Showing posts with label EENS defended against Jim Blackburn--Catholic Answers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label EENS defended against Jim Blackburn--Catholic Answers. Show all posts

Monday, April 29, 2013

Defense against Catholic Answers Apologist Jim Blackburn

[Editor of Catholicvox-- We were listening to Catholic Answers Live and thought the answer to a question on EENS was mishandled. Writing to the staff Catholic Apologist at Catholic Answers, Jim Blackburn, we received an article he wrote on the subject as a response. We hope to help him see his understanding is not as strong as he may think. He seemed to be a man of good will, in our communications with him, so in the spirit of fraternal correction, we will attempt a rebuttal. His full article is printed below in brown, so we can't be accused of taking things out of context. Our response is in black with  documentation in blue with links to sources.---editor]


What "No Salvation Outside the Church" Means


One of the most misunderstood teachings of the Catholic Church is this one:

"Outside the Church there is no salvation" (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus).
Those trying to grasp the meaning of this teaching often struggle with its formulations by various Church Fathers and Church Councils down through history. Of course, to understand an isolated formulation of any Church teaching, one must study the historical context within which it was written: why it was written, what was going on in the Church at the time, who the intended audience was, and so on. One must discover how the magisterium (teaching office) of the Church understands its own teaching. If someone fails to do this and chooses, rather, to simply treat a particular formulation as a stand-alone teaching, he runs the risk of seriously misunderstanding it.
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Mr. Blackburn's  premise is misleading, although it isn't his per se--it is the meme around The Dogma.  We wonder, has  he really thoroughly researched the history and that of the EENSers' strict understanding of it? Thomas Aquinas said one should be thoroughly familiar with your opponents position. Is the strict understanding the original meaning or the now liberal one?  We think he may have used some articles by Fr. Most, and Fr. Sullivan's book on the subject. Thinking that that is enough. It isn't. Fr. Sullivan's book is refuted in a broad sense on this blog here in a 4 part essay "Taking Jesus as Lord and Savior".

Fr. Most has also been refuted  here on this blog. Fr. Most was caught in promoting falsehoods, even after corrected. He accused  Fr. Feeney of claiming one needs to be a registered member in a parish  to be saved, which Fr. Feeney never said or insinuated.

Mr. Blackburn also misunderstands the nature of dogmatic definitions. Definitions by their nature are to define what we believe. Some context is helpful but not necessary.  One doesn't interpret a definition, one either accepts it or rejects it.

Pope St. Pius X, Lamentabile, The Errors of the Modernists, July 3, 1907, #22:
“The dogmas which the Church professes as revealed are not truths fallen from heaven, but they are a kind of interpretation of religious facts, which the human mind by a laborious effort prepared for itself.”- Condemned [Denzinger 2022]

Even though Mr. Blackburns position is popular, this does not make it correct.