Bro. Peter Dimond
As we discussed in our book Outside The Catholic Church There Is Absolutely No Salvation, St. Gregory Nazianzen, 4th century Father and Doctor of the Church, explicitly rejected the concept of “baptism of desire” in his Oration on Holy Baptism, dated January 6, 381. Below is an extended passage from nos. 22-24 of that oration. I will place in bold and comment on the most important statements.
St. Gregory Nazianzen, Oration on Holy Baptism, January 6, 381: “22. But then, you say, is not God merciful, and since He knows our thoughts and searches out our desires, will He not take the desire of Baptism instead of Baptism? You are speaking in riddles, if what you mean is that because of God's mercy the unenlightened is enlightened in His sight; and he is within the Kingdom of Heaven who merely desires to attain to it, but refrains from doing that which pertains to the kingdom. I will, however, speak out boldly my opinion on these matters; and I think that all other sensible men will range themselves on my side. Of those who have received the gift, some were altogether alien from God and from salvation, both addicted to all manner of sin, and desirous to be bad; others were semi vicious, and in a kind of mean state between good and bad; others again, while they did that which was evil, yet did not approve their own action, just as men in a fever are not pleased with their own sickness. And others even before they were illuminated were worthy of praise; partly by nature, and partly by the care with which they prepared themselves for Baptism. These after their initiation became evidently better, and less liable to fall; in the one case with a view to procuring good, and in the other in order to preserve it. And among these, those who gave in to some evil are better than those who were altogether bad; and better still than those who yielded a little, are those who were more zealous, and broke up their fallow ground before Baptism; they have the advantage over the others of having already labored; for the font does not do away with good deeds as it does with sins. But better even than these are they who are also cultivating the Gift, and are polishing themselves to the utmost possible beauty.
23. And so also in those who fail to receive the Gift, some are altogether animal or bestial, according as they are either foolish or wicked; and this, I think, has to be added to their other sins, that they have no reverence at all for this Gift, but look upon it as a mere gift— to be acquiesced in if given them, and if not given them, then to be neglected. Others know and honor the Gift, but put it off; some through laziness, some through greediness. Others are not in a position to receive it, perhaps on account of infancy, or some perfectly involuntary circumstance through which they are prevented from receiving it, even if they wish. As then in the former case we found much difference, so too in this. They who altogether despise it are worse than they who neglect it through greed or carelessness. These are worse than they who have lost the Gift through ignorance or tyranny, for tyranny is nothing but an involuntary error. And I think that the first will have to suffer punishment, as for all their sins, so for their contempt of baptism; and that the second will also have to suffer, but less, because it was not so much through wickedness as through folly that they wrought their failure; and that the third will be neither glorified nor punished by the righteous Judge, as unsealed and yet not wicked, but persons who have suffered rather than done wrong. For not everyone who is not bad enough to be punished is good enough to be honored; just as not everyone who is not good enough to be honored is bad enough to be punished. And I look upon it as well from another point of view. If you judge the murderously disposed man by his will alone, apart from the act of murder, then you may reckon as baptized him who desired baptism apart from the reception of baptism. But if you cannot do the one how can you do the other? I cannot see it. Or, if you like, we will put it thus:— If desire in your opinion has equal power with actual baptism, then judge in the same way in regard to glory, and you may be content with longing for it, as if that were itself glory. And what harm is done you by your not attaining the actual glory, as long as you have the desire for it?
24. Therefore since you have heard these words, come forward to it, and be enlightened…"
First, notice that St. Gregory rejects the notion that God will take the “desire of baptism instead of baptism”, that one who is “unenlightened” (i.e. unbaptized) can be “enlightened in His sight”, and that “he is within the Kingdom of Heaven who merely desires to attain it” (#22). As any honest person will recognize, this is an explicit, crystal clear rejection of the concept of ‘baptism of desire’. What’s remarkable is that in the face of such a direct statement denying the idea of ‘baptism of desire’, many defenders of 'baptism of desire' will still argue that St. Gregory Nazianzen did not reject it! Their dishonesty is astounding. Their failure to concede even the most obvious facts against their position proves that the truth is not in them.
For example, in the heretical book Is Feeneyism Catholic?, Fr. Francois Laisney of the SSPX actually stated the following concerning the aforementioned passage of St. Gregory Nazianzen:
“One sees here the very principle of baptism of desire.” (Francois Laisney, Is Feeneyism Catholic?, p. 67)
“Far from being against [meaning ‘baptism of desire’], he [Gregory] rather sets the very principles of baptism of desire.” (Ibid., p. 65)
Another defender of ‘baptism of desire’, whom we’ve refuted, stated: “St. Gregory Nazianzen was clearly not rejecting the doctrine of Baptism of Desire in his explanation…” Demonic is the appropriate word to describe such a brazen falsification of the truth. There’s a reason they obstinately adhere to ‘baptism of desire’: they simply don't want the truth. Laisney also infamously stated that the Council of Florence “mentions” “baptism of desire” (another total lie). Our book thoroughly exposes his diabolical work.
If the aforementioned passages from St. Gregory were not sufficient to prove that he rejected ‘baptism of desire’ (and they are), in #23 he goes further. St. Gregory proceeds to reject that one can “reckon as baptized him who desired baptism apart from the reception of baptism”, and that “desire… has equal power with actual baptism”. That is another clear repudiation of the concept of ‘baptism of desire’.
It’s true that Gregory also teaches that infants and those above reason, who want baptism but are prevented from receiving it through “some perfectly involuntary circumstance”, will “be neither glorified nor punished by the righteous Judge, as unsealed and yet not wicked.” This statement constitutes another rejection of ‘baptism of desire’, for it asserts that catechumens, etc. who wish for baptism, but are prevented from receiving it, will not be glorified. However, his assertion that those who wish for baptism, but are involuntarily prevented from receiving it, will not be punished, and will end up with unbaptized infants, is not correct. Their sins can only be forgiven in baptism. Therefore, they could not be freed from mortal sin without baptism; and all who die in mortal sin go to the fires of Hell to be punished (de fide definita). Furthermore, God is in control. He is all-powerful and merciful. Those who sincerely seek what He offers will find it (Luke 11:10). If God allows such a person to die without water baptism, it’s because He didn’t deem that person to be of good will or worthy of baptism. As St. Augustine taught:
St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book 5, Chap. 4: “Of the number of the elect and predestined, even those who have led the very worst kind of life are led to repentance through the goodness of God… Not one of them perishes, regardless of his age at death; never be it said that a man predestined to life would be permitted to end his life without the sacrament of the Mediator [Baptism]. Because of these men, our Lord says: ‘This is the will of him who sent me, the Father, that I should lose nothing of what he has given me.’”
So, St. Gregory’s explanation in that regard was not correct. However, even in that part of the passage he upholds the apostolic teaching that no one can enter the Kingdom of Heaven without water baptism (John 3:5), and again repudiates the false doctrine of ‘baptism of desire’, by asserting that those who die wishing for baptism cannot be “glorified” or "honored”, having been “unsealed” (i.e. unbaptized).
SUMMARY OF ST. GREGORY NAZIANZEN’S TEACHING AGAINST ‘BAPTISM OF DESIRE’
Thus, the doctor of the Church St. Gregory Nazianzen affirmed the apostolic truth that no one enters Heaven without baptism while directly rejecting the following:
These bullet points capture St. Gregory Nazianzen’s rejection of the idea of ‘baptism of desire’. It is remarkable that in the face of these facts there are actually supporters of ‘baptism of desire’ who say that 1) the fathers of the Church unanimously taught ‘baptism of desire’ (a lie), and 2) St. Gregory Nazianzen didn’t reject ‘baptism of desire’ (a lie).
ALSO BEWARE OF THOSE WHO MISREPRESENT AND MISQUOTE ST. GREGORY NAZIANZEN ON ‘BAPTISM OF BLOOD’
Since St. Gregory clearly rejected ‘baptism of desire’, if he believed that martyrdom or anything else could replace water baptism one would expect him to have mentioned that when rejecting that one who is “unenlightened” (i.e. unbaptized) can be “enlightened in His sight” and that “desire… has equal power with actual baptism”. But he doesn’t mention that ‘martyrdom’ or ‘blood’ or anything else can replace water baptism.
Some, however, misquote his Oration 39 on the Holy Lights, in which he speaks metaphorically of more than five kinds of ‘baptism’. In that Oration Gregory refers to the baptism of Moses, of John, of Christ, of martyrdom or blood, and of tears. Numerous fathers of the Church referred to a martyrdom of an already baptized Catholic as a 'baptism of blood'. That doesn’t prove that those individuals believed it could take the place of baptism. There is nothing in St. Gregory’s discussion about a "fourth baptism – by martyrdom and blood" that indicates that he believed it could replace water baptism in the Christian era. He does not make any such statement. Yet, the dishonest defenders of BOD will frequently present him as having endorsed such a position. That is typical of their perfidy and falsification of texts. In fact, his Oration on the Holy Lights was intended, at least in part, to refute the Novatians who denied absolution for certain kinds of sins after baptism. Novatian denied absolution for idolatry; his followers extended that to murder, adultery, and fornication. In that context, Gregory mentions a "baptism of tears" as a "fifth" baptism, and he says: “I, however, for I confess myself to be a man… both eagerly receive this Baptism and Worship Him who has given it to me…” St. Gregory, of course, had already received water baptism; yet, he says that he eagerly receives this "baptism" of "tears". That proves that the ‘baptism of tears’ refers to an already-baptized person expiating or washing away the stains of sin through prayers, spiritual works, and penitential acts. It does not in any way teach that ‘tears’ or penance can be a substitute for water baptism. In the same way, the Council of Trent noted that the fathers called Penance “a laborious kind of baptism”, because Baptism remits the temporal punishment by the power of the sacramental grace, but those who have been baptized frequently can only receive the remission of the temporal punishment required for certain sins through good works, labor, enduring suffering or tears.
The Council of Trent, Sess. 14, Chap. 2: “For, by baptism putting on Christ, we are made therein entirely a new creature, obtaining a full and entire remission of all sins: unto which newness and entireness, however, we are no ways able to arrive by the sacrament of Penance, without many tears and great labors on our parts, the divine justice demanding this; so that penance has justly been called by holy Fathers a laborious kind of baptism.”
This has nothing to do with tears or penance serving as a substitute for water baptism. Moreover, notice that when St. Gregory mentions a "fourth baptism – by martyrdom and blood" and a "fifth" of tears, he says the following in #19. This comes in the paragraph immediately after the discussion of a 'baptism of tears'. He says: "But these sins were not after Baptism, you will say. Where is your proof? Either prove it— or refrain from condemning; and if there be any doubt, let charity prevail. But Novatus, you say, would not receive those who lapsed in the persecution."
Notice the explicit reference to the position of Novatus, who denied forgiveness for certain sins after baptism. (Novatian's name is given as Novatus by Greek writers.) Further, notice that he's interacting with the argument of those who deny the forgiveness of certain sins after baptism. Thus, Gregory is discussing the various ways in which sins can be forgiven or washed away after baptism; he nowhere says that anything can serve as a substitute for water baptism. This is further confirmed by how Gregory concludes his Oration on the Holy Lights. He makes reference to a sixth 'baptism', of fire, which consumes the stubble of every evil and is "painful and longer" (#20). This refers to a purging fire or 'baptism' --- which again happens after water baptism. He's using the term 'baptism' metaphorically to describe the various ways in which sin can be washed away after baptism to refute the false teaching of the Novatians who denied forgiveness for certain sins committed after baptism.
So, there’s no proof that St. Gregory taught that martyrdom could replace water baptism, despite what the typically dishonest defenders of ‘baptism of desire’ and ‘blood’ assert. The fact is that there is zero support for the false teaching of ‘baptism of blood’ in the papal magisterium, and the idea is refuted by the Church’s infallible teaching that no one can be saved without the Sacrament of Baptism.
STATEMENTS ABOUT THE AUTHORITY OF ST. GREGORY NAZIANZEN DEMOLISH A POPULAR ARGUMENT
The fact that St. Gregory Nazianzen explicitly rejected ‘baptism of desire’ demolishes a popular argument made by supporters of BOD. The reality is that the early Church rejected ‘baptism of desire’ in many statements, as Pope St. Siricius’ teaching in the oldest surviving papal decree and many other statements show: The Latin Text of the Oldest Surviving Papal Decree Rejects “Baptism of Desire”. However, supporters of ‘baptism of desire’ like to bring up the authority of St. Thomas or the Breviary or theologians. Well, all of those sources refute their position.
THE BREVIARY ON ST. GREGORY NAZIANZEN’S AUTHORITY
The Roman Breviary says this for May 9th concerning St. Gregory Nazianzen:
“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.”
St. Gregory Nazianzen rejected baptism of desire, and the Breviary says that there is nothing in his writings which is not conformable to the Catholic religion or which one could call into question. If one considers the Breviary to be infallible on theological matters, he would have to reject 'baptism of desire'.
