Confused about some things priest said


Before I begin, I’d like to state that I haven’t brought up my feelings of unease or questions about “where in Church teaching is that?” etc. with the priest out of a feeling of embarrassment, awkwardness and dislike of confrontation. I haven’t given him a chance to explain….with that said; I do have questions because some things he has said sound “off” to me and more like something you would hear coming out of the mouth of an evangelical pastor.
First question:
I’ve had several miscarriages and the priest suggested “spiritually baptizing” my dead babies. My understanding is that baptism is a sacrament for the living and the best we can do for unborn babies who die is pray for them and entrust them to God’s tender love and mercy. Is there a way to spiritually baptize unborn babies? Would it be wrong to participate in this? Where does this practice/idea come from?
Next question:
The priest mentioned that he wanted to do some “deliverance” work because he thought there might be some demonic influence in my life and he mentioned “generational stuff”.
I have to admit this was what I was most uncomfortable with because it reminded me so much of the stuff that came of the mouths of the pastors of a pentecostal church I attended with my husband. In fact there was a specific “deliverance ministry” at the church we attended. I’m a recent convert. Even as a protestant I was never really comfortable with “deliverance” stuff and I’ll admit I’m even less comfortable with the thought now. (Note:I’m not talking about exorcisms; I don’t think that’s what he was talking about either). But if this is something that is in line with Church teaching and would be helpful, then I’ll get over my discomfort and gladly accept it.


Regarding your children – you are correct.

Any idea of “spiritual baptizing” – not sure what he meant – any form of prayer for such would as you note not be baptism. (Certainly I would think there is not to be any pouring of water etc)

Your already doing what is what we as parents are to do.

Like my wife and I one simply commends them to God – with prayer and the hope and trust and love of Christians --and with the intent that one would have baptized them if one could have.

As to deliverance prayer - such can be yes “legit” and good.

…but I must add that I would be cautious with any idea (and in general) of “generational” things…the Church has not to my knowledge endorsed any idea of such that may be proposed. Various ideas of course can exist regarding such.


I think your priest might be referring to something like I found in a booklet about the Divine Mercy. It is a prayer for aborted babies, but it looks like you can apply it to those babies whose mothers miscarried.

Divine Mercy for the Unborn

For all helpless little children who die in the womb of their mother, I pray that all of these little souls will be given eternal life by Our Lord, Jesus Christ, through his Divine Mercy and I beg Jesus that I be allowed to spiritually baptize a little soul born dead and I do so by saying: I baptize you (Give name, preferably a saint’s name) in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit...

“I have called you by your name, you are Mine!” (ls. 3:1)

[Prayer of Divine Mercy Apostolate
Capuchian Friary, Dublin]


That sounds heterodox. The location of a soul that has died without commiting personal sin can’t be changed posthumously.


I looked around and found this thread:

The booklet cited in that thread is the one to which I was referring in my previous post here. Clearly, the problem is with the latter portion of the prayer. The booklet has the Imprimi Potest from the Bishop of Dublin and the Nihil Obstat from the Censor; however, there is no Imprimatur. My understanding is that, if it was written by a religious, it should have all three. Correct or no? Amazing how stuff like this can slip through channels…


First off, I'm so sorry to hear about your losses. It can be really hard, can't it? :(

I lost a little boy at 14 weeks gestation in January 2012, and again, a little boy at 16 weeks gestation in September 2012. I truly hope and pray they are with the Lord...and I do believe all of our babies are someplace beautiful. Most likely Heaven. I trust our Lord, after all he did say let the little children come unto him! :)

I'm not sure what your priest was meaning either, and as someone who lives in a very Mormon area, that scares me. Mormons believe in baptizing those who have past...they baptist by proxy. Meaning, a sister, mother, aunt, etc... even a stranger can be baptized and immersed in water for the person. They believe than, an angel will come to them (they are held in a similar "place" like purgatory....although purgatory isn't a physical place to the Catholics but the Mormons believe so and they call it Spirit Paradise) and tell them they've been baptized and than it's up to them to either accept or reject.

When I lost my last son a few months ago, our father came to the hospital labor & delivery room and blessed my husband and I, and blessed the baby. He also prayed over us. Maybe every parish is different though... I'm still in RCIA.

Good luck to you in your future pregnancies...I know how hard, emotional and spirituality challenging miscarriages are.

You take care now, and peace be with you.


Yes, there are deliverence ministries in the Catholic Church, and as a previous poster stated, they are not to be confused with exorcisms. You can do a google search and come up with many and go to their websites.

Here is an article that explains deliverance and deliverance ministries:


[quote="NeedsMercy, post:5, topic:308217"]

The booklet has the Imprimi Potest from the Bishop of Dublin and the Nihil Obstat from the Censor; however, there is no Imprimatur. My understanding is that, if it was written by a religious, it should have all three. Correct or no?


The imprimi Potest can be seen to be used instead of the Imprimatur....I have seen it in particular with works I have from Ireland (as this one is said to be...)

But be that as it may -- one need not agree with the content or wording of the prayer.

(and mistakes can get through... censors are human....I leave this one to the Church...though I myself do not like the idea here...)

A simple desire for them to have been baptized and commending the child to God Jesus the Good Shepherd what I would suggest.


But also remember that God exists outside of Time. Acts of piety can be applied extemporaneously.

For example, if a friend is giving birth, I can legitimately pray for a successful birth up until the time I personally become aware of the outcome even if some of my prayers actually came after the birth.

On the general subject, I do not see a substantial difference in a prayer for a spiritual baptism and that of the prayer for a spiritual communion.

A spiritual communion does not bestow the Grace that one receives when one actually partakes of the Sacrament, but is none the less a good and pious practice.

I would think a prayer for a spiritual baptism would operate similarly. It would not bestow the same effects as the actual Sacrament, but certainly would not be spiritually harmful to either the petitioner or the subject of the prayer


While it wouldn’t be harmful there is a difference in that a spiritual communion is made by the person desiring communion themselves.


I definitely agree that you should pray for your miscarried (or intentionally aborted) children. Give them names.

As for "generational stuff", I'm currently going through some healing regarding generational stuff. It is quite powerful, although at times I wish God didn't trust me so much with what I'm going through, I did pray (at a healing mass) for healing in something I didn't even know was a hurt.


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