Bishop Sanborn's 'Conditional Baptism Apostolate'
Since Bishop Sanborn himself speaks publicly about his "Conditional Baptism Apostolate", then anyone can speak about that as well, and I will also comment on. I will try to comment as little as possible on my own, but I will rather focus on the teaching of the Catholic authors about the practical aspects of the Sacrament of Baptism.
Bishop Sanborn explains his "policy" in the article CAN NOVUS ORDO BAPTISMS BE TRUSTED AS VALID? and Interview: Can Novus Ordo Baptisms be Trusted as Valid? He says that the article is a response to the article by Fr. Vili Lehtoranta. But actually Fr. Lehtoranta's article was a response to Bishop Sanborn's "Conditional Baptism Apostolate".
Also, please don't be surprised, since some of Bishop Sanborn’s demands are grotesque in form; in commenting on them, I will also use some grotesque.
First, I would like to clarify, that there is no such a thing as "Novus Ordo Baptism", but there is the Sacrament of Baptism and, according to the Catholic teaching, the faculty to baptize is given to all men, even to unbaptized.
In the article and video interview, Bishop Sanborn justifies his "policy" of rebaptizing people who came from Novus Ordo to Saint Gertrude the Great church and received the Sacraments there for several years from Bishop Daniel Dolan, RIP, and his priests. Bishop Sanborn says that he does not understand "why the clergy of Saint Gertrude the Great refuse to investigate Novus Ordo Baptisms" and why, people, being unbaptized (in his opinion) receive Confirmation, Holy Communion and other Sacraments invalidly? However, a different way of investigation does not mean that "the clergy of Saint Gertrude the Great refuse to investigate Novus Ordo Baptisms". Nevertheless, when these people come to Bishop Sanborn to attend Holy Mass and to receive Holy Communion in his chapels, he tells them that their Baptisms are either invalid or doubtful and they must be baptized again conditionally. Not being Theologians, people avoid discussion and agree to be rebaptised.
Also he gives some quotations from pre-Vatican II Catholic theologians, and adds his personal comments on.
And I think it should be also emphasized that Bishop Sanborn, at any occasion, promotes the "Thesis of Cassiciacum" over and over again. His said article and video interview about "conditional baptism" policy were used for that purpose as well.
A doubt about the validity of the Baptism
Although Bishop Sanborn often explains correctly about Conditional Baptism, he, in some instances, misinterprets the Catholic doctrine, and also misinforms people about investigation of the validity of Baptisms. Also, when he says that if people cannot prove the validity of their Baptism with video evidence, which is the "best evidence," then "they should seek to be baptized again conditionally", it looks like an absence of common sense. I will speak about that later.
For example, he gives this quotation from Moral Theology by REV. HERIBERT JONE:
“Herbert Jone O.F.M. Cap, J.C.D. Moral Theology. (Translated and adapted to the Code and Customs of the United States of America by Rev. Urban Adelman, O.F.M. Cap., J.C.D., 1951):
Conditional Baptism is always necessary whenever there is a doubt, even a slight doubt, about the validity of the Baptism received, because the Sacrament is indispensably necessary for salvation. If there is no doubt about the validity of the Baptism received, one may not be rebaptized, even conditionally, though Baptism was administered by a lay person or heretic. — Before one rebaptizes conditionally because of a doubt he must try to remove the doubt by investigation. If nothing can be learned about the Baptism of one converting to the Faith conditional Baptism is necessary.” [no. 470]
Yes, that is a very good quotation, but he (intentionally) omitted this important sentence "Only moral impossibility excuses from such investigation." Please see the text from Moral Theology by REV. HERIBERT JONE as it is:
Bishop Sanborn also gives this quotation:
Rev. Frederick Schulze, D.D., A Manual of Pastoral Theology. 1923.
“The rule today is almost invariably to rebaptize those who come from a Protestant sect, because there is a just reason to doubt the validity of their former baptism. Still, an investigation should in each case be made, lest a priest becomes irregular by rebaptizing without a sufficient reason.”
It's a good quotation as well, but these words "almost invariably" and "a priest become irregular by rebaptizing without a sufficient reason" must be taken seriously as well. That means that not every convert from Protestantism must be rebaptized.
For example, REV. HERIBERT JONE says this:
"Baptism, as conferred in the sects of the Disciples of Christ, the Presbyterians, the Congregationalists, the Baptists and the Methodists, as far as the intention of the minister is conserned, is to be presumed valid when rendering matrimonial decisions, according to the Holy Office (AAS 41-650). Some other sects, too, may confer Baptism validly, but the Holy See was asked conserning these five." Moral Theology, by REV. HERIBERT JONE no. 451
Baptism of Fr. Petrizzi, who was mentioned by Bishop Sanborn in his video interview:
"His parents had the common sense to look at the video and say 'this was invalid'. This was back in 1996...What happend? It was that priest dipped him into water up to his neck, but the water never touched his head. He (priest) said the words, but just did that. That is a doubtful Baptism, because water must touch the skin of the head. And that was clear from the video. And then his parents had him rebaptize conditionally. But if it never been done, and we had not doubted that Baptism, he would be doubtfully ordained priest."
However, ST. THOMAS AQUINAS teaches that Baptism - he calls it "washing with water" - of some part of the body of a man, can be done as well:
Reply Obj. I. What is accidental to a thing does not diversify its essence. Now bodily washing with water is essential to Baptism: wherefore Baptism is called a laver, according to Eph. v, 26: Cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life. But that the washing be done this or that way, is accidental to Baptism. And consequently such diversity does not destroy the one-ness of Baptism.
