Just quick question about baptizing our (as yet unborn) child

So, I’ll keep this brief.

My wife and I want to have our child baptized not at our current parish, but our first parish, in our former state, closer to our families (so they can attend) and in a more beautiful place more rich with memories. As I understand it, this is not a problem, and is, in fact, a fairly frequent occurrence. We just need to satisfy the education requirements for our parish here, and have our parish priest write our former parish priest giving him permission to baptize the infant.

So my question is: what if, in addition to changing the venue of the baptism to our former parish, I wanted to have the Melkite priest who catechized me three years ago (Fr. Ignatius) baptize our child? Would that be permissible? Fr. Ignatius has his own parish in our former town, but it’s small and, well, Melkite–it would probably throw the family off a bit for our baby to be baptized there, and really, I’d prefer still having the baby baptized at our first parish, for symbolic reasons.

If I asked the priest of our former parish about this, would it offend him?

Are there any major rite issues involved, since I’m Latin, and Fr. Ignatius is Melkite?

Is this just an absolutely crazy idea that I should forget I ever thunk up, or can I reasonably go about trying to have our baby baptized at an old parish by a priest from a different Catholic Church not associated with that parish? If so, how should I go about doing that?

Thanks,
Jeremy

As far as having another priest perform the Baptism, there is nothing Liturgically wrong with that.

Ask the pastor of the parish where the baptism will occur, it will be his call.

There are no issues of Rite, at least on our side. Fr. Ignatius might be called by Eastern Canon Law to Chrismate and Commune as well, and might need to discuss the matter with his bishop to use the Latin Rite of Christian Baptism instead, but the sui juris Church of the Minister has no bearing on the validity of the Baptism.

Probably no problem for an Easter priest to baptize in the Western Church. However, since Eastern baptism includes chrismation, a western priest would probably need delegation from the Eastern bishop in the reverse case.

I assume that an Eastern priest baptizing for the Western Church would not chrismate or give the Eucharist

Actually, I just spoke with Fr. Ignatius, and he says he’d be unable to do the baptism, since he would need to give first Communion and Chrismation as well, which would deny my child the possibility of experiencing those in the Latin Church. I briefly mentioned him getting a dispensation from having to do give those sacraments as well, but he didn’t seem interested and the conversation moved on.

I’ll mention to the priest who’s doing the baptism that I’ve invited a Melkite priest friend in case there’s some way Fr. Ignatius can assist/concelebrate the baptism, but the baby will have to actually be baptized by the Latin priest.

Jeremy

You would have to speak with all the clergy involved. Your current pastor would need to speak with the pastor of your former parish and with Fr. Ignatius. Just because Fr. Ignatius is Melkite does not mean that your child becomes a member of the Melkite Church. Fr. Ignatius simply Baptizes on behalf of the Latin Rite Church.

Why not ask him to be a godparent or sponsor?

That’s not a bad idea, especially in light of my recent post about lacking good Godparents for our children :slight_smile:

Jeremy

I am currently studying this issue so may be of help.

I understand your love of the Melekite priest. My husband and I have these feelings for a Melekite priest close to us. Priests cannot be sponsors of children. They also cannot be sponsors for married couples. Fr. Ignatius sounds very special. I urge you to keep a strong relationship with him as your child grows.

Priests are “fathers” in all sorts of ways. They are the ultimate godfathers. Blessings to you on your new child.

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