Massa Damnata Test of Orthodoxy: Can You Say That Many Will Perish?


Day of the Lord Icon

Ever since the 20th century, the Catholic Church’s Ecumenical movement has effected a massively different outlook on the scene of the world. From the 19th century backwards, Catholics believed that non-Catholics, and especially non-Christians, had no sure hope of attaining eternal life in Jesus Christ. Oh yes, I realize that Pope Pius IX speaks to the exceptional possibility of salvation outside the visible bounds of the Catholic Church (i.e. invincible ignorance and perfect contrition/charity under the auspices of God’s grace), but for the most part, if you were not a Catholic, your soul was in great danger of hell fire if you did not repent and enter into the Church through the holy bath of Baptism. Certainly, from the 17th century backwards, there was an even stronger sense that all who are without the Church and die in their sins will be damned. And yet, today we have Catholic scholars, high clergyman, and theologians professing to hold that, in the end, all men will be saved. Oh yes, they make sure they do not assert so blatantly that this is a certain fact of revelation, but a reasonable hope.


Hans Urs von Balthasar

Rather than put an emphasis on the four last things, the idea is that this will only turn people down, and is far too negative and un-pastoral. In its place, they emphasize the commonalities between Christians and pagans, and hone in on the potency of a shared human destiny in Christ, albeit in a way known to God. It doesn’t matter how drastic the differences are between a Muslim and a Christian, the post-Conciliar mindset will forget about the differences (after saying they don’t want to minimize them), and focus on the areas of agreement, for there it might be a starting place for their salvation as anonymous Christians. After all, don’t we have to “meet people where they are at”? And yet, this is contrasted with the Apostles who were not afraid to insist that their listeners who did not wish to repent were destroying their own souls through unbelief. Why is it that our intellectuals (psuedo-intellectuals, I should say) today hesitate to do this, when the Apostles, filled with a larger measure of the Holy Spirit, never hesitated to do so? Surely, there is a spirit contrary to the Holy Spirit at work in our church.

These same persons would never attempt to say to someone that  unbelievers are in a state of death, or that they are hell-bound for not believing in the Gospel of Christ. Pope Francis himself could not help but decide that the unbelieving father of young boy was still saved even though he had left the Church, on account that he had his kids baptized. I mean, talk about bare minimums. These guys are looking to validate the path of least resistance to heaven, and yet our Lord said, “if your hand causes you to sin, cut if off, for it is better for you to enter into heaven maimed than to enter into hell with both hands” (Mark 9:43). The modernists have lowered the bar where Jesus raised it up high. Prelates of the Catholic hierarchy today can’t even discern whether to publicly excommunicate a member of the Church for publicly supporting the murder of babies in and almost-out of the womb. If they cannot discern this, then it is not at all a surprise that we don’t see any emphasis on God’s just anger against the wicked in contemporary Catholic catechesis. And yet, this is precisely what we see in the revelation of the New Testament. Below, I list some citations from the holy scripture which make it abundantly clear that the Holy Spirit has reveled that there is a divide between present humanity, namely, the saved and the damned. The latter will be punished with everlasting torments, while the former will enjoy everlasting happiness in glory. St. Paul, who wrote half the New Testament, believed he could refer to unbelievers as those who are, as a matter of fact, “perishing”. Could you imagine if Fr. James Martin S.J. got up one day and said, along with St. Paul, that everyone who refuses to believe in Jesus Christ is perishing? I sincerely doubt he could ever bring himself to say that. And yet here is St. Paul saying that by the power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit! Even “conservative” Catholics, such as Bishop Robert Barron, would hesitate to say, with St. Paul, that those who do not understand the gospel are under the evil power of the devil which keeps them from seeing the truth and, as a consequence, they are perishing. He has insisted rather that, in light of the Christ-event (dying and rising), we can have a reasonable hope that all men are saved. When was the last time you saw a Vatican document which clearly spelled out the reality of hell, damnation, mortal sin, and the prevalent danger of current humanity to fall into it? And yet, here below, I provide the wisdom of divine revelation which emphasizes just this fact. This is why I’m convinced that one of the tests of orthodoxy for Clergy, Popes, and laity alike is if they can confess, alongside Scripture, that many are perishing for not believing in the gospel, and that few will be saved ultimately. Yes, this is the massa damnata perspective. Every ordained cleric in the Vatican should be given this test of orthodoxy. I would love to see this put into a magisterial document for the whole world to know. After all, Christ said to go and preach the gospel to every creature, and that “whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

Here are the verses which would, without a shadow of doubt, serve as a sine qua non test of orthodoxy for today’s liberal Hierarchs.

“On that day [of judgment]] many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast our demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers’” (Matt 7:21-22)

“And he said to them, ‘Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and >will not< be able. When once the householder has risen up and shut the door, you will begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us’. He will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from’. Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets’. But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity!’ There you will weep and gnash your teeth’. ” (Luke 13:22-28)

“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matt 7:13-14).

“But of that day and hour no one knows…..As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. Two woman will be bringing at the mill; one is taken and one is left. Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the householder had had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matt 24:36-44)


“For the message about the cross [of Christ] is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor 1:18)

“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel” (2 Cor 4:3-4)

“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life” (2 Cor 2:15-16)

at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Eph 2:12-13)

“When the Lord Jesus is revealed from flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction” (2 Thes 1:9-10)


“If it is hard for the righteous [man] to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinners”? (1 Peter 4:18)


“Whoever believes in the Son as eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath” (John 3:36)

“..for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29)

“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne…and all were judged according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades was thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire” (Rev 21:12-15)

And He Himself [the Lord Christ] will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the wine-press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty GodAnd He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Rev 19:15-16)


9 thoughts on “Massa Damnata Test of Orthodoxy: Can You Say That Many Will Perish?

  1. “Oh yes, I realize that Pope Pius IX speaks to the exceptional possibility of salvation outside the visible bounds of the Catholic Church (i.e. invincible ignorance and perfect contrition/charity under the auspices of God’s grace), ”

    This applied ONLY to Protestants and other Christian denominations, not infidels.

      • My point is… his statement is consistent with the belief that Christian faith is an absolute necessity of means.

        I highly recommend you read Sacrae Theoloogiae Summa IIIB (On Grace / On the Infused Virtues), pp. 265-346.

      • It might be “technically” consistent, but it is an incredible interpretation of his words. In other words, it makes little sense if you take Pius IX that way. Very unpersuasive.

  2. What in the context of his statements indicates that he is speaking of infidels?

    The magisterium has already taught definitively that explicitly Christian faith is an absolute necessity of means. Denzinger 1349a-b, 39-40, 800, plus the consensus of the medevials.

    Unfortunately, you’ve fallen into the modernist error. I highly suggest discussing the matter with either Dr. Washburn or Ryan Grant.

  3. Pingback: The “Spirit of Assisi” Must Be Burned | Erick Ybarra – Credo Ut Intelligam

  4. “Reasonable hope” is an ambiguous term. Do I reasonably expect all men to be saved, even most men? Hell to the no. Both public and private revelation suggest a different reality all-together. Should I nevertheless, against all odds as it were, hope that all men be saved? Absolutely! Christ came to save all men. Should I express the VIRTUE (not PREDICTION) of hope regarding the salvation of souls — even those that commit suicide or otherwise die in what appears to be a state of mortal sin? Absolutely!

  5. Apparently you have not heard or have chosen to ignore what Christ commanded, i.e. “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Only Almighty God, the Creator, knows the heart of His creature and He will judge.

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