Friday, January 28, 2011

Is My Baptism Valid?

Q - I have a question about my Baptism. When I was baptized my parents didn't have the understanding of the faith that they have now and neither of my Godparents are Catholic. My parents want to know if anything should be done. What does this mean for me? Thanks for your time. I enjoyed the class tonight like always!


A - Thanks for the question. The question comes down to - is your baptism valid or not? If it is not, then you would need to be baptized. If it is, then nothing would need to be done.

With the information you gave, your baptism is valid. Here is what is required to have a valid baptism:
  1. Proper Matter
    • This is "true and natural water"
  2. Proper Form
    • The minister of the Sacrament must immersein water or pour / sprinkle water upon the candidate, while saying, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
  3. Proper Intention
    • The minister of the Sacrament must intend to baptize as the Church intends.
Even a non-Christian can validly baptize as long as the criteria above are met. For the intention, the person must intend to baptize as the Church intends, even if they don't believe in the baptism or Christ.

While a deep understanding of the faith is certainly a goal, it is not a necessity for a valid baptism. Furthermore, while the Church asks that there be a Godparent who is Catholic, it isn't necessary for a valid baptism either.
"Go, therefore, 12 and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit," - Matthew 28:19
I hope this helps.

2 comments:

Melissa said...

what about 1 Pet 3:21 "and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God."
Or Luke 14, that talks about counting the cost before becoming a disciple? That's an active choice we must make, no?

Marcel said...

M - check this out. It should answer your question.
http://www.catholic.com/library/Infant_Baptism.asp