What We Must Believe  

Minister of Baptism 



Latin Dictionary 

TAN Error 

Human Evils 

Caritas Newsletter

December 7, 1997
by Fr. Lucian Pulvermacher, OFM Cap.

More on Baptism (continued from Caritas of November 1997) 

Season of Advent

Once again we are in the holy season of Advent, and that means that we are to enter into this penitential season by performing the works of penance.   Our Lord said,  “Unless you do penance you shall all likewise perish” (go into hell). 

When we speak of penance we are talking about three elements, namely: 

  • prayer
  • fasting
  • alms giving
This penance, first of all, puts a strain on the soul.  We must lift up our minds and hearts to God in prayer.  This gives us a needed union with God.  Secondly, we must put a strain on the body by fasting.  Thirdly, we must give of what we have, to our neighbor for the love of God, which is alms giving. 

Just what do we do when we pray?  The four purposes of prayer and the Holy Mass are: 

  • adoration
  • thanksgiving
  • expiation
  • petition
By adoration we give the highest praise we can give, to God.   We adore God chiefly because He is all-good in Himself. This is the necessary motive to make an act of contrition into an act of “perfect contrition” where mortal sin is forgiven even before the obligation of confession can be fulfilled. 
Secondly, we thank God for creating us, for redeeming us, for forgiving us and for giving us grace: and finally for giving us heaven as our eternal reward - if we die in the state of sanctifying grace. 
By expiation, we mean our asking of God the forgiveness of our sins and faults.  When we receive forgiveness from mortal sin we are healed in our soul just as a dead body is raised to life.  Justification as defined in the Council of Trent means: “the going from a non-state of grace to the state of grace, that is, the state of supernatural life.  Without that life, nobody will ever enter heaven. 
Finally, and fourthly, we ask God for all that we need in body and soul in order to get into heaven. 

What We Must Believe

When I wrote on Baptism in Caritas, November 1997, I presumed that the adult to be  baptized was instructed in the faith.  I now give the doctrine for the case of necessity, that is, when the person to be baptized is in danger of imminent death.  Before one can be saved even by baptism he must believe four things -- all listed in the Apostles Creed.  They are: 
  1. belief in the creator who is the one and only God.
  2. belief that God will remunerate (reward and punish) all His free creatures with heaven or hell, for sure.  That means all men will die in sin or in grace.
  3. belief in the Blessed Trinity: there are three Persons in One only God.
  4. belief in the Incarnation; that means, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became man, shed His blood for our redemption, died, arose from the dead and founded His one and only religion, in which all men (and every civil state) are commanded under the pain of eternal damnation to enter.  Instruct the person to be baptized in the meaning of the Apostles Creed.  “I believe in God the Father, almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.”  There you have the first point already.  Then of course we believe in “Jesus Christ ... and in the Holy Ghost.”
Finally, we believe that He (Jesus Christ) will come to judge the living and the dead.  If the person to be baptized is not in the danger of death he must have the ordinary course of instruction before receiving the sacrament of baptism of water.  Once again, the above are basic truths that we all must know and believe in order to be saved.  I shudder when I think of the future of the Jews and Muslims, those stiff-necked monsters of evil.  May they come to the light of the truth and embrace it. 

The Minister of Baptism

Next we come to the minister of the sacrament of Baptism. What must he know, believe and intend in order to give the sacrament of baptism validly?  First of all, no belief on his part is required.  He can be an atheist, and he can still give the sacrament of baptism validly.  However, he must know that the rite of baptism (presuming he knows how to do it correctly) does something to the one he baptizes.  He must know enough that he is giving a sacrament that is given in the Christian religion for their good in some way. Once he knows that, he must desire to do it.  Here is a point that has caused untold distress in the Church.  The Church presumes that anyone who has the above knowledge and gives the rite, has the intention to do the right thing, and the sacrament is valid. 
Today we have a problem about the above knowledge. The atheistic world around us is so completely devoid of knowledge that we might have to question whether such a person has the required knowledge to be the minister of the sacrament.  If there is any good reason to believe that the minister of the sacrament was devoid of the proper knowledge, then he will be devoid of the proper intention; namely, “to DO what the Christian religion (the Catholic Religion) does. Obviously, intention follows knowledge.  One cannot intend to do what he does not know. 

When there are parishes, the pastor is the one, who by law is to have all the baptisms in his parish.  This makes for certainly valid sacraments, and it makes it that the records are kept in a parish record.  If there is no parish, as is the case now, then the priest who serves you is to administer the sacrament.  When there is no priest, then a layman administers the sacrament.  A Catholic is taken before a non-Catholic.  A male is taken over a female.  This is presuming all know how to baptize and are willing to do so.  If possible the parents should not be the ministers of the sacrament for their children.  They may and must do so if no other fitting person is available.  Certainly, a Catholic parent comes before a Protestant person. 

