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  #1  
Old Oct 5, '06, 6:21 pm
DaughterSorrow DaughterSorrow is offline
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Default Can you baptize the dead?

I have heard of a priest that baptized a stillborn baby for the parents. It's an unbelievable story, but I was curious as to whether it was just symbolic or is actual graces expected to be bestowed on a soul of a dead child?

Peace,
DS
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  #2  
Old Oct 5, '06, 6:25 pm
corvidae corvidae is offline
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Default Re: Can you baptize the dead?

I have heard of things such as this happening. Basically, because we cannot be absolutely positive of the moment of death (at one point it was when breathing stopped, at another, when the heart stopped, now when certain brainwaves stop) any time before rigor mortis they may baptize, as there is no assurance that the person is in fact dead.
Now if the person is dead it is not a baptism, so the very act is a conditional baptism.
That is as far as I know.

A lone Raven
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  #3  
Old Oct 5, '06, 6:32 pm
tequilamac tequilamac is offline
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Default Re: Can you baptize the dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaughterSorrow View Post
I have heard of a priest that baptized a stillborn baby for the parents. It's an unbelievable story, but I was curious as to whether it was just symbolic or is actual graces expected to be bestowed on a soul of a dead child?

Peace,
DS
My priest baptised my stillborn baby. I had no problem with it. If the child was dead and it is simply symbolic, so what? It is a beautiful symbol of intent. If there are actual graces bestowed, all the better. What's the big deal? My child also received a full Catholic Mass funeral. So?
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  #4  
Old Oct 5, '06, 6:36 pm
DaughterSorrow DaughterSorrow is offline
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Default Re: Can you baptize the dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tequilamac View Post
My priest baptised my stillborn baby. I had no problem with it. If the child was dead and it is simply symbolic, so what? It is a beautiful symbol of intent. If there are actual graces bestowed, all the better. What's the big deal? My child also received a full Catholic Mass funeral. So?
The way this priest described it was absolutely beautiful. He was in the chapel in the hospital and he had no water. Nothing - and the couple came in begging him to baptize their little one who had died at birth. He used all their collective tears (including his own) to baptized the baby. I absolutaely have no problem with it. I was just wondering if the church had a stance on it.

My condolences go out to you.

In Peace,
DS
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And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. ~ Romans 12:2
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  #5  
Old Oct 5, '06, 6:39 pm
tequilamac tequilamac is offline
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Default Re: Can you baptize the dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaughterSorrow View Post
The way this priest described it was absolutely beautiful. He was in the chapel in the hospital and he had no water. Nothing - and the couple came in begging him to baptize their little one who had died at birth. He used all their collective tears (including his own) to baptized the baby. I absolutaely have no problem with it. I was just wondering if the church had a stance on it.

My condolences go out to you.

In Peace,
DS
I think it is a divided stance. Just like Limbo. I once had a priest tell me his mother baptised every miscarriage she had before she flushed. I always wondered about that. But he said, she was that full of faith and certainty.
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  #6  
Old Oct 5, '06, 6:48 pm
kleary kleary is offline
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Default Re: Can you baptize the dead?

It is uncertain when the soul leaves the body at the moment of death I heard so a priest doing such doesn't suprise me at all.

I have also heard of last rites being done several hours after a person had died.

Ken
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  #7  
Old Oct 5, '06, 7:29 pm
Br. Rich SFO Br. Rich SFO is offline
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Default Re: Can you baptize the dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaughterSorrow View Post
I have heard of a priest that baptized a stillborn baby for the parents. It's an unbelievable story, but I was curious as to whether it was just symbolic or is actual graces expected to be bestowed on a soul of a dead child?

Peace,
DS
If one is uncertain that death has occured, the child should be Baptized conditionally.
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  #8  
Old Oct 5, '06, 7:57 pm
EBSSTF4 EBSSTF4 is offline
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Default Re: Can you baptize the dead?

