Emergency Baptism

I have read numerous threads here, and numerous books abroad, which pertain to this subject. The subject, for me, is a very relevant one for a few reasons. I’m a godfather for my niece, and I’m also the “mentor” of my nephews who are being raised in a less-than christian atmosphere. The older one was baptised, as a Lutheran, but teh younger one was not. Currently, the elder one has been showing a heightened interest in church, and has come with us for the past month. However, the younger, who just entered 2nd grade, has no clue. I feel deeply sorry for him, that his parrents take no interest in sharing their faith (or lack there-of.) My question is this-should someone baptize the younger nephew? If so, should it be done according to the “Infant at Death Scenario?” I only say this because his parrents have no intention of having him baptized. I’ve been trying to think this through for a few years, and now, I ask your help.

You must have the permission of at least one of the parents to baptise their child. Since it sounds like you don’t have the permission you shouldn’t attempt to baptise the child.

The only thing you can do is talk over your concerns with the parents and be an example.

You can only licitly Baptize him if he is in danger of death from injury or illness.

No can do, though I know how tempting it can be in a situation with those you care about.

If he is over the age of reason, there also has to be a well-founded idea that he wanted to be baptized. We are not allowed to baptize people against their will.

Also, there is the issue of record keeping, since if he is baptized, it has to be recorded somewhere, so that if he enters RCIA or if he wants to receive other Sacraments when he gets older, he’ll be able to ascertain his status accurately.

I think my original words may have been a little unclear. *I myself would not presume to baptize him. Indeed, it is tempting, but I would never do it unless he was directly in the path of death. *However, he does have serious Epilepsy (sp?) .His parrentrs would probably not have him baptized for the right reasons, so I tihnk that all my family can do is wait, hope, and pray.:signofcross:

Since you are the Godfather of your niece, and the eldest son has been Baptised as well, it would seem the parents aren’t against Baptism, they may simply think it makes no difference. I’d ask them to have the youngest Baptised as a favor to you, since it does make a difference to you.

Just a little clarification-the niece I mentioned is from my brother, and the two boys are from my sister.

Your words, though, are kind and sincere. I think that this would be the best approach for what should be done. However, I don’t want them to do it simply to pacify me. Perhaps there is some middle-ground?

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.