Baptism of Desire – explained by Archbishop Lefebvre.
#1
This is by Archbishop Lefebvre, but is not a SSPX vs anyone discussion.  Vox, please move this if you think this should be under the Diocesan vs SSPX ... etc subforum.

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One of the controversial teachings of the Catholic Church is “Outside the Church there is no salvation”, or, in Latin, “Extra ecclesiam nulla salus”.  It is controversial, yet completely true.

However, does that mean that everyone who is not visibly part of the Catholic Church is condemned to hell?  No.

The Church recognizes three types of Baptism, which is the sacrament in which people join the Church (which removes Original Sin).  The three types of Baptism are 1) Baptism of water (the standard Baptism), 2) Baptism of blood (those who die for Christ and His Church, despite not being baptized by water), and 3) Baptism of desire.

I am not the best at explaining Baptism of desire.  However, while reading “Open Letter to Confused Catholics”, in the chapter on ecumenism in which Archbishop Lefebvre defends the traditional teachings of the Church on the necessity of being Catholic for salvation, His Excellency does a wonderful job of explaining Baptism of desire.  Here is a part of it:

Quote:Does that mean that no Protestant, no Muslim, no Buddhist or animist will be saved?  No, it would be a second error to think that.  Those who cry for intolerance in interpreting St. Cyprian’s formula, “Outside the Church there is no salvation,” also reject the Creed, “I confess one baptism for the remission of sins,” and are insufficiently instructed as to what baptism is.  There are three ways of receiving it: the baptism of water; the baptism of blood (that of the martyrs who confessed the faith while still catechumens) and baptism of desire.

Baptism of desire can be explicit.  Many times in Africa I heard one of our catechumens say to me, “Father, baptize me straightaway because if I die before you come again, I shall go to hell.”  I told him, “No, if you have no mortal sin on your conscience and if you desire baptism, then you already have the grace in you.”

The doctrine of the Church also recognizes implicit-baptism of desire.  This consists in doing the will of God.  God knows all men and He knows that amongst Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists and in the whole of humanity there are men of good will.  They receive the grace of baptism without knowing it, but in an effective way.  In this way they become part of the Church.

The error consists in thinking that they are saved by their religion.  They are saved in their religion but not by it.  There is no Buddhist church in heaven, no Protestant church.  This is perhaps hard to accept, but it is the truth.  I did not found the Church, but rather Our Lord the Son of God.  As priests we must state the truth.

This passage from the book helped me to more fully understand Baptism of desire.  I hope it helps others as well :)

-Martin
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#2
I've always had trouble with an implicit baptism of desire that did not lead at some point to the person making an explicit act of faith in Jesus Christ. Ive always thought that those pagans, Jews,Muslims or whatever who are on their deathbed after living a life without mortal sin and following their conscience would recieve some sort of interior grace that would almost compel them to explicitly affirm Jesus Christ. This could happen in a hidden way unknown to those outside observers, but to the person dying it would be some sort of interior image, feeling or intuition of the Presence of Jesus, and that accepting Him is necessary.

I've a lot of trouble with the notion that someone could live and die without ever having been given this opportunity being able to be saved.  Jesus can come to a pagan in a hidden way on the pagans deathbed, but He will come as Jesus, not as Pan, Osiris, Amida Buddha or the great void.
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#3
(04-05-2015, 02:30 PM)mlwalker1972 Wrote: This is by Archbishop Lefebvre, but is not a SSPX vs anyone discussion.  Vox, please move this if you think this should be under the Diocesan vs SSPX ... etc subforum.

-

One of the controversial teachings of the Catholic Church is “Outside the Church there is no salvation”, or, in Latin, “Extra ecclesiam nulla salus”.  It is controversial, yet completely true.

However, does that mean that everyone who is not visibly part of the Catholic Church is condemned to hell?  No.

The Church recognizes three types of Baptism, which is the sacrament in which people join the Church (which removes Original Sin).  The three types of Baptism are 1) Baptism of water (the standard Baptism), 2) Baptism of blood (those who die for Christ and His Church, despite not being baptized by water), and 3) Baptism of desire.

