Catholics/Salvation

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Hello an thank you so much for your time     Could you explain and expound upon how the church looks at conditional security  or how the church looks at sin after baptism.  And also infant baptism.   I worship with the churches of Christ. So forgive my ignorance.   But I study the church fathers heavily

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I am sorry it took so long for me to reply.  Lately it seems I am not getting the emails that tell me there is a question in my box.  If you look at my stats you can see that I am very good about getting back to people within about 12 hours.

Catholics believe that Baptism is necessary for salvation.  This is based in part on the Biblical command to receive Baptism. "Unless a man be born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God." (John 3:5) Baptism can be explicit and formal (as in water baptism) or it can be implicit (as in desire.) Those who in good conscience seek after truth and live according to what they know to be right are baptized by desire.  Either way Baptism in some form is necessary for salvation.  Those who die without some form of Baptism are commended to the love and mercy of God and we hope in their salvation.  

Baptism washes away all sin both Original and actual and makes one a child of God.  Because people sin after Baptism Catholics believe God has given another Sacrament so that they can be forgiven.  This Sacrament is called Confession.  Confession is like an extension of Baptism because it forgives sins.  Baptism can only be received once, Confession as often as needed.  

Catholics baptize infants because Baptism is necessary for salvation and also because God's promises are for everyone, not just adults.  While infants are not able to make an explicit act of Faith God does not need our permission to work in our lives. Hence it is not necessary for a person to be able to make an explicit act of Faith.  All that is necessary is that their will is not explicitly against receiving the Sacrament.  In the early Church in the 1-3 centuries infant Baptism was practiced but more sporadically.  By the 5 century it became common.  

As for "Conditional Security" I understand this to refer to "Once Saved Always Saved."  Catholics do not believe that once a person is saved they are always saved.  Catholics believe one can loose their salvation.  OSAS comes out of Calvinism in particular his belief in Double Predestination.  In his system those who are saved are saved, those who are damned are damned.  God has predestined some to eternal life, others to eternal damnation.  

In any case after having received Baptism (which brings one into the family of God) one's freedom still remains in tact.  This means one can always choose to sin.  While we live we will always have a choice between good and evil and we can still choose evil.  If we sin and we die without repenting we enter the next life in a state of final unrepentence.  When one dies in this state they cannot be forgiven for their sins because they are not sorry.  

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Father Dave Bechtel

Expertise

I am a Catholic priest in good standing and in active ministry in the Diocese of Scranton PA. I can answer most any question about the Catholic Faith, however my area of specialization is Systematic Theology. Systematic Theology is a branch of theology that focuses on the fundamental tenants of the Faith and the Dogmas of the Faith. I have specialization on the Reformation and Catholic vs. Protestant theology/issues and answering Protestant challenges to the Faith.

Experience

I was ordained in June of 2008. Since that time the thrust of my ministry has been specialized. In my first assignment I was an assistant pastor. A year later I was sent to work in education. I spent six (6) years in education and have now assumed my first pastorate. While education was the thrust of my ministry, nevertheless I continued to have a hand in parish ministry, hospital chaplaincy and prison chaplaincy. Now that I am out of education I will obviously be focusing more on parish work than specialized ministry. I have two years of formal Clinical Pastoral Education and prior to ordination I successfully pursued Board Certification for health care ministry through the NACC. My certification needs to be renewed and I plan to seek dual certification in health care ministry (NACC and APC) when I renew my certification. I have a breadth of experience working with Protestant ministers and collaborating with them to achieve the goals of hospital pastoral care and chaplaincy. These ministers run the spectrum from the liberal to the conservative.

Education/Credentials
Bachelors of Science-- University of Scranton PA Masters of Arts Theology--- Saint Mary's Seminary and University Baltimore MD Masters of Divinity--- Saint Charles Borremeo Seminary Philadelphia PA Board Certified Chaplain (up for renewal)

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