Notice again that the concept of salvation for the “invincibly ignorant” is condemned here. The concept of salvation for the “invincibly ignorant,” as it is held by almost everyone who holds it today, is that some men – including those who observe non-Catholic religions – can find and arrive at salvation in these religions because they are “without fault of their own.” But this is heretical and condemned by Pius IX’s own Syllabus of Errors above.
SALVATION FOR THE “INVINCIBLY IGNORANT” REDUCED TO ITS ABSURD PRINCIPLE
Invincible ignorance becomes a destructive heresy, obliterating the necessity of the catholic faith all over the world. The theory that “invincible ignorance” saves can also be refuted by reducing it to its absurd principle, which is this: If being ignorant of the Savior could render one worthy of salvation, then Catholics are actually doing non-Christians a disservice in preaching Jesus Christ to them. St. Paul, St. Vincent Ferrer, St. Francis Xavier, Fr. Pierre De Smet, the North American Martyrs and the other countless heroic missionaries in Church history, who suffered mind-boggling hardships to preach the Gospel to the ignorant pagans, were simply making these people more culpable and more guilty before God, according to the modern heresy of salvation for the “invincibly ignorant.” If the missionaries had just stayed home, according to the invincible ignorance heresy, the sincere pagans could have been saved for never having heard of Christ through no fault of their own. But by making the effort to preach Christ to them, as the missionaries did, they were – according to the invincible ignorance heresy – rendering these persons without excuse if they failed to live up to the obligations of the Gospel or rejected it altogether. Thus, preaching the Gospel to the non-Christians, according to the heretical “invincible ignorance” theory, puts the pagans in a situation in which it is more likely that they are going to be damned. Thus, the modern heresy of salvation by being “invincibly ignorant” actually makes preaching to the pagans counterproductive for the salvation of souls. But such a notion is absurd, of course, and proves the illogical and false nature of the invincible ignorance heresy.
But, in fact, the heresy has gotten so bad today in the time of the Great Apostasy in which we live that most “Catholics” today readily profess that pagans, Jews, Buddhists, etc. who know of the Gospel and reject it can also be saved by “invincible ignorance.” But this is only the necessary result of the invincible ignorance heresy; for if pagans who’ve never heard of Christ can be saved “in good faith,” then pagans who reject Christ could also be in good faith too, for how much does one have to hear to lose his “invincible ignorance”? Once one strays from the principle – that is to say, once one rejects the divinely revealed truth – that all who die as pagans are definitely lost without exception (Pope Eugene IV, de fide), the clear cut lines of demarcation are rejected, and a gray area necessarily takes over, a gray area according to which one cannot possibly know or set limits on who is possibly in good faith and who is not.
Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos (# 13), Aug. 15, 1832: “With the admonition of the apostle that ‘there is one God, one faith, one baptism’ (Eph. 4:5) may those fear who contrive the notion that the safe harbor of salvation is open to persons of any religion whatever. They should consider the testimony of Christ Himself that ‘those who are not with Christ are against Him,’ (Lk. 11:23) and that they disperse unhappily who do not gather with Him.Therefore, ‘without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate” (Athanasian Creed).
GIFTS, DONATIONS AND WILLS
Catholics should neither will things nor give gifts/donations to those who are heretics or non-Catholics. This would include those who profess to be traditional Catholics, but don’t hold the correct positions. Well, here are some interesting canons we’ve recently come across in study. They come from the regional councils in Africa around the year 419 A.D. They inculcate the same ancient Christian concept:
Canons of the African Code, 419 A.D., Canon 22: “And that to those who are not Catholic Christians, even if they be blood relations, neither bishops nor clergymen shall give anything at all by way of donation of their possessions.”
Canons of the African Code, 419 A.D., Canon 81: “It was ordained that if any bishop should prefer to his Church strangers to blood relationship with him, or his heretical relatives, or pagans as his heirs, he shall be anathematized even after his death…”
ABOUT RECEIVING THE SACRAMENTS FROM HERETICS AND PRAYER IN COMMUNION WITH HERETICS
(For our most recent article refuting Peter and Michael Dimond’s lies and dishonesties on receiving sacraments from heretics in the debate with us, and on their website, “Sacraments from Undeclared Heretics Debate” – The Important Quotes, CLICK HERE.)
(Also see the unanimous consent of the Fathers condemns being in religious communion with heretics and forbids receiving the sacraments from them.)
