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(06-29-2011, 07:04 PM)Doce Me Wrote: [ -> ]Even those you say agree with Father Feeney don't seem so sure, to say the least:

Was Bishop George Hay  so solidly against Baptism of Desire? Read:
"Bishop George Hay, from The Sincere Christian Wrote:Q. 28. But, in the case proposed, if a person, in his last moments shall receive the light of Faith from God, and embrace it with all his heart, would this suffice to make him a member of the True Church in the sight of God?

   A. Most and undoubtedly; the case is the same in this as in that of Baptism. Though Jesus Christ expressly says, "Except a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God," [John 3: 5] which establishes the absolute necessity of Baptism for salvation, yet, suppose a heathen should be instructed in the Faith of Christ, and embrace it with all his heart, but die suddenly without Baptism, or be taken away by infidel friends, or put in absolute impossibility of receiving Baptism, and die in the above dispositions with sincere repentance and a desire of Baptism, this person will undoubtedly receive all the fruits of Baptism from God, and therefore is said to be Baptized in desire. In like manner, suppose a person brought up in a false religion embraces with all his heart the light of True Faith, which God gives him in his last moments-----as it is absolutely impossible for him in that state "to join the external Communion of the Church in the eyes of men, "yet he certainly will be considered united to her in the sight of God, by means of the True Faith which he embraces, and his desire of being united to the Church, were it in his power.

Was Father Michael Muller so solidly against Baptism of Desire?  Read:
"Father Michael Muller, C.Ss.R  God the Teacher of Mankind: Grace and the Sacraments" Wrote:8. Can the baptism of water be ever supplied?

When a person cannot receive the baptism of water, it may be supplied by the baptism of desire, or by the baptism of blood. Almighty God is goodness itself. Hence He wishes that all men should be saved. But, in order to be saved, it is necessary to pass, by means of baptism, from the state of sin to the state of grace. Infants, therefore, who die unbaptized, can never enter the kingdom of heaven. The case of grown persons is somewhat different; for, when grown persons cannot be actually baptized before death, the baptism of water may be supplied by what is called the baptism of desire.

There is an infidel. He has become acquainted with the true faith. He most earnestly desires baptism. But he cannot have any one to baptize him before he dies. Now, is such a person lost because he dies without the baptism of water? No; in this case, the person is said to be baptized in desire.

Was Orestes Brownson against Baptism of Desire? Read:
"Orestes Brownson,  The Great Question -- Part II" Wrote:It is evident, both from Bellarmine and Billuart, that no one can be saved unless he belongs to the visible communion of the Church, either actually or virtually, and also that the salvation of catechumens can be asserted only because they do so belong ; that is, because they are in the vestibule, for the purpose of entering,  have already entered in their will and proximate disposition. St. Thomas teaches with regard to these, in case they have faith working by love, that all they lack is the reception of the visible sacrament in re ; but if they are prevented by death from receiving it in re before the Church is ready to administer it, that God supplies the defect, accepts the will for the deed, and reputes them to be baptized. If the defect is supplied, and God reputes them to be baptized, they are so in effect, have in effect received the visible sacrament, are truly members of the external communion of the Church, and therefore are saved in it, not out of it. *(footnote: * Summa 3, Q. G8, a. 2. corp. ad 2. et ad 3.)

Bellarmine, Billuart, Perrone, &c, in speaking of persons as belonging to the soul and not to the body, mean, it is evident, not persons who in no sense belong to the body, but simply those who, though they in effect belong to it, do not belong to it in the full and strict sense of the word, because they have not received the visible sacrament in re. All they teach is simply that persons may be saved who have not received the visible sacrament in re ; but they by no means teach that persons can be saved without having received the visible sacrament at all. There is no difference between their view and ours, for we have never contended for any thing more than this ; only we think, that, in these times especially, when the tendency is to depreciate the external, it is more proper to speak of them as belonging in effect to the body, as they certainly do, than it is to speak of them simply as belonging to the soul; for the fact the most important to be insisted on is, not that it is possible to be saved without receiving the visible sacrament in re, but that it is impossible to be saved without receiving the visible sacrament at least in voto et proximo, disposition.

The case* of catechumens disposes of all who are substantially in the same category.    The only persons, not catechumens, who can be in the same category, are persons who have been validly baptized, and who stand in the same relation to the sacrament of Reconciliation that catechumens do to the sacrament of Faith.

