Baptism question f/u from Patrick Madrid


#1

I was listening to a program on Catholic radio today where the host, Patrick Madrid, took a call from a listener who worried that her son's baptism thirty years ago may not have been valid. The baby boy started crying during the baptism and the priest said something along the lines of "I baptize you in the name of the Father, shhh, don't cry. And of the son. There now, it's almost over. And of the Holy Spirit."

Patrick's answer was that this baptism was of questionable validity. He advised the caller to ask her son to get conditionally baptized, and when she expressed her doubt that he would do this (because he's a lapsed Catholic), Patrick suggested that she ask her son to do it as a favor to her.

I had to turn the program off before hearing how the call ended, but I wondered about this question/response and had some follow-up questions for all you fine folks:

1) Should an adult Catholic who may/may not have been baptized licitly as an infant be encouraged to received conditional baptism as a favor to his parents who intended to baptize him as an infant if it's not clear that he will continue to practice the faith? I realize the graces received during baptism are incomparable, but I'm thinking particularly of the obligations (weekly Mass attendance, for example) that are required of baptized Catholics not binding under pain of mortal sin for non-Catholics.

2) If this person were not validly baptized, what of all the other sacraments received in good faith throughout his life? Did he receive any grace from the Eucharist or sacramental confession? Would confirmation need to be repeated (conditionally?).

Thanks!


#2

I did not hear this program, however, the account that you give sounds very questionable. I would think that the Catholic Church would consider the baptism that you described to be quite valid. The minister of baptism is not supposed to interject additional words into the the baptismal formula, but such remarks as "hush, baby" would hardly invalidate the baptism.

Baptism requires:
1. valid matter, water.
2. valid form, Trinitarian, and the word Baptize or Christen.
3. the correct intention on the part of the minister.


#3

Baptism requires:
1. valid matter, water.
2. valid form, Trinitarian, and the word Baptize or Christen.
3. the correct intention on the part of the minister.

What about repentance? When they asked, "What must we do?" Peter told them to repent as well as be baptized.


#4

[quote="nodito, post:1, topic:337698"]
I was listening to a program on Catholic radio today where the host, Patrick Madrid, took a call from a listener who worried that her son's baptism thirty years ago may not have been valid. The baby boy started crying during the baptism and the priest said something along the lines of "I baptize you in the name of the Father, shhh, don't cry. And of the son. There now, it's almost over. And of the Holy Spirit."

Patrick's answer was that this baptism was of questionable validity. He advised the caller to ask her son to get conditionally baptized, and when she expressed her doubt that he would do this (because he's a lapsed Catholic), Patrick suggested that she ask her son to do it as a favor to her.

I had to turn the program off before hearing how the call ended, but I wondered about this question/response and had some follow-up questions for all you fine folks:

1) Should an adult Catholic who may/may not have been baptized licitly as an infant be encouraged to received conditional baptism as a favor to his parents who intended to baptize him as an infant if it's not clear that he will continue to practice the faith? I realize the graces received during baptism are incomparable, but I'm thinking particularly of the obligations (weekly Mass attendance, for example) that are required of baptized Catholics not binding under pain of mortal sin for non-Catholics.

2) If this person were not validly baptized, what of all the other sacraments received in good faith throughout his life? Did he receive any grace from the Eucharist or sacramental confession? Would confirmation need to be repeated (conditionally?).

Thanks!

[/quote]

:eek: First, it seems ridiculous to me that we might ever wonder about this baptism's validity. But even more importantly, suggesting that a lapsed Catholic be given a conditional baptism as a favor to his mother is bizarre and seems really problematic. Suggesting that one receive a sacrament (that he doesn't seem to believe in) simply to appease someone else is wrong.


#5

[quote="LordsPoint, post:3, topic:337698"]
Baptism requires:
1. valid matter, water.
2. valid form, Trinitarian, and the word Baptize or Christen.
3. the correct intention on the part of the minister.

What about repentance? When they asked, "What must we do?" Peter told them to repent as well as be baptized.

[/quote]

So you don't see the whole families being baptized in the New Testament? The Philippian jailer is a case in point. Further, if parents cannot speak in faith for their kids, then exactly why did God order all Jewish males circumcised? No kid ever asked for that, yet that act of obedient faith brought those kids into their Jewish faith. So also with Christian baptism for infants.

You also don't seem to know much about what the apostles passed on to the early church and which has been handed down to us as historical record. I deal with all of this is a couple of blog articles of mine, so I urge you to check them out.

[LIST]
*]Baptism~ Necessary or Not?
*]The Case For Infant Baptism
[/LIST]


#6

[quote="LordsPoint, post:3, topic:337698"]
Baptism requires:
1. valid matter, water.
2. valid form, Trinitarian, and the word Baptize or Christen.
3. the correct intention on the part of the minister.

What about repentance? When they asked, "What must we do?" Peter told them to repent as well as be baptized.

