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Clarification on Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood

From Saint Benedict Center, Still River

The opinions of baptism and blood and desire as currently held are not de fide. There has never
been a solemn declaration on the issue. Trent said that the desire for the Sacrament of Baptism could justify
but never said it could save. In fact it said if anyone says that Baptism is not necessary for salvation, let
him be anathema. It likewise states that “true and natural water” is necessary in Baptism. Saint Thomas
along with many other theologians teach that Baptism does more than free one from Original sin. It
significantly gives birth to a new member of the Church. He taught that even if one were sanctified in the
womb, water baptism would still be necessary in order to receive the indelible character of the sacrament
and to be incorporated into the Church. Catechisms and the ordinary magisterium of the Church are not to
be held in a contrary sense to solemnly defined definitions spoken ex cathedra.

The concept of baptism of desire in the mind of most bishops today is that nice people can get to
Heaven by being honest and sincere in their beliefs and disbeliefs and the fact is that the Church has not
always held the firm conviction of the saving force of baptism of blood. The Council of Florence defined ex
cathedra: “No one, whatever his almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed his blood for the name of
Christ, can be saved unless he has persevered within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.” As
mentioned in the recent issues of From the HouseTops, none of those who died for Christ in Uganda were
declared saints except those members of the Catholic Church.

This may not carry any weight because there is no documentation but in our visits to Rome and the
CDF during the time when Cardinal Ratzinger was prefect, we were assured that Father Feeney’s position
was tenable without detriment to our standing in the Church. To authorities there, the question of BOD
and BOB is still debatable. Father Feeney was not asked to retract his position and our community was not
required to change our stand to receive the blessing of the Church.

So, in response to your questions: 1) One should accept the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church
except when it contradicts the higher authority. 2) No, one does not have to assent to everything in the
NEW Catechism anymore than one has to attend the Novus Ordo as opposed to the Traditional Mass, or
accept the new translations of the Bible, the new forms of the sacraments, etc. The new rite of Baptism did
away with the exorcisms—still valid yes but why all the changes? In the New Catechism, the doctrine of
Limbo is subverted. Here was something definitely held from the beginning by all that unbaptized infants
did not obtain the Beatific Vision. The Truths of the Faith cannot change with the times. 3) No Catechumen
can be saved by BOD of and by itself. There are a number of instances where saints have raised
catechumens to life in order to baptize them.