I am not the best at explaining Baptism of desire.  However, while reading “Open Letter to Confused Catholics”, in the chapter on ecumenism in which Archbishop Lefebvre defends the traditional teachings of the Church on the necessity of being Catholic for salvation, His Excellency does a wonderful job of explaining Baptism of desire.  Here is a part of it:

Quote:Does that mean that no Protestant, no Muslim, no Buddhist or animist will be saved?  No, it would be a second error to think that.  Those who cry for intolerance in interpreting St. Cyprian’s formula, “Outside the Church there is no salvation,” also reject the Creed, “I confess one baptism for the remission of sins,” and are insufficiently instructed as to what baptism is.  There are three ways of receiving it: the baptism of water; the baptism of blood (that of the martyrs who confessed the faith while still catechumens) and baptism of desire.

Baptism of desire can be explicit.  Many times in Africa I heard one of our catechumens say to me, “Father, baptize me straightaway because if I die before you come again, I shall go to hell.”  I told him, “No, if you have no mortal sin on your conscience and if you desire baptism, then you already have the grace in you.”

The doctrine of the Church also recognizes implicit-baptism of desire.  This consists in doing the will of God.  God knows all men and He knows that amongst Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists and in the whole of humanity there are men of good will.  They receive the grace of baptism without knowing it, but in an effective way.  In this way they become part of the Church.

The error consists in thinking that they are saved by their religion.  They are saved in their religion but not by it.  There is no Buddhist church in heaven, no Protestant church.  This is perhaps hard to accept, but it is the truth.  I did not found the Church, but rather Our Lord the Son of God.  As priests we must state the truth.

This passage from the book helped me to more fully understand Baptism of desire.  I hope it helps others as well :)

-Martin

it does, but i would further the question on  “No, if you have no mortal sin on your conscience and if you desire baptism, then you already have the grace in you.”

Ive never met a person who didnt think that murder was a very serious crime.  how they labeled it not withstanding.  "is murder a serious crime?"  I ask? "Yes".  How serious of a crime?  "extremely"..

so a inmate- convicted of first degree murder, death row.    He knows that what he did is extremely serious in nature.    he may no know it as the term "mortal", but he darn sure knows its no where near the category of "stealing a candy bar"... he knew it was wrong, he planed to do it,

how does he rid the mortal sin of his conscience? 
1) priest/confession
2) ???
3) ???

even still, do we merely admit its possible that he attained eternal life?  or that " he did" (barring any other mortal sins)
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#4
I'm getting that book in a few days. Hopefully I come out a bit more enlightened from it.
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#5
(04-05-2015, 06:41 PM)medievalman86 Wrote: so a inmate- convicted of first degree murder, death row.    He knows that what he did is extremely serious in nature.    he may no know it as the term "mortal", but he darn sure knows its no where near the category of "stealing a candy bar"... he knew it was wrong, he planed to do it,

how does he rid the mortal sin of his conscience? 
1) priest/confession
2) ???
3) ???

even still, do we merely admit its possible that he attained eternal life?  or that " he did" (barring any other mortal sins)

By making an act of perfect contrition, in which the contrition comes out of love of God rather than fear of hell or any lesser reason which would suffice for contrition in the confessional.  See the Catechism of the Catholic Church, NN. 1451-1453.
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#6
(04-05-2015, 10:27 PM)Steven Wrote:
(04-05-2015, 06:41 PM)medievalman86 Wrote: so a inmate- convicted of first degree murder, death row.    He knows that what he did is extremely serious in nature.    he may no know it as the term "mortal", but he darn sure knows its no where near the category of "stealing a candy bar"... he knew it was wrong, he planed to do it,

how does he rid the mortal sin of his conscience? 
1) priest/confession
2) ???
3) ???

even still, do we merely admit its possible that he attained eternal life?  or that " he did" (barring any other mortal sins)

By making an act of perfect contrition, in which the contrition comes out of love of God rather than fear of hell or any lesser reason which would suffice for contrition in the confessional. 

ah, perfect contrition slipped my mind.  we could only hope in the example that his contrition was because of love of God, and not because he got caught...

how many cookies did i ever steal from the cookie jar, only ever sorry that i was caught  :grin:

seems like a much safer choice is just to be catholic....
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#7
(04-05-2015, 02:30 PM)mlwalker1972 Wrote: The Church recognizes three types of Baptism, which is the sacrament in which people join the Church (which removes Original Sin).  The three types of Baptism are 1) Baptism of water (the standard Baptism), 2) Baptism of blood (those who die for Christ and His Church, despite not being baptized by water), and 3) Baptism of desire.

