Baptism of Desire: Avoiding the Red Herrings on a Nearby Thread
#51
Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean it is not rational.  It is dangerous to place yourself above the Doctors and Fathers of the Church, in your pride.  Read this, which precedes and underlies the Tridentine doctrine.  There is no contradiction, save in the heads of the misguided.

St. Thomas Aquinas Wrote:Article 11. Whether three kinds of Baptism are fittingly described--viz. Baptism of Water, of Blood, and of the Spirit?

Objection 1. It seems that the three kinds of Baptism are not fittingly described as Baptism of Water, of Blood, and of the Spirit, i.e. of the Holy Ghost. Because the Apostle says (Ephesians 4:5): "One Faith, one Baptism." Now there is but one Faith. Therefore there should not be three Baptisms.

Objection 2. Further, Baptism is a sacrament, as we have made clear above (Question 65, Article 1). Now none but Baptism of Water is a sacrament. Therefore we should not reckon two other Baptisms.

Objection 3. Further, Damascene (De Fide Orth. iv) distinguishes several other kinds of Baptism. Therefore we should admit more than three Baptisms.

On the contrary, on Hebrews 6:2, "Of the doctrine of Baptisms," the gloss says: "He uses the plural, because there is Baptism of Water, of Repentance, and of Blood."

I answer that, As stated above (Question 62, Article 5), Baptism of Water has its efficacy from Christ's Passion, to which a man is conformed by Baptism, and also from the Holy Ghost, as first cause. Now although the effect depends on the first cause, the cause far surpasses the effect, nor does it depend on it. Consequently, a man may, without Baptism of Water, receive the sacramental effect from Christ's Passion, in so far as he is conformed to Christ by suffering for Him. Hence it is written (Apocalypse 7:14): "These are they who are come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb." In like manner a man receives the effect of Baptism by the power of the Holy Ghost, not only without Baptism of Water, but also without Baptism of Blood: forasmuch as his heart is moved by the Holy Ghost to believe in and love God and to repent of his sins: wherefore this is also called Baptism of Repentance. Of this it is written (Isaiah 4:4): "If the Lord shall wash away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall wash away the blood of Jerusalem out of the midst thereof, by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning." Thus, therefore, each of these other Baptisms is called Baptism, forasmuch as it takes the place of Baptism. Wherefore Augustine says (De Unico Baptismo Parvulorum iv): "The Blessed Cyprian argues with considerable reason from the thief to whom, though not baptized, it was said: 'Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise' that suffering can take the place of Baptism. Having weighed this in my mind again and again, I perceive that not only can suffering for the name of Christ supply for what was lacking in Baptism, but even faith and conversion of heart, if perchance on account of the stress of the times the celebration of the mystery of Baptism is not practicable."

Reply to Objection 1. The other two Baptisms are included in the Baptism of Water, which derives its efficacy, both from Christ's Passion and from the Holy Ghost. Consequently for this reason the unity of Baptism is not destroyed.

Reply to Objection 2. As stated above (Question 60, Article 1), a sacrament is a kind of sign. The other two, however, are like the Baptism of Water, not, indeed, in the nature of sign, but in the baptismal effect. Consequently they are not sacraments.

Reply to Objection 3. Damascene enumerates certain figurative Baptisms. For instance, "the Deluge" was a figure of our Baptism, in respect of the salvation of the faithful in the Church; since then "a few . . . souls were saved in the ark [Vulgate: 'by water'," according to 1 Peter 3:20. He also mentions "the crossing of the Red Sea": which was a figure of our Baptism, in respect of our delivery from the bondage of sin; hence the Apostle says (1 Corinthians 10:2) that "all . . . were baptized in the cloud and in the sea." And again he mentions "the various washings which were customary under the Old Law," which were figures of our Baptism, as to the cleansing from sins: also "the Baptism of John," which prepared the way for our Baptism.
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#52
(01-17-2012, 07:33 PM)yablabo Wrote:
(01-17-2012, 07:05 PM)Parmandur Wrote:
(01-17-2012, 06:59 PM)yablabo Wrote: Your own words are contradictory on this issue.  If we are to believe the theologians under pain of mortal sin, it does not make us heretics to disbelieve them...  To be an heretic one must either deny or doubt in an obstinate fashion what must be believed by divine and Catholic faith (after Baptism, of course).  This means that articles of divine and Catholic faith are bound upon us under pain of major excommunication...not minor excommunication as mortal sin accomplishes. 

However, it is totally irrational to interpret the infallible by the fallible...which makes the words of the theologians no more than guides in this matter to a better understanding, but not binding upon us beyond pious assent due to their assumed credibility.  When it happens that theologians present notions contradicting or contrary to what we must believe by divine and Catholic faith, such as the necessity of Baptism, then we are bound to reject what they say on that matter totally and utterly.

If you don't believe me, fine.  You don't have to believe me.  Though, if you claim the name Catholic, then you must believe and assent to what Christ and His Magisterium teach...and the theologians are not part of that Magisterium.

-- Nicole

*sigh*

Father Cekada is right.  If you insist on seeing contradictions where there are none, there is no point to speaking with you.  The constant teaching of the Faith is that water Baptism is necessary, but that Baptism of Blood or Baptism of Desire can substitute by divine economy.  If you refuse to hear the teaching of the Church on this, good luck.

I know you will see no further use in discussing this with me, but I do find it compelling to point out more contradiction in your subsequent post:

The constant teaching of the Faith is that water Baptism is necessary, you say...

Then, you contradict that saying "water Baptism" is not necessary: "baptism of blood" or "baptism of desire" can substitute for "water Baptism" by divine economy...

This is hardly convincing...as contradiction cannot be held rationally.  Either something is necessary, or it is not.  By their infallible Magisterium, Our Lord and the Roman Pontiffs have laid out the teaching clearly on Holy Baptism: that it is necessary [period].  If you were to define the word necessary, you would see that it does not mean, as convention defines it, merely that which is beneficial.  Necessary means one of two things: that a travel along a specific path cannot be either begun or finished without this, or that once travel along a path to a specific end has begun unless this particular condition is met the end cannot be reached. 

Applying this notion of "necessary" to the application of Baptism, one can see that if the Church says it is necessary, that either the journey to salvation cannot be begun or finished without it...or that once the path is entered, journey to salvation cannot be finished without it.

To say that "desire" or action of grace on God's part is enough is a "Wickliff-ite" error. 

-- Nicole

Ok, I really don't know which side to take, but I just wanted to ask: was St. Alphonsus Liguori a heretic for advocating Baptism of Desire, even in the case of implicit desire?
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#53
(01-17-2012, 10:14 PM)Jesusbrea Wrote: Ok, I really don't know which side to take, but I just wanted to ask: was St. Alphonsus Liguori a heretic for advocating Baptism of Desire, even in the case of implicit desire?

By logical implication, yes.  As were St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, St. Pius V, Bl. Pius IX and St. Pius X.  If BoD is an error, the entire Church has been in abject heresy, forever.  It is ludicrous.
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#54
(01-17-2012, 10:24 PM)Parmandur Wrote:
(01-17-2012, 10:14 PM)Jesusbrea Wrote: Ok, I really don't know which side to take, but I just wanted to ask: was St. Alphonsus Liguori a heretic for advocating Baptism of Desire, even in the case of implicit desire?

By logical implication, yes.  As were St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, St. Pius V, Bl. Pius IX and St. Pius X.  If BoD is an error, the entire Church has been in abject heresy, forever.  It is ludicrous.

Also, when defining necessity of water baptism, is it meant to be a necessity of precept or a necessity of means? not all necessity is absolute, and this might help clear apparent contradiction between Trent and the doctors.
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#55
Catholic Encyclopedia Wrote:Necessity of baptism

Theologians distinguish a twofold necessity, which they call a necessity of means (medii) and a necessity of precept (præcepti). The first (medii) indicates a thing to be so necessary that, if lacking (though inculpably), salvation can not be attained. The second (præcepti) is had when a thing is indeed so necessary that it may not be omitted voluntarily without sin; yet, ignorance of the precept or inability to fulfill it, excuses one from its observance.

