The Roman Catechism VS Dimond of MHFM
The Roman Catechism states that baptism for infants should not be delayed “Since infant children have no other means of salvation except Baptism…” (P. 178)
On the next page, the Catechism states that adults “are not baptized at once…The delay is not attended the same danger as in the case of infants, which we have already mentioned; should any foreseen accident make it impossible for adults to be washed in the salutary waters, their intention and determination to receive Baptism and their repentance for past sins, will avail them to grace and righteousness.” (p 179)
So that nothing is left out, I will break down the entire section on the Roman Catechism in Dimond’s book Outside of the Catholic Church There is Absolutely No Salvation, pp. 135-139.
Dimond writes: “The Catechism of the Council of Trent is not infallible. Fathers John A.McHugh, O.P. and Charles J. Callan, O.P. wrote the introduction for a common Englishtranslation of the Catechism of the Council of Trent. Their introduction contains thefollowing interesting quote from Dr. John Hagan, Rector of the Irish College in Rome,about the Catechism’s authority.Catechism of the Council of Trent‐ Fifteenth printing, TAN Books,Introduction XXXVI: “Official documents have occasionally beenissued by Popes to explain certain points of Catholic teaching toindividuals, or to local Christian communities; whereas the RomanCatechism comprises practically the whole body of Christian doctrine,and is addressed to the whole Church. Its teaching is notinfallible; but it holds a place between approved catechisms and whatis de fide.”367
What Dimond omits is the fact Dr. Hagan also stated, “At the very least it has the same authority as a dogmatic Encyclical.”
This is important because Catholics are not free to question this level of authority.
Pope Pius XII taught, “It is not to be thought that what is set down in Encyclical Letters does not demand assent in itself, because in these the popes do not exercise the supreme powers of their magisterium. For these matters are taught by the ordinary magisterium, regarding which the following is pertinent ‘He who heareth you, heareth me.’; and usually what is set forth and inculcated in Encyclical Letters, already pertains to Catholic doctrine.” Humani Generis (1950), D 2313.
Contrary to Pope Pius XII, Dimond is already laying the groundwork why he has the right to question, label as erroneous, and not give assent to this level of authority of the Church.
Twice, I asked Dimond point blank if the pertinent phrases in the Roman Catechism are heretical and he refused to answer the question.
In the next few sections, Dimond attempts to show where and why he thinks the Roman Catechism is in conflict with the Council of Trent and other papal documents. His purpose is to demonstrate that if the Catechism is erroneous on other points of doctrine, he can logically argue against those pertinent phrases above as contrary to the absolute necessity of Baptism under all conditions. His argument, then, will be that the Roman Catechism is outright heretical through implication.
“The fact that the Catechism of Trent is not infallible is proven by the fact that small errors can be detected within its text. For example:
Catechism of the Council of Trent, Tan Books, p. 243: “For the Eucharist is the end of all the Sacraments, and the symbol of unity and brotherhood in the Church, outside of which none can attain grace.”368
Here the Catechism teaches that outside the Church none can attain grace. This is not true. Predisposing or prevenient graces are given to those outside the Church sothat they can turn to God, change their lives and enter the Church. Without these graces no one would ever convert. Pope Clement XI in the dogmatic constitution Unigenitus (Sept. 8, 1713) condemned the proposition that, “Outside the Church, no grace isgranted.”369 Thus, what we have here is an error in the Catechism of Trent. The Catechism probably intended to teach that outside the Church no sinner can attain sanctifying grace, which is true, since outside the Catholic Church there is no remission of sins (Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, 1302, ex cathedra).370 Nevertheless, Godallowed the Catechism to err in this manner because it is not infallible in everythingit teaches.”
Dimond omits the context of the Catechism that implied sanctifying grace. Dimond is going out of his way in attempt to find an error that’s not really there. He needs to find that error to demonstrate that the Catechism is faulty which he thinks gives him the right to question those paragraphs that clearly teach Baptism of Desire.
