child baptised


#1

Can a non practicing Catholic couple married by a judge have their baby daughter baptised in the Catholic church which they believe to be the right beginning for her.


#2

As long as there is a reasonable reason to think that the child will be raised Catholic, I don’t see why not.

But some priests just won’t do it, so try another priest if you’re rebuffed.


#3

Maria Anna:

In general, if the parents are “non-practicing” then there is no “well founded hope” that the child will be raised as a Catholic. Without that the Church requires that we defer the baptism until such time as that hope is present.

Now, why would non-practicing Catholic parents want their child baptized?

Deacon Ed


#4

I don’t see where such a general assumption can be made that just because a parent is lax in their own religious duties and faith, that there wouldn’t be a well-founded hope that they wouldn’t see to the religious education of their children.

The very act of presenting the child for baptism, certainly indicates they have some intent.


#5

I think it is a blessing that your friends want to bring their baby up in the Catholic Church, it shows that the Holy Spirit is moving their souls and that they are trying to listen. But, the Decon is correct.

If it is that they want their baby to be baptized now, they may want to seek out a High Protestant Church such as a conservative Episcopal, or Lutheran church. The Catholic church recognizes all baptisms as long as they were done in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

I would strongly suggest that they start reading about the Catholic Church and maybe even start RCIA classes. If they really want their children to be Catholic then they should be as well. It will only lead the child to great confussion and indifferance. Afterall, we as parents are the first teachers, spiritually, morally, and educationally to our children. How can we teach and guide them in what we do not understand ourselves, especially when it comes to something so precious as religion.

Another option for them is to wait on baptizing their baby. Seek out the Church as I recommanded above and all come into the Church together next Easter. What a beautiful gift that would be. They could still baptize the baby now though. When my husband and I had our first son we were protestants and had him baptised in the Presbyterian church. Then we went through our conversion and came into the Church April 11 and had our second son April 18th. Our priest was wonderful and baptized both our boys together again eventhough Will had already been baptized. It was a beautiful thing.

Hope I didn’t ramble too much and I hope it was a little helfpful.

Gods Peace


#6

[quote=Kielbasi]I don’t see where such a general assumption can be made that just because a parent is lax in their own religious duties and faith, that there wouldn’t be a well-founded hope that they wouldn’t see to the religious education of their children.

The very act of presenting the child for baptism, certainly indicates they have some intent.
[/quote]

Yes, but part of the baptismal service is the promise of the parents (AND Godparents) to help the child grow in the faith both by word and action. I would wonder if non practicing parents could really help the child bt example…otherwise you have a “do as I say, not as I do” situation and kids see RIGHT through that hypocrisy.


#7

[quote=Kielbasi]As long as there is a reasonable reason to think that the child will be raised Catholic, I don’t see why not.

But some priests just won’t do it, so try another priest if you’re rebuffed.
[/quote]

And if not… keep trying, you’ll find one eventually. (sigh)


#8

my4ducks writes

I would strongly suggest that they start reading about the Catholic Church and maybe even start RCIA classes.

A lovely and worthwhile thought, but one which is totally impractical. If this couple won’t spend an occasional 45 minutes at mass, I don’t think its very likely at all that they would sign on for a long term weekly commitment like RCIA.

If it is that they want their baby to be baptized now, they may want to seek out a High Protestant Church such as a conservative Episcopal, or Lutheran church. The Catholic church recognizes all baptisms as long as they were done in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

They would do better to baptize their own child at home, so that the child becomes Catholic. A nephew of mine was refused baptism in the Catholic Church as a baby, so his parents did what you’re suggesting , and brought him to the Presbyterian Church. They followed up on their commitment and sent the kid to Presby sunday school, so now he’s a teenager and his parents are still Catholic. Pretty confusing situation, but the parents knew that Presby baptism was valid they didn’t see another choice


#9

I hate to say it, but some of the answers here are so sad. Playing games with the sacrament, or turning baptism into a magic act does not present the proper Catholic understanding. We don’t go church shopping for baptism. It is not a piece of magic that will protect a child. It is a sacrament that incorporates one into a faith community and into the death and resurrection of Jesus.

If the parents are not practicing Catholics they cannot render the appropriate example to their children, nor can they be the “first and best of teachers” of the faith (which is what the Rite says they are).

If they will not practice their faith it is clear that they will not bring their child to Mass, to any sort of religious education, or any other faith-related event. This is why the Church defers the baptism of the child.

I trust that the people making suggestions such as taking the child to a Presbyterian church (or other faith community) are not Catholic since, clearly, this sort of suggestion shows a non-Catholic understanding of the sacrament.

Deacon Ed


#10

If they will not practice their faith it is clear that they will not bring their child to Mass, to any sort of religious education, or any other faith-related event. This is why the Church defers the baptism of the child.