Baptism is held to be necessary both necessitate medii and præcepti. This doctrine is rounded on the words of Christ. In John 3, He declares: "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he can not enter into the kingdom of God." Christ makes no exception to this law and it is therefore general in its application, embracing both adults and infants. It is consequently not merely a necessity of precept but also a necessity of means.

This is the sense in which it has always been understood by the Church, and the Council of Trent (Sess, IV, cap, vi) teaches that justification can not be obtained, since the promulgation of the Gospel, without the washing of regeneration or the desire thereof (in voto). In the seventh session, it declares (can. v) anathema upon anyone who says that baptism is not necessary for salvation. We have rendered votum by "desire" for want of a better word. The council does not mean by votum a simple desire of receiving baptism or even a resolution to do so. It means by votum an act of perfect charity or contrition, including, at least implicitly, the will to do all things necessary for salvation and thus especially to receive baptism.

The absolute necessity of this sacrament is often insisted on by the Fathers of the Church, especially when they speak of infant baptism. Thus St. Irenæus (Against Heresies 2.22): "Christ came to save all who are reborn through Him to God — infants, children, and youths" (infantes et parvulos et pueros). St. Augustine (On the Soul, Book III) says "If you wish to be a Catholic, do not believe, nor say, nor teach, that infants who die before baptism can obtain the remission of original sin." A still stronger passage from the same doctor (Epistle 28) reads:"Whoever says that even infants are vivified in Christ when they depart this life without the participation of His Sacrament (Baptism), both opposes the Apostolic preaching and condemns the whole Church which hastens to baptize infants, because it unhesitatingly believes that otherwise they can not possibly be vivified in Christ," St. Ambrose (II De Abraham., c. xi) speaking of the necessity of baptism, says:" No one is excepted, not the infant, not the one hindered by any necessity."

In the Pelagian controversy we find similarly strong pronouncements on the part of the Councils of Carthage and Milevis, and of Pope Innocent I. It is owing to the Church's belief in this necessity of baptism as a means to salvation that, as was already noted by St. Augustine, she committed the power of baptism in certain contingencies even to laymen and women. When it is said that baptism is also necessary, by the necessity of precept (praecepti), it is of course understood that this applies only to such as are capable of receiving a precept, viz. adults.

The necessity in this case is shown by the command of Christ to His Apostles (Matthew 28): "Go and teach all nations, baptizing them", etc. Since the Apostles are commanded to baptize, the nations are commanded to receive baptism. The necessity of baptism has been called in question by some of the Reformers or their immediate forerunners. It was denied by Wyclif, Bucer, and Zwingli. According to Calvin it is necessary for adults as a precept but not as a means. Hence he contends that the infants of believing parents are sanctified in the womb and thus freed from original sin without baptism. The Socinians teach that baptism is merely an external profession of the Christian faith and a rite which each one is free to receive or neglect.

An argument against the absolute necessity of baptism has been sought in the text of Scripture: "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you" (John 6). Here, they say, is a parallel to the text: "Unless a man be born again of water". Yet everyone admits that the Eucharist is not necessary as a means but only as a precept. The reply to this is obvious. In the first instance, Christ addresses His words in the second person to adults; in the second, He speaks in the third person and without any distinction whatever.

Another favorite text is that of St. Paul (1 Corinthians 7): "The unbelieving husband is sanctified by the believing wife; and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the believing husband; otherwise your children should be unclean; but now they are holy." Unfortunately for the strength of this argument, the context shows that the Apostle in this passage is not treating of regenerating or sanctifying grace at all, but answering certain questions proposed to him by the Corinthians concerning the validity of marriages between heathens and believers. The validity of such marriages is proved from the fact that children born of them are legitimate, not spurious. As far as the term "sanctified" is concerned, it can, at most, mean that the believing husband or wife may convert the unbelieving party and thus become an occasion of their sanctification.

