Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Our Lady of Fatima and the Dogma Most Denied, Part 2

Our Lady of Fatima and the Dogma Most Denied
-Part II-

“Truly, it is the greatest of errors
to neglect the business of eternal salvation.”
St. Eucherius

by Marianna Bartold

Part I of this essay began with the opening sentence of the Third Secret of Fatima: “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc.” Explaining that to this day never have the words of Our Lady been completely released, we know that Lucia and others who knew it (or who thoroughly studied it) collectively gave enough information to put the matter in context. We also know that this incomplete sentence, with its telling phrase of “the dogma of the Faith” refers to the Church’s primary dogma, infallibly thrice defined: “Outside the Church, there is no salvation.”[1]

As observed in Part I: “Today, this singular dogma about the Church is either unknown or rejected within the Church, which is another sign of Fatima’s veracity, lending further credence that the Third Secret’s smothered Message centers on ‘an apocalyptic crisis of the faith in the Church starting from the top’ [2] −namely, the revolt which St. Paul said must come first [3] …The dogma of the Faith is, in our time, also the dogma most denied. Known by the acronym of EENS (‘Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus,’ or ‘Outside the Church, there is No Salvation’), it is truly the foremost dogma of the Church about herself.” 

Regarding this dogma, Part I shared about it the Church’s three infallible definitions. The essay then proceeded to prove that, due to Tradition and Scripture (the only two sources of Divine Revelation), the Church has always held this dogma. Providing quotes ranging from the early Church to recent times (from St. Augustine to John Paul II [4] ), it was then stated:

“Whether or not they realize it, Catholics regularly declare their belief in the EENS dogma. In the Nicene Creed, prayed within the Church since 325 A.D. and which we pray today at every Mass, we declare our belief in ‘one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church.’  With the Apostles’ Creed, we pray, ‘I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church…’ The Athanasian Creed, although not commonly prayed in the west today, begins with these words: ‘Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly’ and ends with this declaration: ‘This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.’”

Holy Scripture Proves the EENS Dogma
In addition to Tradition, as stated in Part I, the Church possesses for the EENS dogma many proofs from the Sacred Scriptures. For our sincere consideration and meditation, the essay began with excerpts [5] from The Sincere Christian, the work of the 19th century Bishop George Hay (1729-1811), which will now continue.

“The Church is the Body of Christ, and all who belong to the Church are members of His body, and united with Jesus Christ the head; but those who are out of the Church are not members of His body, nor are they united with Christ the head. Now, speaking of His Church and her members under the figure of a vine with its branches, He says, ‘I am the vine, you the branches. He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit; for without Me, ye can do nothing. If anyone abide not in Me, he shall be cast forth as a branch and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth’ [John 15: 5, 6]. What Christ here says under the figure of a vine is equally true as to the members and the body, for no member separated from the body can do anything. It has neither life nor feeling but falls into corruption, which expressly shows that if we be not united to the Church of Christ, whether we consider this Church as a body consisting of the head and members, or as a vine with its branches, we are not united with Christ, but on the way to perdition.”

“Jesus Christ, addressing Himself to His eternal Father, says, ‘Now this is eternal life: that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent’ [John 17: 3]. Hence it necessarily follows that all those who do not know Jesus Christ cannot have eternal life. Now, this knowledge of Jesus Christ is not the mere knowledge that such a person existed, but believing Him to be what He is, the eternal Son of God, made man for the salvation of mankind, and therefore He says again, ‘For God so loved the world as to give His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish, but may have life everlasting’ [John 3:16].

“Hence, the believing in Jesus Christ is one condition positively required by God in order for salvation, so that without this belief there can be no salvation. For as He Himself again declares, ‘…he that doth not believe is already judged; because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God’ [John 3:18] and ‘…he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him’ [John 3:36]. And the beloved disciple [St. John the Evangelist] adds, ‘For many seducers are gone out into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh; this is a seducer and an anti-Christ’ [2 John 1:7]. By which it is manifest that those who do not know Jesus Christ, and consequently do not believe in Him, and also those who do know that there was such a Person but refuse to believe, and confess that He is the Son of God come in the flesh, cannot be saved; and therefore, that the knowing and believing in Jesus Christ is appointed by Almighty God, as an absolute condition of salvation.”

