What makes a Catholic? Baptism, Confirmation, Faith?

This subject came to mind because of some points that have been discussed recently in various threads.

People are baptized into the Catholic Church, either by the choice of their parents/godparents, or by their own choice after reaching the age of 18 and proving informed intent. (correct me if I’m wrong)

People are confirmed in the Catholic Faith either by the choice of their parents/godparents, during infancy or childhood, or by their own choice after reaching the age of 18 and proving informed intent etc.

If one was baptized/confirmed or both, yet then disavows the faith and perhaps speaks out openly against it are they Catholic?

Does it make a difference if the person who disavows the faith was baptized as an infant or chose as an adult to join the Church?

What does it take to be Catholic?

Thank you for your input.

Both Baptism and confirmation leave an indelible mark upon the soul so yes, once a Catholic, always a Catholic. The person you speak of would be called an apostate (disavows the faith). So, I suppose someone could be called “Catholic” even if they were an unfaithful Catholic. A faithful Catholic must accept all that the Church teaches and holds to be true.

I would say being a Catholic means being baptized and willingly submitting to the teaching of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

To be a Catholic of good standing, one should believe in the teachings of the Church and be baptized and confirmed and participate in the Sacraments. A Catholic believes in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and that Jesus was born of a virgin, Mary. A Catholic believes that Jesus was crucified, died and was buried. He was resurrected on the 3rd day.
He died for our salvation so that we may have etetnal life.

schaeffer;12774323]This subject came to mind because of some points that have been discussed recently in various threads.

People are baptized into the Catholic Church, either by the choice of their parents/godparents, or by their own choice after reaching the age of 18 and proving informed intent. (correct me if I’m wrong)

It is Christ himself who makes us Catholic, in and by our sacramental baptism we die and rise in Christ as a son in the Son of God. By divine grace Catholics made son’s in the Son of God are born (again) from above (anothen).

People are confirmed in the Catholic Faith either by the choice of their parents/godparents, during infancy or childhood, or by their own choice after reaching the age of 18 and proving informed intent etc

.

In the Latin Rite, one is confirmed in the Holy Spirit by own’s free will and choice to follow and be a light of Christ unto the world. By divine grace one who is confirmed is strengthened in the Holy Spirit to be a witness to proclaim the gospel message Christ Crucified.

If one was baptized/confirmed or both, yet then disavows the faith and perhaps speaks out openly against it are they Catholic?

Many times ignorance and social circumstances play a pivotal role in these fallen away Catholics which does not necessarily constitute a self excommunication from the Church. If? one fully knowledgeable of the Catholic faith and practiced his/her Catholic faith with understanding of the sacramental economy such as a priest, deacon or bishop willfully self excommunicate themselves from the body of Christ. But this is done with full knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith and practice. Repentance is called for here at any time in life for these.

Does it make a difference if the person who disavows the faith was baptized as an infant or chose as an adult to join the Church?

Difficult question can give an example?

What does it take to be Catholic?

Faith, expressed by parents and sponsors for an infant or a free choice by an individual expressed in the Sacrament of baptism. NO ONE enters or see’s the kingdom of God without being born of the Spirit and water Jn. 3.

John is baptized as an infant in the Church then upon reaching adulthood says " I don’t believe this, I’m not practicing it." He didn’t choose baptism or confirmation. It was chosen for him.

Chris was not raised Catholic, but as an adult sought instruction and joined the Church of his own volition. He was baptized and confirmed. Then a few years later decides that he doesn’t believe, isn’t going to practice the faith, and speaks against it.

Are they both…this sounds stupid but I don’t know how else to say it…just as Catholic as the other. Or is it more a matter of culpability?

The way I see it, as someone who left the Catholic Church by age 15, you are Catholic if you believe the Catholic faith. I do not believe that a ceremony locks a person into a particular faith.

I think we can agree that one can’t simultaneously be a Baptist and a Catholic, or a Muslim and a Catholic, or an atheist and a Catholic. They are mutually exclusive terms. Yet for some they believe we can say that a person who has been baptised as a Catholic then moves to a Baptist church is somehow both a Baptist and a Catholic.

Also Catholics would not be accepting of any other religion or denomination laid claim to a person’s religious identity based on a ceremony done prior to a person becoming a Catholic. Other religions claim to be just as true as Catholicism does, so we can’t use assuredness of truth to define a person’s religious identity. The only thing that make sense from all perspectives is to say a person’s religious identity is defined by that person’s religious beliefs.

A person over the age of seven is an adult regarding baptism.

The age of reason (7) is the same for the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist.

If one is baptized into the Catholic Church, one is Catholic.

If one is baptized into some other non-Catholic ecclesial communion or Church, one can enter the Church by a profession of faith. That person would then be Catholic.

Nope. Once one is Catholic, one is always Catholic.

Baptism into the Catholic Church or a profession of faith if already baptized in a non-Catholic ecclesial communion or Church.

At what age can a parent give consent for a child? And at what age is a person required to give consent on their own behalf?

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=893278

Is seven the age of consent across the board, or only for people raised in a Catholic family?

I thought that a person under the age of eighteen would not be baptized or confirmed without their parent’s consent. For instance, a ten year old from a different faith could not join the Catholic Church against their parent’s wishes.

Thank you for that helpful link!

Parental consent is required for an infant to be baptized licitly, however such a baptism would still be valid:

Can. 868 §1. **For an infant to be baptized licitly:

1/ the parents or at least one of them or the person who legitimately takes their place must consent;**
2/ there must be a founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the Catholic religion; if such hope is altogether lacking, the baptism is to be delayed according to the prescripts of particular law after the parents have been advised about the reason.

