Who can baptize a baby in the Church?

Someone told me that if a baby is in critical condition when being born at a hospital, that the doctor or nurses can baptize a baby; if the baby survives, the Church recognizes that baptism and will not baptize the baby again.

I also heard of people a long time ago getting baptized by nuns. Does anyone have any information on this? Any would be greatly appreciated.

It is my understanding that anyone, even a non-baptized person, can baptise someone in danger of death, using the trinitarian formula, and it will be recognized by the Church.

[quote="Deacon_Joseph, post:1, topic:183254"]
Someone told me that if a baby is in critical condition when being born at a hospital, that the doctor or nurses can baptize a baby; if the baby survives, the Church recognizes that baptism and will not baptize the baby again.

I also heard of people a long time ago getting baptized by nuns. Does anyone have any information on this? Any would be greatly appreciated.

[/quote]

That is correct as long as the baby is baptised using water and in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Such a baptism is valid and recognised by the Church.

[quote=] Someone told me that if a baby is in critical condition when being born at a hospital, that the doctor or nurses can baptize a baby; if the baby survives, the Church recognizes that baptism and will not baptize the baby again.
[/quote]

That is correct. Anyone can validly baptize a another person. It does not require a Priest or Deacon. It makes sense that God would have arranged it that way since baptism is necessary for salvation and an ordanined minister is not always available.

Note however that the ordinary minister of a Catholic baptism is a priest or deacon. Only in danger of death may a lay person baptize.

That being said, as long as the trinitarian formula is used and water must flow, the Church will recognize the baptism. That is why the Church accepts such baptisms from other denominations.

Weren't they doing this a lot during war time? I seem to remember soldiers baptizing fallen comrades just before they died.

[quote="jpjd, post:5, topic:183254"]
Note however that the ordinary minister of a Catholic baptism is a priest or deacon. Only in danger of death may a lay person baptize.

[/quote]

Not quite correct. In a parish with a priest, he is the ordinary minister of baptism. Many parishes with no priest have a lay leader, appointed by the bishop. That leader usually is given the mandate to baptize the children born into that community. There are several such parishes in my Diocese.

Thanks everyone for your input. On the same subject then, if a couple wants to wait six months to baptize their child, so they can have family and friends around for the event is ok? Just curious. I was taught there was no real firm deadline.

[quote="Deacon_Joseph, post:8, topic:183254"]
Thanks everyone for your input. On the same subject then, if a couple wants to wait six months to baptize their child, so they can have family and friends around for the event is ok? Just curious. I was taught there was no real firm deadline.

[/quote]

Catholics are bound by Canon Law and cannot wait 6 months to baptise the child.

Can. 867 §1 Parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptised within the first few weeks. As soon as possible after the birth, indeed even before it, they are to approach the parish priest to ask for the sacrament for their child, and to be themselves duly prepared for it.

§2 If the infant is in danger of death, it is to be baptised without any delay

[quote="Deacon_Joseph, post:1, topic:183254"]
Someone told me that if a baby is in critical condition when being born at a hospital, that the doctor or nurses can baptize a baby; if the baby survives, the Church recognizes that baptism and will not baptize the baby again.

I also heard of people a long time ago getting baptized by nuns. Does anyone have any information on this? Any would be greatly appreciated.

[/quote]

Anyone can validly Baptize in an emergency. The Ordinary ministers pf Baptism outside of an emergency are a Piest and Bishop, a Deacon can also Baptize with the pastors permission.

If a child is Baptized in the hospital under emergency conditions validly, the Baptism is required to be recorded in the parish Baptism register ASAP. The Church then supplies the additional Rites of Baptism if the child recovers. The child is NOT re-Baptized.

Deacon Joseph,

Just to elaborate a little. If I am correct in thinking that you are a Catholic deacon, I would have thought a number of the things below would have been covered in your formation prior to ordination, and apologize for any redundancy. They may be interesting to others though.

As pointed out, baptism, validly conferred, is not repeatable. This is implicit in canon 864: Every person not yet baptized and only such a person is able to be baptized. The matter of conditional baptism is treated in canon 869, when doubt of fact or doubt of validity exists after diligent investigation.

A deacon is also an ordinary minister of baptism. Canon 861 §1 states that the ordinary minister of baptism is a bishop, presbyter or deacon, with due regard for the prescription of can. 530, n. 1.

Canon 530 says that baptism is especially entrusted to the pastor but does not say it is reserved to him. Anyone else baptizing in a parish, apart from danger of death, whether deacon or priest, must have the consent of the pastor to lawfully baptize. At least a tacit consent is needed. Also see canon 862.

When if an infant is baptized in danger of death according to the shorter rite by an** ordinary minister **and then recovers, the Rite of Bringing a Baptized Child to the Church is used. This text is found in the Rite of Baptism for Children. A liturgy of the word, the explanatory rites (e.g., anointing with chrism, white garment, candle, etc.) and various blessings are involved. The text can be consulted for details.

It may also be suitably adapted for use when, for some reason, the infant was not baptized by a Catholic minister of canon 861, but rather by a minister of a non Catholic Church or ecclesial community, or some generic Christian baptism, or a Catholic layperson, or for that matter, by anyone with right intention, proper form and proper matter. (The list of reasons given in the Rite of Bringing for its use also include a period of persecution or of disagreement between the parents that prevented but the list is not exhaustive. To me, they suggest situations in which baptism was conferred by someone other than a Catholic minister.)

In this Rite, the parents are asked " What do you ask of God’s Church, now that your child has been baptized?" They respond “We ask that the whole community will know that he (she) has been received into the Church.”

While baptism is administered by someone other than the **ordinary minister **has spiritual and theological effects, an additional step is needed to receive this infant into the Church.

The infant is not capable of placing any intention to become Catholic. Instead, its parents have to place this intention. However, intention alone is insufficient, we also need someone official to accept that intention for it to have legal effect.

This may be done by an oral declaration by the parents of their intention to have the infant as a Catholic, and its acceptance by the pastor or his delegate would be signified by recording the fact in the baptismal registry.

The Rite of Bringing, as above, would seem to accomplish reception in such a case. It provides such a declaration of intention and the subsequent action of the celebrant would be seen as an act of reception.

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