I suppose now is a good time to add the second part of my letter to Father. I titled this one Common Objections to the Necessity of Baptism:
1. Proposed; The Council of Trent supports BOD in Session VII, the canons on the sacraments in general, Canon 4. (Dnz 847). Answer; This canon is two exclusive propositions which are so closely related they are joined with a conjunction and share a common qualifier but they are different enough to have differing subjects and the predicate of the second is more precise. In their logical form they are quite simple, the first being; all those saved are participants in the sacraments (all S are P) and the second is; all those justified are willing participants in the sacraments (all S are P) and of course both are qualified such that each person participates in a different number of the sacraments. The only way this can support BOD is that either reception of the sacraments or the desire to receive the sacraments is sufficient for justification which changes the second proposition into some of those justified are not participants in the sacraments (some S are not P) which makes the two propositions contradictories, or a logical fallacy. In other words, Trent is teaching that the sacraments are necessary for salvation and then clarifying that the form, matter, and intent are necessary for justification (basic Catholic theology concerning the sacraments of baptism and penance) but the BOD proponent says that the sacraments are necessary for salvation and then contradicts himself and says that the sacraments are not necessary for justification which is of course that prerequisite first step of our salvation. Remember here that St. Thomas Aquinas (and Fr Laisney) state that BOD is not a sacrament. (In defense of the Angelic Doctor I must state that he lived before Trent.) The truth is, this canon from Trent anathematizes the possibility of BOD and those who use this to support BOD are being illogical either from ignorance or dishonesty.
2. Proposed; The Council of Trent in Session VI, the Decree on Justification; chapter 4 supports BOD. First I must state that the Dnz 796 of this decree is a willful mistranslation to favor BOD and that is a serious sin. Knowing this and still using it is a deception, and depending on circumstances (who your trying to deceive) could be a serious sin as well. The latin word sine which means ‘without’ in English and has been mistranslated to ‘except through’ giving a different meaning. Now on to the meaning. The fathers at Trent were battling the practice of forced baptisms, most recently in Spain, which is why they defined the remedy for original sin as they did. Trent states that justification cannot be effected without the laver of regeneration or the will to receive it. Notice that in using the term “laver of regeneration” they specify the form and matter alone and they did not say baptism or the will thereof. This is because they are stating unequivocally, that form, matter, and intent are necessary for the sacrament. The fathers then go on to quote John 3:5 as support and command us to take it literally. Think of any two things you know go together and then substitute them into the sentence and it makes perfect sense. A man cannot be married without a woman or the will to marry her. The BOD of desire proponent claims this chapter means either the laver of regeneration or the will to receive it are sufficient for justification so that the will alone (votum means will not desire) is sufficient but this means then that the laver alone, absent the will, is sufficient and this is falsified in the very next chapter in Trent. Rather than supporting BOD this chapter in Trent is actually denies its possibility.
3. Proposed; the Martyrology supports BOB. This is an argument of necessity, ie these stories don’t prove BOB directly but because there are no other possibilities, BOB must necessarily exist. All I have to do here is introduce other possibilities. First of all, I insist we use the definition of Baptism of Blood as Christ Himself used it (Mark 10:38), the martyrdom of a baptized Christian, so we must understand that when the early church mentions the Baptism of Blood we know they may be speaking of initiation into martyrdom and may not necessarily be mistaken for justification. Next, the term catechumen does not always mean unbaptized as the early church would occasionally baptize them in times of persecution. Pope St. Siricius and +St. Ambrose testify to this. Finally, we must concede some of the authors of the stories are simply mistaken, such as the Venerable Bede and his relaying of the story of St. Albanus and his companion. As St. Albanus ascended the hill he stopped to pray and a spring of water was miraculously produced. Here we see there is means (water and a minister), motive (St. Albanus is a Christian who knows baptism is a necessity for salvation), and opportunity (the soldiers allowed a stoppage in the process of execution). Means, motive, and opportunity is proof enough beyond a reasonable doubt for any prosecution. The same goes for the 40 martyrs on the frozen lake. The means (there is another person available to minister to the soldier and they are on a lake), motive (they are Christians who believe in the necessity of baptism), and opportunity (freezing to death takes time) are all supplied by Providence which is why St. Augustine says “Perish the thought that a person predestined to eternal life could be allowed to end this life without the sacrament of the mediator”. In sum, these stories are sometimes misunderstood by us or by their own authors, in which case proponents of BOB detract from the author’s reputation by continuing their error.