Reply Obj. 2. Christ's burial is more clearly represented by immersion: wherefore this manner of baptizing is more frequently in use and more commendable.Yet in the other ways of baptizing it is represented after a fashion, albeit not so clearly; for no matter how the washing is done, the body of a man, or some part thereof, is put under water, just as Christ's body was put under the earth.
THE "SUMMA THEOLOGICA" OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, LITERALLY TRANSLATED BY FATHERS OF THE ENGLISH DOMINICAN PROVINCE, THIRD NUMBER (QQ. LX. - LXXXIII.) R. & T. WASHBOURNE, LTD. PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON AND AT MANCHESTER, BIRMINGHAM, AND GLASGOW, BENZIGER BROTHERS : NEW YORK, CINCINNATI, CHICAGO, 1914, Nihil Obstat. F. INNOCENTIUS APAR. O.P., S.T.M,, Censor Theol. Imprimatur. EDUS. CANONICUS SURMONT, VicARius Generalis. Westmonasterii. APPROBATIO ORDINIS. Nihil Obstat. V. G. McNABB, O.P., S.T.B., W. L. MOORE, O.P., S.T.L. Imprimatur. F. HUMBERTUS EVEREST, O.P., S.T.B., Prior Provincialis Angliae. LONDINI, die 7 Martii, 1914. Q. 66. Art. 7, Thom 17, p. 109-110.
Also, according to REV. HERIBERT JONE, Baptism "is probably valid if one were to baptize on the breast, neck or shoulder", and that happened to Fr. Luke Petrizzi. See Moral Theology, REV. HERIBERT JONE, no. 467.
A good explanation can be also found in A MANUAL OF THE CATHOLIC RELIGION BY THE REV. FATHER F. X. WENINGER, D. D.:
Q. What is baptism ?
A. Baptism is the sacrament of spiritual regeneration by the ablution of water and the express invocation of the most Holy Trinity, whereby we become children of God and members of the Church.
Q. What is the matter of baptism?
A. The remote matter of this sacrament is natural water, spring, sea, well, or rain water, as also the water obtained by melting snow, ice, or hail. The prescribed matter, however, is water blessed for baptism when it can be had. Should there exist any doubt as to whether the water employed in baptism on any emergency was pure natural water, baptism would have to be administered again with water known to be pure. Water distilled from blossoms, as for instance, rose water is inadmissible, being an uncertain matter. The immediate matter is the ablution which may be attained in three different ways, viz; by plunging, pouring, and aspersion, according to the usage of the Church, from which we should not deviate. The ablution of the head only is prescribed but, in case of necessity, it is sufficient to pour the water on any portion of the body, so that it flows over the skin."
A MANUAL OF THE CATHOLIC RELIGION FOR CATECHISTS, TEACHERS SELF-INSTRUCTION, BY THE REV. FATHER F. X. WENINGER, D. D., MISSIONARY OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS, SEVENTH EDITION, NEW YORK & CINCINNATI: BENZIGEHR BROTHERS, PRINTERS TO THE HOLY APOSTOLIC SEE, 1871, + JOHN HENRY LUERS, Bishop of Fort Wayne, pp. 246-247
"We baptize..." instead of "I baptize..."
ST. THOMAS AQUINAS explains as follow:
WHETHER SEVERAL CAN BAPTIZE AT THE SAME TIME?
We proceed thus to the Sixth Article:
Obection I. It seems that several can baptize at the same time. For unity is contained in multitude, but not vice versa. Wherefore it seems that many can do whatever one can, but not vice versa: thus many draw a ship which one could draw. But one man can baptize. Therefore several, too, can baptize one at the same time.
Obj. 2. Further, it is more difficult for one agent to act on many things, than for many to act at the same time on one. But one man can baptize several at the same time. Much more, therefore, can many baptize one at the same time.
Obj. 3. Further, Baptism is a sacrament of the greatest necessity. Now in certain cases it seems necessary for several to baptize one at the same time; for instance, suppose a child to be in danger of death, and two persons present one of whom is dumb, and the other without hands or arms; for then the mutilated person would have to pronounce the words, and the dumb person would have to perform the act of baptizing. Therefore it seems that several can baptize one at the same time.
On the contrary, Where there is one agent there is one action. If, therefore, several were to baptize one, it seems to follow that there would be several baptisms: and this is contrary to Eph. iv. 5: one Faith, one Baptism.
I answer that, The Sacrament of Baptism derives its power principally from its form, which the Apostle calls the word of life (Eph. v. 26). Consequently, if several were to baptize one at the same time, we must consider what form they would use. For were they to say: We baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, some maintain that the sacrament of Baptism would not be conferred, because the form of the Church would not be observed, i.e., I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. - But this reasoning is disproved by the form observed in the Greek Church. For they might say: The servant of God, N. , is baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, under which form the Greeks receive the sacrament of Baptism: and yet this form differs far more from the form that we use, than does this: We baptize thee.
The point to be observed, however, is this, that by this form, We baptize thee, the intention expressed is that several concur in conferring one Baptism: and this seems contrary to the notion of a minister; for a man does not baptize save as a minister of Christ, and as standing in His place; wherefore just as there is one Christ, so should there be one minister to represent Christ. Hence the Apostle says pointedly (Eph. iv. 5): One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism. Consequently, an intention which is in opposition to this seems to annul the sacrament of Baptism.
On the other hand, if each were to say: I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, each would signify his intention as though he were conferring Baptism independently of the other. This might occur in the case where both were striving to baptize someone; and then it is clear that whichever pronounced the words first would confer the sacrament of Baptism; while the other, however great his right to baptize, if he presume to utter the words, would be liable to be punished as a rebaptizer. If, however, they were to pronounce the words absolutely at the same time, and dipped or sprinkled the man together, they should be punished for baptizing in an improper manner, but not for rebaptizing: because each would intend to baptize an unbaptized person, and each, so far as he is concerned, would baptize. Nor would they confer several sacraments: but the one Christ baptizing inwardly would confer one sacrament by means of both together.