GREGORY WAS SURNAMED “THE THEOLOGIAN”
St. Gregory Nazianzen is also one of the only doctors in Church history who was given the special title of ‘Theologian’. Dom Prosper Guéranger noted:
“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.” (Dom Prosper Guéranger, The Liturgical Year, Vol. 8, p. 315.)
So, the one who is surnamed 'the theologian' explicitly rejected ‘baptism of desire’! The truth is that the theologians are actually unanimous that no one is saved without baptism based on John 3:5, even though they didn’t always remain consistent with the universal apostolic affirmation.
Catechism of the Council of Trent, “Baptism made obligatory after Christ’s Resurrection,” p. 171: “Holy writers are unanimous in saying that after the Resurrection of our Lord, when He gave His Apostles the command to go and teach all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, the law of Baptism became obligatory on all who were to be saved… Hence we can have no doubt that the words of the Saviour: Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God, refer also to the same time which was to follow after His Passion. If, then, pastors explain these truths accurately, there can be no doubt that the faithful will recognize the high dignity of this Sacrament.”
ST. THOMAS AQUINAS ON ST. GREGORY NAZIANZEN
In the Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas says this about St. Gregory Nazianzen.
Latin: "Quamvis contrarium non sit reputandum erroneum, praecipue propter sententiam Gregorii Nazianzeni, cuius tanta est in doctrina Christiana auctoritas, ut nullus unquam eius dictis calumniam inferre praesumpserit, sicut nec Athanasii documentis, ut Hieronymus dicit.”
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, First Part, Q. 61, A. 3: “Although the contrary is not to be deemed erroneous, particularly on account of the opinion of Gregory Nazianzen, whose authority in Christian doctrine is so great that no one has ever presumed to lay false charge against his words, as is also the case with the teachings of Athanasius, as Jerome says.”
If one were to strictly follow and apply the teaching of St. Thomas, one would have to reject ‘baptism of desire’, since St. Gregory did. The truth is that neither St. Gregory Nazianzen nor St. Thomas was infallible. However, these facts demonstrate that any argument advanced by supporters of BOD actually serves to refute their position and illuminate the true teaching of the Church: that no one can be saved without water baptism.
ST. GREGORY NAZIANZEN PRESIDED OVER THE COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE IN 381, WHICH DECLARED “ONE BAPTISM FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS”
St. Gregory Nazianzen was the Bishop of Constantinople for a period of time in the 4th century. He played a notable role at the First Council of Constantinople in the year 381. Gregory succeeded Meletius as president of the Council of Constantinople. He presided for some time, but then resigned his position due to ill health and disappointments over a dispute about the successor at Antioch. The Catholic Encyclopedia notes: “He [St. Gregory] appeared again before the council, intimated that he was ready to be another Jonas to pacify the troubled waves, and that all he desired was rest from his labours, and leisure to prepare for death. The Fathers made no protest against this announcement, which some among them doubtless heard with secret satisfaction; and Gregory at once sought and obtained from the emperor permission to resign his see. In June, 381, he preached a farewell sermon before the council and in presence of an overflowing congregation. The peroration of this discourse is of singular and touching beauty, and unsurpassed even among his many eloquent orations.”
ST. GREGORY'S KEY ROLE AT THE FIRST COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE, IN CONJUNCTION WITH HIS EXPLICIT REPUDIATION OF 'BAPTISM OF DESIRE' IN THE SAME YEAR, SHEDS IMPORTANT LIGHT ON THE COUNCIL'S DECLARATION: "ONE BAPTISM FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS"
Even though Gregory did not finish the Council as its president or as the Bishop of Constantinople, he had served as both during the Council. He was a key figure there who is now a saint and doctor of the Church. The First Council of Constantinople is now recognized as the second ecumenical council. In the same year it was held, 381 – indeed, just a few months before it – St. Gregory Nazianzen gave his Oration on Holy Baptism, which is examined above. St. Gregory’s teaching in that Oration thus reflects what true Christians and the fathers at the time of the First Council of Constantinople believed and taught. This is extremely interesting because the First Council of Constantinople in 381 is where we find the first dogmatic pronouncement of the truth that there's only one baptism for the remission of sins.
The Council of Constantinople, 381: “We confess one baptism for the remission of sins.”
