Can you be re-baptized?


I’m set to get baptized at the end of my RCIA program during Holy Week. Throughout most of my life I have always known that I was not baptized. I grew up with only my mom, two brothers and a sister who were baptized before my parents divorced. Years later my mom passed away, so I have no way of re-asking her if I was. My grandparents are old and do not remember nor does my dad who wasn’t around at the time. I called the parishes my mother would of gone to, and they had no records of it. So my question is, if I get baptized in April what if in case I was already? Is that a sin of some sort or negative thing?

1 Like


When there’s no indication at all that you were baptized, how could it possibly be a sin? But, you could always talk to your priest, and ask him if he thinks a conditional baptism would be appropriate. It doesn’t sound like it, but that would be up to him.



You cannot be rebaptized, as in the effects happened the first time. They don’t occur again. But a person can undergo a conditional baptism if the question of whether or not they were baptized is in doubt.



As @angel12 said, you will probably get what the Church calls a “conditional” baptism, i.e., a just-in-case baptism.



Oh okay so go through with it as planned. But if that’s the case, then would I need to go to confession before hand? Say if I was baptized then the second one would have no effect. Before first communion your supposed to say penance. How would this work? I would mention all this to my priest or sister of course.



Talk with the priest at the parish that you are doing your RCIA though. They should be able to walk you through all this. As others have said though, no, you can’t have the effects of it again as it is one of the sacraments of initiation and that can only be done once. As was already stated though, there is the conditional form that can be done, but there needs to be research on this. The tribunal office may be able to assist with that in your diocese (your parish is more than likely already working with them).

May God continue to bless you on your journey!



Talk to your priest. For a start a face-to-face conversation with him should be more reassuring than asking strangers on the Net. Plus it will be easier for you to come back to him immediately with any further questions.

You can only be baptised once. If you were definitely baptised and went through the rite again nothing would happen. Baptism is one of the sacraments you can only receive once.

Your priest may also be able to talk to you about your underlying concerns. if you think you have never been baptised, everyone who knows you thinks you have not and parishes where it is likely to have happened have no records why are you worrying about this? I suspect something else is going on behind this.

That is something you should not share on an internet forum. Another good reason to talk to your priest.

Do what your priest advises and be at peace with the situation.

Welcome home!



I will start off attempting to answer your question, but then I want to ask a question that you didn’t ask but is relevant to your inquiry.

So in your case, you have no knowledge of whether you were baptized. It sounds to me that it is reasonable to assume that you were not baptized. Would it be a sin to be re-baptized if you had already been baptized? No, baptism is a visible promise of what God is doing for you. I am quite sure that God would want you to have the certainty that you have been called by God and would have you receive that promise through baptism for the benefit of your faith.

The other question though that I see often asked in this case, is when people who were baptized, and know it, but may have backslid want to be re-baptized in order to give them assurance of God’s acceptance. In that case, I would say they should not be re-baptized because it sends the wrong message and teaches false doctrine through practice. When we are baptized, that is God’s work being delivered to us by grace. It isn’t dependent upon your work or faithfulness, it is dependent on God’s grace and HIS faithfulness. So in that sense I do not think it is appropriate to re-baptize people. I think the more appropriate thing to do would be to admit them to the altar and have them participate in the Lord’s Supper to confirm to them that they are in communion with Christ through faith.



Please speak to your priest about these questions. They seem to be giving you a lot of anxiety.



I agree with you Hodos that there are people who would like to be “re-baptised”. They have not yet received the fuller understanding of the Sacrament of Baptism. One way is to tell them that during every Easter vigil in the Catholic Church we renew our baptismal vows. Before we receive our First Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Confirmation we renew our baptismal vows. Every time we make the sign of the cross we remind ourselves of our baptism. It is like “living baptism” every day.

1 Like


If a person knows for sure that he was validly baptized, then yes, attempting re-baptism would be sinful. It would be repudiating a Sacrament – treating something good as worthless or partial.

If a person does not know for sure, it is prudent to get conditionally baptized. No harm, no foul. It shows respect and love for Baptism as an indelible Sacrament.

However, most people who double-dip on purpose are people who are convinced (wrongly) that infant baptism does not count, or that baptism is just a symbolic ceremony that can be received multiple times. God is not going to count that as a sin, unless they knew they were doing something wrong. But it is sad that these people do not understand their Baptism enough, and thus get fooled.

1 Like

closed #12

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit