The heresy that “invincible ignorance” saves those who die as non-Catholics and that non-Catholics can be saved by “baptism of desire” often quickly results in an apostasy from Christ Himself. The famous Irish priest, Fr. Denis Fahey, is a case in point.
Fr. Denis Fahey, The Kingship of Christ and the Conversion of the Jewish Nation (1953), p. 52: “The Jews, as a nation, are objectively aiming at giving society a direction which is in complete opposition to the order God wants. It is possible that a member of the Jewish Nation, who rejects Our Lord, may have the supernatural life which God wishes to see in every soul, and so be good with the goodness God wants, but objectively, the direction he is seeking to give to the world is opposed to God and to that life, and therefore is not good. If a Jew who rejects our Lord is good in the way God demands, it is in spite of the movement in which he and his nation are engaged.”
Here we see the famous Irish priest Fr. Denis Fahey, whose writings are praised by many who call themselves “traditional Catholics,” teaching that Jews who reject Our Lord Jesus Christ may “have the supernatural life which God wants to see in every soul” (i.e., the state of grace) and therefore can be saved. This is truly an abomination. Notice how Fr. Fahey’s statement directly contradicts the word of God.
1 John 5:11-12: “And this is the testimony, that God hath given to us eternal life. And this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son, hath life. He that hath not the Son, hath not life.”
The word of God tells us that he that hath not the Son hath not life. Fr. Denis Fahey tells us that a Jew who rejects the Son hath life: “a member of the Jewish Nation, who rejects Our Lord, may have the supernatural life…” By making such a statement, Fr. Fahey reveals (unfortunately) that he wasn’t a Catholic, but a blatant heretic. Perhaps if Fr. Fahey had spent more time getting to know the truth of Jesus Christ, His Gospel and His dogmas, rather than writing large volumes on “the forces of organized naturalism,” he would have discovered that the core focus of the entire Gospel – and the very central truth of the universe along with the dogma of the Trinity – is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that you must believe in Him to have eternal life.
“For God so loved the world, as to give His only begotten Son: that whosoever believeth in Him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.” (John 3:16)
“He that believeth in the Son hath life everlasting: but he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36)
To assert that one can attain salvation while rejecting Jesus Christ is to say that one can attain salvation while rejecting salvation itself. It is one of the worst heresies that one could utter.
“Now this is life everlasting, that they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3)
“And he said to them [the Jews]: You are from beneath, I am from above. You are of this world, I am not of this world. Therefore, I said to you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sin.” (John 8:23-24)
“Amen, Amen, I say to you: he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber… I am the door.” (John 10:1, 9)
“Jesus saith to them: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
“And when he [the Paraclete] is come, he will convince the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment. Of sin indeed: because they have not believed in me.” (John 15:8-9)
“For this was I born, and for this came I into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth: every one who is of the truth, heareth my voice.” (John 18:37)
Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Sess. 8, Nov. 22, 1439, ex cathedra: “Whoever wishes to be saved, needs above all to hold the Catholic faith; unless each one preserves this whole and inviolate, he will without a doubt perish in eternity.– But the Catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in the Trinity, and the Trinity in unity... Therefore let him who wishes to be saved, think thus concerning the Trinity.
“But it is necessary for eternal salvation that he faithfully believe also in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ...the Son of God is God and man...– This is the Catholic faith; unless each one believes this faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.”
But Fr. Fahey had imbibed the heresy that those who die as non-Catholics can be saved, which was rampant at the turn of the century, as I have shown. He had already imbibed the heresy that Outside the Church There is No Salvation doesn’t actually mean outside the Church there is no salvation. By rejecting the true meaning of the dogma, and by holding that non-Catholics can be saved, it was only a short time before Fr. Fahey concluded (as he did above) that persons can be saved in any religion whatsoever – including Jews who reject the Savior Himself. This demonstrates that those who see this dogma and believe that even one pagan, Buddhist, Muslim, Jew, etc. can be saved without conversion to Christ actually hold that a non-Catholic can possibly be saved in any religion whatsoever, as the following statement of Archbishop Lefebvre confirms.
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Against the Heresies, p. 216: “Evidently, certain distinctions must be made. Souls can be saved in a religion other than the Catholic religion (Protestantism, Islam, Buddhism, etc.), but not by this religion. There may be souls who, not knowing Our Lord, have by the grace of the good Lord, good interior dispositions, who submit to God...But some of these persons make an act of love which implicitly is equivalent to baptism of desire. It is uniquely by this means that they are able to be saved.”