A certain statement in the funeral oration of St. Ambrose over the Emperor Valentinian II has been brought forward as a proof that the Church offered sacrifices and prayers for catechumens who died before baptism. There is not a vestige of such a custom to be found anywhere. St. Ambrose may have done so for the soul of the catechumen Valentinian, but this would be a solitary instance, and it was done apparently because he believed that the emperor had had the baptism of desire. The practice of the Church is more correctly shown in the canon (xvii) of the Second Council of Braga: "Neither the commemoration of Sacrifice [oblationis] nor the service of chanting [psallendi] is to be employed for catechumens who have died without the redemption of baptism." The arguments for a contrary usage sought in the Second Council of Arles (c. xii) and the Fourth Council of Carthage (c. lxxix) are not to the point, for these councils speak, not of catechumens, but of penitents who had died suddenly before their expiation was completed. It is true that some Catholic writers (as Cajetan, Durandus, Biel, Gerson, Toletus, Klee) have held that infants may be saved by an act of desire on the part of their parents, which is applied to them by some external sign, such as prayer or the invocation of the Holy Trinity; but Pius V, by expunging this opinion, as expressed by Cajetan, from that author's commentary on St. Thomas, manifested his judgment that such a theory was not agreeable to the Church's belief.
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#56
Admittedly, Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood are complex doctrines.  But, that does not excuse oversimplifications and cartoons of the Faith, which the Feeneyites offer.
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#57
(01-17-2012, 10:01 PM)Parmandur Wrote: Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean it is not rational.  It is dangerous to place yourself above the Doctors and Fathers of the Church, in your pride.  Read this, which precedes and underlies the Tridentine doctrine.  There is no contradiction, save in the heads of the misguided.

That is true, just because I don't understand something doesn't mean it is not rational.  However, to present a contradiction is not the same thing as presenting that which is not understandable.  The opposing legs can be understood independent of one another as propositions, and the propositions together can be understood as being a contradiction.  Otherwise no one could discern or point out a contradiction.  To say that something is necessary in one breath and then oppose it in the next breath by saying that same something is not necessary is a contradiction.

A logical example would be: A equals B in all cases and at the same time A does not equal B in all cases.

The example you keep bringing up is: Baptism is necessary in all cases and at the same time Baptism is not necessary in all cases.

No doubt it is a dangerous place to be in to say that one can see more than the Doctors and the Fathers of the Church, but I do not claim that.

Also, I have read your quotation from the Summa Theologica...and have read it many times in the past.  It is easy to see why people are confused over this "doctrine" regarding these "baptisms" as St. Thomas exposes them.  Firstly, one must always understand that he is not to discern the works of the Magisterium by works of lower authorities, but rather discern the works of lower authorities by the works of the Magisterium (one's Bishop when teaching authoritatively, the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium, and the solemn judgments of the Roman Pontiffs).  This is elementary use of the rule of faith.  Catholics are never asked validly to give the assent of faith to that which lies outside the boundaries of what the First Vatican Council defines.

Secondly, this exerpt from the Summa does not in any way contradict what I have been saying.  There is only one Sacrament of Baptism, I agree with St. Thomas.  St. Thomas expounds further that there is a doctrine of three "baptisms," only one being Sacramental, I agree.  St. Thomas allows that a man, not having received the sacrament, still can receive the sacramental effect from Christ's Passion, in so far as he is conformed to Christ by suffering for Him, I agree.  However, St. Thomas does not say that this sacramental effect is salutary.  He also does not qualify to what degree a person can be conformed to Christ by suffering for Him before the Sacrament is received, either.  This information, however, is supplied in the Council of Trent's sixth session On Justification in the section "on the manner of preparation."  In regard to what St. Thomas defines as baptisms of blood and repentance, he never once states that these are salutary outside of the Sacrament, nor that they can be placed on equal terms with the Sacrament.  He states merely that they can be called baptisms because to some degree and in some areas they show an equivalency to the effect of the Sacrament, but obviously not an equality to the Sacrament itself.

