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Reflections: Sacraments Sctn. (Baptism Basics/Misc.)

Baptism

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Baptism Basics / Misc.

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Baptism Basics / Misc.

 

Category
Quotation

Baptism Basics / Misc.

Also See: Baptism (Topic Page)

"[B]y Baptism we are made flesh of the Crucified" (Pope St. Leo the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"The soul is regenerated in the sacred waters of baptism and thus becomes God's child." (St. Maximilian Kolbe)

"Can. 864 Every unbaptized person, and only such a person, can be baptized." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Baptism is the only sacrament that includes an exorcism." (Gabriele Amorth, Chief Exorcist/Rome)

"No one can begin a new life, unless he repent of the old." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"Can. 842 §1 A person who has not received baptism cannot validly be admitted to the other sacraments." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Baptism is the door of the sacraments" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Can. 773 The proper place for the administration of a solemn baptism is the baptistery of a church or public oratory." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 771 Private baptism, in urgent necessity, is to be administered at any time and in any place." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Whoever is not loosed by the waters of rebirth remains bound by the first chains of guilt." (Pope St. Gregory I the Great, Doctor of the Church, 6th century A.D.)

"[F]or that sacrament [of Baptism] is so sacred, that not even a murderer's administration contaminates it." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"[W]e are not baptized in the names of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, but in one name which we know to be God." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, c. 386 A.D.)

"If, therefore, there is any grace in the water, it is not from the nature of water but from the Spirit's presence there." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church, c. 375 A.D.)

"Every baptized person should consider that it is in the womb of the Church where he is transformed from a child of Adam to a child of God." (St. Vincent Ferrer)

"Can. 855 Parents, sponsors and parish priests are to take care that a name is not given which is foreign to Christian sentiment." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 870 An abandoned infant or a foundling is to be baptized unless diligent enquiry establishes that it has already been baptized." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"[No adult can] receive the effect of Baptism without the desire of Baptism" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Can. 762 § Out of the most ancient practice of the Church, no one should be solemnly baptized unless he has, insofar as possible, a sponsor." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"If any one saith, that no one is to be baptized save at that age at which Christ was baptized, or in the very article of death; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"If any one saith, that the baptism of John had the same force as the baptism of Christ; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"Can. 742 § 3 It is not permitted that the father or mother baptize their own child, except in danger of death, when there is no one else who can baptize." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 770 Infants should be baptized as soon as possible; pastors and preachers should frequently stress with the faithful the gravity of their obligation." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"If any one saith that one who has been baptized cannot, even if he would, lose grace, let him sin ever so much, unless he will not believe; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"To be born means to be in the arms of the demon rather than the arms of God. Baptism ransoms us from this slavery and makes us free, children of God." (Pope Paul VI, 1972 A.D.)

"Baptism is not the work of man but of Christ, and this sacrament is so holy that it would not be defiled, even if the minister were a murderer." (St. Isidore, Doctor of the Church)

"[T]here is a similitude well-adapted to the simple act: that since we are defiled by sins, as if by dirt, we are washed in water." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), c. 200 A.D.]

 Can. 871 Aborted foetuses, if they are alive, are to be baptized, in so far as this is possible." (1983 Code of Canon Law) [Note: If there is doubt whether an aborted fetus is alive, it should be baptized under condition (cf. 1917 Code of Canon Law, Can. 747)]

"Today your offenses are blotted out and your names are written down. The priest blots out in the water, and Christ writes down in heaven." (St. Ephraem the Syrian, Doctor of the Church)

"That they become in birth vessels of wrath is due to a penalty deserved; but that in a rebirth they become vessels of mercy is due to grace undeserved." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 418 A.D.)

"Can. 1153 The ministers of the exorcisms that occur in baptism and in consecrations or blessings are those who are the legitimate ministers of those sacred rites." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 856 Although baptism can be celebrated on any day, it is nevertheless recommended that it be celebrated ordinarily on Sunday or, if possible, at the Easter Vigil." (1983 Code of Canon Law) [Note, however, that infant baptism should not be delayed.]

"Can. 875 A person who administers baptism is to take care that, unless a sponsor is present, there is at least a witness who can attest to the conferral of the baptism." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 862 Except in a case of necessity, no one is permitted to confer baptism in the territory of another without the required permission, not even upon his own subjects." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1366 Parents, or those who take the place of parents, who hand over their children to be baptized or educated in a non-Catholic religion are to be punished with a censure or other just penalty." (1983 Code of Canon Law) 

"If any one saith, that the baptized are, by baptism itself, made debtors but to faith alone, and not to the observance of the whole law of Christ; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"Can. 743 The pastor shall take care that the faithful, especially obstetricians, doctors, and surgeons, are carefully taught the correct manner of baptizing in case of necessity." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"If any one saith, that in the Roman church, which is the mother and mistress of all churches, there is not the true doctrine concerning the sacrament of baptism; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"Can. 747 Care should be taken that aborted fetuses, at whatever time they are born, if they are certainly alive, be baptized absolutely; if there is doubt, under condition after [being born]." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"If any one saith, that by the sole remembrance and the faith of the baptism which has been received, all sins committed after baptism are either remitted, or made venial; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"[T]he sacrament is not perfected by the righteousness of the minister or of the recipient of Baptism, but by the power of God." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Can. 869 §1 If there is doubt as to whether a person was baptized or whether a baptism was conferred validly, and after serious enquiry this doubt persists, the person is to be baptized conditionally." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 866 Unless there is a grave reason to the contrary, immediately after receiving baptism an adult is to be confirmed, to participate in [the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass] and to receive Holy Communion." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"If any one saith, that baptism, which was true and rightly conferred, is to be repeated, for him who has denied the faith of Christ amongst infidels, when he is converted unto penitence; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"Can. 748 Deformed or abnormal fetuses should be baptized at least under condition; if there is a doubt as to whether there is one or several humans, one should be baptized absolutely, the others under condition." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"[T]he newly baptized Christian who is just born to the supernatural life could say, as Christ did on His first coming into the world, that he had received his body only for the one purpose of immolating it to God's glory." (Liturgical Year)

"I most especially admonish you, men and women, who have acquired godchildren through Baptism, to consider that you stood as sureties before God, for those whom you received at the sacred font." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"Can. 750 § 1 The infant of infidels, even over the objections of the parents, is licitly baptized when life is so threatened that it is prudently foreseen that death will result before the infant attains the use of reason." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"In baptism Christ's passion works a regeneration; a person dies entirely to the old life and takes on the new. Therefore baptism washes away the whole guilt of punishment belonging to the past." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Baptism itself is a corporal act by which we are plunged in water, while its effect is spiritual, and that we are freed from sins. After this, the hand is imposed for a blessing, invoking and inviting the Holy Spirit." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), c. 200 A.D.]

"The water of baptism of like the Virgin's womb; for the same Holy Spirit fills the font, Who filled the Virgin, that the sin, which that sacred conception overthrew, may be taken away by this mystical washing." (Pope St. Leo I the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"This much you must know, that Baptism forgives past sins, but it does not safeguard future justice, which is preserved by labor and industry and diligence, and depends always and above all on the mercy of God." (Attr. St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, c. 415 A.D.)

"But with respect to triple immersion in baptism, no truer answer can be given than what you have felt to be right; namely that where there is one faith, a diversity of usage does no harm to holy Church." (Pope St. Gregory I the Great, Doctor of the Church, 6th century A.D.)