I stand corrected- to an extent. t should be worth noting that NONE of these individuals conceive of baptism of desire as some kind of vague implicit desire for something never even heard of. They only speak of an EXPLICIT DESIRE to receive sacramental water baptism which is an ACKNOWLEDGEMENT of its absolute necessity. They only admit of its efficacy in times of extremity, like impending death. Every person who desires to receive sacramental water baptism acknowledges its necessity.

Also, none of these theologians conceive of being united to the SOUL of the church as OPPOSED to the body; rather, they conceive of being united to the BODY in a lesser and less formal manner.

As Orestes Brownson says:

" ' They therefore that received his word were baptized ; and there were added to them that day about three thousand souls.' Thus the Council of Florence, in its Instructions for the Armenians, teaches that men are made members of Christ and the body of the Church when they are baptized ; and so all the Fathers teach......Catechumens are not actually and properly in the Church.    How can you say they are saved, if they are out of the Church ? " [quoting Bellarmine]

"It is clear that this difficulty, which Bellarmine states, arises from understanding that to be in the Church means to be in the visible Church, and that when faith declares, out of the Church no one can be saved, it means out of the visible communion. Otherwise it might be answered, since they are assumed to have faith, hope, and charity, they belong to the soul of the Church, and that is all faith requires. But Bellarmine does not so answer, and since he does not, but proceeds to show that they do in a certain sense belong to the body, it is certain that he understands the article of faith as we do, and holds that men are not in the Church unless they in some sense belong to its body."

Between Bellarmine and Brownson is this agreement that there is no salvation outside of the visible this-present-world-reality of the Roman Catholic Church."

The Theologian Billuart, whom Brownson also quotes, has something interesting to say:

" I have said," says Billuart, " that, catechumens are not actually and properly in the Church, because, when they request admission into the Church, and when they already have faith and charity, they may be said to be in the Church proximately and in desire, as one may be said to be in the house because he is in the vestibule for the purpose of immediately entering. And in this sense must be taken what I have elsewhere said of their pertaining to the Church, that is, that they pertain to her inchoately, as aspirants who voluntarily subject themselves to her laws ; and they may be saved, notwithstanding there is no salvation out of the Church ; for this is to be understood of one who is in the Church neither actually nor virtually, nee re, nee in voto. In the same sense, St. Augustine, Tract. 4 in Joan. n. 13, is to be understood, when he sa)'s, u Futuri crant allqui in Ecclesia excelsioris gratice catcchumeni,"  that is, in will and proximate disposition, u in voto et proxima dispositione." *(footnote: * Theologia, dc Reg. Fid. Dissert. 3, Art. 3.)
It is evident, both from Bellarmine and Billuart, that no one can be saved unless he belongs to the visible communion of the Church, either actually or virtually, and also that the salvation of catechumens can be asserted only because they do so belong ; that is, because they are in the vestibule, for the purpose of entering,  have already entered in their will and proximate disposition. St. Thomas teaches with regard to these, in case they have faith working by love, that all they lack is the reception of the visible sacrament in re ; but if they are prevented by death from receiving it in re before the Church is ready to administer it, that God supplies the defect, accepts the will for the deed, and reputes them to be baptized. If the defect is supplied, and God reputes them to be baptized, they are so in effect, have in effect received the visible sacrament, are truly members of the external communion of the Church, and therefore are saved in it, not out of it. *(footnote: * Summa 3, Q. G8, a. 2. corp. ad 2. et ad 3.)

"Bellarmine, Billuart, Perrone, &c, in speaking of persons as belonging to the soul and not to the body, mean, it is evident, not persons who in no sense belong to the body, but simply those who, though they in effect belong to it, do not belong to it in the full and strict sense of the word, because they have not received the visible sacrament in re. All they teach is simply that persons may be saved who have not received the visible sacrament in re ; but they by no means teach that persons can be saved without having received the visible sacrament at all. There is no difference between their view and ours, for we have never contended for any thing more than this ; only we think, that, in these times especially, when the tendency is to depreciate the external, it is more proper to speak of them as belonging in effect to the body, as they certainly do, than it is to speak of them simply as belonging to the soul; for the fact the most important to be insisted on is, not that it is possible to be saved without receiving the visible sacrament in re, but that it is impossible to be saved without receiving the visible sacrament at least in voto et proximo, disposition."

It is intriguing to consider Catechumens as members of the Visible Church in VOTO inasmuch as a person is to be considered IN THE HOUSE who is in the vestibule knocking on the door.

At the end of the day, however, and in all reality, this is only speculation. Catechumens MAY be saved, and the may very well NOT be saved.

