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


There are instructions for the laity how to conduct an emergency baptism in many “handbooks”.


You should baptize your child Roman Catholic.


No, not precisely. Well, at least, not these days.

Back in the olden days (pre-1983, IIRC), when a Catholic and a non-Catholic Christian wanted to get married in the Church, they both had to sign a form promising to baptize any children from the marriage in the Church.

But, it’s pretty plain to recognize that what was really going on was there was a lot of Catholic-fiance-kicking-their-non-Catholic-fiance-in-the-shin and whispering, “just sign it!”. In practice, it was less a promise than an exercise in “doing what ya have to do in order to get what ya want to get.”

So, the Church changed its requirements. The Catholic fiance has to sign a promise to “do everything in my power to have the children of this marriage baptized Catholic”, and then the non-Catholic fiance is asked to affirm (verbally) that they witnessed the promise their fiance just made.

So… it’s more of an open question than “but… you promised!!!”

@UpUpAndAway’s and @OraLabora’s responses are pretty much spot on; @UpUpAndAway’s advice is great – after all, she’s lived through this…!

Nope. The Catholic perspective is not “let’s wait until little Junior makes a decision”. After all, you wouldn’t defer feeding him until he could tell you what food he likes best, would you? Of course not! You’d do the best for him and his health and his future. That would be Catholic baptism.

Nope. We should not encourage clandestine baptisms. Heck, if he wants to go unilateral, he can just go into his parish without his wife and have the priest baptize the baby properly. But no… “bathtub baptisms” are not the way to go.

Agreed. But the baptism is not known to the Church. So, let’s suppose he wants the child to enter CCD in six years. Whoops! No known baptism, no entry in a parish registry to refer to!

Anyway, why would you give advice to do something that is valid but illicit, when there’s a course of action that’s both valid and licit? :roll_eyes:


I’m considering the importance of balancing marital harmony with your commitment to your faith. What does your wife’s faith and pastor say about the matter? She is under as much pressure to baptize in her church as you are in yours? Would two baptismal ceremonies be in order to keep the peace?


Most non-Catholic ecclesiastical communities who use the term “Born-Again Christians” would be pressuring NOT to baptize anyone below the age of reason.

Only one Trinitarian baptism can take place, any “second baptism” would be a formal rejection of the first, valid baptism at worse and an empty gesture at best.

Hopefully the OP has not been scared away and will come back with some more info about the decisions that were made prior to marriage.


To be fair, that’s not what I said.

I said this is a Catholic website, so everyone is going to say Catholic. It’s something that OP and his wife need to sit down, discuss and come to a conclusion on. Odds are they can’t “have” the child baptized in his wife’s church…I assume they practice believers baptism, so it would happen after the child reaches an age of reason.

OP has not come back to clarify if they were married in the Catholic church or did any pre-Cana, so we have no idea who promised what and who was made aware of anything.


My guess was that the OP’s wife is in a denomination that baptizes infants, as a good number of Evangelical denominations do. The adults-only issue will only become relevant if the baby grows up and makes a choice to join such a denomination. To such branches of Christianity, it is the infant baptism that would be an “empty gesture,” but it should hopefully be inconsequential if that is indeed his wife’s faith.

I haven’t heard about a second baptism “canceling out” the first, but the “empty gesture,” for whatever it is or isn’t worth to Catholics, would certainly take care of his wife’s wishes.

I agree - hopefully that @KennethMaeChua didn’t get scared off from here and can come back and clarify matters for us. :slight_smile:


You were 19 when you were baptized? Or when you reached the age of reason? According to my wife, she’s STILL waiting for me to reach the Age of Reason.



I think I was 43 or 44 when I was baptized.



Whether or not I’ve hit the age of reason is still up for debate.


You’ve gotten some Catholic replies, from a protestant perspective, I wonder if you can’t come to a sort of compromise. You say that your wife is “Born Again”, this implies to me that she belongs to a church that believes in conscious-choice baptism. Perhaps your son can be baptized Catholic as an infant, but then be allowed to undergo a choice baptism at a later date if they feel called to do so? What do Catholics think of such baptisms?


Catholic. Catholic. Catholic.
If you do not and down the line your child wants to join the Catholic Church, it will be a longer process.



This question should have been resolved when you have been married.

If you are married in the Catholic Church, the Children should be baptized in the Catholic Church. And then raised as a Catholic.
If you are married in a born again Church, then it should be born again baptism.

But the born again christian do not believed in child baptism, isn’t it? So, if you opt for a born again education, no baptism would be involved.

If you are not married as christians, then this question is open. And here, we will encourage you to raise your children as Catholics.


Baptism places an indelible mark on the soul and binds the child permanently under canon law. It cannot be repeated.


Is it discouraged to repeat it as an adult or by conscious choice?


A “repeat Baptism” is meaningless. Baptism can only be performed once. All a second Baptism would do is get the person wet at best. At worst, it would be a mockery of the sacrament.


I know people who were baptized at birth who were again baptized as a conscious choice in adulthood. It was hardly meaningless or a mockery, but in fact completely changed their lives for the better.

I understand that the catholic belief is different but I ask that you try to show some respect for the beliefs of other Christians.


In the Catholic Church, with very rare exceptions, everyone is to be baptized at the Church. Should the father do it himself, there is no record, and that record is critical to future life issues.

You think of Pharisees likely because you do not have the same understanding of sacraments which the Church does. As I work with adults who wish to enter the Church, I can guarantee that issues such as formal records are critical, be they from the Catholic Church or one of the Protestant churches. it does matter. There is nothing Pharisaical at all about it.


A valid baptism in the Catholic Church will make your child born-again, so you both can be happy.


The OP started this thread and…vanished?
Huh. Never seen such a thing before.

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