St Francis Q&A

Friday, July 20, 2007

Baptism by desire

1) Adoration, tonight, 7-8 pm, SAA Church. All are invited!!

2) “Fun in the SON”, tomorrow, 12-4 pm. All SAA parishioners and teens from other parishes are invited. Please pray that God will bless our event.
Anon wrote: “I've often wondered about what the Catholic church believes about people of other faiths going to heaven. There are so many really good people in the world who do amazing deeds (think back to so many heroic men who gave their lives on 9/11 to save others. Many good people are not Catholic and do not believe in Christ as their savior. What happens to those souls?”

The following comes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 1257-1260. These sections explain that there are three forms of Baptism: 1) by water (most common), 2) by blood (those who die for and with Christ, and 3) by desire. Baptism by desire refers to those who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ but can still get to Heaven because they truly desired to do the Will of God in their lives, as # 1260 explains.

1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation (see Jn 3:5). He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them (see Mt 28:19-20). Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament (see Mk 16:16). The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit." God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.

1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.

1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery" (Gaudium et Spes, #22). Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.


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