Also, note: Fr. Feeney never said that Desiring Baptism does not justify. He said that Desiring Baptism could very well justify a person, but we DO NOT KNOW if that person is in heaven or not. He actually took the stance of agnosia; he did not say they are in hell, in fact, he denied it flat out. But he felt he could not say they are in heaven, the force of our Lord's words bearing down: "Unless a man be born of water and the spirit..." i.e. be marked with the sacramental seal of baptism, they could not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Fr. Feeney's Emphasis was that baptism, as the Catechism of Trent teaches, is obligatory on ALL who are to be saved. Therefore, it is not a replacement for baptism when baptism can be had, and it is not the proper initiation into the church, for it does not outfit one to receive the sacraments. And even if it could justify, a person could not live in such a state for more than a few days before sinning again. And after that, how would he be brought to repentance, since sins are remitted only to the baptized?

See, Fr. Feeney's point was that this was NOT A MEANS OF INITIATION INTO THE REGULAR LIFE OF THE CHURCH. And for him to express reserve about the destiny of souls that die "Just" but without the sacramental seal of baptism seems fully within the scope of responsible theology, especially pertaining to matters of salvation.

I am more comfortable with this very limited BOD, and I am more comfortable with understanding a Catechumen as in the vestibule of the church. It makes a difference to ME to consider them as members of the VISIBLE church through their intention to enter into it.

HOWEVER, Note Brownson's words, which apply to todays Catholic theologians more than at any other time:

"We add the word exterior or visible to distinguish the Church out of which there is no salvation from the invisible Church contended for by Protestants, and which no Catholic does or can admit. Without it the dogma of faith contains no meaning which even a Socinian or a Transcendentalist has any urgent occasion to reject. Unquestionably, as our Lord in his humanity had two parts, his body and his soul, so we may regard the Church, his Spouse, as having two parts, the one exterior and visible, the other interior and invisible, or visible only by the exterior, as the soul of man is visible by his face ; but to contend that the two parts are separable, or that the interior exists disconnected from the exterior, and is sufficient independently of it, is to assert, in so many words, the prevailing doctrine of Protestants, and, so far as relates to the indispensable conditions of salvation, to yield them, at least in their understanding, the whole question.     In the present state of the controversy with Protestants, we cannot save the integrity of the faith, unless we add the epithet visible or external."

FINALLY:

"The apparent exception alleged turns out, therefore, to be no real exception at all ; for the persons excepted are still members of the body of the Church in effect, as the authorities referred to labor to prove. They are persons who have renounced their infidel and heretical societies, and have found and explicitly recognized the Church. Their approach to the Church is explicit, not constructive, to be inferred only from a certain vague and indefinite longing for truth and unity in general, predicable in fact, we should suppose, of nearly all men ; for no man ever clings to falsehood and division, believing them to be such. Their desire for truth and unity is explicit. Their faith is the Catholic faith ; the unity they will is Catholic unity ; the Church at whose door they knock is the Catholic Church ; the sacrament they solicit, they solicit from the hands of her legitimate priest. They are in effect Catholics, and though not re et proprie in the Church, nobody ever dreams of so understanding the article, out of the Church no one can be saved, as to exclude them from salvation. These being in effect members of the external communion, the distinction between the soul and the body of the Church does not at all affect the assumption of the Brothers Walenburch, " out of external communion with the true Church of Jesus Christ there is no salvation."

Fr. Michael Muller plainly taught:

"12. Who are out of the pale of the Roman Catholic Church?

Out of the pale of the Roman Catholic Church are all unbaptized and all excommunicated persons, all
apostates, unbelievers, and heretics.

Infidels and Apostates

13. How do we know that unbaptized persons are not saved?

That unbaptized persons are not saved, we know from Christ, Who said: “Unless a man be born again of
water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5.) For God cannot unite Himself
to such souls in Heaven on account of Original Sin, with which they are defiled. "

Archbishop George Hay said:

"Q. 7. What then is to be said of all those Turks (Moslems), Jews, and heathens, who having never heard of
Jesus Christ or of His Religion, are, therefore, invincibly ignorant of both; can they be saved, if they live and
die in that state?

