Baptism 'Worry'

Dear all;

I am trying to help someone come to the Faith.

She was open with me yesterday about her reservation about being baptised, and I wanted to get your input.

Her background; she was born to parents when they were very young, outside of marriage. Her parents are still together and she is now nearly 30 years old.

Her grandmother and her friends treated her as an outsider when she was young. She was not baptised, and she suffered a lot of being made an outcast by the Italian church she would sometimes come into contact with, and the members of that church.

She is finding her way now- but said something very disturbing. She actually used to feel she was a ‘devil’ - obviously something engrained in her thanks to these very un-Christian Catholics.
She is being held back from baptism in case it changes her in a bad way. I think she feels it would be wrong to be baptised, and bad things would happen to her. I’m not sure if she feels the devil will cause bad things to happen, or not- but she feels she might die sooner if she is baptised!
I think it’s a case that she feels ‘she doesn’t belong’ due to these issues.

My take on it so far has been to say that God calls everyone to be baptised- but it is down to individual choice. I have said that the only thoughts/feels preventing baptism probably come from what we call ‘the devil’ and are contrary to God’s plan for her.
As for dying young- I have said we all have a life which God will direct and we have no control over that, to a point. I.e. deciding to be baptised is not like pressing a button which will determine life now goes in this direction, or x,y,z will now happen.

Thoughts welcome! I’d very much like to be able to bring this person to the Faith and erase old wounds.

I am sorry to hear that- I personally come from a very lovely and welcoming Parish where nobody would be treated like that at all, and we have lots of Italians, but yes I know that many people, especially of the older generations react like that towards people born out of wedlock and non Catholics etc. it is just their upbringing and coming from Italy it would be a very culturally Catholic place where traditionally people would have been taught well in Catechism and would have more conscience of sin in today’s world…however it is no excuse to treat somebody unkindly for actions they are not responsible for. There are several Italian Saints who helped and cared for the abandoned and illegitimate children with love and care, such as Don Bosco and St. Giulia Salzano etc.

I am part Irish and it was the same in Ireland, a land so faithful to the Church (and still is) but has been shaken recently. Unmarried mothers in Ireland had committed a crime and were sent to Magdalene Institutions run by the Church, run out of the kindness of the Holy Nuns- as the girls were often rejected and scorned by their families and society, yet due to a few bad and “nasty” Sisters the whole system has got a bad name, and people have forgotten that some Nuns and Priests actually did good- even “Philomena” who has had a movie made of her experience as an unmarried mother in Ireland has said this . There are always going to be people like that, but look at all the good and loving people inside the Church, it is sad when “bad Catholics” are terrible examples and ambassadors for the Church and they have often to answer for people being driven away and put off- yet there are those, like the Holy Nuns and Priest in my parish who love and welcome all- we have several “illegitimate” children in parish, one of whom serves on the altar on Sundays and is the grandchild of one of the most “important/well known” ladies in the parish.

Hopefully through your help and example this friend can come to the Church and if she hasn’t been Baptised it can be arranged, although I hope those poor people haven’t put her off the Church altogether.

God bless!

wouldn’t a baptism also be an exorcism if done by a priest? perhaps using that angle may ease her worries.

Yes there would be an “exorcism” involved in the Normal Baptismal Rites- but not like an exorcism for a possesed or evil person etc. May I ask why would that would ease her worries? Telling an illegitimate person who has been treated unkindly by Church members that they should be exorcised is not a good idea…? God bless you!

I know what you mean my friend, and I see where you are coming from- I read what she wrote about she felt like she was a “Devil” etc. but that was because of the way she was treated by unkind people who made her feel like it, but telling her she will get exorcised might just add to that and might put her off more, is what I mean- you are right in what you say of course, but although she would be “exorcised” during her Baptismal Rites- I don’t think it would be right to place too much emphasis on her being “exorcised” or cleaned of her “evil spirits” as that would lead to the wrong understanding, as though the torments she suffered due to her being born out of wedlock and scorned by society were personally her fault- that is why she was made to feel like a “devil”. Yes she is not Baptized but that doesn’t make her Devilish, and working as a Pastoral Assistant in the Catholic Church I know for a fact that no Priest in good standing with the Church would tell her or put it to her like that.

I didnt mean it quite like that, i just meant if she really thought the devil was inside her then her baptism would remove it and give her peace of soul. of course it does nothing about the mean people from her life. i wouldnt approach her with a crucifix and a bottle of holy water and tell her i was exorcising her, i would be a sympathetic friend and tell her if that was her fear, that a baptism would remove it and replace it with the Holy Spirit.

Yes, I knew you meant it like that my friend- God bless you, it is just that some people misinterpret things too easily! Take care!

Thank you both- I see what you are saying.

She seems to think that there is a choice to live outside of baptism in case baptism will cause some series of bad events for her.

I have tried to explain that no one should want or desire to reside outside of the church as it can’t really end well!

:thumbsup: I agree with this poster. Suggesting exorcism only validates her erroneous concern. By all means, try to help her see a priest to discuss this. In my prayers today, my heart hurts for her.

Christ is infinitely more powerful than any demon or devil. The devil has no power over Christ, the devil is a created being, he is infinitely lower than Christ. Christ and His Sacraments are not affected by the devil or demons, but the demons and devils ARE affected by the sacraments.

I just wanted to interject with a side note here-

That is to say; isn’t astonishing how powerful peer pressure can be, or the treatment of people when they are young? Without God in their lives afterwards, souls can be lost forever.

How man others are there out there who deliberately avoid baptism? Not for any evil reason; but they distance themselves from the ‘Church proper’.

Tim Staples uses an example in this video of a lady who was dead against the Catholic church. Listen from 6.30.

youtube.com/watch?v=91o9zwO7szY

Sometimes there are such deep issues. While most of us won’t be the cause of the issue such as in the video clip - I’m sure we can all consider how we treat people who come to Church, or visit. It can have a long-lasting, soul-destroying impact, especially on sensitive folks, like the person I have mentioned in my opening post.

Well, then ALL exorcisms should be very successful 100% of the time…right?

Ive never understood how a demon/ Satan could possibly remain and keep causing problems after being ordered to leave in Gods name…how is this even possible? Unless we are mistaken and they DO NOT have to obey something in the name of God…?

Concerning baptisms, I was under the impression, no matter when they are done on a person, adult or as a baby, it basically works as an exorcism, as after that moment of baptism, that person would be 100% clean and free of anything negative or evil…Is this not true?

Hold on there a second. You’re equating being ordered in God’s name to leave with God telling the demon to leave… but those are certainly not the same thing. :wink:

If Jesus Himself told the devil to leave, he would immediately be gone, but men are not Jesus. Remember, in an exorcism, God works through human beings. That means that our own faith and choices may affect the outcome of an exorcism, and demons are very manipulative and intelligent–they have many “tricks” (which is also why untrained laypeople should not try to deal with them directly!). God may also allow some things to continue for some reason we may not understand–all things in His time, as He wills, not us.

We can’t assume that just because we say something in God’s Name, that we should automatically be obeyed. We must also be sure our faith, actions, and will are in line with God’s Will.

Remember, too, that Jesus told the Apostles that there were some demons who could only be driven out with prayer and fasting.

HTH!

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