"With this point I can finally put down my pen with regards to the Dimond brothers and their Treatise against the doctrines of the Church, as everything they have brought up I have addressed, in most cases directly, and in all remaining, at least indirectly, though of course it remains possible that other topics or events may arise requiring some mention of or quote from the Treatise. But of course that Treatise is not by any means the only denial of BOB and BOD on record, only (for the time being) one of the better known. I can thank Peter Dimond for having given me something to respond to in defending the truths of the Gospel against all attackers, even those who hang out their shingle as being faithful Catholics, but who use that claim as a cloak to conceal a heretical position. This description fits all of those, from Fr. Feeney himself onwards, who take similar positions, regardless of what minor variations may exist among them; there really is nothing unusual about the Dimonds. Somebody had to go first, and they just had the good fortune (?) of happening to be it."
What response has been made by either Peter or Michael Dimond to this series? The objections have been rather few, and limited to the earliest installments. Installment #6 seems to be the last installment that any mention of theirs cites, before falling silent regarding my series. Not even all much from these were addressed, in fact only a very small handful of small points. The bulk of their responses have been, first of all, to attempt a character assassination by misquoting other writings I have made, reading into them meanings I obviously never intended, though I admit that in one early case I was less than clear about something. With such character assassination attempts, they wish to call me a heretic. Coming from anyone else, that would be something to be rightly concerned about, but coming from them, and particularly on this point of issue, I think I can wear that as a badge of orthodoxy.
Regarding the second installment, their main and first comment is with regards to the "six realities" to take into account whenever reading such standard passages from any authoritative Church sources as cited by those who deny BOB and BOD. He treats these realities as though they were some sort of invention of mine that I am supposedly "arrogantly" imposing on any who wish to read the quotes. But of course all six are simply in accord with right reason and common sense. For example, if I tell someone that I promise to meet them at a certain city corner at 3 in the afternoon, there is no need for me to add to that, "unless an earthquake opens up a crack in the ground between there and wherever I might be at the time, and unless I get falsely arrested for some crime someone thinks I did, and unless I'm dead of anything by that time, and unless all the clocks are wrong and cause me to be late, and unless my ride to the location gets tied up in serious traffic, etc." These sorts of things are by all common sense understood, and no one could call me a liar or someone who breaks his promises if I failed to show up at the appointed place at the appointed time owing to any of these sorts of circumstances as might arise.
How cumbersome language would be if we all always had to mention all the possible scenarios possible before we could completely say anything! Of course, legal contracts do need to cover such eventualities with much more detail, but even they leave the open ended possibilities of an "act of God" to intervene, and without attempting to enumerate all such possible. By the same token, the "six realities" equally stand in common sense, and by all evidences, the Church has treated all such quotes exactly as if these common sense realities applied to all. Now to the realities in detail:
Regarding the first, to wit, "Those passages referring to damnation of those outside the Church always carry a sense of 'do not' and never 'have not'," their response was "Did any of the dogmatic declarations state that? No." Oh yeah? How about Mark 16:16, which reads, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who DOES NOT believe will be condemned." Or how about Pope Gregory XVI, in Mirari Vos, when he wrote, "they disperse unhappily who “who DO NOT gather with Him." And for the other side, consider Pope Julius III who wrote that "the Church exercises judgment on no one who HAS NOT previously entered it by the gate of baptism." And examples of this could be easily multiplied, especially with a close review of the original Latin or Greek.
Regarding the second, to wit, "Those passages that make sweeping generalizations would naturally have to admit certain limited exceptions, as can be defended by other doctrines as applicable," their response was "Do any of the dogmatic definitions admit or mention such exceptions? No." But of course not. I just explained why they would not admit or mention such exception, namely because it was not deemed any more necessary for them to that it would be for me to mention all the possible reasons why I might not make it to the corner agreed upon at the designated time.
Regarding the third, to wit, "Those passages referring to saved souls can only be speaking of those who are in either Purgatory or Heaven, nowhere else," all they did was say it was irrelevant. Even they could not disagree with it, so they simply refused to see its significance.
Regarding the fourth, to wit, "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, their response was "The dogmatic definitions do not mention a means of salvation." But of course not. The dogmatic definitions concerned were discussing and emphasizing the fact of which one is the one true Church which saves, not how that Church saves souls, let alone how it saves souls in every possible circumstance or eventuality.
Regarding the fifth, to wit, "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," their response was to quote Cantate Domino, saying that one must "enter" (it actually says "be joined to" which would include not only those already inside but also those in the process of joining and have willed to do so, though the process be as yet incomplete). But that is a separate clause, actually covered under the fourth of these realities. The next clause speaks of the necessity to "abide in it."
Regarding the sixth, to wit, "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 one of the three levels of the Church which one can voluntarily join," their response was to agree with it but then launch into a big discussion about how catechumens are not as yet "part of the Church" and as such supposedly still in line for damnation.
They next claim that the one quote exposed in that installment, from St. John Chrysostom, was not misquoted. They admitted the first part that they had omitted and that I have bolded, to wit, "do ye who have not yet been deemed worthy, do all things that you may be so, that we may be one body, that we may be brethren. For as long as we are divided in this respect," but refused to mention the second such part which contains the more damning evidence that he really was speaking about catechumens who tarry needlessly, and not catechumens in general, to wit, "Let us then give diligence that we may become citizens of the city which is above. How long do we tarry over the border, when we ought to reclaim our ancient country?" And of course, I have subsequently come across several other places where this sainted Doctor of the Church enlarges on this theme of the lazy and needlessly tarrying catechumen, such as his Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, in which he states, "Thus those who are yet Catechumens, because they make this their object, (namely, how they may defer baptism to the last) give themselves no concern about leading an upright life."
They do point out that Fr. Rulleau made the same omissions in claiming such a passage as an example of the "opposite side," though it isn't clear whether Fr. Rulleau intended to show a misquote as an example of the only means for providing supposed arguments for that "opposite side," of if he may have himself only quoted the portions of it he saw somewhere else and simply copied that. All right, so maybe I cannot blame the Dimonds for their particular selection of what parts of this quote are to be provided. Obviously they just copied it out of Fr. Rulleau's book without even bothering to track down a more complete copy of it (I simply found the more complete version of it that I used on the internet).
