A comment on the death of Mary Daly

Many people asked me why I wasn’t commenting on the death of Mary Daly.

Okay… here is something.

From New American with my emphases and comments:

Boston College and Its Radical Feminist ‘Catholic’
Written by Jack Kenny   
Friday, 08 January 2010 10:05 

For those who had not noticed, Mary Daly died last Friday. Daly was a feminist theologian who taught for 35 years at Jesuit-run Boston College in Massachusetts. She was, it seems safe to say, the Boston Globe’s kind of Catholic.

The Globe’s editorial tribute to her is running today under the headline "Requiem for a feminist." [After all, Sen. Kennedy got one.] It is possible to be both a feminist and a Catholic. Though Daly was clearly more feminist than Catholic, a case could be made that she was really neither.

Was it feminism, really, to bar male students from some of her courses? Or was it just an arrogant, spiteful gender pride? According to her biography, Daly, who earned a Ph.D. in English in addition to her degrees in theology, was influenced by "thinkers ranging from Thomas Aquinas to French feminist Simone de Beauvoir to Virginia Woolf." [Probably just an exercise in being post-modern clever, just like, say, a White House official who says she is influenced by Mother Teresa and Mao Zedong.] Saint Thomas might blush to find himself in such company. A theologian in a church that calls God our Father and does the same for the patriarch Abraham, Daly was a sworn enemy of "patriarchy," to which she attributed most, if not all, of the ills of both the church and secular society. After her first book, The Church and the Second Sex, she moved from "reformist" to "radical, post Christian feminist." And, of course, the Jesuits at Boston College must have thought it a bright, broad-minded idea to keep on the faculty of an allegedly Catholic college, a theologian who was a "post-Christian feminist."

The Globe finds it "remarkable in hindsight that she taught at a Catholic university for more than 30 years." That begs the question of whether Boston College is either a university (it calls itself a "college," after all) or Catholic. Because the Jesuits at BC are not "into" cashiering a theologian who describes herself as a "radical lesbian feminist." They are more likely to force out someone who faithfully upholds and proclaims unaltered the doctrines and creeds of the "One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church" that have come to us from Christ through the Apostles. That is exactly what happened [!] more than 60 years ago when four BC professors who insisted on defending and proclaiming the dogma "Outside the Church There is No Salvation" were shown the door at broadminded, ecumenical Boston College. That started the theological battle that brought about the silencing and even the bogus "excommunication" of Father Leonard Feeney, a Jesuit who defended the fired professors and forced Archbishop and later Cardinal Cushing to take a stand on the controversy. That Cushing did, by putting Father Feeney and the Saint Benedict Center, where he lived and taught, under interdict and eventually driving them out of the diocese.  [Some ideas are more equal than others.  But there is no real equivalence between what Daly pushed and what Feeney pushed.  What Feeney promoted, agree or not, was a hard line position which was grounded in a serious teaching of the Church.]

Now one can choose between the vision and dogma of Father Feeney and the crusade of Saint Benedict Center and the vision of the feminist dogma of Mary Daly. The difference is [as I just said...] that one has the weight of history and church tradition behind it and the doctrine in question has been dogmatically proclaimed by three popes and two councils of the Roman Catholic Church. The radical feminism of Daly has no such pedigree to recommend it. Guess which one Boston College has chosen, again and again and again. The same one the Boston Globe has chosen, again and again and again. [The Boston Globe does not pretend to be a Catholic publication.  It isn't a Catholic publication.]

That is why Mary Daly is praised on the editorial page of the Boston Globe and the successors of Father Feeney are not. [Welllll... why would they be in her obit?] Mary Daly may already have discovered that being praised by the Boston Globe doesn’t help when one enters eternity. [Just a whiff of litotes, wouldn't you say?] She may have discovered that Heaven has done to a "radical lesbian feminist" what she did to male students at Boston College who wished to enroll in one or more of her courses. Heaven is, by definition, a wonderful place. But it is also, by definition, exclusionary.  

"…et pro multis effundetur…."

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76 Responses to A comment on the death of Mary Daly

  1. Frank Doyle says:

    I was with the author until he brought up Fr. Feeney. Yes, he took
    a hard line but he also went over the line. We can not judge souls
    only Our Lord can. His case has no relevance to Mary Daly as far
    as Boston College is concerned. Fr. Feeney was gone by the late
    1940′s and Mary Daly didn’t arrive until the mid 1960′s. For those
    who may not know it, Boston College’s charter was changed in the
    early 1970′s to make it a non-sectarian instistution. So Mary Daly’s
    continued prescence at Boston College isn’t really that surprising.

    Fr. Feeney aside, I think Mary Daly was an unfortunate woman
    more to be pitied than praised. We should be asking God to
    have mercy on her soul. Her’s would appear to be a life wasted.

    On a lighter note, I know a faculty member at Boston College
    who one at least one occasion ran into Mary Daly. He held
    a door open for her. An act which caused Mary Daly great
    consternation to be sure!

  2. Joannes says:

    While there are problems at Boston College, as a student there I must defend that it is both a university and (for the most part) Catholic. It is unconscionable that Daly was kept on the faculty for over 30 years, although she probably fit in quite well with most of BC’s “theology” professors. I don’t know much about the atmosphere of BC at the time Daly was teaching there, as she retired 7 years before I arrived, but I can say now that BC seems to be headed toward orthodoxy, even if by baby steps.

