent, Ordinarily They Are Not Baptized At Once, p. 179: “On adults, however, the Church has not been accustomed to confer the Sacrament of Baptism at once, but has ordained that it be deferred for a certain time.  The delay is not attended with the same danger as in the case of infants, which we have already mentioned; should any unforeseen accident make it impossible for adults to be washed in the salutary waters, their intention and determination to receive Baptism and their repentance for past sins, will avail them to grace and righteousness.”

ANSWER- The Catechism of the Council of Trent is not infallible.  Fathers John A. McHugh, O.P. and Charles J. Callan, O.P. wrote the introduction for a common English translation of the Catechism of the Council of Trent.  Their introduction contains the following interesting quote from Dr. John Hagan, Rector of the Irish College in Rome, about the Catechism’s authority.

Catechism of the Council of Trent- Fifteenth printing, TAN Books, Introduction XXXVI:  “Official documents have occasionally been issued by Popes to explain certain points of Catholic teaching to individuals, or to local Christian communities; whereas the Roman Catechism comprises practically the whole body of Christian doctrine, and is addressed to the whole Church.  Its teaching is not infallible; but it holds a place between approved catechisms and what is de fide.”


THE CATECHISM ATTRIBUTED TO ST. PIUS X

The Catechism attributed to Pope St. Pius X repeats for us the same de fide teaching of the Catholic Church on the absolute necessity of water baptism for salvation.

The Catechism of Pope St. Pius X, The Sacraments, “Baptism,” Q. 16: “Q. Is Baptism necessary to salvation?  A.  Baptism is absolutely necessary to salvation, for Our Lord has expressly said: ‘Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.’”

So, contrary to popular belief, those who reject “baptism of desire” actually follow the teaching of the Catechism attributed to Pope St. Pius X on the absolute necessity of water baptism.  They don’t follow, however, the teaching of this fallible Catechism when it proceeds to contradict this truth on the absolute necessity of water baptism for salvation.

The Catechism of Pope St. Pius X, The Sacraments, “Baptism,” Q. 17: “Q. Can the absence of Baptism be supplied in any other way?  A.  The absence of Baptism can be supplied by martyrdom, which is called Baptism of Blood, or by an act of perfect love of God, or of contrition, along with the desire, at least implicit, of Baptism, and this is called Baptism of Desire.”

This again is a total contradiction to what is stated in Question 16.  It should be noted that this catechism, while attributed to Pope St. Pius X, did not come from his pen and was not solemnly promulgated by him.  There is no Papal Bull from him promulgating the catechism, so it is just a fallible catechism that went out during his reign and was given his name.  But, even if St. Pius X had himself authored the above words (which he didn’t), it wouldn’t make a bit of difference to the points I’ve made.  This is because a pope is only infallible when speaking magisterially.  This catechism is not infallible because it wasn’t promulgated solemnly from the Chair of Peter or even specifically by the pope.  Further, this catechism is proven not to be infallible by the fact that it teaches the abominable heresy that there is salvation “outside” the Church (as I will show)!

But I will first quote where the catechism affirms the dogma.

The Catechism of Pope St. Pius X, The Apostles’ Creed, “The Church in Particular,” Q. 27: “Q. Can one be saved outside the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church?  A.  No, no one can be saved outside the Catholic, Apostolic Roman Church, just as no one could be saved from the flood outside the Ark of Noah, which was a figure of the Church.”

Here the Catechism attributed to Pope St. Pius X reaffirms the defined dogma.  But it proceeds to deny this dogma just two questions later!

The Catechism of Pope St. Pius X, The Apostles’ Creed, “The Church in Particular,” Q. 29: “Q. But if a man through no fault of his own is outside the Church, can he be saved?  A. If he is outside the Church through no fault of his, that is, if he is in good faith, and if he has received Baptism, or at least has the implicit desire of Baptism; and if, moreover, he sincerely seeks the truth and does God’s will as best as he can, such a man is indeed separated from the body of the Church, but is united to the soul of the Church and consequently is on the way of salvation.”

Here we see this fallible Catechism word for word denying the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation!   It teaches that there can be salvation “outside” the Church, which directly denies the truth it taught to the people in Question 27.  This statement is so heretical, in fact, that it would be repudiated even by most of the crafty heretics of our day, who know that they cannot say that people are saved “outside,” so they argue that non-Catholics are not “outside” but are “inside” somehow.  So even those crafty heretics who reject the true meaning of Outside the Church There is No Salvation would have to admit that the above statement is heretical!

Further, notice that the catechism attributed to St. Pius X teaches the heresy that persons can be united to the “Soul” of the Church, but not the Body.  As proven already, the Catholic Church is a Mystical Body.  Those who are not part of the Body are no part at all.

Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos (# 10), Jan. 6, 1928: “For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one, compacted and fitly joined together, it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head.”

This discussion on the catechisms should demonstrate to the reader how the rampant denial of Outside the Church There is No Salvation and the necessity of Water Baptism has been perpetuated through fallible texts with imprimaturs and why it has been imbibed today by almost all who profess to be Catholic.  It has been perpetuated by fallible documents and texts which contradict themselves, which contradict defined dogma, and which teach heresy, and which – all the while – elsewhere affirm the immutable truths of the absolute necessity of the Catholic Church and water baptism for salvation.  And this is why Catholics are bound to adhere to infallibly defined dogma, not fallible catechisms or theologians.

Pope Pius IX, Singulari Quadem: “For, in truth, when released from these corporeal chains, ‘we shall see God as He is’ (1 John 3:2), we shall understand perfectly by how close and beautiful a bond divine mercy and justice are united; but, as long as we are on earth, weighed down by this mortal mass which blunts the soul, let us hold most firmly that, in accordance with Catholic teaching, there is ‘one God, one faith, one baptism’ [Eph. 4:5]; it is unlawful to proceed further in inquiry.

Pope Paul III, The Council of Trent, Can. 5 on the Sacrament of Baptism, ex cathedra: “If anyone says that baptism [the sacrament] is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation (cf. Jn. 3:5): let him be anathema.”

How many infallible statements from Popes have we not seen, which absolutely proves that a real psychical water-baptism is necessary for salvation? Anyone denying this fact is simply a liar and a heretic who obstinately adhere to fallible sources instead of infallible ones, and imagines himself (or some other man, or some other fallible source) to be the source of truth, thus putting man in the place of God (the infallible Popes, through whom God's truth is revealed). When such a person above described prays the "Our Father" he is a hypocrite, because he himself has no intention of doing the will of God!


THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY FOR EVERYONE ABOVE THE AGE OF REASON TO KNOW ABOUT THE TRINITY AND THE INCARNATION TO BE SAVED

John 3:36- “He that believeth in the Son, hath life everlasting; but he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

The Catholic Church also teaches that it is absolutely necessary for everyone above reason to positively know about the most holy mysteries of our great religion in order to be saved. These mysteries are the Trinity and the Incarnation. Those who speak about invincible ignorance and that ignorance about the Catholic faith can somehow save a person are thoroughly refuted by these words below. They are also refuted by Our Lord’s words in the Gospel!

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Sess. 8, Nov. 22, 1439, ex cathedra: “Whoever wishes to be saved, needs above all to hold the Catholic faith; unless each one preserves this whole and inviolate, he will without a doubt perish in eternity.– But the Catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in the Trinity, and the Trinity in unity; neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance; for there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit, their glory is equal, their majesty coeternal...and in this Trinity there is nothing first or later, nothing greater or less, but all three persons are coeternal and coequal with one another, so that in every respect, as has already been said above, both unity in Trinity, and Trinity in unity must be worshipped.  Therefore let him who wishes to be saved, think thus concerning the Trinity.

But it is necessary for eternal salvation that he faithfully believe also in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ...the Son of God is God and man... This is the Catholic faith; unless each one believes this faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.”

Some will state that dogmas of the Catholic Church that true non heretical Popes have pronounced are somehow their own interpretation of how things work and that the Popes are not inspired by God when they speak infallibly from the chair of Peter. Such nonsense would mean that no foundation of truth could ever exist since there would be no infallible declarations by the Popes to rely on to explain Scripture to us. These woeful wretches are also condemned by our saintly Pope St. Pius X!

Pope St. Pius X, Lamentabile, The Errors of the Modernists, July 3, 1907, #22: “The dogmas which the Church professes as revealed are not truths fallen from heaven, but they are a kind of interpretation of religious facts, which the human mind by a laborious effort prepared for itself.”- Condemned

Dogmas are truths fallen from heaven which cannot possibly contain error.  They are not merely human statements, written to warn non-Catholics, which are subject to correction and qualification.  Dogmas are infallible definitions of the truth which can never be changed or corrected, and have no need to be changed or corrected since they cannot possibly contain error.  Dogmas are defined so that Catholics must know what they must believe as true from divine revelation without any possibility of error.

Pope Leo XII, Ubi Primum (# 14), May 5, 1824: “It is impossible for the most true God, who is Truth itself, the best, the wisest Provider, and the Rewarder of good men, to approve all sects who profess false teachings which are often inconsistent with one another and contradictory, and to confer eternal rewards on their membersby divine faith we hold one Lord, one faith, one baptismThis is why we profess that there is no salvation outside the Church.”

Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, Constitution 1, 1215, ex cathedra: There is indeed one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which nobody at all is saved, in which Jesus Christ is both priest and sacrifice.”

Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, Nov. 18, 1302:“With Faith urging us we are forced to believe and to hold the one, holy, Catholic Church and that, apostolic, and we firmly believe and simply confess this Church outside of which there is no salvation nor remission of sin.”


INVINCIBLE IGNORANCE

2 Corinthians 4:3: “And if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, in whom the god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.”

Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Sess. 6 on Justification, Chap. 15: “…it must be maintained that the grace of justification, although received, is lost not only by infidelity, whereby even faith itself is lost, but also by any other mortal sin, although faith be not lost, thereby defending the doctrine of the divine law which excludes from the kingdom of God not only the unbelievers, but also the faithful who are ‘fornicators, adulterers, effeminate, liers with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, railers, extortioners’ [1 Cor. 6:9], and all others who commit deadly sins…”

The dogma Outside the Catholic Church There is No Salvation has been solemnly defined at least seven times by popes speaking from the Chair of St. Peter.  Never once were any exceptions mentioned about “invincible ignorance.”  In fact, it is just the opposite: all exceptions were always excluded.

Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, Constitution 1, 1215, ex cathedra: “There is indeed one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which nobody at all is saved, in which Jesus Christ is both priest and sacrifice.”

Thus, the idea that a non-Catholic who is ignorant of the Faith can be saved is heretical; it is contrary to the dogma that “no one,” (Pope Pius IV; Benedict XIV; Pius IX) “nobody at all,” (Innocent III) “nobody, even if he shed his blood in the name of Christ” (Eugene IV) can be saved as a non-Catholic.  It is a denial of the dogma that “every human creature” (Boniface VIII) must be a Catholic, and that “only those” (Eugene IV) inside the bosom and unity of the Church can achieve salvation.

Those who insist that “invincible ignorance” can possibly save a person who dies as a non-Catholic simply depart from and deny the dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church.

Fr. Francisco de Vitoria, O.P., a famous 16th century Dominican theologian, summed up the traditional teaching of the Catholic Church on this topic very well. Here is how he put it: “When we postulate invincible ignorance on the subject of baptism or of the Christian faith, it does not follow that a person can be saved without baptism or the Christian faith. For the aborigines to whom no preaching of the faith or Christian religion has come will be damned for mortal sins or for idolatry, but not for the sin of unbelief. As St. Thomas says, however, if they do what in them lies [in their power], accompanied by a good life according to the law of nature, it is consistent with God’s providence that he will illuminate them regarding the name of Christ.”

Fr. Michael Muller, C.SS.R., The Catholic Dogma, pp. 217-218, 1888: “Inculpable or invincible ignorance has never been and will never be a means of salvation.  To be saved, it is necessary to be justified, or to be in the state of grace.  In order to obtain sanctifying grace, it is necessary to have the proper dispositions for justification; that is, true divine faith in at least the necessary truths of salvation, confident hope in the divine Savior, sincere sorrow for sin, together with the firm purpose of doing all that God has commanded, etc.  Now, these supernatural acts of faith, hope, charity, contrition, etc., which prepare the soul for receiving sanctifying grace, can never be supplied by invincible ignorance; and if invincible ignorance cannot supply the preparation for receiving sanctifying grace, much less can it bestow sanctifying grace itself.  ‘Invincible ignorance,’ says St. Thomas, ‘is a punishment for sin.’ (De, Infid. Q. x., art. 1).

All the people who die in cultures which have never been penetrated by the Gospel go to Hell for sins against the natural law and the other grave sins which they commit – which bad will and failure to cooperate with God’s grace is the reason He does not reveal the Gospel to them.  The First Vatican Council defined infallibly, based on Romans 1, that the one true God can be known with certitude by the things which have been made, and by the natural light of human reason.

St. Paul, Romans 1:18-20:  “For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice: Because that which is known of God is manifest in them.  For God hath manifested it to them.  For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.”

Everyone can know with certainty that there is a supreme spiritual being, Who is the One True God and the Creator of the world and all that it contains.  Everyone knows that God is not something that they have carved out of wood or jade or stone.  They know that God is not the tree that they worship or the river they worship or the rock or the snake or the sacred tree frog.  They know that these things aren’t the Creator of the universe.  Every such person knows that he is worshipping a creature rather than the Creator.  They are, as St. Paul says in verse 20, without excuse.  St. Augustine explains this well in reference to persons who died ignorant of the Faith and without baptism.

St. Augustine (+428): “… God foreknew that if they had lived and the gospel had been preached to them, they would have heard it without belief.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, De Veritate, 14, A. 11, ad 1: 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 faith.  St. Thomas replies- 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 faith to him…”

St. Thomas Aquinas, Sent. II, 28, Q. 1, A. 4, ad 4: “If a man born among barbarian nations, does what he can, God Himself will show him what is necessary for salvation, either by inspiration or sending a teacher to him.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, Sent. III, 25, Q. 2, A. 2, solute. 2: “If a man should have no one to instruct him, God will show him, unless he culpably wishes to remain where he is.”

In his Encyclical Letters, dated Dec. 8, 1849; Dec.. 8, 1864; and Aug. 10, 1863, and in his Allocution on Dec. 9, 1854: Pope Pius IX. says:

"It is not without sorrow that we have learned another not less pernicious error, which has been spread in several parts of Catholic countries, and has been imbibed by many Catholics, who are of opinion that all those who are not at all members of the true Church of Christ, can be saved: Hence they often discuss the question concerning the future fate and condition of those who die without having professed the Catholic faith, and give the most frivolous reasons in support of their wicked opinion . . . ."

"We must mention and condemn again that most pernicious error, which has been imbibed by certain Catholics, who are of the opinion that those people who live in error and have not the true faith, and are separated from Catholic unity, may obtain life everlasting. Now this opinion is most contrary to Catholic faith, as is evident from the plain words of our Lord, (Matt. xviii. 17 ; Mark xvi. 16; Luke x. 16; John iii. 18) as also from the words of St. Paul, (II. Tim. Iii. 11) and of St. Peter (II. Peter. ii. 1). To entertain opinions contrary to this Catholic faith is to be an impious wretch."

"We therefore again reprobate, proscribe, and condemn all and every one of these perverse opinions and doctrines, and it is our absolute will and command that all sons of the Catholic Church shall hold them as reprobated, proscribed, and condemned. It belongs to our Apostolic office to rouse your Episcopal zeal and watchfulness to do all in your power to banish from the minds of the people such impious and pernicious opinions, which lead to indifference of religion, which we behold spreading more and more, to the ruin of souls. Oppose all your energy and zeal to these errors and employ zealous priests to impugn and annihilate them, and to impress very deeply upon the minds and hearts of the faithful the great dogma of our most holy religion, that salvation can be had only in the Catholic faith. Often exhort the clergy and the faithful to give thanks to God for the great gift of the Catholic faith."

St. Augustine, Tractate 89, on John 15:22-23- “What, then, does He [Jesus] mean by the words, If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin? [John 15:22] Was it that the Jews were without sin before Christ came to them in the flesh? Who, though he were the greatest fool, would say so?... But when He went on to say, But now they have no excuse for their sin, some may be moved to inquire whether those to whom Christ neither came nor spoke, have an excuse for their sin. For if they have not, why is it said here that these had none, on the very ground that He did come and speak to them? And if they have, have they it to the extent of thereby being barred from punishment, or of receiving it in a milder degree? To these inquiries, with the Lord's help and to the best of my capacity, I reply, that such have an excuse, not for every one of their sins, but for this sin of not believing on Christ, inasmuch as He came not and spoke not to them.”

Pope Gregory XVI, Summo Iugiter Studio, May 27, 1832, on no salvation outside the Church: “Finally some of these misguided people attempt to persuade themselves and others that men are not saved only in the Catholic religion, but that even heretics may attain eternal life…  You know how zealously Our predecessors taught that article of faith which these dare to deny, namely the necessity of the Catholic faith and of unity for salvation… Omitting other appropriate passages which are almost numberless in the writings of the Fathers, We shall praise St. Gregory the Great who expressly testifies that THIS IS INDEED THE TEACHING OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.  He says: ‘The holy universal Church teaches that it is not possible to worship God truly except in her and asserts that all who are outside of her will not be saved.’


THE DOGMA, POPE PIUS IX AND INVINCIBLE IGNORANCE

OBJECTION- What about Pope Pius IX?  Isn’t it true that he taught that the invincibly ignorant could be saved in two documents?  What about Singulari Quadem and Quanto Conficiamur Moerore?

ANSWER- Confusion on this topic has increased as a result of a few misunderstood statements from Pope Pius IX.  As we analyze these statements, it is imperative to keep in mind that, even if Pope Pius IX had taught that the invincibly ignorant could be saved on these two occasions, it wouldn’t mean that such a position is true, because they were fallible documents which could have contained error.  No pope can change or contradict dogma.  Pope Honorius, who reigned in the 7th century, was, in fact, later condemned for propagating heresy, though not in his solemn capacity teaching to the universal Church, further proving how even a pope can err or teach heresy in his fallible capicity.  Thus, no one, not even a pope, can change the dogma that no one who dies outside the Catholic Church, ignorant or not, can be saved.  Here are some more quotes on ignorance.

Pope Benedict XV, Humani Generis Redemptionem (# 14), June 15, 1917: “…‘Ignorance is the mother of all errors,’ as the Fourth Lateran Council so truthfully observes.”

The Errors of Peter Abelard, Condemned by Innocent II, July 16, 1140, #10: “That they have not sinned who being ignorant have crucified Christ, and that whatever is done through ignorance must not be considered sin.” - Condemned

The first of the documents from Pope Pius IX, frequently quoted by those who believe in salvation outside the Church, is Singulari Quadem, an allocution (a speech to the cardinals) given December 9, 1854:

....those who are affected by ignorance of the true religion, if it is invincible ignorance, are not subject to any guilt in this matter before the eyes of the Lord.”

First of all, this is a speech of Pope Pius IX to the cardinals.  It is not a dogmatic pronouncement, not even an encyclical, nor even an encyclical addressed to the entire Church.

But is Pope Pius IX saying that the invincibly ignorant can be justified and saved in their condition?  No.  Rather, he is stating that the “invincibly ignorant” will not be held accountable for the sin of infidelity, but they will still go to Hell.  Read carefully the last part of the sentence, “are not subject to any guilt IN THIS MATTER,” that is, in the matter of infidelity.  St. Thomas Aquinas explains that unbelievers who have never heard of the Gospel are damned for their other sins, which cannot be remitted without Faith, not because of the sin of infidelity (or disbelief in the Gospel).  These other sins of the unbelievers serve as the reason why God does not reveal the Gospel to them and which ultimately excludes them from salvation.  If one among them, however, were truly sincere and of good will, and cooperating with the natural law, then God would send a preacher (even miraculously, if necessary) to bring the Catholic Faith and baptism to him.  Pope Pius IX goes on to say in the same allocution concerning a person of good will who is invincibly ignorant:

the gifts of heavenly grace will assuredly not be denied to those who sincerely want and pray for refreshment by the divine light…

St. Thomas Aquinas, Sent. III, 25, Q. 2, A. 2, solute. 2: “If a man should have no one to instruct him, God will show him, unless he culpably wishes to remain where he is.”

St. Augustine, Tractate 89, on John 15:22-23- “What, then, does He [Jesus] mean by the words, If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin? [John 15:22] Was it that the Jews were without sin before Christ came to them in the flesh? Who, though he were the greatest fool, would say so?...To these inquiries, with the Lord's help and to the best of my capacity, I reply, that such have an excuse, not for every one of their sins, but for this sin of not believing on Christ, inasmuch as He came not and spoke not to them.”

Thus, Pope Pius IX was not teaching that people who are ignorant of the Catholic Faith can be saved; he was, rather, stating that such unbelievers are not damned for the matter of infidelity.  The fact that all who die as ignorant non-Catholics are not saved is the affirmation of all of Catholic Tradition and all the saints, besides being the dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church.

Pope Pius IX proceeded to speak about the invincibly ignorant again seven years later in his encyclical Quanto Conficiamur Moerore, August 10, 1863. Quanto Conficiamur Moerore does not meet the requirements for infallibility; it is addressed only to the cardinals and bishops of Italy.

Pope Pius IX, Quanto Conficiamur Moerore: “And here, beloved Sons and Venerable Brothers, We should mention again and censure a very grave error in which some Catholics are unhappily engaged, who believe that men living in error, and separated from the true faith and from Catholic unity, can attain eternal life.  Indeed, this is certainly quite contrary to Catholic teaching.  It is known to us and to you that they who labor in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion AND WHO ZEALOUSLY KEEPING THE NATURAL LAW AND ITS PRECEPTS ENGRAVED IN THE HEARTS OF ALL BY GOD, AND BEING READY TO OBEY GOD, LIVE AN HONEST AND UPRIGHT LIFE, can, by the OPERATING POWER OF DIVINE LIGHT AND GRACE, attain eternal life since God...will by no means suffer anyone to be punished with eternal torment who has not the guilt of deliberate sin.”

First, notice that Pope Pius IX specifically condemns the idea that a man “living in error and separated from the true Faith” can be saved.  What, may I ask, is the idea of salvation for the “invincibly ignorant”?  Why, of course, it is the idea that a man living in error and separated from the true Faith can be saved.  So, the very concept of salvation for the “invincibly ignorant” is condemned as QUITE CONTRARY TO CATHOLIC TEACHING in this very document of Pope Pius IX.

Second, notice again that Pope Pius IX does not say anywhere that the invincibly ignorant can be saved where they are.  Rather, he is reiterating that the ignorant, if they cooperate with God’s grace, keep the natural law and respond to God’s call, they can by God’s “operating power of divine light and grace” [being enlightened by the truth of the Gospel] attain eternal life, since God will certainly bring all of his elect to the knowledge of the truth and into the Church by baptism.  According to the specific definition of Sacred Scripture, “divine light” is the Gospel truth of Jesus Christ (the Catholic Faith) which removes the ignorant from darkness.

Ephesians 5:8 “For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord.  Walk then as children of the light.”

1 Thess. 5:4-5 “But you, brethren [believers], are not in darkness… For all you are the children of the light.”

So, we must not interpret Pius IX’s words in Quanto Conficiamur Moerore about the good-willed ignorant being saved by receiving “divine light and grace” contrary to their clear scriptural and Traditional meaning, which is that divine light and grace is received by hearing of the Gospel, believing it and being baptized.  Thus, in Quanto Conficiamur Moerore, Pius IX is saying that the good-willed, sincere person who is ignorant of the Faith will be “illuminated” by receiving the “divine light” (hearing the Gospel) and will enter the Catholic Church so that he can be saved.

I realize that Pope Pius IX was not nearly as clear as he could have been in the second half of Quanto Conficiamur Moerore.  The heretics have had a field day with it, because they think that they can exploit its wording to favor their heresy that there is salvation outside the Church.  If Pope Pius IX had repeated in a strong way the previous definitions of the popes, without any ambiguous language, he would have avoided the danger of modernists misinterpreting his words.  This is a shame because almost all of his statements on this topic do very clearly affirm Church dogma without any ambiguity that heretics can jump on.

Pope Pius IX, Nostis et Nobiscum (# 10), Dec. 8, 1849: “In particular, ensure that the faithful are deeply and thoroughly convinced of the truth of the doctrine that the Catholic faith is necessary for attaining salvation. (This doctrine, received from Christ and emphasized by the Fathers and Councils, is also contained in the formulae of the profession of faith used by Latin, Greek and Oriental Catholics).”

Pope Pius IX, Ubi primum (# 10), June 17, 1847: “For ‘there is one universal Church outside of which no one at all is saved; it contains regular and secular prelates along with those under their jurisdiction, who all profess one Lord, one faith and one baptism.”

Pope Pius IX- Syllabus of Modern Errors- Proposition 16, Dec. 8, 1854: “Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation.” – Condemned

Notice again that the concept of salvation for the “invincibly ignorant” is condemned here.  The concept of salvation for the “invincibly ignorant,” as it is held by almost everyone who holds it today, is that some men – including those who observe non-Catholic religions – can find and arrive at salvation in these religions because they are “without fault of their own.”  But this is heretical and condemned by Pius IX’s own Syllabus of Errors above.


SALVATION FOR THE “INVINCIBLY IGNORANT” REDUCED TO ITS ABSURD PRINCIPLE

Invincible ignorance becomes a destructive heresy, obliterating the necessity of the catholic faith all over the world. The theory that “invincible ignorance” saves can also be refuted by reducing it to its absurd principle, which is this: If being ignorant of the Savior could render one worthy of salvation, then Catholics are actually doing non-Christians a disservice in preaching Jesus Christ to them.  St. Paul, St. Vincent Ferrer, St. Francis Xavier, Fr. Pierre De Smet, the North American Martyrs and the other countless heroic missionaries in Church history, who suffered mind-boggling hardships to preach the Gospel to the ignorant pagans, were simply making these people more culpable and more guilty before God, according to the modern heresy of salvation for the “invincibly ignorant.”  If the missionaries had just stayed home, according to the invincible ignorance heresy, the sincere pagans could have been saved for never having heard of Christ through no fault of their own.  But by making the effort to preach Christ to them, as the missionaries did, they were – according to the invincible ignorance heresy – rendering these persons without excuse if they failed to live up to the obligations of the Gospel or rejected it altogether. Thus, preaching the Gospel to the non-Christians, according to the heretical “invincible ignorance” theory, puts the pagans in a situation in which it is more likely that they are going to be damned.  Thus, the modern heresy of salvation by being “invincibly ignorant” actually makes preaching to the pagans counterproductive for the salvation of souls.  But such a notion is absurd, of course, and proves the illogical and false nature of the invincible ignorance heresy.

But, in fact, the heresy has gotten so bad today in the time of the Great Apostasy in which we live that most “Catholics” today readily profess that pagans, Jews, Buddhists, etc. who know of the Gospel and reject it can also be saved by “invincible ignorance.”  But this is only the necessary result of the invincible ignorance heresy; for if pagans who’ve never heard of Christ can be saved “in good faith,” then pagans who reject Christ could also be in good faith too, for how much does one have to hear to lose his “invincible ignorance”?  Once one strays from the principle – that is to say, once one rejects the divinely revealed truth – that all who die as pagans are definitely lost without exception (Pope Eugene IV, de fide), the clear cut lines of demarcation are rejected, and a gray area necessarily takes over, a gray area according to which one cannot possibly know or set limits on who is possibly in good faith and who is not.

Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos (# 13), Aug. 15, 1832: “With the admonition of the apostle that ‘there is one God, one faith, one baptism’ (Eph. 4:5) may those fear who contrive the notion that the safe harbor of salvation is open to persons of any religion whatever.  They should consider the testimony of Christ Himself that ‘those who are not with Christ are against Him,’ (Lk. 11:23) and that they disperse unhappily who do not gather with Him.  Therefore, ‘without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate(Athanasian Creed).


GIFTS, DONATIONS AND WILLS

Catholics should neither will things nor give gifts/donations to those who are heretics or non-Catholics.  This would include those who profess to be traditional Catholics, but don’t hold the correct positions.  Well, here are some interesting canons we’ve recently come across in study.  They come from the regional councils in Africa around the year 419 A.D.  They inculcate the same ancient Christian concept:

Canons of the African Code, 419 A.D., Canon 22: “And that to those who are not Catholic Christians, even if they be blood relations, neither bishops nor clergymen shall give anything at all by way of donation of their possessions.”

Canons of the African Code, 419 A.D., Canon 81: “It was ordained that if any bishop should prefer to his Church strangers to blood relationship with him, or his heretical relatives, or pagans as his heirs, he shall be anathematized even after his death…”


AUTOMATIC EXCOMMUNICATION FOR ALL HERETICS, SCHISMATICS AND APOSTATES WITHOUT EXCEPTION

The declaratory sentence which follows an automatic excommunication is merely a legal recognition of something which already exists. If this were not true, the automatic excommunication would be meaningless. Canon 2314, of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, although not infallible, is perfectly in line with Catholic teaching: “All apostates from the Christian faith and each and every heretic or schismatic: 1) Incur ipso facto [by that very fact] excommunication…”

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (# 23), June 29, 1943: “For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy.

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 9), June 29, 1896: “The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, AND ALIEN TO THE CHURCH, WHOEVER WOULD RECEDE IN THE LEAST DEGREE FROM ANY POINT OF DOCTRINE PROPOSED BY HER AUTHORITATIVE MAGISTERIUM.”

Pope Pius VI, Auctorem fidei, Aug. 28, 1794: “47. Likewise, the proposition which teaches that it is necessary, according to the natural and divine laws, for either excommunication or for suspension, that a personal examination should precede, and that, therefore, sentences called ‘ipso facto’ have no other force than that of a serious threat without any actual effect” – false, rash, pernicious, injurious to the power of the Church, erroneous.”

The heretical person is already severed from the Church. Most heretics are known to be heretics without a trial or declaratory sentence, and must be denounced as such. As we see here, the Catholic Church teaches that formal processes and judgments are not necessary for ipso facto (by that very fact) excommunications to take effect. They are very often, as in the case of the heretic Martin Luther, formal recognitions of the ipso facto excommunication that has already occurred. This should be obvious to a Catholic.

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (# 22): “As therefore in the true Christian community there is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one Baptism, so there can be only one faith. And therefore if a man refuse to hear the Church let him be considered – so the Lord commands – as a heathen and a publican. It follows that those who are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit.”

St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, II, 30: “… for men are not bound, or able to read hearts; BUT WHEN THEY SEE THAT SOMEONE IS A HERETIC BY HIS EXTERNAL WORKS, THEY JUDGE HIM TO BE A HERETIC PURE AND SIMPLE, AND CONDEMN HIM AS A HERETIC. For, in the first place, it is proven with arguments from authority and from reason that the manifest heretic is ipso facto deposed. The argument from authority is based on St. Paul (Titus 3:10), who orders that the heretic be avoided after two warnings, that is, after showing himself to be manifestly obstinate which means before any excommunication or judicial sentence. And this is what St. Jerome writes, adding that the other sinners are excluded from the Church by sentence of excommunication, but the heretics exile themselves and separate themselves by their own act from the body of Christ.”

As we’ve already shown, it’s a dogma that 1) heretics are not members of the Church; and 2) that a heretic is automatically excommunicated (ipso facto) without any further declaration. It is a dogmatic fact, therefore, that a heretic cannot be a part of or govern the Church, since he is not a member of it. To state that Catholics should hold communion with a manifest heretic because no process against him had been completed, is contrary to Catholic teaching, Catholic Tradition and Catholic sense.


THE NECESSITY AND OBLIGATION FOR ALL TO JUDGE AND CONDEMN HERESY OR SCHISM

We have decreed and declared in Our letter of 21 November 1873 that those unfortunate men who belong to, adhere to, and support that sect should be considered as schismatics and separated from communion with the Church." (Pope Pius IX, Graves ac diuturnae (#'s 1-4), March 23, 1875)

Here we clearly see that Pope Pius IX gives every man and woman the authority to condemn and judge people who have separated themselves from the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church. This is a command, and not something which people can choose to do. You must defend the true faith whenever your behavior, silence or omission would imply that you deny the faith or agree with heresy. Every evasion you’ll make from denouncing heresy or heretics will torment you for all eternity in the fires of hell, as the Catholic Church have always taught.

Pope St. Felix III (5th Century): "Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it, and, indeed, to neglect to confound evil men - when we can do it - is no less a sin than to encourage them."

Here is another quote from the Council of Trent which proves that one can and must decide what is and what is not of the Catholic Faith, by one's own judgment.

Pope Pius IV, Council of Trent, Sess. 13, Chap. 4: “These are the matters which in general it seemed well to the sacred Council to teach to the faithful of Christ regarding the sacrament of order. It has, however, resolved to condemn the contrary in definite and appropriate canons in the following manner, so that all, making use of the rule of faith, with the assistance of Christ, may be able to recognize more easily the Catholic truth in the midst of the darkness of so many errors.”

This proves that everyone are allowed to decide when someone have fallen in heresy or not, since the canon would never have said: “so that all, making use of the rule of faith, with the assistance of Christ, may be able to recognize more easily the Catholic truth in the midst of the darkness of so many errors,” without actually permitting people to judge what is a heresy, or who is a heretic. Without this truth, people are forced to profess communion with everyone: Protestants, Muslims, Devil-worshipers and so on. If you claim that you can judge a devil-worshiper to be outside the Church, then you can also judge someone who professes to be a Catholic, yet who holds to one or more heresies. But this is common sense, unless one is a liar.


THE NECESSITY TO STUDY AND KNOW THE CATHOLIC FAITH

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa, Prima Secunda Pars, Q. 76, Art. 2: "Now it is evident that whoever neglects to have or do what he ought to have or do, commits a sin of omission. Wherefore through negligence, ignorance of what one is bound to know, is a sin; whereas it is not imputed as a sin to man, if he fails to know what he is unable to know. Consequently ignorance of such like things is called "invincible," because it cannot be overcome by study. For this reason such like ignorance, not being voluntary, since it is not in our power to be rid of it, is not a sin: Wherefore it is evident that no invincible ignorance is a sin. On the other hand, vincible ignorance is a sin, if it be about matters one is bound to know; but not, if it be about things one is not bound to know."

Truly, one is bound to know the Catholic Faith well enough to be able to spot heresy when it is presented. So then - in accordance with the Angelic Doctor - if we know that our priest, bishop, etc. is heretical or schismatical, but we adhere to him anyway, then we indeed share in his sin of heresy or schism, whereby we would then be labouring OUTSIDE the true religion. Invincible ignorance on the other hand - ignorance that is not able to be overcome by any well ordered human effort - is a different matter, and is totally excusable, unless we are speaking about the essential mysteries (the Trinity and the Incarnation), and the natural law, which must be known explicitly by everyone above the age of reason for salvation. When people break the natural law it’s always a sin, and cannot be excused, since this law is written by God on every man’s heart. Ignorance of the Trinity and the Incarnation, however, is not a sin in itself, but God withholds this knowledge of the essential mysteries from many people since He foreknew that they would reject His offer of salvation.

Pope St. Pius X, Acerbo Nimis (# 2), April 15, 1905: “And so Our Predecessor, Benedict XIV, had just cause to write: ‘We declare that a great number of those who are condemned to eternal punishment suffer that everlasting calamity because of ignorance of those mysteries of faith which must be known and believed in order to be numbered among the elect.’”


BAPTISM; THE STEPS TO CONVERT TO THE TRADITIONAL CATHOLIC FAITH; THE STEPS FOR THOSE LEAVING THE NEW MASS; AND CONDITIONAL BAPTISM

CONTAINED IN THESE PAGES BELOW: -THE STEPS TO CONVERT TO THE TRADITIONAL CATHOLIC FAITH - THE COUNCIL OF TRENT’S PROFESSION OF FAITH FOR CONVERTS - THE STEPS TO BE TAKEN BY THOSE COMING OUT OF THE NEW MASS - THE FORM OF BAPTISM AND CONDITIONAL BAPTISM WITH EXPLANATION

The steps one must take to convert to the traditional Catholic Faith are actually simple. They are slightly different, however, depending upon whether one has or has not received baptism. Please consult this file carefully.


If you haven’t received baptism, the steps to convert to the Traditional Catholic Faith are as follows:

1) Know and believe the basic catechism (i.e. the basic teachings) of the traditional Catholic Faith. PLEASE READ THE CATHECHISM NOW One should also immediately begin to pray the Rosary each day (15 decades preferably). If you don’t know how, consult the How to Pray the Rosary section of our website. Always take time every day to read and study the Faith, and ask God for final perseverance.

2) Hold belief in all the traditional dogmas of the Church and the correct Catholic positions against the post-Vatican II sect (covered in detail in our material), including, for example, the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation (without exception), the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Papacy, Papal Infallibility, the necessity of water baptism, etc.

