Part one of this series Word Twisting to Change the Meaning discussed scholastic dishonesty in a general manner to show the selective and defective and out-of-context use of quotes to make it seem as if the authoritative sources, have stated unreasonable propositions which they themselves would never endorsed.
Part two, titled Ellipses Can Eclipse Ecclesial Intent, introduced Peter Dimond's treatise, "Outside the Catholic Church There is Absolutely No Salvation," (hereinafter referred to as "the Treatise"), a most thorough attempt to gather all the basic material about the question of Baptism of Blood (hereinafter referred to as "BOB") and Baptism of Desire (hereinafter referred to as "BOD"), and there, the standard dogmatic and doctrinal texts were explored to see if they support any denials of BOB and BOD.
Last week, Part three, Three who dare challenge Church Teaching explored the techniques of guilt and virtue by association, the conflict between Peter Abélard and St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Fr. Laisney, and the doctrines of Justification by Faith and by Baptism.
Let us now turn to Sacred Scripture and to the Fathers. The one favorite quote (next to that of Pope Eugene IV's Cantata Domino) often used in this Treatise (and other similar materials, and even among what similarly small proportion of Protestants who make the same claim) is that of the Gospel of John 3:5 which reads, "Jesus answered: 'Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.'" Given that the Church does accept this reference to water as referring specifically to the water of baptism (and the use of actual water of certain purity instead of beer or urine or motor oil, etc.), it would seem to sound as if everyone must be baptized. But is this really how the Church has always read this passage?
For one thing, if this passage were to mean that only those baptized in water could ever be saved, then by the same token only those who have received Holy Communion could ever be saved, for John 6:53 quite similarly states, "Then Jesus said to them: 'Amen, amen I say to you: except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you.'"
The parallel between the passages is striking, and I know of no one out there (even Peter Dimond) who is claiming that those who haven't received Holy Communion are all necessarily damned, yet it is the same exact kind of private interpretation that would make the first passage into some absolute requirement that not even God's Own mercy can provide exception in even the most unusual or extraordinary case.
When (on page 216 of the Treatise) mention is made of this parallel Scripture, the only thing Dimond can point to is the fact that John 3 mentions "unless a man," and John 6 mentions "except you," as though there were some difference between one which is directed at everyone in the whole world who has an obligation to seek a rebirth into the Spirit by means of water Baptism, versus the other which is directed at everyone in the Church who has an obligation to seek to eat the Flesh and drink the Blood of the Son of Man. So the problem introduced by this point is in no way answered in the Treatise. If his peculiar way of reading a passage "as it is written" were to be applied equally to John 6 as he applies it to John 3 then every Catholic would be obliged to receive Holy Communion at least once, after water Baptism, but before dying, or else be damned.
Finally, let us look at how the Church reads the passage. It is one thing to state that Saint Augustine defended specifically the doctrine of BOD (carefully not including any extract of the text with which the sainted Doctor of the Church actually defended it, lest the reader be more persuaded by St. Augustine than by Peter Dimond or whoever), but quite another to face directly anything of what the Sainted Doctor of the Church actually wrote:
For whatever unbaptized persons die confessing Christ, this confession is of the same efficacy for the remission of sins as if they were washed in the sacred font of baptism. For He who said, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter in to the Kingdom of God" (Jn. 3:5), made also an exception in their favor, in that other sentence where He no less absolutely said, "Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him will I confess before My Father which is in Heaven" (Mt. 10:32); and in another place, "Whosoever will lose his life for My sake, shall find it" (Mt. 16:25). And this explains the verse, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints" Ps. 115:15). For what is more precious than a death by which a man's sins are all forgiven, and his merits increased an hundred fold? For those who have been baptized when they could no longer escape death, and have departed this life with all their sins blotted out, have not equal merit with those who did not defer death, though it was in their power to do so, but preferred to end their life by confessing Christ, rather than by denying Him to secure an opportunity of baptism.
One other fascinating point that emerges from this paragraph is the Saint's reference to there being some holy martyrs of the Church who faced death by not renouncing Christ, though doing so deprived them of an opportunity for the sacrament of water baptism. What business would these saints have had doing this if water baptism had been more important for their salvation than refusing to renounce Christ? Were they all that poorly instructed by the Church in their own day? Are such saints who did this therefore to be damned? Were they misled, confused, having thereby made a terrible choice which they now regret as they burn in Hell? The Treatise would have us believe that!
But back to the question regarding John 3:5, St. Augustine has shown in this passage that the two exceptions, of Blood ("Whosoever will lose his life…") and Desire ("Whosoever shall confess Me…"), for water baptism are fully as much rooted in Sacred Scripture as the necessity for water baptism itself is (in all other cases). Hence these two exceptions are no mere afterthoughts, concocted by the Church centuries later in the face of "adverse history," but shown here to have been intended from the beginning by He who knows the beginning from the end.
The passage in John 3:5 is stating that baptism is necessary, as the theologians put it, "of means," which is more than merely "of precept," (though baptism is also necessary on that level as well). When theology speaks "of means," it can refer either to being "of absolute means," or else "of relative means." The difference is this: "of absolute means" implies that the thing itself is absolutely necessary, and furthermore there can be no substitute. For example, sanctifying grace is "necessary of absolute means" for there can be no substitute for it. But to be "of relative means" only requires that either the thing itself, or some equivalent, absolutely must be. If something were only "of precept," its impossibility would render it unnecessary.
Now do you see the difference between "of relative means" and "of absolute means"? While both positively require a thing, the first admits an equivalent when the primary means is not available whereas the second admits no equivalent. The other passages quoted by St. Augustine (Mt. 10:32 and Mt. 16:25) show that Jn. 3:5 is to be taken as a reference to baptism being "of relative means." Let us look at what Clarence McAuliffe, S. J. (one of the famous "25 theologians" mentioned in Fr. Anthony Cekada's article on this topic) actually has to say about this on pages 82 and 83 of Sacramental Theology: A Textbook for Advanced Students:
6. Must be baptized. If a thing is necessary to accomplish some objective, we cannot get along without it. But necessity admits degrees. We speak of things as being more or less necessary. With regard to baptism, it is well to distinguish necessity of precept and of means.
Necessity of precept means that something is necessary because a superior commands it. Thus attendance at Mass on Sundays and holydays is necessary because the Church has ordered it. Such a precept imposes a moral obligation and so applies to adults only. When the precept cannot be fulfilled owing to ignorance or other impossibility, the precept simply ceases. Nothing else must be done in place of the act commanded. For instance, if a Catholic does not attend Mass because he is sick in bed, he is not obliged to say the Rosary or to listen to the broadcast of a Mass. Nothing has to be done and yet the man has not sinned by missing Mass for so good a reason. Since God has commanded that all people be baptized, baptism is necessary by precept, but it is more necessary even than this.
