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  #1  
Old Oct 15, '05, 1:37 pm
Neithan Neithan is offline
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Question Baptism of illegitimate children?

I just had an argument with my Protestant Aunt who railed against the 'heartlessness' of the Catholic Church for refusing to baptise innocent illegitimate children. When I tried to argue that I had never heard that as an official law she raved about how friends of hers were turned away by Priests. My Grandmother chimed in that this was all true, and that she also personally knew in her time of many single mothers who were refused baptism for their babies. I've searched around on the internet briefly, and the Catechism states
"The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth (1250)." It seems to contradict what my Aunt was ranting about, but she sure seemed convinced.

Does the Church refuse baptism for illegitimate children? Is baptism given at the discretion of the Priest, and would illegitimacy be a reason to turn away an unwed mother's child?
Any enlightenment much appreciated!
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  #2  
Old Oct 15, '05, 2:14 pm
convert_2000 convert_2000 is offline
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Default Re: Baptism of illegitimate children?

My nephew's wife had her first son out of wedlock and he was baptised by the Catholic church and done so without any problems. Your aunt is protestant and they know more about the catholics than catholics do .
  #3  
Old Oct 15, '05, 2:17 pm
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Baptism of illegitimate children?

as we have repeated endlessly, the only way to address such accusations is to demand an authoritative source for the charge. make the accuser produce the Church document forbidding baptism to illegitimate children or documentary proof that a parent was denied baptism for their child. otherwise there is nothing to debate and no point in the exercise. What these urban legends may be about is the fact that a priest must have assurance that the infant to be baptized will be raised Catholic and have the consent of at least one of the parents. If that reasonable assurance is not forthcoming he is justified in delaying -- not denying -- baptism until such time as the sacrament may proceed with the proper conditions being met. Parents who are not married, have no intention of marrying, and otherwise persist in denying the truth of Catholic teaching on marriage and family may be presumed to have no interest in raising their child in the Catholic Faith, and therefore will have no reason to request baptism.

On the other hand, having an out of wedlock pregnancy is also not a valid reason for marrying. If the pressure of the pregnancy is used to force the issue it could render full free consent impossible and invalidate the marriage. That is also a topic that generates a lot of emotion. If one or both parents do intend to raise the child Catholic and give such assurance, whether or not they judge it prudent to marry, there is no barrier to baptizing the child. We have several such baptisms (unfortunately for what it says about the state of respect for marriage in our culture) in every class.
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  #4  
Old Oct 15, '05, 2:25 pm
savone savone is offline
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Default Re: Baptism of illegitimate children?

Sidebar:
In my opinion, the term "illegitimate child" is an offensive one and misconstruction of the facts. If there is any illegitimacy involved, it ought to more accurately be applied to the adults, who had control over their acts, and not the child, who did not ...

Some of us had a diificult time as children, because of this "label" ...

Return to the topic of this thread ...
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  #5  
Old Oct 15, '05, 2:39 pm
Kielbasi Kielbasi is offline
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Default Re: Baptism of illegitimate children?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neithan

Does the Church refuse baptism for illegitimate children? Is baptism given at the discretion of the Priest, and would illegitimacy be a reason to turn away an unwed mother's child?
Any enlightenment much appreciated!
The short answer is NO.

The long answer is a bit more complex, as the church no longer baptizes infants unless there is a fairly high degree of certainty that the children will be raised Catholic. Basically, the child's parents have to be in attendance weekly at mass for a period of time, and not living in a state of sin.

If the unwed mother is no longer engaging in the affair, and in attendance at mass, there should be no problem in baptizing the children. But if she isn't, then that would be the reason for refusing baptism, not her previous indiscretions.
  #6  
Old Oct 15, '05, 3:10 pm
savone savone is offline
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Default Re: Baptism of illegitimate children?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kielbasi
The short answer is NO.

