Baptism of desire: Still controversial.

The sedevancantists at Most Holy Family Monastery (MHFM) claim that a Catholic should not attend the Novus Ordo Mass unless/until the priest affirms his personal belief that “Outside the Church There is No Salvation”.

However here in Rome there are Catholic priests who offer Mass in Italian. They affirm the dogma in public. They also correctly assume that the baptism of desire is implicit and so does not contradict the dogma.The MHFM on the contrary, imply that the baptism of desire is defacto known to us and so being explicit, contradicts the dogma. So the sedevancantists reject the baptism of desire. They believe every one, without exception, needs to enter the Church visibly and they imply that the baptism of desire taught by Trent etc., is an exception to the dogma.

Those who accept the baptism of desire (explicit or implicit) are called heretics by the MHFM. However there are priests from different countries here, who know that the baptism of desire can only be implicit and is never visible. So how can it be an exception to the dogma ?

If the MHFM, American sedevancantists, innocently, like so many Catholics assume that the baptism of desire is visible it is understandable. If they choose to continue in this error even after being informed, then it is heresy. This would apply also to Catholic non-sedevacantists, as they are rejecting the Council of Trent on the baptism of desire and they assume wrongly that the baptism of desire is an exception to the dogma.

Daphne McLeod,Chairman of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, England says there can be non-Catholics saved with the baptism of
desire and in invincible ignorance, and this is not an exception
to the dogma “Outside the Church There is No Salvation”.
– Lionel Andrades

Visit Lionel’s Catholic blog


Editor’s note: The term “sedevacantist” essentially means “empty chair” … referring particularly to office of the papacy. With some variations, sedevacantists believe, due to various heresies and apostasy in the modern church, that we no longer have a valid pope sitting in the authoritative chair of St. Peter.

Depending on which group of sedevacantists you encounter, the list of recent, false popes varies, but most begin with Pope John XXIII and go from there. The Most Holy Family Monastery (MHFM) is a relatively “high-profile” example of this type of groups … which are (hopefully) … pretty “far out there” in their theology.

The dogma “Outside the Church there is no salvation” (extra ecclesiam nulla salus) is both ancient and logical. Jesus Christ founded only one Church for the purpose of our salvation, so it just makes good, logical sense to believe that membership in the Catholic Church is (typically) required, in order for a soul to one day, be invited into Heaven.

The Church also rightly admits that our all powerful God is sovereign, and he can choose to save anyone he cares to … for any reason … or for none at all … whether that person is Catholic, Protestant, Pagan, or none of the above. But in any event, salvation remains solely dependent upon the divine application of that saving grace which Jesus obtained for us on the cross, at Calvary.

Yet, the Sacrament of Baptism remains the typical and ordinary means (the door) by which anyone may freely expect to become a member of the Church. And this forms the basis of the controversy!

Traditional Catholics, bolstered by some 1900+ years of consistent church teaching and practice, understand that sacramental baptism is a public, permanent, and very definitive event … for a number of very good reasons.

Alternatively, “baptism of desire” and similar types of “non-standard”, “special arrangements” are typically known only to God, and subject exclusively to his divine prerogatives and will.

Since no man … not even a pope, bishop, or priest … should be so presumptuous as to claim to understand the mind of God … these matters remain extraordinary events, similar to miracles, subject only to God’s inestimable love and incalculable mercy, and closely linked with his divine, all-knowing, eternal system of perfect justice.

In this, the best we can do is hope, since none of us can know … this side of Judgment Day … precisely whom God may have “singled out” for this non-standard “form” of divine mercy.

Yet many Catholics … including some popes, bishops, and priests … claim that God is love, and a loving God would never knowingly permit a soul that might otherwise be saved … to go to hell … simply due to what they consider to be a mere “technicality”. These folks maintain that something well short of the Sacrament of Baptism … “Baptism of Desire” … defined only according to various, theoretical, man-made criteria … is all that’s actually required.

I maintain that anyone who knows (or should know) the constant and traditional teachings and practices of the Catholic Church would be a fool to take any chances at all, when it comes to matters of his/her own, personal salvation. If water baptism was good enough for Jesus (and just about everyone else we know of) then that is obviously the “smart” way to go!

The divine “tie-breaker” in all of this, strongly in favor of reliance on the traditional sacrament, whenever possible, is the power of water baptism to instantly and definitively “wash away” all pre-existing sins of every kind … making the baptized a living temple of the Holy Spirit … an adopted child of God … a member of the Church … a citizen of Heaven … and co-heir with Jesus Christ … right here and right now, with no waiting.

Can’t beat that!


  1. Did I not see a recent post that Vatican II confused everything so no one, barring intense and difficult study, can know proper dogma?

    The Feeneyites have returned.

    And there’s the HUGE problem of post-baptismal mortal sin, which the Sacrament of Reconciliation is the only ordinary way to return to a state of sanctifying grace. I need not elaborate.

    • Dear tz,

      Normal,active membership in the Church, which is typically accomplished through the Sacrament of Baptism is the necessary first step to receiving all the other applicable sacraments, including reconciliation. The article dealt primarily with baptism, and in that limited scope, the points made were indeed both valid and true. As for the Feeneyites … let’s try to be charitable and simply agree that people of good will often disagree on certain matters, especially when it comes to faith and politics … or in the case of the Jesuit Father Feeney … both.

