'Baptism of Desire' Debate: Council of Trent - Council of Florence - by Bro. Peter Dimond__________________________________________________
"This is Bro. Peter Dimond ( www.vaticancatholic.com ).
I was going to be conducting a debate on the issue of 'Baptism of Desire.'
Originally, I had agree to have another debate with an individual named 'Steve' on the topic of Baptism of Desire', unfortunately, however, he backed out of the debate, because he realized that his arguments would not hold up once we got into them in detail.The debate that we originally planned to have, was one in which each side would pick an argument for his position. He would pick one argument which he thinks proves that 'Baptism of Desire' is Catholic teaching, and I would pick one which disproves 'Baptism of Desire.'
For this particular debate, the argument he picked, which was presumably his best argument, was the argument from the 'Roman Catechism' or The Catechism of the Council of Trent.'
As part of his argument, he could also quote subsequent statements that bear directly on the authority of the 'Roman Catechism.'
As part of my argument, I picked the Council of Florence, and as part of my argument I could also include other papal or magisterial statements that pertain to the points of doctrine that were covered by the Council of Florence.
And, the way it was going to work is, we would discuss his objection and argument and analyze it and get into details concerning it, and then we would discuss my argument and objection and get into the details concerning it.
If he had been courageous enough to have the debate, which he wasn't, what we would have seen, is that as we get into the details of his objection and the objection made for 'Baptism of Desire' from the Roman Catechism, it doesn't hold up, and when we get into the details of the Council of Florence and compare the so-called doctrine of Baptism of Desire with what Florence infallibly taught, the theory crumbles.
That's what would have been demonstrated in the debate, so I'm going to have the debate anyway.
I'm going to go through the points of doctrine, explain the arguments, and a good-willed and honest person will see what the true position is.
So, I'm going to begin by discussing the objection concerning the Roman Catechism, and there are some very interesting new points and considerations that I want to discuss in this particular debate.
We have obviously dealt with this objection numerous times in the past. We have a section on it in our 'Salvation' book. I did a video called 'The Trent Catechism and 'Baptism of Desire,' which has some additional very interesting new points, but there are other considerations that I want to cover here.
Now, as most people familiar with this topic know, the Roman Catechism or The Catechism of the Council of Trent, has about one paragraph which articulates the idea of explicit Baptism of Desire, that someone who is unable to receive baptism, but possesses an intention and desire to receive baptism, can achieve grace and righteousness.
There are a number of points that need to be made, responding to this objection.
The first point is that the Roman Catechism is not infallible. It's not the Council of Trent. It was promulgated after the Council of Trent. It was not addressed to the Universal Church.
That's proven by the official title of the Roman Catechism; it's addressed to parish priests, and in fact, it's not even addressed to all priests because not all priests are parish priests.
So, it's addressed to parish priests.
It's promulgated after Trent; it's not part of the Council; it's not infallible.
Indeed, in the popular version of 'The Catechism of Trent,' which was put out by TAN books, there is an introduction which quotes different individuals about 'The Catechism of Trent,' and they cite a Dr. John Hagan, who states that its teaching is not infallible.
That's an interesting quote to consider, but before we get into what I consider to be the key distinction in completely refuting this objection, I want to reiterate a point I made in the video "The Trent Catechism and 'Baptism of Desire,' that a lot of people don't seem to know, which is, that 'The Catechism of Trent,' also teaches that the embryo is not human from the moment of conception.
It teaches that the rational soul is united to the body only after a certain lapse of time, and you can find this quote in the section on the Holy Ghost, article 3 of The Catechism of Trent, and what the Catechism of Trent is teaching, in this passage, is the position of St. Thomas and other scholastic theologians, that the embryo does not begin as human, but it only becomes human with the infusion of the rational soul, in the case of males, approximately 40 days after conception, and in the case of females, 80 or 90 days.
So, according to the teaching of St. Thomas, many scholastic theologians and the teaching of the Catechism of Trent, the embryo is not human from the moment of conception.
Now, I would doubt that there are many priests at all in the traditional movement who hold this position.
It is rejected by almost all the entire Pro-life movement today.
The Catholic Encyclopedia even admits that many theologians at the time of the Catholic Encyclopedia around 1907 - 1910, rejected St. Thomas' position on when the soul was infused, and obviously if those theologians thought that something that was articulated by St. Thomas and in 'The Catechism of the Council of Trent' was necessarily infallible Catholic teaching, then they would feel that they couldn't reject that teaching on ensoulment.
And the reason basically the entire Pro-Life Movement would reject St. Thomas Aquinas' view on when the rational soul was infused into the embryo, is based on modern DNA evidence, which suggests that the essential characteristics of a human being, from the standpoint of DNA, are present from the moment of fertilization or conception.
And if human life exists from the moment of conception, then the embryo must possess a rational soul at that point.
Modern DNA findings also do not indicate that males have the essential characteristics of a human being prior to when females do, whereas St. Thomas Aquinas' view was that males receive a rational soul and therefore truly human prior to when females receive a rational soul, and therefore become truly human.
So, that's a question to ask anyone who is citing the Catechism of Trent, as if it's equivalent to a dogmatic statement, as if something contained in it absolutely proves that it is Catholic teaching.
Do you agree that life that life does not begin at conception?
Do you agree that the embryo does not begin as human?
And here's another problem with the Catechism of Trent, on the soul in this particular paragraph.
It says, "for according to the order of nature, the rational soul is united to the body only after a certain lapse of time."
Well, the problem with this particular statement, is that it's a dogma that the rational soul is the form of the human body. That was defined by the Council of Vienne in 1311 - 1312.
