Was her baptism valid?

Somebody I know who is interested in becoming Catholic was baptized as a teenager, in water, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and by a Baptist minister who intended to baptize. However, at the time, she believed in some form of Pentecostalism that denied the Holy Trinity. While she was baptized in the name of the Trinity, she did not believe it internally, and I was wondering if this might make her baptism invalid? My first thought is no, because my baptism was valid even though I believed incorrectly about baptism when I myself was baptized (was Baptist). However I wanted to check and see if anyone had any input.

This question comes up because I wanted to give her holy water and the topic came up when I mentioned how holy water is a recollection of one’s baptism. I mentioned how people who have not been baptized don’t really use holy water because of this, and she responded with uncertainty about the validity of her own baptism. So now I’m unsure whether to give her holy water yet.

I know that this is a topic she should speak to her priest about, however I just wanted to ask here for the sake of the holy water thing. She’s leaving tomorrow and I want to give her holy water before then if I should.

Thanks in advance.

While it is true that making the sign of the cross with holy water when we enter church is a recollection of our baptism, that does not mean unbaptized people cannot use sacramentals, including holy water.

It is perfectly fine to give her holy water, whether her baptism is valid or not. She should discuss her concerns about her baptism with her Catholic pastor.


Two words: Conditional Baptism.

Only if there is real doubt. And that is for the pastor to determine.


As long as water was involved and it was done in the Trinitarian formula, as you note above, her baptism should be valid. Incorrect beliefs would not invalidate the baptism because it was done in the correct form. Infants have no beliefs about baptism, at least that I can tell :), and their baptisms are valid. However, as I am in RCIA and still new to the faith, I will defer to others more experienced/knowledgable than I. Ultimately the best person to answer to her situation would be your priest.


One of the requirements for baptism is the faith of the one being baptized. If she did not believe in the Trinity, then it this not certain that the baptism is valid. She has to go and get a conditional baptism for peace of mind. This is the one Sacrament that all others depend upon, meaning without it, one cannot get the graces from all the others.

How can one determine the faith of an infant? The requirements for baptism, as I understand it, are water, words (the Trinitarian formula), and the intent of the minister.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.