Non-Catholic Baptism


#1

I have heard, during my time in RCIA, that since Vatican Council II, baptisms in non-Catholic Christian denominations, is valid. I am wondering what their reasoning and justification is behind this - without having to read the actual Council documentation, since I’m lazy. :stuck_out_tongue:


#2

Simply put, as long as someone is baptized “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” and the person who is baptizing you speaks of the the Father, Son and Spirit in the sense that they are three persons of the triune God, then the baptism is valid. (thus a baptism by Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons is not valid as they do not have the same understanding of the Trinity, nor even of God, as we do, a).

Someone may be re-baptized when coming from a protestant background “just in case” since although protestants generally have the same understanding of God that we do often times their individual preachers may vary in their beliefs, whether or not they belong to the same denomination. As such we can never really know what they mean when they say “I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit”.

BTW pop quiz: If someone is dying and there is nothing you can do to save them, what do you do? Convince them to accept Jesus as a personal savior or baptize them? You have time for one but not both. As you are learning about God i thought i should test you lol:D


#3

no, someone may NOT be rebaptized “just in case”. If the validity of the first baptism cannot be demonstrated, or its occurence proven or attested, the individual may be conditionally baptized. That is not the same thing.

The validity of the baptism in this case depends on the proper matter, form and intention. For most denominations this is a matter easily determined based on their stated practice and belief. Where there is question the bishop investigates and rules. Where they are demonstrably lacking, the Church has declared their baptisms invalid, Mormons and Witnesses among these, because the intent of baptism is to bring one into the Christian communion, and neither of these sects is Christian. anyone may baptize, even a non-Christian, if the three elements are present.

If someone is dying, call 911 and tend to their needs and pray while you wait for the paramedics.


#4

Really? I hadn’t know those were the exact circumstances of a re-baptism. Thanks for the correction :thumbsup:


#5

In fact maybe I should stop calling it a “re-baptism” :smiley:


#6

precisely, there is NO re-baptism, there is conditional baptism.


#7

Precisely true, since the point is that the original ritual was not in fact Christian baptism (as the finding in an annulment is not that the marriage has ended but that there was no sacramental marriage to begin with.)


#8

again not the same thing, and comment about annulment is not completely accurate, also not relevant to this discussion, so let’s stay on topic. the formula for conditional baptism is “IF you are not already baptized, I baptize you etc. . . .” meaning that if in fact the person was validly baptized, nothing happens.


#9

Once again thanks:thumbsup:, I could have led the OP astray:blush:


#10

The person who told you this is mistaken.

It is not “since Vatican II” that the Catholic Church has recognized the baptisms of non-Catholics as valid, but rather since the beginning of the Church.

This was a controversy in the early church, because there were various heretical and schismatic groups and also because of apostacy. In the mid 3rd century (250-260) the Church confronted whether or not re-baptism was necessary in these cases, and came to the conclusion that it was not. That in fact, one could not be baptized a second time. There was vigorous debate between St. Cyprian and Pope Stephen I. The Church ruled that the baptism of heretics and schismatics was valid.

Perhaps what your RCIA instructor meant was that after VII conditional baptism was not performed routinely-- only under circumstances when valid baptism could not be ascertained with certainty. I believe for a while it was routine to conditionally baptize most non-Catholics seeking full communion. I do not have documentation for this, so someone may know more on this.


#11

Thanks for the replies/answers, that certainly helped and answered my question well. Thanks. :slight_smile:

As for the pop quiz. I would say that, in that specific situation you gave, you should ask them if they are baptized and if not, you should ask them if they want to be, and if so, you should baptize them. Even though you’re a layperson, I think it would be sufficient in those dire circumstances, though I think you should try to call in a priest before the person dies rather than do it yourself if you can. I hope I got that right. :stuck_out_tongue:


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