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#505 - Mon Jun 03, 2002 11:17 AM Re: Roman Catholicism and salvation  

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Hello again. I wasn't sure where to post this, so it may not be in the right place. Anyway, I really appreciate all the responses to my question, and they have given me much to think about.

I think I understand what has been said, and I don't disagree, but as you probably all know it becomes more complicated when we talk to someone who is part of the RCC. Sometimes we use the same word but mean something very different, and it can become frustrating. I can't tell you how many times I've thought I finally understood their meaning, only to later find out I didn't have the right concept at all. Unity just for the sake of unity is meaningless, and yet I don't want to divide over something that's really just the result of not being able to scale the language barrier. Sometimes it appears that our differences are vast, and other times I look at the big things we have in common and realize what a shame it would be to just throw all those away.

This is a great message board, and it's a real pleasure to read all the different discussions going on!

#506 - Mon Jun 03, 2002 11:25 AM Re: Roman Catholicism and salvation  

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Scott, you sound SO protestant in this post!

#507 - Mon Jun 03, 2002 2:29 PM Re: Roman Catholicism and salvation  
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RefBap,

Yes, it's easy for Scott to sound protestant when he (knowingly) uses terms that resonate with the Protestant but mean different things for Roman Catholics.

Scott writes: Catholics DO believe that "saving faith" is comprised of both "faith" and "works" but it's not our works that save. Our works, done in the state of grace, lead to sanctification. Such "works" do absolutely no good to one not already on the path to salvation. I hope this helps clarify.

Jason: I give Scott full credit for coming as close as he can to the biblical doctrine without disowning his own denomination. But what you need to consider, RefBap, is that Roman Catholic Justification is more of a disposition than a position. In addition to that, it is important to unpack Scott's sentence to expose the Roman doctrine for what it is.

First of all, Scott guards himself from the idea that works outside of a state of grace lead to salvation and positively writes that they lead to sanctification, which is flirting with deception (his sanctification = "increase of Justification" in Roman Catholic theology), but we'll give him the benefit of the doubt. What he does not say in the clearer, Tridentine manner of explaining justification is that these works done in a state of grace are meritorious and are what merit a person eternal life:

For, whereas Jesus Christ Himself continually infuses his virtue into the said justified,-as the head into the members, and the vine into the branches,-and this virtue always precedes and accompanies and follows their good works, which without it could not in any wise be pleasing and meritorious before God,-we must believe that nothing further is wanting to the justified, to prevent their being accounted to have, by those very works which have been done in God, fully satisfied the divine law according to the state of this life, and to have truly merited eternal life. (Council of Trent, Decree on Justification, Chapter 16)

That is, through Baptism the guilt of eternal death is washed away, and the righteousness of Christ is infused into the recipient such that the righteousness of Christ infused into him results in good works (in accordance with a semi-pelgian view of co-operation) and these good works are what merit eternal life. It is not the perfect righteousness of Christ accounted to the individual that becomes the basis for acceptance, but the satisfaction of the divine law that exists in the individual.

That is the fatal flaw of Roman Catholic justification. On the one hand they say that the formal cause of Justification comes by the actual presence of Christ's righteousness, and yet they claim that an imperfect and incomplete mixture of righteousness and sin is sufficient to merit eternal life.

In addition, keep in mind that when Catholics say justification is by faith, this does not even necessarily mean the faith of the one justified. It is the "Church's faith" that justifies the infant as the Church believes that God will perform the work that He supposedly promises in baptism. This is why it is necessary for the intentions of the priest to be genuine in order for a legitimate baptism to take place and therefore the infusion of justification to take place.