This dogmatic truth refutes ‘baptism of desire’, for the one baptism for the remission of sins is celebrated in water (Pope Clement V, Council of Vienne, 1311-1312). The Nicene Creed recited at Traditional Masses is actually the Nicene-Constantinople Creed. The Creed proclaimed in 325 at the Council of Nicea was shorter than what is recited at the Traditional Mass and what was proclaimed at Constantinople in 381. Constantinople amplified or expanded the Creed. It added professions about the Holy Ghost, the Catholic Church, the resurrection of the dead, and the phrase “one baptism for the remission of sins”. Moreover, after the First Council of Constantinople, we know that the Filioque clause (meaning: “and the Son”), which states that Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, was added to what is called the Nicene Creed. But the famous dogmatic proclamation that there is “one baptism for the remission of sins” was first made at Constantinople in 381.
Well, we often hear from ‘baptism of desire’ defenders that a Catholic’s understanding of these issues should be derived from the 'mind of the theologians', rather than from the actual text of the dogmatic pronouncements. That is clearly wrong. The pronouncements of the Magisterium are the rule of faith. However, if one were to adopt the methodology proposed by supporters of BOD, it would again refute ‘baptism of desire’. For just consider the teaching of the man who presided over the very council which proclaimed “one baptism for the remission of sins.” In the very same year he rejected the idea that God will take the “desire of baptism instead of baptism”, that “desire… has equal power with actual baptism”, that “he is within the Kingdom of Heaven who merely desires to attain it”, etc. He did not believe that “desire” could replace, be equated with, or constitute water baptism. So, if we assume that his teaching represents the ‘sense’ or 'mind' of Constantinople’s decree on “one baptism”, we must conclude that “one baptism for the remission of sins” excludes ‘baptism of desire’!
This is just another illustration that we who believe and profess that no one can be saved without water baptism have the truth and affirm Catholic teaching. Those who deny it and obstinately adhere to the false doctrine of ‘baptism of desire’ don’t.
APPENDIX- OTHER MAGISTERIAL/DOGMATIC DECREES AND FACTS ON THE CHURCH’S TEACHING ON BAPTISM
- THE CATHOLIC CHURCH PROFESSES ONLY ONE BAPTISM OF WATER (NOT ‘THREE BAPTISMS’)
Pope Clement V, The Council of Vienne, 1311-1312: “Besides, only one baptism regenerating all who are baptized in Christ must be faithfully confessed by all just as ‘one God and one faith’ [Eph. 4:5], which celebrated in water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit we believe to be the perfect remedy for salvation for both adults and children.”
Pope Clement V, The Council of Vienne, 1311-1312: “But since one is the universal Church, of regulars and seculars, of prelates and subjects, of exempt and non-exempt, outside of which absolutely (omnino) no one (nullus) is saved (salvatur), one is the Lord, one is the Faith and one is the baptism of all.”
- THE CATHOLIC CHURCH PROFESSES THAT ONE MUST BE BORN AGAIN OF WATER AND THE SPIRIT TO BE SAVED (THAT CONTRADICTS ‘BAPTISM OF DESIRE’)
Pope Eugene IV, The Council of Florence, Exultate Deo, Nov. 22, 1439: “Holy baptism, which is the gateway to the spiritual life, holds the first place among all the sacraments; through it we are made members of Christ and of the body of the Church. And since death entered the universe through the first man, ‘unless we are born again of water and the Spirit, we cannot,’ as the Truth says, ‘enter into the kingdom of heaven’ [John 3:5]. The matter of this sacrament is real and natural water.”
Pope Paul III, The Council of Trent, Can. 5 on the Sacrament of Baptism, Sess. 7, 1547: “If anyone says that baptism [the sacrament] is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation: let him be anathema.”
Pope Paul III, The Council of Trent, Can. 2 on the Sacrament of Baptism, Sess. 7, 1547, ex cathedra: “If anyone should say that real and natural water is not necessary for baptism, and on that account should distort those words of Our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit’ [John 3:5], into some metaphor: let him be anathema.”
- THE CATHOLIC CHURCH PROFESSES THAT RECEIVING WATER BAPTISM IS THE ONLY WAY TO BE SAVED, INCLUDING FOR ADULTS WHO DESIRE WATER BAPTISM AND ARE IN DANGER, ACCIDENTS, ETC. (THAT CONTRADICTS ‘BAPTISM OF DESIRE’)
Pope St. Siricius, Decree to Himerius, A.D. 385:“Therefore just as we say that the holy paschal observance is in no way to be diminished, we also say that to infants who will not yet be able to speak on account of their age or to those who in any necessity will need the holy stream of baptism, we wish succor to be brought with all celerity, lest it should tend to the perdition of our souls if the saving font be denied to those desiring it and every single one of them exiting this world lose both the Kingdom and life. Whoever should fall into the peril of shipwreck, the incursion of an enemy, the uncertainty of a siege or the desperation of any bodily sickness, and should beg to be relieved by the unique help of faith, let them obtain the rewards of the much sought-after regeneration in the same moment of time in which they beg for it. Let the previous error in this matter be enough; [but] now let all priests maintain the aforesaid rule, who do not want to be torn from the solidity of the apostolic rock upon which Christ constructed His universal Church.”