      This link may shed some more light on the subject for you:

      Click to access Peter_Vere_SBC.pdf

  2. The articles scope was limited and I usually try and focus on one point in reports. I agree with tz baptism is the first step and the Catholic needs Confession to erase the effect of mortal sins on the soul. The baptism of water provides Sanctifying Grace, as does the Sacrament of Reconciliation, for those in grave sin.

    Yes we need to look at Vatican Council II in harmony with Tradition –and the dogma- and not interpret it as a break from the past.

    There is too much written about Fr.Leonard Feeney and nothing about the errors of the Archbishop of Boston Cardinal Richard Cushing. I think the supporters of Fr. Leonard Feeney affirmed tradition and the dogma and also implicit baptism of desire.

    The Archbishop created a new issue in the Church with his explicitly known baptism of desire which was supposed to be an exception to the dogma.

    If today I asked a Catechetics Office the following questions these could be the possible reply.

    Probably if I asked the Catechetics Office in Sydney or London if the baptism of desire and invincible ignorance are exceptions to the dogma outside the church there is no salvation, they would answer yes. This is Archbishop’s teaching.

    If I followed with : So it means that the baptism of desire etc are explictly known for it to be an exception ? They could answer no. We personally don’t know any case.

    So we accept implicit baptism of desire (Council of Trent) and being saved in invincible ignorance (Lumen Gentium 16) however they are not exceptions to the dogma?
    Answer: Yes. We accept them in principle but do not presume that they are exceptions to the dogma.

    There is also no magisterial texts which imply that they are exceptions?
    No. None.

    So they are not exceptions to the dogma, they do not contradict the dogma outside the church there is no salvation ? Yes. They they are implicit and the dogma refers to explicit baptism of water given to adults who know the Catholic Faith so there is no contradiction.

    So Fr.Leonard Feeney, the popes and saints were correct in saying everyone needs to be a visible member of the Church for salvation ? Yes.

    How these questions are answered would also show how we interpret Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.It would also show if we are using the error of the Archbishop of Boston and the Jesuits there. Their error was in assuming that the dogma had exceptions with explicitly known baptism of desire and cases saved in invincible ignorance. I think the Boston Heresy, as the secular media called it, refers not to Fr.Leonard Feeney…

  3. Not al sedes are feeneyites. I

    • JUNE 7, 2020
      CDF always interprets Vatican Council II with the false premise and Bishop Athanasius Schneider does not correct them
      Bishop Athanasius Schneider has said that God does not will a plurality of religions for salvation yet he interprets Vatican Council II with the false premise and so the inference is that there is salvation outside the Church. There are known cases of non Catholics saved outside the Catholic Church for him.There are known cases of non Catholics saved in invincible ignorance(LG 16) and so they are exceptions to the strict interpretation of extra ecclesiam nulla salus(EENS).So the conclusion is that God does will a plurality of religions for salvation. This is what Pope Francis has been saying all along citing Vatican Council II( interpreted with the confusion).
      Bishop Schneider’s conclusion is that Vatican Council II contradicts EENS.So he confirms that God wills a plurality of religions for salvation.
      If he did not use the false premise( invisible cases of I.I are visible and objective exceptions to EENS),he would be affirming 16th century EENS.He would be theologically saying, citing Vatican Council II, that God does not will a plurality of religions for salvation.He would be affirming like a traditionalist, that there is exclusive salvation in only the Catholic Church.
      But if there is known salvation outside the Church for Bishop Schneider then Pope Francis is correct in supporting a theology of Christian or general religious pluralism and salvation.
      Unfortunately Bishop Schneider supports the Letter of the Holy Office 1949( LOHO) which wrongly assumed unknown cases of the baptism of desire ( BOD) and invincible ignorance were known and objective exceptions to Feeneyite EENS.So every one did not need to be a member of the Catholic Church for salvation.
      ‘Therefore that one may obtain salvation it is not always required that he be incorporated into the Church actually as a member.’-Letter of the Holy Office 1949(LOHO).
      LOHO is the foundation for the New Theology.Without the mix up between what is invisible-visible there is no New Theology. Invisible cases were projected as objected exceptions to EENS.Bishop Schneider does not correct the mistake.
      These are points related to Vatican Council II and EENS which are never responded to by Bishop Schneider and the Lefbvrists.
      The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is always interpreting Vatican Council II with the false premise and Bishop Schneider does not correct them.
      In Italy the judges in the secular courts interpret Vatican Council II with the false premise. They do the same at the Vatican Tribunal and Bishop Schneider remains silent.
      His last book with Diane Montagna,interprets Vatican Council II with the error.Very convenient and politically correct. So I did not recommend it.
      When the CDF asked the traditionalist St. Benedict Center, N.H., to interpret CCC 847-848( invincible ignorance) as an exception to Feeneyite EENS, he did not protest.
      Would Bishop Schneider and the Lefbvrists be ready to say that all the non Catholics in Kazakhistan, his diocese, are oriented to Hell without faith and baptism according to Vatican Council II (AG 7) and there are no exceptions mentioned in Vatican Council II ?
      I hope so.
      He would of course be asking , the CDF , and Rome, to come back to the Faith.
      However it seems like the traditionalists need the ‘exceptions’ like a man drowning in the ocean needs air.This is why there is no denial for these reports on this blog.I send these reports to Bishop Schneider at his e-mail address and also to the assistant at his website Gloria Dei.
      Even the sedevacantist bishops Sanborn and Pivarunas and Fr. Anthony Cekada, for physical and material survival, need the ‘exceptions’.
      The traditionalists would like Rome to come back to the Faith, but on easier terms, for themselves.-Lionel Andrades

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