The validity of a prostestant baptism


The other day, I attended a baptims of a friend of mine. Before he underwent the immersion in the river, the pastor first explained to all who were gathrere what was to happen and why it was important. His basic message was that baptism was merely a symbol, and nothing more.

So this left me wondering: If one doesn’t believe all of the truths of baptism, is it still a valid baptism? Even if they do not believe that baptism involves God’s sanctifying grace, do they still recieve it?


V. Who Can Baptize?

**1256 **
The ordinary ministers of Baptism are the bishop and priest and, in the Latin Church, also the deacon.57 In case of necessity, anyone, even a non-baptized person, with the required intention, can baptize,58 by using the Trinitarian baptismal formula. The intention required is to will to do what the Church does when she baptizes. The Church finds the reason for this possibility in the universal saving will of God and the necessity of Baptism for salvation.59


what about in the early church when a Pope argued against Cyprian that heretics’ baptisms were valid?


Yes, in most cases. Validity of Sacraments involves examination of each case carefully by the Church. I would suggest the Ecumenical directory and it’s discussion on Baptism in other Christian Communities.


Yes. CCC 1256 says in part: “The intention required is to will to do what the Church does when she baptizes (emphasis mine).” Not to believe what the Church believes, but simply to do what the Church does. So all Trinitarian baptisms are presumed valid regardless of whether the parties understand exactly how the sacrament functions.


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