Participating in a Protestant baptism



I have a friend who has recently become involved in Protestant Christianity. She has asked me, along with two of her other friends, to baptize her. I’m not sure how three people can perform one baptism, but it’s my understanding that this would be a valid Trinitarian baptism done through the Protestant church that she recently began attending.

I believe the Church teaches that laypeople should only perform baptisms when they need it to be performed immediately and a priest is unavailable, and that an adult should not, under ordinary circumstances, be baptized without having gone through the catechumenate. In this scenario, the person desires to be baptized, but not to be baptized by a priest or to be educated in the Catholic faith.

Is it inappropriate, then, for a Catholic layperson to participate in, or even attend, a Protestant baptism?

(If this question has already been addressed, I apologize–I have searched the forum and not found an exact answer, but if I could be directed towards one, that would be appreciated.)

Thank you!


I would talk to your priest or spiritual director.


“Which church should baptize her” aside, no lay person should baptize anyone unless there is imminent threat of death. She really should be approaching the pastoral authority in the church she has decided to join. She certainly should not be wanting to “become a Christian” all by her lonesome by asking some random Christian friends to baptize her.


Thank you for your response. I don’t believe this would change the answer, but to clarify matters, I think it’s the practice of her church to allow new members to be baptized by Christians they look up to–it’s not something she came up with on her own.

I don’t have a way of contacting any of the priests at my church on such a short notice, and my friend is expecting a timely answer, which is why I’m posting on this forum instead.

Would it be inadvisable for me to even attend the baptism?


You may certainly attend the baptism to witness your friend’s entry into Life (presupposing she hasn’t already been baptized as an infant and is being rebaptized in this church).


quick question, was she baptized as a Catholic? The Catholic Church recognizes Trinitarian Protestant baptisms as valid but if she was baptized as a Catholic, she shouldn’t be baptized again. Maybe you can clarify this. As another poster suggested, I would speak to my priest about this.


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