Pope St. Leo the Great, Letter 16, Oct. 21, 447, #6: “Wherefore, as it is quite clear that these two seasons [Easter and Pentecost] of which we have been speaking are the rightful ones for baptizing the chosen in Church, we admonish you, beloved, not to add other days to this observance. Because, although there are other festivals also to which much reverence is due in God’s honour, yet we must rationally guard this principal and greatest sacrament as a deep mystery and not part of the ordinary routine: not, however, prohibiting the license to succor those who are in danger by administering baptism to them at any time. For while we put off the vows of those who are not pressed by ill health and live in peaceful security to those two closely connected and cognate festivals, we do not at any time refuse this which is the only safeguard of true salvation to anyone in peril of death, in the crisis of a siege, in the distress of persecution, in the terror of shipwreck.”
- THE MAGISTERIAL TEACHING OF ALL PAPAL ENCYCLICALS ON THE ISSUE IS THAT NO ONE IS SAVED, OR IN THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, WITHOUT RECEIVING THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM (THAT CONTRADICTS ‘BAPTISM OF DESIRE’)
Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas (#15), Dec. 11, 1925, addressed to the universal Church, concerning entrance into the Kingdom of God: “Which Kingdom indeed is set forth in the Gospels as one into which men prepare to enter by doing penance but are unable to enter except through faith and baptism, which, although it is an external rite, nevertheless signifies and effects an interior regeneration.”
Pope Pius XII Mediator Dei (#47), Nov. 20, 1947, addressed to the universal Church, referring to the Sacrament of Baptism: “… the washing of baptism distinguishes and separates all Christians [christianos omnes] from the rest whom this stream of atonement has not washed and who are not members of Christ…”
Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (# 22), June 29, 1943, addressed to the universal Church: “Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have received the laver of regeneration and profess the true faith…”
- THE CHURCH DOGMATICALLY TEACHES THAT ONE CANNOT RECEIVE JUSTIFICATION/SANCTIFICATION WITHOUT WATER BAPTISM (THAT CONTRADICTS ‘BAPTISM OF DESIRE’)
Pope St. Leo the Great, dogmatic letter to Flavian, The Council of Chalcedon, 451: “Let him heed what the blessed apostle Peter preaches, that sanctification by the Spirit is effected by the sprinkling of Christ’s blood (1 Pet. 1:2); and let him not skip over the same apostle’s words, knowing that you have been redeemed from the empty way of life you inherited from your fathers, not with corruptible gold and silver but by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, as of a lamb without stain or spot (1 Pet. 1:18). Nor should he withstand the testimony of blessed John the apostle: and the blood of Jesus, the Son of God, purifies us from every sin (1 Jn. 1:7); and again, This is the victory which conquers the world, our faith. Who is there who conquers the world save one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? It is He, Jesus Christ, who has come through water and blood, not in water only, but in water and blood. And because the Spirit is truth, it is the Spirit who testifies. For there are three who give testimony – Spirit and water and blood. And the three are one. (1 Jn. 5:4-8) IN OTHER WORDS, THE SPIRIT OF SANCTIFICATION AND THE BLOOD OF REDEMPTION AND THE WATER OF BAPTISM. THESE THREE ARE ONE AND REMAIN INDIVISIBLE. NONE OF THEM IS SEPARABLE FROM ITS LINK WITH THE OTHERS.”
- THE CHURCH DOGMATICALLY TEACHES THAT ONLY THE FAITHFUL ARE SAVED; THAT MAN MUST BE REGENERATED TO BE JUSTIFIED; THAT ONLY THOSE SUBJECT TO THE ROMAN PONTIFF ARE SAVED; AND THAT ONE CANNOT BE PART OF THE FAITHFUL OR SUBJECT TO THE ROMAN PONTIFF WITHOUT WATER BAPTISM. ALL OF THESE FACTS, AMONG OTHERS, REFUTE THE FALSE IDEA OF ‘BAPTISM OF DESIRE’. YOU CAN FIND QUOTES ON THOSE MATTERS IN OUR MATERIAL.
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