Paying to be baptized

I recently went to my nearest catholic church to inquire about baptism and one of the papers says i “must” give a donation of 25 dollars. It was something that gave me butterflies in the stomach because why should I have to pay to get baptized? is this biblical?

Nope you should not have to pay for a sacrament.
May I suggest that you speak with someone at your parish and ask them about this.

One cannot be forced to give a donation. A donation, by its very nature, is voluntary.

I would talk directly to the priest or, if need be, the local bishop about this.

My apologies then, I was just coming to conclusions without talking to the church about this beforehand. one of the items i was given was a page with a ‘checklist of necessary items for baptism’ and one of the items was : donation envelope $ 25.00

What about REQUIRING someone to perform a certain number of VOLUNTEER hours to be eligible to receive a sacrament?

According to Canon Law:

Can. 843 §1. Sacred ministers cannot deny the sacraments to those who seek them at appropriate times, are properly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them.

§2. Pastors of souls and other members of the Christian faithful, according to their respective ecclesiastical function, have the duty to take care that those who seek the sacraments are prepared to receive them by proper evangelization and catechetical instruction, attentive to the norms issued by competent authority.

Emphasis mine.

Now, if the competent authority requires a certain number of hours ministering to the poor prior to the Sacrament of, say, Confirmation, and the person seeking the Sacrament deliberately refuses, one could argue that the person is therefore not properly disposed to receive the Sacrament.

So I could MAYBE see how, in certain situations, that could POSSIBLY be the case. But it still seems pretty odd to me. I would think that volunteer hours should be encouraged, but not required.

It sounds to me that the donation envelope is just considered a necessary part of the paperwork that everyone is given who asks for baptism, not that the donation itself is necessary to receive baptism. They just want to make sure you get the opportunity to donate if you so desire. :slight_smile:

I’d still talk to the priest if you are concerned, though.

If you are unable to pay then you would not be forced to do so. We are expected to contribute to the church’s support according to our means. Tithing is quite biblical. You are becoming member of a Parish that has bills to pay. Electricity , fuel, candles, communion hosts, clerical materials , paper etc. If you are able you are expected to contribute. If not then go speak to the priest and put a prayer of thanksgiving for your baptism in the envelope.

It would make me much more that just have butterflies. It is strictly forbidden by the Church to even imply that there is ANY charge for ANY of the Sacraments. Much more grave is to actually require a payment. If this is in printed material that a donation is “required” write a letter immediately to the local Bishop.

It is customary to give something to the minister who celebrates the Sacrament, but it is by no means required.

This was probably included in this way because of the countless times people would ask questions like:

How much of a donation is appropriate?

Where do I give the donation?

Who do I give it to? When?

The envelope was probably included to help answer similar questions to the above, but was never intended for the donation to be considered “necessary” for baptism.

Of course you can always ask someone else to baptize you. If one parish is charing you money, go to another parish. If you have a problem there (they refuse because you are not their parishoner, etc.) or if there are no other parishes in the area, as a last resort you can have anyone baptize you. But that should only be as a last resort.

If you’re inquiring about having yourself baptized, you need a lot more than you’re stating. The normal way for an adult to enter the Church is through RCIA, the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church discusses this topic in paragraphs 2121 and 2122, where it condemns simony but also speaks of the Christian’s duty to contribute to the support of the Church’s ministers.

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