Those who have been brainwashed by apologists for the theory of baptism of desire may be surprised to learn that of all the fathers of the Church, only 1 can even be brought forward by baptism of desire advocates as having taught the concept. That’s correct, only one, St. Augustine. The baptism of desire advocates will make a feeble attempt to bring forward a second father, St. Ambrose, as we will see; but even if that were true, that would make only two fathers out of hundreds who can be quoted as ever having speculated on the concept of baptism of desire. So then, what is one to say about the following statements of the priests of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), who have written three separate books on “baptism of desire”?
Fr. Jean-Marc Rulleau (SSPX), Baptism of Desire, p. 63: “This baptism of desire makes up for the want of sacramental baptism… The existence of this mode of salvation is a truth taught by the Magisterium of the Church and held from the first centuries by all the Fathers. No Catholic theologian has contested it.”
Fr. Francois Laisney (SSPX), Is Feeneyism Catholic?, p. 79, on Baptism of desire: “It is not only the common teaching, but unanimous teaching; it is not only since the early part of this millennium, but rather from the beginning of the Church…”
These statements are totally false and grievous lies which completely misrepresent the teaching of Tradition and corrupt people’s faith, as we will see. The fathers are unanimously against the concept that anyone (including a catechumen) could be saved without water baptism, as I have shown. But let us examine the teaching of the one father, St. Augustine, who did express belief (at least at times) in the idea that a catechumen could be saved without the Sacrament of Baptism by his desire for it.