Baptism and Intention

I always get hung up on the “intention” part of the baptismal validity canon:

“Canon 869 §2. Those baptized in a non-Catholic ecclesial community must not be baptized conditionally unless, after an examination of the matter and the form of the words used in the conferral of baptism and a consideration of the intention of the baptized adult and the minister of the baptism, a serious reason exists to doubt the validity of the baptism.”

I was baptized in a Baptist church and my baptism was considered valid when I converted. I am still confused about the intent part because I am fairly sure the pastor who baptized me did not intend the same thing the Church intends. Nor did I intend it. I did not believe in the true nature or effect of baptism at that point. How can that be valid, given the intent of both me and the pastor??

If he was not intending to Baptize you and you were not intending to be Baptized. What were you intending by submitting to it? What was your intention when you went to the Baptismal pool/font?

I was intending to be baptized and he was intending to baptize, but we were not intending what the Church intends by baptism. I am confusing myself…sorry.

Well, baptism is intended to remit sins in the Catholic Church - many Protestant sects use baptism not to remit sins, but as a “symbol” of interior conversion and as a “public profession” of faith in Christ.

Baptism is both of those, but the intent of remission of sin is very often omitted in Protestant baptisms.

That’s my question. Does this fact invalidate the baptism?

As far as I know the omission of that intent does not invalidate baptism, as almost every convert I know has their baptism convalidated. Obviously, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Oneness Pentecostals do not have valid baptisms. The Oneness because of a heretical formula, and the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses because of incorrect intent - the intent to baptize in the name of a non-Trinitarian God.

However, the solution to this intent is that the form of the sacrament (“I baptize you”) usually remains the same. To a Catholic, the word “to baptize” necessarily has connotations of remission of sin. Of course, to a Catholic, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” necessarily denotes a Trinitarian God, so I do not understand why Mormon baptisms would be invalid if the sans remission baptisms are in fact valid.

I’m kind of lost on this. Sorry.

No, to my knowledge I have never seen a list of qualifying intentions for Baptism. Generally it is, did he intend to Baptize you and did you as an adult intend to be Baptized.

By your reception into the Church, the Church MADE it valid, and supplied anything that was lacking.

So put your doubts aside.

As long as the baptism was Trinitarian the burden of proof would fall to anyone who for whatever reason would challenge the validity; the burden is not on you or anyone to prove the validity. Baptists are a recognized Christian tradition/denomination, so in general there would be no reason to question the validity of their baptism.

Don’t make this harder on yourself; trust the Church.

I beg to differ. In order for a sacrament to be valid, there has to be proper form, matter and intent. If one or more of those things are not there at the time the sacrament is attempted, then it is invalid. The Church cannot make an invalid baptism valid after the fact. If in fact a convert’s baptism is invalid (and does not receive a conditional baptism or an absolute baptism) and he or she receives subsequent sacraments, those too would be invalid.

Ecclesia supplet, or the Church supplies, refers to jurisdiction, such as for the jurisdiction to hear confessions, not to make sacraments lacking form, matter or intent, valid.

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