Baptism Validation Question


#1

Here is the scenario:

A devout Catholic Grandmother or Grandfather are concerned about the state of the soul of their grandchild. The child’s parent is a fallen-away Catholic and has not had the child baptized. The parent will not agree to have the child baptized, saying that they wish to let the child come of age and make that decision themselves. The Grandparents teach the child the Catechism in their home and take them to Mass whenever possible. The child is, therefore, exposed to the Truth and developes a love for the Truth.

The Grandparents take it upon themselves to baptize the child. Using Holy Water, and using the formula, “I Baptize you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit”, they Baptize the child without the parent knowing and in their own home.

Would such a Baptism be a valid Baptism in the eyes of the Church?

I don’t think I am phrasing my question correctly because I am having a difficult time finding my answer in the Catechism…perhaps someone here could direct me to the correct paragraph or to the correct area of Cannon Law which would cover this situation?

Thank you all so much!


#2

Don’t know the answer, but I do know that the age of the grandchild is relevant.

Is the grandchild under the age of reason (about seven years old), or over?


#3

I think that one of the parents has to be in agreement :frowning:

I may be wrong about this.

If it were MY grandchild, I’d do the same thing as these grandparents are doing, and I’d baptise the child as well… I don’t think that it would hurt the child’s spirituality, and who know’s perhaps the baptism is valid as a temporary baptism (In God’s eyes) in case something should happen before the child has a chance to “choose”.

Yes, I understand that baptism is only performed once and it “takes” as long as the formula is good… it’s a sticky situation that I plan on carrying out should this happen to my grandchildren.


#4

[quote=Loboto-Me]I don’t think that it would hurt the child’s spirituality
[/quote]

It prevents the child from having godparents, which would seem to be hurting the child spiritually.


#5

From the Old Catholic Encyclopedia:

The question is also discussed as to whether the infant children of Jews or infidels may be baptized against the will of their parents. To the general query, the answer is a decided negative, because such a baptism would violate the natural rights of parents, and the infant would later be exposed to the danger of perversion. We say this, of course, only in regard to the liceity of such a baptism, for if it were actually administered it would undoubtedly be valid.


#6

It would not prevent them from having godparents if you think about it because this would be a “temporary” proper form of baptism. Now if later, the child decided to become JW and get “baptised” by them, that would not be the proper form therefore at least they will have gotten baptised properly.

Godparents are guides to proper religious education while they are growing up, “legally” they are there to help the parents educate them in their faith… but really, that could be anyone that chooses to be their “godparents”.

I’m not sure that you HAVE to have godparents in order to be baptised, although in most faiths it’s a tradition.


#7

[quote=Catholic2003]From the Old Catholic Encyclopedia:
[/quote]

Ok, so if I understand the Catholic Encyclopedia correctly, the child’s Baptism (and the child is under the age of 5) would be valid, but not licit.

What exactly is the difference? Would it mean that the Sacrament has been administered, thereby removing the stain of original sin, but it could not be recorded by the Church because it had not been properly performed by a Priest or Deacon?

thank you all so much for your help in this matter!


#8

There was a similar question on Ask an Apologist in the last couple of months and I am not sure it would even be licit let alone valid without parental approval. Older folks in danger of death.cannot be baptised without at least some sign that they wish to be.


#9

I tried to find it but couldn’t - was I searching wrong?

Could someone (the moderator?) point me in the correct direction?


#10

[quote=LSK]Ok, so if I understand the Catholic Encyclopedia correctly, the child’s Baptism (and the child is under the age of 5) would be valid, but not licit.

What exactly is the difference? Would it mean that the Sacrament has been administered, thereby removing the stain of original sin, but it could not be recorded by the Church because it had not been properly performed by a Priest or Deacon?

thank you all so much for your help in this matter!
[/quote]

Illicit means that the grandparents committed a grave sin, and need to go to confession.

Valid means that the Sacrament has been administered, and needs to be entered into the Church records, so that the child is not party to a subsequent baptism ceremony, which would also be gravely sinful in that it would be the simulation of a sacrament.


