I was emailed the latest YouTube video  by the Dimond brothers, “St. Gregory Nazianzen rejected ‘Baptism of Desire’” and asked to refute it. When the Dimond brothers do good work, it’s great, but this is not one of those moments. I believe Brother Peter Dimond makes a serious flaw in his argument in this video and once again gives sedevacantism a bad name.
It would appear on the surface that St. Gregory Nazianzen rejected the doctrine of Baptism of Desire, but did he really? Below is a quote which has the same substance that St. Gregory N. often repeats in his teachings.
St. Gregory Nazianzen, 381 AD: “Of those who fail to be baptized some are utterly animal and bestial, according to whether they are foolish or wicked. This, I think, they must add to their other sins, that they have no reverence for this gift, but regard it as any other gift, to be accepted if given them, or neglected if not given them. Others know and honor the gift; but they delay, some out of carelessness, some because of insatiable desire. Still others are not able to receive it, perhaps because of infancy, or some perfectly involuntary circumstancewhich prevents them from receiving the gift, even if they desire it…I think that the first will have to suffer punishment, not only for their other sins, but also for their contempt of Baptism. The second group will also be punished, but less because it was not through wickedness as much as through foolishness that they, brought about their own failure. The third group will be neither glorified nor punished by the just Judge: for though unsealed they are not wicked. They are not so much wrong-doers as persons who have suffered a loss….If you were able to judge a man who intends to commit murder, solely by his intention and without any act of murder, then you could likewise reckon as baptized one who desired Baptism, without having received Baptism. But, since you cannot do the former, how can you do the latter? I cannot see it. If you prefer, we will put it like this: if in your opinion desire has equal power withactual Baptism, then make the same judgment in regard to glory. You will then be satisfied to long for glory, as if that longing itself were glory. Do you suffer any damage by not attaining the actual glory, as long as you have a desire for it?” 
The doctrine of Baptism of Desire doesn’t mean one only has to desire baptism. That would be foolish to believe. Even the Sacrament of Confession is required for those in mortal sin who don’t have perfect sorrow or contrition. If a baptized mortal sinner died on his way to Confession without perfect contrition, he will go to hell. His mere desire for the Sacrament of Confession will not avail him any hope for salvation, even if he’s sorry for his sins because he only fears the just punishment for them (imperfect contrition). However, with perfect contrition, the Sacrament of Confession is not absolutely necessary for salvation. Unbaptized persons don’t fall under the law of grace, so each and every sin committed only adds to their downfall state. All their sins are likened to mortal sins. If perfect contrition is required for baptized persons in mortal sin to be saved without Confession, then by logical extension, perfect contrition would necessarily be required for unbaptized sinners.
Therefore, the doctrine of Baptism of Desire implies that one must have perfect sorrow or contrition, too. Merely desiring baptism wouldn’t suffice. The doctrine is also known as Baptism of Repentance or Perfect Charity. The term desire used as the expression for the doctrine implies a longing to please God. It doesn’t mean a mere wish for the sacrament because of what the sacrament can do.
If a catechumen should die who believed in the Catholic Faith, desired baptism because he wanted to be Catholic and was afraid of going to hell, he will not go to heaven because his sorrow was imperfect. Perfect contrition requires that a person is sorry for his sins because he offended Almighty God, whom the person longs to please, not merely because he fears eternal punishment. Imperfect contrition is all that is needed for the Sacraments of Baptism and Confession, but perfect contrition is needed without them. This is Catechetics 101.
Was St. Gregory Nazianzen referring to those who had perfect sorrow, or only with those who merely desired the sacrament? St. Gregory N. clarified it a little. Merely intending to be baptized through desire wouldn’t suffice and it’s obviously true that desire isn’t equal to the actual thing. St. Gregory N. was clearly not rejecting the doctrine of Baptism of Desire in his explanation, since Baptism of Desire requires much more than merely desiring and intending to be baptized.
With that being said, St. Gregory Nazianzen also taught, “…let us speak about the different kinds of Baptism, that we may come out thence purified. Moses baptized Leviticus xi but it was in water, and before that in the cloud and in the sea. I Corinthians 10:2 This was typical as Paul says; the Sea of the water, and the Cloud of the Spirit; the Manna, of the Bread of Life; the Drink, of the Divine Drink. John also baptized; but this was not like the baptism of the Jews, for it was not only in water, but also unto repentance. Still it was not wholly spiritual, for he does not add And in the Spirit. Jesus also baptized, but in the Spirit. This is the perfect Baptism. And how is He not God, if I may digress a little, by whom you too are made God? I know also a Fourth Baptism— that by Martyrdom and blood, which also Christ himself underwent:— and this one is far more august than all the others, inasmuch as it cannot be defiled by after-stains. Yes, and I know of a Fifth also, which is that of tears, and is much more laborious, received by him who washes his bed every night and his couch with tears; whose bruises stink through his wickedness; and who goes mourning and of a sad countenance; who imitates the repentance of Manasseh Ninevites Jonah 3:7-10 upon which God had mercy; who utters the words of the Publican in the Temple, and is justified rather than the stiff-necked Pharisee; Luke 18:13 who like the Canaanite woman bends down and asks for mercy and crumbs, the food of a dog that is very hungry. Matthew 15:27” 
The fifth type, which according to St. Gregory Nazianzen, is a different kind of baptism that we may come out purified, fits the bill for Baptism of Desire as the doctrine is understood. Could St. Gregory Nazianzen’s baptism of tears be referring to the doctrine of Baptism of Desire as it’s properly understood? He implies that this Baptism of Tears justifies. The phrase is different but it has the same substance. I’m only giving a possible counter argument. St. Gregory N. may very well be against the doctrine of Baptism of Desire, but the argument I propose is reasonable.
