Press release 08.01.2018: The
necessity of water baptism for salvation
Can baptism of water (baptismus aquae /fluminis) be substituted by baptism of desire (baptismus flaminis / desiderii) or baptism of blood (baptismus sanguinis), or is the possibility of baptism of desire / baptism of blood heretical? The facts:
1. One of the most prominent authors of a catechism was Joseph Deharbe (1800 - 1871). His catechism was further edited after his death and remained standard in Germany until 1955. In the German-English edition of 1892 we read: »Baptism is the first and most necessary sacrament. [...] Because without baptism no one can be saved. [...] Baptism is given by pouring water on the head of the person to be baptized and saying at the same time the words: "I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." [...] When baptism by water cannot be had, it can be supplied by baptism of desire or baptism of blood.«
2. One of the most prominent teachers of canon law was Heribert Jone (1885 - 1967). In his "Moral Theology", edited by Urban Adelman (Westminster, Maryland, 1948, 341, No. 470), we read: "Baptism of water is necessary for the attainment of salvation as an indispensable means for reaching that end. Only in exceptional cases can it be substituted by the Baptism of desire or of blood. Baptism of blood consists in suffering death for Christ . [...] The ptisom of desire consists in an act of perfect contrtion or perfect olve, which acts somehow includ a desire for Baptism. - Neither the Baptism of desire nor of blood imprint an indelebible character. The obligation to be baptized by water still remains."
3. Already Thomas Aquinas (1225 - 1274) deals with the topic of baptism of water - blood - desire (Summa Theologica 3,66,11f) and refers to much older authors like Augustine.
4. The Council of Trent (Concilium Tridentinum, 1545 - 1563) explicitly teaches that justification is not possible without baptism or the desire for it (sine lavacro regenerationis aut eius voto; Denzinger-Schönmetzer (DS), Enchiridion Symbolorum, No. 1524).
5. In the breviary we read concerning the martyr Saint Emerentiana (23rd January): When she was still a catechumen, she was baptized by her own blood (adhuc catechumena proprio sanguine baptizata).
6. In Canon 1239 of the canon law (Codex Iuris Canonici / CIC, 1917) we read (translation Edward N. Peters): "§1. Those who die without baptism are not to be accorded ecclesiastical burial. § 2. Catechumens who through no fault of their own die without baptism are to be reckoned as baptized. § 3. All baptized are to be given ecclesiastical burial unless they are expressly deprived of same by law."
7. Theological standard works like Tanquerey, Pohle-Gierens, Diekamp-Jüssen, Premm etc. mention additional arguments for the teachings of baptism of desire and baptism of blood.
8. Despite of this, Leonard Feeney (1897 - 1978) publicly denied since 1947 the possibility of baptism of desire and baptism of blood. Therefore the Holy Office explained the correct meaning of the dogma of the necessity of the Church (outside of the Church there is no salvation - extra ecclesiam nulla salus) and also explicitly mentioned the Council of Trent. Then Feeney accused the Holy Office of heresy. In 1953 Feeney was excommunicated by Pope Pius XII and died outside of the Catholic Church.
Later, the dogma of the necessity of the Church was explicitly denied by "Vatican 2" (1962 - 1965): Non-Catholic societies were explicitly referred to as "means of salvation". Thus every member of the V2-group a heretic and therefore excluded from the church. Consequently, in V2-"theology" baptism of desire is called an "auxiliary construction" which is unnecessary after V2 (cf. Wolgang Beinert (Hg:), Lexikon der katholischen Dogmatik, Freiburg 1987, Art. Begierdetaufe).
In 1927 Feeney became an official member of the V2-group and remained it until his death because Feeney's rejection of the ecclesiastical teaching corresponds to the spirit of rebellion and lie. Although Feeney knew that his opponents were no heretics (because Feeney could not , he nevertheless defamed them as heretics. Also with that, Feeney was a forerunner of "Vatican 2": Although the V2-group knew that I am not a heretic, they nevertheless sentenced me in a public trial as a heretic. See the false expert report of Thomas Schüller in 2014.
Conclusion: Who nowadays refers to the teaching of baptism of desire and baptism of blood as heresy, effectively acts in the so-called "spirit of the Second Vatican Council".