September 21, 2017

The Different Classes of Unbelievers Against God and God's Church [From the Baltimore Catechism]

Council of Nicea

The eight classes of unbelievers are as follows:

1. Atheists, who deny there is a God;

2. Deists, who admit there is a God, but deny that He revealed a religion;

3. Agnostics, who will neither admit nor deny the existence of God;

4. Infidels, were never baptized, and who by want of faith, refuse to be so;

5. Heretics, were baptized Christians, but do not believe all the articles of faith;

6. Schismatics, are baptized and believe all articles of faith, save papal authority;

7. Apostates, who reject the true religion, they formerly held, to join a false one;

8. Rationalists and Materialists, who believe only in material things.

(From the Baltimore Catechism #3 Lesson 30 - Q. 1170.)

Outside the Church There is No Salvation

The straight forward but constantly misinterpreted doctrine that "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus": "Outside the Church there is no salvation", is the source of much confusion among many Catholics and non-Catholics alike. In brief: A person enters the Church through baptism. Salvation is what God bestows upon those who seek God with a sincere heart, moved by grace, and attempt in their striving to do God’s will as they understand it compelled by their conscience which should be in total accord with the Church's Magisterium, Her dogmas and Her beliefs.

Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus has been infallibly defined three times by popes and councils, (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215, Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302, Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.) and piously believed by the faithful in every age of the Church's existence.

Prayer for the Church

Remember O Lord, Thy Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church which Thou hast purchased with Thy precious blood. Confirm and strengthen it, enlarge and multiply it, keep it in peace, and preserve it unconquerable by the gates of hell forever. Heal the schisms of the churches, quench the ragings of the heathen, speedily undo and root out the growths of heresies, and bring them to naught by the power of Thy Holy Spirit. Make it faithful always, in imitation of You. Amen.

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