∙ “But it is not enough to believe in the Person of Jesus Christ. It is also required to believe His doctrine, His words, those Divine truths which He has revealed; and, indeed, how can we believe Him to be God if we refuse to believe what He says? Hence, when He gave the pastors of His Church, in the persons of His Apostles, their commission to preach the Gospel, He ordered them to teach the world ‘to observe all those things whatsoever I have commanded you…’ [Matt. 28: 20]. And He immediately adds, ‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned’ [Mark 16:16]. Thus, it is manifest that the belief of His doctrine, the observance, and consequently the belief of all those things which He commanded His Apostles to teach is a necessary condition of salvation. Nay, He adds in another part, ‘For he that, shall be ashamed of Me, and of My words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man also will be ashamed of him, when He shall come in the glory of His Father, with His holy Angels’ [Mark 8:38]. Now, if being ashamed of His words brings such a condemnation, what will the denying of them do? It is evident, therefore, that the true Faith of Jesus Christ comprehends the belief both of His Person and His words—that is, of His doctrine; and that this Faith is laid down by Almighty God as a necessary condition of salvation.”

∙ “As it is impossible that Jesus Christ could reveal contradictions, or say to one that anything is true, and to another that it is false, the true Faith of Jesus Christ cannot contain contradictions; it must be the same everywhere, and in no point contrary to itself. This the Scripture expressly affirms, ‘One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism’ [Eph. 4:5]. Now, St. Paul positively declares that ‘…without Faith it is impossible to please God…’ [Heb. 11:6]; consequently, this one true Faith of Jesus Christ is so absolutely required as a condition of salvation that without it, let a man do what he will, it is impossible to please God, or be saved.

Bishop Hayes further explained the EENS dogma by referencing and explaining Acts 13:48 (“…as many as were ordained to everlasting life believed”), stating that “consequently, those who did not believe were not ordained to eternal life; whence it evidently follows that Faith is a condition absolutely required by God for obtaining  eternal life. For St. Paul affirms, ‘But the sure foundation of God standeth firm, having this seal: The Lord knoweth who are His…’ [2 Tim. 2:19]. 

St. Paul was alluding to “Our Blessed Savior, speaking of those who belong to Him, says, ‘…I know mine, and mine know Me…My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall not perish for ever’ [John 10: 14, 27, 28]. As Bishop Hayes wrote: “Can any words express more clearly that to know Jesus Christ, and to hear His voice, and follow Him—that is, to believe and obey Him—are the distinguishing marks of His sheep, to whom He gives eternal life? Consequently, those who do not believe Him are none of His, and therefore will not be saved, as He expressly says to the Jews, ‘But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep’ [John 10: 26]; ‘…For if you believe not that I am He, you shall die in your sin’ [John 8: 24]; which shows, too, a demonstration that Faith in Jesus Christ is expressly appointed by Almighty God as a condition of salvation. ‘Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved’ [Acts 4: 12].

Christ and His Church
After offering more Scriptural proofs, the eminent author concluded one section of his working by writing, “Now, seeing that the true Faith, or the firm belief of those truths which Jesus Christ revealed, is thus absolutely required as a condition of salvation, it follows as a natural consequence that out of the true Church of Christ there is no salvation, because this true Faith can be found only in the true Church of Christ; to her the sacred charge of the truths of eternity was committed; the words of Jesus Christ were first put into her mouth, and an express covenant made by God, That they should never depart from her mouth. It is therefore from the pastors of the Church alone we can learn
the true Faith, since they alone are authorized to preach it, and in hearing them we hear Christ Himself. Hence St. Paul says, ‘How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? …And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they be sent… [Rom. 10: 14, 15]. Now, the pastors of the Church were ordained and sent by Jesus Christ to ‘teach all nations, and to preach the Gospel to every creature;’ consequently, it is only from them that the truths of the Gospel can be learned.”

…“Now, if we search the Holy Scriptures, we find two conditions absolutely required to make our good works agreeable to God and conducive to our salvation.

