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Non-Catholics Section: Misc. Topics (2)

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Non-Catholics Section:

Misc. Topics (2)

Sources: Various

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Are You a Member of the 'Eastern Orthodox' Church?

Do You Reject Some (or All) of the Sacraments?

Do You Think You Know What the Catholic Church Teaches or Has Done?

What is the Relation Between Faith and Reason?

Don't Like the Idea That There Are 'Mysteries' in Religion?

Are 'Old Catholics' Catholic?

Are All Religions the Same / Are All Equally Good? / Does it Matter Which 'Church' One is in?

Are Anglican Orders Valid?

Question

Comments

Are You a Member of the 'Eastern Orthodox' Church?

Consider:

* Do you reject papal primacy? Try here

* Do you reject certain Marian doctrines? Try here

* Please also consider the following quotations:

"Byzantium up to this very day in her liturgical texts condemns her own schism; Peter is still proclaimed by her the rock and foundation of faith, the sovereign basis, the prince and premier of the apostles, the governor and head of the Church, the bearer of the keys both of grace and of the heavenly kingdom." (Liturgical Year) 

"Wherefore as no heresy can ever be justifiable, so in like manner there can be no justification for schism. 'There is nothing more grievous than the sacrilege of schism....there can be no just necessity for destroying the unity of the Church' (St. Augustine, Contra Epistolam Parmeniani, lib. ii., cap. ii., n. 25)." (Pope Leo XIII, "Satis Cognitum", 1896 A.D.)

"Has the truth...so failed you, who have been placed in the highest office of the priesthood, that you have not at once recognized yourself as a schismatic, when you withdrew from the apostolic sees? Being appointed to preach the Gospel to the people, had you not even read that the Church was founded by Christ our Lord upon the chief of the Apostles, so that the gates of hell might not be able to prevail against it (cf. Matt. 16:18)? If you had read this, where did you believe the Church to be outside of him in whom alone are clearly all the apostolic sees? ... Why, therefore, did you, already dearest in Christ, wander away from your portion, or what hope did you have for your salvation?" (Pope Pelagius I, 560 A.D.)

"Let us examine what is meant here. He who is in the unity of His body...the Sacrament of which body the faithful receive when they communicate at the Altar; he is truly said to eat the body, and drink the blood of Christ. And heretics and schismatics, who are cut off from the unity of the body, may receive the same Sacrament; but it does not profit them, nay, rather is hurtful, as tending to make their judgment heavier" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"With Faith urging us we are forced to believe and to hold the one, holy, Catholic Church and that, apostolic, and we firmly believe and simply confess this (Church) outside which there is no salvation nor remission of sin, the Spouse in the Canticle proclaiming: 'One is my dove, my perfect one. One she is of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her' [Song. 6:8]; which represents the one mystical body whose head is Christ, of Christ indeed, as God. And in this, 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism' [Eph. 4:5]. Certainly Noah had one ark at the time of the flood, prefiguring one Church which perfect on one cubit had one ruler and guide, namely Noah outside which we read all living things on the earth were destroyed. Moreover this we venerate and this alone, the Lord in the prophet saying: 'Deliver, O God, my soul from the sword; my only one from the hand of the dog' [Ps. 21:21]. For in behalf of the soul, that is, in behalf of himself, the head itself and the body he prayed at the same time, which body he called the 'Only one' namely, the Church, because of the unity of the spouse, the faith, the sacraments, and the charity of the Church. This is that 'seamless tunic' of the Lord [John 19:23], which was not cut, but which was cast by lot [John 19:23- 24]. Therefore, of the one and only Church (there is) one body, one head, not two heads as a monster, namely, Christ and Peter, the Vicar of Christ and the successor of Peter, the Lord Himself saying to Peter: 'Feed my sheep' [John 21:17]. He said 'My,' and generally, not individually these or those, through which it is understood that He entrusted all to him. If, therefore, the Greeks or others say that they were not entrusted to Peter and his successors, of necessity let them confess that they are not of the sheep of Christ, since the Lord says in John, 'to be one flock and one shepherd' [John 10:16]." (Pope Boniface VIII, "Unam Sanctam", 1302 A.D.)