"Can. 850 Baptism is administered according to the rite prescribed in the approved liturgical books, except in a case of urgent necessity when only those elements which are required for the validity of the sacrament must be observed." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"[N]o one having the will to sin can, at the same time, be cleansed from sin, which is the purpose of Baptism; for this would be to combine two contradictory things." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"But if anyone wishes to know why the grace is given by water and not by a different element, let him take up the Divine Scriptures and he shall learn. For water is a grand thing, and the noblest of the four visible elements of the world." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church)

"A baptized Christian who, through his own or others' fault, is ignorant of his rights and duties, is like a descendent of a noble race who, knowing nothing of his family traditions, is despised by his kinsman and drags out an aimless existence in a station of life below that to which by birth he is entitled." (Gueranger)

"Those therefore who receive this spiritual and saving seal, have need also of the disposition akin to it. For as a writing-reed or a dart has need of one to use it, so grace also has need of believing minds." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"If any one saith, that true and natural water is not of necessity for baptism, and, on that account, wrests, to some sort of metaphor, those words of our Lord Jesus Christ; Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"Can. 857 §1 Apart from a case of necessity, the proper place of baptism is a church or oratory. §2 As a rule an adult is to be baptized in his or her parish church and an infant in the parish church of the parents unless a just cause suggests otherwise." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 761 Pastors should take care that a Christian name is given to those whom they baptize; but if they are not able to bring this about, they will add to the name given by the parents the name of some Saint and record both names in the book of baptisms." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"If an adult lack the intention of receiving the sacrament, he must be rebaptized. But if there be doubt about this, the form to be used should be: 'If thou art not baptized, I baptize thee.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Can. 753 § 1 It is becoming that both the priest who is going to baptize adults and the adults themselves, if they are healthy, observe a fast. § 2 Unless grave and urgent causes obstruct, baptized adults should immediately assist at Mass and receive Holy Communion." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"If any one saith, that the baptized are freed from all the precepts, whether written or transmitted, of holy Church, in such wise that they are not bound to observe them, unless they have chosen of their own accord to submit themselves thereunto; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"Can. 760 Whenever baptism is repeated under condition, the ceremonies, if indeed they were omitted in the first baptism, are supplied, with due regard for the prescription of Canon 759, § 3; but if they were applied in the first baptism, their repetition can be omitted in the second." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 769 It is for sponsors, having taken up their duties, to regard as a spiritual son the one committed to them, and in those things that look to Christian upbringing, to take diligent care that he acts throughout life in the way that they promised him to be in the future by solemn ceremony." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Baptism derives its efficacy from Christ's Passion, as stated above (A2,r 1). Wherefore, just as subsequent sins do not cancel the virtue of Christ's Passion, so neither do they cancel Baptism, so as to call for its repetition" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[A]fter anyone has been justified by grace, he still needs to beseech God for the...gift of perseverance, that he may be kept from evil till the end of his life. For to many grace is given to whom perseverance in grace is not given." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Can. 772 Of course solemn baptism can be administered on any day; it is fitting, however, that the baptism of adults, according to the most ancient rites of the Church, be conferred, if this can be conveniently done, during the vigil of Easter and Pentecost, especially in metropolitan or cathedral churches." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"The father forgives sin, just as the Son forgives; likewise also the Holy Ghost. But He bade us to be baptized in one name, that is, in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Wonder not that He spoke of one name, when there is one Substance, one Divinity, one Majesty." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"It is necessary to hasten to learn in what way forgiveness of sins and a hope of the inheritance of the promised good things may be yours. There is not other way than this: acknowledge this Christ, be washed in the washing announced by Isaias for the forgiveness of sins; and henceforth live sinlessly." (St. Justin the Martyr, c. 155 A.D.)

"For through Him we are reborn spiritually, through Him we are crucified to the world. By His death that bond of death introduced into all of us by Adam and transmitted to every soul, that bond contracted by propagation is broken, in which no one of our children is held not guilty until he is freed through baptism." (Council of Carthage, 418 A.D.)

"We humans can be born twice: once of our parents and once of the Holy Spirit, given to us by Our Lord in Baptism. This is what Our Lord meant when He told the old man Nicodemus that he must be born again, the first birth being of the flesh, the second of the spirit. What makes us Christian is this second birth through Baptism." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"When you go down to the water to be baptized, you take with you your sins. But the grace which is called down upon you marks your soul in a new way. You go down dead because of your sins: you come up given new life by grace. For if you were planted in the likeness of the Savior's death, you were also thought worthy of resurrection." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church)

"On the contrary, It is written (Ecclesiasticus 5:8): 'Delay not to be converted to the Lord, and defer it not from day to day.' But the perfect conversion to God is of those who are regenerated in Christ by Baptism. Therefore Baptism should not be deferred from day to day." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Whoever says, then, that sins are not entirely put away in baptism, let him say that the Egyptians did not really die in the Red Sea. But if he acknowledge that the Egyptians really died, he must needs acknowledge that sins die entirely in baptism, since surely the truth avails more in our absolution than in the shadow of the truth." (Pope St. Gregory I the Great, Doctor of the Church, 6th century A.D.)

"Can. 867 §1 Parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptized within the first few weeks. As soon as possible after the birth, indeed even before it, they are to approach the parish priest to ask for the sacrament for their child, and to be themselves duly prepared for it. §2 If the infant is in danger of death, it is to be baptized without any delay." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"It is not lawful to receive Baptism from a schismatic, save in a case of necessity, since it is better for a man to quit this life, marked with the sign of Christ, no matter from whom he may receive it, whether from a Jew or a pagan, than deprived of that mark, which is bestowed in Baptism." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"For every man that is not absolved by the water of regeneration, is tied and bound by the guilt of the original bond. But that which the water of baptism avails for with us, this either faith alone did of old in behalf of infants, or for those of riper years, the virtue of sacrifice, or for all that came of the stock of Abraham, the mystery of circumcision." (Pope St. Gregory I the Great, Doctor of the Church, 6th century A.D.)

"Can. 38. If people are traveling by sea in a foreign place or if there is no church in the neighborhood, a person of the faith who keeps his baptism sound and is not twice married, can baptize a catechumen placed in the exigency of sickness, on condition that, if he survives, he bring him to a bishop, in order that it may be made perfect by the imposition of the hand." (Council of Illiberi, c. 300/306 A.D.)

"To baptize belongs to the priestly order by reason of a certain appropriateness and solemnity; but this is not essential to the sacrament. Consequently, if a layman were to baptize even outside a case of urgency; he would sin, yet he would confer the sacrament; nor would the person thus baptized have to be baptized again." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"According to the Decretal of Alexander III: 'Those about whose Baptism there is a doubt are to be baptized with these words prefixed to the form: If thou art baptized, I do not rebaptized thee; but if thou are not baptized, I baptize thee, etc.: for that does not appear to be repeated, which is not known to have been done.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Since man's nature is twofold, consisting of soul and body, He bestowed on us a twofold purification of water and of the Spirit: the Spirit renewing that part in us which is after His image and likeness, and the water by the grace of the Spirit cleansing the body from sin and delivering it up from corruption, the water indeed expressing the image of death, but the Spirit affording the reward of life." (St. John of Damascus, Doctor of the Church)

"No command, no discipline can overrule our baptismal engagements. Every soldier is bound, in honor and in conscience, to obey the Lord of hosts rather than all human commanders, who are but His subalterns." (Liturgical Year) [Note: The term "rather than" implies that human commanders seek obedience in matters contrary to God's laws. Christians are, of course, called to obey just laws.]