That means that the soul is what makes the human body what it is. If you have a true living body, you must have a true rational soul. You cannot have a true living human body that doesn't have a rational soul infused into it, because the soul is the form of the human body.
But the Catechism is implying that the human body exists for a period of time prior to the infusion of the rational soul, and that's not correct. That's false, because the human body does not begin to exist until there is a rational soul, because the rational soul is the form of the human body.
Prior to the infusion of the rational soul, the embryo would not be a human body, but a plant or animal body, housing a plant or animal soul.
So, the articulation of the Catechism of Trent on the body existing, and implying it's a human body, prior to the infusion of the rational soul, is just simply not correct, and it's another example of how the Catechism's teaching is not infallible.
But there's an even more important distinction in refuting this objection that I want to discuss, and it is this.
When you study the Catechism of the Council of Trent - and I've read this entire Catechism of the Council of Trent - you recognize that the way it's written, there are only certain points of doctrine that the Catechism itself says and singles out and specifies as points of doctrine that can, or must, or should be communicated to all the faithful.
Let me repeat that.
There are only certain points of doctrine that the Catechism itself says, and singles out and specifies as points of doctrine that can, or must, or should be communicated to all the faithful.
Here are just a few examples which demonstrate that not everything in the Catechism of the Council of Trent was part of the body of doctrine, of can, must or should be communicated to all the faithful.
Catechism of Trent, on 'Taking God's name in vain.'
'The above observation should strongly convince pastors that on this point it is not enough to speak in general terms.'
That language would make no sense if everything in the Catechism were automatically intended for the faithful. No, the Catechism is explaining that there are certain things that must be said; there are things that cannot be passed over.
Here's another part.
Catechism of Trent, on 'Communion of Saints.' 'The faithful, therefore, in the first place, are to be informed that this part of the article.'
Again, that language would make no sense if everything in the Catechism were necessarily to be passed along to the faithful.
There are certain things that it's pointing out, must be communicated to the faithful.
Here's another example, concerning 'Suffered under Pontius Pilate.' 'Furthermore, the pastor should not omit the historical part of this article, which has been so carefully set forth by the Holy Evangelist.'
There's a clear example of how the pastor could conceivably omit things that are in the Catechism. It's singling out and identifying things that cannot be omitted. There are certain parts of the Catechism that constitute the body of doctrine, that can, must or should be communicated to all the faithful.
But, not every paragraph, not every line of the Catechism is necessarily part of the body of doctrine that can, must or should be communicated to all the faithful. It's information delivered to the parish priest.
Another example would be this passage on 'Angels.' ' The pastor needs do no more than depict the angel lighting up the darkness of the prison.'
Again, we see certain things are singled out as to be communicated.
Here's another one on the 'Forgiveness of Sins.' 'On this point of doctrine then, it is the duty of the pastor to teach, not only is forgiveness of sins to be found in the Catholic Church.'
So, there are specific things it's a duty to teach. Not everything in the Catechism falls into that category.
Another example is on 'Indissolubility.' 'The pastor should not here omit the salutary admonition of St. Augustine.'
Again, that's identified as something that must not be omitted, whereas not everything falls into that category.
Here's another example. Catechism of Trent, on 'Life Everlasting.' "The faithful there, are to be informed that the words 'life everlasting,' signify" etc.,
Here's another example, Catechism of Trent, Article 2, 'Wherefore the pastor should not omit to remind the faithful, that the guilt and punishment of original sin were not confined to Adam.'
Notice, that what we are establishing here, is that when you read the Catechism of Trent, you see that it has about 500 pages.
So it's a very large work of information that is given to the parish priest, but in the midst of that 500 pages of information, there are only certain points of doctrine that the Catechism itself says and singles out, and specifies as points of doctrine that can, or must, or should be communicated to all the faithful. Not everything in the Catechism of Trent is identified as a point of doctrine or a teaching that can, or must, or should be communicated to the faithful.
And so, before we explain why this actually devastates the argument for 'Baptism of Desire,' I want to give some more examples.
Here's another example.
Catechism of Trent, on the 'Creed.' 'The pastor should point out the propriety and wisdom of having omitted all the other names of God in the Creed.'
Now, if everything in the Catechism of Trent were for all the faithful, this language would make no sense whatsoever. The Catechism is telling the pastor that you need to tell them this, you must not forget to tell them this, you shouldn't omit this because not everything in there is for the faithful. It's information for the parish priest.
'On the use of Marriage.' 'Finally, the use of marriage and the subject which pastors should so treat as to avoid any expression that may be unfit to meet the ears of the faithful.'
Note it. There are certain things the Catechism is saying you need to teach, but that's not stated of everything in the Catechism.
Now, here are just a few examples indicating that not everything in the Catechism is going to be passed along to the faithful or necessarily must be.
Catechism of Trent, 'Thy will be done.' 'Yet in this connection, many questions concerning the Will of God may be passed over.'
Here's another one. 'Deliver us from evil.' 'It cannot be necessary to remind the faithful of the numerous evils and calamities to which we are exposed.'
Here's another one on 'Eucharist.' 'Pastors must be content to treat over one or two points.'
So, it is established, and I can give forty other examples that the Catechism of Trent is set up this way. There are over 500 pages of information delivered to the parish priest, but in the midst of all that information, only certain points of doctrine are identified as points that the pastor can, or must, or should communicate to all the faithful.
Why is this relevant to the necessity of water baptism and the issue we are discussing?
