I'm Catholic and my wife is Born Again Christian, how should we baptize our first born?


#1

Hi! So as i said, I’m Catholic and my wife is Born Again Christian, and we are having trouble either our first born son should be baptized to Roman Catholic or Born again Christian. Thank you for your responses.


#2

It is my understanding, and I could be incorrect mind you, that when you enter into marriage with a non-Catholic (or anyone for that matter), you agree to raise your child(ren) Catholic. So, it would make sense to have your child(ren) baptized Catholic.

I am sure others will have better answers, though.


#3

Yes. They should be baptized and raised Catholic.


#4

As a Catholic you have the obligation to raise your children catholic. This means they will be educated according to catholic teachings and receive the sacraments recognized by the Catholic Church. It makes sense to baptize your child/children catholic since they will also make first communion and confirmation in the Catholic Church. I suggest you to talk with your wife regarding your children’s religious education so that you can make it clear the kids will be raised Catholic.


#5

You do realize that on a Catholic site, we’re going to say “Catholic”.

But please educate yourself on the Faith. Just saying “I’m a Catholic because I was raised that way.” Isn’t enough for you anymore. You need to make Catholicism your own, and to be able to explain it to your dear wife when she has questions (and she will, which is only right and proper :slightly_smiling_face:)


#6

I am a Catholic married to a non-Catholic Christian. We were married in the Church, with the required permissions, following eight months of preparation with my pastor.

During this marriage prep, I promised to do whatever I can to assure that any children we may be blessed with will be raised in the Catholic faith. The bolded part is important. I did not promise to raise our children Catholic no matter what, but to do whatever I can.

The Husband was informed of this promise. Nothing was asked of him other than acknowledgment that he was aware of it.

If the OP and his wife went through marriage preparation in the Church, he should have been asked to make the same promise and his wife should have been informed of it. In this case, she could not be surprised that he wants their child baptized Catholic. She might still object, but she can’t say she was never made aware. In the OP’s place, I would remind my spouse of this. In the face of continued objection, then the two of us would need to sit down and discuss it, perhaps with my parish priest if necessary. But yes, as the Catholic parent he needs to emphatically fight to have their children baptized and raised Catholic. I stop short, however, of recommending that this be done to the detriment of the spousal relationship itself. Knowing nothing more about the situation, I can’t say if their disagreement is at this point or not.


#7

This seems a rather authoritarian bullying approach.


#8

Hi Kenneth,

This is a Catholic website…99.9985% of replies will be to tell you Catholic.

This is honestly something that you and your wife need to discuss and come to a conclusion on.

One thing to note, to be fair, you can’t decide for your son to be baptized in your wife’s church. Correct me if I’m wrong, but they believe in believer’s baptism so if you go that direction it will be up to your son once he has reached the age of reason. For me personally, I was 19.


#9

@TC3033 has a good reply. Allowing your child to make the decision is probably most fair. Of course, I can see why you might not want to wait.

What I failed to mention in my original post is that this is something you and your wife will need to discuss. By no means did I mean to leave her out of the loop.


#10

I recommend it be done using water and the trinitarian formula - (in the name of father, son and holy spirit).

If you can’t reach an agreement, do it yourself as the child’s father and thus spiritual mentor.


#11

Pray about it together and, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

PS All believers are “born again” :slight_smile:


#12

Catholic. As a Catholic you need to baptize them Catholic. Congratulations on the baby and God bless!


#13

When I got married my wife was (and is) practising Catholic. I was Christian evangelical. We had both of our children baptised in the Catholic Church and blessed in the non-Catholic Church that I went to (they did not practice infant baptism). I would take my daughter (my son is disabled) to Church one week and my wife would take her the next. I agreed that she should go to Catechism classes, had there been a non-Catholic equivalent I would have tried to accommodate that too. Subsequently it became difficult to take my daughter to my Church as she preferred her mother’s Church. Now I’m taking steps to convert to Roman Catholicism.

Throughout all of this we negotiated on the non-vital areas and tried to humbly accept those areas that we did not agree on. Someone said that a 5 year marriage isn’t yet a marriage and I think they’re right!