"Therefore, Our mouth is open to you... who are separated from the Catholic Church. We earnestly desire that each and every one of you should meditate upon the words, so full of gravity and love, addressed by Bessarion to your forefathers: 'What answer shall we give to God when He comes to ask why we have separated from our brethren: to Him who, to unite us and bring us into one fold, came down from heaven, was incarnate, and was crucified? What will our defense be in the eyes of posterity? Oh, my Venerable Fathers, we must not suffer this to be, we must not entertain this thought, we must not thus so ill provide for ourselves and for our brethren.' Weigh carefully in your minds and before God the nature of Our request. It is not for any human motive, but impelled by divine charity and a desire for the salvation of all, that We advise the reconciliation and union with the Church of Rome; and We mean a perfect and complete union, such as could not subsist in any way if nothing else was brought about but a certain kind of agreement in the tenets of belief and an intercourse of fraternal love. The true union between Christians is that which Jesus Christ, the Author of the Church, instituted and desired, and which consists in a unity of faith and a unity of government. Nor is there any reason for you to fear on that account that We or any of Our successors will ever diminish your rights, the privileges of your patriarchs, or the established ritual of any one of your churches. It has been and always will be the intent and tradition of the Apostolic See, to make a large allowance, in all that is right and good, for the primitive traditions and special customs of every nation. On the contrary, if you re-establish union with Us, you will see how, by God's bounty, the glory and dignity of your churches will be remarkably increased. May God, then, in His goodness, hear the prayer that you yourselves address to Him: 'Make the schisms of the churches cease,' and 'Assemble those who are dispersed, bring back those who err, and unite them to Thy Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.' May you thus return to that one holy Faith which has been handed down both to Us and to you from time immemorial; which your forefathers preserved untainted, and which was enhanced by the rival splendor of the virtues, the great genius, and the sublime learning of St. Athanasius and St. Basil, St. Gregory of Nazianzum and St. John Chrysostom, the two saints who bore the name of Cyril, and so many other great men whose glory belongs as a common inheritance to the East and to the West... If in unhappy time many of your forefathers were separated from the Faith of Rome, consider now what priceless benefits a return of unity would bring to you." (Pope Leo XIII, "Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae", 1894 A.D.)

Do You Reject Some (or All) of the Sacraments?

Consider:

* Do you reject Baptism? Click here

* Do you reject Confirmation? Click here

* Do you reject the Holy Eucharist / Mass? Click here

* Do you reject Extreme Unction / Anointing of the Sick? Click here

* Do you reject Holy Orders? Click here

* Do you reject the Sacrament of Matrimony? Click here

* Do you reject the Sacrament of Penance / Confession? Click here

* Why is it you reject the Sacraments when they are biblical and historical?

* Why is it you believe the novel idea that Sacraments are only symbols and don't really convey grace? Doesn't it bother you that the earliest Christians held a different doctrine than you hold?

* Is it true that - ultimately - you reject the Sacraments because it eliminates the need for a priesthood and you do not want anyone to have authority over you? Note: Click here for more on authority in the Church.


Closing Quotations...

"There is no religion, true or false, in whose name men can gather, except they be united under a bond of signs or visible Sacraments. The force of these Sacraments can scarcely be told, and to hold them in contempt is sacrilegious." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 400 A.D.)

"There is no man who is baptizing always and everywhere. Some were engaged in this work in times past, others engage in it now, others still will engage in it in the future. The workers can be changed but the Sacraments cannot be changed. If, then, you can see that all who are baptizing are workers, not lords, and that the Sacraments are holy of themselves and not by reason of men, what is it that you claim so urgently for yourselves? What is it that you insist God excludes from His gifts? Admit that it is God who controls what is His own." (St. Optatus of Milevis, c. 367 A.D.)

"Although God can do by His own power all that is effected by created natures, nevertheless in the counsels of His loving Providence He has preferred to help men by the instrumentality of men. And, as in the natural order He does not usually give full perfection except by means of man's work and action, so also He makes use of human aid for that which lies beyond the limits of nature, that is to say, for the sanctification and salvation of souls. But it is obvious that nothing can be communicated amongst men save by means of external things which the senses can perceive. For this reason the Son of God assumed human nature - 'who being in the form of God... emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of man' (Philipp. ii., 6,7) - and thus living on earth He taught his doctrine and gave His laws, conversing with men." (Pope Leo XIII, "Satis Cognitum", 1896 A.D.)

Do You Think You Know What the Catholic Church Teaches or Has Done?

Consider:

* Why is it that you use biased, anti-Catholic sources as your source material for "truth" about the Catholic Church?

* How is it you can claim to know what the Catholic Church teaches when even many Catholics themselves have been shown to be ignorant about the teachings of their faith?

* Why do you use unscholarly materials to learn the "truth" about the Catholic Church?

* Why do you accept what you hear from ill-informed Catholics (or ex-Catholics) as being the "gospel truth" about the Catholic Church?

* Why is it you listen to one side of the story and think you know "the whole truth"?

* Why do you "give ear to the deserters who have left the Church"? As Muller says,

"No one ever left the Church without trying to make her infamous and blacken her with such crimes as were best calculated to make her hateful to all. To justify their apostasy from the faith and gain to themselves the character of orthodox Christians, apostates have invariably painted the Church in all possible anti-Christian colors, and represented her as hellish as wickedness could desire to make her." (Muller)

* Can you possibly be unaware that the Catholic Church has many enemies and that many things said about her are unsubstantiated, untrue, erroneous, out of context, lies, fabrications, distortions, etc.?

* "Why is it that you trust anti-Catholic sources to tell you about the Catholic Church when you wouldn't give credence to the statements of those who persecuted Jesus to give you an accurate presentation of Him?"

* Do you really know what the Catholic Church teaches or do you just think you do?

* Do you really know what the Catholic Church has done (and why) or do you just think you do?


Closing Quotations...

"May prejudices born of ignorance be obliterated" (Liturgical Year)

"Anything will become plausible, if you read all that can be said in its favor, and exclude all that can be said against it." (Cardinal Newman) 

"Furthermore the human intelligence sometimes experiences difficulties in forming a judgment about the credibility of the Catholic faith, notwithstanding the many wonderful external signs God has given, which are sufficient to prove with certitude by the natural light of reason alone the divine origin of the Christian religion. For man can, whether from prejudice or passion or bad faith, refuse and resist not only the evidence of the external proofs that are available, but also the impulses of actual grace." (Pope Pius XII, "Humani Generis", 1950 A.D.)

"The chief reason why I continued to live so long in the errors of the Manichees and impugned the Catholic Church with so much violence, was because I thought that all I had heard against the Church was true. But when I found out that it was all false, I made known this falsehood to the world, in order to undeceive others who were caught in the same snare. I mingled joys and blushes, and was ashamed that I had now for so many years been barking and railing, not against the Catholic faith, but only against the fictions of my carnal concepts. For so temerarious and impious was I that those things which I might have learned by Catholics by inquiry, I charged upon them by accusation. I was readier to impose falsehood than to be informed of the truth." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"It is no so much of the doctrines as of the morals of the Catholic Church that men are afraid. How often have I met men who told me that they would gladly become Catholics, but it is too hard to live up to the laws and maxims of the Church! They know very well that, if they become Catholics, they must lead honest and sober lives, they must be pure, they must respect the holy sacrament of marriage, they must check their sinful passions; and this they were unwilling to do. 'Men love darkness rather than light,' says Jesus Christ, 'because their deeds are evil.'... They are kept back from embracing the faith because they know that the truths of our religion are at war with their sinful inclinations." (Muller)

What is the Relation Between Faith and Reason?

