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Ronald Knox on baptism of desire

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Ronald Knox on baptism of desire

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:57 pm

http://jonmsweeney.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/ronald-knox-on-the-baptism-of-desire/

Ronald Knox on (the) baptism (of desire)

I should certainly be very much surprised if I found myself in a heaven which didn’t contain Socrates and Plato and Virgil and plenty of other people who, at first sight, would have no right to be there. How it is that such souls come to be saved we don’t know. Some have thought that at the very moment of death, and perhaps even after the moment at which a doctor would give a certificate of medical death, an illumination is given to them which, if they accept it, will achieve the baptism of desire. Others prefer to think that the desire of baptism can be implicitly contained in an act of love towards God, even an act that is confused, even an act that is inarticulate. We don’t know.

–Ronald Knox, from “The Unconscious Catholic”

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Re: Ronald Knox on baptism of desire

Post  columba on Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:10 am

That's interesting Rasha.
Ronald Knox died in 1958 so he was a quite recent theologian. It seems from that quote that he was not aware of baptism of desire being a doctrine of the faith as he was even then still speculating on the possibility.
Hope MRyan reads this.

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Re: Ronald Knox on baptism of desire

Post  MRyan on Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:39 pm

columba wrote:That's interesting Rasha.
Ronald Knox died in 1958 so he was a quite recent theologian. It seems from that quote that he was not aware of baptism of desire being a doctrine of the faith as he was even then still speculating on the possibility.
Hope MRyan reads this.
And this is a perfect example of what I was talking about in the other thread about your conflating of the established doctrines of baptism of desire/baptism of blood as they apply to someone who possesses the requisite supernatural faith, charity and desire for baptism, with invincible ignorance where the limits to such ignorance cannot be so easily “defined”.

How the "baptism of desire" may be achieved in someone in invincible ignorance would undergo further development (with certain aspects remaining unresolved), especially in light of the teachings of Pope Pius Pius IX, the first Pope to articulate the Church's position on Invincible Ignorance.

Socrates and Plato lived some four centuries before Christ, while Virgil lived around 70 B.C; so the law of baptism was not yet promulgated. As such, Monsignor Knox could only be referring to baptism of desire in an analogical sense to describe the possibility of a translation to justice by “the desire thereof” to know and do the will of God under the Old Dispensation.

The issue for Msgr. Knox is clearly invincible ignorance and the conditions under which an “illumination” of the true God may be realized while remaining ignorant of His Revelation to the Jews.

There is simply no basis for you to suggest that Msgr. Knox was not aware of the doctrine of “baptism of desire” simply because he was speculating on how one might “achieve the baptism of desire” while in invincible ignorance.

And as far his statement that “Others prefer to think that the desire of baptism can be implicitly contained in an act of love towards God, even an act that is confused, even an act that is inarticulate. We don’t know”, Msgr. Knox is not speculating on whether baptism of desire can be implicit in an act of love, but only whether this act of love can be confused and even inarticulate, such as it might have been with Plato, Socrates or Virgil.

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