Necessity of means signifies that some act or thing is objectively necessary as a means to obtain some purpose, which accordingly cannot be achieved without the act or thing. Thus air is necessary for human life with necessity of means. Moreover, no substitute can be found for air and so it is necessary with absolute necessity of means. In the supernatural order, sanctifying grace is necessary for salvation nor is there any substitute for it. Repentance is necessary for the sinner in the same way. Although baptism is necessary with necessity of means, it is not necessary with this absolute necessity.
An act or thing can be objectively necessary in order to attain some purpose by hypothetical or relative necessity of means also. This signifies that in extraordinary circumstances some substitute can be used in place of the ordinary act or thing. For instance, some material is needed to heat a home in cold weather. For many people the ordinary fuel is gas. But if gas cannot be obtained, coal can replace it. But for these people coal will be used only because gas is unavailable. Coal is a substitute for gas, but it will be used in extraordinary circumstances only.
Similarly, baptism is objectively required for salvation. However, in certain unusual circumstances, baptism of love or of martyrdom can substitute for it in the case of adults. Infants have but one substitute, martyrdom, and it is rare. Baptism, therefore, is necessary with hypothetical or relative necessity of means.
It should be observed that two practical norms may be followed to determine whether something is necessary by necessity of precept only or by necessity of means. First, we may ask: Is this act or thing necessary for infants also? If so, the necessity is not only of precept, but also of means. Second, we may ask ourselves: When a person cannot fulfill the act required, does the duty to perform the act completely cease, or must something else be done in its place? If the obligation to perform the act simply ceases, we have necessity of precept only. If some other act must be done in its place, we have necessity of means.
So, getting back to John 3:5, it is clear that the Church has always read it as meaning that water baptism is "necessary of relative means" such that where this is legitimately not possible, a baptism of blood or of desire provides the alternate means. But any one of the three absolutely must occur if the soul is to be saved. This is the true state of affairs as the Church has always taught, and this also explains the seeming discrepancy noted in the Treatise that many theologians and catechisms supposedly contradict themselves by saying on the one hand that baptism is absolutely necessary (for indeed, baptism of at least one form or another is indeed absolutely necessary), but then also saying on the other hand that water baptism can be replaced with BOB or BOD. But as one can see there is no inconsistency, no self-contradiction here, only an artificial "problem" drummed up by certain characters who are unwilling to simply accept the teaching as it has always been given. The engine of a car is necessary of means to get it to a destination. But if the engine fails and cannot be repaired, the good God has hereby promised that, ad extremis, a horse or an ox will be provided that can be hitched up to the car to pull it along and serve as its engine.
On page 43 of the Treatise, the extraordinary statement is made, "The Fathers (or prominent early Christian Catholic writers) are unanimous from the beginning that no one enters heaven or is freed from original sin without water baptism." Is Peter Dimond here claiming to have read all of the early Christian writers (Fathers) exhaustively, and even if he had, could we trust one coming in with such an agenda to "prove" his point to evaluate that exhaustive list fairly and honestly? Finally, after making this blanket declaration, a number of them are identified as indeed teaching certain exceptions to water baptism, however vaguely or unclearly in some cases. Even one such would be enough to show what a lie it is to say that they were "unanimous" in such a denial.
But in fact, is that what one finds? Only the barest handfuls of Fathers seem to have been quoted by anybody either for or against, so it is doubtful that many of the others have provided any useful quotes for anyone on any side, or else if they do then nobody has read them lately. And what about those quoted against baptisms of blood and desire? Once again one finds no basis for using their quotes in this manner as any of a variety of reasons can be immediately seen to be why they don't even apply to the question at all.
Let us look at the sorts of quotes brought up in the Treatise as supposed "proof" that the early Fathers had considered the question of those overtaken by death before reaching the baptismal font and, yea verily, regarded them as all necessarily lost, actually show any such thing.
As before, I cite the six reasons I listed in the previous installment (and which apply to the formal papal declarations cited) such statements cannot be so taken, and to which I here add a few more (which apply specifically to the quotes from the Fathers as given here):
1) Those passages referring to damnation of those outside the Church always carry a sense of "do not" and never "have not."
2) Those passages that make sweeping generalizations would naturally have to admit certain limited exceptions, as can be defended by other doctrines as applicable.
3) Those passages referring to saved souls can only be speaking of those who are in either Purgatory or Heaven, nowhere else.
4) Those passages referring to the Church as the only means of salvation mean that no other "church" can save, but do not limit the Church's methods for applying God's Grace to souls.
5) Those passages referring to the necessity to "abide" or "remain" or "continue" in the Church have no bearing on questions of BOB and BOD and entrance requirements since they speak only to those who are already in the Church Militant as water baptized formal members.
6) Those passages which speak of water baptism as being the only means of entering the Church are speaking of how to enter the Church Militant, the only of the three portions of the Church one can voluntarily join.
7) Those passages which speak of what the wonders of water baptism mean and what it can do for us or how it does it in no way even suggest that there would be no alternative modes of baptism open to the will of God.
8) Those passages which speak of forgiveness of sins being only to the baptized; these refer to being alive here on earth with one's sins forgiven with sacramental absolution, restoring them to the Church Militant, and to the fact that sacramental absolution is not available to a person while he remains outside the Church and alive in the earth, but which could be forgiven (as if sacramentally) upon an unbaptized soul's direct entry into the next life if God's mercy so wills it.
9) Those passages which speak of infants needing water baptism in order to be saved; Infants do literally need baptism in water, but for them if they are not baptized the alternative is the Limbo of the Children.
