Baptism validity

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aquinasadmirer

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Hello,

I have two neices who were both baptised in an ELCA Lutheran church.

The formula that was used was a baptism of immersion.

“I baptise you in the name of:
The Father (administer water)
and of The Son (administer water)
and of the Holy Spirit (administer water)
… the Mother of us all.”

I thought I misheard the formula, but then read it in the newspaper a few months later in an interview with the Pastor.

My question is: does the addition of “…the Mother of us all” invalidate the baptism as seen from the Catholic Church?

Thanks!
 
I’m no apologist, however I would say yes, their baptisims are valid.

My understanding is that any baptisim, performed by any professed Christian, in any setting is valid, so long as it is done with the formula you described (minus the gender confussion). It is also my understanding that other sacraments, even though done in an abusive or improper manner, may still be valid as well (Cheeze-its for hosts, changing the words of consecration, etc), provided that the essential elements are present.
 
Nick L.:
My understanding is that any baptisim, performed by any professed Christian, in any setting is valid, so long as it is done with the formula you described (minus the gender confussion).
Actually, anyone, even an atheist, can baptize in an “emergency” situation. Here’ s how the CCC explains it in paragraph 1256:

"The ordinary ministers of Baptism are the bishop and priest and, in the Latin Church, also the deacon. In case of necessity, any person, even someone not baptized, can baptize, if he has the required intention. The intention required is to will to do what the Church does when she baptizes, and to apply the Trinitarian baptismal formula. The Church finds the reason for this possiblility in the universal saving will of God and the necessity of Baptism for salvation.

Also, in paragraph 1284:

"In case of ncessity, any person can baptize provided that he have the intention of doing that which the Church does and provided that he pours water on the candidate’s head while saying, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

My fiancee was baptized in the ELCA Lutheran church, but she doesn’t remember anything about “…the Mother of us all.” Anyhow, when she converted, the Catholic Church held her baptizm valid.
 
I guess the core of my question is this:

Since the formula used is Father, Son Holy Spirit… the Mother of us all, the baptism is in the name of the Trinity and Mary, since she is the spiritual mother of us all. Does the addition of baptising in the name of the Trinity and Mary dilute the validity of the baptism?

BTW, Todd, The pastor altered the formula on his own because he wanted to make it traditional and contemporary.
 
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aquinasadmirer:
Since the formula used is Father, Son Holy Spirit… the Mother of us all, the baptism is in the name of the Trinity and Mary, since she is the spiritual mother of us all. Does the addition of baptising in the name of the Trinity and Mary dilute the validity of the baptism?
I don’t think that any protestant church would refer to the Blessed Virgin Mary as the “Mother of us all.” Are you sure he wasn’t refering to the Holy Spirit as the mother of us all?
 
Todd,

It’s hard to know what he meant by “…the mother of us all” because none of “The Father, Son and Holy Spirit” are “the mother of us all”

The newspaper article that had his interview said that he was trying to be traditional and modern and the same time. It’s hard to know with that kind os description what the modification’s theological intent is. God only knows what the true intent of the baptismal formula he used.

I’m curious about the reason that Mormon baptism is not recognized by the church to get some frame of reference on this.
 
The pastor could have been conforming to some sort of feminist agenda. If God is the Father, Jesus is the son, the third part of the trinity, the Holy spirit, MUST be the mother. Who knows?

Anyhow, about Mormon baptizms…

For a baptizm to be valid, not only must you baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but you must also believe in the Trinity as Catholics do also. Mormons seem to believe that the Trinity is three separate Gods and that there is more than one God. They even believe that humans can obtain divinity.

The Catholic Answers Tract explains it this way:

“Joseph Smith, Mormonism’s founder, taught the doctrine of a “plurality of gods”—polytheism—as the bedrock belief of his church. He developed this doctrine over a period of years to reflect his belief that not only are there many gods, but they once were mortal men who had developed in righteousness until they had learned enough and merited godhood.”

They also teach that Jesus was some sort of “secondary, inferior” God and they reguard the Holy Spirit as a third separate God who hasn’t yet recieved a mortal body.

So, because they don’t believe in the Trinity in the way all other Christians do, their baptizms are invalid.
 
For a baptizm to be valid, not only must you baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but you must also believe in the Trinity as Catholics do also.
That’s not exactly true. The Catholic Church teaches that anyone may perform a baptism so long as the following conditions are met:

1.) It must use water
2.) It must be said with the prescribed form “I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”
3.) It must be done with the *intent * to baptise.

The third requirement is the thing that trips most people up. They see intent and think that the requirement be the one doing the baptising must *believe * in the baptism. However, any person of any faith (even no faith at all) may perform the act and, so long as their intent is to do the same thing a minister or priest would do (whether or not they understand what that is correctly), the baptism is valid. Therefore, a Mormon who sees the Trinity as three separate gods would still be able to perform a valid Christian baptism.
 
Dr. Colossus:
That’s not exactly true. The Catholic Church teaches that anyone may perform a baptism so long as the following conditions are met:

1.) It must use water
2.) It must be said with the prescribed form “I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”
3.) It must be done with the *intent * to baptise.

The third requirement is the thing that trips most people up. They see intent and think that the requirement be the one doing the baptising must *believe * in the baptism. However, any person of any faith (even no faith at all) may perform the act and, so long as their intent is to do the same thing a minister or priest would do (whether or not they understand what that is correctly), the baptism is valid. Therefore, a Mormon who sees the Trinity as three separate gods would still be able to perform a valid Christian baptism.
Are you sure about this? Here’s what I found on a website about baptism:

Later, especially in our century, there have been many sects and so-called Christian churches, whose members claim that they are also followers of Christ. However, they have altered the original message of Christ substantially, so that in fact most of them are just Christians in name. The most common error of these sects is the denial of the divinity of Christ. Some well-known examples are Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and members of the INK (Iglesia ni Kristo). All these and similar sects administer some type of baptism which is not valid. Strictly speaking they are not real Christians.

Maybe they don’t even use the correct form?
 
Having listed the 3 requirements off the top of my head, I’ll further clarify requirement three. The baptism must be performed with the intent to do what the Church does. Therefore, in a standard Mormon baptism, while the correct form is used, the Mormon does not intend to invoke the Trinity and therefore the baptism is invalid. This does not, however, prevent the possibility that a Mormon *could * perform a valid baptism if so inclined.

It is the practice of the Catholic church to re-baptise Mormons upon their conversion, although I have heard that most priests use what’s called a conditional baptism, “If you have not been baptised, I baptise you in the name of the Father…”, so as not to perform an invalid baptism.
 
Dr. Colossus:
…Therefore, in a standard Mormon baptism, while the correct form is used, the Mormon does not intend to invoke the Trinity and therefore the baptism is invalid. This does not, however, prevent the possibility that a Mormon *could * perform a valid baptism if so inclined.
This makes more sense to me. Thanks for clarifying. I’ve also heard of “condtional baptizms” as well.
 
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