[/quote]

Uhmm Yes indeed that's what Peter told them, but guess what when they did......He went and Baptized THE ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD.

As per the Old Testament where GOD commands the Israelites to do so.

Genesis
17:10 This is my covenant, which you shall observe, between me and you, and your offspring after you: All the males among you shall be circumcised.

17:11 And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, so that it may be a sign of the covenant between me and you.

17:12 An infant of eight days will be circumcised among you, every male in your generations. So also servants born to you, as well as those bought, shall be circumcised, even those who are not of your stock.

Circumcision was the SIGN of the Covenant of Abraham, Baptism is the SIGN of the NEW Covenant through Jesus.

As it is shown in the Book of Acts
16:14 And a certain woman, named Lydia, a seller of purple in the city of Thyatira, a worshiper of God, listened. And the Lord opened her heart to be receptive to what Paul was saying.

16:15 And when she had been baptized, with her household, she pleaded with us, saying: “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, enter into my house and lodge there.” And she convinced us.

Peace :thumbsup:


#7

[quote="LordsPoint, post:3, topic:337698"]
Baptism requires:
1. valid matter, water.
2. valid form, Trinitarian, and the word Baptize or Christen.
3. the correct intention on the part of the minister.

What about repentance? When they asked, "What must we do?" Peter told them to repent as well as be baptized.

[/quote]

While this is a good question I would suggest to you and to others that it is off topic on this thread.

Why not start a thread devoted to this specifically?

Peace
James


#8

I have to say that this smacks a bit of straining the gnat ans swallowing the camel…
In other words the sort of legalism that Jesus spoke against.
I have to agree with Paul here…

I suspect that if you asked any other priest - or even your bishop - you would receive a similar answer to this - that the baptism is quite valid.

I had to turn the program off before hearing how the call ended, but I wondered about this question/response and had some follow-up questions for all you fine folks:

  1. Should an adult Catholic who may/may not have been baptized licitly as an infant be encouraged to received conditional baptism as a favor to his parents who intended to baptize him as an infant if it’s not clear that he will continue to practice the faith? I realize the graces received during baptism are incomparable, but I’m thinking particularly of the obligations (weekly Mass attendance, for example) that are required of baptized Catholics not binding under pain of mortal sin for non-Catholics.

Yes the person should be encouraged…but not “as a favor” to anyone.

  1. If this person were not validly baptized, what of all the other sacraments received in good faith throughout his life? Did he receive any grace from the Eucharist or sacramental confession? Would confirmation need to be repeated (conditionally?).

I can only offer my opinion here…I think the key phrase here is “in good faith”.
Jesus spoke repeatedly about and against the sort of dogmatic “rule following” that ignores the heart and purpose of the law or rule or whatever. What is more important is the heart and purpose, that is, the “good faith” of the individual.

Imagine a small child who gets a part in the school pageant. they are going to do “Old McDonald’s farm”. They practice their song diligently and the night of the performance step out on stage and they sing with all they have…but…for whatever reason…they skip a verse, say they forget to sing about the duck.
After the performance will the parent of that child withhold praise or hugs or love from that child because their performance was not properly executed?
I’m sure your answer is no.
The same with our Loving Father. So long as we act “in good faith” and try our best…He is going to grant us all the love (grace) we need.

Peace
James


#9

[quote="LordsPoint, post:3, topic:337698"]
Baptism requires:
1. valid matter, water.
2. valid form, Trinitarian, and the word Baptize or Christen.
3. the correct intention on the part of the minister.

What about repentance? When they asked, "What must we do?" Peter told them to repent as well as be baptized.

[/quote]

Others have already refuted your personal opinions about baptism so I won't take time to repeat their beautiful, truthful and accurate responses. However, I will call attention to another truth for you. You list your denomination as "Ex-Catholic", obviously to dig at Catholics on a Catholic web site so right away your credibility and level of "charity" is in question.

This is my point, you can call yourself "ex" all you like but there is another truth to the faith that you apparently have ignored, baptism places an indelible mark on the soul, placed there by God Himself. You cannot remove it, it is distinct and permanent. In other words, you may be outside as a separated brother or sister, but you are still Catholic; you cannot wash it off.

Peace,
Dcn. G.


#10

We just had our 3 year old daughter baptized and I pretty much held my breath during the ceremony because I didn’t know what her reaction or behavior would be like. At one point she crawled up the steps to the baptismal font and stuck her finger in, I was afraid she was going to jump in. I’m kind a self conscious person so being in a ceremony in front of about 100 parishioners, with a toddler who can be unruly at times was quite unnerving for me. Our priest was very reassuring and seemed to keep everyone calm. My husband held our daughter in his arms when he poured the water and did the blessing and of course she struggled some. Hubby’s shirt was pretty wet. I’m sure the priest interjected a “Ssshhh or it’s ok,” amidst her blessings. I would never consider her baptism invalid because of it. She was baptized with water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If her life gets off track somewhere along the line it’s not going to be because of her baptism.


