The other day I was discussing with a friend this article of Cardinal Dulles in which he makes a very disturbing argument to the effect that the unanimous teaching of the fathers and doctors, solemnly defined by the Council of Florence, is that without consciously hearing and assenting to the dogmas of the Trinity and the Incarnation “no pagan, Jew, schismatic, or heretic could be saved” but, he then goes on to argue, we have moved beyond all that in the modern era and now the church teaches the contrary of this. In a way the article is refreshingly honest. Most people who seriously push the Implicitist heresy try to wrench the meaning of various patristic texts and contrive to elude the most ferocious definitions of Popes and Councils in order to maintain the opposite of the blindingly obvious fact that for the entirety of the ancient and mediaeval history of the church it was taught as dogma that no one other than baptised infants could be saved without explicit faith in the Trinity and the Incarnation. Having been taught as dogma it does not matter what early moderns and late moderns would prefer the Gospel to be, these definitions are irreformable of themselves and can never be altered. My friend pressed the argument of a friend of his that as a sociological fact most bishops in the world hold that we can be justified without explicit faith in the Trinity and the Incarnation and being, as he claims, morally certain of this fact we must submit our judgement to them and employ our ingenuity explaining away the aforementioned dogmas. Now I utterly reject this absurd idea that our hunches concerning the views of the episcopate at one moment in history should be rule of all teaching and supersede the solemn definitions of Popes and Councils, but as a matter of fact is he right? Do the majority of bishops reject the Dogmas of Florence and Boniface VIII? No they do not, by definition.

Can. 194 §1. The following are removed from an ecclesiastical office by the law itself:

2/ a person who has publicly defected from the Catholic faith or from the communion of the Church

Which rather raises the question: how many bishops actually are there?

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