My daughter is going thru a divorce and as yet there is no custody order in place. Her soon be ex was able to get their 4 1/2 yr old daughter baptized without her consent or knowledge by simply writing on the forms that my daughter is catholic. She is not catholic. The church didn’t question why she wasn’t at church, why the child wasn’t baptized at birth or why my daughter didn’t come to the class or baptism. Obviously they believed the ex’s lies. How can the church do this without my daughter’s consent? I’m very upset and confused as is my daughter.
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…
While ideally both parents would consent to a baptism it is not required for both parents to consent. The person bringing forth the child for baptism must be one of the child’s parents or be the child’s legal guardian.
It also does not matter that the mother is not Catholic, as long as the father is Catholic and promises to do his best to raise the child Catholic.
Its not all that unusual to baptize older children in this day and age. In previous decades it would have been a rare occasion but in today’s world it has become more common. It is also not rare to see one parent at church but not the other parent. Sometimes only one spouse is a practicing Catholic.
So given that the person bringing the child forward for baptism was the father and that nothing else in the situation was a red flag, the priest acted well within reason to baptize the child.