Notice also that Pope Clement XI didn’t specify what grace he was speaking about either. He didn’t say “actual”, “predisposing or prevenient” grace. Dimond would have to conclude that Pope Clement XI erred too, since outside the Church no sanctifying grace is granted.
Thus far, Dimond is the only one in any real error, not the Roman Catechism, nor Pope Clement XI.
“Furthermore, in the entire Catechism of the Council of Trent there is no mention at all of the so‐called “three baptisms,” nor is there any mention of “baptism of desire” or “baptism of blood,” nor is there any clear statement that one can be saved without the Sacrament of Baptism. What we find, rather, is one ambiguous paragraph which seems to teach that one can achieve grace and righteousness without baptism.
Dimond sounds very much like the Protestant who says the Bible has no mention of Purgatory. However, the doctrine of Baptism of Desire is explained nicely just as the Bible explains Purgatory without actually mentioning the words.
To call the Catechism phrase “ambiguous” is genuinely dishonest. There’s absolutely no ambiguity whatsoever.
The Catechism says baptism for infants should not be delayed “Since infant children have no other means of salvation except Baptism…”
This statement clearly implies that there is another means of salvation besides Baptism for those above the age of reason. Then the Catechism concludes what it is:
“The delay is not attended the same danger as in the case of infants, which we have already mentioned; should any foreseen accident make it impossible for adults to be washed in the salutary waters, their intention and determination to receive Baptism and their repentance for past sins, will avail them to grace and righteousness.”
Viola, Baptism of Desire!
Even Fr. Feeney didn’t reject this teaching. He erroneously concluded that there must be another permanent place for such people besides Heaven and Hell. You can find his teaching in his book “The Bread of Life” and magazine “From the Housetops.”
The Roman Catechism borrowed its statement on infants from Pope Eugene IV, at the Council of Florence, Session 11, Feb. 4, 1442:
“Regarding children, indeed, because of danger of death, which can often take place, when no help can be brought to them by another remedy than through the sacrament of baptism, through which they are snatched from the domination of the Devil [original sin] and adopted among the sons of God, it advises that holy baptism ought not be deferred for forty or eighty days, or any time according to the observance of certain people…”
The infallible council implied that there’s another remedy other than Baptism for those who have attained the age of reason. Thus, the Roman Catechism was not teaching anything new. Yet, the same Catechism quotes four times John 3:5.
Dimond must necessarily conclude that the Roman Catechism is contradicting itself.
Also, Dimond knows the teaching of Pope Pius VI on ambiguous teachings when the pope condemned the Synod of Pistoia in his Bull “Auctorem fidei,” August 28, 1794:
“Whenever it becomes necessary to expose statements which disguise some suspected error or danger under the veil of ambiguity, one must denounce the perverse meaning under which the error opposed to catholic truth is camouflaged.”
Therefore, Dimond must render the Roman Catechism heretical based on his assertion that it’s ambiguous “which seems to teach that one can achieve grace and righteousness without baptism.”
Regardless, Dimond is lying because it’s not a mere appearance the Catechism is teaching Baptism of Desire. It clearly and unambiguously teaches it. So much, in fact, that Canons 1239.2 and 737 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law are based off this teaching found in the Roman Catechism.
“But even in this paragraph we find errors. For instance, the passage says that “should any unforeseenaccident make it impossible for an adult to receive baptism, his intention and determination toreceive baptism will avail him to grace and righteousness.”
There is no such thing as an “unforeseen accident” which could make it “impossible”to receive baptism. This is clearly erroneous.
Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, Sess. 3, Chap. 1, On God the creator of all things: “EVERYTHING THAT GOD HAS BROUGHT INTO BEING HE PROTECTS AND GOVERNS BY HIS PROVIDENCE, which reaches from one end of the earth to the other and orders all things well. All things are open and laid bare before His eyes,even those which will be brought about by the free activity of creatures.”371
God has commanded all men to receive baptism, and He does not command impossibilities.
Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Session 6, Chap. 11 on Justification, ex cathedra: “… no one should make use of that rash statement forbidden under anathema bythe Fathers, that the commandments of God are impossible to observe for aman who is justified. ‘FOR GOD DOES NOT COMMAND IMPOSSIBILITIES, but by commanding admonishes you both to do what youcan do, and to pray for what you cannot do…”372
Therefore, the reference to the unforeseen and impossible to avoid accident in the Catechism demonstrates, once again, that not everything it says is infallible. An infallible document could not assert that accidents are unforeseen or impossible to avoid.”
Dimond is really grasping for straws at this point.
Trent’s statement is speaking about, “a man who is justified” obeying the commandments of God. It’s addressing those who would argue that, “the just man sins at least venially in every good work [can. 25], (what is more intolerable) that he merits eternal punishments; and that they also who declare that the just sin in all works, if in those works, in order to stimulate their own sloth and to encourage themselves to run in the race, with this (in view), that above all God may be glorified, they have in view also the eternal reward [can. 26, 31], since it is written: “I have inclined my heart to do thy justifications on account of the reward” [Ps. 118:112], and of Moses the Apostle says, that he “looked to the reward” [Heb. 11:26].” (Trent, Session 6, Ch. 11)
For the sake of the argument, let’s presume that the phrase applied to the sacrament of Baptism. Since Christ cannot command impossibilities, if the Sacrament of Baptism is made impossible, then Christ’s command to be baptized by water wouldn’t apply, thus faith, desire, and contrition suffices.
Trent’s statement wouldn’t be contradicted at all by Baptism of Desire. Rather, it would support it.
According to Dimond’s argument, since Trent placed under anathema what he thinks the Catechism teaches, he must necessarily conclude that the Roman Catechism is heretical, and the authors, editors, and promulgators are anathematized!
“Even though the Catechism of Trent is not infallible in every sentence, as just proven, taken as a whole it is an excellent catechism which expresses the Catholic Faith accurately and effectively.”
So let’s get this straight. Dimond believes that the Catechism is heretical. Dimond is also implying heretical books which contain formal heresy, if taken as a whole teaches accurately and effectively the Catholic Faith, it would be an excellent tool for instructing the faithful. This is outrageous!
The Council of Trent warned against such nonsense.
“But most importantly, the Catechism of Trent makesstatement after statement clearly and unambiguously teaching that the Sacrament ofBaptism is absolutely necessary for all for salvation with no exceptions, thereby repeatedly excluding any idea of salvation without water baptism.”
Now Dimond must conclude that the Catechism is contradicting itself. So not only is it heretical, it’s contradictory, but that’s okay with Dimond, because taken as a whole this heretical and contradictory book is an excellent tool for the Faith.
“Catechism of the Council of Trent, Comparisons among theSacraments, p. 154: “Though all the Sacraments possess a divineand admirable efficacy, it is well worthy of special remark thatall are not of equal necessity or of equal dignity, nor is thesignification of all the same.
“Among them three are said to be necessary beyond the rest, although in all three this necessity is not of the same kind. Theuniversal and absolute necessity of Baptism our Savior hasdeclared in these words: Unless a man be born again of waterand the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God(Jn. 3:5).”373
This means that the Sacrament of Baptism is absolutely and universally necessary for salvation with no exceptions! It excludes any idea of salvation without water baptism.”
Dimond misunderstands the nuance. Necessity of means verses necessity of precept. Go back to part 1 of these articles.
“It also means that John 3:5 is understood literally.”
Baptism of Desire doesn’t imply that John 3:5 is to be understood figuratively. Again, the Catechism quotes John 3:5 four times, and then teaches Baptism of Desire.
“Catechism of the Council of Trent, On Baptism – Necessity ofBaptism, pp. 176‐177: “If the knowledge of what has been hitherto explained be, as it is, of highest importance to the faithful, it is no less important to them to learn that THE LAWOF BAPTISM, AS ESTABLISHED BY OUR LORD,EXTENDS TO ALL, so that unless they are regenerated toGod through the grace of Baptism, be their parents Christiansor infidels, they are born to eternal misery and destruction.Pastors, therefore, should often explain these words of theGospel: Unless a man be born again of water and the HolyGhost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (Jn. 3:5).”374
This clearly means that no one can be saved without the Sacrament of Baptism and that John 3:5 is literal with no exceptions!”
