Wednesday, December 14, 2011

All Further Attacks by Feeneyites Will be Referred to St. Thomas: Ite ad Thomam


Today I received a nastygram in the form of a comment that accused me of heresy for not believing in "Water Baptism."  

I see you're still an extremist for Satan and Hell for rejecting the Catholic Salvation and Water Baptism Dogma. There is a Formal Abjuration on Section 19.1 of in case you ever want to become a Christian. 

I get this despite my belief in the Catholic dogma on the necessity of baptism for salvation.  I suppose the comment is a reference to my acceptance of the doctrines of baptism of desire and of blood, commonly held by the Fathers and theologians and taught by the Church in Her catechisms and tacitly through her practice, but commonly denied by Feeneyites (although only downplayed by the smartest among them).

If I'm a heretic for teaching baptism of desire/blood, then St. Thomas Aquinas is a heretic, and therefore the Church canonized a heretic and made him the Universal Doctor of the Church, which means that She is not infallible.  How absurd!  

Henceforth, I will not pause to respond in detail to attacks.  From now on, when I receive another of these nastygrams, I will simply reply: Ite ad Thomam, "Go to Thomas":   

From Summa theologiae III.66.11:

Whether three kinds of Baptism are fittingly described--viz. Baptism of Water, of Blood, and of the Spirit? 

 Objection 1. It seems that the three kinds of Baptism are not fittingly described as Baptism of Water, of Blood, and of the Spirit, i.e. of the Holy Ghost. Because the Apostle says (Ephesians 4:5): "One Faith, one Baptism." Now there is but one Faith. Therefore there should not be three Baptisms. 

 Objection 2. Further, Baptism is a sacrament, as we have made clear above (Question 65, Article 1). Now none but Baptism of Water is a sacrament. Therefore we should not reckon two other Baptisms. 

 Objection 3. Further, Damascene (De Fide Orth. iv) distinguishes several other kinds of Baptism. Therefore we should admit more than three Baptisms. On the contrary, on Hebrews 6:2, "Of the doctrine of Baptisms," the gloss says: "He uses the plural, because there is Baptism of Water, of Repentance, and of Blood." 

 I answer that, As stated above (Question 62, Article 5), Baptism of Water has its efficacy from Christ's Passion, to which a man is conformed by Baptism, and also from the Holy Ghost, as first cause. Now although the effect depends on the first cause, the cause far surpasses the effect, nor does it depend on it. Consequently, a man may, without Baptism of Water, receive the sacramental effect from Christ's Passion, in so far as he is conformed to Christ by suffering for Him. Hence it is written (Apocalypse 7:14): "These are they who are come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb." In like manner a man receives the effect of Baptism by the power of the Holy Ghost, not only without Baptism of Water, but also without Baptism of Blood: forasmuch as his heart is moved by the Holy Ghost to believe in and love God and to repent of his sins: wherefore this is also called Baptism of Repentance. Of this it is written (Isaiah 4:4): "If the Lord shall wash away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall wash away the blood of Jerusalem out of the midst thereof, by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning." Thus, therefore, each of these other Baptisms is called Baptism, forasmuch as it takes the place of Baptism. Wherefore Augustine says (De Unico Baptismo Parvulorum iv): "The Blessed Cyprian argues with considerable reason from the thief to whom, though not baptized, it was said: 'Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise' that suffering can take the place of Baptism. Having weighed this in my mind again and again, I perceive that not only can suffering for the name of Christ supply for what was lacking in Baptism, but even faith and conversion of heart, if perchance on account of the stress of the times the celebration of the mystery of Baptism is not practicable." 

 Reply to Objection 1. The other two Baptisms are included in the Baptism of Water, which derives its efficacy, both from Christ's Passion and from the Holy Ghost. Consequently for this reason the unity of Baptism is not destroyed. 

 Reply to Objection 2. As stated above (Question 60, Article 1), a sacrament is a kind of sign. The other two, however, are like the Baptism of Water, not, indeed, in the nature of sign, but in the baptismal effect. Consequently they are not sacraments. 

 Reply to Objection 3. Damascene enumerates certain figurative Baptisms. For instance, "the Deluge" was a figure of our Baptism, in respect of the salvation of the faithful in the Church; since then "a few . . . souls were saved in the ark [Vulgate: 'by water'," according to 1 Peter 3:20. He also mentions "the crossing of the Red Sea": which was a figure of our Baptism, in respect of our delivery from the bondage of sin; hence the Apostle says (1 Corinthians 10:2) that "all . . . were baptized in the cloud and in the sea." And again he mentions "the various washings which were customary under the Old Law," which were figures of our Baptism, as to the cleansing from sins: also "the Baptism of John," which prepared the way for our Baptism. 

Summa theologiae IIIª q. 66 a. 11: 

Ad undecimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod inconvenienter describantur tria Baptismata, scilicet aquae, sanguinis et flaminis, scilicet spiritus sancti. Quia apostolus dicit, Ephes. IV, una fides, unum Baptisma. Sed non est nisi una fides. Ergo non debent tria Baptismata esse. 

 Praeterea, Baptismus est quoddam sacramentum, ut ex supra dictis patet. Sed solum Baptismus aquae est sacramentum. Ergo non debent poni alii duo Baptismi. 

 Praeterea, Damascenus, in IV libro, determinat plura alia genera Baptismatum. Non ergo solum debent poni tria Baptismata. 

 Sed contra est quod, super illud Heb. VI, Baptismatum doctrinae, dicit Glossa, pluraliter dicit, quia est Baptismus aquae, poenitentiae, et sanguinis. 

 Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, Baptismus aquae efficaciam habet a passione Christi, cui aliquis configuratur per Baptismum; et ulterius, sicut a prima causa, a spiritu sancto. Licet autem effectus dependeat a prima causa, causa tamen superexcedit effectum, nec dependet ab effectu. Et ideo, praeter Baptismum aquae, potest aliquis consequi sacramenti effectum ex passione Christi, inquantum quis ei conformatur pro Christo patiendo. Unde dicitur Apoc. VII, hi sunt qui venerunt ex tribulatione magna, et laverunt stolas suas et dealbaverunt eas in sanguine agni. Eadem etiam ratione aliquis per virtutem spiritus sancti consequitur effectum Baptismi, non solum sine Baptismo aquae, sed etiam sine Baptismo sanguinis, inquantum scilicet alicuius cor per spiritum sanctum movetur ad credendum et diligendum Deum, et poenitendum de peccatis; unde etiam dicitur Baptismus poenitentiae. Et de hoc dicitur Isaiae IV, si abluerit dominus sordes filiarum Sion, et sanguinem Ierusalem laverit de medio eius, in spiritu iudicii et spiritu ardoris. Sic igitur utrumque aliorum Baptismatum nominatur Baptismus, inquantum supplet vicem Baptismi. Unde dicit Augustinus, in IV libro de unico Baptismo parvulorum, Baptismi vicem aliquando implere passionem, de latrone illo cui non baptizato dictum est, hodie mecum eris in Paradiso, beatus Cyprianus non leve documentum assumit. Quod etiam atque etiam considerans, invenio non tantum passionem pro nomine Christi id quod ex Baptismo deerat posse supplere, sed etiam fidem conversionemque cordis, si forte ad celebrandum mysterium Baptismi in angustiis temporum succurri non potest. 

 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod alia duo Baptismata includuntur in Baptismo aquae, qui efficaciam habet et ex passione Christi et ex spiritu sancto. Et ideo per hoc non tollitur unitas Baptismatis. 

 Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, sacramentum habet rationem signi. Alia vero duo conveniunt cum Baptismo aquae, non quidem quantum ad rationem signi, sed quantum ad effectum Baptismatis. Et ideo non sunt sacramenta. 

 Ad tertium dicendum quod Damascenus ponit quaedam Baptismata figuralia. Sicut diluvium, quod fuit signum nostri Baptismi quantum ad salvationem fidelium in Ecclesia, sicut tunc paucae animae salvae factae sunt in arca, ut dicitur I Petr. III. Ponit etiam transitum maris rubri, qui significat nostrum Baptisma quantum ad liberationem a servitute peccati; unde apostolus dicit, I Cor. X, quod omnes baptizati sunt in nube et in mari. Ponit etiam ablutiones diversas quae fiebant in veteri lege, praefigurantes nostrum Baptisma quantum ad purgationem peccatorum. Ponit etiam Baptismum Ioannis, qui fuit praeparatorius ad nostrum Baptisma.


Ite Missa Est said...

If I'm a heretic for teaching baptism of desire/blood, then St. Thomas Aquinas is a heretic, and therefore the Church canonized a heretic and made him the Universal Doctor of the Church, which means that She is not infallible.  How absurd!

This is way off topic but do you think that by removing the Devil's Advocate clause when canonizing Saints it renders the canonization only infallible insofar as the person is in heaven rather than someone to imitate?
I am think of JPII here and the scandal he caused to the faith. To canonize him would be quite damaging to my faith and I am really confused as to why his cause has gotten so far with everyone ignoring the bad stuff (I guess that's because the DA function was removed).

Don Paco said...

Interesting hypothesis...

Ite Missa Est said...

Interesting hypothesis...

That you will no doubt take on! lol

Tantumblogo said...

Don Paco -

I just discovered your site, based on a recommendation from our local FSSP priest, Fr. Phil Wolfe. I have been trying to fully understand Church Doctrine on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus. I had quite a row on my blog when I criticized Fr. Robert Barron for making statements that atheists, operating within their atheistic moral framework, could go to Heaven, without conversion or even a remote sign of desiring conversion. A sort of implied implicit desire on steroids, I guess - I ask why the atheist who hates God would want to be saved, but I digress.....

I believe that the Church is necessary for salvation of all, but that some may be saved through baptism of desire outside of visible communion. I don't believe that water baptism is absolutely necessary for salvation. But I have serious problems with modernists in the Church who make statements that are indifferentist, who seem to claim that just about anyone will be saved, because otherwise that would make God a big blue meanie.

Am I on the right track? What are the limits of baptism by desire? I don't want to be a Feeney-ite, I want to understand what the Church believes and has traditionally taught. I think it possible someone who has expressed a desire to be in the Church, but is somehow prevented from so doing before death, to be saved, but I have a hard time believing that an atheist who dies a committed, unashamed atheist with no desire to convert can be. It would seem that if someone with an unalterable hatred of God can be saved, it would constitute the "divided house" that would surely fall. For that, I have been castigated by many Barron-ites and other assorted modernists.

I'm no Thomist. I'm an amateur apologist who has only very recently gotten engaged on such topics. I'm very attracted to
Tradition, although I am a convert from protestantism, so my "institutional knowledge" may have some gaps, which I always strive to fill in. I would appreciate any input you could provide, hopefully, geared for a sincere lay person who is an engineer, not a philosopher!

As an aside, did I understand correctly that you reside in Guadalajara, Jalisco? I've been there many times. I used to work for a company with a large factory there.

Dominus vobiscum!