I don’t think that is clear at all. I know of several people personally who rarely attended mass, yet still sent their children to the parochial school. Its not unheard of or even very rare.

The idea of deferring baptism and religious education until the children are adults and can make up their own minds, I find it a bit strange. A lot of those folks are just as likely to enter other faiths, under those circumstances.


#11

[quote=Kielbasi]I don’t think that is clear at all. I know of several people personally who rarely attended mass, yet still sent their children to the parochial school. Its not unheard of or even very rare.
[/quote]

But it’s not about sending the children to parochial school. It’s about setting an example of living one’s faith. No matter what they learn about the faith in school it is nullified by the example the parents set when they do not go to Mass. After all, if they say Mass is of no concern to them, what is to make it of concern to the children?

The idea of deferring baptism and religious education until the children are adults and can make up their own minds, I find it a bit strange. A lot of those folks are just as likely to enter other faiths, under those circumstances.

I couldn’t agree with you more! However, if the example of proper faith *praxis *is not present, then the effect is to render the sacrament null. Baptism will not, in and of itself, guarantee salvation. Yes, for a child below the age of reason it *might *-- but baptism is dependent upon a statement of faith. Adults can make that statement on their own, but children require a statement of faith made by the parents and godparents. If the parents do not practice a faith they cannot make a statement of faith.

Deacon Ed


#12

The original post was asking why a non catholic couple couldn’t baptize their baby in the Catholic church.

In my response, knowing the CCC and the beauty of the sacrement of baptism, I shared an alternative for this couple to still have their child baptized. It cleary is important to them. We were not given any additional information about the couple or their present spiritual stance. If they are seeking to have their child baptized in the Church it may be that Our Lord is calling them to Church. It may be that they just want their child to baptized and they know that infant baptism is something that we “CATHOLICS” do, not knowing, in innocent ignorance, that other religions baptize babies as well for the same reasons we do, to wash away original sin. Of course, we embrace baptism with much more dignitiy and significance then others, which is why it is a sacrament.

The origianl post, and others interested, should purchase a “Catechism of the Catholic Church” for their friends and direct them to pp. 312-325. That will clearly explain what the Church believes regarding baptism.

For you to say that it would be better to baptize the child at home as opposed to any other religion was a bit ungracious. If the Catholic Church recogizes all baptisms, provided they were done in the Holy Trinity, young or old then you should too. It is unfortunate that your family continued to bring up their son out of the Church, but it seems to me that if they knew that his baptism was valid in the CC and they really wanted him to know the Church then they would have followed through. I don’t know why he was denied the sacrement of baptism, it is a shame. I assume there is more to that story. It is never too late.

Deacon, as wise as you seem to be maybe you should look with in your own self and realize that not all of Gods precious sons and daughters are at the same place of spiritual enlightenment. There are alot of souls out there seeking refuge and it is judgements like yours that will keep these precious souls away for the Church. I am Catholic and very conservatively so, but in a situation like this where there are other options for these people I will not say “it is our way or no way.” The Church doesn’t. Our place is to witness and be good shepards of the faith and truth of the Church and Gods teachings.

I hope I have cleared up any misunderstandings from my earlier post. I continue to pray that this couple and others like them with continue to seek truth and knowledge of our Church.


#13

[quote=my4ducks]The original post was asking why a non catholic couple couldn’t baptize their baby in the Catholic church.
[/quote]

That may be the point of confusion… The orignal post said:

Can a non practicing Catholic couple married by a judge have their baby daughter baptised in the Catholic church which they believe to be the right beginning for her.

Since the question pertains to ***a non-practicing Catholic couple ***my response was geared accordingly.

For you to say that it would be better to baptize the child at home as opposed to any other religion was a bit ungracious. If the Catholic Church recogizes all baptisms, provided they were done in the Holy Trinity, young or old then you should too. It is unfortunate that your family continued to bring up their son out of the Church, but it seems to me that if they knew that his baptism was valid in the CC and they really wanted him to know the Church then they would have followed through. I don’t know why he was denied the sacrement of baptism, it is a shame. I assume there is more to that story. It is never too late.

I never said they should baptize the baby at home. That was a post from Kielbasi, and one with which I disagree.

Deacon, as wise as you seem to be maybe you should look with in your own self and realize that not all of Gods precious sons and daughters are at the same place of spiritual enlightenment. There are alot of souls out there seeking refuge and it is judgements like yours that will keep these precious souls away for the Church. I am Catholic and very conservatively so, but in a situation like this where there are other options for these people I will not say “it is our way or no way.” The Church doesn’t. Our place is to witness and be good shepards of the faith and truth of the Church and Gods teachings.

I agree that not all of us are at the same place on our spiritual journey. At the same time, I am a Catholic deacon and obligated to point out the teachings of the Church with regard to Catholics and the sacraments.

