OBJECTION- Our Lady said that whoever dies wearing the Brown Scapular will not go to Hell. This means that you are wrong: non-Catholics and the unbaptized can be saved who die wearing the Scapular.
ANSWER- Everyone should wear the Brown Scapular; it is a sign of devotion to Our Lady and a powerful sacramental. And we too originally believed that whoever dies wearing the Brown Scapular could not go to Hell. We were convinced that God would make sure that only baptized Catholics in the state of grace died with it on. But in researching the history behind the Brown Scapular promise, one will discover that the Catholic Church has never stated that Our Lady promised that whoever dies wearing the Brown Scapular will not suffer eternal fire. I refer the reader to the articles in The Catholic Encyclopedia (Volume 13) on “Scapular” and the “Sabbatine Privilege.” The Catholic Encyclopedia points out that the promise that has been declared by the Church relating to the Brown Scapular is the Sabbatine Privilege, which has various requirements attached, one of which is to be a baptized Catholic who dies in the state of grace. The authors of The Catholic Encyclopedia note that nowhere has a pope authoritatively stated that whoever dies with the Scapular will be saved.
In The Glories of Mary, St. Alphonsus tells us about the Scapular.
St. Alphonsus, The Glories of Mary, p. 272: “… the sacred scapular of Carmel… It was also confirmed by Alexander V, Clement VII, Pius V, Gregory XIII, and Paul V, who, in 1612, in a bull said: ‘That Christians may piously believe that the blessed Virgin will aid by her continual intercession, by her merits and special protection, after death, and principally on Saturday, which is a day consecrated by the Church to the blessed Virgin, the souls of the members of the confraternity of holy Mary of Mount Carmel, who shall have departed this life in the state of grace, worn the scapular, observing chastity, according to their state of life, recited the office of the Virgin, and if they have not been able to recite it, shall have observed the fasts of the Church, abstaining from flesh-meat on Wednesdays, except on Christmas day.”
St. Alphonsus here lists the promises of the Sabbatine Privilege; he mentions nothing about the alleged promise that “whoever dies wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.” He points out that one must be in the state of grace (which presupposes the Catholic Faith and Baptism); one must be a member of the confraternity, etc. So it is possible for a person to die with the Brown Scapular on and still go to Hell, if the person is a non-Catholic or a Catholic in the state of mortal sin. This is the teaching of the Catholic Church. Those who say otherwise are simply mistaken.
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