By Bro. Peter Dimond, O.S.B.
Bishop Donald Sanborn is a “traditionalist” bishop who attacks those who don’t believe in ‘baptism of desire’.
In addition to attacking Catholic teaching on baptism, Donald Sanborn believes that souls can be saved in false religions. He thus rejects the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation as it has been defined.
Bishop Donald Sanborn, Sacerdotium V, p. 24: “Wojtyla’s ecclesiology goes a step beyond Vatican II, a little step for man, but a great step for apostasy. While the Council seems to draw the line of the Mystical Body around those ‘who in faith look towards Jesus’ – whatever that means – Wojtyla [John Paul II] is ready to sign up the entire human race in the Mystical Body by the fact, as he says, that all are united to Christ by means of the Incarnation. With this principle, the Novus Ordites are in ‘communion’ not only with the Anglicans and the Orthodox, but with everything: Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, spiritists, Jews, Great Thumb worshippers. You name it; they are in communion with it. Vatican II’s idea of the Church is heretical, since it identifies organized religions of pagans and idolaters with the Mystical Body of Christ. The truth is that in no way are pagans and idolaters, as pagans and idolaters, united to the Mystical Body of Christ. If, by some mystery of Providence and Predestination, they [pagans and idolaters] are united to the soul of the Church, and by desire to its body, it is in spite of their paganism and idolatry. It is due to an invincible ignorance of their error.”
As we see here, Bishop Donald Sanborn is a heretic who rejects the dogma that the Catholic faith is necessary for all for salvation. His words contradict ex cathedra pronouncements. He teaches that it’s possible for pagans and idolaters to be united to the Church and be saved, in spite of their paganism and idolatry. This is blatant heresy. He has repeated this heresy on various occasions. For instance, in a sermon on 2/17/08, Sanborn stated again that people can worship a false god without guilt through invincible ignorance and that souls can be saved in false religions.
Pope Gregory XVI, Summo Iugiter Studio (# 2), May 27, 1832: “Finally some of these misguided people attempt to persuade themselves and others that men are not saved only in the Catholic religion, but that even heretics may attain eternal life.”
Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino,” 1441, ex cathedra: “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only those who abide in it do the Church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia productive of eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”
Bishop Sanborn is preaching a new gospel, contrary to Sacred Scripture. He is preaching that idolaters can actually be saved.
1 Corinthians 6:9- “Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God.”
Bishop Sanborn holds the same heresy that Archbishop Lefebvre held. The same heresy is held by the CMRI, SSPV, SSPX, FSSP, Dolan, Cekada, etc. Almost all priests in the country hold the horrible heresy that souls can be saved in false religions, even as Jews, idolaters and pagans. They argue that these idolaters and pagans (Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, etc.) are united to the Church and saved in spite of their false religion. But it makes no difference if they add the qualification that it happens “in spite of their religion.” They are still teaching that people who don’t have the Catholic faith (and are in false religions) can be saved. That is heresy.
Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Sess. 8, Nov. 22, 1439, ex cathedra: Whoever wishes to be saved, needs above all to hold the Catholic faith; unless each one preserves this whole and inviolate, he will without a doubt perish in eternity.– But the Catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in the Trinity, and the Trinity in unity… Therefore let him who wishes to be saved, think thus concerning the Trinity.
“But it is necessary for eternal salvation that he faithfully believe also in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ…the Son of God is God and man… This is the Catholic faith; unless each one believes this faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.”
Bishop Sanborn told someone we know named Keith McKay that a Christ-hating Jew could possibly be saved without the Catholic faith. But this shouldn’t really surprise people, considering what Sanborn says above about pagans and idolaters being saved. Another friend of ours named Matt L. told us the following:
“I spoke to Bishop Sanborn in December 2004. And I asked him does a Jew who is taught to denounce Christ have a better chance to go to heaven than a so-called ‘Feeneyite.’ His response was ‘yes.’”
