Some absurdities of implicit faith, Part 3.

To demonstrate that the modernistic notion of implicit faith is false, all that we need to show is that implicit faith is not only not true but that it cannot be true.  I have already demonstrated the former, in that the Athanasian Creed, infallibly defined at the Council of Florence, states that there are certain truths of the Catholic Faith (namely, faith in the Blessed Trinity and Incarnation) that all must believe faithfully, which means that one must believe those two truths explicitly, as Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Church's principle theologian, rightly noted.

Assume, for a moment, that implicit faith in those two Truths were possible.  If so, how does such an individual who only has such implicit faith ever commit apostasy, that is, how would such a person ever "renounce" his/her implicit faith? The 1983 Code of Canon law defines apostasy as follows:

Can. 751 Apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith.

How could such a person ever "repudiate" a Truth which he/she does not even consciously know about?  Of course, all of this is pure Freudian psychobabble, which no Western court has ever accepted on the part of any defendant.  Unless you are insane, under the influence of a drug, sleepwalking, etc., as long as you are conscious and awake, you are assumed to have free will, and as such, you are responsible for your choices, at least to some degree, mitigating or non-migrating circumstances notwithstanding.  As every lawyer knows, "ignorance of the law excuses no one," and while ignorance may excuse a tiny handful of defendants in some circumstances, no defendant is ever "let off the hook" completely.  What is not punished in criminal court is often punished in civil and/or administrative court.

Another simple example will demonstrate the absurdity of implicit faith.  Tom & Robert are friends. Tom is a devout "cradle Catholic" and Robert is a devout Muslim, who "wishes his will to be conformed to the will of God" and who has "perfect charity." According to the Archbishop Cushing Letter, it is possible to consider Robert to be an "anonymous Christian," (and, even an "anonymous Catholic") even though he explicitly denies the Divinity & Bodily Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Primacy of the Pope, which Tom affirms. Let's say that Tom, after hearing Robert talk about his Muslim faith, decides to convert to Islam. Is Tom an apostate? If not, pray tell, what is an apostate?

So, Tom converts, and he and Robert start attending Muslim worship services together. By the logic of the Letter, Tom is an apostate, but Robert is an "anonymous Christian," even though both men profess and believe the exact same thing. Pray tell, how can Robert ever become an apostate?  The absurdity of this example is that Robert, as long as he "wishes his will to be conformed to the will of God" and has "perfect charity" is totally incapable of certain sins, namely, heresy, schism, and apostasy, and this would constitute a denial of Robert's human free will.

With divine law, Saint Thomas taught that the One and Triune God would supply:

"Everyone is bound to believe something explicitly...even if someone is brought up in the forest or among wild beasts. For it pertains to Divine Providence to furnish everyone with what is necessary for salvation, provided that on his part there is no hindrance. Thus, if someone so brought up followed the direction of natural reason in seeking good and avoiding evil, we must most certainly hold that God would either reveal to him through internal inspiration what had to be believed, or he would send some preacher of the faith to him as He sent Peter to Cornelius (Acts 10:20)." (The Disputed Questions on Truth, q.14, a.11.)

By the omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence of the immutable One and Triune God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be brought to anyone who is sincerely seeking the Truth.  One cannot "renounce" what one does not know, which is why implicit faith is an abject absurdity.  To say otherwise is to say that there are "married bachelors" or that "Saturday's color" is purple.  Not only is the idea of implicit faith contrary to Catholic Scripture and Tradition, it is self-contradictory and absurd, which is why all Catholics must reject it.

In my concluding post on implicit faith, I will talk about what true implicit faith means and why such a faith cannot be contradictory to those Truths of the Faith which everyone must explicitly believe.