Am I a Schismatic?
It’s often been asserted that we are in serious danger of schism within the Catholic Church. Well, in the last few days I have come to suspect that we are well and truly there already.
Our Irish fathers in God have entrusted one Mike Daley with the task of explaining to us simple faithful “the thoughts, deeds, character and identity that make up the ingredients of our Catholic Christianity”. It’s all on the back of the “missalette” for July 19, entitled for some obscure reason “Soul Space”. A little search on the internet revealed that “Soul Space” is lifted bodily from the Catholic Telegraph of the Catholic archdiocese of Cincinnati for February 23, 2011.
And what’s the key to it all? “Interreligious dialogue”. It’s what keeps us Catholic, according to Mr Daley, who’s described as a religion teacher and freelance writer.
If I believed that interreligious dialogue was the key to the Catholic Faith, I’d become an evangelical Protestant tomorrow. And I’m quite sure millions of other Catholics would say the same.
Mr Daley sneers at St Cyprian’s assertion that Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (No salvation outside the Church.) But properly understood, that is a profound truth. Pope Pius IX asserted:
Well known is the Catholic teaching that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church. Eternal salvation cannot be obtained by those who oppose the authority and statements of the same Church and are stubbornly separated from the unity of the Church and also from the successor of Peter, the Roman Pontiff…There are, of course, those who are struggling with invincible ignorance about our most holy religion. Sincerely observing the natural law and its precepts inscribed by God on all hearts and ready to obey God, they live honest lives and are able to attain eternal life by the efficacious virtue of divine light and grace since God who clearly beholds, searches, and knows the minds, souls, thoughts, and habits of all men, because of His great goodness and mercy, will by no means suffer anyone to be punished with eternal torment who has not the guilt of deliberate sin… God forbid that the children of the Catholic Church should even in any way be unfriendly to those who are not at all united to us by the same bonds of faith and love. On the contrary, let them be eager always to attend to their needs with all the kind services of Christian charity, whether they are poor or sick or suffering any other kind of visitation. First of all, let them rescue them from the darkness of the errors into which they have unhappily fallen and strive to guide them back to Catholic truth and to their most loving Mother who is ever holding out her maternal arms to receive them lovingly back into her fold. Thus, firmly founded in faith, hope, and charity and fruitful in every good work, they will gain eternal salvation.
All that is a very far cry from Mr Daley’s “interreligious dialogue” which seems to amount to nothing more than indifferentism—one religion is as good as another. For instance, he clearly doesn’t think it necessary to attempt to convert the Jews; he condemns the Good Friday prayer that “they may acknowledge Jesus Christ our Lord”. As for the terms “schismatic”, applied to the Orthodox and “heretic”, applied to Protestants…tut, tut!
If Mr Daley considers Pius IX to be out of date, he can hardly oppose the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states:
Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council [that’s Vatican II] teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.”(CCC 846)
So one has to ask: Why do the Irish Catholic bishops think Mike Daley is a suitable person to instruct the faithful about “Catholic Christianity”?