What We Must Believe
Minister of Baptism
December 7, 1997
More on Baptism
(continued from Caritas of November 1997)
by Fr. Lucian Pulvermacher, OFM Cap.
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
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:
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.
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:
What We Must Believe
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.
belief in the creator who is the one and only God.
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.
belief in the Blessed Trinity: there are three Persons in One
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.”
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:
TAN BOOKS AND PUBLISHERS, INC.
P.O. Box 424
Rockford, IL 61105
catalog #1209 MORAL THEOLOGY
by Jone, O.F.M.Cap.
$16.50 + $3.00 postage
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.
Beware of Cockle
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.
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.
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
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
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:
A TAN Books Error
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.
the Conventuals (O.F.M.Conv.) meaning, Order of Friars Minor
the [brown] Franciscans (O.F.M.) meaning Order of Friars Minor
the Capuchins [accent on first syllable] (O.F.M.Cap.) meaning
Order of Friars Minor Capuchins
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.
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.