Denying Baptism to Infants?

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pittsburghjeff

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This was mentioned in another thread but it didnt get a lot of attention so I decided to raise the question in a new thread.

Under what circumstances should/can a priest refuse the sacrament of baptism to an infant?

Can he do it because of lack of an active faith on the part of the child’s parents? If so, why? Is it fair to deny the baby the grace of the sacrament because of the sins of his parents? Wouldn’t this put the child’s salvation in jeopardy should something happen to the child?

Someone help me understand…
 
If the parents are doing the baptism to please the grandparents, and/or have no intention of attending Church or raising the child Catholic, why should the child be baptised?

Baptsim is a serious business, and the parents and godparents are asked if they intend to reject Satan and all his works. If they aren’t married don’t go to Church, etc should we ask them to get up and lie?

Refusing a baptism is a wakeup call to the parents to take their faith seriously and get their religious acts together.
 
Canon 868 §1 For an infant to be baptised lawfully it is required:

1° that the parents, or at least one of them, or the person who lawfully holds their place, give their consent;

that there be a well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the catholic religion. If such hope is truly lacking, the baptism is, in accordance with the provisions of particular law, to be deferred and the parents advised of the reason for this.
 
It may help to look at why a priest should refuse baptism to a child of non-Catholic parents in most cases. Baptism is a commitment and if a Baptized child is not brought up in the Faith, it is a form of apostasy (though the child will not be as culpable). A mortal sin commited by a Baptized person is a greater offense than that commited by an unbaptized person just as a mortal commited by a priest is more grievious than by a lay person. Being raised to the dignity of an adopted child of God, we are held to a higher standard, and we receive grace to help us, but not being brought up in a Christian home presents am almost impossible task for a baptized child, who would not even know his responsibilities, though as an heir of Heaven and child of God he is responsible for certain things.
 
I don’t think most priests will deny baptism on these terms, but they certainly may postpone the reception of the sacrament until they feel that the parents are willing to meet the obligations of this sacrament. Too often, we find families go “church shopping” looking for a parish that will overlook this very necessary obligation, just to say their child has been properly baptized. It requires tact, sincerity as well as good catechesis well founded in the Catholic tradition and regulations held. God bless you!
 
maybe it’s just me…

but why, especially since the church has not officially ruled on what happens to the unbaptized soul or where you go… (maybe somewhere other than heaven)…

i think, and most think they go to heaven given their innocence and Jesus love for the little children, but if there was this infantessimal chance that they might not…

well, why would you risk it… they can always make their owned informed choices when they reach that magic age of “reason” …

I say baptize… what’s it hurt…? :twocents:
 
I say baptize… what’s it hurt…?
Baptism brings along with it certain obligations, even on the part of a child whose baptismal faith is only implicit and vicarious.

For that child to not be rasied in the true faith, and then reach the age of reason, when he is most likely to squander his baptismal graces, would be irresponsible.

So a non-Catholic child (ot a child of non-practicing parents) should be baptized only in the case of imminent death.
 
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pittsburghjeff:
Under what circumstances should/can a priest refuse the sacrament of baptism to an infant?

Can he do it because of lack of an active faith on the part of the child’s parents? If so, why? Is it fair to deny the baby the grace of the sacrament because of the sins of his parents? Wouldn’t this put the child’s salvation in jeopardy should something happen to the child?

Someone help me understand…
It is most important is that a priest should never refuse baptism. He may want to postpone it until certain necessry conditions are met.
A person who is Baptized Catholic is placed under the Laws and obligations of the Catholic Church. I believe that it is wrong to Baptize a child and not teach them how to live the Faith they have been Baptized into. If in danger of death Baptism should be received without any second thoughts. However if the person survives the expectation would be that they would be instructed in the faith.
 
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DominvsVobiscvm:
Baptism brings along with it certain obligations, even on the part of a child whose baptismal faith is only implicit and vicarious.

For that child to not be rasied in the true faith, and then reach the age of reason, when he is most likely to squander his baptismal graces, would be irresponsible.

So a non-Catholic child (ot a child of non-practicing parents) should be baptized only in the case of imminent death.
i disagree… :cool:
 
Br. Rich SFO:
It is most important is that a priest should never refuse baptism. He may want to postpone it until certain necessry conditions are met.
A person who is Baptized Catholic is placed under the Laws and obligations of the Catholic Church. I believe that it is wrong to Baptize a child and not teach them how to live the Faith they have been Baptized into. If in danger of death Baptism should be received without any second thoughts. However if the person survives the expectation would be that they would be instructed in the faith.
i still don’t see the hurt in early baptism… who will decide to baptize “IF” in danger of death… to the child there is possibly everything to gain if he/she knows no better, but who knows, maybe heaven to loose…

I respectfully disagree Br. 🙂
 
space ghost:
i still don’t see the hurt in early baptism… who will decide to baptize “IF” in danger of death… to the child there is possibly everything to gain if he/she knows no better, but who knows, maybe heaven to loose…

I respectfully disagree Br. 🙂
I do understand your logic. If a child is Baptized they are then in a state of perpetual Sanctifying Grace until they reach the age of reason. If they were to die during this time they would be assured of Heaven. However after reaching the age of reason they are free to commit personal sins for which they are held responsible. If not raised in the Catholic Faith then they are wandering spiritually after the age of reason. They freely choose to abandon the relationship with God that was established by Baptism which they are held accountable for. I feel personally that the relationship should not be established until there is a hope that it can be maintained and grow. As St. Paul says Faith without works is dead. Unless a Christian lives their faith, which they have to be taught to do, the reception of the Sacraments are of no real value to them spiritually.
 
Don’t forget that a baptized child who sins after he has reached the age of reason is more accountable than an unbaptized child who does. This is why the possibility of squandering such graces is a real danger, and one the Church ought to take into account.

Allowing non-practicing parents to have their children baptized reinforces superstition, as if the sacraments were just magical rest-stops or merely one of many family traditions.
 
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