A reader named Mary recently corresponded with Fr. Bernard Welp of the CMRI. She wrote:
I have talked with the priest in the following message about Baptism of Desire and gave him all of your excellent refutations on the subject which I fully support. This was his reply to my request for him to hear my confession:
“You are always welcome to Mass and sacraments as long as you agree not to discuss baptism of desire issue with any lay person.
God bless you.
Fr Bernard Welp”
Mary asked if she should receive sacraments from him. We informed her that no, you should not receive sacraments from him, for he is asking you to not spread the Catholic faith. She fully agreed. (And of course no one may support their heretical group.) To expose the priest’s heretical perversity, we suggested that she should ask him if he agreed with the statements below. This is a good question to ask to expose heretics who attempt to hide their heterodox views on salvation. Mary asked Fr. Bernard Welp this question: Do you agree with the following statements by Fr. Denis Fahey and Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre?
FR. DENIS FAHEY TAUGHT THE HERESY THAT JEWS WHO REJECT CHRIST CAN BE IN THE STATE OF GRACE
Fr. Denis Fahey, The Kingship of Christ and the Conversion of the Jewish Nation (1953), p. 52: “The Jews, as a nation, are objectively aiming at giving society a direction which is in complete opposition to the order God wants. It is possible that a member of the Jewish Nation, who rejects Our Lord, may have the supernatural life which God wishes to see in every soul, and so be good with the goodness God wants, but objectively, the direction he is seeking to give to the world is opposed to God and to that life, and therefore is not good. If a Jew who rejects our Lord is good in the way God demands, it is in spite of the movement in which he and his nation are engaged.”
ARCHBISHOP MARCEL LEFEBVRE TAUGHT THAT SOULS CAN BE SAVED IN FALSE RELIGIONS
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Against the Heresies, p. 216: “Evidently, certain distinctions must be made. Souls can be saved in a religion other than the Catholic religion (Protestantism, Islam, Buddhism, etc.), but not by this religion. There may be souls who, not knowing Our Lord, have by the grace of the good Lord, good interior dispositions, who submit to God… But some of these persons make an act of love which implicitly is equivalent to baptism of desire. It is uniquely by this means that they are able to be saved.”
To the question, do you agree with the statements made by Fr. Denis Fahey and Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Fr. Bernard Welp of the CMRI responded on Nov. 16, 2016, by saying:
“Certainly. As catholics we do not accept the false idea of universal salvation promoted at V II. Souls cannot be saved outside the church but those who seek God receive baptism (thus become part of the church) of desire IF: 1- ignorance is invincible 2 they have supernatural faith 3 Supernatural charity. I have answered your question…”
So, Welp readily confirms that he “certainly” agrees with the statement that a Jew who rejects Jesus Christ can be in the state of grace and that souls can be saved in false religions. That is, of course, totally heretical. It is another CLEAR confirmation that the CMRI (and the same is true of all ‘traditionalist’ priests who obstinately accept ‘baptism of desire’) are not Catholic. They are utter heretics. They don’t profess the Catholic faith. Here’s what true Catholics (i.e. not the members or supporters of the heretical CMRI) firmly believe and profess on whether Jews, etc. can be saved.
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 the ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for 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 produce 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.”
As any honest person can see, groups like the CMRI do not believe and profess what is written above, but rather the opposite. They are not part of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church firmly believes, professes and teaches the opposite of the heretical CMRI. It professes that all who die as Jews, pagans, etc. are lost. That’s why groups like the CMRI are a deception. They don’t have the apostolic faith, they don’t profess the Catholic faith, and they teach others heresies. They are on the road to Hell, and they lead others there. The CMRI also promotes the sinful birth control practice of NFP, and they don’t require their adherents to reject the Vatican II antipopes. They are not part of the true Church.
It’s also interesting that, after confirming his rejection of Catholic dogma and the necessity of the Lord Jesus Christ, the manifest heretic and disgraceful unbeliever Bernard Welp then lies, as all heretics do. He says that he doesn’t believe souls can be saved outside the Church – what a sick joke.
