(Quote) Mike-41230 said:
Well please elaborate Paul. I know of invincible ignorance which is used to refer to the s...
(Quote) Mike-41230 said:
Well please elaborate Paul. I know of invincible ignorance which is used to refer to the state of persons, such as pagans and infants who are ignorant of the Christian message because they have not yet had an opportunity to hear it.
And I know of baptism of desire. "We have already alluded to the funeral oration pronounced by St. Ambrose over the Emperor Valentinian II, a catechumen. The doctrine of the baptism of desire is here clearly set forth. St. Ambrose asks: "Did he not obtain the grace which he desired? Did he not obtain what he asked for? Certainly he obtained it because he asked for it." St. Augustine (On Baptism, Against the Donatists, IV.22) and St. Bernard (Ep. lxxvii, ad H. de S. Victore) likewise discourse in the same sense concerning the baptism of desire. If it be said that this doctrine contradicts the universal law of baptism made by Christ (John 3), the answer is that the lawgiver has made an exception (John 14) in favor of those who have the baptism of desire. Neither would it be a consequence of this doctrine that a person justified by the baptism of desire would thereby be dispensed from seeking after the baptism of water when the latter became a possibility. For, as has already been explained the baptismus flaminis contains the votum of receiving the baptismus aquæ. It is true that some of the Fathers of the Church arraign severely those who content themselves with the desire of receiving the sacrament of regeneration, but they are speaking of catechumens who of their own accord delay the reception of baptism from unpraiseworthy motives. Finally, it is to be noted that only adults are capable of receiving the baptism of desire."
And I know that in the end days when the fullness of the Gentiles has come in God will send His two witnesses for the conversion of the Jews. In Chapter 4 Malichi is saying in the end days God will send Elijah (Elias in a Catholic Bible), where he shall come for the conversion of the Jews to the faith of Jesus Christ. This can also be confirmed with the Epistle of Paul to the Romans, Chapters 9, 10 and 11, which also mentions Elias, where Paul is lamenting over his brethren. Also in Apocalypse chapter 11 we see that God will send His two witnesses to Jerusalem during the 42 months of tribulations to prophesy clothed in sackcloth until they are killed 3 and a half days before the day of judgment. The Douay-Rheims Bible recognizes the two witnesses in Apocalypse 11 as Henoch and Elias. But it should be noted that Romans 11:28 says "As concerning the gospel, indeed, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election, they are most dear for the sake of the fathers."
And I know that the Catholic Church, which includes us, has been given the commission from God to continually take His Word to all peoples and nations, which would include to the Jews.
And I have read Saint Victorinus' Commentary on the Apocalypse. Saint Victorinus is a Father of the Church who flourished about 270 AD, 200 years after the destruction of the Second Temple. With the Zionist's plan to build the Third Temple Saint Victorinus is looking like a prophet these days.
So what am I missing Paul?
Invincible ignorance applies to any person who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Message of Jesus. And the all applies to everyone, pagans, Protestants, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons, agnostics, and atheists, no exceptions. In that sense it could be said that they do not need Jesus Christ or more accurately, they do not need knowledge of Jesus Christ as professed by the Catholic church to be saved. They must have lived a life in accordance with the dictates of Natural Law which is knowledgeable by the exercise of normal reasoning by anyone who has the ability to think.
However, everyone's salvation comes from Jesus Christ through His Church. So, a Protestant, properly baptised in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is a member of the Catholic Church whether they realize or not.
All of the above, greatly simplified for the obvious reason of space, has been the constant teaching of the church for over 2000 years.
Having saiud that, a question for you, explain why you believe ecumenism is an evil that has somehow negatively infected the Church?
The whole purpose of the Church's push for ecumenism is to bring all the separated fellow Christians to the fullness of the Church. There is no intent to "water down" Church teachings, Doctrines or Dogma.
For example, since the days of the Council there have been continuing talks between Rome and the Orthodox Churches. The progress in those continuing talks has ebbed and flowed over the years. But they have progressed to the point that in general there is no theological problem of importance keeping us separated. Not much progress has been made to resolve the problems involved with the administration of the Church; i.e the Poipe's position and the understanding of both sides on the question of infallibility.
A serious set back to progress occurred under JP II. after the fall of the USSR, he determined to establish to name some new Bishops to administer the remnents of the Catholic Churches in Russia who had allegiance to the Papacy. He instructed the diplomatic arm of the Vatican to approach the Russian Orthodox Patriarch and to the extent necessary as deemed necessary by that Patriarh with other Bishops of the Orthodox Chuirch to infomr them of the Pope's intent and to hear and resolve any objections they might have to his plan. He was assured his directives had been followed and agreement reached. In fact they had not. So he went ahead with his appointments and specification of the areas they were responsible for.
The Russian Patriarch, who was in the dark, was horrified and JPII action. The ensuing freeze poisoned relations and stalled progress with not just the Russian Orthodox Church but all the Orthodox Churches. That freeze barely thawed while JP lived. General talks between Rome and the Orthodox Churches continued however.
Incidentally, the Coptic Orthodox Pope who died last year would probably have brought his church back to Rome sooner rather than later if he had lived. Of course that is now complicated because of the newly elected Pope and the coming of the Arab Spring and the ascendance of the extremist Muslims now in charge in Cairo.
Talks have as lo been underway all this time with many Protestant denominations. Unfortunately, the only Protestant denominations which have a organizational structure that lends itself to these kinds of talks are all the old line Protestant Churches like the Lutherans, Anglicans, etc. all of which have been suffering severe looses of members over the years. However, Catholic participants in the talks have said, their has been remarkable progress with the Lutherans compared to the others.
The Anglicans are an interesting case. Officially, they continue to draw further and further away with the ordination of women priests and bishops and practisiong homosexuals, along with their seeming approval of gay so-called marriage. But the undercurrent there is the number of Anglican priests, Bishops and Parishes that are coming to Rome on their own because of the continuing liberalization of the official Anglican church. Hence, the Popes's accommodation .
In light of these facts, your expressed concerns over the Chuirch's efforts in ecuminism are puzzling.