  3. Joannes says:

    I haven’t read the school’s charter, but it was founded as and is today a Catholic institution, even if they qualify it by saying a “Jesuit Catholic institution”. There is little about BC that is non-sectarian, other than its theology department.

  4. boko fittleworth says:

    I forgot to mention this when it came up earlier. I googled “litotes” and came up with this “ineffable” sighting (scroll to the Becket litotes example): http://grammar.about.com/od/il/g/litotesterm.htm

  5. pcstokell says:

    Mary Daly was an unfortunate woman more to be pitied than praised. We should be asking God to have mercy on her soul. Hers would appear to be a life wasted.

    Indeed – may God have mercy on her soul.

    He probably will. :)

  6. Frank Doyle says:

    Joannes,

    While there is a Catholic presence at B.C., it is hardly a
    bastion of orthodoxy.I think it will take many years to undo
    the damage done by the likes of Mary Daly and Fr. Drinan. The
    faculty member I know has been at B.C. for over 40 years and
    I doubt he would agree with your assessment. I believe that
    the majority of the faculty as well as the administration are
    modernist. That being the case, I am afraid a return to orthodoxy
    will be long in coming.

  7. jarthurcrank says:

    Ohhhhhh dear. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the John Birch Society would drool at the thought of St. Peter barring the gates of heaven to Mary Daly. While it is true that she was a disturbed and damaging woman, rather than singing “Ding dong, the witch is dead,” tempting as that may be, why not hope that she was reconciled with God at the end of her life?

  8. Dr. Eric says:

    From the picture in the original post Prof. Daly looks like a real battle axe.

  9. robtbrown says:

    Ohhhhhh dear. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the John Birch Society would drool at the thought of St. Peter barring the gates of heaven to Mary Daly. While it is true that she was a disturbed and damaging woman, rather than singing “Ding dong, the witch is dead,” tempting as that may be, why not hope that she was reconciled with God at the end of her life?
    Comment by jarthurcrank

    I pray that happened, being reassured by the existence of Purgatory, where God’s Mercy and His Justice meet.

  10. Supertradmom says:

    What is an important point is the fall-out of years and years of teaching and invective from such as Mary Daly. I work in RCIA and have had to correct deacons and co-workers on feminist ideologies concerning women in the priesthood, anti-hierarchical structures of the Church, and basic disobedience to Rome. After so many years, these ideas have become almost an accepted part of Catholic discussions and, yes, even beliefs. So many men with whom I have worked think that they are helping the cause of women in church ministry by holding with radical feminism, not realizing that this ideology undermines their positions in the Church and in the family.

    Also, at least two orders of sisters and nuns, with which I am very familiar, left their traditional ways and became “feminist” because of the likes of Mary Daly. The fall-out from BC continues.

    God have mercy on her soul and on us.

  11. Norah says:

    Peter Kreeft who teaches at Boston College refers to it as BC – barely Catholic.

  12. TonyLayne says:

    There is little about BC that is non-sectarian, other than its theology department.

    Reminds me of something Fr. Andrew Greeley (yeah, I know) once wrote: “God never died save at the divinity schools, where He was denied tenure due to lack of an adequate publication record.”

  13. An American Mother says:

    She would be laughable, but for the fact that so many took her seriously and she led so many astray.

    But for anybody to hate THIS much, she must have suffered some kind of horrible trauma in her early life.

    Prayers for her, wholeheartedly.

  14. Feminist theologian. One of the major modern oxymorons.

    Yes, pray the Divine Mercy chaplet for this truly poor soul.

  15. chloesmom says:

    Forgive me, Father, for speaking ill of the dead, but Ms. Daly, for all her “education”, was completely full of it. Nevertheless, the Lord does know what made her the way she was, and I agree with An American Mother in that respect. Ms. Daly and her ilk have done a lot of damage with their teachings, and I hope that God will extend to her the same mercy as I pray he extends to all sinners who repent, including me.

  16. Jillian says:

    Frank Doyle,

    You should look again at Fr. Feeney. It is precisely because Christ is the Judge of Souls that Father Feeney took such a ‘hardline’ (“hardline”? Hardly… it’s the teaching of the Church!)position. We must bring others to Christ and His Church because outside of it they cannot be saved.

    I don’t judge the soul of Mary Daly, and pray she repented before her death. Bringing up Mary Daly and Fr. Feeney was an excellent comparison by the author.

  17. Melania says:

    Mary Daly was indeed a confused and pathetic woman who did a lot of damage. Wherever she is, and I pray it is Purgatory, she has a lot to answer for.

    However, rather than spend any more time on her, I would rather remember in gratitude Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, who died one year ago January 8th. This is a priest who deserves our praise and our prayers. He was a wonderful man and is greatly missed.

  18. Rob Cartusciello says:

    A good person deserves our prayers. A bad one needs them.

    I will say an Our Father for Ms. Daly.

    I will also pray for Boston College, who let this train-wreck of a professor teach for three decades.

  19. moon1234 says:

    St. Thomas Becket.

    Nuff said.

  20. Frank Doyle says:

    Jillian,

    I am well acquainted with Fr. Feeney. Unfortunately, he did not
    believe in baptism of desire or baptism of blood – both are
    teachings of the Church. I suggest you read St. Paul’s Epistle
    to the Romans, the Council of Trent, Blessed Pius IX or you
    can find a summation of same in Ludwig Ott’s “Fundamentals of
    Catholic Dogma”. Just to clarify, I believe that Christ is
    our Judge nor do I believe in universal salvation. Only Our
    Lord knows the disposition of a soul and He will judge accordingly.

    God is not limited to the sacraments nor is He limited by them.If
    a non Catholic is saved, it will be because of the Church not
    despite it. Exactly how the economy of salvation works is a mystery
    and we should be careful not to speculate about it. Charity demands
    that we pray for the dead, especially our enemies. I may not be
    confident of an individual soul’s salvation but Christ will do the
    judging not us. To say that there is no salvation outside the Church
    is true but the mechanics of that truth are known to God.

    There is a lesson to be learned from Mary Daly (and Fr. Feeney) -
    individual interpretation of Church teaching can lead a soul
    down a very dangerous path. Fr. Feeney was at least reconciled
    before he died. Unfortunately Mary Daly was not, as far as we
    know. The degree of her culpability is known only to God.

  21. Mike says:

    Unfortuately, Daly had doctorates in theology and philosophy, according to her bio: “She later earned doctorates at Notre Dame and the University of Fribourg in Switzerland before becoming a professor at Boston College in 1966.”

    Ouch. More than simply being fashionable–she was very bright, and completely batty.

    Lord have mercy, on her and any soul she might have influenced for the worse.

  22. Mike says:

    Coincidently, I saw her once at a book signing in Cambridge Square, MA; her book was Gynecology, or something like that. Her book had really, really nasty things to say about Our Lady. Daly looked, ironically, a lot like the men she so disliked.

  23. cor ad cor loquitur says:

    A dreadful, spleeny article. Daly published a lot of dreck over the years but it seems utterly presumptuous to assert, or even to suggest, in a snide way, that she has gone to Hell as a result … or to hint that Christ’s blood was not shed for her.

    Incidentally, Boston College compelled her to resign when she excluded men from her classes.

  24. Sid says:

    From the AP’s obituary

    Daly described herself as a pagan, an eco-feminist and a radical feminist in a 1999 interview with The Guardian newspaper of London. “I hate the Bible,” she told the paper. “I always did. I didn’t study theology out of piety. I studied it because I wanted to know.”

    Daly doesn’t sound like much of a Catholic at all. And if not a Catholic, then one then would pray for her soul in the same way that one prays for Guido von List, Jörg Lanz-Liebenfels, Alain de Benoist, eco-terrorists, assorted Wiccans, Neo-Druidists, and other Neopagans. That Daly looked at things the from the Left than from the Right doesn’t change the matter.

  25. Gail F says:

    From what works of hers I have read (only excerpted) Mary Daly seems to have been, at best, deranged. Boston College has a lot to answer for, both for giving her legitimacy and for encouraging her derangement. I certainly pray that God has mercy on her soul.

    As far as Fr. Feeney, though — Jack Kenney has a valid point about BC encouraging some heresies and discouraging others. But Fr. Feeney’s teachings were a wrong interpretation of doctrine, and by rights Boston College ought to have gotten rid of both of them.

  26. robtbrown says:

    Unfortunately, Daly had doctorates in theology and philosophy, according to her bio: “She later earned doctorates at Notre Dame and the University of Fribourg in Switzerland before becoming a professor at Boston College in 1966.”
    Ouch. More than simply being fashionable—she was very bright, and completely batty.
    Comment by Mike

    Having spent more than a few years of my life in academia, I know that degrees indicate only a facility to do academic work. Although a modicum of intelligence must be present, being “very bright” is not a requirement–but having the proper temperament is. Tests often indicate only the student’s ability to parrot what the prof has said. And dissertations have sadly become little else than an exercise in research, of concatenating what others have already written. The irony is that sometimes intelligence can get in the way of academic achievement.

  27. BCatholic says:

    Norah, as a recent graduate of Boston College and someone still very involved in the university, I can assure you that while Boston College has many problems, Peter Kreeft is not the best person to listen to about it. I am a huge fan and had him for four classes, but he is VERY out of touch with campus life and does not have the best sense of what is going on. The younger Jesuits who live in dorms with students, those are the guys to ask about the pulse of campus, and they would say things are bad, but they are much better than they were a decade ago, and they are getting better still.

  28. robtbrown says:

    From the AP’s obituary

    Daly described herself as a pagan, an eco-feminist and a radical feminist in a 1999 interview with The Guardian newspaper of London. “I hate the Bible,” she told the paper. “I always did. I didn’t study theology out of piety. I studied it because I wanted to know.”

    Daly doesn’t sound like much of a Catholic at all. And if not a Catholic, then one then would pray for her soul in the same way that one prays for Guido von List, Jörg Lanz-Liebenfels, Alain de Benoist, eco-terrorists, assorted Wiccans, Neo-Druidists, and other Neopagans. That Daly looked at things the from the Left than from the Right doesn’t change the matter.
    Comment by Sid

    Perhaps the appropriate chant at her funeral:

    Double double toil and trouble
    Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

  29. Supertradmom says:

    Have mercy on her, people. Terribly wrong and dangerous,yes,but a child of God, nonetheless..

  30. JCCMADD says:

    Why does this type always look like my old gym teachers.

  31. There has got to be an “untold story” here. We can make all kinds of guesses, but something went horribly wrong. God knows and deals with all of this. But, really; I just see a tortured soul. And it makes me sad to think that someone lived with all this negative and dissenting hubris. And that she was a teacher for so many years is even more distressful. Read the commentary on her article on ncreport. That is just unbelievable. Jesus, mercy!