So, once again let us see what the quotes say:
In the letter of Barnabas, dated as early as 70 A.D., we read: "… we descend into the water full of sins and foulness, and we come up bearing fruit in our heart…" 
In 140 A.D., the early Church Father Hermas quotes Jesus in John 3:5, and writes: "They had need to come up through the water, so that they might be made alive; for they could not otherwise enter into the kingdom of God." [1, 2, 6]
In 155 A.D., St. Justin the Martyr writes: "… they are led by us to a place where there is water; and there they are reborn in the same kind of rebirth in which we ourselves were reborn… in the name of God… they receive the washing of water. For Christ said, 'Unless you be reborn, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.' The reason for doing this we have learned from the apostles." [1, 2, 6]
In his dialogue with Trypho the Jew, also dated 155 A.D., St. Justin Martyr further writes: "… hasten to learn in what way forgiveness of sins and a hope of the inheritance… may be yours. There is no other way than this: acknowledge Christ, be washed in the washing announced by Isaias…" [1, 6]
In 180 A.D., St. Irenaeus writes: "… giving the disciples the power of regenerating in God, He said to them: 'Go teach all nations, and baptize… Just as dry wheat without moisture cannot become one dough or one loaf, so also, we who are many cannot be made one in Christ Jesus, without the water from heaven…Our bodies achieve unity through the washing… our souls, however, through the Spirit. Both, then, are necessary." [2, 4]
In 203 A.D., Tertullian writes: "… it is in fact prescribed that no one can attain to salvation without Baptism, especially in view of that declaration of the Lord, who says: 'Unless a man shall be born of water, he shall not have life…" [1, 2]
In 181 A.D., St. Theophilus continues the Tradition: "… those things which were created from the waters were blessed by God, so that this might also be a sign that men would at a future time receive repentance and remission of sins through water and the bath of regeneration…" 
In 203 A.D., Tertullian writes: "… it is in fact prescribed that no one can attain to salvation without Baptism, especially in view of that declaration of the Lord, who says: 'Unless a man shall be born of water, he shall not have life [John 3:5]…" [1, 2]
Tertullian further writes in 203 A.D.: "A treatise on our sacrament of water, by which the sins of our earlier blindness are washed away … nor can we otherwise be saved, except by permanently abiding in the water."
[1, 5, Note: This additionally has the unusual wording as to abiding "in the water" which if taken as literally as Peter Dimond would have us believe, would imply that the baptized one must not in fact ever rise from the literal waters of baptism but remain literally there physically "in the water" of the baptismal font.]
Hermas, 140 A.D.: "… before a man bears the name of the Son of God, he is dead. But when he receives the seal, he puts mortality aside and again receives life. The seal, therefore, is the water. They go down into the water dead, and come out of it alive."
[7, Note: Mention of the "seal" is a clear reference to the indelible sacramental "mark" on the soul.]
In the famous work entitled The Second Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 120-170 A.D., we read: "For of those who have not kept the seal of baptism he says: 'Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched.'" 
St. Ephraim, c. 350 A.D.: "… we are anointed in Baptism, whereby we bear His seal." 
St. Gregory Nyssa, c. 380 A.D.: "Make haste, O sheep, towards the sign of the cross and the Seal [Baptism] which will save you from your misery!" 
St. Clement of Alexandria, 202 A.D.: "When we are baptized, we are enlightened. Being enlightened, we are adopted as sons… This work is variously called grace, illumination, perfection, washing. It is a washing by which we are cleansed of sins…" 
Origen, 244 A.D.: "The Church received from the Apostles the tradition of giving baptism even to infants… there is in everyone the innate stains of sin, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit." [1, 2, 9]
St. Aphraates writes in 336 A.D.: "This, then, is faith: that a man believe in God … His Spirit …His Christ… Also, that a man believe in the resurrection of the dead; and moreover, that he believe in the Sacrament of Baptism. This is the belief of the Church of God." 
The same Syrian father further writes: "For from baptism we receive the Spirit of Christ… For the Spirit is absent from all those who are born of the flesh, until they come to the water of re-birth." 
St. Cyril of Jerusalem, 350 A.D.: "He says, 'Unless a man be born again' - and He adds the words 'of water and the Spirit' - he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God…..if a man be virtuous in his deeds, but does not receive the seal by means of the water, shall he enter into the kingdom of heaven. A bold saying, but not mine; for it is Jesus who has declared it." [1, 6]
St. Basil the Great, c. 355 A.D.: "Whence is it that we are Christians? Through faith, all will answer. How are we saved? By being born again in the grace of baptism… For it is the same loss for anyone to depart this life unbaptized, as to receive that baptism from which one thing of what has been handed down has been omitted."
[Note: This is a special case which is really stating that a sacramentally invalid attempt at water baptism is the same thing as not being baptized in water, a point not in dispute.]
St. Gregory of Elvira, 360 A.D.: "Christ is called Net, because through Him and in Him the diverse multitudes of peoples are gathered from the sea of the world, through the water of Baptism and into the Church, where a distinction is made between the good and the wicked." [6, 7]
St. Ephraim, 366 A.D.: "This the Most Holy Catholic Church professes. In this same Holy Trinity She baptizes unto eternal life." 
Pope St. Damasus, 382 A.D.: "This, then, is the salvation of Christians: that believing in the Trinity, that is, in the Father, and in the Son and in the Holy Spirit, and baptized in it…" [1, 2, 6]
St. Ambrose, 387 A.D.: "'Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.' No one is excepted: not the infant, not the one prevented by some necessity." [1, 9, Note: The mention of necessity here is not a reference to unforeseen circumstances that overcome one by death but a reference to other duties in a person's life that some might inappropriately give priority to over and above that duty incumbent upon all of seeking to join the Kingdom of God. (Luke 14:18-20)]
St. Ambrose, De mysteriis, 390-391 A.D.: "You have read, therefore, that the three witnesses in Baptism are one: water, blood, and the spirit; and if you withdraw any one of these, the Sacrament of Baptism is not valid. For what is water without the cross of Christ? A common element without any sacramental effect. Nor on the other hand is there any mystery of regeneration without water: for 'unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.' Even a catechumen believes in the cross of the Lord Jesus, by which also he is signed; but, unless he be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, he cannot receive the remission of sins nor be recipient of the gift of spiritual grace." [6, 7, 8, Note: Mention of the "sign" is a clear reference to the indelible sacramental "mark" on the soul.]
St. Ambrose, The Duties of Clergy, 391 A.D.: "The Church was redeemed at the price of Christ's blood, Jew or Greek, it makes no difference; but if he has believed he must circumcise himself from his sins so that he can be saved;...for no one ascends into the kingdom of heaven except through the Sacrament of Baptism." [2, 6]
St. John Chrysostom, 392 A.D.: "Weep for the unbelievers; weep for those who differ not a whit from them, those who go hence without illumination, without the seal! … They are outside the royal city…. with the condemned. 'Amen, I tell you, if anyone is not born of water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." [1, 2]
St. Augustine, 391: "When we shall have come into His [God's] sight, we shall behold the equity of God's justice. Then no one will say:… 'Why was this man led by God's direction to be baptized, while that man, though he lived properly as a catechumen, was killed in a sudden disaster, and was not baptized?' Look for rewards, and you will find nothing except punishments." [Note: The next thing said is "Look for grace." This statement does not say that the unbaptized catechumen went to hell, but if he did it would be because he was looking for rewards (in Heaven) without having to work (by getting baptized, which he apparently delayed), instead of seeking grace (a true desire to enter the Church Militant by being baptized and to serve and obey God and accept whatever crosses one as might come to one therein).]
