Taken From CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS: A DEFENSE OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH
Fr. W. Devivier, SJ
Edited by Bishop S.G. Messmer, DD, DCL
Bishop of Green Bay, Wisc.
BENZIGER BROTHERS, 1903
Certain Accusations Against the Church: Part 1
Holy in her Founder, ever pure in her doctrine and moral teaching, the Church has never ceased to lead her members to the practice of the most beautiful and even the most heroic virtues. Thus, despite human infirmity and the violence of human passions, Catholics have ever numbered among them innumerable Saints, apostles, ministers, men of great and noble character, incapable of baseness, ready to devote themselves to works of the highest perfection and the most sublime charity. But though man may make a noble use of his liberty, and wage a generous war against his passions, nevertheless he is only too often led to heed their voice. The grace of Baptism, and even that of Holy Orders, does not destroy the evil inclinations of the human heart.
In the course of eighteen centuries abuses could not but creep into the morals of Christian peoples; there could not but be found sins and crimes among Catholics, and even among priests and bishops neglectful of their duties.
But what do the enemies of Catholicism do at sight of these inevitable human failings? Instead of admiring the marvels wrought in souls by the doctrines of the Gospel, despite the weakness of degenerate human nature and the allurements of passion, they eagerly seize upon the abuses and faults to be found during this long series of centuries, and, making them the foundation of their polemics, never cease to cast them in the face of the Church, as if she were responsible for them. The regeneration which she has wrought in the world, her persistent condemnation of all that is contrary to the Divine law, count as naught in their eyes; the crimes of a few Baptized reprobates furnish the arsenal of these scandal-mongers.
Yet, as this arsenal is not well furnished, they find themselves forced to resort continually to the same weapons, notwithstanding they have become blunt and almost harmless; they ignore the most convincing refutations, and at every opportunity cite the Inquisition, the condemnation of Galileo, and a small number of similar charges. To guard weak souls and defend the Church against these puerile accusations, the apologist must show how little foundation there is for them.
This is what we shall do in the following chapter. 
ART. I.----INTOLERANCE OF THE CHURCH. 
I. IN WHAT SENSE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS INTOLERANT.
If we understand the true meaning of this word, that is, in the sense of dogmatic or doctrinal intolerance, it needs no defence, and the Catholic Church is far from defending herself against this alleged reproach. Dogmatic, doctrinal, or religious tolerance amounts to religious indifference, which refuses to acknowledge any religion as exclusively true or of obligation. Dogmatic intolerance, on the contrary, is an essential prerogative of truth, and it is a universal and necessary consequence of the very existence of the Catholic religion, which alone is true and binding upon all men.
To reproach the Church with this intolerance is to reproach her with being and with believing herself necessary truth. It belongs to truth to exclude all that is contrary to it, and consequently not only is true religion intolerant, but so also is all science. There is nothing more intolerant than mathematics, for the reason that it is founded on invariable principles. The Church, by the very fact that she is certain of possessing religious truth in its entirety, must inexorably condemn all error. Thus Bossuet acknowledged that "the Catholic religion is the most severe and the least tolerant of all religions;" and Jules Simon, a contemporary naturalist philosopher, confesses that "the lawfulness of ecclesiastical intolerance is beyond dispute."
We readily acknowledge that, in this sense, the other religious societies are not intolerant. J. J. Rousseau could say of Protestantism: "The Protestant religion is tolerant in principle, it is essentially tolerant, it is as tolerant as it is possible to be, since the only dogma it does not tolerate is that of intolerance." But such praise is the most crushing refutation of a religious doctrine.
But if the Catholic Church is justly intolerant of evil doctrines and vice, as truth must necessarily be, she is full of mercy for the erring and for sinners. Established for the salvation of men; she leaves nothing undone to wrest souls from their eternal ruin. Ever faithful to the command she received from God, she has striven to convert the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that is, she has striven to persuade souls and has never resorted to violence or constraint. Like her Divine Master, she has at all times suffered persecutions and shed her blood for the salvation of men. If at times she has thought proper to chastise her own rebellious children, it was in virtue of a right which no one thought of disputing, and she has always administered chastisement with a motherly hand, to convert her children or to remove scandal from among them. Such has not been the conduct of heretical sects, nor, of the other enemies of the Church.
