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A question on Baptism - AntoniusMaximus - 08-02-2009

Now, I don't know if this belongs here, I guess it belongs in the theological debate, but since that is closed.

I have been having a conversation with a dear friend of mine.  The talk was the sacraments, particularly baptism.  I was talking about if I was a priest, I would not marry co-habitating couples, nor baptise the children of queer couples or unmarried couples.  She was kind of weary about the unmarried couple part because she is concerned for the child.  I guess it might be better to confer with some wiser minds on the issue.  So i offer the question up, is it better to have a child baptize even though the parents are not living the faith (which in my mind defeats the purpose of infant baptism) or for the sacrament to be delayed (or even denied) till the parents makes amend to their faith (which who knows how long it will take)?

Personally, I think it is more detrimental to have a child baptised in that kind of home, because he or she will not have the grounds to develop a solid faith, and probably ending up having a perverted faith (like Pelosism).  I think too many people don't realize how important the sacraments and they are not merely symbols, but acts of grace.  If we restrict sacraments (especialyl those that can be controlled like baptism and matrimony), we can restore some idea of holiness and get things back on track.


Re: A question on Baptism - cgraye - 08-02-2009

Yes, but what happens if the child then dies without baptism?  I think we should be as generous as possible when it comes to baptism.


Re: A question on Baptism - Resurrexi - 08-02-2009

(08-02-2009, 08:09 PM)AntoniusMaximus Wrote: Now, I don't know if this belongs here, I guess it belongs in the theological debate, but since that is closed.

I have been having a conversation with a dear friend of mine.  The talk was the sacraments, particularly baptism.   I was talking about if I was a priest, I would not marry co-habitating couples, nor baptise the children of queer couples or unmarried couples.  She was kind of weary about the unmarried couple part because she is concerned for the child.  I guess it might be better to confer with some wiser minds on the issue.  So i offer the question up, is it better to have a child baptize even though the parents are not living the faith (which in my mind defeats the purpose of infant baptism) or for the sacrament to be delayed (or even denied) till the parents makes amend to their faith (which who knows how long it will take)?

Personally, I think it is more detrimental to have a child baptised in that kind of home, because he or she will not have the grounds to develop a solid faith, and probably ending up having a perverted faith (like Pelosism).  I think too many people don't realize how important the sacraments and they are not merely symbols, but acts of grace.  If we restrict sacraments (especialyl those that can be controlled like baptism and matrimony), we can restore some idea of holiness and get things back on track.

According to the Code, for an infant to be baptized licitly "there be a well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic religion." (cf. CIC, can. 868 § 1)

Even if the child's parents are not married, it is still possible for them to raise their children in the Catholic faith.


Re: A question on Baptism - RalphKramden - 08-02-2009

I would say that a lack of faith on the part of the parents dosen't mean they won't raise the child as a Catholic. I do doubt it though, but for the sake of the child's soul, I'd say BAPTISM AWAY!


Re: A question on Baptism - Historian - 08-02-2009

(08-02-2009, 08:37 PM)Resurrexi Wrote: Even if the child's parents are not married, it is still possible for them to raise their children in the Catholic faith.

If I were a priest, then there would be additional considerations.  If the parents are not married, do they still attend Mass?  If they are not married, living together, they still need to attend Mass even if they are in a state of sin and cannot receive Communion.  So, if the parents show by some manner they are practicing Catholicism to some reasonable degree, then personally I would baptize the child.

Personally, I would err on the side of baptizing rather than not baptizing.    As long as the parents weren't completely apostate or were getting the child baptized "just cause" I would probably baptize the child and use the opportunity to reach out to the parents and explain to them the gravity of the Sacraments, their responsibilities, etc.  Often new parents have a lot of zeal to do right by their new baby and this may be able to be directed to the good of the parents as well.  Like I stopped smoking when my first child was born (though I restarted later).

But, I am not a priest, obviously, so....


Re: A question on Baptism - Historian - 08-02-2009

(08-02-2009, 08:40 PM)RalphKramden Wrote: I would say that a lack of faith on the part of the parents dosen't mean they won't raise the child as a Catholic. I do doubt it though, but for the sake of the child's soul, I'd say BAPTISM AWAY!

It's a bit more complicated.  The parents/godparents supply the intent necessary for the recipient of the Sacrament of Baptism if a child.  It can be assumed by the Church in most cases by the presentation for baptism, but a clear and complete lack of intent on the part of the parents may be problematic; I think that's why it says a "well-founded hope".


