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  #1  
Old Jun 13, '12, 9:04 am
Taestron Taestron is offline
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Default Baptism Seems Different than the Other Sacraments

Hi, I am not Catholic, but I want to know more about the CC. I'm asking this because I learned through this forum that anybody who baptizes in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit can perform a valid baptism. This strikes me as inconsistent with other Catholic beliefs. Why is it that an Anglican priest can bless the elements and they do not become the body and blood of Christ but a non-believer can perform a valid baptism?
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  #2  
Old Jun 13, '12, 10:54 am
TomD123 TomD123 is offline
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Default Re: Baptism Seems Different than the Other Sacraments

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taestron View Post
Hi, I am not Catholic, but I want to know more about the CC. I'm asking this because I learned through this forum that anybody who baptizes in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit can perform a valid baptism. This strikes me as inconsistent with other Catholic beliefs. Why is it that an Anglican priest can bless the elements and they do not become the body and blood of Christ but a non-believer can perform a valid baptism?
Its great that you are looking to know more about the CC

Yes, anyone who intends what the Church intends through Baptism may baptize.
The minister, form, matter, and intent for the sacraments were all determined by Christ personally. For example, the words (form) of baptism are strict and unchangeable because they were explicitly stated by Christ. However, the form of confirmation has changed over time because the words simply have to indicate what is taking place, there is no explicit formula given by Christ. The same goes for the minister, Christ determined who could minister the sacraments based on His own wisdom and authority. In baptism, Christ did not make any specifications. Thus, all of his disciples (not just the Apostles) went out and baptized. On the other hand, Christ only commanded the Apostles to "do this in memory of me" therefore he only gave special ministers the power to consecrate the bread and wine. So, the point is that Christ has determined for each sacrament certain specifications that must be followed, according to his plan. In his wisdom, anyone may baptize because of the absolute necessity of baptism. Although this is unique, so are matrimony and ordination. Ordination may only be done by a Bishop, (or in rare cercumstances a priest with faculties from the Holy See). Matrimony is conferred between two baptized persons. It is the only sacrament which any baptized person may confer but not an unbaptized person and it is the only sacrament which is mutual like that. So my basic point is that each sacrament is unique in its own way, but the uniqueness was determined by Jesus in order to be most effective and beneficial for the salvation of man.

I hope this is helpful
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Old Jun 13, '12, 11:16 am
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Aelred Minor Aelred Minor is offline
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Default Re: Baptism Seems Different than the Other Sacraments

Each of the sacraments has its own unique requirements for validity. Essentially, God has promised us that He will act in a certain way when we do certain things, so that we can have confidence in our justification and spiritual life.

In baptism, what is required is that water be passed over the baptized person's head, that the baptism be in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and that the person doing the baptizing intend to do what the Church does when she baptizes. These elements are present in the baptisms of most self-described Christians.

In the Eucharist, what is required is that wheat bread and grape wine be consecrated in connection to Christ's words "this is my body" and "this is the chalice of my blood", that the person doing the consecration be a validly ordained Christian priest (that would include validly ordained bishops, of course), and that the priest intend to do what the Church does when the Eucharistic elements are consecrated.

Now, the problem with the Anglican eucharist is not their eucharistic celebrations, but their ordinations.

For ordination to the priesthood to be valid, what is required is that the person being ordained be a validly baptized male, that the person doing the ordination be a validly ordained bishop, the laying of the bishop's hands on the man being ordained, and the intention on the part of the bishop to do what the Church does when she ordains priests, an essential element of which is the intention to ordain them to a sacrificial ministry.

It's that last bit that's the source of the problem for Anglicans. Though a sacrificial theology of the Eucharist has been revived in some corners of Anglicanism in the last century and a half, for the most part and for most of Anglican history Anglican presbyters, who before the mid-19th century were, I believe, generally called parsons rather than priests, were not thought of as offering a sacrifice when they celebrated the Eucharist. That means that the ministry to which they were being ordained was not that of a priest who offers sacrifice, and so the Catholic Church considers the ordinations performed with that deficient intention invalid.

Today, of course, some Anglican bishops do likely think of themselves as ordaining men to a sacrificial priesthood, but after several centuries in which this theology was absent from Anglicanism, the chain of Apostolic succession has been broken. Thus the requirement than the man doing the ordaining be a validly ordained bishop is not met. If there is no validly ordained bishop to do the ordinations, then no ordination will take place even if the man attempting to ordain has the right intention.

Or, at the very least, we cannot have any confidence an ordination will take place, because the conditions God has set in guaranteeing his action have not been met. Theoretically at least, God could still act. He, for His part, is not bound by the requirements He has set for the sacraments. But we have no assurance from Him of how He will act in a case such as this, and so we can't presume He'll make an exception.
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Old Jun 13, '12, 8:42 pm
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Vico Vico is offline
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Default Re: Baptism Seems Different than the Other Sacraments

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taestron View Post
Hi, I am not Catholic, but I want to know more about the CC. I'm asking this because I learned through this forum that anybody who baptizes in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit can perform a valid baptism. This strikes me as inconsistent with other Catholic beliefs. Why is it that an Anglican priest can bless the elements and they do not become the body and blood of Christ but a non-believer can perform a valid baptism?
There are exceptions in a few of the sacraments. For example, for a Catholic, it is not normal to baptize without assurance that an infant will be raised in the Church. Emergency allows. Same with Matrimony, desert island scenario, or in danger of death, more than a month, can be without witnesses and clergy. A Deacon (under Latin Church canons) can witness matrimony. Confession, in emergency situations, can be private with perfect contrition, and without a priest. The Anglicans lost the apostolic succession through having a different intention in orders than the Catholic Church has in orders. Since the Holy Eucharist requires a validly ordained priest to act in the person of Christ, the Anglicans are not capable of this.

These are classified in two groups, of the dead (received when a person is not in the state of grace) [*] and of the living. Also Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders are given once only, because they impart an indelible mark of character [1].

Initiation:
1. Baptism (forgiveness of sins) * 1
2. Confirmation / Chrismation 1
3. Eucharist
Other:
4. Confession (forgiveness of sins) *
5. Matrimony (between two baptized)
6. Holy Orders (deacon, priest, bishop) 1
7. Anointing of the Sick
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