A. The plain answer to this is, that they cannot be saved, that not one of these "can enter the kingdom of
God."
It is true, as we have seen above, they will not be condemned as criminal, precisely because they
have not the Faith of Christ, of which they are invincibly ignorant. But the Faith of Christ, though an essential
condition of salvation, is but one condition; others are also required. And though invincible ignorance will
certainly save a man from sin, in wanting (i.e., not having) that of which he is invincibly ignorant, yet it is
plainly impossible and childish to suppose, that this invincible ignorance in one point will make up for the want
of all other conditions required. Now all those we hear speak of are in the state of original sin, "aliens from
God, and children of wrath," as the scripture calls all such, and unbaptized; and it is a constant article of the
Christian Faith, that, except original sin be washed away by the grace of baptism, there is no salvation; for
Christ Himself expressly declares, "Amen, amen, I say to thee, Except a man be born again of water and the
Holy Ghost, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."
(Jn. iii.5) And, indeed, if even the children of Christian
parents, who die without baptism, cannot go to heaven, how much less can those go there, who, besides
being never baptized, are supposed, in the present case, to live and die in ignorance of the True God, or of
Jesus Christ and His Faith, and, on that account, must also be supposed to have committed many actual sins
themselves. Nay, to suppose that heathens, Turks, or Jews who live and die in that state, can be saved, is to
suppose that worshippers of idols, and of Mohammed, and blasphemers of Christ, can be saved in the guilt
of original sin, as well as all of those actual crimes by their ignorance, which is putting them upon a better
footing, by far, than even Christians themselves and their Children. The fate of all such the scripture decides
as follows: "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with the angel of his power, in a flame of fire,
yielding vengeance to those who know not God and who obey not the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who
shall suffer eternal punishment in destruction, from the face of the Lord and from the Glory of His Power," 2.
Thess. i 7) This is precise, indeed, and a clear and decisive answer to the present question."

And also

"Q. 22. But, suppose a person in the wilds of Tartary, or America, where the Name of Christ had never yet been heard;
suppose also, that this person should attend to the dictates of conscience, enlightened by such graces as God is
pleased to give him, and constantly comply with them; yet, how is it possible that such a person could be brought to the
knowledge and Faith of Jesus Christ?


A. This case is certainly possible; and if it should happen, it is not to be doubted but Almighty God would, from the
treasures of His infinite Wisdom, provide some means to bring such a person to the knowledge of the Truth, even
though He should send an angel from heaven, if necessary, to instruct Him. "The Hand of the Lord is not shortened,
that He cannot save," in whatever difficulties a poor soul may be; He has, in former times, done wonderful things in
cases of this kind, and He is no less able to do the same again; and since He has so clearly ordained that, out of the
True Church, and without the True Faith in Christ there is no salvation, there can be no doubt, but that, in the case
proposed, He would take care effectually to bring such a person to that happiness.


Q. 23. Is there any authority from scripture to prove this?

A. There can be no stronger proof from the scripture than from facts there related; now we have in scripture two
beautiful examples of God's acting in this manner in similar cases, which shows that he would do the same again, if any
case should require it.



The one is of the Eunuch of Candace, Queen of Ethiopia; He, following the lights that God gave him, though living at a
great distance from Jerusalem, got acquainted with the worship of the True God, and was accustomed to go from time
to time to Jerusalem, to adore Him. But, when the Gospel began to be published, the Jewish Religion could no longer
save Him, and, therefore, being well disposed, by his fidelity to the graces he had hitherto received, Almighty God did
not forsake him, but, when he was returning to his own country from Jerusalem, the Lord sent an angel to St. Philip to
go meet him, and instruct him in the True Faith of Christ, and baptize him, Acts vii. 26. The other example is of
Cornelius, who was an officer of the Roman army of the Italic band, and brought up in idolatry; in the course of rotation,
his regiment coming to Judea, he saw there a different religion from his own, and the worship of only one God. The
grace of God moving his heart, he believed in this God, and following the further motions of Divine Grace, gave much
alms to the poor, and prayed earnestly to this god to direct him what to do. Did God abandon him? by no means; He
sent an angel from heaven to tell him whom to apply to in order to be fully instructed in the knowledge and Faith of
Jesus Christ, and to be received into His Church by baptism.

Now, what God did in these two cases, He is no less able to do in all others, and has a thousand ways in His Wisdom,
to conduct souls who are truly serious, to the knowledge of the Truth, and to salvation. And though such a soul were in
the remotest wilds of the world, God could be in no difficulty to send a Philip to him, or an angel from heaven to instruct
him, or by the superabundance of His internal grace, could infuse into him the knowledge of the Truth, or, by
numberless other ways unknown to us. The great affair is, that we carefully do our part in complying with what He
gives us; for, of this we are certain, that if we be not wanting to Him, he will never be wanting to us, but as He begins
the good work in us, will also perfect it, if we be careful to correspond, and to put no hindrance to His designs."