Regarding the third installment, when I originally posted this installment, I made reference to the Council of Sens, stating that it had endorsed St. Bernard's condemnation of Abélard's error against BOD. However, as I penned those words I had not as yet tracked down my copy of the Council of Sens and so could only mention that in a general way. The Dimonds posted the following response in the course of their e-mail exchanges:
The Council of Sens, during the reign of Pope Innocent II, condemned some 19 errors of Peter Abelard. Peter Abelard was also one who, at the time, did not believe in baptism of desire. His belief against baptism of desire was well known. Among the 19 errors of Abelard which were condemned by the Council of Sens, guess what's not included? Yes, you guessed it. There is no mention of his belief against baptism of desire. So the Council of Sens (Denz. 368) condemned an assortment of Abelard's false teachings. It had every opportunity to condemn his denial of baptism of desire - which, as many acknowledge, was no secret - but it didn't. What do you call that? That's called the intervention of the Holy Ghost, sorting out the bad from the good. It didn't condemn his denial of baptism of desire because he was correct on that point. He was following the majority view of the fathers on that matter. And just in case one of the deluded baptism of desire heretics attempts, in grotesque fashion, to read something against baptism of desire into one of the propositions of Abelard which were condemned, note that there is nothing at all in the 19 condemned propositions which even mentions the word "baptism," baptism of desire or anything of the sort. So it would just be another lie on their part.
Subsequent to that I did finally track it down (it's in Denzinger), and managed to identify the particular error of Abélard relevant to this discussion within the list of the 19 condemned propositions. The Dimonds were correct about one thing; the relevant condemned proposition does not use the word "baptism." The proposition reads, "That even chaste fear is excluded from future life." This parallels with surprising precision the condemned proposition of Baius ("Michael Du Bay") cited by the theologians quoted in Part A of Installment 12. It is the one. It has been added to Installment three, and no comments have been seen as to that addition.
Regarding the fourth installment, they took umbrage with my first summary statement (of twelve, made point-by-point in response to twelve summary statements on pages 275-276 of the Treatise), which reads, "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." The first part of their response reads as thus:
False? Just so we're clear, this person asserts that our point #1 - our first point in a summation of the points against baptism of desire - that the Catholic Church teaches that the SACRAMENT of Baptism is necessary for salvation, is false!!! According to him, it's FALSE to say that the Church teaches that the Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for salvation. But the Council of Trent specifically anathematized anyone who says that the Sacrament of Baptism is not necessary for salvation!
But as I pointed out, that Canon of the Council of Trent does NOT say "Sacrament of Baptism" (or "Baptism [the Sacrament]" as repeatedly given in the Treatise), but simply "Baptism," without any qualifiers, and as I have shown, not a single approved theologian or Doctor of the Church, in quoting this Canon of Trent, has ever interpreted it as meaning that the Sacrament of Baptism is absolutely necessary (in all cases), but only Baptism, which comes in three forms, one being the Sacrament with water, and the other two being non-sacramental. As a last ditch attempt to save that addition of "[the Sacrament]" to their version of that Canon of Trent, which does such grave violence to the text, they go on to say:
When reading this canon remember: 1) This is a canon on THE SACRAMENT. Thus, it's infallibly condemning those who say that THE SACRAMENT is not necessary for salvation (just what the baptism of desire heretic cited above says)
Granted, the section of Trent within which the Council included this Canon was speaking about the Sacrament of Baptism. But there is no way to get from that fact any claim that any instance of the word "Baptism" contained therein must necessarily refer to the Sacrament exclusively, except where the text itself clearly indicates such by context, by (for example) simply saying the "Sacrament of Baptism," so that such words would not have to be added. It is a given that when speaking about any doctrine, such as the Sacrament of Baptism here, not only the specific and narrowly-defined doctrine itself would be spoken of, but also any number of relation doctrines, as suits the need of the time. In a parallel case, the section on the Sacrament of Penance also includes Canons and statements regarding how forgiveness and the Grace of the Sacrament can still be obtained when the Sacrament itself is unobtainable.
Regarding the sixth installment, they claimed (as I denied) that pagans, all physically cut off from the Church through no fault of their own, but if one of more be enlightened by some angelic visitation or such like, could nevertheless validly baptize each other. But there is no evidence whatsoever that any such thing has ever been received by any such pagan, and good reasons to believe that it wouldn't be. Such specific details, such as the need for Baptism (and how to do the Sacrament with water), or even the Name of the Savior, do not get mystically revealed to anyone. Even the Old Testament Patriarchs and Prophets never knew in life the Name of the Savior which was to come. These sorts of things are always left to the missionaries to proclaim.
It is true of course that a pagan could validly baptize in almost such circumstances. Let's see just how that might look. A catechumen suddenly finds himself stranded among pagans, geographically cut off from the Church for what might likely have to be an extended time. But he has been learning the Gospel and knows enough to be able to explain to some pagan how to do it, and enough of what it means so as to be said by that pagan with meaning (why the baptizer has to have the use of reason; he needs to know what he is talking about), so that then the pagan could validly baptize him, and similarly he could validly baptize any pagan he should happen to convert. Their response however goes on to say the following:
Thus, if a pagan were enlightened by a special revelation - as the doctors of the Church explain would happen, if a pagan were of good will and couldn't find a missionary - he could just get his friend or neighbor to pour the water on his head and say the correct words.
In all my reading of the Church Doctors on this subject, I have never come across any of them speculating about the possibility of pagans, all physically separated from the Church, baptizing each other. St. Thomas does speculate about the possibility of some angelic visitation by which the Trinity or the Incarnation might be somehow revealed to said pagans, and their supernatural belief in these revelations (and charity, and contrition for their sins) being enough to save them, but he never mentions the idea of them figuring out from this revelation about baptizing each other or starting up a church.