What is the law of Baptism as established by Our Lord that extends to all? What are the conditions? What are the nuances? How does the Church teach and explain it? This is what Dimond ignores. He rejects the Roman Catechism’s explanation and must hold that the Catechism is contradicting itself.
“Catechism of the Council of Trent, Definition of Baptism, p. 163: “Unless, says our Lord, a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into thekingdom of God (Jn. 3:5); and, speaking of the Church, the Apostle says, cleansingit by the laver of water in the word of life (Eph. 5:26). Thus it follows that Baptismmay be rightly and accurately defined: The Sacrament of regeneration by water in theword.”375
The Catechism of Trent also teaches that if there is danger of death for an adult, Baptism must not be deferred.
Catechism of the Council of Trent, In Case of Necessity Adults May Be Baptized At Once, p. 180: “Sometimes, however, when there exists a just and necessary cause, as in the case of imminent danger of death, Baptism is not to be deferred, particularly if the person to be baptized is well instructed in themysteries of faith.”376
The customary delay in baptizing adults that we see in history was for the instruction and the testing of the catechumens. This delay was not because it was believed that adults could be saved without baptism, as proven already in the section on Pope St. Siricius.”
Below is the letter by Pope St. Siricius to Himerius (385).
“As we maintain that the observance of the holy Paschal time should in no way be relaxed, in the same way we desire that infants who, on account of their age, cannot yet speak, or those who, in any necessity, are in want of the water of holy baptism, be succored with all possible speed, for fear that, if those who leave this world should be deprived of the life of the Kingdom for having been refused the source of salvation which they desired, this may lead to the ruin of our souls. If those threatened with shipwreck, or the attack of enemies, or the uncertainties of a siege, or those put in a hopeless condition due to some bodily sickness, ask for what in their faith is their only help, let them receive at the very moment of their request the reward of regeneration they beg for. Enough of past mistakes! From now on, let all the priests observe the aforesaid rule if they do not want to be separated from the solid apostolic rock on which Christ has built his universal Church.” (Fr. Jacques Dupuis, S.J. and Fr. Josef Neuner, S.J., The Christian Faith, Sixth Revised and Enlarged Edition, Staten Island, NY: Alba House, 1996, p. 540.)
The above quote by Pope Siricius doesn’t deny the doctrine of Baptism of Desire or refute through implication that it is impossible to be saved by Baptism of Desire.
Persons in necessity desiring water Baptism who die without it may very well be lost, because Baptism of Desire is not accomplished by merely desiring it.
There’s always the fear that those who die without Baptism, may be lost because perfect contrition, or some other requirement that God wants in the person, may be absent. Baptism of desire is something God does to the person.
Pope Siricius says delaying such infants or men “may lead to the ruin of our souls.” In other words, it would be a sin to delay them.
The second part of the quotation reiterates the first part. Perfect contrition may not be present with their faith, and Baptism is their only help to bring them to salvation since perfect contrition is not required with the sacraments.
Dimond must assume that the Roman Catechism is contradicting itself, because three paragraphs before the Catechism states, “In Case of Necessity Adults May be Baptized at Once” it gives the initial phrase, “should any foreseen accident make it impossible for adults to be washed in the salutary waters, their intention and determination to receive Baptism and their repentance for past sins, will avail them to grace and righteousness?”
The doctrine of Baptism of Desire requires repentance of sins, or perfect contrition, faith, and desire. The Sacrament of Baptism doesn’t require perfect contrition.
“Catechism of the Council of Trent, Baptism made obligatory after Christ’s Resurrection, p. 171: ‘Holy writers are unanimous insaying that after the Resurrection of our Lord, when He gaveHis Apostles the command to go and teach all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,the law of Baptism became obligatory on all who were to besaved.’377.”
Baptism can’t be rejected. That’s a given. Baptism of Desire is not a doctrine that rejects the fact that Baptism is obligatory.
