Is it possible I might need a conditional baptism?
#1
Bug 
So I was talking to my priest today about my baptismal certificate and he was saying that the photo form I gave him via e-mail was not like a "document" so I will have to bring it to him in person next week. The problem is that the certificate, in and of itself, is rather makeshift (compiled together just this year of an event that happened in 2014). I am not certain if that has impediments to its being considered a document. Also, the church I was baptized into, the ACA (Anglican Church in America), had no bishop in the diocese at the time, was dealing with losing its episcopal parish in the first place, and now has moved into the APA (Anglican Province of America). While their theological doctrines are orthodox on the sacraments (they are Protestants though), I'm afraid the official documents may not have even been recorded.
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#2
Your baptism was valid and since you were obviously an adult when it was performed, I don't see the need of an 'official certificate'. You obviously can remember it and attest to the facts of its form and matter.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
Kansan by birth! Albertan by choice! Jayhawk by the Grace of God!
  “Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog also.)” 
St Bernard of Clairvaux

My Blog 'Musings of an Old Curmudgeon'


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#3
(11-03-2019, 09:59 PM)jovan66102 Wrote: Your baptism was valid and since you were obviously an adult when it was performed, I don't see the need of an 'official certificate'. You obviously can remember it and attest to the facts of its form and matter.

I imagine the need of a document depends on the diocese/eparchy.
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#4
Usually certificates are just a written record certifying that something exists in a Sacramental register somewhere.

In a Catholic Church there is a, required by Canon Law, an official Sacramental Register kept at the parish. Copies of this are sent each year to the diocese for archiving. When you get a certificate it is just a certification that something was in the record. When one is preparing for marriage, for instance, they need to obtain a new certificate, because the Baptismal Register will also note any other Sacraments they have received, like a marriage or Orders. When one goes to marry, then a fresh certificate without any annotation of marriage will establish that the person is free to marry.

I think that many of the Protestant churches work the same way. There is some register or book in which they keep congregational records, and then an extract from that register is what you have with a certificate.

If there is not a regular certificate and proof is needed, then affidavits are taken. If there is still worry about the form or matter, then, and only then, would a conditional Baptism be performed.

If you can testify that the proper words "I baptize you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit/Ghost" were said and that water was simultaneously poured on the skin of your head/forehead and wet and flowed over your skin, then you are Baptized. A conditional Baptism would not be given if there is this certainty. For certainty sake, the Church would likely ask for another witness to be sure of this, so multiple affidavits would be used. It was a practice that all converts were conditionally Baptized in the U.S. because of the variety of sects that there were and difficulty to investigate. In practice, if matters were relatively certain as in your case, and you had clear knowledge of what happened, then and investigation would not be hard, and so conditional baptism not done unless a real defect were found.

If you entered the Catholic Church after the fact, then you would be added to the Baptismal Register, but a note would be made that you were not Baptized, but enter the Church.

The theological doctrines of the sect do not usually invalidate Baptism if they are mainstream Protestant. Non-Christian sects, however, like the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. are certainly invalid because they do not accept that Jesus Christ is part of the Trinity and so they're theology so warps the intention that they cannot Baptize validly. The Jehovah's Witnesses, for instance, sometimes Baptize, and sometimes do not, and they often do without words, or without the correct form.

Mainstream Protestants, however, typically use the correct form, and matter, and any warped theology still accepts the Trinity. That they deny that Baptism has certain effects does not prevent these effects.

Just give your priest what you have, and if he needs more proof you can make up an affidavit yourself, and perhaps ask someone who was there to support this.
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#5
I just realised you were baptised in a Continuing Anglican Church. I can't imagine that there isn't an official record. The Anglicans are compulsive about record keeping. The Church of England has baptismal and other records going back to the 17th century. Most of the earlier ones which went back another two or three centuries were destroyed by the radical protestant revolutionaries in the English Civil War.

Over 50 years ago, I was a Lay Reader in the Episcopal Church. I presided at Morning and Evening Prayer to free up the clergy staff for other things. Every single one of the services I presided at, 10-13 per week, were meticulously recorded in a register, with where it was held, my name as minister, and how many people attended (usually 3 or 4!). I'm sure it still exists unless it was destroyed in the fire that destroyed the cathedral years after I left.

If they're that detailed in keeping track of non-sacramental services, imagine their concern for sacramental records.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
Kansan by birth! Albertan by choice! Jayhawk by the Grace of God!
  “Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog also.)” 
St Bernard of Clairvaux

My Blog 'Musings of an Old Curmudgeon'


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#6
(11-04-2019, 12:03 AM)jovan66102 Wrote: I just realised you were baptised in a Continuing Anglican Church. I can't imagine that there isn't an official record. The Anglicans are compulsive about record keeping. The Church of England has baptismal and other records going back to the 17th century. Most of the earlier ones which went back another two or three centuries were destroyed by the radical protestant revolutionaries in the English Civil War.

Over 50 years ago, I was a Lay Reader in the Episcopal Church. I presided at Morning and Evening Prayer to free up the clergy staff for other things. Every single one of the services I presided at, 10-13 per week, were meticulously recorded in a register, with where it was held, my name as minister, and how many people attended (usually 3 or 4!). I'm sure it still exists unless it was destroyed in the fire that destroyed the cathedral years after I left.

If they're that detailed in keeping track of non-sacramental services, imagine their concern for sacramental records.

While that is true, keep in mind that the Continuing Anglican mission I went to had no bishop. Our diocese had an Episcopal visitor attempting to usurp power at a cathedral headed by a criminal priest who was attempting to scuttle his parish into the Roman Catholic Church. I do not use the term criminal with exaggeration. He had been previously a Catholic, divorced, ordained into the ACA, then wanted back into the RCC still hoping to remain a priest (like that would have happened), and kidnapped a judge. Literally, held her hostage. We're not talking the most organized diocese within the ACA at the time.
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#7
(11-03-2019, 11:49 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: Usually certificates are just a written record certifying that something exists in a Sacramental register somewhere.

In a Catholic Church there is a, required by Canon Law, an official Sacramental Register kept at the parish. Copies of this are sent each year to the diocese for archiving. When you get a certificate it is just a certification that something was in the record. When one is preparing for marriage, for instance, they need to obtain a new certificate, because the Baptismal Register will also note any other Sacraments they have received, like a marriage or Orders. When one goes to marry, then a fresh certificate without any annotation of marriage will establish that the person is free to marry.

I think that many of the Protestant churches work the same way. There is some register or book in which they keep congregational records, and then an extract from that register is what you have with a certificate.

If there is not a regular certificate and proof is needed, then affidavits are taken. If there is still worry about the form or matter, then, and only then, would a conditional Baptism be performed.

If you can testify that the proper words "I baptize you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit/Ghost" were said and that water was simultaneously poured on the skin of your head/forehead and wet and flowed over your skin, then you are Baptized. A conditional Baptism would not be given if there is this certainty. For certainty sake, the Church would likely ask for another witness to be sure of this, so multiple affidavits would be used. It was a practice that all converts were conditionally Baptized in the U.S. because of the variety of sects that there were and difficulty to investigate. In practice, if matters were relatively certain as in your case, and you had clear knowledge of what happened, then and investigation would not be hard, and so conditional baptism not done unless a real defect were found.

If you entered the Catholic Church after the fact, then you would be added to the Baptismal Register, but a note would be made that you were not Baptized, but enter the Church.

The theological doctrines of the sect do not usually invalidate Baptism if they are mainstream Protestant. Non-Christian sects, however, like the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. are certainly invalid because they do not accept that Jesus Christ is part of the Trinity and so they're theology so warps the intention that they cannot Baptize validly. The Jehovah's Witnesses, for instance, sometimes Baptize, and sometimes do not, and they often do without words, or without the correct form.

Mainstream Protestants, however, typically use the correct form, and matter, and any warped theology still accepts the Trinity. That they deny that Baptism has certain effects does not prevent these effects.

Just give your priest what you have, and if he needs more proof you can make up an affidavit yourself, and perhaps ask someone who was there to support this.
I understand that the baptism is not theologically invalidated. There seems to be a reason though why the priest needs my baptismal records. What I technically have would be an "affidavit" of sorts. It's possible that it needs more regulation in my case since I attend a mission...
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#8
(11-04-2019, 02:20 AM)newenglandsun Wrote: I understand that the baptism is not theologically invalidated. There seems to be a reason though why the priest needs my baptismal records. What I technically have would be an "affidavit" of sorts. It's possible that it needs more regulation in my case since I attend a mission...

One is never conditionally baptize for the sole purpose of creating a Baptismal record. One conditionally baptized when there is some founded doubt about the validity of his Baptism.

I am sure he is just trying to ensure you are validly Baptized. He may not recognize the form you were given, but as Jovan said, this is likely not the official record, but much like any Catholic Baptismal certificate, just a certification that there is an official record. Perhaps it does not contain what he needs.

What was the purpose of getting the priest the certificate? To enter the Catholic Church? For marriage?
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#9
(11-04-2019, 04:14 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote:
(11-04-2019, 02:20 AM)newenglandsun Wrote: I understand that the baptism is not theologically invalidated. There seems to be a reason though why the priest needs my baptismal records. What I technically have would be an "affidavit" of sorts. It's possible that it needs more regulation in my case since I attend a mission...

One is never conditionally baptize for the sole purpose of creating a Baptismal record. One conditionally baptized when there is some founded doubt about the validity of his Baptism.

I am sure he is just trying to ensure you are validly Baptized. He may not recognize the form you were given, but as Jovan said, this is likely not the official record, but much like any Catholic Baptismal certificate, just a certification that there is an official record. Perhaps it does not contain what he needs.

What was the purpose of getting the priest the certificate? To enter the Catholic Church? For marriage?
I am entering through the Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church. I'll ask on Sunday when I see him next and also have the certificate with me.
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