Baptism of Blood and Baptism of Desire II


In addition to understanding BOB and BOD from the mind of the Church and the Popes, we must look to accepted theologians who present to us an ensemble of consistent teaching on the subject. The theologian Melchior Cano (1509-1560) indicates the ten sources or “locis theologicis” from which Catholic doctrine can be rendered in all things, including our present subject:

[1] Holy Scripture
[2] Oral Tradition
[3] The Authority of the Catholic Church
[4] The Authority of the Councils
[5] The Authority of the Roman Church
[6] The Authority of the Holy Fathers
[7] The Authority of the Scholastic Theologians
[8] The worthiness of natural reason (philosophy)
[9] The Authority of the philosophers
[10] The Authority of History

The Magisterium (teaching authority) which is responsible for the determination of Catholic doctrine, must keep all of these things in mind when teaching and binding consciences, something that the typical laymen and even priests and bishops alone cannot do. Let us consider some examples of Church fathers and theologians who, it is clear support BOB and BOD. From Tertullian in the year 200 AD, who is one of the earliest exponents of Catholic doctrine:

“In truth WE HAVE ALSO A SECOND LAVER (water baptism) which is the same as the first, namely that of
blood, concerning of which our Lord said, ‘And I have a baptism wherewith I am to be baptized.’ (Luke 12:50) after he had already been baptized; for He came by water and blood…this is the baptism WHICH TAKES THE PLACE OF THE LAVER which has not been received and restores what is lost.”

St. Ambrose, the great doctor of the Church speaking of Valentinian II, son of the Emperor Valentinian I who could not be given water baptism before he died, said this at his funeral:

“But I hear that you are distressed because he did not receive the sacrament of Baptism…Yet a short time ago he had this DESIRE that before he came to Italy, he should become baptized…Did he not have the grace which he desired…Undoubtedly because he asked for it, he received it… Notice that Ambrose refers to “the grace which he desired,”

indicating that the desire for baptism came from God and was effective unto salvation. More next week.