Baptism of Desire


#1

In reading different tracts form different apologists I find that many of them seem to confuse “baptism of desire” with “desire for baptism” Baptism of desire is an implicit “desire” to follow God to the best of one’s conscience. While "desire for baptism” is an explicit desire to want to receive the sacrament of Baptism. I understand that the council of Trent says that justification can’t be achieved without baptism or the desire of… but I believe this is talking about desire—that is explicit desire for the sacrament–this is not baptism of desire. Many “feenyites” (people who believe explicit faith and water baptism are absolutely necessary for salvation) use many councils and Popes (Florence Pope Boniface VIII, Trent etc) to support their opinion. However I think the strongest argument is not Trent. Because I believe, as I explained earlier Trent is talking about an explicit desire for Baptism. The Holy Office under Pius XII clarified this position when it said that the faith that leads to salvation need not always be explicit. I would like your comments on why this argument isn’t used more often–Is my logical flawed somewhere?


#2

Both circumstances that you discuss qualify as Baptism of Desire. Notice that regarding a truth-seeker who does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of truth, it is logical to conclude that if he knew the truth about Baptism, he would desire the sacrament and be baptized if possible. So it comes back to either an implicit or explicit desire for the sacrament.

Here’s what the Catechism says:

1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery."62 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.


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