Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Catholic Living > Family Life
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Oct 13, '10, 2:20 pm
vstead vstead is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2009
Posts: 147
Religion: Roman catholic
Default can a lay person baptize a child

A friend has upset her mother by not having her new child baptized yet. A few weeks ago her mother said that she had baptized the child with holy water whilst babysitting. When the childs mother said that she will have her child baptized, her mother said that its not necessary now that she has done it and this is perfectly fine as baptism is not one of the sacrements and its fine for her to do it in her home. Is she right?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Oct 13, '10, 2:38 pm
ThyKingdomCome ThyKingdomCome is online now
Regular Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 2004
Posts: 2,049
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: can a lay person baptize a child

It may have been a valid baptism (I say "may" because you have to say the right words and do the right thing - like pouring water 3 times etc.). Though valid, it was wrong of her to do it against the mother's will. This would only be appropriate if the baby were in danger of death. The same is true of having a lay person baptize in the home. It should be done by a priest or deacon at the church unless there is a serious reason not to (like danger of death, not refusal of the child's parents). The baby's mother ought to seek the advice of a priest. I wouldn't be surprised if he suggests a conditional baptism, at which the priest will say something like, "If you are not already baptized, I baptize you in the...."
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Oct 13, '10, 2:38 pm
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: January 14, 2009
Posts: 19,255
Religion: Christian! Catholic! Disciple of Jesus of Nazareth!
Default Re: can a lay person baptize a child

Quote:
Originally Posted by vstead View Post
A friend has upset her mother by not having her new child baptized yet. A few weeks ago her mother said that she had baptized the child with holy water whilst babysitting. When the childs mother said that she will have her child baptized, her mother said that its not necessary now that she has done it and this is perfectly fine as baptism is not one of the sacrements and its fine for her to do it in her home. Is she right?
Anyone can validly baptize with the intention to do what the Church does...with the right matter (water) and form "I baptize you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" while pouring the water on the person head...

otherwise it is not valid.

But a lay person is not to do this unless it is an emergency (the child is in danger of death etc)

In this case...she she and the Grandmother should go see the Catholic Priest with the Child...he can investigate etc...

it is important that the child be really baptized..but this can not be done more than once...in case of doubt the priest can do a conditional one.

But in any case she needs to contact the Parish Priest.

Baptism IS a Sacrament..the most fundamental one without which no other may be received.....it makes a person a new Creation in Christ etc
__________________
VIVAS IN DEO
IHCOY XPICTOY
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Oct 13, '10, 2:39 pm
1ke 1ke is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: May 25, 2004
Posts: 24,936
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: can a lay person baptize a child

(a) Canon law makes provisions for lay people to baptize in cases of necessity/emergency.
Can. 861 1. The ordinary minister of baptism is a bishop, a presbyter, or a deacon, without prejudice to the prescript of ⇒ can. 530, n. 1.

2. When an ordinary minister is absent or impeded, a catechist or another person designated for this function by the local ordinary, or in a case of necessity any person with the right intention, confers baptism licitly. Pastors of souls, especially the pastor of a parish, are to be concerned that the Christian faithful are taught the correct way to baptize.
(b) Outside the case of danger of death, and without the permission of the parents, it was wrong for the grandmother to baptize her grandchild. She should confess this serious breach of canon law and parental rights.
Can. 868 1. For an infant to be baptized licitly:

1/ the parents or at least one of them or the person who legitimately takes their place must consent;

2/ there must be a founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the Catholic religion; if such hope is altogether lacking, the baptism is to be delayed according to the prescripts of particular law after the parents have been advised about the reason.
2. An infant of Catholic parents or even of non-Catholic parents is baptized licitly in danger of death even against the will of the parents.
(c) This must be reported to the parish immediately so that the sacramental records can be properly updated and an investigation conducted to ensure the validity of the baptism. If the child was validly baptized by the grandmother, they cannot be "re" baptized. However, the preist can complete the Rite of Baptism with the other parts of the Rite-- such as anointing with oil, lighting of the candle, reception of the white garment, etc.
__________________
Pax, ke

ke's universal disclaimer: In my posts, when I post about marriage, canon law, or sacraments I am talking about Latin Rite only, not the Orthodox and Eastern Rites. These are exceptions that confuse the issue and I am not talking about those.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Oct 13, '10, 4:34 pm
aicirt aicirt is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: September 22, 2008
Posts: 3,527
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: can a lay person baptize a child

