Unwed parents getting child baptised


#1

My brother and his girlfriend are expecting a baby in October. They are planning their wedding for next June, but want to get their baby baptised shortly after her birth. I am all for getting the baby baptised, but where does the church stand on the parents of that baby being unmarried at the time of the baptism?

Also, if I or my husband am asked to be a godparent, is there anything wrong with accepting the role?

Can anyone clear up some of this for me?

Thanks,
Jenny


#2

The Baptism is for the child. The Church would not object to you and your husband being the child’s Godparents. The parents’ marriage status would not keep the child from being Baptised.


#3

[quote=jennypekny]My brother and his girlfriend are expecting a baby in October. They are planning their wedding for next June, but want to get their baby baptised shortly after her birth. I am all for getting the baby baptised, but where does the church stand on the parents of that baby being unmarried at the time of the baptism?
[/quote]

LSK is absolutely right. The priest just needs to be assured that the child will be raised in the Faith. If the parents are now seeking to be married, and make right their mistakes- the Church would embrace this.

Also, if I or my husband am asked to be a godparent, is there anything wrong with accepting the role?

Why would there be anything wrong with accepting this role? Is there something that precludes you two from being another set of religious teachers and guides for this child?

Can anyone clear up some of this for me?

Canon Law on Baptism:

ourladyswarriors.org/canon/c0840-1165.htm#par1787

Canon Law
Book IV: Part I: Title I: Chapter 1-5


#4

[quote=jennypekny]My brother and his girlfriend are expecting a baby in October. They are planning their wedding for next June, but want to get their baby baptised shortly after her birth. I am all for getting the baby baptised, but where does the church stand on the parents of that baby being unmarried at the time of the baptism?

Also, if I or my husband am asked to be a godparent, is there anything wrong with accepting the role?

Can anyone clear up some of this for me?

Thanks,
Jenny
[/quote]

Either parent who is Catholic can request that their child be Baptized. As long as there is a reasonable expectation that the child will be raised Catholic and the other non-Catholic parent does not object.


#5

I know a priest who would insist on the wedding first. In fact, he won’t baptize a baby if the parents are not yet confirmed. His reasoning is that the baptism is valid based on the parents vow to raise the child in the faith. He has said that they can’t make that vow if they aren’t fully initiated or living in the state of mortal sin. I personally think it would be OK to baptize this baby before the wedding if the parents are living apart while awaiting their wedding. If they are living together until they can have their big wedding with the elaborate (and expensive) reception, white dress, etc., how serious are they about living their faith and raising their child/ren as catholics? Those are some thoughts I have on this. God bless!


#6

These are all great points, and I commend this priest on his dedication to the Sacrament.

But there are situations where the couple is not together, and have no intention of getting married. One parent may be contrite and be willing to raise the child in the Faith. I hope this priest would still perform a baptism in this case.


#7

[quote=stadre] His reasoning is that the baptism is valid based on the parents vow to raise the child in the faith. He has said that they can’t make that vow if they aren’t fully initiated or living in the state of mortal sin. I personally think it would be OK to baptize this baby before the wedding if the parents are living apart while awaiting their wedding. If they are living together until they can have their big wedding with the elaborate (and expensive) reception, white dress, etc., how serious are they about living their faith and raising their child/ren as catholics? Those are some thoughts I have on this. God bless!
[/quote]

This is basically what I was thinking as well. They are living together and they are planning a big reception, not a big wedding, I might add. They said they want to have the wedding and then get on to the party, etc. It doesn’t sit well with me at all. That’s why I was questioning the whole baptism too. I’m not trying to be picky or mean or anything to them. I think it’s wonderful that they want the child baptised, but what about the commitment to each other and the commitment to raise that child in the Catholic faith?


#8

[quote=jennypekny]This is basically what I was thinking as well. They are living together and they are planning a big reception, not a big wedding, I might add. They said they want to have the wedding and then get on to the party, etc. It doesn’t sit well with me at all. That’s why I was questioning the whole baptism too. I’m not trying to be picky or mean or anything to them. I think it’s wonderful that they want the child baptised, but what about the commitment to each other and the commitment to raise that child in the Catholic faith?
[/quote]

But, as Br. Rich stated, if the priest has resonable expectation that this child will be raised in the Faith… The priest really should perform the baptism. It is up to the priest wether “reasonable expectation” includes the completion of upcomming wedding plans.


#9

[quote=stadre]I know a priest who would insist on the wedding first. In fact, he won’t baptize a baby if the parents are not yet confirmed. His reasoning is that the baptism is valid based on the parents vow to raise the child in the faith.
[/quote]

The validity of baptism has nothing to do with the parents faith or lack thereof, it has to do with proper form and actions. Even an atheist can baptize someone if they do it properly. (Having the intention of baptizing them, and pouring water on the person saying “I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”)


#10

Is it possible to discuss your concerns with their priest? with either of them? You certainly have legitimate concerns, especially with their commitment to raising their child in the faith. I can’t say for sure what I would do as this situation has many different possible situations behind it, but I think if I spoke with the priest and he felt that they were sincere in their request (and possibly in their reason for not being married before the baptism) I would feel comfortable in being a godparent (although I would discuss how serious I am about this role with the parents). Either way, I would attend the baptism. God bless you, your new neice or nephew, and his/her parents!


#11

[quote=stadre]I know a priest who would insist on the wedding first. In fact, he won’t baptize a baby if the parents are not yet confirmed. His reasoning is that the baptism is valid based on the parents vow to raise the child in the faith. He has said that they can’t make that vow if they aren’t fully initiated or living in the state of mortal sin. I personally think it would be OK to baptize this baby before the wedding if the parents are living apart while awaiting their wedding. If they are living together until they can have their big wedding with the elaborate (and expensive) reception, white dress, etc., how serious are they about living their faith and raising their child/ren as catholics? Those are some thoughts I have on this. God bless!
[/quote]

“baptism is valid based on the parents vow to raise the child in the faith”

Absolutly false.
This priest should be reported to the Bishop!
Baptism is valid and effective because of Christ’s promise! Nothing else or no one else.


#12

And what’s the alternative? The baby WOULDN’T be baptized. That option is worse. I am happy that they want to get their baby baptized - shows they still have their faith. I say celebrate the baby - celebrate his baptism and hope for the best regarding his parents. If they slack off with regards to bringing up the child in the faith that’s where you, as the Godparent can step in.


#13

**Please read—**This is a little true story for everyone who doesn’t believe the child has a right to Baptism because the sins of the parents. A little boy was born to a woman who was having an affair with a married man. Although the woman behavior was immoral, the child was Bapitzed, she took him to Mass, he recieved his Commuion, and Confirmation and in 1964 he became a Priest. :love: This little boy is my Uncle. My great Aunt, now dead, became a good woman following his birth. What would have happened to them if the door was shut in her face???:hmmm: ****


closed #14

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