This article will not refute the concept of whether validly ordained (but heretical or schismatical priests) consecrate the sacraments validly – for they do – but will rather deal with whether one may approach such priests for the sacraments. Some people claim that one may approach heretical (but validly ordained) priests for the sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession licitly and without sin. This concept however is totally false and will be thoroughly refuted in this article. (It must also be pointed out that while the validly ordained but heretical priests can consecrate most of the sacraments validly, they nevertheless cannot validly administer the sacraments of confession (Penance, Extreme Unction etc.) since they cannot give an absolution in these sacraments since they are lacking jurisdiction, which is required for the validity of these sacraments, and which they have not since they are heretics and outside the Church. See COUNCIL OF TRENT TEACHES THAT HERETICS CANNOT GIVE AN ABSOLUTION IN CONFESSION; and ST. THOMAS TEACHES THAT HERETICS CANNOT GIVE AN ABSOLUTION IN CONFESSION.)
Important to understand here is that aheretical or schismatical priest consecrate these other sacraments validly – but illicitly – and sins mortally every time he confect these sacraments. Also everyone that knowingly approach a heretical or schismatical priest for the sacraments, receives them illicitly and sins mortally every time he approach these sacraments (unless ignorance excuse him).
The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 13; "Sacraments" (1912): “The care of all those sacred rites has been given to the Church of Christ. Heretical or schismatical ministers can administer the sacraments validly if they have valid Orders, but their ministrations are sinful (see Billot, op. cit., thesis 16). Good faith would excuse the recipients from sin [that is, only if they didn’t know it was heretics they approached or that it was wrong to approach them.]”
The priest consecrates validly because of his valid ordination to the priesthood; he consecrates illicitly because of his heresy or schism.
The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 13; "Sacraments" (1912): “For administering Baptism validly no special ordination is required. Any one, even a pagan, can baptize, provided that he use the proper matter and pronounce the words of the essential form, with the intention of doing what the Church does (Decr. pro Armen., Denzinger-Bannwart, 696). Only bishops, priests, and in some cases, deacons may confer Baptism solemnly. It is now held as certain that in Matrimony the contracting parties are the ministers of the sacrament, because they make the contract and the sacrament is a contract raised by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament (cf. Leo XIII, Encyclical "Arcanum", 10 Febr., 1880). For the validity of the other five sacraments the minister must be duly ordained. The Council of Trent anathematized those who said that all Christians could administer all the sacraments (Sess. VII, can.10). Only bishops can confer Sacred Orders (Council of Trent, sess. XXIII, can.7). Ordinarily only a bishop can give Confirmation. The priestly Order is required for the valid administration of Penance and Extreme Unction (Conc. Trid., sess. XIV, can.10, can.4). As to the Eucharist, those only who have priestly Orders can consecrate, i.e. change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ.”
It should be stressed, of course, that all ordinations which has taken place in antipope Paul VI’s new rite of “Holy Orders” of bishops, priests and deacons are invalid, since they have deviated from the traditional formula of consecration. This means that all ordinations which have occurred after 1968 in Paul VI’s new rite of “Holy” Orders are invalid. This means that almost all the priests in the new Vatican II religion are invalidly ordained and never consecrate the sacraments either validly or licitly. Priests in the New Vatican II religion, however, who was ordained before 1968 and Paul VI’s new rite of ordination, are still valid priests and consecrates these sacraments validly (but illicitly) if they use the traditional formula (correct wording) of confecting these Sacraments. Some argue that even these heretical or apostate priests may be approached for the sacraments licitly. This, however, is completely false and will be thoroughly refuted in this article.
[If you want to learn more about the invalidity of Vatican II, the New Mass, and Paul VI’s new rite of ordination, consult this page:
Now, the doctrine that people can never pray in communion with heretics, receive the sacraments from heretics or enter their churches, are taught from the beginning of the Church, and its foundation is of course from the Bible.
Titus 3:10:- “A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid.”
The infallible word of God commands us to avoid a heretic after the first and second admonition.
2 John 1:9-10:- “Whosoever revolteth, and continueth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that continueth in the doctrine, the same hath both the Father and the Son. If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him, God speed you. For he that saith unto him, God speed you, communicateth with his wicked works.”
This bible verse makes it crystal clear that those who have dealings with heretics or schismatics, “communicateth with his wicked works.” This means that those who have dealings with heretics have a part of and share in their sins.
However, there is one exception to this doctrine of receiving the Sacraments from heretics. This specific canon from the Council of Florence deals with the sacrament of baptism. The Catholic Church will always make it clear when there is an exception to a doctrine.
Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Exultate Deo,” 1439: “In case of necessity, however, not only a priest or a deacon, but even a layman or woman, yes even a pagan and a heretic can baptize, so long as he preserves the form of the Church and has the intention of doing what the Church does.” (Denz. 696)
This exception on baptism is really necessary since no man can ever be saved or by any other means enter into the bosom and unity of the Church without the sacrament of baptism. This, of course, is another proof of the explicit necessity for all to be baptized in order to be saved.