St. Augustine: "However much progress the catechumen should make, he still carries the load of his iniquity: nor is it removed from him unless he comes to Baptism." [1, 2]
St Augustine, 395 A.D.: "… God does not forgive sins except to the baptized." 
St. Augustine, 412: "… the Punic Christians call Baptism itself nothing else but salvation… Whence does this derive, except from an ancient and, as I suppose, apostolic tradition, by which the Churches of Christ hold inherently that without Baptism and participation at the table of the Lord it is impossible for any man to attain either to the Kingdom of God or to salvation and life eternal? This is the witness of Scripture, too." [1, 2, Note: If this passage were to be taken as meaning that St. Augustine was here saying that water baptism is always necessary then in the same breath he has also stated here that receiving Holy Communion (at least once) is also necessary; there is no reason to believe that he actually intended either of those implications.]
Pope St. Innocent, 414 A.D.: "But that which Your Fraternity asserts the Pelagians preach, that even without the grace of Baptism infants are able to be endowed with the rewards of eternal life, is quite idiotic." 
St. Fulgence, On the Forgiveness of Sins, 512 A.D.: "Anyone who is outside this Church, which received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, is walking a path not to heaven but to hell. He is not approaching the home of eternal life; rather, he is hastening to the torment of eternal death." 
St. Fulgence, The Rule of Faith, 526 A.D.: "Hold most firmly and never doubt in the least that not only all the pagans but also all the Jews and all the heretics and schismatics who end this present life outside the Catholic Church are about to go into the eternal fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels." 
Pope St. Gregory the Great, c. 590 A.D.: "Forgiveness of sin is bestowed on us only by the baptism of Christ." [8, Note: Forgiveness of sin is also bestowed on us by the absolution given in the Sacrament of Penance. If one were to read all Papal declarations the way they are quoted in the Treatise, this one would have to constitute proof that Pope St. Gregory the Great denied that the Sacrament of penance obtains forgiveness of sins.]
Theophylactus, Patriarch of Bulgaria, c. 800 A.D.: "He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved. It does not suffice to believe; he who believes, and is not yet baptized, but is only a catechumen, has not yet fully acquired salvation." 
St. Remigius, Bishop of Lyons, Council of Valence III, 855, Can. 5: "Likewise we believe that we must hold most firmly that all the multitude of the faithful, regenerated 'from water and the Holy Spirit' (John 3:5), and through this truly incorporated into the Church, and according to the apostolic doctrine baptized in the death of Christ (Rom. 6:3), in His blood has been absolved from its sins…" 
St. John Chrysostom, The Consolation of Death: "And well should the pagan lament, who not knowing God, dying goes straight to punishment. Well should the Jew mourn, who not believing in Christ, has assigned his soul to perdition." 
St. John Chrysostom, Homily III. On Phil. 1:1-20: "Weep for the unbelievers; weep for those who differ in nowise from them, those who depart hence without the illumination, without the seal! They indeed deserve our wailing, they deserve our groans; they are outside the Palace, with the culprits, with the condemned: for, 'Verily I say unto you, Except a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven." [1, 2, 4]
Pope St. Siricius, Letter 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." [9, Note: This is another passage about those who needlessly delay baptism, though here with the difference that emphasis is being placed on the obligation to seek it even more promptly than the Church normally has one do, in the case where there is a clear and present danger of death. It therefore refers to a duty to fulfill if at all possible and not any denial of the ability of Grace to step in where no possibility exists.]
There are a couple other Fathers so quoted as being against any baptism other than that of water, but their quotes come under different and more unusual categories than those given above. In the second installment I showed how the Treatise so misquoted Saint John Chrysostom to make it seem as if he was saying that all catechumens who die as such are necessarily damned (when he was in fact only saying that of those who tarried), and in fact the same quote (with the same omissions) is used twice in the Treatise.
But another quote is shown that gives it all away (and the Treatise's author must have been desperate to have need of recourse to such a passage), and which he can only have been hoping that by that point (rather far along in the Treatise) the reader is no longer looking too closely at the quotes, or only at the highlighted phrases, for he gives another St. John Chrysostom quote correctly, but with misleading emphasis, thus:
St. John Chrysostom, The Consolation of Death: "And plainly must we grieve for our own catechumens, should they, either through their own unbelief or through their own neglect, depart this life without the saving grace of baptism."
One need merely look at the quote again, but this time with a different emphasis that shows what the Saint is really trying to say:
St. John Chrysostom, The Consolation of Death: "And plainly must we grieve for our own catechumens, should they, either through their own unbelief or through their own neglect, depart this life without the saving grace of baptism."
And this again ties directly into what St. Bernard was saying over and over again about the damnation of those who show contempt for the Sacrament, but not for those overtaken by misfortune. It couldn't be clearer. Those who tarry and waste their time, content to wait in a vaguely Christian orbit but who never seem to quite get around to coming in for a landing into the Faith and Church are in a very bad way, but nothing of this kind is said regarding those who are truly pursuing to enter into the Faith and Church, who have contrition for their sins, love of God and neighbor, and who seek to place themselves at the service of Holy Mother Church as a baptized member, even should their progress be cut off by death before attaining the baptismal font.
Now let's look at another ancient Father whose words are used in the Treatise to attempt to deny BOD:
St. Gregory Nazianz, 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 circumstance which prevents them from receiving the gift, even if they desire it… "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 with actual 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?"
There are really two separate quotes in this. The first part has a really serious omission. Looking up the quote as given in Fr. Jurgens' book, it reads in full (and I underline that which was omitted):
St. Gregory Nazianz, 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 circumstance which 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 with actual 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?"
Unhappily, the two ellipses still showing here in this second and correct giving of the quote are contained in the passage as provided in Fr. Jurgens' book. There is no way to tell whether these gaps represent gaps in the surviving document or gaps in what Fr. Jurgens saw fit to present, but notice the significant passage edited out. It mentions a first group (the utterly animal and bestial) who spurn baptism, thus plainly adding that sin to their other sins, and who will be punished most severely, then a second group (those who delay out of carelessness or insatiable desire for other things), and who will also be punished, though not as much as the first group, and then a third group consisting of those unable to be baptized (the infants who do not get baptized by their parents). Because of the ellipse in Fr. Jurgen's book, it is not clear whether he would have gone on to mention those who were prevented from being baptized by some involuntary circumstance as a fourth group who attain eternal life, or if he intended to lump such within the category of the unbaptized infants, but either way the unbaptized adult who dies thus unbaptized through no fault of his own is in no way to be punished as the Treatise would have one falsely believe. His description of the fate of the "third group" does seem a startlingly accurate description of the Limbo of the Children, specifically.
