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“Will Many Be Saved?” – The Confusion

October 22nd, 2012, Promulgated by benanderson

This is a multi-part book review on Ralph Martin’s new book “Will Many Be Saved?: What Vatican II Actually Teaches and Its Implications for the New Evangelization” by guest submitter Dominick Anthony Zarcone.


The Confusion

During RCIA in a Rochester parish, a Sister of Mercy tells an inquirer that Jewish people are saved by being good Jews. In other words, Jesus and the New Testament are for Christians only. Moses and the Old Testament are for Jewish people and their salvation.

That parish’s pastor initially objects to using the Name JESUS on a prayer card because of potential offense to neighborhood residents with whom we will be visiting and ‘sharing a prayer’.

Another Diocesan priest expresses shock and disappointment with me when I tell him I was inspired by Saint Francis of Assisi to visit the Islamic Center on Westfall Road a few weeks after September 11, 2001. The priest, a holy and prayerful man, could not understand the motivation that sent me to inquire about the Sharia LAW OF APOSTASY and ask the Imam whether or not a Muslim is in personal danger after professing Christian faith in Jesus and after submitting to Catholic baptism in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

A third priest friend becomes angry and argumentative when I tell him Catholics have a solemn obligation to share with Muslims and tell them that the Lord Jesus, the only savior of the world, is the Son of God made man who died on the cross and rose again from the dead.

While discussing the subject of homily topics with a fourth Diocesan priest, I am left thinking the Catholic Church does not preach repentance. For, I am told by this evangelizer/pastor, “We don’t use the word repent in preaching, it’s not the Catholic approach”.

None of this made sense to me.

All of this is incredible. How can Catholics seemingly be so out of touch with our beloved Church’s Sacred Tradition? Answers are available.

It is Ralph Martin’s book “WILL MANY BE SAVED? What Vatican II Actually Teaches and Its Implications for the New Evangelization” which helps clarify the confusion which permeates the Church. His book has the potential to put the Church back on her own solid doctrinal foundation so as to restore our confidence in the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our author convincingly demonstrates that the loss of confidence in the Gospel does not come from the Second Vatican Council itself. Martin’s readers are reminded that nowhere in Official Church Documents is it written to not name the NAME above every other Name; to not announce the saving announcement to all people; nor is it written anywhere to believe that non-Christian religions are salvific in and of themselves and that their adherents have no right to hear the Good News of Salvation Through Jesus Christ.

But, as Dr. Ralph Martin in “WILL MANY BE SAVED?” observes, one does read in LUMEN GENTIUM 16:

“… those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God.”

Then, this section 16 in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church continues by naming adherents to Non-Christian religions:

“In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh. On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of the calls He issues. But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohammedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind.”

Then, this Second Vatican Council Document refers to those who have no religion per se:

“Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things, and as Saviour wills that all men be saved. Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. 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.”

Martin argues that the doctrinal confusion which saps the Church of her missionary zeal rests in part, by a selective reading of Lumen Gentium 16. We must finish reading all of it, concentrating on the last three sentences,* so as to enter the discussion whether the conditions under which people can be saved who have never heard the Gospel are in fact easily fulfilled or very often are not.

*But often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator. Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God, are exposed to final despair. 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.

Dominick Anthony Zarcone

Those last three sentences in LUMEN GENTIUM 16 reference Romans 1:25, 29 and Mark 16:16 which read:

“Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen”

“Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers,”

“He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned.”

Readers will readily discover that Martin’s excellent book with its observations, research, analysis and doctrinal clarity can facilitate the significant discussion as to whether conditions are being met for salvation without hearing the saving announcement of Christ.

For the Church and her primary mission of evangelization, Dr. Ralph Martin’s work could prove to be the most important book of our day.

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25 Responses to ““Will Many Be Saved?” – The Confusion”

  1. avatar Scott W. says:

    Excellent! I propose a new blog tag: Vatican II–you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. 🙂

  2. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Pray for priests. The road to hell is paved with the souls of priests. They have been entrusted with much and much is expected of them.

  3. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Scott W, please explain further regarding the use of ‘Vatican II.

    To date, I have understood it referring to the documents themselves.
    Both Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI have stated those 16 documents
    are a sure compass for the Church.

    Dr. Ralph Martin not only refers to the written
    documents, in his book he references schemata,
    Council discussions, commentaries and Papal
    statements.

    Scott W, what do you mean by the word ‘Vatican II”?

  4. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Dominick,
    see here: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/you-keep-using-that-word-i-do-not-think-it-means-what-you-think-it-means

    ScottW was directing his comment at those who summon V2 to mean all sorts of liberal ideas.

  5. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Ben,

    It seems that “all hell” breaks loose and God raises up someone or a group of people to save the situation.

    In the 13th century, it was the Cathars and Waldensians but they were thwarted by the Franciscans. In the 16th century, the Jesuits helped with dealing with the Protestant reformation.

    So we hope and pray for the ppeople who will help save us from the Modernists.

  6. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Ben,

    What was the response of the Imam?