Because if you study the section of the Catechism of Trent on water baptism, you find statement after statement, in the strongest terms, on the absolute necessity of the Sacrament of Baptism.
We will quote a few.
'On the matter of baptism.' 'Upon this subject, pastors can teach, in the first place, that water, which is always at hand, and within the reach of all, was the fittest matter of a sacrament which is necessary to all for salvation.'
So, the Catechism of Trent teaches that the Sacrament of Baptism is necessary to all for salvation.
Now, B.O.D. is not a sacrament. Everyone admits that. So the sacrament is not necessary for all, according to B.O.D. That's just a fact. That's their position.
But, what's so important is, notice that in this assertion, we find 'pastors can teach, in the first place.'
O.K. so what we see is that the point of doctrine, that the Catechism itself teaches, that must be, or can be communicated to the faithful, is not that there are exceptions to the necessity of water baptism, it is not that people who depart life without water baptism can attain justification, it is that the Sacrament of Baptism is necessary to all.
And, what's fascinating is, that in basically every passage on the absolute necessity of water baptism, the necessity of the sacrament, we see the Catechism of Trent, identify this teaching as what can, or should, or must be communicated to the faithful, whereas in the one paragraph, which is clearly a departure from Catholic teaching, where it says that someone's intention can grant him justification, if it is impossible for him to receive water baptism, and the notion of something making baptism impossible to receive, is false.
In that paragraph, there's nothing about how this can, must or should be communicated to the faithful. It's simply an erroneous piece of information given to the parish priest, but it's not part of the body of doctrine of the Catechism itself says, should be, or must be communicated to the faithful.
Here's another one on baptism. 'On the necessity of Baptism.' 'If the knowledge of what has been hitherto explained, be as it is of the highest importance to the faithful, it is no less important to them to learn the Law of Baptism as established by Our Lord, extends to all, so that unless they are regenerated to God through the grace of baptism, be their parents Christians or infidels, they are born to eternal misery and destruction. Pastors, therefore, should often explain these words of the Gospel, 'Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.'
So, we have the Catechism of Trent officially teaching that the Law of Baptism applies to all, that unless people are regenerated through water baptism, they go to destruction. And, it says, 'pastors, therefore should often explain these words, 'unless a man is born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.'
That's the dogmatic teaching, that 'unless a man is born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That is the teaching of the Catholic Church. That is the rule of faith. And we see the Catechism repeating it, and once again, in this very passage, we see, 'pastors therefore, should often explain.'
That is the teaching of the Catechism of Trent, that must be communicated to the faithful, that no one is saved without water baptism. It is not one, false, and actually heretical paragraph that was included, basically as an addendum, and it's rife with problems, as we're going to see.
Here's another example. 'Baptism made obligatory after Christ's Resurrection.' The Catechism of Trent says, 'Holy writers are unanimous in saying after the Resurrection of Our Lord, when He gave His Apostles the command, the Law of Baptism became obligatory on all who were to be saved.'
Now, notice also the Catechism is teaching that this is what all Holy writers teach.
So the unanimous teaching of Theologians and Fathers and Doctors is our position, that no man is saved without water baptism. And it goes on in this very paragraph, 'If then, pastors explain these truths accurately, there can be no doubt the faithful will recognize the high dignity of the Sacrament.'
Once again, we see that this is what the Catechism of Trent teaches. It's part of the body of doctrine that pastors should communicate to the faithful, not the one paragraph B.O.D. advocates like.
It doesn't say anything in that paragraph about how this is what can, or must, or should be communicated to the faithful, and if you know how the Catechism is set up, you realize they're establishing that there are certain things in the Catechism that are singled out as points of doctrine to be communicated to the faithful, whereas there are hundreds of other things that aren't.
So, it's absolutely true to say that the official teaching of the Catechism of Trent, that it identifies as what should be communicated to the faithful, is our position, that no one is saved without water baptism, and that no one can get to Heaven unless they receive the Sacrament.
Another very interesting passage on this point, comes in the section on the 'Our Father.'
The Catechism of Trent teaches that all in the Church are members. They're all one body and all have been regenerated in the Sacrament. 'We have all the same nobility of spiritual birth, for all have been regenerated by the same Spirit, through the Sacrament of faith.'
That completely contradicts B.O.D. because B.O.D. holds that people are in the Church who are not regenerated through the Sacrament. It goes on to quote Ephesians, 'as the Apostle says in his Epistle to the Ephesians, "we are members of Christ's Body.'" Eph. 5:30.
That contradicts the heretic I was going to be debating, because he doesn't believe that people who receive B.O.D. are in the Body of the Church, and as we get into my argument, we are going to see, that, that idea is absolutely obliterated and crushed by dogmatic Catholic teaching.
And, in this very passage in the Catechism of Trent, it goes on to say, 'Now this is a point which calls for accuracy on the part of the pastor of souls, and one on which he should purposefully dwell at considerably length.'
So, once in every case, basically, we see that our position, that no one can be in the Church without the Sacrament of Baptism, that all in the Church are part of the body, that all in the Church are part of the body, that all in the Church are members of the Church, something that B.O.D. advocates deny.
That is the teaching of the Catechism of the Council of Trent, which it says, can or must or should be communicated to the faithful, not the one paragraph they like to cite.
And this is so important, because B.O.D. advocates will cite subsequent papal statements, such as , they will cite Pope Pius X's encyclical, Acerbo Nimis, in which he recommends catechetical training for individuals, and he says that it should be done according to the Catechism of the Council of Trent.
And they say, "Well, how could 'Baptism of Desire' not be Catholic teaching, let alone heretical, if Pope Pius X is legislating that people should be catechized on the basis of the Catechism of the Council of Trent?"
And what they don't realize is that consideration favors our position, not theirs, because when you look at the Catechism, as I've been establishing, when you study it, you see that not everything in the Catechism is part of the body that can, or must, or should be communicated.
But what we see, that the Catechism says is part of the body of doctrine that can, must and should be communicated, is that no one is in the Church without the Sacrament, that no one can be saved without the Sacrament, that the Sacrament is necessary to all etc.,
So, it actually favors our position. It shows that B.O.D. is contrary to the official teaching of the Council of Trent, that is identified as part of the body of doctrine to be communicated to the faithful.
So, that's the key distinction. An analogy would be, for instance, Pope Pius IX's dogmatic definition of the Immaculate Conception. He wrote a long Bull discussing the issue, but in the Bull, there's only a short portion that is the dogmatic definition.
In a somewhat similar way, the Catechism has tons of information - it's very large - but there are only certain things in there that are identified as points of the body of doctrine, that must be communicated, and in those points that represent the universal doctrine of the Church, has always taught, the Catechism does accurately set forth the Apostolic faith.
And with the issue of Baptism, it sets forth what the previous Councils have dogmatically taught, that no man is saved without the Sacrament.
Now, another angle to this, which I want to discuss at length, is the whole argument about how, 'Well, if what you are saying is true, that the Church dogmatically teaches that no man is saved without water baptism, yet you have certain esteemed Church authorities, after those definitions, indicating that there could be exceptions. How could they not be heretics?'
And, I'm going to discuss that at length, getting into some very interesting points in that regard, but before I do so, I want to make a few other points about the Catechism's teaching.
For instance, the Catechism, in numerous passages defers, it makes reference to the Council of Florence in a differential way.
For instance, it makes reference to what the Council of Florence taught on the Sacrament of Penance, and it says, 'that no one can doubt it, because this was decreed by the Council of Florence.' - and the part of the Council of Florence, making reference to its Bull, Exultate Deo, which is part of the argument I'm going to be making - and in this Bull, Exultate Deo, we find the dogmatic definition, that no one is saved without the Sacrament of Baptism, without exceptions.
That's the teaching of the Catholic Church. People who are obstinately preaching or teaching that people can enter Heaven without being born again of Water and the Spirit, are contradicting the infallible dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church.
Now, another point that's very interesting in this regard, is that B.O.D. heretics will often cite the subsequent approval and praise that was given to the Catechism of Trent, and say, therefore it couldn't have a passage in there that's possibly contrary to Catholic teaching - and that's completely wrong. And that's further demonstrated by the fact that similar approval and praise was given by popes for St. Thomas Aquinas' 'Summa Theologiae,' in which he contradicted the Immaculate Conception.
Let me just quote that.
This is from St. Thomas' 'Summa', Part 3, Question 27, article 2, Reply to objection 2. "If the soul of the Blessed Virgin had never incurred the stain of Original Sin, this would be derogatory to the dignity of Christ."
So, he clearly teaches contrary to the Immaculate Conception, yet the Summa was praised and approved by pope after pope, after pope. It was even put on the altar at the Council of Trent - something we don't agree with - so how could they put something on the Altar which has heresy? Does it make it a heretical book? No, because in substance it's Catholic, even though there are certain erroneous and false passages in there.
Now, the heretic who backed out of the debate, Steve, his attempted response to the approval that's given to the Summa Theologiae, is that, 'well, St.Thomas made that error before the definition of the Immaculate Conception, therefore it's irrelevant.'
Well, that's obviously an absurd and ridiculous response, because the doctrine is false whether it was before the Immaculate Conception was defined or after, and therefore, if approbation given to a book by pope after pope, after pope, necessarily means that the doctrine is the true doctrine in every case, and every paragraph, then it had to be true back then, and it had to be true after the definition of the Immaculate Conception.
It doesn't matter if it was formerly defined . What it proves, is that popes can approve something in general, that in certain paragraphs is not necessarily correct.
Furthermore, the objection is obliterated by the fact that popes said the same kind of things after the definition of the Immaculate Conception.
For example. Pope Leo XIII, in his document 'Dupuis le Jour,' September 8, 1889, says, "Is it necessary to add, that the book par excellence, in which students may, with most profit study scholastic theology, is the Summa Theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas?
And, what's so interesting about this, is that he goes on to say, in the very next paragraph, "we recommend equally, that all seminarians have in their hands and frequently peruse the Golden Book known as the Catechism of the Council of Trent, dedicated to all priests invested with the pastoral office."
So he praises and recommends the Summa of St. Thomas in the same way that he praises and recommends the Catechism of Trent.
Well, does the Summa have heresy? Yes, it does. I just proved it, and this is after the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was defined. So what is this 'approval and praise' for the Summa mean?
It means in general it's Catholic.
Does it mean that all of the thousands of paragraphs, there might not be one or a few, that are wrong or less than perfectly in accord with Catholic doctrine, in the same way the Catechism in general is sound?
It doesn't mean that in the 500 pages there isn't any paragraph that is less than sound, and as we've covered, the official teaching of the Catechism, when you study it, that is to be communicated to the faithful, is absolutely true, if that no one is saved without the Sacrament of Baptism.
Now, more on this point on the Summa.
Pope Leo XIII, in Aeterni Patri, promulgated August 4th, 1879, once again praised the Summa.
Pius V is alleged to have said that 'St. Thomas was the most certain rule of Christian doctrine by which he enlightened the Apostolic Church,' yet he wasn't right in everything, and there are things in his teaching that cannot be held.
