Author Topic: Valid or invalid baptism?  (Read 1343 times)

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Offline Ladislaus

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Re: Valid or invalid baptism?
« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2017, 04:40:49 PM »
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  • You are wrong.  Water can be moved across the skin in such a way that it evaporates before it moves on it's own.

    You're kidding, right?

    Anonymous

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    Re: Valid or invalid baptism?
    « Reply #31 on: November 19, 2017, 04:42:19 PM »
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  • Exactly my point, that no one can ever be completely certain that a sacrament is valid.  One can only do their best and leave the rest to God.

    False.  There's a lot of borderline-insane scrupulosity among Traditional Catholics.


    Offline Nadir

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    Re: Valid or invalid baptism?
    « Reply #32 on: November 19, 2017, 04:45:54 PM »
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  • How can an outcome be certain when input is presumed?  Don't see it...
    Mith wrote "intention" not "input". If you read what's written rather than what you think, it would help you to "see it", don't you think?

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Valid or invalid baptism?
    « Reply #33 on: November 19, 2017, 06:07:10 PM »
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  • Mith wrote "intention" not "input". If you read what's written rather than what you think, it would help you to "see it", don't you think?

    I understand what the question means.  How can VALIDITY (outcome) be certain when the elements required for validity (input) are doubtful?  It's a valid question.  I disagree that intention cannot be known so I reject this question as founded on an illegitimate premise.  But this poster has a point that the validity cannot be certain if one cannot know intention with certainty.

    Anonymous

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    Re: Valid or invalid baptism?
    « Reply #34 on: November 19, 2017, 08:47:52 PM »
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  • Mith wrote "intention" not "input". If you read what's written rather than what you think, it would help you to "see it", don't you think?
    I was speaking in generalities.  Logic.  Science.  Facts.  Take your pick.
    An outcome cannot be certain when an input is presumed.


    Anonymous

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    Re: Valid or invalid baptism?
    « Reply #35 on: November 19, 2017, 08:53:56 PM »
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  • False.  There's a lot of borderline-insane scrupulosity among Traditional Catholics.
    I see that..

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Valid or invalid baptism?
    « Reply #36 on: November 20, 2017, 09:26:22 AM »
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  • If you take this "uncertainty" regarding the validity of Sacraments too far, people could run around their entire lives in fear and trembling, wondering whether any given Communion or Confession of theirs is valid ... or if they were validly baptized.  You can see people getting themselves conditionally baptized a couple dozen times until the probabilities are such that one of them must have been valid.

    Offline Mithrandylan

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    Re: Valid or invalid baptism?
    « Reply #37 on: November 20, 2017, 11:09:31 AM »
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  • I was speaking in generalities.  Logic.  Science.  Facts.  Take your pick.
    An outcome cannot be certain when an input is presumed.
    .
    Presumed=converted to morally certain.
    .
    To say intention is presumed is not to say "well, I'll never know, I'll just presume he intends to make a sacrament happen."  To say intention is presumed is to say "Given that men act as they think, and this man is acting in the only way by which it is possible to confect a given sacrament, I presume he intends to act this way, and therefore am morally certain that he has the required intention."
    .
    But to take the "invisibility" of intention and, from that, conclude we cannot be (morally) certain about intention is wrong.  If we are not morally certain about intention, then we can't partake in the sacrament. 
    .
    The reason that the language is that we presume intention is that intention is internal.  We can actually see/hear that matter and form are correct and present, so there is nothing to presume in regard to those elements.  We cannot see intention, we can only see indicators of it (mainly, the presence of matter and form correctly applied). But in the presence of those indicators, we presume that the intention is there, and that presumption itself is controvertible with moral certainty.  So don't let the language throw you off. 
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    Anonymous

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    Re: Valid or invalid baptism?
    « Reply #38 on: November 20, 2017, 11:43:53 AM »
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  • I haven’t studied sacramental theology much so I don’t know about what constitutes moral certainty about the intention of the minister but it seems to me that it should be theoretically impossible for a minister to deceive the public about his intention.  How can you have an intention to not do what the Church does when you have an intention to appear to be doing what the Church does?  The only way I can think of to do that is to not be a valid minister but only to appear to be a valid minister.  Otherwise, I don’t see how a valid minister could form the intention to deceive without actually having the intention to do what the Church does. It is possible to perform the ceremony without intending to do what the Church does but only if you publicly state your intention so that you aren’t actually doing what the Church does.  If you don’t state it publicly then you actually did do what the Church does and even if you didn’t initially intend to do what the Church does, you ended up doing what the Church does intentionally.

    Anonymous

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    Re: Valid or invalid baptism?
    « Reply #39 on: November 20, 2017, 11:49:21 AM »
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  • I guess you could say there are two intentions that need to be formed.  One is the intention to form the correct intention.  And the other is to perform the ceremony correctly.  If the ceremony is performed correctly then it is certain that the intention was also correct.  The only way the intention could not have been correct was if there was an external sign.

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Valid or invalid baptism?
    « Reply #40 on: November 20, 2017, 12:00:24 PM »
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  • I haven’t studied sacramental theology much so I don’t know about what constitutes moral certainty about the intention of the minister but it seems to me that it should be theoretically impossible for a minister to deceive the public about his intention.  How can you have an intention to not do what the Church does when you have an intention to appear to be doing what the Church does?  The only way I can think of to do that is to not be a valid minister but only to appear to be a valid minister.  Otherwise, I don’t see how a valid minister could form the intention to deceive without actually having the intention to do what the Church does. It is possible to perform the ceremony without intending to do what the Church does but only if you publicly state your intention so that you aren’t actually doing what the Church does.  If you don’t state it publicly then you actually did do what the Church does and even if you didn’t initially intend to do what the Church does, you ended up doing what the Church does intentionally.