#11

OK - I will let the Grandparents know. I am sure they will want to get right with God AND let their Parish priest know so that the Baptism can be properly recorded.

I think this is so important to know - we can have the best of intentions, and still commit a grave sin. We can want only the best for those we love and be paving the way to hell without even knowing it!

thank you all so much for giving me this information.


#12

[quote=Loboto-Me]It would not prevent them from having godparents if you think about it because this would be a “temporary” proper form of baptism.
[/quote]

There is no such thing as a “temporary” form of baptism.

CCC 1272 Incorporated into Christ by Baptism, the person baptized is configured to Christ. Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark (character) of his belonging to Christ. No sin can erase this mark, even if sin prevents Baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation. Given once for all, Baptism cannot be repeated.

[quote=Loboto-Me]Godparents are guides to proper religious education while they are growing up, “legally” they are there to help the parents educate them in their faith… but really, that could be anyone that chooses to be their “godparents”.
[/quote]

Godparents have an actual spiritual bond with their godchildren. This spiritual bond is created at baptism. Certainly, anyone could choose to guide the child in their faith, but this would be without benefit of the spiritual bond.

[quote=Loboto-Me]I’m not sure that you HAVE to have godparents in order to be baptised, although in most faiths it’s a tradition.
[/quote]

You don’t have to have godparents. It’s just nice not to be a “god-orphan”.


#13

Here is some information on the USCCB web site (searched for emergency baptism):

[/font]http://www.usccb.org/bishops/directives.shtml

Part 2, Item 17

Except in cases of emergency (i.e., danger of death), any request for Baptism made by adults or for infants should be referred to the chaplain of the institution. Newly born infants in danger of death, including those miscarried, should be baptized if this is possible.13 In case of emergency, if a priest or a deacon is not available, anyone can validly baptize.14 In the case of emergency Baptism, the chaplain or the director of pastoral care is to be notified.

[list=1]
*]Cf. ibid., c. 867, § 2, and c. 871.
*]To confer Baptism in an emergency, one must have the proper intention (to do what the Church intends by Baptism) and pour water on the head of the person to be baptized, meanwhile pronouncing the words: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
[/list]


#14

[quote=LSK]OK - I will let the Grandparents know. I am sure they will want to get right with God AND let their Parish priest know so that the Baptism can be properly recorded.

I think this is so important to know - we can have the best of intentions, and still commit a grave sin. We can want only the best for those we love and be paving the way to hell without even knowing it!

thank you all so much for giving me this information.
[/quote]

I really don’t think that’s true. As has been stated and re-stated, mortal sin requires that all 3 of these criterion be met: serious, grave matter, full knowledge of what you’re doing, and full consent to doing it.


#15

they didn’t say mortal sin they said grave sin. it could have been a grave thing to do but not mortal because lack of knowledge.


#16

[quote=LSK]Here is the scenario:

A devout Catholic Grandmother or Grandfather are concerned about the state of the soul of their grandchild. The child’s parent is a fallen-away Catholic and has not had the child baptized. The parent will not agree to have the child baptized, saying that they wish to let the child come of age and make that decision themselves. The Grandparents teach the child the Catechism in their home and take them to Mass whenever possible. The child is, therefore, exposed to the Truth and developes a love for the Truth.

The Grandparents take it upon themselves to baptize the child. Using Holy Water, and using the formula, “I Baptize you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit”, they Baptize the child without the parent knowing and in their own home.

Would such a Baptism be a valid Baptism in the eyes of the Church?

I don’t think I am phrasing my question correctly because I am having a difficult time finding my answer in the Catechism…perhaps someone here could direct me to the correct paragraph or to the correct area of Cannon Law which would cover this situation?

Thank you all so much!
[/quote]

Any person can Baptize any other person who has not been Baptized. If the proper Form (words), Matter (water) and intent (to Baptize as the Church intends for the removal of Original Sin)
And the Baptism would be valid. It would be highly illicit to do this without at least one of the parents permission except in the case of danger of death.


closed #17

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