Witnesses or God-Parents

Any normal person who knows how the sacrament is given can be a witness, and they can testify to the correct procedure if that becomes necessary.  Only practicing Catholics can be sponsors, and they are to be at least fourteen years of age.  For a good reason, the priest can dispense from this age requirement.  The sponsor must touch the one baptized during the pouring on of the water (of course, the words included). These directives should guide you for valid and lawful private baptisms. There are many more laws in this regard, but for lack of space they cannot be included.  For help in this and many other moral matters it may interest you to know that you can buy a very fine moral theology book from: 
P.O. Box 424   
Rockford, IL  61105  
catalog #1209 MORAL THEOLOGY 
by Jone, O.F.M.Cap.  
$16.50 + $3.00  postage

Beware of Cockle

I do not have time to tell you how all this cockle got into our lives.  On Okinawa, my bishop told me that a Jew supplied him with excellent Christmas cards - truly the Child Jesus, crib and all. The price was dirt-cheap.  We received those for a few years, and that ended it.  He had nothing but Santa Claus, trees, snow men and the like.  He cleared out all the honest Christmas card outlets by his underselling them.  Once he had the whole market, all of us were stuck. 
Recently, I saw a VCR show on Mother Angelica’s network, showing how the artwork in the Vatican was renovated with money from the Fuji Film company - for all rights to the sale of the pictures.  Since the horrible nudity was put in there by Michaelangelo, over the centuries, men of good will put loin cloths on many of the pictures.  Well, that is now all removed.  Terrible! 
This problem has nothing to do with the infallibility of the Pope.  It has a lot to do whether normal people can keep from being embarrassed and tempted to sin over the problem. Will anyone say cockle is not sewed in that field of the Lord?  If the Vatican should ever get back to the true Pope (before the end of the world) let us hope that something can be done about that embarrassing situation - cockle. 

Latin Dictionary

A news release has it that the Novus Ordo “holy see” has just published a new and revised Latin dictionary.  On my desk I still have my old classical Cassel’s Latin Dicitionary (Latin-English & English-Latin) by Marchant and Charles. 

Just think of the almost impossible problem of writing a document today in the Latin language.  For example, in the new Latin dictionary the word for shampoo is  capitilavium.  The Latin for Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO) becomes a “res inexplicatat volans.”  That is about as helpful as exchanging the word carrot with a thing that grows in the ground. 

The Latin language can never leave the Catholic Church because her doctrines are enshrined in it. The Latin Rite of Mass and Sacraments are enshrined in it, never to be changed.  However, it seems that the Church will have to take for herself another universal language, English: as it is, in its best use today.  Thus the Church must freeze English in its tracks just as it did with the Latin language in the first centuries of the Church. 

A TAN Books Error

TAN Books just published a most wonderful book entitled "The Incredible Catholic Mass".  It was written obviously by a learned and holy man, named  Father Martin von Cochem.  TAN puts behind his name, O.S.F.  TAN means that he is a Franciscan.  Well, look in the introduction, and you will find that he is a Capuchin priest.  I do not have time or space to explain this fully.  However, there are three mainline Franciscan Orders.  They are in the order of age: 
  1. the Conventuals (O.F.M.Conv.) meaning, Order of Friars Minor Conventuals
  2. the [brown] Franciscans (O.F.M.) meaning Order of Friars Minor
  3. the Capuchins [accent on first syllable] (O.F.M.Cap.) meaning Order of Friars Minor Capuchins
Now you know that O.S.F. does not belong behind the author’s name.  He is Father Martin von Cochem, O.F.M. Cap. the same title that goes with my name. Both of us are Capuchins. 

Human Evils

On TV there was a program that showed where 20 prisoners (for what crimes we do not know) in China were lined up on their knees with rifle men behind them.  At a signal they were all shot at the same time: all falling forward in the same way.  The medics cut them open and removed their hearts which were flown to New York to be put into patients there, who were on deck to receive them on schedule. 

Godless men in government see nothing more in their subjects than a human resource.  They sell human hearts just as they sell pig hearts - without compunction. 
I bring up the above scenario to bring to your minds another horrible truth.  Birds of a feather flock together. The United States government is hob-nobbing with China as a most favored nation.  Thus our satanic officials are part and parcel of their sins against God and man. 

John Paul II shot himself in the foot when he declared St. Therese, the Little Flower, to be a Doctor of the Church.  Now there is agitation to get other Saints, such as St. Francis of Assisi, declared a Doctor of the Church.   What next! 

The bishops of the United States shot themselves in their feet when they made a stupid declaration on “accepting gay and lesbians into the family.”  We must pray for all men, and we pray for sinners, that is, for their conversion.  However, if we give them a consideration that leads them to believe that they are good citizens we cooperate in their sin.  That means we get into the same sin without getting any euphoria out of our consent in this world, and we prepare ourselves for hell on top of it.

Christmas Blessing

Soon we shall be celebrating the Birth of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.  I wish all of you a very blessed Christmas.  May our Divine Savior fill you with His blessings. 

Return to True Catholic     truecarpentry library1