“Ok, I would like to focus in more on Baptism of Desire.  Is this not an exception to the necessity of water baptism?  Is this an infallible (dogmatic) teaching of the church?  Has this always been taught (universally) by the church?  Is there biblical reference to baptism of desire. I know this particular subject has some controversy surrounding it (not just within Protestantism but with Traditional Catholics/Sedevaticanist). Help me understand the controversy.
Thank you for your time,”
by Patrick Miron
Thanks for asking
Amazingly I have never been asked this question before, and it’s a darn good one too.
I think I’ll give you the brief and direct replies first than explain it so that you have a fuller understanding of this issue. I’ve added numbers to your question points so you can follow along.
 Yes this is HIGHLY conditional
 Yes it is: CCC# 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
 I think so? It dates back to the Apostles and the extensive persecutions of the Early Church. I’m not sure exactly when the DOCTRINE was defined. But I do know that it dates back to Apostolic times is Sacred Tradition, from which doctrines gain “birth.”
 Yes and that is what we will be discussing in far greater detail. The example that comes quickly to mind is “the good-thief.” But it’s more profound and complicated than just this example.
 Sedevaticanist are as a FYI; no-longer ROMAN Catholics and are in Schism with the RCC. Many of there positions are clearly heretical! Rome has been discussing their errors with them, and in the 50+ years of schism, little actual agreement has been found. Because of this no Catholic is to participate, approve, or support ANY of their position that oppose those of the Catholic Magisterium. To do so effectively DOES put them on a path towards Hell, unless they repent and convert.
The Code of Canon Law explains:
THE TEACHING FUNCTION OF THE CHURCH
LIBER III. DE ECCLESIAE MUNERE DOCENDI
Can. 747 §1. The Church, to which Christ the Lord has entrusted the deposit of faith so that with the assistance of the Holy Spirit it might protect the revealed truth reverently, examine it more closely, and proclaim and expound it faithfully, has the duty and innate right, independent of any human power whatsoever, to preach the gospel to all peoples, also using the means of social communication proper to it.
§2. It belongs to the Church always and everywhere to announce moral principles, even about the social order, and to render judgment concerning any human affairs insofar as the fundamental rights of the human person or the salvation of souls requires it.
Can. 748 §1. All persons are bound to seek the truth in those things which regard God and his Church and by virtue of divine law are bound by the obligation and possess the right of embracing and observing the truth which they have come to know.
§2. No one is ever permitted to coerce persons to embrace the Catholic faith against their conscience.
Can. 749 §1. By virtue of his office, the Supreme Pontiff possesses infallibility in teaching when as the supreme pastor and teacher of all the Christian faithful, who strengthens his brothers and sisters in the faith, he proclaims by definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held.
§2. The college of bishops also possesses infallibility in teaching when the bishops gathered together in an ecumenical council exercise the magisterium as teachers and judges of faith and morals who declare for the universal Church that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held definitively; or when dispersed throughout the world but preserving the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter and teaching authentically together with the Roman Pontiff matters of faith or morals, they agree that a particular proposition is to be held definitively.
§3. No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident.
Can. 750 §1. A person must believe with divine and Catholic faith all those things contained in the word of God, written or handed on, that is, in the one deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn magisterium of the Church or by its ordinary and universal magisterium which is manifested by the common adherence of the Christian faithful under the leadership of the sacred magisterium; therefore all are bound to avoid any doctrines whatsoever contrary to them.
§2. Each and every thing which is proposed definitively by the magisterium of the Church concerning the doctrine of faith and morals, that is, each and every thing which is required to safeguard reverently and to expound faithfully the same deposit of faith, is also to be firm-ly embraced and retained; therefore, one who rejects those propositions which are to be held definitively is opposed to the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.
Can. 752 Although not an assent of faith, a religious submission of the intellect and will must be given to a doctrine which the Supreme Pontiff or the college of bishops declares concerning faith or morals when they exercise the authentic magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim it by definitive act; therefore, the Christian faithful are to take care to avoid those things which do not agree with it.
Now having shared this information, let’s see if we can make some sense of it and find support for these positions in the bible?
To gain a better and more full understanding of Baptism of Desire as God’s Will and a Teaching of the CC, one needs to review a couple of basic truths.  Who, and What are God?  Is there ANY validity to Sola Scriptura?  Just WHY everything is not in the Bible AND what did Christ do about it?
Your questions were not only “GOOD”, they are profound because they raise the issue of Catholic Church Teaching Authority, which is very often, either not understood, not accepted or even denied. Consequently it is necessary to take a somewhat convoluted route in answering your questions with evidence.
Let’s begin with a simple definition of God. One that finds wide acceptance within Christian communities.
