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How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

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How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Guest on Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:29 pm

I have never really looked for it but I have been looking all day, and am still searching.

How many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire (BoD)?

Not Baptism of Blood (BoB) which is similar but different.

Just Baptism of Desire how many?

I am a little shocked so far. I have found 2 Ambrose and Augustine. I think Justin Martyr did too for pagans before Christ but I read it a long time ago and I am still looking could anybody help?

I mean I have been asked before how many denied BoD but I never thought to look at how many supported it.

Could it be only 2? And I am not so sure Ambrose supported it at all either. Very weak evidence there.

help!

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  MRyan on Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:22 pm

duckbill wrote:I have never really looked for it but I have been looking all day, and am still searching.
Really?

duckbill wrote:How many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire (BoD)?
We’ll get to that in a minute, but let me ask you this; why would you expect to see BoD being taught by the early Church anyway? We’re talking about an Ark just getting its sea legs and not exactly equipped or concerned with ironing out the subtle distinctions the Church would only later expound upon (and not just on Baptism).

Besides, the Church has its hands full with not only getting organized, but with squashing the various and virulent forms of heresies running rampant at the time (and for several centuries thence) all having to do with the divine-human Nature of Christ. Those heresies would just not die.

When the age of the martyrs kicked-in full throttle, we would begin to see BoD being taught more and more because of its logical extension to BoB.

duckbill wrote:Not Baptism of Blood (BoB) which is similar but different.
No, they’re not, not where it really matters when we consider the essential virtue that is common to both - Charity; without which there can be no unity with our Lord and no living faith:

"God is charity and he that abideth in charity abideth in God and God in him."[150] The effect of this charity - such would seem to be God's law - is to compel Him to enter into our loving hearts to return love for love, as He said: "If anyone love me..., my Father will love him and we will come to him and will make our abode with him."[151] Charity then, more than any other virtue binds us closely to Christ. (Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi, #73)

While it is true there is a distinction between BoD and BoB with respect to the merit received in the spilling of one’s blood for Christ, we must remember that only the Blood of our Lord is meritorious and that unless one is already justified in our Lord by charity, the shedding of one's blood can merit nothing.

Charity is the root and essence of both BoB and BoD; with the former being a more perfect manifestation of the latter.

duckbill wrote:Just Baptism of Desire how many?

I am a little shocked so far. I have found 2 Ambrose and Augustine. I think Justin Martyr did too for pagans before Christ but I read it a long time ago and I am still looking could anybody help?

I mean I have been asked before how many denied BoD but I never thought to look at how many supported it.

Could it be only 2? And I am not so sure Ambrose supported it at all either. Very weak evidence there.

help!

We can add Tertullian. And, already by the 3rd century, St. Cyprian, who was the first Father that I am aware of ever to articulate the dogma of EENS, and was also the first Father to articulate the theological principles that form the basis for both BoB and BoD, as we read in his letter No. 73 to Jubaianus:

§22. On which place some, as if by human reasoning they were able to make void the truth of the Gospel declaration, object to us the case of catechumens; asking if any one of these, before he is baptized in the Church, should be apprehended and slain on confession of the name [of Christ], whether he would lose the hope of salvation and the reward of confession, because he had not previously been born again of water? Let men of this kind, who are aiders and favorers of heretics, know therefore, first, that those catechumens hold the sound faith and truth of the Church, and advance from the divine camp to do battle with the devil, with a full and sincere acknowledgment of God the Father, and of Christ, and of the Holy Ghost; then, that they certainly are not deprived of the sacrament of baptism who are baptized with the most glorious and greatest baptism of blood, concerning which the Lord also said, that He had "another baptism to be baptized with" (Lk. 12:50). But the same Lord declares in the Gospel, that those who are baptized in their own blood, and sanctified by suffering, are perfected, and obtain the grace of the divine promise, when He speaks to the thief believing and confessing in His very passion, and promises that he should be with Himself in paradise. Wherefore we who are set over the faith and truth ought not to deceive and mislead those who come to the faith and truth, and repent, and beg that their sins should be remitted to them; but to instruct them when corrected by us, and reformed for the kingdom of heaven by celestial discipline.

§23. But some one says, "What, then, shall become of those who in past times, coming from heresy to the Church, were received without baptism?" The Lord is able by His mercy to give indulgence, and not to separate from the gifts of His Church those who by simplicity were admitted into the Church, and in the Church have fallen asleep.
Wow, did you catch that? “…men of this kind [who deny BoB] … are aiders and favorers of heretics”.

Ouch!

St. Aquinas certainly believed that Sts. Augustine and Ambrose “supported” BoD, and cites Ambrose here (in his oration at the funeral of Valentinian II):

But I hear you lamenting because he had not received the sacraments of Baptism. Tell me, what else could we have, except the will to it, the asking for it? He too had just now this desire; and after he came into Italy it was begun, and a short time ago he signified that he wished to be baptized by me. Did he, then, not have the grace which he desired? Did he not have what he eagerly sought? Certainly, because he sought it, he received it (see Mt. 7:7). Otherwise, why would it be written: "But the just man, if he be prevented with death, shall be in rest (Wis. 4:7)?" (Enchiridion Patristicum, No. 1328)

So the question, Duckbill, of how many early Church Fathers were in favor of BoD is not really relevant, for it was not a doctrine for which they would have cause to worry about; but we do see it being taught by St. Cyprian already in the 3rd century, and it would pick up speed from there. St. Cyprian is important because he also believed that anyone baptized in a heretical sect would require a re-baptism upon his conversion. He even did battle with Pope Stephen I over this and refused, as far as I can tell, to recant. However, other Fathers and Saints such as Augustine would recognize the error of Cyprian and make comment on it.

But, I am not aware of any such negative commentary concerning St. Cyprian's writings on BoB/BoD; nay, just the opposite, and the reason should be obvious.
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Guest on Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:33 pm



Just desire
I said NO BLOOD! Very Happy

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  tornpage on Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:54 pm

How many Church Fathers supported BOD? Is this a mental teaser, a historical- theological crossword puzzle? I only ask because it doesn't really matter beyond mental exercise, because the Magisterium has spoken. Right? Right.
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  MRyan on Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:59 pm

duckbill wrote:
Just desire

I said NO BLOOD! Very Happy

Sorry, Duckbill, but it’s too late to stop the bleeding - BoB is out and running, and its sidekick is BoD - they are virtually inseparable since they are of the very same essence, even if the manifestation of BoD cannot live up to the public billing of its more perfect brother.

But, with a tourniquet of tradition and some magisterial crutches, your bleeding may not be fatal. Smile
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Guest on Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:47 am

MRyan wrote:
duckbill wrote:
Just desire

I said NO BLOOD! Very Happy

Sorry, Duckbill, but it’s too late to stop the bleeding - BoB is out and running, and its sidekick is BoD - they are virtually inseparable since they are of the very same essence, even if the manifestation of BoD cannot live up to the public billing of its more perfect brother.

But, with a tourniquet of tradition and some magisterial crutches, your bleeding may not be fatal. Smile

You can start your own thread for both or just for BoB, if you want, but this is my thread and all I want is the BoD Fathers please co-operate--be nice-- Very Happy

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Guest on Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:18 pm

So I guess it is only 2 Church fathers supported Baptism of Desire?! Since the likes of Tornpage and MRyan can't seem to find any others. Hmmmm that doesn't sound like the unanimous consent or even majority consent. How can Baptism of Desire be revealed if their is almost no support in the Church Fathers?

Even these 2 are not good support. Ambrose in his own writings outright rejected Baptism of Desire and St. Augustine when proposing Baptism of Desire NEVER quoted Ambrose in support.

If it was a doctrine wouldn't it be more supported by the Church Fathers?

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Guest on Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:29 pm

I want to get Fr. Jurgen's book set on the Church Fathers, I heard it is good.

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Elisa on Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:43 am

Duckbill,

MRyan mentioned more than 2 EARLY Church Fathers who supported BOD specifically:

St. Augustine (one of the greatest Doctors of the Church)
St. Ambrose - Doctor of the Church
Tertullian
St. Cyprian

Obviously there were more later Church Fathers who supported it, this was just the first few centuries.

St. Ambrose did NOT reject BOD. Please read the quote from the Saint that MRyan posted saying the complete opposite. What you wrote is deceiving to readers.

You can ignore all the things that MRyan wrote or not. But he specifically addressed BOD alone (as you asked), as well as point out the link between BOB and BOD.

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Although you might like to separate BOB entirely from BOD, the Church doesn’t. I’m not even sure why you want to separate them, because I don’t think you accept BOB either. But the link is clear. If BOB is allowed, then so is BOD.

MRyan:
“While it is true there is a distinction between BoD and BoB with respect to the merit received in the spilling of one’s blood for Christ, we must remember that only the Blood of our Lord is meritorious and that unless one is already justified in our Lord by charity, the shedding of one's blood can merit nothing.

Charity is the root and essence of both BoB and BoD; with the former being a more perfect manifestation of the latter."


Duckbill: "“If it was a doctrine wouldn’t it be supported by the Church Fathers?”

I like you, but honestly, your question is exasperating.

That is a question that Protestants ask over and over about a multitude of Catholic beliefs they don’t agree with, including our beliefs about the Blessed Mother.

First of all, doctrines that weren’t questioned or challenged got little ink. Secondly, there was more preaching than writing back then, because writing materials weren’t plentiful and since the Church was being persecuted they did not want to leave evidence. Thirdly, we only have some of the early Father writings, others have been lost over the centuries.

Most importantly, doctrines developed and were explained more fully later. BOD is far from rare in this regard.

And specifically for BOD is the FACT that there was a lot more BOB going on in the first few centuries than BOD, because they were being KILLED for the faith. Not too many had accidents before they were baptized. They were martyred, hence BOB. Hence all the writings specifically about BOB.

I imagine the reason you want to ignore BOB in this discussion is because there are so many more writings about it than BOD for some very good reasons that have nothing to do with the Church not believing BOD. (Although you also seem to ignore the things written specifically to BOD.)

But the reasons for the Church believing in BOB are the SAME EXACT REASONS it believes in BOD. As MRyan has said, BOB being “more perfect.”

You can continue to ignore the overwhelming Church support for both BOB and BOD all you want, but many of us see you ignoring pertinent arguments and find that hard to accept.

Once again, no Catholic has to believe in BOB or BOD or believe that there likely ever were any actual cases of them happening, but Catholics are to give assent to the POSSIBILITY that they might exist, since the Church teaches they are possible (formal, but not defined teaching) and the Church has taught this since the beginning of the Church. Back when Christians were being killed before baptism.

An interesting question is – has there ever been even ONE Church Father in 2,000 years who specifically taught against BOB or BOD? No, there wasn’t. If 4 early Church Fathers supporting BOD and many early and later Church Fathers supporting BOD and BOB isn’t enough for you to believe in the POSSIBILITY OF BOB and BOD, then shouldn’t the complete lack of any Church Fathers against BOD and BOB mean something to you?

You can choose to believe BOD and BOB or not, but please don’t try and pretend that the Church, including the early Church, didn’t teach BOTH.

God bless you and good night all.
Love,
Elisa
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  MRyan on Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:11 am

Elisa wrote:Duckbill,

MRyan mentioned more than 2 EARLY Church Fathers who supported BOD specifically:

St. Augustine (one of the greatest Doctors of the Church)
St. Ambrose - Doctor of the Church
Tertullian
St. Cyprian
St. Justin Martyr

Obviously there were more later Church Fathers who supported it, this was just the first few centuries.

I didn't mention Justin Martyr because Duckbill already did. Of course, the fact that plenty of other Fathers voiced their support for BoB does not mean that they were against BoD; more than likely, it is just the opposite - but BoB got all the attention (for good reason).

Elisa, thanks.
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Jehanne on Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:56 am

Without exception, they all drew the line at catechumnes. Father Feeney, remeber, was an agnostic about the fate of a catechumen who died without Baptism.
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  MRyan on Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:08 pm

Jehanne wrote:Without exception, they all drew the line at catechumnes. Father Feeney, remeber, was an agnostic about the fate of a catechumen who died without Baptism.
“Without exception” is one of those throw-away lines that to refute requires that one prove a negative, at least that’s what Jehanne is hoping.

In point of fact; however, the statement is false, and we have the testimony of St. Cyprian (3rd century) to prove it (in his letter No. 73 to Jubaianus):

§23. But some one says, "What, then, shall become of those who in past times, coming from heresy to the Church, were received without baptism?" The Lord is able by His mercy to give indulgence, and not to separate from the gifts of His Church those who by simplicity were admitted into the Church, and in the Church have fallen asleep.
Wow, one would almost think that he read Pope Pius IX, the Catechism of Trent and the CCC!

And we should all be “agnostics” about the fate of catechumens who die without baptism. But we cannot be “agnostics” in our submission to the authority of the Church teaching when she tells us that the catechumen, or anyone else, who has the proper dispositions, may be saved through the divine light of grace
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Jehanne on Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:05 pm

MRyan wrote:
Jehanne wrote:Without exception, they all drew the line at catechumnes. Father Feeney, remeber, was an agnostic about the fate of a catechumen who died without Baptism.
“Without exception” is one of those throw-away lines that to refute requires that one prove a negative, at least that’s what Jehanne is hoping.

In point of fact; however, the statement is false, and we have the testimony of St. Cyprian (3rd century) to prove it (in his letter No. 73 to Jubaianus):

§23. But some one says, "What, then, shall become of those who in past times, coming from heresy to the Church, were received without baptism?" The Lord is able by His mercy to give indulgence, and not to separate from the gifts of His Church those who by simplicity were admitted into the Church, and in the Church have fallen asleep.

Sure, he was speaking of catechumens. If not, who do you think that he was speaking of when he said, "coming from heresy to the Church..."? Do you think that he was talking about Jews, pagans, or infidels?

MRyan wrote:Wow, one would almost think that he read Pope Pius IX, the Catechism of Trent and the CCC!

