Wednesday, May 22, 2013

POPE'S HOMILY AT THE CHAPEL OF HIS RESIDENCE AT THE VATICAN MOTEL 6 ON WEDNESDAY, WAS IT A CORRECTIVE TO "OUTSIDE THE CHURCH THERE IS NO SALVATION?" I REPORT, YOU DECIDE!

Did the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome, also who calls himself the Pope, make a corrective during this morning's homily to his assertion and Pope Paul VI's assertion that "because it is not possible to find Jesus outside the Church. The great Paul VI said: "Wanting to live with Jesus without the Church, following Jesus outside of the Church, loving Jesus without the Church is an absurd dichotomy." And the Mother Church that gives us Jesus gives us our identity that is not only a seal, it is a belonging. Identity means belonging. This belonging to the Church is beautiful."

In my post here on Sunday, May 19th, I headlined my post with: "Outside the Church there is no salvation." You can read it HERE. There were only four comments on this bombshell post!

The most radical thing I wrote was the following:

Outside the Church there is no salvation. But what about those who through invincible ignorance and no fault of their own do not know Christ and believe that their own false religion is good enough or no religion at all? The Church extends to them through her missionary endeavors and good works the message of Christ so that they will come to know Him through the Church. If they die in invincible ignorance God's grace of purification at the time of their personal judgement will enlighten them and they will either reject the Light of Christ cast upon them as they did throughout their lives or being enlightened they will be purified and made a part of the Church Suffering and/or ultimately the Church Triumphant! Many believe that the process of personal judgment is purgatory.

And now today, the Holy Father speaks of good works, goodness, of love and that this transcends the Church and is inscribed in the hearts, souls, of everyone regardless of creed because everyone without exception is created in the image and likeness of God.

Some excerpts of the Holy Father's Motel 6 chapel's homily:

"The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can. He must. Not can: must! Because he has this commandment within him. Instead, this ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.”

"The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

“Doing good” the Pope explained, is not a matter of faith: “It is a duty, it is an identity card that our Father has given to all of us, because He has made us in His image and likeness. And He does good, always.”


MY COMMENT: Of course, one must understand and critique this homily by reading and hearing what the pope has already said about the necessity of the Church, which I included in my post which I link above.

But the Holy Father, just as he has said to others, he said to the Chinese today. As you know, the Pope has been calling various groups in the Church to fidelity and obedience to Holy Mother Church and her Magisterium, her living Magisterium of the Pope and the Bishops in union with Him. He said it to the Scripture theologians of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and he has said it to a group of sisters meeting with him in Rome and he has said it to the radical LCWR. Be faithful to the Magisterium

Now he says it to the Chinese who have there own version of of the LCWR, the Chinese National Catholic Church which is not in union with the Magisterium and this is a BOMBSHELL, folks!:

“I urge all Catholics around the world to join in prayer with our brothers and sisters who are in China, to implore from God the grace to proclaim with humility and joy Christ, who died and rose again; to be faithful to His Church and the Successor of Peter and to live everyday life in service to their country and their fellow citizens in a way that is consistent with the faith they profess.

Mary, Virgin most faithful, support Chinese Catholics, render their commitments, which are not easy, more and more precious in the eyes of the Lord, and nurture the affection and the participation of the Church in China in the journey of the Universal Church”.


MY FINAL COMMENT: Yes, the Pope actually said this, this morning and is asking Catholics around the world to pray for China and her conversion to the true Church and her Magisterium. I am left speechless (but not for long)! He wants the Chinese National Church (Governmental Church) to be faithful to the Magisterium and not try to be a parallel Magisterium like the LCWR is trying to do.











28 comments:

Gene said...

Sounds like a real brew of international politics, worksiness, quasi-universalism, and kum bah ya. I think Pelagius just raised his head and cocked an ear...I'll await further elucidation...

Marc said...

I really like this Pope. His election has really helped me to persevere in the Faith during a difficult time personally.

I think this homily is great, as has been everything coming from him that I've seen. He is pastoral and dogmatic in perfect balance. There is nothing controversial about his statements. It is perfectly, clearly explained doctrine set forth with love.

How excellent to have the Pope have enough faith in his people to discuss the subtle and often misunderstood difference with redemption, justification, and salvation. Priests who insist in their modern clericalism to talk down to the laity because we don't have their academic credentials should learn from our Pope.