AND ESPECIALLY;

"Q. 25. Do we not see, even among false religions, many serious, well disposed people, who live good lives, and are
even devout and pious in their own way; and is it not hard to think, that if such should die in their own way; they will not
be saved?

A. But is it not much more reasonable in itself, as well as conformable to the whole tenor of what God has revealed, to
say, that if they be truly such before God, as they appear in the eyes of men, and such as He knows will continue to
correspond with the graces he gives them, He will not allow them to die in their false religion; but will undoubtedly bring
them to the True Faith before they die?
The door of salvation is by no means shut against such people by any thing
here advanced; the only difficulty is about the way they can get at it. By supposing they can reach it, though they die in
their false religion, is supposing God to act contrary to Himself, and in opposition to everything He has revealed to men
upon this matter; but by adhering to His Holy Word, and firmly believing that God "adds daily to the Church, such as
shall be saved," and will most undoubtedly add these here spoken of to her, if they be of that happy number, we do not
make their salvation more difficult either to themselves or to God; and we avoid the dreadful consequence of supposing
God to act contrary to Himself and to His own revealed Will. If these people be really such in the eyes of God as they
appear to the eyes of men; and if Jesus Christ, foreseeing their perseverance in improving the graces He bestows
upon them, acknowledges them among the number of His sheep, "to whom He gives eternal life," then it is evident they
are in the state with those of whom He says in the Gospel, "other sheep I have who are not of this fold" (Jn. x. 16); both
the one and the other are considered as belonging to Him, according to His foreknowledge of their salvation; but
neither of them are joined in the visible communion of His Church. Now, of these last he immediately adds, "them also I
MUST bring, and they SHALL hear My Voice, and there shall be ONE fold and ONE shepherd." It was not enough for
their salvation to be acknowledged to be His sheep; and because they were so, it was necessary that they should be
united to the fold to which they did not belong. The same thing must then be the case of those we hear speak of; They
are sheep of Jesus Christ, because He foresees they will at last be saved; but, as they are not at present within the
fold of His Church, in order to secure their salvation, "them also He must bring," before they die, that there may be "one
flock, and one shepherd."
(06-30-2011, 02:19 AM)Gregory I Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-29-2011, 07:04 PM)Doce Me Wrote: [ -> ]Even those you say agree with Father Feeney don't seem so sure, to say the least:

Was Bishop George Hay  so solidly against Baptism of Desire? Read:
[quote='"Bishop George Hay, from The Sincere Christian']
Q. 28. But, in the case proposed, if a person, in his last moments shall receive the light of Faith from God, and embrace it with all his heart, would this suffice to make him a member of the True Church in the sight of God?

   A. Most and undoubtedly; the case is the same in this as in that of Baptism. Though Jesus Christ expressly says, "Except a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God," [John 3: 5] which establishes the absolute necessity of Baptism for salvation, yet, suppose a heathen should be instructed in the Faith of Christ, and embrace it with all his heart, but die suddenly without Baptism, or be taken away by infidel friends, or put in absolute impossibility of receiving Baptism, and die in the above dispositions with sincere repentance and a desire of Baptism, this person will undoubtedly receive all the fruits of Baptism from God, and therefore is said to be Baptized in desire. In like manner, suppose a person brought up in a false religion embraces with all his heart the light of True Faith, which God gives him in his last moments-----as it is absolutely impossible for him in that state "to join the external Communion of the Church in the eyes of men, "yet he certainly will be considered united to her in the sight of God, by means of the True Faith which he embraces, and his desire of being united to the Church, were it in his power.

Was Father Michael Muller so solidly against Baptism of Desire?  Read:
"Father Michael Muller, C.Ss.R  God the Teacher of Mankind: Grace and the Sacraments" Wrote:8. Can the baptism of water be ever supplied?

When a person cannot receive the baptism of water, it may be supplied by the baptism of desire, or by the baptism of blood. Almighty God is goodness itself. Hence He wishes that all men should be saved. But, in order to be saved, it is necessary to pass, by means of baptism, from the state of sin to the state of grace. Infants, therefore, who die unbaptized, can never enter the kingdom of heaven. The case of grown persons is somewhat different; for, when grown persons cannot be actually baptized before death, the baptism of water may be supplied by what is called the baptism of desire.

There is an infidel. He has become acquainted with the true faith. He most earnestly desires baptism. But he cannot have any one to baptize him before he dies. Now, is such a person lost because he dies without the baptism of water? No; in this case, the person is said to be baptized in desire.