Pope Benedict XIII is said to have written that 'St. Thomas' teaching is without a shadow of error.'
Pope Pius XI, even stated of St. Thomas, that 'the Church has adopted his doctrine for her own.'
Leo XIII in the aforementioned Aeterni Patris, says that the religious orders commanded their members to study and religiously adhere to the teaching of St. Thomas.
So, B.O.D. heretics not understanding Catholic teaching and looking at both magisterial teaching and dogmatic history from a man-centred perspective rather than a God-centred perspective, would have to say, 'well there you see, the Immaculate Conception, either must not be Catholic teaching or St. Thomas' view must be perfectly conformable to the definition of the Immaculate Conception, because these popes are saying that it's approved, recommended.'
No, his teaching on the Immaculate Conception as contained in the Summa, is contrary to what was defined. The approbation we are discussing was a general one. it doesn't mean everything in there is a dogmatic statement. It doesn't mean everything in there is infallible.
It's also very interesting, that in 1914, Pope Pius X, issued a document imposing the obligation of using the Summa of St. Thomas, as the textbook in all higher schools in Italy and the adjacent islands.
That's quoted in Daniel Joseph Kennedy's work, 'The Summa of St. Thomas.' - two specimen pages from the Summa, pp. 3-4.
How could that be? How could Pius X impose the obligation of using the Summa as the textbook in 1914, when he teaches contrary to the definition of the Immaculate Conception, in the Summa?
He didn't order the point to be expunged. How is that possible?
It's possible because it's a general approbation - doesn't mean everything in there is infallible.
That really crushes the entire argument that B.O.D. heretics will make in which they allege that a papal recommendation or approval for the Catechism of Trent necessarily means that everything in there is infallible.
Now, before I move into what is one of the most important points of the information that I want to present, which is that, how could they not be heretics - and it gets into a true understanding of dogmatic history on these matters - I want to say just a few more things about the one paragraph that B.O.D. heretics love so much, which is that, referring to adults, it says that, 'on this class of men, the Church has not been accustomed to give the Sacrament of Baptism at once, but has arranged that it be deferred to a fixed time.'
And it says that, 'nor does this delay have connected with it the danger, as indeed threatens in the case of children, for those who are endowed with the use of reason, the design and plan of receiving baptism and repentance of a badly led life would be sufficient to grace and justification, if some unexpected event hinders so as not that they may be able to be washed by the saving water.'
Now, again, this is not infallible. It's contrary to previous dogmatic teaching.
This paragraph does not say anywhere, nor in the lead up to it, that this is what must be communicated to the faithful. So, this is not what the Catechism identifies as the true doctrine that pastors can, should, or must pass along to the faithful.
And so, that's why their argument is false. But this paragraph which is actually heretical - this is a heretical paragraph - it's just rife with problems.
Number one. It speaks of 'some unexpected event,' that would make it impossible for people to receive baptism, so that they may not be able.
Well, the notion that there are events that God doesn't foresee, that make impossible for people to receive water baptism is contrary to God's Providence.
Vatican I even defined that 'everything God has brought into being, He protects and governs by His Providence, which reaches from one end of the Earth to the other, and orders all things well, and that all things are laid bare before His eyes.'
In fact, the same Catechism of Trent, teaches 'the pastor should remember first of all, to prepare and fortify his hearers, by reminding them, that no word shall be impossible with God.'
Yet, the same Catechism teaches that certain unexpected events can make it impossible for people to receive water baptism.
Second. It should be noted that even in this heretical passage, it says that you must have a design and plan of receiving baptism.
None of the B.O.D. advocates believe that. They don't believe you have to have a design and plan for receiving baptism, particularly pagans etc, can be saved.
Thirdly, this idea that the delay in baptising adult converts is not attended with the same danger, has never been taught by the Magisteria, and, in fact, we have papal authority that directly contradicts this.
Pope St. Siricius, in his Letter to Himerius, 385 - we quote this frequently, he teaches that during that period - adults were baptised during Paschal Time, but he says that even if they were to die prior to their baptism, these people who desire baptism, they cannot be saved.
And, he says, that if there is any danger, they should be baptised at once lest "those who leave this world should be deprived of the life of the kingdom for having been refused the source of salvation, which they desired."
So, Pope St. Siricius directly denies Baptism of Desire, and he does in the context of addressing the 'delay in baptising adult converts until Easter Time.'
Moreover, in this context, Pope St. Siricius says' that water baptism is the only help to salvation for those who desire it or are in any danger. There is no other way for them to be saved.'
That's the teaching of the Church and the popes.
And he says, that priests must observe this rule if they don't want to be separated from the solid Apostolic rock on which Christ has built His Church.
So, this is very interesting.
A previous papal declaration completely contradicting the Catechism's teaching on the delay in baptising of adult converts on B.O.D. - and this is for priests - So, Catholic tradition and the papal teaching to priests contradicts what the Catechism of Trent says.
And this particular passage of Siricius, was repeated almost word for word by Leo the Great in his Letter 16, 447. He says basically the same thing. he says, 'That for those people who are desiring water baptism, this sacrament is their only help.'
It's their only way for salvation. That's the teaching of the Catholic Church, and this is repeated in two statements by Leo the Great.
It should also be pointed out, that the delay in baptising adult converts until Paschal Time was not a requirement of Apostolic tradition.
In Acts, Chapt. 8, we find that Philip baptised the eunuch of Candace, after just a very brief discussion of the basics of the Christian faith.
