My friend was formely baptised as a Catholic but has decided to leave the faith to become Baptist. She does not view her Catholic baptism as valid since she was not submerged and she has also sinned since her baptism and feels that this will forgive her of her sins. My question is should I attend this baptism to advoid rift’s that would occur later, or should I not becuase it is against what I believe was a valid baptism and the Catholic church?
Your friend needs to learn what Baptists believe about baptism and not rely on what she “feels” they believe. Baptists believe that baptism is only a symbolic event. They do not believe that it effects any change in the soul. They certainly do not believe that if forgives sins. She can ask the minister. He will affirm this.
The Baptists were founded in the 17th century—that’s seventeen centuries after Jesus told His disciples to “Go therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Mt. 28:19) In 1 Cor. 1:16 St. Paul writes of having baptized the whole household of Stephanas. St. Hyppolytus of Rome (215 AD) wrote: “Baptize first the children and if they can speak for themselves, let them do son. Otherwise let their parents or other relatives speak for them.” This is from “The Apostolic Tradition 21.” In 252 AD the council of Carthage condemned the opinion that infants must wait until the eighth day after birth to be baptized, as was the case with circumcision. (St. Cyprian of Carhtage, Letter 64 (39), w)
In no way should you support beliefs that are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church. But you ought to bring up the above with your friend. She certainly does not know the Faith she is leaving any more than the faith she is joining.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.