When St. Cyprian talked about "no salvation outside the Catholic Church," what, then, did he mean?

MRyan wrote:And we should all be “agnostics” about the fate of catechumens who die without baptism. But we cannot be “agnostics” in our submission to the authority of the Church teaching when she tells us that the catechumen, or anyone else, who has the proper dispositions, may be saved through the divine light of grace

The Church has never taught that. Pray, tell, where? For a catechumen, a possibility, perhaps; certainty, no way. I do not have a problem with a "catechumen...may be saved." It's the "anyone else" that is pure heresy, plain and simple. Please, explain to me, what was meant by the following, and I shall concede:

“The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.)

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Guest on Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:17 pm

MRyan wrote:
And we should all be “agnostics” about the fate of catechumens who die without baptism.

Perhaps we are diverting a little from Duckbill's original wish but I wish to interject that
Tthe problem is we don't know if any such person has existed.

I think Vin Lewis makes a good point in his book about Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus:


The issue I left you with is this: are all men offered the truth which would make them Catholics? Sacramental Baptism, among other things, equips and induces man to accept and believe Divinely revealed truths (i.e. doctrines of Faith). So if Baptism is available, or offered, then truth is offered. Let me give a quote from an "authoritative" (sic) and heretical source which, I believe, expresses the opposite
view fairly. "It is the teaching of the Catholic Church that when baptism of water becomes a physical or moral impossibility, eternal life may be obtained by the baptism of desire or the baptism of blood" (catholic Encyclopedia, 1913, article on "being an atheist" . . . er, I mean "baptism.").

Now read it again.

Can anyone tell me what "morally impossible" means? (Please call me @ 845-226-4172 if you think you know.)


Does it mean that one can not do something moral, or that something moral can not be done, or that morality is impossible? As Baptism, the only kind which involves water, is morally possible--because being possible, it remains possible
no matter what modifiers are added--this first term can mean nothing good or acceptable to real Catholics.

Now can real Baptism be physically impossible? Sure . . . if God is dead. But only if God is dead. Because God can transport people around as he chooses to do. Thus, IF God wills, THEN HE WILL move a human agent to the person needing Baptism, as is recorded as fact in the Acts of the Apostles (chap.8:26f). The incident involves Saint
Philip and the Ethiopian subscriber to "this (c)rock." magazine What else is needed for baptism, other than two people: one to Baptize, and one to receive? The answer is water.

Now God has frequently provided water, as He did for the Hebrews and as He did for Hagar, both of whom were on the desert where water was not plentiful.
So, how can Baptism be physically impossible? The answer is NEVER. Recall the formal teaching of REAL Catholicism.

What is impossible for man possible for God. In fact, our Lord pronounced this a number of times: MT 19: MK 10; LK 11. And it is repeated in LK. 1: GEN. 18; JER. 32. NOTHING is impossible for God!

So, self-evidently, the writers of the "catholic encyclopedia" can not be expected to be aware of this truth formally revealed by God. IF our Lord really wanted us to know this, THEN He would have put it somewhere important:
like maybe the NY Times, or EWTN. The point is this: in order to hold that Baptism is EVER impossible one must deny the existence of God. And as
God exists, then the conditions outlined above can not exist; and as the conditions do not exist, the other "forms" of baptism can NEVER substitute for sacramental Baptism. (The Last Page, Vincent Lewis, pg. 32)




While I agree with Vin, I must say that I do see the catechumen-only position people as allies in the Crusade. The problem is that it is hard to find such people. Usually when someone says they are catechumen-only and you press them more they will tell you that people can be saved "in but not by" false religions.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming, duckbill,


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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  columba on Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:19 pm

MRyan wrote:
Elisa wrote:Duckbill,

MRyan mentioned more than 2 EARLY Church Fathers who supported BOD specifically:

St. Augustine (one of the greatest Doctors of the Church)
St. Ambrose - Doctor of the Church
Tertullian
St. Cyprian
St. Justin Martyr

Obviously there were more later Church Fathers who supported it, this was just the first few centuries.

I didn't mention Justin Martyr because Duckbill already did. Of course, the fact that plenty of other Fathers voiced their support for baptism of blood does not mean that they were against BoD; more than likely, it is just the opposite - but baptism of blood got all the attention (for good reason).

Elisa, thanks.

It's obvious that there's not a concensus of opinion from the Church Fathers/Doctors and comparing one with the other doesn't promote any particular view definitively.

St John Chrysostom; "It is obvious that we must grieve for catechumins should they depart this life without the saving grace of Baptism." (The Consolation of Death; Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, Chicago Regnery, 1955, Vol. IV, page 363)

St Gregory of Nyssa: "You are outside Pasradise, O catechumen! You share the exile of Adam." (Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, vol. IV, pp 46,47)

St Thomas Aquinas: "It is not enough merely to believe. He who believes and is not yet baptised, but is only a catechumen, has not yet fully aquired salvation." ( Cantena Aurea. St Thomas Aquinas, ed, J. Nicolai, Paris: 1896)

St Agustine: "Indeed, as long as you remain outside the Church, and severed from the fabric of unity and bond of charity, you will be punished with everlasting chastisement, even if you were burned alive for the sake of Christ." (Against the Donatists; Sermon XXXVIII, Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, Vol. 2, p 29)


The only reliable thing we have to go on is the Churches infallibly declared statements.
The arguments used to get around these only create more confussin than clarity.
It is beyond my understanding how God who created these catachumins could not preserve their life until baptism. The fact that some die before baptism could - for all we know - be just as much a sign of rejection by God (who alone can read hearts) rather than a signal for us to hope for their salvation against the already known truth of the necessity of baptism.

The statement, "God is not bound by the sacraments" has to be one of the most un-thought out statements in the whole of the CCC.
We all know that God is not bound by sacraments. Why Should He be? He's already in heaven from all eternity and has no need of anything. That's a dogma of the faith.
God wasn't "bound" to create us. He wasn't "bound" to redeem us and He wasn't bound to make our salvation dependant on membership of His sacramental Church,. But He did in fact do all those things.
That's why there is no salvation outside this Church.
That's why even if one should shed their blood for the name of Christ while not being part of this Church cannot attain salvation.
That's why anyone who has not received the laver of regeneration cannot be part of this Church for there is no other way known to man or established by God Himself by which one can become a memeber of this Church except through the sacrament of baptism.

Christ Himself was voluntarily bound by the law of God while on this earth, fulfilling it to the last stroke and dot. Even the Blessed Virgin though without sin, presented herself at the temple for the ritual of purification. Why, if God does not bind us to His laws and to what He decrees as necessary, did He make such an example of His own Son and His sons sinless mother?

BoD and even baptism of blood not only don't fit into the narrow confines in which they are normally discussed. they fit even less comfortably into the wider scene and what we know of Gods ways with man since Adam and Eve.
If we know anything of God, He says what He means and means what He says.
Baptism of Desire/Blood is a contradiction not only of the smple and understandable truths of faith, but also imho, a subtle attack on the omnipotence of God.
God cannot bring to the waters of baptism those repentant souls He wills to save? Nah... That don't sound right to me.

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  MRyan on Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:00 pm

RashaLampa wrote:
MRyan wrote:
And we should all be “agnostics” about the fate of catechumens who die without baptism.

Perhaps we are diverting a little from Duckbill's original wish but I wish to interject that the problem is we don't know if any such person has existed.

And why is that a problem? The Church certainly considers as authentic the tradition of the non-sacramentally baptized martyrs. Do we place our trust in the authority of the Church teaching, or do we wring our hands in angst (and worse) when we learn that the Church teaches that God might actually save someone in the bonds of faith and charity without benefit of the sacrament, though never apart from the sacrament? Do you really believe that the Church can “deny” her own dogmas, or that she does not understand them?

Why do we need a bunch of Feeneyites to explain to us that the Church and the universal moral consensus of saints, doctors and theologians are wrong on this matter of baptism of blood/baptism of desire? Why do we need Feeneyites to explain to us what the dogmas “really” mean when we have a living magsiterium that has already been entrusted with that divine and sacred task; about whom our Lord said “He who hears you, hears me”?

Why this incessant Protestant penchant for “proving” that the Church’s claim that these authentic teachings form a part of her ancient tradition are simply false; that the “real” record, if we could only discover it, would reveal that the Fathers never really accepted any notion of baptism of blood/baptism of desire?

Why do we have to entertain the heretical notion that the Church can contradict her own dogmas, that only that which is “defined” can demand our submission of mind and will, and that the true arbitration of what is “magisterial” and “authentic” is not left up to the Church when she tells us that her teachings are authentic, sure and true; but to certain “experts”, lay and clerical alike?

Of course, that’s what they said about the Church’s claim that Papal Primacy and infallibility had an ancient traditional pedigree, even if not always explicitly manifested. The scholars who knew the traditions better than the Church are now “Old Catholics”.

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Guest on Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:38 pm

There is a difference between possibilities and actualities...

It is also odd that this supposedly longstanding and authentic teaching of the Church has no explicit mention in any Papal encyclical/constitution/exhortation/etc. or Conciliar decree. I can't think of any other doctrine of the Church with such an absence... can you?

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Jehanne on Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:41 pm

MRyan wrote:
RashaLampa wrote:
MRyan wrote:
And we should all be “agnostics” about the fate of catechumens who die without baptism.

Perhaps we are diverting a little from Duckbill's original wish but I wish to interject that the problem is we don't know if any such person has existed.

And why is that a problem? The Church certainly considers as authentic the tradition of the non-sacramentally baptized martyrs. Do we place our trust in the authority of the Church teaching, or do we wring our hands in angst (and worse) when we learn that the Church teaches that God might actually save someone in the bonds of faith and charity without benefit of the sacrament, though never apart from the sacrament? Do you really believe that the Church can “deny” her own dogmas, or that she does not understand them?

Why do we need a bunch of Feeneyites to explain to us that the Church and the universal moral consensus of saints, doctors and theologians are wrong on this matter of baptism of blood/baptism of desire? Why do we need Feeneyites to explain to us what the dogmas “really” mean when we have a living magsiterium that has already been entrusted with that divine and sacred task; about whom our Lord said “He who hears you, hears me”?

Why this incessant Protestant penchant for “proving” that the Church’s claim that these authentic teachings form a part of her ancient tradition are simply false; that the “real” record, if we could only discover it, would reveal that the Fathers never really accepted any notion of baptism of blood/baptism of desire?

Why do we have to entertain the heretical notion that the Church can contradict her own dogmas, that only that which is “defined” can demand our submission of mind and will, and that the true arbitration of what is “magisterial” and “authentic” is not left up to the Church when she tells us that her teachings are authentic, sure and true; but to certain “experts”, lay and clerical alike?

Of course, that’s what they said about the Church’s claim that Papal Primacy and infallibility had an ancient traditional pedigree, even if not always explicitly manifested. The scholars who knew the traditions better than the Church are now “Old Catholics”.

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A pile of strawman's. First off, most orthodox theologians do not attach a de fide note to baptism of blood/baptism of desire. Here is an authoritative source (from the man who is now Pope):

http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfadtu.htm

Pray tell, where is baptism of desire/baptism of blood in that document? Or, has Holy Mother Church "changed" her mind about this sometime over the last 20 years? And, once again, why was Father Feeney not required to adjure his "errors" before being reconciled to the Church? Likewise, why are most of his followers in full communion with the Church?

Questions, questions, questions, but so far, no answers.
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  hsilver on Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:59 am

Columba has already shown that there was never a consensus among the church fathers concerning baptism of desire/baptism of blood. Some of them even contradicted themselves concerning it. (Augustine eventually discarded his earlier beliefs in baptism of desire). That's why neither baptism of desire/baptism of blood will ever be defined dogmatically nor binding on the faithful.

I concur with another poster who seeks practical examples. The practical example I seek is that of ignorant native who is saved by following the lights of his reason and dictates of his conscience, but who has never been catechized for one day of his life. What sort of a person is this?

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Elisa on Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:54 pm

Listen guys, if you don’t want to believe in Baptism of Blood or Baptism of Desire, you don’t have to. No Catholic has to believe baptism of desire and baptism of blood are true or even likely or that a single case ever actually happened, but a Catholic should believe they are a POSSIBILITY. That they are not impossible.

All a Catholic has to do is assent to the POSSIBILITY of Baptism of Blood and Baptism of Desire, because the Church as ALWAYS (in one form or another since the beginning of the Church) said that it is POSSIBLE. Not that it definitely happened. And the Church taught this formally and consistently, but not in a defined way. Including every single catechism I know of since Trent’s, including the Baltimore Catechism of my youth and the Catechism of the Catholic Church today.

Let’s not change the history of the Church and pretend that the Church never taught it. It did. There is not a SINGLE case of a Church Father denying baptism of blood or baptism of desire.

Columba has NOT given us a single case. And there was not a “confusion” or any “contradictions.” There was a consensus that baptism of blood likely happens and by extension and by charity and faith, baptism of desire might also happen. No Fathers of the Church, Doctors or formal statements of the Church EVER denied this. Not one specific example. In fact they support it.

If one takes a Saint out of context and doesn’t read the Saints full body of work or if one misinterprets the Saint, then that is not a contradiction. That is an error on the part of the reader.

Let me take Columba’s 4 examples.

The FULL quote from St. John Chrysostom in The Consolation of Death:

“And plainly must we grieve for our own catechumens, should they, either through their own unbelief or through their own neglect, depart this life without the saving grace of baptism.”

What was left out is what is important. (I’m sure Columba was not the one who left it out, it was the website she/he got it from.) The Saint is saying the same thing that St. Gregory of Nazianzen was saying. Both Saints were basically saying not to wait to become a Christian and to do so when God calls you, on his time, not yours.

Back then a lot of people postponed baptism till the end of life so they could still continue to sin, yet have their sins forgiven without any temporal punishment when they were baptized right before their death. It’s said Constantine did this. Even St. Augustine said before he converted, “give me faith, but not just yet.”