The reason there was a discipline instituted at one point to delay the baptism of the adult convert to Paschal Time, is because that's when we celebrate the Resurrection, and baptism is rising to new life in Christ, so it was most appropriately celebrated at that time.
However, it was not taught that if they die prior to that time, they were saved.
As we just saw, the popes clearly taught that even if they die prior to that time, they are lost, because God can keep them alive if they are of good will.
And the reason there was a delay in the case of adults, was because they would further instruct them and probe them and test them.
It does not mean that they can be saved without it.
So the Catechism of Trent has improper theological terminology about events making it impossible to receive baptism, which contradicts its own teaching.
It contradicts traditional teaching delivered by Popes Siricius and Leo the Great.
The Catechism is not infallible and within the Catechism itself, it's not even part of the body of doctrine that the Catechism said, can or must or should be communicated.
So, is it possible for the Catechism in those 500 pages to have some information given to the parish priest that is not correct? Yes, it is.
But, in the body of doctrine that the Catechism says must be communicated, that's where it represents faithfully the infallible teaching of Catholic tradition, and that's where it teaches that no one is saved without the Sacrament of Baptism.
So now I want to move into the consideration which is one of the most important in refuting B.O.D. argument and correcting their false methodology, which is, how could the Catechism of Trent, even if it is fallible, contain something that is heretical without making the people who approved it, heretics?
And I want to get into that in detail.
The objection that many raise, which is that, how can 'Baptism of Desire' be a heresy or contrary to the dogmatic teaching of Florence and these other Councils, on the necessity of water baptism, on what is required for Church unity, Church membership, subjection to the Roman Pontiff, as we say it is, and as we can prove it is, without making subsequent theologians and saints, who held to 'Baptism of Desire,' heretics?
And I want to get into some examples in this regard, because the B.O.D. heretics labor under some completely false ideas of dogmatic history and this particular issue.
Let me give some examples of saints and theologians and popes, who approved positions that were contrary to previous magisterial statements without being heretics.
Of course, in this regard we've discussed the Geocentrism issue, where you had during the 17th century, the Holy Office, numerous theologians of the Holy Office, condemned Heliocentrism and the denial of Geocentrism.
They condemned as false, contrary to the Sacred and Divine Scriptures, and as heretical, the idea that the earth is not the centre of the Universe. This was approved by numerous popes.
Pope Paul V ordered Galileo to abandon these views. The Congregation of the Index, a Roman congregation, published a decree to the same effect.
In 1633, the Holy Office, under Pope Urban VIII, condemned the denial of Geocentrism. Pope Urban VIII was in favour of the decision and ordered its wide circulation, yet later Roman Congregations under popes, reversed the previous ban on Heliocentric works.
In 1757, Pope Benedict XIV suspended the decrees of the Congregation of the Index against Heliocentric works.
In 1822, under Pope Pius VII, the Holy Office allowed the printing of books teaching the movement of the Earth. Then in a document, not to the Universal Church, but to Professors and students of literature, Pope Benedict XV explicitly taught that the Earth may not be the centre of the Universe, contradicting the eleven theologians of the Holy Office in 1616, the 1633 sentence of the Holy Office, which numerous popes approved and what St. Robert Bellarmine, by the way, who was involved in this whole controversy in the 17th century, taught was 'de fide.'
So there you have a clear irrefutable example of numerous popes, a doctor of the Church, dozens of prominent and distinguished theologians, clearly teaching and holding that the denial of Geocentrism is heresy.
And then you have popes and theologians and Roman Congregations hold the opposite opinion, and you have Pope Benedict XV teach that the Earth may not be the centre of the Universe.
The B.O.D. heretics would have to hold that Benedict XV became a heretic for teaching what numerous popes, the Holy Office etc., called heresy, and actually got Galileo to abjure.
Or, if you think that the previous decisions of the Roman Congregations, approved by popes were not infallible, then they were identifying as heresy that which was not heresy, so either way what it proves is that popes, theologians, the Holy Office can be completely wrong, about the theological status of truths.
They can think something's heretical that may not be. They can think something's Catholic teaching that may be heretical.
That's what it proves. \
And by the way, the decisions in the 17th century against Galileo on Geocentrism, were not approved in specific form, they were approved with the knowledge of the pope, but they were not promulgated in ex cathedra fashion, and therefore the Church does not infallibly teach that the earth is the centre of the Universe.
There are other examples we could get into.
An example I want to discuss, concerns the Canon of the Scripture. This is very interesting.
The Canon of the Scripture was declared by the Council of Florence, in the Bull, 'Cantate Domino,' in the decree for the Jacobites.
It declares the same list of books which was identified in the early Church, Council of Carthage etc.
Now, that list which the Council of Florence declared as part of Scripture, included the Deuterocanonical Books, the seven books which the Protestants reject. Those books Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch and I and II Machabees.
So, the Council of Florence in the Bull 'Cantate Domino,' solemnly identified the books of Scripture, including the Deuterocanonical Books, yet some of the most prominent theologians in the Church, after that time, held that the Deuterocanonical Books were not part of Scripture.
For instance, Cardinal Ximenes was a famous biblical scholar at the time. He published a famous Complutensian Polyglot Bible in 1520, and it was published with the approval of Pope Leo X.
In his Bible, the Deuterocanonical Books, which the Council of Florence included as part of the Canon of Scripture, were excluded from the Canon of Scripture.
So, the B.O.D. advocates would say Cardinal Ximenes had to be a heretic, Pope Leo X had to be a heretic, because Pope Leo X approved a Bible which denies that the Deuterocanonical Books were part of the Scripture, even though the Council of Florence, about 80 years before, solemnly declared that they're part of the Scripture.
