12 – Ecumenism of blood

From our most basic notions of Catechism we know that “Baptism of blood” incorporates into the Holy Church those who have died for their faith in Christ, even though they have not yet received sacramental Baptism. Francis, in turn, speaks of an “ecumenism of blood”, which would unite all of those who suffer persecution; Catholics, Orthodox, Copts and Lutherans, at times even including Muslims and ministers of other religions on the list. Consequently, many questions arise…

It is not necessary to have profound studies to have a basic notion about the Roman Martyrology, the voluminous catalogue of the saints and blessed honored by the Catholic Church.

Ever since the early Church, the faithful have carefully registered the names of those who have died for the faith, as well as the date of their martyrdom, which they rightly called dies natalis, since it was the day of their entrance into eternity. Diverse martyrologies were thus elaborated, since each particular church had their own. In 1586, during the pontificate of Gregory XIII, a compilation of the first Roman Martyrology was undertaken, containing not only martyrs, as its name suggests, but all of the saints and blessed recognized as such by the authority of the Church.

Naturally, this work must up-dated at times, since there are always new canonizations and beatifications taking place. And this is what has happened throughout the centuries.

In a recent speech to a patriarch of the Orthodox church, Francis mentioned the ‘only martyrology of the Church of God’, which could be understood as a eulogizing reference to the well-known Roman Martyrology. Nonetheless, considering his affirmations within the same speech, one concludes that he was speaking of a very different martyrology, perhaps a new edition yet undisclosed to the public and greatly amplified, for it includes Orthodox, Lutherans, Pentecostals, Anglicans, Copts…

Moreover, Francis attributes a curious capacity to all of these heretics and schismatics, the very opposite of what Catholic piety always considered regarding the intercession of the blessed. For example, those dedicated to Biblical studies and translators pray to St. Jerome, since the great glory of this Doctor of the Church
shone through his study and translation of the sacred texts. Doctors have recourse to St. Luke, St. Cosmos and Damien or St. Pantaleon, who exercised this profession during their lives, and nurses have recourse to St. John of God for the same reason. Those offering lodging pray to St. Marta and musicians pray to St. Cecilia. There are even unique devotions, such as photographers praying to St. Veronica since the face of Christ was printed on her veil, or radio announcers and operators who pray to the Archangel Gabriel, due to the great news that he announced to the Virgin Mary.

Francis could not follow the same criteria with his innovating ‘martyrology’. As such, the Christians of other confessions, who did not live united to Christ in the Church, are praised as being seeds of union…



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Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter the various parts of our study

AuthorsImportant Doctrinal Complement for Understanding Invincible Ignorance

Council of Florence (Ecumenical XVII)

Salvation does not Exist Outside of the Church Even for Those who Have Shed their Blood for Christ

Synod of Laodicea (363-364 AD)

The ‘Martyrs’ of the Heretics are Aliens from God

Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe

Non-Members of the Catholic Church Cannot be Saved, Even if they Shed Their Blood for the Name of Christ

Saint Cyprian of Carthage

The Blood Shed by a Schismatic does not Wash Away the Stain of Sin
The Torments Suffered by a Schismatic do not Serve as a Crown, but rather a Chastisement for his Perfidy
The Baptism of Blood is Useless to a Heretic

Saint Augustine of Hippo

Those who, as Schismatics, do not Lead a Christian Life, do not Die as Martyrs
Those who Rebel against the Body of Christ cannot presume to be persecuted for His Sake
If a Schismatic Dies Guilty of Sacrilege how may He be Baptized by his Blood?
It is the Cause and not the Sufferings that Makes Martyrs
Those who Suffer Due to their Iniquities and with the Intent of Dividing Christian Unity are Not Martyrs
The Same Furnace which Purifies the Martyrs, Reduces Heretics to Ashes

Saint Dionysius of Alexandria

Exhortation to Save the Soul of a Schismatic about to be Sacrificed

Saint Pacian of Barcelona

An Assassinated Schismatic did not Possess the Necessary Association with Holy Mother Church to be Considered a Martyr

Benedict XIV

Even if a Heretic Dies for one Article of the True Faith, He may not be Considered a Martyr

Important Doctrinal Complement for Understanding Invincible Ignorance

Saint Thomas Aquinas

The Heretic Who Rejects even One Article of the Faith does not Hold the Practice of the Faith

Saint Augustine

Those who Diligently Seek the Truth, but are Led Astray by Others, have Invincible Ignorance

Pius IX

Despite Invincible Ignorance, it is Unlawful to Proceed Further in Inquiry

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Church has the Sacred Right to Evangelize those Who do not Know the Gospel

Related studies

  • 158 – If we concentrate on the convictions we share, and if we keep in mind the principle of the hierarchy of truths, we will be able to progress decidedly towards common expressions of proclamation, service and witness. How many important things unite us!

  • 157 – “Solidarity becomes a way of making history in a life setting where conflicts, tensions and oppositions can achieve a diversified and life-giving unity”

  • 146 – “That all the Orthodox Christians of Ukraine may live in peace and harmony, and that the Catholic communities in the country may contribute to this, in such a way that our Christian brotherhood may become increasingly evident”

  • 143 – “Orthodox and Catholics are united not only by the shared Tradition of the Church of the first millennium, but also by the mission to preach the Gospel of Christ in the world today”

  • 142 – “There is an aspect of mercy that goes beyond the confines of the Church. It relates us to Judaism and Islam, both of which consider mercy to be one of God’s most important attributes”


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    2 thoughts on “12 – Ecumenism of blood

    1. Your basic premise that ‘baptism of blood’ can be a substitute for water baptism is false and contrary to the canons of the Council of Trent 2 & 5 in particular. Water baptism is the sacrament necessary for salvation/entry into the Church. As the creed says ‘There is one Lord, one faith and one baptism.’

      ST. JOHN 3
      5 Jesus answered: Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

      “If anyone says that true and natural water is not necessary in Baptism, and therefore interprets metaphorically the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ: “Unless one be born again of water and the Holy Ghost”: Let him be anathema.”
      Council of Trent Canon 2

      “If anyone saith that baptism is optional, that is, not necessary to salvation; let him be anathema.”
      Council of Trent, Session 7, Canon 5. (Mar. 3, 1547)

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