Question regarding validity of Protestant Baptism...
(04-20-2010, 08:45 PM)kmd_long Wrote: Thanks, again, for all of your responses. 

If someone could show me where a baptism by desire would cover this situation, I would be greatly obliged.  It is my understanding that a baptism by desire covers catechumens until they can be baptised in the Church, people who have never encountered the Church, and people in emergency situations.  Since none of these apply, and baptism is necessary for salvation, I am not comfortable taking a chance unless I am presented with strong evidence to the contrary. 
Here is what the Catholic Encyclopedia says about it:
Quote:The Fathers and theologians frequently divide baptism into three kinds: the baptism of water (aquæ or fluminis), the baptism of desire (flaminis), and the baptism of blood (sanguinis). However, only the first is a real sacrament. The latter two are denominated baptism only analogically, inasmuch as they supply the principal effect of baptism, namely, the grace which remits sins. It is the teaching of the Catholic Church that when the baptism of water becomes a physical or moral impossibility, eternal life may be obtained by the baptism of desire or the baptism of blood.
The baptism of desire

The baptism of desire (baptismus flaminis) is a perfect contrition of heart, and every act of perfect charity or pure love of God which contains, at least implicitly, a desire (votum) of baptism. The Latin word flamen is used because Flamen is a name for the Holy Ghost, Whose special office it is to move the heart to love God and to conceive penitence for sin. The "baptism of the Holy Ghost" is a term employed in the third century by the anonymous author of the book "De Rebaptismate". The efficacy of this baptism of desire to supply the place of the baptism of water, as to its principal effect, is proved from the words of Christ. After He had declared the necessity of baptism (John 3), He promised justifying grace for acts of charity or perfect contrition (John 14): "He that loveth Me, shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him and will manifest myself to him." And again: "If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him." Since these texts declare that justifying grace is bestowed on account of acts of perfect charity or contrition, it is evident that these acts supply the place of baptism as to its principal effect, the remission of sins. This doctrine is set forth clearly by the Council of Trent. In the fourteenth session (cap. iv) the council teaches that contrition is sometimes perfected by charity, and reconciles man to God, before the Sacrament of Penance is received. In the fourth chapter of the sixth session, in speaking of the necessity of baptism, it says that men can not obtain original justice "except by the washing of regeneration or its desire" (voto). The same doctrine is taught by Pope Innocent III (cap. Debitum, iv, De Bapt.), and the contrary propositions are condemned by Popes Pius V and Gregory XII, in proscribing the 31st and 33rd propositions of Baius.

We have already alluded to the funeral oration pronounced by St. Ambrose over the Emperor Valentinian II, a catechumen. The doctrine of the baptism of desire is here clearly set forth. St. Ambrose asks: "Did he not obtain the grace which he desired? Did he not obtain what he asked for? Certainly he obtained it because he asked for it." St. Augustine (On Baptism, Against the Donatists, IV.22) and St. Bernard (Ep. lxxvii, ad H. de S. Victore) likewise discourse in the same sense concerning the baptism of desire. If it be said that this doctrine contradicts the universal law of baptism made by Christ (John 3), the answer is that the lawgiver has made an exception (John 14) in favor of those who have the baptism of desire. Neither would it be a consequence of this doctrine that a person justified by the baptism of desire would thereby be dispensed from seeking after the baptism of water when the latter became a possibility. For, as has already been explained the baptismus flaminis contains the votum of receiving the baptismus aquæ. It is true that some of the Fathers of the Church arraign severely those who content themselves with the desire of receiving the sacrament of regeneration, but they are speaking of catechumens who of their own accord delay the reception of baptism from unpraiseworthy motives. Finally, it is to be noted that only adults are capable of receiving the baptism of desire.

Note the part that I bolded "It is the teaching of the Catholic Church that when the baptism of water becomes a physical or moral impossibility, eternal life may be obtained by the baptism of desire or the baptism of blood." Your situation (if your baptism were not, as seems most likely, valid) would be one in which water baptism is a moral impossibility.  Historically, baptism of desire happened in the cases of catechumens etc. but this was based on general principles which apply to you.
(04-20-2010, 08:45 PM)kmd_long Wrote: It is my understanding that conditional baptisms were given to all converts to the Church prior to Vatican II, so I have to admit that I'm a little confused as to why it is not better to be safe than sorry when in doubt.  It goes against everything I have learned as a Catholic to presume on God's mercy instead of being obedient to his decrees.  The only reason I am still questioning after consulting four priests is that their responses varied and had the concept of "probably".  If a doctor told you they had "probably" gotten all the cancer out, wouldn't you seek a second opinion?  If I were your mother, daughter or best friend, would you feel comfortable telling me not to worry about it?
It was very common for converts to receive conditional baptism in the past, but even then the rule was that it was to be decided on a case by case basis, determining if the baptism were valid.  If four priests have told you that there is not enough doubt about the validity of your baptism to justify a conditional baptism, then you should accept that.  Did you know that being baptized unnecessarily would be an act of sacrilege? 

I myself am a convert to Catholicism and was baptized by heretics.  When I entered the Church I was questioned about my baptism and the priest  determined that it was valid.  I am not worrying about whether the priest might have made a mistake about this.  I have done my best to be obedient and now I trust in God's mercy.  I did not have to choose between them.  I did both and so can you.

Messages In This Thread
Re: Question regarding validity of Protestant Baptism... - by JayneK - 04-20-2010, 09:32 PM

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)