sacraments outside the Church
#1
why does the church recognize baptisms done by other denominations?

what's got me even more though, is why do non-catholic marriages need to be annulled if they wish to be married in the Church? I ask because a friend of mine was married previously, but was widowed about 5 years ago.  She was recently remarried to a divorced baptist in his church because he refused to get an annulment of his previous marriage (didn't want his kids to think that marriage 'never happened' or something...).  Why deal with these logistical problems when the Church shouldn't be recognizing their validity in the first place (or should it)? gah...
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#2
(06-08-2010, 03:30 PM)legendofheasty Wrote: why does the church recognize baptisms done by other denominations?

what's got me even more though, is why do non-catholic marriages need to be annulled if they wish to be married in the Church? I ask because a friend of mine was married previously, but was widowed about 5 years ago.  She was recently remarried to a divorced baptist in his church because he refused to get an annulment of his previous marriage (didn't want his kids to think that marriage 'never happened' or something...).  Why deal with these logistical problems when the Church shouldn't be recognizing their validity in the first place (or should it)? gah...

The Church recognizes baptisms and marriages validly performed by other denominations because the laity can administer the sacrament of Baptism (in cases of necessity), and Holy Matrimony itself is actually administered by the two baptized spouses (see Code of Canon Law, can. 1055). The other sacraments, however, must of necessity be administered by a priest (Holy Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction) or bishop (the three just mentioned as well as Confirmation and Holy Orders). Generally, however, the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Matrimony are administered or witnessed to by a priest (respectively).

Why did I mention that even laity can perform the sacrament of Baptism? Because there is no apostolic succession (no priesthood) in all of Protestantism, and so each and every Protestant is a layman. They generally - in my understanding - restrict the administration of Baptism to ministers, but in actuality (in light of Catholic doctrine), their ministers are truly laymen.

Moreover, there was a crisis in the early Church about baptisms being performed by heretics (the Donatists), and the Church held them to be valid if they were baptized "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (see Council of Arles, can. 8, A.D. 314: Denz. 53).

As for your friend, after she was widowed she was free to remarry, but of course not free to marry a divorcee. The Baptist minister erred somewhat; an annulment is a declaration that a marriage wasn't valid in some way.  The USCCB says, "A declaration of nullity does not deny that a relationship ever existed between the couple, or that the spouses truly loved one another."

http://www.catecheticsonline.com/SourcesofDogma1.php (see n. 53)

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P3V.HTM

http://jloughnan.tripod.com/dogma.htm (see n. 296 for Baptism and n. 396 for Holy Matrimony)

http://www.usccb.org/laity/marriage/marriagefaqs.shtml (see question 19)
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