What is conditional baptism?

What is conditional baptism, what occurs?

DIRECTORY FOR THE APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLES AND NORMS ON ECUMENISM

  1. d) If, even after careful investigation, a serious doubt persists about the proper administration of the baptism and it is judged necessary to baptize conditionally, the Catholic minister should show proper regard for the doctrine that baptism may be conferred only once by explaining to the person involved, both why in this case he is baptizing conditionally and what is the significance of the rite of conditional baptism. Furthermore, the rite of conditional baptism is to be carried out in private and not in public.

A conditional baptism happens when there is serious doubt that a baptism took place or was validly administered. Baptism imparts an indelible mark upon the soul of the recipient and thus can not be repeated. To safeguard against any appearance that a second baptism is taking place, the minister of a conditional baptism is to say:
“If you are not baptized, N., I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

For further reading: Archdiocese of Atlanta’s Norms for Conditional Baptism

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