Is it a sin for a Catholic parent to deny his infant baptism until the child is an adult? My husband and I are both Catholic. But my husband does not agree with me on baptizing our infant. He thinks the child ought to grow up into an adult, and make the decision for the child to get baptized or not, later in life. My husband is not a cradle Catholic like me. He only became Catholic a year ago. He told me that if it is regarded a sin by the Church to not baptize our child early on, then he will be okay if I get the baby baptized.
The Code of Canon Law states:
Parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptized within the first few weeks. As soon as possible after the birth, indeed even before it, they are to approach the parish priest to ask for the sacrament for their child, and to be themselves duly prepared for it (canon 867 §1).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called.The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer baptism shortly after birth.
Christian parents will recognize that this practice also accords with their role as nurturers of the life that God has entrusted to them (CCC 1250–1251).
The Bible states:
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it (Prov. 22:6).
None of these sources explicitly use the word sin to define the act of a Catholic parent who deliberately denies his child the grace of baptism as a baby. But the reasonable conclusion from the teaching of the Church is that it would indeed be a sin for a parent to deliberately choose to refuse to baptize his baby. The parent would be depriving the child of the life of grace, of communion in the Church, of all of the sacraments (since baptism is the gateway to the other sacraments), and of the ordinary means of salvation offered by God to Christians through his Church.