Consider:

* Faith and reason are not contradictory.

* Although faith may be squared with reason, some matters of faith are above reason. 

* In various areas, reason may be aided if proceeded by faith.

* Reason may be easily misled. 

* Reason itself is not sufficient for the attainment of all truth.

* The following quotations may also prove helpful: 

"Not only is it impossible for faith and reason to be at variance with each other, they are on the contrary of mutual help" (First Vatican Council)

"There is nothing more sure and more stable than faith...and there is nothing more uncertain than reason, seeing that it varies according to different mental capacities and is exposed to innumerable fallacies and inaccuracies." (Pope Pius IX)

"It is the proud, or rather foolish, men who examine the mysteries of faith which surpass all understanding with the faculties of the human mind, and rely on human reason, which by the condition of man's nature is weak and infirm." (Pope Gregory XVI, "Mirari Vos")

"The fundamental doctrine of rationalism is the supremacy of the human reason, which, refusing due submission to the divine and eternal reason, proclaims its own independence, and constitutes itself the supreme principle and source and judge of truth." (Pope Leo XIII)

"Reason and human science often lead you into error because they are too weak and limited to penetrate to the knowledge of the things of God, which are infinite and incomprehensible. Human intelligence and knowledge also deceive you, because they are too full of darkness and obscurity of sin to attain to a genuine knowledge even of things outside of God." (St. John Eudes)

"In reality, since it is certain that the light of reason has been dimmed and that the human race has fallen miserably from its former state of justice and innocence because of original sin which is communicated to all the descendents of Adam, can anyone still think that reason itself is sufficient for the attainment of truth?" (Pope Pius IX)

"Let us therefore in all respects put our faith in God and contradict Him in nothing, even if what is said seems to be contrary to our reasonings and to what we see. Let His word be of superior authority to reason and sight. This too be our practice in respect to the Sacrament [of the Eucharist], not looking only upon what is laid out before us, but by taking heed also of His words. For His word cannot deceive; but our senses are easily cheated. His word has never failed; our senses err most of the time." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 370 A.D.)

"Indeed, human reason, lest it be deceived and err in a matter of so great importance, ought to search diligently for the fact of divine revelation so that it can know with certainty that God has spoken, and so render to Him, as the Apostle so wisely teaches, 'a rational service' [Rom. 12:1]. For who does not know, or cannot know that all faith is to be given to God who speaks, and that nothing is more suitable to reason itself than to acquiesce and firmly adhere to those truths which it has been established were revealed by God, who can neither deceive nor be deceived?" (Pope Pius IX)

"So, then, [the Church] goes forward to victory. 'First use your reason,' she cries to the world, 'to see whether I be not Divine! Then, impelled by Reason and aided by Grace, rise to Faith. Then once more call up your Reason, to verify and understand those mysteries which you accept as true. And so, little by little, vistas of truth will open about you and doctrines glow with an undreamed-of light. So Faith will be interpreted by Reason and Reason hold up the hands of Faith, until you come indeed to the unveiled vision of the Truth whose feet already you grasp in love and adoration; until you see, face to face in Heaven, Him Who is at once the giver of Reason and the Author of Faith'." (Benson) 

"And so, such followers, or rather worshipers of human reason, who set up reason as a teacher of certitude, and who promise themselves that all things will be fortunate under its leadership, have certainly forgotten how grave and terrible a wound was inflicted on human nature from the fault of our first parent; for darkness has spread over the mind, and the will has been inclined to evil. For this reason, the famous philosophers of ancient times, although they wrote many things very clearly, have nevertheless contaminated their teachings with most grave errors; hence that constant struggle which we experience in ourselves, of which the Apostle says: 'I see a law in my members fighting against the law of my mind' [Rom. 7 23]" (Pope Pius IX, "Singulari quadem", 1854 A.D.) 