God bless our Holy Father!

Gene said...

Marc, Did we read the same homily?

rcg said...

Gene, I disagree. It does not allow for reaching Christ in any other fashion, nor does it even give salvation guarantees in the after life. It allows for the facet of human nature that will resist God's grace and salvation out of hard headedness.

It is actually tougher than direct confrontation, because it clearly goes against the foundations not only the Chinese 'church', but the Muslims as well: No way to God but through the Catholic Church, and by the way, killing in God's name is blasphemy.

Yikes.

Marc said...

Gene, I was thinking the same thing. LOL! What are you talking about?!?

Jeffrey Pinyan said...

The Catechism is clear that Jesus' mission of redemption is universal:

601: The Scriptures had foretold this divine plan of salvation through the putting to death of "the righteous one, my Servant" as a mystery of universal redemption...

605: Christ died for all men without exception: "There is not, never has been, and never will be a single human being for whom Christ did not suffer."

616: The existence in Christ of the divine person of the Son, who at once surpasses and embraces all human persons, and constitutes himself as the Head of all mankind, makes possible his redemptive sacrifice for all.

Et cetera. And 1 John 2:2 reminds us that Jesus is expiation for the sins of the whole world. The whole world has been "bought back" by God. That includes atheists. But anyone -- atheist or Catholic or anything in between -- can forfeit that redemption and reject salvation.

I wonder if people will misinterpret Francis's remarks about "do good: we will meet there" as implying "do good and we will meet in heaven".

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

JP, I think Pope Francis has stated this truth about accepting and participating in God's grace as a prerequisite for "going to heaven" and that one could lose that grace by rejecting it.
I do like the fact that he knows that everyone can participate in the act of love and good works, which does not come from faith, but rather is imprinted in the nature (natural law) of who we are created in the image and likeness of God. And thus an atheist who loves and does good works is responding to the nature in which God created him/her. And certainly as Catholics we can meet and work with atheists and others who do good works and love. I suspect a Catholic could marry an atheist who is a good and loving person.

Gene said...

I'll re-read it.

Anonymous 2 said...

I agree, Marc. Pope Francis is a breath of fresh air in his ability to communicate, connect, and inspire. Like his namesake, he seems to be a true mystic.

And, like Pope Francis and his namesake, matters seem to be very simple. Even if not everyone knows it yet, and even if some of us go horribly astray and do terrible things, every one of us is a precious child of God, every one of us is redeemed only through Christ, and every one of us can only do good through the image and likeness of God within us. For this reason those of us who have been called through grace to live with Jesus in His Church should celebrate the good that people do and not regard them as “inferior,” or even worse as “enemies,” just because they are not Catholic, even if they claim to be “atheist” and even as we engage in efforts to evangelize and help others (and ourselves) realize our shared true identity. And yes, although we should resist attacks on the Church and on divine and natural law, and even if some choose to characterize the attackers as “enemies” of the Church, killing in the name of God is blasphemy.

If it is so simple, then, why do we so often insist on making it so complicated?


Gene said...

Anon 2, I suppose you don't think the Church has any enemies...

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene, I prefer to take my lead from the magisterium on this terminological issue. So, let me answer your question with some other questions: Has Pope Francis referred to “enemies” of the Church? Have other Popes in living memory (I assume there are historical examples)? Have other magisterial pronouncements in living memory? These are not rhetorical questions; I don’t know the answers.

BTW clearly I am not asking about the Great Enemy that Pope Francis has identified.

Marc said...

I'd say the great deceiver and father of all lies is an enemy of the Church. As are his children: heretics and apostates. Chief among those I'd put Muslims and Modernists, in the first category, and atheistic humanists (socialists/communists) in the second category.

That doesn't mean we don't have common ground with these people in our works, as the Pope pointed out. In fact, that common ground is the soil for evangelization, as the last pope pointed out. And our love for them will water that soil, as the pope before him pointed out.

The very fact that there is a call for the New Evangelization implicitly emphasizes there are targets for evangelization, that is people who need to convert. Not all are enemies of the Church directly. But, certainly falsehood and error, which endanger immortal souls, are contrary to the Truth, who is a Person, our Lord and Christ.

Gene said...