First, that we be united to Jesus Christ by True Faith, which is the root and foundation of all Christian virtues; for St. Paul expressly says, ‘Without Faith it is impossible to please God’ [Heb. 11: 6]. Observe the word impossible; He does not say it is difficult, but that it is impossible. Let, therefore, a man have ever so many good natural dispositions, and be as charitable, devout, and mortified as the Pharisees were, yet if he have not True Faith in Jesus Christ, he cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven. They refused to believe in Him, and therefore all their works were good for nothing as to their salvation; and unless our righteousness exceed theirs in this point, as Christ Himself assures us, we shall never enter into His heavenly kingdom. But even True Faith itself, however necessary, is not sufficient alone to make our good works available to salvation; for it is necessary.

Second, we must be in charity with God, in His friendship and grace, without which even True Faith itself will never save us. To be convinced of this, let us only give ear to St. Paul, who says, ‘Though I should have all Faith, so as to remove mountains, though I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, though I should give my body to be burnt, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing’ [1 Cor. 13: 2]” …for nothing can avail us in Christ but “Faith that works by charity” [Gal. 5: 6].

As Bishop Hayes reminded members of the true Church, “Nothing can contribute more effectually to produce the most necessary and salutary dispositions in their hearts, both towards God, towards one another, and towards those who are separated from their Communion, than the frequent and serious consideration of their vocation to the Faith of Christ, and to the Communion of that Church out of which there is no salvation.”

Our Lady of Fatima Points to Divine Revelation
This essay could easily become a book by adding more proofs and responding to all of the usual objections to the EENS dogma, but its true purpose is two-fold: 1) to briefly show that the EENS doctrine, from the Church’s infancy solemnly held, is an infallible dogma, a divinely revealed truth (meaning from Tradition and/or Scripture) defined by the Church and to which the Catholic faithful must adhere, and 2) to display that Our Lady of Fatima, who touched upon all of the truths of Faith which have long been undermined, also addressed in the Great Secret this dogma.

We know the latter because (as previously mentioned in Part I), when asked in 1943 about the contents of the Third Secret, Lucia replied, “In a certain way, I have already revealed it.” [6]  In her Fourth Memoir, she implicitly disclosed it in a sentence of substantial importance: “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc.” In this age of false universalism, it is imperative to the salvation of souls that Catholics know and understand that which was infallibly stated by St. Paul: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle” (2 Thess. 2:14).

As I explained in Fatima: The Signs and Secrets, due to the Virgin’s first words of the Third Secret, for decades the faithful interpreted Our Lady’s opening phrase, “In Portugal” to mean “Throughout Portugal.” Previously understanding that the sentence indicated apostasy throughout the rest of the world while Portugal remained faithful, we now begin to more deeply grasp its meaning: Only parts of Portugal will preserve the dogma of the faith, while many other formerly Catholic countries will abandon this foremost dogma−a terrible indictment to how widespread the apostasy has become.

Why is this so? Our Lord revealed to Sr. Lucia certain chastisements of Portugal, previously protected from the ravages of WWII because the country’s bishops collegially consecrated it to the Immaculate Heart in 1931, renewing the act in 1938 and 1940. Even so, as Lucia wrote:

“But in spite of this, the Hearts of Our Good Lord and Our Good Mother are sad and grieved. Portugal in its majority does not correspond either to Their graces or love. They [the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary] frequently complain about the sinful life of the majority of the people, even of those who call themselves practical Catholics. But above all, They complain very much about the lukewarm, indifferent and extremely comfortable life of the majority of the priests and members of religious congregations.”

