In the Foreword to Sess. 7 of the Council of Trent’s Decree on the Sacraments there is a very important statement.
Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Sess. 7, Foreword, ex cathedra: “For the completion of the salutary doctrine of Justification… it has seemed fitting to treat of the most holy sacraments of the Church, through which all true justice either begins, or being begun is increased or being lost is restored.”
The Council of Trent here defines that all true justice (sanctifying grace) either begins or is increased or is restored at the sacraments. I repeat, all true justice either begins or is increased or is restored at the sacraments. This means that all true justice must be at least one of the three: begun at the sacraments, increased at the sacraments or restored at the sacraments. But the baptism of desire theory is that some persons can have a true justice (sanctifying grace) that is none of the above three! They argue that some persons can have true justice that is: 1) not begun at the sacraments, but before; and also 2) not increased at the sacraments (since the person dies before getting to the sacraments); and 3) not restored at the sacraments (for the same reason as # 2). Thus, the “baptism of desire” theory posits a true justice which is neither begun nor increased nor restored at the sacraments. But such an idea is contrary to the above teaching of Trent, and therefore such a “true justice” which they posit cannot be true justice. This shows again that baptism of desire is not a true teaching, but a false teaching littered with contradictions against infallible truths such as that above.
St. Ambrose (+ 390): “… when the Lord Jesus Christ was about to give us the form of baptism, He came to John, and John said to Him: I ought to be baptized by thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said: Suffer it to be so for now. For so it becometh us to fulfill all justice (Mt. 3:14-15). See how all justice rests on baptism.”
We have seen how the Council of Trent defines that the Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for salvation. We have seen how, in every single instance (that is, four), the Council of Trent infallibly declares that John 3:5 applies literally and to every man. We have seen how even the passage that baptism of desire advocates mistakenly think favors their position (Sess. 6, Chap. 4), actually excludes baptism of desire by declaring that John 3:5 is to be understood as it is written. I will now briefly discuss two other points in this venerable Council.
In Sess. 6, Chap. 7, the Council of Trent defines what the causes of Justification are in the impious. Justification is the term for the state of sanctifying grace. If desire or blood were a cause for Justification, as the baptism of desire advocates argue, then you would think that they would be mentioned in the chapter on the Causes of Justification, wouldn’t you? Why isn’t either mentioned in Chapter 7 on the causes of Justification?
What we do find mentioned is that the Sacrament of Baptism is the instrumental cause of Justification.
Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Session 6, Chap. 7, ex cathedra:“… the instrumental cause [of Justification] is the Sacrament of Baptism, which is ‘the Sacrament of Faith,’ without faith no one is ever justified…”
In this Chapter, the Council of Trent listed in all 5 causes of Justification, four of which are God or the attributes of God, and one of which (the instrument of that Justice) is the Sacrament of Baptism.
If there were exceptions to the truth that the Sacrament of Baptism is the cause of Justification in the impious, as the baptism of desire advocates claim, then the exceptions would have been included by the council, just like the council specifically declared in its decree on Original Sin that Mary was not included in its definition on Original Sin.
Council of Trent, Sess. 5, #6: “This holy Synod declares nevertheless that it is not its intention to include in this decree, where original sin is treated of, the blessed and immaculate Virgin Mary…”
The Virgin Mary is also excluded in Sess. 6 of Trent by the context, because the entire decree in Sess. 6 deals with the Justification of the impious/sinner. The context of the “impious,” therefore, does not include Mary since she was never impious – she was always in a state of perfect sanctification. But the point is that the council needed to specify that Mary was not included in its definition on Original Sin in Sess. 5 and it did so, thus demonstrating that if there are any exceptions to a dogmatic statement they will always be mentioned in the decree; for an infallible statement cannot declare that which is false.
Furthermore, look at what the Council of Trent says about the efficient cause of Justification in the impious.
Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Session 6, Chap. 7, ex cathedra: “… the efficient cause [of Justification] is a truly merciful God who gratuitously ‘washes and sanctifies’, ‘signing and anointing with the Holy Spirit…”
This is very interesting. Trent defines here that the efficient cause of Justification in the impious is God who washes and sanctifies, signing and anointing. Notice the term signing. This term (signing) is a clear reference to the character or mark of the Sacrament of Baptism; for the “sign” of Baptism only comes with the Sacrament of Baptism, as everyone admits. I quote Fr. Laisney of the SSPX again.
Fr. Francois Laisney, Is Feeneyism Catholic, p. 9: “Baptism of Desire is not a sacrament... it does not produce the sacramental character.”
Therefore, if Trent defines that the efficient cause of Justification is God who signs, this means that the efficient cause of Justification is God who signs us in the Sacrament of Baptism. And one cannot have the effect (Justification) without the cause (God signing in the Sacrament of Baptism).
 Denzinger 843a.
 The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, Vol. 4, p. 8.
 Denzinger 799.
 Denzinger 792.
 Denzinger 799.
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