The soul of the baby is left to Gods love and mercy. If done with the hope of salvation or to ease the pain of the parents, baptism would be appropriate. I cannot imagine God punishing a baby for not living long enough for Baptism.
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  #9  
Old Oct 5, '06, 8:23 pm
Nate Nate is offline
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Default Re: Can you baptize the dead?

It seems the early Catholics received baptism on behalf of dead persons and St Paul didn't have a problem with it.

1Co 15:29 Otherwise, what shall they do that are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not again at all? Why are they then baptized for them?

So what would be the harm of baptizing the dead directly, especially an infant?
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  #10  
Old Oct 5, '06, 8:43 pm
StMarkEofE StMarkEofE is offline
 
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Default Re: Can you baptize the dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tequilamac View Post
My priest baptised my stillborn baby. I had no problem with it. If the child was dead and it is simply symbolic, so what? It is a beautiful symbol of intent. If there are actual graces bestowed, all the better. What's the big deal? My child also received a full Catholic Mass funeral. So?
We dont know how long the spirit dwells among the remains. That is why the priest has no problem baptizing an infant in such cases. In Orthodoxy a soul can remain with the remains for a while after all signs of life are gone.
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  #11  
Old Oct 5, '06, 8:59 pm
Mom of 5 Mom of 5 is offline
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Default Re: Can you baptize the dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate View Post
It seems the early Catholics received baptism on behalf of dead persons and St Paul didn't have a problem with it.

1Co 15:29 Otherwise, what shall they do that are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not again at all? Why are they then baptized for them?

So what would be the harm of baptizing the dead directly, especially an infant?
I am sure someone will correct me if I am in error, however, I don't believe that early Catholics ever baptized the dead...the Seducces (sp) practiced this and Paul was saying, "why are you doing this, it does no good" . Mormons baptise on behalf of the dead and use this very passage to justify it. The only phrase in scripture that Mormons use to justify this practice.

Love and peace,
Mom of 5
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  #12  
Old Oct 6, '06, 12:22 am
wjp984 wjp984 is offline
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Default Re: Can you baptize the dead?

What I wonder is whether baptism of desire can apply here. If a mother is Catholic, then she has the desire to baptize her newborn immeditately after birth at the soonest possible time. So perhaps baptism of desire can apply in these cases. An infant does not get to decide whether he or she wants to be baptized anyways. Also, if this is not the case then why don't priest baptize babies when they are in the womb? I can make an abortion argument based on this as well now that I think about it.
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  #13  
Old Oct 6, '06, 6:58 am
Br. Rich SFO Br. Rich SFO is offline
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Default Re: Can you baptize the dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate View Post
It seems the early Catholics received baptism on behalf of dead persons and St Paul didn't have a problem with it.

1Co 15:29 Otherwise, what shall they do that are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not again at all? Why are they then baptized for them?

So what would be the harm of baptizing the dead directly, especially an infant?
Because the Saraments are for the living. Once a person has physically died they can no longer receive any benefit from them.
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  #14  
Old Oct 6, '06, 7:02 am
Br. Rich SFO Br. Rich SFO is offline
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Default Re: Can you baptize the dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wjp984 View Post
What I wonder is whether baptism of desire can apply here. If a mother is Catholic, then she has the desire to baptize her newborn immeditately after birth at the soonest possible time. So perhaps baptism of desire can apply in these cases. An infant does not get to decide whether he or she wants to be baptized anyways. Also, if this is not the case then why don't priest baptize babies when they are in the womb? I can make an abortion argument based on this as well now that I think about it.
A person can only desire Baptism for themselves, you cannot desire Baptism for someone else. Sacraments cannot be celebrated remotely. Sacraments are always celebrated with an individual, physically present.
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  #15  
Old Oct 6, '06, 7:07 am
EBSSTF4 EBSSTF4 is offline
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Default Re: Can you baptize the dead?

Sometimes the benefit is to the living, the parents.
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