Reply Obj. I. This argument avails in those agents that act by their own power. But men do not baptize by their own, but by Christ's power. Who, since He is one, perfects His work by means of one minister.
Reply Obj. 2. In a case of necessity one could baptize several at the same time under this form: I baptize ye: for instance, if they were threatened by a falling house, or by the sword or something of the kind, so as not to allow of the delay involved by baptizing them singly. Nor would this cause a change in the Church's form, since the plural is nothing but the singular doubled: especially as we find the plural expressed in Matth. xxviii. 19: Baptizing them, etc. Nor is there parity between the baptizer and the baptized; since Christ, the baptizer in chief, is one: while many are made one in Christ by Baptism.
Reply Obj. 3. As stated above (Q. LXVL, A. i), the integrity of Baptism consists in the form of words and the use of the matter. - Consequently, neither he who only pronounces the words, baptizes, nor he who dips. Wherefore if one pronounces the words and the other dips, no form of words can be fitting. For neither could he say: I baptize thee: since he dips not, and therefore baptizes not. Nor could they say: We baptize thee: since neither baptizes. For if of two men, one write one part of a book, and the other write the other, it would not be a proper form of speech to say: We wrote this book, but the figure of synecdoche in which the whole is put for the part.
THE "SUMMA THEOLOGICA" OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, Q. 67. Art. 6, Thom 17, pp. 133-136
But what happens if, for example, the Pope says: “We baptize...” instead of “I baptize...”?
It is commonly known that when the Pope addresses the Church or gives an Apostolic Benediction he uses "We" instead of "I".
For example, Encyclical Letter Tametsi, November 1, 1900:
"In promise of divine gifts, and in witness of Our paternal benevolence, Venerable Brethren, We impart to your clergy and people most lovingly in the Lord Our Apostolic Benediction."
THE GREAT ENCYCLICAL LETTERS OF POPE LEO XIII, WITH PREFACE BY Rev. JOHN J. WYNNE, S.J., New York, Cincinnati, Chicago: BENZIGER BROTHERS, Nihil Obstat. REMIGIUS LAFORT, S.T.L., Censor Librorum. Imprimatar. +JNO. M. FARLEY, Archbishop of New York, NEW YORK, August 4, 1908, p. 478.
For this reason, I think, if the Pope says, “We baptize...” instead of “I baptize...”, the Baptism would be valid, because by using “We” - the first person plural pronoun - Pope speaks on his own behalf as the Monarch, and, therefore, does not substantially change the form of Baptism. This is just my opinion.
But St. Thomas Aquinas says nothing about the validity/invalidity of Baptism, if one and the same person - on his own behalf - poured water on the head of the person baptized and said “We baptize...” instead of “I baptize...”
The Rigth Intention of a Minister of Baptism
Fr. Heribert Jone says that valid administration of all the Sacraments requires the right intention which need not be expressed in words, except Baptism and Extreme Unction, and that faith and the state of grace are not required.
Moral Theology REV. HERIBERT JONE:
"β) The condition, like the intention, need not be expressed in words, except in adminestering Baptism and Extreme Unction where verbal expression is prescribed by the rubrics.
Some authors think that condition also suffices which is contained in the intention to administer the Sacrament as it should be administered according to the mind of the Church.
3. Faith and the state of grace are not required.
All other requirements being given a Jewish doctor, therefore, validly baprizes, although he neither believes in Baptism nor in Christ." no. 452
Also, according to A Manual of Pastoral Theology, by Rev. Frederick Schulze, D.D., 1914, lay people "need not trouble themselves about the proper intention, because their very action is a proof and guarantee of that intention":
"Finally, the person who baptizes must have the intention of performing a sacramental action, or as theologians express it, "intentio faciendi, quod facit Ecclesia." Lay people, however, who seriously desire to confer private Baptism, need not trouble themselves about the proper intention, because their very action is a proof and guarantee of that intention."
MANUAL OF PASTORAL THEOLOGY, BY REV. FREDERICK SCHULZE, MILWAUKEE, WIS. DIEDERICH-SCHAEFER CO. PUBLISHERS, 1914, Nihil Obstat H. RIES, Censor Librorum, Imprimatur +S. G. MESSMER, Archiepiscopus Milwauchiensis, Milwaukee, June 24, 1914, p. 34.
Also, THE REV. P. CHAS. AUGUSTINE commenting on Canon 742 says:
"The intention must be to "do what the Church does," no matter what one may believe about the Church. A superstitious intent or purpose does not necessarily exclude the right intention."
A COMMENTARY ON THE NEW CODE OF CANON LAW, By THE REV. P. CHAS. AUGUSTINE, O.S.B., D.D., Professor of Canon Law, BOOK III, VOLUME IV, pp. 42-43, NIHIL OBSTAT, Sti. Ludovici, die 11. Martii, 1920. F. G. Holweck, Censor Librorum, IMPRIMATUR, Sti. Ludovici, die 12. Martii, 1920. +Joannes J. Glennon, Archiepiscopus, Sti. Ludovici.
