[quote=jmcclane]Can you explain how we accept the protestant baptism as a valid sacrament? I have been reading St Cyprian of Carthage (AD 250’s) and he makes it clear that the schismatics do not have the Church and are not in the Church so therefore their baptism is not valid. [font=Times New Roman][size=3]New Hampshire[/size]
The heretics St. Cyprian was refering to were either Arians (who denied the Divinity of Christ) or Macedonians (from Macedonius, their leader), who denied the Divinity of the Holy Spirit, thus their ‘baptisms’ was not Trinitarian and not valid.
If you read Canon 8 from the Council of Arles, it makes it pretty clear that those who were Baptized with the Tridentine formula were not to be rebaptized at their conversion.
"If anyone shall come from heresy to the Church, they shall ask him to say the Creed; and if they it shall be found that he was baptized into the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost in Patre et Filio et Spiritu Sancto esse baptizatum
] he shall have hands laid upon him only so that he may receive the Holy Ghost [Confirmed]. But if he was not baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity, let him be baptized."
Even now, we do not accept the Baptism of Mormons as they deny the Divinity of Christ. We do accept, as did the Council of Arles, the Baptism of those who believe in the Trinity and who Baptize with the Trinitarian formula.
It will also be noted that the Church has always accepted the Baptism of St. Constantine to be Valid, as he commanded it to be the Tridentine formula, even though it was actually performed by a Arian heretic.