Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Proponents for the so-called Baptism of Desire (BoD) adduce a certain passage from the Council of Trent as by far their single most cogent argument in its favor. Certainly, if the Council of Trent had in fact taught BoD, then the case must be considered closed (“Roma dixit; res clausa est.” Rome has spoken; the matter is closed.) With that in mind, and fully prepared to accept whatever Holy Mother Church has taught on this subject, I determined to read the entire teaching of Trent, in Latin, from beginning to end, rather than simply being content with the single passage that’s invariably taken in isolation and out of context from the entire body of teaching. Translations, moreover, have this tendency to interpret as they go along, and, to a point, that almost cannot be helped. I asked the Holy Spirit to guide me in understanding the Church’s teaching and started reading. I actually began inclined in favor of a BoD for catechumens, but the more I read the more I realized that Trent wasn’t teaching BoD at all but something else altogether. I do not intend herein a comprehensive treatment regarding the notion of BoD but merely to explain why it’s clear that Trent did not teach BoD.