Roman Catholicism, Water Baptism and the Holy Trinity Part 1

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Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
January 2, 2009

Last Updated :
January 2, 2009

NOTE: This article or series has not been updated recently. As such, it may possibly contain some outdated information, and/or ideas and beliefs which I no longer embrace, or which have changed to some degree.

Baptismal Regeneration, Infant Baptisms, Council Of Trent,
The Reformation Exposes The Corrupt Roman Catholic Church,
Roman Catechism, Meaning Of Anathema, 1992 Catechism Of The
Catholic Church, First Vatican Council, Vatican II Council,
Code Of Canon Law, No Water Baptism = No Forgiveness Of Sins
Or Salvation According To CCC, Salvation Can Be Granted Only
By The RCC According To CCC, Error Of Mixing Grace And Works,
We're Saved By Grace Alone Through Christ, Contradictions And
Exceptions In The Catechism of the Catholic Church, The RCC
Teaches That We Can Be Saved Without Accepting Jesus Christ,
Jesus Christ Is The Only Way To Salvation, Damnable Heresy,
False Doctrines, False Gospels And False Prophets & Apostles

Some time ago, while discussing the important issue of being
born again on our private Christian mailing list, the Endtime
Discussion Group Exchange, one of our list members made the
following comments, in which he quoted a verse that is found
in the third chapter of the Gospel of John:

----- Begin Quote -----

Jesus answered, "Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is
born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of

[In other words, we must undergo the waters of baptism and
receive the Holy Spirit, and then later we are literally
BORN OF THE SPIRIT when we become spirit beings at the

----- End Quote -----

This person embraces a controversial doctrine that's become
known as "baptismal regeneration", or "being generated again
through baptism". Popularized and forcefully promoted by the
Roman Catholic Church, this belief states that water baptism
is absolutely necessary in order for one to obtain Salvation;
that is, Eternal Life. Furthermore, those who adhere to this
doctrine also hold to the belief that infants can be saved by
undergoing water baptism in a church shortly after birth.

The doctrine of baptismal regeneration appears to have first
been embraced by the Roman Catholic Church at least hundreds
of years ago during the Middle Ages; and it has been accepted
by other non-Catholic denominations in more recent times as
well. Looking at ecclesiastical history, we discover that by
the time that the Council of Trent was convened in December
of 1545, baptismal regeneration had already become entrenched
in the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. The purpose of
the Council of Trent, which convened in twenty-five sessions
from 1545 to 1563 in Trent, Germany, was to codify and reform
all of the core doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, and
also to condemn the so-called "heresies" of the Reformation,
which had swept across Europe by that time. If you would like
to read the body of canon law which was established by the
Council of Trent, please visit the following URL:

As I explain in the article "History Of The Authorized King
James Bible", the Reformation was a time marked by giants of
faith, such as Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin,
John Knox, William Tyndale, Thomas Cranmer, John Wesley and
others. While many of the Reformers were themselves members
of the Roman Catholic Church, they were appalled by the many
false doctrines and corrupt practices which had infiltrated
and polluted the church. This included, among other things,
the sale of indulgences, (paying money or gifts in order to
be forgiven for one's sins and have the period of punishment
reduced); the belief in an intermediary place of purification
called Purgatory, where one was purged of sins so they could
continue on to Heaven; Mariology, (worship of Mary); praying
to the Saints; celibacy; and finally, simony, (the buying and
selling of church positions). I discuss some of these issues
in other articles, so I won't be addressing them at length

At any rate, these brave Reformers who dared to question and
defy the mandates of the so-called "Holy Mother Church", were
in fact following in the footsteps of earlier Reformers, such
as John Wycliffe and Jan Hus, who had exposed these very same
inadequacies in the church several centuries earlier. So to
reiterate, the primary purpose of the Council of Trent was to
firmly establish the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church,
(just as the Council of Nicaea had done over twelve hundred
years earlier), and to condemn as heretics, those people who
refused to accept the misguided doctrines of the church. The
accepted and reformed doctrines were integrated into a manual
called "Roman Catechism", (a.k.a. Catechism of the Council of
Trent), which was first published in 1566 during the reign of
Pope Pius V. This manual carried so much weight within the
Catholic world, that it was viewed as the ultimate authority
regarding Roman Catholic doctrine, until the publication of
the "Catechism of the Catholic Church", (or CCC), in 1992,
during the reign of Pope John Paul II.

As we saw earlier, one of the doctrines that was codified at
the time that the Council of Trent was convened, (and perhaps
even before that), was "baptismal regeneration"; which states
that absolutely no one can obtain Salvation, or Forgiveness
for their sins, without being water baptized. Furthermore, it
is an absolute must that infants be baptized as well, for the
very same reason; even though such babies have absolutely no
understanding whatsoever regarding Jesus Christ, sin, or the
need for Forgiveness and Salvation. These rules were decreed
by the Council of Trent in the following canons, or laws:

----- Begin Quote -----

Seventh Session - Decree On The Sacraments - On Baptism

CANON II. - "If any one saith, that true and natural
water is not of necessity for baptism, and, on that account,
wrests, to some sort of metaphor, those words of our Lord
Jesus Christ; Unless a man be born again of water and the
Holy Ghost; let him be anathema."

