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  #1  
Old Aug 31, '09, 1:53 pm
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linusmom linusmom is offline
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Default Baptism for children born out of wedlock

A good friend of mine is the single mother of a 6 year old. She has never been married and has lived a (apparently) chaste life since the birth of her child, however, when she was in the process of getting him baptized, a number of priests refused because of her marital state, and her child was nearly 4 years old by the time of baptism. She also has a childhood friend who is now a priest who will not speak to her because of her out of wedlock child. Is this a normal situation in the Catholic church, or is there some sort of misunderstanding going on? I realize that single persons are called to chastity, but isn't giving birth to the child and raising him/her the correct course of action after falling into sin? Thanks for your help.
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  #2  
Old Aug 31, '09, 2:02 pm
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Baptism for children born out of wedlock

No. This is not normal. There is either some information that has been left out or something else going on.

The criteria for baptism includes a well-founded hope that the child will be raised in the Catholic faith. If the priest has reason to believe there may be a problem in this area, he can delay (not deny) baptism.

Is she a Catholic that is actively practicing the faith (going to Mass, etc)? Also, if there is a father in the picture, is he Catholic or another religion? Is there any opposition to baptism by the other parent? These things could be factors.

As for the friend who is a priest and is shunning her, that is unusual as well.

What country is this? Perhaps there are some cultural issues at play here as well.
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  #3  
Old Aug 31, '09, 2:22 pm
AveMaria517 AveMaria517 is offline
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Default Re: Baptism for children born out of wedlock

I feel very badly for your friend and for her precious child. I think there is a certain stigma against non traditional families in the Catholic church, but what you described is uncommon. I have two daughters that I had out of wedlock and they were both baptized in the Catholic church. The priest that I worked with was very supportive. I had to go through a few extra steps so he felt confident that I was going to raise my children in the Catholic faith, but besides that it was the same baptism as my married friends have had for their children. Your friend should be commended in her efforts to be a good mother to her child and to provide a religious upbringing, not judged.
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  #4  
Old Aug 31, '09, 2:29 pm
daeve daeve is offline
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Default Re: Baptism for children born out of wedlock

Very sad. If your friend is a practicing Catholic, her child can be baptized. Baptism is not usually done unless at least one of the parents is a practicing Catholic, but being unmarried should not hold any kind of stigma for the innocent child. Yes, having the child and raising him in your faith is the right thing to do. Even priests are people and therefore imperfect. Her priest friend isn't being very nice. If God can forgive her, so can he.
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  #5  
Old Aug 31, '09, 2:45 pm
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SpaceNeedle SpaceNeedle is offline
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Default Re: Baptism for children born out of wedlock

What?

What diocese does your friend live in? That's unreal. If, by any chance, she lives in the pacific northwest, drop me a PM, we'll find a priest who'll get it done!
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  #6  
Old Aug 31, '09, 2:54 pm
geekborj geekborj is offline
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Default Re: Baptism for children born out of wedlock

Indeed, God is very merciful.

Tell her to find another Catholic priest. Priests are people. They also make mistakes even if they are given the vocation to "spread" the graces of the Holy Spirit in a more peculiar way.
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  #7  
Old Aug 31, '09, 3:01 pm
MSGirl MSGirl is offline
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Default Re: Baptism for children born out of wedlock

That's really unfair, if true, Why punish the baby. My brother had his daughter baptized and he was not married to her mother at the time. They are married now. I agree with others, fine another priest.
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  #8  
Old Aug 31, '09, 3:17 pm
Alix1912 Alix1912 is offline
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Default Re: Baptism for children born out of wedlock

Jesus said "Let the little children come to me"........He did not say "Only let the little kids who parents are married and perfect christians come to me". I would find another priest, no child should be denied baptism. That is so odd as both my husband's priest and my pastor were very adamant about calling them immediatly of our child was sick or anything so they would make sure the she was baptized if something bad happened. (We are planning to ideally wait until she is about 3 months old and the entire famkily can be there to baptize her).

Good luck to your friend, tell her that her child's spritual life is important and to keep fighting.
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  #9  
Old Aug 31, '09, 3:32 pm
YADA YADA is offline
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Default Re: Baptism for children born out of wedlock

As others have noted this sounds very unusual ...... there must me more to the story ....

What you are implying is that a child is being punished du to the sins of their parent [a practicing catholic who sinned by having sex outside of marriage] ....

Luckily my grandson was baptised by a loving priest and my my family was blessed with great support....
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  #10  
Old Aug 31, '09, 3:34 pm
MSGirl MSGirl is offline
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Default Re: Baptism for children born out of wedlock

That's really unfair, if true, Why punish the baby. My brother had his daughter baptized and he was not married to her mother at the time. They are married now. I agree with others, fine another priest.
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  #11  
Old Aug 31, '09, 4:04 pm
Seatuck Seatuck is offline
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Default Re: Baptism for children born out of wedlock

This isn't the typical situation. There may be a delay if the mother isn't living a catholic life and won't be able to raise the child as a practicing Catholic but that is it. Usually Priests find that they can be very generous in assuming that the child will be raised Catholic and they do baptize.

Methinks something is missing from the story.
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  #12  
Old Apr 13, '10, 12:41 pm
yanks9872 yanks9872 is offline
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Default Re: Baptism for children born out of wedlock

My best friend had her son 2 years ago and went to the parish she grew up in (was baptized, made communion and confirmation in this parish) however the priest would not baptize her son because her and the father were not married. She just went to another nearby church and had no problem. This in upstate new york. When she told me the first church wouldnt baptize the baby cause her and her boyfriend werent married I was actually very shocked.
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  #13  
Old Apr 13, '10, 1:21 pm
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Baptism for children born out of wedlock

Quote:
Originally Posted by yanks9872 View Post
My best friend had her son 2 years ago and went to the parish she grew up in (was baptized, made communion and confirmation in this parish) however the priest would not baptize her son because her and the father were not married. She just went to another nearby church and had no problem. This in upstate new york. When she told me the first church wouldnt baptize the baby cause her and her boyfriend werent married I was actually very shocked.
I would be shocked too if it were my friend or relative seeking baptism in a Catholic Church, having demonstrated contempt for Catholic teaching on marriage. In that case, the priest would be justified in delaying (not denying) baptism until such time as they give evidence that they intend to raise the child in the faith. So far, unless there is more going on you have not told, there is no such evidence or assurance. Notice, the baptism is delayed not denied, and the reason is they have not given assurance that they want what the sacrament promises, initiation into the Catholic faith.
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  #14  
Old Apr 13, '10, 1:29 pm
presidentjlh presidentjlh is offline
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Default Re: Baptism for children born out of wedlock

This denial of baptism strikes me as inherently wrong.
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