“With regard to children, since the danger of death is often present and the only remedy available to them is the sacrament of baptism by which they are snatched away from the dominion of the devil and adopted as children of God, it admonishes that sacred baptism is not to be deferred for forty or eighty days or any other period of time in accordance with the usage of some people, but it should be conferred as soon as it conveniently can; and if there is imminent danger of death, the child should be baptized straightaway without any delay, even by a lay man or a woman in the form of the church, if there is no priest, as is contained more fully in the decree on the Armenians.”
Consider the following two statements:
1) Only one gas station is in the town of Indiahoma, Oklahoma, which is the only remedy available to those motorists passing through who have run out of gas.
2) Only one gas station is in the town of Winstar, Oklahoma, which is the only remedy available to those motorists passing through who have run out of gas.
Does the claim made in Statement #1, whether it is true or false, have anything to do with the truth or falsity of the claim made in Statement #2? Since both statements are independent of each other, stating the first claim as fact has no impact whatsoever on whether Statement #2 is true or false. One could assert Statement #1 as being absolutely true while at the same time care nothing about whether Statement #2 is true or false. In fact, one could be completely ignorant as to whether Statement #2 was true or false.
In declaring “the sacrament of baptism” as being the only remedy available to children, the Council was saying nothing about whether the Sacrament of Baptism was or was not the only remedy available to adults. The Council was simply silent on the matter, and to claim otherwise is to read text into the Council documents that is simply not present.
But, once again, the SSPX and others engage in a selective reading of Florence as they do with Trent, for Florence also states,
“Whoever wills to be saved, before all things it is necessary that he holds the catholic faith. Unless a person keeps this faith whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish eternally. The catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in the Trinity, and the Trinity in unity, neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance...It is also necessary for salvation to believe faithfully the incarnation of our lord Jesus Christ...This is the catholic faith. Unless a person believes it faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.”
With respect to Baptism of Desire and/or Blood, the Fathers at the Council of Florence, being masters of Aristotelian logic, recognized that the theological question of Baptism of Desire and/or Blood is moot; to say that either of those have ever occurred or could ever occur would be equivalent to “proving a negative,” that is, that something (in this case, Sacramental Baptism in Water) did not occur. Of course, with any individual who had attained the Age of Reason, proving that person was not sacramentally baptized is an impossibility. (Some try to do this with the Thief on the Cross, which is just an argument from silence.) Even with a stillborn infant, conditional Baptism can still be performed and it does not take too much imagination to envision a “minor miracle” by the One and Triune God (who is, after all, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent) who wills that child’s Baptism and who is certainly capable of bringing about that which He wills. While those who insist on Baptism of Desire being Catholic dogma rightly assert that “God is not bound by His Sacraments,” they rarely acknowledge the fact that neither is He “bound by His physical laws,” which He, after all, created. He is, however, bound by His Perfection, which means that He is bound by His Word, and since He has commanded every human being since the coming of His Son Jesus Christ to be sacramentally Baptized in water and since His commandments are not “impossible for us to fulfill,” we have no choice but to conclude that those who sincerely desire Baptism will receive that Sacrament, perhaps unknown to them in their infancy. Acknowledging this fact eviscerates any extreme hypothetical scenario that one can imagine as to why sacramental Baptism in water did not occur in the situation of a Christian martyr or catechumen. To say otherwise is to confine the theistic God to the deistic playpen. Whether God could use “extraordinary means” other than His Church and His Sacraments to save someone is irrelevant; no situation can ever be imagined that would “require” Him to do so. He can utilize “extraordinary measures” (i.e., miracles) to bring the Sacraments & the Faith to any “person (who) wishes his will to be conformed to the will of God.” To say that someone could be saved via “sincerity through invincible ignorance” is not only to deny human free will but to deny the Sovereignty of the One and Triune God, which is, of course, blasphemy. It is to claim that while God is capable of bringing His Grace to any individual that He is somehow “incapable” of bringing His Light to that person, which is both heretical and absurd.
Did the Council of Florence teach Baptism of Desire and/or Blood implicitly?
It would seem so:
By these measures the synod intends to detract in nothing from the sayings and writings of the holy doctors who discourse on these matters. On the contrary, it accepts and embraces them according to their true understanding as commonly expounded and declared by these doctors and other catholic teachers in the theological schools.Of course, Baptism of Desire and/or Blood were taught in the "theological schools." It was definitively not taught, however, that there are individuals in Paradise who have ended this life without sacramental Baptism.