Husband Catholic/Wife Christian: Baptizing baby

Good morning,

I was raised and schooled (k - 8) in the Catholic Church and my wife was raised in a Christian faith. Weirdly, dating through our college years we never went to each other’s church nor really spoke about it. After 8 years we got engaged and we started splitting our Sundays at both of our church’s and said we would do this. We married in a Catholic Church as it was very big wishes from my parents as they are extremely devoted to the Catholic Church. After a year being married, we now go to her church every Sunday and have a 5month old child. It’s now time to baptize him but in they Christian faith he would be “dedicated”.

A little rewind, my parents do know we attend her church but I do attend Catholic services during the week as well as confession alone. Of course my parents wish it was not that way. Now they are wondering what is the status on his baptism. I feel it has given me a bit of stress as I have held it all in knowing my parents want it one way only.

I feel so stuck and don’t even know how to end this question. I guess I just need to explain to my parents that we are going to follow her faith? I’ve never spoken of this so I feel this was a bit of a vent. Our marriage is wonderful and we pray everyday with each other.

First time I’ve seen this webpage and thought I’d get it a shot. Hope I wasn’t confusing with my situation.


Just wanted to fix something for ya friend. Catholics are Christians, and the CC is a Christian Church.

Hope you find the answers you’re looking for!

Thank you. Yes indeed. Though, two different masses. I guess, if I’m not practicing in the Catholic Sunday mass then maybe I shouldn’t baptize my son in the Catholic Church. I understand that in order for a baptism to happen, parents need to be active in the Church and the Godparents need to as well. Just confused. I remember before I was engaged, I asked a priest on his thoughts of me marring this girl and that my parents weren’t all for it since she didn’t practice her religion in a Catholic Church. He simply stated, “she reads the bible and prays to the same God as your parents do”.

You, as a Catholic husband and father have a grave responsibility to raise your child Catholic and a very grave responsibility to have your child baptized.

Failing to Baptize your child in the faith can, to be quite blunt with you, put your soul in grave danger.

Hi, you did state that you were married in the Catholic Church correct? I would imagine as you did your prep with the priest or in the pre-Cana classes is that to be married in the Catholic Church as a Catholic while your spouse isn’t that it should have been mentioned to you that to be married in the Catholic Church that you as a Catholic were going to raise any children in the Catholic faith. While you are stating you are going alone during the week, it looks like you are not practicing being a Catholic but going to her Church. You are probably going to have to tell your parents that you are not going and practicing the Catholic Christian faith. That is sad and I hope you and your family will be back but being married now, what you do is now up to you and your wife and in some ways don’t have to do things for your parents. On the other hand, you being married in the Catholic Church did promise at that time whether you realize it or not or understood it or not that you would be raising children in the Catholic faith. I think you should discuss this with the priest who married you.


As a Catholic parent, you have the solemn duty to raise your child as a Catholic, regardless of whether you’ve married a Protestant, a Hindu or even Richard Dawkins’ daughter. :slight_smile:

How does your wife feel about the Catholic church?

This is not entirely correct. To further elaborate… you have the solemn duty to try (to the best of your ability) to raise your child as a Roman Catholic. That is the letter of that law.

In saying it this way the Catholic church accepts that the non-Catholic parent does have say over how the child is raised and accepts that in some cases, such as where a marriage may be destroyed over such an argument, the child can be raised as a non-Catholic. It’s not an absolute.

My wife is still a Catholic in good standing (in regards to this particular issue, not saying I speak for the entirety of her sins) even though we are raising our children as Anglicans.

Somehow, I don’t think that’s what the Church teaches. Do you have a reference for this?

The Catechism says:

2225 Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the responsibility and privilege of evangelizing their children. Parents should initiate their children at an early age into the mysteries of the faith of which they are the “first heralds” for their children. They should associate them from their tenderest years with the life of the Church. A wholesome family life can foster interior dispositions that are a genuine preparation for a living faith and remain a support for it throughout one’s life.

2226 Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child’s earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God. The parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the catechesis of children and parents.

  • which makes it sound like raising the children in the Catholic faith is the right thing to do.

My wife is still a Catholic in good standing (in regards to this particular issue, not saying I speak for the entirety of her sins) even though we are raising our children as Anglicans.

A supernatural good trumps a natural one. I don’t mean to criticize you personally, but: Getting along and making nice < the salvation of souls, at least as far as the Church sees it.

The Catholic Church recognizes baptism in Protestant churches so long as the sacrament is in the name of the Holy Trinity. If the “Christian” church performs infant baptism than it is even more likely that the sacrament will be acceptable to Catholics.

My recommendation, however, is to have your child baptized in a Roman Catholic church especially since you were married in that Church.