Also, Moral Theology, by REV. HERIBERT JONE:
"All the Sacraments either produce or increase sanctifying grace ex opere operato, i.e., by reason of the Rite itself." no. 447
"The faculty to baptize is given to all men, even to the heathen." no. 450
"The intention must be to perform the respective sacramental action. no. 451
The intention may be included in another intention. Accordingly, Baptism is valid if administered by a Jewish physician who acts with the intention of doing what the Church does, or as Christians do. But no Sacrament is confected if one merely performs the sacramental action for practice (e.g., a seminarian baptizing or saying Mass) or as a mockery." no. 451
Therefore, one can say that the following arguments by Bishop Sanborn "(2) Novus Ordo contempt for the traditional sacramental theology; (4) the lack of adequate training among Novus Ordo clergy" are not based on Catholic teaching.
What about these arguments "(1) the common practice of the Novus Ordo ministers to pour water on the hair only" and "(3) The Novus Ordo culture and practice of ad-libbing and of personal innovation in the liturgy"?
Catholic priests have no duty to take only "common practice" as a pretext to rebaptize every one converted from Protestantism or Novus Ordo, but they are obliged to investigate every individual case. If the rite of Baptism - matter and/or form - was/were changed substantially, then conditional Baptism must be administered, but if matter and/or form are intact, then conditional Baptism is forbidden. As Rev. Frederick Schulze, in his A Manual of Pastoral Theology, says, “a priest becomes irregular by rebaptizing without a sufficient reason.”
Video evidence of the invalidity of Baptism
I don't think it's very easy to prove by video the invalidity of someone's Baptism. However, I watched "Video evidence of doubtful Novus Ordo baptism" posted on the RCI website, and I found four or five of sixteen videos where Baptisms can be regarded doubtful. If I am not mistaken, in most cases, even if water was poured on the hair of the person being baptized, it is seems that water touched the skin of the head and flowed over the skin, and such a Baptism cannot be regarded invalid or doubtful. Unlike, for example oil or balm, water can easily reach the skin when it gets on your hair. Most of the "video evidence" shows that there was enough water (more than one or two drops) to not only touch the skin of the head but also flow over it. Human hair is not waterproof. Water could not pass easily through hairs only if a person deliberately anoints his/her hair with waterproof ointment or fat before Baptism.
By the way, St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that Baptism can be conferred by sprinkling:
"I answer that, In the sacrament of Baptism water is put to the use of a washing of the body, whereby to signify the inward washing away of sins. Now washing may be done with water not only by immersion, but also by sprinkling or pouring. And, therefore, although it is safer to baptize by immersion, because this is the more ordinary fashion, yet Baptism can be conferred by sprinkling or also by pouring, according to Ezech. xxxvi. 25: I will pour upon you clean water, as also the Blessed Lawrence is related to have baptized."
THE "SUMMA THEOLOGICA" OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, Q. 66. Art. 7, Thom 17, p. 109.
Also, according to Canon 758 aspersion (sprinkling) is more ancient than infusion, and THE REV. P. CHAS. AUGUSTINE says that "if possible, the water should flow" and "a wet sponge or rag" can be used, but not thumb:
"METHOD OF BAPTIZING
Licet baptismus conferri valide possit aut per infusionem, aut per immersionem, aut per aspersionem, primus tamen vel secundus modus, aut mixtus ex utroque, qui magis sit in usu, retineatur, secundum probates diversarum Ecclesiarum rituales libros.
Baptism may be validly conferred by infusion, (pouring water over the head), by immersion, and by aspersion (or sprinkling). Where infusion, or immersion, or a combination of both methods is customary, the one most commonly used should be retained, according to the approved rituals of the different churches.
These three methods or rites of baptizing are thus "canonized" by the Church, though immersion and aspersion are more ancient than infusion, which came into use only in the thirteenth century. The Greek Church still practices immersion and aspersion, whereas in the Latin Church infusion is more common. The essential feature of all three methods is that the act of ablution be duly expressed, and hence, if possible, the water should flow. This symbolism, however, may also be expressed by the use of a wet sponge or rag.
A very doubtful, nay invalid manner was used by a certain pastor who was accustomed to baptize children by dipping his thumb into the baptismal water and anointing (!) the forehead of the child - per modum unctionis - with the thumb. The Holy Office declared that all who had been thus baptized should be rebaptized with water and the prescribed formula, but without other ceremonies, and that the bishop should take care to ascertain who of them had been promoted to sacred orders."
A COMMENTARY ON THE NEW CODE OF CANON LAW, By THE REV. P. CHAS. AUGUSTINE, O.S.B., D.D., Professor of Canon Law, BOOK III, VOLUME IV, pp. 69-70, NIHIL OBSTAT, Sti. Ludovici, die 11. Martii, 1920. F. G. Holweck, Censor Librorum, IMPRIMATUR, Sti. Ludovici, die 12. Martii, 1920. +Joannes J. Glennon, Archiepiscopus, Sti. Ludovici.
Also it is not clear to me whether the "RCI" treats dipping a baby down head and then feet into a vat of water six times at the speed of sound as a valid Baptism or not? If I am mistaken, and they did not find a dangerous trick by a man dressed as an Orthodox priest to be valid Baptism, then what did they want to say by putting this together: How different baby's get baptized. USA. Russia?
I never saw such a dangerous way of Baptism by priests of the Russian Orthodox Church.
However, if some priests practice such insane performance, that is not a rule or a custom in the ROC.
The Pastoral Directory of the "Roman Catholic Institute", article 30, says:
"Baptisms conferred by Eastern schismatics are considered valid, unless they have been conferred by clergy who are not subject to the schismatic hierarchy, or have been conferred by those subject to the Russian patriarchate, in which cases positive eyewitness proof of validity must be provided."