"It is the Catholic Church, and the Catholic Church only, that acts as Jesus Christ and offers an adequate object to Reason and Faith alike. For, first, it is evident that if Christ intended His Revelation to last through all time, He must have designated a means by which it should last, an Authority that should declare and preserve it as He Himself delivered it. And next, it is evident that since the Catholic Church alone even claims that prerogative, clearly and coherently, her right to represent that Authority is in proportion to the clearness and coherence of her claim. Or, again, she advances in support of that claim precisely those same credentials as did He: she points to her miracles, her achievements, the fulfillment of prophecy, the unity of her teaching, the appeal to men's moral sense - all of them appeals to Reason, and appeals which lead up, as did His to the supreme claim, which He also made, to demand an Act of Faith in herself as a Divine Teacher." (Benson) 

"It is one thing to say that such a mystery is contrary to reason, and another to prove it. In order to prove that a doctrine is contrary to reason, we must have a clear, precise idea of what that doctrine is. We can say, for instance, that it is contrary to reason to assert that a square is a circle, for we have a clear, precise idea of what a square is, and what a circle is. But we cannot say with certainty that a doctrine or a mystery of our holy faith is contrary to reason, for we can never have a full, clear, precise idea of that doctrine or mystery. We cannot have this clear idea, simply because those doctrines are far above reason. We cannot say, for instance, that the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, the doctrine of three divine Persons in one divine Substance, is contrary to reason, because we can never have a clear, precise idea either of God's essence or of the nature of the three divine Persons. And what is true of the Trinity is true also of all the other doctrines and mysteries of our holy faith. They are not against reason, but they are above reason. Reason is above the senses, and faith is above reason." (Muller) 

"There are, besides, Venerable Brothers, certain men pre-eminent in learning, who confess that religion is by far the most excellent gift given by God to men, who, nevertheless, hold human reason at so high a value, exalt it so much, that they very foolishly think that it is to be held equal to religion itself. Hence, according to the rash opinion of these men, theological studies should be treated in the same manner as philosophical studies, although, nevertheless, the former are based on the dogmas of faith, than which nothing is more fixed and certain, while the latter are explained and illustrated by human reason, than which nothing is more uncertain, inasmuch as they vary according to the variety of natural endowments and are subject to numberless errors and delusions. Therefore, the authority of the Church being rejected, a very broad field lies open to every difficult and abstract question, and human reason, trusting too freely in its own weak strength, has fallen headlong into most shameful errors, which there is neither time nor inclination to mention here; for, they are well known to you and have been examined by you, and they have brought harm, and that very great, to both religious and civil affairs. Therefore, it is necessary to show to those men who exalt more than is just the strength of human reason that it (their attitude) is definitely contrary to those true words of the Doctor of the Gentiles: 'If any man think himself to be something, whereas he is nothing, he deceiveth himself' [Gal. 6:3]. And so it is necessary to show them how great is their arrogance in examining the mysteries which God in His great goodness has deigned to reveal to us, and in pretending to understand and to comprehend them by the weakness and narrowness of the human mind, since those mysteries far exceed the power of our intellect which, in the words of the same Apostle, should be made captive unto the obedience of faith [cf. 2 Cor. 10:5]." (Pope Pius IX)  

Don't Like the Idea That There Are 'Mysteries' in Religion?

Consider:

* For the relationship of faith and reason, click here

* If there were to be no mysteries in religion, why does the bible speak of mysteries (e.g. 1 Cor. 2:1, 4:1, 15:51, Eph. 3:4, 3:9, 5:32, 6:19, etc.)?