“Catechism of the Council of Trent, Matter of Baptism ‐ Fitness, p. 165: “Upon this subject pastors can teach in the first place that water, which is always at hand and within the reach of all,was the fittest matter of a Sacrament which is necessary to allfor salvation.”378
Notice that the Catechism teaches that water is “within the reach of all,” a phrase which excludes the very notion of baptism of desire – that water is not within the reach of all.”
Dimond can’t understand very simple concepts.
Water is within the reach of all for drinking, cleaning, washing, and for baptizing. That doesn’t mean that everyone can always get a drink, clean or wash, or in this case, get baptized. The whole point of the pertinent phrase, “should any foreseen accident make it impossible for adults to be washed in the salutary waters…” is to explain precisely the opposite of Dimond’s assertion.
The fact that Dimond would use this argument is astounding!
“Also notice that the Catechism declares that the sacrament is necessary for all for salvation! This excludes any notion of salvation without the Sacrament of Baptism.”
Thus, the Catechism of Trent teaches repeatedly and unambiguously that it is the teaching of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church that the Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for all for salvation. All of this is clearly contrary to the theories of baptism of desire and baptism of blood.
Again, the sacrament is necessary for all for salvation under ordinary conditions and circumstances. The Roman Catechism gives a case of an extraordinary circumstance where the sacrament is not necessary for salvation. The only theory contrary to the teaching of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church is Dimond’s rejection of Baptism of Desire which is taught over and over again by Christ’s Catholic Church through the Roman Catechism and the Code of Law.
“Moreover, the Catechism also teaches that Christians are distinguished from non-Christians by the Sacrament of Baptism.
Catechism of the Council of Trent, On Baptism – Second Effect: Sacramental Character, p. 159: “In the character impressed by Baptism, both effects areexemplified. By it we are qualified to receive the other Sacraments, andthe Christian is distinguished from those who do not profess thefaith.”379
Those who assert that the Sacrament of Baptism is not necessary for all for salvation (e.g., all those who believe in “baptism of desire”) contradict the very teaching of the Catechism of Trent.”
Since the Catechism also teaches that the Sacrament of Baptism is not necessary for all for salvation “should any foreseen accident make it impossible for adults to be washed in the salutary waters,” which falls under the rubric “baptism of desire,” Dimond must conclude that the Catechism contradicts itself.
However, we do distinguish Christians from non-Christians by Baptism, but not Baptism alone. Christians are also distinguished from those who do not profess the faith. Both unbaptized and those who don’t hold the faith aren’t considered Christians while they’re still living. Baptism of Desire and Blood brings one into the Fold at death. At that point, they would be considered saints. We have saints from Baptism of Blood.
“Catechism of the Council of Trent, Matter of Baptism ‐ Fitness, p. 165: “Upon this subject pastors can teach in the first place that water, which is always at hand and within the reach of all,was the fittest matter of a Sacrament which is necessary to allfor salvation.”
Dimond quotes again the same line from the Catechism implying that since water is in reach of all, it “excludes the very notion of baptism of desire – that water is not within the reach of all” in the last part of his book to justify his assertions.We’ve seen how this may be the silliest argument of all. Why anyone would even bother listening to Dimond after using such a ridiculous argument is beyond me.
Dimond wouldn’t have gone to all this trouble to show us what he thinks are errors in the Catechism unless his point is to let us know that he believes the Catechism is heretical on those two pertinent phrases.
It’s true that the Roman Catechism didn’t possess the chrism of infallibility when it was written. However, the universal and ordinary teaching of the Church, which is infallible, has guaranteed that the Roman Catechism is the standard and norm of the Catholic Faith, which necessarily means that it contains no formal heresy.
JOHN A. MCHUGH, O. P. and CHARLES J. CALLAN, O. P. wrote (excerpts and emphasizes mine):
“The Roman Catechism is unlike any other summary of Christian doctrine, not only because it is intended for the use of priests in their preaching, but also because it enjoys a unique authority among manuals…it was issued by the express command of the Ecumenical Council of Trent, which also ordered that it be translated into the vernacular of different nations to be used as a standard source for preaching. Moreover it subsequently received the unqualified approval of many Sovereign Pontiffs. Not to speak of Pius IV who did so much to bring the work to completion, and of St. Pius V under whom it was finished, published and repeatedly commended, Gregory XIII, as Possevino testifies, so highly esteemed it that he desired even books of Canon Law to be written in accordance with its contents. In his Bull of June 14, 1761, Clement XIII said that the Catechism contains a clear explanation of all that is necessary for salvation and useful for the faithful, that it was composed with great care and industry and has been highly praised by all….that the Roman Pontiffs offered this work to pastors as a norm of Catholic teaching and discipline so that there might be uniformity and harmony in the instructions of all…Pope Leo XIII, in an Encyclical Letter of September 8, 1899, to the Bishops and clergy of France,…wrote: “This work is remarkable at once for the richness and exactness of its doctrine, and for the elegance of its style; it is a precious summary of all theology, both dogmatic and moral. He who understands it well, will have always at his service those aids by which a priest is enabled to preach with fruit, to acquit himself worthily of the important ministry of the confessional and of the direction of souls, and will be in a position to refute the objections of unbelievers.”
Likewise Pius X in his Encyclical Acerbo nimis of April 15, 1905, declared that adults, no less than children, need religious instruction, especially in these days. And hence he prescribed that pastors and all who have care of souls should give catechetical instruction to the faithful in simple language, and in a way suited to the capacity of their hearers, and that for this purpose they should use the Catechism of the Council of Trent…
Besides the Supreme Pontiffs who have extolled and recommended the Catechism, so many Councils have enjoined its use that it would be impossible here to enumerate them all. Within a few years after its first appearance great numbers of provincial and diocesan synods had already made its use obligatory. Of these the Preface to the Paris edition of 1893 mentions eighteen held before the year 1595. In five different Councils convened at Milan St. Charles Borromeo ordered that the Catechism should be studied in seminaries, discussed in the conferences of the clergy, and explained by pastors to their people on occasion of the administration of the Sacraments. In short, synods repeatedly prescribed that the clergy should make such frequent use of the Catechism as not only to be thoroughly familiar with its contents, but almost have it by heart.”
Pope St. Pius X went on to say in his Decree “Quem singulari” of the Congregation on the Sacraments in Aug 8, 1910:
“For first confession and for first communion a full and perfect knowledge of Christian doctrine is not necessary. But the child will be obliged afterwards to learn gradually the whole catechism in accord with his intelligence.” (D 2138)
Two paragraphs later Pope St. Pius X tell us what catechism should be learned in whole: the“Roman Catechism.” (D 140)
Based off the Roman Catechism, Pope St. Pius X promulgated his own catechism which teaches Baptism of Desire. The letter of promulgation by Pope St. Pius X can be read here:
The Most Rev. Bishop George Hay and Rev. Michael Müller C.SS.R., two of the greatest teachers of the Catholic religion in the last 200 hundred plus years, both taught Baptism of Desire in their respected catechisms, which were based off the Roman Catechism.
Because the Roman Catechism is not an infallible document doesn’t imply that it can be formally heretical. The Catholic Church has infallibly taught that the Roman Catechism is the standard by which the Faith is to be believed and understood.
Dimond holds that the Catholic Church has promulgated an extremely heretical and contradictory book for Catholic instruction of priests and faithful for 500 years!
NOT A SINGLE CHURCH AUTHORITY WHATSOEVER HAS EVER CONDEMNED, CRITICIZED OR CORRECTED THE CATECHISM IN ALL THAT TIME until 2 brothers born in the 1970’s who made themselves monks called into question and pointed out that it’s heretical because of their PERSONAL and NOVEL INTERPRETATION of the canons of Trent and the erroneous doctrine that God can’t save a soul apart from the Sacrament of Baptism in extraordinary conditions.
THE DIMONDS ARE NOTHING MORE THAN THE MARTIN LUTHER’S OF TODAY.
I planned on doing a whole series of these articles, but after going through the buffoonery of Dimond’s book, I’ve changed my mind. I have better things to do with my life than wasting my time answering point by point of sheer idiocy.