CANON III. - "If any one saith, that in the Roman church,
which is the mother and mistress of all churches, there is
not the true doctrine concerning the sacrament of baptism;
let him be anathema."

CANON V. - "If any one saith, that baptism is free, that
is, not necessary unto salvation; let him be anathema."

CANON XIII. - "If any one saith, that little children, for
that they have not actual faith, are not, after having
received baptism, to be reckoned amongst the faithful; and
that, for this cause, they are to be rebaptized when they
have attained to years of discretion; or, that it is better
that the baptism of such be omitted, than that, while not
believing by their own act, they should be baptized in the
faith alone of the Church; let him be anathema."

----- End Quote -----

The word "anathema" is actually a Greek word which means to
be cursed. We find it being used by the Apostle Paul in his
first Epistle to the brethren at Corinth, in the following
two verses:

"Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by
the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man
can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost."
1 Corinthians 12:3, KJV

"If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be
Anathema Maranatha."
1 Corinthians 16:22, KJV

While we may not have access to the original Roman Catechism
that was published over 440 years ago, assuming, that is, if
any copies have even survived to our modern day, (possibly in
the Vatican Library?), all is not lost. That is because one
can freely access the online edition of the 1992 Catechism of
the Catholic Church, which is an updated version of the same,
at the United States Conference Of Catholic Bishops website,
which can be accessed at the following URL:

You will also find a complete online version of the Catechism
of the Catholic Church on the official Vatican website at the
following URL:

Please also note that given the authority which was ascribed
to the Roman Catechism, its position regarding the need for
water baptism was upheld in full by the Vatican II Council,
which was convened from 1962 to 1965. For its part, in its
many pages, the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church states
rather clearly that water baptism is a mandatory requirement
for both adults and infants, in order to obtain Forgiveness
of sins, and to inherit Salvation, or Eternal Life. It needs
to be understood that the Catechism of the Catholic Church
is actually a teaching mechanism, or guide, used by Catholic
priests and teachers to teach the Catholic faith to the laity
in Sunday School classes. Traditionally speaking, a catechism
is a summary of the principles of the Catholic faith, that is
usually in question and answer form. In modern lingo, you can
think of it as being an extensive Roman Catholic FAQ.

But the actual basis from which the Catechism of the Catholic
Church derives its strength is the "Code of Canon Law", which
is the ecclesiastical law of the Roman Catholic Church. This
Code of Canon Law came into being following the First Vatican
Council which convened between 1869-1870. During the Council,
Catholic bishops expressed a desire to Pope Pius X to have
the large body of documents which established Roman Catholic
law, concatenated into a single all-encompassing code. The
result was published in May of 1917 during the reign of Pope
Benedict XV. In 1959, Pope John XXIII announced his plans to
convoke a Second Vatican Council, which finally got underway
in 1962, and was in session until 1965, during the reign of
John XXIII's successor, Pope Paul VI. The purpose of Vatican
II was to completely revise the Code of Canon Law. The new
version of the Code of Canon Law finally came into force in
November of 1983 during the reign of Pope John Paul II.

If you are interested in reading the official English version
of the Code of Canon Law, you will find it posted on various
Roman Catholic websites such as and
Here are the links for each one. Please note that in the case
of the Vatican site, the URL is case-sensitive:

Returning to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, exactly
what does this lengthy document say regarding the necessity
of water baptism in order that one might obtain Salvation
and Forgiveness of sins? In answer to this question, allow
me to share with you the following paragraphs which are
taken directly from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

----- Begin Quote -----

Para. 804: One enters into the People of God by faith and
Baptism. "All men are called to belong to the new People of
God" (LG 13), so that, in Christ, "men may form one family
and one People of God" (AG 1).

Para. 981: After his Resurrection, Christ sent his apostles
"so that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be
preached in his name to all nations." The apostles and their
successors carry out this "ministry of reconciliation," not
only by announcing to men God's forgiveness merited for us
by Christ, and calling them to conversion and faith; but
also by communicating to them the forgiveness of sins in

Para. 985: Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of the
forgiveness of sins: it unites us to Christ, who died and
rose, and gives us the Holy Spirit".

Para. 1213: Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian
life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis
ianua),4 and the door which gives access to the other
sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn
as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are
incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her
mission: "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through
water and in the word."5

Para. 1250: Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by
original sin, children also have need of the new birth in
Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought
into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to
which all men are called. The sheer gratuitousness of the
grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant
Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the
priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to
confer Baptism shortly after birth.

