How do we accept Protestant Baptism?


#1

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. Are not the Protestants just schismatics too? Why do we even consider them to apart of Christianity? I am not trying to take this to any extremes I am just trying to understand what is the differences between the heretics St. Cyprian, and others, wrote about and the modern day Protestants. Thank you

Joe M

New Hampshire


#2

You may have to look into how the schismatics were baptizing in St. Cyprian’s time. The church doesn’t accept all protestant baptism as valid. It has to be a baptism done in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Our Creeds say we recognize one baptism for the forgiveness of sins, so as long as they are baptized (as I was) in the manner the church says is valid, then it is valid.

That also allows anyone, under extreme curcumstances to baptize anyone else and it still be valid, so I’m glad the church recognizes it.


#3

[quote=jmcclane]Why do we even consider them to apart of Christianity?
[/quote]

Maybe because we are christians… That could have something to do with it.

We believe that Jesus died for us and rose on the third day. We believe that God loves us so much that He sent His only Son as a living and pure sacrifice for our salvation. Just to name a few things.

The things we do to worship God does not make you christian… It’s what is in your heart that does. We are christians because we believe CHRIST is who He says He is. Hence CHRISTian.

I just wanted to clear that up for ya… :slight_smile:


#4

jmcclane,

What part of Cyprian are you reading? I’d like to read the same passages. My volume on him is over 500 pages long so if you could identify the epistle or treatise it would be greatly appreciated.


#5

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
V. WHO CAN BAPTIZE?
1256.
The ordinary ministers of Baptism are the bishop and priest and, in the Latin Church, also the deacon. In case of necessity, anyone, even a nonbaptized person, with the required intention, can baptize, by using the Trinitarian baptismal formula. The intention required is to will to do what the church does when she baptizes. The Church finds the reason for this possibility in the universal saving will of God and the necessity of Baptism for salvation.


#6

[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. Are not the Protestants just schismatics too? Why do we even consider them to apart of Christianity? I am not trying to take this to any extremes I am just trying to understand what is the differences between the heretics St. Cyprian, and others, wrote about and the modern day Protestants.
[/quote]

St. Cyprian was wrong, and was corrected by the pope at the time, Pope St. Stephen I. Subsequent to Pope St. Stephen’s and St. Cyprian’s martyrdom, the canons of Carthage were changed to agree with St. Stephen contrary to St. Cyprian. The cappodocian canons soon were changed also, contrary to Firmillian.

Pope St. Stephen I (254-257):

the name of Christ conduces greatly to faith and to the sactification of baptism, so that whoever has been baptized anywhere in the name of Christ, at once obtains the grace of Christ” (Denzinger 47)

From *This Rock *article, “Will the Real St. Cyprian Please Stand?” by Ray Ryland"Did Cyprian accept Stephen’s decision and stop rebaptizing those who had received baptism from heretical hands? Jerome says the African bishops corrected their decision to rebaptize and “issued a new decree.” Augustine says the Easterners followed the Pope’s directive: “they rescinded their judgment, by which they had decided that it was right to agree with Cyprian and that African council.” In another place he writes that the Easterners “corrected” their judgment about rebaptism.


#7

According to Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma:

The validity of Baptism by heretics was taught by Pope St. Stephen I. He appealed to Tradition, against Bishop St. Cyprian of Carthage. It was defended also by St. Augustine against the Donatists… A Synod at Compiegne in the year 757, and Pope Nicholas I (866) admitted the validity of Baptism administered by an unbaptised person." (pg 358)According to the Fourth Lateran Council (1215):
"… the sacrament of Baptism (which at the invocation of God and the indivisible Trinity, namely, of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, is solemnized in water) rightly conferred by anyone in the form of the Church is useful unto salvation for little ones and for adults." (Denzinger 430)

According to the Council of Trent (1547), this doctrine became definitive Catholic dogma:“Canon 4. If anyone shall say that the baptism, which is also given by heretics in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, with the intention of doing what the Church does, is not true baptism: let him be anathema.” (Denzinger 860)


#8

[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. Are not the Protestants just schismatics too? Why do we even consider them to apart of Christianity? I am not trying to take this to any extremes I am just trying to understand what is the differences between the heretics St. Cyprian, and others, wrote about and the modern day Protestants. Thank you

Joe M

New Hampshire
[/quote]

Reading the Fathers is good. BUT always remember that what is said is not always the mind of the Church. Make sure that you always read more than one Father on a given topic. At this time there was the idea that those who left the faith or gave in to save their lives had to be re-Baptized if they returned to the Church. The Church addressed this issue saying in an early Council that those returning did not require Baptism again, only Penance and Reconciliation.


#9

Thank you all for you responses, you did help to clear the issue of valid baptism up. I did go back and read the 2 fragments of St. Stephen’s response to St. Cyprian (one of which St. Cyprian referred to in his letter to Pompey in Letter No 74). Just to “clear it up” I do not consider only Catholics to be Christian I merely want to know what why we hold protestants in a different light than the heretics of times gone by. I do not think any one has answered that one yet. And certainly there is a more precise answer than “Jesus died for us all” because of course Jesus died for us all, I just want to know the Churches explanation.

Thanks again,
Joe M


#10

[quote=jmcclane]Thank you all for you responses, you did help to clear the issue of valid baptism up. I did go back and read the 2 fragments of St. Stephen’s response to St. Cyprian (one of which St. Cyprian referred to in his letter to Pompey in Letter No 74). Just to “clear it up” I do not consider only Catholics to be Christian I merely want to know what why we hold protestants in a different light than the heretics of times gone by. I do not think any one has answered that one yet. And certainly there is a more precise answer than “Jesus died for us all” because of course Jesus died for us all, I just want to know the Churches explanation.

Thanks again,
Joe M

[/quote]

We view most Protestants differently because they did not separate from the Catholic Church. Most were “born” into separated Christian communities. In the Early Church most athers are speaking about Heretics because they wer the ones who removed themselves from Catholic union. The Catholic Church accepts all validly baptized PERSONS as Christians and imperfectly united to the Catholic Church to some degree. However the Catholic Church DOES NOT accept separated Protestant Christian communities as valid sister churches, only the people in them as brothers and sisters in Christ.


#11

[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.
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closed #12

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