So, Welp believes that 1) a Jew who rejects Jesus Christ can be saved, but 2) a Jew who rejects Jesus Christ is not outside the Church. Since all in the Church have the same faith (de fide definita – one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism), according to Welp Jews who reject Jesus Christ and adhere to Judaism have the same faith as Catholics who believe in Jesus Christ. What a heretical travesty! By the way, all of their nonsense on ‘invincible ignorance’, etc., which they bring up in a futile attempt to justify their condemned heresy and deceive their followers, is addressed and refuted in our book Outside the Catholic Church There is Absolutely No Salvation and related materials.
ONE MUST BE BORN AGAIN IN CHRIST TO BE SAVED – TRENT
Council of Trent, Session 6, Chap. 3 on Justification: “So unless they were born again in Christ they never would be justified…”
When one considers the defined dogma that one must be “born again in Christ” to be justified and saved, one should immediately recognize why the position of Welp and the CMRI is heresy. Since everyone must profess that it’s necessary to be “born again in Christ” to even be justified, by holding that a Jew who rejects Christ can be justified, Welp holds that a person can be “born again in Christ” while rejecting Jesus Christ and being unbaptized! His heresy is the equivalent of the heresy of anonymous Christianity.
Also notice that the manifest heretic Welp claims to believe that ‘supernatural faith’ is necessary for salvation. As we pointed out in this article, The Revealing Heresies in Msgr. Van Noort’s Pre-Vatican II Dogmatic Theology Manual, heretics frequently try to obfuscate their denial of Catholic teaching on salvation by focusing on ‘supernatural faith’ and ignoring the defined dogma that one must have THE CATHOLIC FAITH to be saved.
THE ‘CATHOLIC FAITH’, NOT JUST A ‘SUPERNATURAL’ FAITH, IS REQUIRED FOR SALVATION
Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Sess. 5, On Original Sin: “… our Catholic faith, without which it is impossible to please God…”
Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, Session 2, Profession of Faith, 1870: “This true Catholic faith, outside of which none can be saved, which I now freely profess and truly hold…”
The Church doesn’t merely declare that one must be inside the Church and have supernatural faith to be saved. It also declares that one must have the Catholic faith to be saved. The two truths are inseparable, of course, but examining each aspect of this dogma becomes important when refuting heretics. The supporters of BOD in our day ignore the dogma that one must have THE CATHOLIC FAITH to be saved simply because it’s impossible to twist their heretical view into language that comports with the dogma that no one is saved without the Catholic faith. After all, how can one who is a ‘pagan’ (who doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ and the Trinity) also have the Catholic faith? How can a pagan and a Catholic both be in the one Church? – the one Church, which, by definition, only has ONE FAITH AND ONE LORD? It doesn’t make any sense. So, the BOD heretics typically avoid the dogmatic pronouncements which declare that one must have the Catholic faith to be saved.
In short, their position on ‘supernatural’ faith denies the dogma that ‘Catholic’ faith is what’s absolutely necessary for salvation. They thus depart from the revelation of Jesus Christ and the dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church on salvation. The Son of God became man in order to redeem the world and reveal the Catholic faith. The heretics of the CMRI (and one could say the same about the heretics Sanborn, Cekada, etc.) reject the Church’s dogmatic teaching that Jesus Christ is the only name under Heaven in which men must be saved. They reject the Gospel.
John 8:24- “I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”
THE CHURCH’S DOGMATIC TEACHING THAT ONE MUST BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST TO BE SAVED, WHICH IS REJECTED BY THE CMRI AND SIMILAR GROUPS
John 17:3: “Now this is life everlasting, that they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
John 14:6: “Jesus saith to them: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.”