* It would be unreasonable for humans to expect to understand everything concerning God. One cannot even fathom things on earth (e.g. gravity), much less divine mysteries (e.g. how Christ was made flesh of a virgin, how Christ gave his body and blood to the Apostles as He stood there, how Christ walked through walls, how Peter's mere shadow produced cures, etc.) 

* Not all things that are true can be seen with the eyes (e.g. the soul, love, etc.)

* Some things are simply above our human understanding (e.g. God's existence from all eternity, God's essence, how a soul is united to a body, how God can create physical beings by an act of His Will, etc.).


Closing Quotations...

"What God is in nature and essence no man has ever yet discovered nor can discover." (St. Gregory of Nazianz, Doctor of the Church, c. 380 A.D.) 

"For a sure faith is in some way the beginning of knowledge; but a sure knowledge will not be achieved except after this life, when we shall see face to face" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"Mysteries in religion are measured by the proud according to their own capacity; by the humble, according to the power of God: the humble glorify God for them, the proud exalt themselves against them." (Cardinal Newman)

"How, then, can you balk and try to submit to human reflection the things that are above mind and reason, and which, I do suppose, ought, without curiosity and by faith alone, be held in reverence?" (St. Cyril of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church, c. 426 A.D.)

"It is the proud, or rather foolish, men who examine the mysteries of faith which surpass all understanding with the faculties of the human mind, and rely on human reason which by the condition of man's nature, is weak and infirm." (Pope Gregory XVI, "Mirari Vos", 1832 A.D.)

"If we speak of God, what wonder is it if you do not comprehend? For if you comprehend, He is not God. Let there be a pious confession of ignorance rather than a rash profession of knowledge. That one's mind only touch God a little is great happiness; to comprehend Him is utterly impossible." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church) 

"There are some who demand an explanation of how God is mingled with man so as to become the one person of Christ, when this is a perfectly unique occurrence. As if they themselves could explain something that happens every day, how the soul is mingled with the body so as to form the one person of a man!" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 412 A.D.)

"I know that God is everywhere and I know that He is everywhere in His totality; but how He achieves this, I do not know. That God is without beginning and unbegotten and eternal, I know; but how, I do not know. For reasoning is unable to grasp how some essence can exist without having existence either from itself or from another... [No] creature is able to comprehend God perfectly." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 386 A.D.)

"Of God we cannot say all that ought to be said, - for that is known to Him alone, but only as much as our human nature has grasped, only as much as our weakness is able to bear. We do not explain what God is; rather, we confess quite candidly that we have not a precise knowledge concerning Him. In those matters which concern God, to confess our ignorance is already great knowledge." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church, c. 350 A.D.)

"There is, however Unity and Trinity; and it was and is and will be forever: understood and adored by faith; through faith, and not through inquiry nor investigation nor demonstration. For as much as you seek, so much the more ignorant will you be; and as much as you pry into it, so much the more will it be hidden. Let God, therefore, be adored by the faithful without meddlesome calculation. Believe that God is in three Persons. How this is, is beyond explaining; for God is not to be comprehended." (St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church, c. 8th century A.D.)

"And, indeed, reason illustrated by faith, when it zealously, piously, and soberly seeks, attains with the help of God some understanding of the mysteries, and that a most profitable one, not only from the analogy of those things which it knows naturally, but also from the connection of the mysteries among themselves and with the last end of man; nevertheless, it is never capable of perceiving those mysteries in the way it does the truths which constitute its own proper object. For, divine mysteries by their nature exceed the created intellect so much that, even when handed down by revelation and accepted by faith, they nevertheless remain covered by the veil of faith itself, and wrapped in a certain mist, as it were, as long as in this mortal life, 'we are absent from the Lord: for we walk by faith and not by sight' [2 Cor. 5:6 f.]." (First Vatican Council)

Are 'Old Catholics' Catholic?