One other statement made in these responses by the Dimonds bears repeating: "We've also come across some interesting new counter-arguments and quotes which are relevant to defending the dogma against these salvation heretics. We will be covering them in due time." I await this coverage. Nothing has been seen yet.
Finally, there have been two relevant pieces of private correspondence that bear some discussion. Through a true mistake on my part, when I initially began posting these installments, I had mistakenly attributed the Treatise to Michael Dimond. I was at that time reading as much such similar materials at that time and I remember realizing that a certain Michael Malone might also require some more lengthy response than many of the others will require, and I knew of one of the Dimonds being named Michael, so I somehow failed to notice that the author of the Treatise was actually the other one. In one genuine show of courtesy they notified me of that fact, for which I promptly thanked them, and then made the corrections. I say this, so now there is no point to anyone digging up some early posted copy of my installments and saying, "See, he thought it was Michael Dimond who wrote the Treatise, not Peter!"
The other private correspondence between us pertains to his challenge to a debate (over the telephone, presumably to be recorded by each of us, as a control), and my response to that challenge. Before my editor made his own response to this challenge in my behalf (he requests it to be face to face, and with at least some clerics on each side as support), I had already made my own response. The Dimonds claim that I refused, as if I were a coward (they actually use the word) unwilling to face them. The actual content of my response was somewhat different, but I prefer to keep that content private between myself and the Dimonds until the final installment of the second major round of these installments can be posted. And with that, I have now addressed their entire response to my series on Scholastic Dishonesty.
In January (2009), four new "audio debates" were added to the Dimond's site. As I would expect, none of the callers were familiar with my work, such that they would have been able to see where they were being led down the primrose path to error. Out of all this there did emerge a couple small points. More than one of them was deceived by the claim that since God commands water Baptism, and the Church teaches that God does not command the impossible, therefore water baptism must (somehow, and despite all that we know to the contrary) always be possible. But the solution is obvious here. The commands of God that cannot be impossible are those based on the Ten Commandments. Jesus summed these ten into two, namely to love God with all of one's heart, mind, soul, and strength, and the other to love one's neighbor as oneself. Clearly, there is no circumstance that could ever render these two commandments, nor the Ten, or many more further derived from them, impossible to carry out. But the "command" to be baptized does not come under this heading at all. For this reason the Church has always made provision for the case where the Sacrament of Baptism is "not possible." The other observation made, when the callers made what little inroads against the Dimond's error they could, it was only in that when the Doctors failed to support Peter Dimond's ideas, then he would turn to the popes, and when the popes failed to support his ideas, he then turned to the ancient Fathers, and when they didn't he turned yet elsewhere and so on. One has to wonder from all this just where any Catholic of any time or place is supposed to have learned of a "BOB-and-BOD-less" faith acceptable to the Feeney's and Dimond's of the world!
Given all of this, can BOB and BOD (explicit and implicit) be "errors," nevertheless, on the part of the whole Church? Only in the same sense that all of Christianity itself could be some ghastly and horrible "error." In the Treatise (pages 81 and 153), the following "genesis" is given as to why and how BOB and BOD, if they were wrong, could nevertheless be so widely taught by the Church:
As stated already, the theory comes from the erroneous teaching of St. Augustine and an ambiguous passage in St. Ambrose in the 4th century. But due to St. Augustine's tremendous stature as a theologian, many in the middle ages adopted his fallible opinion on baptism of desire despite the fact that it was contrary to the overwhelming belief in the early Church. And when the illustrious St. Bernard and St. Thomas Aquinas made baptism of desire their own position based on passages in St. Augustine and the ambiguous one in St. Ambrose, this caused hosts of theologians in the middle ages and down to our day to subsequently adopt baptism of desire out of deference to their great learning (particularly St. Thomas's).
Now, we know that St. Alphonsus Ligouri is a saint in Heaven because the Church has told us this - in fact, he is my favorite spiritual writer; but here St. Alphonsus was contradicting the solemn teaching of the Magisterium: that the Sacrament of Baptism is the only remedy for infants. We must conclude, therefore, that St. Alphonsus was not obstinate in his teaching on baptism of blood for infants; that is, he was not aware that his opinion contradicted the teaching of the Church, especially the teaching of the Council of Florence.
The holy Doctor of the Church Saint Alphonsus Ligouri called his teachings on BOB and BOD "de Fide." What could be more "obstinate" than that? I claim the right to make the same "mistake" as St. Alphonse Ligouri, St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, and St. Bernard. They are not condemned as heretics by the Church for having taught BOB and BOD in no uncertain terms, so how can I be called a heretic for teaching what they (and virtually all else) have taught with the most imperative binding force each could muster?
So now, let us summarize the key points from this series. Each of these points is given at some length and depth within the above and previous installments of this series, so if any one of them seems itself incomplete as written, I refer the reader back to those previous installments, as needed. This is what we have, thus far:
1) Scholastic dishonesty, by which our sources of understanding what God has to say to us are distorted and applied to someone's private agenda, is truly a most diabolical thing, something which has been the cause of wars and confusion down through the ages.
2) There is a world of difference between "do not," as in those who do not (by their own culpable choice) get baptized cannot be saved, which is true, versus "have not," as in those who have not (through no fault of their own) been baptized cannot be saved, which is false.
3) Not a single bishop all through time, not even any fallen, schismatic, or heretical one, let alone any in good standing, has ever made the denial of BOB and BOD into a doctrine.
4) The rejection of exceptions of some general principle, without at least review of those exceptions, can never be correct.
5) The only "saved souls" that exist are all contained in either the Church Suffering (Purgatory) or the Church Triumphant (Heaven); no one else can presently describe themselves as being "saved."
6) The only earthly means to salvation of any and all as who finally get saved is the Church; though the means by which the Church saves this or that particular soul can be subject to various circumstances and conditions.
7) The necessity to "abide" or "remain" within the Church differs in nature from the necessity to "join" the Church, in that those who fail to remain in the Church cannot be saved, but those who fail to join completely before death can possibly be recipients of God's mercy.
8) Water baptism itself is specifically necessary only for entrance into the earthly portion of God's Kingdom, namely the Church Militant.