Usually the Dimond brothers are thorough, but this is huge. Brother Peter Dimond calls defenders of Baptism of Desire dishonest even when they’ve seen that quote produced in the video and as Dimond states, “they will [continue to] say that St. Gregory himself favored Baptism of Desire.” 
I wonder if the Dimond’s have seen this teaching on the five different baptisms that according to St. Gregory Nazianzen, that we may come out purified. If so, why did they not address it? What else could have St. Gregory N. meant? Could it be that Brother Peter Dimond is being dishonest here?
Also, notice that St. Gregory N. refers to Baptism of Blood as the fourth kind of Baptism that we may come out thence purified.
The Dimond brothers are against Baptism of Blood too, which appears to be contrary to this same Saint, Doctor, and THE theologian of the Church, Gregory of Nazianzen. The Dimond brothers call Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood, “Erroneous traditions of Man”  and teach that you must reject these doctrines to be Catholic.
The Dimond’s reject Baptism of Blood because of a misunderstanding of Exultate Deo by Pope Eugene IV and the canons from the Council of Trent. For instance, Exultate Deo was referring to those who didn’t persevere in the Church. In other words, those who left the Church with the intention of remaining outside of the Church couldn’t be saved by shedding their blood for Christ, which is quite true. It wasn’t attempting to denounce the doctrine known as Baptism of Blood, since this doctrine refers to those who never entered the Church to begin with, much less persevering in it. The canons of Trent simply mean that man can’t opt out of the sacraments and the sacraments are absolutely necessary for salvation under ordinary conditions. That’s all. Even Trent’s Catechism, edited by St. Charles Borromeo, and promulgated by Pope St. Pius V, explicitly teaches the doctrine of Baptism of Desire. The Dimond brothers are quite aware of its teaching and call the Catechism of Trent, “clearly erroneous.”  Their explanation is laughable. They actually attempt to say the Catechism of Trent teaches exactly the opposite to Canon 4 of the council when examining Canon 4 with the other canons. Too bad St. Charles Borromeo didn’t understand the plain meaning of Trent after studying it so carefully. Hey, while I’m at it, throw in Pope St. Pius V who promulgated the catechism explaining the meaning of the council while completely teaching contrary to the council.
So what’s the real point of the video? We must reject Baptism of Desire because St. Gregory Nazianzen rejected it (at least the Dimond’s think so)? How about the Dimond brothers accepting Baptism of Blood, since St. Gregory Nazianzen taught that baptism of blood is “nobler than the others”?
The biggest problem with the argument proposed by Brother Peter Dimond is that many doctrines today were not accepted by saints and doctors of the Church. It doesn’t really matter if St. Gregory Nazianzen rejected the doctrine. The Dimond’s video is much like a Protestant’s argument that would use Catholic saints that approved millenarianism, or three doctors of the Church, Sts. Anselm, Chrysostom, and Aquinas, who all taught that the Blessed Virgin Mary was a sinner.
However, the Church, through the councils, popes, and laws confirm Baptism of Desire, and now, those same saints would be obliged to accept it. I wrote a whole book about Baptism of Desire and Blood, where I systematically debunk all the arguments used by the Dimond brothers. 
Brother Peter Dimond states in the video, “Baptism of Desire is really, in many ways, the key to the great apostasy.”
How can this be when it is implicitly and explicitly taught by many popes, such as Popes Pius IX, St. X, and Benedict XV? After all, the Dimond’s argue that the sacrament of Baptism is absolutely necessary for salvation under all conditions and that it’s a dogma.  Why do the Dimond brothers accept these three men as popes who outright reject this notion? The Dimond brothers’ defense of these popes, and the many saints that professed a Baptism of Desire, is that they were not obstinate in their beliefs. In other words, the Dimond’s want you to think these popes and saints were a bunch of dummies and didn’t know their faith very well, but we can know better now that they (Dimond’s) have clarified it for us. These popes and saints have fallen in the trap that is the key to the great apostasy, but in ignorance.
According to the Dimond brothers, the official laws of the Church, Canons 737 and 1239 of the 1917 Code, with the backing of Popes St. Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, and XII, promote the key to the great apostasy. The Dimond’s argue that the law is not protected by infallibility, but they miss the point. We have the Church in her official laws promoting heresy and laying out the groundwork for the great apostasy.
I submit that the laws are infallible, especially when this particular law (if not others) is understood in both East and the West, making it universal.
