Baby baptised without father consent or knowledge

Hi all

I recently separated from my wife of ten years. She went on holidays with the kids to our home country and had our last born baptized without my consent.

I strongly opposed the baptism on the ground that I wanted to be present. We have four children and I have been present to all the other children baptisms. After my initial opposition, she did not mention the baptism again and to my great surprise, she went ahead with it anyway, she just informed me that she had our youngest child baptised

I am very distraught by this obviously.

My question are: Can this baptism be valid without the father’s presence, my knowledge or consent?

If still valid, do I have grounds to have that ceremony annuled or not officially recognised by the Catholic church?

We are separated but still legally married and our youngest son is two years old. I would like a baptism where both of us are present


Distraught father.

You cannot annul a baptism or repeat it. It was a valid baptism if done in a Catholic or any mainstream Christian Church. It was terrible that your wife did this but aside from possibly suing her in a civil court for doing this against your will there is nothing the church can do about.

I completely recognise the hurt and pain this action has caused you and sympathise with you deeply. Your estranged wife has certainly done this wrongly and, who knows, maybe even vindictively, by cutting you out of such an important ceremony in the life of your child. The fault is hers.

However, there is nothing you can now do about it, short of making reference to it as evidence of your estranged wife’s unreasonable behaviour if there are legal custody proceedings that take place and to do so would enable you to play a better part in AND FOR the lives of your children.

Remember though that children should not be used by either party, no matter how much the temptation, as ‘footballs’ in a separation/custody dispute. You and your wife should never think about what you can ‘get’ in relation to custody as some sort of victory over each other. To do so simply turns the children into tools or objects and does them no good at all. It should be the children’s welfare that is uppermost in your mind and, at least the only good thing about this case is that your youngest child has been baptised and is a member of the Church. This can only ever be a good thing even if the motives by which it came about were wrong.

I hope and pray that peace breaks out in your relationship with your wife and that you can both put aside your problems in love and respect for each other and the children which you brought into this world together.

Yes, certainly it is valid and licit (licit meaning that it follows Church law):

Can.* 868 §1. For an infant to be baptized licitly:

1/ the parents or at least one of them or the person who legitimately takes their place must consent;

You are not thinking clearly if you believe any valid sacrament can be “annulled”. Or you do not understand nullity.

Nullity is finding of fact that the sacrament was invalid, i.e. did not take place. So, if your child were baptized with orange juice, it would be invalid and therefore null.

So, no you cannot “annul” a baptism that is valid.

I am sorry that your wife chose such a path. But, your child is baptized. End of story.

Can.* 864 Every person not yet baptized and only such a person is capable of baptism.

Boom. Headshot.

While I can understand your hurt and frustration that your wife did something behind your back, please take a moment to consider the child rather than yourself. Being present was important to you, I understand that. However, the welfare of your child’s eternal soul has such a greater importance than your feelings. What if, heaven forbid, something were to happen to your sweet child? Would you truly wish their eternal separation from our Creator simply because you couldn’t be present for the baptism? Once you put this into perspective and take a step aside from your personal feelings, you will find yourself to be much less distraught. Possibly even relieved to know that this has been taken care of, as it needed to be.

God bless. Have faith, and rejoice! Your child is one of many in this One Body! How great is that!

Why didn’t the baby get baptized before this? Why do you object to this baptism - and why are you separated?

You could have a reception for the baby and invite all of the family to that, but the baptism has been done and cannot be undone. Rejoice that your baby is now a Catholic!

Since we do not know where the OP is from, I believe we are all assuming it is the USA.

Civil laws in other countries, can affect whether both parents consent is necessary before a baptism can be performed.

Also, in the UK, and athiest has won the right to have his baptism revoked

This in fact, could set a trend around the world.

BTW, those of you telling the father to “get over it”, should be ashamed of yourself.

This is an important part of the life of his children, and it was taken away from him. He was intentionally deprived of it by devious behavior.

It is also none of our business as to why they waited, or the reason they are separatedl That is between them and God, not everyone elese.

The reason for the separation is immaterial, and is none of anyone’s business.

The same goes for the reason they waited. Life happens, and things get delayed.

Had you read his post, you would see the reason he opposed the baptism was because he would not be there. He didn’t say he opposed the baptism itself.

I heard a guy on the radio the other day. He and his wife are going through a divorce and she is baptizing the child mormon without his consent. He was very distraught because he wants the baby raised Catholic but he cant. You should be relieved you are not in his position and that your child will at least be raised Catholic. Time heals all wounds.

  1. The Catholic Church does not recomize Morman baptizism. :slight_smile:
  2. From the information I have seen, Mormons do not baptise babies. They do not biptise before age seven or eight. :slight_smile:

The article does not say that his baptism was in any way reversed or annulled. It merely says that the church agreed to include his newspaper announcement with his bpatismal record.

The point is the Catholic dad is going to have his son raised mormon without his consent or influence.

We do not know the other side of the story. Why they are separated could be very important. And why they have waited 2 years also has a bearing on the situation.

I’d like to hear from his wife, frankly.

There is no such thing as “revoking” a valid baptism. It is a sacrament, and God doesn’t revoke a sacrament.

No one is telling the OP to “get over it,” only that once the baptism has been done, there is no re-doing it or undoing it. I suggested that he and his wife could hold a reception for the baby if he wants his family to be able to participate. I hope that he will not use this as a reason to divorce his wife.

And I would really like to hear the wife’s side of this story.


The OP said nothing about Mormonism nor anything at all about the religion of his wife. Please don’t make such assumptions. All we can assume is that the child was baptized Catholic.

Point is that it could be worse. Im not assuming anything, but thanks for your concern.

Go back one more post, to post #10 in this thread. PrayRosary wasn’t saying anything about the OP or his situation; he was just pointing out a different situation, and how that different situation was much worse than the one that the OP is in. :wink:

Sorry. It looked like there was totally irrelevant advice being given to the OP since he also is a dad whose child was baptized without his (name removed by moderator)ut.