Is the teaching of the Baptism of Desire, taught by the Catholic Church, biblical?
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Catechism of the Catholic Church, p.1259 says, "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". The conversion of Cornelius’s household appears to be a case of baptism of desire in Scripture. In this case we know that Cornelius and his household had not yet been water baptized (for after the experience Peter orders that they go on to be water baptized; Acts 10:47-48). While still in their pre-baptized condition, they hear the gospel from Peter (10:34-43), and as they respond to it the Holy Spirit descends upon them and enables them to speak in tongues (10:44-46). This proves to Peter that they are acceptable to God and do not have to become Jews in order to become Christians. Another possible example of baptism by desire is the thief on the cross.
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