9) None of the most famous papal quotes used by those who deny BOB and/or BOD even mention either BOB and/or BOD.
10) Peter Abélard's denial of BOD was condemned by the Council of Sens, which was endorsed by Pope Innocent II.
11) St. Bernard of Clairvaux (Doctor of the Church) expounded at length on BOD in his refutation of Peter Abélard.
12) Though the Protestants misappropriated St. Bernard's phrase "faith alone," the phrase itself, as used by the sainted Doctor, has merit.
13) The One Baptism comes in three forms, not that there would be "three" different "baptisms," even as the One God is three Persons, not "three" different "gods."
14) The Sacrament of water Baptism is a symbolic death, a death to the world, the flesh, and the devil, and entry into the earthly part of the Kingdom of God, namely the Church Militant; BOB and BOD only come fully as such at one's real and literal death, with the necessary conditions met, to be similarly followed with an entry into the Kingdom of God, either Suffering or Triumphant.
15) Fr. Feeney's attempt to ridicule Baptism of Desire by mentioning Eucharist of Desire, Matrimony of Desire, and Holy Orders of Desire (conveniently not mentioning Penance of Desire) falls flat on its face in view of the fact that they each also exist, namely as when one makes a Spiritual Communion, the bond of love that empowers a couple to jump through all the hoops it takes to get married (though itself conferring no right to begin a family as yet), and the interior priesthood of all believers as spoken of in Sacred Scripture, which is distinct from the exterior priesthood reserved exclusively for Holy Orders (to say nothing of Confirmation of Desire which was exhibited by Cornelius even before being baptized let alone confirmed).
16) If John 3:5 were to mean that all must be baptized in water to be saved, then John 6:53 would similarly mean that all Christians must receive Holy Communion at least once to be saved.
17) While the necessity for water Baptism is based on John 3:5, the exception made for BOB is based on Matthew 16:25, and the exception made for BOD is based on Matthew 10:32.
18) St. Augustine mentions that there were saints who preferred to die unbaptized rather than deny Christ, even though by denying Christ they might have lived so as to have a chance to be baptized in water.
19) Necessity of Precept is one thing, but Means another, but even the Necessity of Means admits either "absolute means" which admits no substitute, or "relative means" which does admit substitutes; water baptism is necessary of relative means, thus admitting the substitutes of either BOB or BOD.
20) Any number of Fathers quoted in the Treatise have merely expounded upon the value of baptism without in any way suggesting that water baptism was always necessary for every particular case with no exceptions.
21) Forgiveness of sins only belongs to the baptized in the sense that only the water baptized can receive the Sacrament of Penance.
22) Infants do however need to be baptized in water, since BOD cannot apply to them and BOB is not known to have applied to any but the Holy Innocents; the necessity for this (with the reference to infants carefully removed) has provided a rich source of "useful quotes" with which to falsely denounce BOB and BOD in the Treatise and elsewhere.
23) What have those who deny BOB and/or BOD done to try to prevent the fall of nations into Islam or Communism, or to try to evangelize the world?
24) All Scripture, not just John 3:5, and therefore also John 6:53, Matthew 16:25, Matthew 10:32, and even Hebrews 11:6 and Wisdom 4:7, must be taken "as written," that is, taken seriously, and in the sense intended by the writer, and as constantly understood by the Church.
25) A heresy bases itself on taking one Scripture and exalting it over everything else, even other Scriptures, for example in this case insisting upon accepting John 3:5 even to the exclusion of Matthew 16:25 and Matthew 10:32.
26) The Council of Trent in Session 6 Chapter 7 expounds at length how that the catechumen exhibits Divine Faith, Hope, Charity, and Contrition for his sins, and associates justification with the voluntary reception of the Grace and gift of God.
27) The Council of Trent in Session 6 Canon 9 mentions Faith and a disposition to cooperate with grace, not Faith and being baptized in water, as being what is necessary.
28) The Council of Trent in Session 7 Canon 4 mentions the desire for the sacraments, and in this case (unlike the case with Session 6 Chapter 4) the Treatise allows the normal translation of the Latin to stand.
29) No theologian (in fact no one at all, until Fr. Feeney came along) ever denied that Trent affirms BOB and BOD, but there are any number support that Trent affirms BOB and BOD.
30) The Catechism of the Council of Trent, a document at least as infallible as any papal doctrinal encyclical, mentions that the baptism of adults can be deferred due to their intention to be baptized (BOD, or BOB should they be martyred in the interim), whereas the baptism of infants ought not be delayed since such a desire or intention does not apply to them.
31) The Council of Trent in Session 14 Chapter 2 states that Penance is as necessary as Baptism, and we do know how the desire for Penance can substitute for the action when the Sacrament itself is unavailable, so likewise the necessity for Baptism must admit the same exception.
32) Those who deny BOB and/or BOD, in finding the Church documents going too much against them, must in their final resort claim that God is using the Church to mislead and deceive people, as if God were the author of heresy.
33) Popes Pius IX and Pius XII each in turn expounded at length on the topic of invincible ignorance.
34) Pope Pius IX was not in any way the least bit trying to accommodate or "satisfy" the apostates, liberals, and other heretics.
35) Pope Pius XII's exposition of invincible ignorance was not limited to some mere allocution nor merely addressed to the bishops of a particular nation, but written to the whole Church, and the Treatise actually had to sequester this fact somewhere else, though this is a principle objection to the denial of BOB and BOD.
36) The expression "find salvation" as with regards to doing thus in a false religion is ambiguous, for in the sense of obtaining it from the false religion it is categorically false, but in the sense of a person's finding the Truth not from their false religion but from somewhere else, but while being themselves still "in a false religion" as members of it, it is possible.
37) Pope Innocent II not only endorsed the Council of Sens, but also ruled on the case of the unbaptized (pagan) priest, pointing the Church to the writings of Saints Ambrose and Augustine whose writings on BOB and BOD were among the most well-known and widely accepted.
38) Pope Innocent III ruled on the case of the unbaptized (because he attempted to baptize himself, something intrinsically invalid) Jew, that he would also have been saved through his right intention (BOD).