Was Orestes Brownson against Baptism of Desire? Read:
"Orestes Brownson,  The Great Question -- Part II" Wrote:It is evident, both from Bellarmine and Billuart, that no one can be saved unless he belongs to the visible communion of the Church, either actually or virtually, and also that the salvation of catechumens can be asserted only because they do so belong ; that is, because they are in the vestibule, for the purpose of entering,  have already entered in their will and proximate disposition. St. Thomas teaches with regard to these, in case they have faith working by love, that all they lack is the reception of the visible sacrament in re ; but if they are prevented by death from receiving it in re before the Church is ready to administer it, that God supplies the defect, accepts the will for the deed, and reputes them to be baptized. If the defect is supplied, and God reputes them to be baptized, they are so in effect, have in effect received the visible sacrament, are truly members of the external communion of the Church, and therefore are saved in it, not out of it. *(footnote: * Summa 3, Q. G8, a. 2. corp. ad 2. et ad 3.)

Bellarmine, Billuart, Perrone, &c, in speaking of persons as belonging to the soul and not to the body, mean, it is evident, not persons who in no sense belong to the body, but simply those who, though they in effect belong to it, do not belong to it in the full and strict sense of the word, because they have not received the visible sacrament in re. All they teach is simply that persons may be saved who have not received the visible sacrament in re ; but they by no means teach that persons can be saved without having received the visible sacrament at all. There is no difference between their view and ours, for we have never contended for any thing more than this ; only we think, that, in these times especially, when the tendency is to depreciate the external, it is more proper to speak of them as belonging in effect to the body, as they certainly do, than it is to speak of them simply as belonging to the soul; for the fact the most important to be insisted on is, not that it is possible to be saved without receiving the visible sacrament in re, but that it is impossible to be saved without receiving the visible sacrament at least in voto et proximo, disposition.

The case* of catechumens disposes of all who are substantially in the same category.    The only persons, not catechumens, who can be in the same category, are persons who have been validly baptized, and who stand in the same relation to the sacrament of Reconciliation that catechumens do to the sacrament of Faith.

I stand corrected- to an extent. t should be worth noting that NONE of these individuals conceive of baptism of desire as some kind of vague implicit desire for something never even heard of. They only speak of an EXPLICIT DESIRE to receive sacramental water baptism which is an ACKNOWLEDGEMENT of its absolute necessity. They only admit of its efficacy in times of extremity, like impending death. Every person who desires to receive sacramental water baptism acknowledges its necessity.
---
I am more comfortable with this very limited BOD, and I am more comfortable with understanding a Catechumen as in the vestibule of the church. It makes a difference to ME to consider them as members of the VISIBLE church through their intention to enter into it.

I believe at least  in this limited BOD and it is what I have most been trying to defend. It says that explicit FAITH is necessary, but that someone might be prevented from obtaining the sacrament of baptism.  The analogy about the catechumen waiting in the vestibule is excellent.  To repeat the underlying belief of these writers, as you explain,  the person must acknowledge the ABSOLUTE NECESSITY of the sacrament, but be prevented by some extremity such as impending death.  In this way the word NECESSITY is not always incompatible with something rendering a thing impossible to a man. God doesn't ALWAYS need to bring water to a catechumen being martyred, because there is such a thing as baptism of desire- so these writers and I believe!  But I also agree that baptism of desire does not make it possible to receive the sacraments.

I'm not arguing with the rest of what they wrote in the quotations you supplied.

"Gregory I" Wrote:At the end of the day, however, and in all reality, this is only speculation. Catechumens MAY be saved, and the may very well NOT be saved.

I've missed seeing you argue that they MAY be saved! (that there is any doubt).
"Gregory I" Wrote:Also, note: Fr. Feeney never said that Desiring Baptism does not justify. He said that Desiring Baptism could very well justify a person, but we DO NOT KNOW if that person is in heaven or not. He actually took the stance of agnosia; he did not say they are in hell, in fact, he denied it flat out. But he felt he could not say they are in heaven, the force of our Lord's words bearing down: "Unless a man be born of water and the spirit..." i.e. be marked with the sacramental seal of baptism, they could not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Fr. Feeney's Emphasis was that baptism, as the Catechism of Trent teaches, is obligatory on ALL who are to be saved. Therefore, it is not a replacement for baptism when baptism can be had, and it is not the proper initiation into the church, for it does not outfit one to receive the sacraments. And even if it could justify, a person could not live in such a state for more than a few days before sinning again. And after that, how would he be brought to repentance, since sins are remitted only to the baptized?