As far as I know the majority of priests of the ROC strictly follow the ceremonies and the rite of Baptism, and I have no idea what Bishop Sanborn means saying "unless they have been conferred by clergy who are not subject to the schismatic hierarchy, or have been conferred by those subject to the Russian patriarchate." But how do you know that the man on your video is a priest? Moreover, besides the Russian Orthodox Church, there are many different modernist sects in Russia. In the 20s of the 20th century, hundreds of priests and dozens of bishops broke away from the ROC and formed many independent modernist branches, which were called "Renovationists". There are many such priests and bishops in Russia now.
Baptism and Papal Election
It seems to be very strange that on the one hand, when speaking of Novus Ordo pastors, Bishop Sanborn unconditionally applies to them the terms "bishop" and "father," and on the other hand, he says that Novus Ordo Baptisms in most cases since 1990 should be considered invalid or doubtful, which means that the priestly ordinations and episcopal consecrations of those people who were invalidly or doubtfully baptized since 1990 are invalid as well. Moreover, Bishop Sanborn says that papal elections of 2005 and of 2013 were true Catholic Conclaves. Baptisms after 1990 are invalid or doubtful, but Elections after 1990 are unquestionably valid.
Former MHTS seminarians
Almost all priests of Saint Gertrude the Great church - if I’m not mistaken, except one - studied for 3-6 years at the Most Holy Trinity Seminary of Bishop Sanborn and learned, I believe, to baptize correctly and make investigation of the validity of the Baptism. And it is not surprising that they were shocked when Bishop Sanborn began to rebaptize people from SGG church whose Baptisms were recognized as valid by the SGG clergy.
And since Bishop Sanborn's "Conditional Baptism Apostolate" is no longer private, and he was the first who has begun publicly, to question the pastoral capabilities of other priests - his former students - it is not surprising that they had to express their objection publicly, because it is not just a matter of different theological opinions, but a scandal caused by Bishop Sanborn himself.
Bishop Daniel Dolan
I think it is very important to emphasize, that in the beginning of the video interview, Bishop Sanborn spoke about Bishop Dolan, RIP - who was ordained priest in 1976 and consecrated bishop in 2003 - as a person who lacked knowledge or capacity to distinguish between valid and invalid Baptisms:
"It started and the trigger of this were two cases. One was that of the seminarian here of this then because this seminarian who had been baptized in Novus Ordo and we vet all of incoming seminarians whose regard their Baptisms. And if they cannot prove after investigation that their Baptism was valid indeed, that is valid as they done according to the correct rite, even in Novus Ordo rite, and if they cannot prove that, then we baptize them conditionally again. And then because this seminarian had been confirmed by Bishop Dolan later, that is after his Novus Ordo Baptism, but before our conditional Baptism. So he received Confirmation with the Novus Ordo Baptism which we regard as doubtful, we had to conditionally to confirm him again. And that no offence to Bishop Dolan, I did not even think about that. What I did it just if the original Baptism is doubtful, then all of the other Sacraments that he recieves also are doudtful. And that known to anybody, that is, even to an occasional student of the Sacramental Theology. So, obviously they secondly it had to be conditional Confirmation. Well, I think they took that as an offence to Bishop Dolan, as we are against his Confirmations, but that nothing to do with that what so ever. If it had been Saint Pius V...it is just Sacramental Theology and discipline and has to be done. And that was one thing triggeret it. The other one was a wedding in which the bride came from one of their chapels who has been married in one of our chapels. And she again...whenever somebody approach us for Sacraments, we vet their Baptism, that is we check and see if their Baptism was valid. If they cannot prove that their Novus Ordo Baptism was valid, then we will baptize them again conditionally."
From Bishop Sanborn's explanation, it is clear that he is saying that Bishop Dolan either did not investigate the Baptisms of people who came from the Novus Ordo, or he lacked an ability to see whether the baptism was valid or not. But with such a ridiculous explanation, Bishop Sanborn only expressed his contempt for the deceased bishop, who cannot respond himself.
Last year, Bishop Sanborn, in an extremely disrespectful way, already accused Bishop Dolan, shortly after his death in May 2022. Father Cekada, RIP, by the way, was accused as well:
"To understand the Thesis requires a thorough knowledge of scholastic philosophy and sacred theology. Sorry to say, but Bishop Dolan never excelled in either of these subjects, his forte being the sacred liturgy, lives of the saints, pastoral theology, and devotions. In these subjects he excelled a great deal, far more than I. Father Cekada, as well, was a liturgy and canon law man, and a great researcher, but not a deep thinker when it came to sacred theology. Remember, I knew them both very well for nearly fifty years. This is not to criticize them, it is simply to say that I think they lacked the philosophical and theological equipment to understand the Thesis." Most Holy Trinity Seminary Letter, May 2022, p. 3.
However, Bishop Sanborn said some words in favor of Bishop Dolan, namely: "his forte being the sacred liturgy, lives of the saints, pastoral theology, and devotions. In these subjects he excelled a great deal, far more than I." But now he baptizes again conditionally those people whose Baptisms were recognized to be valid by Bishop Dolan, who excelled a great deal in pastoral theology, far more than Bishop Sanborn...
Also, in the same Newsletter, on page 3, Bishop Sanborn wrote this:
"I always point out, however, that even the totalists adhere to the Thesis in practice, since they do not require those returning from the Novus Ordo to do an abjuration of error and to have the excommunication lifted, which one would be obliged to do if someone had been in a non-Catholic sect. In other words, Novus Ordites, despite their errors, are legally (materially) Catholics, and are not excommunicated, nor are required to do anything except to give up their errors. This is precisely the point of the Thesis."
As you can see, a year ago, Bishop Sanborn, said "Novus Ordites...nor are required to do anything except to give up their errors. This is precisely the point of the Thesis." However, a year later, he says: "If they cannot prove that their Novus Ordo Baptism was valid, then we will baptize them again conditionally."
Video evidence of the validity of Baptism
Answering the question of what evidence of the validity of Baptism people should provide to Bishop Sanborn, he said the following:
"As best they can they need to find out about their Baptism. They can ask relatives, they can ask people who were there, parents, godparents etc. Many times videos were done, and those actually the best evidence. We had a seminarian come to us and his parents has a video, when he was baptized, he was two or three, maybe two or two and a half, and he had a lot of hair. And I saw that video of the Baptism and I said "No, we do this again", because it was just done over the hair. So, videos actually the best, because people can make mistakes, or be unclear after so many years. And if they cannot prove their Baptism to be valid, then they should to seek to be baptized again conditionally."
First, I think that before beginning the "Conditional Baptism Apostolate", Bishop Sanborn should first read what he himself wrote a year ago and earlier about conversion of "Novus Ordites." I also wonder whether he himself can provide the “best evidence” of the validity of his Baptism, or can he, "after so many years," prove that the priest who baptized him poured water on his head, and not some invalid matter, or that the priest did not used invalid, doubtful or ambiguous form? However, I would not be surprised if he instead announces a “three thousand video apostolate” to prove the validity of the Baptisms administered by the Apostles on the day of the Pentecost. But I hope it never happens(?)
- REV. HERIBERT JONE, in his Moral Theology, says: "no Sacrament is confected if one merely performs the sacramental action for practice (e.g., a seminarian baptizing or saying Mass) or as a mockery." no. 451;
From the context of Bishop Sanborn's article, interview and actions, it looks like his intention for the recent “Conditional Baptism Apostolate" was not a "sufficient reason" to save the souls, but to save the "Thesis", and, therefore, it can be treated as a primitive revenge on deceased Bishop Dolan who "attacked the Thesis";
- Hence, when Bishop Sanborn and his priests "conditionally baptize" people who come to their chapels, not directly from the Novus Ordo, but from the SGG church, it looks like they are committing a mockery, performed out of contempt for Bishop Dolan, RIP, who said that the “Thesis” is “a theological error and savors of heresy,” and therefore, one can say that those “conditional baptisms” have nothing to do with the Sacrament of Baptism;
- Priests should be prudent and not perform a sacramental action as a mockery under a direct pressure or out of corporate solidarity, or simply to please a superior;
- People who have experienced stress or shock because of the psychic pressure, and have doubted the validity of their previous Baptism, also should be prudent and avoid to be involved in a "vendetta" against deceased bishop who recognized their Baptisms as valid, and was a good shepherd to them;
- It is a duty of any Catholic to defend the Sacrament of Baptism, and do not justify the abuse of the Sacrament for the purpose of revenge on the opponents, and no one is obliged to fulfill someone’s whims and easily give up the Sacrament of Baptism they have received.
Substantial And Accidental Change In The Form Of Baptism
THE "SUMMA THEOLOGICA"
OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS:
WHAT IS A SACRAMENT?
WHETHER DETERMINATE WORDS ARE REQUIRED IN THE SACRAMENTS?
We proceed thus to the Seventh A rticle: -
Objection I. It seems that determinate words are not required in the sacraments. For as the Philosopher says (Peri Herm. i.), words are not the same for all. But salvation, which is sought through the sacraments, is the same for all. Therefore determinate words are not required in the sacraments.
Obj. 2. Further, words are required in the sacraments forasmuch as they are the principal means of signification, as stated above (A. 6). But it happens that various words mean the same. Therefore determinate words are not required in the sacraments.
Obj. 3. Further, corruption of anything changes its species. But some corrupt the pronunciation of words, and yet it is not credible that the sacramental effect is hindered thereby; else unlettered men and stammerers, in conferring sacraments, would frequently do so invalidly. Therefore it seems that determinate words are not required in the sacraments.
On the contrary, Our Lord used determinate words in consecrating the sacrament of the Eucharist, when He said (Matth. xxvi. 26): This is My Body. Likewise He commanded His disciples to baptize under a form of determinate words, saying (Matt, xxviii. 19): Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
I answer that, As stated above (A. 6 ad 2), in the sacraments the words are as the form, and sensible things are as the matter. Now in all things composed of matter and form, the determining principle is on the part of the form, which is as it were the end and terminus of the matter. Consequently for the being of a thing the need of a determinate form is prior to the need of determinate matter: for determinate matter is needed that it may be adapted to the determinate form. Since, therefore, in the sacraments determinate sensible things are required, which are as the sacramental matter, much more is there need in them of a determinate form of words.
a determinate form of words.
Reply Obj. I. As Augustine says (Tract. Ixxx. sup. Joan.), the word operates in the sacraments not because it is spoken, i.e., not by the outward sound of the voice, but because it is believed in accordance with the sense of the words which is held by faith. And this sense is indeed the same for all, though the same words as to their sound be not used by all. Consequently no matter in what language this sense is expressed, the sacrament is complete.
Reply Obj. 2. Although it happens in every language that various words signify the same thing, yet one of those words is that which those who speak that language use principally and more commonly to signify that particular thing: and this is the word which should be used for the sacramental signification. So also among sensible things, that one is used for the sacramental signification which is most commonly employed for the action by which the sacramental effect is signified: thus water is most commonly used by men for bodily cleansing, by which the spiritual cleansing is signified: and therefore water is employed as the matter of baptism.
