by Rev. Michael Muller, C.SS.R. During the Reign of Pope Pius IX
Blessed Pope Pius IX (13 May 1792, Senigallia – 7 February 1878), born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, was the longest-reigning elected Pope in the history of the Catholic Church, serving from 16 June 1846 until his death, a period of nearly 32 years. During his pontificate, he convened the First Vatican Council in 1869, which decreed papal infallibility. The Pope defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, meaning that Mary was conceived without original sin. Pius IX also granted the Marian title of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, a famous Byzantine icon from Crete entrusted to the Redemptorist priests. In addition to this, Pius IX was also the last Pope to rule as the Sovereign of the Papal States, which fell completely to Italian nationalist armies by 1870 and were incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy. He was beatified in 2000.
1. Do all admit that the Catholic Church is the first and the oldest Church, and, consequently the Church established by Jesus Christ?
That the Catholic Church is the first and oldest and consequently the Church established by Jesus Christ, is and must be admitted by all, because it is a fact clearly proven by Scripture and by history.
2.Who bear witness to this fact?
The Jews and the Gentiles bear witness to it, and even Protestants themselves acknowledge it, because, if asked why they call themselves Protestants, they answer: “Because we protest against the Catholic Church.” [ or because they did not like being called, “Novatories” – Latin word for dreamers of novel ideas.]-CityofGod.Blog.]
3. What follows from this answer?
That the Catholic Church is older than Protestantism; otherwise they could not have protested against her.
4. If we go still farther back and ask the Greeks how they came into existence, what will be their answer?
The Greek Church must answer: “We began by separating from the Catholic Church in the ninth century.”
5. What follows from this?
That the Catholic Church existed for eight hundred years before the Greek Church began, and consequently, it is older than the Greek Church.
6. If we thus go back to the very days of the Apostles, what do we find everywhere in regard to the manner in which religious sects arose?
If we go back to the days of the Apostles, we find that every sect separated from the Catholic Church, and therefore we see Calvinists, Kilhamites, Quakers, Shakers, Panters, Seekers, Jumpers, Reformed Methodists, German Methodists, Wesleyan Methodists, Baptists, Particular Baptists, Hardshell Baptists, Softshell Baptists, Forty-Gallon Baptists, Sixty-Gallon Baptists, Mennonites, Millerites, Universalists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Mormons, Christian Perfectionists, etc., etc., etc.
[ Now a reliable source Britanica counts over 49,000 sects of Protestantisms. – no one knows what they believe] – the City of God.Blg.com
7. Is it not all the same to God whatever religion a person professes? [20th 21st century Indiffernt-ism is global See United Religious Institute founded 1995!]
If it were all the same to God whatever religion a person professes, God would not have forbidden, in the First Commandment, to worship Him in any other than in the true religion. Nor would Christ have solemnly declared: “He who will not hear the Church let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican.” (Matt. 18:17.)….. added -”Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.” Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them: I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me: (Ex20:3,5)
8. Who, then, will be saved?
Christ has solemnly declared that only those will be saved who have done God’s will on earth as explained, not by private interpretation, but by the infallible teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. “Not everyone,” says Christ, “who saith to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he that doth the will of My Father Who is in heaven, he shall enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 7:21.) The will of the heavenly Father is that all men hear and believe His Son, Jesus Christ. “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him.” (Luke 9:35.)
9. Must, then, all who wish to be saved, die united to the Catholic Church?
All those who wish to be saved, must die united to the Catholic Church. For out of her there is no salvation, because only she teaches what Jesus Christ requires of everyone to be saved, and because only to her did Christ leave the means to obtain all the graces necessary for salvation. Hence Jesus said to His Apostles and to all their lawful successors: “Go and teach all nations: teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. He that believeth not all these things shall be condemned.”
Our Divine Savior says: “No one can come to the Father, except through Me.“If we then wish to enter heaven, we must be united to Christ – to His [Mystical] Body, which is the Church, as Saint Paul says. Therefore outside the Church there is no salvation.
Again, Jesus Christ says: “Who-ever will not hear the Church, look upon him as a heathen and a publican,” a great sinner. Therefore outside the Church there is no salvation.
Holy Scripture says: “The Lord added daily to the Church such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47.) Therefore the Apostles believed and the Holy Scriptures teach that there is no salvation out of the Church.
10. What did Saint Augustine and the other Bishops of Africa, at the Council of Zirta, in 412, say about the salvation of those who die outside the Roman Catholic Church?
“Whosoever,” they said, is separated from the Catholic Church, however commendable in his own opinion his life may be, he shall for the very reason that he is separated from the union of Christ not see life, but the wrath of God abide on him.” (John 3:36.)
11. What does Saint Cyprian say about the salvation of those who die outside of the Roman Catholic Church?
Saint Cyprian says: “He who has not the Church for his mother cannot have God for his Father.” And with him the Fathers of the Church in general say that, “as all those who were not in the ark of Noah perished in the waters of the deluge, so shall perish all who are out of the true Church.”
12. Who are out of the pale of the Roman Catholic Church?
Out of the pale of the Roman Catholic Church are all unbaptized and all excommunicated persons, all apostates, unbelievers, and heretics.
Infidels and Apostates
13. How do we know that unbaptized persons are not saved?
That unbaptized persons are not saved, we know from Christ, Who said: “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5.) For God cannot unite Himself to such souls in heaven on account of original sin, with which they are defiled.
14. How do we know that persons justly excommunicated who are unwilling to do what is required of them before they are absolved, are not saved?
Persons justly excommunicated, who are not willing to do what is required of them before they are absolved, are not saved, because the sin of great scandal, for which they were as dead members expelled from the communion of the Church, excludes them from the kingdom of heaven. (“Whatsoever”)
15. Which Catholics are excommunicated?
All those Catholics are excommunicated, who are members of secret societies, which have been excommunicated [condemned] by the Church, such as Freemasonry, and other societies affiliated with it under various names.
16. Why have several Popes solemnly excommunicated all Freemasonry?
All Freemasons have been solemnly excommunicated by several Popes on account of the main object and spirit of Freemasonry, to establish heathenism or the Church of Satan all over the world:
1. By upsetting governments to obtain for themselves the power of governing and making impious laws for their subjects;
2. By trying to overthrow the Catholic Church, which teaches and maintains the rights and laws of God and civil society;
3. By spreading immoral and impious principles through the infidel press and other satanic means;
4. By establishing public schools for the infidel education of youth.
18. How do we know that apostates are not saved?
Apostates from the Catholic Faith are not saved, because to fall away from the Faith is a great sin, which makes one lose the kingdom of heaven.*
*Apostasy, or the failing away from the true Faith, is a kind of infidelity. As the virtue of true faith unites us with God, so the sin of apostasy separates us from Him. As the real loss of faith is a total separation from God and His Holy Church, it is called apostasy of perfidy. Whoever is guilty of this kind of apostasy, is deprived of grace and of all other means of salvation, for, “Faith is the life of the soul: the just man lives by faith.” (Rom. 1: 17.) “When the soul, the life of the body.” says Saint Thomas Aquinas, “has left the body, all its natural powers and physical organization begin to be dissolved. In like manner, when true faith, the life of the soul is totally destroyed, a mortal disorder, a spiritual contagion, pervades all the members and faculties of the body, which are the instruments of the soul.” Hence it is, that the apostate uses every faculty of his soul and body to pervert others, by inducing them to renounce the Faith which he himself has renounced to his own perdition. “It had been better for them (heretics and apostates) not to have known the way of justice than, after having known it, to turn away from it.” (II Peter 2: 21.) “Woe to you ungodly men,” says Holy Writ, “woe to you who have forsaken the law of the Most High Lord! If you be born, you shall be born in rnalediction, and if you die, in malediction shall be your position. The ungodly shall pass from malediction to destruction; the name of the ungodly shall be blotted out.” (Ecclus. xli: 11-14 )
19. How many kinds of infidels or unbelievers are there?
There are three kinds of infidels or unbelievers: (1) Those who are guilty of the sin of infidelity; (2) those who are not guilty of the sin of infidelity, but commit other great sins; and (3) those who are not guilty of the sin of infidelity, and live up to the dictates of their conscience.
20. What kind of infidels are guilty of the sin of infidelity?
All those unbaptized persons are guilty, who do not embrace the true religion, although the truths thereof have been sufficiently made known to them – like many of the Jews of whom our Lord said that they had no excuse for their sins, because He had spoken to them.
All those unbaptized persons are guilty, who have received sufficient light to know the truth, or at least to understand the danger of their position, and the obligation of making diligent inquiries to ascertain and embrace the truth, but neglect to do so.
And all those are guilty of the sin of infidelity, who willfully deny the truth and obstinately resist it.
21. Why is it that positive infidels are not saved?
Positive infidels are not saved because, “positive infidelity, being willful obstinacy, palpable contradiction, and public contempt of divine revelation and of the precepts of the Gospel, is one of the most grievous sins in the sight of God and of His Holy Church,” says Saint Thomas Aquinas.
22. Explain the grievousness of the sin of infidelity?
Mortal sin is a deviation from virtue and divine law. The most heinous sin, therefore, is that which separates man from God more than any other. Now, no sin causes a greater separation from God than that of positive infidelity. When the intellect is in error and abandons the knowledge of God, the will follows it and increases in malice in proportion as the intellect turns away from the path of truth, justice, and charity. Each step that such a man takes in the darkness of infidelity, increases the distance that separates him from God. A return from that dangerous course is very difficult, for when the intellect is in error and the will is filled with malice and depravity, all the bonds capable of uniting man to God are torn asunder.
If such men die in this disposition of mind they are infallibly lost, says Saint Thomas. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Heb. 11:6.)
23. Which kind of infidels are not guilty of the sin of infidelity, but commit other grievous sins?
Those who are not guilty of the sin of infidelity, but commit other grievous sins, are all those unbaptized persons who never had an opportunity of knowing the true religion, or of becoming aware of the obligation of seeking and embracing it, but who do not live up to the dictates of their conscience.
24. Will this class of infidels be lost?
This class of infidels will be lost, not on account of their infidelity, which was no sin for them, but on account of other grievous sins which they committed against their conscience. “For whosoever have sinned without the law,” says Saint Paul, “shall perish without the law.” (Romans 2:12.)
25. Will those infidels be lost, who are not guilty of the sin of infidelity and live up to their conscience? (common among our 21 st Century people in america)
Of those infidels who are not guilty of the sin of infidelity and are faithful in obeying the voice of their conscience, Saint Thomas Aquinas says: “If anyone was brought up in the wilderness or among brute beasts, and if he followed the law of nature to desire what is good, and to avoid what is wicked, we should certainly believe that God, by an inward inspiration, would reveal to him what he should believe, or would send someone to preach the Faith to him, as He sent Peter to Cornelius.” END PART 1 of 2 – next 08/11/19
Daily Indulgence: Partial (300 days) indulgence (Pius IX, Audience, Mar 27, 1863: S.P. Ap., Oct 16, 1936). RACCOLTA pg 258.