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Boston Catholic Journal - Critical Catholic Commentary in the Twilight of Reason



Francis and the Heresy of Universal Salvation

Everyone goes to Heaven. heretics, apostates, persecutors, unbelievers, everyone!

no One in Outer Darkness ... No Matter What Christ Taught!

Father Ludwig Ott, Ph.D., the most pre-eminent Catholic Dogmatic Theologian of the 20th century, in his Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, unequivocally asserts the following:

If a baptized person deliberately denies or doubts a dogma properly so-called, he is guilty of the sin of heresy (CIC 1325, Par. 2) and automatically becomes subject to the punishment of excommunication (CIC 2314, Par. 1).” … As against Modernism, the Catholic Church stresses that dogma according to its content is of truly Divine origin, that is, it is the expression of an objective truth, and its content is immutable.” (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Intro. P. 5.)

St. Cyprian [210 – 258 AD] famously stated: “Outside the Church there is no salvation” (salus extra Ecclesiam non est; Ep. 73,21

Saint Augustine himself, most eminent among the Church Fathers, argues in his Retractions

That ...  those who will be punished in the eternal fire do not return to God, from whom they detached themselves” (1:7:6). The logical consequence of “Origen’s theory of apokatastasis (ἀποκατάστασις), or universal salvation, resulted in Augustine’s indictment of Origen as ‘the most merciful of all’ in that he even hypothesized the eschatological salvation of the devil.De gestis Pelagii 1:3:9

First: Understanding the Hersey of Indifferentism

Indifferentism is the heretical belief that there is no difference between any and all religions inasmuch as each suffices of itself as a means to redemption and beatitude. In other words, one religion is as correct and good as any other religion — however contradictory and antagonistic to every other religion.

This is logically indefensible: it is a breach of the logical Law of Non-Contradiction: to wit: contradictory propositions cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time, e.g. the proposition that “the Holy Eucharist really is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ” as Catholics maintain, and “the Holy Eucharist is not really the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ” as Protestants and Pagans maintain, is an incoherent proposition. Each proposition is categorically a denial and repudiation of the other. To hold that 1+1=2 and 1+1=5 simply because we wish it to be so, does not  — and, of course, cannot — make it so. They are inherently contradictory statements. The condemnation of Indifferentism as a heresy is closely linked to the dogmatic definition that outside the Church there is no salvation.]

Once we grasp what constitutes the heresy of Indifferentism, we are in a much better position to understand its influence on the “Ecumenical” program that Bergoglio indiscriminately promotes. Consider the following:

In his address, Bergoglio enumerates the acts, choices, and people that do not  —  and in his estimation, cannot  —  be excluded from salvation.


• “No one can exclude themselves from the Church, we are all saved sinners” *

• “Nothing and no one can break this bond [between Christ and the soul]. Not those who:

• have denied the Faith

• who are apostates

• who are the persecutors of the Church *

• who have denied their Baptism:

• “Are these also at home?” [it may be asked]

Yes, these too. All of them.”

• “The blasphemers,

• all of them… the saints, the sinners, all.’”


It is to be noted that all these statements are categorical, that is to say, he is stating that something is in fact the case; that apostates, for example, aresaved sinners” and “cannot be excluded from the Church.” This is not simply a strong statement, it is a categorical statement; not simply a hypothetical statement of the sort that something can be the case, or even that it may be the case (“if ” they turn from their sins “then they “can” be saved, or “may” be saved) — no: Francis is making a much stronger statement by not relying on any conditionals (“if”-“then”) whatever. “All are saved.” Period. No matter what.

That this is not simply manifestly inconsistent with the the Gospels and the Epistles, but contradictory to them, is striking. Our Blessed Lord Himself does not give us this certainty. Neither does St. Paul or any of the Apostles (See 1 Phillip. 2.12) I have never known a Catholic, however upright, pious, and exacting in all his obligations as a Catholic, who will say, “I am saved.” A Protestant may say this. An Evangelical more likely will. But no Catholic will. To a Catholic, to “be saved” is to already be in Heaven; in other words, the only Catholics who are “saved” have already died and gone to Heaven — and are saints. There are no living saints. And for this reason there are no living “saved sinners;” only sinners who had repented of their sins and returned to the Body of Christ which is His Church, been absolved of their sins, died, and through the mercy of God had been brought to Heaven. This is the deepest desire of every Catholic.

Franciss assertion is just another iteration of the heresy of Universal Salvation long ago proposed — and condemned — in Origens theory of Apokatastasis which we already touched on above.  And for good reason: it is a proposition that results in monstrous conclusions, for by this line of reasoning, Judas, Nero, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, to name a few — who detested and persecuted the Catholic Church, and murdered millions in unspeakable ways and who died unrepentant, detesting God and man and everything good and holy — must now be accounted saints.

Are we really prepared to speak of “St. Adolph Hitler?” “St. Josef Stalin?” “St. Judas Iscariot?” “St. Jeffrey Dahmer.” Is every child-molester and sadistic murderer, and every indescribable pervert now to be numbered in the Litany of Saints?

If “we are all saved,” ... why not?

