Are only Catholics destined for Heaven?


The Church still teaches that baptism is absolutely necessary as that is the only means revealed by God to us by which we can be saved. But God is not limited to what he has revealed to the Church, so the possibility for the non-baptized to be saved can exist. God can save anyone he wants, any way he wants. And that is all that was addressed by Vatican II.


Baptism with water is not necessary:

Historically, the Church has taught that the graces of baptism can be received not only through the administration of the sacrament itself (baptism of water) but also through the desire for the sacrament (baptism of desire) or through martyrdom for Christ (baptism of blood).

Recent doctrinal development has made clear that it is possible for one to receive baptism of desire by an implicit desire. This is the principle that makes it possible for non-Christians to be saved. If they are genuinely committed to seeking and living by the truth, then they are implicitly committed to seeking Jesus Christ and living by his commands; they just don’t know that he is the Truth they’re seeking (cf. John 14:6).

Thus desire for baptism brings justification and justification makes one an heir of life everlasting. If one dies in a state of justification, one will inherit eternal life. Those who die with baptism of desire are saved. Period.

And some of these people who are baptized with “baptism of desire” do indeed know about the Catholic faith. They simply are convinced they are following the right path in following another faith. One can even be an atheist if one truly does not believe in G-d. It is not necessary to be an adherent of Catholicism.


How does this contradict anything I have stated (if that is what you are saying)?
The issue is the necessity of sacramental baptism by a Christian to fulfill the Gospel of John not a vague “baptism” which could be John the Baptist or simply a dipping in any liquid which is what the word means by itself.

Perhaps a post Vat II Magisterial quote would be good rather than personal views if you believe I am mistaken.


Sorry but I dont think you are following the logical flow of the discussion if you have not understood why i said post Vat II.


There are still other factors to consider.


My contribution may not be acceptable to some but my understanding is that the Catholic Church accepts a non-Sacremental, non-regenerational baptism as valid if it was preformed in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Anyone is welcomed to correct me if I am wrong.


If the form, matter, and proper consent are present then it is valid or at least that’s what I heard.


What, exactly, are they?


I think you are right. But, there is also the “baptism of desire” that the owner of this forum has written about. (At least I think he’s the owner.)


In some Christian faith baptism is just an external display of an internal decision. Belief that Christ died to save you from Sin is the primary requirement. Where baptism is performed it must be done in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit by a believing Christian.

As regards baptism in the Holy Spirit, we enter interesting territory.


How faithful they are to the lights and graces that God does to them, particularly at the hour of death.


Good point, must think before writing :slightly_smiling_face:
The only thing I can think is that it’s about the fact that no one is prevented from entering heaven since the gates are always open


I agree with you that the Catholic faith requires baptism be performed in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but the belief of the one performing baptism is of no importance. An atheist could perform a legitimate baptism as long as he or she intends to baptize and uses the proper form.

In the case of necessity (e.g., the danger of death), the person who baptizes pours water three times over the candidate’s head, or immerses the candidate three times in water, while simultaneously pronouncing the baptismal formula: “N., I baptize you in the name of the Father (the minster pours water or immerses the first time), and of the Son (the minister pours water or immerses a second time), and of the Holy Spirit (the minister pours water or immerses a third time).” A lay person who administers an emergency baptism must at least have the intention to do what the Church does when baptizing. It is also desirable that, as far as possible, one or two witnesses to the baptism be present.

The order of preference is a priest, a deacon, a devout Catholic, a non-Catholic Christian, a believer who adheres to no particular faith, an agnostic, an atheist. (This applies a an emergency baptism, not a non-emergency one.) But even in a non-emergency, a non-believing priest can administer a valid baptism.


Yes I’m aware of that but this is tradition o think? The baptism of Jesus was performed by someone who believed in him. I wonder if it’s only the words that matter ?(putting aside doctrine for a bit)


I see your issue now. First I have to ask what is your understanding of what a sacramental baptism is?


Christ’s death on the cross opened the gates of heaven. Doesn’t mean just anyone can walk through.


But it’s not for us to judge I would say. An binary approach only helps to turn us into the Pharisees of Jesus’s day


I think I am correct in saying that amongst the Believers Baptism groups in the Protestant churches, baptism would only be performed by a minister or at least a fellow believer. This would by in large stem from the fact that there would never be an emergency situation for the baptism, because salvation is not contigent upon the act of baptism.


The usual one as above. What is yours?


I think baptism as a requirement for salvation is only important to Catholics, though most Protestants I know do baptize. Judaism, too, has a form of baptism, full immersion in the mikvah bath. Of course we do not believe in the Trinity or in Christ as the messiah. Only converts have to undergo immersion in the mikvah. They immerse three times, absolutely no clothing, make up, or nail polish. When they emerge the third time, they are considered reborn Jewish. Jewish women use the mikvah at specified times when ritually impure.

Some Protestants I know believe in full immersion baptism, others baptize like Catholics. Of course, one can’t immerse a baby! That’s why the Protestants who believe in full immersion only baptize adults.

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