Re: A question on Baptism - AntoniusMaximus - 08-02-2009

(08-02-2009, 08:45 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote:
(08-02-2009, 08:37 PM)Resurrexi Wrote: Even if the child's parents are not married, it is still possible for them to raise their children in the Catholic faith.

If I were a priest, then there would be additional considerations.  If the parents are not married, do they still attend Mass?  If they are not married, living together, they still need to attend Mass even if they are in a state of sin and cannot receive Communion.  So, if the parents show by some manner they are practicing Catholicism to some reasonable degree, then personally I would baptize the child.

Personally, I would err on the side of baptizing rather than not baptizing.    As long as the parents weren't completely apostate or were getting the child baptized "just cause" I would probably baptize the child and use the opportunity to reach out to the parents and explain to them the gravity of the Sacraments, their responsibilities, etc.  Often new parents have a lot of zeal to do right by their new baby and this may be able to be directed to the good of the parents as well.  Like I stopped smoking when my first child was born (though I restarted later).

But, I am not a priest, obviously, so....

See, sometimes to me the whole issue of baptism for salvation is kind of sticky especially for children below the age of reason.  I am sure I am going to get a bunch of quotes from popes and saints on the subject, but if a child like say 5, heaven forbids, get killed in an accident.  At that age would he not be saved, because if he was not baptized and is too young to recognize the difference between good and evil, then he wouldn't be culpable.  Perhaps, I am only thinking of the too all common cases where the parents gets a child baptized "just because" (as my sister did with her two youngest, but the third remains unbaptized).  Which to me suggests an abuse of a sacrament, and not a good start.  Now in the cases where unmarried parents may raise the child in faith, but he is not baptized.  Then that child would have baptism of desire in that case more than likely, so if something horrible would happen to him, he would be ok.  I am probably chock full of errors in the last paragraph, but just throwing some ideas to keep the engine running


Re: A question on Baptism - spasiisochrani - 08-02-2009

(08-02-2009, 08:37 PM)Resurrexi Wrote: According to the Code, for an infant to be baptized licitly "there be a well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic religion." (cf. CIC, can. 868 §)

Actually, the Code not not require a "well-founded hope", but merely a "founded hope".  Here is the English from the Vatican website:

Can.  868 §1. For an infant to be baptized licitly:

1/ the parents or at least one of them or the person who legitimately takes their place must consent;

2/ there must be a founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the Catholic religion; if such hope is altogether lacking, the baptism is to be delayed according to the prescripts of particular law after the parents have been advised about the reason.


And here is the Latin:

Can. 868 — § 1. Ut infans licite baptizetur, oportet:

1° parentes, saltem eorum unus aut qui legitime eorundem locum tenet, consentiant;

2° spes habeatur fundata eum in religione catholica educatum iri quae si prorsus deficiat, baptismus secundum praescripta iuris particularis differatur, monitis de ratione parentibus.


A priest with a doctorate in canon law once told me that an apparently sincere promise to raise the child in the Catholic faith will sufice.


Re: A question on Baptism - AntoniusMaximus - 08-02-2009

(08-02-2009, 09:11 PM)spasiisochrani Wrote:
(08-02-2009, 08:37 PM)Resurrexi Wrote: According to the Code, for an infant to be baptized licitly "there be a well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic religion." (cf. CIC, can. 868 §)

Actually, the Code not not require a "well-founded hope", but merely a "founded hope".  Here is the English from the Vatican website:

Can.  868 §1. For an infant to be baptized licitly:

1/ the parents or at least one of them or the person who legitimately takes their place must consent;

2/ there must be a founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the Catholic religion; if such hope is altogether lacking, the baptism is to be delayed according to the prescripts of particular law after the parents have been advised about the reason.


And here is the Latin:

Can. 868 — § 1. Ut infans licite baptizetur, oportet:

1° parentes, saltem eorum unus aut qui legitime eorundem locum tenet, consentiant;

2° spes habeatur fundata eum in religione catholica educatum iri quae si prorsus deficiat, baptismus secundum praescripta iuris particularis differatur, monitis de ratione parentibus.


A priest with a doctorate in canon law once told me that an apparently sincere promise to raise the child in the Catholic faith will sufice.

well, that solves that mystery.  I guess my next question is what suffices as a sincere promise.  I don't think a parent saying yes we will raise the child in the Catholic faith will suffice, especially the parents don't go to Mass every sunday, confession, and so on.  So does it ultimately come down to the interpretation of the priest, I guess.