See, Fr. Feeney's point was that this was NOT A MEANS OF INITIATION INTO THE REGULAR LIFE OF THE CHURCH. And for him to express reserve about the destiny of souls that die "Just" but without the sacramental seal of baptism seems fully within the scope of responsible theology, especially pertaining to matters of salvation.

You can't be "Just" while you still have  mortal sins on your soul - your sins must be forgiven. If you are "justified" and then die immediately, you are saved. At the last judgment the just go to heaven, the unjust go to hell.  Christ divides the sheep from the goats. There is no group or place beyond what is taught by the Church, for souls at the either the particular judgment or at the last judgment. If you don't have faith, you are not just (charity can not exist without faith). If you  reject the Church or baptism, you are not just.
Quote:You can't be "Just" while you still have  mortal sins on your soul - your sins must be forgiven. If you are "justified" and then die immediately, you are saved. At the last judgment the just go to heaven, the unjust go to hell.  Christ divides the sheep from the goats. There is no group or place beyond what is taught by the Church, for souls at the either the particular judgment or at the last judgment. If you don't have faith, you are not just (charity can not exist without faith). If you  reject the Church or baptism, you are not just.

TO be perfectly honest, this is what I first had a problem with in the Feeneyite position: How can a man, made just by BOD, should he die, NOT enter into heaven? That to me almost seems to go just too far.

To Stubborn: I don't want you to think I am abandoning the issue. I am defending, primarily, the doctrine of EENS. I would be interested in knowing what is YOUR POV on the views of Bellarmine and Billouart Stubborn. For example, to suggest that catechumens who come to the church are a part of the VISIBLE BODY of the church, Just as a man in the vestibule of a house, awaiting entry into the main dining chamber is IN THE HOUSE.

Doce,

     I do find the quotes of these theologians compelling:

Nevertheless, I still must contend that such a view of BOD is not set forth in the Church's ordinary magisterium. Even the extremely limited perspective: For example, no document of the magisterium says: "If a man vows to receive baptism, and he is permanently prevented by some insurmountable obstacle, this man may be granted the grace and virtue of the sacrament."

Don't you suppose that there is a reason for that?

DO you think BOD is De Fide, or is it theological speculation, on par with Limbo?

Like I said:

"See, Fr. Feeney's point was that this was NOT A MEANS OF INITIATION INTO THE REGULAR LIFE OF THE CHURCH. And for him to express reserve about the destiny of souls that die "Just" but without the sacramental seal of baptism seems fully within the scope of responsible theology, especially pertaining to matters of salvation."
(06-30-2011, 11:11 PM)Gregory I Wrote: [ -> ]To Stubborn: I don't want you to think I am abandoning the issue. I am defending, primarily, the doctrine of EENS. I would be interested in knowing what is YOUR POV on the views of Bellarmine and Billouart Stubborn. For example, to suggest that catechumens who come to the church are a part of the VISIBLE BODY of the church, Just as a man in the vestibule of a house, awaiting entry into the main dining chamber is IN THE HOUSE.

I am with Unam Sanctam here - the long posts are a bit much for me these days.

My time posting and reading posts are limited but my opinion is that BOD needs to be explicitly defined or condemned infallibly - until that happens, I will err on the side of caution and stick with infallibly defined definitions mandating the Sacrament of Baptism as the first requirement for the other Sacraments as well as for salvation.

The problem with the writings of saints and other notable theologians who favor BOD is they will often contradict not only each other, but often they contradict themselves. The whole "visible body" thing is, IMO, a mirage and adds to the confusion. 

To date, there are many different "definitions" of what BOD even is - everyone from catechumens to atheists are saved from BOD and they do not even need to be conscious to desire baptism - to me, that alone is enough to debunk BOD. When it comes right down to it, the only thing all the definitions do agree on is that water is unnecessary. 
THE MATTER OF "BAPTISM OF DESIRE" - Fr. James Wathen

.............The purpose of this writing is to deal seriously with the idea of "baptism of desire," which, in the mind of many "conservative-minded" Catholics, means that non-Catholics will be saved who, for want of a priest: (a) make a perfect act of contrition at the time of their death; and/or:

(b) make an act of faith, wherein they profess belief in the Catholic religion and express to almighty God, implicitly or explicitly, the desire for Baptism.

In support of this position, those who adhere to it refer to the many catechisms which contain it, and to numerous saints who held it, and, the most forceful argument of all: to the fact that the consensus of theologians, living and dead, was that this view should be accepted as proxima fidei, which means that it is "nearly a doctrine."

