SPLIT: Baptism public or private and why?


I came upon this thread today (Feast of our Lord’s Baptism) because our priest lamented the former practice of what I will generically call “private baptism.” He explained the post Vatican II trend of promoting baptism during Mass — which is perfectly fine and I understand the reasons. There is often a subtle note of criticism, though, when he addresses “the way we used to do things” compared to the “how we do things now.” He said that for the first few centuries of the Church, baptism’s were performed with the community in attendance — and then the Church adopted the practice of only the family and godparents attending. The Church must have had some good reason to go from “public” to “private” and I would be interested to know the reason. Thank you in advance.




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