Emergency Baptism

How can a Catholic parent, who baptises his new baby in danger of death,document the baptism when later thru pressure by nonCatholic mother(who has no knowledge of energency baptism) allows his baby to be baptised by a nonCatholic minister?

In cases where the baby (or anyone) in immediate danger of death is baptized by someone not a clergyman (who would take care of the record keeping himself), it is the responsibility of the parents to inform their pastor so that the rest of elements of the baptismal rite can be performed and the baptism properly recorded in the parish records. If that had been done, the problem would not arise. What is needed to establish the fact of baptism is the testimony of a reliable witness stating the pertinent facts and attesting that the baptism was done with water in the Trinitarian formula with the consent of the parents. See your pastor immediately. The second baptism changes nothing, the child is already baptized so the second time was a meaningless formality. There is only one Christian faith by which we are baptized. The child has not “changed denominations” his affiliation is determined by his parents, nobody else has that right.

At the time of the baptism the father should have notified the local parish of what had happened and why. The parish would have recorded this and have scheduled a time for the completion of the rite of baptism. This can still be done – simply go to the parish and provide the pertinent information: who, what, when, where and why. The who is the baby’s and father’s names, the what is emergency baptism, the when would be the date, where is the place the baptism took place and the why is the explanation of why the baptism was done.

Deacon Ed

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