§2. An infant of Catholic parents or even of non-Catholic parents is baptized licitly in danger of death even against the will of the parents.

The Church defines an infant as those under the age of reason (7 years old). Parental consent is not required for those over that age.

Can. 97 §1. A person who has completed the eighteenth year of age has reached majority; below this age, a person is a minor.

§2. **A minor before the completion of the seventh year is called an infant **and is considered not responsible for oneself (non sui compos). With the completion of the seventh year, however, a minor is presumed to have the use of reason.

Can. 98 §1. A person who has reached majority has the full exercise of his or her rights.

§2. A minor, in the exercise of his or her rights, remains subject to the authority of parents or guardians except in those matters in which minors are exempted from their authority by divine law or canon law. In what pertains to the appointment of guardians and their authority, the prescripts of civil law are to be observed unless canon law provides otherwise or unless in certain cases the diocesan bishop, for a just cause, has decided to provide for the matter through the appointment of another guardian.

Certainly in a case where a child approached the church for baptism with parents who objected the pastor would work with the family. Baptism could be delayed.

In most cases the Church will respect civil law and postpone baptism. In danger of death, however, as noted above baptism can and should be administered without delay even if the parents do not consent.

schaeffer;12775248]John is baptized as an infant in the Church then upon reaching adulthood says " I don’t believe this, I’m not practicing it." He didn’t choose baptism or confirmation. It was chosen for him.

John is and remains a Catholic baptized in the body of Christ. The sacramental baptismal divine grace remains upon John. Sadly John’s example applies to many baptized Catholics who are not properly catechized in the faith. The divine grace protects John and pours out upon John should John call out to God in faith for help, especially if faced with a life or death accidental incident, many miracles take place because God’s divine baptismal grace will be present with John all his life whether John believes it or not.

Poor catechesis and lack of John’s attendance to be catechized of his baptized faith generally leads persons like John’s example, who reject or do not practice their Catholic faith mainly due to ignorance. Never the less God will never leave John, it is John’s free choice and freewill, a gift from God to reject or believe in God’s graces and mercy from his Sacramental baptism. The sacrament of Confession is all that is needed for John to enter full communion with God and His Church.

Chris was not raised Catholic, but as an adult sought instruction and joined the Church of his own volition. He was baptized and confirmed. Then a few years later decides that he doesn’t believe, isn’t going to practice the faith, and speaks against it.

John’s example follows Chris example. The grace and mercy of God is always present with them all their life. God’s grace always ready to be active in both cases, with a profession of Faith in God expressed by Chris or John opens the avenue of God’s grace to rain upon each one. Chris remains a Catholic by virtue of his baptism which saves you now.
Repentance is all that is needed for Chris to be reconciled with God and full communion with the body of Christ.

Baptismal grace and mercy of God is a free gift from God. Culpability is not a requirement for God’s grace. Both John and Chris become the prodigal son to God our Father.

Sacraments in the Catholic Church is not a ceremony or secular alone act by a human being. A sacrament is a divine act or the finger of God that touches our humanity.

A sacrament (baptism) is a visible sign (water) instituted by God that gives (Holy Spirit) grace to the believer. A sacrament reveals that our humanity and our soul (spirit) is a reality that does not escape God’s presence.

That said, God will not allow not one of His baptized Children to be snatched out of His hands, so they remain Catholic. But these can reject God’s love upon their own free will and free choice and informed conscience, but God will never leave them.

=schaeffer;12774323]This subject came to mind because of some points that have been discussed recently in various threads.

People are baptized into the Catholic Church, either by the choice of their parents/godparents, or by their own choice after reaching the age of 18 and proving informed intent. (correct me if I’m wrong)

People are confirmed in the Catholic Faith either by the choice of their parents/godparents, during infancy or childhood, or by their own choice after reaching the age of 18 and proving informed intent etc.

If one was baptized/confirmed or both, yet then disavows the faith and perhaps speaks out openly against it are they Catholic?

Does it make a difference if the person who disavows the faith was baptized as an infant or chose as an adult to join the Church?

What does it take to be Catholic?

Thank you for your input.

Here’s the short response:)

All Christians recognize that there is BUT One True God; but that ends the same united Theology. Yes we do have in Common the Sacrament of Baptism with most Christian Faiths; and that comes close to ending the Sacramental unity.

Because God is Truly One True God Jer. 10:10 & Jn. 17:3

One God can and therefore must and does have only One set of Faith beliefs; which He could not have waited more than 1,000 years to make known through Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin Smith or anyone else. Mt. 28: 18-20 & Mk. 17:14-15

And following HIS OWN OT tradition of One Chosen People Exo. 6:7 & 1 Peter 2:9; Jesus chose and in fact did found Only One true Church, Mt. 10:1-8Mt. 16:18-19; Mt. 28:16-20 does promise to protect Mt. 16-18-19 & 28;18-20 it and to guide it alone John 17:11-26

This is clearly stated by Saint Paul in Eph. 4:1-7

THE FOLLOWING WAS WRITTEN AND TAUGHT MORE THAN 1,000 YEARS BEFORE THE Protestant Reformation:):

“[1] I therefore, a prisoner in the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called, [2] With all humility and mildness, with patience, supporting one another in charity. [3] Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. [4] One body and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling. [5] One Lord, one faith, one baptism. [6] One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all. [7] But to every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the giving of Christ.”:thumbsup:

God Bless you,

Patrick

Thank you for the thoughtful posts and information. It’s a great help in understanding.

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