Bergoglio continues: “What, then, is the “Communion of Saints”? The [“updated”] Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms:

“The Communion of Saints IS the Church” (no. 946 — present edition.):
“After confessing “the holy catholic Church,” the Apostles’ Creed adds “the communion of saints.” In a certain sense this article is a further explanation of the preceding: “What is the Church if not the assembly of all the saints?” The Communion of Saints is the Church. [CCC] 946” (Francis is quoting here)

Francis's understanding of the Communion of Saints, however, is incorrect: according to Saint Robert Bellarmine, The Church (Ecclesia) “is a body of men united together by the profession of the same Christian Faith, and by participation in the same sacraments, under the governance of lawful pastors, more especially of the Roman Pontiff, the sole vicar of Christ on earth” (Coetus hominum ejusdem Christianæ fidei professione, et eorumdem sacramentorum communione colligatus, sub regimine legitimorum pastorum et præcipue unius Christi in Terris vicarii Romani Pontificis.” — Bellarmine, De Eccl., III, ii, 9);] — ed.]


To the Contrary:

Mirari Vos: On Liberalism and Religious Indifferentism

  • “The admonition of Pope Agatho [is this]: “nothing of the things appointed ought to be diminished; nothing changed; nothing added; but they must be preserved both as regards expression and meaning.”[6] Therefore may the unity which is built upon the See of Peter as on a sure foundation stand firm. May it be for all a wall and a security, a safe port, and a treasury of countless blessings.[7] To check the audacity of those who attempt to infringe upon the rights of this Holy See or to sever the union of the churches with the See of Peter, instill in your people a zealous confidence in the papacy and sincere veneration for it. As St. Cyprian wrote: “He who abandons the See of Peter on which the Church was founded, falsely believes himself to be a part of the Church.”[8] (Pope Gregory XVI - 1832, Mirari Vos  —  On Liberalism and Religious Indifferentism. 2  ... In these evil and dangerous times, the shepherds must never neglect their duty; they must never be so overcome by fear that they abandon the sheep. Let them never neglect the flock and become sluggish from idleness and apathy. (Ibid 6.)

Mystici Corporis Christi :  Encyclical of Pope Pius XII on the Mystical Body of Christ

  • 22. Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body ... if a man refuse to hear the Church, let him be considered — so the Lord commands — as a heathen and a publican. It follows that those who are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body —

  • ... for not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy. (22.18)


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 who profess false teachings which are often inconsistent with one another and contradictory, and to confer eternal rewards on their members ... This is why we profess that there is no salvation outside the Church.”

St. Thomas (II-II:11:1) defines heresy as:

  • “a species of infidelity in men who, having professed the faith of Christ, corrupt its dogmas ... There are, therefore, two ways of deviating from Christianity: the one by refusing to believe in Christ Himself, which is the way of infidelity, common to Pagans and Jews;
    the other by restricting belief to certain points of Christ’s doctrine selected and fashioned at pleasure, which is the way of heretics.

  • The subject-matter of both faith and heresy is, therefore, the deposit of the faith, that is, the sum total of truths revealed in Scripture and Tradition as proposed to our belief by the Church. The believer accepts the whole deposit as proposed by the Church; the heretic accepts only such parts of it as commend themselves to his own approval.”

  • The heretic who is aware that his belief is at odds with Catholic teaching and yet continues to cling to his belief pertinaciously is a formal heretic. This sort of heresy is sinful because in this case the heretic knowingly holds an opinion that … “is destructive of the virtue of Christian faith ... disturbs the unity, and challenges the Divine authority, of the Church” and “strikes at the very source of faith.” 3

Canon Law:  

  • “Without prejudice to the prescript of can. 194.1, n. 2, an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication”  4

  • The penalty for a baptized Catholic above the age of 18 who obstinately, publicly, and voluntarily manifests his or her adherence to an objective heresy is automatic excommunication (“latae sententiae”) according to Can. 1364 par.1 CIC.

  • Religious Indifferentism
    The term given, in general, to all those theories, which, for one reason or another, deny that it is the duty of man to worship God by believing and practicing the one true religion. 5

    If He [God] revealed a religion, reason certainly tells us that such a religion must be true, and all others that disagree with it false, and that He desires men to embrace it; otherwise, why should He have given any revelation at all?

  • “In the Catholic Church, [Indifferentism is] the [heretical] belief that one religion is as good as another, and that all religions are equally efficacious and sufficient means to salvation, is believed to be false. One argument the Church advances is that that nobody believes that a religion based on human sacrifice and the subjugation of rivals is as good, true, and beautiful as one based on heroic love of God and neighbor. The condemnation of indifferentism as a heresy is closely linked to the dogmatic definition that outside the Church there is no salvation.” 6

Thus far we have argued merely from the canons of reason — that is to say, we have prescinded from the most Primary Sources that exceed the limitations of reason: to wit, the unimpeachable canon of Sacred Scripture itself.


The Heresy of Universal Salvation Summarized

  • Bergoglio:

    No one can exclude themselves from the Church ... The blasphemers, all of them… the saints, the sinners, all.


  • Jesus Christ and His Apostles:

Saint Matthew 7.21-23
“Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in Heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven. Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.”