"Can. 737 § 1 Baptism, the gateway and foundation of the Sacraments, actually or at least in desire is necessary for all for salvation and is not validly conferred except by washing with true and natural water along with the prescribed formula of words. § 2 When it is administered in accord with all of the rites and ceremonies that are prescribed in the ritual books, it is called solemn; otherwise, [it is called] non-solemn or private." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"If any one saith, that little children, for that they have not actual faith, are not, after having received baptism, to be reckoned amongst the faithful; and that, for this cause, they are to be rebaptized when they have attained to years of discretion; or, that it is better that the baptism of such be omitted, than that, while not believing by their own act, they should be baptized in the faith alone of the Church; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"Can. 8. Concerning the Africans, because they use their own law so as to rebaptize, it has been decided that, if anyone from a heretical sect come to the Church, he should be asked his creed, and if it is perceived that he has been baptized in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, only the hand should be imposed upon him, in order that he may receive the Holy Spirit. But if upon being questioned he does not answer this Trinity, let him be baptized." (Council of Arelas I, 314 A.D.)

"The faithful are earnestly to be exhorted to take care that their children be brought to the church, as soon as it can be done with safety, to receive solemn Baptism. Since infant children have no other means of salvation except Baptism, we may easily understand how grievously those persons sin who permit them to remain without the grace of the Sacrament longer than necessity may require, particularly at an age so tender as to be exposed to numberless dangers of death." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"[T]here should be no falsehood in the sacramental signs. Now a sign is false if it does not correspond with the thing signified. But the very fact that a man presents himself to be cleansed by Baptism, signifies that he prepares himself for the inward cleansing: while this cannot be the case with one who purposes to remain in sin. Therefore it is manifest that on such a man the sacrament of Baptism is not to be conferred." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Certainly if anyone immerses a child in water three times in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen, and he does not say: 'I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen,' the child is not baptized. Let those concerning whom there is a doubt, whether or not they have been baptized, be baptized after these words have first been uttered: 'If you are baptized I do not baptize you; if you are not yet baptized, I baptize you, etc.'" (Pope Alexander III, 12th century A.D.)

"If any one saith, that those who have been thus baptized when children, are, when they have grown up, to be asked whether they will ratify what their sponsors promised in their names when they were baptized; and that, in case they answer that they will not, they are to be left to their own will; and are not to be compelled meanwhile to a Christian life by any other penalty, save that they be excluded from the participation of the Eucharist, and of the other sacraments, until they repent; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"You have said that some without the profession of the Creed were baptized by adulterous and unworthy priests. In these cases may your love hold to the ancient custom of the Church: that, whoever has been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, may in no case be rebaptized; for not in the name of the one baptizing, but in the name of the Trinity has one received the gift of this grace. And let that which the Apostle says be observed: One God, one faith, one baptism [Eph. 4:51]." (Pope St. Gregory II, 726 A.D.)

"There is no man who is baptizing always and everywhere. Some were engaged in this work in times past, others engage in it now, others till will engage in it in the future. The workers can be changed but the Sacraments cannot be changed. If, then, you can see that all who are baptizing are workers, not lords, and that the Sacraments are holy of themselves and not by reason of men, what is it that you claim so urgently for yourselves? What is it that you insist God excludes from His gifts? Admit that it is God who controls what is His own." (St. Optatus of Milevis, c. 367 A.D.)

"The water flows around on the outside, but the Spirit baptizes also the soul, within, and that completely. But why should you marvel at this? Take a material example, small indeed and humble, but useful to the simpler sort of men: if fire, passing through a mass of iron, makes all of it fire, so that what was cold becomes burning and what was black becomes bright, - if fire, which is a body, penetrates and works thus unhampered in iron, which also is a body, why should you marvel that the Holy Spirit enters into the inmost recesses of the soul?" (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church, c. 350 A.D.)

"Can. 868 §1 For an infant to be baptized lawfully it is required: 1° that the parents, or at least one of them, or the person who lawfully holds their place, give their consent; 2° that there be a well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic religion. If such hope is truly lacking, the baptism is, in accordance with the provisions of particular law, to be deferred and the parents advised of the reason for this. §2 An infant of Catholic parents or even of non-Catholic parents is baptized licitly in danger of death even against the will of the parents." (1983 Code of Canon Law) 

"Can. 865 §1 To be admitted to baptism, an adult must have manifested the intention to receive baptism, must be adequately instructed in the truths of the faith and in the duties of a Christian, and tested in the Christian life over the course of the catechumenate. The person must moreover be urged to have sorrow for personal sins. §2 An adult in danger of death may be baptized if, with some knowledge of the principal truths of the faith, he or she has in some manner manifested the intention to receive baptism and promises to observe the requirements of the Christian religion." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"The custom of looking on the anniversary of our Baptism as a feast day is one of those which must be called Christian instincts. The pagans made much of the day which had given them temporal birth; surely, we ought to show quite as much respect to the anniversary of our Baptism, when we were born to the supernatural life. St. Louis used to sign himself Louis of Poissy, because it was in the little church of Poissy that he had received Baptism. Let us learn from this holy king to love the day and the pace of our Baptism, that is, of our being made children of God and of his Church." (Gueranger)

"Those who have been lately baptized should be drilled into righteousness, not by penal, but by 'easy works, so as to advance to perfection by taking exercise, as infants by taking milk,' as a gloss says on Psalm 131:2: 'As a child that is weaned is towards his mother.' For this reason did our Lord excuse His disciples from fasting when they were recently converted, as we read in Matthew 9:14,15: and the same is written 1 Peter 2:2: 'As new-born babes desire ... milk ... that thereby you may grow unto salvation.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"The physician of souls, i.e. Christ, works in two ways. First, inwardly, by Himself: and thus He prepares man's will so that it wills good and hates evil. Secondly, He works through ministers, by the outward application of the sacraments: and in this way His work consists in perfecting what was begun outwardly. Therefore the sacrament of Baptism is not to be conferred save on those in whom there appears some sign of their interior conversion: just as neither is bodily medicine given to a sick man, unless he show some sign of life." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"If, in the case of the worst sinners and of those who formerly sinned much against God, when afterwards they believe, the remission of their sins is granted and no one is held back from Baptism and grace, how much more, then, should an infant not be held back, who, having but recently been born, has done no sin, except that, born of the flesh according to Adam, he has contracted the contagion of that old death from his first being born. For this very reason does he approach more easily to receive the remission of sins: because the sins forgiven him are not his own but those of another." (St. Cyprian of Carthage, c. 251 A.D.)

"The Lord promised to send us the Paraclete, who would make us ready for God. Just as dry wheat without moisture cannot become one dough or one loaf, so also, we who are many cannot be made one in Christ Jesus, without the water from heaven. Just as dry earth cannot bring forth fruit unless it receive moisture, so also we, being at first a dry tree, can never bring forth fruit unto life, without the voluntary rain from above. Our bodies achieve unity through the washing which leads to incorruption; our souls, however, through the Spirit. Both, then, are necessary, for both lead us on to the life of God." (St. Irenaeus, 2nd century A.D.)

