in danger, infant licitly baptized against the will of parents

Canon 868 §2. An infant of Catholic parents or even of non-Catholic parents is baptized licitly in danger of death even against the will of the parents.


I just found this interesting. :slight_smile: Laus tibi Christe!

Also interesting: Canon 871 If aborted fetuses are alive, they are to be baptized insofar as possible.

So, the lesson to the rest of us is to keep our children well away from Catholics?

Catholic doctors and nurses I would assume if the child was in danger of death. :stuck_out_tongue:

Or any Catholic who might be wandering about in the vicinity, I would think.

I would hope that they wouldn’t just walk into someone’s hospital room.

I don’t think the infant would be ungrateful for it. :smiley:

There’s a history to all this that makes Jewish parents shudder - at one time, when somebody did this to a Jewish child (even in the street, yes, seriously), the child would be taken from the parents because a (now, supposedly) ‘Christian’ baby/child could not be raised by Jews.

So, while the action may well be done with the best intentions by the baptizer, to us their intention is meaningless, while the action is religiously and historically offensive.

For some reason that made me laugh. :stuck_out_tongue:

I noticed you said “at one time” meaning it would no longer happen, correct? If yes then was the problem with the baptizers or with the outlook of the Jewish parents?

It doesn’t happen because you no longer have the power to impose your will.

What if I was to baptize a Jewish child before they die without the parents approval, in our present day?

The Jewish people would not like that, I’m sure…

It would be religiously and historically offensive.

The child would go to heaven.

So Jews even today would still not allow the Jewish child to be raised by their Jewish parents?

You seem to have missed the point - the Jewish parents didn’t reject the child because somebody had poured water over it and said some words. The child was taken away from the parents because the Church said it was now ‘Christian’ and shouldn’t be raised by Jews.

Hey I think some are missing the point. Children are entrusted to the Lord if not baptized - they do not automatically go to Hell, to Limbo, or anywhere. I honestly think that if there is a doubt as to a parent’s faith that one should respect the parents and not be disrespectful. However, I also believe if a Catholic child is in danger of death and a priest cannot be reached then yes, they should be baptized immediately.

Kaninchen - I apologize on behalf of my fellow Catholics if this just took an offensive turn.

The thing is, you know, that Catholics have been victims of this kind of thinking as well. For example, the Ottoman Turks used to seize healthy looking Christian boys, raise them as Muslims and turn them into elite armies (the Janissaries) and Irish Catholic street urchins used to be taken off the streets of New York to be raised as properly ‘saved’ Protestant Americans in the West.

Ah got it. Thanks for the clarification. :thumbsup:

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