Regarding the latter half of the quote, it doesn't take much to see that he is speaking here not of God's judgment, but of the Church and how the Church is to judge someone. For as he puts it, "you" (that is the Church officials who must make some juridical or disciplinary decision) would not be in any position to judge if a man merely intends (but has no chance to carry out) a murder, then likewise neither is it your place to assume (on your part) a good intention on the part of one who has not received water baptism. But of course God who sees into the hearts of all most certainly CAN judge the murderer in the heart and the adulterer in the heart, and by that same token can also judge as to whose failure to obtain water baptism is through no fault of their own. And finally, the point is made that one cannot substitute the desire (even full and proper and capable of qualifying one for a Baptism of Desire should they die peremptorily) for the act, the actual celebration of the mystery of water baptism. Such a desire for baptism does not become a Baptism of Desire until and unless they indeed die somewhere short of the baptismal font through no fault of their own. Hence the rights and responsibilities in the Church, and most notably, to receive the other sacraments, does not belong to him, his mere longing does not qualify him for any of that. So again, there really is nothing here against BOD, and obviously nothing against BOB either.
One of the most damning quotes however comes not directly from any of the early Fathers, but from Fr. William Jurgens, the complier of selected texts from the various ancient Church Fathers, from whose trio of books The Faith of the Early Fathers provide the source for many of the quotes given in the Treatise. Perhaps it would be simplest to begin with the quote from Fr. Jurgens as given three times in the Treatise on pages 48, 76, and 183-184, as it makes such a great sounding quote to use in its claim that the rejection of BOB and BOD would be the unanimous teaching of the fathers of the Church on this issue:
Fr. William Jurgens: "If there were not a constant tradition in the Fathers that the Gospel message of 'Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost he cannot enter into the kingdom of God' is to be taken absolutely, it would be easy to say that our Savior simply did not see fit to mention the obvious exceptions of invincible ignorance and physical impossibility. But the tradition in fact is there; and it is likely enough to be found so constant as to constitute revelation."
On the face of it one would think that Fr. Jurgens seems to have found a universal tradition (the sort of thing that would have to be recognized as being infallible, hence his mention of it as something that could constitute revelation) among the ancient Fathers that the requirement for water baptism found no exceptions. But is that what the quote really says?
Most unfortunately for the case being made in the Treatise, the context shows something quite fundamentally different. The quote is found in a footnote in the third volume of Fr. Jurgen's "The Faith of the Early Fathers," namely footnote 31 on pages 14 and 15. A statement in a paragraph numbered 1441, on page 9 of the same volume, is what is so footnoted. Let us now see what the footnote goes to, and what the whole footnote actually says:
Let each one think what he likes contrary to any of Cyprian's opinions but let no one hold any opinion contrary to the manifest belief of the Apostle. ... A reason must be sought and given why souls, if they are newly created for each one being born, are damned if the infants die without Christ's Sacrament31. That they are damned if they so depart the body is the testimony both of Holy Scripture and of Holy Church.
31. The state of infants who die without Baptism has long been one of the knottier problems of theology. If there were not a constant tradition in the Fathers that the Gospel message of "Unless a man be born again et reliqua" is to be taken absolutely, it would be easy to say that our Savior simply did not see fit to mention the obvious exceptions of invincible ignorance and physical impossibility. But the tradition in fact is there; and it is likely enough to be found so constant as to constitute revelation. The Church has always admitted Baptism of desire as a rescuing factor, when the desire is a personal and conscious one on the part of the one desiring Baptism for himself, as in the case of a catechumen.
Some loose thinkers are content to apply Baptism of desire to an infant, who is incapable of knowing and desiring. That being pointed out, they will posit the desire in parents on behalf of children; but if in fact the parents do not desire or if they positively reject Baptism for their infant child, is the infant then to be damned because of the parents' ignorance or malice? Many today are content to ignore the problem as if it did not exist, or to treat it as a ridiculous scruple. We hear them quote the Scriptures, that God desires all men to be saved, as if that had any application here! Let us turn back to the notion of Baptism of desire, and I [Fr. Jurgens] think we will find a solution apart from the generous but questionable notion of limbo, without condemning these infants outright as Augustine reluctantly does, and without doing violence either to Scripture or Tradition.
Saint Thomas [Aquinas] notes that the Eucharist is absolutely necessary for salvation. If a man has never received the Eucharist, he cannot be saved. But Thomas then adds these distinctions: that if one is dying and has never received the Eucharist, his positive desire for it will suffice (the precise parallel of Baptism of desire); or in the case of infants or ignorant savages the desire on their behalf on the part of the Church herself will suffice. If this latter is true in regard to the Eucharist, why not in regard to Baptism? Tradition already admits Thomas' first Eucharistic distinction in regard also to Baptism: a desire on the part of the individual himself. Why not, then, his second distinction in regard to infants and the invincibly ignorant, a desire supplied by the desire of the Church herself? This obviates the necessary objection to a desire supplied by parents: they may not have such a desire. The Church always desires the welfare of mankind and it is impossible that she should not desire it.
So, one sees from the actual quote, now in context, that it is only with respect to the infants where water baptism is universally spoken of as being the only way to enter the kingdom of God. One also sees here from this quote that Fr. Jurgens is, sadly, very much of a Modernist outlook, and if anything even tries to water down that universality of the Fathers regarding the state of infants with his own speculations on the parents' or Church's desire on their behalf (very much like some more recent attempts to do away with Limbo!). But clearly Fr. Jurgens is in no way attempting to claim that the ancient Fathers rejected BOB and BOD! The Treatise has therefore misrepresented the quote most criminally, and this cannot be dismissed as an accident.
Now let's take a brief look at the Scriptures that are used within the Treatise (other than John 3:5) to try to deny BOB and BOD:
"… he that confirmeth us with you in Christ, and that hath anointed us, is God: Who also hath sealed us, and given the pledge of the Spirit in our hearts." (2 Cor. 1:21-22)
Matthew 28:19-20- "And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going, therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you..."
Mark 16:15-16- "And he (Jesus) said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned."
Romans 6:3-4 "Know you not that all we, who are baptized in Christ Jesus, are baptized in his death? For we are buried together with him by baptism unto death."
1 Corinthians 12:13- "For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free; and in one Spirit we have all been made to drink."
Titus 3:5- "Not by the works of justice, which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the laver of regeneration, and renovation of the Holy Ghost…"
Ephesians 4:4-6: "Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. One body and one Spirit; as you are called in the hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all…"
Acts 2:37-38- "Now when they had heard these things they had compunction in their heart, and said to Peter, and to the rest of the apostles: What shall we do, men and brethren? But Peter said to them: Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
The Scriptures quoted above rather obviously extol the values and virtues of baptism, and the duty to seek it, but take it absolutely no further. Even the passage of Mark regarding him that "believeth not" again is purely a blatant case of one who "does not" believe (let alone get baptized), i. e. one who chooses not, i. e. one who rejects water baptism even where the opportunity presents itself. That is the one who "shall be condemned." But in looking at the bare Scriptures, shorn of the spin put on them in the Treatise, one finds in them absolutely no basis to deny BOB or BOD.