Anon 2, I agree with what Marc just posted. ..with this caveat...to say that abstracts such as "falsehood and error" are enemies of the Church is pretty meaningless from a realistic point of view. These errors are always embodied in people and organizations. They do not exist as allegorical monsters like in the Faerie Queen. Further, obvious embodiments falsehood and error, such as Islam, Unitarianism, and secular humanism (e.g. Ayn Rand) are more easily identified and dealt with than the much more dangerous and subtle enemy unbelief. I define unbelief as embodied in those who have lost their faith (many of them Priests and Bishops) but who remain in the Church in an effort to transform her into a humanistic social work organization. They subtly attempt to change the thinking of their parishioners and other Priests and view the Church as primarily a catalyst for some kind of enlightened social ethic, usually collectivist and utopian. These people are cynical, manipulative, clever, and dishonest. The Church has not even begun to deal with them as she ought. The changes in the Liturgy stemming from Vat II are their handiwork...do not be mistaken. If you think all that stuff was an accident, you are, indeed, both blind and naive...or in total denial.

Gene said...

I re-read what the Pope said. I have not changed my mind. On another forum they are discussing his statement that even atheists can go to Heaven, but they "must do good." This is not very encouraging. This is Pelagian...period. He needs to be a bit more clear in what he is trying to say. No, this is not just my former Calvinism talking...it is all right there in Augustine.

Marc said...

Precisely, Gene.

I guess the point I was attempting to make it that "enemies of the Church" aren't just those who are actively attacking and slandering Her. They are all those who oppose the Truth and lead people to falsehood, thereby endangering their immortals souls.

Just because they aren't literally attacking priests (yet) doesn't make them not an enemy. It does, of course, change the immediacy of their threat, while not taking away their status as threat.

That's why I specifically listed three categories of enemies who are an immediate, real threat to the Church: modernists, Muslims, and atheistic humanists. Within these groups, there are individuals who may be more or less of a threat, but the groups are enemies of the Church.

We know the damage wrought by Modernists and atheistic humanists here in America and in Europe. Find a Christian in Syria or Iraq and ask them whether the Muslims are their enemies.

Gene said...

Marc, indeed. I certainly agree with you.

Marc said...

People will always twist the Pope's words to suit their ends. I strain to see how anyone could read what he said as atheists can go to heaven if they're good. It's just so clear that isn't what he said.

Since all people have the natural law within them, it is possible for even unbelievers to do good. Since they lack faith, our common ground with them is the desire to do good. They approach that from a humanistic sense, we from a position of faith that the other is also a child of God. From this common ground, we can evangelize them, leading them to a deeper and truer understanding of the root of our efforts to do good, our Lord and Creator.

Gene said...

Marc, While I do not disagree with you in principle, I think many people have misinterpreted what the Pope said, judging from comments in the news and on other forums. That is why I was disturbed by his vague language and ambiguous implications. There is a wide spectrum on the place and importance of works from Pelagius on one end to Calvin on the other. It is possible to fall theologically correctly anywhere in between. Interestingly, the logic of both of the extremes is universalism. In this day of re-interpretation, obfuscation, and doctrinal ambiguity we need precise language. The Pope's language was imprecise.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene and Marc:

Thank you for your helpful elaborations. However, I still need an answer to my questions because I want to be guided by the magisterium in the use of appropriate terminology.

Pending that clarification, I note the discussion of the term “enemy” in Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enemy

Here are some extracts:

"Enemy" is a strong word, and "emotions associated with the enemy would include anger, hatred, frustration, envy, jealousy, fear, distrust, and possibly grudging respect". As a political concept, an enemy is likely to be met with hate, violence, battle and war. The opposite of an enemy is a friend or ally. Because the term "the enemy" is a bit bellicose and militaristic to use in polite society, informal substitutes are more often used. Often the substituted terms become pejoratives in the context that they are used. In any case, the designation of an "enemy" exists solely to denote the status of a particular group of people as a threat, and to propagate this designation within the local context. Substituted terms for an enemy often go further to meaningfully identify a known group as an enemy, and to pejoratively frame that identification. A government may seek to represent a person or group as a threat to the public good by designating that person or group to be a public enemy.