That's not exactly correct.

The Church, as her Creed says : Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum.

There is only one Baptism, meaning that there is only one kind of Baptism that remits sin, namely, Sacramental Baptism, or as otherwise called "Baptism of Water".

The other concepts -- Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood -- are only analogies. These are called "baptism" because they bring about a similar effect, but like any analogy they limp except in this points of comparison.

"Baptism of Desire" is the implicit or explicit desire for Baptism accompanied by Charity, Faith and perfect contrition for sins. Because Sanctifying Grace and supernatural Charity in us men never exist apart, such a soul is given Sanctifying Grace. Should such a one die without Sacramental Baptism, since he is in the state of grace, will be saved. This only comes about by some special actual grace of God disposing a soul this way.

"Baptism of Blood" is a similar situation, but where the act of Charity is martyrdom for the Faith. Likewise, because such a one has Charity, Faith and perfect contrition, he has Sanctifying Grace, and thus in the state of grace, dying so he will be saved. Again, this only comes by way of some special grace of God, disposing the soul and such conditions.

Sacramental Baptism infuses Faith, Charity, and Sanctifying Grace, it causes these things in the soul. It also causes a special character to be permanently imprinted on the soul. This Baptismal Character is what makes one a member of the Church, properly speaking. A soul which desires Baptism but cannot receive it, even if in the state of grace, is not a member of the Church. A un-baptized soul that dies a martyr for the Faith may be in the state of grace, but is not a member of the Church. These could be called members of the Communion of Saints, but not of the Church. The two are distinct, even if very closely related.

The analogy concerns the fact that all three effect the sanctification of the soul in question. "Baptism of Blood" or "of Desire" do not cause Charity, Faith and perfect contrition, but follow from these already existing in a soul by a special grace of God, without giving the Baptismal character. Sacramental Baptism actually confers these gifts, as well as the character, making one sanctified and a member of the Church.

So, in short, your right that the Church recognizes several ways God can sanctify souls, but she recognizes only one means to become a member of the Church -- the reception of Sacramental Baptism.
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#8
(04-05-2015, 03:35 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: I've always had trouble with an implicit baptism of desire that did not lead at some point to the person making an explicit act of faith in Jesus Christ.

The desire for baptism can be explicit or implicit -- A soul can know about Baptism and want it or know about God and want to do whatever God wills were it possible.

The Faith, though, must be explicit, at least in some way. Faith requires one give credence to some fact, based on the authority of the one telling you. You can't have faith but have no object of that Faith -- a "belief" in nothing. You must believe in at least some thing.

The theological problem is what is the minimum necessary explicit Faith. That's an open, heavily-debated question. Various theologians have very different opinions, ranging from explicit acceptance of the principle mysteries of the New Testament (Incarnation & Redemption) to little more than the precepts of natural religion.

It probably cannot be answered with certainty. Catholic theology and philosophical consistency demand some minimum explicit Faith, however, even if we do not know what is the minimum.

(04-05-2015, 03:35 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: I've a lot of trouble with the notion that someone could live and die without ever having been given this opportunity being able to be saved.

God gives every soul sufficient graces to be saved, otherwise we have to suppose a God who willfully wishes the damnation of certain souls.

Souls which are not saved fail to accept and cooperate with the graces necessary to effect their salvation. They were given enough, perhaps more than enough, but refused these. In His Mercy, God may withhold further graces in order to lessen the later suffering of a soul which he knows will obstinately refuse Him. When it is judged it will suffer more for each refused grace.
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