    Agreed.  That's my thinking on the subject as well. 


    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Valid or invalid baptism?
    « Reply #41 on: November 20, 2017, 12:16:45 PM »
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  • Jaynek cited Cardinal Billot on another thread:


    Quote
    The intention of doing what the Church does, whatever that may be in 
    the opinion of him who administers the sacrament, is said to be required.
    Thus St. Thomas: "Although he who does not believe that baptism is a
    sacrament, or does not believe that it has any spiritual power, does not
    intend when he baptizes to confer a sacrament, nevertheless he intends to
    do what the Church does, even if he counts that as nothing; and because the
    Church intends to do something, therefore, as a consequence of this, he
    intends implicitly to do something, though not explicitly."[1] But it is
    not necessary that the minister think as the Church does, or that he not
    err concerning her teaching; for it is enough if his intention is towards
    something which is identically that which the Church intends, or, something
    which amounts to the same thing, for example, if he intends to do that
    which Christ instituted, or which is commanded in the Gospel, or which
    Christians are accustomed to do according to the prescription of their
    religion
    . (Thus it is apparent how even a Jew or a pagan can have an
    intention sufficient for baptizing. Consider for example a catechumen
    placed in a moment of necessity, who asks a pagan saying, "Do for me, I
    entreat you, this mercy, that you pour water on me, pronouncing the words,
    'I baptize you,' etc., with the intention of doing what I myself intend to
    receive according to the prescription of the law of Christians.)



    Offline Mithrandylan

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    Re: Valid or invalid baptism?
    « Reply #42 on: November 20, 2017, 12:22:36 PM »
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  • Good stuff from Billot.  Sounds just like what McHugh and Callan say (who I suppose would've lifted it from Billot), as they use the expression (when referring to intention) of a minister "intending to do what Christ commanded/instituted."

    I really like that expression because it's clearer than intending to "do what the Church does," while at the same time making it clear enough that such an intention can include error about the thing that Christ instituted.
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    Offline Mithrandylan

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    Re: Valid or invalid baptism?
    « Reply #43 on: November 20, 2017, 12:31:23 PM »
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  • I haven’t studied sacramental theology much so I don’t know about what constitutes moral certainty about the intention of the minister but it seems to me that it should be theoretically impossible for a minister to deceive the public about his intention.  How can you have an intention to not do what the Church does when you have an intention to appear to be doing what the Church does?  The only way I can think of to do that is to not be a valid minister but only to appear to be a valid minister.  Otherwise, I don’t see how a valid minister could form the intention to deceive without actually having the intention to do what the Church does. It is possible to perform the ceremony without intending to do what the Church does but only if you publicly state your intention so that you aren’t actually doing what the Church does.  If you don’t state it publicly then you actually did do what the Church does and even if you didn’t initially intend to do what the Church does, you ended up doing what the Church does intentionally.
    .
    That's an interesting way of looking at it, although I don't think sacramentalists look at it that way.  They always admit the possibility of sacrament simulation (something most moralists at least touch on).  Theoretically it is certainly possible, and grievously sinful, of course.  Maybe a decent way to think about how it can be possible is to think about the Church's marriage laws.  One cause for nullity of marriage is when consent is lacking-- not the Novus Ordo "they didn't know what they were getting into" type way, but in the real and substantial way: someone who says "I do" while very explicitly, at the same time, saying "I don't" internally. 
    .
    Now, marriage is a sacrament, the validity of which is the responsibility of the marrying couple.  Withholding intent to marry is synonymous with withholding intent to baptize or any other sacrament.  And the Church recognizes, indeed even builds into her law, the possibility for intent to be explicitly withheld despite the outward appearance.  So I think we can't get very far contending that it is theoretically impossible to withhold intent.
    .
    Of course, in the moral order of things, one shouldn't be scrupulous about such "possibilities."  The reason these "possibilities" even cause problems to begin with is that modern man, including modern Catholic man, is accustomed to thinking materialistically-- he thinks that there are things which are 100% certain (like the laws of nature or the laws of God) and then there are varying degrees of "not 100% certain."  But that's not how Catholic theologians have ever viewed certainty, as though it were a composite on a quantitative scale.  That's a modern corruption, and it might be suitable for empirical sciences, but it is not suitable for anything else, including daily-decisions of even the mundane variety.  Moral certainty is true certainty.  It's not 99%, 100%, 45%, etc. "type" certainty.   We should try our best to disavow ourselves of thinking of certainties in this way.
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    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Valid or invalid baptism?
    « Reply #44 on: November 20, 2017, 12:37:50 PM »
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  • Good stuff from Billot.  Sounds just like what McHugh and Callan say (who I suppose would've lifted it from Billot), as they use the expression (when referring to intention) of a minister "intending to do what Christ commanded/instituted."

    I really like that expression because it's clearer than intending to "do what the Church does," while at the same time making it clear enough that such an intention can include error about the thing that Christ instituted.

    Indeed.  Otherwise we'd be at the mercy of any given heterodox priest.

     

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