The characterization of an individual or/and group as an enemy is called demonization. The propagation of demonization is a major aspect of propaganda. An "enemy" may also be conceptual; used to describe impersonal phenomena such disease, and a host of other things. Throughout religious theology, "the Enemy" is typically reserved to represent the human tendency to do evil, often personified as a malicious deity, such as the devil or a demon. Conversely, in some instances God is also described as an enemy; for example, in 1 Samuel 28:16, the spirit of Samuel tells Saul: "Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy?"

"The enemy," as the object of social anger or repulsion, has throughout history been used as the prototypical propaganda tool to focus the fear and anxiety within a society toward a particular target. The target is often general, as with an ethnic group or race of people, or it can also be a conceptual target, as with an ideology which characterises a particular group. In some cases the concept of the enemy have morphed; whereas once racial and ethnic claims to support a call to war may later have changed to ideological and conceptual based claims. . . .

(continued)

Anonymous 2 said...

Virtually all major religions have "similar ideals of love, the same goal of benefiting humanity through spiritual practice, and the same effect of making their followers into better human beings". It is therefore widely expressed in world religions that enemies should be treated with love, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.

The Book of Exodus states: "If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and thou wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him." The Book of Proverbs similarly states: "Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth and let not thy heart be glad when he stumbleth", and: "If thine enemy be hungry give him bread to eat, and if he be thirsty give him water to drink. For thus shalt thou heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee". The Jewish Encyclopedia contends that the opinion that the Old Testament commanded hatred of the enemy derives from a misunderstanding of the Sermon on the Mount, wherein Jesus said: "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies and pray for them that persecute you".

The Jewish Encyclopedia also cites passages in the Talmud stating: "If a man finds both a friend and an enemy requiring assistance he should assist his enemy first in order to subdue his evil inclination", and: "Who is strong? He who converts an enemy into a friend".

Gene said...

Anon 2, OMG...

Anonymous 2 said...

Yes, I_thought_you would enjoy that. =)

Gene said...

Anon 2, You are doing what is called "proof-texting"...adopting a particular point of view and then finding Bible verses to support it. Baptists do this all the time. I can cite for you an equal number of verses from Nahum, Obadiah, Zecheriah, and Habakkuk that encourage dashing out the brains of Assyrian children and slaughtering the women and cattle as well. This is not to mention the manner in which the Israelites were encouraged to deal with the Canaanites.

Anonymous 2 said...

Actually, Gene, I did not intend to engage in “proof-texting.” I thought that Wikipedia would be as neutral a source as possible given the process of potential continual revision to ehich it is subject. However, perhaps I was wrong about that.

Regarding your biblical precedents from the Old Testament, let me quote a non-neutral source from Father’s post in this thread:

“Instead, this ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.” -- Pope Francis.

Of course, I am not quite sure how we can reconcile what Pope Francis says with the biblical passages you cite. That is another matter that is beyond my pay grade. However, perhaps someone more qualified than I -- you or someone else -- can help with that.

Gene said...

We do not "kill in the name of God." We kill in the name of justice and in order to preserve that which evil men might take from us. We kill and pray that God will judge us to have done what was necessary for the preservation of our Faith and way of life and that he will forgive us this necessary evil. I'll tell you what blasphemy is...it is courting Muslims and making excuses for a savage religion that hates the Church and the Judaeo-Christian tradition. It is allowing them to infiltrate our culture with their laws and fanaticism. Blasphemy is electing a non-Christian, anti-Church political hack to the office of President and making every possible excuse for him and his minions. Blasphemy is not aggressively confronting those who would destroy the Church from within through false teaching, political manipulation, and deceit. Yeah, talk about blasphemy...

Anonymous 2 said...

Yes, well, Gene, there is obviously a lot of blasphemy in the world.

However, that doesn’t help me with my problem of trying to reconcile the biblical examples you cite with what Pope Francis says. In fact the problem is more extensive than you indicate as the following Wikipedia article in Wikipedia demonstrates:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_and_violence

Especially given the nature of the first sin committed after the expulsion from Eden, cannot a case be made that the violence perpetrated in the name of God or at the claimed command of God originated in fallen Man rather than in God?

Gene said...

Anon 2, Your reliance upon Wikipedia as a reference source is disturbing...Yes, I would agree with your assessment of violence and the Fall...although God has shown Himself capable of great violence against his enemies.

Anonymous 2 said...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliability_of_Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Why_Wikipedia_is_so_great

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Why_Wikipedia_is_not_so_great