II. PROTESTANT INTOLERANCE. 
It is remarkable that the same men who unjustly accuse the Church of intolerance usually award the fullest approbation to Protestantism, as if it represented the true tolerance approved by sound reason. But if we question history written by Protestants themselves, we shall see, as the Protestant Menzel affirms, that "where Protestantism reigned, intolerance reigned."
1. Luther, the first founder of Protestantism, whom they would represent as the apostle of tolerance and the liberator of thought, notwithstanding he openly denies free-will, publicly commanded his followers "to gain Heaven at the point of the sword, to ascend to God on mountains of the slain." His war-cry was, "Live the Bible, death to Papists!" "Rush upon the Pope," he tells his followers, "and kill him, as well as all about him, emperors, kings, princes, and rulers." "We must wash our hands in their blood," the bold innovator repeatedly cried.
These frequent exhortations to massacre met with only too ready response, and resulted in the well-known war of the peasants (1525) enkindled in Germany by the apostate monk. As long as their ravages and cruelties were exercised in Catholic countries the innovator approved of these undisciplined hordes; but when he found them, under the guidance of Munzer, invading countries where the Reformation had been established, he immediately excited Protestant rulers against them. "To arms, princes!" he exclaimed. "Strike, slay, kill them openly and in secret, for there is nothing more diabolical than sedition; it is a dog which will attack you if you do not destroy it." "It is not only your right," he said again to Protestant princes, "it is also your duty to establish the pure Gospel, to protect the new Churches, to destroy the authority of the Pope, and to allow no strange doctrine to be propagated." "Admirable times," he exclaims elsewhere, "when princes can more easily merit Heaven by massacring the peasants and by shedding
blood than they could formerly by pouring forth prayers to God. Every peasant slain is lost body and soul, and belongs for eternity to the devil." More than one hundred thousand of these unfortunate creatures perished, and Luther gloried in these odious massacres. "It was I," he exclaimed, "who shed this blood by the order of God."
Such was the cold-blooded cruelty of this leader of the Reformation, whose barbarous exhortations were only too faithfully followed. The sacrilegious robbery of churches
and monasteries, armed revolt, the massacre of entire populations, the Thirty Years' War which covered the country with blood and ruins, were the high achievements which signalized Protestantism in Germany.
2. And what was taking place in Switzerland? Calvin, the most infamous and the most cruel of tyrants, wrote a whole book solely to prove that heretics ought to be put to death. Adding example to precept, he caused Michael Servetus to be burned alive for the crime of heresy, James Gruet to be beheaded for an attempt to subvert his Church ordinances, and Valentine Gentilis for deliberate heresy. Antoni, Funch, Bolsec, Castellio, Ochino, Alicot, and a hundred others paid with their lives for the unpardonable boldness of censuring the reformer. To abstain from any act of the new religion, such as preaching or communicating, constituted a crime of high treason, and was punished accordingly. "Calvin," says Gallifet, a Protestant writer, "established first by craft and afterward by violence the reign of the most ferocious intolerance, of the grossest superstition, of the most impious dogmas. . . . Only blood would satisfy this base soul."
This same man desired that Anabaptists should be treated as brigands. "In the legislation conceived of by this monster," says Audin, "nothing but the word death resounded; blood flowed everywhere. The scaffold or the stake cut short all resistance."
Nor were the measures of Zwinglius more gentle. Witness his letter of May 4, 1525, to Ambrose Blaurer, quoted by Janssen in Ein zweites Wort an meine Kritiker, where he declares it lawful to massacre priests, if necessary, in order to abolish images and the Mass.
3. France presented a like spectacle. The Calvinist Huguenots kindled a fierce civil war; pillaged Orleans, Pithiviers, Nimes, Auxerre, Bourges, Montpellier, whole provinces; massacred the inhabitants and destroyed the churches they encountered in their route, hanging or drowning the priests and religious who fell into their hands. At Orthes they destroyed the whole Catholic population, numbering three thousand souls. In the year 1562 alone they put to death, according to their own account, four thousand priests and religious, destroyed twenty thousand churches and ninety hospitals. "The Queen of Navarre's violence toward priests and religious," says Bossuet, "is well known: the towers whence Catholics were cast and the abysses into which they were flung are still shown." 
4. Similar intolerance prevailed in Denmark, where Lutheranism was introduced with Christian II, surnamed the Nero of the North. Under his successor, Frederick II., such horrors were perpetrated upon religious that even the Protestant historian Mallet (Histoire du Denmark, t. vi.) says that 'in no country where the Reformation was established did monks suffer such vexations as in Denmark;" every Catholic priest and every one who sheltered a priest were under sentence of death. In Sweden, which became Lutheran under Gustavus Vasa, the cruelty of this prince toward Catholics was so horrible and the massacres so terrible that they excited the indignation of Luther himself. [Emphasis added.]
5. The history of the schism in England, which sprang from the passions of a debauched prince, says that Henry VIII condemned to the scaffold two queens, two cardinals, twenty archbishops and bishops, more than five hundred abbots, priors, monks, a host of doctors, dukes, counts and other noblemen, among the latter the celebrated Thomas More, more than seventy-two thousand Catholics of all ranks. "I would I could efface from our annals," says Fitz William, the Anglican author of the" Letters of Atticus," "all trace of the long series of iniquities which accompanied the Reformation in England. They record injustice and oppression, rapine, murder, and sacrilege. Such were the means by which the inexorable and bloodthirsty tyrant Henry VIII, the founder of our faith, established the supremacy of his new Church. All who wished to preserve the religion of their fathers and continue to adhere to the authority which he himself had taught them to revere were treated as rebels, and soon became his victims." It was principally under the reign of the virgin queen, the good Elizabeth, as she was called (1559-1603), that the persecutions against Catholics assumed the most barbarous character. This worthy daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn put to death no fewer Catholics than her father; her atrocities startled the world and surpassed those of pagan antiquity. The massacres she ordered in Ireland were so terrible that, according to the Protestant writer Leland, "little more than ashes and dead bodies remained for her Majesty Elizabeth to govern."
6. We cannot read without a shudder the account which the Protestant historian Kerroux gives in his Abrege de l'histoire de la Hollande, t. ii., of the cruel tortures which Catholics endured in the Netherlands. It is well known that in the provinces of Brabant and Flanders alone the Gueux destroyed in less than five days more than four hundred churches and cathedrals; that they perpetrated upon priests, religious, and the Catholic faithful atrocities which could not be believed, if the lamentable facts were not continued by incontestable historical documents.
Such was everywhere the conduct of Protestants toward those who remained faithful to the religion of their fathers. Let us not forget that the reformers proclaimed free interpretation of the Scriptures, that is, the right to believe what one pleases, as the fundamental dogma of the new religion.
III. INTOLERANCE OF OTHER ENEMIES OF THE CHURCH. 
The philosophy of the eighteenth century has shown itself little less gentle or tolerant than Protestantism. The same Rousseau who vigorously protested against the cruel dogma of intolerance, and who recognized nothing true in any positive religion, does not hesitate to declare that the State may prescribe a civil, consequently positive, religion and that under pain of death! It belongs to the sovereign, he says in the Contrat social, "to fix the articles of religion." Then he adds these words, in which cruelty rivals effrontery: "Without the power of compelling anyone to believe the articles of faith contained in the religion of a country, the sovereign may banish from the State those who do not believe them, not on the ground of impiety, but as detrimental to the State. . . . If anyone after publicly acknowledging these dogmas conduct himself as though he did not believe them, he should be put to death; he has committed the greatest of crimes, he has lied before the law." Yet, according to Rousseau, no man's faith should be forced.
This tolerance of the sophist of Geneva is still that of certain quasi-humanitarian philosophers of our day. Some of them go so far as to regret that the reformers in 1793 did not complete their work of destruction; they are only waiting an opportunity to resort to brute force against Catholicism in order to render the practice of it absolutely impossible, to stifle it in the mire. Witness the urgent counsels given by Edgar Quinet; they are addressed to ail who, like himself, are inspired with satanic hatred of the Church. The events which have taken place before our eyes show that these counsels of sovereign intolerance were understood and followed. 
REMARK.----No doubt there have been Catholic princes who, through excess of unenlightened zeal, resorted to violence to convert infidels or sectarians, but in doing so they followed their personal inspiration and not the rules of the Church. The Church does not admit this kind of apostolate, and she cannot be held responsible for that which she condemns. It is quite otherwise with Protestantism and infidelity: here the very founders of the Reformation, the leaders themselves of infidel philosophy, incited the most cruel intolerance by word and example. Yet it is remarkable how rarely the enemies of the Church are heard to condemn these atrocities. On the contrary, they praise and encourage the countries where Catholics are oppressed at the present day, and their intolerant conduct is held up as worthy of imitation. Is not this the climax of injustice, of unfairness, of inconsistency?
IV. ON THE MAXIM: OUTSIDE THE CHURCH THERE IS NO SALVATION. 
But the Catholic Church cannot, it will be said, defend herself against the charge of intolerance and cruelty when she publicly proclaims that there is no salvation for those who die outside her fold. What numbers she condemns to eternal damnation only because they do not belong to the Church of Rome! We have already given in a few words the solution of this difficulty. But what we have said requires further development. We shall see whether the old man whom Rousseau causes to speak in such moving terms, really deserves our pity. 
This maxim is only a perfectly rational conclusion of that which has been previously demonstrated. In fact, if the true religion, that of Jesus Christ, is necessary for salvation, and if this religion is exclusively that of the Church of Rome, we have to acknowledge that outside the Church of Rome there is no salvation; in other words, that no one can be saved if he does not belong in some way to this Church. Hence, if this doctrine is censurable, it is not the Church that should be reproached therefor, but her Divine Founder, Who made His religion obligatory for all.
To justify the Church, it is sufficient to state precisely the meaning and scope of the incriminated formula. Let us explain, therefore, in what way, according to Catholic doctrine, we must belong to the Church in order to be saved.
"In this sentence: Outside the Church there is no salvation, there is," says Card. Dechamps, ''as in every penal law, a word to be supplied; this word is voluntarily, since every penal law supposes guilt, and guilt supposes in its turn two conditions: fact and intention. Hence to the question: Does the Church believe that there is no salvation for persons who, born and brought up where they could have no knowledge of the Church, are in invincible ignorance of the law of Jesus Christ, but have faithfully followed the light they possessed? We must answer that such is not the belief of the Church." 
It is certain, in fact, that a law is not of obligation when it is not promulgated, and that it cannot bind the consciences of those to whom it is unknown. Thus it was after He had said to His Apostles, "Go preach the Gospel to every creature," that Our Saviour added, "He that doth not believe is already judged." The unbelief, therefore, which excludes from salvation is that which knows and resists the truth. [Emphasis added.] As St. Paul says, "How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? Or how shall they believe Him, of Whom they have not heard? . . . Faith then cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." (Rom. x. 14, 17.)
Moreover, the theological axiom which we have already quoted: "To him who does what depends upon himself God will not refuse His grace," is perfectly applicable to the present question. He who shall have followed the light of reason, and lived in conformity with that which he believes is truth, cannot be lost. "One may," says the learned Cardinal again, "belong in heart, though not in body, to the Church. Is it not very clear that every man in good faith belongs in heart to the Church, since he would enter it if he recognized it as teaching truth? Are not all who have a sincere and general desire to cling to truth, to do God's will, in this disposition? It is, in other words, a question of baptism of desire, a desire implicitly and adequately contained, as St. Thomas Aquinas says, in the general will to use the means of salvation granted by Divine Providence to man. They, therefore, who, in the event of recognizing the Church, are prepared to cast themselves upon her bosom, are regarded by God as her children, and will not fail to receive from Him the light necessary for salvation. God the Creator, Who chose to be also the Saviour of the world, died for all men, and the graces granted in view of this Victim Whom the eternal justice beheld immolated from the beginning of the, world, occisus ab origine mundi, were applied to all men without exception. Hence no man is excluded from participation in the fruits of the redemption save through his own fault, through resistance to grace, and each one will be judged according to that which he has received. Could there be a doctrine more lenient and at the same time more terrible: more lenient for the blind when their ignorance is not culpable, and more terrible for the ungrateful who, to avoid the light which surrounds them, seek in darkness reasons against the justice of God?"
Let us add a few words of explanation to those of the eminent prelate; we shall take them for the most part from P. Ollivier's excellent statement of the subject in his fifty-third and fifty-fourth Conferences.
Catholic doctrine distinguishes in the Church body and soul. The body, or visible part, consists of the members united in one society or exterior communion. The soul, or the invisible part, is sanctifying grace, the principle of supernatural life which renders man pleasing to God. To belong fully, that is, by right and fact, to the body of the Church it is necessary first to enter it by Baptism; then, when we have attained the age of reason, to adhere to it voluntarily, with full knowledge, by an act of Catholic faith; finally, we must not have incurred excommunication or have separated from the Church by embracing error. To belong to the soul of the Church it suffices, even if we do not form part of the body, to be in a state of grace. Hence it is possible to belong to the Church, and consequently to be saved, without forming part of the body of the Church. In other terms, according to Catholic doctrine, heretics, sectarians, and even infidels may possess sanctifying grace and obtain salvation. Let us explain.
1. A child born of schismatic, heretic, or infidel parents who receives Baptism, receives with it sanctifying grace, and preserves this grace as long as he is not guilty of mortal sin. He belongs to the soul of the Church, and if he dies in this state he will undoubtedly be saved. This is supposing, of course, that the child, attaining the use of reason, remains in invincible ignorance of the true religion, because it is impossible for him to learn of it, or he despises it because he has no doubt whatever of the truth of the religion he professes. But every one born or brought up in unbelief, heresy, or schism is bound to search for the true religion as soon as any serious doubts, arise in his mind concerning the truth of his creed.----If he neglect to do this, he can no longer enjoy the benefit of "good faith" and commits a grievous offence against God, the source and object of the true religion. [Some emphasis added.] Let us add that if a man, being in good faith (that is, by invincible ignorance) outside the visible unity of God's Church, has the misfortune to lose sanctifying grace through grave sin, he may be reconciled again with God. If the sect to which he belongs has retained the Sacrament of Penance, his reconciliation will be effected through sacramental confession accompanied with at least imperfect contrition; if it rejects this Sacrament, it will be by the employment of means instituted in this sect and regarded as indispensable, but in that case perfect contrition is necessary and the reason therefor is evident: he must employ these means because, judging them indispensable, he would be acting contrary to his conscience if he did not have recourse to them. At the same time, perfect contrition is necessary in this case, as the means are inefficacious of themselves.
2. As to non-Baptized children and adults who die without attaining the use of reason . . . we are taught concerning their lot:  They will enjoy a natural good, the possession of which would have constituted our happiness if we had not been raised to the superior order, and they will be deprived only of the degree of happiness resulting from the intuitive vision of God, a degree of happiness which is due to no one. 
Now to come to adult infidels, or unBaptized persons who have attained the use of reason----that is, Jews, Mohammedans, and pagans,----here is a summary of what the Church teaches regarding them. None are excluded because of unbelief, except those whose unbelief is voluntary, either directly or in its cause. As to those whose unbelief is the result of invincible ignorance, if they are lost, it will not be because they were ignorant of that which it was impossible for them to know. 
Nay, more, we are permitted to believe that these men may positively belong to the soul of the Church and consequently be saved, as the Gentiles were before the coming of the Messias. After the example of the Gentiles, they have only to obey the natural law engraven in all hearts, and those primitive traditions, preserved everywhere though frequently altered, concerning God and His providence, the promise of a Redeemer, the rewards and punishments which await man in another life. True, the Baptism of water is necessary for all who know of its necessity and who can receive it; but it may be supplied by the baptism of blood and the baptism of desire. The baptism of blood suffices for it in those who have not attained the use of reason, when they are put to death for the cause of Christ; for this reason the Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Innocents massacred at Bethlehem by King Herod. The baptism of desire suffices for those who, knowing the necessity of the Baptism of water and being for any reason whatever unable to receive it, have an explicit desire for it, accompanied by perfect contrition for grave sins. [Emphasis added.] It is even certain that the implicit desire of baptism, that is, an act of perfect love of God, for the reason that it implies the will to do whatever God prescribes for salvation, sufficed in the early ages of the Church for unbelievers among whom the Gospel had not yet been preached. The Church in fact regards the Baptism of water as necessary to salvation only from the period of the preaching of the Gospel; This is expressly stated in the Council of Trent. Now the Gospel was, and could be, promulgated only by degrees. Therefore, if there were means of salvation besides Baptism for the unbelievers of that period, because the Gospel had not been announced to them, why should not these same means exist for unbelievers of later centuries who, through no fault of theirs, are in the same condition? This is not an article of faith; but we are free to believe it, and the Church does not contradict it. [Emphasis added.] The belief, moreover, is conformable to the doctrine of great theologians, among whom we must count St. Thomas and St. Alphonsus Liguori. 
To sum up what we have said, let us observe that Catholic doctrine excludes from salvation for not having embraced the true faith only those who have been willfully ignorant of revealed truth, that is, who have not wished to know it, and those who, having an adequate knowledge of it, have refused to embrace it. Those only are actually bound to enter the Church who know her to be the necessary means of attaining salvation. Hence the formula "Outside the Church there is no salvation" is in every way rational and logical; and they who cite it against the Church do so in error or bad faith----in error when they misapprehend the precise and full meaning of the axiom, and in bad faith when they refuse to acknowledge it.
But does not the rigor of the Inquisition contradict this reputation for clemency which we would maintain for the Church? The charge is unceasingly repeated in books, journals, periodicals, and pamphlets hostile to our faith. Hence it is necessary to treat separately a question which gives rise to so much malicious declamation.
1. As to certain accusations prompted by ignorance or prejudice---for example, that we are obliged to believe all the fancies it may please the Pope to publish; that we adore the saints, their images and relics; that our worship consists only in exterior ceremonies; that to obtain the pardon of our sins, absolution without repentance is sufficient; that with money we can buy the forgiveness of present or future sins, and similar absurd charges----a Catholic with ordinary religious instruction can readily refute them.---EDITOR.
2. See note 7 on previous page also Rickaby, Oxf. Conf., I., and C. T. S., vol. 36; Milner, End of Contr., 1. 49.
3. Orjanam, A. F., Protestantism and Liberty (London, 1874); Spalding, M. J., Miscell., Introduction and essays 10, 11, 12; Bp. England's Works, vol. i., 1. 17 to Blanco White; Marcy, ch. 27 ff.; Kenrick, Vindication of Catholics, lect. 19; Craig, Christian Persecutions; Martinet, Solution of Great Problems, ii., ch. 57 to 65; Br. W. x.; C. W. xvi. 289. On the persecution of Catholics in England and Ireland see works by Challoner, Moran, Pollen, Thompson, Morris, Foley, Madden (Penal Laws); in Acadia, Shea, vol. i., p. 421 ff.; A. C. Q. ix. 592, xii. 341; in Holland, D. R., Apr. 1894, p. 388; in New England, Spalding, M. J., 1. c., essays 19, 20,34; D. R. Old Ser. i. 314, xxxviii. 273; in Prussia, Spalding, J. L., Essays, etc.; Parsons, Studies, VI., ch. 1.
4. History of the Variations of Protestantism, vol. ii. See C. W., Apr. 1898. Cfr.. references to art. 7 below.
5. On persecution in Russia and Poland see Parsons, Studies, V., ch. 3,4 (A. C. Q.,xxii.,xxiii.); D.R. Old Ser. xiv. 223, Oct. '95; C. W. lix.757; M. lxxx. 166, Sept. '95.
