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Valid Baptism

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Valid Baptism

Post  Allie on Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:44 pm

I have a question regarding what constitutes a valid baptism.

Must water be poured on the head of the individual being baptized?

A particular situation has been brought to my attention where the infant had her feet dragged through water while the priest pronounced the words of baptism. However, no water ever touched her head. I have always been under the assumption that water had to at least be poured or sprinkled on the head. But is it valid as long as water touches the skin?

Thanks in advance and God bless.
Allie
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Re: Valid Baptism

Post  Guest on Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:26 pm

I will have to do some digging, but my first response is to say that the baptism is valid, but illicit. The proper matter of the Sacrament is water, and the form are the words "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen." The liturgical books do specify the head, but as long as the baptism is performed with the proper matter and form it is a valid baptism.

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Re: Valid Baptism

Post  Guest on Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:14 pm


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Re: Valid Baptism

Post  Guest on Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:35 pm

Ok this is pretty serious stuff.

I looked in Moral Theology by Fr. Heribert Jone:
Page 323 says the following:

"Baptism is valid even if the head is entirely covered with sores. It is probably valid if one were to baptize on the breast, neck, or shoulder; probably invalid if administered on the hand, arm or the foot."

This is the book:
http://www.amazon.com/Moral-Theology-Heribert-Jone/dp/0895554720

It is imprimatured 1961. I guess it was a common book for confessors to use pre-Vatican II. Actually I know of some current confessors that use it as well.
That book will actually tell you the morality of any situation that you could ever think up.

So yeah, I would report this to the bishop ASAP and get this person a proper baptism.

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Re: Valid Baptism

Post  Guest on Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:59 pm

I stand corrected.

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Re: Valid Baptism

Post  Guest on Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:57 am

My advice to parents would be #1 Get your child baptized in the traditional rite if possible. #2 Take a video recording of the actual baptism. (This way you have the actual baptism documented)

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Re: Valid Baptism

Post  Guest on Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:29 am

If priests would just do what they are supposed to do then no one would have to worry.

In the case above, a(nother) priest would probably administer a conditional baptism. I'd also suggest the parents write to their bishop, and to Rome, and find another parish to support.

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Re: Valid Baptism

Post  Guest on Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:31 am

I seriously would just find an FSSP, ICKSP, or other traditionalist priest in communion with Rome. I could envision this person going to a Novus Ordo rite priest and just being told "Don't worry about it, trust in God!"

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Re: Valid Baptism

Post  Allie on Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:57 am

Thanks for your responses.

I thought this wasn't good and it has been bothering me since I heard it (I was not present at the baptism). The thing is that the parents of this baby most likely will think I am being too "legalistic" or that I am wrong and won't do anything to correct the situation. Not that I really care what they think about me, I'm just concerned for the baby. The church where they have had both of their daughters baptized is on the campus of a local university and is known for being- well, not orthodox to say the least.

I will write to our Archbishop letting him know about this and I will talk to the parents when I see them. Please pray that they will do the right thing.

God bless and thanks again!
Allie
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Re: Valid Baptism

Post  Guest on Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:27 pm

I would suggest just writing the Bishop about it and have him take it from there. The parents are more likely to listen of the diocesan office calls them in the context of "We have a problem with this priest" rather than you telling the bishop's office AND them. Then they will know that you are the one who reported it and maybe they will not take it well.

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Re: Valid Baptism

Post  Allie on Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:38 pm

RashaLampa wrote:I would suggest just writing the Bishop about it and have him take it from there. The parents are more likely to listen of the diocesan office calls them in the context of "We have a problem with this priest" rather than you telling the bishop's office AND them. Then they will know that you are the one who reported it and maybe they will not take it well.

True, Rasha! I will take your advice and just write the Bishop.

Thanks again!
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Re: Valid Baptism

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