The Dimond brothers attempt to prove that the law is not infallible, “So, since this issue is tied to the Faith and not merely disciplinary, either the Catholic Church was wrong since the time of Christ for refusing ecclesiastical burial for catechumens who died without baptism or the 1917 Code is wrong for granting it to them. It is either one or the other, because the 1917 Code directly contradicts the Traditional and constant law of the Catholic Church for nineteen centuries on this point which is tied to the Faith.” 
This is obviously wrong thinking. Because laws are tied to the faith doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t be changed. The traditional and constant law of the Church for over a thousand years was that everyone could receive the Eucharist under both kinds. However, the Church in the West changed it so that the faithful could only receive the Host. Are we to suppose that either the previous law or the current law is wrong? Of course not. The law of Communion was changed to help the faithful understand that Christ is fully present under each species, not that the Church believed that Christ didn’t fully exist in each species before the change in law. Refusing burial to unbaptized catechumens doesn’t mean the Church rejected some notion that Christ wouldn’t or couldn’t save them. It could have been practiced for other reasons, such as placing the emphasis on the importance of the sacrament. It’s also possible that the Church didn’t know one way or the other, therefore, no presumption was made. It appears that this law of suppression wasn’t universal anyway.
The reasoning given by the Dimond brothers is simply faulty. The fact remains that the Church, according to the Dimond’s, has permitted, promoted by law, and taught in catechisms a major heresy. So major, in fact, that it is the key of the great apostasy.
Also made mention in the video was a statement from the Roman Breviary  about St. Gregory of Nazianzen, which the Dimond’s also use on their website. Roman Breviary, May 9: “He [St. Gregory] wrote much, both in prose and verse, of an admirable piety and eloquence. In the opinion of learned and holy men, thereis nothing to be found in his writings which is not conformable to true piety andCatholic faith, or which anyone could reasonably call in question.”
Brother Peter thinks this somehow means that Baptism of Desire is not conformable to the Catholic faith. According to Brother Peter’s own argument, he must accept Baptism of Blood, since St. Gregory N. taught it and nothing in his writings could be reasonably called into question. The same Roman Breviary also states that St. Emerentiana was only a catechumen when she shed her blood for Christ. According to the Dimond brothers, the Roman Breviary is wrong, and that St. Emerentiana was baptized by water before her martyrdom. They say this because they reject Baptism of Blood. Therefore, they shouldn’t be using the Roman Breviary on St. Gregory of Nazianzen against Baptism of Desire advocates.
Brother Peter stated that “all of these individuals who defend Baptism of Desire in our day, also believe souls can be saved in false religions.”  This is so absolutely ridiculous. If men can be saved in false religions, then there would be no need for some Baptism of Desire. The whole point of the doctrine of Baptism of Desire is so that men in false religions get inside the Catholic Church to be saved. Outside the Catholic Church, there is absolutely no salvation. 
Lastly, Pope St. Siricius was referred about 18 minutes into the video as one who rejected the doctrine of Baptism of Desire. Is it true?
Pope St. Siricius wrote in his Letter to Himerius in 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.” 
Does this quote by Pope Siricius deny the doctrine of Baptism of Desire or refute through implication that it is impossible to be saved by Baptism of Desire?
Those who by necessity desiring water baptism may very well be lost because Baptism of Desire is not accomplished by merely desiring it. This has been explained earlier. There is always the fear that those who die without the Sacrament of Baptism, may be lost because we do not know for sure if they had perfect contrition along with their desiring and faith.
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 along with their faith, and the Sacrament of Baptism is their only help to bring them to salvation.
If we reexamine the Catechism of Trent on p. 180, it states, “In Case of Necessity Adults May be Baptized at Once.”
Why does the Catechism say this if it just stated three paragraphs earlier “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?”
Is the Catechism of Trent contradicting itself? Of course not. The doctrine of Baptism of Desire requires repentance of sins (which, of course, must fall under perfect contrition), faith, and desire. The Sacrament of Baptism does not require perfect contrition.
Pope Siricius is saying the same thing as the Catechism of Trent.
The Dimond brothers are bent on rejecting Baptism of Desire. Therefore, every time we see it taught by law or in an official catechism, they conclude that it’s simply incorrect and the popes are just ignorant of their faith.
Every time a quote is produced by some saint that appears to reject Baptism of Desire, never do the Dimond’s give it the benefit of the doubt that it might be referring to a mere desiring rather than all that is needed to fulfill the doctrine of Baptism of Desire. Besides, saints can be wrong and many of them have been wrong, not that St. Gregory Nazianzen was wrong, since he actually refers to a Baptism of Tears that justifies.
- http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310240.htm (Jurgens, Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 2, 1012)
- Time: 12:41 through 13:04
- P. 2 http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/2nd_edition_final.pdf
- P. 136
- Time: 5:00 through 5:15 of video
- PP. 13, 139, 167 at http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/2nd_edition_final.pdf
- P. 160 at http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/2nd_edition_final.pdf
- Time: 10:50 through 12:05, also p. 167 at http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/2nd_edition_final.pdf
- Time: 12:23 thought 12:3o
- 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.