There are a few other papal quotes to review here. Let us start with Pope Benedict XII. On page 68 of the Treatise, he is quoted thus:
Pope Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus, 1336, ex cathedra, on the souls of the just receiving the Beatific Vision: "By this edict which will prevail forever, with apostolic authority we declare... the holy apostles, the martyrs, the confessors, virgins, and the other faithful who died after the holy baptism of Christ had been received by them, in whom there was nothing to be purged... and the souls of children departing before the use of free will, reborn and baptized in the same baptism of Christ, when all have been baptized... have been, are, and will be in heaven..."
Once again, it must look persuasive, since only those "who died after the holy baptism of Christ" are spoken of in Heaven (martyrs included), wouldn't that be a claim that only the baptized are in Heaven, and that even the martyrs in Heaven were baptized (in water)? And once again, the ellipses conceal much that will change the whole tenor of this quote:
Pope Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus, 1336, ex cathedra, on the souls of the just receiving the Beatific Vision: "By this edict which will prevail forever, with apostolic authority we declare: That according to the common arrangement of God, souls of all the saints who departed from this world before the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ; also of the holy apostles, the martyrs, the confessors, virgins, and the other faithful who died after the holy baptism of Christ had been received by them, in whom there was nothing to be purged, when they departed, nor will there be when they shall depart also in the future; or if then there was or there will be anything to be purged in these when after their death they have been purged; and the souls of children departing before the use of free will, reborn and baptized in that same baptism of Christ, when all have been baptized, immediately after their death and that aforesaid purgation in those who were in need of a purgation of this kind, even before the resumption of their bodies and the general judgment after the ascension of our Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, into heaven, have been, are, and will be in heaven, in the kingdom of heaven and in celestial paradise with Christ, united in the company of the holy angels, and after the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ have seen and see the divine essence by intuitive vision, and even face to face, with no mediating creature..."
What this shows here is that this is not a reference to being after their own personal baptism in water, but rather after the Law of Baptism had been received "by them" (the Church) and under its auspices, for the Pope compares them not to those who are unbaptized (after the Law of Baptism, i. e. the New Covenant) but to those who died before the Law of Baptism (before the passion of Christ, i. e. the Old Covenant). The infants (mentioned later in the quote) are of course a different and separate case, for indeed they must be baptized in water to attain the Beatific Vision, and hence specifically spoken here as having been "baptized in that same baptism of Christ," for in their case the only way to comply to the Law of Baptism would be baptism in water. Indeed the omission of any mention of their own being baptized (as there is for the infants) is clearly and consciously meant to allow that some small number of them had not been baptized in water though they are in no way any less blessed under the Law of Baptism.
Other dogmatic quotes have also been cited, but these rather obviously show nothing relating to this question, and appear to have been brought in merely to make the Treatise look more impressive with lots of quotes.
Pope Clement V, Council of Vienne, Decree # 30, 1311-1312, ex cathedra: "Since however there is for both regulars and seculars, for superiors and subjects, for exempt and non-exempt, one universal Church, outside of which there is no salvation, for all of whom there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism…"
Pope Clement V, Council of Vienne, 1311-1312, ex cathedra: "Besides, one baptism which regenerates all who are baptized in Christ must be faithfully confessed by all just as 'one God and one faith', which celebrated in water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit we believe to be commonly the perfect remedy for salvation for adults as for children."
The Nicene-Constantinople Creed, ex cathedra: "We confess one baptism for the remission of sins."
Pope St. Leo the Great, Sermon 63: On the Passion (+ c. 460 A.D.): "… from the birth of baptism an unending multitude are born to God, of whom it is said: Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (Jn. 1:15)."
Pope Pius IV, "Iniunctum nobis," Nov. 13, 1565, ex cathedra: "I also profess that there are truly and properly seven sacraments of the New Law instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord, and necessary for the salvation of mankind, although all are not necessary for each individual…"
Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, Sess. 2, Profession of Faith, ex cathedra: "I profess also that there are seven sacraments of the new law, truly and properly so called, instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ and necessary for salvation, though each person need not receive them all."
The first several quotes above only serve to reiterate the Scripture (to which they make explicit reference) to the effect that there is only one baptism. But of course it has never been contended otherwise, so bringing them in can only serve as part of the scholastic deception of claiming that BOB and BOD are two other "baptisms" instead of merely two alternate modes of the one baptism into the one Church. The next quote merely states the value of baptism and as such has no bearing on the question of BOB and BOD.
The last two quotes merely state that we Catholics are to believe in the Seven Sacraments as taught by the Church, and they also make the additional point that it is not necessary to obtain every sacrament of the Church, individually. In fact what each makes clear is that it is necessary for the sacraments to exist, not for everyone to obtain for themselves any of them in particular. Indeed, if water baptism were so absolutely essential such that no train of circumstances could ever replace it, how is it that neither of these last two Papal quotes go on to say any such thing? For if they did then that would have been the most useful thing for the Treatise possible.
But they don't, and this omission, given how important they just got through saying the Sacraments are, seems rather pointed.
One last category of quotes, one from Sacred Scripture, one from a Church Father, and one from a Papal declaration, all pertain to a comparison between the Church and Noah's Ark in the Flood:
1 Peter 3:20-21: "… when they waited for the patience of God in the days of Noe, when the ark was a building: wherein a few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. Whereunto baptism being of the like form, now saveth you also…"
St. Maximus the Confessor (+ c. 620): "The flood of those days was, as I say, a Figure of baptism. For that was then prefigured which is now fulfilled; that is, just as when the fountains of water overflowed, iniquity was imperiled, and justness alone reigned: sin was swept into the abyss, and holiness upraised to heaven. Then, as I said, that was prefigured which now is fulfilled in Christ's Church. For as Noe was saved in the Ark, while the iniquity of men was drowned in the Flood, so by the waters of baptism the Church is carried close to heaven…"
Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, Nov. 18, 1302, ex cathedra: "… the one mystical body … And in this, 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism' (Eph. 4:5). Certainly Noe had one ark at the time of the flood, prefiguring one Church… outside which we read that all living things on the earth were destroyed… which body he called the 'Only one' namely, the Church, because of the unity of the spouse, the faith, the sacraments, and the charity of the Church."
