Common Baptism? Protestants and Catholics


#1

I understand that there is a “common baptism” between Protestants and Catholics, so long as it conforms to certain criteria.

For a sacrament to be valid, three things have to be present: the correct form, the correct matter, and the correct intention. With baptism, the correct intention is to do what the Church does, the correct matter is water, and the correct form is the baptizing “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).

What I’m after is:

  1. What official Church documents outline this “common baptism” between most Protestants and Catholics?

  2. What does “correct intention” really mean, and why doesn’t this invalidate Protestant baptisms in churches that obviously don’t “do what the Church does”? - regarding churches that may baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but certainly don’t follow Catholic teaching in other areas.


#2

Yes, I’ve always wondered about this myself. It seems to be an almost universal practice to simply receive Protestants by confession, confirmation, and first Holy Communion. Why aren’t evangelical/charismatic baptisms invalid? The vast majority of evangelical Christians reject a sacramental/ontological understanding of baptism in favor of a symbolic view. I was raised evangelical Protestant myself and was received into the Catholic Church (though baptized evangelical with the correct formula several years before) via conditional baptism, confession, confirmation, and first Holy Communion. My bishop obviously didn’t buy into the common North American ecumenical practice. (It was the bishop himself who conditionally baptized me).


#3
  1. From the CCC

1278 The essential rite of Baptism consists in immersing the candidate in water or pouring water on his head, while pronouncing the invocation of the Most Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

  1. From the Code of Canon Law

Can. 865 §1.For an adult to be baptized, the person must have manifested the intention to receive baptism,

I believe in the case of an infant baptised in another faith, this intention would be manifest in the parents.


#4

Thanks davidv, but while that elaborates on Catholic teaching about their own baptism, it doesn’t communicate anything about recognizing baptisms in Protestant communities.

I’m still not clear on my initial questions:

  1. What official Church documents outline this “common baptism” between most Protestants and Catholics?

  2. What does “correct intention” really mean, and why doesn’t this invalidate Protestant baptisms in churches that obviously don’t “do what the Church does”? - regarding churches that may baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but certainly don’t follow Catholic teaching in other areas.


#5

It would help, I think, if you wouldn’t call baptism within Protestant churches that the Catholic Church accepts as “common baptism”. There’s really no such thing as a “common baptism” as you are stating it, you see. :slight_smile:

  1. What does “correct intention” really mean, and why doesn’t this invalidate Protestant baptisms in churches that obviously don’t “do what the Church does”? - regarding churches that may baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but certainly don’t follow Catholic teaching in other areas.

The Catholic Church recognizes baptisms in those Protestant churches that use proper form and matter also assuming they mean to do what the Catholic Church intends–to baptize as Our Lord commanded. What theological emphasis Protestants may put on their baptisms doesn’t matter as long as they intend to baptize and they use proper form and matter. And the reason the Catholic Church accepts this is because their, Protestants, trinitarian rite, proper form and matter constitute baptism as the Catholic Church understands and practices it.

Questions arise over those Protestant churches who do not intend to truly baptize but use the trinitarian rite, form and matter as a symbol only, meaning they do not mean to actually baptize but only demonstrate belief in Christ. That is not proper baptism, which is why persons coming into the Catholic Church from such Protestant ones will receive a conditional baptism, since the intention of their baptism isn’t clear.

I hope that helps.

Here’s another thread on a very similar topic that may be of interest to you: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=267667.


#6

The ones that accept non-catholic baptisms that use the proper matter (water) and form (the trinitarian innvocation) as valid baptisms

  1. What does “correct intention” really mean, and why doesn’t this invalidate Protestant baptisms in churches that obviously don’t “do what the Church does”? - regarding churches that may baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but certainly don’t follow Catholic teaching in other areas.

I believe that “correct intention” is the intention to have the baptised become an member of the Body of Christ.


#7

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