GOD IS: “every good thing perfected.” So then we ask, are being “fair” and being “just” good things? Obviously they are. So then we can KNOW that everything God does must be both good and fair. God simply cannot contradict Himself, nor can God change who “God is.” Ps.110: 4 “The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind”
Whenever questions arise such as your’s, the answer often is concealed within the bible. But why is it concealed? This gets to the issue of God’s “good and necessarily Perfect Devine Nature.” WHO”S in charge? Because we don’t “see” God; we often forget that He Is!
Wisdom 15:7 “The potter also tempering soft earth, with labour fashioneth every vessel for our service, and of the same clay he maketh both vessels that are for clean uses, and likewise such as serve to the contrary: but what is the use of these vessels, the potter is the judge”
Isa.29: 16 “You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay; that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?
Jeremiah 18:6 “Cannot I do with you, as this potter, O house of Israel, saith the Lord? behold as clay is in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel“.
A GREAT many of the teachings in the bible are not rightly, not fully understood because we can so easily forget WHO”S IN CHARGE. Always it is God. Isaiah) 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts.”
We, the most perfect, and most loved, and most cherished WORK of God’s hand [Genesis 1:26-27] must be ever mindful that God’s perfect plan was not to have everything clearly articulated in the bible. WHY? John 20:30-31 “Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name.” John 21: 24-25 “This is that disciple who giveth testimony of these things, and hath written these things; and we know that his testimony is true. But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written.”
Because God is both “Good and Perfect”; God does not change. He may modify; and update, but foundational practices of the Old Testament Yahweh; are extended, improved and at times even expanded in the New Testament by Christ. WHY? Because we are now Under God’s-Grace, not simply [and clearly]; God’s laws. Indeed, the OT LEADS to the NT, which is completed and perfected Because we have now SEEN God, Been taught by God and receive Graces, not before granted by God; all through Jesus Christ.
Among the most evident and profound evidences of God’s Good and Perfect Devine Will, not being like mortal mans, is made manifest in non-Catholic Christians, Sedevaticanist included, bypassing, and not grasping the Powers and Authority granted by God to the ONLY Faith and Only Church that He Founded clearly expressed in the bible. There is ALWAYS an imposed penalty imposed by God who MUST BE “Fair” and “Just,” on all those who deny, ignore, or choose to compete with Him. The evident lack of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding, Fear of the Lord, are proof of this fact. Just how clear was this transfer of God’s Power and Authority? And just WHY was it an absolute necessity that God do this is our next point.
Matthew 10:1-8 “And having called his twelve disciples together, he gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of diseases, and all manner of infirmities. And the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the publican, and James the son of Alpheus, and Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent: commanding them, saying: Go ye not into the way of the Gentiles, and into the city of the Samaritans enter ye not. But go ye rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And going, preach, saying: The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils: freely have you received, freely give”
It is critically important to note that two of the Evangelist; mark and Luke were NOT Apostles and yet Jesus choose to use them and personally warrants there works as well as those of the Apostles. Paul too was a God-added addition.
Here are other examples that are [our should be] exceedingly clear.
Matthew 16:18-19 “And I [your Good and Perfect GOD] say to thee: [alone here] That thou [YOU!] art Peter; and upon [YOU!] this rock I [Your Good and Perfect GOD] will build my church, [Singular] and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee [YOU! Peter] the [“MY ”keys] of the kingdom of heaven.And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” This is passed on through Peter to the other Apostles in Matthew 18:18.
John 14: 16-18 “And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever. The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, nor knoweth him: but you shall know him; because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you”
John 20:21-22 “He [Our Good and Perfect God] said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you.* When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost” * This means exactly what it say’s. Just as the father sent Me [God], I [now] send YOU, with MY Power and with MY Authority.
John 17: 14-20 “I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world; as I also am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from evil. Sanctify them in truth. [God cannot deny Himself!] Thy word is truth. And for them do I sanctify [give as personal warranty; Myself-Personally, and guarantee of their teaching MY TRUTHS] myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.* [SAME AS ABOVE REPEATED] And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word [WHAT THEY TEACH in My Name] shall believe in me”
Mark 16:14-15 “At length he appeared to the eleven as they were at table: and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe them who had seen him after he was risen again. And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Matthew 28:16-20 “ And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth*.  Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. *Here again for a third time Jesus makes clear His intent to pass on His Godly Powers and authority to the Apostles, through Peter; AND NOW BY VIRTUE OF THE DECISION TO EXPAND HIS MANDATE FORM ONLY THE JEWS; TO “THE”ENTIRE WORLD,” CHRIST HAS MANDATED PAPAL SUCCESSION. Nothing less would make this Mission a possibility.
So having established the Churches Power and Authority, as not only being from Christ; BUT also EQUAL to Christ own. “As the Father HAS sent ME; so TOO I NOW also SEND “YOU.”
