UNAM SANCTAM and Vatican II
I was born and baptized into the Roman Catholic Church, but just before I was to make my first Communion, my family left the RCC. From that time on I was raised Baptist. As an adult I have migrated from Baptist to the Reformed (i.e. Reformation) faith. Some of my old Baptist friends see my understanding on subjects like infant baptism and covenant to be “Catholic” like.
They are mistaken, but over the years I have looked into the RCC a good deal. I have read and listened to their apologists on a number of occasions. I also subscribe to the Coming Home Network’s (CHN) newsletter. CHN is an RCC ministry that is headed by a former Protestant Pastor who converted to Rome. CHN labours to convert Protestant (especially ministers) and former Catholics to bring them back to the RCC. There was a time when I thought about doing just that, returning to Rome, but I have far too many problems with the RCC on some important issues. These keep me from making such a move.
Here is one of the items that keep me from returning to the RCC. I know many Roman Catholics today don’t hold to this (though some do), but it is still “official” doctrine. If Pope Boniface spoke infallibly when he wrote this bull (as the Church teaches), then it must still be so.
Below is a quote from Pope Boniface VIII speaking ex cathedra (i.e. infallibly):
UNAM SANCTAM (Promulgated November 18, 1302)
Urged by faith, we are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic. We believe in her firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins, as the Spouse in the Canticles…
…Therefore, of the one and only Church there is one body and one head, not two heads like a monster; that is, Christ and the Vicar of Christ, Peter and the successor of Peter, since the Lord speaking to Peter Himself said: 'Feed my sheep', meaning, my sheep in general, not these, nor those in particular, whence we understand that He entrusted all to him [Peter]. Therefore, if the Greeks or others should say that they are not confided to Peter and to his successors, they must confess not being the sheep of Christ, since Our Lord says in John 'there is one sheepfold and one shepherd.' (NOTE: Boniface declares the Greek and other Orthodox/Eastern Churches to be outside of Salvation, because they are not under the Papacy.)
…Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff. (Note: Boniface now covers everyone else who is not under Rome.)
In the Catholic Encyclopedia we read the following on this matter:
The Bull is universal in character. As its content shows, a careful distinction is made between the fundamental principles concerning the Roman primacy and the declarations as to the application of these to the secular power and its representatives. In the registers, on the margin of the text of the record, the last sentence is noted as its real definition: "Declaratio quod subesse Romano Pontifici est omni humanae creaturae de necessitate salutis" (It is here stated that for salvation it is necessary that every human creature be subject to the authority of the Roman pontiff). This definition, the meaning and importance of which are clearly evident from the connection with the first part on the necessity of the one Church for salvation, and on the pope as the one supreme head of the Church, expresses the necessity for everyone who wishes to attain salvation of belonging to the Church, and therefore of being subject to the authority of the pope in all religious matters. This has been the constant teaching of the Church, and it was declared in the same sense by the Fifth Ecumenical Council of the Lateran, in 1516: "De necessitate esse salutis omnes Christi fideles Romano Pontifici subesse" (That it is of the necessity of salvation for all Christ's faithful to be subject to the Roman pontiff).
What Boniface stated and the Catholic Encylopedia affirms is restated basically at the First Vatican Council (1870) Salvation is in the Roman Church alone and one MUST be in submission to the Roman Pontiff in order to have salvation.Vatican II contradicts Boniface (and Vatican I) when it says: "Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience -- those too may achieve eternal salvation."
I don’t know how the statements of Boniface (and Vatican I) and the statement above from the Second Vatican Council can both be true, since they are clear contradictions of one another. Yet, according to Rome (and Vatican I which declared the Pope infallible when speaking ex cathedra) we have infallible declarations that obviously contradict one another.
The Roman Catholic Church at Vatican I declares that the Popes ex cathedra pronouncements are with out error. Those pronouncements must be accepted as true, but Vatican II directly contradicts Boniface (and Vatican I), yet both must be infallibly true! If this is so, and Boniface and Vatican II are both true, then we must purge, from the laws of logic, the Law of non-contradiction. Because if Boniface and Vatican II are true than the law of non-contradiction is false.