Pope Paul III, The Council of Trent, Can. 5 on the Sacrament of Baptism, ex cathedra: “If anyone says that baptism [the sacrament] is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation(cf. Jn. 3:5): let him be anathema.”
Pope Eugene IV, The Council of Florence, “Exultate Deo,” Nov. 22, 1439, ex cathedra: “Holy baptism, which is the gateway to the spiritual life, holds the first place among all the sacraments; through it we are made members of Christ and of the body of the Church. And since death entered the universe through the first man, ‘unless we are born again of water and the Spirit, we cannot,’ as the Truth says, ‘enter into the kingdom of heaven’ [John 3:5]. The matter of this sacrament is real and natural water.”
The Church made this specific exception in regard to heretics since everyone - young as well as old - must receive the water of regeneration to be saved. However, the words of Pope Eugene IV, in the Council of Florence, do not allow a person to receive the sacrament of Baptism from heretics in all cases, but only in an extreme necessity. One example would be when the danger of death is imminent, and the person in question might risk dying without the sacrament of baptism. (This exception would also of course be valid if you don’t know any Catholics in your area and need baptism. If you have no Catholic friends or family members and need baptism you may be baptized by a heretic as fast as possible. See Baptism; the Steps to Convert to the Traditional Catholic Faith; the Steps for Those Leaving the New Mass; and Conditional Baptism). In such a situation, as described above, however, “not only a priest or a deacon, but even a layman or woman, yes even a pagan and a heretic can baptize, so long as he preserves the form of the Church and has the intention of doing what the Church does.” And so, it is clear why God made this exception through the Pope. Again, when there are exceptions, it will always be mentioned and made clear.
The point being made, one will not, however, find any exceptions regarding any other of the sacraments in regard to heretics or schismatics. According to the teachings of the Church, heretics and schismatics must be avoided under pain of mortal sin. You may thus not have friendly relations with them, e.g., playing sports together, or doing other activities like this, or even meet with them as one would meet with a real Catholic friend. The only exception to this would be if you’re trying to convert a heretic or an unbeliever. In such a case you can meet with him, play sports with him and talk with him. However, if your intention is wrong and you know that you keep contact with atheists or heretics for the wrong reasons, and not for the purpose of really converting them (or even if your intention is right but the sinner, heretic or schismatic is obstinate and non-convertible and refuses to listen), as all too often happens with heretical family members, then you must cease all contact with them. For doing otherwise might be the cause of your eternal destruction. How many people have not forfeited God to please other men more? How many have not lost God because they spent too much time trying to help others whilst overlooking themselves? "Beware of men", Jesus Christ warns (Matthew 10:17). Catholics must realize that few are Saved; most adult Catholics are damned. Not even Jesus Christ, who is God, could convert all the hardened Jews.
AGAINST HERETICS AND PRAYING IN COMMUNION WITH HERETICS
Catholics are explicitly forbidden to knowingly pray in communion with heretics or receive the sacraments from them as Pope Leo X and the following dogmatic Councils makes clear. These quotations, of course, also condemn the Vatican II sect’s false ecumenism, as well as their false prayer meetings or gatherings with the false religions of the world. Pope Leo X, Fifth Lateran Council, Session 8 and 9, ex cathedra: “And since truth cannot contradict truth, we define that every statement contrary to the enlightened truth of the faith is totally false and we strictly forbid teaching otherwise to be permitted. We decree that all those who cling to erroneous statements of this kind, thus sowing heresies which are wholly condemned, should be avoided in every way and punished as detestable and odious heretics and infidels who are undermining the Catholic faith.
“…All false Christians and those with evil sentiments towards the faith, of whatever race or nation they may be, as well as heretics and those stained with some taint of heresy, or Judaizers, are to be totally excluded from the company of Christ’s faithful and expelled from any position, especially from the Roman curia, and punished with an appropriate penalty…”
The Pope just said infallibly that all heretics should be avoided in every way. Note that you can only know that someone is a heretic if you yourself have obtained this knowledge of the person in question. Thus, if you know your priest to be a heretic, you are obliged to avoid him in every way, and may not approach him for the sacraments. The same authoritative language can be seen in Pope Vigilius ex cathedra decree from the Second Council of Constantinople.
Pope Vigilius, Second Council of Constantinople, 553, ex cathedra: “The heretic, even though he has not been condemned formally by any individual, in reality brings anathema on himself, having cut himself off from the way of truth by his heresy. What reply can such people make to the Apostle when he writes: As for someone who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned (Titus 3:10).”