I hope I have cleared up any misunderstandings from my earlier post. I continue to pray that this couple and others like them with continue to seek truth and knowledge of our Church.

Yes, you’ve indicated that, apparently, you misread the initial post. Given that, your reply made sense. However, it does not make sense in light of the fact that we are dealing with a non-practicing Catholic couple. Do you agree?

Deacon Ed


#14

An e-mail from a close friend, her sisters daughter and son-inlaw married by a JP had their son baptised in the Church (catholic) they were both not going to church at this time but were both catholic the son goes to mass with his cousins and aunts and has made his first holy communion, and will make his confirmation this year. I will only hope and pray that the Lord will guide this familyto make the right decision for their daughter.

“Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 19:14)

More detail is given in Luke’s account of this event (Luke 18: 15-16)

Jesus said that no one can enter heaven unless he has been born again of water and the Holy Spirit. (John 3:5)


#15

PLEASE forgive my misreading! I am rather embarassed!! I can’t believe that I continued to read the original post incorrectly. I never saw the “practicing” part of the post only “non catholic”.

So yes Deacon I agree. I still will continue to pray that this couple will be moved to start attending the Church and obtaining more knowledge of it. If I had read the post correctly I would have never suggested that they go to another denomination.

If they are serious about their childs spiritual well being and truly believe that baptizing her in the CC is the right thing then they should start reaquanting themselves with the CC. And I still believe that attending RCIA through their local parish would be a great start. It is not just for non catholics coming into the church.

Baptism is a sacrement, as is marriage, and should be treated with the respect and dignitity that it deserves.

Now I hope that I have truly cleaned up my mess and in the future I will triple read posts so that I don’t contribute to misunderstandings and confussion.

Maria anna, has your question been answered?
Gods Peace


#16

[quote=maria anna]An e-mail from a close friend, her sisters daughter and son-inlaw married by a JP had their son baptised in the Church (catholic) they were both not going to church at this time but were both catholic the son goes to mass with his cousins and aunts and has made his first holy communion, and will make his confirmation this year. I will only hope and pray that the Lord will guide this familyto make the right decision for their daughter.
[/quote]

Yes, under those circumstances there is a well-founded hope that the child will be raised as a Catholic and, therefore, baptism is permitted. This was not the condition indicated in the first post.

I can only respond to what is posted and, as posted, the child may not be baptized at this time.

Deacon Ed


#17

[font=Arial]if the parents are “non-practicing” then there is no “well founded hope” that the child will be raised as a Catholic. Without that the Church requires that we defer the baptism until such time as that hope is present.

[/font]

I think this rule was interpreted a lot more liberally in the past. When I was a child, back in the day, not every Catholic adult attended mass, yet every Catholic kid was still baptized, still enrolled in school, and still catechized. And with some of them , the faith took root as adults.

I’m not sure that when these children reach adolescence and adult hood without the grace of baptism or catechesis, its not going to be easy to reach these young people saying"well, my parents are catholic, but they didn’t want me because of my parent’s lack of religious scrupulosity in their duties"


#18

Kielbasi,

If you were “a kid” before 1983 you were raised under a different canon law. The rules were different then. However, we now have the 1983 code and we have to follow that one.

Deacon Ed


#19

Deacon, I see no difference in circumstances in my first post and second post. both couples are Catholic ; one married by a judge one married by a JP; both couples not going to Church (non practicing catholic). Both wanting their child baptised in the Catholic Church.You say no to one and yes to the other.

The conditions are the same where do you find them different?

Please direct me to the exact place where it says “church requires we defer the baptism until such hope is present” This is your quote. Can you refer me to where in Vatican 2 it says she can not be baptised?
I believe Church Law to say no one should be denied baptism, are there any reasons for it in the CCC? Yes it is nice to have parents as practicing catholics but this is not a reason to deny baptism, I refer to CCC , #'1250,1252,1257. The parents of this child are Christians. Maria Anna


#20

Maria Anna,

The difference in the second case is that there were people willing to bring the child to Mass and to see to his religious education. This is not present in the first case you mention.

Please direct me to the exact place where it says “church requires we defer the baptism until such hope is present”

I’m always happy to oblige:

Can. 868 §1 For an infant to be baptised lawfully it is required:
1° that the parents, or at least one of them, or the person who lawfully holds their place, give their consent;
that there be a well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the catholic religion. If such hope is truly lacking, the baptism is, in accordance with the provisions of particular law, to be deferred and the parents advised of the reason for this.
§2 An infant of catholic parents, indeed even of non-catholic parents, may in danger of death be baptised even if the parents are opposed to it

As you can see, I didn’t make this up. It’s the law of the Church!

Deacon Ed


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.