Friday, August 29, 2008

More Fit for Mission

A vital dimension of being Catholic is accepting the totality of the Church’s doctrine. This is the only way of guaranteeing that Catholics are bound together ‘as a whole’.

 Therefore, ‘Catholic’ refers to those who accept the universal faith of the Church, as opposed to those who accept only part of it.
 Communionwith Rome is an essential part of Catholicity. One is a ‘Catholic’ who accepts the wholeness of the Christian faith as expressed in that fullness of communion with the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter.
 The See of Rome, in communion with the whole Church, has articulated the full profession of faith through the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which ‘aims at presenting an organic synthesis of the essential and fundamental contents of Catholic doctrine, as regards both faith and morals’ (CCC 11).



PJA said...

Father, thank you for these posts regarding "Fit for Mission". In spite of his critics, I believe that Bishop Patrick's document is the right thing at the right time.

Truly, "The Lord has been mindful of us and he has blessed us."

I hope that he will bless the bishop in his retirement. It's up to "us" to learn from his wise and loyal teaching.

Volpius Leonius said...

Some would also make the claim that this is also the definition of a Christian.

"He who falls away from the doctrine and faith of the Catholic Church would not be, nor would even be called, a Christian." (St. Athanasius)

All true Christians are members of the Church. (St. John Eudes)

Whosoever and whatsoever he might be, he who is not in Christ's Church is no Christian! (St. Cyprian)

Heretics worship a God who is a liar, and a Christ who is a liar. (St. Augustine)

If anyone says that the condition of the faithful and those who have not yet come to the true faith is equal: let him be anathema. (I Vatican Council)

In no way can men be counted among the children of God unless they take the Church for their Mother. (Pope Leo XIII)

Therefore, let them tremble who imagine that any religion will lead them to the haven of eternal happiness; let them reflect on the words of the Saviour Himself: "He who is not with Me is against Me"; that those who gather not with Him scatter; and that consequently, beyond a doubt, they who do not keep the Catholic faith entire and unchanged will perish in eternity. (Pope Gregory XVI)

Volpius Leonius said...

PS His Excellencies document is not the right thing for the right time it is the right thing for ALL time, it was the right thing for ten years ago as much as it is the right thing for now.

PJA said...


I stand corrected. I'm overjoyed to hear an English bishops saying such things.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for putting out the main points. I waded through the document last night after a busy day in London which was probably not the best time to read it.

There are so many excellent points made here. However one comment I found personally disturbing. The Bishop quotes Oscar Romero telling us that 'when we leave Mass we should be like Moses... with face shining, heart brave and strong..' He is also positive about the use of Latin. However he then follows this by criticizing 'parish shoppers' and describes them as lacking true faith and being shallow in their faith. Does he not realise they are attempting to deepen their faith?

Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Way to go O'Donohue!!

Auricularius said...


I’m don’t think that your restriction of “Christian” to those who are explicitly Catholic is quite consistent with either Mystici Corporis (n103) or Lumen Gentium (n8). I hope I haven’t misunderstood you, but you seem to be drifting in the direction of Feeneyism.

Volpius Leonius said...

Auricularius do you actually know what the errors of Feeneyism are?

If you do I have no idea where you are getting them from my post.

Auricularius said...


1. Yes I do know what the errors of Feeneyism are.

2. I phrased my comment conditionally, leaving open the possibility that I may have misunderstood you.

3. You provide seven quotes which say, or imply very strongly, that unless someone is (explicitly) a Catholic they cannot hope for eternal salvation.

4. The more nuanced position to which I alluded may have been in your mind, but it is not in your post.

5. Neither is the (important) distinction between non-Catholic Christians and non-Christian religions.

6. Therefore, I suggest that it is perfectly reasonable to suggest that there is a prima facie case of Feeneyism to answer.

Anonymous said...

Fr Blake.
Thankyou for disseminating this stuff. It has made my week, actually.

I managed to get embroiled in a nasty row at the start of the week with a Liberal (In a position of influence over me, sadly,) who insisted that Catholics can believe what they like and remain Catholic.

By reading your posts, among other things, I have found great healing and restoration. So, thankyou.

Never underestimate the power of the blogosphere.

Volpius Leonius said...

Auricularius I am not at all pleased at your calumnious accusations upon my person.

Accusations of error are not something to be insinuated lightly.

I call on you now to back up your accusation or retract them.

Lets start with your stating clearly just what it is are accusing me of been guilty of.

State the errors of feeneyism and which ones you are accusing me of.

Auricularius said...


Well, I am tempted to quote the Prime Minister and “refer you to the reply which I gave some moments ago”. But at the risk of wearying Fr Ray’s readers, let me spell it out in terms that I hope –this time – you will understand.

1. A Google search will give you dozens of articles spelling out what Feeneysim is.

2. I did NOT say that you were guilty of Feenyism, but that it seemed to me that tendency of thought displayed in your post was in that direction. If you start saying that non-Catholic Christians are not in fact “Christian” at all and, at the same time say, that only those who hold the Catholic faith whole and entire will be saved, there only seems to be one conclusion that you can draw.

3. I also left open the possibility that I might have misunderstood. You did not extend a similar charity to me, assuming instead that I did not know what I was talking about.

4. Over to you.

Volpius Leonius said...

How did you get all that from "Some would also make the claim that this is also the definition of a Christian."

That is quite a leap, unless you were sure you should not have made such a terrible insinuation against me.

As for the quotes they speak for themselves, if you think them wrong perhaps there is a fault with your understanding either of these quotes or the teaching of the Church.

Volpius Leonius said...

And you still never answered my questions.

1. What are the errors of Feeneyism

2. Which ones are you suggesting I hold.

Simple questions which should have simple answers.

Auricularius said...

Sometimes you have to hit a nail on the head several times before it will stay in the wall.

I have now said twice, and I repeat for the third time, that the train of thought on which you were embarked "tended" in the direction of Feeneysim, i.e. a strict interpretation of the "Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus" doctrine. If you get on a train at Kings Cross it will end up at Edinburgh or Glasgow unless you get off it. You may only intend to go as far as York or Newcastle, but unless you do leave the train at those points, you will end up in Scotland.

It is just so when you take a series of quotes from a variety of sources without setting them in the context and without considering alternative points of view. You end up going in a direction which you might not intend.

In other words, quotations do NOT necessarily "speak for themselves" and the question we are discussing is NOT a simple one.

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