Lay baptism rules and regulations

Before Vatican II was lay baptism more popular?

What do you mean?

Lay baptism is illicit unless the situation calls for it. So I don’t know what you mean by “popular”.

No before Vatican II baptism by a lay person could only be done in a state of emergency just the same as now and even then was to be followed by possibly a conditional baptism and certainly by a formal Solemn Rite Baptism by a priest at the earliest possible time.

The Church can also grant authority to lay people to regularly baptize in cases of absence of an ordained minister.

I don’t see how that is relevant to the question unless you can point to it been common practice to do so before Vatican II which is wasn’t to my knowledge.

One is this issue of Deaconess. In the past there were Deaconesses in the Church because of cultural norms where they needed to conduct baptism for women. The Church never ordained women, thus the Deaconess was lay but performs baptism regularly.

I would also suspect this may be true to lay missionaries although I don’t have a factual example of that.

Also, its in the Canon Law, thats why I threw it out there (the current one at least).

To some extent I would say yes. 50 years ago a Catholic nurse would have been far more likely to take it upon herself to baptize a unhealthy baby regardless of whether the family was Catholic or not.
Today a nurse would be far more likely to ask the family first. In which case normally call for a priest to come and if the family is not Catholic then they would follow that family’s wishes instead of baptizing it secretly.

Deaconess have not been around in the Latin Chruch for over 1500 years, you are just confusing the OP with rare instances that are outside of the norm.

The question was:

Before Vatican II was lay baptism more popular?

And the Answer is:

No they were not in fact in most places and times they were not even allowed and probably even rarer than they are now as there were far more priests per person than there is now.

Well, 1500 years ago is before Vatican II, if you want to be very technical with it. He didn’t quantify the amount of time before Vatican II.

And I just threw out the clarification that a lay person such as a Catechist can be given the authority to perform regular baptisms as is provided in the Code of Canon Law.

I’m sure there have been instances in the near past where there were such lay people given the authority. And like I mentioned, I wouldn’t be surprised if lay missionaries in the past or today are granted such authority.

I think it’s difficult to draw this type of conclusion based on speculation about factors like how many priests there were. While true, it’s also true that roads were worse, communications were worse, the population was more rural, many people were born at home, there was a substantially higher rate of perinatal death, and lots of other things that may or may not have affected whether it was seen as advisable to have a baptism done ASAP by whoever was around. Without some reliable source – even people’s recollection, which can serve as a data point – this is unforunately just pure speculation.

Even in those cases it was normal to take the child to be solemnly baptised at Chruch by a priest at the earliest opportunity, the Chruch was very thorough about that they had to be because they had to have evidence that a person was baptised.

I can’t quantify things, but these two pieces of information seem to circle the point well enough. It was FAR more common for nurses and midwives to baptize babies before the council, largely due to the far more robust belief in original sin. Still, Catholic parents would not have let it suffice that their baby had been baptized in an emergency, and would have known of the need to supply the ceremonies.

Canon Law forbids hospital baptism unless in cases of necessity

That is correct, and hence the example of hospital nurses. If a child was in danger of death, Catholic hospital staff would often (and licitly) Baptize the child.

My father had an OB practice as part of his regular family medicine practice. He mentioned that he Baptized about 150 children in his time.

Those would be the ones in danger of death.

He, and the Catholic nurses, were specifically trained by the archdiocese to do so. That training covered both Form and circumstances.

Good! My child too was baptized in the hospital. At 5 days old he underwent surgery for intestinal malrotation. Good thing a priest came, I was going to do it myself. I just wonder nowadays how many hospitals have trained staff to do this. The hospital we were in had a “chaplain.” Basically a lay coordinator who has access to a list of religious minsters (not just Catholics) for the needs of the patients. I’m not sure if she’s trained to baptize for Catholics, and I know that they are not staffed 24 hours.

My sister is a physician ( Peds). She was trained. The Archdiocese still runs classes.

I also had a cup of water standing by when most of my children were born, just in case.

don’t understand the question.
lay persons may not baptize at all except in danger of death, and that has always been the law

no, deaconesses did NOT “conduct baptisms” in the early Church, they assisted the bishops in baptizing so that decency could be maintained for females being baptized, the bishops and priests did the actual baptisms.

I don’t know if “popular” is the right word but it may have been more common in days of higher infant mortality, that a child would be in danger of death after delivery and for the doctor or nurse to baptize, but that would not be because of Church law, but just the circumstances. I will also venture that more Catholics were routinely “trained” or made aware of this possibility in former times.

no, deaconesses did NOT “conduct baptisms” in the early Church, they assisted the bishops in baptizing so that decency could be maintained for females being baptized, the bishops and priests did the actual baptisms.

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