How is that possible? How could a pope approve something that's contrary to a previous Council?
It's because popes can be wrong, they can be confused, they can be unaware of the theological status of the truth. They can fail to see what a previous Council dogmatically defined, and this gets into perhaps the most important consideration on this particular issue.
And, before I get to that, I want to emphasize Ximenes was hardly the only one who made this mistake.
For example, Cardinal Seripando, he was celebrated theologian and legate of Pope Paul III, and a key figure at the Council of Trent.
He was also involved in the Catechism of Trent. He was an opponent of the Deuterocanonical Books after the Council of Florence had declared them part of Scripture.
Cardinal Thomas Cajetan, the pope's representative to oppose Martin Luther, also denied that the Deuterocanon was part of Scripture. This was well after the Council of Florence.
So, how could the pope's representative be teaching heresy on this matter?
Because he failed to recognize the significance of the Council of Florences' declaration, and it's interesting that they made this mistake with regard to the Council of Florence, because the Council of Florence disproves B.O.D. by declaring as a dogma, that no one is saved without the Sacrament of Baptism.
Now, it's interesting that modern so-called apologists will attempt to get around this problem by saying that the first infallible dogmatic definition of the Canon of Scripture occurred at the Council of Trent. That's what a lot of the modern so-called apologists try to argue.
Well, that doesn't work, because Pope Leo XIII, in his encyclical Providentissimus Deus, 1893, he made reference to the ancient and unchanging faith of the Church, "solemnly defined in the Councils of Florence and of Trent."
He's referring to what they said about scripture. So he's saying that Florence solemnly defined the truth of Scripture.
The very paragraph he's referring to as a solemn definition is the very paragraph in the Bull "Cantate Domino," which identified the Deuterocanonical Books as part of Scripture.
So, Leo XIII teaches that, that was a solemn definition. You can't argue that Florences' identification of the Deuterocanonical Books was not a solemn infallible one.
Yet after that time some of the most distinguished, learned and celebrated theologians in the Church, held that the Deuterocanonical Books were not part of the Scripture.
They were completely wrong. They didn't understand what they were talking about, and how is that possible?
Well, here's a key point in this regard, and it really cuts to the heart of the B.O.D. heretics error.
It is this. The acquisition and transmission of information in those days, in the 1500's, 1600's, 1700's was nowhere close to what it is today, o.k.? This is for a number of reasons.
It is (1) the technology that they did not have back then, and (2) they lived before the definition of Papal Infallibility.
Prior to the definition of Papal Infallibility, they didn't have as clear an idea of when infallibility was applicable, when the papal magisterium was definitely operating, and when it was not.
They actually, therefore, had an inferior methodology in many ways, that is why if you read, for instance, St. Alphonsus, analysing certain theological issues, he will go through what this theologian said, and what that theologian said, and what this theologian thought, and weighing opinions back and forth.
You don't need to do any of that.
After the definition of Papal Infallibility, we can go directly to the clear Papal Magisterium; we don't need to get bogged down in fallible opinions of theologians.
Obviously they can bolster things, but we don't need to derive our conclusions directly from them, we can go right to the Papal Magisterium, and they didn't do that with the directness which we do today.
In addition, the lack of technology had direct effects on the speed with which people's views can be known and understood, and how quickly obstinacy can be determined.
For example, just a few hundred years ago, mail and communication of long distances was nothing like what we have today.
To determine the details of what someone believed during that period, if they lived in a far off place, would require a carrier to take a treatise to that person, the person to study it without electricity, etc.
But today, in just a few minutes, you can receive an e-mail or look at an internet post which summarizes a person's theological position, and contains the relevant magisterial statement on the issue.
The entire process of going through the key magisterial quotes from all of Church history, of recognizing what a person has said on a particular issue, and coming to a conclusion about the compatibility of what he has said, and the key magisterial statements, is much easier and more efficient; it's not even close.
That's just the reality of modern living. Thus, there is no comparison in terms of how quickly one can go through the relevant Catholic material, and the authoritative papal declarations, and arrive at the correct positions and determine obstinacy.
So, that's why we can understand things more quickly than many of these theologians, even sainted ones did.
Let me give you an excellent example on this point.
St. Robert Bellarmine held that occult heretics are still members of the Church and in the body of the Church. This is something he taught.
This came up recently, by the way, because there is a non-sedevacantist heretic, who has written an article. His name's Robert. He argues that the sin of heresy does not expel you from the Church, it's only the crime of heresy. It's only when you either openly join a Protestant sect or a declared heretic, and in an attempt to get people to believe that despite their heresies, the Vatican II antipopes are still in the Church, he attempts to use St. Robert Bellarmine's position, that occult heretics are in the Church.
Bellarmine said: "Occult heretics are still of the Church, they are parts and members. Therefore the pope who is an occult heretic is still pope."
And, the heretic Robert. His name's Robert Cisco, argues that this demonstrates that the true doctrine is that the sin of heresy, personally coming to heresy within yourself, doesn't expel you from the Church, something else is required. So he's trying to use St. Robert Bellarmine to bolster this position.
St. Robert Bellarmine's position is not only wrong, it's heretical, and it's heretical because the Council of Florence taught in the Bull, 'Cantate Domino, ' "It, the Holy Roman Church, condemns, rejects, and anathematizes all who thinking opposed and contrary things and declares them to be alien from the body of Christ , which is the Church."
