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Author Topic: Salvation from the Catechism of the Catholic Church -  (Read 2575 times) Average Rating: 0
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rosborn
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« on: September 29, 2005, 09:18:09 PM »

The Catechsim of the Catholic Church states:

Passage 1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery.  Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity."

How does the Orthodox Church square with this paragraph?

Rob
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2005, 09:39:55 PM »

We don't Smiley  That is to say, we don't normally touch it. Well, let me rephrase that, because we live in a society that is mostly non-Orthodox, you will sometimes hear Orthodox Christians saying "well we don't know about those outside the Church" and other such things. The Church Fathers though, at least from what I remember, vehemently objected to even speculating on the subejct though. So, there isn't really a precisely defined "anonymous Christian" type of doctrine in Orthodoxy, though if you brought something like that up an Orthodox Christian probably wouldn't fine it necessarily wrong either. So basically, we're agnostic on the subject, and are content being so. But fwiw, as an exception to the general rule, there is a very good article by Met. Philaret that does try to explore the subject a bit, which I've found helpful, and is located here.
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2005, 09:43:07 PM »

We don't SmileyÂÂ  That is to say, we don't normally touch it. Well, let me rephrase that, because we live in a society that is mostly non-Orthodox, you will sometimes hear Orthodox Christians saying "well we don't know about those outside the Church" and other such things. The Church Fathers though, at least from what I remember, vehemently objected to even speculating on the subejct though. So, there isn't really a precisely defined "anonymous Christian" type of doctrine in Orthodoxy, though if you brought something like that up an Orthodox Christian probably wouldn't fine it necessarily wrong either. So basically, we're agnostic on the subject, and are content being so. But fwiw, as an exception to the general rule, there is a very good article by Met. Philaret that does try to explore the subject a bit, which I've found helpful, and is located here.

I understand what you are saying but it seems that the Catholic Church is making a definitive statement here.  In other words, it looks as though the Catholic Church is saying that those who are not baptised can achieve salvation.  Didn't Jesus say that one must be born of water (be baptized) to achieve salvation?

Rob
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2005, 09:53:10 PM »

I understand what you are saying but it seems that the Catholic Church is making a definitive statement here.ÂÂ  In other words, it looks as though the Catholic Church is saying that those who are not baptised can achieve salvation.ÂÂ  Didn't Jesus say that one must be born of water (be baptized) to achieve salvation?

Rob

This is difficult, but didnt Christ Himself say that no one comes to the Father except through Me?  And if this is true, and we know that this is true, how can those who dont come to Jesus Christ able to enjoy eternal salvation EXCEPT through God's eternal Love and Judgement.  Who are we to really know who get saved outside the Church?

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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2005, 02:45:52 AM »


The Catechsim of the Catholic Church states:

Passage 1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery.  Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity."

How does the Orthodox Church square with this paragraph?


More to the point, how does the Catholic church square the above with earlier papal declarations?

"The Most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews, heretics, and schismatics can ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire ‘which was prepared for the devil and his angels,’ (Mt. 25:41) unless before death they are joined with Her; ... no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved unless they abide within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church." Pope Eugene IV, Cantate Domino, Florence,1441.

"We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, 1302.

"There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved." Pope Innocent III, IV Laterern Council, 1215.

John
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rosborn
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2005, 06:08:18 AM »

Podromos,

My point wasn't to challenge Orthodoxy on the issue.  Rather, my point was to inquire if the position of the Catholic Church has deviated from Apostolic Tradition on the matter of salvation and who may attain it.

Rob
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2005, 07:40:01 AM »

Romans 2:14-16
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2005, 09:27:30 AM »

"Salvation from the Catechism of the Catholic Church"

Oxymoron
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2005, 09:37:34 AM »

"Salvation from the Catechism of the Catholic Church"

Oxymoron

Wow!  What a profound contribution!

Thanks for the insightful post, Tom.
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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2005, 09:48:51 AM »

Wow!ÂÂ  What a profound contribution!

Thanks for the insightful post, Tom.

Thank you. I contribute when I can.
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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2005, 10:02:55 AM »

Thank you. I contribute when I can.

