Parish refusing to baptize newborn.

I am going to start a new thread on this, because it is somewhat off-topic to the other thread. Your parish is in violation of canon law:

Can. 867 §1. Parents are obliged to take care that infants are baptized in the first few weeks; as soon as possible after the birth or even before it, they are to go to the pastor to request the sacrament for their child and to be prepared properly for it.
§2. An infant in danger of death is to be baptized without delay.

In my opinion, you should baptize your daughter. The CCC provides instructions:

1284 In case of necessity, any person can baptize provided that he have the intention of doing that which the Church does and provided that he pours water on the candidate’s head while saying: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Here’s what you do:

  1. Get a liter of tap water; you don’t need to use all of it.

  2. Hold your baby daughter carefully over a sink.

  3. State your daughter’s full name, and say, “I baptize you in the name of the Father,” pour water across forehead, “and of the Son,” pour water across forehead, “and of the Holy Spirit,” pour water across forehead. Use enough water to achieve oblation on each pour; so long as it runs across her forehead, it’s valid. Be careful so that the water does not flow into her nose and/or mouth. Get your wife to help you.

TEPO should not baptize her own child (it is a violation of canon law if the child is not in immediate danger of dying). Rather, she should contact the diocese or try another parish.

Yep! Try another parish or contact the Office of Canonical Services.

source please


Oops - just swung by TEPO’s profile and he’s a he. :o

Anyway - if he’s currently in San Diego, as his profile says, they have a huge military community. Military essentially means “itinerant” so there should definitely be a priest nearby who understands. (even if he’s not currently in San Diego, it won’t take too long to find one - especially if the diocese gets involved)

This was covered on the othe thread about early baptism. Your advice is clearly opposed to canon law. I will repeat what I said on that thread, what the parish in question is doing is morally reprehensible. But unless the family has found there will be no other option, the baptism would be valid, but illicit IMO.

Can. 861 §1. The ordinary minister of baptism is a bishop, a presbyter, or a deacon, without prejudice to the prescript of ⇒ can. 530, n. 1.

§2. When an ordinary minister is absent or impeded, a catechist or another person designated for this function by the local ordinary, or in a case of necessity any person with the right intention, confers baptism licitly. Pastors of souls, especially the pastor of a parish, are to be concerned that the Christian faithful are taught the correct way to baptize.

The pastor is neither absent nor impeded. He is merely unwilling. The “case of necessity” is only when the person to be baptized is in immediate mortal danger.

I think that canon law is a little more flexible here:

Can. 1752 In cases of transfer the prescripts of can. 1747 are to be applied, canonical equity is to be observed, and the salvation of souls, which must always be the supreme law in the Church, is to be kept before one’s eyes.

Consider, also, the CCC:

1250 Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called. The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.

Finally, the CCC affirms, albeit implicitly, the traditional teaching of the Church on infant Baptism:

9 “The ministry of catechesis draws ever fresh energy from the councils. The Council of Trent is a noteworthy example of this. It gave catechesis priority in its constitutions and decrees. It lies at the origin of the Roman Catechism, which is also known by the name of that council and which is a work of the first rank as a summary of Christian teaching. . . .” The Council of Trent initiated a remarkable organization of the Church’s catechesis. Thanks to the work of holy bishops and theologians such as St. Peter Canisius, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Turibius of Mongrovejo or St. Robert Bellarmine, it occasioned the publication of numerous catechisms.

Of course, the Roman Catechism states,

Baptism Of Infants Should Not Be Delayed

The faithful are earnestly to be exhorted to take care that their children be brought to the church, as soon as it can be done with safety, to receive solemn Baptism. Since infant children have no other means of salvation except Baptism, we may easily understand how grievously those persons sin who permit them to remain without the grace of the Sacrament longer than necessity may require, particularly at an age so tender as to be exposed to numberless dangers of death.

If there was ever a “case of necessity,” this is it. I believe that Canon 1752 would apply here.

We do not know this necessity; how many other parishes were called. Did TEPO merest with the pastor of the parish in question? Has the diocese been contacted? The HUD h requires with a few weeks of birth, so there is time to make some phone callls

When the poster said his priest was refusing to baptise we should all be aware that we only have one side of the story and we don’t know if its true or complete.

The Baltimore Catechism.

It turns out that there’s an obligation under canon law that if you baptize somebody, you tell the parish priest right away so that he can record a baptism in his parish.

There’s also an obligation that nobody baptize without the parish priest’s permission inside his parish (the entire jurisdiction covered inside the parish boundaries, not the church building), unless it’s a matter of life and death. Even an abbot or somebody isn’t supposed to. And you’re supposed to have a witness besides the baptizer and baptizee, unless it’s a matter of life or death.

So yeah, try and find a priest or deacon who’ll baptize the kid, rather than futz with all this.

You can ask to take a test or have an abbreviated baptism class, if that’s their concern. But honestly, I think you’ll find somebody if you call around and explain the circumstances. And a military chaplain would probably be understanding.

Generally, abbots are the equivalent in their own territory of the diocesan bishop. So an abbot could baptize someone under his jurisdiction.

Something is missing here. Priests are permitted to delay baptism if there is no danger of death and there is no reasonable hope the child will be brought up Catholic.

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. **

Funny how people can go quoting Canon Law, but completely miss this section which is directly after what they’re quoting. :rolleyes:


oh please can’t we let the matter rest of the original postings here. Its just going around and around and around in circles and as said, missing out bits of Law to errr… never mind. The parish IS NOT refusing to baptize newborn. The person who started this thread does not know the whole situation and basically has nothing to do with them. And yet insisting to keep up the matter for whose comfort. Certainly not the original poster. Please can we show some respect for each other and not get all high brow etc and let the matter drop.

I do not think anyone should be giving out advice that violates or attempts to circumvent the disciplines of the Church when they do not have the whole picture.

This creates scandal.

I wholeheartedly agree with this

While this is true according to old practice, their status was never formally defined. Thus, abbots have recently set aside this right in deference to their diocesan bishop. This was brought to my attention particularly in regards to ordination of religious priests.

I have 5 children; I baptized my last two. I have no qualms nor any problems of conscience about it at all. The parish which we were registered to only performed baptisms once a month, and for my wife and I, that was too slow.

I do not believe it to be certain that infants who die without Baptism go to Heaven, even if the parents of such infants had the full intent to see them sacramentally baptized. The Council of Constance declared,

Condemned: “Those who claim that the children of the faithful dying without sacramental baptism will not be saved, are stupid and presumptuous in saying this.” (Pope Martin V, Council of Constance, Session 15, July 6, 1415 - Condemning the articles of John Wyclif – Proposition 6)

Now, I do not want to drag this thread (even though I started it) into a debate about the fate of infants who die without Baptism. The Council of Florence declared,

“With regard to children, since the danger of death is often present and the only remedy available to them is the sacrament of baptism by which they are snatched away from the dominion of the devil and adopted as children of God, it admonishes that sacred baptism is not to be deferred for forty or eighty days or any other period of time in accordance with the usage of some people, but it should be conferred as soon as it conveniently can; and if there is imminent danger of death, the child should be baptized straightaway without any delay, even by a lay man or a woman in the form of the church, if there is no priest, as is contained more fully in the decree on the Armenians.”

In my opinion, the above gave me the canonical right to baptize my last two children shortly after birth. My first two kids were both baptized by a diocesan priest, and my third by a SSPX priest, but as I studied the Church’s past teaching on infant baptism, I became dissatisfied with the delays which the Church was imposing upon my wife and I.

“To each his own,” I suppose.

but you don’t know the other situation at all to be able to give further comment … :shrug:

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