The next thing then is to ask:
Just who does Christ hope to Redeem and be the Savior of? These terms are not biblically synonymous. “Redemption” is an accomplished fact, applies to ALL of humanity and the now renewed ability to [conditionally] access heaven. “Savior” references the highly conditional possibility of one attaining Salvation through the merits of Christ Sacrifice and grace.
Isaiah 43: 7 & 21 “And every one that calleth upon my name, I have created him for my glory, I have formed him, and made him & This people have I formed for myself, they shall shew forth my praise”
1Tim.2: 4 “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Clearly it is God’s HOPE that “all men” attain eternal salvation. Yet we know also that Heaven, Hell and Purgatory all exist as parts of God’s plan, Fairness and Devine Justice. So then what is God’s Good; Fair, Just and Perfect plan to make this at least a possibility? The answer is His Church; Founded by Him, Protected by Him and warranted in ALL that She Teaches on matters of Faith that MUST be accepted; and on ALL Moral issues and matters. And this flows form what Yahweh did in the Old Testament. God has always, and consistently chosen a “single man” to rule His Chosen people. From Noah; Abraham, Moses, Aaron, The Judges, Kings like David and Solomon, the Prophets, leading to Christ Himself, who choose Peter and the Apostles through and with Peter, and Himself established in an absolute sense the papacy and succession in order to even have a possibility of fulfilling the MANDATE, he our Good and perfect God gave to Peter and the Apostles through him.
Matt.10: 28 “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Luke.12: 5 “But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear him!”
Rev. 21: 27 “But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Mt. 5: 26 truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny. Matt.5: 48 “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
So now we know and have proven biblically:
That God is in Charge
Has a Plan
That this plan requires specific Powers and Authority who Christ bestows exclusively on His Church; because it alone can, and does have the God granted ability to Teach ALL of His truths
That in order to fulfill the MANDATE given personally and exclusively to HIS Apostles; Christ HAD TO [absolutely] empower Peter, his Successors and the Church to make and enforce teachings, rules and regulations that would be accepted by God. That is the precise Gift of Power and Authority given by Christ to Peter: Matthew 16:19 “And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven” That is exactly what this passage is saying and doing.
Baptism of desire and Baptism of Blood FLOW from God’s Mercy; Love and DESIRE to SAVE as many as cooperate with GOD”S PERFECT plan. In the Early Church and even in present times there exist conditions that are beyond the “church’s reach.”
Severe Persecutions; a shortage of priest; underground churches existed in the early church and continue to exist today. Places like China, Russia, North Korea, the Middle East remain places of SEVERE Christian and notably, Catholic, persecutions in our time. Is God to ignore their plight? Can God: “Good; Perfect; Just and Fair” simply ignore and not provide for the POSSIBILITY of salvation to all of these, who CHOOSE GOD, but have no opportunity to receive the Sacraments? NO! God cannot, nor can God’s Church [singular] permit such to exist.
So while this doctrine, like the papacy, like Transubstanuation, like “the Trinity,” and numerous other examples are not explicitly articulated in the “bible” [another term NOT found in the bible], they are nevertheless taught, accepted and practiced.
Baptism of desire is HIGHLY conditional. The Normal, expected and accepted manner IS universally with Water in the Name of the Blessed Trinity. Matthew 28:19-20 “Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”
With the passing on of the very KEY”S to heaven; God HAD to and HAS to give sufficient Powers and Authority to His One Faith; One Church, to make it possible for ALL men, to conditionally attain Salvation. Only those to whom GOD [alone] has NOT made possible reception of the Sacrament of Baptism, in its NORMAL form; and then ONLY those who 1. KNOW God 2. Desire to be with God, freely choose to obey and Worship God ALONE might be so-baptized. 3. Not by there freewill-choice, but by imposed conditions that prohibit the sacrament’s normal application are eligible. AND ONLY God can and does determine WHO actually and rightly receives this necessary to everyone’s Salvation; Sacrament in this extraordinary form.
2nd. Cor. 4:7-15 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency may be of the power of God, and not of us. In all things we suffer tribulation, but are not distressed; we are straitened, but are not destitute; We suffer persecution, but are not forsaken; we are cast down, but we perish not: Always bearing about in our body the mortification of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodies.
For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake; that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. But having the same spirit of faith, as it is written: I believed, for which cause I have spoken; we also believe, for which cause we speak also: Knowing that he who raised up Jesus, will raise us up also with Jesus, and place us with you. For all things are for your sakes; that the grace abounding through many, may abound in thanksgiving unto the glory of God.” Matthew 6:10 “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” AMEN? AMEN!
As always, I am grateful for your questions and interest. If this does not fully explain it, them PLEASE let me know.
God’s continued Blessings,