I would like to give a more substantive response and will try to do so over the weekend. But if you are interested, one text, off the top of my head is the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas. Actually, I just thought of another: it’s on the Internet Archive - “The sacraments” by Pohle.
God has positively willed that sacraments should have a person administering, who takes the place of Christ the principal Minister, and a person to whom it is administered. If he didn’t will it, then he would have told the apostles to baptize themselves, forgive their own sins, and so forth.
Are we talking about only the Seven Sacraments here? Is Baptism of Desire still a sacrament? (asking seriously, because I don’t know). Because the “minister of the sacrament” (the person desiring baptism) would also be the recipient. If God somehow makes an exception here, it’s a little ridiculous to say that God wouldn’t make an exception for someone baptizing themselves on a deserted island. The answer someone gave in regard to the Baptism of Desire seems to leave room for doubt. Why not remove doubt and baptize yourself? Other Sacraments likewise leave room for the sacrament to still occur without a minister - the same end is achieved with the Sacrament of Penance through a “perfect act of contrition.” So, to say it’s impossible to have a sacrament without a minister seems incorrect.
This is a bit more technical and one of the parts I’ll try and go into over the weekend, but read the Summa in the meantime (although I should note it gives the teaching of what has come to be known as the Thomistic school).
W.r.t. baptism of desire, we do not know which way God will extend salvation to the person. God operates through the sacraments as an ordinary means of grace, but has not chosen to dispense sacramental effects solely through this method.
That’s a little ridiculous. Even taking “anyone” literally, you would reasonably assume the baptizer is capable of performing the act. A dead person is not capable.
It didn’t seem so ridiculous to me. After all, if angels can appear on earth, they can serve as ministers, no? Likewise for devils or spirits, etc.
Namaan is not the only example, you have the Israelites passing through the sea, and Noah and his family in the Ark, both of which are types of Baptism explicitly referenced in the New Testament. In both cases, it was God directly who did the “baptizing” and there was no other “minister”.
I understand. But these are types of baptism, not baptism itself. As you know, the main thrust is the themes- deliverance, cleansing, etc. Can we infer that because the Trinitarian words weren’t pronounced from on high over the Israelites as they crossed the Red Sea, or invoked by Naaman as he dipped himself, that all we need to do is dunk ourselves with the intention of being cleansed and renewed by grace? Of course not.