1253 Baptism is the sacrament of faith. But faith needs the community of believers. It is only within the faith of the Church that each of the faithful can believe. The faith required for Baptism is not a perfect and mature faith, but a beginning that is called to develop. The catechumen or the godparent is asked: "What do you ask of God's Church?" The response is: "Faith!" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1253)

1124 The Church's faith precedes the faith of the believer who is invited to adhere to it. When the Church celebrates the sacraments, she confesses the faith received from the apostles - whence the ancient saying: lex orandi, lex credendi (or: legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi, according to Prosper of Aquitaine [5th cent.]). The law of prayer is the law of faith: the Church believes as she prays. Liturgy is a constitutive element of the holy and living Tradition. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1124)

1127 Celebrated worthily in faith, the sacraments confer the grace that they signify. They are efficacious because in them Christ himself is at work: it is he who baptizes, he who acts in his sacraments in order to communicate the grace that each sacrament signifies. The Father always hears the prayer of his Son's Church which, in the epiclesis of each sacrament, expresses her faith in the power of the Spirit. As fire transforms into itself everything it touches, so the Holy Spirit transforms into the divine life whatever is subjected to his power. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1127)

CANON XI.-If any one saith, that, in ministers, when they effect, and confer the sacraments, there is not required the intention at least of doing what the Church does; let him be anathema. (Council of Trent, 7th Session, Canons on the Sacraments in General, Canon 11)



So to answer your initial question, RefBap, this following canon is precisely the reason why the letter of Roman Catholic Justification kills:

CANON XI.-If any one saith, that men are justified, either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ, or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and is inherent in them; or even that the grace, whereby we are justified, is only the favour of God; let him be anathema.

When they say, "to the exclusion of the grace and charity..." they are not simply giving to us a description of a genuine faith that receives justification, but they mean that the good works themselves are what formally cause the justification to take place. If Justification is dependent upon fully satisfying the divine law, as Trent declares and Catholicism teaches, then no person whether they are in a supposed state of grace or not can get past the fact that they fall short of the glory of God.

Hope that helps,

Jason.

#508 - Tue Jun 04, 2002 1:54 AM Re: Roman Catholicism and salvation [Re: Jason1646]  

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Jason: >> I give Scott full credit for coming as close as he can to the biblical doctrine without disowning his own denomination. But what you need to consider, RefBap, is that Roman Catholic Justification is more of a disposition than a position. In addition to that, it is important to unpack Scott's sentence to expose the Roman doctrine for what it is.

First of all, Scott guards himself from the idea that works outside of a state of grace lead to salvation and positively writes that they lead to sanctification, which is flirting with deception (his sanctification = "increase of Justification" in Roman Catholic theology), but we'll give him the benefit of the doubt. What he does not say in the clearer, Tridentine manner of explaining justification is that these works done in a state of grace are meritorious and are what merit a person eternal life <<

Jason - you misrepresent Catholic Teaching, and I was attempting to clarify it. There is no "increase in justification" for justification is the "final phase" in the economy of salvation. Those justified ARE saved, period. Good works done in the state of grace (grace preceeding) are meritorious and lead to an increase in sanctification. Sanctification can lead to more rewards in heaven - but if one is not sanctified, he will not be justified and if not justified, will not be "saved."

Your out-of-context quotes from Catholic teaching are very misleading. You cannot take snippets from our Faith and then present your argumentation. Catholicism includes what I have said, thus an out-of-context quote that ignores a more complete treatment of the subject doesn't tell the whole story here. I don't accuse you of deliberately being deceptive, for I believe you're only repeating propaganda that you've been taught regarding the Catholic Faith. Nonetheless, you're not presenting the truth regarding the Catholic Faith if you don't present the whole truth. Might I suggest, if you (or anyone else) has a challenge regarding Catholicism - let a Catholic represent his/her Faith. My purpose in answering this thread was not to challenge RefBap - but to clarify Catholic teaching on this matter. I am not attempting to deceive anyone here regarding the Church's teaching on sanctification or justification - I hope you're open to hearing the full story, and not just what those who have an agenda against the Catholic Church have to say.

We had a very similar discussion in the #CathApol Chatroom earlier this evening (I guess that's really "yesterday" now). I presented this "hierarchy" in regard to works/sanctification/justification:

Catholicism is not a "works = salvation" system at all.
for without GRACE - works are nothing.
without WORKS there is no sanctification.
without SANCTIFICATION there is no justification.
without JUSTIFICATION there is no SALVATION.