  7. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Richard Thomas,
    Please realize that the nun and 4 priests were not bad, evil or unfaithful.
    Frankly, because of the confusion permeating the Church, each was operating in good faith.
    It is evident to me how very important Martin’s book is to refocus all of us.

    The Imam nevered answered the direct question with a simple yes or no.
    However, he did say: YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE CULTURE.
    But two facts haven’t changed: Sharia Law will not tolerate religious freedom
    and every opportunity I share the Good News of Jesus Christ with Muslims
    praying for their conversion to the Son of God.

  8. avatar raymondfrice says:

    Richard Thomas:

    “it was the Cathars and Waldensians but they were thwarted by the Franciscans.”

    Think you might have meant the Dominicans also.

  9. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    and just to be clear – these articles are not written by me. They are written by Dominick – I’m just posting them.

  10. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Domonick,

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. No, those individuals are not bad but they are performing evil,leading people astray and are giving scandal. Their actions,as shepherds, are preventing people from getting close to God. They are wolves in Sheeps clothing. It’s like a physician telling a patient there is no such thing as infection. Ot’s not the medical way.

  11. avatar BigE says:

    @Richard Thomas and Raymondfrice
    I also found the Cathar comment interesting. Weren’t the Cathars tortured and massacred?

  12. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Richard Thomas, perhaps from what I wrote
    regarding the experiences with the nun and
    four Priests you are able to discern more about them than
    I am able to discern.

    The point of the illustrations, however,
    was to demonstrate the confusion regarding
    the Church’s primary mission and the
    eternal consequences

    No doubt that each of the five underwent
    religious , theological and pastoral
    formation which influenced them to:
    1. think Jews are saved without Jesus
    2. be afraid to use the name Jesus
    3. be shocked that a Catholic would
    go to an Islamic Imam to tell the Muslim
    he seeks converts to Jesus, the Son of God
    4. think the word repent is not suitable for
    Catholic preaching

    So whether the five are wolves in sheep’s
    clothing or merely well meaning adherents
    to a flawed formation and pastoral strategy,
    Ralph Martin’s book is for them and all of us.

  13. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    And the book WILL MANY BE SAVED?
    does demonstrate convincingly that
    Jesus Christ is “the medicine” that
    a sick sinful humanity desperately needs.

    Great analogy, Richard Thomas, above
    where you write a physician telling a
    patient there is no infection.

    Our leaders and all of the faithful need the
    same medicine for our same sick condition
    and then offer the remedy to everyone.

    As Dr. Martin argues, IT IS A MATTER OF
    LIFE AND DEATH.

  14. avatar BigE says:

    @dominick
    I think the confusion is in your (or the priest’s) wording. Saying Jews ARE saved without Jesus is wrong (because of the definative nature of that statement). But that certainly is different than saying they COULD BE, or that the possibility of salvation exists for them, which would be a correct statement. For that matter, saying any Catholic IS saved is just as wrong for the same reasons since we all “work out our salvation with fear and trembling”.

  15. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    BigE,
    Help me understand the point of your comment.
    Are you questioning use of the word ‘saved’?

    I fear going off on a tangent and not even addressing
    your concern without more of an explanation from you.

    In the meantime, please allow me to suggest you
    re-read installment 5, re-read Richard Thomas’s
    comments and my response to him.

    Be assured the word ‘saved’ is a good word if
    understood and used correctly. Catholic soteriology
    is biblically sound. The same can’t be said for
    classical reformed Protestantism.

  16. avatar BigE says:

    @Dominick
    I have no problem with the word “saved”. I think the problem arises when we try to indicate who is or isn’t saved (beyond canonized Saints). Would you agree that the possibility exists for a jew to be saved without Jesus?

  17. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    BigE,
    Please consider reading the book.

    Secondly, perhaps your question can be rephrased:
    “Does the possibility exist for a Jew (or anyone)
    to be saved without explicit faith in Jesus and
    the sacrament of baptism?”

    Again, please consider reading WILL MANY BE SAVED?

    Whether or not you read Marlin’s book,
    be assured that Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man,
    is the One Savior of the world.
    No one is saved “without Jesus”!

    I trust that nothing I have written has given the
    impression I have tried to indicate who is or who
    isn’t saved. Perhaps, once the rest of this review’s
    installments are posted some of these questions
    will be answered.

    Until then, let’s take the Apostle Paul’s good
    advice in 2 Cor. 13:5
    TRY YOUR OWN SELVES IF YOU BE IN THE
    FAITH; PROVE YE YOURSELVES. KNOW YOU
    NOT … THAT CHRIST JESUS IS IN YOU,
    UNLESS PERHAPS YOU BE REPROBATES?

  18. avatar annonymouse says:

    BigE –

    WHAT are you talking about?

    Which part of this do you not understand: “NO ONE comes to the Father except through me.” No one can be saved except through Jesus Christ. So no, a Jew can not be saved without Jesus. Without FAITH in Jesus, possibly – see below, but not without the saving action of Jesus in His death and resurrection.

    The Catholic Church teaches that there can be salvation, (but only) through the merits of Jesus Christ, for people who, through no fault of their own, “…do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.” (Lumen Gentium 16).

