My husband has been debating with me that infant baptism is hypocritically of what the church teaches and we should not do it. He always points out that when Jesus was baptized that he was an adult and the person being baptized need to be aware and ask of it. I tried to dispute him with the Catechism but I found myself with my foot in my mouth.

I read the passage from the Catechism 1257 “Baptism is neccessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament”. Now I said that it was either, but he pointed out that the word “and” is in the statement and not “or” so the person has to ask for the sacrament.

I was trying to explain what the church meant by this. I also explained that baptism was done to the whole family once a member was baptized. Where can I show him the best place that supports infant baptism?

  1. Baptism replaced Circumcision as the Covenant sign. Circumcision was to be done on the 8th day of a boy’s life.

  2. There are numerous occasions in Acts where whole households were baptized (Lydia, the jailkeeper just to name a few). Of course, this is neither definate proof, for or against.

  3. Jesus says, “Let the children come to me…”. In Luke’s Gospel, the word for children indicated kids not even old enough to walk, whereas Mark and Matthew were less definate.

  4. Early Church Fathers debated on infant baptism. But the argument was whether they should wait 8 days or not.

  5. There are 1st century gravestones indicating children who died, but had been baptized within months of their birth.

These summarize some of your arguments. You’ll find some more detailed arguments at: Bob Stanley’s Treasure Chest.

Good Luck,


Infant baptism is proof of “sola gratia.” Utterly independent of works of any sort.

Also remember that us Catholics believe in Baptism by water, Batism by blood and Baptism by desire.

Through God’s desire he cleansed Mary the mother of our Lord from original sin.

As a Christian parent we too want the same thing for our children so we participate in infant baptism, because we understand the importance of it. Likewise for the Southern Baptist, they have infant dedication to the Lord and their congregation, saying that they will raise that child in a christian home, if the baptist understood the facts and importance of baptism they too would allow infants baptism.

Also remember that baptism is the first neccessary step in our salvation proccess, confirmation when the child is older seals that baptism and making the sign of the cross by dipping our fingers in the holy water prior and after mass, or any time we go to the Church for prayer is sign of renewal.

He has a point that is correct. All Sacraments have to be asked for. No one is ever forced against their will to receive any Sacrament. As is the case in all situations parents are able to speak for or on behalf of their children until they reach the age of reason (about 7). Parents or atleast one parent must request the Sacrament of Baptism for their child. The only exception is when a parent is not available and the child is at the point of death.

However if both parents object then the child is not Baptized.

Also, don’t forget tha the God parents speak on behalf of the child in accepting it’s vows because it has not attained reason. So there is someone accepting the baptism, which is the Godparents, on behalf of the child.

Baptism of infants is one of the most merciful things in the whole world. It would be nothing but the utmost cruelty to not baptise children.

Have you read the Catholic Answers tract on this yet?

Peruse that first for background, then come back and we can try to tie up the loose ends for you.