I am a protestant & my partner is a Catholic, he is step father to my son who is 4yrs old an has been since my son was 13months old! My son doesn’t see his Biological father, wouldn’t know him if he passed him in the street! We now have a daughter together & want them both christened, but the priest has refused to christen our son & only our daughter, he’s asked if me or bio dad was catholic, which we are not, and said no then… it’s not the catholic way and handed us a application form for our daughter! I’m really upset about it as its me & my partner who bring up our children not bio dad so does it matter who’s blood he has? Is it really acceptable to leave 1 child out? I thought we would have been welcomed, what has a child done to deserve to be left out. Thanx for reading, & sorry for the essay. X
Usually, as long as you want your son baptized and raised Catholic that is all that is required. But in this case you say ''my partner". Does that mean you’re not married? And I assume he hasn’t adopted your son? If so that is probably why the priest would opt not to baptize your son. If you two aren’t married and you break up, he has no assurance that your son, a child with two non-Catholic parents, would be raised in the Catholic Faith in which he had been baptized.
Yes I understand that, if I didn’t have another child. I wouldnt change him from a catholic school if we “split up” and no we’re not married his choice not mine! Nor has he adopted him as we don’t know where “bio dad” is anymore. I suppose I was more upset as the priest didn’t even hear me out, didn’t want to know any details… I tried to explain to him that my partner is his dad as far as our son knows but he just didn’t want to know. X
Can. 868 §1 For an infant to be baptised lawfully it is required:
1° that the parents, or at least one of them, or the person who lawfully holds their place, give their consent;
2° that there be a well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the catholic religion. If such hope is truly lacking, the baptism is, in accordance with the provisions of particular law, to be deferred and the parents advised of the reason for this.
§2 An infant of catholic parents, indeed even of non-catholic parents, may in danger of death be baptised even if the parents are opposed to it.
I truly pray that you are not offended by my comments and questions. I have to ask you, why is it so important that your son should be baptized but nothing else in your life is of importance where God is concerned? You are living in a relationship which is against Jesus’ teachings, you yourself are not willing to commit to Christ in His Church, and your partner is evidently not fully committed to his own faith since you say that he won’t choose to marry.
We get people every week call the rectory to have their kids baptized who never go to Mass, have nothing to do with anything Catholic except their parents are Catholic, nor do they commit to anything for themselves for the future. What’s the point of baptizing these little ones? This is the predicament of the pastor of the parish, what is in the best interest of the child, is there reasonable assurance that this child will be brought up in the faith? I’ve have seen my pastor refuse and accept kids for baptism and I have no right or reason to contradict his decisions.
This is my advice for you, go to your parish priest and commit to the faith fully, join RCIA and come into the Church, why would you want something for your kids that you do not want yourself? Before, during and after that, talk to your partner about your relationship and how important living in Christ is to you. Living in sin is not living in Christ; the world tells us cohabitating is acceptable, God tells us it is sinful. I would suggest both of you can benefit from RCIA; especially if he has not received all of the Sacraments, confirmation and first communion and reconciliation.
Make an appointment with the priest and lay everything out and he will help you; but be prepared to commit. If you are not ready to commit, why should he be ready to commit?
In the words of Fr. Larry Richards, “I am willing to give God everything, until He asks for something I am not ready to give Him.” Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Simply sending a child to a Catholic school does NOT suffice for the duties required to raise a child in the faith. There are a lot of obligations on the parents’ end. That kid is going to have an obligation to attend Mass every Sunday, receive the sacraments and learn how to live a good moral Catholic life.
why is it so important that your son should be baptized but nothing else in your life is of importance where God is concerned?
Possibly “original sin?” Maybe that’s why the Catholic Dad is wanting the baby baptized.
Meh, I’m going to take “because that’s what Catholics do” for 500 Johnny.
Ok, same question exists…nothing else matters, why is this so important and nothing else is? Baptism is not all that is required. It is only a first step. The bio dad is not Catholic, neither is the mother. The present acting father is not practicing his faith, why should the priest think there is reasonable assurance that this child will be brought up in the faith? To put the burden on a child who will not be assisted in living the faith is not the role of the clergy, the role of the clergy is canon 1752, “the supreme law of the Church is the salvation of souls.” Baptism is necessary but not by baptism alone are souls saved through Jesus Christ!
SM: I wouldn’t worry about the kids. God knows them already and I’m pretty confident that if something awful were to happen, they would be with Him. Jesus was pretty adamant with his disciples when they tried to keep the little ones away from Him and I would be very much surprised if some Parish Priest, Deacon, or Bishop would have any better luck doing the same. On the other hand; if you believe somewhere deep in your heart that they should be baptized in the Catholic Faith; it may well be that the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you something personally. What do you think? May God Bless Us All.