  32. robtbrown says:

    There has got to be an “untold story” here. We can make all kinds of guesses, but something went horribly wrong. God knows and deals with all of this. But, really; I just see a tortured soul. And it makes me sad to think that someone lived with all this negative and dissenting hubris. And that she was a teacher for so many years is even more distressful. Read the commentary on her article on ncreport. That is just unbelievable. Jesus, mercy!
    Comment by nazareth priest

    With cases like her, I always wonder whether there was any alcoholism in her family.

  33. robtbrown says:

    Have mercy on her, people. Terribly wrong and dangerous,yes,but a child of God, nonetheless..
    Comment by Supertradmom —

    Don’t make the Protestant error of assuming that Justice and Mercy are opposed. In fact, St Thomas says that in a certain way Mercy is the perfection of Justice.

  34. robtbrown: It sure fits the “profile”, no?
    Hatred of authority? Inability to accept “reality” as given in creation and in the teachings of the Church?
    Without making rash judgment, I wonder, I really do.

  35. paxchristi says:

    It is a Sunday afternoon, and I do admit I have had a wee dram of the lovely Glenlivet Nadurra, but having read the comments, I cannot help but wonder why we must tiptoe ’round the elephant in the room. Please God, of course, that there be repentence and reconciliation at the end of anyone’s life – and that the soul be immersed in the mercy of God, so much so that it eventually attains the Beatific Vision. But, when one has so visibly and vociferously rejected the teachings of the Church, might we suggest this could be serious indeed? Suggest, so that this will be a teaching moment for all – the teaching being that we might – just might – go to hell. And, further, when we stubbornly immerse ourselves in rejection of the teaching magisterium of the the body of Christ, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, this immersion is not always conducive to repentence. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. Prov 1:7

  36. paxchristi: Absolutely. No doubt. This woman’s contribution is just dismal. It’s pathetic.
    But, if, perchance, there is some little, itty bitty opening to God, may she know His mercy.
    That’s all.
    No covering over the damage, the blasphemy, the horrid teaching; I just hope she was not completely irredeemable. That, in fact, is what we’re supposed to pray for. Even if, alas, it is not the case.

  37. robtbrown says:

    robtbrown: It sure fits the “profile”, no?
    Hatred of authority? Inability to accept “reality” as given in creation and in the teachings of the Church?
    Without making rash judgment, I wonder, I really do.
    Comment by nazareth priest

    Yes, but I was thinking more of her self-destructive behavior.

  38. Jack Hughes says:

    I wonder if someone could help me out with something that could relate to this case.

    Didn’t St Alphonsus once tell a women who was having an imodest portrait of herself painted that she would be held responsable at her particular judgement for all those who would fall after viewing even AFTER her death?

    In the same way couldn’t Dalay and those like her be held responsable for all those who would fall after reading their dangerous works?

  39. Thomas S says:

    As far as Prof. Kreeft goes, he always said to us that BC was Catholic enough to feel like home, and secular enough to feel like a mission field.

    He’s not out of touch with the school’s Catholic culture.

  40. robtbrown: Self-destructive behavior? Yes. Certainly.

  41. irishgirl says:

    Fr. Marie-Paul: you got that right!

    That picture of her with the battle-axe fits her totally!

  42. Jillian says:

    Frank Doyle,

    Fr. Feeney was not excommunicated for heresy, and as such was never required to recant ANY of his positions regarding the DOGMA Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (EENS). Baptism of Blood, and Baptism of Desire have never been formally taught by the Church, there is no Papal or Conciliar document that mentions either term.

    Secondly, Father Feeney, and his position on the Dogma does not deny that Christ is Judge.

    Just to reinterate. Father Feeney was never required to recant during his reconciliation. He was excommunicated for disobedience, not for heresy. Nor was Fr. Feeney the first to defend the dogma… Fr. Michael Mueller, Orestes Brownson, and others fought to defend EENS long before Fr. Feeney was even born. AND, if that weren’t enough, there are at least 3 communities (followers of Fr. Feeney) in the Diocese of Worcester, MA which are approved by the Church. http://www.scribd.com/doc/24283795/Official-Letter-from-the-Diocese-Of-Worcester-regarding-communities-founded-by-Fr-Leonard-Feeney

    The DOGMA “Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus”:

    “The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.)

    “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.)

    “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215.)

    (Sorry for hijacking your comment box, Fr. Z, but I had to defend “The Catholic Dogma”!) [Please don't do it again.]

  43. robtbrown says:

    Fr. Feeney was not excommunicated for heresy, and as such was never required to recant ANY of his positions regarding the DOGMA Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (EENS). Baptism of Blood, and Baptism of Desire have never been formally taught by the Church, there is no Papal or Conciliar document that mentions either term.
    Comment by Jillian

    You’re right there is no Papal or Conciliar document. The explicit source is Scripture–The Good Thief and the Holy Innocents.

  44. ssoldie says:

    God gave man ‘free will’ so that means we, each and every one is responsible for his thoughts, words and actions, and if we believe that at the age of seven we aquire reason, we make choices and we, not our Fathers/Mothers, or any one else is responsible for our choices. Just as we are not responsable for thiers. Jesus will ask an accounting of all, what you did or did not do. Pray for the souls in purgatory.

  45. Frank Doyle says:

    Jillian,

    Once again, I suggest you read Ludwid Ott or you can visit
    http://www.catholic.com.

    I would recommend the above sources to anyone else who may
    still be reading this thread.

  46. Frank Doyle says:

    Correction, that should be Ludwig Ott.

  47. Jillian says:

    Frank,

    I own Ott’s book… he does not claim that Baptism of Desire/Baptism of Blood are doctrine. Catholic.com, which useful most of the time, is not an infallible source.

    Fr. Z has posted (in passing) about Fr. Feeney previously: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2009/01/some-thoughts-about-the-sspx-rome-and-unity/

    Rob T Brown,

    The Holy Innocents were under the Old Law (they died before Christ), and as such were justified by circumcision and there is a tradition that says that God, in His wisdom (read: Providence) would have prevented births for 8 days so that all the Holy Innocents would have been circumcised. The Good Thief as well was under the Old Law. Those who died under the Old Law were not subject to the necessity of Baptism because it was not instituted until after the Resurrection of Christ (according to the Council of Trent).

    The Good Thief, and the Holy Innocents went to the Limbo of the Fathers (i.e., “the spirits in prison” to whom Christ preached) until after Christ’s Resurrection.

  48. Jillian says:

    From Fr. Z (in the previous post I linked to above):
    “I call to mind also the situation of the late Fr. Leonard Feeney, SJ, and his “wildcat group” the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They took a black and white position on the Church’s true teaching that “outside the Church there is no salvation”. This got them in hot water with the Holy See. Eventually an understanding was hammered out. The so-called “Feeneyites” were able to be in union with the Church but without having to abjure their position about extra Ecclesiam nulla salus.”

  49. Frank Doyle says:

    Jillian,

    No Catholic.com is not an infallible source but neither is
    Fr. Feeney. A doctrine does not have to be solemnly definded
    in order to be infallibe. A consistant teaching of the ordinary
    magisterium (e.g. that contraception is intrinsically evil)can
    also be infallible. Furthermore, our understanding of doctrine
    can develop legitimately over time or as Cardinal Newman called
    it, the development of doctrine.

    Neither of us knows who will be saved or who will be damned. God
    is merciful and just. I will leave the judging of souls to Christ.

    As I stated before, the mechanics of salvation are a mystery to
    us. We should not presume to know Our Lord’s judgement on a
    particular soul. We can make judgements about external actions
    but we cannot know the true culpability of an individual soul.
    If a non-Catholic is saved, it will be because of Christ not
    despite Him. Do I believe all non-Catholics will be saved? No.
    Nor do I believe all Catholics will necessarily be saved either.

    We will know on the Last Day who will be saved and who will be
    damned. We must be careful not to become our own magisterium for
    we know where that road can lead.

  50. Frank Doyle says:

    Correction, solemnly defined.

  51. BCatholic says:

    Thomas S,

    PK is right when he says that about BC, but he has not been very involved in campus life for some time, and as such, he still has the picture of BC from a decade ago. I remember one-time reading “First Things” back in 2007 and Father Neuhaus records a story that “Peter Kreeft from Boston College told me just the other day.” The story took place in the mid 80s, but the article was written like it was just last year.

  52. Jillian says:

    Frank Doyle,

    I never offered Fr. Feeney as a source for anything. I just said he was right about EENS, and provided 3 infallible PAPAL statements defining the Dogma as evidence.

    “The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.)

    “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.)

    “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215.)

    Lastly, EENS does not presume judgment upon anyone, I think you are reading into it a disposition that is not there. Christ is the Judge of souls, not me, not anyone else who believes the Church’s dogma that there is no salvation outside the Church.

    Regarding development of doctrine… while this idea may have some legitimacy, we must be careful to not disregard Tradition in favor of a contemporary idea, as Vatican I warns:

    “The faith which God has revealed has not been proposed like a theory of philosophy, to be elaborated upon by human understanding, but as a divine deposit to be faithfully guarded and infallibly declared. Therefore, that sense of sacred dogmas is to be kept forever which Holy Mother Church has once declared, and it must never be deviated from on the specious pretext of a more profound understanding. Let intelligence, and science, and wisdom increase, but only according to the same dogma, the same sense, the same meaning. If anyone shall have said that there may ever be attributed to the doctrines proposed by the Church a sense which is different from the sense which the Church has once understood and now understands: let him be anathema.” (Dei Filius)

    …And just what has the Church consistently taught about EENS?

    “The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.”

  53. robtbrown says:

    Rob T Brown,
    The Holy Innocents were under the Old Law (they died before Christ), and as such were justified by circumcision and there is a tradition that says that God, in His wisdom (read: Providence) would have prevented births for 8 days so that all the Holy Innocents would have been circumcised. The Good Thief as well was under the Old Law. Those who died under the Old Law were not subject to the necessity of Baptism because it was not instituted until after the Resurrection of Christ (according to the Council of Trent).

    No, both the Holy Innocents and the Good Thief were under the New Law. The New Law is the Law of Grace, which begins at the moment of Christ’s conception (cf the Grace of the Hypostatic Union) and is consummated in His death on the Cross.

    You seem to have adopted Functional Christology, which is much admired by liberals. I prefer Ontological Christology, which is more in harmony with Scripture.

    Further, the Old Law did not justify of itself but rather as the antetype of the New Law.

