How was it confirmed that the babies baptised- received a valid Catholic Baptism prior to receiving confirmation years later?


#1

I have no idea so I thought I would ask.


#2

:shrug: ehh, don’t know either. Most probably the witnesses of the baptism, i.e. the godparents.

Come to think of it, I’d like to know how the tradition of having godparents came about… :hmmm:


#3

Duh! - maybe they asked the parents? Is that not obvious to you for some reason?


#4

snaps fingers oh yeah, that too…


#5

*Did *they wait years before receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation? That’s a modern practice. In the time of the Apostles Confirmation may have followed Baptism at once.


#6

So can anybody receive the sacrament of confirmation right now by just telling the priest that the child was baptised?


#7

Why would the RCC move away from that practice then if confirmation is one of the sacrements of Christian initiation and/that perfects baptismal grace?


#8

Lets say…baptised as baby in Jerusalem. Moved to Corinth. 10 years later wants to be confirmed.


#9

Today, the Church keeps records, and a child who is preparing for confirmation would have a baptismal certificate.

By the way, in the event that there is some uncertainty about whether a baptism was performed (or performed validly in the case of a convert from another denomination), the person can be baptized conditionally.

Randy. if you are not baptized, then I baptize you in the name…

This was what happened in my own case even though I had a baptismal certificate from the Methodist Church.


#10

I guess this would be a very important point as only baptised individuals can receive the sacrament.


#11

In a word: Practicality.

The practice of the Sacrament of Confirmation can be seen in the Acts of the Apostles. In Chapter 8, we see Philip, a disciple:

Philip went down to a city of Sama’ria, and proclaimed to them the Christ. And the multitudes with one accord gave heed to what was said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs which he did. …When they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Acts 8:5-6, 12 (RSV)

As you can see, Philip had the town of Samaria baptized because of his preaching. However

Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Sama’ria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:14-17 (RSV)

Now, isn’t it odd that only Peter and John (apostles) can confer the Holy Spirit on the people of Samaria? It seemed that only apostles (bishops) can give the Sacrament of Confirmation. And that it was, and it still is.

In the beginning, when the Christian community was still small, it was easy to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on people who were just baptized. But as the Christian community became larger, it became harder to do this. Imagine the just-baptized (including infants!) having to be brought to bishops for baptisms and confirmation, or vise-versa, in the poor traveling conditions available then!

So the Christian community made compromises. The Western Church recognized that although the Sacrament of Confirmation perfected the graces given by baptism, it is not indispensable for salvation. It is however indispensible “for all those who are able to understand and fulfill the Commandments of God and of the Church. This is especially true of those who suffer persecution on account of their religion or are exposed to grievous temptations against faith or are in danger of death. The more serious the danger so much greater is the need of protecting oneself,” (source).So the Western Church opted to give the sacrament to those who have the said qualifications (i.e. by the time the child reaches around twelve years old) to relieve the stress imposed on the bishops and the just-baptized.

The Eastern Churches, on the other hand, went to another compromise. It was implied in 1 John 2:20, 27 and 2 Corinthians 1:20, 21 that those who received the Holy Spirit were anointed. So in the Eastern Churches, priests can impose the Sacrament of Confirmation on those that have just been baptized by anointing them with *chrism or myron *— provided the chrism was blessed by a bishop.

Both the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches honor both rites, as far as I know.

See the Catholic Encyclopedia and the CC discussions on Confirmation. :thumbsup:


#12

#13

Wouldn’t be a problem, especially since they will have been active in the parish that whole time and the pastor will be aware of that. See, we do keep records.:doh2:


#14

Perhaps the Bishop of the old parish sent a note to the Bishop of the new community/church. In those times mail did go through sometimes within weeks. There was not an official postal service like most countries have today, but travelers and merchants carried messages from place to place. Churches/parishes were small in those times so any Bishop probably knew his people on a face to face basis.


#15

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.