In the course of most Traditional priests lives, sooner or later they will encounter those who distort the axiom “Outside the Church there is no Salvation.” They follow the teachings of the late Fr. Leonard Feeney and his followers, who embrace the Feeneyite position and reject common Catholic teaching concerning baptism of blood and baptism of desire. They insist that water baptism alone is efficacious unto salvation. The late Fr. Anthony Cekada wrote this back in the year 2000:
“Catholics, however, are not free to reject this teaching, because it comes from the Church’s universal ordinary magisterium. Pius IX stated that Catholics are required to believe those teachings that theologians hold “belong to the faith,” and to subject themselves to those forms of doctrine commonly held as ‘theological truths and conclusions.’ “Behind the Feeneyite rejection of this doctrine lies a rejection of the principles that Piux IX laid down, principles that form the basis of the whole science of theology. He who rejects these criteria rejects the foundations of Catholic theology and constructs a peculiar theology of his own — one where his own interpretation of papal pronouncements is every bit as arbitrary and idiosyncratic as a free-thinking Baptist’s interpretation of the Bible. It is utterly pointless to argue with such a person over baptism of blood and baptism of desire, because he does not accept the only criteria on which a theological issue must be judged.”
Indeed, this is true. Based on my experience, and the experience of a host of others, people who hold to this error simply will not change and humbly acquiesce to the Church’s mind on this subject — the pre-Vatican II Church not the false church. I once witnessed a spectacle on Twitter and other sites where the discussion about this went on and on and on — perhaps a year — much to the frustration of those who knew what they were talking about vs. those who did not. After a few Tweets, I wanted nothing more to do with all of it, as I could see it was a futile endeavor. Theologians who uphold orthodoxy (correct belief) are commissioned by the Church to help clarify and present Catholic doctrine in favor of BOB and BOD in a precise and intelligible fashion. Their volumes are approved of by the Church, and usually the Pope himself. Melchior Cano, the respected Spanish theologian teaches of the ten sources or locis theologiicis from which Catholic doctrine can be determined. We will discuss them next week.