Baptizing a child without parents consent


#1

Once again my mother, who likes to make up her own rules about Catholic protocol, has decided to advise a family member to secretly baptize their grandchild (without a priest) andwithout the mother's consent. I know that this is wrong but I not sure exactly how to make her understand that in this case we must trust in God.


#2

I once had a friend explain that Baptizm without consent is a triple curse.

1) it goes against the natural order and free will of the parent, thus bring a curse to the parent-child bond. Until the age of reason the parent controls everything for the child.

2) It deprives the child of a godparent, cursing the child to a certian fate of lack of guidence in their faith.

3) it curses the bestower of the Baptism, becuase they are not able to appropriatly provide "follow-up care" for the child.

Now, many children are baptized just for show. This is not a curse because the sin falls on the parent AND godparents.

We must have faith that God will provide the correct amount of encouragement and wisdom when the child reaches the age of reason.


#3

[quote="m_crane, post:1, topic:221346"]
Once again my mother, who likes to make up her own rules about Catholic protocol, has decided to advise a family member to secretly baptize their grandchild (without a priest) and without the mother's consent. I know that this is wrong but I not sure exactly how to make her understand that in this case we must trust in God.

[/quote]

:eek::eek::eek:

This is an extreme violation of boundaries and a betrayal of the parents' authority!!!! If you know of the parish where the child would be baptized I would warn the priests that this may take place. I honestly don't know how anyone could get away with that unless they lied to the priest and told him the baby was very ill, because baptism requires a course in our parish, but perhaps they could find a sympathetic priest. It would bother me and cause me grief being in the same situation, but this is awful to contemplate!


#4

[quote="m_crane, post:1, topic:221346"]
Once again my mother, who likes to make up her own rules about Catholic protocol, has decided to advise a family member to secretly baptize their grandchild (without a priest) andwithout the mother's consent. I know that this is wrong but I not sure exactly how to make her understand that in this case we must trust in God.

[/quote]

Well, if she makes up her own rules I don't know if canon law will convince her or not, but here are the canons straight from Rome:

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.


#5

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:3, topic:221346"]
:eek::eek::eek:

This is an extreme violation of boundaries and a betrayal of the parents' authority!!!! If you know of the parish where the child would be baptized I would warn the priests that this may take place. I honestly don't know how anyone could get away with that unless they lied to the priest and told him the baby was very ill, because baptism requires a course in our parish, but perhaps they could find a sympathetic priest. It would bother me and cause me grief being in the same situation, but this is awful to contemplate!

[/quote]

The problem is, it sounds like Grandma is being advised to just do it herself, without a priest or church getting involved.


#6

[quote="m_crane, post:1, topic:221346"]
Once again my mother, who likes to make up her own rules about Catholic protocol, has decided to advise a family member to secretly baptize their grandchild (without a priest) andwithout the mother's consent. I know that this is wrong but I not sure exactly how to make her understand that in this case we must trust in God.

[/quote]

Several years ago a Jewish friend of mine found himself in a similar situation. He and his wife left their infant child in the care of a babysitter for a much needed night out. The baby sitter took the child to her church where the minister, knowing full well that the parents were unaware and had not given their consent, baptized him. As it turned out, the babysitter bragged to too many people about what she had done, and word got back to my friend and his wife. As you can imagine, they were absolutely livid. In fact, they sued the babysitter and the minister for battery. The case was settled and never went to trial, but I think most people would agree that pulling a stunt like that is not a good thing.


#7

Here is a story I heard about John Paul when he was a parish priest. I don't know if it's true, but I hope it is.

  During WWII a Jewish couple asked a catholic couple to take care of their child to help protect them from the persecution. The Jewish couple ended up being taken by the authorities and died in a concentration camp.
   After the war, the couple took the child to their parish priest (John Paul) to be baptized because they wanted to raise him in the faith.  The priest recognized the child and asked the couple what the parents had directed be done.  The catholic couple explained that the parents had asked them to guard and raise the child if anything happened to the parents, and yes, raise the child in the Jewish faith.  However, the couple said that since the parents had died, they believed it best to raise the child catholic. They wanted the child to have all the gifts of the sacraments and the guidance and wisdom of the Church.
  The priest said he wouldn't do it, that it was immoral to violate their agreement to the parents. He told them-- raise the child in the Jewish faith- if you live a good, moral catholic life you will provide the testimony through your example to bring the child to the faith.

#8

[quote="bluerose, post:5, topic:221346"]
The problem is, it sounds like Grandma is being advised to just do it herself, without a priest or church getting involved.

[/quote]

Well if that is the case, how would it count as valid in any way? I mean the violation of boundaries would still have taken place but the "baptism" would just be sprinkling of holy water, right?


#9

[quote="m_crane, post:1, topic:221346"]
Once again my mother, who likes to make up her own rules about Catholic protocol, has decided to advise a family member to secretly baptize their grandchild (without a priest) andwithout the mother's consent. I know that this is wrong but I not sure exactly how to make her understand that in this case we must trust in God.

[/quote]

Let's see...

The family member did such a fine job of raising her own daughter in the faith that the daughter is not having her child baptized. Now grandma is going to take over and baptize the grandchild...bringing with it the rights and responsibilities of being Catholic...but the child won't be raised in the faith at all. [sarcasm] What a great idea that is. [/sarcasm]

I'm reminded of a story that I heard all my life about my older brother. My parents left him with Grandma while they went to buy a camera to record his first haircut. While they were gone, Grandma took it on herself to cut his hair. Nothing they could do about it, but they never quite trusted Grandma after that.

Baptism is a lot bigger than a haircut.


#10

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:3, topic:221346"]
:eek::eek::eek:

This is an extreme violation of boundaries and a betrayal of the parents' authority!!!! If you know of the parish where the child would be baptized I would warn the priests that this may take place. I honestly don't know how anyone could get away with that unless they lied to the priest and told him the baby was very ill, because baptism requires a course in our parish, but perhaps they could find a sympathetic priest. It would bother me and cause me grief being in the same situation, but this is awful to contemplate!

[/quote]

She advised the grandparent to do it himself at home with holy water when the child is in his care, no Priest involved.


#11

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:8, topic:221346"]
Well if that is the case, how would it count as valid in any way? I mean the violation of boundaries would still have taken place but the "baptism" would just be sprinkling of holy water, right?

[/quote]

No, if she baptizes with water and the Trinitarian formula the child would be validly baptized.


#12

[quote="styrgwillidar, post:7, topic:221346"]
Here is a story I heard about John Paul when he was a parish priest. I don't know if it's true, but I hope it is.

  During WWII a Jewish couple asked a catholic couple to take care of their child to help protect them from the persecution. The Jewish couple ended up being taken by the authorities and died in a concentration camp.
   After the war, the couple took the child to their parish priest (John Paul) to be baptized because they wanted to raise him in the faith.  The priest recognized the child and asked the couple what the parents had directed be done.  The catholic couple explained that the parents had asked them to guard and raise the child if anything happened to the parents, and yes, raise the child in the Jewish faith.  However, the couple said that since the parents had died, they believed it best to raise the child catholic. They wanted the child to have all the gifts of the sacraments and the guidance and wisdom of the Church.
  The priest said he wouldn't do it, that it was immoral to violate their agreement to the parents. He told them-- raise the child in the Jewish faith- if you live a good, moral catholic life you will provide the testimony through your example to bring the child to the faith.

[/quote]

This sounds like a true story(I believe it) but it still doesn't explain the Churches position (and the why this is wrong)on Baptizing infants without the consent of parents or the authority of the Church.


#13

OK, I did not know that. I can see those cases for true emergencies, like if there is a car accident and the baby is on death’s doorstep, but … I’m just stunned that a parent would consider doing this to her own daughter. It’s like knifing the daughter in the back. The child is merely the pawn in the game and matters nothing to the mother, although she can say it’s because she wants to save his soul. Good cover story bro.

I know how this can happen b/c my FIL undermined our authority with our son by telling him that sex was good for him and buying him condoms, as well as calling our (well my) morals and values “old-fashioned.” We had been allowing our son to spend time with his grandfather because our older son is up at college now, and son #2 and grandpa get along well with each other. We didn’t know that Grandpa was going to betray us and support our son’s decision to have sex with his girlfriend. i will never trust that man again, ever.

:mad::mad::mad:


#14

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:8, topic:221346"]
Well if that is the case, how would it count as valid in any way? I mean the violation of boundaries would still have taken place but the "baptism" would just be sprinkling of holy water, right?

[/quote]

The Church does say that anyone can confer the Sacrament of Baptism. It doesn't have to be administered by a Priest. But it's my understanding that this is only valid in an emergency,, for example with someone is about to die and wishes to be Baptized.


#15

[quote="1ke, post:11, topic:221346"]
No, if she baptizes with water and the Trinitarian formula the child would be validly baptized.

[/quote]

And subject, unknowingly, to all of the laws of the Church, including the laws of marriage. If the child remains unaware that he is baptized, or there is no record of the baptism at the local parish, then the child really has no way of contracting a valid marriage.

This is a terrible burden to place on a child.

It is better for the grandparent to provide a good example to the child, and encourage the child to love Jesus and the Church, while respecting the parent's right to raise the child as she sees fit. The child can then choose to be baptized, and take on all of the responsibilities of the Christian life, when he or she is ready to do so.


#16

[quote="m_crane, post:12, topic:221346"]
This sounds like a true story(I believe it) but it still doesn't explain the Churches position (and the why this is wrong)on Baptizing infants without the consent of parents or the authority of the Church.

[/quote]

Only in danger of death can (correction, may) a child be baptized without the parents' consent.


#17

[quote="purplesunshine, post:2, topic:221346"]
I once had a friend explain that Baptizm without consent is a triple curse.

1) it goes against the natural order and free will of the parent, thus bring a curse to the parent-child bond. Until the age of reason the parent controls everything for the child.

2) It deprives the child of a godparent, cursing the child to a certian fate of lack of guidence in their faith.

3) it curses the bestower of the Baptism, becuase they are not able to appropriatly provide "follow-up care" for the child.

Now, many children are baptized just for show. This is not a curse because the sin falls on the parent AND godparents.

We must have faith that God will provide the correct amount of encouragement and wisdom when the child reaches the age of reason.

[/quote]

I like your reasons, they all are very practical but the "curse part" I don't know if I agree with.
Do you mean that a secret Baptism interferes with the natural graces the should be confered on the child and the family at Baptism?


#18

[quote="1ke, post:11, topic:221346"]
No, if she baptizes with water and the Trinitarian formula the child would be validly baptized.

[/quote]

According to your understanding of Church teaching, would the child be a baptized Catholic? Or just a "generic" Christian? If Catholic, what is it about this situation that would confer "Catholic-ness" on the child?


#19

I wonder about that too. It was once explained to me that if a Catholic does the baptizing, the child is Catholic and if the person is non-Catholic but intends to do what the Church does, the child is Catholic.

Presents a problem for one child who was baptized by one of our priests, in the Anglican rite, at the Anglican Church at the request of the Anglican priest who couldn’t make it to the community for the celebration.


#20

[quote="Phemie, post:16, topic:221346"]
Only in danger of death can (correction, may) a child be baptized without the parents' consent.

[/quote]

My mother says that the child could fall down the steps and die(I'm telling you what she replied to me when I brought up this point)and that this is reason enough to Baptize. I need to know why this is wrong.


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