Is it a mortal sin to baptise someone without their consent?


I am referring to an adult that has the capacity of a toddler/child, one who would not even know what you are asking. If these adults were never baptised by their parents then surely they cannot enter Heaven as Jesus said me cannot if we haven’t been baptised.

Please answer this twice, once in an emergency (dying) and one not in an emergency.



I think you will need to ask a priest for this one…



In a life or death emergency anyone can baptize if they use WATER ONLY and baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit Amen.

In non emergency (I KNOW THIS from personal experience & by meaning well but doing this mistakenly) NO you cannot unless the person’s legal custodians have agreed to this and will bring this person up in the Faith.






There was another Priest who commented the other day on a post but I can not remember his name.



The better question is not whether it’s a mortal sin to do this, but whether or not it’s the right thing to do.

Is this someone you know of that you’re thinking about baptizing against the wishes of their parents/guardians?


Someone without metal capacity to consent is legally considered an “infant”.

Can. 868 §1. For an infant to be baptized licitly:

1/ the parents or at least one of them or the person who legitimately takes their place must consent;

2/ there must be a founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the Catholic religion; if such hope is altogether lacking, the baptism is to be delayed according to the prescripts of particular law after the parents have been advised about the reason.

§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.


Most are in care and have no parents anymore, some still have parents.


Danger of death, obviously if they are bleeding profusely or something but what if they are just dying over the weeks?


You didn’t answer my question. Are you planning on baptizing someone without their consent or the consent of their legal guardian?


It is not appropriate to baptize anyone without consent. For those who are incapable of consenting, their parent or guardian must consent.

No, it is not “the right thing to do”.


I agree inappropriate but would it be grave matter and I assume the baptism would be valid but I’d like it confirmed.


I wasn’t planning but just enquiring.

I work in care and have seen people die, they have very low mental capacity and I wondered if they would all be lost without it and what we could do if anything.


Baptism is not “hocus pocus” abra cadabra “welcome to heaven.” Its not “magic”, its a sacrament, and one of it most important aspects is that it makes the person a member of the faith. It there is not a well found hope that they will be brought up in, educated in, and practice the faith, the baptism should be delayed until such time as such a hope exists.


You can:

  1. respect the wishes of their families/guardians and their own faith traditions;
  2. pray for them; and
  3. trust in God’s infinite mercy.


I also doubt it’s as simple as “no baptism=no heaven.” You might be starting from a faulty assumption.


I thought we were all born with original sin and baptism washes it away?


John 3:5 Jesus replied: In all truth I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born through water and the Spirit.


I mean, technically yeah, but God doesn’t deal in technicalities. He’s not going to deny His children Heaven based on something that’s completely out of their control.


And the Spirit.

God is omnipotent. His power is not actually dependent on the sacramentals themselves.

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