Dear Brs. Peter and Michael,
I know that you spend many hours researching doctrinal matters. I have a matter that I would like you to consider researching. It deals with the issue of Baptism of desire. As you know, the subject of baptism of desire, and blood, has become somewhat of a hot topic as of recent years. This is a matter that has divided traditional Catholics.
You take the position that since the Church teaches INFALLIBLY that a person must be baptized WITH WATER, that baptims of blood and desire are heresy. Others, on the other hand, claim that baptism of desire and blood are teachings of the Church from the earliest years. In my opinion, both sides make a strong case for their belief. You base yours on the infallible statements; others claim that Trent taught their belief: they also point to numerous Catechisms that teach baptism of desire and blood, claiming that the difference is between the objective and subjective (Canon Hess, for example).
I have found something that I think clears up the matter. At least in my mind, the "contradiction" between the teachings of various saints is cleared up. Since you dedicate so much of your time to study, I am requesting that you look into this matter.
In reading the writings of St. Alphonsus Ligouri and St. Catherine of Siena, and others, I have found a distinction between the "general order" and the "particular order". The general order is that which applies "generally" (similar to the objective); while the "particular order" applies in individular cases (similar to the subjective). As you know, if one does not distinguish between the objective and subjective there will be many apparent "contradictions". I think the same applies to the lack of distinction between the general order and the particular order.
The laws of the Church apply to the "general order", while the "particular" order applies to individual cases (circumstances). …Likewise, the Church speaks in the general order when it defines a dogma, but does not necessarily rule out a "particular" exception. In other places in "the Diologue" God speaks in greater detail of the general order and a particluar order. I think this may be the answer to the issue of baptism of desire and blood. In the general order, everyone must be baptised with water; however, in the particular order, there can be exceptions.
I am requesting that you look into this subject to see what you can find in Church teaching, as this may clear up the apparent "contradiction" between what some Popes and saints have taught. I would be interested in hearing what you find.
Thank you very much for all of your hard work and studies for the Church. I have most of your videos and tapes and do appreciate your fervent efforts.
If you do have time dedicate to this subject, I ask that you keep me informed as I too will be studying the topic. If I find any more information I will pass it along to you.
Thanks for the interest. But the proposition (if applied to dogmatic truths) is actually heretical. The idea that a dogma can have a reality that contradicts the truth declared infallibly is directly contrary to truth. It would, therefore, render the truth false.
Pope St. Pius X, Lamentabile, The Errors of the Modernists, July 3, 1907, #22:“The dogmas which the Church professes as revealed are not truths fallen from heaven, but they are a kind of interpretation of religious facts, which the human mind by a laborious effort prepared for itself.”- Condemned
There are no exceptions to a dogma – unlike ecclesiastical or canon law – because a dogma is an unchangeable truth. If the proposition you described were viable, then one would have to admit that a Catholic can believe that certain Jews who reject Christ can be saved, because, in the general order, they must accept Him; but in the particular order some can reject Him in good faith. But that is totally heretical.
Also, along the same lines, one could believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate in the general order; but, in the particular order, He may appear to some as the Dalai Lama or as other men. If the proposition described above is viable, then so is this. But this is obviously heretical.
Sign up for our free e-mail list to see future vaticancatholic.com videos and articles.