Saturday, December 1, 2007

Continuity of Vatican II

Recently Leo disagreed with my statement that the average Protestant must be understood to be the Catholic's brother in Christ. This is really nothing more than a rough quote from Unitatis Redintegratio 3:
The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect. The differences that exist in varying degrees between them and the Catholic Church-whether in doctrine and sometimes in discipline, or concerning the structure of the Church-do indeed create many obstacles, sometimes serious ones, to full ecclesiastical communion. The ecumenical movement is striving to overcome these obstacles. But even in spite of them it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ's body, and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.
It seems to me that what I've previously written on the subject of formal vs. material heresy is entirely consistent both with this quotation and with what has been held throughout the Church's history. UR 3 here is really not saying anything different about the children of formal heretics than was said by St. Augustine. The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1917 says essentially the same thing about material heretics, as I pointed out in that post.

Leo objected again - apparently rather strongly, though I meant no offense by it at all - when I pointed out that his opinion seemed to be contrary to what VII says in UR 3 and asked whether he agreed with the latter. I deliberately used the word "seemed" because I have no certain idea whether he agrees with VII on this or not. There are at least two ways that confusion could be generated here: either I could have misunderstood him, or he might have - quite unintentionally - either presented his view in a confusing or incomplete manner, so that it might seem to suggest that he believes something that he really doesn't. Hence my question.

Leo's response was to unload a large batch of quotations from various popes and theologians and to try and turn my question back upon me, suggesting that I was at variance with them.

Unfortunately this wasn't really an answer to my question, although perhaps one may infer an answer from it (and in the absence of a further clarification from him, I have inferred that he disagrees with UR 3; I would be happy to be mistaken about that).

But the issue that arises from Leo's comments has to do with the continuity of Vatican II with the teaching of the Catholic Church throughout history. It appears (and I will say no more than that it is an appearance, absent a clear statement from him about it) that Leo thinks that Vatican II has broken with the past, so that its doctrine (on this point at least) runs contrary to what the Church has always taught.

I disagree with that idea. In the first place, I think that my heresy post and my comments attached to it adequately show the continuity of Vatican II with the past. Secondly, I think that the whole subject raises the question: who is the authentic interpreter of the Magisterium's declarations? The answer must be that the Magisterium is its own authentic interpreter: it must tell us what it means by what it has said, and that goes not only for modern or recent times but for anything it has ever said. This should be entirely non-controversial for the Catholic.

The consequence of this in the present context is that if it seems to me that some past statement of the Magisterium is in conflict with a new one, either I have failed to properly understand things, or I'm missing some facts, or I am simply wrong. I do not possess either the competence or the authority to dictate for myself whether the Magisterium has been consistent with itself. Indeed, the very question is absurd: the Church as the living voice of Jesus Christ, with Christ her Head forming the totus Christus, cannot possibly err on matters of faith and morals. So I am forced inevitably to conclude that of course Vatican II is continuous with the Church's past, and if it seems otherwise to me, then of course I am mistaken, either through inadequate or erroneous understanding of the facts, or through fallacious reasoning.

I do not offer this post in the hope of influencing Leo's outlook on things (in fact, since I'm not even sure what his view is on the matter of Vatican II's continuity apart from some explicit statement by him, it might be totally unnecessary even to try to influence him). I'm not going to try and work through the quote-dump contained in his comments. He seems to think that they contradict Vatican II, and apparently he prefers to conclude that Vatican II is somehow wrong on the matter. I deny both of these ideas (whether they represent his position or not). I refer the reader to Dr. Michael Liccione's article "Development and Negation", perhaps especially the section "Extra ecclesiam nulla salus", for more on this subject.

9 comments:

Leo said...

"Leo's response was to unload a large batch of quotations from various popes and theologians and to try and turn my question back upon me, suggesting that I was at variance with them."

My response was basically illustrating the fact that:
1) There is only one Church
2) This church is not made up of heretics
3) That in this Church there is only one rule/law/ standard of belief,
4. certain things must be adhered to in order to be considered Catholic
5. Among those is being subject to/accepting the office of the Pope

Before I proceeded to the answer to your question, some basic groundwork needed to be cleared, thus, my question was: if what you're saying is true, how does that operate in conjunction with what these popes/councils declared?

"who is the authentic interpreter of the Magisterium's declarations? The answer must be that the Magisterium is its own authentic interpreter: it must tell us what it means by what it has said, and that goes not only for modern or recent times but for anything it has ever said."

"interpretations" must be consistent, and what is said must not go contrary to the Church's interpretation of either modern or past times. I agree with you there.

"I do not possess either the competence or the authority to dictate for myself whether the Magisterium has been consistent with itself. Indeed, the very question is absurd: the Church as the living voice of Jesus Christ, with Christ her Head forming the totus Christus, cannot possibly err on matters of faith and morals. So I am forced inevitably to conclude that of course Vatican II is continuous with the Church's past, and if it seems otherwise to me, then of course I am mistaken, either through inadequate or erroneous understanding of the facts, or through fallacious reasoning."

Then there must be a misunderstanding, because the quotes I provided reflected the Church's teaching about itself, and was consistent over the time period covered, and that was that to be in the Church, one MUST accept the power and primacy of the Roman Pontiff.

Thus, what is your conclusion, have I misunderstood your point, that those who do not accept many dogmas of the Church, do not accept the Primacy, do not hear the Church, do not hold the one Catholic faith can not only be a member of the Church, but also obtain salvation?

Reginald de Piperno said...

The Church has said in Vatican II what I have quoted repeatedly over the last few days in conversation both with Turretinfan and with you: "that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ's body, and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church." The Church has made it clear that this applies to Protestants.

Now the only ground upon which it could possibly do so is if there is a distinction between formal and material heresy, and if Protestants today cannot rightly be reckoned to be formal heretics. The passage from Unitatis Redintegratio 3 that I quoted in this post ("The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection") indicates that Vatican II - consistent with the declaration of St. Augustine quoted in my post on formal vs. material heresy - does not consider them formal heretics. Hence they can only be material heretics; but that fact does not prevent them from being considered brothers in Christ, and because they are not formal heretics, they are not subject to the anathemas of Trent.

This is not to say that their errors are approved. It is to say that, having been born, raised, and educated in these errors, they know no other way of thinking, and consequently cannot be blamed for them. The situation is entirely different for the formal heretic, who abandons what he promised not to abandon, who rejects what he promised not to reject. The average Protestant today has done no such thing (the situation is different for those Catholics who abandon the faith to become Protestant, but they are only a sliver of Protestantism today).

It is also clear that Protestant baptisms must be presumed to be valid. Presumably you would not disagree with that? But if they are validly baptized, then they are by definition fellow Christians...which is exactly what Vatican II says. Yes? No?

The situation is far from ideal. But it seems to me that the declaration of Vatican II is nothing more than an application of the two things I've discussed here. First, the average Protestant today is not a formal heretic (and so cannot be held responsible for the sins of his Protestant ancestors); second, valid baptism makes the average Protestant a Christian. Valid baptism is by no means limited to that which is performed by a priest, so there is no presumptive reason to declare that their baptisms are invalid. Hence there is a presumptive reason to hold their baptisms to be valid, and therefore they must be accounted to be fellow Christians.

Like I say, it's not an ideal situation by any means, but neither is the situation with the Orthodox. We should hope and pray for the unity of all Christians.

You say: have I misunderstood your point, that those who do not accept many dogmas of the Church, do not accept the Primacy, do not hear the Church, do not hold the one Catholic faith can not only be a member of the Church, but also obtain salvation?

They do not contumaciously hold these errors. Indeed, the average Protestant I have known zealously clings to what he understands to be the truth, and if he knew that something he believed was actually an error, he would drop it in a New York minute. I would not consider his position to be particularly different (with respect to his attitude toward the truth) from a badly catechized Catholic who holds some false ideas but who intends to believe what the Church teaches: materially he holds error, but that is not his intent. His implicit faith saves him.

Simply to be presented with Catholic doctrine is completely insufficient to convict the average Protestant of culpable obstinacy. He would have to actually know it to be the truth and then reject it first. But they do not ordinarily do that. They measure it by the only standard that they know - granted, a faulty one, but they don't understand this - and on that basis they deny what is distinctively Catholic about the Faith.

But all of this is simply my attempt to understand things in a manner consistent with the declaration of Vatican II. What really matters is what Vatican II said, not my feeble attempt to try and explain it. Vatican II said that we must presumptively reckon the Protestant to be our brother in Christ. Would you not agree that Vatican II said this? And do you agree with what Vatican II said about this?

Peace,

RdP

Leo said...

"that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ's body, and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church." The Church has made it clear that this applies to Protestants."

First of all, I want to know: Do you believe that these Protestants can be saved in the state that they are currently in [rejecting the Catholic faith]?

Secondly, Do you remember this:

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 Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 9), June 29, 1896)

Which teaches that the Church holds that everyone who would recede in the least degree from ANY point of doctrine is considered ALIEN to and outside Catholic communion.

What you have provided "excuses" of the sin of separation (i.e. heresy and schism) to all who, having been born into Protestant and schismatic communities, grow up in them “believing in Christ.”
It would mean that one could not accuse any Protestant of being a heretic, no matter how anti-Catholic he is, if he had been born into such a sect. This directly contradicts Catholic teaching, as we saw (e.g. Leo XIII). All who reject even one dogma of the Catholic Faith are heretics and are guilty of severing themselves from the true Church.

Vatican II says later on in the same document: Unitatis redintegratio # 3: “Moreover some, and even most, of the significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, and visible elements too.”

It asserts that “the life of grace” (sanctifying grace/justification) exists outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church. This is directly contrary to the solemn teaching of Pope Boniface VIII in the Bull Unam Sanctam:

“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, the Spouse in the Canticle proclaiming: ‘One is my dove, my perfect one.”

Vatican II contradicts this article of the faith that there is no remission of sin outside the Catholic Church by asserting that one can possess the life of grace (which includes the remission of sins) outside the Catholic Church.

Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism also teaches that in theological matters we must treat with non-Catholics on an equal footing.

Vatican II document, Unitatis redintegratio # 9: “We must get to know the outlook of our separated fellow Christians… Most valuable for this purpose are meetings of the two sides – especially for discussion of theological problems – where each side can treat with the other on an equal footing, provided that those who take part in them under the guidance of their authorities are truly
competent.”

Notice how specifically the wording of Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism is condemned by Pope Pius XI’s encyclical against ecumenism. Vatican II recommends that we “treat” with heretics on an equal footing, while Pope Pius XI describes the heretics as willing to “treat” with the Church of Rome, but only as “equals with an equal”:

Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos (# 7), Jan. 6, 1928, speaking of heretics: “Meanwhile they affirm that they would willingly treat with the Church of Rome, but on equal terms, that is as equals with an equal...”

Vatican II document, Unitatis redintegratio # 3: “But in subsequent centuries much more extensive dissensions made their appearance and large communities came to be separated from the full communion of the Catholic Church – for which, often enough, both sides were to blame. The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces them as brothers, with respect and affection.”

The Catholic Church does not look upon the members of non-Catholic religions with respect. The Church works and hopes for their conversion, but denounces and anathematizes as heretical
sect members those who reject Catholic teaching:

Pope St. Celestine I, Council of Ephesus, 431: “… remember that the followers of every heresy extract from inspired scripture the occasion of their error, and that all heretics corrupt the true expressions of the holy Spirit with their own evil minds and they draw down on their heads an inextinguishable flame.”

Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215, Constitution 3, On Heretics: “We excommunicate and anathematize every heresy raising itself up against this holy, orthodox and Catholic faith which we have expounded above. We condemn all heretics, whatever names they may go under. They have different faces indeed but
their tails are tied together in as much as they are alike in their pride
.”

Pope Pelagius II, epistle (1) Quod ad dilectionem, 585: “If anyone, however, either suggests or believes or presumes to teach contrary to this faith, let him know that he is condemned and also anathematized according to the opinion of the same Fathers.”

First Council of Constantinople, 381, Can. 1: “Every heresy is to be anathematized...”

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 salvation on their members… by divine faith we hold one Lord, one faith, one baptism… This is why we profess that there is no salvation outside the Church.”

Now, concerning the issue of the faith and the papacy:

To sum up the characteristics of the unity of the Catholic Church:
The Church is united with those baptized persons who accept the Catholic Faith in its entirety and remain under the unifying factor of the Papacy. To put it another way: those people with whom the Catholic Church is surely not united are those who don’t accept the Catholic Faith in its entirety or the Papacy. However, Vatican II lists those two criteria for unity and teaches just the opposite.

Vatican II document, Lumen Gentium # 15: “For several reasons the Church recognizes that it is joined to those who, though baptized and so honoured with the Christian name, do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve communion under the successor of St. Peter.”

Vatican II says that the Church is united with those who don’t accept the Faith and the Papacy. It’s the opposite of the teaching of the Church. As we see below, it’s a dogma that those who reject the Papacy, or any portion of the Faith, are not joined to the Catholic Church:

Pope Pius IX, Amantissimus (# 3), April 8, 1862: “There are other, almost countless, proofs drawn from the most trustworthy witnesses which clearly and openly testify with great faith, exactitude, respect and obedience that all who want to belong to the true and only Church of Christ must honor and obey this Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff.”

Pope Pius VI, Charitas (# 32), April 13, 1791: “Finally, in one word, stay close to Us. For no one can be in the Church of Christ
without being in unity with its visible head and founded on the See of Peter
.”

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
.”

This should basically show that there is somewhat of a contradiction between V2 and some previously propounded articles, principally the one which states that heretics are not really heretics, are are still in communion with the Church, whose head they have no communion with, what a strange communion that would be, for a member not to acknowledge its own head?

Reginald de Piperno said...

Leo,

As I've said in this post: it is impossible that Vatican II has contradicted the teaching on faith and morals that the Church has always taught. It was a valid ecumenical council.

Consequently if you think that it has contradicted the teaching on faith and morals that the Church has always taught, you are mistaken. I mean no disrespect, and I mean no offense. I have already described - twice now - how I suppose the Magisterium has understood its past teaching, so that its present instruction is a consistent and coherent development thereof. Whether I am right or wrong in my attempted explanation is one thing; the fact that Vatican II is a valid council is something else altogether. You may disagree with my efforts, but I sincerely hope you do not reject the legitimacy of the Council.

In concluding summary: the Council denies that Protestants today can be reckoned as formal heretics, standing with St. Augustine. The Council affirms that their baptisms are presumptively valid. Valid baptism is what makes one a Christian. Consequently the Council affirms that - despite their material errors - they are nonetheless brothers in Christ.

Very sincerely yours,

RdP

Leo said...

You write:

"As I've said in this post: it is impossible that Vatican II has contradicted the teaching on faith and morals that the Church has always taught. It was a valid ecumenical council."

I prefer to act based on what is actually done, rather than act on assumptions. You make an unfounded assumption.

Consequently if you think that it has contradicted the teaching on faith and morals that the Church has always taught, you are mistaken.

I would prefer that you demonstrate how that is so.

I mean no disrespect, and I mean no offense.

Neither do I, your work and effort has my respect, for which I recommend it to others for the various reasons which are apparent.

I have already described - twice now - how I suppose the Magisterium has understood its past teaching, so that its present instruction is a consistent and coherent development thereof.

Are you saying that there is no way that we can know for sure what V2 really taught? That the faithful cannot really know what their Church teaches because only the magisterium can interpret its own words, and thus only the magisterium knows what the magisterium teaches? What good is it then? Saying that it alone understands its teachings is to say that it alone can know them and believe them. But this is not so, we can know what our Church teaches, and I contend that the ecumenism of Vatican II is contrary to the faith that was once delivered to the saints.

Furthermore, I would be grateful if you could demonstrate how Vatican II is consistent and coherent with what I have provided from what the Church taught pre-V2, or however you care to do that, I don't require that you operate on anyone's terms but your own, and that of the truth.

Whether I am right or wrong in my attempted explanation is one thing; the fact that Vatican II is a valid council is something else altogether. You may disagree with my efforts, but I sincerely hope you do not reject the legitimacy of the Council.

The legitimacy of the council is an issue for another time, as I told someone who contends as you do recently, perhaps we'll see something about it soon, since I've already promised an article on both it what we here discuss, I may as well offer for a discussion about it then.

In concluding summary: the Council denies that Protestants today can be reckoned as formal heretics, standing with St. Augustine.

Could you provide this teaching from St. Augustine please, and its references?

The Council affirms that their baptisms are presumptively valid. Valid baptism is what makes one a Christian.

For cute little babies, yes, but for adults the faith is necessary, we have to, by absolute necessity, hold the faith and accept the primacy of the Papacy, be subject to the legitimate successors of St. Peter, for one cannot he a Christian and not hold the faith, not accept the head of the Christian Church, otherwise he is a cancerous disease threatening to subvert the Church, for everyone must be in communion with the Apostolic See in order to be Christian, for it is the foundation of the Christian Church, otherwise, it is to deny the very foundation of the Church.
These things are defined in Vatican I, you may research it yourself, or have recourse to the summarized quotations in my previous commentary.

Consequently the Council affirms that - despite their material errors - they are nonetheless brothers in Christ.

Ignorance has its limits. As Christians and members of Christ we must have a love for, and a desire for, and a willingness to accept, and an honest search and longing for, the truth. Otherwise you are dealing with someone of bad will, who either will or has been given over to a reprobate mind, as the scriptures say, and is not of God or His Church, and will be lost. We are bound, everyone is so bound, to accept God's truth, for God is truth.
If your Protestants brethren are honestly seeking God's truth, then they will find it, God will provide for it, in the Catholic faith and communion; otherwise, they are of their father who is the devil, seeking to subvert and destroy Christ's Church.

Adaequatio intellectûs nostri cum re,

Leo

Reginald de Piperno said...

Hello Leo,

I'm grateful that for the spirit in which our disagreement has been conducted. I hope that I for my part can continue in that same spirit of charity.

You say:

I prefer to act based on what is actually done, rather than act on assumptions. You make an unfounded assumption.

On the contrary, I think it is a rational conclusion. I do not see how an ecumenical council acting together with the Pope can possibly err when it comes to matters of faith and morals. The Church speaks as the living voice of Christ. Furthermore, I think that I've made reasonable arguments that demonstrate the consistency of what Vatican II said with the Church's treatment of material heretics and baptisms performed by heretics in the past.

Neither do I, your work and effort has my respect, for which I recommend it to others for the various reasons which are apparent.

I appreciate very much your graciousness.

Are you saying that there is no way that we can know for sure what V2 really taught?

No. In point of fact what I said was that if it seems to us that Vatican II contradicts the previous Magisterium, then it is we who are mistaken - not the Council. Hence it may be that our understanding of the previous Magisterium may be incorrect in some way. Frankly I think that Vatican II is pretty clear on the present point of controversy between us, and I also think that there is certainly no contradiction between it and the prior Magisterium - as I have attempted to demonstrate.

I would be grateful if you could demonstrate how Vatican II is consistent and coherent with what I have provided from what the Church taught pre-V2

That is what I have been trying to do :-) Ever since my post back in October on formal vs. material heresy. I've added another just this evening.

It seems to me that the material you have provided can only apply to those who are formally heretical, and cannot be understood in a universal sense: that is how I reckon it to be consistent with what Vatican II has said.

Could you provide this teaching from St. Augustine please, and its references?

It's in the Catholic Encyclopedia article that I've referred to, specifically in this section - including a quotation from Pius IX to the same effect.

For cute little babies, yes, but for adults the faith is necessary

This contradicts the validity of heretical baptisms, which the Church has always affirmed, doesn't it?

As Christians and members of Christ we must have a love for, and a desire for, and a willingness to accept, and an honest search and longing for, the truth.

And this is fundamentally true of most Protestants - to such an extent, at any rate, that they deserve the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise (and it seems to me that the law of charity demands that we give them the benefit of the doubt). I have been Protestant :-) I know from personal experience over 20+ years (as an adult) what they are like. I am not saying that all Protestants are going to be saved, just as not all Catholics are going to be saved.

Now it's late, and I must be going.

Regards,

RdP

Leo said...

Hi again,

I said:
For cute little babies, yes, but for adults the faith is necessary

You replied: This contradicts the validity of heretical baptisms, which the Church has always affirmed, doesn't it?

Allow me to explain:

For adults, we need to accept the faith in its fullness in order to remain in the Church, I don't deny the validity of Protestant trinitarian Baptisms, but I am saying that for a child, baptism suffices to bring it into the Church, but with the powers of the mind comes the responsibility to accept God's truths, otherwise there is present a sin against the Holy Ghost by rejecting the truth, or to assent to the truth.

I'll get to the rest perhaps later, it's late and it's time to hit the hay.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Leo

Reginald de Piperno said...

I'm not sure I understand the significance of the distinction you are making.

I certainly agree that valid profession of the faith is a condition for those who are baptized in the Church (parents and godparents making that profession on behalf of children/infants). I also agree that it's necessary for those who were baptized outside the Church to make a valid profession of faith when they convert to the Church.

But I have never seen anything anywhere to indicate that this condition applies to the validity of heretical baptism. If that were a necessary condition of all heretical baptisms, then it seems to me that it would immediately invalidate them at the very moment that they are performed, which would make mockery of the claim that the baptism was valid.

Regards,

RdP

Leo said...

Comment 6:

You write:

I certainly agree that valid profession of the faith is a condition for those who are baptized in the Church (parents and godparents making that profession on behalf of children/infants). I also agree that it's necessary for those who were baptized outside the Church to make a valid profession of faith when they convert to the Church.

But I have never seen anything anywhere to indicate that this condition applies to the validity of heretical baptism.


Indeed, I believe that you do seem to misunderstand me. I hope you do not mind if I use quotes to establish my point. I have never said that in order for a baptism to be valid that a profession of the faith was necessary. But I have said that in order for one remain a member of the Church, they must profess the faith of that Church:

For adults, we need to accept the faith in its fullness in order to remain in the Church, I don't deny the validity of Protestant trinitarian Baptisms


Just as Pope Pius XII states:

“Actually only those are to be numbered among the members of the Church who have received the laver of regeneration (That is Baptism) and profess the true faith (The Catholic faith).” (Mystici Corporis ,# 22, June 29, 1943)

This is the core of my contention. This is what I mean. This is my thesis, this is what Pope Pius XII and Vatican I both teach, the latter being an infallible dogmatic Council of the Church, whose authority can be no less than a subsequent one, and the teaching of the head of the Church, whose teachings cannot be any less authoritative than that of succeeding Popes. Yet, this not only yourself, but Vatican II and its promoters and orchestrators, both, deny.

You write:

I do not think that this statement stands with respect to material heretics of the past, as described in the various posts and comments I've already written. Consequently statements by the Magisterium that might otherwise seem to do so must either be directed towards formal heresy or cannot be understood in a universal sense.


I see your point, but the fact is that there is a time when we must consider our beliefs and honesty and good will would urge us to seek the truth in all things, it typifies a love of God, and so God, seeing their good will would lead them to His truth. But those who do not have this good will and love of truth, but remain in obstinate denial and ignorance are in mortal sin for their nonconformity with the inspirations of the Spirit, and thus by their obstinacy in error, they would be separated from the Church, obstinacy in any error opposed to the faith is what we call formal heresy, the sin of the denial or doubt of the truth which results in separation from the Church, the body of Christ, and this is what we mean when we say that Protestants are heretics, and are not, thus, members of the Church.

If you are parted or separated from the Church, you are outside of her. In the following quotation, we find Pope Leo XIII teaching precisely that to be separated (not a part) is therefore to be outside:

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (#15), June 29, 1896: “For this it must be clearly understood that Bishops are deprived of the right and power of ruling, if they deliberately secede from Peter and his successors; because, by this secession, they are separated from the foundation on which the whole edifice must rest. They are therefore outside the edifice itself; and for this very reason they are separated from the fold…”

Notice that Pope Leo XIII teaches that to be “separated” from the Church (i.e., to have no part/membership) is THEREFORE to be outside of her. You cannot be inside of that in which you have no part. Leo XIII uses the concepts of being “separated” and being “outside” interchangeably. And Pope Leo XIII is not merely applying this to Bishops who have obstinately separated themselves from the Church, as some may argue; he is giving the example of Bishops who have separated themselves from the Church, and then declaring that to be separated is therefore to be outside.

The First Vatican Council solemnly and repeatedly anathematized anyone who would deny the Papacy. I will only quote one passage from the dogmatic Council; I could quote many.

Pope Pius IX, First Vatican Council, Session 4, Chap. 3: "We renew the definition of the Ecumenical Council of Florence, by which 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... This is the doctrine of Catholic truth from which no one can deviate and keep his faith and salvation."

Again, one must by absolute necessity confess that the Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff hold primacy over the whole world, and that the Roman Pontiff is the successor of St. Peter, and is the true vicar of Christ and the head of the whole Church, otherwise, they cannot keep their faith nor salvation, they cannot, then, remain in the Church unless this they confess.

If Protestants reject this, then they are a heretic for rejecting an article of the faith. This is a primary dogma, and almost no Protestant in the Western World is ignorant of the Pope. Most of them know of him, but reject him, they don't have the good will and truth in their hearts to even care about the issue enough to investigate the truth of the matter, which most of them could very well do. Culpability only extends to those to whom it can be applied to, which is most Protestants, who have easy access to a computer, or library, or Catholic neighbors or relatives, or a local parish or diocese to look up, to them, they have a burden on them to seek and love the truth, and to assent to it, under pain of mortal sin.

Concerning the idea that one can be in the Church but not a member of the faithful who are subject to the dogmas and constitutions and thus the reverse, of the Church:

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, Sess. 4, Chap. 2: “For this reason ‘it has always been necessary because of mightier preeminence for every Church to come to the Church of Rome, that is those who are the faithful everywhere’, so that in this See, from which the laws of ‘venerable communion’ emanate over all, they as members associated in one head, coalesce into one bodily structure.”

Notice, Vatican I infallibly defines that from the See of Rome communion emanates over “all.” “All” what? “All” in the Church, of course. Vatican I: “all… as members associated in one head” form one bodily structure. All in the Church are “members”! So, if the Protestants are members associated with the head of the Church, then they are also associated with her doctrines, but, the Protestants reject many of these, and since you say that they are members of the Church, then they are also subject to her dogmas and laws, and thus subject to the penalty of rejecting these dogmas, thus, by rejecting them, they reject the head of the Church, which is the foundation, which places them outside of that foundation, as shown above.

Vatican I defined as a dogma that the Pope has supreme jurisdiction over the entire Church. This includes everyone in the Church. It would therefore have to include those who are “inside” without being “members,” the idea that Protestants can be in the Church without being members of its faithful adhering to its dogmas. If it did not include these people who are supposedly “inside” without being members, then Vatican I’s declaration that the Pope possesses supreme and full jurisdiction over the whole Church wouldn’t be true.

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, Sess. 4, Chap. 3, Canon: “If anyone thus speaks, that the Roman Pontiff has only the office of inspection or direction, but not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the universal Church, not only in things which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church spread over the whole world; or, that he possesses only the more important parts, but not the whole plenitude of this supreme power… let him be anathema.”

Now, this supreme jurisdiction that the Pope has over the entire Church includes the power of “judging,” as Pope Leo XIII declared in Satis Cognitum.

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (#12), June 29, 1896: “It is consequently the office of St. Peter to support the Church, and to guard it in all its strength and indestructible unity. How could he fulfill this office without the power of commanding, forbidding, and judging, which is properly called jurisdiction?”

As we can see, this supreme jurisdiction includes the ability to judge. But it is infallibly defined that the Church doesn’t judge anyone who has not received the Sacrament of Baptism, for no one is under the jurisdiction of the Church until he or she has received the Sacrament of Baptism.

Pope Leo XIII, Nobilissima (# 3), Feb. 8, 1884: “The Church, guardian of the integrity of the Faith – which, in virtue of its authority, deputed from God its Founder, has to call all nations to the knowledge of Christian lore, and which is consequently bound to watch keenly over the teaching and upbringing of the children placed under its authority by baptism…”

Pope Julius III, Council of Trent, On the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance, Sess. 14, Chap. 2: “… since the Church exercises judgment on no one who has not previously entered it by the gate of baptism. For what have I to do with those who are without (1 Cor. 5:12), says the Apostle. It is otherwise with those of the household of the faith, whom Christ the Lord by the laver of baptism has once made ‘members of his own body’ (1 Cor. 12:13).”

Vatican I also defined that the Pope has supreme jurisdiction over the entire fold, this would include Protestants who would be members of the Church:

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, Sess. 4, Chap. 1: “And upon Simon Peter alone Jesus after His resurrection conferred the jurisdiction of the highest pastor and rector over his entire fold, saying: ‘Feed my lambs,’ ‘Feed my sheep’…”

It is certain therefore that 1) that the Pope has jurisdiction over everyone in the Church; and 2) this power of jurisdiction includes the power to judge everyone in the Church; but 3) the Pope cannot judge anyone who hasn’t received the Sacrament of Baptism. Thus, those who have received the sacrament of Baptism are subject to the jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, who has thus stated:

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, Sess. 4, Chap. 3, Canon: “If anyone thus speaks, that the Roman Pontiff has only the office of inspection or direction, but not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the universal Church, not only in things which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church spread over the whole world; or, that he possesses only the more important parts, but not the whole plenitude of this supreme power… let him be anathema.”

Protestants aer bound by the doctrine of the Church, and to the best of their will and capability they must seek and submit to it, if they really be members of Christ.

Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis (# 27), Aug. 12, 1950: “Some say they are not bound by the doctrine, explained in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago, and based on the sources of divine revelation, which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing.

Yet, Protestants say that the Roman Pontiff does not hold the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the universal Church in anything, let alone faith and morals, or discipline or government in the Church, and thus, being subject, by virtue of their baptism, by necessity if they really be members of the Church, to this decree, and thus the anathema of it, and those of Trent, and every other council.

The fact of the matter is that no protestant can be saved, adults of course, without the Catholic faith. This is de fide:

Pope Pius IV, Council of Trent, Iniunctum nobis, Nov. 13, 1565: “This true Catholic faith, outside of which no one can be saved...”

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Sess. 8, Nov. 22, 1439: “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... the Catholic faith; unless each one believes this faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.”

Thus Protestants, if they really be in the Church, must be in unity with its visible head and founded on the See of Peter, as I've shown:

Pope Pius VI, Charitas (# 32), April 13, 1791: “Finally, in one word, stay close to Us. For no one can be in the Church of Christ without being in unity with its visible head and founded on the See of Peter.”

I don't want to burden you with quotations, but I hope you consider this:

Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos (# 11), Jan. 6, 1928:“Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors.”

No one, this means even Protestants who might be in the Church via Baptism, can remain in the Church who does not accept and recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors, so those Protestants, if they ever were in the Church, thus could not remain in it by refusing to accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors.

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (# 22), June 29, 1943: “As therefore in the true Christian community there is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one Baptism, so there can only be one faith. And therefore if a man refuse to hear the Church let him be considered – so the Lord commands – as a heathen and 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.”

Again, this is the gist of my thesis: that those who are in the Christian Church are of one body, one spirit, one Lord, and one Baptism, and one faith. And thus all those of that one body, spirit, ect, must hold the same faith, or else they are not really of one spirit, not of the same Lord, not of the same faith, not of the same body, which is the Church, thus, outside the Church. This is the teaching of Pope Pius XII, not me. And since Protestants are divided from Catholics in faith and government, they cannot be living in the unity of the Church, nor can they possess the life of the Holy Spirit outside the Church as I have previously shown.

Pope Pius VII, Diu Satis (# 15), May 15, 1800: “So the sheep of Christ should consider safe and eat cheerfully the food to which Peter’s voice and authority directs them; but despite any beauty and charm, they should shun as harmful and plague-ridden, what this voice forbids them. Those who do not comply are certainly not to be counted among the sheep of Christ.”

Those who do not accept the Papacy's authority are to be shun as harmful and plague-ridden, and thus cannot be counted as being among the faithful of the Church, would thus be outside the Church. I am here stating that regardless of whatever heresy they might have, if they don't recognize the unity and authority of the head of the Church, then they are schismatic, this is the second part of my point, regardless of whatever defects there are in their faith and doctrine, they are outside the Church via their schism and refusal to acknowledge the head of the Church.
Therefore, Protestants cannot be considered fellow believers and faithful of the Church or of Christ as long as they be so schismatic.
This, again, is regardless of their heresy, they are still separated from the Church via their Schism not only by refusing to acknowledge the head of the Church, but also fellow members of it. Therefore these Protestants are still not to be considered faithful in Christ, or fellow brothers in Christ, since they are so schismatic, regardless of their heresy.

Pope Gregory XVI, Commissum divinitus (# 11), May 17, 1835: “Just as he who does not gather with Christ, so he who does not gather with Christ’s vicar on earth, clearly scatters. How can someone who destroys the holy authority of the Vicar of Christ and who infringes on his rights gather with him?”

This is the teaching of the popes, and the first Vatican Council, thus it is, at least was, the teaching of the Church.

People can belong to the true Church as long as they have the true faith which includes a fidelity to all Catholic dogmas, including the Papacy. But if they reject the Papacy, as the Protestants and schismatics do, they cannot belong to the true Church.

Canon 1325.2, 1917 Code of Canon Law: “One who after baptism… rejects the authority of the Supreme Pontiff or refuses communion with the members of the Church who are subject to him, he is a schismatic.”

Schism can be either refusing communion with a true Pope or refusing communion with the members of the Church who are in communion with the Pope, as I have already stated, and Protestants refuse communion both with the pope and the members of the Church who are in his communion, thus, they are schismatics in a two-fold manner.

That's the case on the Protestant Schism, next we move on to the assertion that Protestants are not subject to the decrees of Trent.
If they really are members of the Church by Baptism, then they are subject to the jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff if they still be in the Church, as you claim. Then they are subject to the decrees of Trent as Trent itself declares:

Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Sess. 6, On Justification, Introduction: "...the holy ecumenical and general synod of Trent lawfully assembled in the Holy Spirit... cardinals of the Holy Roman Church and apostolic legates a latere, presiding… purpose to expound to all the faithful of Christ the true and salutary doctrine of justification, which the "son of justice" (Mal. 4:2), Christ Jesus, "the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb. 12:2) taught, the apostles transmitted and the Catholic Church, under the instigation of the Holy Spirit, has always retained..."

Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Session 6, Chap. 16: "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."

Thus, they are outside the Church by not keeping with this jurisdiction, as also the things mentioned above. The Council of Trent condemned as heretical anyone who does not accept all of its teaching. Therefore, no matter how you slice it, the Protestants are not members of the Church for the reasons here outlined.

Thanks,

Leo