Now, the Council of Florence declares that all who are thinking opposed and contrary things to the Church, are aliens from the body of Christ, and it actually uses in Latin, the word sentientis, which is the masculine, accusative plural, present participle of the verb sentire, to think.
So, by using the verb, sentire, a particple of it, it shows that just thinking things, opposed and contrary to the teaching of the Church, if you firmly within yourself, think oppose and contrary to the deity of Christ, or opposed and contrary to the papacy, you come to that conclusion, even though you don't tell all your friends about it, even though you don't join a Protestant sect, you're expelled from the body of Christ, because you don't have the faith internally.
That's what the Council of Florence defined, and Bellarmine's position is wrong, ok; it was incompatible with Florence.
Was he a heretic? No, he was just wrong, because Saints can be wrong, they can make mistakes, even on dogmatic issues; they can fail to see things; they can fail to recognize the significance of previously defined matters; they can just be wrong, they are not infallible.
And so, this argument, that because certain theologians or Saints believed in 'Baptism of Desire,' after we have this dogmatic proven, Council after Council, that no one can be in the Church or saved without water baptism, that means that B.O.D. couldn't possibly be contrary to Catholic teaching, because the Saints would necessarily be heretics, is just wrong.
It's a very superficial and naïve understanding of Church history, and it's also interesting that Bellarmine's false and actually heretical position on occult heretics remaining in the Church was repeated by theologian after theologian, after he taught this error.
By the way, that fact that the Council of Florence dogmatically defines that the sin of heresy, the sin which is occurring within someone's mind by coming to a position that is opposed and contrary to the teaching of the Church, as a firm determination, expels you automatically from the body of the Church, absolutely crushes the entire article and argument by this heretic, Robert Crisco.
And I could go into more details, but that alone obliterates it; but it's interesting how heretics, even today, are using the error of well respected saints and theologians to perpetuate false positions. That's why we don't go by the teaching of Saints and theologians, when we have magisterial statements on the same issues that contradict them.
Another example, to further bolster the point I'm making, is the issue of the 'filoque,' the part of the Creed that includes, ' and the Son, the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son.'
The truth of the 'filioque,' was universally held in the Latin Church as early as the 5th and 6th centuries, according to J.Tixteront, on 'History of Dogmas,' but popes believed it was forbidden to add it to the Creed.
It was first included in the Liturgy in Spain, which shows how things were done at a local level.
Now, Pope Leo III, in the 9th century fully accepted the doctrine of the 'filioque,' but he opposed including the 'filioque' in the Creed, even openly protested when the Emperor Charlemagne continued to use the Creed with the addition, 'and the son.'
He opposed adding it because he was under the false impression that doing it would possibly violate tradition or the text of the Council of Ephesus about introducing a new Creed.
And so popes, even though they believed in the truth of the 'filioque,' thought apparently, that that particular statement or just the tradition of the way the Creed was used, would not allow anyone to add the 'filioque' to the Creed.
Popes until the 11th century, held the same position, but under Pope Benedict VIII, in 1012, the position changed. The 'filioque' was included in the Creed at Rome, and the Council of Florence, later solemnly declared that the 'filioque' was lawfully added to the Creed.
So, what this proves, is that numerous popes held the wrong view about whether it was lawful to add the 'filioque' to the Creed based on tradition of the teaching of previous Councils.
Those popes never taught their view in a binding fashion to the Universal Church, but it was expressed by their actions and by their inactions. This shows again, that popes in their non-infallible capacity or in their decisions not to act, can be quite wrong about the theological status of the truth, the meaning of a previous text, doctrinal matters etc.
Thus, the argument that if B.O.D. is contrary to Catholic teaching, which it most certainly is, it's impossible for popes to have allowed it to be taught infallible text. No, that only holds water to someone who doesn't really understand Church teaching, dogmatic history.
The very superficial understanding of these matters, and it actually stems from their man-centred way of looking at church history, because they want to conform the facts of dogma to the opinions of man, rather than looking first at what God has taught, what the infallible decrees teach, and then recognizing all the facts from that.
That's why they don't arrive at the recognition of a true understanding of dogmatic history on these points.
Another example to prove my point is the Honorius/John IV issue. As many people know, Pope Honorius taught the heresy of Monothelitism, and he was condemned for it by numerous Councils, yet the second pope to reign after Pope Honorius, Pope John IV to Constantius the Emperor in 641, said, "So, my predecessor, Honorius said, concerning the Mystery of the Incarnation of Christ, that they were not in Him as enough sinners, contrary wills of mind and flesh; and certain ones converting this to their own meaning, suspected that he taught one will of His Divinity and Humanity, which is altogether contrary to the truth."
So, the point is, Pope John IV, the second pope after Pope Honorius, looking at Pope Honorius' words, which later Councils condemned as heretical and favouring heresy, he said, he wasn't favouring heresy, he wasn't teaching heresy.
So how could pope John IV be wrong? How could he be wrong without being a heretic?
Because, you can be wrong - you can just misread things; you can be unfamiliar with facts; Popes can do it, Saints can do it. All right?
What's infallible is what the magisterium has taught to the Universal Church in a binding fashion, not the inaction of popes, not their fallible teaching, not their failure to recognize things.
So, the B.O.D. argument is just a myth.
And, by the way, it's very interesting to note the entire history of the Catholic Church, despite Council after Council that dealt with the necessity of water baptism, baptism as a Sacrament that forgives sins, that touched upon Baptism and Church unity, never once in any statement, in all of Church history, has Baptism of Desire or Blood been taught by a pope to the Universal Church in a binding fashion. Nothing.