Can a baby be baptized by the strong faith of others?


I have a 4 month old neice who was " dedicated " to God in a non-denominational church. It hurt my heart very much that her parents would not allow her to be baptized in the Catholic Faith. I talked to a spiritual advisor about these resentments and she said that the baby can be baptized ( of sorts ) should a person of the Catholic Faith desire it very much and pray for the baby in place of the parents. Is this true? Does the Church comment on this at all? Pax


Dear Angie,

Such a belief is not taught by the Catholic Church. Praying for others does not mean that they are baptized by that fact. Baptism of desire pertains to those who have reached the age of reason and desire baptism for themselves, but die before they were able to receive the sacrament. See the Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 1259.

Pray for your niece and remain in her life. Only God knows to what degree your influence as a Catholic member of the family will have on her in the years to come.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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