baptizing my uncle

hi lovely CAF friends, I need some advice.

my great uncle just passed away so my parents and I are taking a trip to china for his funeral. please pray for his soul.

he has a son, who would be my mom’s cousin, who I believe has severe autism or some disability of that sort. basically his mental capacity is about that of a one year old. I haven’t seen him in a bout 20 years, since I was very little but he also getting up there in age, almost around 70, I think. and his health is declining now also.

no one on that side of the family is crhistian, let alone catholic and trying to find a priest in china is not really going to be possible for me. and no one else would probably bother doing it. he would not be able to make a conscious decision to be baptized, obviously, given his condition.

if opportunity presents itself, should I just do it? or do I still need my great-aunt’s permission? she is still alive but in her 90s and in mourning. but it is still her son. I don’t think anyone has ever even evangelized her, I acgtually have no idea

what do you guys think? should I just leave it up to god in this case? or try to do it? I mean we technically don’t really know what happens to unbaptized souls even if they can’t make the choice for themselves, right?

You can’t baptise someone against their will or, in this case without at least the presumed consent of those that care for him. While, strictly speaking, we don’t know what happens to unbaptised souls, we do nonetheless entrust them to God’s mercy and, knowing God is merciful and desires the salvation of all of His children, we can be confident that people like your uncle will be received into the kingdom even without baptism. The best thing that you can do is to pray for him - and for all of your family members.

Discuss this with your pastor to see what the Church teaches. This sounds very problematic to me.

Definitely this. Talk to a priest before you do so.

If he has the I. Q. if a one year old he is an “innocent” He is a child of God, free of sin. While it is commendable that you wish him to be baptized it will probably have no significances to your uncle, but only to you. He has already been baptized-with love from his creator. God knows what He is doing. I think you should leave it alone. Peace.

If this part of your family is not even Christian, why would you think that this is your place?

Baptism is not some “magical formula”, there are rights & responsibilities that go along with it. IMHO, what you are asking would do much more harm than good.

If anyone on this thread says yes, do not believe him/her.

If anyone on this thread says no, do not believe him/her.

You’ve received at least one potentially dangerous answer on this thread already. It shows how unreliable these kinds of boards are for such crucial questions, especially involving the salvation of a soul.

There is only one answer you must believe and follow: talk to your pastor first and follow his advice.

Would you care to elaborate on this statement? :confused:

Yes, Angel should talk to her priest, not for advice about Baptizing her relative, but for advice on how to live her own Christian life without worrying about everyone else.

Baptizing her Uncle, without his consent, and without the consent of his caregiver, is wrong. Period. End of discussion.

No, I would not.

Yes, Angel should talk to her priest, not for advice about Baptizing her relative, but for advice on how to live her own Christian life without worrying about everyone else.

Baptizing her Uncle, without his consent, and without the consent of his caregiver, is wrong. Period. End of discussion.

Correct although if this question weighs on her, it would be good for her to ask it of her pastor and receive a solid trusted answer to put an end to this line of thinking.

All I’m saying is that she should not act based on anything any of us say here, because none of us are known to her, and any of us can be wrong. We are in no place to say yea or nay. Only her pastor should guide her through this.

I don’t know if I even have time to discuss it with my pastor.

people used to take great risks baptizing dying babies. there was none of this waiting around for permission business

If it’s important enough for you, make the time.

Otherwise, move on.

Do not make any pretenses about something being important but not having “the time” to talk to the one person who can help you. If you don’t have “the time”, then it’s not important enough. So either make the time or move on.

I doubt he will give me a very different answer as the rest of you. it is very unlikely that he will tell me to go ahead with it anyways.

I have to leave on the trip soon, is why I said I might not have time ot meet with him. the only way would probably trying ot get a hold of him over the phone or e-mail, if he is available

I know none of you can really give me a straight answer, I was just trying to get a feel of what other peoplemight do in a situation like this.

Perhaps you should make time. My own response was of a general nature according to what I have been taught-know. Everyone does know that in an emergency or near death situation one can baptize, but even so we don’t know if the person has been already baptized or not. Might upset someone’s family of another religious persuasion that someone other than their own faith baptized one into their according to their own faith. Do pray for the uncle and the great aunt. Peace.

does it have to be my pastor specifically? because I think I can get a hold of another priest faster and easier

Yes, another good trusted priest will work too.

Do not be so hard on the OP, porthos. He/she is trying to do something, perhaps the things that he/she can personally do while visiting the relatives in a far away country .

Not all that’s said here are Gospel truth but they are second opinions that the OP can think about. In the end it will be the OP’s decision which I am sure the OP knows.


This was because the traditional teaching on this topic concentrated on the theory of limbo - basically a place outside of heaven - since baptism was required for salvation (there being no salvation outside the Church. While the last statement still holds (generally speaking), the the Catechism teaches that infants who die without baptism are entrusted by the Church to the mercy of God. Since God desires the salvation of all people, which in turn gives us hope for the salvation of those who die without baptism.So while baptism is obviously important, God does not demand the impossible of us.

Use your better judgement. You are there in the situation, not us.

The principle is this: you can baptise in a situation, perhaps critical or emergency where there’s no possibility of a priest available.

If the person desires to be baptised, then it’s straight forward decision. If it’s a baby or under parental care and cannot make decision on his own, then the parent’s permission is required.

Remember we are called to baptise which we have to answer to when we meet the Lord.

Canon Law seems clear, albeit I am not a canon lawyer.

Can. 865 §1 To be admitted to baptism, an adult must have manifested the intention to receive baptism, must be adequately instructed in the truths of the faith and in the duties of a christian, and tested in the christian life over the course of the catechumenate. The person must moreover be urged to have sorrow for personal sins.

§2 An adult in danger of death may be baptised if, with some knowledge of the principal truths of the faith, he or she has in some manner manifested the intention to receive baptism and promises to observe the requirements of the christian religion.

Thanks for saving me the time of looking this up
I am shocked that anyone can think what Angel is proposing is appropriate.
I am even more shocked that a Priest from this site encouraged her to go ahead.

This is NOT her place, nor is it her call to make.

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