#11

[quote="LordsPoint, post:3, topic:337698"]
Baptism requires:
1. valid matter, water.
2. valid form, Trinitarian, and the word Baptize or Christen.
3. the correct intention on the part of the minister.

What about repentance? When they asked, "What must we do?" Peter told them to repent as well as be baptized.

[/quote]

On a separate issue there is no such thing as an ex or former Catholic. If you were baptised a Catholic then you are a Catholic forever, even if you turn your back on the Church and walk away. Baptism leaves an indelible mark which can never be removed.
Once a Catholic ALWAYS a Catholic.


#12

[quote="Lapey, post:9, topic:337698"]
Others have already refuted your personal opinions about baptism so I won't take time to repeat their beautiful, truthful and accurate responses. However, I will call attention to another truth for you. You list your denomination as "Ex-Catholic", obviously to dig at Catholics on a Catholic web site so right away your credibility and level of "charity" is in question.

This is my point, you can call yourself "ex" all you like but there is another truth to the faith that you apparently have ignored, baptism places an indelible mark on the soul, placed there by God Himself. You cannot remove it, it is distinct and permanent. In other words, you may be outside as a separated brother or sister, but you are still Catholic; you cannot wash it off.

Peace,
Dcn. G.

[/quote]

While I agree with the underlying principle that there are no such things as "ex-Catholics"...I disagree with you assumptions about the intent of "LordsPoint" in listing himself this way.

Would you prefer he list himself as "Catholic" and then proceed to post things that are not in line with Church teaching?

I list myself as "Catholic revert"...and by the reasoning of your post above, my description of myself is just as inaccurate as LordsPoint. Interestingly I have NEVER had anyone take me to task, question my credibility or my charity based on my (innaccurate) description of my faith.

No - I personally do not see this as something that reduces "LordsPoint's" credibility or charity. If s/he does intend it as a dig, it can only be one if we allow it to be so....

I see it as simply an attempt to clearly communicate their position and view. It may not be specifically and technically accurate, but that does not equate to being uncharitable and it does communicate his/her outlook quite well.

Peace
James


#13

[quote="JRKH, post:12, topic:337698"]
While I agree with the underlying principle that there are no such things as "ex-Catholics"...I disagree with you assumptions about the intent of "LordsPoint" in listing himself this way.

Would you prefer he list himself as "Catholic" and then proceed to post things that are not in line with Church teaching?

I list myself as "Catholic revert"...and by the reasoning of your post above, my description of myself is just as inaccurate as LordsPoint. Interestingly I have NEVER had anyone take me to task, question my credibility or my charity based on my (innaccurate) description of my faith.

No - I personally do not see this as something that reduces "LordsPoint's" credibility or charity. If s/he does intend it as a dig, it can only be one if we allow it to be so....

I see it as simply an attempt to clearly communicate their position and view. It may not be specifically and technically accurate, but that does not equate to being uncharitable and it does communicate his/her outlook quite well.

Peace
James

[/quote]

Point well taken, I should not have put that in my post. Thanks.


#14

[quote="PaulfromIowa, post:2, topic:337698"]
The minister of baptism is not supposed to interject additional words into the the baptismal formula, but such remarks as "hush, baby" would hardly invalidate the baptism.

Baptism requires:
1. valid matter, water.
2. valid form, Trinitarian, and the word Baptize or Christen.
3. the correct intention on the part of the minister.

[/quote]

I understand this. At one point does an interjection cross the line, though? Suppose the priest stopped in the middle of the baptism to make a joke? Or he uses the right words but adds his own flowery language to it (e.g, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, who made the universe, and of the Son, who redeemed the world, and of the Holy Spirit, giver of Life and Truth" etc)? At some point, it ceases to be valid form, right?


#15

It's a good question. I'd have to disagree with Mr. Madrid, though, and say that I think it was valid. The fundamental issue is whether or not the additional words changed the essential meaning of the formula. In my opinion, the additions in this case were purely accidental, both in the way they were added (it was an accident, so to speak) and in their impact on the formula of baptism (it did not change the essence of the proper words). The priest still conveyed the necessary factors: his agency in baptizing that child in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Dan


#16

[quote="dans0622, post:15, topic:337698"]
It's a good question. I'd have to disagree with Mr. Madrid, though, and say that I think it was valid. The fundamental issue is whether or not the additional words changed the essential meaning of the formula. In my opinion, the additions in this case were purely accidental, both in the way they were added (it was an accident, so to speak) and in their impact on the formula of baptism (it did not change the essence of the proper words). The priest still conveyed the necessary factors: his agency in baptizing that child in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Dan

[/quote]

I tend to agree Dan. The words were spoken, the intent was consistent with the intent of Mother Church and furthermore the words added were not done with intent to change anything happening, simply a part of the situation of the crying baby.

I can tell you from experience, when the ceremony of baptism is taking place and there are multiple babies, it can be challenging to say the least. I've had as many as 7 at one time to baptize; quite an adventure!


#17

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