This heretical teaching that non-Catholics can be united to the Church and be saved without the Catholic faith was actually the key to the Great Apostasy. Once this heresy was imbibed, Vatican II and the post-Vatican II Church could then justify almost anything because “we cannot say that all of them are lost.” All of Vatican II’s heresies on ecumenism, religious liberty, etc. are directly connected to what Sanborn and priests like him believe. In fact, if you were to ask a Novus Ordo priest about the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation and the necessity of the Catholic faith, you would receive an answer very similar to Donald Sanborn’s answer above. The Novus Ordo priest would tell you about invincible ignorance, the soul of the Church, etc.
There is another interesting point in regard to this heresy. Bishop Sanborn has denounced at length the heretical teaching of John Paul II that Christ is united with men by the Incarnation itself. I heard a talk that Sanborn gave on this topic. Sanborn correctly pointed out that if men are united with Christ by the Incarnation itself, as John Paul II says, then the Church is meaningless, the Passion is meaningless, etc. Bishop Sanborn pointed out that John Paul II’s heresy is worse than Martin Luther’s, because Luther held that one must at least believe in the Cross to be united with Christ. John Paul II, on the other hand, holds that union comes without any belief in Christ, without the Cross, and without the Church.
However, Sanborn fails to recognize that he holds the same heresy as John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla), just not on the same scale. Sanborn teaches that men can be united to Christ without belief in Christ or the Church, just like John Paul II. So when he correctly denounces the wicked heresy of John Paul II, he is actually denouncing himself.
Bishop Sanborn: “Wojtyla [John Paul II] is ready to sign up the entire human race in the Mystical Body by the fact, as he says, that all are united to Christ by means of the Incarnation. With this principle, the Novus Ordites are in ‘communion’ not only with the Anglicans and the Orthodox, but with everything: Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, spiritists, Jews, Great Thumb worshippers…”
Here we see what I’m talking about. He condemns the Novus Ordo/Vatican II heresy for putting the Mystical Body of Catholics in communion with “Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, spiritists, Jews, Great Thumb worshippers.” But he holds exactly what he is denouncing. He holds that certain Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, spiritists, Jews and Great Thumb worshippers can be in communion with the Mystical Body, as proven above. He holds that some of these people, in spite of their paganism and idolatry, “are united to the soul of the Church, and by desire to its body.” So while exposing the Novus Ordo heresy, he is simply illustrating the stupidity of his own. This also shows us again that the pre-Vatican II heresy held by Sanborn and others was only a short step away from the Vatican II apostasy.
Bishop Sanborn is not of the same faith as the Catholic saints. Take St. Isaac Jogues, for instance. St. Isaac believed in the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation; Bishop Sanborn doesn’t. St. Isaac knew that all those ignorant heathen who did not come to know the Catholic faiith and get baptized simply were not preordained for eternal life.
St. Isaac Jogues: “Although, in all probability, I could escape [from the Iroquois] either through the Europeans or through the other savages living around us, if I should wish it, I decided to live on this cross on which Our Lord had fixed me in company with Himself, and to die with His grace helping me… Who could instruct the prisoners who were being constantly brought in? Who could baptize them when they were dying, and strengthen them in their torments? Who could pour the sacred waters on the heads of the children? Who could look after the salvation of the adults who were dying, and after the instruction of those in good health? Indeed, I believe that it happened not without a singular providence of the Divine Goodness, that I should have fallen into the hands of these very savages… These savages, I must confess, unwillingly and reluctantly have thus far spared me, by the will of God, so that thus through me, although unworthy, they might be instructed, they might believe, and be baptized, as many of them as are preordained for eternal life.” (Francis Talbot, Saint Among Savages: The Life of St. Isaac Jogues, p. 300.)
SANBORN’S HERESY REJECTS THAT ALL IN THE CHURCH HAVE THE SAME FAITH
This is perhaps the most important point in refuting the heresy of Sanborn and those who believe as he does. Besides rejecting the dogma that all who die without the Catholic faith are lost, OUR READERS NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT Sanborn’s heresy that pagans and idolaters can be united to the Church DENIES THE DOGMA THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE FAITH IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. IT MAKES A MOCKERY OF THE SUPERNATURAL MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH IN WHICH ALL HAVE ONE FAITH!
