We are 99% sure that we will be leaving our Protestant tradition for the Catholic Church but since RCIA has already started and we are too late for this Easter Vigil, we will likely pursue this next fall with entry at Easter Vigil 2016.
My 11yo son has asked several times about baptism and now believing the Catholic teaching concerning it, I really hate to postpone it any longer. The same goes for my younger daughters although they have not quite expressed their desire due to their age, but they just turned 7.
I’ve gotten a few differing opinions on when/where to have our children baptized but I am really unsettled about postponing it any longer, especially for our son.
The Protestant church we have been attending is having a baptismal service in the next couple of weeks for children and I have made inquiry about having all three of mine baptized at that service. However, prior to doing so, they are requiring us to attend an orientation meeting this coming Sunday as well as have each child fill out paperwork declaring their profession of faith. In looking over this paperwork and talking to my son about it, I now feel very conflicted. The paperwork specifically states that baptism is symbolic only of the inner change in our hearts. It goes on to require them to list their personal conversion (which is hard for my son who has grown up in church because he has always believed in God and Jesus) and it also seems to promote the idea that in order to be baptized, he must:
(a) recognize he’s a sinner in need of God’s grace (which I don’t disagree with); and
(b) have evidence of the fruits of the spirit in his life (don’t necessarily disagree with this either).
But, my concern is that he now feels that he doesn’t have enough “proof” in his life of conversion because he’s always had faith and the fact that he’s an 11yo boy with two sisters together 100% of the time does not always bring out the fruit of the spirit either :p.
Also, I almost feel deceitful (sinful) having them baptized in this Protestant church, knowing that I don’t agree with their doctrine on it and I certainly don’t want to promote the idea to my children that baptism is symbolic only. Also, my husband and I have not really discussed converting with our children (who don’t always show discretion on what they reveal to grandparents :rolleyes:) yet, nor with really anyone else in our inner circle.
Is Catholic baptism even available to my children at this point? I’m assuming our children would have to go through some sort of RCIA as well, but I am confused at what point/age the Church views the individual being able to make that decision for themselves. (For instance, can my 11yo son refuse to convert along with the rest of our family?) At what point, do they own their own faith.
Should I just go through the hoops to have them baptized as quickly as I can to cover our bases? I certainly don’t want them to pay the price heaven forbid something should happen before my husband and I are admitted to the Catholic Church in 2016.
What should I do?