Can other peoples' desire that someone be baptized be considered Baptism by Desire?


#1

Hi can you clear up a confusion that has arisen regarding Baptism by Desire.

When I was young, the good nuns taught me that Baptism by Desire occured when a person sincerely wanted to be Baptised but was unable to receive the Sacrament. Example, a young person (above the age of reason, but stil a minor) being prevented from being Baptized by his/her parents or guardians. A person stranded from other Catholics or Christians etc. The main point being that the person desired **his or her self ** to be Baptized.

In recent years, many people seem to include other peoples’ desire that someone be baptized. For example a pregnant mother can desire babtism for her unborn child, so he/she is still considered baptized if a miscarriage occurs. Or grandparents desiring Baptism for their grandchildren who are not being brought up in the Church.

Can other peoples’ desire that someone be baptized be considered Baptism by Desire?


#2

The Church teaches that we can trust in God’s mercy and hope that unbaptized children may attain salvation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) states, “As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say: ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,’ allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism” (CCC 1261).

So what could this way of salvation be? Since we know that baptism is necessary for salvation, one possibility is vicarious baptism of desire. In his book, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Dr. Ludwig Ott explains, “emergency means of baptism for children dying without sacramental baptism, such as prayer and desire of the parents or the Church… are indeed possible, but their actuality cannot be proved from Revelation”.


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