To Save Your Soul
You Must Keep the Faith
“Outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation”, Vatican II taught. In order to remain in the Church one must keep the Catholic faith. That is why one wording of the Catholic faith, known as the Athanasian Creed, starts off with the words, “Whoever wishes to be saved must above all keep the Catholic faith, for unless a person keeps this faith whole and entire, he will be lost forever.”
The Catholic Church is founded by Jesus Christ. It is the only church that Christ founded. The Catholic Church is not like other so-called Christian churches. It is not based on personal interpretation of the Bible or upon consensus of the people to determine what the code of beliefs are. Rather, the deposit of faith has been revealed by God and is, therefore, the truth and all have the obligation to accept and believe as true, the whole deposit of faith. Since the truth cannot change — the deposit of faith cannot change or be contradicted by new discoveries or new religions.
To belong to the Catholic Church is necessary in order for one to save one’s own soul. This is the rule established by God Himself. To become a member of the Roman Catholic Church, one has to:
1. Believe the Deposit of Faith as revealed by God and which is found in the Gospel and in all the Revelation by God. This Revelation is recorded in the Old and New Testaments, as well as in Sacred Tradition. A member of the Catholic Church must, therefore, accept as unchangeably true all solemn definitions of the faith as defined by the Pope, as well as accept the teaching contained in the Pope’s Ordinary and Universal Magisterium, because of the teaching authority Christ vested in St. Peter and his successors when He said, “He who hears you, hears Me.”
2. One must be Baptized into the Church.
3. One must accept the Pope as ruler of the Church with the right to command each individual member.
Presently, the Pope is John Paul II. One must also accept the legitimate authority of the bishops who are in communion with Pope John Paul II.
4. One must not commit certain serious offenses for which one would be excommunicated, which means one would be cut off from membership in the Church.
5. One must continue to believe in his heart all of the Deposit of Faith, not only in a general way, but, he must have explicit faith in specific articles of the faith. All, for example, must have explicit faith in each article of the Apostles Creed. But, every Catholic must believe explicitly other articles of the faith as well. For most Catholics, these are summarized in the Creed of “The Council of Trent and Vatican Council I”.
Automatic Excommunication for Sin of Heresy
By denying one article of faith, one is a heretic and is cut off automatically from the Church by this sin and is no longer a Catholic, no matter what appearances there are given to the contrary. It can happen today that because of widespread ignorance by Catholic faithful regarding some articles of the faith, that they must believe explicitly, that some of the faithful may, in good faith, deny an article of Faith. Such a person, thereby, becomes what is called a material heretic. That is, such a one becomes a heretic inasmuch as the matter they believe is heretical. A Catholic who holds a heretical position in good faith is not guilty of the sin of heresy — as long as he holds such position through no fault of his own and is not willfully ignorant. However, such a position is a deviation from the truth and leads to actions and attitudes which cause injustices to be committed. Furthermore, when he is informed of the teaching of the Magisterium and obstinately holds to his heretical position, he is no longer in good faith but is, in fact, a real (a formal) heretic.
All Must Accept the Teaching Authority of the Church
|Pope John Paul II is visible head of the one Church founded by Jesus Christ. St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, pictured here, is the center from which the Pope teaches, rules and sanctifies the members of the Catholic Church.|
For someone to become a heretic, properly speaking, one must not only hold an heretical belief but also know that it is contrary to what the teaching authority of the Church has clearly taught with its Magisterial power. When the Pope alone, or the Pope together with the bishops, have taught something regarding Faith or morals and have engaged the authority given them by Christ to speak on these matters in His name, then the faithful must accept the explanation of Revelation given by the teachers Christ appointed. Everyone knows that the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception is binding under pain of excommunication and heresy on all Catholics. Many Catholics are not aware today that one does not only need to believe solemn, public definitions of the Faith by the Pope but also one must accept as true in one's heart, those things which are taught by the Ordinary and Universal Teaching Authority of the Pope. An example of this was given in 1968 when Pope Paul VI stated in an Encyclical that he was teaching the Universal Church by his Apostolic Authority that Contraception is intrinsically evil. Thus, no circumstances, nor any good end to be achieved, can ever justify contraceptive practices.
No One Can Be Catholic and Communist
at the Same Time
Pope Pius XI, by his Ordinary Universal Magisterium, taught the truth, true for all times, that each and every act of contraception is mortally sinful. Similarly, Pope Pius XI taught by his Apostolic Authority that Communism is intrinsically perverse and no Catholic may cooperate with it in any form whatsoever. This teaching is as true today as it always was. It was thought at one time by some that perhaps, Communism had changed in practice to make it something very different from its original anti-Christ, anti-Catholic, anti-human purpose. But, in fact, Communism is still intrinsically perverse. The shooting of the Pope by the K.G.B. on May 13, 1981, as Agca has confessed, (See The Fatima Crusader #15, “Agca Accuses KGB of Involvement in Papal Assassination Attempt”) demonstrates that Russian Communism has not essentially changed. That Communism continues to fight against God, and against God’s Church, is demonstrated from the continuing persecution of the Church in Albania, Russia and the Ukraine. Pope John Paul II spoke out recently against this religious persecution several times. (See The Fatima Crusader #16, “The Present-Day Persecution of the Church by Communist Russia Seriously Threatens Your Eternal Salvation”.)
Thus, we can clearly see that no one can be a Marxist and a Catholic at the same time. The moment he becomes a Marxist, he ceases to be a Catholic. You are either for Christ or against Him. Marxism is an organization and a system which, in theory and practice, still is anti-God, anti-Jesus Christ, anti-man. It goes further, it even pretends to save sinful man and bring him happiness by claiming to be the solution to all mankind’s ills. The solution it offers to the world’s problems is salvation through the Communist party takeover of the world. It is not only anti-Christ, but it attempts to replace the Christian Faith with a false messianism.
Your Obligation to Keep the Faith
Thus, it is important for each individual Catholic to defend the very precious gift of faith that he has. It is important for the pastors, that is, the Pope, the bishops, and the priests, to defend the faith of their flock. It is important for the watchman, that is the pastors, (and those who, by a gift of Grace and of opportunity), who see the enemy approach, to cry out to the Church of God what the enemies of God are doing to try to destroy the Faith. God has endowed His Church with watchmen to enable the faithful to take appropriate measures to protect themselves and the Church.
May God give us all the grace to recognize the truth when it is told to us. May we all pray the Rosary every day so that we do not fall into error and heresy. Our Lady promised those who prayed the Rosary would be thus protected.