Reply Obj. 3. If he who corrupts the pronunciation of the sacramental words - does so on purpose, he does not seem to intend to do what the Church intends: and thus the sacrament seems to be defective. But if he do this through error or a slip of the tongue, and if he so far mispronounce the words as to deprive them of sense, the sacrament seems to be defective. This would be the case especially if the mispronunciation be in the beginning of a word, for instance, if one were to say in nomine matris instead of in nomine Patris. If, however, the sense of the words be not entirely lost by this mispronunciation, the sacrament is complete. This would be the case principally if the end of a word be mispronounced; for instance, if one were to say patrias et filias. For although the words thus mispronounced have no appointed meaning, yet we allow them an accommodated meaning corresponding to the usual forms of speech. And so, although the sensible sound is changed, yet the sense remains the same.
What has been said about the various mispronunciations of words, either at the beginning or at the end, holds forasmuch as with us a change at the beginning of a word changes the meaning, whereas a change at the end generally speaking does not effect such a change: whereas with the Greeks the sense is changed also in the beginning of words in the conjugation of verbs.
Nevertheless the principle point to observe is the extent of the corruption entailed by mispronunciation: for in either case it may be so little that it does not alter the sense of the words; or so great that it destroys it. But it is easier for the one to happen on the part of the beginning of the words, and the other at the end.
WHETHER IT IS LAWFUL TO ADD ANYTHING TO THE WORDS IN WHICH THE SACRAMENTAL FORM CONSISTS?
We proceed thus to the Eighth Article: -
Objection I. It seems that it is not lawful to add anything to the words in which the sacramental form consists. For these sacramental words are not of less importance than are the words of Holy Scripture. But it is not lawful to add anything to, or to take anything from, the words of Holy Scripture: for it is written (Deut. iv. 2): You shall not add to the word that I speak to you, neither shall you take away from it; and (Apoc. xxii. 18, 19): I testify to everyone that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book: if any man shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plagues written in this book. And if any man shall take away...God shall take away his part out of the book of life. Therefore it seems that neither is it lawful to add anything to, or to take anything from, the sacramental forms.
Obj. 2. Further, in the sacraments words are by way of form, as stated above (A. 6 ad 2; A. 7). But any addition or subtraction in forms changes the species, as also in numbers (Metaph. viii.). Therefore it seems that if anything be added to or subtracted from a sacramental form, it will not be the same sacrament.
Obj. 3. Further, just as the sacramental form demands a certain number of words, so does it require that these words should be pronounced in a certain order and without interruption. If therefore, the sacrament is not rendered invalid by addition or subtraction of words, in like manner it seems that neither is it, if the words be pronounced in a different order or with interruptions.
On the contrary, Certain words are inserted by some in the sacramental forms, which are not inserted by others: thus the Latins baptize under this form: I haptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; whereas the Greeks use the following form: The servant of God, N ... is haptized in the name of the Father, etc. Yet both confer the sacrament validly. Therefore it is lawful to add something to, or to take something from, the sacramental forms.
I answer that, With regard to all the variations that may occur in the sacramental forms, two points seem to call for our attention. One is on the part of the person who says the words, and whose intention is essential to the sacrament, as will be explained further on (Q. LXIV., A. 8). Wherefore if he intends by such addition or suppression to perform a rite other from that which is recognized by the Church, it seems that the sacrament is invalid: because he seems not to intend to do what the Church does.
The other point to be considered is the meaning of the words. For since in the sacraments, the words produce an effect according to the sense which they convey, as stated above (A. 7 ad I), we must see whether the change of words destroys the essential sense of the words: because then the sacrament is clearly rendered invalid. Now it is clear, if any substantial part of the sacramental form be suppressed, that the essential sense of the words is destroyed; and consequently the sacrament is invalid. Wherefore Didymus says (De Spir. Sanct, ii.): If anyone attempt to baptize in such a way as to omit one of the aforesaid names, i.e., of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, his baptism will be invalid. But if that which is omitted be not a substantial part of the form, such an omission does not destroy the essential sense of the words, nor consequently the validity of the sacrament. Thus in the form of the Eucharist - For this is My Body, the omission of the word for does not destroy the essential sense of the words, nor consequently cause the sacrament to be invalid; although perhaps he who makes the omission may sin from negligence or contempt.
Again, it is possible to add something that destroys the essential sense of the words: for instance, if one were to say: I baptize thee in the name of the Father Who is greater, and of the Son Who is less, with which form the Arians baptized: and consequently such an addition makes the sacrament invalid. But if the addition be such as not to destroy the essential sense, the sacrament is not rendered invalid. Nor does it matter whether this addition be made at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end: For instance, if one were to say, I baptize thee in the name of the Father Almighty, and of the Only Begotten Son, and of the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, the baptism would be valid; and in like manner if one were to say, I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and may the Blessed Virgin succour thee, the baptism would be valid.
Perhaps, however, if one were to say, I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the baptism would be void; because it is written (I Cor. i. 13): Was Paul crucified for you or were you baptized in the name of Paul? But this is true if the intention be to baptize in the name of the Blessed Virgin as in the name of the Trinity, by which baptism is consecrated: for such a sense would be contrary to faith, and would therefore render the sacrament invalid: whereas if the addition, and in the name of the Blessed Virgin be understood, not as if the name of the Blessed Virgin effected anything in baptism, but as intimating that her intercession may help the person baptized to preserve the baptismal grace, then the sacrament is not rendered void.
Reply Obj. I. It is not lawful to add anything to the words of Holy Scripture as regards the sense; but many words are added by Doctors by way of explanation of the Holy Scriptures. Nevertheless, it is not lawful to add even words to Holy Scripture as though such words were a part thereof, for this would amount to forgery. It would amount to the same if anyone were to pretend that something is essential to a sacramental form, which is not so.