4. Proposed; the catechisms teach BOB and BOD. Answer; Catechisms are not protected by infallibility. Introduction XXXVI from the Fifteenth Printing of The Catechism of the Council of Trent states: “Official documents have occasionally been issued by Popes to explain certain points of Catholic teaching to individuals, or to local Christian communities; whereas the Roman Catechism comprises practically the whole body of Christian doctrine, and is addressed to the whole Church. Its teaching is not infallible; but it holds a place between approved catechisms and what is de fide.”
Since catechisms are not infallible, there is a possibility that erroneous theories such as baptism of desire and baptism of blood could make their way into them. Moreover, the original edition of The Catechism of the Council of Trent did not contain baptism of blood or baptism of desire. This is attested to by Fr. Wathen in his work Who Shall Ascend (p.225), where he states, “In the original edition of The Catechism, there is no mention of either term. In fact, one will not find the insertion of these terms [baptisms of desire and blood] until the late nineteenth century.” Modernists (Modernism is the synthesis of all error) have recently inserted these ideas into the catechisms and other Catholic publications like the Denzinger with an eye to the end goal of attacking the dogma of no salvation outside the Catholic Church. In their ancient form, BOD and BOB concerned only the catechumen and as such they are a theological speculation that is in error only of only a minor theological note, but in their modern form, that of the “anonymous Christian” variety by Karl Rahner, the idea of implicit desire was introduced and taken to heretical extremes, ie baptism doesn’t even have to be desired to place one in the Church. The 1949 Letter of the Holy Office, which may well actually be faked by +Cushing, has been elevated to dogma, placed in the Denzinger, and is even used in Vatican 2 as support for its worst heresy. If one holds the idea of implicit BOD then one cannot argue against Vatican 2’s new ecclesiology, one must respect as deeply profound John Paul 2’s subsistence theology, and one cannot condemn the interfaith ceremonies of Assisi.
5. Proposed; the condemnations of Michael du Bay supports BOD (Dnz 1031 & 1033). Answer; concerning the first of these two, St Pius V has stated that perfect and sincere charity cannot be in catechumens or in penitents without the remission of sins. The BOD proponent presupposes the catechumen can have perfect and sincere charity and thereby gain the remission of sin but this position falsifies itself as it renders the condemnation meaningless. If perfect and sincere charity remits sin in the catechumen (BOD), to state that they cannot have it in them without the remission of sin is useless. No, rather, St. Pius is stating that the catechumen cannot have perfect and sincere charity until the remission of his sin, ie baptism; the pope is actually condemning an operating principle of BOD. Concerning the second, which is much like the above condemnation but deals more specifically about the catechumen and his justification, St. Pius lays out du Bay’s argument for the justification of the catechumen prior to the remission of sin. In order to clarify what du Bay means by the catechumen “fulfills the law through charity” St. Pius interjects the true statement “which is only received in the laver of baptism”. The BOD proponent misreads this and claims that the pope is condemning the idea that the law is only fulfilled through baptism but that reading makes the whole passage unintelligible. The whole thing is one single sentence, one thought, with the reason for the condemnation built right into it as a clarification of the false position. Pope St Pius V is actually condemning the idea of BOD because fulfillment of the law can only be through the sacrament of baptism.