Notice the “etc.” The word “etc.” means “and the rest, and so on”! Bishop Lefebvre is saying that there are many other religions in which people can be saved. This is complete and utter heresy. Bishop Lefebvre believed that men can be saved while worshipping false gods and many gods (Buddhism, Hinduism). But this simply illustrates that all those who believe that salvation is possible for members of non-Christian religions without the principal mysteries of the Catholic Faith (the Trinity and Incarnation) are admitting that a soul can be saved in any religion whatsoever: Islam, Buddhism, etc. It shows how those who reject the true meaning of Outside the Church There is No Salvation and the necessity of faith in Christ and the Trinity reject all faith and actually have no faith.
Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 9), June 29, 1896:
“… can it be lawful for anyone to reject any one of those truths without by that very fact falling into heresy? – without separating himself from the Church? – without repudiating in one sweeping act the whole of Christian teaching? For such is the nature of faith that nothing can be more absurd than to accept some things and reject others… But he who dissents even in one point from divinely revealed truth absolutely rejects all faith, since he thereby refuses to honor God as the supreme truth and the formal motive of faith.”
Fr. Fahey and Bishop Lefebvre couldn’t tell you that one who dies a Satanist is definitely lost. They clearly held that it is possible for anyone else (including Jews who reject the Savior Himself) to be saved without the Catholic Faith and in false religions. If Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims can be saved in their false religions and without the Catholic Faith – as they say – then, according to them, a Satanist could also be saved without the Catholic Faith and in his false religion; they would have to admit that we just don’t know since he could be in good faith also.
Thus, by holding that salvation is possible for those who die as members of non-Catholic religions, Fr. Fahey, Bishop Lefebvre and every other person who clings to this heresy believes that salvation is possible in any and every religion.
Pope Pius IX, Qui Pluribus (# 15), Nov. 9, 1846:
"Also perverse is that shocking theory that it makes no difference to which religion one belongs, a theory greatly at variance even with reason. By means of this theory, those crafty men remove all distinction between virtue and vice, truth and error, honorable and vile action. They pretend that men can gain eternal salvation by the practice of any religion, as if there could ever be any sharing between justice and iniquity, any collaboration between light and darkness, or any agreement between Christ and Belial."
Pope Pius IX- Syllabus of Modern Errors- Proposition 16, Dec. 8, 1854: “Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation.” – Condemned
Bishop Lefebvre, Address given at Rennes, France: “If men are saved in Protestantism, Buddhism or Islam, they are saved by the Catholic Church, by the grace of Our Lord, by the prayers of those in the Church, by the blood of Our Lord as individuals, perhaps through the practice of their religion, perhaps of what they understand in their religion, but not by their religion…”
This should give a message to those who call this issue merely “academic.” This issue is not merely “academic”; it influences a person’s spiritual life in countless ways. The denial of this dogma corrupts one’s faith to the core, and totally perverts a person’s belief in Jesus Christ Himself as the savior of the world. It corrupts the entire way one views the supernatural world.
(Acts 4:12): “… the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ… Nor is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven, given to men, whereby we must be saved.”
BY THEIR FRUITS YOU SHALL KNOW THEM – THE FRUITS OF BAPTISM OF DESIRE
At Most Holy Family Monastery, we have personally conversed with hundreds of people on the issue of baptism of desire and Outside the Church There is No Salvation and we’ve been contacted by thousands. Out of the many hundreds of people with whom we’ve spoken on the issue of baptism of desire, I can honestly say that approximately 5 to 10 actually affirmed that it only applies to those who desire water baptism (catechumens). The rest (almost 100%) believed that “baptism of desire” saves Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, pagans and even non-Catholics who reject Christ. Why is it that basically every person who believes in baptism of desire rejects the Catholic Church’s teaching (Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, de fide) that all who die as non-Catholics are not saved?
And out of the approximately 5 to 10 people that I can recall believing in baptism of desire only for catechumens, basically all of those people were forced to admit that unbaptized catechumens are “outside the Church.” So, even those 5 to 10 persons were embracing a position that there is salvation “outside” the Church or salvation for persons who are not in the Church’s “bosom and unity,” which is heretical. This shows that any good-willed person, who is faithful to Catholic dogmatic teaching, will see that the Catholic Church does not teach baptism of desire at all when all the facts are presented to him.
In fact, a person who attends the Society of St. Pius X recently called us and told me that his Methodist Grandmother was saved by “baptism of desire.” I told the man that even if baptism of desire were true (which it isn’t), it wouldn’t save Methodists (heretics) who are already baptized. But he did not agree, and he fought even more vigorously for his heresy. He then proceeded to tell me that I was in heresy for asserting that there is no salvation outside the Church! And the heretical position of this man only reflects the common position of many heretical “traditionalists” who frequent the Latin Masses around the world, as well as basically every member of the Novus Ordo.
 Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Against the Heresies, Angelus Press, 1997, p. 216.
 The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 2 (1878-1903), p. 394.
 The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 1 (1740-1878), p. 280.
 Denzinger 1716.
 Quoted in Bro. Robert Mary, Fr. Feeney and the Truth About Salvation, p. 213.
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