The long answer is a bit more complex, as the church no longer baptizes infants unless there is a fairly high degree of certainty that the children will be raised Catholic. Basically, the child's parents have to be in attendance weekly at mass for a period of time, and not living in a state of sin.

If the unwed mother is no longer engaging in the affair, and in attendance at mass, there should be no problem in baptizing the children. But if she isn't, then that would be the reason for refusing baptism, not her previous indiscretions.
Well, your "no" has to be qualified. There has been at least one exception. I have the baptismal certificate to demonstrate as such ...
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  #7  
Old Oct 15, '05, 3:37 pm
ajsauntjojo ajsauntjojo is offline
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Default Re: Baptism of illegitimate children?

I just have to say I can name two churches that have refused or placed limits on the baptism of children. If you think it proper for me to name them I willl. The first was a Catholic church in PA. The mother was 17, the father 19, both raised Catholic, mother practicing, father not. Not married, no intentions of getting married. Both still living with their parents. When they went to the pastor, they were told that they would christen the baby, but the parents had to consider marriage. The pastor felt the child would not be raised in a sinful environment if they remained unmarried. The grandfather, (the mother's dad) made a sizable contribution to the church and the baptism went off without a hitch!

The second was in NJ. The parents, married by a Lutheran minister. The mother born raised and practicing Catholic, the father a born and raised non-practicing Episcopal. Since the mother was the parent with a practicing religion they decided the children would be raised Catholic. They went to the Catholic church closest to their home. The pastor told them that they could not christen the child, because the parents were not married in the eyes of the church. However, the pastor would perform a "ceremonial blessing" for the usual donation of $250 and then they would be married in the eyes of the church and the baby could be baptized. The mother converted and now is an active and practicing Episcopal. The child was baptized Episcopal.

No matter what anyone says. The churches position varies from parish to parish.

By the way, I am a practicing involved Catholic. I am a lector at my church.

Last edited by Joe Monahan; Oct 16, '05 at 7:40 am. Reason: Delete town names
  #8  
Old Oct 15, '05, 4:12 pm
kaymart kaymart is offline
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Post Re: Baptism of illegitimate children?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neithan
I just had an argument with my Protestant Aunt who railed against the 'heartlessness' of the Catholic Church for refusing to baptise innocent illegitimate children. When I tried to argue that I had never heard that as an official law she raved about how friends of hers were turned away by Priests. My Grandmother chimed in that this was all true, and that she also personally knew in her time of many single mothers who were refused baptism for their babies. I've searched around on the internet briefly, and the Catechism states
"The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth (1250)." It seems to contradict what my Aunt was ranting about, but she sure seemed convinced.

Does the Church refuse baptism for illegitimate children? Is baptism given at the discretion of the Priest, and would illegitimacy be a reason to turn away an unwed mother's child?
Any enlightenment much appreciated!
Tell your relatives of a little boy born in the 1930's to an unwed mother, to make a very long story short, today that little boy is a Monsinger,How do I know about this.....he is my Father's Cousin. What a different life this man would have had if someone refused him Baptism.
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  #9  
Old Oct 15, '05, 4:22 pm
thann thann is offline
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Default Re: Baptism of illegitimate children?

I have been present at dozens of baptisms of single mothers (I used to sing at the baptismal celebrations at my former parish), and there are four nieces/nephews of my own family who were baptized whose mother was not married. My current parish publishes names of newly baptized babies, and several have been to single mothers.

So, in my personal experience, I know of six different parishes where babies of unwed mothers have been baptized. And these baptisms did not involve "money under the table."

'thann
  #10  
Old Oct 15, '05, 4:52 pm
Br. Rich SFO Br. Rich SFO is offline
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Default Re: Baptism of illegitimate children?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neithan
I just had an argument with my Protestant Aunt who railed against the 'heartlessness' of the Catholic Church for refusing to baptise innocent illegitimate children. When I tried to argue that I had never heard that as an official law she raved about how friends of hers were turned away by Priests. My Grandmother chimed in that this was all true, and that she also personally knew in her time of many single mothers who were refused baptism for their babies. I've searched around on the internet briefly, and the Catechism states
"The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth (1250)." It seems to contradict what my Aunt was ranting about, but she sure seemed convinced.