For me it has always been about knowing (in a deep way) the understanding of both Roman Catholic’s and non-Catholic Christians and it is my hope that it will continue to be so after I have been confirmed Catholic. My wife’s faith is simpler (in the good sense of that term). It seems to me that you can’t really know how ‘the other side’ believes until you have been part of it. I say this particularly of the Catholic/non-Roman Catholic Christian divide but wouldn’t necessarily extend it to other areas of life.


#14

Unless the child is in danger of death, what you suggest is illicit.


#15

I’d suggest that you check out Formed.org

If your parish does not provide a subscription, then, it is about the same as any other streaming service.

Watch their series called “Reborn”, ask your wife to watch it as well.

Remind her of the promise you made when you married her, that you would do your best to raise the children as Catholic.


#16

This is correct, there is no longer an “obligation”, but a “promise” to do our best.

To the OP, I would gently make my aspirations known and perhaps remind her of the promise, with equal tact and diplomacy. But at the end of the day I would choose the path that would avoid unnecessary family conflict, while ensuring that it at least is a valid Trinitarian baptism and properly registered so a record exists of it somewhere. Then I would practice my own faith with vigour and devotion, to be an example to my children, so that they become attracted to the Catholic faith, and make that choice later on.

In no way would I bully my wife into a situation she isn’t comfortable with.

As an aside to the OP, is your wife’s church one that allows/believes in infant baptism? Some only do adult, or “age of reason” baptism. If it’s the latter, perhaps you can suggest a Catholic baptism while leaving the door open to the child changing his/her mind at the age of reason.

Regardless of how things go with the baptism, as a parent in an ecumenical marriage one has to be prepared for the child to eventually reach the age of reason and make a choice that is a disappointment to us. In this case, the child may decide to grow in the Catholic faith, the Evangelical faith, some other faith, or no faith at all. It is the “beau risque” of free will, without which faith itself would be meaningless. Even in a purely Catholic-to-Catholic marriage, there is a great chance that the child may at some point reject the faith. Again, that’s a risk of free will.

No, this is no longer true. UpUp’s answer was the correct one, a promise to do one’s best. Not an obligation.

Faith should never be a straight jacket, nor an opportunity for bullying.


#17

You should wait and allow your child to decide if he wants to be baptized in the Catholic Church. Baptism in the Catholic Church isn’t just about cleansing original sin. It binds a person to canon law and the magisterium. You are forever deemed Catholic, even if at a later point you dissent and decide to leave the Catholic Church. How many times have we read on this very site that so and so needs to obtain permission to do such and such because of baptism, though they have formally left the Catholic Church? These are things I didn’t realize before I converted. A terrible and regretful decision on my part.


#18

The child is no less Baptized.

Such comments makes me think of the Pharisees that that Christ was so critical of.


#19

Actually, according to Cannon law, baptism outside of the church can only be done in a case of necessity.

THE CELEBRATION OF BAPTISM

Can. 850 Baptism is administered according to the order prescribed in the approved liturgical books, except in case of urgent necessity when only those things required for the validity of the sacrament must be observed.

Can. 857 §1. Apart from a case of necessity, the proper place of baptism is a church or oratory.

§2. As a rule an adult is to be baptized in his or her parish church and an infant in the parish church of the parents unless a just cause suggests otherwise.

You can read all the rules for baptism here: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P2V.HTM.


#20

It’s not really a Pharisaical issue, it’s just that the Church wants a proper record of the baptism to exist. Proof of baptism will be required for all later sacraments or major steps in Church life, be it marriage or first communion, or glory be to God, religious or clerical life. Not having that record makes any subsequent growth in the Church much more difficult.

As one progresses through life, one’s baptismal certificate records each subsequent sacrament received: first communion, confirmation, marriage, and ultimately, death. The record is kept at the parish one was baptized at. I had to get mine when we chose to have our marriage convalidated some years ago. I called the parish, and it arrived within 48 hours! Made the trip to the current parish easier, when we were ready to launch the procedures leading to convalidation… My wife’s Anglican certificate took rather longer, more than a month.

It’s allowed in the danger of death, because a record is less essential. In those circumstances. the only part that matters is what occurs under God’s eyes. Even then, if for some reason the danger of death passes (the plane with the engine on fire safely lands, say, or the child or person makes a recovery from a serious illness), the person baptizing (assuming the parent) should make every effort to contact the parish and explain what happened so that appropriate steps may be taken.

Not all the rules are meant to make our lives harsher. In this case, requiring a licit baptism actually makes them easier!


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