This is hardly a true conversion of heart (metanoia), a true faith. This type of dying before baptism is not what baptism of desire and baptism of blood are about.

(I could post St. Gregory’s statements here if anyone is interested. Already posted them here http://catholicforum.forumotion.com/t75p15-why-i-believe-in-Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus)

And why would St. Gregory say that Baptism of Blood was “more august than the others” if it did not allow salvation, like water Baptism did?

I have tried to find the statement of St. Gregory of Nyssa that Columba posted and can’t.

St Gregory of Nyssa: "You are outside Pasradise, O catechumen! You share the exile of Adam."

I ask Columba to please cite the work it came from so we could see it in context. I suspect that( if it is an actual quote and attributed to St. Gregory,) in context it will be like what St. John Chrysostom and St. Gregory of Naziansen said. Not denying baptism of desire or baptism of blood.

In my search for the quote in context I came upon this:


http://www.trushare.com/92JAN03/JA03FAFA.htm



“In the Primitive Church, baptism was seen as the restoration to paradise. Cyril of Jerusalem uses this symbolism of the baptismal rite. ‘When you renounce Satan, God’s paradise opens to you, the paradise he planted in the East and from which our first father was driven on account of his disobedience … the symbol of this is your turning from the East to the West’(Catechetical Lectures of Cyril of Jerusalem, NPNF vol vii, Lect xix, p146). In contrast to Adam in Satan’s control and driven out of Paradise, the catechumen is freed by the New Adam from Satan’s dominion and reintroduced into Paradise. Turning to Christ is the act of faith required for Baptism. Entering the Baptistery signifies entrance into the Church, the return to Paradise. The catechumen is addressed, ‘You are outside of Paradise, O catechumen … you share the exile of Adam, our first father. Now the door is opening. Return whence you came forth.’ Cyril addresses each candidate, ‘Soon Paradise will open for each one of you.’”

(end of quote)

I suspect that quote from St. Gregory of Nyssa that Columba posted was not original to St. Gregory, but instead was from an ancient baptismal liturgy. And it would simply stress our Catholic theology about baptism and original sin and the necessity of baptism. Something we all believe and something that does not deny baptism of blood or baptism of desire.


St. Augustine and St. Acquinas most definitely believed in baptism of blood of baptism of desire. Everyone knows that. There are countless statements supporting this throughout their work, not just in earlier works and I don’t have the time right now to get them all. I will post just a few. One needs to read the entire thing in context. These are entire books on Baptism.


http://newadvent.org/summa/4066.htm


St. Acquinas’ Summa Book 3, Question 66 Article 12:
I answer that, As stated above (Article 11), the shedding of blood for Christ's sake, and the inward operation of the Holy Ghost, are called baptisms, in so far as they produce the effect of the Baptism of Water. Now the Baptism of Water derives its efficacy from Christ's Passion and from the Holy Ghost, as already stated (11). These two causes act in each of these three Baptisms; most excellently, however, in the Baptism of Blood. For Christ's Passion acts in the Baptism of Water by way of a figurative representation; in the Baptism of the Spirit or of Repentance, by way of desire. but in the Baptism of Blood, by way of imitating the (Divine) act. In like manner, too, the power of the Holy Ghost acts in the Baptism of Water through a certain hidden power. in the Baptism of Repentance by moving the heart; but in the Baptism of Blood by the highest degree of fervor of dilection and love, according to John 15:13: "Greater love than this no man hath that a man lay down his life for his friends."

St. Acquinas’ Summa Book 3 Question 68 Article 2
Secondly, the sacrament of Baptism may be wanting to anyone in reality but not in desire: for instance, when a man wishes to be baptized, but by some ill-chance he is forestalled by death before receiving Baptism. And such a man can obtain salvation without being actually baptized, on account of his desire for Baptism, which desire is the outcome of "faith that worketh by charity," whereby God, Whose power is not tied to visible sacraments, sanctifies man inwardly. Hence Ambrose says of Valentinian, who died while yet a catechumen: "I lost him whom I was to regenerate: but he did not lose the grace he prayed for."



St. Augustine 400AD On Baptism, against the Donatists Book 4 chapters 21 and 22

http://newadvent.org/fathers/14084.htm

Chapter 21.
29. With regard to the objection brought against Cyprian, that the catechumens who were seized in martyrdom, and slain for Christ's name's sake, received a crown even without baptism, I do not quite see what it has to do with the matter, unless, indeed, they urged that heretics could much more be admitted with baptism to Christ's kingdom, to which catechumens were admitted without it, since He Himself has said, "Unless a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." John 3:5 Now, in this matter I do not hesitate for a moment to place the Catholic catechumen, who is burning with love for God, before the baptized heretic; nor yet do we thereby do dishonor to the sacrament of baptism which the latter has already received, the former not as yet; nor do we consider that the sacrament of the catechumen is to be preferred to the sacrament of baptism, when we acknowledge that some catechumens are better and more faithful than some baptized persons. For the centurion Cornelius, before baptism, was better than Simon, who had been baptized. For Cornelius, even before his baptism, was filled with the Holy Spirit; Acts 10:44 Simon, even after baptism, was puffed up with an unclean spirit. Cornelius, however, would have been convicted of contempt for so holy a sacrament, if, even after he had received the Holy Ghost, he had refused to be baptized. But when he was baptized, he received in no wise a better sacrament than Simon; but the different merits of the men were made manifest under the equal holiness of the same sacrament— so true is it that the good or ill deserving of the recipient does not increase or diminish the holiness of baptism. But as baptism is wanting to a good catechumen to his receiving the kingdom of heaven, so true conversion is wanting to a bad man though baptized. For He who said, "Unless a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God," said also Himself, "unless your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:20 For that the righteousness of the catechumens might not feel secure, it is written, "Unless a man be born again of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." And again, that the unrighteousness of the baptized might not feel secure because they had received baptism, it is written, "Unless your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." The one were too little without the other; the two make perfect the heir of that inheritance. As, then, we ought not to depreciate a man's righteousness, which begins to exist before he is joined to the Church, as the righteousness of Cornelius began to exist before he was in the body of Christian men,— which righteousness was not thought worthless, or the angel would not have said to him, "Your prayers and your alms have come up as a memorial before God;" nor did it yet suffice for his obtaining the kingdom of heaven, or he would not have been told to send to Peter, Acts 10:4-5 — so neither ought we to depreciate the sacrament of baptism, even though it has been received outside the Church. But since it is of no avail for salvation unless he who has baptism indeed in full perfection be incorporated into the Church, correcting also his own depravity, let us therefore correct the error of the heretics, that we may recognize what in them is not their own but Christ's.

Chapter 22.

30. That the place of baptism is sometimes supplied by martyrdom is supported by an argument by no means trivial, which the blessed Cyprian adduces from the thief, to whom, though he was not baptized, it was yet said, "Today shall you be with me in Paradise." Luke 23:43 On considering which, again and again, I find that not only martyrdom for the sake of Christ may supply what was wanting of baptism, but also faith and conversion of heart, if recourse may not be had to the celebration of the mystery of baptism for want of time. For neither was that thief crucified for the name of Christ, but as the reward of his own deeds; nor did he suffer because he believed, but he believed while suffering. It was shown, therefore, in the case of that thief, how great is the power, even without the visible sacrament of baptism, of what the apostle says, "With the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:10 But the want is supplied invisibly only when the administration of baptism is prevented, not by contempt for religion, but by the necessity of the moment. For much more in the case of Cornelius and his friends, than in the case of that robber, might it seem superfluous that they should also be baptized with water, seeing that in them the gift of the Holy Spirit, which, according to the testimony of holy Scripture, was received by other men only after baptism, had made itself manifest by every unmistakable sign appropriate to those times when they spoke with tongues. Yet they were baptized, and for this action we have the authority of an apostle as the warrant. So far ought all of us to be from being induced by any imperfection in the inner man, if it so happen that before baptism a person has advanced, through the workings of a pious heart, to spiritual understanding, to despise a sacrament which is applied to the body by the hands of the minister, but which is God's own means for working spiritually a man's dedication to Himself. Nor do I conceive that the function of baptizing was assigned to John, so that it should be called John's baptism, for any other reason except that the Lord Himself, who had appointed it, in not disdaining to receive the baptism of His servant, Matthew 3:6, 13 might consecrate the path of humility, and show most plainly by such an action how high a value was to be placed on His own baptism, with which He Himself was afterwards to baptize. For He saw, like an excellent physician of eternal salvation, that overweening pride would be found in some, who, having made such progress in the understanding of the truth and in uprightness of character that they would not hesitate to place themselves, both in life and knowledge, above many that were baptized, would think it was unnecessary for them to be baptized, since they felt that they had attained a frame of mind to which many that were baptized were still only endeavoring to raise themselves.”

Also St. Ambrose:

Emperor Valentinian rejected Arianism and asked St. Ambrose to baptize him. The Emperor was hanged before it happened. (probably murdered or St. Ambrose wouldn’t have eulogized him as he did if it was suicide, as some mention later.) Which could either be a martyrdom or murder for political purposes. But even if it is martyrdom, it is St. Ambrose’s words here that show the key was the “desire.”

St. Ambrose -392AD - Funeral Oration for Valentinian - De obitu Valentiniani Consolatio (51-52:)

“But I hear that you grieve because he did not receive the sacrament of Baptism. Tell me now, what else is in us, if not will, if not desire? He, in very truth had this wish that, before he came to Italy, he should be initiated into the Church, and he indicated that he wanted to be baptized by me very soon, and that is why he thought I had to be called before everything else. Did he not obtain the grace which he desired? Did he not obtain what he asked for? Certainly, because he asked for it, he obtained it. "But the just man, if he be prevented by death, shall be in rest" (Wisd. 4:7).... But if people are absolved in their own blood, then this man’s piety and desire absolved him.”



On Pascendi’s website I mentioned the old tradition that St. James’ executioner converted on his way to the Saint's martyrdom and he was martyred along with St. James and that St. James was not worried about his salvation without water baptism. But there is no proof of this tradition.

If any of you still do not want to assent to the POSSIBILITY of baptism of desire and baptism of blood, then I leave you with 3 things to contemplate.

OneSt. Augustine said we should never pray for martyrs. And in fact, the Church has never prayed for martyrs, including those without earthly visible water baptism. So if the Church has never prayed for any martyrs, she would be negligent if she did not believe they were all saved.

St. Augustine:
“A Christian people celebrates together in religious solemnity the memorials of the martyrs, both to encourage their being imitated and so that it can share in their merits and be aided by their prayers.” - from Against Faustus the Manichean, by Saint Augustine

“There is an ecclesiastical discipline, as the faithful know, when the names of the martyrs are read aloud in that place at the altar of God, where prayer is not offered for them. Prayer, however, is offered for the dead who are remembered. For it is wrong to pray for a martyr, to whose prayers we ought ourselves be commended.” - from Sermons by Saint Augustine

“At the Lord’s table we do not commemorate martyrs in the same way that we do others who rest in peace so as to pray for them, but rather that they may pray for us that we may follow in their footsteps.” - from Homilies on John by Saint Augustine


St. Cyprian of Carthage (Bishop in good standing) in 252AD: “The catechumens who suffer martyrdom receive the glorious and most sublime blood-Baptism.”

His statements and all the many others have never been specifically refuted by anyone in the Church.

Two - If the Church really in her heart believed that salvation was impossible for a catechumen who was not yet baptized, then she would not wait a single day to baptize the person. They wait now and they waited in the first few centuries of the Church.

This is especially so in light of the fact that early Christians were sought out and killed for their faith at a moments notice. Even all people in general at that time died earlier than we do, often in childhood, through diseases or accidents without modern medicine. It would have been beyond negligent by the Church to allow them to wait, no less require them to wait.

Three - At Easter there are RCIA candidates waiting to be baptized. Let’s take a Hindu or Jew who hasn’t been baptized like the Protestant ones. Let’s say that the person dies the week before Easter without having received Baptism. I’d like to know how many people here would say, “That person DEFINITELY AND WITHOUT A DOUBT will go to Hell for all eternity.” Not many would say this. Let’s be honest. And why? Because the Church doesn’t say this. We say we do not know for sure, but while the unbaptized are on the trajectory toward Hell, we hope in the mercy of a just and good God and His mysterious ways. And there is a valid tradition of baptism of desire and baptism of blood. Not defined. We do not know for sure.

But we should always pray and evangelize, because we know of ONLY ONE SURE PATH TO SALVATION - Water baptism within the one Church – and we do not leave salvation to “maybes.”

Unless you are willing to say for certain that these people are now in Hell and unless you contradict the Church and pray for the souls of martyrs who died without baptism, then somewhere in your conscience you are open to the POSSIBILITY of baptism of blood and baptism of desire. That is all the assent necessary for a Catholic.

There are NO Church Father quotes denying baptism of blood or baptism of desire and the Church has always taught them in an undefined way. No contradictions, no inconsistencies. We cannot rewrite history.

But since the Church has never defined baptism of blood and baptism of desire, no one has to believe they are true or likely. But the Church does teach them formally, so one should assent to the POSSIBILITY of baptism of desire and baptism of blood.

Sorry I don’t have a lot of time or access to the computer for these discussions.

God bless you all.
Love,
Elisa
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Jehanne on Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:36 pm

Excellent post. However, all the Church Fathers and all of her theologians, including the ones that cite as well as the ones that you did not, drew the line at catechumens. In singles tennis, there are foul lines. Hit the ball outside of the line, and you lose the point. In doubles, the foul lines extend further, but outside of those, no point, either.

The same is true of Baptism. If you are a catechumen who has the vow to receive Baptism, then, yes, perhaps, desire will be sufficient; otherwise, you are lost. You are free to quote Aquinas, but just be sure that you quote all of which he has to say, not just some of it.

As for Father Feeney, he was an agnostic about the fate of a catechumen who died without Baptism.
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  MRyan on Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:12 pm

MarianLibrarian wrote:There is a difference between possibilities and actualities...
I don’t understand your point. Are you suggesting that the Church is obliged to “prove” the “actuality” of a given soul in heaven (since the promulgation of the Gospel) who has not received the benefit of water baptism? Why would she do that, even if she could? The Church does not “bind” you to any belief that there are souls in heaven who have not been regenerated in water baptism, but only to the teaching that God may regenerate a soul without actual water, if He so chooses (submission of the mind and will). And she tells us what the necessary dispositions and conditions are for this to happen - if it ever happens.

MarianLibrarian wrote:It is also odd that this supposedly longstanding and authentic teaching of the Church has no explicit mention in any Papal encyclical/constitution/exhortation/etc. or Conciliar decree.

So, The Allocution to midwives by Pope Pius XII, for example, does not contain any explicit mention of the doctrine of baptism of desire?

MarianLibrarian wrote:I can't think of any other doctrine of the Church with such an absence... can you?
Limbo.

With respect to baptism of desire, the Church is not in the habit of formally “defining” theological terms that are used to describe the movements of the heart (desire) that our motivated by charity and result in unity with our Lord through the divine light of grace. How does one formally “define” that? However, “Baptism of desire (flaminis)”, “the desire thereof”, “baptism of repentance”, “perfect conversion”, etc., are all terms having the same fundamental meaning with respect to “desire”. Trent, for example, without “defining it” certainly understood the term “baptism of desire” with its emphasis of conversion of heart, which is why it referred to this same conversion and intention where it declared “baptism, or the desire thereof”.

This was the “common teaching” of the Church, and the teaching of the “Common Doctor” (Aquinas) that Trent was referring to when she dogmatically declared that without the laver of regeneration, or the desire for it, the translation to justification cannot be effected. She uses the same language and meaning of “desire” in Session VII, Canon 4:

If any one saith, that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary unto salvation, but superfluous; and that, without them, or without the desire thereof, men obtain of God, through faith alone, the grace of justification;-though all (the sacraments) are not indeed necessary for every individual; let him be anathema.

The CCC:

1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.
Does the Church need to formally "define" that "the desire for Baptism", or "the desire thereof", etc., etc., is another way of expressing the doctrine of "baptism of desire"?






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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Guest on Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:53 pm

Sorry to interrupt your interesting thread--
But could someone give me a list with references of Fathers of the Church who proposed Baptism of Desire?

Elisa--sorry but your point I find invalid. How can the Fathers deny Baptism of Desire when it was never a subject for them to consider? How can something that is not proved be disproved? The ball is in your court show me the Fathers that taught Baptism of Desire--explicitly, please do NOT give Baptism of Blood quotes--just Desire-- Ok now that I think of it, let me give you an example why I am not accepting Blood for now (I'm A JW-LOL) Because Tertullian for example seemed to accept Baptism of Blood but he rejected any other way:

“… it is in fact prescribed that no one can attain to salvation without Baptism, especially in view of that declaration of the Lord, who says: ‘Unless a man shall be born of water, he shall not have life [John 3]…”[Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 1: 306]



So therefore to say 'well, if he accepted baptism of blood he also accepted baptism of desire' is not a logical assumption.

I would like explicit promotion of baptism of desire, Please, Very Happy thank you

PS: is there some default that changes B..o..D to the words Baptism of Desire? If so it would be nice to tell us before I go crazy thinking I have some virus in my computer!

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Guest on Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:41 pm

duckbill wrote:
PS: is there some default that changes B..o..D to the words Baptism of Desire? If so it would be nice to tell us before I go crazy thinking I have some virus in my computer!

Yes, there is, I set it up like that so baptism of desire and baptism of blood are auto-replaced as "baptism of desire" and "baptism of blood". The reason is that if we have the FULL term we will be listed on the search engines more effectively.

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Elisa on Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:14 am

Columba,

I apologize that I called you a "he/she" I was rushed and didn't think to check your info. I see you are a he and that you were born in just about the best year anyone can be born. lol Like me.

I should also mention that I enjoyed reading your posts on Pascendi's and am happy to be discussing things with you.

God bless you.
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Elisa on Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:27 am

Duckbill,

The ball is not in my court. For one thing I don’t play games with people over this stuff, even if I had the time. For another, you still haven’t responded to the many points in my previous post to you or addressed the things in my last post that DID relate specifically to Baptism of Desire alone. Ignoring what I said and asking for a list of quotes is not a proper response.

I’m not sure if you don’t see it because you don’t want to or if you are just not reading our posts carefully. But there have already been examples of Baptism of Desire alone posted here. I will recap them for you. (I apologize to everyone else for the repetition.) I will also get the quotes of the Fathers we have listed here already, but not given quotes. I am not going to hunt for all the many quotes of the Church Fathers that relate specifically to Baptism of Desire alone. These from the first few centuries alone and a couple from St. Acquinas should suffice to prove my point, even though there are many more in later centuries and more by some of those quoted. If they don’t, then I know that I could spend the next 2 days compiling all the many quotes from the last 2,000 years and it would be of no avail. And I don’t have a lot of time for this and it is late.

These should be enough, because even if I posted only one quote from the Church Fathers, it would be one more than the list of quotes of any Church Father who specifically denied baptism of desire (or baptism of blood). Because so far I’ve waited one year for you or anyone else to supply even one quote from one Church Father denying baptism of desire (or baptism of blood) and there are none. I also looked myself.

Duckbill: "How can the Fathers deny Baptism of Desire when it was never a subject for them to consider? How can something that is not proved be disproved?"

You’re basically saying you can’t prove a negative, but that is not what we are asking for. No Church Father or Church authority ever refuted or criticized the quotes we have here. That is all that would be necessary for proof of a denial of the belief by any Church Father, Doctor or Church authority. It WAS “a subject for them to consider” and they could have “disproved” it if they were so inclined.

Again, there are NO quotes EVER that denied baptism of desire or baptism of blood.


St. Thomas Acquinas here spoke of 3 kinds of Baptism (water, desire and blood.) He calls baptism of desire by several names. “Desire” and “Baptism of the Spirit” and “inward operation of the Holy Ghost” and “Baptism of Repentance.” So I will highlight in brown the parts that are specific to Baptism of desire alone.

http://newadvent.org/summa/4066.htm


St. Acquinas’ Summa Book 3, Question 66 Article 12:
I answer that, As stated above (Article 11), the shedding of blood for Christ's sake, and the inward operation of the Holy Ghost, are called baptisms, in so far as they produce the effect of the Baptism of Water. Now the Baptism of Water derives its efficacy from Christ's Passion and from the Holy Ghost, as already stated (11). These two causes act in each of these three Baptisms; most excellently, however, in the Baptism of Blood. For Christ's Passion acts in the Baptism of Water by way of a figurative representation; in the Baptism of the Spirit or of Repentance, by way of desire. but in the Baptism of Blood, by way of imitating the (Divine) act. In like manner, too, the power of the Holy Ghost acts in the Baptism of Water through a certain hidden power. in the Baptism of Repentance by moving the heart; but in the Baptism of Blood by the highest degree of fervor of dilection and love, according to John 15:13: "Greater love than this no man hath that a man lay down his life for his friends."

St. Acquinas’ Summa Book 3 Question 68 Article 2
Secondly, the sacrament of Baptism may be wanting to anyone in reality but not in desire: for instance, when a man wishes to be baptized, but by some ill-chance he is forestalled by death before receiving Baptism. And such a man can obtain salvation without being actually baptized, on account of his desire for Baptism, which desire is the outcome of "faith that worketh by charity," whereby God, Whose power is not tied to visible sacraments, sanctifies man inwardly. Hence Ambrose says of Valentinian, who died while yet a catechumen: "I lost him whom I was to regenerate: but he did not lose the grace he prayed for."

We see St. Augustine saying that one can be filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit “even before his Baptism,” and if one dies before the opportunity to receive the sacrament, “faith and conversion of heart” and “the want” of the sacrament “may supply what was wanting of baptism.” “wanting”/desire. And most importantly to you, St. Augustine says, “NOT ONLY MARTYRDOM.”

St. Augustine 400AD On Baptism, against the Donatists Book 4 chapters 21 and 22

http://newadvent.org/fathers/14084.htm

Chapter 21.
29. . . . . For the centurion Cornelius, before baptism, was better than Simon, who had been baptized. For Cornelius, even before his baptism, was filled with the Holy Spirit; Acts 10:44 Simon, even after baptism, was puffed up with an unclean spirit. Cornelius, however, would have been convicted of contempt for so holy a sacrament, if, even after he had received the Holy Ghost, he had refused to be baptized. . . . .
Chapter 22.
30. That the place of baptism is sometimes supplied by martyrdom is supported by an argument by no means trivial, which the blessed Cyprian adduces from the thief, to whom, though he was not baptized, it was yet said, "Today shall you be with me in Paradise." Luke 23:43 On considering which, again and again, I find that not only martyrdom for the sake of Christ may supply what was wanting of baptism, but also faith and conversion of heart, if recourse may not be had to the celebration of the mystery of baptism for want of time. For neither was that thief crucified for the name of Christ, but as the reward of his own deeds; nor did he suffer because he believed, but he believed while suffering. It was shown, therefore, in the case of that thief, how great is the power, even without the visible sacrament of baptism, of what the apostle says, "With the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:10 But the want is supplied invisibly only when the administration of baptism is prevented, not by contempt for religion, but by the necessity of the moment. For much more in the case of Cornelius and his friends, than in the case of that robber, might it seem superfluous that they should also be baptized with water, seeing that in them the gift of the Holy Spirit, which, according to the testimony of holy Scripture, was received by other men only after baptism, had made itself manifest by every unmistakable sign appropriate to those times when they spoke with tongues. Yet they were baptized, and for this action we have the authority of an apostle as the warrant. . . . .

St. Ambrose:

Emperor Valentinian rejected Arianism and asked St. Ambrose to baptize him. The Emperor was hanged before it happened. (probably murdered or St. Ambrose wouldn’t have eulogized him as he did if it was suicide, as some mention later.) Which could either be a martyrdom or murder for political purposes. But even if it is martyrdom, it is St. Ambrose’s words here that show the key was the “desire.” And his final sentence differentiates those who are “absolved in their own blood” from the man being spoken of here whose “piety and desire absolved him.” Differentiating between baptism of blood and baptism of desire. Both types absolving a man.

St. Ambrose -392AD - Funeral Oration for Valentinian - De obitu Valentiniani Consolatio (51-52:)

“But I hear that you grieve because he did not receive the sacrament of Baptism. Tell me now, what else is in us, if not will, if not desire? He, in very truth had this wish that, before he came to Italy, he should be initiated into the Church, and he indicated that he wanted to be baptized by me very soon, and that is why he thought I had to be called before everything else. Did he not obtain the grace which he desired? Did he not obtain what he asked for? Certainly, because he asked for it, he obtained it. "But the just man, if he be prevented by death, shall be in rest" (Wisd. 4:7).... But if people are absolved in their own blood, then this man’s piety and desire absolved him.”

http://newadvent.org/fathers/050672.htm

St. Cyprian of Carthage Epistle 72:23 (talking about those who were baptized by heretics and did not have time to be re-baptized before death. St. Cyprian incorrectly believed the original baptisms to be invalid, but still believed the Lord would confer His grace upon those who “by simplicity”/innocence died before they were baptized validly.):

“But some one says, "What, then, shall become of those who in past times, coming from heresy to the Church, were received without baptism?" The Lord is able by His mercy to give indulgence, and not to separate from the gifts of His Church those who by simplicity were admitted into the Church, and in the Church have fallen asleep.”

Also we have this anonymous Treatise on Re-baptism from 255AD. It is thought to be by a Bishop in St. Cyprian’s day criticizing St. Cyprian’s belief that there needed to be re-baptism. Pope Stephen also said St. Cyprian was wrong about this. What is important to note is that number 15 here talks of baptism in a “threefold manner” - water, spirit and blood. I will highlight the “spirit” parts which would be specifically Baptism of Desire alone:

http://newadvent.org/fathers/0515.htm

15. And since we seem to have divided all spiritual baptism in a threefold manner, let us come also to the proof of the statement proposed, that we may not appear to have done this of our own judgment, and with rashness. For John says of our Lord in his epistle, teaching us: This is He who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood: and it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For three bear witness, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three are one; 1 John 5:6 — that we may gather from these words both that water is wont to confer the Spirit, and that men's own blood is wont to confer the Spirit, and that the Spirit Himself also is wont to confer the Spirit. For since water is poured forth even as blood, the Spirit also was poured out by the Lord upon all who believed. Assuredly both in water, and none the less in their own blood, and then especially in the Holy Spirit, men may be baptized. . . . And we believe that the Spirit which was upon them all effected this with an admirable wisdom, by the will of God. Which Spirit also filled John the Baptist even from his mother's womb; and it fell upon those who were with Cornelius the centurion before they were baptized with water. Thus, cleaving to the baptism of men, the Holy Spirit either goes before or follows it; or failing the baptism of water, it falls upon those who believe. We are counselled that either we ought duly to maintain the integrity of baptism, or if by chance baptism is given by any one in the name of Jesus Christ, we ought to supplement it, guarding the most holy invocation of the name of Jesus Christ, as we have most abundantly set forth; guarding, moreover, the custom and authority which so much claim our veneration for so long a time and for such great men.


St. Gregory Nazianzen – funeral oration for his father - even says that there are many who belong to the Church who are not visibly within her:
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf207.iii.x.html

6. Even before he was of our fold, he was ours. His character made him one of us. For, as many of our own are not with us, whose life alienates them from the common body, so, many of those without are on our side, whose character anticipates their faith, and need only the name of that which indeed they possess.

Also St. Gregory of Nazianzen enumerates various forms of Baptism, including 1-the Jews of water, 2-John’s water and repentance, 3-Jesus’ Spirit, 4-blood and 5-tears/repentance. Numbers 3 and 5 are specific to baptism of desire.

http://newadvent.org/fathers/310239.htm


Oration 39 Oration on the Holy Lights.


XVII. Now, since our Festival is of Baptism, and we must endure a little hardness with Him Who for our sake took form, and was baptized, and was crucified; let us speak about the different kinds of Baptism, that we may come out thence purified. Moses baptized Leviticus xi but it was in water, and before that in the cloud and in the sea. 1 Corinthians 10:2 This was typical as Paul says; the Sea of the water, and the Cloud of the Spirit; the Manna, of the Bread of Life; the Drink, of the Divine Drink. John also baptized; but this was not like the baptism of the Jews, for it was not only in water, but also unto repentance. Still it was not wholly spiritual, for he does not add And in the Spirit. Jesus also baptized, but in the Spirit. This is the perfect Baptism. And how is He not God, if I may digress a little, by whom you too are made God? I know also a Fourth Baptism— that by Martyrdom and blood, which also Christ himself underwent:— and this one is far more august than all the others, inasmuch as it cannot be defiled by after-stains. Yes, and I know of a Fifth also, which is that of tears, and is much more laborious, received by him who washes his bed every night and his couch with tears; whose bruises stink through his wickedness; and who goes mourning and of a sad countenance; who imitates the repentance of Manasseh Ninevites Jonah 3:7-10 upon which God had mercy; who utters the words of the Publican in the Temple, and is justified rather than the stiff-necked Pharisee; Luke 18:13 who like the Canaanite woman bends down and asks for mercy and crumbs, the food of a dog that is very hungry. Matthew 15:27




St Justin Martyr actually talks about good pagans who follow the law being Christians.

First Apology Chapter 46:

http://newadvent.org/fathers/0126.htm

. . . We have been taught that Christ is the first-born of God, and we have declared above that He is the Word of whom every race of men were partakers; and those who lived reasonably are Christians, even though they have been thought atheists; as, among the Greeks, Socrates and Heraclitus, and men like them; and among the barbarians, Abraham, and Ananias, and Azarias, and Misael, and Elias, and many others whose actions and names we now decline to recount, because we know it would be tedious. So that even they who lived before Christ, and lived without reason, were wicked and hostile to Christ, and slew those who lived reasonably. But who, through the power of the Word, according to the will of God the Father and Lord of all, He was born of a virgin as a man, and was named Jesus, and was crucified, and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, an intelligent man will be able to comprehend from what has been already so largely said. And we, since the proof of this subject is less needful now, will pass for the present to the proof of those things which are urgent. (this last part has also been translated to say: “whereas those who lived then or who live now according to reason [logos]are Christians. Such as these can be confident and unafraid")


NOTE: None of these Fathers minimize the necessity of the sacrament of Baptism. They are eloquent in defense of it. But they are talking about those who die in faith, charity and repentance before receiving the sacrament through no fault of their own.

Good night all. I can't keep doing this so late at night.

God bless you all.
Love,
Elisa
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Jehanne on Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:35 am

Elisa,

I think that you are pounding on an open door. I have read a lot of the SBC literature and they acknowledge the fact that many, if not most (perhaps all), of the Church Fathers taught Baptism of Desire & Baptism of Blood. In spite of that, the Church has never seen fit to define Baptism of Desire & Blood as being infallible, dogmatic truths of the Faith. Now, of course, that does not mean that we are free to reject either doctrine, for if they are both part of the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church, they are both infallible truths of the Catholic Faith, and hence, binding upon the faithful. To be fair to Father Feeney, he never denied either of those doctrines and was agnostic about the fate of those individuals who had explicit faith in Christ and who had the vow to be baptized yet who died before receiving Baptism. Rather, it was his opinion that the One and Triune God would simply not allow someone who truly desired Baptism and who was truly worthy of it to depart this life without that Sacrament. Like you, he cited a number of miraculous events from the ancient Church to show that God does, indeed, provide for those who truly seek Him.

Even if the Church has defined Baptism of Desire & Blood, she has even more clearly defined the absolute necessity of belonging to her. This is as much a historical observation as it is a theological one.
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  columba on Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:13 am

Elisa wrote:Columba,

I apologize that I called you a "he/she" I was rushed and didn't think to check your info. I see you are a he and that you were born in just about the best year anyone can be born. lol Like me.

I should also mention that I enjoyed reading your posts on Pascendi's and am happy to be discussing things with you.

God bless you.

Hi Elisa..
No prob with the "he/she" I've been called much worse haha.

That was a good year to be born. The eve of Vat II; so we can say we are born trads. LOL

Speaking of Pascendi's. the last topic I got reading there before its suden demise was to do with "Flat earth vs Round earth." I bet you remember that one?
What I learnt from this was that an argument can be made for, or against almost anything.
That's why I'm trying to look at baptism of desire in the wider context of not only how it fits or not with infallible declarations on the necessity of baptism, but how it fits or not with wider realities. eg; as mentioned earlier, the omnipotence of God.

I'm a firm believer that one truth can be deduced from another truth and so on and so on, if only we had the capacity to think clearly and follow the process perfectly. Of course since the fall I don't think this perfect ability on our part exixts. So, I'm wondering, can any of our positions on this topic be proved beyond doubt?
But isn't this exactly where the Church steps in and pronounces her verdict, which, is the same as God stepping in and pronouncing His verdict?
My contention is, that we are in fact discussing something that already has been definitively resolved by this means.

The question for me is one of mere curiiosity as to the process of deduction used by the Church in finally establishing the Dogma of the absolute necessity of Baptism. This is of interest in so far as it may shed light on how the theory of baptism of desire/Blood, managed to remain an inplicit posibility after this dogmatic declaration, without the danger of it being an heretical contradiction.


Last edited by columba on Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:19 am

Elisa,
Please!? I have quoted you Fathers who have reject Baptisms of Desire, in the past year too, but because they don't use the specific term "we reject Baptism of Desire" you don't accept it.

I quoted Tertullian who accepted Baptism of Blood as the only replacement but totally rejected Baptism of desire:

Tertullian:
“… it is in fact prescribed that no one can attain
to salvation without Baptism,
especially in view of that declaration of
the Lord, who says: ‘Unless a man shall be born of water, he shall not
have life [John 3]…”[Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 1:
306]

But this above doesn't seem clear to you, that he is denying baptism of desire? What can I do? When every Church Father I present that understands what the Church officially understands that in reference to Jn3:5; it means the Sacrament of Baptism with NO exceptions, but you refuse to accept that as evidence? It is one thing for you to not accept my proof but it is a total misrepresentation on your part to say that I have never given you proof "of one Church Father".

The Shepard of Hermas, 140 AD:
3[31]:1-2: "I will still proceed, Sir," say I, "to ask a further question."
"Speak on," saith he. "I have heard, Sir," say I, "from certain teachers, that
there is no other repentance, save that which took place when we rent down
into the water
and obtained remission of our former sins."
He saith to me; "Thou hast well heard; for so it is.
15[92]:2-4: "It was necessary for them," saith he, "to rise up through water,
that they might be made alive; for otherwise they could not enter into the
kingdom of God,
except they had put aside the deadness of their [former] life.

So these likewise that had fallen asleep received the seal of the
Son of God and entered into the kingdom of God. For before a man," saith he,
"has borne the name of [the Son of] God, he is dead; but when he has received
the seal, he layeth aside his deadness, and resumeth life.

The seal then is the water: so they go down into the water dead,
and they come up alive. "thus to them also this seal was preached, and they
availed themselves of it that they might enter into the kingdom of God."
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/shepherd-lightfoot.html


Justine Martyr also wrote there is no other way but baptism of water:
Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter 14, 155,AD:

"Justin: By reason, therefore, of this laver of repentance and knowledge of God, which has been ordained on account of the transgression of God's people, as Isaiah cries, we have believed, and testify that that very baptism which he announced is alone able to purify those who have repented; and this is the water of life."http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/01282.htm

Saint Irenaeus fragment 34 180 AD:"And dipped himself," says [the Scripture], "seven times in Jordan." 2 Kings 5:14 It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [it served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions; being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: "Unless a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. John 3:5"http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0134.htm
"As the Lord declared" is the constant teaching but those who accept baptism of desire are not accepting it was declared, seem to think it was only implied.
St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book I, chapter 21, #1:
1. It happens that their tradition respecting redemption is invisible and incomprehensible, as being the mother of things which are incomprehensible and invisible; and on this account, since it is fluctuating, it is impossible simply and all at once to make known its nature, for every one of them hands it down just as his own inclination prompts. Thus there are as many schemes of "redemption" as there are teachers of these mystical opinions. And when we come to refute them, we shall show in its fitting-place, that this class of men have been instigated by Satan to a denial of that baptism which is regeneration to God, and thus to a renunciation of the whole [Christian] faith.http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103121.htm
This: "since it is fluctuating, it is impossible simply and all at once to make known its nature, for every one of them hands it down just as his own inclination prompts." seems close to the confusion with the baptism of desire promoters. Some say only catechumens, others, those who have just a basic belief in God, others a universal salvation. He points out that an invisible salvation is false. And to my understanding baptism of desire is invisible only. Invisible in the sense that they belong to the "soul" of the Church but not to the Body, because to belong to the Body of the Church one needs the Sacramental Seal--only given in the sacrament. While Irenaeus isn't referring the baptism of desire, as such, he is definitely touching on similar points.

I don't know who advised you to use St Gregory Nazianzen as a source of Baptism of Desire? But it is ill advised. He was adiment about the necessity of the Sacrament of Baptism.
This is his personal testimony
St Gregory Nazianzen, Oration 18, On the Death of his Father,#31:
"After making some way on the
voyage, a terrible storm came upon us, and such an one as my shipmates
said they had but seldom seen before. While we were all in fear
of a common death, spiritual death was what I was most afraid of; for I
was in danger of departing in misery, being unbaptised,
and I longed
for the spiritual water among the waters of death."

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf207.iii.x.html

St Gregory Nazianzen, Oration 40,The Oration on Holy Baptism,#23:"Of those who fail to be baptized, some are utterly animal or bestial, according to whether they are foolish or wicked. . . . Others know and honor the gift of Baptism; but they delay, some out of carelessness, some because of insatiable passion. Still others are not able to receive Baptism, perhaps because of infancy, or some perfectly involuntary circumstance which prevents their receiving the gift, even if they desire it . . .

I think the first group will have to suffer punishment, not only for their other sins, but also for their contempt of Baptism.

The second group will also be punished, but less, because it was not through wickedness so much as through foolishness that they brought about their own failure.

The third group will neither be glorified nor punished by the Just Judge; for, although they are un-Sealed, they are not wicked. They are not so much wrong-doers as ones who have suffered a loss . . .

If you were able to judge a man who intends to commit murder solely by his intention and without any act of murder, then you could likewise reckon as baptized one who desired Baptism without having received Baptism. But, since you cannot do the former, how can you do the latter? . . .

If you prefer, we will put it this way: if, in your opinion, desire has equal power with actual Baptism, then make the same judgment in regard to Glory. You would then be satisfied to desire Glory, as though that longing itself were Glory. Do you suffer any damage by not attaining the actual Glory, as long as you have a desire for it? I cannot see it.

Or, if you like, we will put it thus:— If desire in your opinion has equal power with actual baptism, then judge in the same way in regard to glory, and you may be content with longing for it, as if that were itself glory. And what harm is done you by your not attaining the actual glory, as long as you have the desire for it?"

http://newadvent.org/fathers/310240.htm


as for your quote of St. Gregory Nazianzen, he is making a rhetorical presentation or are you saying the baptism of Moses and John were equal to the Sacrament?

Baptism of Martyrdom was a common euphemism for martyrdom in the day.
Baptism of Penance similar to baptism of blood this is the basis of the 3 vows of religious life often referred to as a dry martyrdom or a second baptism.

But when he speaks of desire being equal to the the Sacrament he "cannot see it"

So the count:
1. Augustine-- supporter but also not clear, later distanced himself from it.
2. Ambrose --very doubtful because he denied it clearly 2X in his teaching treaties.
3. Justine Martyr--Not advocate in a practical sense,meaning since the preaching of the Gospel. (See above) Seemed to think Greek philosophers were "anonymous Christians" but those same Greeks advocated homosexuality, not very Christian. Wink
4. Irenaeus--doubtful (see above) needs further study.

I find the ones people usually use Ambrose and Augustine as really the weakest. Ambrose I doubt can even be used as a reliable source of proof. Even though Aquinas like it I find it weak.

So granted even if we have 4 Fathers all dubious supporters of baptism of desire, that is hardly a consensus!!
And I find it hard to get around this:

Fr. William Jurgens:

If there were not a constant tradition in the Fathers that the Gospel message of ‘Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost he cannot enter into the kingdom of God’ is to be taken absolutely,
it would be easy to say that Our Savior simply did not see fit to
mention the obvious exceptions of invincible ignorance and physical
impossibility.
But the tradition in fact is there; and it is likely enough to be found so constant as to constitute revelation.”[Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 3, pp. 14-15 footnote 31]

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:10 pm

If you guys are going to keep messing with font colors, then Rasha needs to make the background white. Suspect

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  columba on Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:00 pm

MarianLibrarian wrote:If you guys are going to keep messing with font colors, then Rasha needs to make the background white. Suspect

I second that... Hva thought for us of failing eyesight.
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:16 pm

columba wrote:
MarianLibrarian wrote:If you guys are going to keep messing with font colors, then Rasha needs to make the background white. Suspect

I second that... Hva thought for us of failing eyesight.
My eyesight isn't failing... yet.

I just have to keep re-adjusting the settings on my monitor or highlight the text to read it without squinting.

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Elisa on Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:11 pm

MarianLibrarian wrote:
If you guys are going to keep messing with font colors, then Rasha needs to make the background white.

Oh my gosh, I would love to have a white background. This stuff bothers my 51 yr old eyes also.

I like to bold or highlight some things I write, because I know some people only have time to skim long posts. But the bold doesn't show up in white text and all the colors look blurry to me and are difficult to read. On my computer monitor the brown (that comes out looking reddish) is easy to read. So I settled on that color to highlight. If that one is bad too for others, then I am stuck.
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Elisa on Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:03 am

Columba: “Speaking of Pascendi's. the last topic I got reading there before its suden demise was to do with "Flat earth vs Round earth." I bet you remember that one?
What I learnt from this was that an argument can be made for, or against almost anything.”

Oh, Columba, I certainly do remember fondly the “Curvature of the Earth” thread. When I watched online as Paul/Pascendi deleted it the night he deleted the whole forum, it made me sad. I told some friends here how surprised I was that that thread was the one I was going to miss the most. Elaine was a nice lady. Did you get to read the whole thread? I still have my posts in my Word file. But all of Mike’s beautiful pictures are all gone.

While it’s true that an argument can be made for just about anything, that doesn’t mean that a valid or legitimate or well proven or well thought out argument can be made for anything. I personally don’t like arguing, but I like seeking the truth. I think you may be the same.


Columba: “So, I'm wondering, can any of our positions on this topic be proved beyond doubt?
But isn't this exactly where the Church steps in and pronounces her verdict, which, is the same as God stepping in and pronouncing His verdict?
My contention is, that we are in fact discussing something that already has been definitively resolved by this means.”

No, of course not all of our positions on this topic can be proven beyond a doubt. Because the Holy Spirit has not yet revealed all the details of Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood to the Church yet. So, like I just said on another thread, some of this is still a mystery. There is nothing wrong with holy mystery, which the Eastern Church embraces. We don’t need to know all the details to have faith and trust in the teachings of the Church. Just because we don’t understand how 2 truths can be reconciled doesn’t mean they can’t be reconciled and both be right. And the Holy Spirit will reveal the details when He sees fit, if He ever sees fit.

So maybe someone personally can’t understand how baptism is necessary for salvation, yet some may be saved through faith, charity, repentance and baptism of desire. But the Church teaches both, so we can trust that they can be reconciled.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you have to understand it all for it to be true or for it to be taught by the Church. And don’t think you need to have an opinion on this right away. Take your time and pray about it. But don’t deny that the Church definitely has always taught Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood in some form and that it has formally taught it a millennium. Formally, but not defined. Not infallible, but needing assent.

It is ludicrous to think that the Church in all her catechisms since Trent has somehow been wrong on this point and doesn’t understand her own teachings. This isn’t some new Vatican II belief. There is no reason for any Catholic to run from it. Doesn’t mean anyone has to stand up and cheer it either. Just let it be. Assent to the POSSIBILITY that some souls MAY be saved in some mysterious way you do not understand by the power of our most merciful, just and omnipotent God.

I feel very comfortable that God can grant grace to His elect in the normal way through visible water baptism while one is conscious and that He may resurrect some miraculously to demonstrate both His power and rule and importance of His precepts.

And I am comfortable that God may baptize some of His elect (who He knows have explicit faith and are part of His Church) as He sees fit in a way that is invisible to us here on earth. Perhaps in the moments between life and death. Perhaps baptizing them Himself with His own holy water. (Someone on Pascendi’s website brought up the book of Revelation (ch 22) about “the river of life giving water” running through Heaven.) Or maybe our angels or a Saint or Our Blessed Mother may baptize a soul. Or, like I said to Rasha, maybe Our Lord baptizes these people with His own mother’s tears. “Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.”

There is nothing about the doctrine of Baptism of Desire or Baptism of Blood that denies the necessity of baptism or is contrary to the Church in any way. Really, do you think that the great theologians and Church authorities haven’t thought about these things? Yet they still declared these Saints Doctors of the Church who believed in Baptism of Desire.

Not one Church Father has EVER specifically denied Baptism of Desire. So we shouldn’t deny it either. Let it be. Trust in the Church’s formal teachings. All of them.

Even if you feel it’s not secure during a storm while you are in the barque of Peter, know that Our Lord is there to calm the winds when the need arises.

God bless you and all here.
Love,
Elisa

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Elisa on Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:37 am

Jehanne,

I’m sorry it got too late to comment the other night on your very valid point about the Church Fathers always talking about Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood only when it relates to a catechumen.

While it is true that this was the case when they talked about “desire” per se and explicitly, I’m not sure it is ALWAYS the case when talking about salvation in general. Definitely most of the time when they talked about it though. I’m sorry I don’t have the time to look up the various quotes, but look at these that I posted here already.

St. Justin Martyr was talking about atheists and pagans belonging to the Church. St. Gregory of Nazienzen was saying his father, like others, belonged to the Church before their conversion. Seems like some sort of invincible ignorance type view.

More importantly is St. Augustine’s quote about the good thief on the cross. I’ve read several other quotes by Church Fathers about the good thief that are similar. Sorry I don’t have time to look.

St. Augustine:

“For neither was that thief crucified for the name of Christ, but as the reward of his own deeds; nor did he suffer because he believed, but he believed while suffering. It was shown, therefore, in the case of that thief, how great is the power, even without the visible sacrament of baptism, of what the apostle says, "With the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:10 But the want is supplied invisibly only when the administration of baptism is prevented, not by contempt for religion, but by the necessity of the moment.”

But even with these, I still agree with you on the fact that only one of faith belonging to the Church would be saved. It might not be a formal catechumen, but I think that even these quotes show that the Saints believed that these people BELONGED TO THE CHURCH in some way, even if they were not formal catechumens. That they still have faith, repentance and desire and are willing to submit to whatever truths Christ reveals to them, including His one Church.

I have heard some say that the good thief doesn’t count because he was under the old law and would be like those Old Testament patriarchs in the bosom of Abraham. The problem I have with that is twofold. One, the Fathers that did discuss the thief never said that. It was not an issue for them about the thief. They wrote only that the thief was saved by the gift of “his faith” and his “desire.” Two, according to the Gospels the thief seems to have expired before Christ. Christ was already dead on the cross and for that reason was speared instead of having his legs broken like the thieves.

When actually talking about Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood, the Church always talked about someone with faith belonging to the Church in some way. Either a formal catechumen or an informal one, who for what ever invincible reason was not yet a formal catechumen.

And again, while I believe it MAY happen, we need to pray and evangelize the truths of the Church as if it doesn’t happen. Because peoples’ salvation should never be left to “maybes.” There is only one sure path to salvation. Visible water baptism and faith in Christ within His one Church, along with charity and repentance.

You may think I’m “pounding on an open door,” but somehow it feels like I’m banging my head against a wall. lol Since, for some reason, Duckbill has asked for quotes and seems to be implying that baptism of desire was not always taught from the beginning, we are supplying the proof it was.

God bless you.
Love,
Elisa
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  DeSelby on Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:47 am

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Elisa on Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:39 am

Duckbill,

I wish I had the time and energy to say more to you tonight, but I simply can’t stay up so late anymore. I don’t have much time or access to the computer during the day.

So I will try and be brief. Your interpretations of the early Church Fathers is not the interpretation of the Church. You see denials of Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood in their statements, but the Church doesn’t. The Church understands these things as well as you do and more. The Church has read all the Fathers and Church authorities, yet the Church teaches (formally, but not defined) baptism of desire and baptism of blood. The Church sees no contradiction or denial of the necessity of Baptism. No Father or Church authority has EVER contradicted or condemned any of the statements of the Fathers (including St. Thomas Acquinas) that talk of Baptism of Desire or Baptism of Blood. Instead they uphold them.

The Church has analyzed these statements for centuries and read them ALL. You said you have just started looking for all the Church Fathers’ quotes on this. A little early to form a hard opinion, especially one that is different from all the catechisms of the Church for at least the last 500 years.

You still have not shown me even ONE Church Father who specifically denied Baptism of Desire or Baptism of Blood. Not one. In context those quotes you posted simply talk about the necessity of baptism, which the Church has always taught and we all believe. In context those quotes are talking to catechumens who purposely delay baptism. After this I will repost what I’ve already said about St. Gregory.

Where is a statement from a Church Father or Church authority specifically saying that St. Augustine was wrong about “desire” or that St. Augustine didn’t mean Baptism of Desire? Where is a statement from a Doctor of the Church or Church authority specifically saying that St. Thomas Acquinas was wrong about baptism of desire or what he wrote about St. Augustine and St. Ambrose’s statements?

You are a good and loyal Catholic, Duckbill, and often I like the things you say about other topics. So don’t take what I am saying in the wrong way. I’m not saying you are Protestant. But I think you need to look at how you are approaching this topic.

Protestants interpret Sacred Scripture differently and apart from the way the Church interprets the Word of God. But the Church is the ONLY authority who can correctly interpret Sacred Scripture when there is a dispute.

Some SSPXers, sedes and a few radical Feeneyites (not all) at times interpret Sacred Tradition differently and apart from the way the Church interprets the Word of God. But the Church is the ONLY authority who can correctly interpret Sacred Tradition when there is a dispute.

Your interpretation of the Church Fathers is not the Church’s interpretation of them.

You said:

“I find the ones people usually use Ambrose and Augustine as really the weakest. Ambrose I doubt can even be used as a reliable source of proof.Even though Aquinas like it I find it weak.

Think about that. You are putting your opinion on the same level as St. Thomas Acquinas. Honestly, doesn’t that give you pause?

I will repeat this till I am blue in the face:

If you don’t want to believe in Baptism of Blood or Baptism of Desire, you don’t have to. No Catholic has to believe baptism of desire and baptism of blood are true or even likely or that a single case ever actually happened, but a Catholic should believe they are a POSSIBILITY. That they are not impossible.

All a Catholic has to do is assent to the POSSIBILITY of Baptism of Blood and Baptism of Desire, because the Church as ALWAYS (in one form or another since the beginning of the Church) said that it is POSSIBLE. Not that it definitely happened. And the Church taught this formally and consistently, but not in a defined way. Including every single catechism I know of since Trent’s, including the Baltimore Catechism of my youth and the Catechism of the Catholic Church today.

Good night, Duckbill. God bless you and all here.
Love,
Elisa

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Elisa on Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:51 am

Repost about St. Gregory from another thread:

It is clearly as Mike said.

"It may be tempting to take St. Gregory out of context. But we should remember when he speaks of baptism of desire, he may have been talking about a mere wish and not a true will, as was common at the time with the high number of converts who arrived soon after the persecutions ended. In fact, this type of tepid “desire” was prevalent in St. Augustine before he finally converted. So if someone feels an inclination for baptism, but does not resolve firmly to be baptized and does not already conform his life to that of the faithful by a living faith, and puts off his baptism, he will not be rewarded by God (by entreaty) with an interior regeneration."

Elisa:

Remember St. Augustine said he prayed before his conversion, “give me faith, but not just yet.”

I do suggest that those who can, read both Orations for yourselves in their entirety. If you read only one, read 40, it is more pertinent to these discussions. If you read them both in context and in entirety you will clearly see that St. Gregory is not talking about everyone dying before being baptized losing their salvation. He is not denying baptism of blood and baptism of desire.

I especially like XX and XXI about the parable about the laborers in the vineyard. Apart from these discussions, these orations are well worth the read. “For from the day and hour at which each believed, from that day and hour he is required to work.”

He is basically saying not to wait to become a Christian and to do so when God calls you, on his time, not yours. I’m sure most of you know how back then many people waited until they were dying to be baptized. Because they wanted to live their lives the way they wanted and then at the end have the slate wiped clean of all their sins with baptism. Both forgiveness of sins and removal of temporal punishment. It is said that Constantine did this. They want to have their cake and eat it too. This is not from their heart for most and for others it’s just ignorance.

And he is also talking about the graces we receive in baptism being beneficial to us while we are still running the race. Because we receive the graces to strengthen u in life. And he warns that the covenant is to lead better lives and try and reframe from sin as much as possible so we do not need to be reconciled again after baptism, though contrition and penance. That is better than postponing baptism for only one reconciliation at the end of life. And he mentions that if you wait, you might change your mind later and not want baptism ever.

He is talking about those who postpone their baptism. Mostly on purpose and for evil, scheming, silly or ignorant reasons. Those who do not value it, may lose it.

St. Gregory talks about this in paragraph after lengthy paragraph. And in all of it, he only devotes a few short lines in one paragraph to those who die without baptism who “are prevented from receiving it, even if they wish,” including infants. He doesn’t say they are punished like the other people, but “will be neither glorified nor punished by the righteous Judge, as unsealed and yet not wicked, but persons who have suffered rather than done wrong. For not every one who is not bad enough to be punished is good enough to be honoured; just as not every one who is not good enough to be honoured is bad enough to be punished.”

So St. Gregory here is saying that not only do some infants go to limbo, some adults do as well. Some adults go to Heaven, some to Hell and some to a third place for all eternity? Limbo? Is this what you all believe? Is this what the Church has taught or is this a speculation by the great Saint and Doctor?

Another way to look at what he is doing is he is already putting people who desire baptism in a separate category. Not in Heaven, but not damned either.

But I wonder exactly who these people are that St. Gregory talks about. Because in his 2 Orations he doesn’t just talk about the water part of baptism, but being baptized with water and the Holy Spirit. Some people receive the grace for faith and charity and have the Holy Spirit before they receive baptism. (not infants) Others receive the grace during/after baptism. Some are justified before the sacrament.

Is St. Gregory talking about these people? Would an innocent, yet ignorant infant be in the same category as one of these?

Or when the Saint talks about those who “wish” or “desire” to be baptized, is he talking about good people who wanted to be baptized because in their minds they thought it was a good idea? They were on the path to receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit and being given the gift of faith, but didn’t have it yet in their hearts. They had good intentions, but did they have the desire burning in their hearts along with the Holy Spirit, like those people the Church talks about who may receive baptism of blood or baptism of desire? True faith and love of Christ. Those who had already been given grace, anticipating further grace, or those waiting for the grace for justification to be given?

