Baptism question

Can a lay person baptize in case of emergency?


“My son and his wife don’t want to baptize my grandbaby” doesn’t count as an emergency, though… :wink:

In other words, the ‘emergency’ needs to be properly defined…

I dont know that there has to be an all together “emergency” for lay people to Baptize. I mean, dont get me wrong the prefered method would be a Priest in a Church after sufficient instruction in the Faith, but circumstances could arise with witnesses, water, and conviction of the heart that would make it almost a necessity to baptize the individual. I could be wrong and if I am correct me. What do you all think?

The law of the Church makes this determination. The relevant canons are:

Can.* 861 §1. The ordinary minister of baptism is a bishop, a presbyter, or a deacon, without prejudice to the prescript of ⇒ can. 530, n. 1.

§2. When an ordinary minister is absent or impeded, a catechist or another person designated for this function by the local ordinary, or in a case of necessity any person with the right intention, confers baptism licitly. Pastors of souls, especially the pastor of a parish, are to be concerned that the Christian faithful are taught the correct way to baptize.

Can.* 862 Except in a case of necessity, no one is permitted to confer baptism in the territory of another without the required permission, 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 deferred to the diocesan bishop so that he himself administers it if he has judged it Expedient.


I was thinking about this part even before I read this post. If your pastor hasn’t taught you, the reader among “the Christian faithful,” the correct way to baptize, then please learn how!

(I’ll leave it to others to provide trustworthy, user-friendly instructions, but performing a valid baptism has certain requirements, such as intent, the use of water, the correct way of using the water, and a correct baptismal formula. You should also learn such things as the proper occasions for administering such a baptism.)

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