It is no doubt that the suffering of the thief could have taken the place of the Sacrament for him, as his suffering and death occurred before the promulgation of the Gospels.  He would be among those who actually died before Christ, but rose with him when he freed the souls of the just from hell, which action the Sacrament of Baptism symbolizes and effects in us spiritually if we receive the Sacrament with no impediments.  This is really elementary doctrine here.

Furthermore, suffering for the name of Christ can supply for what was lacking in Baptism.  This is basic.  If there were some impediments to the graces of one's Baptism, then this act of suffering for the name of Christ could infuse one with the theological virtues he should have received at his Baptism, but didn't...and obviously conversion of heart and faith which is conceived by hearing could remove the impediments to the grace of Baptism and allow the infusion of the Baptismal virtues.

It is no doubt that the other two "baptisms" are included in the Sacrament, as the manner of preparation shows in the sixth session of the Council of Trent.

Really, there is nothing to argue with here.  St. Thomas and the Council of Trent were teaching the same doctrine.

-- Nicole
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#58
I know this has already been posted on one of these baptism of desire threads, but because the issue has come up again, I thought it'd be helpful to re-post it.

The Catholic Encyclopedia on necessity:  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10733a.htm

"Again, in relation to the means necessary to salvation theologians divide necessity into necessity of means and necessity of precept.  In the first case the means is so necessary to salvation that without it (absolute necessity) or its substitute (relative necessity), even if the omission is guiltless, the end cannot be reached.  Thus faith and baptism of water are necessary by a necessity of means, the former absolutely, the latter relatively, for salvation.  In the second case, necessity is based on a positive precept, commanding something the omission of which, unless culpable, does not absolutely prevent the reaching of the end."

Ah, I see that another poster has already quoted The Catholic Encyclopedia, even on this very page... sorry, Parmandur.

The only other thing I can think of adding right now is how nonsensical it sounds that some of the very same Tridentine Fathers (who surely understood Session VII) could compose a catechism that so "obviously" contradicted the council which had ended only a year before.  ???

"On adults, however, the Church has not been accustomed to confer the Sacrament of Baptism at once, but has ordained that it be deferred for a certain time.  The delay is not attended with the same danger as in the case of infants, which we have already mentioned; should any unforeseen accident make it impossible for adults to be washed in the salutary waters, their intention and determination to receive Baptism and their repentance for past sins, will avail them to grace and righteousness."

http://www.cin.org/users/james/ebooks/ma...sacr-b.htm

And again, Pope St. Pius X himself (as did Pius XII*) taught baptism of desirehttp://www.cin.org/users/james/ebooks/ma...sacr-b.htm

"The absence of Baptism can be supplied by martyrdom, which is called Baptism of Blood, or by an act of perfect love of God, or of contrition, along with the desire, at least implicit, of Baptism, and this is called Baptism of Desire."

* http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/P12midwives.htm ("Above all, the state of grace is absolutely necessary at the moment of death without it salvation and supernatural happiness—the beatific vision of God—are impossible.  An act of love is sufficient for the adult to obtain sanctifying grace and to supply the lack of baptism; to the still unborn or newly born this way is not open.")


My apologies, yablabo; this post probably wasn't necessary, except that I saw your stated confusion on "necessity."  You ended your post well.  Have you ever had a chance to read Pope St. Pius V's Ex Omnibus Afflictionibus?  That bull rather definitively teaches the possibility of catechumens being justified (by perfect charity, which brings with it the remission of sins) before the actual reception of Baptism.
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#59
(01-17-2012, 11:41 PM)yablabo Wrote: Really, there is nothing to argue with here.  St. Thomas and the Council of Trent were teaching the same doctrine.

Absolutely.  And this is what the Holy Office maintained against contra Feeney.
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#60
(01-18-2012, 02:17 AM)Parmandur Wrote:
(01-17-2012, 11:41 PM)yablabo Wrote: Really, there is nothing to argue with here.  St. Thomas and the Council of Trent were teaching the same doctrine.

Absolutely.  And this is what the Holy Office maintained against contra Feeney.

What has Fr. Feeney to do with anything that I've stated?
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