Pope Paul III, Sublimus Dei, May 29, 1537: “The sublime God so loved the human race that He created man in such wise that he might participate, not only in the good that other creatures enjoy, but endowed him with capacity to attain to the inaccessible and invisible Supreme Good and behold it face to face; and since man, according to the testimony of the sacred scriptures, has been created to enjoy eternal life and happiness, which none may obtain save through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, it is necessary that he should possess the nature and faculties enabling him to receive that faith; and that whoever is thus endowed should be capable of receiving that same faith. Nor is it credible that any one should possess so little understanding as to desire the faith and yet be destitute of the most necessary faculty to enable him to receive it. Hence Christ, who is the Truth itself, that has never failed and can never fail, said to the preachers of the faith whom He chose for that office ‘Go ye and teach all nations.’ He said all, without exception, for all are capable of receiving the doctrines of the faith… By virtue of Our apostolic authority We define and declare by these present letters… that the said Indians and other peoples should be converted to the faith of Jesus Christ by preaching the word of God and by the example of good and holy living.”
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 Leo XII, Ubi Primum (# 14), May 5, 1824: “It is impossible for the most true God, who is Truth itself, the best, the wisest Provider, and the Rewarder of good men, to approve all sects which profess false teachings that are often inconsistent with one another and contradictory, and to confer eternal rewards on their members… by divine faith we hold one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and that no other name under heaven is given to men except the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth in which we must be saved. This is why we profess that there is no salvation outside the Church.”
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; neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance; for there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit, their glory is equal, their majesty coeternal… and in this Trinity there is nothing first or later, nothing greater or less, but all three persons are coeternal and coequal with one another, so that in every respect, as has already been said above, both unity in Trinity, and Trinity in unity must be worshipped. 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…”
The CMRI’s false position on baptism and ‘baptism of desire’ is also totally refuted in our materials that deal with the baptism issue. The CMRI rejects the Church’s dogmatic teaching on the necessity of the Catholic faith and that all who die as Jews, etc. are lost. They also reject the Church’s dogmatic profession of faith on one baptism, John 3:5, that no one is saved without water baptism, etc.
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH’S DOGMATIC TEACHING ON BAPTISM
Pope Eugene IV, The Council of Florence, Exultate Deo, Nov. 22, 1439: “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.”
Pope Paul III, The Council of Trent, Can. 5 on the Sacrament of Baptism, Sess. 7, 1547: “If anyone says that baptism [the sacrament] is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation: let him be anathema.”
Pope Clement V, The Council of Vienne, 1311-1312: “Besides, one baptism regenerating all who are baptized in Christ must be faithfully confessed by all just as ‘one God and one faith’ [Eph. 4:5], which celebrated in water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit we believe to be the perfect remedy for salvation for both adults and children.”
Pope Clement V, The Council of Vienne, 1311-1312: “But since one is the universal Church, of regulars and seculars, of prelates and subjects, of exempt and non-exempt, outside of which absolutely (omnino) no one (nullus) is saved (salvatur), one is the Lord, one is the Faith and one is the baptism of all.”
Pope St. Siricius, Decree to Himerius, A.D. 385: “Therefore just as we say that the holy paschal observance is in no way to be diminished, we also say that to infants who will not yet be able to speak on account of their age or to those who in any necessity will need the holy stream of baptism, we wish succor to be brought with all celerity, lest it should tend to the perdition of our souls if the saving font be denied to those desiring it and every single one of them exiting this world lose both the Kingdom and life. Whoever should fall into the peril of shipwreck, the incursion of an enemy, the uncertainty of a siege or the desperation of any bodily sickness, and should beg to be relieved by the unique help of faith, let them obtain the rewards of the much sought-after regeneration in the same moment of time in which they beg for it. Let the previous error in this matter be enough; [but] now let all priests maintain the aforesaid rule, who do not want to be torn from the solidity of the apostolic rock upon which Christ constructed His universal Church.”
The CMRI (and all the priests in our day who obstinately adhere to ‘baptism of desire’) are not true Catholics, but heretics and false shepherds. It’s important for people to realize it. The CMRI is led by the wicked apostate Mark Pivarunas, who holds the same heresies and teaches gross errors. It was the faithlessness and false teaching of unbelievers like Pivarunas, Welp and the priests of the CMRI, in the years before Vatican II, which led to the Great Apostasy.