    The Good Thief, and the Holy Innocents went to the Limbo of the Fathers (i.e., “the spirits in prison” to whom Christ preached) until after Christ’s Resurrection.
    Comment by Jillian

    Your comment on the Good Thief contradicts Christ’s own words.

    But even granting your opinion, it still demonstrates that there is martyrdom of Blood.

  54. robtbrown says:

    Should be: it still demonstrates that there is Baptism of Blood

  55. Jillian says:

    Frank Doyle,

    The Letter from the Archbishop of Boston was never published in the ‘Acta Apostolicae Sedis’ and consequently is not an official Act of the Holy See.

    Again, I refer you to the fact that Fr. Feeney was never required to recant his position on EENS as part of his reconciliation, and neither were any of his followers, many of whom are still in good standing with the Church. In fact, there are at least three communities in the Diocese of Worcester, MA approved by the Diocese, as I mentioned above. Fr. Feeney’s position on EENS is not heretical. It’s dogma.

    You have also ignored Fr. Z’s earlier comments on the matter which I pointed out to you earlier.
    “I call to mind also the situation of the late Fr. Leonard Feeney, SJ, and his “wildcat group” the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They took a black and white position on the Church’s true teaching that “outside the Church there is no salvation”. This got them in hot water with the Holy See. Eventually an understanding was hammered out. The so-called “Feeneyites” were able to be in union with the Church but without having to abjure their position about extra Ecclesiam nulla salus.”

    Rob T Brown,

    Regarding so-called Baptism of Blood… “No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Cantate Domino)

    How does my comment regarding the Good Thief contradict the words of Our Lord?

  56. Jordanes says:

    The Letter from the Archbishop of Boston was never published in the ‘Acta Apostolicae Sedis’ and consequently is not an official Act of the Holy See.

    Why would a letter from an Archbishop of Boston be entered in the Acts of the Apostolic See? How could anyone think his letter was a papal act?

    However, the letter of the Holy Office that the Archbishop of Boston enclosed in his letter IS an act of the Holy Office and was fornmally approved by the Pope, and it was even authoritatively cited by the Council Fathers of Vatican II. There can be no doubt that the Hly Office’s letter of 1949 represents the approved understanding of EENS. The extremist Feeneyite opinion may not rise to the level of heresy, but not everything that is erroneous is a heresy. For example, your claim that Father Feeney’s personal opinion is dogma is erroneous, though not heretical.

  57. Frank Doyle says:

    Jillian,

    As Jordanes correctly points out, the letter from the Holy Office
    was included in the Acts of the Apostolic See so it is official.

    I have been told that the groups that reconciled were permitted
    to retain their interpretation of EENS in a letter from the CDF.
    I have not seen a copy of that letter so I am a bit dubious as
    to its existence. No disrespect meant towards Fr. Zuhlsdorf but
    I have had my own dealings with the Slaves and do not necessarily
    trust how they represent themselves. I live in Boston and have had
    several encounters with Feeneyites over the past 22 years.

    Face it, if you reject baptism of desire, baptism of blood and
    innocent ignorance, then the inescapable consequence of Fr. Feeney’s
    interpretation of EENS is that all non-Catholics who die as such
    are automatically damned. Period. No exceptions. So please, do not
    tell me that you or anyone else that holds Fr. Feeney’s position
    is not judging souls.

  58. Jillian says:

    Frank Doyle, and others,

    I meant to say the Letter from the Holy Office to the Archbishop of Boston (i.e., the letter you posted above) was not published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis. That was a typo on my part.

    If you read the letters from the Diocese of Worcester I posted above, you will see it mentions the status and relations between Fr. Feeney’s followers and Eccelsia Dei (not the CDF… I don’t recall a letter from the CDF about Fr. Feeney). The letter from Ecclesia Dei officially is regarding the SSPX, but briefly mentions Fr. Feeney and his followers. The letters within the Diocese of Worcester explain it a little more.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/24283795/Official-Letter-from-the-Diocese-Of-Worcester-regarding-communities-founded-by-Fr-Leonard-Feeney
    http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cedsspx2.htm
    “e. The question of the doctrine held by the late Father Leonard Feeney is a complex one. He died in full communion with the Church and many of his former disciples are also now in full communion while some are not. We do not judge it opportune to enter into this question.”

    Regarding “judgement”… Saying (as the Church does) that there is no salvation outside the Church does not mean that I can guarantee every (apparent) non-Catholic goes to Hell. Why? Because I am not privy to the details of a person’s death (or most of the details of his life, either). I stand firmly on the dogma that there is no salvation outside the Church. Everyone in Heaven is a member of the Catholic Church. God in His Divine Providence and omnipotence would give each soul exactly what they need to get to Heaven if they so desired it. I don’t worry about the (supposed) invincibly ignorant person in some unknown/remote part of the world. God WILL take care of them. Even if He had to send an Angel to instruct them in the Faith, He would do it. He will send them a missionary or an Angel and they will join the Church before their death. As for those who have been validly baptized in other faiths, they can make a perfect act of contrition before their death and be reconciled to the Church (since they were already joined to her in Baptism)

    You yourself make a rash judgment (of a different kind) when you assume that I (or any other person who holds the dogma EENS) pretend to know the soul of another in death.

    BUT, it is a fact that all who die as non-Catholics (all who die outside the Church) are damned to Hell. That is the dogma of the Church. They cannot find salvation outside the Catholic Church.

    Please read the letters I’ve posted.

