[This is an e-mail from a very blind false traditionalist. He defends heretical sedevacantist priests who believe in salvation outside the Church. He also says that he was, at least for a period of time, in a class taught by one of the false traditionalist bishops. Typical of such people, he at first denied that his priests even believe that souls can be saved in false religions. When we brought up some facts to refute that, he responded by arguing that members of false religions can be saved by ignorance. By making such an argument in response he was, of course, proving that our initial characterization of their position was accurate and that his denial of our statement was dishonest. That’s usually what happens with such heretics. They first lie by claiming that they don’t believe souls can be saved in false religions, only then to make arguments for the very position they claim not to accept!
He then ignored the problem of his (and their) heretical belief that Jews, Muslims, etc. can be saved. Instead, he decided to pose a question about catechumens. Notice that his question indicates a total disregard for what the Church teaches on the matter. He couldn’t care less about what the Church’s authority has taught on the issue. He’s only concerned with his (flawed) sense of justice. Sadly, he’s a person with no faith at all, no submission to the Church’s teaching, and no humility to find out and obey what God’s authority has revealed on the matter. These are the kind of faithless individuals who gravitate toward the heretical groups that believe in ‘baptism of desire.’ They are the kind of people who populate their communities, etc. They are not quality individuals. They are, rather, faithless and bad-willed. Moreover, the clear lack of effort he employed in composing his e-mail and searching out the facts on this issue are indicative of spiritual sloth.]
So are u saying someone who believes in God, who is a catechumen and has complete faith in God, believes and desires to be baptized but is about to die cannot be saved??? Swallow this on [sic] think about it. Anything can happen it won’t be the fault of the catchment [sic] if they die. The catechumen wanted to be baptized and had complete faith in God. Do you think God will just reject a catechumens [sic] baptism just like that? You cannot make that assumption where God just lets someone go to hell even though he wanted the faith. I hope and will pray you and your whole society will convert from heresy.
MHFM: With regard to unbaptized catechumens, the problem is that you don’t go by what the Church teaches. In fact, you aren’t at all concerned about the Church’s teaching, but only your own flawed and presumptuous ideas about things. You don’t have faith.
The fathers of the Church taught that catechumens cannot be saved without Baptism. Most importantly, that position is the infallible teaching of the Church (see below). If God allows a catechumen to die without Baptism, it’s because that person wasn’t worthy of it.
St. Ambrose, De mysteriis, AD 390-391: “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.’ [John3:5] 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.” (Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 2: 1330.)
St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in Io. 25, 3: “For the Catechumen is a stranger to the Faithful… One has Christ for his King; the other sin and the devil; the food of one is Christ, of the other, that meat which decays and perishes… Since then we have nothing in common, in what, tell me, shall we hold communion?… Let us then give diligence that we may become citizens of the city above… for if it should come to pass (which God forbid!) that through the sudden arrival of death we depart hence uninitiated, though we have ten thousand virtues, our portion will be none other than hell, and the venomous worm, and fire unquenchable, and bonds indissoluble.”
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.” (Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 3:1496.)
St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book 5, Chap. 4: “Of the number of the elect and predestined, even those who have led the very worst kind of life are led to repentance through the goodness of God… Not one of them perishes, regardless of his age at death; never be it said that a man predestined to life would be permitted to end his life without the sacrament of the Mediator [Baptism]. Because of these men, our Lord says: ‘This is the will of him who sent me, the Father, that I should lose nothing of what he has given me.’”
Also, there is no such thing as invincible ignorance that enables one to be saved without the Catholic faith. The heretical priest you defend believes Jews and Muslims can be saved by ‘ignorance.’ That is heresy. You need to put out more effort, for you have some serious problems and false views. In fact, you are in heresy and on the road to Hell. Unless you humble yourself and start to submit to Catholic teaching, you will end up in the fires of Hell. You should look at our material, pray 15 decades of the Rosary each day, and the Hail Mary frequently. Here’s the infallible teaching of the Church confirming the aforementioned position that no one, including unbaptized catechumens, can be saved without Baptism.
The Oldest Surviving Papal Decree Refutes ‘Baptism of Desire’ (article and video)
Pope St. Siricius, Decree to Himerius, A.D. 385:
LATIN: “Sicut sacram ergo paschalem reverentiam in nullo dicimus esse minuendam, ita infantibus qui necdum loqui poterunt per aetatem vel his, quibus in qualibet necessitate opus fuerit sacra unda baptismatis, omni volumus celeritate succurri, ne ad nostrarum perniciem tendat animarum, si negato desiderantibus fonte salutari exiens unusquisque de saeculo et regnum perdat et vitam.
“Therefore just as we say that the holy paschal observance is in no way to be diminished, we also say that to infants who will not yet be able to speak on account of their age or to those who in any necessity will need the holy stream of baptism, we wish succor to be brought with all celerity, lest it should tend to the perdition of our souls if the saving font be denied to those desiring it and every single one of them exiting this world lose both the Kingdom and life.”
Quicumque etiam discrimen naufragii, hostilitatis incursum, obsidionis ambiguum vel cuiuslibet corporalis aegritudinis desperationem inciderint, et sibi unico credulitatis auxilio poposcerint subveniri, eodem quo poscunt momento temporis expetitae regenerationis praemia consequantur. Hactenus erratum in hac parte sufficiat; nunc praefatam regulam omnes teneant sacerdotes, qui nolunt ab apostolicae petrae, super quam Christus universalem construxit Ecclesiam, soliditate divelli.”
Whoever should fall into the peril of shipwreck, the incursion of an enemy, the uncertainty of a siege or the desperation of any bodily sickness, and should beg to be relieved by the unique help of faith, let them obtain the rewards of the much sought-after regeneration in the same moment of time in which they beg for it. Let the previous error in this matter be enough; [but] now let all priests maintain the aforesaid rule, who do not want to be torn from the solidity of the apostolic rock upon which Christ constructed His universal Church.”