It all begins with Grace.

Paul teaches, quite consistently, that we must persevere in our faith to be saved. James, likewise says that a faith that has no works is not a "saving faith." Throughout the NT we're told of all the things we must "do" (works) or we do not have that "saving faith."

Quite often challengers to Catholicism will point out Paul contrasting Faith and Works - but invariably, Paul is speaking about "works of the law" and NOT "works done in/by/through Grace." As I mentioned earlier, Paul also, quite often, speaks of "persevering" and "running to win..." (etc.) so Paul too sees the importance of "works" in a "saving faith." James and Paul are quite consistent when read in the proper perspective and context.

In JMJ,

Scott<<<
CathApol Chatroom: http://www.a2z.org/acts/cathapol


#509 - Tue Jun 04, 2002 2:01 AM Re: Roman Catholicism and salvation [Re: Five_Sola]  

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Five_Sola posits:
>> CathApol,
you state:
"Salvation is through Christ alone and His finished work on the Cross"

If the roman state "church" believed in Salvation through Christ ALONE, and the FINISHED work of the Cross, then there is no need to add any work to the salvation of a soul for the work is finished (on the cross).

Could you help me understand this apparent contradiction? <<

Scott replies:
I think you missed the point. Salvation is only dependent on works so far as works are important to a "saving faith." Works don't "add to" salvation, but they can add to the "merits" and "rewards" of those "saved." Some works, however, can actually "detract" from one's "rewards" for when our works are tested, as by fire, some may be "burned up" and the person (who is deemed "justified/saved" already) would then "suffer loss" though he himself would still be "saved."

I hope this helps...

In JMJ,
Scott<<<


#510 - Tue Jun 04, 2002 2:20 AM Re: Roman Catholicism and salvation  

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Scott B: >> In regards to my post. You write that the "Catholics's do not believe in works unto salvation". I agree, Catholic's do not! But "Roman Catholics" do, or are at least taught this concept. I may be mistaken, and if so, please help me unwind the idea, as I have gleaned this from the catechism of the (R) Catholic church. I was raised a RC. I attended parochial school and was involved in CYO. With all due respect, I am not new to the idea. <<

Scott W: With all due respect, (and I mean that), I believe catechesis has been inconsistent and even lacking in many places, I've heard of some/many Catholics (or more accurately "proclaimed Catholics") that outright deny certain Articles of Faith. Catholic education needs some help, though there are many out there that are educated well in the True Teachings - and I hope they use their education to help the misinformed - Protestant and Catholic alike. I'm not saying that you're not well educated in this, I don't know enough about you to say one way or the other. I'm only saying that mere association with SOME Catholic parishes (sadly) doesn't always amount to a good Catholic education.

Scott B. continues: >> How does pennance, indulgences, baptism (for the forgiveness of sins, see 1239 in C.C.C) and the mass (both for those who have already passed and for those who still live? see 1364, 1371 C.C.C) not support a *work*? <<

Scott W: Well, you're asking the same question about two different categories, 1) those already passed; and 2) those still alive. So I'll give you two answers:

1) For those already passed, they are already judged in regard to their salvation/justification. If they have been damned - no amount of prayer, penance or indulgence will do. There is no "Baptism" for the dead. If they are judged to be justified/saved - then they can receive merits from the living that may reduce their Purgatory (yet another subject).

2) For those alive, prayer, penance and indulgences done in the state of grace add to sanctification (the process toward justification). Baptism is part of Initial Grace. These things, for the living, are part of what makes up the "works" in a "saving faith."

