Catholic Faith Defenders Inc. (Catholicam Fidei Defensor)

Immaculate Conception Cathedral Parish
Ozamiz City, Philippines
Contact Website Administrator +63918-564-4961
Bro. Wendell P. Talibong, CFD

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Canon 229 "Lay people have the duty and the right to acquaire the knowledge of Christian teachings, so that they may be able to live according to these teachings, to proclaim it and if necessary to defend it,"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Salvation Outside the Church

Salvation Outside the Church

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, following historic Christian theology since the time of the early Church Fathers, refers to the Catholic Church as "the universal sacrament of salvation" (CCC 774-776), and states: "The Church in this world is the sacrament of salvation, the sign and the instrument of the communion of God and men" (CCC 780).

Many people misunderstand the nature of this teaching. Indifferentists claim that it makes no difference what church one belongs to and that salvation can be attained through any of them. Certain radical traditionalists claim that unless one is a full-fledged, baptized member of the Catholic Church, one will be damned.

The following quotations from the Church Fathers give the straight story. They show that the early Church held the same position on this as does the contemporary Church-that while it is normatively necessary to be a Catholic to be saved (see CCC 846; Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 14), there are exceptions, and it is possible in some circumstances for people to be saved who have not been fully initiated into the Catholic Church (CCC 847).

Notice that the same Fathers who declare the normative necessity of being Catholic also declare the possibility of salvation for some who are not Catholics. These can be saved by what later came to be known as "baptism of blood" or " baptism of desire" (for more on this subject, see the Fathers Know Best pamphlet, "The Necessity of Baptism" March 1998).

The Fathers likewise affirm the possibility of salvation for those who lived before Christ and who were not part of Israel, the Old Testament Church.

However, for those who knowingly and deliberately-that is, not out of innocent ignorance-commit the sins of heresy (rejecting divinely revealed doctrine) or schism (separating from the Catholic Church and/or joining a schismatic church), no salvation would be possible until they repented and returned to live in Catholic unity.

Ignatius of Antioch

Be not deceived, my brethren: If anyone follows a maker of schism [i.e., is a schismatic], he does not inherit the kingdom of God; if anyone walks in strange doctrine [i.e., is a heretic], he has no part in the Passion [of Christ]. Take care, then, to use one Eucharist, so that whatever you do, you do according to God: For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup in the union of his blood; one altar, as there is one bishop, with the presbytery and my fellow servants, the deacons (Letter to the Philadelphians 3:3-4:1 [A.D. 110]).

Justin Martyr

We have been taught that Christ is the first-begotten of God, and we have declared him to be the Logos of which all mankind partakes [John 1:9]. Those, therefore, who lived according to reason [Greek, logos] were really Christians, even though they were thought to be atheists, such as, among the Greeks, Socrates, Heraclitus, and others like them. . . . Those who lived before Christ but did not live according to reason [logos] were wicked men, and enemies of Christ, and murderers of those who did live according to reason [logos], whereas those who lived then or who live now according to reason [logos] are Christians. Such as these can be confident and unafraid (First Apology 46 [A.D. 151]).


In the Church God has placed apostles, prophets, teachers, and every other working of the Spirit, of whom none of those are sharers who do not conform to the Church, but who defraud themselves of life by an evil mind and even worse way of acting. Where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God; where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church and all grace (Against Heresies 3:24:1 [A.D. 189]).


[The spiritual man] shall also judge those who give rise to schisms, who are destitute of the love of God, and who look to their own special advantage rather than to the unity of the Church; and who for trifling reasons, or any kind of reason which occurs to them, cut in pieces and divide the great and glorious body of Christ, and so far as in them lies, destroy it-men who prate of peace while they give rise to war, and do in truth strain out a gnat, but swallow a camel. For they can bring about no "reformation" of enough importance to compensate for the evil arising from their schism. . . . True knowledge is that which consists in the doctrine of the apostles, and the ancient constitution of the Church throughout all the world, and the distinctive manifestation of the body of Christ according to the successions of the bishops, by which they have handed down that Church which exists in every place [i.e., the Catholic Church] (ibid., 4:33:7-8).


There was never a time when God did not want men to be just; he was always concerned about that. Indeed, he always provided beings endowed with reason with occasions for practicing virtue and doing what is right. In every generation the Wisdom of God descended into those souls which he found holy and made them to be prophets and friends of God (Against Celsus 4:7 [A.D. 248]).


If someone from this people wants to be saved, let him come into to this house so that he may be able to attain his salvation. . . . Let no one, then, be persuaded otherwise, nor let anyone deceive himself: Outside of this house, that is, outside of the Church, no one is saved; for, if anyone should go out of it, he is guilty of his own death (Homilies on Joshua 3:5 [A.D. 250]).