The number of souls He meets through sacrifice and intimate life of love is extremely small and limited. These confidences lacerate my heart, mainly because I am one of those unfaithful souls. Our Lord doesn’t restrain Himself in setting me there, showing me the mountain of my imperfections that I recognize with huge confusion…”

“Nevertheless, Our Lord goes on communicating with my soul. He seems concerned about the destiny of some countries and wishes to save Portugal, but she is guilty, too.” [7]

This revelation is a startling testimony to the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ. It reminds us of a previous declaration of the universal Church, “The times in which we live demand action−but action which consists entirely in observing with fidelity and zeal the divine laws and the precepts of the Church, in the frank and open profession of religion, in the exercise of every kind of charitable works, without regard to self−interest or worldly advantage.” [8] 

The entire Church Militant must follow Our Lady’s five requests. The Holy Father and the bishops must effect the solemn, public consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart, and all must respond to the other four requests—daily Rosary, making all we do a sacrifice for the conversion of sinners, the chaste wearing of the Brown Scapular, the Five First Saturdays of Reparation—whilst always recalling that “the Church is built of living stones. It is built of saints. And saints are made only by the grace of God and the infused virtues and gifts of the Holy Ghost, not by speeches and publicity and campaigns, which are all doomed to sterility without the essentials of prayer and sacrifice.” [9]

Marianna Bartold is the author of Fatima: The Signs and Secrets and Guadalupe: Secrets of the Image. The founding publisher of The Catholic Family’s Magnificat and editor of Sursum Corda (now Latin Mass) magazines, she also digitally publishes traditional Catholic classics on Kindle. Join Marianna on Facebook (Fatima and the Apocalypse) or her main Facebook main page (Keeping It Catholic).

Copyright Marianna Bartold 2019. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. This article (Part II) was first published in the August 2019 issue of Catholic Family News.

1) Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215; Pope Boniface VIII, the bull Unam Sanctam, 1302; Pope Eugene IV, the bull Cantate Domino, 1442.
2) Miguel, Aura. Totus Tuus: Il Segreto di Fatima nel Pontificato de Giovanni Paolo II [Itaca: Castel Bolognese, 2003]: p. 137.
3) 2 Thess 2:3.
4) Quotes on the EENS dogma came from St. Augustine, Pope Pelagius II, Pope Innocent III, Pope Clement VI, the Catechism of the Council of Trent, Pope St. Pius V, Pope Leo XII, Pope Gregory XVI, Pope Pius IX, the First Vatican Council, Pope Leo XIII, Pope St. Pius X, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Pius XI, Pope Pius XII, and John Paul II.
5) “Our Savior declares…when He says to the pastors of His Church, in the persons of His Apostles, when He sent them to preach the Gospel, ‘And whosoever shall not receive you, NOR HEAR YOUR WORDS, going forth out of that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city” [Matt. 10: 14, 15].

 “Our Savior, speaking of His Church under the figure of a flock, of which He Himself is the good shepherd, says: ‘And other sheep I have that are not of this fold; them also I must bring. And they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd’ [John 10: 16]. He is here speaking of those who were not then joined in communion with His Apostles and other disciples, and He calls them at that time ‘His sheep;’ but to show there was no salvation for them in the state in which they then were, and unless they were united to the fold, He says, ‘them also I must bring,’ which shows that, according to the disposition of the Divine decrees, it was absolutely necessary that all who belong to Jesus Christ, all whom He acknowledges for His sheep, should be brought to, and united in communion with, that one fold, which is His Church.”

“In consequence of this, we are assured that, when the Apostles began to publish the Gospel, ‘The Lord increased daily together such as should be saved.’ Or, as the Protestant translation has it, ‘The Lord daily added to the Church such as should be saved’ [Acts 2: 47]; which points out in the strongest manner, by what God actually did, that being added to the Church is a condition absolutely required by Him in order to be saved; and if that were so then, it must be so now, and to the end of the world; for the conditions of salvation, ordained at the beginning and revealed by Jesus Christ, cannot be altered by any other…”

6) Alonso, Fr. Joaquin. La verdad sobre el Secreto de Fátima, p. 61; see also Frère Michel, The Whole Truth about Fatima: The Third Secret, Vol. III, p. 684.
7) Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth about Fatima: The Secret and the Church, Vol. II. [Buffalo, NY: Immaculate Heart Publications, 1989]: pp. 749-750.
8) Pope St. Pius X, E Supremi (On the Restoration of All Things in Christ, October 4, 1903): para. 14.
9) Chautard, O.C.S.O., Dom Jean-Baptiste. The Soul of the Apostolate. [Garden City, NY: Image Books, 1961]: p. 17. [Emphasis added.]

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