"By Baptism a man dies to the old life of sin, and begins a certain newness of life, according to Romans 6:4: 'We are buried together with' Christ 'by Baptism into death; that, as Christ is risen from the dead ... so we also may walk in newness of life.' Consequently, just as, according to Augustine (Sermone 351), he who has the use of free-will, must, in order to die to the old life, 'will to repent of his former life'; so must he, of his own will, intend to lead a new life, the beginning of which is precisely the receiving of the sacrament." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Baptism is the sacrament of faith. Now dead faith does not suffice for salvation; nor is it the foundation, but living faith alone, 'that worketh by charity' (Galatians 5:6), as Augustine says (De Fide et Operibus). Neither, therefore, can the sacrament of Baptism give salvation to a man whose will is set on sinning, and hence expels the form of faith. Moreover, the impression of the baptismal character cannot dispose a man for grace as long as he retains the will to sin; for 'God compels no man to be virtuous,' as Damascene says (De Fide Orthodoxa ii)." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"...concupiscence, or the fuel of sin, still remains [after Baptism], as the Council declares... But concupiscence does not constitute sin, for, as St. Augustine observes, in children who have been baptized the guilt of concupiscence is removed, (the concupiscence itself) remains for probation; and in another place he says: the guilt of concupiscence is pardoned in Baptism, but its infirmity remains. For concupiscence which is the effect of sin is nothing more than an appetite of the soul in itself repugnant to reason. But if it is not accompanied by the consent of the will or by negligence, it is very far from being sin." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"As we have stated...those who are baptized are renewed in spirit by Baptism, while their body remains subject to the oldness of sin, according to Romans 8:10: 'The body, indeed, is dead because of sin, but the spirit liveth because of justification.' Wherefore Augustine (Contra Julianum vi) proves that 'not everything that is in man is baptized.' Now it is manifest that in carnal generation man does not beget in respect of his soul, but in respect of his body. Consequently the children of those who are baptized are born with original sin; wherefore they need to be baptized." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Frequent reflection upon these truths cannot fail, in the first place, to fill the minds of the faithful with admiration for the infinite goodness of God, who, uninfluenced by any other consideration than that of His mercy, gratuitously bestowed upon us, undeserving as we are, a blessing so extraordinary and divine as that of Baptism. If in the next place they consider how spotless should be the lives of those who have been made the objects of such munificence, they cannot fail to be convinced of the special obligation imposed on every Christian to spend each day of his life in such sanctity and fervor, as if on that very day he had received the Sacrament and grace of Baptism." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"'Although He Himself did not baptize, but His disciples.' Himself, yet not Himself; He, by power, they, by ministry. They performed the service of baptizing; the power of baptizing remained in Christ. His disciples, therefore, baptized, and Judas was still among His disciples. Those, therefore, whom Judas baptized were not baptized again; but those whom John [the Baptist] baptized, were they not baptized again? Certainly again, yet not in a repeated Baptism. For those whom John baptized, John baptized; but those whom Judas baptized, Christ baptized. So too, then, those whom a drunkard baptized, those whom a murderer baptized, those whom an adulterer baptized, if the Baptism was of Christ, Christ baptized." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 417 A.D.)

"That also, which the holy Church uniformly does in the whole world with regard to those to be baptized, we do not observe with indifferent respect. Since whether children or youths come to the sacrament of regeneration, they do not approach the fountain of life, before the unclean spirit is driven away from them by the exorcisms and the breathings upon them of the priests; so that then it is truly manifest how the prince of this world is sent forth [John 12:31], and how the strong [man] is first bound [Matt. 12:29], and thereafter his vessels are plundered [Mark 3:27], having been transferred to the possession of the victor, who leads captivity captive [Eph. 4:8] and gives gifts to man [Ps. 67:19]." (Council of Ephesus, 431 A.D.)

"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'. 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 reemission of sins nor be recipient of the gift of spiritual grace." (Attr. St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, c. 390 A.D.)

"QUESTION: Whether a minister is bound, before baptism is conferred on an adult, to explain to him all the mysteries of our faith, especially if he is at the point of death, because this might disturb his mind. Or, whether it is sufficient, if the one at the point of death will promise that when he recovers from the illness, he will take care to be instructed, so that he may put into practice what has been commanded him. RESPONSE: A promise is not sufficient, but a missionary is bound to explain to an adult, even a dying one who is not entirely incapacitated, the mysteries of faith which are necessary by a necessity of means, as are especially the mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation." (Response of the Sacred Office to the Bishop of Quebec, Jan. 25, 1703)

"As the Apostle says (Romans 6:3,4), 'all we who are baptized in Christ Jesus, are baptized in His death: for we are buried together with Him, by Baptism unto death'; which is to say that by Baptism man is incorporated in the very death of Christ. Now it is manifest...that Christ's death satisfied sufficiently for sins, 'not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world,' according to 1 John 2:2. Consequently no kind of satisfaction should be enjoined on one who is being baptized, for any sins whatever: and this would be to dishonor the Passion and death of Christ, as being insufficient for the plenary satisfaction for the sins of those who were to be baptized." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Whether in the Catholic Church or in any heretical or schismatical one, if anyone receives the Sacrament of Baptism in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, he receives the integral Sacrament; but salvation which is the power of the Sacrament, he will not have, if he has received the same Sacrament outside the Catholic Church [and remains there]. Thus therefore, he must return to the Church, not that he might receive the Sacrament of Baptism anew, which no one ought to repeat in any baptized man, but that, being now in Catholic society, he may receive eternal life, which can never, in any way, be obtained by one who, with the Sacrament of Baptism, would remain a stranger to the Catholic Church." (St. Fulgentius)

"Can. 765 In order to be a patron [godparent], one must: 1° Be baptized, have attained the use of reason, and have the intention of performing the office; 2° Belong to no heretical or schismatic sect, not be under a condemnatory sentence or declaration of excommunication or be infamous by infamy of law or excluded from legitimate acts, or be a deposed or degraded cleric; 3° Be neither the father, mother, or spouse of the one to be baptized; 4° Be designated by the one to be baptized, or the parents, or guardians, or, those being absent, the minister; 5° Himself or through another physically hold or touch the one to be baptized in the act of baptism or immediately lift him up or receive him from the sacred font or from the hands of the one baptizing." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"For by holy baptism the sin which we contracted at birth is destroyed, but the evil and tortuous roots of sin, which sin has engrafted, and by no means removed. This part of man which is without reason - although it cannot beat those who fight manfully by Christ's grace - nevertheless struggles with reason for supremacy, clouds the whole soul and tyrannically bends the will from virtue with such power that we cannot escape vice or do our duty except by a daily struggle. 'This holy synod teaches that in the baptized there remains concupiscence or an inclination to evil, which, being left to be fought against, cannot hurt those who do not consent to it, and manfully fight against it by the grace of Jesus Christ; for he is not crowned who does not strive lawfully.'" (Pope Leo XIII, "Exeunte Iam Anno", 1888 A.D.)