6. Proposed; the unanimous consent of the Church Fathers proves BOD. Answer; this argument easily falls to anyone with a minimal amount of study on the topic. Pope St Siricius held no possibility of BOD or BOB when he bound all the bishops of the church by the oldest surviving papal decree to baptize any catechumen who asked for it if they were in any danger, including persecution, because without it “every single one of them exiting this world would lose both the kingdom and life”. Pope St Leo the Great, when teaching that sanctification is only through the sprinkling of Christ’s blood wrote definitively to the Council of Chalcedon “the spirit of sanctification and the blood of redemption and the water of baptism. These three are one and remain indivisible. None of them is separable from its link with the others”. Along these same lines St Ambrose says; “You have read, therefore, that the three witnesses in Baptism are one: water, blood, and the spirit; and if you withdraw any one of these, the Sacrament of Baptism is not valid. For what is water without the cross of Christ? A common element without any sacramental effect. Nor on the other hand is there any mystery of regeneration without water: for ‘unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.’ [John 3:5] Even a catechumen believes in the cross of the Lord Jesus, by which also he is signed; but, unless he be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, he cannot receive the remission of sins nor be recipient of the gift of spiritual grace.” And again; "then you should realize that not even martyrs are crowned if they are catechumens, for they are not crowned if they are not initiated." And again; “… no one ascends into the kingdom of heaven except through the Sacrament of Baptism.” And again; “’Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.’ No one is excepted: not the infant, not the one prevented by some necessity. They may, however, have an undisclosed exemption from punishments; but I do not know whether they can have the honor of the kingdom.” The BOD proponent will point to St Ambrose’ funeral oration for the murdered emperor Valentinian as proof of BOD but a critical look at the oration itself, balanced with the other writings of St Ambrose show quite the contrary. During the oration, St Ambrose assured the grieving crowd that Valentinian received what he asked for. This does allow for a BOD but can’t prove it because another possibility exists and is more likely. St Ambrose was privy to the circumstances of Valentinian’s murder, knew the emperor was actually baptized before it happened but because it was a state secret, St Ambrose could not reveal he knew because he would then be forced to reveal the identity of the murderers and a civil war could ensue. Also remarkable is that the faithful were mourning Valentinian because they thought he was not baptized and therefore lost. They would not believe this way if St Ambrose had previously taught them BOD. Also, in St Augustine’s earlier work that promoted BOD, he never mentions St Ambrose, his very mentor, as support for the BOD position. St Augustine in his early writing does propose BOD but later in his life he leaves no possibility of it. In fact, the arch modernist, Mr Anonymous Christian himself, Karl Rahner says, “Fathers such as Gregory Nazianzen and Gregory of Nyssa deny altogether the justifying power of love or of the desire for baptism. Hence it will be impossible to speak of a consensus dogmaticus in the early Church regarding the possibility of salvation for the non-baptized, and especially for someone who is not even a catechumen. In fact, even St. Augustine, in his last (anti-pelagian) period, no longer maintained the possibility of a baptism by desire.” St Augustine says, “How many rascals are saved by being baptized on their deathbeds? And how many sincere catechumens die unbaptized, and are thus lost forever! ...When we shall have come into the sight of God, we shall behold the equity of His justice. At that time, no one will say: Why did He help this one and not that one? Why was this man led by God's direction to be baptized, while that man, though he lived properly as a catechumen, was killed in a sudden disaster and not baptized? Look for rewards, and you will find nothing but punishments! ….For of what use would repentance be, even before Baptism, if Baptism did not follow? ...No matter what progress a catechumen may make, he still carries the burden of iniquity, and it is not taken away until he has been baptized.” Also, : “What is the Baptism of Christ? A washing in the word. Take away the water, and there is no Baptism. It is, then, by water, the visible and outward sign of grace, and by the Spirit, Who produces the inward gift of grace, which cancels the bond of sin and restores God’s gift to human nature, that the man who was born solely of Adam in the first place is afterwards re-born solely in Christ.” Here I will quote St Augustine again as a better written conclusion then I could ever write, “If you wish to be a Catholic, do not venture to believe, to say, or to teach that they whom the Lord has predestinated for baptism can be snatched away from his predestination, or die before that has been accomplished in them which the Almighty has predestined.’ There is in such a dogma more power than I can tell assigned to chances in opposition to the power of God, by the occurrence of which casualties that which He has predestinated is not permitted to come to pass. It is hardly necessary to spend time or earnest words in cautioning the man who takes up with this error against the absolute vortex of confusion into which it will absorb him, when I shall sufficiently meet the case if I briefly warn the prudent man who is ready to receive correction against the threatening mischief.” Amen.
Thank you for your time and may God bless,