This is all speculation, because, if you read the entire thing, St. Gregory isn’t really clear on this either way, not in such detail, as when he talks about those who are negligent or have evil intent. You come away feeling that what we call baptism of desire and baptism of blood was not his point in these orations.

He says, “You are speaking in riddles, if what you mean is that because of God's mercy the unenlightened is enlightened in His sight; and he is within the kingdom of heaven who merely desires to attain to it, but refrains from doing that which pertains to the kingdom.”

This line seems to indicate what I am trying to say. Is a justified catechumen “unenlightened?”

And he says, “Therefore do not delay in coming to grace, but hasten.”

What about those who already had the grace of the Holy Spirit and were awaiting the sacrament? Like some in the New Testament. They were not those “coming to grace,” but those coming to further grace and to be sealed.

Again I ask, how much “more august” would baptism of blood be, why superior to normal visible earthly water baptism, if some martyrs are not saved?

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Elisa on Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:52 am

These orations were to be taken together, preached a day apart. They talk about the necessity and great gift of Baptism.


http://newadvent.org/fathers/310239.htm

Oration 39 Oration on the Holy Lights.


XVII. Now, since our Festival is of Baptism, and we must endure a little hardness with Him Who for our sake took form, and was baptized, and was crucified; let us speak about the different kinds of Baptism, that we may come out thence purified. Moses baptized Leviticus xi but it was in water, and before that in the cloud and in the sea. 1 Corinthians 10:2 This was typical as Paul says; the Sea of the water, and the Cloud of the Spirit; the Manna, of the Bread of Life; the Drink, of the Divine Drink. John also baptized; but this was not like the baptism of the Jews, for it was not only in water, but also unto repentance. Still it was not wholly spiritual, for he does not add And in the Spirit. Jesus also baptized, but in the Spirit. This is the perfect Baptism. And how is He not God, if I may digress a little, by whom you too are made God? I know also a Fourth Baptism— that by Martyrdom and blood, which also Christ himself underwent:— and this one is far more august than all the others, inasmuch as it cannot be defiled by after-stains. Yes, and I know of a Fifth also, which is that of tears, and is much more laborious, received by him who washes his bed every night and his couch with tears; whose bruises stink through his wickedness; and who goes mourning and of a sad countenance; who imitates the repentance of Manasseh Ninevites Jonah 3:7-10 upon which God had mercy; who utters the words of the Publican in the Temple, and is justified rather than the stiff-necked Pharisee; Luke 18:13 who like the Canaanite woman bends down and asks for mercy and crumbs, the food of a dog that is very hungry. Matthew 15:27


Oration 40 The Oration on Holy Baptism.
http://newadvent.org/fathers/310240.htm
Excerpts:
VIII. And since we are double-made, I mean of body and soul, and the one part is visible, the other invisible, so the cleansing also is twofold, by water and the spirit; the one received visibly in the body, the other concurring with it invisibly and apart from the body; the one typical, the other real and cleansing the depths. And this which comes to the aid of our first birth, makes us new instead of old, and like God instead of what we now are; recasting us without fire, and creating us anew without breaking us up. For, to say it all in one word, the virtue of Baptism is to be understood as a covenant with God for a second life and a purer conversation. And indeed all need to fear this very much, and to watch our own souls, each one of us, with all care, that we do not become liars in respect of this profession. For if God is called upon as a Mediator to ratify human professions, how great is the danger if we be found transgressors of the covenant which we have made with God Himself; and if we be found guilty before the Truth Himself of that lie, besides our other transgressions...and that when there is no second regeneration, or recreation, or restoration to our former state, even though we seek it with all our might, and with many sighs and tears, by which it is cicatrized over (with great difficulty in my opinion, though we all believe that it may be cicatrized). Yet if we might wipe away even the scars I should be glad, since I too have need of mercy. But it is better not to stand in need of a second cleansing, but to stop at the first, which is, I know, common to all, and involves no labour, and is of equal price to slaves, to masters, to poor, to rich, to humble, to exalted, to gentle, to simple, to debtors, to those who are free from debt; like the breathing of the air, and the pouring forth of the light, and the changes of the seasons, and the sight of creation, that great delight which we all share alike, and the equal distribution of the faith.
IX. For it is a strange thing to substitute for a painless remedy one which is more painful; to cast away the grace of mercy, and owe a debt of punishment; and to measure our amendment against sin. For how many tears must we contribute before they can equal the fount of baptism; and who will be surety for us that death shall wait for our cure, and that the judgment seat shall not summon us while still debtors, and needing the fire of the other world?
. . . . . . .

XI. Let us then be baptized that we may win the victory; let us partake of the cleansing waters, more purifying than hyssop, purer than the legal blood, more sacred than the ashes of the heifer sprinkling the unclean, Hebrews 10:4 and providing a temporary cleansing of the body, but not a complete taking away of sin; for if once purged, why should they need further purification? Let us be baptized today, that we suffer not violence tomorrow; and let us not put off the blessing as if it were an injury, nor wait till we get more wicked that more may be forgiven us; and let us not become sellers and traffickers of Christ, lest we become more heavily burdened than we are able to bear, that we be not sunk with all hands and make shipwreck of the Gift, and lose all because we expected too much. While you are still master of your thoughts run to the Gift. While you are not yet sick in body or in mind, nor seemest so to those who are with you (though you are really of sound mind); while your good is not yet in the power of others, but you yourself art still master of it; while your tongue is not stammering or parched, or (to say no more) deprived of the power of pronouncing the sacramental words; while you can still be made one of the faithful, not conjecturally but confessedly; and canst still receive not pity but congratulation; while the Gift is still clear to you, and there is no doubt about it; while the grace can reach the depth of your soul, and it is not merely your body that is washed for burial; and before tears surround you announcing your decease— and even these restrained perhaps for your sake— and your wife and children would delay your departure, and are listening for your dying words; before the physician is powerless to help you, and is giving you but hours to live— hours which are not his to give— and is balancing your salvation with the nod of his head, and discoursing learnedly on your disease after you are dead, or making his charges heavier by withdrawals, or hinting at despair; before there is a struggle between the man who would baptize you and the man who seeks your money, the one striving that you may receive your Viaticum, the other that he may be inscribed in your Will as heir— and there is no time for both.

. . . . . . . . .

But are you afraid lest you should destroy the Gift, and do you therefore put off your cleansing, because you cannot have it a second time? What? Would you not be afraid of danger in time of persecution, and of losing the most precious Thing you have— Christ? Would you then on this account avoid becoming a Christian? Perish the thought. Such a fear is not for a sane man; such an argument argues insanity. O incautious caution, if I may so. O trick of the Evil One! Truly he is darkness and pretends to be light; and when he can no longer prevail in open war, he lays snares in secret, and gives advice, apparently good, really evil, if by some trick at least he may prevail, and we find no escape from his plotting. And this is clearly what he is aiming at in this instance. For, being unable to persuade you to despise Baptism, he inflicts loss upon you through a fictitious security; that in consequence of your fear you may suffer unconsciously the very thing you are afraid of; and because you fear to destroy the Gift, you may for this very reason fail of the Gift altogether. This is his character; and he will never cease his duplicity as long as he sees us pressing onwards towards heaven from which he has fallen. Wherefore, O man of God, do thou recognize the plots of your adversary; for the battle is against him that has, and it is concerned with the most important interests. Take not your enemy to be your counsellor; despise not to be and to be called Faithful. As long as you are a Catechumen you are but in the porch of Religion; you must come inside, and cross the court, and observe the Holy Things, and look into the Holy of Holies, and be in company with the Trinity. Great are the interests for which you are fighting, great too the stability which you need. Protect yourself with the shield of faith. He fears you, if you fight armed with this weapon, and therefore he would strip you of the Gift, that he may the more easily overcome you unarmed and defenceless. He assails every age, and every form of life; he must be repelled by all.

XVII.Are you young? Stand against your passions; be numbered with the alliance in the army of God: do valiantly against Goliath. 1 Samuel 17:32 Take your thousands or your myriads; thus enjoy your manhood; but do not allow your youth to be withered, being killed by the imperfection of your faith. Are you old and near the predestined necessity? Aid your few remaining days. Entrust the purification to your old age. Why do you fear youthful passion in deep old age and at your last breath? Or will you wait to be washed till you are dead, and not so much the object of pity as of dislike? Are you regretting the dregs of pleasure, being yourself in the dregs of life? It is a shameful thing to be past indeed the flower of your age, but not past your wickedness; but either to be involved in it still, or at least to seem so by delaying your purification. Have you an infant child? Do not let sin get any opportunity, but let him be sanctified from his childhood; from his very tenderest age let him be consecrated by the Spirit. Fearest thou the Seal on account of the weakness of nature? O what a small-souled mother, and of how little faith! Why, Anna even before Samuel was born 1 Samuel 1:10 promised him to God, and after his birth consecrated him at once, and brought him up in the priestly habit, not fearing anything in human nature, but trusting in God. You have no need of amulets or incantations, with which the Devil also comes in, stealing worship from God for himself in the minds of vainer men. Give your child the Trinity, that great and noble Guard.

. . . . .

And in one word, there is no state of life and no occupation to which Baptism is not profitable. You who are a free man, be curbed by it; you who are in slavery, be made of equal rank; you who are in grief, receive comfort; let the gladsome be disciplined; the poor receive riches that cannot be taken away; the rich be made capable of being good stewards of their possessions. Do not play tricks or lay plots against your own salvation. For even if we can delude others we cannot delude ourselves. And so to play against oneself is very dangerous and foolish.
. . . .
XX. But some will say, What shall I gain, if, when I am preoccupied by baptism, and have cut off myself by my haste from the pleasures of life, when it was in my power to give the reins to pleasure, and then to obtain grace? For the labourers in the vineyard who had worked the longest time gained nothing thereby, for equal wages were given to the very last. You have delivered me from some trouble, whoever you are who say this, because you have at last with much difficulty told the secret of your delay; and though I cannot applaud your shiftiness, I do applaud your confession. But come hither and listen to the interpretation of the parable, that you may not be injured by Scripture for want of information. First of all, there is no question here of baptism, but of those who believe at different times and enter the good vineyard of the Church. For from the day and hour at which each believed, from that day and hour he is required to work. And then, although they who entered first contributed more to the measure of the labour yet they did not contribute more to the measure of the purpose; nay perhaps even more was due to the last in respect of this, though the statement may seem paradoxical. For the cause of their later entrance was their later call to the work of the vineyard. In all other respects let us see how different they are. The first did not believe or enter till they had agreed on their hire; but the others came forward to do the work without an agreement, which is a proof of greater faith. And the first were found to be of an envious and murmuring nature, but no such charge is brought against the others. And to the first, that which was given was wages, though they were worthless fellows; to the last it was the free gift. So that the first were convicted of folly, and with reason deprived of the greater reward. Let us see what would have happened to them if they had been late. Why, the equal pay, evidently. How then can they blame the employer as unjust because of their equality? For all these things take away the merit of their labour from the first, although they were at work first; and therefore it turns out that the distribution of equal pay was just, if you measure the good will against the labour.
XXI. But supposing that the Parable does sketch the power of the font according to your interpretation, what would prevent you, if you entered first, and bore the heat, from avoiding envy of the last, that by this very lovingkindness you might obtain more, and receive the reward, not as of grace but as of debt? And next, the workmen who receive the wages are those who have entered, not those who have missed, the vineyard; which last is like to be your case. So that if it were certain that you would obtain the Gift, though you are of such a mind, and maliciously keep back some of the labour, you might be forgiven for taking refuge in such arguments, and desiring to make unlawful gain out of the kindness of the master; though I might assure you that the very fact of being able to labour is a greater reward to any who is not altogether of a huckstering mind. But since there is a risk of your being altogether shut out of the vineyard through your bargaining, and losing the capital through stopping to pick up little gains, do let yourselves be persuaded by my words to forsake the false interpretations and contradictions, and to come forward without arguing to receive the Gift, lest you should be snatched away before you realize your hopes, and should find out that it was to your own loss that you devised these sophistries.
XXII. But then, you say, is not God merciful, and since He knows our thoughts and searches out our desires, will He not take the desire of Baptism instead of Baptism? You are speaking in riddles, if what you mean is that because of God's mercy the unenlightened is enlightened in His sight; and he is within the kingdom of heaven who merely desires to attain to it, but refrains from doing that which pertains to the kingdom.
. . . . .

