Why Does the Catholic Church Baptize Babies and Not When They Are Older?

I recently saw this ques. on a chat board and wasn’t quite sure of how to answer it. Please help. Thanks! :slight_smile:

The love of God opens our eyes to the beauty of many things that we never appreciated before.

When we are baptized we become a part of God’s family the Church, and to remove the stain of original sin. So from birth we are baptized

Just a (very) brief answer for now. (I know you’ll get better answers than mine.)

But for Catholics, baptism is more than just an action perfomred by people as a symbol of inner faith. It is God who acts through baptism on the person to be baptized.

Through baptism the soul of the person baptized is filled with God’s grace. This grace was previously absent due to original sin. Baptism also permenantly marks the soul of the baptized person as belonging to God… as being a Christian.

Parents want this for their children and it is important that the child be baptized at an early age. This is partially for the child’s protection, should he/she die before being old enough to request baptism. But also, the graces from Baptism will help the child to grow and act as a Christian.

Just to add a little.

The Congregation for Doctrine of Faith issued an “Instruction on Infant Baptism” in 1980 which gives a history of our practice and explains the reasons for infant baptism in some detail. The
instruction can be found easily at the Vatican website among the pages of that congregation, and you will find it very useful.
Among the key points is that “Baptism is never administered without faith: in the case of infants, it is the faith of the Church. Furthermore, in accordance with the teaching of the Council of Trent on the sacraments, Baptism is not just a sign of faith but also a cause of faith.”

One of the chief pastoral points is that “Baptism, which is necessary for salvation, is the sign and the means of God’s prevenient love, which frees us from original sin and cmmunicates to us a share in divine life.” In using the term “prevenient,” the instruction is referring to divine election, by which we are first called by God rather than find God through our own initiative.

This is also treated in sections 1250-1252 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Infant baptism particular shows the free and unmerited gift of salvation that God offers to humanity.

Because, if we ensnare them as wee infants, they’ll never escape our clutches! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Oops. I let the cat out of the bag.:nope:

It’s for the same reason that we give them their vaccinations, even before they are old enough to request them.

And the same reason that the Jews circumcised infants, rather than wait for them to be old enough for Bar Mitzvah.

Thanks everyone!

May God bless all of you.

             Nature is the art of God.  

Because it is recorded in the bible that the apostles baptized babies at the request of the head of the household. And who would know more about the faith than the apostles since they received it directly from God and passed it on to the rest of us.

Baptism should really be done shortly after birth as it is but the one thing I missed out on and feel like I missed out on something was Confirmation. Yes I was confirmed but I was confirmed at the same time I was baptized since I was baptized in an Eastern Catholic Church. At least at that point in time they dind;t allow babies to receive commnunion so I got to go through that process as all second graders do. However, now they changed that rule and babies do receive communion. It pissed me off when they did that since there needs to be some sacrament that we can wilingly choose to partake in and choose when we are older. Some people still refused to allow their children to receive communion at that age though. But although I now have a good faith and a chance to grow in it though the Newman Center, I really missed out in high school since I never had that opportunity even in a Catholic school.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.