Am I supposed to do or say aynthing re: Baptisim?

Hello, I am no saint, but I feel unsettled about the circumstances surrounding the baptism of which I am due to attend.

The People:
My Boyfriend: 19 years old not practising and not Catholic - to be a God Parent

His Brother: 24years old - non practising and secular, but nice person - to be a God Parent

His Father: Non Practising Christian and has issues with Catholic Faith

His Step Mother: Catholic, Non Practising and secular

His Step Sister: 20 years old, Catholic(baptised not sure of the other sacraments) non practising, secular - to be a God Parent

His Half Sister: 8 years old - the one to be baptised, partly due to her parents preference for her to go to a Catholic school.

Like I say I am not usually one to speak or ask questions, but i feel uncomfortable knowing the bit about the school let alone almost knowing that she will not be brought up to be a true Catholic, but rather a secular non practising Catholic. I do pray for them and set as best example as I can and have hope that things may change one day for them all in their relationship with God. :D:thumbsup:

Will the Baptism be valid under these conditions? I do not know what has been said to the priest. :shrug:

I thought that when I found out, that I should just be pleased that the little one is being baptised in the first place :thumbsup:

It would be good to hear from you all…

What you describe is a farce. The child is of an age where she should be going through the RCIA process to be baptized and it should be her decision alone to make after proper instruction. Where is the priest in all this? Can you talk to him?

Is the sister the only ‘godparents’ actually baptized in the Catholic Church? If so, she would be the only one who could possibly be a ‘godparent’ – alas, unless she’s confirmed and practising she’s doesn’t meet the requirements. The brothers, if not baptized at all, cannot even be considered ‘Christian Witnesses’ let alone godparents.

Godparents aren’t a requirement for baptism. As for what to do during Baptism, you just answer questions, get baptized, and put on a robe as a symbol of your new life in Christ.

well you don’t say what your relationship to the baby is, or even if this is supposed to be a sacrament of the Catholic Church (which does not seem likely). But it if is not your family, it is up to the priest to investigate these details. None of the persons described meets the qualifications for a godparent, and the essential for the sacrament, assurance that the child will be raised Catholic, is not evident, and that would be grounds enough for the priest to delay (not deny) baptism. In any case only two godparents may be named, one male and one female, but their deficiencies alone would not invalidate the sacrament. Once the child is baptized it will be Catholic it he is baptized according to the Rites of the Church, but will be under the burdern of Church law without ever learning what that means.

If you are no relation it is probably not your place to say anything, but if you do know the priest you might want to pose the question as you have stated it here: Father is it permitted for me to attend a baptism when I know this situation exists? and describe the facts as you understand them. If he asks where and when, say, your parish next Sunday and see what he says.

If you are contemplating marriage in the future with your bf, hopefully you can be one person in this child’s life who is an influence in favor of his Catholic upbringing, but by itself that hope is too flimsy for permitting baptism at this time.

It is your call on how much of a family fight you wish to start by informing your bf you have no intention of participation in this farce.

I see one key piece of missing info: who has custody of this child and who will be raising him?

puzzleannie. this is not a baby but an 8 year old girl, half-sister of the boyfriend and presumably living with her parents.

then we should be talking about RCIA at her age, a much longer period of preparation, which thankfully includes quite a bit of interraction with parents and sponsors, hopefully leading to their return to and better practice of the faith, so we can pray for that to happen. It will be up to her parents’ pastor to oversee this, not much you can do about it.

Thank you all. She will be raised by my boyfriends father and step mother. They are non practising, I think that she has been going to the classes. I will talk to my boyfriend.

I try to set a good example by them all especially the half sister even though I made a mess of my late teen life. Unfortunately they live in a another town, so I do not know their priest. Who knows, maybe they are coming round. They did have issues with me in the past for refusing to move in with my boyfriend just so that they could feel better knowing that he was with me. When really they should’ve been loving enough not to have let him leave home at 16 in the first place. I think their guilt was what caused that.

Now that my bf is supporting himself and living in a house share and in my town not theirs, they seem happy enough with our decisions and sometimes even supportive of my faith. I do feel that the step mother, does have a yearning to be a better catholic, and I hope that this is the true motive behind the baptism. :shrug:

There is seemingly not much I can do, other than continue to pray for them and continue to try and set a good example. As for the God Parents, Non are practising, one is Catholic and I am unsure about the other sacraments, although it is more than likely that the step sister has been confirmed when she was younger. However none of them reach the requirements.