    That would seem to be exceptional – we as Catholics must strive for the conversion of all to the Church, for “the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation.” (LG 14)

  19. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    E

    Yes.there was torture and killings. Tens of thousands. And one source clad it was done with the aid of the Dominicans.

    I think part of this modernist heresy is exposed by these religious.

    I am influenced by St Francic of Assisi who courageously preached th the Sultan and offered to have both he and the s walk through fire to see whose God was supreme. I read somewhere the Sultan was so impressed that he converted on his deathbed.

    Ifodern religious and laypeople read the loves of the saints,they will discover repentance was a major theme on their preaching. St John Vianney, patron of parish priests.

  20. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    annonymouse, I appreciate your Biblical and Second Vatican Council references.
    You will enjoy Martin’s book if you choose to read it. The author has many references
    to those sources. His analysis and conclusions are very sound and in harmony with Sacred Tradition.

    Richard Thomas, I too am inspired by Saint Francis of Assisi. It was at a Transitus Gathering Commemorating the death of Holy Father Francis when I expressed how in the spirit of Saint Francis I went to visit the Islamic Center. (I never heard the Sultan experienced Christian conversion on his death bed. Now wouldn’t that be something!)

    While it has been a number of years since I have seen or communicated with the former Imam, the one with whom I had talked a few weeks after September 11, 2001, I have sent him a note or two wishing him well and encouraging him to re-consider the Catholic faith in Jesus. Moreover, he was present at the Cathedral a number of years ago when the Diocese was celebrating with area Muslims the agreement between the two faiths.

    I took the opportunity, when the microphone was offered, to point out differences between the two religions. For example I reminded the gathered assembly that one religion professes God has no Son. The other announces good news that the Son of God is Risen from the dead. I even raised up a rosary pointing out that Catholic prayer beads have a crucifix while the Muslim beads do not.

    (Nostra Aetate states the Church “proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself” and “it is the burden of the Church’s preaching to proclaim the cross of Christ as the sign of God’s all-embracing love and as the fountain from which every grace flows.” CCC 905…..we are always on the lookout for opportunities to announce Christ by word!)

    If you are interested see the September/October 2012 issue of the periodical “CATHOLIC ANSWERS Share the Faith/Defend the Faith” pages 36-40. There is an article by Robert Spencer (jihadwatdch.org) entitled “ISLAM AND CATHOLICISM They don’t have as much in common as you might think”

  21. avatar BigE says:

    @anonnymouse
    1) Yes, of course….you are right….bad wording on my part; I should have said salvation is posiible “without believing” in Jesus, not “without” Jesus. My bad.
    2) And salvation being possible outside the church in no way relieves us of our responsibility to evangelize. I never said otherwise.

  22. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    BigE,
    Thank you very much for your above clarification addressed to annonnymouse.

    Both of your statements in 1 and 2 are spot on.

    The confusion in the Church includes the extreme and flawed thinking which erroneously moved from possibility to certainty.

    It is the unwarranted interpretation of LG 16 and Vatican II (salvation for the unevangelized/baptized is .a certainty) with which Ralph Martin takes issue.

    In the experiences chronicled at the beginning of this book review’s installment 5,
    I actually met some shock and anger because of attempts to evangelize with Catholic conversion and baptism in mind.

    We have a long way to go as Church to get back on solid footing. Ralph Martin’s WILL MANY BE SAVED? helps.

    Stay tuned for Installments 6, 7 and 8.

  23. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Dominick,

    St. Peter was well meaning and “loving” when he tried to convince Jesus not to go to Jeresulem and be crucified. Jesus called him “Satan” and was filled with rage.

    Something to think about when you are talking about our religiuos leaders who are spouting heresy. It is bad enough that they themselves are corrupted but it is worse because it affects the salvation of others.

    I am curious. What was the response of these religious when you discussed these issues? Were they rigid, closed minded and unwilling to entertain another opinion? I found that the case when dealing with liberal clergy on these issues. It was like beating my head against the wall. They had no use for any opinion that was not theirs.

  24. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    1). The inquirer left RCIA. I learned about it sometime
    later and do not remember ever talking about it with her.
    She is retired now. Perhaps once the 8th and final
    installment is posted, I could send her a hard copy of
    all 8.

    2). The pastor changed his mind and included the name
    Jesus on the prayer card when I told him without Jesus’
    name I would not participate nor support the neighborhood
    visitation.

    3). Ever since my visit to the Islamic center my relationship
    with the two priests, one who expressed shock the other anger,
    has grown apart. I haven’t seen either one for a few years; probably
    because of other and different circumstances.

    4). I hope the 4h priest sees the real value in preaching repentance.

    Richard Thomas if there is a coldness toward us and a rejection
    of our encouragements to faithfulness to the Church’s faith,
    mission and morality, we probability need to pray for patience
    remembering how patient God the Father has been with you and me.

  25. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    In an interview while he was in Rome for the Synod on the New Evangelization,
    Ralph Martin summarizes the essence of his book’s thesis.

    Enjoy Father Pope’s analysis and scroll down for the 4 minute video of Martin.

    http://blog.adw.org/2012/11/on-how-ignoring-two-little-words-has-devasted-evangelization/

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