Can a Catholic baptize someone who doesn't request baptism?


#1

Can we as good lay Catholics baptize a person who was never baptized, was not particulary religious, is unconscious, and on his deathbed?

What about if he came to consciousness for only a brief moment but there is no time to get a priest?


#2

[quote=rosario]Can we as good lay Catholics baptize a person who was never baptized, was not particulary religious, is unconscious, and on his deathbed?
[/quote]

By the context of the question, I assume you are asking about a person who attained the age of reason (generally considered to be seven years old). In that case, you cannot baptize him or ask a priest to baptize him unless he indicated a desire for baptism before he became incapacitated (cf. canon 865 §2, Code of Canon Law). A child, in danger of death and below the age of reason, may be baptized even without his parent’s or guardian’s consent
(cf. canon 868 §2).

[quote=rosario]What about if he came to consciousness for only a brief moment but there is no time to get a priest?
[/quote]

If, in that brief moment, you can obtain from him indication that he desires baptism, yes. In a life-or-death situation, anyone, even a non-Catholic is allowed to baptize (cf. canon 862). If he does not indicate a desire for baptism, you cannot baptize him.


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