3) After you know the basic catechism (which shouldn’t take very long), and are confident that you assent to all the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church, and that you are not living in mortal sin, nor have a will to continue living in mortal or venial sin, receive baptism. There is no reason to delay this (see Acts 8:36-37) if you have completed steps 1 and 2. Normally this would be done by a Catholic priest at your local Catholic Church. Since we are in the Great Apostasy, and there are almost zero fully Traditional Catholic priests around, a layperson is probably the one who should do it for you. The Council of Florence (see below) declared that anyone can validly administer baptism. Thus, if you have a strong Catholic friend or, in case you don’t, if you have a non-Catholic family member or friend who could perform the baptism reliably with the proper intention, then that person can administer baptism for you using the form given below. Confession is not necessary for a person who has never received baptism, since baptism removes original sin and all actual sins. After baptism, however, one should get into the habit of going to confession to a traditional priest ordained in the traditional rite of ordination at least once a month if that is possible. Sadly, however, today there are virtually not a single non-heretical priest left in the world. One must go to confession if a non-heretical priest is available if he or she commits a mortal sin after baptism, which hopefully will not occur. A good practice is to write down your sins on a piece of paper so that you will have an easier time remembering the sins you have committed. This can also be done by those who have no priest and who confess directly to God, in order to facilitate that your confession to Our Lord will be as exact as possible. One could also make a confession of sins or heresies to any person or friend you feel you trust. This should generally be someone who is able to advice you on spiritual things, and not to any person you know.

Confessing our sins to each other, even though we cannot give absolution, is still a great tool to use in exposing the devil and in overcoming habitual bad habits or sins (reoccurring or habitual bad habits is in most cases what lead people to sin in the first place). The Saints had as a habit to confess their sins daily, and thus we should try to act in this way as much as we are able. For confessing our sins daily, breeds humility.

4) Make the profession of faith for converts from the Council of Trent, which is below. If there is a specific sect to which you belonged, or if you believed in a specific heresy, add at the end that you also reject that heretical sect or heresy. The Council of Trent’s Profession of Faith for Converts


For those who have received baptism, it is slightly different:

1) Know and believe the basic catechism (i.e. the basic teachings) of the traditional Catholic Faith. PLEASE READ THE CATHECHISM NOW One should also immediately begin to pray the Rosary each day (15 decades preferably). If you don’t know how, consult the How to Pray the Rosary section of our website. Always take time every day to read and study the Faith, and ask God for final perseverance.

2) Hold belief in all the traditional dogmas of the Church and the correct Catholic positions against the post-Vatican II sect (covered in detail in our material), including, for example, the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation (without exception), the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Papacy, Papal Infallibility, the necessity of water baptism, etc..

3) Make the profession of faith for converts from the Council of Trent, which is below. If there is a specific sect to which you belonged, or if you believed in a specific heresy, add at the end that you also reject that heretical sect or heresy. The Council of Trent’s Profession of Faith for Converts

4) If a non-heretical priest is available to you, you must make a general confession to a priest ordained in the traditional rite of ordination after taking the previous 3 steps. This is a confession in which one mentions all mortal and venial sins committed after baptism that one can remember, including adherence to any sects or false religions or having spread a false sect or false religion. Beware to check carefully beforehand that the priest you approach for the sacraments is not heretical nor in communion with other heretics. Today, in the Great Apostasy, there is almost not a single non-heretical priest left in the world. The only alternative that is left for almost everyone today is to confess their sins to God directly and ask Him with tears or sorrow and true repentance to forgive them their sins. This will forgive your sins if you are sincere, if no other option is available. If you find a non-heretical priest, then as long as the priest says “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost” the confession is valid. A good practice is to write down your sins on a piece of paper so that you will have an easier time remembering the sins you have committed. This can also be done by those who have no priest and who confess directly to God, in order to facilitate that your confession to Our Lord will be as exact as possible. One could also make a confession of sins or heresies to any person or friend you feel you trust. This should generally be someone who is able to advice you on spiritual things, and not to any person you know.

Confessing our sins to each other, even though we cannot give absolution, is still a great tool to use in exposing the devil and in overcoming habitual bad habits or sins (reoccurring or habitual bad habits is in most cases what lead people to sin in the first place). The Saints had as a habit to confess their sins daily, and thus we should try to act in this way as much as we are able. For confessing our sins daily, breeds humility.


For those who aren’t sure whether they are baptized, the order is:

1) Know and believe the basic catechism (i.e. the basic teachings) of the traditional Catholic Faith. PLEASE READ THE CATHECHISM NOW One should also immediately begin to pray the Rosary each day. If you don’t know how, consult the How to Pray the Rosary section of our website. Always take time every day to read and study the Faith, and ask God for final perseverance.

2) Hold belief in all the traditional dogmas of the Church and the correct Catholic positions against the post-Vatican II sect (covered in detail in our material), including, for example, the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation (without exception), the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Papacy, Papal Infallibility, the necessity of water baptism, etc.

3) Make the profession of faith for converts from the Council of Trent, which is below. If there is a specific sect to which you belonged, or if you believed in a specific heresy, add at the end that you also reject that heretical sect or heresy. The Council of Trent’s Profession of Faith for Converts

4) Have someone perform a conditional baptism using the conditional form of baptism given below. If there is any doubt about your baptism, this should be done.

5) After your conditional baptism, make a general confession to a non-heretical priest if one is available, mentioning all mortal and venial sins committed after your first possibly valid baptism that you can remember. A good practice is to write down your sins on a piece of paper so that you will have an easier time remembering the sins you have committed. This can also be done by those who have no priest and who confess directly to God, in order to facilitate that your confession to Our Lord will be as exact as possible. One could also make a confession of sins or heresies to any person or friend you feel you trust. This should generally be someone who is able to advice you on spiritual things, and not to any person you know.

Confessing our sins to each other, even though we cannot give absolution, is still a great tool to use in exposing the devil and in overcoming habitual bad habits or sins (reoccurring or habitual bad habits is in most cases what lead people to sin in the first place). The Saints had as a habit to confess their sins daily, and thus we should try to act in this way as much as we are able. For confessing our sins daily, breeds humility.

People leaving the New Mass or adherence to the Vatican II Counter Church also need to make a confession (to a validly ordained and non-heretical priest, if one is available) that they attended a non-Catholic service and for however long they attended. If they participated in other things at the New Mass (e.g. were a lay-minister, dressed immodestly, etc.) or accepted false ecumenism or denied some other dogma or if they practiced NFP, these things should also be mentioned in confession. This must be done before receiving Communion at the Traditional Mass (if there is an acceptable one for you to attend in your area). Those leaving the New Mass and adherence to the Vatican II false Church should also make that same profession of faith from the Council of Trent.

