Catholic Answers defense of Universalism

Discussion in 'Non-Anglican Discussion' started by Religious Fanatic, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. Religious Fanatic

    Religious Fanatic Well-Known Member

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    Your thoughts?

    CA seems to say the statements at Vatican II were not heretical because the church already taught or promoted things like 'baptism of desire' and ideas of salvation outside the church. Though, to say the least, I am really confused about the statements that there is no salvation outside the church from various popes, then saying it is only true in some instances.

    There is also this:

    Very long, but tries to defend Feeney. Although it seems to contradict itself when getting into the baptized infant being catholic, or the natural law thing which I can't, for the love of me, understand.
  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus

    Since this principle has some ancient attestation, and certainly the phrase or at least the idea is in some way expressed by a number of the Church Fathers. Origen, Cyprian of Carthage, Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory of Nazianzus, Chrysostom, Clement, Ambrose, amongst others express something of it. There is however some question as what they may have really been expressing. On the one hand it was to clearly express the confidence we might have in maintaining our connection to the Church as the Body of Christ, the ark of the new covenant, the vessel of salvation. It does not seem to have been used by them to express a limiting of the capacity of God to save people outside the Church. Indeed Augustine famously spoke of sheep outside the fold and wolves within.

    The post schism 4th Lateran Council expressed the hard edge of the Doctrinal Proposition, "There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.". Part of the intent might well have been to convince the East of their need to (in the mind of the Latin Church) return to Rome. The proposition sits within the defence of the inclusion of the Filioque within the Nicene Creed. The Eastern Church was more ready to argue that the eternal welfare of someone outside the Church was a matter for the Divine and beyond our capacity to speak, that is inefable. Whilst we may be assured of salvation inside the Church with authenticity, it is not our purpose to determine God's mind beyond that.

    The phrase can be understood inclusively or exclusively. One of the issues that Latin Church faces is that the preponderance of the phrase 'The Church has always taught". The Post Vatican II position seems to suggest that the Church is the Community of the Saved, so therefore everyone who is saved in a member of the Church, so outside the Church there is no salvation. QED the Church has always taught ... .