Pope Leo X, Fifth Lateran Council, Session 11, Dec. 19, 1516: “For, regulars and seculars, prelates and subjects, exempt and non-exempt, belong to the one universal Church, outside of which no one at all is saved, and they all have one Lord and one faith.”
SANBORN HOLDS THAT TWO PEOPLE CAN BE IN THE SAME CATHOLIC CHURCH WHILE WORSHIPPING TWO DIFFERENT GODS! That really cuts through all wicked attempts to justify this abominable heresy. According to Sanborn, the idolater who worships a false god can be in the same Church as the person who worships Jesus Christ and the Holy Trinity (the true God). So, besides rejecting the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation, the Athanasian Creed, ex cathedra statements on the necessity of accepting Christ and the Catholic faith for salvation, Sanborn rejects that there is only one faith in the Catholic Church.
Pope Clement V, Council of Vienne, Decree # 30, 1311-1312: “… one universal Church, outside of which there is no salvation, for all of whom there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism…”
It’s also important to note that heretics like Bishop Sanborn and Bishop McKenna attempt to justify their heresy (that Jews, idolaters, etc. can be saved) by saying that these individuals are united to the soul of the Church. They admit that non-Catholics are not in the Body of the Church. Their heretical response is refuted by the fact that the Catholic Church infallibly teaches that unless one is in the Body of the Church he cannot be saved or be united with Christ or the Church.
Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos (# 10), Jan. 6, 1928: “For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one, compacted and fitly joined together, it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head.”
Notice that Pope Pius XI teaches that whoever is not united with the Body cannot be part of the Church at all or united with Christ. This refutes those who say that one can be a part of the Church without being united to the Body. Moreover, below we see again that it is de fide that all must be IN the Body to be saved!
Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino,” 1441, ex cathedra: “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews, heretics and schismatics can become participants in eternal life, but they will depart ‘into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels’ [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life they have been added to the flock; and that the unity of THIS ECCLESIASTICAL BODY (ecclesiastici corporis) is so strong that only for those who abide in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fasts, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of a Christian soldier productive of eternal reward. No one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has persevered within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”
As we can see, all who are outside (that is, all who are not in) this ecclesiastical BODY are lost. This refutes the attempts of heretics like Sanborn to justify their false teaching.
All of this is why Bishop Sanborn and the heretics who believe as he does have such animosity toward Fr. Feeney and those who believe that the Catholic faith is necessary for salvation. Sanborn attacks those who hold this dogma because they convict him of his rejection of it. He attacks true believers on this issue because they convict him of his denial of the unity of the faith. They convict him of his denial the necessity of Christ and the Catholic faith for salvation. That’s why he is now promoting an “Anti-Feeneyite” Catechism, while at the same time he holds that Jews who reject Our Lord Jesus Christ can get to heaven. Bishop Sanborn is a heretic. He corrupts people’s faith in the necessity of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. He is a heretic who despises the truth of Jesus Christ that all men must be incorporated into His Body to be saved, and that all men must be born again of water and the Holy Ghost in baptism to be saved.
Pope Paul III, The Council of Trent, Sess. 7, Can. 5 on the Sacrament of Baptism, ex cathedra: “If anyone says that baptism [the Sacrament] is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation (cf. Jn. 3:5): let him be anathema.”
Pope Eugene IV, The Council of Florence, “Exultate Deo,” Nov. 22, 1439, ex cathedra: “Holy baptism, which is the gateway to the spiritual life, holds the first place among all the sacraments; through it we are made members of Christ and of the body of the Church. And since death entered the universe through the first man, ‘unless we are born again of water and the Spirit, we cannot,’ as the Truth says, ‘enter into the kingdom of heaven’ [John 3:5]. The matter of this sacrament is real and natural water.”
Since Sanborn is not only is a heretic, but one who imposes his heresy upon his church-goers, no Catholic should receive the sacraments from him or any priest who holds the same position. This would include Fr. Cekada, Bishop Dolan, Bishop McKenna, SSPV, etc., etc. Those who support such priests after being aware of these facts sin mortally.