"To remove all further doubt on the subject, the Council of Trent, after other Councils had defined this, declared it anew, pronouncing anathema against those who should presume to think otherwise, or should dare to assert that although sin is forgiven in Baptism, it is not entirely removed or totally eradicated, but is cut away in such a manner as to leave its roots still fixed in the soul. To use the words of the same holy Council, God hates nothing in those who are regenerated; for there remains nothing deserving of condemnation in those who are truly buried with Christ by Baptism unto death, 'who walk not according to the flesh,' but putting off the old man, and putting on the new, who is created according to God, become innocent, spotless, pure, upright, and beloved of God." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Finally, a name is given the person baptized. It should be taken from some person whose eminent sanctity has given him a place in the catalogue of the Saints. The similarity of name will stimulate each on to imitate the virtues and holiness of the Saint, and, moreover, to hope and pray that he who is the model for his imitation will also be his advocate and watch over the safety of his body and soul. Wherefore those are to be reproved who search for the names of heathens, especially of those who were the greatest monsters of iniquity, to bestow upon their children. By such conduct they practically prove how little they regard Christian piety when they so fondly cherish the memory of impious men, as to wish to have their profane names continually echo in the ears of the faithful." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"If any one saith that the baptism which is given by heretics in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, with the intention of doing what the Church doth, is not true baptism; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent) [Note: All (valid) baptisms conducted outside the Catholic Church are actually Catholic Sacraments "used unlawfully" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church). While "the baptism of Christ cannot be invalidated even by the perversity of heretics, when it is given or received among them", it "could not profit those who had received it with the guilt of schism [or heresy]" (St. Augustine). Such baptisms, however, would be profitable once the person converted to the true Church of Christ, the Catholic Church.]

"Can. 752 § 1 An adult should not be baptized unless he knowingly and with desire has been rightly instructed; moreover, he should be admonished to be sorry for sins. § 2 But in danger of death, if the adult is not able to be diligently instructed in the principal mysteries of the faith, it is sufficient for the conferral of baptism that he shows by some sign that he agrees with them and seriously commits himself to the observance of the mandates of the Christian religion. § 3 But if he is not able to ask for baptism, [yet] either before or during the present state he manifested in some probable way the intention of receiving it, he should be baptized under condition; if he later recovers and there is doubt about the validity of the baptism conferred, he should be baptized again under condition." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"In order that they may be justified, it is necessary for sinners to die with Christ, who died in their place and in their name. Then they must enter the grave with Christ, in order to leave behind the flesh defiled by sin. They must hand over the old man to the wrath of God and to the death of the sinner, so that by baptism a new man might return to life in us and live again with Christ in immortality and eternal glory. Therefore all Christians should think about that eternal life and not this brief one. They should remove from their hearts the desire for pleasures and riches which are the instruments of pleasure. Cast off pride, in which all harmful desires are contained. The world is passing away, as well as what it craves for; however, he who keeps the will of God will endure forever." (Pope Clement XIII, "A Quo Die", 1758 A.D.)

"Baptism once given can never be repeated; for the character of child of God, which it imprints upon the Christian, is everlasting; and this unspeakable dignity of the first sacrament in no wise depends upon the disposition or state of the minister conferring it. According to the teaching of St. Austin, whether Peter, or Paul, or Judas, baptize, it is He upon whom the divine Dove descended in the Jordan, it is He alone and always that baptizes by them in the Holy Ghost. Such is the adorable munificence of our Lord, with regard to this indispensable means of salvation, that the very pagan who belongs not to the Church and the schismatic or heretic separated from her can administer it with full validity, on the one condition of fulfilling the exterior rite in its essence, and of wishing to do thereby what the Church does." (Liturgical Year)

"Can. 851 The celebration of baptism should be properly prepared. Accordingly: 1° an adult who intends to receive baptism is to be admitted to the catechumenate and, as far as possible, brought through the various stages to sacramental initiation, in accordance with the rite of initiation as adapted by the Episcopal Conference and with the particular norms issued by it; 2° the parents of a child who is to be baptized, and those who are to undertake the office of sponsors, are to be suitably instructed on the meaning of this sacrament and the obligations attaching to it. The parish priest is to see to it that either he or others duly prepare the parents, by means of pastoral advice and indeed by prayer together; a number of families might be brought together for this purpose and, where possible, each family visited." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"QUESTION: Whether it is possible for a crude and uneducated adult, as it might be with a barbarian, to be baptized, if there were given to him only an understanding of God and some of His attributes, especially His justice in rewarding and in punishing, according to this remark of the Apostle "He that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder'; [Heb. 11:23], from which it is inferred that a barbarian adult, in a certain case of urgent necessity, can be baptized although he does not believe explicitly in Jesus Christ. RESPONSE: A missionary should not baptize one who does not believe explicitly in the Lord Jesus Christ, but is bound to instruct him about all those matters which are necessary, by a necessity of means, in accordance with the capacity of the one to be baptized." (Response of the Sacred Office, May 10, 1703)

"It is due to the mercy of Him 'Who will have all men to be saved' (1 Timothy 2:4) that in those things which are necessary for salvation, man can easily find the remedy. Now the most necessary among all the sacraments is Baptism, which is man's regeneration unto spiritual life: since for children there is no substitute, while adults cannot otherwise than by Baptism receive a full remission both of guilt and of its punishment. Consequently, lest man should have to go without so necessary a remedy, it was ordained, both that the matter of Baptism should be something common that is easily obtainable by all, i.e. water; and that the minister of Baptism should be anyone, even not in orders, lest from lack of being baptized, man should suffer loss of his salvation." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"According to the most sacred custom of the Catholic Church, let the heart of your serenity acknowledge that no share in the injury from the name of Acacius should attach to any of these whom Acacius the schismatic bishop has baptized, or to any whom he has ordained priests or levites according to the canons, lest perchance the grace of the sacrament seem less powerful when conferred by an unjust [person] ... For if the rays of that visible sun are not stained by contact with any pollution when they pass over the foulest places, much less is the virtue of him who made that visible [sun] fettered by any unworthiness in the minister... Therefore, then, this person has only injured himself by wickedly administering the good. For the inviolable sacrament, which was given through him, held the perfection of its virtue for others." (Pope St. Anastasius II, 496 A.D.)

"Can. 746 § 1 No one should be baptized in the mother's womb so long as there is a hope that he can be baptized correctly outside of it. § 2 If the head of an infant is exposed and there is imminent danger of death, let him be baptized on the head; later, if he is delivered alive, he should be baptized again under condition. § 3 If another part of the body is exposed, and if danger [of death] is imminent, let him be baptized under condition, thereupon, and then, if he survives birth, he should be once again baptized under condition. § 4 If a pregnant mother dies, and if the fetus is delivered by those who do such things, and if he is certainly alive, he should be baptized absolutely; if there is doubt, [the fetus should be baptized] under condition. § 5 A fetus baptized in the womb should be baptized again under condition after [being born]." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"[A] woman should not baptize if a man be available for the purpose; just as neither should a layman in the presence of a cleric, nor a cleric in the presence of a priest. The last, however, can baptize in the presence of a bishop, because it is part of the priestly office... Just as a woman is not suffered to teach in public, but is allowed to instruct and admonish privately; so she is not permitted to baptize publicly and solemnly, and yet she can baptize in a case of urgency... If, however, a woman were to baptize without any urgency for so doing, there would be no need of rebaptism: as we have said in regard to laymen (A3,r 1). But the baptizer herself would sin, as also those who took part with her therein, either by receiving Baptism from her, or by bringing someone to her to be baptized." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"But, though He died for all, yet do not all receive the benefit of His death, but those only unto whom the merit of His passion is communicated. For as in truth men, if they were not born propagated of the seed of Adam, would not be born unjust, - seeing that, by that propagation, they contract through him, when they are conceived, injustice as their own, - so, if they were not born again in Christ, they never would be justified; seeing that, in that new birth, there is bestowed upon them, through the merit of His passion, the grace whereby they are made just. For this benefit the apostle exhorts us, evermore to give thanks to the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light, and hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love, in whom we have redemption, and remission of sins." (Council of Trent, 1547 A.D.)

