Does a person become a Catholic the second they are baptized?

My understanding is that a person becomes a Catholic the second they are baptized as a baby, but do not enter into full communion with the Catholic Church until they receive first holy communion and are later confirmed.

The reason I ask this question is that if the Catholic church recognizes a protestant baptism (which they do), doesn’t this mean the protestant is actually a catholic who simply never enters into full communion with the Catholic church because they later never receive the Eucharist and are not confirmed?

Basically, i’m thinking that the idea of “there is no salvation outside the Catholic church” does not mean that protestants aren’t saved. This is because protestants are actually catholics who have simply never entered into full communion with the Catholic church. A protestant might call themselves a protestant, but they are actually a catholic. Protestants can’t just make up their own church like Luther did and invoke the Holy Spirit into their man made church. There is no such thing as a protestant baptism, even though protestants think there is. The Holy Spirit will not sanction a baptism into any church other than the Catholic church.

The Bible says there is only one baptism and one church after all.

One would become a member of the “one Church of Christ” I believe…elements of sanctification of which exist outside the Catholic Church.

For a Protestant to become “a Catholic” more is needed than simply Christian baptism.

This link may help.
ewtn.com/library/Doctrine/subsistit.htm

By the reception of Trinitarian Baptism, one becomes a member of the universal (“Catholic”) Church. However, those baptized outside of the Catholic Church remain in an imperfect communion and thus, are denied the Sacraments except under imminent death. You are correct that there is one faith, one baptism. 16th century Europe made all of this much more complicated than Christ intended.

No.

One who is baptised by a Catholic minister is, through baptism, in full communion with the Catholic Church – but they are not fully initiated into the Church’s sacramental life until they have received Eucharist and, ultimately, Confirmation.

Those baptised in a non-Catholic Church or ecclesial community, although truly and fully members of Christ’s Body, would have to be received into full communion with the Roman Church by a formal act since they would presently be in a state of impaired communion due to the canonical division that exists.

As to our relationship with other Churches and ecclesial communities, this is addressed by Unitatis Redintegratio:

*3. Even in the beginnings of this one and only Church of God there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly condemned. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church - for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame. The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect. The differences that exist in varying degrees between them and the Catholic Church - whether in doctrine and sometimes in discipline, or concerning the structure of the Church - do indeed create many obstacles, sometimes serious ones, to full ecclesiastical communion. The ecumenical movement is striving to overcome these obstacles. But even in spite of them it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body, and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.

Moreover, some and even very many of the significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, and visible elements too. All of these, which come from Christ and lead back to Christ, belong by right to the one Church of Christ.

The brethren divided from us also use many liturgical actions of the Christian religion. These most certainly can truly engender a life of grace in ways that vary according to the condition of each Church or Community. These liturgical actions must be regarded as capable of giving access to the community of salvation.

It follows that the separated Churches and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church.*

A protestant is one who for reasons unknown and broad, try to live this life in communion with God, but independent of the communion of the Church. It is self-defeating in this life, as is obvious from history, as evidenced that the protestant keeps re-materializing itself transitioning into a lesser and lesser theology, until the Sola Scriptura will eventually be forgotten except for a few.

I have no idea what you are trying to contend.

“Protestant,” historically, is a defined and limited term. People, apart from science fiction, do not “re-materialize.” Among non-Catholics, theology varies greatly.

As others have pointed out, there is and can only be only one Church. Protestants who’ve been baptized using the proper formula are imperfectly united with that Church despite the fact that they are ignorant to that truth-or would deny it.

Question - so if someone is baptized as an infant and then later refuses to follow through with confirmation and it does happen - are they fully baptized

Not really.

That means that a Catholic child, before First Communion, would not be Catholic either. That is not the case.

However, to re-phrase what you wrote (somewhat). A person baptised as a non-Catholic does indeed become a Catholic at First Communion & Confirmation, but not because of the sacraments themselves, but because such a person is first received into the Church, even if that does happen only moments earlier.

A person becomes fully Catholic when received into the Church. If it’s a Catholic baptism (meaning it’s done by a Catholic minister or layperson in an emergency) the person is Catholic by virtue of that baptism. If it’s a matter of a baptised non-Catholic, the person is Catholic by virtue of being formally received into the Church.

The reason I ask this question is that if the Catholic church recognizes a protestant baptism (which they do), doesn’t this mean the protestant is actually a catholic who simply never enters into full communion with the Catholic church -]because they later never receive the Eucharist and are not confirmed?/-] because such a person has never formally entered the Church.

To an extent, yes. See my edit.

