Baptism of Desire: Avoiding the Red Herrings on a Nearby Thread
(01-18-2012, 01:56 AM)SouthpawLink Wrote: 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:

"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."

And again, Pope St. Pius X himself (as did Pius XII*) taught baptism of desire

"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."

* ("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.

In regard to what you quoted from the Catholic Encyclopedia at New Advent: there is no such thing as an equal substitute for the Sacrament of Baptism...even St. Thomas does not equate his baptisms of repentance and blood with the Sacrament saying that they can take the place of it, but rather that by individual conformity (in whatever degree) to the Passion of His Divine Majesty, there is some degree of "sacramental effect."  This hardly means that the Sacrament is effected without the Sacrament or that the individual receives the infusion of the theological virtues without the Sacrament or that the other two baptisms are salutary without the individual having received the Sacrament.  There being no equal substitute for the Sacrament eliminates the discussion of what is called relative necessity here.

Once again, the work of St. Borromeo and the like does not contradict the teachings of the Council; availing to grace and righteousness does not equate salvation.  There is much grace available to the unbaptized; it is called actual grace and prevenient grace when it is allowing a person to be directed toward entry into the Church.  This is hardly saying that the individuals who die in this unbaptized state (i.e., that of being a child of wrath, a state of original sin which alone is enough to damn a person) obtain a place in the Beatific Vision...and is therefore hardly contradicting Trent.

Also, Pope St. Pius X did not teach these notions of baptisms of desire and blood.  The Catechism of Christian Doctrine was written by the man who was Bishop of Mantua, not written as Pope.  Also, I am pretty sure that the source from which you got the quotation of #17 on the necessity of Baptism is the same as EWTN's source, which is not the Catechism of Christian Doctrine, but rather a work of another author, Compendium of Catechetical Instruction by the Right Reverend Monsignor John Hagan.  There have been several subsequent published works, both in Italian and English, which have all been given the title Catechism of Christian Doctrine which contain differing amounts of information, not all containing the quotation which you have given above.  According to EWTN's website, this Catechism was never translated in its entirety into english and was never bound by the Pope upon the Universal Church, but instead was used as a local Catechism.  To call this book the Catechism of Pope St. Pius X, as many do, is to afford this work a misnomer.

The address to midwives does not appear to be a universal document, as it is directed to a select group of people, so this can be understood to be the Pope's exercise of his ordinary magisterium.  The Pope can err in his teaching office as Ordinary...and if some ordinary teaching of his contradicts the Roman Pontiffs in their infallible magisterium, then the ordinary teaching is easily seen as error.  However, I wouldn't wonder if this is merely an issue of translational error and not doctrinal error.

I have studied Ex Omnibus Afflictionibus much.  All of the statements listed with numbers are positive statement of error, not positive statement of truth.  All four of these statements regarding catechumens are being condemned by the Pope in the bull as error:

Quote:18. The works of the catechumens, as faith and penance performed before the remission of sins, are merits for eternal life; and they will not attain this life, unless the impediments of preceding faults are first taken away.

31. Perfect and sincere charity, which is from a "pure heart and good conscience and a faith not feigned" [1 Tim. 1:5], can be in catechumens as well as in penitents without the remission of sins.

33. A catechumen lives justly and rightly and holily, and observes the commandments of God, and fulfills the law through charity, which is only received in the laver of baptism, before the remission of sins has been obtained.

43. In persons who are penitent before the sacrament of absolution, and in catechumens before baptism, there is true justification, yet separated from the remission of sin.

-- Nicole

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Re: Baptism of Desire: Avoiding the Red Herrings on a Nearby Thread - by yablabo - 01-18-2012, 08:49 AM

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