False Theology of Baptism, and of ‘the World’ Contradict the Magisterium

At Rorate Caeli, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski has published a summary of some of the arguments presented at The Josias by Dr. Thomas Pink. The Rorate summary version is entitled “Thomas Pink on the Significance of the Exorcisms before Baptism.” The original three-part study by Dr. Pink is called “Vatican II and Crisis in the Theology of Baptism,” and is available here:  part 1part 2part 3.

Further down on this page is an excerpt of the shorter version by Dr. Kwasniewski. Consider what is said here in light of the comments I made at the Fatima Youth conference in the video immediately below. I’ve started the video at the relevant passage, where I discuss the distinction between “the World” and “the Church.” I argue that the traditional distinction has been lost in Catholic thinking, and one of the principal reasons it has been lost is due to the denial of extra ecclesiam nulla salus. The points made by Dr. Pink, I believe, only confirm that truth, and help to explain it further in terms of the revolt in what he calls “official theology.”

Now here is the passage from Dr. Pink, via Dr. Kwasniewski:

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If the fallen world—the world of the unconverted and unbaptised—really does lie under the dominion of the devil, then the consequence is clear. The Church cannot really live at peace with the world until it is converted. The Church can no more live at peace with the unconverted world than she can live at peace with the devil. Central to the Church’s relation to the unconverted world must be a commitment to spiritual confrontation, where the only way out of the ensuing spiritual conflict is the world’s conversion.

And this is Christ’s own message, who presents his mission as centrally involving conflict between a converted and an unconverted world—between the world of the baptised and the world of the unbaptised—with the mission to baptise as both crystallisation of this conflict, and the only means to victory in it.

I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptised with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division[.] Luke 12: 49-51

Baptism then is not a source of harmony and solidarity with the as yet unconverted world, but precisely in so far as the world is not yet converted, a source of spiritual conflict with it.

But what instead if the dominion of the devil has already, thanks to the coming of Christ, been effectively removed, so that at some eschatological level, even the unconverted world—the world of the unbaptised—is already released from the devil’s power? Perhaps through the coming of Christ the world, though fallen, is already marked, even prior to baptism and incorporation within the visible Church, by a Christianity that, to use the Rahnerian expression, is ‘anonymous’. Even the unconverted world is somehow already released from diabolic dominion and, albeit implicitly rather than explicitly, already committed to the supernatural end. Then the relation of the Church even to the unconverted world need not be one of conflict. Even prior to the world’s conversion the Church’s primary relation to the world can already be one of dialogic harmony.

The traditional liturgy of exorcism, in baptisms and in blessings, stands in contradiction to this benign conception of the situation of the unconverted world. It presents the unconverted world as still in the possession of Christ’s and humanity’s deadly enemy. Without the world’s baptism and its conversion, there can be no articles of peace—no stable dialogic harmony. But a benign conception of the unconverted world and of the Church’s relation to it is plainly now dominant in official theology, and the traditional liturgy’s unwelcome contradiction has been comprehensively suppressed. The duty to convert the world is constantly subordinated to the pursuit of harmony with it. This subordination of conversion to dialogic harmony is a central feature of post-conciliar official theology.