"To the question: 'Whether baptism should be conferred conditionally on heretics who are converted to the Catholic religion, from whatever locality they come, and to whatever sect they pertain?' The reply is: 'In the negative. But in the conversion of heretics, from whatever place or from whatever sect they come, inquiry should be made regarding the validity of the baptism in the heresy which was adopted. Then after the examination has been established in individual cases, if it is found either that none was conferred, or it was conferred without effect, they shall have to be baptized absolutely. But if according to circumstances and by reason of the localities, after the investigation has been completed, nothing is discovered in favor either of validity or invalidity, or, probable doubt still exists regarding the validity of the baptism, then let them be baptized conditionally, in secret. Finally, if it shall be established that it was valid, they will have to be received only for the profession of faith.'" (Decree of the Holy Office, 11/20/1878 A.D.)

"Can. 2. Likewise it has been decided that whoever says that infants fresh from their mothers' wombs ought not to be baptized, or says that they are indeed baptized unto the remission of sins, but that they draw nothing of the original sin from Adam, which is expiated in the bath of regeneration, whence it follows that in regard to them the form of baptism 'unto the remission of sins' is understood as not true, but as false, let him be anathema. Since what the Apostle says: 'Through one man sin entered into the world (and through sin death), and so passed into all men, in whom all have sinned' [cf. Rom. 5:12], must not to be understood otherwise than as the Catholic Church spread everywhere has always understood it. For on account of this rule of faith even infants, who in themselves thus far have not been able to commit any sin, are therefore truly baptized unto the remission of sins, so that that which they have contracted from generation may be cleansed in them by regeneration." (Pope St. Zosimus, Council of Carthage, XVI, 418 A.D.)

"Baptism is a spiritual regeneration; inasmuch as a man dies to the old life, and begins to lead the new life. Whence it is written (John 3:5): 'Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, He cannot enter into the kingdom of God.' Now one man can be begotten but once. Wherefore Baptism cannot be reiterated, just as neither can carnal generation. Hence Augustine says on John 3:4: 'Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born again: So thou,' says he, 'must understand the birth of the Spirit, as Nicodemus understood the birth of the flesh... As there is no return to the womb, so neither is there to Baptism.'... Baptism is conferred principally as a remedy against original sin. Wherefore, just as original sin is not renewed, so neither is Baptism reiterated, for as it is written (Romans 5:18), 'as by the offense of one, unto all men to condemnation, so also by the justice of one, unto all men to justification of life.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Besides a wish to be baptized, in order to obtain the grace of the Sacrament, faith is also necessary. Our Lord and Savior has said: He that believes and is baptized shall be saved... Another necessary condition is repentance for past sins, and a fixed determination to avoid all sin in the future. Should anyone desire Baptism and be unwilling to correct the habit of sinning, he should be altogether rejected. For nothing is so opposed to the grace and power of Baptism as the intention and purpose of those who resolve never to abandon sin. Seeing that Baptism should be sought with a view to put on Christ and to be united to Him, it is manifest that he who purposes to continue in sin should justly be repelled from the sacred font, particularly since none of those things which belong to Christ and his Church are to be received in vain, and since we well understand that, as far as regards sanctifying and saving grace, Baptism is received in vain by him who proposes to live according to the flesh, and not according to the spirit." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"See how we were bought: Christ hangs upon the cross, see at what a price He makes His purchase... He sheds His blood, He buys with His blood, He buys with the blood of [Christ], He buys with the blood of God's only Son. He who buys is Christ; the price is His blood; the possession bought is the world.' (St. Augustine) This purchase, however, does not immediately have its full effect; since Christ, after redeeming the world at the lavish cost of His own blood, still must come into complete possession of the souls of men. Wherefore, that the redemption and salvation of each person and of future generations unto the end of time may be effectively accomplished, and be acceptable to God, it is necessary that men should individually come into vital contact with the Sacrifice of the Cross, so that the merits, which flow from it, should be imparted to them. In a certain sense it can be said that on Calvary Christ built a font of purification and salvation which He filled with the blood He shed; but if men do not bathe in it and there wash away the stains of their iniquities, they can never be purified and saved." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)

"The spiritual regeneration effected by Baptism is somewhat like carnal birth, in this respect, that as the child while in the mother's womb receives nourishment not independently, but through the nourishment of its mother, so also children before the use of reason, being as it were in the womb of their mother the Church, receive salvation not by their own act, but by the act of the Church. Hence Augustine says (De Peccatorum Meritis et Remissione et de Baptismo parvulorum i): 'The Church, our mother, offers her maternal mouth for her children, that they may imbibe the sacred mysteries: for they cannot as yet with their own hearts believe unto justice, nor with their own mouths confess unto salvation ... And if they are rightly said to believe, because in a certain fashion they make profession of faith by the words of their sponsors, why should they not also be said to repent, since by the words of those same sponsors they evidence their renunciation of the devil and this world?' For the same reason they can be said to intend, not by their own act of intention, since at times they struggle and cry; but by the act of those who bring them to be baptized." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"On account, however, of original sin, our whole nature had fallen into such guilt and dishonor that we had become enemies to God. 'We were by nature the children of wrath' (Eph. ii., 3). There was no power which could raise us and deliver us from this ruin and eternal destruction. But God, the Creator of mankind and infinitely merciful, did this through His only begotten Son, by whose benefit it was brought about that man was restored so that rank and dignity whence he had fallen, and was adorned with still more abundant graces. No one can express the greatness of this work of divine grace in the souls of men. Wherefore, both in Holy Scripture and in the writings of the fathers, men are styled regenerated, new creatures, partakers of the Divine Nature, children of God, god-like, and similar epithets... The beginnings of this regeneration and renovation of man are by Baptism. In this sacrament, when the unclean spirit has been expelled from the soul, the Holy Ghost enters in and makes it like to Himself. 'That which is born of the Spirit, is spirit' (John iii., 6). The same Spirit gives Himself more abundantly in Confirmation, strengthening and confirming Christian life; from which proceeded the victory of the martyrs and the triumph of the virgins over temptations and corruptions." (Pope Leo XIII, "Divinum Illud Munus", 1897 A.D.)