Saint Matthew 25:31-46 (the Eschatological Discourse):
“And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then shall He sit upon the seat of His majesty. And all nations shall be gathered together before Him, and He shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left. Then shall the King say to them that shall be on His right hand: Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me in: Naked, and you covered Me: sick, and you visited Me: I was in prison, and you came to Me. Then shall the just answer Him, saying: Lord, when did we see Thee hungry, and fed Thee; thirsty, and gave Thee drink? And when did we see Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? or naked, and covered Thee? Or when did we see Thee sick or in prison, and came to Thee? And the King answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these My least brethren, you did it to Me.

Then He shall say to them also that shall be on His left hand: Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave Me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave Me not to drink. I was a stranger, and you took Me not in: naked, and you covered Me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit Me. Then they also shall answer Him, saying: Lord, when did we see Thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to Thee? Then He shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to Me. And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.”

Saint John 13.26-27
“Jesus answered: He it is to whom I shall reach bread dipped. And when He had dipped the bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the morsel, Satan entered into him.”

Saint Luke 12:5
“I will show you whom you shall fear: fear ye Him, who after He hath killed, hath power to cast into Hell. Yea, I say to you, fear Him.”

Saint Luke 13:23-28
“And a certain man said to Him: Lord, are they few that are saved? But He said to them: Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I say to you, shall seek to enter, and shall not be able. But when the master of the house shall be gone in, and shall shut the door, you shall begin to stand without, and knock at the door, saying: Lord, open to us. And He answering, shall say to you: I know you not, whence you are. Then you shall begin to say: We have eaten and drunk in Thy presence, and Thou hast taught in our streets. And He shall say to you: I know you not, whence you are: depart from He, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out...”

Saint Mark 9:41-47
“And whosoever shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me; it were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he were cast into the sea. And if thy hand scandalize thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life, maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into unquenchable fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished. And if thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off. It is better for thee to enter lame into life everlasting, than having two feet, to be cast into the hell of unquenchable fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out. It is better for thee with one eye to enter into the kingdom of God, than having two eyes to be cast into the hell of fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished.”

(Saint Paul) I Cor. 6:9-10
“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.”

(Saint Paul) Galatians 5:19-21
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects, envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God.”

(Saint Paul) Ephesians 5:5
“For know you this and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person (which is a serving of idols), hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”

(Saint Paul) Philippians 3:18-19
“For many walk, of whom I have told you often (and now tell you weeping), that they are enemies of the cross of Christ; whose end is destruction”

2 Saint Peter 2:4-10
“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but delivered them, drawn down by infernal ropes to the lower hell, unto torments, to be reserved unto judgment: And spared not the original world, but preserved Noe, the eighth person, the preacher of justice, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly. And reducing the cities of the Sodomites, and of the Gomorrhites, into ashes, condemned them to be overthrown, making them an example to those that should after act wickedly. And delivered just Lot, oppressed by the injustice and lewd conversation of the wicked. For in sight and hearing he was just: dwelling among them, who from day to day vexed the just soul with unjust works. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly from temptation, but to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be tormented. And especially them who walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government, audacious, self willed, they fear not to bring in sects, blaspheming.

Apocalypse 21:8
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, they shall have their portion in the pool burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Apocalypse 22:13-15
“I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are they that wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb: that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city. Without [outside] are dogs, and sorcerers, and unchaste, and murderers, and servers of idols, and every one that loveth and maketh a lie.”

The above citations from Holy Scripture are by no means exhaustive — nor are the arguments from discursive reason compendious. Each, however, suffices to demonstrate the rationally flawed, theologically inconsistent, and formally heretical propositions put forth by Francis (Bergoglio) in a failed attempt to bring the specious documents resulting from the calamitous convocation (Vatican II) to mature, albeit illogical, realization in the already condemned and heretical notion of “Ecumenism” first promoted by 1,213 Protestant theologians in the early 20th century at the Assembly Hall of the United Free Church of Scotland in Edinburgh in 1910 and condemned by Pope Pius XI in Mortalium Animos in 1928 ( before it was rehabilitated by John XXIII and Paul VI 34 years later.

“Ecumenism”, together with the reciprocal notion of Universal Salvation, was never a Catholic doctrine, let alone a mandate  — until Vatican beginning 1962 and presently culminating in the incoherent person of Jorge Bergoglio (Francis) — as its most vigorous and vociferous proponent. (Deus, miserere nobis!)

Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal

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* Every saint was once a sinner, but having become a saint was saved. This is very different from a sinner who obstinately remains a sinner. Ed


Also see: “The Devil’s Redemption: A New History and Interpretation of Christian Universalism” by scholar Michael McClymond (“The more robust arguments for universalism hold that God’s purposes in creating the world will fail if even one intelligent creature should finally be separated from God. This line of reasoning implies that not only human sinners but also fallen angels [demons] will finally be saved. The title of my book, The Devil’s Redemption, is an allusion to that idea ... Universalism is theologically untrue and pastorally unhelpful.”)

Further Reading on the Papacy of Francis:



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I know your works ... that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.
(Apocalypse 3.8)

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