It is fitting also to look at the teaching of some of the other fathers. St. Gregory Nazianz is one of the four great Eastern Doctors of the Catholic Church. He explicitly rejected the concept of baptism of desire.
St. Gregory Nazianz, 381 AD: “Of those who fail to be baptized some are utterly animal and bestial, according to whether they are foolish or wicked. This, I think, they must add to their other sins, that they have no reverence for this gift, but regard it as any other gift, to be accepted if given them, or neglected if not given them. Others know and honor the gift; but they delay, some out of carelessness, some because of insatiable desire. Still others are not able to receive it, perhaps because of infancy, or some perfectly involuntary circumstance which prevents them from receiving the gift, even if they desire it…
“If you were able to judge a man who intends to commit murder, solely by his intention and without any act of murder, then you could likewise reckon as baptized one who desired Baptism, without having received Baptism. But, since you cannot do the former, how can you do the latter? I cannot see it. If you prefer, we will put it like this: if in your opinion desire has equal power with actual Baptism, then make the same judgment in regard to glory. You will then be satisfied to long for glory, as if that longing itself were glory. Do you suffer any damage by not attaining the actual glory, as long as you have a desire for it?”
So much for the claim that “the fathers are unanimous” in favor of baptism of desire! When the priests of the SSPX publicly assert such they are stating exactly the opposite of the truth and are lying through their teeth. And what makes this lie all the more incredible is the fact that the SSPX quotes the above statement from St. Gregory on pages 64-65 of their book, Is Feeneyism Catholic?!
Here is what the liturgy has to say about the teaching of the great St. Gregory Nazianz, who clearly rejected baptism of desire. A reading for the feast of St. Gregory Nazianz (May 9) in the Roman Breviary states:
The Roman Breviary, May 9: “He [St. Gregory] wrote much, both in prose and verse, of an admirable piety and eloquence. In the opinion of learned and holy men, there is nothing to be found in his writings which is not conformable to true piety and Catholic faith, or which anyone could reasonably call in question.”
This rather significant fact totally refutes baptism of desire/blood advocates who argue that the teaching of the Breviary proves that men can be saved without Baptism (which we already saw is not true). St. Gregory Nazianz clearly rejected baptism of desire (see above), and the Breviary says here that there is nothing in his writings which is not conformable to the Catholic religion or which one could call into question! Therefore, if we hold the teaching of the Breviary to be infallible on theological matters, then we would have to reject baptism of desire. As baptism of desire advocate John Daly put it: “And of course theologians consider that it is impossible that there should be theological error in the Breviary…” (Sept 2, 2006) It looks like this baptism of desire advocate will have to reject baptism of desire or revise his arguments (hopefully the former). St. Gregory was actually the only doctor in the entire history of the Church who was surnamed “the theologian.”
The famous Benedictine Dom Prosper Guéranger: “It is Gregory of [Nazianz]… the one of all the Gregories who has merited and received the glorious name of Theologian, on account of the soundness of his teachings, the sublimity of his ideas, and the magnificence of his diction.”
So much for the lie that “the theologians” are unanimous in favor of baptism of desire. The only doctor in Church history who is surnamed “the theologian” explicitly rejected it!
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