I believe even a non-Catholic or non-Christian may baptize under dire circumstances. For instance, a Jewish doctor instructed by a new dying mother may baptize the baby using the correct words.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Oct 13, '10, 4:38 pm
vstead vstead is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2009
Posts: 147
Religion: Roman catholic
Default Re: can a lay person baptize a child

Baptism IS a Sacrament..the most fundamental one without which no other may be received.....it makes a person a new Creation in Christ etc[/quote]

As you say, baptism is a sacrement. Can you hazard a guess as to something she has confused this with, this is a lady who knows her religion. Thanks for response
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Oct 13, '10, 4:38 pm
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: August 5, 2010
Posts: 17,409
Religion: ☦ Orthodox Christian ☦
Default Re: can a lay person baptize a child

Valid, yes (assuming proper form, intention, matter)
Licit, no
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Oct 13, '10, 4:39 pm
Em_in_FL Em_in_FL is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 7, 2006
Posts: 7,971
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: can a lay person baptize a child

Yup, like everyone has mentioned, there's a certain "formula" that must be said "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."... and it can only be done when in fear of death.
Actually, my husband was baptized at the hospital when he was born by his own father. The doctors didn't think he'd survive...
__________________
~Emily
Happy wife and mom to 2 boys and 2 girls!

Tailgate in style! - SharperTailgating.com
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Oct 13, '10, 6:04 pm
vstead vstead is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2009
Posts: 147
Religion: Roman catholic
Default Re: can a lay person baptize a child

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConstantineTG View Post
Valid, yes (assuming proper form, intention, matter)
Licit, no
Would you explain the difference between valid and licit in this context
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old Oct 14, '10, 3:37 pm
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: January 14, 2009
Posts: 19,255
Religion: Christian! Catholic! Disciple of Jesus of Nazareth!
Default Re: can a lay person baptize a child

Quote:
Originally Posted by vstead View Post
Would you explain the difference between valid and licit in this context
If it was done correctly....it is "a true Baptism" but if not done in an emergency like situation it is not right for it to be done....for it is to be done by a Priest or Deacon etc in Church with the full rite.

Again...please go see a Priest.
__________________
VIVAS IN DEO
IHCOY XPICTOY
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old Oct 15, '10, 4:07 am
MtnDwellar MtnDwellar is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: September 17, 2009
Posts: 2,372
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: can a lay person baptize a child

Quote:
Originally Posted by vstead View Post
Baptism IS a Sacrament..the most fundamental one without which no other may be received.....it makes a person a new Creation in Christ etc
As you say, baptism is a sacrement. Can you hazard a guess as to something she has confused this with, this is a lady who knows her religion. Thanks for response[/quote]

Grandma was concerned with the child's soul. She wanted to insure that if the baby should die unexpectedly, that the child would go to heaven. Many people are not informed about the cannon law. Even if she knew that it was illicit, she may have still decided to perform the baptism thinking that the result is a greater good.

At mass we profess that we believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. Baptism is not a sacrament which can be repeated like communion or confession. Still, I remember my own mother re-baptizing me more than once during my childhood. She was a devout, but misinformed Catholic. Her thinking was, better safe than sorry.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old Oct 15, '10, 4:58 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 7, 2004
Posts: 37,470
Religion: Catholic no adjectives
Default Re: can a lay person baptize a child

Quote:
Originally Posted by vstead View Post
A, her mother said that its not necessary now that she has done it and this is perfectly fine as baptism is not one of the sacrements and its fine for her to do it in her home. Is she right?
as has been answered, many many times on the sacraments forum and in AAA it is illicit for a lay person to baptize unless there is a clear danger of death. that question is highlighted today in the Q&A box on the homepage as well. The parents--not to grandparents or any one else--must bring the child to baptism and give their consent, and assurance the child will be raised Catholic. The grandmother should confess what she did, the parents should get their act together and fulfill their duty. The priest should be informed what happened in any case so he can either complete the rite or conditionally baptize. somebody should give this family some proper catechesis on the sacraments and rights and duties of Catholic parents.
__________________
Whatever the Lord pleases He does, on heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. Ps. 135
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old Oct 15, '10, 7:03 am
SamH SamH is offline
 
Join Date: June 10, 2009
Posts: 16,829
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: can a lay person baptize a child

Agreed with what was posted above.

In case it ever appears in Trivial Pursuit, General George Patton (WW2 fame) was baptized in this manner by the family's Catholic house keeper shortly after his birth when his survival was in question. The only "problem" was his family was Episcopalian.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old Oct 15, '10, 2:49 pm
vstead vstead is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2009
Posts: 147
Religion: Roman catholic
Default Re: can a lay person baptize a child

Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnDwellar View Post
As you say, baptism is a sacrement. Can you hazard a guess as to something she has confused this with, this is a lady who knows her religion. Thanks for response
Grandma was concerned with the child's soul. She wanted to insure that if the baby should die unexpectedly, that the child would go to heaven. Many people are not informed about the cannon law. Even if she knew that it was illicit, she may have still decided to perform the baptism thinking that the result is a greater good.

At mass we profess that we believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. Baptism is not a sacrament which can be repeated like communion or confession. Still, I remember my own mother re-baptizing me more than once during my childhood. She was a devout, but misinformed Catholic. Her thinking was, better safe than sorry.[/quote]

Thanks again. When i asked what she might have confused, i was referring to when she said that baptism is not one of the sacrements and that this was why she was able to do it. Im just wondering what made her think that it wasnt one of sacraments. Are there other differences from the other sacraments. Other that the ones you mentioned.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old Oct 16, '10, 3:54 am
Zooey's Avatar
Zooey Zooey is offline
Forum Master
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: March 9, 2005
Posts: 14,562
Religion: Methodist
Default Re: can a lay person baptize a child

Quote:
Originally Posted by vstead View Post
Thanks again. When i asked what she might have confused, i was referring to when she said that baptism is not one of the sacrements and that this was why she was able to do it. Im just wondering what made her think that it wasnt one of sacraments. Are there other differences from the other sacraments. Other that the ones you mentioned.
Note: Yes, I am a Methodist, but we have had this subject raised before, & I think I know what happened, precisly because I am a bit of the "outsider":

I think that what happened is something we talked about once a while back. Baptism is different from other sacraments because it can be performed by "anyone with the same intent as the Catholic Church".
Now, when I first heard this, back in that time ago, I assumed that this meant: 'Any Catholic', or, possibly, 'any Christian'. Its not that; its that anyone (includingly non-Christians) can baptize, because that baptism is so important, that it is permitted in the cade of an emergency.
However, that is not the way that it is supposed to be done; it is supposed to be done in an orderly manner, by a priest, like the rest of the Catholic sacraments. Nevertheless, it is still a real baptism, IF it was properly done, (which is presumely why it is meant to be done in the usual fashion).
However, "real" and "done accordingly to the prescribed order" are 2 different things, and it would appear that the grandmother has gone ahead & baptized the child, leaving everyone in this pickle....which is, of course, why there is a prescribed way of doing things.

I don't doubt that her intentions were out of love for the child. The trouble is, that we are not supposed to run out & do things for people, nor to people, simply out of "good intentions". That sort of thing has caused all kinds of trouble in the past.

I will now let the actual Catholics back in to tell me how badly I just muddled things. (Out of good intentions).
__________________
Servant of Feline Forces--"the New Kids" (Mona, born 2010, & Tara, born 2011)

And now our own dear Bro, too, has crossed over the river, where he rests under the shade of the trees...
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Catholic Living > Family Life

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8569Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: Kellyreneeomara
5241CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: UpUpAndAway
4436Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: DesertSister62
4037OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: eschator83
3895Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: DesertSister62
3876SOLITUDE
Last by: tuscany
3462Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: grateful_child
3318Poems and Reflections
Last by: PathWalker
3237Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: 4elise
3171For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: eschator83



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 9:40 pm.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.