Please pray for them, and for me to handle this in the best way that I can in good faith.

Thank you & God Bless. :slight_smile:

If celebrated validly the Baptism would be valid. Being 8 the child’s disposition towards repentence and reception of Grace will have an effect on the benefits received from the Sacrament. After Baptism the Child will be Catholic and subject to the laws and obligations of a Catholic.

7-8 is the tripping point for RCIA but each case is determined by the “mental age” of the child, I know of 8-9 yro that are more like infants in the mental ability.

Thank you Br. Rich SFO,

I will speak to my boyfriend about it.

But I am sure that this is God working in his way for my boyfriends family as they seem to just need that extra push, and perhaps the classes and requirements of which the parents have had to go through may be just what they need. :slight_smile:

Many Thanks.

first of all. i am NOT an expert. just my opinion here:

go to the baptism, and promise yourself that you will do everything in your power to be a good Catholic example to this child. as she will need one. and even if anyone knows about your past? you can be a good example of straightening up your life.

perhaps you can give her a Rosary? or make her one (www.rosaryarmy.com for instructions on a knotted cord one) yes, i am a rosary nut.

FORTUNATELY she is being baptized so she can go to a Catholic school. which means she WILL have some Catholic instruction and role models, even if they are not the “God Parents”

the school part is what kind of saves this situation.
oh, and its the priests/parishes job to make sure the God Parents are acceptable, not yours. i would not worry about it too much. sometimes being a God parent brings the God Parents back to the church!:thumbsup:

She doesn’t have to be a baptized Catholic to go to Catholic school. Are they aware of that? And why would any priest participate in this farce?

Farce? Baptizing someone is a farce? Perhaps the circumstances are a bit odd, but where do we get off on judging under what circumstances someone should or should not be baptized?

I like fabricdragon’s response. :thumbsup:

It depends where she lives. There are many places where they will only accept a student in a Catholic school if that student is Catholic.

Code of Canon laws specifies:

SPONSORS
Can. 872 Insofar as possible, a person to be baptized is to be given a sponsor who assists an adult in Christian initiation or together with the parents presents an infant for baptism. A sponsor also helps the baptized person to lead a Christian life in keeping with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it.
Can. 873 There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each.
Can. 874 §1. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:
1/ be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;
2/ have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause;
3/ be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;
4/ not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;
5/ not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.
§2. A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness of the baptism.

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.

Is there something that you can say? Not so sure. There should be a priest or someone who knows this circumstance since the child is really too old for an infant baptism. This child should attend a sacramental preparation course of RCIA for children. Pray for them…teachccd

There is absolutely no indication that this child is being baptized for any reason other than getting into school. She is in a family that is non practicing and from the OPs post doesn’t appear she will be raised Catholic. None of the sponsers/god parents leads a life of faith that they can pass on or guide this child with, according to the OP.

Thank you all very much for your response.

I just needed some advice and guidance as I am a young adult and as I am a cradle Catholic am trying to relearn things with full understanding as opposed to doing what was said. I am and have been working on my own faith, and I will never judge anyone, I of all people has learnt that I am very glad that she is being baptised at all. :smiley: I was just seeing where my obligation as a practising Catholic would stand in such a situation.

It is not a great situation, but I am almost sure that this is the workings of God. My bf believes and agrees with all the Catholic teachings and will encourage his sister always. He hopes to become one himself one day. His father is very opinionated and negative towards the Catholic Church, he does believe in God though, hence my joy of her baptism. :slight_smile:

I will pray for them, I will say a novena for them and my brother to have the strength and to swallow their pride and come back to the church, or at least to Jesus Christ.

Many Thanks to you all.

God Bless!

God bless you for trying to find out what the right thing is and do it. It sounds like a complicated situation. But at least you can be reassured that the baptism will be valid, even if it isn’t licit. Also it seems to me that maybe it is a good sign that the family wants the girl to go to Catholic school. Anyway, I’ll pray for them too.

–Jen

That begs the question:

Is it better to be baptized for the wrong reasons or not be baptized at all?

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