Baptism Question


#1

I’ve lately been considering joining the Catholic Church, due in no small part to the apologetics on this forum, so thank you and good work.

My question is not a stumbling block to my joining at all, just something I am curious about and unable to find a good answer to anywhere else. Why is it that a child of Catholic parents is baptized immediately after birth and a convert must wait a long time? I understand why one should wait to become confirmed, of course, but if it is urgent that a child be baptized quickly after birth why is it not also urgent that I be baptized quickly? I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, God forbid, and it seems like I would then be in some serious trouble.

Just curious.


#2

[quote=C.S.Black]I’ve lately been considering joining the Catholic Church, due in no small part to the apologetics on this forum, so thank you and good work.

My question is not a stumbling block to my joining at all, just something I am curious about and unable to find a good answer to anywhere else. Why is it that a child of Catholic parents is baptized immediately after birth and a convert must wait a long time? I understand why one should wait to become confirmed, of course, but if it is urgent that a child be baptized quickly after birth why is it not also urgent that I be baptized quickly? I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, God forbid, and it seems like I would then be in some serious trouble.

Just curious.
[/quote]

By sincerely wanting to be baptized, you secure for yourself a ‘baptism of desire’ in the case of some horrible accident which may occur before you are literally able to be baptized. There is literal baptism, baptism of blood (martyrdom) and baptism of desire.

-Rob


#3

By sincerely wanting to be baptized, you secure for yourself a ‘baptism of desire’ in the case of some horrible accident which may occur before you are literally able to be baptized. There is literal baptism, baptism of blood (martyrdom) and baptism of desire.

Well, that’s good to hear. Is it the case, then, that children are baptized immediately because they are unable to desire baptism? And an adult has to wait because they have the benefit of “baptism of desire” and therefore the baptism of water can wait (must wait?) for the time that they are certainly ready to become full members?


#4

[quote=C.S.Black]Well, that’s good to hear. Is it the case, then, that children are baptized immediately because they are unable to desire baptism? And an adult has to wait because they have the benefit of “baptism of desire” and therefore the baptism of water can wait (must wait?) for the time that they are certainly ready to become full members?
[/quote]

Adults wait because they should consciously believe when they are baptized-- the idea of baptism of desire obvious makes it less incumbent that adults be baptized immediately. I don’t want to make it sound as if it’s a good thing to wait and postpone baptism, though. Someone else would be able to talk about this better than I can, probably, so I’ll leave it to them.

Good luck on your conversion/baptism. :slight_smile:


#5

[quote=C.S.Black]Well, that’s good to hear. Is it the case, then, that children are baptized immediately because they are unable to desire baptism? And an adult has to wait because they have the benefit of “baptism of desire” and therefore the baptism of water can wait (must wait?) for the time that they are certainly ready to become full members?
[/quote]

That’s the first part. The second part ist hat baptism is a declaration of faith. Whereas baptising an infant is the parent’s offering of the child to God and publically declaring they will raise it in the Catholic faith, for an adult baptism is their proclamation they accept the teachings of the church.

Because as part of wedding preparation, the parents should have full knowledge and training of the duties of a Catholic parent to raise thier child in the faith. The church recognizes this and does not require any further catechesis before the infant’s baptism. However, for an adult, the church sees that the act of faith as a bit more complex, and must make sure they have fully communicated the faith to the adult before baptism can be witnessed.

Hopefully, that is clear.
Josh


#6

Excellent. Thank you.


#7

A couple of minor additions. It is at the Rite of Acceptance into the order of Catechumens that you make your public statement of Desire for Baptism. ALL Sacramental Baptism requires understanding and profession of the Catholic Faith equal to the ability of the one being Baptized. An adult is capable of learning, understanding and personally professing their belief. A child is capable of some understanding and making a simple profession. An Infant is incapable of understanding or making a profession for themselves. Therefore an infant is Baptized into the Faith of the Church with the Community, the parents and Godparents professing for them.

Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood supplies the Grace of Baptism which removes Original Sin and Actual Sin, but does not supply the mark of the Sacrament on the soul.


#8

I shall cite the Catechism:

**1248 **The catechumenate, or formation of catechumens, aims at bringing their conversion and faith to maturity, in response to the divine initiative and in union with an ecclesial community. The catechumenate is to be “a formation in the whole Christian life . . . during which the disciples will be joined to Christ their teacher. The catechumens should be properly initiated into the mystery of salvation and the practice of the evangelical virtues, and they should be introduced into the life of faith, liturgy, and charity of the People of God by successive sacred rites.”

**1249 **Catechumens “are already joined to the Church, they are already of the household of Christ, and are quite frequently already living a life of faith, hope, and charity.” “With love and solicitude mother Church already embraces them as her own.”

**1258 **The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.

**1259 **For *catechumens *who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

**1260 **“Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery.” Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

Source: scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

**I would also like to remind you of the part in scripture about the repentant robber (unbaptized) that was being crucified with Jesus. Jesus promised him on the cross that he will be with him in paradise. This part of scripture further confirms the Church’s teaching of baptism of desire. However, unfortunately I’m not dripped in scripture and am unable to pull out the exact text. **


#9

Oh, and God bless you for your conversion! Hopefully, you’ll have your sacraments soon. Never stop learning about the faith and defend it until the shedding of your blood. Also, try to be in full accordance with the Church including accepting all the doctrines. I shall pray for you.

:blessyou:


#10

Ah. Well, it all makes perfect sense then. I’m finding that to be the case with the Church when you’re willing to get the adequate information. Thanks for all the help.


closed #11

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