"As the Apostle says (Romans 5:17), 'if by one man's offense death reigned through one,' namely Adam, 'much more they who receive abundance of grace, and of the gift, and of justice, shall reign in life through one, Jesus Christ.' Now children contract original sin from the sin of Adam; which is made clear by the fact that they are under the ban of death, which 'passed upon all' on account of the sin of the first man, as the Apostle says in the same passage (Romans 5:12). Much more, therefore, can children receive grace through Christ, so as to reign in eternal life. But our Lord Himself said (John 3:5): 'Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.' Consequently it became necessary to baptize children, that, as in birth they incurred damnation through Adam so in a second birth they might obtain salvation through Christ. Moreover it was fitting that children should receive Baptism, in order that being reared from childhood in things pertaining to the Christian mode of life, they may the more easily persevere therein; according to Proverbs 22:5: 'A young man according to his way, even when he is old, he will not depart from it.' This reason is also given by Dionysius (De Ecclesiastica Hierarchia iii)." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[I]t is clear that [Baptism] was instituted by our Lord when, having been baptized by John, He gave to water the power of sanctifying. St. Gregory Nazianzen and St. Augustine testify that to water was there imparted the power of regenerating to spiritual life. In another place St. Augustine says: From the moment that Christ is immersed in water, water washes away all sins. And again: The Lord is baptized, not because He had needed to be cleansed but in order that, by the contact of His pure flesh, He might purify the waters and impart to them the power of cleansing. A very strong argument to prove that Baptism was then instituted by our Lord might be afforded by the fact the most Holy Trinity, in whose name Baptism is conferred, manifested Its divine presence on that occasion. The voice of the Father was heard, the Person of the Son was present, the Holy Ghost descended in the form of a dove; and the heavens into which we are enabled to enter by Baptism, were thrown open. Should anyone desire to know how our Lord has endowed water with a virtue so great, so divine, this indeed transcends the power of the human understanding. Yet this we can know, that when our Lord was baptized, water, by contact with His most holy and pure body, was consecrated to the salutary use of Baptism, in such a way, however, that, although instituted before the Passion, we must believe that this Sacrament derives all its virtue and efficacy from the Passion, which is the consummation, as it were, of all the actions of Christ." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"If converted to the Lord God, [adults] are then to be admonished not to defer the Sacrament of Baptism beyond the time prescribed by the Church. For since it is written, delay not to be converted to the Lord, and defer it not from day to day, they are to be taught that in their regard perfect conversion consists in regeneration by Baptism. Besides, the longer they defer Baptism, the longer are they deprived of the use and graces of the other Sacraments, by which the Christian religion is practiced, since the other Sacraments are accessible through Baptism only. They are also deprived of the abundant fruits of Baptism, the waters of which not only wash away all the stains and defilements of the past sins, but also enrich us with divine grace which enables us to avoid sin for the future and preserve righteousness and innocence, which constitute the sum of a Christian life, as all can easily understand... On adults, however, the Church has not been accustomed to confer the Sacrament of Baptism at once, but has ordained that it be deferred for a certain time. The delay is not attended with the same danger as in the case of infants, which we have already mentioned; should any unforeseen accident make it impossible for adults to be washed in the salutary waters, their intention and determination to receive Baptism and their repentance for past sins, will avail them to grace and righteousness." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Secondly, a man is bound absolutely to go to confession; and here the same reason applies to delay of confession as to delay of Baptism, because both are necessary sacraments. Now a man is not bound to receive Baptism as soon as he makes up his mind to be baptized; and so he would not sin mortally, if he were not baptized at once: nor is there any fixed time beyond which, if he defer Baptism, he would incur a mortal sin. Nevertheless the delay of Baptism may amount to a mortal sin, or it may not, and this depends on the cause of the delay, since, as the Philosopher says (De Physica viii,15), the will does not defer doing what it wills to do, except for a reasonable cause. Wherefore if the cause of the delay of Baptism has a mortal sin connected with it, e.g. if a man put off being baptized through contempt, or some like motive, the delay will be a mortal sin, but otherwise not: and the same seems to apply to confession which is not more necessary than Baptism. Moreover, since man is bound to fulfill in this life those things that are necessary for salvation, therefore, if he be in danger of death, he is bound, even absolutely, then and there to make his confession or to receive Baptism. For this reason too, James proclaimed at the same time the commandment about making confession and that about receiving Extreme Unction (James 5:14,16)." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Now they (adults) are disposed unto the said justice, when, excited and assisted by divine grace, conceiving faith by hearing, they are freely moved towards God, believing those things to be true which God has revealed and promised, and this especially, that God justifies the impious by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; and when, understanding themselves to be sinners, they, by turning themselves, from the fear of divine justice whereby they are profitably agitated, to consider the mercy of God, are raised unto hope, confiding that God will be propitious to them for Christ's sake; and they begin to love Him as the fountain of all justice; and are therefore moved against sins by a certain hatred and detestation, to wit, by that penitence which must be performed before baptism: lastly, when they purpose to receive baptism, to begin a new life, and to keep the commandments of God. Concerning this disposition it is written; He that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and is a rewarder to them that seek him; and, Be of good faith, son, thy sins are forgiven thee; and, The fear of the Lord driveth out sin; and, Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; and, Going, therefore, teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; finally, Prepare your hearts unto the Lord." (Council of Trent, 1547 A.D.)

"[S]acraments derive from their institution the power of conferring grace. Wherefore it seems that a sacrament is then instituted, when it receives the power of producing its effect. Now Baptism received this power when Christ was baptized. Consequently Baptism was truly instituted then, if we consider it as a sacrament. But the obligation of receiving this sacrament was proclaimed to mankind after the Passion and Resurrection. First, because Christ's Passion put an end to the figurative sacraments, which were supplanted by Baptism and the other sacraments of the New Law. Secondly, because by Baptism man is made conformable to Christ's Passion and Resurrection, in so far as he dies to sin and begins to live anew unto righteousness. Consequently it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise again, before proclaiming to man his obligation of conforming himself to Christ's Death and Resurrection... It was not [fitting] that men should be restricted to a number of figures by Christ, Who came to fulfil and replace the figure by His reality. Therefore before His Passion He did not make Baptism obligatory as soon as it was instituted; but wished men to become accustomed to its use; especially in regard to the Jews, to whom all things were figurative, as Augustine says (Contra Faustum Manichaeum iv). But after His Passion and Resurrection He made Baptism obligatory, not only on the Jews, but also on the Gentiles, when He gave the commandment: 'Going, teach ye all nations.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"That this law [regarding Baptism] extends not only to adults but also to infants and children, and that the Church has received this from Apostolic tradition, is confirmed by the unanimous teaching and authority of the Fathers. Besides, it is not to be supposed that Christ the Lord would have withheld the Sacrament and grace of Baptism from children, of whom He said: Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me; for the kingdom of heaven is for such; whom also He embraced, upon whom He imposed hands, to whom He gave His blessing. Moreover, when we read that an entire family was baptized by Paul, it is sufficiently obvious that the children of the family must also have been cleansed in the saving font. Circumcision, too, which was a figure of Baptism, affords a strong argument in proof of this practice. That children were circumcised on the eighth day is universally known. If then circumcision, made by hand, in despoiling the body of the flesh, was profitable to children, it is clear that Baptism, which is the circumcision of Christ, not made by hand, it is also profitable to them. Finally, as the Apostle teaches, if by one man's offense death reigned through one, much more they who receive abundance of grace, and of the gift, and of justice, shall reign in life through one, Jesus Christ. If then, through the transgression of Adam, children inherit original sin, with still stronger reason can they attain through Christ our Lord grace and justice that they may reign in life. This, however, cannot be effected otherwise than by Baptism." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"If an earthly potentate had found you poor and begging, and had suddenly adopted you as his son, you would soon forget your past misery, you would no longer think of your lowly hut, however great may have been the difference between these things. Think, then, no more of your first state, since the one to which you have been called is comparatively more illustrious than regal dignity; for He who has summoned you is the King of angels, and the property He has reserved for you is not only far beyond our comprehension, but even beyond all that words can express. He does not help you to pass from one station of life to one higher, as this Potentate could have done; but He raises you from earth to heaven, from a mortal life to an immortal life, a life so glorious and inexpressible that it will not be known until we gain possession of it. How, then, being partakers of these grand blessings, can we presume to think of the riches of this world, and how can we trifle away our time in frivolous and vain amusements? What excuses will remain, or rather what punishments ought we not to suffer, if, after having received so wondrous a grace, we should return to that first condition from which we have been so fortunately - and so mercifully - withdrawn? You will not be punished simply as a sinful man, but as a rebellious child of God; and the lofty eminence of the dignity to which you were raised will only serve to increase your punishment." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Holy baptism, which is the gateway to the spiritual life, holds the first place among all the sacraments; through it we are made members of Christ and of the body of the Church. And since death entered into the universe through the first man, 'unless we are born of water and the Spirit, we cannot,' as the Truth says, 'enter into the kingdom of heaven' (cf. John 3:5). The matter of this sacrament is real and natural water; it makes no difference whether cold or warm. The form is: I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Yet we do not deny that through these words: Such a (this) servant of Christ is baptized in the name of the Father and of the Holy Ghost or: Such a one is baptized by my hands in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, a true baptism is administered since the principal causes, from which baptism has its power is the Holy Trinity; the instrumental cause, however, is the minister, who bestows the sacrament externally; if the act which is performed through the minister himself, is expressed with the invocation of the Holy Trinity, the sacrament is effected. The minister of this sacrament is a priest, who is competent by office to baptize. In case of necessity, however, not only a priest or a deacon, but even a layman or a woman, yes even a pagan and a heretic can baptize, so long as he preserves the form of the Church and has the intention of doing as the Church does. The effect of this sacrament is the remission of every sin, original and actual, also of every punishment which is due to the sin itself. Therefore, no satisfaction must be enjoined for past sins upon those who immediately attain to the kingdom of heaven and the vision of God." (Pope Eugenius IV, "Exultate Deo", 1439 A.D.)

