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Baptism of Desire

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Definition:   According to Catholic teaching, a person who is ignorant of the Catholic faith can enter heaven by seeking the truth and sincerely doing God’s will (as they understand it). It is presumed that if they had known the necessity of water baptism then they would have desired it. The Church teaches that water baptism is normally required to enter heaven. Baptism of desire is not available to children who have not reached the age of reason. Therefore, it is incumbent that Catholic parents baptize their children in an expedient manner.

Discussion: Scripture declares all men to be sinners who are unworthy to enter heaven (Rom. 3:21-27), regardless of their sincerity or zeal (Rom. 10:1-4). By trusting in the Savior, a sinner is declared righteous. Their sins are blotted out, and they are credited with the perfect righteousness of God.

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