I was baptized at about 5 by my father, a ‘Baptist’ pastor. I don’t even have a certificate or anything. I guess he just chose to do it one random day. It bothers me, though. I feel unclean in a way. I envy the people born and baptized Catholic. I was baptized in this imperfect faith that doesn’t even believe in real baptism, and being somewhat of a perfectionist doesn’t help. Is there a possible way I can be ‘re-baptized’ by the time I turn 18? Maybe there was a technicality of what my father baptized me and he said the wrong baptism ordinance?
The Catholic Church believes in “ONE Baptism, for the forgiveness of sins”
At your Baptism, you were cleansed of the stains of Original Sin, granted Salvific Grace and made an adopted child of God.
It does not matter than it was done by a Baptist, a Methodist, or even a atheist. Your Baptism was valid and a means of Grace.
Your obligation now is to live up to that calling that the Grace brings about, not to fret about having it done again.
Assuming your father baptized you with the correct formula and intention (and the Catholic Church deems that Baptists do, indeed, perform valid baptisms), you are validly baptized.
Did you think it was the priest who made the baptism efficacious, or God?
If you have serious reason to doubt your father’s intentions or formula, you would be able to be conditionally baptized, but probably your baptism was fine.
Considering that it is God who makes your baptism efficacious, so long as the formula and intentions are provided, I would call it tantamount to sacrilege or blasphemy to attempt to be rebaptized.
Also, it’s unfair and uncharitable to say that you were baptized on “some random day.”
That day was not only of extreme importance to your own soul, as it changed you forever into a part of the body of Christ, but it was also important and not random to your father, who did it out of love for you.
Instead of vilifying it, you ought to be honored by it, even if no one has a certificate of the exact date.
It is indeed sad – and sacrilegious – when the sacraments are celebrated outside the Church, *especially *when they are valid. We have to get over it and move on. For what it’s worth, I was baptized by a Congregationalist minister. Now I attend a Tridentine Latin Mass every Sunday, and rarely ever think about the circumstances of my baptism. Be grateful for the light you’ve been given.
I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I’ve never heard that a non-Catholic performing baptism incurs the guilt of sacrilege. Do you have anything to back this claim up?
For my part, I take the opposite stance, and until shown otherwise I would like to say that it is not sacrilege. I see nothing to indicate that it is, at least as far as the understanding of baptism and sacrilege are reported to us through the Catholic Encyclopedia.
If I am mistaken I will withdraw happily in the face of the truth, but the claim is heavy and I think it ought to be challenged.
Who baptized you and the circumstances of your baptism–as long as it was done with the proper intent and form (in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit)–in no way invalidates your baptism nor does it make it less effective in God’s eyes or that of his Church. The Church generally recognizes Baptist baptisms (there are always odd off-shoots that don’t do it properly).
Don’t be upset or angry about your baptism–rather rejoice that you were baptized at all. Most Baptists don’t baptize until a child reaches the age of reason or even later–when he wants to make his public profession of faith in Christ. So, your father baptizing you at age 5 was quite unusual. It may be that God prompted him to do so precisely so you would have the grace of baptism to help you know and love Christ.
I was baptized in the Episcopal Church as an infant, for which I am very grateful to my parents because I had infused grace from that time on. Jesus was real to me as a small child onwards. Be thankful and be joyful that you had this unexpected grace facilitated by your Baptist father, even though that wasn’t necessarily his intent.
Seriously, try to let go of the perfectionism or regret over it. Give your father the benefit of the doubt. If your father has offended you in some other way, perhaps latching onto this business about the baptism is a “focal point” for your anger and frustration. Is there something you need to forgive your dad for other than this, perhaps?
If we end up serious about our Faith as adults, however we got here, let us be thankful and not looking for things to find fault with in the past. I could say, well, my parents were in a mixed marriage, I went to public school instead of Catholic, and we didn’t sit down and pray together as a family like the shining examples that are held up by some. Sure, it might’ve been nice to have had those experiences. But did I have love and did I get baptised, taken to Mass, educated through CCD (aka PSR these days) in my Faith? And do I love my parents? Of course! So I am blessed. So are you. Focus on that.
It sounds to me like your father loved you so much that he broke Baptist protocol (age of reasoning and you personally accepting Christ as your Savior ) and made sure you were Baptized. Rest assured, Baptist baptism is recognized by the Catholic Church as it is performed in the Trinitarian formula. Sounds like you father may really deep down believe in real baptism…
Reading this made me realize I don’t even know if I have been Baptized twice. I’m adopted from Kazakhstan (by American parents) so I have no idea… The area was a mix of Russian Orthodox and Muslim.
It is your baptism, at your father’s hands, wherein you became Catholic, though you did not know it at the time. Later in your life you came to want to really participate in Christ and his Church.
You were baptized by a Catholic - your father himself was baptized (I am presuming, since you say he is Baptist) and although Catholic in virtue of his baptism, he is Protesting Catholic teaching and calling himself a Baptist, and not participating in the Church. All who are baptized in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit are Catholic, even though they protest.
Your Baptism is fully Catholic, as was your father’s. You are as fully Catholic as a baby baptized in the Catholic Church. And, by the way, no one is “born a Catholic”. Becoming Catholic requires being Born Again, which happens in Baptism, your Baptism.
Ask your priest about conditional baptism just in case.
I’m a little confused. You say you’re Catholic, so you have been brought into the Church. At that time you were either baptized conditionally or simply confirmed.
It is interesting that your Baptist father baptized you. I was raised Baptist - into my early teens - and wasn’t baptized. It was never brought up and I never even witnessed a baptism! I was baptized by an Assembly of God minister at the Pentecostal church we attended in my later teens. No certificate either - it wasn’t considered a sacrament.
When I became a Catholic (in '76) there was a private ceremony where I made a statement of faith and I received my first Communion at Sunday Mass. Later I was confirmed.
I hope you can get over the anger. Simply being able to be Catholic is a wonderful thing - no matter how one arrives!
nano, I see you are 13 y/o. I think it would be wise to talk to your priest about your concerns.
It’s important to remember that we must use Christ as our model for life, and that includes in how we honor our parents, like He honored His mother and St Joseph. Don’t assume poor intent on your father. He loves you dearly I am sure.
In your case, I think a conditional baptism would be ideal, since there is no record of your baptism and there is no proof that it was done with the necessary form.
You say you are Catholic now, right? When you converted did you talk this problem over with your pastor? Because there may have been a problem with that ’ baptism ’ because I have heard Baptists don’t believe in baptism. Of course you do have the baptizm of desire, so you have recieved all the regular graces of a regular baptism and you have been receiving the other sacraments validly as well. However, your pastor may want to administer the sacrament again, provisionally. It would be similar to retagging home palate just in case you missed it the first time.
Nanotwerp, you should thank your father with all the sincerity available to you.
Try thing of it this way. Your father baptised you out of his love for you and concern for your immortal soul. Assuming you converted in adulthood, consider the consequences if, God forbid, you had died from any cause during your childhood or teens. You would not have been in a state of grace.
Also growing up in a Christian household you must have developed an awareness of God. It was that awareness that led you to search out what truly fulfilled you spiritually. Tonight give a prayer of thanks to God for that quality in you, and say a prayer for Dad too.
I came from Southern Baptist and was baptized So. Baptist. It is in the Trinity and therefore a valid baptism. Just because they view it as more symbolic, it is still legit. I had no records when i was Confirmed and when i mentioned a conditional baptism as Catholic I received a resounding No from my priest. There is no retagging home plate, at least not in our diocese.