In JMJ,
Scott<<<


#511 - Tue Jun 04, 2002 2:35 AM Re: Roman Catholicism and salvation [Re: lazarus]  

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"Laz" said: >> CathApol - then explain purgatory...which keeps us (albeit temporarily) from Christ in the first place....AND...allows for the situation where others can improve our lot by their effectual prayers. So, I see the individual and ALSO his friends ADDING to the finished work of Christ. <<

[color:green]Scott replies: The "finished work of Christ on the Cross" provides for all who believe in Him and accept Him (which necessarily means they must "do" what He has asked of them) brings us to salvation. Every single soul in Purgatory IS ALREADY SAVED! They have attained that "finished work of Christ." Nothing can "add to" salvation once judged - nor take that salvation away; it is finished. Purgatory is where any unconfessed venial sins and/or sins not fully contrite for - are "purged" or "cleansed" as Scripture states, "nothing unclean can enter heaven." The "effectual prayers" of "friends" may reduce the time spent in Purgatory - but doesn't add one iota to their salvation - that's already a "done deal."

Purgatory is not for anyone who has the stain of "sins that kill" (mortal sins) remaining after they pass on. Anyone in such a state have already been judged and damned to hell - there is no Purgatory, and no amount of prayers from friends can help them.

In JMJ,
Scott<<<



#512 - Tue Jun 04, 2002 3:53 AM Re: Roman Catholicism and salvation  

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Scott W,
Does not the following imply a work:

Catechism of the Catholic Church - English Translation

1250 Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called. The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.

It looks as if the implication is: "If we do this, God will do that." Baptism washes away sin? The new birth (John 3:3) is worked out (actuated) by water baptism? Scott W. has also stated that the works which have been described are those which flow from the faith we have, ala James. How does a infant exercise faith in his water baptism....unless of course it is *faith by proxy*, through the parents, and then we are encroaching on the Mormons claim to fame..

Scott W. has previously stated that by centrally focusing on any one application or mandate is to take the RCC out of context. I believe this is the old bait and switch. Lets call a spade a spade. Does not the mass intend to "wash away sin ?" The Catechism states that the eucharist is a sacrifice. This is a work; there is no way around it. Is the eucharist a sacrifice?

So much more...........

In HIM,
Scott

#513 - Tue Jun 04, 2002 7:32 AM Re: Roman Catholicism and salvation  
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Scott writes: Jason - you misrepresent Catholic Teaching, and I was attempting to clarify it...Your out-of-context quotes from Catholic teaching are very misleading... I don't accuse you of deliberately being deceptive, for I believe you're only repeating propaganda that you've been taught regarding the Catholic Faith. Nonetheless, you're not presenting the truth regarding the Catholic Faith if you don't present the whole truth

Jason: Then show me where I misrepresented it, Scott. This typical decry from Catholic apologists as victims of misrepresentation is tired and worn out with me. I have hundreds of hours of personal time put into studying the Catholic position from their own sources and as many pages of notes from my research to back up my points. If I am repeating "propaganda", then it is coming from your own church because that is where I go to study Catholic doctrine. So perhaps you could save time and disk space in refraining from making such ignorant accusations such as I merely repeat propaganda, and deal with the Tridentine decrees on Justification.


Scott writes: There is no "increase in justification" for justification is the "final phase" in the economy of salvation. Those justified ARE saved, period.

Jason: First of all, the notion that one can increase in justification does not militate against someone being saved ("period") in Roman Catholic theology, and I never said it did.

Second, to deny increase in Justification is simply to deny the teaching of Trent in plain terms:

Having, therefore, been thus justified, and made the friends and domestics of God, advancing from virtue to virtue, they are renewed, as the Apostle says, day by day; that is, by mortifying the members of their own flesh, and by presenting them as instruments of justice unto sanctification, they, through the observance of the commandments of God and of the Church, faith co-operating with good works, increase in that justice which they have received through the grace of Christ, and are still further justified (Council of Trent, Decrees on Justification, Chapter 10)

CANON XXIV.-If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.


In that last clause, "the cause and increase thereof" has "Justification obtained" clearly as its antecedent. So like I said, Justification is more of a disposition (being in a state of grace) that may be increased or decreased as Trent teaches throughout its decrees. At the same time, they say nothing is wanting in the justified by virtue of Christ's righteousness inherent in them. Hey, I never said their theology was consistent.