XXIII. And so also in those who fail to receive the Gift, some are altogether animal or bestial, according as they are either foolish or wicked; and this, I think, has to be added to their other sins, that they have no reverence at all for this Gift, but look upon it as a mere gift— to be acquiesced in if given them, and if not given them, then to be neglected. Others know and honour the Gift, but put it off; some through laziness, some through greediness. Others are not in a position to receive it, perhaps on account of infancy, or some perfectly involuntary circumstance through which they are prevented from receiving it, even if they wish. As then in the former case we found much difference, so too in this. They who altogether despise it are worse than they who neglect it through greed or carelessness. These are worse than they who have lost the Gift through ignorance or tyranny, for tyranny is nothing but an involuntary error. And I think that the first will have to suffer punishment, as for all their sins, so for their contempt of baptism; and that the second will also have to suffer, but less, because it was not so much through wickedness as through folly that they wrought their failure; and that the third will be neither glorified nor punished by the righteous Judge, as unsealed and yet not wicked, but persons who have suffered rather than done wrong. For not every one who is not bad enough to be punished is good enough to be honoured; just as not every one who is not good enough to be honoured is bad enough to be punished. And I look upon it as well from another point of view. If you judge the murderously disposed man by his will alone, apart from the act of murder, then you may reckon as baptized him who desired baptism apart from the reception of baptism. But if you cannot do the one how can you do the other? I cannot see it. Or, if you like, we will put it thus:— If desire in your opinion has equal power with actual baptism, then judge in the same way in regard to glory, and you may be content with longing for it, as if that were itself glory. And what harm is done you by your not attaining the actual glory, as long as you have the desire for it?
XXIV. Therefore since you have heard these words, come forward to it, and be enlightened, and your faces shall not be ashamed through missing the Grace. Receive then the Enlightenment in due season, that darkness pursue you not, and catch you, and sever you from the Illumining. The night comes when no man can work John 12:35 after our departure hence. The one is the voice of David, the other of the True Light which lights every man that comes into the world. And consider how Solomon reproves you who are too idle or lethargic, saying, How long will you sleep, O sluggard, Proverbs 6:9 and when will you arise out of your sleep? You rely upon this or that, and pretend pretences in sins; am waiting for Epiphany; I prefer Easter; I will wait for Pentecost. It is better to be baptized with Christ, to rise with Christ on the Day of His Resurrection, Matthew 24:50 to honour the Manifestation of the Spirit. And what then? The end will come suddenly in a day for which you look not, and in an hour that you are not aware of; and then you will have for a companion lack of grace; and you will be famished in the midst of all those riches of goodness, though you ought to reap the opposite fruit from the opposite course, a harvest by diligence, and refreshment from the font, like the thirsty hart that runs in haste to the spring, and quenches the labour of his race by water; and not to be in Ishmael's case, dried up for want of water, or as the fable has it, punished by thirst in the midst of a spring. It is a sad thing to let the market day go by and then to seek for work. It is a sad thing to let the Manna pass and then to long for food. It is a sad thing to take a counsel too late, and to become sensible of the loss only when it is impossible to repair it; that is, after our departure hence, and the bitter closing of the acts of each man's life, and the punishment of sinners, and the glory of the purified. Therefore do not delay in coming to grace, but hasten, lest the robber outstrip you, lest the adulterer pass you by, lest the insatiate be satisfied before you, lest the murderer seize the blessing first, or the publican or the fornicator, or any of these violent ones who take the Kingdom of heaven by force. Matthew 11:12 For it suffers violence willingly, and is tyrannized over through goodness.
. . . . .
XXVI. Let nothing hinder you from going on, nor draw you away from your readiness. While your desire is still vehement, seize upon that which you desire. While the iron is hot, let it be tempered by the cold water, lest anything should happen in the interval, and put an end to your desire.
. . . . .

XLVI. But one thing more I preach unto you. The Station in which you shall presently stand after your Baptism before the Great Sanctuary is a foretype of the future glory. The Psalmody with which you will be received is a prelude to the Psalmody of Heaven; the lamps which you will kindle are a Sacrament of the illumination there with which we shall meet the Bridegroom, shining and virgin souls, with the lamps of our faith shining, not sleeping through our carelessness, that we may not miss Him that we look for if He come unexpectedly; nor yet unfed, and without oil, and destitute of good works, that we be not cast out of the Bridechamber. For I see how pitiable is such a case. He will come when the cry demands the meeting, and they who are prudent shall meet Him, with their light shining and its food abundant, but the others seeking for oil too late from those who possess it. And He will come with speed, and the former shall go in with Him, but the latter shall be shut out, having wasted in preparations the time of entrance; and they shall weep sore when all too late they learn the penalty of their slothfulness, when the Bride-chamber can no longer be entered by them for all their entreaties, for they have shut it against themselves by their sin, following in another fashion the example of those who missed the Wedding feast with which the good Father feasts the good Bridegroom; one on account of a newly wedded wife; another of a newly purchased field; another of a yoke of oxen; which he and they acquired to their misfortune, since for the sake of the little they lose the great. For none are there of the disdainful, nor of the slothful, nor of those who are clothed in filthy rags and not in the Wedding garment even though here they may have thought themselves worthy of wearing the bright robe there, and secretly intruded themselves, deceiving themselves with vain hopes. And then, What? When we have entered, then the Bridegroom knows what He will teach us, and how He will converse with the souls that have come in with Him. He will converse with them, I think in teaching things more perfect and more pure. Of which may we all, both Teachers and Taught, have share, in the Same Christ our Lord, to Whom be the Glory and the Empire, for ever and ever. Amen.
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  columba on Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:30 pm

Oh, Columba, I certainly do remember fondly the “Curvature of the Earth” thread. When I watched online as Paul/Pascendi deleted it the night he deleted the whole forum, it made me sad. I told some friends here how surprised I was that that thread was the one I was going to miss the most. Elaine was a nice lady. Did you get to read the whole thread? I still have my posts in my Word file. But all of Mike’s beautiful pictures are all gone.

While it’s true that an argument can be made for just about anything, that doesn’t mean that a valid or legitimate or well proven or well thought out argument can be made for anything. I personally don’t like arguing, but I like seeking the truth. I think you may be the same.

No Elisa I didn't get reading the whole of that thread but I thoroughly enjoyed what I did read.

You Can include me as a Truth Seeker to. Very Happy

No, of course not all of our positions on this topic can be proven beyond a doubt. Because the Holy Spirit has not yet revealed all the details of Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood to the Church yet. So, like I just said on another thread, some of this is still a mystery. There is nothing wrong with holy mystery, which the Eastern Church embraces. We don’t need to know all the details to have faith and trust in the teachings of the Church. Just because we don’t understand how 2 truths can be reconciled doesn’t mean they can’t be reconciled and both be right. And the Holy Spirit will reveal the details when He sees fit, if He ever sees fit.

Elisa this is a good point you make but I still have the following reservations. I believe that most of our faith is a mystery as is the dogma of the Blessed Trinity which we are bound to hold without reserve even though it still remains a mystery to us how this can be.
This mystery though does have a definition; There is one God but three Divine persons.
Still a mystery but I know what I must believe.
You probably guess where I'm going here. . I don't have a clear definition of baptism of desire in order to know what I must believe. As MarianLibrarian pointed out earlier, are we to bellieve this is available only to catachumens? Does it include the invincibly ignorant? When is this baptism given? What is the form and the matter? Who is the minister? At what point does it occur?
Is it really a baptism or is that just a word used to explain an unknowable infussion of grace?
If it is a baptism am I required to believe in three baptisms, Sacramental, Desire and Blood?
If so, must I include this as part of the creed or still hold to one baptism for the forgiveness of sins as the Church still does? and finally, is baptism of desire necessary for salvation if one does not receive sacramental baptism?

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you have to understand it all for it to be true or for it to be taught by the Church. And don’t think you need to have an opinion on this right away. Take your time and pray about it. But don’t deny that the Church definitely has always taught Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood in some form and that it has formally taught it a millennium. Formally, but not defined. Not infallible, but needing assent.

It's not that I don't understand it all. I really don't understand any of it in it's present form and that is the truth.

Assent to the POSSIBILITY that some souls MAY be saved in some mysterious way you do not understand by the power of our most merciful, just and omnipotent God.

Elisa if I assent to a POSSIBILITY I''m not really assenting to a doctrine. Can there actually be a doctrine concerning a possibility? If so, is there any other doctrine comparible that has been presented as a possibility that must be held as part of the faith? Limbo might be such a doctrine but with this I have a clear understanding of what is being proposed for belief. It has the same historical background as baptism of desire but with an actual definition that is easily understandable. It has also been included in catechisms but more or less rejected in the new catachism. The reason usually given for permitting it's rejection is that it was never proposed infallibly. Neither has baptism of desire been proposed infallibly, so it too can be defunct somewhere along the line thus proving it was never a doctrine in the first place

This is my whole contention, that baptism of desire is not a binding doctrine of the faith..

If these questions can be answered, and answered in conformity to the law of non contradiction, then at least I could believe with that faith that supercedes reason but does not contradict it.

Btw.. I can indeed understand why the contrary position to mine can be legitimately held and many can hold their position with out seeing contradictions or at least without being able to formulate the non contradictions into precise, understandable laymans language.

God Bless,

Columba.
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  MRyan on Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:59 am

columba wrote:
St Gregory of Nyssa [d. 395]: "You are outside Paradise, O catechumen! You share the exile of Adam." (Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, vol. IV, pp 46, 47)
Context, context, context.

Excerpt from Liturgical Studies, The Bible and the Liturgy by Jean Danielou, S.J., University of Notre Dame Press, Chapter Two, The Baptismal Rite, p. 18:

THE ceremonies that we have been studying form the remote preparation for Baptism. Cyril of Jerusalem [d. 386] devotes his first catechesis to them, Theodore of Mopsuestia his two first homilies. These ceremonies constitute a well-defined whole, characterized by the fact that they take place outside the baptistry; the candidate is treated as being still a stranger to the Church. The entrance into the baptistery marked the beginning of the immediate preparation for Baptism, and it included two preliminary rites: the laying aside of clothing and the anointing with oil. Then the actual Baptism took place, carried out by immersion in the baptismal pool. It was followed by clothing in the white robe, corresponding to the previous stripping. These are the rites whose symbolism we shall now study. At the beginning of the Procatechesis, St. Cyril says to those who come to be enrolled: "Henceforth you are in the vestibule of the palace. May you soon be led into it by the king" (XXXIII, 333 A). This is an exact description of the candidates' state. They were in the vestibule, "breathing already the perfume of beatitude. They are gathering the flowers of which their crowns will be woven" (XXXIII, 332 B). Here we find once more the symbolism of paradise. But they are not yet inside the sanctuary itself. The leading into the baptistry signifies the entrance into the Church, that is to say, the return to Paradise, lost by the sin of the first man: "You are outside of Paradise, O catechumen," says Gregory to those who would put off their Baptism. "You share the exile of Adam, our first father. Now the door is opening. Return whence you came forth" (P. G. XLVI, 417 C. See also 420 C and 600 A). In the same way, Cyril of Jerusalem says to the candidate: "Soon Paradise will open for each one of you" (XXXIII, 357 A) (http://www.scribd.com/doc/30733941/Jean-Danielou-Bible-and-the-Liturgy)
Further context:

FAITH OF OUR FATHERS

Baptism is Restoration to Paradise


‘Today you shall be with me in paradise,’ Jesus says to the thief, and where Christ is, there too is the Church. Richard Field (1561–1616), in his treatise Of the Church sees, in the thief’s acknowledgement of his sinful past and his prayer that Jesus remember him in his kingdom, a form of baptism. In the Primitive Church, baptism was seen as the restoration to paradise. Cyril of Jerusalem uses this symbolism of the baptismal rite. ‘When you renounce Satan, God’s paradise opens to you, the paradise he planted in the East and from which our first father was driven on account of his disobedience … the symbol of this is your turning from the East to the West’ (Catechetical Lectures of Cyril of Jerusalem, NPNF vol vii, Lect xix, p146). In contrast to Adam in Satan’s control and driven out of Paradise, the catechumen is freed by the New Adam from Satan’s dominion and reintroduced into Paradise. Turning to Christ is the act of faith required for Baptism. Entering the Baptistery signifies entrance into the Church, the return to Paradise. The catechumen is addressed, ‘You are outside of Paradise, O catechumen … you share the exile of Adam, our first father. Now the door is opening. Return whence you came forth.’ Cyril addresses each candidate, ‘Soon Paradise will open for each one of you.’ (http://trushare.com/92jan03/JA03FAFA.htm)

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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Jehanne on Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:03 am

Mike,

I know that you are not "talking to me," and that's fine, so if you do not answer this question, I want others to feel free to answer it on your behalf or on their own belief, or both! Here's the question:

Do you think that it is at least possible (i.e., "not impossible") that all infants who have ended this life without sacramental Baptism since Pentecost are in Paradise? Or, do you think that it is de fide that at least some infants who have died without sacramental Baptism are in Hell (i.e., "not in Heaven")?

This is really a Yes/No question, so if you answer (or if someone else answers it for you), please respond with a "Yes" or a "No" first; you are free to comment as you like after that.
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  George Brenner on Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:42 pm

Jehanne,

First, let me say that on this forum anyone can participate and answer any way that they think or choose to do as long as they follow the Moderators rules of engagement.
Secondly, if your responses to me would have been of the same disposition that you showed Mike, I too would have cut you off.
Thirdly, Although you may think that you can dictate how an answer will be given, you are sadly mistaken. Just answer Yes or no. Give me a break. This is not school and you are not the instructor.
Fourthly, I had posted this direct quote before directly from the words of Father Feeney. What part of Fathers quote below did you question, agree or disagree with?
I personally agree with these words. And so Jehanne, if the Holy Innocents who are proclaimed saints were killed by the blade of the soldier and the aborted are killed with the blade of the abortionist what do you think happens ? Render to God the things that are God's and to us sinners complete trust in our God.


From Bread of Life pages 129 and 130

' As I give you this grammar-school course in pretentious theological thinking, naturally I expect you at times, to rebel and to say, Where is the mercy of God in all this? Are we saved or damned according to theological technicalities?
If you were to say to me, " Does it not seem odd that unbaptized children should never see the face of God? " I would have to say that it did seem odd, according to (my) standards. I do not know what scheme I would have made for unbaptized children, if I were God.
I only know what covenants God has made. I must seek first the Kingdom of God and His justice as He has revealed it, { Pay real close attention to what follows } AND LET HIM ADD HIS MERCIES BY HIMSELF... I am the servant of God , not His counsellor !
" Isaias inquires in Holy Scripture, in scorn and indignation ! Isa. 40:13
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Re: How Many Church Fathers supported Baptism of Desire?

Post  Jehanne on Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:32 pm

George,

I could care less if Mike responds to me or not; the same goes for you as well. He's not a recognized theologian of the Church, he's not a priest, and he's not a bishop. What he is, however, is one of the most belligerent and uncharitable individuals whom I have corresponded with on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, which includes some extensive correspondence with the Dimonds. If anyone needs to "apologize," it is him, but to clear my conscience, my use of the word "calumny" was, perhaps, a bit too strong or I acknowledge the fact that one could read it as such.

Yes, my question is "Yes/No"; perhaps you need to read it again. Aborted babies do not go to Heaven:

http://www.seattlecatholic.com/a051207.html

The de fide answer to my question is, "No."
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