Para. 1252: The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial
tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this
practice from the second century on, and it is quite
possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic
preaching, when whole "households" received baptism, infants
may also have been baptized.

Para. 1257: The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is
necessary for salvation. He also commands his disciples to
proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.
Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the
Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility
of asking for this sacrament. The Church does not know of
any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal
beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the
mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who
can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit." God
has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he
himself is not bound by his sacraments.

Para. 1262: The different effects of Baptism are signified
by the perceptible elements of the sacramental rite.
Immersion in water symbolizes not only death and
purification, but also regeneration and renewal. Thus the
two principal effects are purification from sins and new
birth in the Holy Spirit.

Para. 1263: By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin
and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin. In
those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede
their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam's sin, nor
personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the gravest of
which is separation from God.

Para. 1265: Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but
also makes the neophyte "a new creature," an adopted son of
God, who has become a "partaker of the divine nature,"
member of Christ and co-heir with him, and a temple of the
Holy Spirit.

Para. 1277: Baptism is birth into the new life in Christ. In
accordance with the Lord's will, it is necessary for
salvation, as is the Church herself, which we enter by

Para. 1278: The essential rite of Baptism consists in
immersing the candidate in water or pouring water on his
head, while pronouncing the invocation of the Most Holy
Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Para. 1279: The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a
rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and
all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man
becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ
and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the
person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of
Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ.

----- End Quote -----

It is rather evident from the previous excerpts taken from
the Catechism of the Catholic Church, that the Roman Catholic
Church clearly believes that Salvation and the Forgiveness of
sins are an integral part of water baptism; and that without
it, neither can be obtained. Furthermore, as it is also made
clear in paragraph 849, as well as in other sections of the
Catechism of the Catholic Church, the RCC has long held the
view that it is the only church which has been authorized by
Jesus Christ to serve as a vehicle of Salvation; or in its
own words, "the universal sacrament of salvation". In other
words, one must not only be baptized in water in order to be
saved, but this baptism must occur in the Roman Catholic
Church. Paragraph 849 states:

----- Begin Quote -----

Para. 849: The missionary mandate. "Having been divinely sent
to the nations that she might be 'the universal sacrament of
salvation,' the Church, in obedience to the command of her
founder and because it is demanded by her own essential
universality, strives to preach the Gospel to all men": "Go
therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded
you; and Lo, I am with you always, until the close of the

----- End Quote -----

Contrary to what the Scriptures plainly teach us regarding
mixing Grace with works, (please refer to some of my other
articles), the previous excerpts demonstrate that the Roman
Catholic Church teaches that faith in the Sacrifice of Jesus
Christ alone is not sufficient for obtaining Forgiveness of
sins, or for inheriting Salvation. According to the Catechism
of the Catholic Church, there is no spiritual rebirth unless
one is water baptized. In a word, the Roman Catechism states
that our faith in Christ is lacking, and must be accompanied
by water baptism; which is in fact mixing Grace with works.
As I have long taught, either the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ
alone opened the way to Redemption and Salvation, or else it
did not. If Christ's Crucifixion on the Cross didn't pay the
full price for our Salvation, then Jesus died in vain.

Of course, I personally don't believe this for a minute. I am
fully convinced that Jesus Christ paid the full price for our
sins, and that there is absolutely nothing that we can add to
His Death in order to merit Eternal Life. We are saved by the
Grace of God alone, through Christ, and not by our own works.
As the Apostle Paul so elegantly wrote:

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man
should boast."
Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV

"And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise
grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no
more grace: otherwise work is no more work."
Romans 11:6, KJV

It was in fact the previous verses which resulted in Martin
Luther running afoul of the Roman Catholic Church of his day.
So to reiterate, I personally reject the false doctrine of
the Roman Catholic Church, that water baptism is necessary
for Salvation. Furthermore, a little later in this series, I
will be sharing with you a Scriptural example where certain
believers were saved, and filled with the Holy Spirit, even
BEFORE they were water baptized. How is this even possible,
unless the Catechism of the Catholic Church is wrong?

At this point, you the reader have probably been persuaded
that the Roman Catholic Church is quite convinced that water
baptism is an absolutely essential and necessary part of the
Salvation Plan. But is this everything that the RCC teaches
regarding this issue? Apparently not. It seems that the RCC
contradicts itself in its own catechism when it states the

----- Begin Quote -----

Para. 1258: The Church has always held the firm conviction
that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without
having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and
with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for
Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a

----- End Quote -----

What that paragraph means, is that if a person happens to be
martyred for their faith, (which I can only assume means the
Roman Catholic faith), they will still receive Forgiveness of
sins and Salvation, even if they were never water baptized.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in such a
case, the spilling of a martyr's own blood acts as a type of
"blood baptism" that results in the same effects as a regular
water baptism; that is, the Forgiveness of their sins, and
Salvation. In other words, there is a legal loophole around
the necessity of water baptism when it comes to martyrs for
the faith. As ironic as it may seem, this isn't really that
different from what Muslim extremists believe. They also
believe that if they sacrifice their lives for their faith,
they will go to Paradise. Of course, Muslims don't accept
Jesus Christ as the Son of God, or the Savior of the world.

