Protestant baptisms recognized

This is news to me. I was baptized in a UCC Church.

Nothing earth-shattering here. If they are using a Trinitarian baptism form with water poured or the baptized being immersed, it is a valid baptism in the eyes of the Church. Always has been.

Now, if you ask these different denominations what they believe the effects of Baptism are…

That’s not actually a change from the Catholic side. We have always* recognized Trinitarian baptisms (by groups with an orthodox concept of the Trinity) as valid.

  • There was some argument about it early on in church history, but the issue was settled in favor of the validity of baptism even by groups that were otherwise heretical or schismatic. Indeed, we would recognize a baptism performed by an atheist, as long as he did it right and was intending to do whatever Christians do when they baptize, even if he didn’t believe in it himself.

This is nothing new. The Catholic Church has always recognized the validity of Protestant baptisms if they follow the correct formula and most Protestant churches accept Catholic baptisms.

The correct formula involves the use of the word “Baptize” or “Christen” and the Trinitarian “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

This is because we are not baptized in the name of a church, but rather in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. This is how we enter into the family of God, “as through a door”.

I thought this has already been the norm. I was baptized presbyterian as an infant and am currently in RCIA. I am only one of several in my class whom was baptized. I was immediately told last year that my baptism was accepted by the Church. But very soon all my classmates will be also.

It is and always has been.

Nothing new here.

From the Canons and Decrees of the Seventh Session of the Council of Trent.

If any one saith, that the baptism which is even given by heretics in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, with the intention of doing what the Church doth, is not true baptism; let him be anathema.

It has been.

However, in the last 30-40 years or so some protestant groups-- or individual creative clergy within the groups without the groups formally changing-- have taken to changing the formula of baptism from Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to stuff like Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier, or some such nonsense that renders baptism invalid. Gone are the days when a pastor receiving a candidate can simply say, “Oh, you are Episcopalian, then your baptism is valid.” Due to these alterations of the valid baptismal form these things are increasingly having to be investigated.

In addition to overall ecumenical efforts, this effort reflects a directive of the Holy See to work with non-Catholic groups to get assurance regarding the formula used in baptism and also to encourage non-Catholic groups to keep baptismal records (another problem faced with converts). (2002 Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity).

The article is a little vague on the reasons behind it. I’ve seen few other articles and none are written very well.

Yeah. Several years ago, the Presbyterian Church (USA) allowed use of alternative Trinitarian formulas in their services, such as:

  1. “Lover, Beloved, Love”
  2. “Creator, Savior, Sanctifier”
  3. “King of Glory, Prince of Peace, Spirit of Love.”
  4. “Rock, Redeemer, Friend”
    and 5) the wondrously enigmatic “Mother, Child and Womb”.

The rationale was that traditional Trinitarian language supported the idea that God is male and that men are superior to women. However, in the PC(USA)'s case, they expressly stipulated that traditional Trinitarian formula was required for baptisms.

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