Basically, i’m thinking that the idea of “there is no salvation outside the Catholic church” does not mean that protestants aren’t saved. This is because protestants are actually catholics who have simply never entered into full communion with the Catholic church. A protestant might call themselves a protestant, but they are actually a catholic. Protestants can’t just make up their own church like Luther did and invoke the Holy Spirit into their man made church. There is no such thing as a protestant baptism, even though protestants think there is. The Holy Spirit will not sanction a baptism into any church other than the Catholic church.

The Bible says there is only one baptism and one church after all.

Yes. There is only one Baptism. There is only one Church (and that is the visible Catholic Church, not some ambiguous etherial concept).

When a non-Catholic is baptised, that person is united to the Church, but not a member of the Church. It is an imperfect communion (see Unitatis Redintegratio 3 which Don Ruggero just posted). “For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect.”

So it depends on a matter of choosing the words. Can we say that such a person is a “Catholic who is not in full Communion with the Church?” We could say that, but we typically do not; only because that vocabulary can cause confusion. Yet the idea expressed there is true.

Yes.

Whether or not baptism occurs has nothing to do with whether or not Confirmation is later conferred.

We can say that such a person has not completed the Sacraments (note the plural) of Initiation.

That’s basically right. But to be clear, Protestants don’t believe in “Protestant baptism” either (well, infant-baptizing Protestants don’t–arguably some of the “believer’s baptism” folks effectively do). Baptism unites us to the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church. That’s the common ground we have.

St. Augustine, in the Donatist controversy, basically came up with the argument you laid out above. There had been a tough debate in the third century about whether heretical/schismatic baptisms were valid. St. Cyprian, the great North African bishop, said they weren’t, and Rome said they were. Augustine, more than a century later, sided with Rome and laid out the theological rationale why. All sacraments are the acts of Christ. All sacraments belong to the one Church. Augustine said that Donatists who were baptized were united to the Church and then immediately separated from it. But as Fr. Stanley Jaki pointed out, Augustine’s position opened the door to a more ecumenical view down the road.

It is also possible to take a very generous view of the salvation of non-Christians via the concept of “baptism of desire.” But that’s a separate topic.

Edwin

Harry, do we need to chip in and get you a copy of the catechism, because this is answered in depth at this link? Read it all for context, but here’s a very relevant part…

**Who belongs to the Catholic Church?
**

836 "All men are called to this catholic unity of the People of God. . . . And to it, in different ways, belong or are ordered: the Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ, and finally all mankind, called by God’s grace to salvation."320

837 "Fully incorporated into the society of the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who - by the bonds constituted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion - are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but ‘in body’ not ‘in heart.’"321

838 "The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter."322 Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church."323 With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord’s Eucharist."324

Sorry I missed this. I read a book by a protestant scholar (Christianitys Dangerous Mistake, Alistair McGrath 560 pages) who was willing to recognize that protestantism re-materializes, not a physical body, but a body corporate, not a physical body but new material. Hence re-materialize. Awakenings, revivals, pentecostalism, evangelicalism, it dies eventually, it comes back different. This author, unlike me, while very concerned about the direction of protestantism, was very positive that protestantism would survive into its next thing whatever that would be. I am under the impression that there is not many places left that it can go, except home.

My point is that Protestants are not Catholic by their own admission, it has not been imposed upon them.

Now that you explain it, the theory makes some sense–at least the part you just now explained.

Not sure if I would either agree or disagree without reading further.

At least we now understand that it’s not a reference to some kind of (literal) re-incarnation. :thumbsup:

On the surface, however, I would hesitate to say (on second thought, make that “not say”) that it moves in a constant direction of lower theology. I can think of a few easy examples, such as the Anglican Divines in the late 1800’s who moved in the opposite direction.

In any case, we must be careful about over-generalizations (is that grammatically correct?) That’s important. Protestantism is very diverse. I’ll leave it at that because it’s off-topic.

Again, I’d urge caution.

While it’s true that any Protestant can freely choose to become Catholic, it’s not that simple in real life. We cannot just speak broadly and say “Protestants are people who choose not to become Catholic.”

Most human beings follow the religion into which they were born, and the reasons why any one individual changes will always be unique to that person.

Likewise, since this is off-topic, I’ll leave it there.

I’d suggest starting a new thread if you want to take the discussion further. The OP is about “when” a person becomes Catholic, not so much the “why.”

I agree, though I am more expressing the fact that they have not been cast out. I am presenting an on the one hand, on the other. The Catholic perspective is that, by creed, there is only one baptism, one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and one of everything else, but on the other hand is the voice of the Protestant which I do listen to as well.

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