Cyprian of Carthage

Whoever is separated from the Church and is joined to an adulteress [a schismatic church] is separated from the promises of the Church, nor will he that forsakes the Church of Christ attain to the rewards of Christ. He is an alien, a worldling, and an enemy. He cannot have God for his Father who has not the Church for his mother (The Unity of the Catholic Church 6, 1st ed. [A.D. 251]).

Cyprian of Carthage

Let them not think that the way of life or salvation exists for them, if they have refused to obey the bishops and priests, since the Lord says in the book of Deuteronomy: "And any man who has the insolence to refuse to listen to the priest or judge, whoever he may be in those days, that man shall die" [Deut. 17:12-13]. And then, indeed, they were killed with the sword . . . but now the proud and insolent are killed with the sword of the Spirit, when they are cast out from the Church. For they cannot live outside, since there is only one house of God, and there can be no salvation for anyone except in the Church (Letters 61[4]:4 [A.D. 253]).

Cyprian of Carthage

The baptism of public witness [desire] and of blood cannot profit a heretic unto salvation, because there is no salvation outside the Church (Letters 72[73]:21 [A.D. 253]).

Treatise on Rebaptism

Outside the Church there is no Holy Spirit, sound faith moreover cannot exist, not alone among heretics, but even among those who are established in schism (Treatise on Rebaptism 10 [A.D. 256]).


It is, therefore, the Catholic Church alone that retains true worship. This is the fountain of truth; this, the domicile of faith; this, the temple of God. Whoever does not enter there or whoever does not go out from there, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation. . . . Because, however, all the various groups of heretics are confident that they are the Christians and think that theirs is the Catholic Church, let it be known that this is the true Church, in which there is confession and penance and which takes a health-promoting care of the sins and wounds to which the weak flesh is subject (Divine Institutes 4:30:11-13 [A.D. 307]).


Heretics bring sentence upon themselves since they by their own choice withdraw from the Church, a withdrawal which, since they are aware of it, constitutes damnation. Between heresy and schism there is this difference: that heresy involves perverse doctrine, while schism separates one from the Church on account of disagreement with the bishop. Nevertheless, there is no schism which does not trump up a heresy to justify its departure from the Church (Commentary on Titus 3:10-11 [A.D. 386]).


We believe also in the holy Church, that is, the Catholic Church. For heretics violate the faith itself by a false opinion about God; schismatics, however, withdraw from fraternal love by hostile separations, although they believe the same things we do. Consequently, neither heretics nor schismatics belong to the Catholic Church; not heretics, because the Church loves God; and not schismatics, because the Church loves neighbor (Faith and the Creed 10:21 [A.D. 393]).


Just as baptism is of no profit to the man who renounces the world in words and not in deeds, so it is of no profit to him who is baptized in heresy or schism; but each of them, when he amends his ways, begins to receive profit from that which before was not profitable, but was yet already in him (On Baptism, Against the Donatists 4:4[6] [A.D. 400]).


I do not hesitate to put the Catholic catechumen, burning with divine love, before a baptized heretic. Even within the Catholic Church herself we put the good catechumen ahead of the wicked baptized person. . . . . For Cornelius, even before his baptism, was filled up with the Holy Spirit [Acts 10:44-48], while Simon [Magus], even after his baptism, was puffed up with an unclean spirit [Acts 8:13-19] (ibid., 4:21[28]).


When we speak of within and without in relation to the Church, it is the position of the heart that we must consider, not that of the body. . . . All who are within [the Church] in heart are saved in the unity of the ark (ibid., 5:28[39]).

Fulgentius of Ruspe

Anyone who receives the sacrament of baptism, whether in the Catholic Church or in a heretical or schismatic one, receives the whole sacrament; but salvation, which is the strength of the sacrament, he will not have, if he has had the sacrament outside the Catholic Church. He must therefore return to the Church, not so that he might receive again the sacrament of baptism, which no one dare repeat in any baptized person, but so that he may receive eternal life in Catholic society, for the obtaining of which no one is suited who, even with the sacrament of baptism, remains estranged from the Catholic Church (The Rule of Faith 43 [A.D. 524]).

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sunday, January 13, 2008


St. Peter is clearly deficted as the first among the apostles, both by Jesus and by the evangelist. St. Peter is mentioned 191 times in the New Testament. All the other apostles combined are mention by name just 130 times. And the most commonly referenced apostle apart from St. Peter is St. John, whose name appears 48 times. St. Peter's authority is unquestioned, even by St. Paul. And Peter's name appears first in virtually every listing of the apostles, just as Judas' name always appears last. If theres is a reason for a latter - which there obviously is - on what basis can we deny there is a reason for the former?
Mat. 16:15-19 - "Blessed are you, Simon, son of are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of thenetherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Some Protestant apologistsd make much of the fact the two words for "rock" in the original Greek text, Petros and Petra , have different gender endings. They claim that the gender ending results in different meanings - usually, in the size of the "rock" in question. But the different geneder endings are simply due to the fact that a man's name cannot have a feminine ending, while the Greek word for "rock" does. The error in the Protestant position becomes abundantly clear when one realizes that in the Aramaic language, which Jesus spoke, there were no gender endings for nouns. So when Jesus spoke this sentence, he would have been saying, " are rock, and upon this rock I will build my Church..." There would have been difference whatsoever in the endings of the words; it would have been the exact same word used twice. This is just one example of Protestatnt believers reading the scripture through the lens of their traditions, and missing the clear and obvious sense of certain key passages. The fact is, these are profoundly important verses, for they contain Jesus' unequivocal promise to protect and guide the Church he is to found, throug St. Peter, to whom he entrusts the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whenever God renames someone, he is calling our attention to a truly momentous event - as in Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israerl, Saul to Paul and Simon to Rock.
Is. 22:15-25 -"Eliakim is given the keys of the kingdom, thus becoming the most powerful man in the realm apart from the king himself. The keys are the sign of the royal authority. Because the keys are passed on to each successive officeholder, they indicate that the office lives on even after the individual who hold it dies. The king does not stop appointing stewards when one dies - the keys are passed along to another. Thus Jesus' royal authority did not die with St. Peter but was passed on to the next generation, as it will be until the end of time.
Accorsing to St. Paul, St. Peter was singled out by Jesus after the resurrection.
1 Cor. 15:3-5 - "For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also recieved: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures; that he was burried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared to Cephas (St. Peter), then to the Twelve."
Note too that St. Paul refers to St. Peter by the name Jesus gave him: Cephas, which is, "Rock." This reference by St. Paul is alone enough to refute the alternative intertive interpretations given for Mt. 16:15-19.
For example, if the word "Rock" referred not to Peter, but to Peter's faith, then St. Paul would making a terrible blumder in referring to Simon himself as "Rock." No, in the passage from Matthew, Jesus himself was clearly giving Simon a new name, "Rock," indicating a change in his status that was to have a momentous impact on salvation history.
The keys belong to Jesus, in the scripture, they are the sign of his authority. When he gives the keys to St. Peter in Mattew 16, he is simply delegating the authority, which is his for all eternity, thus, as Eliakim before him (see Is. 22:15-25), St. Peter is chief steward of the kingdom who wields the king’s authority.
After St. Paul receives his revelations from the Holy Spirit, he travels to Jerusalem specifically to confer with St. Peter.
Gal. 1:18 – “Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to confer with Cephas…” This is an awesome indication of the position of the authority, which St. Peter occupied. Also note that once again Paul refers to Peter by the name Jesus gave him – Cephas, or “Rock.”
Abraham was the patriarch of the old covenant, and his name was changed by God to underscore his status. Abraham was also,, in the passage quoted here, the only man reffered to as “rock” until Jesus reffered to St. Peter that way. Elsewhere, that metaphor was reserved for God (Deut. 32:4; 1 Sam. 2:2; Ps. 18:3, etc.). So not only reffering to Simon as “Rock” but also by changing his name in the process, Jesus is establishing an undeniable parallel between Simon Peter and Abraham. Peter is the patriarch of the new covenant, just as Abraham was the patriarch of the old.
Acts 2:14:36 – “Then Peter stood up with the eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed…” This is the first Christian sermon detailed in scripture. Already St. Peter’s status as leader is clear, as shown by the title, “the Eleven,” which never included Peter.
Jesus prays for St. Peter alone among the apostle.
Lk. 22:31-32 – “ Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.” Peter receives special attention from Jesus. Jesus observes that Satan is seeking to break the apostles’ faith. Jesus response is to pray for Peter and direct him to hold the rest of the apostles firm. Jesus’ statement devotails perfectly with Peter’s role as the “Rock” upon which the Church rests, and the pope’s role in Church history.
Three times Jess asks St. Peter:
Jn. 21:15-17 –“ Do you love me?...” and three times he commands Peter to “feed my lambs” and “tend my sheep.” Note that Jesus makes no such request of any other apostle. St. Peter is supplied with supernatural means to accomplish the task Jesus gives him.
Mat. 17:24-27 –“…go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open his mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you.” Peter, in paying the tax for Jesus, acts as the Lord’s proxy in this earthly matter.
St. Peter initiates and then supervises the choice of Judas’ successor.
Acts 1:15-26 – “During those days Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers…”
Jesus acknowledges the authority of the Pharisees when they speak from the Chair of Moses.
Mat. 23:1-3 – “…Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example.’” Incidentally, the phrase, “the chair of Moses,” is not found anywhere in the Old Testament. The fact that the Lord refers to it here confirms the fact that Jesus acknowledged the authority of tradition.
Out of 265 Pope, 79 were saints, only 10 were immoral or corrupt, and not one ever taught error in areas of faith and morals. That’s a failure rate of less than 4 percent. By way of comparison, of the apostles picked by Jesus, one out of the original twelve was evil – representing a failure rate of 8 percent. So the supposed evil and corruption of the popes of history is hardly a reason to despair of the institution of the papacy. Indeed, we would suggest that the extremely low number of evil popes suggest Holy Spirit is guiding their selection and providing them support.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Priests do not come between Jesus and us. They are in Jesus, and of Jesus, and with Jesus. Thes priestly fuction actually dates back through the New Testament, to the earliest Old Testament times, with Melchizedek who offered sacrifice on behalf of Abraham. As St. Cyprian of Carthage wrote around the year 250 A.D.: "If Christ Jesus, our Lord and God, is Himself the High Priest of God the Father; and if He oofered Himself as a sacrifiec to the Father; and if He commanded the this be done in commemoration of Himself - then certainly the priest, who imitates that which Christ did, truly functions in place of Christ." (The Faith of The Early Fathers, Vol. 1, William A. Jurgens, pp. 232-233)
Deut. 34:18 - "Now Joshua, son of Nun, was filled with the spirit of wisdom, since Moses had laid his hands upon him; and so the Istraelites gave him their obedience, thus carrying out the Lord's command to Moses." The wisdom and the authority of the Holy Spirit are imparted through the laying on of hands by those already in authority. This is still the case today, as we see in the Sacrament of the Holy Orders, which is conducted by a bishop, acting under the authority given to the apostles by Jesus himself.
Gen. 14:18 - "Melchizedek, king od Salem, brought out bread amd wine, and being a priest of God Most High, he blessed Abram..." Why did Abraham need to be blesses by a man, when he was chosen by God to be the father of nations? In scripture, no one takes mantle of spiritual authority upon himself. Even Moses, after being chosen by God, reports to "all the elders of the Israelites" to convince them of his call (Ex.4:29-31). Likewise, Jesus himself is dedicated in the temple and baptized in the Jordan. In submitting to such sacramental rituals himself, Jesus is showing us that no one outside of the divinely ordainde spiritual authority of the Church.
Heb. 7:1-28 - " You are priest forever according the order of Melchizedek..." Jesus has become the guaranettee of an (even) better covenant...he, because he remains forever, has a priesthood that does not pass away."
Refers to Ps. 110:4 - "Like Melchizedek you are a priest forever..." The priesthood of the Lord is on going and eternal. And since priesthood of individual men is based on thew priesthood of Jesus, we know it is ongoing and eternal also.
At Pentecost, Jesus ordainde the apostles and commissioned them to go out and minister to world.
Jn. 20:19-23 - "As the Father has sent me, so I send you,' And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, 'Received the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retained are retained.'" The fact that he sent them as the Father had sent him shows that he intends them to function as he did - as priest. It is no coincidence that it is here he also give them the priestly power to forgive sins.
Acts 8:9-25 - When Simon the Magician wishe to recieve the power of the Holy Spirit, he did not simply declare himself a minister and begin to preach. Instead, he approached St. Peter with his proposition. Even this sinner knew that he could not ordain or anoint himself.
1 Tim. 5:17 - "Presbyters who preside well deserve double honor, especially those who toil in preaching and teaching... Do not lay hands too readily on anyone..."
Heb. 6:2 - "...laying on of hands..."
Mal. 2:7 - "...The lips of the priest are to keep knowledge, and instruction is to be sought from his mouth, because he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts."
Phil. 1:1 (KJV) -"Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons."
The Church hierarchy existed from the first Christian generation. All the faitfull are "a royal priesthood, a holy nation"(1 Pet. 2:9), because we offer all we have and all we do to the service of the Lord. And we pray that our personal sacrifice is acceptable to him. But that does not mean we are authorized as individuals to offer Mass on behalf of the community. That privilege is se-aside for men to whom the Holy Spirit has been imparted through the laying on of hands. It is no accident that we see no one in the early Church taking such authority upon themselves. In apostolic times, the authority to teach and preach was always imparted through the laying on of hands by the apostles.