If someone is forced to convert or be baptized Catholic, are they officially catholic?


#1

I know the forced part doesn't happen much anymore. But lets say a Husband forced his wife to convert or else they couldn't marry. Would the wife be considered Catholic even if she didn't convert wholeheartedly.

What about people who convert just in order to marry someone, or for reasons other than sincerely believing the church?


#2

No. Becoming a Catholic can only be done with freewill. If someone was forced to become a Catholic they would need to talk with a priest to see what steps should be taken.

One does not need to be a Catholic to marry a Catholic. They need to talk to a priest about this. There are some conditions that do apply: for instance, promising to raise children as Catholics.


#3

[quote="WildCatholic, post:1, topic:325766"]
I know the forced part doesn't happen much anymore. But lets say a Husband forced his wife to convert or else they couldn't marry. Would the wife be considered Catholic even if she didn't convert wholeheartedly.

[/quote]

This raises another question .

Under such conditions would the marriage itself be valid ?


#4

[quote="WildCatholic, post:1, topic:325766"]

What about people who convert just in order to marry someone, or for reasons other than sincerely believing the church?

[/quote]

We can never know another's heart, even if we think we do. Having just been through RCIA, I don't know how someone would get that far if they truly didn't want to do it.


#5

No, you cannot be forced so it could not be valid.

PAX+


#6

[quote="RedSparklyShoes, post:4, topic:325766"]
We can never know another's heart, even if we think we do. Having just been through RCIA, I don't know how someone would get that far if they truly didn't want to do it.

[/quote]

My mother basically did this. My Grandfather on my fathers side was a very religious but hardhearted man and didn't want dad to marry a non-catholic, so my mom converted. She felt it would be easier for us kids and in her opinion most religions are the same, so she didn't feel that it was that big of a deal since she was already Lutheran and really there weren't many differences. But now she doesn't really identify with any group since she doesn't go to church


#7

[quote="petronus, post:3, topic:325766"]
This raises another question .

Under such conditions would the marriage itself be valid ?

[/quote]

No, because the marriage needs to be completely consensual as well. If my knowledge serves me correctly, a shotgun wedding does not constitute a marriage and must be annulled.


#8

I wouldn't say that a toddler has free will. Most people are baptized as a baby. They're officially catholic after that day.


#9

[quote="504Katrin, post:8, topic:325766"]
I wouldn't say that a toddler has free will. Most people are baptized as a baby. They're officially catholic after that day.

[/quote]

True. The same can be said for Jewish boys that are circumcised as part of the Judaic law.

Both it and baptism are initiations into a faith. Free will, for good or ill, can be exercised by the person who was baptized or circumcised to leave their faith. Contrary to some Christians, you needn't profess a conscious act to be part of the Lord.


#10

Catholic Baptism has its own guidelines for such questions.

In a Christian Baptism a person must confess their belief in the Gospel
and present himself or herself for Baptism. Mark 16:15,16, Rom 10:9
The Baptismal candidate also repents of his or her sins. Acts 2:38

A forced baptism is meaningless just as a baptism made with no repentance or Christian conviction. A Christian Baptism in made in obedience to the Lord and in faith.


#11

[quote="Spencerian, post:9, topic:325766"]
The same can be said for Jewish boys that are circumcised as part of the Judaic law.

[/quote]

Wait, are you telling me I might be Jewish.


#12

It was certainly not my intention to offend anyone.

I was just saying and that was all.


#13

:rotfl::rotfl::bigyikes:


#14

[quote="WildCatholic, post:6, topic:325766"]
My mother basically did this. My Grandfather on my fathers side was a very religious but hardhearted man and didn't want dad to marry a non-catholic, so my mom converted. She felt it would be easier for us kids and in her opinion most religions are the same, so she didn't feel that it was that big of a deal since she was already Lutheran and really there weren't many differences. But now she doesn't really identify with any group since she doesn't go to church

[/quote]

But she also had free will to NOT marry your father. Unless you are also saying that the wedding was truly a shotgun wedding. And your mother was forced to marry your father.

Otherwise it sounds like she converted willingly, but doesn't practice her faith.


#15

If they stand up before the priest or deacon, make a profession of faith when asked, and ask for baptism and receive it, then their internal disposition and will are presumed to conform to their external actions.

I think you would have a difficult case to make that they are not validly baptized whether or not their motives for baptism included pleasing others or what not.

If someone were truly forced to be baptized and had water poured over them despite protest, or when unconscious without a prior explicit statement of desire for baptism, or some other scenario similar then it would likely be deemed invalid.


#16

[quote="504Katrin, post:8, topic:325766"]
I wouldn't say that a toddler has free will. Most people are baptized as a baby. They're officially catholic after that day.

[/quote]

But adult baptism/conversion is different. In the case of a baby, adults make the promises for them. In the case of an adult, while you have a sponsor, you have to freely vocalize your intention.


#17

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:13, topic:325766"]
:rotfl::rotfl::bigyikes:

[/quote]

why does this comment not surprise me?


#18

[quote="504Katrin, post:12, topic:325766"]
It was certainly not my intention to offend anyone.

I was just saying and that was all.

[/quote]

Who's offended?


#19

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