39) The Council of Trent in Session 7 Canon 5 states only that "Baptism," and not "the Sacrament of Baptism" is absolutely necessary for salvation; the Treatise deliberately inserts the phrase "[the Sacrament]" in 13 of the 17 times it quotes this Canon (to say nothing of at least one other occasion in which the phrase was added without brackets to a paraphrase of the Trenten Canon) so as to mislead the reader.
40) Private Interpretation (in the sense condemned by the Church) is about latching on to some understanding of a text that is out of step with how the Church understands it.
41) The Treatise calls Fr. Rulleau a heretic for stating that "it is an error to attribute infallibility to every document of the Magisterium," and yet the Treatise has declared many magisterial documents "fallible" simply because they show the Church's teaching to be plainly in favor of BOB and BOD.
42) The methodology used by those who wish to deny BOB and/or BOD is gravely defective in that it attempts to womp one revealed Truth with some other revealed Truth instead of seeking a comprehensive understanding of what both revealed Truths, balanced against each other, were actually meant to convey.
43) St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelic Doctor of the Church) expounded at length on BOB and BOD within his Summa, and these things are woven into the whole of his teaching.
44) St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelic Doctor of the Church) even directly addressed and refuted the very sort of claims that would later be put forth by Fr. Feeney and his followers, including the Dimond brothers.
45) BOB and BOD have been at the very least acknowledged and taught by at least seven Doctors of the Church, Saints Ambrose, Augustine, Bernard of Clairvaux, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, Robert Bellarmine, and Alphonse de Liguori.
46) St. Robert Bellarmine (Doctor of the Church) expounded at length on BOB and BOD.
47) St. Alphonse de Liguori (Doctor of the Church) expounded at length on BOB and BOD, even calling them de fide.
48) While any individual Doctor of the Church might err on some particular topic, it is inconceivable that very many would all make the same mistake.
49) The Pope is not an oracle bringing in some new revelation, but one who can only decide infallibly between known and established rival schools of theological thought on an issue, so for Popes Eugene IV, Boniface VIII, and Innocent III to have meant in their dogmatic declarations a denial of either BOB or BOD, there would have to have been some established school of theological thought against these teachings known to them, and in whose favor they would have been thus ruling, but no such school of thought has ever been found or identified, only the single dissident voice of Peter Abélard which had been long since put down.
50) No Doctors of the Church have been found who deny BOB or BOD, while the seven listed above had all affirmed BOB and BOD.
51) The Church's condemnation of a Michel du Bay teaching refutes a significant theological claim that would be necessary to any theological system of thought that could include a denial of BOB and/or BOD.
52) No man, no priest or bishop nor any one seeking baptism, would happen to have any inside insight into God's knowledge of when each persons time to die will come, so as to baptize or seek baptism in advance of that point, so it is false to claim that God would have arranged for them to be "secretly" baptized in His Providence before their end.
53) To simplify "No Salvation Outside the Church" by lopping off BOB and BOD is no less heretical than to simplify the Godhead by denying the Deity of Christ or the Personhood of the Holy Spirit.
54) The 1917 Code of Canon Law reflects a long-held Church-side belief in BOB and BOD, with regards the burial of unbaptized catechumens in sacred ground (even if "without great ceremony" as some ancient sources mention).
55) Long established Church custom has always seen to it that infants are baptized as soon as reasonably possible, but baptism of adults can be deferred to the next Easter, or Pentecost, or other such few great occasions of the year; this distinction seems to go back to the very beginning.
56) The Church has never "canonized" a person for Hell (not even Judas Iscariot!), and yet if BOB or BOD were to be denied, then yea verily everyone not baptized would have to be identifiable as damned individuals.
57) BOB and BOD have been taught in catechisms for a lot longer than merely the 1800's and 1900's (however much those who deny them would claim that only such recent catechisms would teach them), and yet in all that time there occur no papal denunciations of BOB and BOD being taught in any catechism.
58) The popes would have seen these catechisms (and how they teach BOB and BOD) too, at least when they themselves were young children being taught from them, even if they never had any opportunity to review any of them during their papal reigns.
59) Every unbaptized martyr (celebrated on their day in the liturgical calendar on their appointed day) is an officially recognized and canonized instance of BOB.
60) Attempts to describe some chance meeting with water as though it were the Sacrament of Baptism were refuted by Tertullian.
61) Tertullian (Father of the Church) expounded at length on BOB.
62) If all these Fathers and Doctors and Saints and Theologians and Popes and Councils and Sacred Scripture have all gone astray in teaching BOB and BOD, how is it that they have all all "gone astray" into the "one and same”?
63) Those who deny BOB and/or BOD (such as in the Treatise) cannot come to a consistent position as to whether there is a clear distinction between the catechumen and the baptized or not, for in calling one damned and the other saved they make a sharp distinction, but in recognized martyrdoms of each, the word "catechumen" can even be supposedly used to refer to one baptized, as if there were no clear distinction.
64) Newly baptized persons still learning the basics of the Faith are properly called "neophytes," as distinct from "catechumens," and commemorated as such if martyred at that point.
65) A Church that can believe a saint to be a saint, while also believing that saint to have never been baptized in water (even if through some mistake where the person was secretly baptized and the Church simply is not aware of that), is therefore a Church that believes that there can be salvation to some who have never been baptized in water.
66) St. Cyprian (Father of the Church) expounds at length on BOB.
67) St. Augustine (Father and Doctor of the Church) expounds at length on BOB and BOD.
68) The Ancient Fathers (and Sacred Scripture) spoke often of God's mercy to the ignorant pagan nations.
69) The God of the New Testament cannot be less compassionate than the God of the Old Testament.
70) Tertullian believed it possible that the Apostles would be saved through their Faith even in the unlikely event they were not baptized in water.
71) St. Cyprian, though believing all heretical baptism to be invalid, did believe that those welcomed into the Church without being rebaptized could still be saved, and also noted the current Church practice that many being baptized by heretics were being subsequently received into the Church without being rebaptized.
72) Bishop Ursinius (Father of the Church) expounded on BOD at length.
73) St. Augustine (Father and Doctor of the Church) refuted St. Cyprian's claim that all heretical baptism were invalid, but did not refute the fact that God's mercy could still extend to one not validly baptized if through no fault of their own.
74) St. Augustine's (Father and Doctor of the Church) change(s) of opinion regarding the Thief on the Cross do not affect BOB or BOD themselves but only that Thief's relation to them.
75) St. Augustine (Father and Doctor of the Church) never referred back to his "On Baptism" piece in any manner that implied a repudiation or correction of its contents.
76) It is only the case of infants for whom the Thief on the Cross cannot serve as a "rule about baptism."
77) St. John Chrysostom (Father and Doctor of the Church) criticizes the abuse of the Church's teaching of BOD, thus showing evidence that it was current in his time, but in no way repudiates the doctrine itself, only the abuse of it.
78) St. Gregory Nazianzen (Father and Doctor of the Church) criticizes the abuse of the Church's teaching of BOD, thus showing evidence that it was current in his time, but in no way repudiates the doctrine itself, only the abuse of it.
79) St. John Chrysostom (Father and Doctor of the Church) also mentions how grace and water baptism can occur at different points in a person's life.
80) There can be found many long quotes of the Fathers, the Doctors, the Popes, the Councils, the Catechisms, and the Theologians of the Church within which BOB and/or BOD are expounded upon at length, but there is no equivalent to this against BOB or BOD from any of the above categories.
81) Fr. Feeney himself once openly and unabashedly taught Baptism of Desire quite explicitly in his book, Fish on Friday.
82) The earliest articles on salvation published by the Saint Benedict's Center all acknowledged BOB and BOD, even while subtly planting doubts about them.
83) "Reply to a Liberal" admits that of the Fathers and Doctors, "most of them agree" that BOB was possible, unlike later claims typically made.
84) Fr. Feeney feigned ignorance as to the reason for his summons to Rome, thus showing himself to be a man of no integrity.
85) Fr. Feeney refused to transfer to Holy Cross when ordered, and to go to Rome when summoned, because he had to know that his heretical synergy would be lost if he transferred away from the St. Benedict's Center, and because his claims about what "no salvation outside the Church" means would not stand up to any scholastic examination.
86) Fr. Feeney had refused to report other serious conditions present at Boston College until he was accused himself, thus depriving his accusations of the just weight they might otherwise have had.
87) Saint Benedict's Center was willing to claim to a canonical status they did not enjoy, and provided Fr. Keleher with quite a bureaucratic runaround in concealing the fact from him that they possessed no such founding.
88) No members of the Saint Benedict's Center are known to have actually visited the local theologians for instruction on the topic, so as to try to understand what the qualified experts in the area would have to say about their prooftexts.
89) There were many reasons, some legitimate, others not, for the Archdiocese and Boston College to have refused to meet or discuss with members of the Saint Benedict's Center on doctrinal grounds.
90) The problem posed by the existence of the Saint Benedict's Center was one long monitored by the Holy Office, and their reaction no mere knee jerk.
91) Suprema haec Sacra was not merely some "private letter" "from two heretical cardinals to one apostate archbishop" but an official act of the Holy Office, speaking on behalf of that body and with its full authority.
92) The Ordinary Magisterium, and not merely or only the Extraordinary Magisterium, which teaches BOB and BOD, must also be believed as binding on the conscience of Faith.
93) Doctrines of the Church are to be understood in the sense that the Church understands, and has always understood, them; there is no evidence to suggest the Church has ever understood "no salvation outside the Church" to mean that there is no BOB or BOD.
94) The denial of established doctrines coupled with the unjustified disobedience to legitimate authority (and which was commanding nothing sinful), thus put Fr. Feeney and his Saint Benedict's Center themselves "outside the Church" where there is no salvation.
95) Fr. Feeney insisted that Rome follow its procedures to the utter letter of the law, in requesting canonical excuses not to go to Rome (and not to transfer to Holy Cross), but himself in no way felt bound to follow their rules himself, thus showing him to be one who sees himself as being above the law.
96) Suprema haec Sacra itself invokes the formula of "Rome has spoken" with reference to itself and its contents
97) Decisions of the Holy Office, though ratified by the Pope, are not ever actually "signed" by him, so the lack of the Pope's signature means nothing.
98) Suprema haec Sacra was produced in accord with standard Holy Office procedure, part of which is that the Pope must review and approve it, so Pope Pius XII actually did see it and ratify its contents.
99) If Suprema haec Sacra were some sort of forgery or not prepared in accordance with the canonical norms for declarations of the Holy Office, why is it that no declaration has ever been made from Rome to disavow it?
100) It is a fact that the vast majority of declarations of the Holy Office are not added to the Acts of the Apostolic See since most concern only a few or one individual, and need not normally set any precedent, so the fact that Suprema haec Sacra is not included in the Acts of the Apostolic See is in no way any disavowal of the document.
101) Fr. Feeney's Excommunication decree was, however, published in the Acts of the Apostolic See.
102) If one's not being baptized in water, even through no fault of their own, were to bar one from the Beatific Vision, then so would one's excommunication from the Church, even if through no fault of their own, i. e. unjustly.
103) Fr. Feeney did have a point that salvation was all too easily being allowed by the liberals and being abused, but in that manner so did Martin Luther have a valid point about how the sale of indulgences was being abused.
104) The Holy Office decision against Fr. Feeney and the Saint Benedict's Center is in no way parallel to its decision against Galileo since the decision against Galileo was not based on any Fathers, Doctors, Theologians, Popes, Councils, Sacred Scripture, nor anything else, whereas against Feeney and company it was amply so based, and also because in Galileo's case they were attempting to rule on a question outside the domain of Faith and Morals.
105) St. Robert Bellarmine's (Doctor of the Church) acceptance of the Holy Office's declaration in his day puts him in a position not shared with any other Church Doctors, even as other Doctors of the Church have been known to err singly on some one topic and which the other doctors do not agree.
106) Catholic theologians, teaching in the name of the Church, have all long taught the same doctrines about BOB and BOD, explicit and implicit, often at great length, and defending rather than merely stating them.
107) Among the Catholic theologians, there is a startlingly precise alignment as to even the details of the doctrines, which would be impossible if they were merely spouting off their private theological speculations.
108) Not just the Baltimore Catechism, or even some small group of catechisms, but practically all catechisms ever published and approved for use by the Church teach BOB and BOD, except where addressed at very young and immature minds.
109) The commandments of God that cannot be impossible are the Ten Commandments, not the sacramental requirement of water Baptism, which the Church has repeatedly mentioned to be potentially impossible in certain circumstances.
110) Where and when is any Catholic supposed to have been educated into any supposed "Catholicism" which lacks BOB and BOD, given the manner in which these teachings have been shown to have permeated the Catechisms, the Theologians, the Doctors, the Popes, the Councils, the ancient Fathers, Canon Law, established Church practices, and even Sacred Scripture?
111) The denial of BOB and BOD is a monstrous teaching, making God out to be evil and unjust, something that anyone with an active conscience should be even instinctively suspicious of.
112) How can I be a heretic if I simply happen to agree with such Scriptures as "He who loses his life for My sake shall find it," and such Ancient Fathers as Tertullian, Cyprian, Ursinius, Origen, and such Doctors as Saints Ambrose, Augustine, Nazianzen, Chrysostom, Bernard, Thomas, Bonaventure, Bellarmine, Liguori, and such Popes as Innocent II, Innocent III, Pius IX, Pius XII, and the Council of Trent, and the official Catechisms, and all the other most qualified Roman theologians? If they can all be wrong about BOB and BOD then I therefore can justly claim the right to make the same mistake as they and still expect to be rewarded for it in Heaven!
Going back to the very first of these 112 points, the distortion of the Scriptural, theological, canonical, historical, doctrinal, and scholastic points upon which we base our understanding of what God expects us to believe and to do, I have also gone on to show that some 30 quotes in the Treatise (and in some other articles and books thus far reviewed or sampled) have been mutilated, to say nothing of the quotes given correctly, but in a context or with a "spin" put on them as to distort their true meaning and purpose. These are the actual misquotations that I have identified:
1) St. John Chrysostom's quote regarding the damnation of catechumens (concealing that only those who needlessly procrastinate their baptism, thus showing contempt for the Sacrament, are thus damned).
2) St. Bernard of Clairvaux's quote regarding "whether in error or in truth" (made to seem as if he was not as certain as the text following showed him to be regarding BOD).
3) St. Gregory Nazianzen's quote regarding those who are not baptized (concealing that some would be unbaptized through no fault of their own and hence not punished).
4) Fr. William A. Jurgens' quote regarding the universal opinion of the Fathers against BOB and BOD (concealing that it is only with the case of infants that BOB and BOD are rejected by the Fathers). Note: Br. Robert Mary's book, Fr. Feeney and the Truth About Salvation uses the same exact misquote.
5) Pope Benedict XI's quote regarding all saints in Heaven after their baptism (concealing that the phrase "after the holy baptism of Christ" refers to the historic period after the coming of the Law of Baptism (replacing the Law of Circumcision) and not to after their own individual baptisms in water).
6) Council of Trent's Session 7 Canon 5 regarding the necessity of Baptism (misleading by adding words to insert the idea that it is the Sacrament of Baptism instead of merely Baptism itself (of whichever of its three forms) being necessary for salvation).
7) Catechism of the Council of Trent's Introductory quote regarding how the Catechism is not infallible (concealing that the Catechism is nevertheless on the level of a doctrinal Papal encyclical and also that the abridgement of the full teaching is why it would be anything less than fully infallible).
8) Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton's quote regarding a translation of Pope Pius XII's statement that those not baptized "cannot be sure" of their salvation (concealing that what Msgr. Fenton finds unsatisfactory about the translation is that even the baptized also cannot be certain of their salvation (due only to possible future sin), not that it is wrong to believe in an uncertain possibility of salvation for the unbaptized.
9) Fr. Michael Müller, C.SS.R's quote regarding invincible ignorance and how it cannot save a man (concealing that neither does such ignorance damn him either).
10) St. Thomas Aquinas' quote regarding "three baptisms" (concealing that it is only his objectors who introduce multiple "baptisms" to the discussion, and which he refutes).
11) St. Thomas Aquinas' quote regarding necessity being "without which something cannot be" (concealing that this is from an objection which he proceeds to refute directly).
12) Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton's quote regarding St. Robert Bellarmine's use of the phrase "soul of the Church" (concealing that Msgr. Fenton did not disagree with Bellarmine's teaching, but only his choice of words to describe it). Note: This particular misquote is contained, not in the Treatise itself, but in an associated article by Peter Dimond titled Can one be "inside" the Catholic Church without being a "member"?.
13) The Catholic Encyclopedia's quote regarding there being no sacrifices and prayers for deceased catechumens (concealing that the case of Emperor Valentinian, mourned by St. Ambrose, may have been an exception).
14) Venerable Bede's quote regarding St. Alban's guard regarding all the water St. Alban worked miracles with (concealing that Bede was quite emphatic that none of that miraculous water was used to baptize the guard).
15) St. Ambrose's quote regarding whether the unbaptized holy martyrs were crowned ("saved") (concealing the rhetorical nature of that sentence stating that IF Emperor Valentinian was not saved, then neither would be the unbaptized holy martyrs whom the Church has already long recognized as saved).
16) St. Ambrose's quote regarding "no one ascends" (concealing that even he acknowledged a likely "exemption from punishments" for those who failure is through no fault of their own).
17) St. Augustine's quote regarding being saved by water "in the ark" (concealing that he contrasts those who are faithful to their baptism to those who are not, and those who are faithful despite not being baptized to those who are not faithful, not those baptized in water versus those who are not). Note: This particular misquote is contained, not in the writings of Peter Dimond, but in an article by Richard Ibranyi titled The Final Position of St. Augustine on Baptism.