True. Trinitarian Baptisms are recognized as valid Baptisms by the Church.

My recommendation, however, is to have your child baptized in a Roman Catholic church especially since you were married in that Church.

Moreover, Baptism must be followed by reception of the other Catholic Sacraments, and being taught the faith. Here’s a little-known quote from a Vatican II document:

[quote=Lumen Gentium]"In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.

They are fully incorporated in the society of the Church who, possessing the Spirit of Christ accept her entire system and all the means of salvation given to her, and are united with her as part of her visible bodily structure and through her with Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops."

I think that statement places a great responsibility on parents, as TRH pointed out.

Based on the statement that he made I think that he means that baptism is not practiced for infants in the protestant church his wife is a member of.

Yes, you may be correct since the OP uses the word, “dedicated.” I assumed that meant baptism but need clarification.

What you are contemplating is very gravely sinful. You should be attending Sunday Mass and you should attempt to raise your child in the Catholic faith. A protestant church is very much not “just as good” as the Catholic Church. Every protestant church teaches some degree of error (in addition to some degree of truth.) I am sorry to be so blunt with you but you need to consider the gravity of what you are thinking.

I agree but Op stated it was a “baby dedication” which isn’t a baptism and I would imagine that her Church doesn’t recognize infant baptism. Yes, with both being married in the Catholic Church, there is a promise by the Catholic (him) to raise the children in the Catholic Church. She would have been made aware of this when they were married in the Catholic Church.
The other issue is that he was doing things to please his parents and I would wager, she was doing things to please her. They need to go back to the priest that married them and discuss all these things.

I really do appreciate all responses. Yes, dedicated in her church is basically stating the child will be following God and is prayed upon by the pastor in front of the mass. It was pretty understood that we would get married in the Catholic Church and some to please my parents but myself at the same time as I was raised in a Catholic School as well. I have not really spoken to anybody about this concern as it wouldn’t be something easy to talk about with my parents. I thought I’d start hereto help educate myself better about this before I approached them. Before we did get married, we did speak about our children attending the Catholic School I attended. It was never mentioned of another Church. After we got married, it became a pretty tough discussion to attend her church with her family. I let it happen to avoid argument and thought we could discuss this at a later date. Now I realize how important it is to have my son baptized as I was. I guess I haven’t felt like talking to my parents or priest as I feel I may have failed them. I know the main thing is that, to sit down and talk to them. It’s been tough. I know my mother says everyone once in awhile “I prayed today that your wife will become a Catholic”.

We will be praying for you. How does your wife feel about the Catholic church? Is she willing to attend or met with the priest to discuss these issue. You seem like someone that is trying to please others to avoid conflict but after a while this issue is coming to a head so you will be running out of time to put this off.

I feel for you in your situation and I understand how you must be feeling, with regard to your parents and priest, but try to keep in mind- the scariest thing of all is to fail your own soul and the soul of your baby. Pray, pray, pray and God will help you in the details.

Is there any discussion of ecumenical families in the family synod?

Unfortunately this should have been ALL nutted out before hand. :frowning:
But that doesn’t help you much now. I have a daughter (Catholic) who was looking at marrying a non Catholic. I took her aside and discussed with her, just how important it was that they were both on the same page with religion. I wasn’t talking about converting the boy…but out of respect for the girl he loves…he should at least understand it. Her religion after all, was a large part of who she is and who he loves.

Conversely, she had already been to his church with him, in order to meet with his friends and finding out who he was. She was able to hear some off handed remarks about Catholics and always felt that something was missing during communion. :thumbsup:

Both were under the impression that they were right and they each would be able to convert the other. :shrug:

The relationship had reached a point where it had stalled at religion. I suggested that if there was any future in it, he must understand the Catholic religion and make an informed choice as to whether he could live with it and subsequent obligations. I was hoping that he would be able to recognize a truth, if he were to see it.

I made available to her the “Scott Hahn Conversion Story” for him to read.

I was confident that once we are given the truth…it becomes self evident and pretty hard to ignore it.

It is also truth…that nobody likes to admit they are wrong. When one reaches their own conclusions about a given subject, they are more likely to adopt it. Nobody likes to be told and nobody likes demands!

He has since completed the RCIA program and is now a Catholic. They are to be married this year.

The shepherd who guides his sheep, does so with gentle patience, less they are startled and scatter.

I hope that this may help you in your handling of such a delicate matter. Understand that to walk away from your Catholic faith is to walk from the midst of the TRUE presence of Christ. Truly and ever present in the Eucharist. He waits hour by hour…day by day for his children, in every Catholic church…in every tabernacle. When asked how long after mass does he wait before leaving…He replied, “It is you who leave me.” :frowning:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit