Mini crisis - Can I ask for a conditional baptism and reconfirmation?


#1

Okay, here’s the story.

I came into the church at Easter. As part of the RCIA process I had to verify that I had been baptized as we obviously don’t re-baptize validly baptized Christians. I got baptized about 12 years ago in a Baptist church. They weren’t really helpful and I didn’t have any witnesses (my parents aren’t religious) so I just wrote an affidavit stating that I was baptized, water was used, and it was in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Here’s the problem:

I don’t know if the pastor used the trinitarian formula during the baptism. I simply assumed he did because most baptists do follow the teaching for the correct form of baptism. I saw a baptism from the same church (albeit a different pastor and 13 years later) and he used some weird formula that sounded strange like in the name of your creator, redeemer, and something else. It definitely wasn’t the norm laid out in the gospels.

Now I’m having doubts as to if the pastor DID invoke the trinity when baptizing me. I can’t know for sure and I reaaaally want to put away any lingering doubts.

That being said, would it be completely out of line if I asked my parish priest to conditionally baptize me and then confirm me again in case the original confirmation was invalid due to my possible lack of valid baptisim?

I have no reason to assume mine wasn’t done correctly on the basis of what I heard at the other baptism alone. 99 percent of the baptist baptisms I’ve heard in my life HAVE been done correctly. I just really can’t recall the words for myself and that scares me.


#2

Take it easy! As you have stated and as I have observed myself Baptists use the correct formula. And they use water too! I was baptized a Baptist so many years ago. The pastor used the correct formula and I think someone would have to you if yours hadn’t.


#3

Not necessarily. There have even been problems in some Catholic parishes with using the wrong formula. “The Creator, The Redeemer, and the Sanctifier” are common.

As Baptists and Presbyterians don’t believe that baptism effects any sort of change, I wouldn’t think that they would be that worried about it. There are also different denominations of both, some more liberal than others.

This is why I really wish the Church would go back to conditionally baptizing Protestant converts. Yes, there is baptism of desire, but as far as I know, it affects your ability to receive other sacraments.

I never thought I would be quoting from the National Catholic Reporter, but natcath.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2008a/032108/032108o.htm


#4

Do you remember the name of the preacher? If you do, maybe you can contact him and ask how he baptized or was baptizing back then. If you need help tracking him down, let me know. I’m a pretty good Internet sleuth :wink:


#5

I have a similar situation with not being able to prove my baptism. I was “probably” baptized when I was a baby, but there was no paperwork and no one still alive who could fill out an affidavit. So they are going to do a conditional baptism before my confirmation. This is fine with me as there will be no question that I’m validly baptized and I’ll have paperwork to back it up afterwards.

This kind of stuff :rolleyes: is one of the reasons I’m entering the Catholic Church.

I would have doubts too. Like I say, I wasn’t sure of mine so yes, knowing we’ll do a conditional baptism really puts my mind at ease. I hadn’t thought much about this part of it but now that you bring it up I’m glad they are doing it that way.

I don’t think it’s out of line at all. If it were me I’d ask about it.


#6

Yes - you have good valid questions. That is a good and real consideration. If prudent doubt remains one ought to seek such.


#7

I have actually heard Catholic Priest use the creator, the redeemer, and the sanctifier. That is invoking the Trinity. So even if that was used on you, you’re fine. If not, he must have used Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I use to be a Baptist, when they baptized me they did it in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Just relax. Your baptism is valid either way. Baptist would never use something other then invoking the Trinity.


#8

G.Pa was an elder at the local Baptist. Been with him a number of times for Baptisms and they usually used the trinitarian form. Only once do I remember the “The Creator, The Redeemer, and the Sanctifier” being used by a young minister and G.Pa told him afterwards that it was an older church and they preferred the more traditional wording.

Personally, if it would ease your fears, please talk with your Pastor. He will have the solution to the issue.


#9

No, it’s not invoking the Trinity, at least for the purpose of Baptism, by addressing the three Persons by their job titles. They should be addressed by name. Using the creator/redeemer/sanctifier formula makes the sacrament invalid.


#10

From the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:
"First question: Whether the Baptism conferred with the formulas «I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier» and «I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer» is valid?
"Second question: Whether the persons baptized with those formulas have to be baptized in forma absoluta?
"RESPONSES
"To the first question: Negative.
“To the second question: Affirmative.”

ewtn.com/library/liturgy/zlitur350.htm


#11

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