18) St. Augustine's treatise On Baptism regarding Baptism being "ministered invisibly" (concealing that by "invisibly" was meant "by God directly to the soul with no earthly evidence, not secretly baptized in water secretly and miraculously without the Church's knowledge). Note: This particular misquote is contained, not in the writings of Peter Dimond, but in an article by Richard Ibranyi titled The Final Position of St. Augustine on Baptism.
19) St. Augustine's treatise On Baptism is quoted several times by Richard Ibranyi as being his first and third "positions" on the question, chronologically, concealing that both come from his same treatise.
20) St. Augustine's treatise On Baptism regarding his "considering this over and over again" St. Cyprian's teaching (concealing that his reconsideration of St. Cyprian's teaching was not regarding whether BOB or BOD were true, but whether the Thief on the Cross was an example of one (as St. Cyprian taught) or of the other or both).
21) St. Augustine's treatise On the Soul and its Origin is quoted several times by Richard Ibranyi to suggest that St. Augustine may have thought that the Thief at the Cross might have been baptized by the water squirting from Christ's side, or else previously baptized in water, that the Thief cannot be used for making any "rule about baptism," or else that God's Providence would prevent one from dying until being baptized in water (concealing that St. Augustine thought some previous baptism (also very unlikely) to be nevertheless more likely than such a spray of water constituting a valid water Baptism, that no "rule about baptism" applies to any attempt to make "rules" about infants in allowing them a fate similar to that of the Thief, and that any talk of "Providence" regarding Baptism of water was only applied to the case of infants for whom water Baptism is indeed necessary).
22) Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton's quote regarding the Truth of BOD not being dependent upon Suprema haec Sacra being an "infallible document" (concealing that he believed it already infallibly taught in the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church, to which nothing, including Suprema haec Sacra could add any weight).
23) Pope Gregory XVI's quote regarding those who perish forever for not holding "the Catholic faith whole and inviolate" (concealing that this quote pertains to the actual and present members of the Church for whom such ignorance is not possible, nor to be permitted, not to anyone else).
24) Pope Clement VI's quote regarding those wayfarers outside the Church being finally saved (concealing that "finally saved" was part of what he was condemning about the doctrine of the Armenians who taught that all of the damned, even the Devil, would ultimately or "finally" be saved).
25) Pope Gregory XVI's quote regarding all outside the Church not being saved (misrepresenting the document as being on "no salvation outside the Church" when it is in fact "on mixed marriages," and concealing that this pertains to the circumstance of mixed marriages where ignorance is intrinsically impossible, and furthermore concealing a quote favorable to the schismatic East Orthodox whose practice in this mirrors that of the Church, as contrasted to that of the Protestants who act differently).
26) Dr. Ludwig Ott's quote regarding Baptism being absolutely necessary (concealing how he integrates that teaching with Baptism of Blood and Desire, though admitting he teaches them).
27) The Catechism Explained's quote regarding Baptism being absolutely necessary (concealing how it integrates that teaching with Baptism of Blood and Desire, though admitting it teaches them).
28) The Baltimore Catechism's quote regarding Baptism being absolutely necessary (concealing how it integrates that teaching with Baptism of Blood and Desire, though admitting it teaches them).
29) The Catechism of Pope Saint Pius X's quote regarding Baptism being absolutely necessary (concealing how it integrates that teaching with Baptism of Blood and Desire, though admitting it teaches them).
30) In their admission to having left out part of St. John Chrysostom's quote regarding the damnation of catechumens they admitted the omission, but in supplying some of the remainder they still omitted the most damning part, namely that which reads "How long do we tarry over the border, when we ought to reclaim our ancient country?
Given all of this, I believe I can safely conclude that BOB and BOD (explicit and implicit) are to be regarded as fully and infallibly confirmed by the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church. I really don't see how the contrary of that can be claimed without having to claim that the Church has taught error, and furthermore, done so practically throughout Her entire history. And this would have to be not merely the random noise of various mistakes of various ages, ever subject to subsequent correction and clarification, but one single persistent error taught from the beginning and sustained from that time until this, and with only the faintest and feeblest voices (Abélard, Feeney) arising only quite late to challenge teachings that stem clear back to the New Testament era, and having to resort to scholastic dishonesty to do it.
With this point I can finally put down my pen with regards to the Dimond brothers and their Treatise against the doctrines of the Church, as everything they have brought up I have addressed, in most cases directly, and in all remaining, at least indirectly, though of course it remains possible that other topics or events may arise requiring some mention of or quote from the Treatise. But of course that Treatise is not by any means the only denial of BOB and BOD on record, only (for the time being) one of the better known. I can thank Peter Dimond for having given me something to respond to in defending the truths of the Gospel against all attackers, even those who hang out their shingle as being faithful Catholics, but who use that claim as a cloak to conceal a heretical position. This description fits all of those, from Fr. Feeney himself onwards, who take similar positions, regardless of what minor variations may exist among them; there really is nothing unusual about the Dimonds. Somebody had to go first, and they just had the good fortune (?) of happening to be it.
However, while I can be grateful that responding to Peter Dimond's Treatise has enabled me to answer at least 80, more like 90 percent of all objections that could be raised against the Catholic doctrines of Baptism of Blood and Desire, the fact remains that they are but one of many who harbor similar errors. For the second major round of articles it shall be my duty to address the others, for some of them will bring up points or arguments that go unmentioned in the Treatise, and furthermore, each of the various groups have their own slant on their "doctrine," distinct from that given in Peter Dimond's Treatise, and also from each other. We have already seen this in the difference between Peter Dimond's and Fr. Feeney's explanation of the declaration in Trent regarding justification by the the laver of regeneration "or the desire thereof," and again in the difference between how Peter Dimond explains the Thief on the Cross from how Richard Ibranyi explains it, or even the differences between how their "doctrine" was subtly hinted at in the earlier works of those at St. Benedict's Center as distinct from the fully fleshed out version of it as initially published in Bread of Life.
There really is no room for any who deny BOB and/or BOD, explicit or implicit, to claim, "Well, Peter Dimond's particular take on our "doctrine" may have been discredited, but mine is not!" To any out there who may be thinking thus, my message to you is: You're next!
Griff L. Ruby