6. What a terrible commentary upon this modern "Gospel of Tolerance" is furnished by the Masonic persecution raging this very day against the religious orders and the hierarchy in France.---EDITOR.
7. Dr. Edw. Hawarden, Charity and Truth; Hay, Sincere Christian, vol. ii., append.; Schanz, III., ch. 9; Ryder (C. T. S., vol. v.); Balmes, Letters to a Sceptic, 1.16; Hunter, i., n. 181; Walsh, The Saved and Lost; Rickaby, Oxf. C., I., ch. 3; Br. W. v. 571; C. W. xxxi. 481, xlvii. 145, xlviii. 509; A. E. R., July '92; M. lvii. 363, lxxiii. 236, 344.
8. Protestants figure most prominently among those who attack the Catholic Church on the subject of this maxim. Yet this principle with which they reproach the Church is a logical consequence of the doctrine of their principal leaders. Hence they are in contradiction with themselves. What right have they to censure in us that which they themselves have to admit, that which is explicitly professed in the formulas of faith drawn up in the earliest stages of Protestantism? For example, we read in the Helvetic Confession of Faith of 1565: "There is no salvation outside the Church, any more than there was outside the ark; and if we would have life, we must not separate from the true Church of Jesus Christ.' " The Saxon, the Belgian, and the Scotch Confessions of Faith are no less explicit on this point. "Outside the Church," says also the Calvinist catechism of the seventeenth century, "there is only damnation: all who separate from the communion of the faithful to form a sect apart should not hope for salvation so long as they remain thus separated." Moreover, Calvin himself affirms in his "Institutions" that "outside the Church we cannot hope for the remission of sins or for salvation."
9. Newman, Certain Difficulties felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching, vol. i., pp. 354-5; Lilly, Characteristics from the Writings of Card. Manning, p. 247 ff.
10. Balmes, 1. Co, 1.15; C. W.li. 456.
11. A large number of theologians, certainly the majority, not to say the best authorities among them, affirm that the punishment of Original Sin consists solely in the privation of supernatural happiness (the sight of God), a happiness, moreover, which is not due man.
St. Thomas maintains that children who die without Baptism not only will not suffer the pain of sense, but not even sadness through the pain of the damned, that is, through the privation of the Beatific Vision. Grave theologians admit that these children will enjoy a more or less perfect natural happiness.
12. All theologians distinguish negative from positive unbelief. Negative unbelief is not a sin. It is found in persons who do not believe in Revelation because they are ignorant of it through no fault of their own. Positive unbelief is a sin because it is found in those to whom Revelation has been sufficiently revealed and taught. Such persons will certainly be condemned to the suffering of the damned and the pain of sense, for they are guilty of an actual sin of positive unbelief. Muzarrelli. Du Salut des paiens. See also Balmess 1. c., 1.16; A. C. Q. ix. 45; I. E. R., Feb. '93.
13. Let us observe also these words of a judicious writer, the Abbe Ant. Pirenne, in his Etudes philosophiques sur les principales questiom de la religion revelee: "Let us suppose that a pagan (it is the same with heretics and sectarians) dies loving God for Himself and above all things, he is thereby saved. For with charity (supernatural) he has everything: charity of itself justifies. And observe that the smallest degree of charity is sufficient; for the essence of a virtue does not consist in its intensity; a drop of water is as truly water as the ocean, and the quantity of a thing does not influence its nature. Thus charity exists with attachment to venial sin; above all, it may exist without any sensible devotion. You are saved, then, if you leave this life loving God for Himself and above all things that would involve mortal sin. You are saved whatever the circumstances in which you find yourself. If at this supreme moment, pagan, heretic, or schismatic, you receive from God the gift of charity, even a small degree of it which does not take away your attachment to venial sin, you have sufficient for salvation, for charity renders contrition perfect; perfect charity and contrition include the desire, at least implicit desire, for Baptism and Confession.
"If we would know in what way charity is communicated to the faithful, here is the reply of Leibnitz, a reply which he has borrowed from Catholic theologians: 'God will give what is necessary to all who do what humanly depends upon them, even if it were necessary to work a miracle.' "