  59. Jillian says:

    Frank Doyle,

    The letter from the Ecclesia Dei commission was the second link just underneath the link to the letters from the Diocese of Worcester.

    I take issue with the idea that someone would be reconciled to the Church out of pity, or because they felt sorry he was old. I don’t buy it. There is no evidence of such feelings on the part of those who were part of Fr. Feeney’s reconciliation. AND such an idea undermines the nature of an excommunication. Again, I repeat, Fr. Feeney was not excommunicated for heresy, but for disobedience. If you have evidence to the contrary, or evidence for the idea that Fr. Feeney was merely reconciled out of pity, then please produce it. Hearsay is inadmissible.

    I have one last question for you, Mr. Doyle, was Pope Eugene IV being judgmental, or insisting that God is a monster when he wrote regarding the DOGMA:
    “The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” in the Bull Cantate Domino?

    You have brought up Fr. Most, and several of the early Church Fathers, but it is quite conspicuous that you have not addressed direct statements of the Magisterium that define the dogma Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus.

  60. The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” at this point in time is the definitive authority on the
    salvation of those “outside” the Church.
    From my understanding, it is in the judgment of Almighty God, in His Mercy, Who makes this determination.
    “Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus” has to do with those who separate themselves from the Holy Church, with full deliberation and understanding.
    St. Cyprian is the origin of this; whether or not Protestants (who have grown up in the tradition), non-Christians, or the unbaptized fall into this is a totally different matter.
    I’m no dissident or modernist; this is what the Tradition of the Church teaches, as far as I am aware of.

  61. And one more thought:
    Fr William Most was no light-weight theologian; I was a student at the college where he taught the Fathers of the Church; he was absolutely, thoroughly Catholic and an exemplary priest…he knew what he was talking about.
    Although I found him to be rather “off-putting” (and he even yelled at me sometimes for things I did not quite understand then!)…he knew “his stuff”. Thoroughly. May he rest in peace. Amen!

  62. Frank Doyle says:

    Father,

    Thank you for putting it succintly. Unfortunately, some
    people in this world do not wish to be confused by facts.

  63. Jillian says:

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) is not infallible in and of itself, it’s statements regarding dogma are infallible (because dogma is infallible), but not it’s explanations. The CCC is a teaching tool, not an infallible source.

    I did not claim Fr. Most was a lightweight theologian. But he’s not the Holy Father.

    Yet again, Mr. Doyle, you have not addressed any of my concerns. It is clear that I am concerned with facts, please re-read my post above. I asked you for the facts, rather than an emotional argument. You have so far provided none. Please show me a statement that demonstrates Fr. Feeney was reconciled to the church out of pity, or that Fr. Feeney was excommunicated for heresy (and not disobedience as I have claimed).

    Furthermore, you have not addressed the infallible statement from Pope Eugene IV on the matter that has been posted multiple times in this thread. In fact, you haven’t addressed ANY of the Papal and Conciliar statements I’ve brought up. Instead, you brought up Fr. Most and some fathers of the Church. While weighty to various degrees, they don’t overrule the Holy Father or an Ecumenical Council.

  64. Jillian says:

    Nazareth Priest,

    Can you show me where the Church teaches that the dogma Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus is aimed at those who separate themselves from the Church with full deliberation and understanding?

    Are there other dogmas of the Church that you would say are aimed only at a specific subset of people? (i.e., do dogmas apply only to Catholics, or to all people?)

    Thanks for your clarification(s).

  65. Jillian, recall that it is the Magisterium who interprets the dogma, not you or I. The Church has defined the answers to said dogma (and your erroneously phrased question) – that is by invincible ignorance and that those who are joined in a mysterious way to the Church by desire for truth. The *Dogmatic* Constitution of the Church (Lumen Gentium) from Vatican II #15 and #16 summarize the Magisterium’s interpretation of the dogma you quote. There are various references to prior Magisterial statements in that section of Lumen Gentium, which you can also research.

  66. Jillian says:

    Fr. Marie-Paul,

    Thank you for your direct response.

    I am familiar with Lumen Gentium and the sections to which you refer. However, I don’t think either paragraph negates or changes anything I’ve posted above regarding the dogma Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus. The missions are of utmost importance when considering the dogma so that we can help the Lord in bringing as many people as possible into His Church. Consider, Father, that Lumen Gentium #16 ends with the words,
    “Wherefore to promote the glory of God and procure the salvation of all of these, and mindful of the command of the Lord, “Preach the Gospel to every creature”, the Church fosters the missions with care and attention” (LG #16)

    It’s about bringing people into the Church, not finding salvation outside of it. Pope Eugene IV’s bull Cantate Domino is clear on the dogma and cannot be disregarded, nor is it aimed at fallen away Catholics: it is aimed at all as a statement of what the Church authentically teaches (“The Most Holy Roman Catholic Church believes, professes and preaches…”).

  67. Jillian: I’m sorry; I lost my place (could not find where these posts were, my fault).
    Fr Marie-Paul answered your question.
    I’m sorry, but the CCC is not just a teaching device. It has the authority of Pope John Paul II.
    The whole matter (as I re-read my post) is about people who willingly and knowingly separated themselves from the True Church or refuse to become members, knowing that it is the only means of salvation.
    This is not a simple matter. I apologize if I did not correctly or completely give the teaching.
    You also have to remember that papal statements (even the infallible ones) have a ‘context’…usually, but not always, they are addressing some particular problem or situation in the Church. That doesn’t water them down; but it is important to understand this in order to be able to explain it or understand it.