The problem with this position is that (a) several de fide definitions of the Church condemn it. (b) two canons of the Council of Trent contradict and censure it;

© there is no foundation in the Scriptures for the idea of "baptism of desire;"

(d) none of those who promote the idea, which they want to call the "doctrine of baptism of desire," explain how it can have the same effect in the soul as the Sacrament has, that is, how it can dispose one for Heaven.

(e) there is no solid evidence that anyone has been saved by "baptism of desire."

(f) if one can baptize oneself by "desire," why can one not baptize oneself with water?

When all is said and done, the undeniable fact is that "baptism of desisre," which has been spoken of and written about favorably for many centuries, is a product of human creation. It was created "for sentimental reasons" and nothing else. It is an escape from, and a circumvention of, the hard teaching of Christ. His teaching is that, in order to be saved,

(a) a person must truly and firmly believe the teaching of the Catholic Church, which is the teaching of His Gospel,

(b) he must enter the Church by receiving Baptism, and

© having entered the Church, he must keep the Commandments of God and the Precepts of the Church,

d) and attain a certain degree of the love of God., and persevere in this state till the end of his life. ..........


But herein lies a question Stubborn: Is not the intended vow to receive baptism an acknowledgement of its absolute necessity?

Now, if a person were to die properly disposed, and ACKNOWLEDGING this fact (Hence the Vow to receive it at all), in what way is the absolute necessity of the sacrament compromised? In fact, could we not say that he would be saved BECAUSE he acknowledged the TRUTH of its absolute necessity, yet were themselves incapable of receiving it? IN other words, though there was no water, the sacrament was not thereby degraded, but rather the greatness of the sacrament so filled the desire of the person to receive it, that he died in God's friendship?

I know we have said God does not allow these circumstances to arise, but let's be cautious saying that.
(07-01-2011, 07:59 AM)Stubborn Wrote: [ -> ]To date, there are many different "definitions" of what BOD even is - everyone from catechumens to atheists are saved from BOD and they do not even need to be conscious to desire baptism - to me, that alone is enough to debunk BOD. When it comes right down to it, the only thing all the definitions do agree on is that water is unnecessary.   
Theologians say different things, but Pope Pius IX says that what is COMMON between them should be accepted:

"Pius IX, Tuas Libenter" Wrote:“But, since it is a matter of that subjection by which in conscience all those Catholics are bound who work in the speculative sciences, in order that they may bring new advantage to the Church by their writings, on that account, then, the men of that same convention should realize that it is not sufficient for learned Catholics to accept and revere the aforesaid dogmas of the Church, but that it is also necessary to subject themselves to the decisions pertaining to doctrine which are issued by the Pontifical Congregations, and also to those forms of doctrine which are held by the common and constant consent of Catholics as theological truths and conclusions, so certain that opinions opposed to these same forms of
doctrine, although they cannot be called heretical, nevertheless deserve some theological censure.” Tuas Libenter (1863), DZ 1684.

It is foolish to regard all theologians who believe in the "limited" sense of baptism of desire as modern liberals, for this would include
even those who have defended EENS so vigorously,  as you (Gregory) have agreed,  along with many saints

These theologians and saints (in their common teaching) have as much control over their sentiments and as much ability to reason about the teachings of the Church as you or Fr. Wathen do.  Or do you disagree?

Christ may allow terrible errors into the Church.  But this does not mean he gave us Saints and Theologians to no purpose and with no kind of authority over our beliefs.  They are Catholic TEACHERS.  Instead of always arguing against them because of our own understanding of what the Church teaches, can't we work to improve OUR understanding in the light of THEIRs?

(07-01-2011, 07:40 PM)Gregory I Wrote: [ -> ]But herein lies a question Stubborn: Is not the intended vow to receive baptism an acknowledgement of its absolute necessity?

Now, if a person were to die properly disposed, and ACKNOWLEDGING this fact (Hence the Vow to receive it at all), in what way is the absolute necessity of the sacrament compromised? In fact, could we not say that he would be saved BECAUSE he acknowledged the TRUTH of its absolute necessity, yet were themselves incapable of receiving it? IN other words, though there was no water, the sacrament was not thereby degraded, but rather the greatness of the sacrament so filled the desire of the person to receive it, that he died in God's friendship?

I know we have said God does not allow these circumstances to arise, but let's be cautious saying that.

Very good!
Really, all it boild down to is this:

It seems Catechumens alone could be excepted, because;

THey form a part of the visible structure of the church. THerefore avoiding the heretical notions of an invisible church apart from the catholic church.