Does the Church refuse baptism for illegitimate children? Is baptism given at the discretion of the Priest, and would illegitimacy be a reason to turn away an unwed mother's child?
Any enlightenment much appreciated!
Illegitmacy itself would not be a reason for delaying Baptism. however there of course may be concerns as to the ability of the parent to raise the child in the Catholic Faith. This may have been the case in the 1917 Code of Canon Law it is not so now.
  #11  
Old Oct 15, '05, 6:01 pm
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Baptism of illegitimate children?

Just because certain pastors, priests or parishes follow practices that are contrary to or misinterpret canon law is not the same as saying the universal Church approves or upholds a practice. As spending any time on this forum will demonstrate, there are all kinds of abuses going on with how sacraments are conferred, liturgy celebrated, pastoral care, conduct of pastoral and administrative staff, but these are failings, crimes, sins whatever you call them of individuals. They are misapplications or outright disobedience to Church law, so it is neither fair nor logical to condemn the Church when its laws are violated by individuals who should know better.
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  #12  
Old Oct 15, '05, 6:55 pm
David Zampino David Zampino is offline
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Default Re: Baptism of illegitimate children?

Quote:
Originally Posted by savone
Sidebar:
In my opinion, the term "illegitimate child" is an offensive one and misconstruction of the facts. If there is any illegitimacy involved, it ought to more accurately be applied to the adults, who had control over their acts, and not the child, who did not ...

Some of us had a diificult time as children, because of this "label" ...

Return to the topic of this thread ...

I AGREE!!!

There is NO SUCH THING as an illegitimate child.

Only illegitimate parents!

The child is innocent -- and shoud be treated as such.
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  #13  
Old Oct 15, '05, 7:16 pm
kaymart kaymart is offline
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Post Re: Baptism of illegitimate children?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Zampino
I AGREE!!!

There is NO SUCH THING as an illegitimate child.

Only illegitimate parents!

The child is innocent -- and shoud be treated as such.
That is so true.
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It's not a choice, it's a child
  #14  
Old Oct 15, '05, 9:30 pm
mgy100 mgy100 is offline
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Default Re: Baptism of illegitimate children?

Many eccelisiatical organizations (vat II term for non-Catholic/Orthodox Churches) start the campaign of hatred against Catholics when the kids are young. I can cite example after example. But I will not.
The Catholic Church...will baptize children. There are no illegitmate children....I repeat there are no illegitmate children. There are illegitmante acts that conceive children.
  #15  
Old Oct 16, '05, 8:48 am
ajsauntjojo ajsauntjojo is offline
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Default Re: Baptism of illegitimate children?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgy100
Many eccelisiatical organizations (vat II term for non-Catholic/Orthodox Churches) start the campaign of hatred against Catholics when the kids are young. I can cite example after example. But I will not.
The Catholic Church...will baptize children. There are no illegitmate children....I repeat there are no illegitmate children. There are illegitmante acts that conceive children.
I may be young. I have been a Catholic for 35 years. And not once have I ever met anyone who was anti-Catholic or who tried to turn children against Catholics.

The original post mention a "protestant aunt." Is it because she is protestant that we consider her against the Catholic church? I feel that is a bit judgemental on our part.

There are posts above, mine included, that talk about individual instances that the church, or the person acting for the church--the priest--has refused or offered deals before baptizing a child.

I think we need to be a bit more opened minded and realize that there are a lot of individual freedoms from pastors going on out there. And that if someone tells a story or states an instance that the church did this or that, we need to consider it may or may not be true. Not that a person is anti or pro-Catholic.
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