Can a catholic priest baptize a baby of non- catholic parents?


Would it be considered a liturgical abuse if performed?


I don’t know for sure, but I suspect it is possible, if there were a well-founded hope that the child will be brought up Catholic. An example might be a Catholic grandparent with legal guardianship, or even a more informal guardianship arrangement, when it is clear that the grandparent has taken responsibility for the religious upbringing of the child.


This sometimes happens when children who attend Catholic school.

But also, if the parents are going to raise their children Catholic or convert, it might be possible for the Child to be baptized Catholic before the parents attend RCIA. This would be up to the pastor and/or Bishop.


Anyone, including a Catholic priest, can baptize any baby in danger of death, even if the child is born to non-Catholic or even non-Christian parents.


Yes. my stepgrand-daughter was born 3 months early and her great grandmother contacted the bishop to have her baptized just in case she didnt make it (heart surgery and all the other complications). a priest from the diocese was there that afternoon. Mom and Dad arent Catholic but were very thankful, indeed.


A priest can baptize any infant meeting these criteria:

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.

Liturgical abuse is a term thrown around a lot. It is not a term used in the law of the Church. A priest who baptizes an infant outside the danger of death who does not meet the canon law criteria does so illicitly but validly-- they violate the law but it is a valid baptism.


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