“Pints With Aquinas”: Dead Atheists May Not Go To Hell – Heresy
July 12, 2021
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Bro. Peter Dimond

A Novus Ordo group called Pints With Aquinas recently interviewed a novus ordo ‘Benedictine’ named Boniface Hicks.  Hicks was asked what will happen to someone who dies as an atheist 

Question to “Fr.” Boniface Hicks and Pints With Aquinas: “As an atheist, I am scared of the idea of eternally burning in a lake of fire.  When I die here on Earth and I have not become convinced that God exists, what will happen to me?”

That’s an easy answer for a true Catholic.  A true Catholic believes and professes that someone who dies not convinced of God’s existence, or without the Catholic faith, will definitely go to Hell. 

Pope Pius VIII, Traditi humilitati (# 4), May 24, 1829: “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... Indeed, no other name than the name of Jesus is given to men by which they may be saved.  He who believes shall be saved; he who does not believe shall be condemned.”  

Pope Gregory XVI (quoting Pope St. Gregory the Great), Summo Iugiter Studio, May 27, 1832: “‘The holy universal Church teaches that it is not possible to worship God truly except in her and asserts that all who are outside of her will not be saved.’  Official acts of the Church proclaim the same dogma.”

Not only is it a dogma that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church and without the Catholic faith, but the First Vatican Council defined (based on Romans 1) that God’s existence can be known with certitude by the things that have been made, by the natural light of reason.  Thus, atheists are without excuse.

Pope Pius IX, First Vatican Council, Session 3, On Revelation, Can. 1: “If anyone shall have said that the one true God, our Creator and Lord, cannot be known with certitude by those things which have been made, by the natural light of human reason: let him be anathema.” (Denz. 1806)

It also anathematized anyone who denies God.

Pope Pius IX, First Vatican Council, Session 3, On God the Creator, Can. 1: “If anyone shall have denied the one true God, Creator and Lord of visible and invisible things: let him be anathema.” (Denz. 1801)

The Catholic Church also professes that those who die without the Catholic faith will without doubt perish in eternity.  But instead of professing that only those who die as Catholics can be saved and that a person who dies not even convinced of God’s existence will definitely go to Hell, Hicks (a member of the Vatican II Sect, the prophesied end-times Counter Church) expresses hope for such a person and teaches that the Church is the ordinary means of salvation. 

HERETICAL ANSWER FROM PINTS WITH AQUINAS AND "FR." BONIFACE HICKS

Answer by “Fr.” Boniface Hicks and Pints With Aquinas: “That’s a great question, isn’t it?  I have a lot of hope in God’s mercy, so all we offer in the Church is the ordinary means of salvation.  So the way that we know is the way of the sacraments, the way of faith in Christ, and so I can only share what I know will lead us to a relationship with Him and an eternal happiness.  But we have hope for everyone.  We have hope in God’s mercy that He will take somebody who has really tried – and I think that would be my reflection question for our questioner: are you really trying?  Are you really willing to let God into your life?  Are you able to say a prayer?”

That’s heresy.   To say that the Church is merely the “ordinary means” is to teach that in extraordinary situations a person could be saved without the Catholic faith.  But that’s contrary to Catholic teaching.  The dogma of the Church positively excludes all exceptions.  It uses language such as “every human creature”, “no one at all”, “none”, to infallibly teach that there is no salvation outside the Church or without the Catholic faith.

There isn’t an extraordinary way to be saved without the Catholic faith.  There’s no way at all.  That’s the dogma.  In fact, I want to quote a pre-Vatican II theologian named Monsignor Joseph Clifford Fenton.  Fenton was actually a liberal who wound up not rejecting Vatican II’s false teaching on the Church.  But even he rightly pointed out that to say the Church is the ordinary means of salvation is to deny the dogma.  Again, we don’t endorse his views on salvation overall, but he was correct in the following passages.

Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, The Catholic Church and Salvation, 1958, p. 126: “Some... authors attempted to explain the dogma of the Church’s necessity for the attainment of salvation by saying that the Church is only the ordinary means, and that it is still possible, in extraordinary cases, for a man to attain the Beatific Vision outside the Church.  At the same time they resolutely claimed, as Newman had done, that it is a Catholic dogma that there is no salvation outside the Church.  Manifestly, according to this explanation, the dogma would be nothing more than a vain formula, something which the very people who accept it as a dogma would be expected to treat, for all practical purposes, as untrue.”

Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, The Catholic Church and Salvation, 1958, pp. 124, 126: “The teaching that the dogma of the necessity of the Church for salvation admits of exceptions is, in the last analysis, a denial of the dogma as it has been stated in the authoritative declarations of the ecclesiastical magisterium and even as it is expressed in the axiom or formula ‘Extra ecclesiam nulla salus.’  It is important to note that such teaching is found in Cardinal Newman’s last published study on this subject… Obviously there could be no more effective way of reducing the teaching on the necessity of the Church for the attainment of eternal salvation to an empty formula than the explanation advanced by Newman…”

Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, The Catholic Church and Salvation, 1958, p. 12: “The Fourth General Council of the Lateran brought out the fact that it is absolutely impossible to attain to eternal salvation if a man passes from this life ‘outside the true Church… There is absolutely no exception to this rule.  Otherwise the statement ‘no one at all (nullus omnino)’ is saved outside of the one universal Church of the faithful would not be true.

As even Fenton could see, the idea that the Church is merely the ordinary means of salvation is heresy.  It’s also noteworthy that Hicks then quotes Antipope Benedict XVI to teach that doubting God’s truth, and even God’s existence, is a healthy thing.  No, it’s not.

“Fr. Boniface Hicks and Pints With Aquinas: “I think Ratzinger says something similar in Introduction to Christianity.  Basically this is a meeting point of believers and nonbelievers is [sic] on the point of uncertainty.  So we all have doubt, and doubt is a healthy thing because there’s room for freedom.  And so there’s room for faith.  But he says, let’s act as if God exists, and what does that look like.”

Now, we’re not saying that if someone has a passing or a temporary doubt about something that is resisted by one’s superior will that such a person has committed grave sin or heresy.  But to pertinaciously deny or doubt a dogma is heresy, and true faith excludes doubt about the dogmas of the Church and obviously about God’s existence.  As St. Robert Bellarmine stated about the second condition for justifying faith.

St. Robert Bellarmine, De Gratia et Libero Arbitrio, Book 6, Chap. 3: “The second [condition] is that belief should be firm on the part of the subject, that is, that a man should in no way doubt and prefer to die rather than disbelieve an article of faith.”

This also pertains to so many Novus Ordo ‘Catholics’ who say things like: “I would become Orthodox or Protestant before a sedevacantist”, or “I wouldn’t become Orthodox or Protestant unless such and such happened.”  Those people aren’t real Catholics.  A true Catholic is fully convinced of Catholicism and would not even consider abandoning it.  A true Catholic knows that the Papacy is true.  He knows that the Catholic Church is true, and he would die before denying those truths.  However, since those people lack that faith and conviction, God doesn’t grace them with the ability to see what the post-Vatican II apostasy really represents and that the sedevacantist position is true. 

The heresies that we’ve refuted from Pints With Aquinas and Hicks reveal that, sadly, they don’t have the true faith.  They don’t believe in papal infallibility and the Church’s dogmatic teaching on salvation.  We hope for their conversion, but lacking this foundational belief is a primary reason that so many people like them remain in the dark about what has really happened since Vatican II and what the current apostasy in Rome represents.  For information about the true Catholic faith and what’s happening now, see our website and material.

Copyright © 2021 Most Holy Family Monastery

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