Who can perform a Baptism


#1

A friend of mine at work, recently attended his niece’s baptism, they held it inside of a home, some of the family is Catholic, my friend stated that an Uncle or some other male relation volunteered to perform the Baptism. I’m under the impression that the male must be a deacon, however my friend was not sure, the question is who can perform Baptism’s because my friend thinks that the male in question is just a “regular joe”. I know that we have Eucharistic Ministers but is there something simular with Baptism’s? And I question the validity of the Baptism in a home and not a church. Thanks.


#2

Anyone can baptize in an emergency.

Clergy are the ordinary ministers of baptism and anyone baptized by non-clergy should see a member of the clergy as soon as possible.

I understand that deacons may only baptize those below the age of reason because deacons cannot absolve sin. Anyone over the age of reason must be baptized by a priest or bishop. I welcome correction or clarification on this.

-Tim-


#3

Huh, I did not know that. Sounds reasonable. I would like to see the answer to that. I agree that the ordinary minister of Baptism would be a priest or deacon. In an emergency, anyone can baptize. Such would be someone in an accident that was life threatening if they asked, and also in miscarriages.


#4

Anyone can baptize. But under normal circumstances not everyone may baptize

So long as the proper form is followed and proper matter is used a baptism will be valid. But it might not be licit.


#5

[quote="TimothyH, post:2, topic:324094"]
anyone baptized by non-clergy should see a member of the clergy as soon as possible.

[/quote]

Hmm... why do you say that? Are you implying a concern about validity,or simply that proper documentation of the baptism is important?

I understand that deacons may only baptize those below the age of reason because deacons cannot absolve sin. Anyone over the age of reason must be baptized by a priest or bishop. I welcome correction or clarification on this.

Hmm... I've never heard that any instruction on baptism is due to a concern about 'absolution of (personal) sin'. After all, in an emergency, anyone can baptize -- and that baptism, when valid, absolves personal sin!

I'm thinking, though, that the distinction comes in with the notion of confirmation and Eucharist, per se. A person who is 'over the age of reason' is generally expected to go through RCIA, and be baptized, confirmed, and receive First Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. Since this is the expectation, then it makes sense that a priest or bishop is the minister: after all, it's the priest who confects the Eucharist, and the bishop (or the parish priest, when delegated) who can confirm.

So, while I think you're right that the Church would expect that a priest or bishop baptize, it's not for the reasons you cite. ;)


#6

[quote="lookoutlt, post:1, topic:324094"]
A friend of mine at work, recently attended his niece's baptism, they held it inside of a home, some of the family is Catholic, my friend stated that an Uncle or some other male relation volunteered to perform the Baptism. I'm under the impression that the male must be a deacon, however my friend was not sure, the question is who can perform Baptism's because my friend thinks that the male in question is just a "regular joe". I know that we have Eucharistic Ministers but is there something simular with Baptism's? And I question the validity of the Baptism in a home and not a church. Thanks.

[/quote]

"Some of the family is Catholic" does not mean it was a Catholic baptism.

What you describe is not allowed in the Catholic Church.

If these were Catholics intending a Catholic baptism, they were acting outside what the law allows, therefore the baptism would be valid (if done correctly) but illicit.


#7

Imagine this::eek:

2 unbaptized members of RCIA are sure they want to be Catholics.

A tornado wipes out the town and is headed to the church where they are waiting for the RCIA team. They think they are going to die. They can baptize each other validly right there and then (using the correct Trinitarian formula of course).

Imagine this. :eek::eek::eek:

An adult, unbaptized member of RCIA is waiting for the the RCIA team to come to the Church one Monday night. The only person in the Church is the caretaker who is an atheist. They hear that the town has been wiped out by a tornado which is headed their way. They believe they will both die, that there is no escape. The atheist caretaker can validly baptize the member of RCIA if the atheist caretaker INTENDS to do so and uses the correct Trinitarian formula.

In both cases the Tornado hits, but the people all live.

Talk to the Parish Priest to get the baptisms documented properly etc. He may choose to re-baptise them conditionally.


#8

[quote="Ohana, post:3, topic:324094"]
In an emergency, anyone can baptize. Such would be someone in an accident that was life threatening if they asked, and also in miscarriages.

[/quote]

No one can Baptize a miscarried child. Our Sacraments are for the living, not for the deceased. If it is a potentially stillborn child or one who seems to die immediately after birth, a conditional Baptism is allowed in case there is the smallest chance that the little one is still alive.
I realize this is not the answer parents who go thru this tragedy want to hear - I sure didn't when it happened to me. But we can rely on God's mercy in dealing with our deceased little ones.


#9

[quote="triumphguy, post:7, topic:324094"]
Imagine this::eek:

2 unbaptized members of RCIA are sure they want to be Catholics.

A tornado wipes out the town and is headed to the church where they are waiting for the RCIA team. They think they are going to die. They can baptize each other validly right there and then (using the correct Trinitarian formula of course).

Imagine this. :eek::eek::eek:

An adult, unbaptized member of RCIA is waiting for the the RCIA team to come to the Church one Monday night. The only person in the Church is the caretaker who is an atheist. They hear that the town has been wiped out by a tornado which is headed their way. They believe they will both die, that there is no escape. The atheist caretaker can validly baptize the member of RCIA if the atheist caretaker INTENDS to do so and uses the correct Trinitarian formula.

In both cases the Tornado hits, but the people all live.

Talk to the Parish Priest to get the baptisms documented properly etc. He may choose to re-baptise them conditionally.

[/quote]

The RCIA candidates are also protected by a baptism of desire. Their yearning for baptism in the face of death would be enough to save them.

An infant or young child in imminent danger of death should be baptized immediately.


#10

[quote="runningdude, post:9, topic:324094"]
The RCIA candidates are also protected by a baptism of desire. Their yearning for baptism in the face of death would be enough to save them.

An infant or young child in imminent danger of death should be baptized immediately.

[/quote]

They are in the RCIA - they don't know all the ins and outs:p

The baptism however, would be valid if they lived.


#11

As a retired firefighter, I once had the occasion to baptize a lady and her two small children who were killed in a fire and explosion. I was present at the scene where they died and was the only Catholic present. I took water from the firehose and filling my helmet, baptized them in the Trinitarian formula saying “if you are alive, I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.” I later consulted with my parish priest as to the rightness of my action and he said that what I had done was correct as the Church was not exactly sure as to when the soul leaves the body. So hopefully, in God’s infinite mercy, they had hope of heaven. This was many years ago, but I have never forgotten it.


#12

[quote="hosemonkey, post:11, topic:324094"]
As a retired firefighter, I once had the occasion to baptize a lady and her two small children who were killed in a fire and explosion. I was present at the scene where they died and was the only Catholic present. I took water from the firehose and filling my helmet, baptized them in the Trinitarian formula saying "if you are alive, I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." I later consulted with my parish priest as to the rightness of my action and he said that what I had done was correct as the Church was not exactly sure as to when the soul leaves the body. So hopefully, in God's infinite mercy, they had hope of heaven. This was many years ago, but I have never forgotten it.

[/quote]

Good for you:thumbsup:

Sometimes you've just gotta act!


#13

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