Baptism


#1

My SIL was raised Catholic, her husband was not. They have a child and have not yet baptized her. They raise the concern that if they get her baptized and she grows up to walk away from the Faith that she will be unfairly treated-i.e once she is baptized she will "have" to go to mass, receive communion, get married in a Catholic Church etc and be subject to all the "rules" associated with Catholicism and they don't know if they want to make that choice for her. What should I say? I really don't know how to encourage them to get her baptized and ease their fears/concerns.


#2

Do they practice Catholicism? It sounds as if they do not. Unless there is a reasonable chance of the child being raised as a Catholic, it wouldn't be appropriate to have her baptized.


#3

And, what, Hell is a better choice for her?

The opposite of going to mass, receiving the sacraments, and living a Catholic life is remaining unbaptized, not receiving grace of the sacraments, and living a pagan life.

You say your SIL was ‘raised Catholic’. Is she a practicing Catholic?

I mean, don’t you want the best for your children? And the grace of baptism and incorporation into the Body of Christ is the best you can give your child. But of course, if you yourself are not practicing the faith and will not impart your faith to your children, then you can give them no gift at all, spiritually.

These things they see as burdens on their child are in fact GIFTS to the child.


#4

**I **Understand all that. My SIL experienced a trauma in her life that has made it difficult for her and her faith. I get that. I am hoping that with the proper encouragement that they might baptize the child and that my SIL might come back FULLY to her faith. Having a child really puts things into focus especially when they get old enough to ask questions and point out contradiction and wrong doing. How do I explain to them that while it sounds like by Baptizing their child they would be putting restrictions on her they are doing what is right for her in the long run. I do agree that it might be better having the child baptized in a Christian Church instead of a Catholic one, but even then I don't know how to encourage that.


#5

[quote="migurl, post:4, topic:310227"]
I Understand all that. My SIL experienced a trauma in her life that has made it difficult for her and her faith.

[/quote]

Christian faith helps us deal with pain in life. Lack of faith only makes life more painful.

I am hoping that with the proper encouragement that they might baptize the child and that my SIL might come back FULLY to her faith. Having a child really puts things into focus especially when they get old enough to ask questions and point out contradiction and wrong doing.

You are correct that having a child sometimes brings people back to practicing their faith. But the faith has to be there first. There is no point in baptizing a child if the parents do not raise the child in the faith.

I do agree that it might be better having the child baptized in a Christian Church instead of a Catholic one, but even then I don't know how to encourage that.

The Catholic Church is the Christian Church, established by Christ at Pentecost. If you are referring to a protestant church, there is no point in baptizing a child there either if the child is not going to be raised as a Christian.

What to do? Pray for them daily. Witness the Christian faith to them.


#6

[quote="migurl, post:1, topic:310227"]
My SIL was raised Catholic, her husband was not. They have a child and have not yet baptized her. They raise the concern that if they get her baptized and she grows up to walk away from the Faith that she will be unfairly treated-i.e once she is baptized she will "have" to go to mass, receive communion, get married in a Catholic Church etc and be subject to all the "rules" associated with Catholicism and they don't know if they want to make that choice for her. What should I say? I really don't know how to encourage them to get her baptized and ease their fears/concerns.

[/quote]

Is the child age of reason (age 8) yet?

Can. 852

§1. The prescripts of the canons on adult baptism are to be applied to all those who, no longer infants, have attained the use of reason.
§2. A person who is not responsible for oneself (non sui compos) is also regarded as an infant with respect to baptism.

For adult or non-infant that has attained the use of reason:

Can. 865 §1. For an adult to be baptized, the person must have manifested the intention to receive baptism, have been instructed sufficiently about the truths of the faith and Christian obligations, and have been tested in the Christian life through the catechumenate. The adult is also to be urged to have sorrow for personal sins.
§2. An adult in danger of death can be baptized if, having some knowledge of the principal truths of the faith, the person has manifested in any way at all the intention to receive baptism and promises to observe the commandments of the Christian religion

For infant:

Can. 868

§1. For an infant to be baptized licitly:
1/ the parents or at least one of them or the person who legitimately takes their place must consent;
2/ there must be a founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the Catholic religion; if such hope is altogether lacking, the baptism is to be delayed according to the prescripts of particular law after the parents have been advised about the reason.
§2. An infant of Catholic parents or even of non-Catholic parents is baptized licitly in danger of death even against the will of the parents.


#7

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