Yeah, but with contributions like that your time could be better spent.  Wink
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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2005, 10:43:29 AM »

rosborn,

The way I've always understood it, salvation in the Orthodox Church is a holy mystery--a mystery between God and the individual soul.  While Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life, we know that God is the Creator of us all, and while people may not be led by the fullness of Truth, that is, the Church, they may be led by certain truths, certain goods, the source of which is God, Who is the source of goodness and is Truth Himself.  The only sure place to work out one's salvation is in the Church, but we mustn't be so presumptuous (as Asteriktos commented that we are hesitant to comment) as to take it upon ourselves to say where God "cannot" save.  While He says that unless a man be baptized, he will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven, we know the thief on the cross did not have a formal baptism, and was promised paradise by the Godman Himself.  The Roman Centurion, a man who is part of an invading army, having killed and occupied lands by force, is acclaimed by Christ as the keeper of the greatest faith in all Israel--while the Apostles and other pious Jews stand around Him.  The lesson?  God alone sees the heart.  One is not negating the importance of Holy Baptism, but one must never forget that not all baptized make it to heaven.  As Fr. John Mack so aptly puts it, "A good beginning does not necessarily mean a good ending".  There is nothing to entertain that just because one is in the historic Church that they are guaranteed salvation, or that they are on the path to Christ if they are lax or indifferent. So while we know that salvation can be definitely worked out and strived for in the Church, we don't know where others may find it, or if they will find it.  It is precisely because of this holy mystery, that Orthodox are hesitant to say where salvation is not.  Can God save those who are not in His Church?  If He willed?  If He saw something in a particular soul?  Certainly, yes He could. 

Like I said, this is my understanding.  A lot of you guys are very well read, if I've said something wrong, please show me love and correct me!
In Christ,
Theodore (Ted)
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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2005, 10:47:20 AM »

I understand what you are saying but it seems that the Catholic Church is making a definitive statement here.  In other words, it looks as though the Catholic Church is saying that those who are not baptised can achieve salvation.  Didn't Jesus say that one must be born of water (be baptized) to achieve salvation?

Rob

Well, the thief on the cross achieved salvation without being baptised in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Catholic belief on Baptism includes the possibility that baptism can be-

* By Water and the Holy Spirit in the "normal way"

* Baptism of Blood. If for example a Catechumen of the Church is Martyred for the Faith prior to Baptism by water then the power of the Sacrament is imputed to them as if they had received it physically.

* Baptism of Desire.  Those who desire Baptism explicitly or implicitly, or who would desire it if they knew about it, but are unable for some reason to be Baptized.

Also "invincible ignorance" is not considered to be a sin.

Cyril of Jerusalem said this-


"If any man does not receive baptism, he does not have salvation. The only exception is the martyrs, who even without water will receive the kingdom.
. . . For the Savior calls martyrdom a baptism, saying, ‘Can you drink the cup which I drink and be baptized with the baptism with which I am to be baptized [Mark 10:38]?’ Indeed, the martyrs too confess, by being made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men [1 Cor. 4:9]" (Catechetical Lectures 3:10 [A.D. 350]).

 

Gregory Nazianz


"[Besides the baptisms associated with Moses, John, and Jesus] I know also a fourth baptism, that by martyrdom and blood, by which also Christ himself was baptized. This one is far more august than the others, since it cannot be defiled by later sins" (Oration on the Holy Lights 39:17 [A.D. 381]).


 

John Chrysostom


"Do not be surprised that I call martyrdom a baptism, for here too the Spirit comes in great haste and there is the 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" (Panegyric on St. Lucian 2 [A.D. 387]).

 

Ambrose of Milan


"But I hear you lamenting because he [the Emperor Valentinian] had not received the sacraments of baptism. Tell me, what else could we have, except the will to it, the asking for it? He too had just now this desire, and after he came into Italy it was begun, and a short time ago he signified that he wished to be baptized by me. Did he, then, not have the grace which he desired? Did he not have what he eagerly sought? Certainly, because he sought it, he received it. What else does it mean: ‘Whatever just man shall be overtaken by death, his soul shall be at rest [Wis. 4:7]’?" (Sympathy at the Death of Valentinian [A.D. 392]).