And that is not all. Consider this next paragraph, which is
likewise taken directly from the Catechism of the Catholic

----- Begin Quote -----

Para. 1259: For catechumens who die before their Baptism,
their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance
for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that
they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

----- End Quote -----

What that paragraph is basically saying is that if a person
is preparing for their water baptism, (a catechumen), but for
some reason dies before actually being able to accomplish it,
just the fact that they desired to be baptized, along with
being in a repentant state, and their charitable acts towards
others, will guarantee their Salvation. In other words, this
is a second clear example where we see that the RCC teaches
that a person can still be saved, and be forgiven for their
sins, even though they were never water baptized. With these
two examples, we see that the Roman Catholic Church is more
than willing to make some exceptions to its seemingly hard
and fast rule regarding water baptism; and there is more to

I found the next paragraph of the Catechism of the Catholic
Church to be absolutely astounding. In fact, I was so taken
back by this particular false doctrine, that eight years ago,
when Cardinal Ratzinger, (now Pope Benedict XVI), first made
this pronouncement, I authored a series about it, in which I
exposed his sin. The series is called "Cardinal Ratzinger's
Rebellion". I urge you to read it. Paragraph 1260 states:

----- Begin Quote -----

Para. 1260: "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are
in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine,
we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the
possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God,
of the Paschal mystery." Every man who is ignorant of the
Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and
does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of
it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would
have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its

----- End Quote -----

What that paragraph is saying, is that even if the person is
not aware of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or of the existence
of the Roman Catholic Church, they can still be saved, just
by seeking the truth, and doing what they believe to be the
Will of God, according to their understanding. In short, the
Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that a person can
be saved without even knowing Jesus Christ. It seems to be
saying that we can each have our own truth, and even our own
religion, Christian or not; and that as long as we strive to
live by our own truth, even if it doesn't include Christ, we
can still be saved. This is in fact precisely what Cardinal
Ratzinger stated eight years ago, before he became the new
Pope. In an article titled "Are Believers Of Other Religions
Saved?", which appeared on the website on Sept. 5,
2000, Ratzinger, who was then a cardinal from Germany, said:

----- Begin Quote -----

". . . we are in agreement that a Jew, and this is true for
believers of other religions, does not need to know or
acknowledge Christ as the Son of God in order to be saved,
if there are insurmountable impediments, of which he is not
blameworthy, to preclude it . . ."

----- End Quote -----

As I point out in the aforementioned series, this statement,
and the previous paragraph from the Catechism of the Catholic
are in blatant contradiction to the Scriptures where Jesus,
the Gospel writers, Peter, Paul, etc., clearly tell us that
Jesus is the only way to Salvation, as we see here:

". . . I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh
unto the Father, but by me."
John 14:6b, KJV

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none
other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be
Acts 4:12, KJV

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus;"
1 Timothy 2:5, KJV

So this doctrine, which was uttered by the current Pope, and
which is now clearly taught in the Catechism of the Catholic
Church, is utterly false. It is a damnable heresy, as Peter
called them. How are we to respond to this lie which states
that people can be saved without Christ? The answer can be
found in the Scriptures, as we see here:

"But there were false prophets also among the people, even
as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily
shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that
bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."
2 Peter 2:1, KJV

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times
some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing
spirits, and doctrines of devils;"
1 Timothy 4:1, KJV

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound
doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to
themselves teachers, having itching ears;"
2 Timothy 4:3, KJV

"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro,
and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the
sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in
wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up
into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:"
Ephesians 4:14-15, KJV

"Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For
it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace;
not with meats, which have not profited them that have been
occupied therein."
Hebrews 13:9, KJV

"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause
divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye
have learned; and avoid them."
Romans 16:17, KJV

"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve
through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from
the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh
preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye
receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or
another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well
bear with him . . . For such are false apostles, deceitful
workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of
Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into
an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his
ministers also be transformed as the ministers of
righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15, KJV

"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called
you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is
not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would
pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel
from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that
which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we
said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other
gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be
Galatians 1:6-9, KJV

"If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome
words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the
doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud,
knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of
words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil
surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and
destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness:
from such withdraw thyself."
1 Timothy 6:3-5, KJV

"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of
Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of
Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come
any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not
into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that
biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."
2 John 1:9-11, KJV

Please go to part two for the continuation of this series.

⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .

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