Consider:

* This group broke away from the Catholic Church after the first Vatican Council in defiance of the dogma of Papal Infallibility. They have "no connection with the Catholic Church" (decree of the Inquisition) and represent a "religious society entirely separate from the Church" (Brief, 1873). Not only do they reject papal infallibility, but they have implemented "very radical liturgical, disciplinary, and constitutional ordinances" and "hardly differ from a liberal form of Protestantism" (Catholic Encyclopedia). They may accept contraception, openly practiced homosexuality, female "priests", etc. Despite its name, this group is not Catholic.

Are All Religions the Same / Are All Equally Good? / Does it Matter Which 'Church' One is in?

Consider:

* All religions are most definitely not the same or equally good. And, yes, it matters very much for one's salvation that one be a member of the one and only true Church established by Christ, the Catholic Church. All other so called 'churches' were founded by men and are in formal opposition to the only true Church founded by Christ. Man-made religions are incapable of giving salvation to their members and are, in fact, religions based on lies! This is the case no matter how well intentioned a person might be. Remember: "Meaning well isn't good enough. One cannot expect to get to heaven unless they take the path that leads there any more than one can expect to get to L.A. on a plane that is flying to N.Y.!"

* "Scripture is quite clear that one must practice the true religion and hold true doctrine (cf. Lk. 10:16, Rom. 16:17, Gal. 1:6-8, Ti. 3:10-11, 2 Jn. 1:10-11)!"

* Click here for 'Must I Be Catholic To Be Saved?'

* Click here for 'Do You Believe That Your Non-Catholic 'Christian Church' Will Gain You Salvation?'

* Click here for 'Thinking About Becoming a Christian? Should You Become Catholic or Protestant?'


Closing Quotations...

"For, in effect, he scatters and gathers not who gathers not with the Church and with Jesus Christ, and all who fight not jointly with him and with the Church are in very truth contending against God." (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890 A.D.)

"Among these heresies belongs that foul contrivance of the sophists of this age who do not admit any difference among the different professions of faith and who think that the portal of eternal salvation opens for all from any religion. They, therefore, label with the stigma of levity and stupidity those who, having abandoned the religion which they learned, embrace another of any kind, even Catholicism. This is certainly a monstrous impiety which assigns the same praise and the mark of the just and upright man to truth and to error, to virtue and to vice, to goodness and to turpitude. Indeed this deadly idea concerning the lack of difference among religions is refuted even by the light of natural reason. We are assured of this because the various religions do not often agree among themselves. If one is true, the other must be false; there can be no society of darkness with light. Against these experienced sophists the people must be taught that the profession of the Catholic faith is uniquely true, as the apostle proclaims: one Lord, one faith, one baptism." (Pope Pius VIII, "Traditi Humilitati", 1829 A.D.)

"Actually only those are to be numbered among the members of the Church who have received the laver of regeneration and profess the true faith, and have not, to their misfortune, separated themselves from the structure of the Body, or for very serious sins have not been excluded by lawful authority. 'For in one spirit,' says the Apostle, 'were we all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free' [1 Cor. 12:13]. So, just as in the true community of the faithful of Christ there is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one Baptism, so there can be only one faith [cf. Eph. 4:5]; and so he who refuses to hear the Church, as the Lord bids 'let him be as the heathen and publican' [cf. Matt. 18:17]. Therefore, those who are divided from one another in faith or in government cannot live in the unity of such a body, and in its one divine spirit." (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis", 1943 A.D.)

Are Anglican Orders Valid? 

Consider:

* No. Leo XIII has declared Anglican 'ordinations' "absolutely null and utterly void":

"Wherefore, strictly adhering, in this matter, to the decrees of the pontiffs, our predecessors, and confirming them most fully, and, as it were, renewing them by our authority, of our own initiative and certain knowledge, we pronounce and declare that ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been, and are, absolutely null and utterly void." (Pope Leo XIII, "Apostolicae Curae", 1896 A.D.)

Note: For more information on this ruling, try here (Classic Encyclicals: 'Apostolicae Curae')

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