  68. And, as another thought (while I look up Pope Eugene IV’s “Cantate Domino”)…I would be more afraid for baptized Catholics who are dissenting or apostatizing…and I mean it. THEY have a greater responsibility than those “outside the Church” (or are they also outside the Church?) I’m not being facetious here.

  69. Jillian says:

    Nazareth Priest,

    I am not claiming that baptized Catholics have it made. We all have a responsibility to the Truth.

    I agree with you about the context of both Papal and Conciliar statements, nonetheless, the dogma Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus is not aimed only at fallen away Catholics. It is true for all. And it’s not judgmental or presumptuous to say so. I trust in the Providence and Omnipotence of God. If there is a heart open and ready for the Gospel, God will not leave them in ignorance (because He Himself prepared that heart) and God will give them the graces necessary for salvation, even if He has to send an Angel to instruct them in the Faith. This is also from Lumen Gentium #16,
    “Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel

    I think the “Feeneyite” position on EENS has been greatly misunderstood and demonized.

  70. Jillian: Pope John Paul II issued the CCC with an “apostolic constitution”; this is the highest level of papal approval. The “bull of Pope Eugene IV” is also the equivalent, from what I can ascertain…however.
    Pope Eugene IV is dealing with heretics and schismatics who were Catholic at one point (he lists them all and teaches why they are wrong). The perennial teaching of the Church is that no one is saved outside of Her; HOW that happens is up to God (if you want a preVII reference, Pope Pius IX (who spoke against “religious indifferentism”); see Ludwig Ott’s “Fundamentals of catholic Dogma, pp. 312-313 for a more complete explanation). No one can be saved by anyone other that Christ.
    The Church is not teaching anything other than this.
    Conditions have changed (drastically) since 1451. The Church is a living organism, animated by the Holy Spirit, with Christ as Her Head, the Holy Father as the Vicar of Christ and the Successor of Saint Peter.
    I see no contradiction in either documents (P. Eugene IV or the CCC). I hope that helps.

  71. Jillian says:

    I am still “new” to defending EENS, but I will admit that my research into it started about a year ago when Fr. Z posted (in passing) about Fr. Feeney here:
    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2009/01/some-thoughts-about-the-sspx-rome-and-unity/
    “I call to mind also the situation of the late Fr. Leonard Feeney, SJ, and his “wildcat group” the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They took a black and white position on the Church’s true teaching that “outside the Church there is no salvation”. This got them in hot water with the Holy See. Eventually an understanding was hammered out. The so-called “Feeneyites” were able to be in union with the Church but without having to abjure their position about extra Ecclesiam nulla salus.”

    I’m glad Fr. Z made the connection (as this understanding has helped in other areas of my faith life as well); I have been studying this dogma for nearly a year (which is hardly any time at all) and am still open to learning but thus far have not be able to find fault in the “Feeneyite” understanding of EENS (which seems to me to be the authentic understanding of the Church regarding EENS). Currently, I am reading works by two other prominent Catholics (of their time)– one whom lived over a 100 years before Fr. Feeney and neither of them were ever in trouble for their position on EENS: Fr. Michael Mueller, and Orestes Brownson.

  72. Jillian says:

    Nazareth Priest,

    How can Pope Eugene IV be referring to fallen away Catholics when (in addition to schismatics and heretics) he mentions specifically Jews and pagans?

    Also, the CCC admits of changes (and dogma does not), so how can the entirety of the CCC be equivalent to a Papal Bull?

    Thanks for your patience.

  73. robtbrown says:

    How does my comment regarding the Good Thief contradict the words of Our Lord?

    Christ tells the Good Thief that he will be will him in paradise on that very day–not after His Resurrection two days later.

    Regarding so-called Baptism of Blood… “No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Cantate Domino)
    Comment by Jillian

    Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus is definitely dogma.

    Let me preface my comments by saying that I don’t have the editio typica of Cantate Domino.

    The very restrictive expression of EENS, found in CD, is intended to be more specific. In fact, it turns out to be less, which often happens with attempts to be too neat and tidy. Why? One interpretation could be that there is no such thing as Baptism of Blood–this seems to be yours.

    Another interpretation, which I think is more in harmony with Scriture, is that it refers to a non-believer dying because of a believer. For example, let’s say an Islamic terrorist wants to assassinate a US President because he’s a Catholic. An atheist Secret Service agent jumps in front of the President to protect him and is killed by the bullet. It can be said that the agent shed his blood for the name of Christ.

  74. Jillian says:

    Rob T Brown,

    How can the Good Thief be in Paradise before Christ?

    Regarding Baptism of Blood… I don’t think there’s no place for such a theological term, it just cannot be a replacement for Sacramental Baptism which is necessary for salvation.

  75. Don’t hijack the combox. Don’t paste long pieces into the combox.

  76. Jillian: Sorry for the delay.
    I believe that the whole point of this “bull”, which in fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, by reason of its promulgation, is equivalent, is that one is saved only by Jesus Christ through His Church. You cannot be saved any other way; that is the de fide teaching of the Church, then, and now. Jews and pagans cannot be saved by being Jews and pagans. They are saved by the Precious Blood of Christ by the mediation of the Church. St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that this is possible outside of the sacramental order, because God is not confined to it. Other than that, I am sorry if I have not been able to answer your questions; space limitations do not allow for it! Blessing!