Scott: Good works done in the state of grace (grace preceeding) are meritorious and lead to an increase in sanctification. Sanctification can lead to more rewards in heaven - but if one is not sanctified, he will not be justified and if not justified, will not be "saved."

Jason: I never said that good works outside of a state of grace merit anything, I specifically said, "these works done in a state of grace are meritorious". That was very clear throughout my post. You have attempted to correct non-errors in my post.


Scott: You cannot take snippets from our Faith and then present your argumentation. Catholicism includes what I have said, thus an out-of-context quote that ignores a more complete treatment of the subject doesn't tell the whole story here.

Jason: You have not shown how my quote is out of context, you have merely made assertions as to what your definition of Justification entails, without any reference to what I might have taken out of context or how it is that your position is the Tridentine one.


Scott: Might I suggest, if you (or anyone else) has a challenge regarding Catholicism - let a Catholic represent his/her Faith.

Jason: Might I suggest that if someone has a question regarding Catholicism that they reference the Vatican sources themselves and not Catholic apologists, who have no authority to speak for the church and speak smooth words pleasant to Protestant ears.


Scott writes:
Catholicism is not a "works = salvation" system at all.
for without GRACE - works are nothing.
without WORKS there is no sanctification.
without SANCTIFICATION there is no justification.
without JUSTIFICATION there is no SALVATION.

It all begins with Grace.

Jason: That's not good enough Scott, which is why I pinpointed the nut of the problem in my first post. I did not say anything that contradicts what you wrote above. What I emphasized is that whether works are done in a state of grace or not, if it is those grace-induced works which become the basis upon which we are accepted by God (that is, if they are the formal cause of Justification) then they are insufficient to justify. It is the justice of Christ inherent in a person that forms the basis upon which the person is formally just in Roman Catholicism, you cannot deny that this is the Tridentine teaching.


Scott writes: James and Paul are quite consistent when read in the proper perspective and context.

Jason: Amen. And in vain will we look for their teaching that baptism justifies initially and then works done in a state of grace preserve and increase justification unless one falls into mortal sin, upon which the person must receive absolution by a human priest in the Sacrament of Penance.


Regards,

Jason.

#514 - Tue Jun 04, 2002 7:52 AM Re: Roman Catholicism and salvation  
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Scott writes: Purgatory is where any unconfessed venial sins and/or sins not fully contrite for - are "purged" or "cleansed" as Scripture states, "nothing unclean can enter heaven."

Jason: Just for the sake of Protestants who might not know, it is significant that these purgatorial punishments by which sins are cleansed, are for the express purpose of making satisfaction for sin, inflicted by God's holiness and justice on an albeit justified person, which is necessary for the full remission of sin and to placate the divine justice due to their sin. That is, these purgatorial punishments are inflicted by God's sanctity and justice for the purpose of expiation because the justified person is only forgiven the "eternal punishment" of sin and not the "temporal punishment" of sin, which can only be satisfied through sufferings.

Regards,

Jason

#515 - Tue Jun 04, 2002 9:19 AM Re: Roman Catholicism and salvation [Re: Jason1646]  
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Thanks Jason.<br><br>So, the dead believer in purgatory is in some way being subjected to God's judgements and wrath? <br><br>How does this square up with:<br><br>Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus....<br><br>Also, should we take Paul at his word when he penned that to be "absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" Or did he really mean to say..."...is to be present with the Lord, but only after a period of temporal suffering"? <br><br>In one sense, isn't Rome guilty of 'adding' to the Scriptures? <br><br><br> <br><br>

#516 - Tue Jun 04, 2002 9:43 AM Re: Roman Catholicism and salvation  
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interesting. If I am understanding you right you are espousing the protestant view of works. I've never heard a catholic phrase it in this way. So in your thinking works are absolutely unessential to attain or maintain salvation (justification or sanctification). Works are merely the fruit we produce as we are brought closer and closer to the righteousness of Christ (never perfectly attained until glorification). Then what is the need for the sacraments of baptism, penance, etc if they do not continue or maintain salvation? Purgatory for that matter is unnecessary also since the works we do are in the reward category and thus no need to purge the venial sins from our souls/body. <br><br>I am asking these questions because you don't sound like any Romanist I've met, and I've met very educated ones. The lucky ones who became christians and left the Roman "church".<br><br>


By His Grace Alone,
Five Sola
#517 - Tue Jun 04, 2002 10:57 AM Re: Roman Catholicism and salvation [Re: lazarus]  

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Not in "one sense" Laz, but every sense.

#518 - Tue Jun 04, 2002 11:12 AM Misrepresentaions of RC Justification  
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I noticed that some are saying RC's views of Justification are being mis-represented??? or are they?? Here are some links to debate!!!

http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ155.HTM

http://www.christiantruth.com/RCJustification.html

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08573a.htm


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#519 - Tue Jun 04, 2002 12:03 PM Re: Roman Catholicism and salvation [Re: lazarus]  
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Lazarus: So, the dead believer in purgatory is in some way being subjected to God's judgements and wrath?

Jason: Yes that is the case. Roman Catholics today will often emphasize the purgation of purgatory and the cleansing of purgatory, which is true in itself, while not hanging out the dirty laundry as to why and how that purging is accomplished. The purging is punishment, and it is necessary for making a complete satisfaction for sin.

For this reason there certainly exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth a perennial link of charity and an abundant exchange of all the goods by which, with the expiation of all the sins of the entire Mystical Body, divine justice is placated. God's mercy is thus led to forgiveness, so that sincerely repentant sinners may participate as soon as possible in the full enjoyment of the benefits of the family of God. (Papal Encyclical, "Indulgentiarum Doctrina", Chapter 2, Article 5, Promulgated by Pope Paul VI, 1967)

It is a divinely revealed truth that sins bring punishments inflicted by God's sanctity and justice. These must be expiated either on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and calamities of this life and above all through death,[3] or else in the life beyond through fire and torments or "purifying" punishments (Papal Encyclical, "Indulgentiarum Doctrina", Chapter 1, Article 2, Promulgated by Pope Paul VI, 1967)

It has likewise defined, that, if those truly penitent have departed in the love of God, before they have made satisfaction by worthy fruits of penance for sins of commission and omission, the souls of these are cleansed after death by purgatorial punishments; and so that they may be released from punishments of this kind, the suffrages of the living faithful are of advantage to them, namely, the sacrifices of Masses, prayers, and almsgiving, and other works of piety, which are customarily performed by the faithful for other faithful according to the institutions of the Church (Council of Florence (1439), De novissimis)

That punishment or the vestiges of sin may remain to be expiated or cleansed and that they in fact frequently do even after the remission of guilt is clearly demonstrated by the doctrine on purgatory. In purgatory, in fact, the souls of those "who died in the charity of God and truly repentant, but before satisfying with worthy fruits of penance for sins committed and for omissions" are cleansed after death with purgatorial punishments. (Papal Encyclical, "Indulgentiarum Doctrina", Chapter 1, Article 3, Promulgated by Pope Paul VI, 1967)


So yes, the justified are still subject to the necessary wrath of God by which they make satisfactions which placate divine justice (unless they are a martyr, or somehow make enough satisfactions prior to death). This is because Roman Catholicism makes a distinction between the guilt of eternal death, which is remitted in baptism (or penance if one falls after baptism), but not the punishment for venial sins committed after baptism. They believe that one still needs to be punished even if the guilt of eternal death is taken away. They would, of course, agree there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus because they would claim condemnation pertains to eternal death (a death sentence).

(But then again, I am just sowing Protestant propaganda and don't understand Roman Catholicism, so you'll have to confirm with a Roman Catholic.) [Linked Image]


Regards,

Jason

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