Was my baptism valid?


#1

I was baptized when I was 18 at the Episcopal Church. I started my conversion process to Roman Catholicism in about a year after when I moved to a big city.

My questions is if it was valid, considering the following:

  • it was at a very reform-like wing of the episcopal church
  • to baptize I needed a “witness”. My mother forced me to pick her. Later I found out she had never been baptized at any church except an “in the name of Jesus” Pentecostal church.
  • the priest was ordained in an almost schismatic episcopal church wing.
  • I was indeed baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.
  • when I converted, I explained I was an Episcopalian, but I simply forget to mention all these “obstacles”. It wasn’t my intention.

I came to think about it after studying catholic theology more deeply and I was reading about validity of sacraments. I’m confused now.

According to the situation given, can I be calm and keep my catholic life or I need to search for a baptism?
If it is not, how can I repent for taking communion and other sacraments?
If it is valid, can I throw the “baptism certificate” I got away? I really don’t like to keep any Protestant things in my house because I lived a very sad life until I moved to a big city and converted to Catholicism.

Please, help me and God bless you all.


#2

For a valid baptism: You need matter and form - pouring water or immersion is the usual matter and form is basically the words I noted above --and one needs the right intention -which does not need to involve correct understanding of all the effects of baptism. Even heretics and atheists and schismatics can validly baptize…

catholic.com/quickquestions/if-the-baptizing-minister-doesnt-intend-to-administer-a-sacrament-that-confers-grace-

Discuss the matter with your Priest - he can settle any particular questions you have.


#3

The validity of a baptism has nothing to do with the holiness of the minister or witness.

  • the priest was ordained in an almost schismatic episcopal church wing.

Read about Henry VIII. His Church of England is a product of schism. One cannot schism against schism.


#4

In the Episcopal church, there are so many subgroups that separated from the original Church of England - Episcopal Church in the US - that it is even hard to say which is in communion with the Church of England and which is not.


#5

If it is not, how can I repent for taking communion and other sacraments?

Since you thought that your baptism was valid when receiving the sacraments, you have not sinned by receiving the other sacraments. If you were in doubt and did receive the sacraments (thinking it might be a sin) then that is another story. I would talk to your priest about this before or after Mass if you get a chance, or just make an appointment to talk with him privately. I don’t know if you should receive the Eucharist on Sunday, but I would be on the safe side and wouldn’t receive since you are in doubt.


#6

The Episcopal church’s have an apostolic faith in the Trinity into which you were baptized, thus your baptism was valid and is recognized by the Catholic Church.

Had you been baptized in a Mormon or Jehovah witness like community then your baptism would of been invalid, mainly on the grounds of their unorthodox and heretical views of the Trinity.

It is not too late to discuss this with your RCIA teacher or priest, and make sure you take them your baptism certificate. The office can verify whether or not the baptism is officially recognized by the Catholic Church as valid.


#7

I’d just like to repeat something bookcat pointed out, since no one else has mentioned it again.

KEEP THE CERTIFICATE!!

(you most likely can get a replacement if it becomes necessary, but it’s just so much easier if you already have it.)


closed #8

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