Chill out a little bit, hmmmm, maybe you should call the arch-diocese.:shrug:
Be careful how you phrase things, your son is not refused, he is denied a Sacrament because the priest feels that you and your partner do not meet the criteria that have to be met for a baptism to take place. Now, I have to ask, the child is 4, hasn’t reached the age of reason yet, baptism would remove original sin from his soul, isn’t that a benefit that he shouldn’t be denied regardless of his parents’ situation? Wouldn’t that give him an openness to the things of God, that alone, in itself? I’m not talking about parents who are aggressive atheists, anti-clerical etc. but in cases like these what is the rationale for denying a 4 year old child baptism? By baptism, you are a new creature, cleansed of original sin (but not free from its consequences), admitted into God’s family, a child only gets that if he’s lucky enough to have parents who are upstanding, Sunday Mass-going members of the Catholic Church?
The Catholic Church leaves a mark on the soul idenitfying the person as one of Christ’s people. At the Judgement Day, they will be judged somewhat differently as a result. That is why it is so very important to ensure that a child baptized Catholic will be raised Catholic and taught the Catholic Faith.
Your priest is trying to *protect *your son, not exclude him. Because your son has no binding relationship with your partner, he has no Catholic parents to teach him the Faith, and so his soul could very easily be left unprotected, so to speak, if he were baptized.
Altho you see your partner as your son’s actual father, the Church cannot make that assumption as it seems your partner refuses to *declare *that relationship. As it stands, at any moment, your partner could leave you with no further responsibilities to your son.
Christ said, Judge not lest ye be judged. The judging He is talking about is judging the state of a person’s soul, but actions can be judged. We can say that this or that action is evil or good; we cannot say, this person is going to Hell. The priest cannot judge what is in your partner’s heart, that is precisely why we have a declaration, an action, to show what is in our heart (in this case, marriage).
I think that you are right in wanting your son to be baptized. Maybe you could look into Catholicism–if you were to convert, then your son could be baptized.
No, it takes more training than that in order to be a solid Catholic. It takes dedicated catechesis. Many of the current problems of the Church are due to poor catechesis, we don’t need this going forward. The OP’s son should not be baptized if he doesn’t have a reasonable hope of being raised as a Catholic going forward, including an education in the faith.
He isn’t refusing your son,
Just wants you all to be fully fledged members of the Catholic Church otherwise what is the point of baptising your son and daughter if you are not going through with it all… Join in with the Church and the priest will then accept your Son. But don’t just join because to get the priest to baptise your family. You join the community of the Church because you believe and want to worship God and accept the Catholic Teachings for your family.
The Church of England can’t refuse baptisms and the Priest at your church isn’t refusing totally. Just wants you to join the whole package not just baptism.
Deacon Lapey -
A wonderfully written post. I too hope that it is taken in the firm but loving manner that it is intended.
As another poster showed, the church wants a reasonable expectation that the child will be raised Catholic. With thast out of the way the priest can only give that instruction and leav it in the hands of the parents to see it through. It may be because you are not Catholic, but there is still a reasonable expectation that since your partner is Catholic the child would as be raise in the faith and at some point you would also become Catholic.
I would suggest thst you go to another parish if possible. As a deacon charged with baptismal prepartion and baptisms, I would have no issue, if the story is as you indicated, to do the baptism. There are many issues we leave in God’s hands and trust ion the guidance og thr Holy Spirit, this could be the Spirit guiding you to the faith, it is offten children who lead the way.
You identify as protestant…I’ like to perhaps bring forth a bit of Scripture that is not “usual” in these situations, but may be of benefit to your understanding.
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. 18 But some one will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe–and shudder…
26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead. James 2:14-19, 26
As a non-Catholic Christian, I am sure you hold that faith, as well as baptism, is necessary for salvation. Yet we see from the above that faith must have action attached to it in order to be a saving faith.
Look carefully at the “works” you and your are displaying. Do your works speak to a “faith that saves”?
When you and your partner live as you do, what sort of “faith” can the priest expect you to impart to your child? Will it be a “saving faith”? A Faith true to the teaching of Holy Mother Church both in word and in action?
These events, along with your coming here for answers is not so much a “rejection” of your son as it is a calling to you by our Lord Jesus, to put your own house in order for the sake of your own soul and the soul of both of your children.
The above is written, not as judgement, but from the deepest of Love
All due respect Dcn. FAB, as you and I both are charged with this ministry if we were to agree to the baptism, with the information given, we would both be in error. There is no Catholic parent asking for baptism. Her partner is Catholic but has no ties, legally or sacramentally to the mother or the child therefore has no authority to request or approve the baptism. The priest is right in saying no.
If you disagree, what commitment has the partner, the only Catholic, made to show there is a reasonable expectation of a commitment to the relationship or the raising of this child in the faith?
Deacon explains it well.
It is not a christening. the Sacrament is a baptism into the death and ressurection of Christ, an entrance into the new covenant, and there are expectations of all who enter into that covenant, that we will be faithful to the requirements set forth.
Baptism is a way we become members of Christ’s body, and we have to live up to it. We can’t baptize our children into Christ’s body and then thumb our nose at Christ for the next 18 or 20 years.
The solution is for mommy and daddy to give their lives to Christ, to following Him unreservedly, and the rest will work itself out.