THE APOSTOLIC SEE

Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church

POPE BONIFACE X


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Sancta Sedes, Papa Bonifatius X

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Apostolic Constitution Regarding the Necessity and Nature of Baptism

Ex Cathedra


Boniface X, Servant of the Servants of God, in perpetual memory,


The doctrines called "baptism of desire" and "baptism of blood" recede from the dogmatic language of the authoritative Councils of the Catholic Church.  The Council of Florence taught in 1442 A.D.:


Holy baptism holds the first place among all the sacraments, for it is the gate of the spiritual life; through it we become members of Christ and of the body of the Church. Since death came into the world through one person, unless we are born again of water and the spirit, we cannot, as Truth says, enter the kingdom of heaven. The matter of this sacrament is true and natural water, either hot or cold. The form is: I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. But We do not deny that true baptism is conferred by the following words: May this servant of Christ be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit; or, This person is baptized by my hands in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.

  

The Council of Florence defines the nature of baptism in very specific terms that refute the idea that baptism is conferred merely by hoping for it or merely by receiving martyrdom.


The First Vatican Council condemned making exceptions to dogmas like the one from Florence, and receding from them in any way.  Wherefore it taught:


Hence, too, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by holy mother church, and there must never be a recession from this meaning under the name of a kind of deeper understanding. (Vatican I, Session 3, Chapter 4, Section 16, 24 April 1870).


The Council of Trent taught both the necessity of baptism, and the necessity of using real and natural water:


CANON V.-If any one saith that baptism is optional, that is, not necessary unto salvation; let him be anathema.


CANON II.-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.


Finally, Gregory XVI taught in his encyclical Mirari Vos: “nothing of the things appointed ought to be diminished; nothing changed; nothing added; but they must be preserved both as regards expression and meaning."


WHEREFORE, if any man states that baptism does not require true and natural water or does not require the invocation of the Holy Trinity, as taught at the Council of Florence, let him be anathema.  Further, if any man claims that there is such a thing as entering into the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church to become a member of it, without the holy sacrament of baptism, or denies that baptism is a sacrament, or denies that baptism is necessary for salvation, let him be anathema.


WHEREFORE, We condemn the notion that what some theologians call "baptism of desire" and "baptism of blood" confer salvation or admission into the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.  We also condemn the idea that they confer a spiritual seal on their recipients.  


Understand how serious a matter this is then, that baptism with real and natural water with the invocation of the Holy Trinity is the gateway into the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.  Just as the death-dealing tongues of heretics are the gates of hell as declared by Our Predecessor Pope Vigilius, baptism with real and natural water with the invocation of the Holy Trinity is the gateway to the Church.  To declare otherwise is to recede from the dogmas and articles of Catholic Faith.


Boniface X P P

DECLARED AND DEFINED this 29th day of June, 2015