Can a child born to invalidly-married parents be baptized?

Some relatives of ours recently had a daughter and would like her baptized. The mother is a cradle Catholic, married in the Church and now civilly divorced. She did not get an annullment as yet but has remarried outside the Church. The baby in question is hers and her new husband’s child. When they went to inquire about baptism at the church they attend, they were told that the mother needs to get an annulment from her first marriage before their child can be baptized. The annulment process will take between ten months and two years, and may not be granted in the end.

Is the direction given by the pastor of the church accurate? I have read that non-parents can have a child baptized if the parents of the child agree to have the child raised in the Catholic faith. My thought was that the mother’s parents, who are faithful Catholics, can have the baby baptized with the parents’ permission and actually their participation. Is it permissible for them to look for another parish that will let their child get baptized prior to the annulment? I believe their intent is for her to get an annulment as soon as possible and get their marriage normalized with the Church as soon as possible.

The only relevance that the status of the parents’ marriage has is to whether the child will be raised Catholic. If the parents intend to raise the child Catholic, particularly with the assistance of orthodox Catholic relatives, then there seems to be no reason to deny the child baptism. If the parish’s pastor will not reconsider, I suggest calling the diocese for assistance. If further help is necessary, contact the St. Joseph Foundation, a Catholic apostolate specializing in questions of canon law.

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