Baptism by Heretics


#1

I was talking to someone and the topic of Baptism by Heretics came up. I understand the concept of how a Baptism is valid if it is done as stated:
“The Council of Trent, confirming this tradition, defined that Baptism administered by heretics in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, with the intention of doing what the Catholic Church does is true Baptism (cf. DH 1617).”

The problem that came up was: What stops the average joe from Baptizing someone? Why do you even need a priest? He said to side-step a priest doenst sound right, and I agreed.

All quotes taken from this link from Catholic.com Library:
catholic.com/library/lor_010801a.asp


#2

Hi C.D.,

What stops the average joe from Baptizing someone?

Nothing. Baptism administered with the right intention and formula is valid. Even an atheist can do it.

Here however is the normal procedure, from Canon Law:

Can. 861 §1 The ordinary minister of baptism is a Bishop, a priest or a deacon, without prejudice to the provision of can. 530, n. 1. [This canon speaks of the privileges of parish priests.)

§2 If the ordinary minister is absent or impeded, a catechist or some other person deputed to this office by the local Ordinary, may lawfully confer baptism; indeed, in a case of necessity, any person who has the requisite intention may do so. Pastors of souls, especially parish priests, are to be diligent in ensuring that Christ’s faithful are taught the correct way to baptise.

Can. 862 Except in a case of necessity, it is unlawful for anyone without due permission to confer baptism outside his own territory, not even upon his own subjects.

Can. 863 The baptism of adults, at least of those who have completed their fourteenth year, is to be referred to the Bishop, so that he himself may confer it if he judges this appropriate.

Can. 868 §1 For an infant to be baptised lawfully it is required:

1° that the parents, or at least one of them, or the person who lawfully holds their place, give their consent;

2° that there be a well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the catholic religion. If such hope is truly lacking, the baptism is, in accordance with the provisions of particular law, to be deferred and the parents advised of the reason for this.

§2 An infant of catholic parents, indeed even of non-catholic parents, may in danger of death be baptised even if the parents are opposed to it.

Baptizing a child without parents’ consent is wrong, a very serious matter.

Verbum
[/quote]


#3

Someone could just go door to door and Baptize people and wouldnt have to worry about going to a priest? The Priest becomes a nothing on these grounds. Why would someone wait to take a newborn to a priest? Just Baptize the child right on the spot. Better yet why not instruct people to go around Baptizing, dont even worry about the CC.

I can understand a person Baptizing someone if they are about to die, or if it is done by a protestant pastor following the CC formula.
But to let any old person do it seems wrong. How do you prove that the person is doing it with the right intentions?

If there is no way to check or have an idea of their intentions why not go around and pay people to get Baptized? Or better yet go to a public pool and Baptize whole crowds.

I just thought of another question, I know reBaptizing is wrong, but how do you know if someone has been Baptized if it was done outside the CC.


#4

Hi C.D.,

No true Catholic will go around baptizing people at random. Since the beginning of Christianity, there are probably millions of Christians who could not have been baptized if they had waited for a priest to come around.

By the way, this is not the only sacrament that does not need the presence of a priest. In marriage, the ministers of the sacrament are the bride and groom. And Canon Law provides for people to marry in front of witnesses if there is no possiblity of getting married in front of a priest before very long.

I just thought of another question, I know reBaptizing is wrong, but how do you know if someone has been Baptized if it was done outside the CC.

The Church has determined that baptism done with water in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit is valid no matter how it is administered, as long as those baptizing intend to do what Christ intended. Based on this, the Church accepts almost all baptisms done outside the Catholic Church. One notable exception is the Mormons, whose belief in the Trinity is tainted with some very weird ideas.

Verbum


#5

If there is any question on the authenticity, then a conditional baptism is performed. This is done by the priest saying “If you are not already baptized, I baptize you in the name of …”.


#6

[quote=Catholic Dude]Someone could just go door to door and Baptize people and wouldnt have to worry about going to a priest? The Priest becomes a nothing on these grounds. Why would someone wait to take a newborn to a priest? Just Baptize the child right on the spot. Better yet why not instruct people to go around Baptizing, dont even worry about the CC.

I can understand a person Baptizing someone if they are about to die, or if it is done by a protestant pastor following the CC formula.
But to let any old person do it seems wrong. How do you prove that the person is doing it with the right intentions?

If there is no way to check or have an idea of their intentions why not go around and pay people to get Baptized? Or better yet go to a public pool and Baptize whole crowds.

I just thought of another question, I know reBaptizing is wrong, but how do you know if someone has been Baptized if it was done outside the CC.
[/quote]

Please re-read the Canon Law posted above.

Notice it says the ORDINARY minister of baptism is the priest/bishop. Catholics are bound by Canon Law and therefore must follow the norms set forth in it. Therefore, under normal circumstances baptism would be celebrated within the community, by a priest, and afte proper instruction of the parents.

Any person can baptize in danger of death.

If the person was baptized in a church that keeps records, then they would be turned over to the CC. For example, I was baptized in the Episcopal Church. There is no question that they perform Trinitarian baptism, and there was no question that I was baptized because the EC could produce my baptismal certificate. If proof cannot be obtained, the persons is baptized conditionally.


#7

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