The Council of Trent’s Profession of Faith for Converts


BAPTISM AND CONDITIONAL BAPTISM

The form of baptism is: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” or
I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

If there is some doubt about the validity of your baptism, the conditional form of baptism is: “If you are baptized, I do not baptize you again, but if you are not yet baptized [pour water on the head, making sure it touches the skin] I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Since there are barely any true Catholic priests in the whole country, you can have a Catholic friend perform a conditional baptism, and you can administer baptism to your own children.

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Exultate Deo,” 1439: “In case of necessity, however, not only a priest or a deacon, but even a layman or woman, yes even a pagan and a heretic can baptize, so long as he preserves the form of the Church and has the intention of doing what the Church does.” (Denz. 696)


BAPTISMAL VOWS

According to the Roman Ritual, at present in use, three questions are to be addressed to the person to be baptized, as follows: "Dost thou renounce Satan? and all his works? and all his pomps?" To each of these questions the person, or the sponsor in his name, replies: "I do renounce". The practice of demanding and making this formal renunciation seems to go back to the very beginnings of organized Christian worship. Tertullian among the Latins and St. Basil among the Greeks are at one in reckoning it as a usage which, although not explicitly warranted in the Scriptures, is nevertheless consecrated by a venerable tradition. St. Basil says this tradition ascends from the Apostles. Tertullian, in his "De Coronâ", appears to hint at a twofold renunciation as common in his time, one which was made at the moment of baptism and another made sometime before, and publicly in the church, in the presence of the bishop. The form of this renunciation as found in the Apostolic Constitutions (VIII, 4) reads as follows: "Let therefore the candidate for baptism declare thus in his renunciation: 'I renounce Satan and his works and his pomps and his worship and his angels and his inventions and all things that are under him'. And after his renunciation let him in his consociation say: 'And I associate myself to Christ and believe and am baptized into one unbegotten Being, the only true God Almighty, the Father of Christ, the Creator and Maker of all things, from whom are all things; and into the Lord Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, the Firstborn of the whole creation, who before the ages was begotten by the good pleasure of the Father, by whom all things were made...
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

St. Justin Martyr testifies that baptism was only administered by those who, together with their profession of faith, made a promise or vow that they would live in conformity with the Christian code. Hence the generally employed formula: syntassomai soi, Christe, "I surrender myself to thee, O Christ, to be ruled by thy precepts". This took place directly over the apotaxis or renunciation of the devil, and was variously described by the Latins as promissum, pactum, and votum. During this declaration of attachment to Jesus Christ the person to be baptized turned towards the East as towards the region of light.

The practice of renewing the baptismal promises is more or less widespread. This is done under circumstances of special solemnity such as at the closing exercises of a mission, after the administration of First Communion to children, or the conferring of the Sacrament of Confirmation. It is thus intended as a way of reaffirming one's loyalty to the obligations taken over by membership in the Christian Church.


PROFESSION OF CATHOLIC FAITH

Promulgated solemnly by Pope Pius IV and the Council of Trent

● I, N., with firm faith believe and profess each and every article contained in the symbol of faith which the holy Roman Church uses; namely:

● I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; and in

● one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages; God from God, light from light, true God from true God; begotten not made, of one substance (consubstantial) with the Father, through whom all things were made;

● who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was made incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.

● He was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, died, and was buried; and

● He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven;

● He sits at the right hand of the Father, and He shall come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and of His kingdom there will be no end.

● And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord, and giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who equally with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified; who spoke through the prophets.

● And I believe that there is one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church.

● I confess one baptism for the remission of sins; and I hope for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

● I resolutely accept and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and the other practices and regulations of that same Church.

● In like manner I accept Sacred Scripture according to the meaning which has been held by holy Mother Church and which she now holds. It is Her prerogative to pass judgment on the true meaning and interpretation of Sacred Scripture. And I will never accept or interpret it in a manner different from the unanimous agreement of the Fathers.

● I also acknowledge that there are truly and properly seven sacraments of the New Law, instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord, and that they are necessary for the salvation of the human race, although it is not necessary for each individual to receive them all.

● I acknowledge that the seven sacraments are: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony; and that they confer grace; and that of the seven, Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders cannot be repeated without committing a sacrilege.

● I also accept and acknowledge the customary and approved rites of the Catholic Church in the solemn administration of these sacraments.

● I embrace and accept each and every article on Original Sin and Justification declared and defined in the most holy Council of Trent.

● I likewise profess that in Mass a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice is offered to God on behalf of the living and the dead, and that the Body and Blood together with the Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ is truly, really, and substantially present in the most holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, and that there is a change of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood; and this change the Catholic Church calls transubstantiation.

● I also profess that the whole and entire Christ and a true Sacrament is received under each separate species.

● I firmly hold that there is a purgatory, and that the souls detained there are helped by the prayers of the faithful.

● I likewise hold that the saints reigning together with Christ should be honored and invoked, that they offer prayers to God on our behalf, and that their relics should be venerated.

● I firmly assert that images of Christ, of the Mother of God ever Virgin, and of the other saints should be owned and kept, and that due honor and veneration should be given to them.

● I affirm that the power of indulgences was left in the keeping of the Church by Christ, and that the use of indulgences is very beneficial to Christians.

● I acknowledge the holy, Catholic, and apostolic Roman Church as the mother and teacher of all churches; and…

● I unhesitatingly accept and profess all the doctrines (especially those concerning the primacy of the Roman Pontiff and his infallible teaching authority) handed down, defined, and explained by the sacred canons and ecumenical councils and especially those of this most holy Council of Trent (and by the ecumenical Vatican Council I). And at the same time:

I condemn, reject, and anathematize everything that is contrary to those propositions, and all heresies without exception that have been condemned, rejected, and anathematized by the Church.

● I, N., promise, vow, and swear that, with God’s help, I shall most constantly hold and profess this true Catholic faith, outside which no one can be saved and which I now freely profess and truly hold. With the help of God, I shall profess it whole and unblemished to my dying breath; and, to the best of my ability, I shall see to it that my subjects or those entrusted to me by virtue of my office hold it, teach it, and preach it. So help me God and His holy Gospel.


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