Sunday, May 11, 2008

Does it Matter Whether A Professing Christian is Roman Catholic?

Prior to Vatican II, it was abundantly clear from Catholic teaching that the Roman Catholic Church was to be regarded as the true Church of Christ and that not to be a member in good standing of her was to risk spending eternity in Hell unless by the grace of God one was determined to be in a state of invincible ignorance.

The problem of course was that if a person had enough insight to question whether or not such a situation applied to them, it was likely that they were not invincibly ignorant. Under those circumstances it was dangerous indeed to remain uncommitted to or "fallen-away" from the Roman Catholic Church.

In light of Vatican II ecclesiology, it seems that it is no longer necessary to be Roman Catholic. Based on a reading of Lumen Gentium, Unitatis Redintegratio and Gaudium et Spes where one attempts to give the most favorable light to the Council Fathers it might be possible to say that while not necessary, being Roman Catholic is helpful or more advantageous than being a non-Roman Catholic Christian and preferable to not being Christian at all. This is the sense in which the 1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church pp. 213-230 presents the section on the 4 distinguishing marks (One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic) of the Church. I am unable after reading CCC #846 on EENS (Extra Esslesium Nulla Sullus) which references Lumen Gentium no. 16 [ LG no.'s 14 & 15 are actually more relevant to the matter at hand] to harmonize the current post-Vatican II teaching with that of Sacred Tradition.

I would surely appreciate any help which the appropriate Magisterial authority can provide in way of clarifying once and for all that no major change in Sacred Tradition has occured with regard to the precept ""outside the Roman Catholic Church under the authority of the Roman Pontiff there is no salvation" as was consistently taught prior to 1965.

As I have said before, there is a tremendous amount riding on this clarification not only in the material sense but of course in the spiritual sense of the millions of potential souls lost as a result of the preception that it is no longer necessary to actively convert non-Roman Catholics or to remain in the Roman Catholic fold. No doubt many Priests and Religious became laicized at least in part due to what they perceived to be a fundamental alteration in the very nature of the Church they served.


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What/Where is the Roman Catholic Church?

In light of Traditional Catholic dogma/doctrine, how should the Second Vatican Council be viewed ? Is it consistent with Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and prior Magisterial teaching?

What explains the tremendous amount of "bad fruit" which has been forthcoming since the close of the Council in 1965? “By their fruits you shall know them” (Matt. 7:16)

This site explores these questions and more in an attempt to place the Second Vatican Council in proper perspective.