"(For) they assert that baptism is conferred uselessly on children ... We respond that baptism has taken the place of circumcision ... Therefore as 'the soul of the circumcised did not perish from the people' [Gen. 17:4], so 'he who has been reborn from water and the Holy Spirit will obtain entrance to the kingdom of heaven' [John 3:5] ... Although original sin was remitted by the mystery of circumcision, and the danger of damnation was avoided, nevertheless there was no arriving at the kingdom of heaven, which up to the death of Christ was barred to all. But through the sacrament of baptism the guilt of one made red by the blood of Christ is remitted, and to the kingdom of heaven one also arrives, whose gate the blood of Christ has mercifully opened for His faithful. For God forbid that all children of whom daily so great a multitude die, would perish, but that also for these the merciful God who wishes no one to perish has procured some remedy unto salvation ... As to what opponents say, (namely), that faith or love or other virtues are not infused in children, inasmuch as they do not consent, is absolutely not granted by most, ... some asserting that by the power of baptism guilt indeed is remitted to little ones but grace is not conferred; and some indeed saying both that sin is forgiven and that virtues are infused in them as they hold virtues as a possession not as a function, until they arrive at adult age ... We say that a distinction must be made, that sin is twofold: namely, original and actual: original, which is contracted without consent; and actual which is committed with consent. Original, therefore, which is committed without consent, is remitted without consent through the power of the sacrament; but actual, which is contracted with consent, is not mitigated in the slightest without consent ... The punishment of original sin is deprivation of the vision of God, but the punishment of actual sin is the torments of everlasting hell ..." (Pope Innocent III, c. 13th century A.D.)

"Augustine left this question without deciding it. For he says (Contra Epistolam Parmeniani ii): 'This is indeed another question, whether even those can baptize who were never Christians; nor should anything be rashly asserted hereupon, without the authority of a sacred council such as suffices for so great a matter.' But afterwards it was decided by the Church that the unbaptized, whether Jews or pagans, can confer the sacrament of Baptism, provided they baptize in the form of the Church. Wherefore Pope Nicolas I replies to the questions propounded by the Bulgars: 'You say that many in your country have been baptized by someone, whether Christian or pagan you know not. If these were baptized in the name of the Trinity, they must not be rebaptized.' But if the form of the Church be not observed, the sacrament of Baptism is not conferred. And thus is to be explained what Gregory III writes to Bishop Boniface: 'Those whom you assert to have been baptized by pagans,' namely, with a form not recognized by the Church, 'we command you to rebaptize in the name of the Trinity.' And the reason of this is that, just as on the part of the matter, as far as the essentials of the sacrament are concerned, any water will suffice, so, on the part of the minister, any man is competent. Consequently, an unbaptized person can baptize in a case of urgency. So that two unbaptized persons may baptize one another, one baptizing the other and being afterwards baptized by him: and each would receive not only the sacrament but also the reality of the sacrament. But if this were done outside a case of urgency, each would sin grievously, both the baptizer and the baptized, and thus the baptismal effect would be frustrated, although the sacrament itself would not be invalidated... The man who baptizes offers but his outward ministration; whereas Christ it is Who baptizes inwardly, Who can use all men to whatever purpose He wills. Consequently, the unbaptized can baptize: because, as Pope Nicolas I says, 'the Baptism is not theirs,' i.e. the baptizers', 'but His,' i.e. Christ's." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"In this matter we must make a distinction and see whether those who are to be baptized are children or adults. For if they be children, Baptism should not be deferred. First, because in them we do not look for better instruction or fuller conversion. Secondly, because of the danger of death, for no other remedy is available for them besides the sacrament of Baptism. On the other hand, adults have a remedy in the mere desire for Baptism... And therefore Baptism should not be conferred on adults as soon as they are converted, but it should be deferred until some fixed time. First, as a safeguard to the Church, lest she be deceived through baptizing those who come to her under false pretenses, according to 1 John 4:1: 'Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, if they be of God.' And those who approach Baptism are put to this test, when their faith and morals are subjected to proof for a space of time. Secondly, this is needful as being useful for those who are baptized; for they require a certain space of time in order to be fully instructed in the faith, and to be drilled in those things that pertain to the Christian mode of life. Thirdly, a certain reverence for the sacrament demands a delay whereby men are admitted to Baptism at the principal festivities, viz. of Easter and Pentecost, the result being that they receive the sacrament with greater devotion. There are, however, two reasons for forgoing this delay. First, when those who are to be baptized appear to be perfectly instructed in the faith and ready for Baptism; thus, Philip baptized the Eunuch at once (Acts 8); and Peter, Cornelius and those who were with him (Acts 10). Secondly, by reason of sickness or some kind of danger of death. Wherefore Pope Leo says (Ep. 16): 'Those who are threatened by death, sickness, siege, persecution, or shipwreck, should be baptized at any time.' Yet if a man is forestalled by death, so as to have no time to receive the sacrament, while he awaits the season appointed by the Church, he is saved, yet 'so as by fire'... Nevertheless he sins if he defer being baptized beyond the time appointed by the Church, except this be for an unavoidable cause and with the permission of the authorities of the Church. But even this sin, with his other sins, can be washed away by his subsequent contrition, which takes the place of Baptism" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Baptism (Gen'l. Info.) | Baptism (Catechism of the Council of Trent) | Necessity of Baptism | Praise / Benefits of Baptism | Character Imprinted on the Soul | Living up to One's Baptism | Baptism by Blood or Desire | Baptism / Confirmation | Baptism / Penance | Eucharist / Baptism | Original Sin (Catholic Basics Reflections) | The Importance of Being Catholic: Combating Religious Indifferentism | Baptism (Topical Scripture) | Catholic Basics Section

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