The Ark prefigures the whole Church, its three stories or decks (Genesis 6:16) corresponding to the three major divisions of the Church, namely Militant, Suffering, and Triumphant. Since a BOB or a BOD brings a soul directly into either the Church Suffering or Church Triumphant, the souls saved in these manners are as much inside the Ark of the Church as any water baptized, who are in good standing, would be inside the Church Militant. So this is not any question of someone being saved or even glorified though being outside the Ark, for by Baptism, be it with death in Desire, death in Martyrdom, or water in the Sacrament, brings the soul receiving it on board the Ark of the Church.
On pages 216-217 of the Treatise, one finds a rather peculiar claim, using a quote from a forward to one of the sessions of the Council of Trent. Starting with the quote:
Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Sess. 7, Foreword, ex cathedra: "For the completion of the salutary doctrine of Justification… it has seemed fitting to treat of the most holy sacraments of the Church, through which all true justice either begins, or being begun is increased or being lost is restored."
On the basis of this, the Treatise makes the claim that "all true justice meets up with the sacraments," which the Treatise on its own authority actually attempts to affix a theological note of "de fide." Frankly, I cannot even tell what such a sentence would happen to mean. It certainly does not occur as such in any dogmatic source of Catholic teaching, or at least none quoted in the Treatise. Be all that as it may, the claim is being made (from the quote given) that "all true justice either begins, or being begun is increased or being lost is restored" through the sacraments.
The sacraments are of course the visible work of God in this world, and as such apply all manner of the various graces needed by those who appropriately receive them. The various sacraments in one case (Baptism) begin, in a couple other cases (Penance, Extreme Unction) restore, and in the remaining cases (as well as some instances of Penance and Extreme Unction) increase the grace already present, in addition to their other effects. That is how they work in the normal scheme of things.
But as stated before this normal scheme of things has always admitted exceptions, not only BOB and BOD, but also (for instance) the way that the Church in Japan managed to survive and even thrive (somewhat) despite the lack of any of the Sacraments other than Baptism and Marriage (since those require no clergy), but being fed also on the merits and graces earned on the strength of all the Masses and other sacraments still being performed all around the rest of the world. So there really is no real claim that this passage of the Council of Trent is meant to imply that no individual ever acquires justification without receiving water baptism (or any other sacrament) as it really refers to receiving graces under the terms of the New Law, of which the seven Sacraments are an integral part.
Finally, quite a bit of space is spent on the category of the more recent saints, most notably Saint Francis Xavier and St. Isaac Jogues, who knocked themselves out bringing the Gospel to pagans, sacrificing much to bring them into the Kingdom of God. A similar claim is made in the opening pages of Gate of Heaven by Catherine Goddard Clarke to the effect that all the great saints of old similarly knocked themselves out sacrificing much to spread the Gospel or die for it, all supposedly out of some denial of BOB and BOD. The claim is made that they did what they did because they did not believe in BOB and BOD, or else because they didn't believe that anyone ignorant might possibly be saved. Obviously they understood that ignorance of itself is no salvation, and may only provide the rarest of excuses.
Lengthy quotes are given of the difficult travails they each went through for souls, the tortures they endured, the heroic lengths they went to in order to baptize. But look carefully at the quotes given from the details of their lives as given in the Treatise (given their length I will not repeat them here). In all of them there is no clear statement from either that they deny BOB or BOD, only that since water baptism was in their power to provide, they were therefore obliged to provide it, especially for the infants, who often died shortly thereafter.
But what the heroic sacrifices of these two men show is not some frenetic and panicked need to baptize everyone, but the clear obligation to proceed forward, slowly, carefully, methodically, with the advance of the Gospel, and most importantly, at the direction of the Church. For it is in the coordination provided by the leadership of the Church that makes it possible for the whole world to be evangelized, not some frantic and desperate belief that absolutely all are necessarily damned in all cases.
Going back to the Catherine Clarke book (but I see the same implication more subtly hinted as a kind of subtext in the Treatise) one gets the idea that belief in BOB and BOD are merely some localized phenomena, perhaps merely in modern, comfortable America, or at most, something cooked up in the late nineteenth century at the earliest. But as evidences continue to pile up and show (and will continue throughout this series) BOB and BOD go way back, at least to the age of the Fathers, to say nothing of the hints of them contained in Sacred Scripture. But if denying BOB and BOD were the basis for such zealous missionary efforts, how is it that those who deny these things today make no such sacrifices?
Whole countries are being lost to Islam or Communism or what not, and have those who deny BOB and BOD shown any especial zeal in reaching those of these countries? No, instead one finds them devoting practically all their energies on attacking all other Catholics, scouring the writings of popes, councils, fathers, theologians, and so forth in support of their denial, as if that constituted the whole gospel.
In summing up its "positive" case, the Treatise (in Section 33, pages 275-276) attempts to reduce its entire case to 12 points. Let us see how each of these 12 points stack up in view of our findings thus far:
1) The Catholic Church teaches that the Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for salvation. - False. The Church teaches that Baptism is necessary, but nowhere describes the Sacrament of Baptism as being any more than being "of relative means," thus admitting BOB and BOD.
2) Unless we are born again of water and the Spirit, we cannot enter heaven. - The Scripture this is based on is true, but the way that the authors of the Treatise and like documents read the Scripture is false. John 3:5 merely establishes water baptism to be necessary of relative means (recall Mt. 10:32 and Mt. 16:25)
3) The Church understands John 3:5 literally each time, as it is written, and with no exceptions. - And the Church has always read it as written to mean that water baptism is necessary of relative means, and also that performing the sacrament requires the use of actual, literal water.
4) The Spirit of Sanctification, the Water of Baptism and the Blood of Redemption are inseparable. - If this were to mean what the Treatise takes it to mean, then once the water of baptism has dried off the person, then the Spirit of Sanctification must also depart and the Blood of Redemption can no longer apply. Until the recent outbreak of denials of BOB and BOD, no writer of any kind, not even anyone who denied BOD (e. g. Peter Abélard) ever would have thought of using such a clumsy argument.
5) All Catholics must profess only one baptism of water. - False. All Catholics must profess only one baptism. The three modes of baptism are no more three different "baptisms" than the three persons of the Holy Trinity would be three different "gods."
6) There is absolutely no salvation outside the one Church of the faithful, which only include the water baptized. - False. There is absolutely no salvation outside the Churches Suffering and Triumphant. Within the Church Militant, wherein reside the faithful (and also the clergy, though I doubt the author of the Treatise believes in any actual clergy since none support his claims), no one is saved, but can only be justified, and such justification can also extend to those seeking to join, as the Council of Trent unambiguously affirmed.
