Showing posts with label EENS: Defended- Ignorance explained by Fr. Muller. Show all posts
Showing posts with label EENS: Defended- Ignorance explained by Fr. Muller. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Invincible or Inculpable Ignorance Neither Saves nor Damns a Person

Invincible or Inculpable Ignorance Neither Saves nor Damns a Person

by Father Michael Müller, C.Ss.R.

[Editor's Note: Here is Fr. Müller clarifies the understanding of "invincible" ignorance by explaining that invincible ignorance neither saves nor condemns.

The Background: Father Michael Müller is well known for his magnificent books The Blessed Sacrament, Prayer: the Key to Salvation, The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and The Sinner's Return to God. He also authored many works that are now out of print. In 1875, he wrote a small booklet entitled A Familiar Explanation of Christian Doctrine in which he emphasized the doctrine that "outside the Church there is no salvation." His book was attacked by liberal-leaning American clergymen at the time--the Paulist Fathers . The main attack came from a "prominent Catholic priest" whom Father Müller only referred to as "Sir Oracle" (S.O.). Father Müller responded to these assaults with his superb 292 page book, The Catholic Dogma, which bears the Permisu Superiorum from his Redemptorist Order. The Redemtorist had a very strict theological scrutiny before works were published. What follows is taken verbatum from pages 211 to 218 of that book. The reader will immediately notice that in clarifying the teaching on invincible ignorance, Father Müller is also combatting the same errors so prominent in our own day.]


"But, suppose", some one will say, "a person, in his inculpable ignorance, believes that he is on the right road to Heaven, though he is not a Catholic; he tries his best to live up to the dictates of his conscience. Now, should he die in that state of belief, he would, it seems, be condemned without his fault. We can understand that God is not bound to give Heaven to anybody, but, as He is just, He certainly cannot condemn anybody without his fault."

Whatever question may be made still in regard to the great truth, in question is sufficiently answered in the explanation already given of this great truth4. For the sake of greater clearness, however, we will answer a few more questions. In the answers to these questions we shall be obliged to repeat what has already been said.