Reply Obj. 2. Words belong to a sacramental form by reason of the sense signified by them. Consequently any addition or suppression of words which does not add to or take from the essential sense, does not destroy the essence of the sacrament.
Reply Obj. 3. If the words are interrupted to such an extent that the intention of the speaker is interrupted, the sacramental sense is destroyed, and consequently, the validity of the sacrament. But this is not the case if the interruption of the speaker is so slight, that his intention and the sense of the words is not interrupted.
The same is to be said of a change in the order of the words. Because if this destroys the sense of the words, the sacrament is invalidated: as happens when a negation is made to precede or follow a word. But if the order is so changed that the sense of the words does not vary, the sacrament is not invalidated, according to the Philosopher's dictum: Nouns and verbs mean the same though they be transposed (Peri Herm. X.).
THE "SUMMA THEOLOGICA" OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, LITERALLY TRANSLATED BY FATHERS OF THE ENGLISH DOMINICAN PROVINCE, THIRD NUMBER (QQ. LX. - LXXXIII.) R. & T. WASHBOURNE, LTD. PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON AND AT MANCHESTER, BIRMINGHAM, AND GLASGOW, BENZIGER BROTHERS : NEW YORK, CINCINNATI, CHICAGO, 1914, Nihil Obstat. F. INNOCENTIUS APAR. O.P., S.T.M,, Censor Theol. Imprimatur. EDUS. CANONICUS SURMONT, VicARius Generalis. Westmonasterii. APPROBATIO ORDINIS. Nihil Obstat. V. G. McNABB, O.P., S.T.B., W. L. MOORE, O.P., S.T.L. Imprimatur. F. HUMBERTUS EVEREST, O.P., S.T.B., Prior Provincialis Angliae. LONDINI, die 7 Martii, 1914. Q. 60. Art. 7, 8, Thom 17, pp. 13-19
CATECHISM OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT
BY VERY REV. J. DONOVAN:
"QUESTION XII. - What is the perfect and absolute form of this Sacrament.
Wherefore pastors will teach, in clear and plain language, which may be easily understood by all, that the perfect and absolute form of baptism is this: "I BAPTIZE THEE IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY GHOST;" for so was it delivered by our Lord and Saviour, when, in Matthew, he gave to his Apostles the command: "Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matt, xxviii, 19). From that word "baptizing," the Catholic Church, instructed from above, most rightly understood that in the form of the sacrament should be expressed the action of the minister, which is the case when it is said: "I baptize thee." And as, besides the ministers, it shonld signify both the person who is being baptized and the principal efficient cause of baptism, therefore are added that pronoun "thee," and the distinct names of the Divine Persons; so that the absolute form of the sacrament is expressed in those words just explained: "I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," for the sacrament of baptism is the wotk not of the Son alone, of whom St. John says: "He it is that baptizeth" (John, i, 33), but simultaneously of all the Persons of the blessed Trinity. By saying, however, "in the name," not names, it is distinctly declared that in the Trinity there is but One nature and Godhead; for in this place the word it not referred to the Persons, but signifies the divine substance, virtue, and power, which, in the Three Persons, are one and the same.
QUESTION XIV. - Whether in the form of Baptism all the words are equally necessary.
It is, however, to be observed, that in this form, which we have shown to be entire and perfect, some of the words are absolutely necessary, their omission invalidating the sacrament; some not so necessary as that their omission would affect its talidity. Of the latter kind is [in the Latin form] the word "ego" (I), the force of which is included in the word "baptizo" (I baptize). Nay more, in the Greek churches, as they deemed it unnecessary to make mention of the minister, by a different mode of expression the first person was altogether omitted; and hence, in baptism they universally make use of this form: "Be the servant of Christ baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." From the decision and definition, however, of the Council of Florence, it appears that, as by these words is sufficiently explained what appertains to the truth of baptism, that is, the ablution which then actually takes place, those who make use of it perfectly administer the sacrament."
CATECHISM OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT BY VERY REV. J. DONOVAN, D.D., DOMESTIC PRELATE TO HIS HOLINESS GREGORY XVI, Dublin, JAMES DUFFY AND CO., Ltd., 38 Westmoreland Street, 1908, p. 148
THE SACRAMENTS EXPLAINED
By Rev Arthur Devine:
"3. The Form of Baptism. - The true and essential form of Baptism is: 'I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.' This form was delivered by our blessed Lord after His Resurrection, when He said to His Apostles: Going, therefore, teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father; and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Of these words, some are absolutely necessary, and some are not essential to the validity. For instance, in the Latin form the word ego is not essential, because its full meaning is included in the word baptizo. For the essence of the Sacrament it is necessary (1) to express the person being baptized by the word thee; (2) the unity of the Divine nature or essence by the words in nomine, in the name, not in in nominibus, in the names; and (3) to express the Trinity of Persons by Their own distinct names: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The Amen is not in the Roman Ritual, and need not be used. The Greek Church has adopted a different manner of expressing the form, and omits mention of the minister altogether. The form universally used in that Church is: 'Let this servant of Christ be baptized,' or, 'The servant of God is baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.' According to the teaching of the Council of Florence, this form is valid, because the words used sufficiently express what is essential to the validity of Baptism - that is, the ablution which then takes place."
THE SACRAMENTS EXPLAINED By Rev Arthur Devine, R. & T. WASHBOURNE, LTD. PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON AND AT MANCHESTER, BIRMINGHAM, AND GLASGOW 1918. Nihil Obstat PHILIPPUS COGHLAN, C.P., CENSOR DEPUTATUS, Imprimatur. HERBERTUS CARDINALIS VAUGHAN, ARCHIEPISCOPUS WESTMONAST. Die I December, 1898, pp. 142-143