7) Every human creature must be subject to the Roman Pontiff to be saved, and it is impossible to be subject to the Roman Pontiff without the Sacrament of Baptism. - All that are subject to the Roman Pontiff must remain faithful, and all the rest are obliged to seek this, but there is nothing in the dogmatic statement to imply that a legitimate seeker would be damned merely because his seeking was cut off prematurely by martyrdom or other circumstance, and a catechumen would be quite obliged to submit to the will of the Roman Pontiff in order to remain a catechumen in good standing, even though the Supreme Pontiff admittedly has as yet no jurisdiction over him. No one is denying that the only way to enter the Church Militant is by water baptism.
8) One must belong to the Body of the Church to be saved, and only the water baptized belong to the Body of the Church. - False. If one is in the Body of the Church, he must remain therein, and if one is not in the Body of the Church he must seek to be in it, but again there is no evidence that his seeking must attain a water baptism in order to count towards his salvation should he die prematurely.
9) Pope Benedict XII solemnly defined that all martyrs, virgins, confessors, faithful, etc. in Heaven have been baptized. - False. Pope Benedict XII solemnly defined that martyrs and faithful dying after the Law of Baptism had been received by the Church are blessed along with those faithful of old who died before the passion of Christ.
10) The Church is defined as a union of sacraments, which means that only those who have received the Sacrament of Baptism can be inside the unity of the Church. - The first part in no way implies the second, which would be more accurately stated that only those who have received the Sacrament of Baptism can be inside the visible unity of the Church Militant.
11) All true Justification meets up with the Sacraments. - But no evidence is provided that the sacraments must be applied to each and every individual in all circumstances that they can nevertheless bless.
12) The Sacraments as such are necessary for salvation though not all are necessary for each individual, which means that one must receive at least one Sacrament (Baptism) but one doesn't need to receive them all. - The necessity of the Sacrament of Baptism is established to be "necessary of relative means" only, and the necessity of receiving Holy Communion has been equally worded.
So, one can see that the denials of BOB and BOD in the Treatise (and by others) clearly has no real basis, and in fact quite a number of serious problems, not the least of which is an attempt to force quotes into meaning things they were never meant to imply, falsely reproducing some quotes, and also misrepresenting what the Catholic doctrine actually is, such as by claiming that BOB and BOD in addition to Baptism of Water make three different baptisms, or that there wouldn't be a theological principle of the distinction between an absolute and a relative necessity of means. The "scholarship" contained in the Treatise is extremely shoddy, often dishonest, and the document is of no academic or intellectual or theological value whatsoever.
At this point every part of what could be called the "positive" case the Treatise could be seen as making for their claims against the Catholic doctrines of BOB and BOD, is really not very positive at all for the Prosecution against BOB and BOD. If this were to be something like a trial, with the Catholic doctrines of BOB and BOD standing in the dock, Peter Dimond figures in as the Prosecuting attorney making his case against them, and all you my readers, and most especially the Church at large, must serve as jury and judge. Over the course of the Treatise, quite an impressive array of significant witnesses have been corralled into an attempt to comprise an accusation against the Catholic doctrines of BOB and BOD.
In my role as Defense attorney I have cross-examined all of these witnesses, and I cannot deny that virtually all of them certainly do hold considerable rank and importance; none of the Prosecution's chief witnesses can be impeached as being an unreliable source. However, the witnesses so called to testify have however quite well failed to show any real hostility to the Catholic doctrines of BOB and BOD. If anything, they have only shown universal support, and had they been living witnesses called to testify, they would have felt themselves ill-used by a Prosecuting attorney who obviously has an agenda which is contrary to faith and right reason.
One finds in them a universal lack of any willingness to claim that their general blanket statements regarding the necessity of Water Baptism therefore is meant to exclude the obvious exceptions of Blood and Desire.
One finds in them a universal lack of any willingness to claim that all of those who don't happen (through whatever circumstances) to have been baptized in water must necessarily be categorized with those who have refused to be baptized in water.
One finds in them a universal lack of any willingness to claim that the Church's unique and essential role in the salvation of all who get saved necessarily requires that each saved person must have been, however briefly, a member of the Church Militant.
One finds in them a universal lack of any willingness to claim that the duties of the faithful to remain in the Church is to be confused with the duty of all others to seek to join the Church Militant.
One finds in them a universal lack of any willingness to judge or condemn everyone who merely happens to be as yet outside the Church, as distinct from those who willfully remain outside.
One finds in them a universal lack of any willingness to claim that God cannot show mercy wherever He pleases outside and above the precepts and procedures by which the Church must visibly operate.
Even more damaging to the Prosecution's case has been the demonstration that the Prosecution is not above misquoting its witnesses so as to create a false impression as to what its witnesses are saying, or what they would have to say about BOB and/or BOD.
The first installment introduced and explained what scholastic dishonesty is and how it works. Can one deny that such dishonesty is what the Prosecution has used to make it seem as if the Church would condemn some of the saints to Hell, and indeed that God would send any innocent person to Hell?
And though this and the previous two installments were meant to be a review of all the "positive" evidences supposedly in favor of the Prosecution's case, have not several severely damaging evidences favorable to the defense of BOB and BOD come out in the course of this cross-examination?
Still, one would have to admit that if all one had to go on were the dogmatic statements themselves, without any further evidences as to how the Church has historically and always understood them, one would have to conclude that there is no persuasive evidence either for or against BOB and BOD based on the broad and sweeping declarations of various popes regarding the matter of salvation.
Referring back to a previous example, all the speed laws in the world will never tell you whether or not there exists an Indianapolis 500 Speedway upon which the speed laws do not apply. Most notably, one does not find anywhere a clear instance of the Supreme and Extraordinary Magisterium of the Church affirming that, yea verily, BOB and BOD are dogmas that all must believe in or else anathema be upon them. But most germane to my case here is the fact that neither has anyone ever found such a statement against BOB and BOD, specifically.
One is therefore constrained to ascertain the Church's true stance on BOB/BOD from the Ordinary Magisterium, the ordinary and long practice of the Church, and the opinions of Father after Father, Doctor after Doctor, Theologian after Theologian, Bishop after Bishop, and any number of lesser papal statements and acts that belong quite strictly to the domain of the Ordinary Magisterium. And in this area one finds much in the way of exceptions to the Prosecution's case, and extraordinarily little in the way of support.
The Prosecution has made its case, though I have no doubt that if I scan other such literature by the likes of Fr. Feeney himself and Catherine Goddard Clarke, and perhaps others may yet also make some additional claims in response to this series of articles on my part.
Any NEW arguments or quotes to be put forth I will gladly put in a postscript to this series along with the necessary refutations, in order that this may be regarded as definitive and final. In the next several sections however, I will go on to present what, in this illustration of a trial, would be considered the Defense.