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Archive for the ‘St. Alphonsus Liguori’ Category

One of my favorite books is The Sermons of St. Alphonsus Liquori.

 

By law, there are no excuses for clergy not knowing the dogmas on the sacrament of water baptism and outside the Church there is no salvation. Therefore, clerics who deny these dogmas could only be called formal heretics. Yet, we have many popes and saints who rightly taught the doctrine of Baptisms of Desire and Blood. One of those great saints is St. Alphonsus Liquori, (1696-1775 Doctor of the Church) who taught in his Moral Theology, Bk. 6, n. 95-7. Concerning Baptism:

Baptism, therefore, coming from a Greek word that means ablution or immersion in water, is distinguished into Baptism of water [“fluminis”], of desire [“flaminis” = wind] and of blood.

We shall speak below of Baptism of water, which was very probably instituted before the passion of Christ the Lord, when Christ was baptised by John. But Baptism of desire is perfect conversion to God by contrition or love of God above all things accompanied by an explicit or implicit desire for true Baptism of water, the place of which it takes as to the remission of guilt, but not as to the impression of the [baptismal] character or as to the removal of all debt of punishment. It is called “of wind” [“flaminis”] because it takes place by the impulse of the Holy Ghost who is called a wind [“flamen”]. Now it is de fide that men are also saved by Baptism of desire, by virtue of the Canon Apostolicam, “de presbytero non baptizato” and of the Council of Trent, session 6, Chapter 4 where it is said that no one can be saved “without the laver of regeneration or the desire for it”.

Baptism of blood is the shedding of one’s blood, i.e. death, suffered for the Faith or for some other Christian virtue. Now this Baptism is comparable to true Baptism because, like true Baptism, it remits both guilt and punishment as it were ex opere operato. I say as it were because martyrdom does not act by as strict a causality [“non ita stricte”] as the sacraments, but by a certain privilege on account of its resemblance to the passion of Christ. Hence martyrdom avails also for infants seeing that the Church venerates the Holy Innocents as true martyrs. That is why Suarez rightly teaches that the opposing view [i.e. the view that infants are not able to benefit from Baptism of blood – translator] is at least temerarious. In adults, however, acceptance of martyrdom is required, at least habitually from a supernatural motive.

It is clear that martyrdom is not a sacrament, because it is not an action instituted by Christ, and for the same reason neither was the Baptism of John.

Again, St. Alphonsus Liquori

Truly Baptism of Blood is the pouring forth of blood, or undergone for the sake of the faith, or for some other Christian virtue; as teaches St. Thomas, Viva; Croix along with Aversa and Gobet, etc. This is equivalent to real baptism because [it acts] as if it were ex operato and like Baptism remits both sin and punishment. It is said to be quasi – as if, because martyrdom is not strictly speaking like a sacrament, but because those privileged in this way imitate the Passion of Christ as says Bellarmin, Suarez, Sotus, Cajetane, etc., along with Croix; and in a firm manner, Petrocorensis.

Therefore martyrdom is efficacious, even in infants, as is shown by the Holy Innocents which are indeed considered true martyrs. This is clearly taught by Suarez along with Croix and to oppose such an opinion is indeed temerarious. In adults it is necessary that martyrdom be at least habitually accepted from supernatural motives as Coninck, Cajetan, Suarez, Bonacina and Croix etc. teach. ….

Not in passing that such was also the teaching of Coninck, Cajetan, Suarez Bonacina and Croix.

 

CONCLUSION

1. Baptism of Desire must be accepted by Catholics because it’s taught by Trent according to the interpretation of the Latin documents by St. Alphonsus Liquori.

2. Arguing that St. Alphonsus Liguori was materially heretical or in theological error is erroneous because: a.) Not only was he not corrected or condemned, his position was promulgated by law and catechism, b.) even if he was wrong, he couldn’t be considered materially heretical or in theological error for contradicting a dogma especially since he said baptism of desire is de fide, and the Church would necessarily be condemned for affirming the teaching of St. Alphonsus Liquori.

I don’t argue very long with those who think they know better than St. Alphonsus Liguori because if they won’t accept his teaching, they won’t care at all what I have to say.

 

 

 

 

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