Monday, January 5, 2009

Random Remarks on Baptism

Ordinatio IV d.5 q.1: Utrum malitia ministri impediat conferri baptismum

Item, Augustine in De unico baptismo, after the middle: "the glorious martyr Cyprian, who refused to recognize the baptism given by heretics and schimatics" etc. From this it is argued thus: one erring around an article of faith, if he dies in that error, is condemned because "without faith it is impossible to please God, Hebr. 11; Cyprian said that true baptism, at least one given by a heretic or schismatic, cannot be conferred by an evil minister, and in that opinion he endured to the end, and nevertheless he is not condemned but is a glorius martyr; therefore that opinion is not erroneous nor against some article of faith. [and so on]

To that about Cyprian I say that some things are so absolutely(simpliciter) about the substance of the faith that all-perhaps the ones receiving after they receive the use of reason-are held explicitly to believe them, just as are the articles about the incarnation (as Christ has been born and died), about which there are special solemnities in the Church, and whoch the people are able to conceive because they are about Christ the man; others are explicitly required of the substance of the faith, observed by the great ones[or majority? maioribus] of the Church (such as God is trine, and things pertaining to spiritual and imaginable things of this sort). And that distinction is clear from Augustine, XIV De Trinitate ch. 1. Others are which are neither necessarily nor explicitly believed by them nor by those, because they are not yet declared by the Church; of this sort are many conclusions necessarily included in the articles of faith. But before they are declared by the Church it is not necessary that anyone believe them-nevetheless it is necessary sober opinions should be held about them, as namely man is prepared to hold them for the time in which the truth is declared.

In this way I say that 'baptism is a sacrament of the new law necessary for salvation' immediately was a truth of the Christian faith because it was expressed in the Gospels; but t hat it can be conferred by a heretic was not immediately expressed, indeed nor was it declared in the time of Cyprian; on account of which about the declaration of that truth Augustine greatly labored in his books, as is clear from De unico baptismo and Contra Donatistas.

Hence if Cyprian and so thought, namely that there is no baptism among heretics, because he would have been prompt to hold with his mind what the Church had declared, he erred in nothing, unless perhaps by sinning venially, because he strenously asserted that which neither reason nor authority was urging. For his argument was not valid, namely "that which someone does not have he is not able to give" because the one baptizing does not give grace, but a sacrament, and he has that in power, because he has Orders [...].

And in this way Abbat Joachim can be excused, because even if he spoke an erroneous statement, as is clear from Extra, 'De summa Trinitate et fide catholica,' that 'three persons are not some one t hing which does not generate nor is negerated nor spirates nor is spirated,' because he is not said to have defended this pertinaceously but to have left all his books to be corrected according to the judgment of the Church.

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