Catechism Confusion....Faith/Belief and Baptism


#1

I’ve been reading the catechism (or at least started to)…I’m a few days behind but since I’m off work unwell, I’m spending the day catching up. I’m currently on day 30 of the reading the catechism in a year. It was all going splendidly until something i read today confused me.

Catholics believe in infant baptism, churches that don’t believe in infant baptism but instead believers baptism often site the verses from the Bible which state “believe and be baptised” (I’m paraphrasing) alongside the usual arguments of no infant baptism being mentioned in the Bible. I understood both sides of the equation and the arguments for and against until the catechism completely mixed things up by stating belief/faith is required and then they are baptised. Unless I have misread/misunderstood? :shrug: but if the Catholic Church does believe this, how can infants profess a belief and faith. It goes on to talk about the symbol of baptism “Father, Son, Holy Spirit” which does make sense, but the faith/belief comment has confused me…:confused:

This was the explanation of the section of the catechism…so not actually the catechism itself:

The creeds go back to Jesus, who commanded his disciples to baptize. In doing so, they were to require of the people seeking Baptism the profession of a definite faith, namely, faith in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Trinity).


#2

It’s talking about adults. Don’t read into it what is not there. You are over thinking it.


#3

We talked about this at RCIA a few days ago. One or two people there had had to wait until they were older to be baptised in their particular churches. IIRC, the priest said (and it makes sense to me) that as baptism is a Sacrament and therefore something which strengthens you, it is good to give this Sacrament to a child when they are very young.


#4

Also, the parents are to be standing in for passing the faith onto their child, which was entrusted to them by the Lord. They are in a position to say “yes” to Baptism for their infant, and to rear them in the faith. God’s grace directly, and through the parents adds to the grace of Baptism as the child increases in age.


#5

Whole families were baptized together.

Acts 16
30 And bringing them out, he said: Masters, what must I do, that I may be saved? 31 But they said: Believe in the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 32 And they preached the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house. 33 And he, taking them the same hour of the night, washed their stripes, and himself was baptized, and all his house immediately.


#6

I’m kind of with the believer baptism churches on that one, where you can’t be sure there were infants in that particular household. Of all my family and friends, only one family has an infant at the moment. Granted times are different, but we can’t expect every house had an infant in all the time.

Also it’s not really relevant to what I was asking, which is about what the catechism states about belief before baptism. The Catholic Church as a whole baptises infants unless it’s an adult coming to the church late in life who hasn’t already been baptised. In an ideal world all parents would be catholic right? So all children would be baptised as infants. Reading the catechism you would expect it to relate to infant baptism (as well as the occasional adult baptism) so when it mentioned belief before baptism it confused me.

The comment another poster made about parents standing in for the profession of faith is interesting, but is this really was a God intended?


#7

Initially – and normally - an adult hears the Gospel --repents and believes and is baptized…etc

One who is prior to the advent of the age of reason can receive new life in Christ via the Sacrament of Faith --Baptism.

Faith is professed by the Parents on behalf of the Child…

Faith is infused at Baptism into the little ones…by God (as it is also with adults sat Baptism -though they have received Faith prior as well…let us pray always --"Lord increase our Faith!)

scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c1a1.htm#VII

scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c1a1.htm#IV


#8

vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2006/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20060108_battesimo_en.html


#9

CCC

1252 The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and it is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole “households” received baptism, infants may also have been baptized.


#10

vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2006/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20060108_battesimo_en.html

Pope Benedict XVI (splendid homily at Baptism)


#11

**

The Baptism of infants

1250 Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called.50 The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.51
1251 Christian parents will recognize that this practice also accords with their role as nurturers of the life that God has entrusted to them.52
1252 The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and it is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole “households” received baptism, infants may also have been baptized.53
Faith and Baptism
1253 Baptism is the sacrament of faith.54 But faith needs the community of believers. It is only within the faith of the Church that each of the faithful can believe. The faith required for Baptism is not a perfect and mature faith, but a beginning that is called to develop. The catechumen or the godparent is asked: “What do you ask of God’s Church?” The response is: “Faith!”
1254 For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow *after *Baptism. For this reason the Church celebrates each year at the Easter Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises. Preparation for Baptism leads only to the threshold of new life. Baptism is the source of that new life in Christ from which the entire Christian life springs forth. 1255 For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents’ help is important. So too is the role of the *godfather *and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized - child or adult on the road of Christian life.55 Their task is a truly ecclesial function (officium).56 The whole ecclesial community bears some responsibility for the development and safeguarding of the grace given at Baptism

The practice of parents standing in for an infant until he could choose for himself was not something that was unusual for early Christians. Before infant baptisms, an infant, eight days old, was brought into the Old Covenant through circumcision.
**


#12

You can be sure there were infants in the families and that they were being baptized, because we have historical writings that say so. The Bible is rather a testimony. It is the action of the Holy Spirit which is key. See portions of CCC 1250, 1253, and 1254:
1250 …The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. …

1253 … Baptism is the sacrament of faith.54 But faith needs the community of believers. It is only within the faith of the Church that each of the faithful can believe. The faith required for Baptism is not a perfect and mature faith, but a beginning that is called to develop. The catechumen or the godparent is asked: “What do you ask of God’s Church?” The response is: “Faith!” …

1254 … For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow *after *Baptism. …


#13

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