Is baptism necessary ?

Some outside of the Church claim that baptism is not necessary to gain salvation. They site (among others) the thief on the cross who would see paradise, and those who waited in “the bosom of Abraham” who also were taken into heaven. My question is, what does the church teach with regard to those unbaptised souls who are admitted to heaven, both historically and currently ? Does this have something to do with the baptism of intention ?

I suggest the answer may be thoroughly discussed in these other threads

Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?EENSSacraments34September 16, 2004 03:05 PMBabies Being Baptized?Anonymous_1Non-Catholic Religions26August 21, 2004 06:04 AMNon-Catholics on these boards…mango_2003Non-Catholic Religions511August 18, 2004 05:29 PMJohn 6:53 – need a REAL answer!javelinApologetics29August 11, 2004 03:25 PMJohn the Baptist and Jesus…more than one baptism?Ty CookAsk an Apologist1July 21, 2004 03:58 PM

I STRONGLY suggest that you go to the Catholic Answers homepage and look under “the Fathers know best” section. In this section read all the categories pertaining to baptism.

Ron from Ohio

The CCC says the following:

**1257 **The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.
**1258 **The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.
**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.

the life of god , called sanctifying grace, is infused into the soul, and a person is born again of water and the holy spirit(jn3:5). jesus made baptism a condition for entering heaven (jn3:5; mk16:16). bless you all.

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