need advice re:baptism - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

Thread Tools
#61 of 62 Old 05-06-2009, 09:37 PM
mamadebug's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: CA
Posts: 638
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by hollydlr
That being said, does your Gma know that technically anyone can perform a baptism? If she just blesses some water and pours it over their little heads and says "I baptize you in the name of the Father...etc" it would technically count for washing away their original sin.

This is exactly what we did. I come from a Catholic family, but knew from a very early age that I didn't believe in Catholicism, and as an adult, am not sure if I even believe in Christianity. I would not take part in an official church sacrament knowing I did not believe in any part of it. I couldn't do that to myself, the people who do believe in it or my child. My mom felt very strongly that my son be baptized. It kept her up at night when I was pregnant knowing that the baby was not going to be baptized. She finally approached me with this, and after a little thought, I was fine with it. I see it as something between my son and his grandma. I don't believe in it, but she does and so, as his grandma, was imparting part of what she thinks is important. It was done privately, obviously, (actually she did it while she was giving him a bath one day) and I didn't have to participate or make a statement to the Church that I knew I would never follow through on.

If your grandma would feel OK with this, maybe this would be a good solution? I think in this case, it doesn't really matter if you can or can't officially do it (grave circumstances or not...maybe to her, it actually is grave circumstances). It would be more that your grandma gave your baby a blessing that she feels is important, but you are not taking a public stand in front of a group of people that you don't really believe.

Good luck with this. I know how hard it can be to have very different religious beliefs than your family.
mamadebug is offline  
Sponsored Links
#62 of 62 Old 05-06-2009, 11:31 PM
Lollybrat's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 493
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by jt'smum View Post
You are not permitted by the Church to baptize a child unless they are in danger of death, and, if they are of the age of reason, request to be baptized or have made a desire for baptism known. The ordinary minister of baptism is a bishop, priest, or deacon
(cf. canon 861 ยง1).
Originally Posted by flowers View Post
I stand corrected. That's really a surprise to me. There was a nun, my sophomore year of high school who told us that anyone of us could baptize a child.

My grandmother has baptized every single one of her grandchildren (23) moments after their births. (They all went on to be baptized in the church but we joke that it was a paper thing, since it was already done.)

I guess according to law that doesn't quite count.

"permitted" argh....another reason I can't make peace with my Catholic upbringing.
Anyone can baptize, but not everyone may baptize. As jt'smum posted, there needs to be danger of death and other factors for non-clergy to baptise licitly. But sometimes, like you pointed out, family members or other people baptize an infant in a non-emergency. These baptisms are valid, but illicit. This means that these are real baptisms and the sacrament took effect, but they are preformed in a manner that is counter to Church teachings.

In some families and in some geographic areas, it is very common for grandmothers to baptize their family's newborns. I knew one priest who used to refer to this as an "Irish Sink Baptism". In areas where this practice is common, many priests preform conditional baptisms (i.e. "If you have not been baptized before, I baptize you in the name of the Father...").

To the OP, I am a practicing Catholic who feels strongly about the sacrements. I believe that you need to be true to your beliefs. Baptism (or any sacrament) should not be done to placate another family member. If is a public statement of the faith and of Church membership. You should not have your child baptized Catholic if you do not intend to raise him/her in the faith.

Mom to an amazing little guy, age 9 (Autism, Hyperlexia, Dyspraxia, Albinism, Chromosome Microdeletion)

Lollybrat is offline  

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 9,505

18 members and 9,487 guests
bananabee , believeadv31 , Fluffer , GraceKae , isowaterp8 , Jozef Majda , LiLStar , mckittre , moominmamma , oversoul86 , Paloma Ortega , pulcetti , scaramouche131 , sciencemum , Springshowers , StarsFall , thefragile7393 , zebra15
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.