Augustine

"I do not hesitate to put the Catholic catechumen, burning with divine love, before a baptized heretic. Even within the Catholic Church herself we put the good catechumen ahead of the wicked baptized person. . . . For Cornelius, even before his baptism, was filled up with the Holy Spirit [Acts 10:44—48], while Simon [Magus], even after his baptism, was puffed up with an unclean spirit [Acts 8:13—19]" (On Baptism, Against the Donatists 4:21:28 [A.D. 400]).

"That the place of baptism is sometimes supplied by suffering is supported by a substantial argument which the same blessed Cyprian draws from the circumstance of the thief, to whom, although not baptized, it was said, ‘Today you shall be with me in paradise’ [Luke 23:43]. 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 [i.e., baptism of desire] if, perhaps, because of the circumstances of the time, recourse cannot be had to the celebration of the mystery of baptism" (ibid., 4:22:29).
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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2005, 10:51:56 AM »

Ted,

So, it seems that the statement from the Catechism of the Catholic Church is actually in alignment with the Orthodox understanding and not a deviation from tradition. ÂÂ

I appreciate the explanation and clarification.

Thanks!

Rob
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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2005, 01:27:25 PM »

It seems to me that there are simply two strains of tradition that go back quite far both east and west.  There's the "no salvation outside the Church" position, emphasized most strongly by St. Cyprian of Carthage and later by the medieval and Reformation-era papacy.  Then there's the "anonymous Christian" idea.  St. Justin Martyr referred to Socrates as a "Christian before Christ."  This has been emphasized by Vatican II and the recent popes. 

Both emphases seem to exist in Orthodoxy as well; I don't believe either side to be outside of the Tradition.  The main point though, agreed on by all, is that it is Christ and only Christ who is the way to God the Father.  If a Moslem or a Jew ends up saved, it is not by following their own religions but by Christ. 
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« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2005, 03:25:43 AM »

Have you read "Dogmatic constitution on the Catholic Church "Lumen Gentium"? Maybe it sorts out how and why the Catholic Church thinks abut salvation.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html

I don´t agree with Lumen Gentium, but I think we should anyway know, what RCs are actually thinking.
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« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2005, 12:01:12 AM »

rosborn,

The way I've always understood it, salvation in the Orthodox Church is a holy mystery--a mystery between God and the individual soul.ÂÂ  While Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life, we know that God is the Creator of us all, and while people may not be led by the fullness of Truth, that is, the Church, they may be led by certain truths, certain goods, the source of which is God, Who is the source of goodness and is Truth Himself.ÂÂ  The only sure place to work out one's salvation is in the Church, but we mustn't be so presumptuous (as Asteriktos commented that we are hesitant to comment) as to take it upon ourselves to say where God "cannot" save.ÂÂ  While He says that unless a man be baptized, he will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven, we know the thief on the cross did not have a formal baptism, and was promised paradise by the Godman Himself.ÂÂ  The Roman Centurion, a man who is part of an invading army, having killed and occupied lands by force, is acclaimed by Christ as the keeper of the greatest faith in all Israel--while the Apostles and other pious Jews stand around Him.ÂÂ  The lesson?ÂÂ  God alone sees the heart.ÂÂ  One is not negating the importance of Holy Baptism, but one must never forget that not all baptized make it to heaven.ÂÂ  As Fr. John Mack so aptly puts it, "A good beginning does not necessarily mean a good ending".ÂÂ  There is nothing to entertain that just because one is in the historic Church that they are guaranteed salvation, or that they are on the path to Christ if they are lax or indifferent. So while we know that salvation can be definitely worked out and strived for in the Church, we don't know where others may find it, or if they will find it.ÂÂ  It is precisely because of this holy mystery, that Orthodox are hesitant to say where salvation is not.ÂÂ  Can God save those who are not in His Church?ÂÂ  If He willed?ÂÂ  If He saw something in a particular soul?ÂÂ  Certainly, yes He could.ÂÂ  

Like I said, this is my understanding.ÂÂ  A lot of you guys are very well read, if I've said something wrong, please show me love and correct me!
In Christ,
Theodore (Ted)

It is God Himself Who Ultimately determines who is saved and that is what we as Christians try an attain to.

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