Question: Does this mean that I cannot live with my heretical parents, even though I’ve tried to convert them?
Answer: Of course not. All it means is that you cannot unite yourself with heretics purposely (outside of what the Church approves of), or be friends with them, or be in religious communion with them. That’s what’s condemned here. The Pope is not condemning those who, in a necessity, live with a heretic, who are married with a heretic (so long as the Church has approved of it), who buys food or do business with heretics, or who work under a heretic or take orders from him, etc.
III Council of Constantinople, 680-681: “If any ecclesiastic or layman shall go into the synagogue of the Jews or the meetinghouses of the heretics to join in prayer with them, let them be deposed and deprived of communion[excommunicated]. If any bishop or priest or deacon shall join in prayer with heretics, let him be suspended from communion [excommunicated].”
The Third Council of Constantinople just defined infallibly that any person who prays in communion with heretics are to be excommunicated and refused communion for praying with other heretics. Now let’s look at some other quotes:
Council of Laodicea, 4th century, (#Canon 6): “No one shall pray in common with heretics and schismatics… It is not permitted to heretics to enter the house of God while they continue in heresy.”
Council of Carthage: “One must neither pray nor sing psalms with heretics, and whoever shall communicate with those who are cut off from the communion of the Church, whether clergy or layman: let him be excommunicated.”
Pope Pius IX, Sept. 16, 1864, letter to the English Episcopate (CH 254): “That Christians and ecclesiastics should pray for Christian unity under the direction of heretics and, what is worse, according to an intention which is radically impregnated and vitiated with heresy, is absolutely impossible to tolerate!”
1917 Code of Canon Law, Canon 823: “Mass may not be said in churches of heretics or schismatics, even though they were in the past properly consecrated or blessed.”
1917 Code of Canon Law, Canon 1258.1: “It is unlawful for the faithful to assist in any active manner, or to take part in the sacred services of non-Catholics.”
Pope Pius XI, Mortalium animos (# 10): “So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics:for the union of Christians can onlybe promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it. To the one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it.”
Pope Pius VI, Charitas Quae, April 13, 1791: “31... Keep away from all intruders, whether called archbishops, bishops, or parish priests; do not hold communion with them especially in divine worship.”
For people then to claim (in spite of all the quotations above saying otherwise) that one may pray at heretical churches or receive the sacraments from them or that an assembly presided over by heretics or an assembly that prays in communion with other heretics, to somehow be the Church of God or the Church of Catholics, is simply to deny God’s revealed infallible truth.
ST. THOMAS AGAINST COMMUNION WITH HERETICS
Now, let’s look at what St. Thomas has to say about heretics.
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Tertia Pars, Question 82, Art. 9: "I answer that, As was said above, heretical, schismatical, excommunicate, or even sinful priests, although they have the power to consecrate the Eucharist, yet they do not make a proper use of it; on the contrary, they sin by using it. But whoever communicates with another who is in sin, becomes a sharer in his sin."
First, I want to make clear that the second part of this quotation from St. Thomas (which is taken out of context by certain individuals) will be dealt with shortly in the major objections section. However, St. Thomas is clearly teaching (in agreement with the Popes) that the people who knowingly attend the churches of heretics, schismatics, or even sinful (excommunicated) priests, become a sharer in their sin. And although one may approach a sinful priest licitly until the Church has made Her sentence on him, one may nevertheless not approach a priest who is a notorious or known heretic or schismatic, even if he’s undeclared, since he is not a Catholic.
One example of a known, notorious priest that must be avoided is the following: even if a priest’s heresy or schism was concealed to most people and you perhaps was the only one who knew about it after talking to him and you thus knew him to be a heretic, then you must avoid him as a heretic and may not approach him for the sacraments. If, however, you would culpably or knowingly choose to go to such a heretical priest, then you are actually helping in this priest’s wicked and sinful deeds since you, by receiving the sacraments from him, are helping him to commit mortal sins and sacrileges against our Lord; and since you, by showing external communion with him, profess to everyone present that you have the same faith as he do. (And by the way, most if not all heretical priests today are not merely occult heretics but are in fact known as heretics to the people who uphold all (or most) dogmas, i.e., no baptism of desire, no salvation outside the Church at all). A priest who is a heretic or schismatic sins mortally when using the sacraments, and thus draws down on his own head and those he deceive an eternal flame of fire that will never be extinguished. So then, by entering the "Churches" of heretics you are clearly showing to everyone present that you are in communion with this person and that you agree with his heresies. That should be absolutely clear to any honest person.