Thursday, December 03, 2009

Forgotten Teachings: No Salvation Outside the Church

PELAGIUS II (AD 579-590)
The Unity of the Church
[From the first epistle Quod ad dilectionern 
to the schismatic bishops of Istria, about AD 585]

DS 246: (For) you know that the Lord proclaims in the Gospel: Simon, Simon, behold Satan has desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat: but I have asked the Father for thee, that thy faith fail not; and thou being once converted, confirm thy brethren [Luke 22:31 f.].

Consider, most dear ones, that the Truth could not have lied, nor will the faith of Peter be able to be shaken or changed forever. For although the devil desired to sift all the disciples, the Lord testifies that He Himself asked for Peter  alone and wished the others to be confirmed by him; and to him also, in consideration of a greater love which he showed the Lord before the rest, was committed the care of feeding the sheep [cf. John 21:15 ff.]; and to him also He handed over the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and upon him He promised to build his Church, and He testified that the gates of hell would not prevail against it [cf. Matt. 16:16 ff.]. But, because the enemy of the human race even until the end of the world does not abstain from sowing cockle [Matt. 13:25] over the good seed in the Church of the Lord, and therefore, lest perchance anyone with malignant zeal should by the instigation of the devil presume to make some alterations in and to draw conclusions regarding the integrity of the faith--and (lest) by reason of this your minds perhaps may seem to be disturbed, we have judged it necessary through our present epistle to exhort with tears that you should return to the heart of your mother the Church, and to send you satisfaction with regard to the integrity of faith. . . .

[The faith of the Synods of Nicea, Constantinople I, Ephesus I, and especially of Chalcedon, and likewise of the dogmatic epistle of Leo to Flavian having been confirmed, he proceeds thus: ]

If anyone, however, either suggests or believes or presumes to teach contrary to this faith, let him know that he is condemned and also anathematized according to the opinion of the same Fathers. . . . Consider (therefore) the fact that whoever has not been in the peace and unity of the Church, cannot have the Lord [Gal. 3:7]. . . .

"DS 246: Nostis (enim) in evangelio Dominum proclamantem : Simon, Simon, ecce satanas expetivit vos, ut cribraret sicut triticum : ego autem rogavi pro te Patrem, ut non deficiat fides tua ; et tu conversus confirma fratres tuos (Lc 22, 31 sq). Considerate, carissimi, quia Veritas mentiri non potuit nec fides PETRI in aeternum quassari poterit vel mutari. Nam cum omnes discipulos diabolus ad cribrandum poposcerit, pro solo PETRO se Dominus rogasse testatur et ab eo ceteros voluit confirmari; cui etiam pro maiori dilectione, quam prae ceteris Domino exhibebat, pascendarum ovium sollicitudo commissa est (cf. Io 21, 15 sqq); cui et claves regni coelorum tradidit et super quem suam Ecclesiam aedificaturum esse promisit nec portas inferni adversus eam praevalere testatus est (Mt 16,16sqq). Sed quia inimicus humani generis usque in finem saeculi non quiescit in Domini Ecclesiam bono semini superseminare zizania (Mt 13,25), ideoque, ne forte quisquam maligno studio aliqua de fidei nostrae integritate diaboli instigatione fingere praesumpserit et argumentari, et ex hoc vestri fortasse videantur animi perturbari, necessarium iudicavimus per praesentem epistolam nostram, et ad viscera vos matris Ecclesiae ut reverti debeatis, cum lacrimis exhortari, et de nostrae fidei integritate vobis satisfactionem mittere. ... (Confirmata fide Synodorum NICAENAE, CONSTANTINOPOL. I, EPHESINAE I, et praecipue CHALCEDONENSIS, necnon epistolae dogmaticae LEONIS ad Flavianum, sic pergit :) Si quis autem contra hanc fidem aut sapit aut credit aut docere praesumit, secundum eorundem Patrum sententiam damnatum atque anathematizatum se esse cognoscat. ... Considerate (ergo), quia quicunque in pace et unitate Ecclesiae non fuerit, Deum habere non poterit (Gal. 3, 7)...."

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