IMPORTANCE OF BAPTIZING CHILDREN
From the earliest times, the Church, to which the mission of preaching the Gospel and of baptizing was entrusted, has baptized not only adults but children as well. Our Lord said: “Unless one is reborn in water and the Holy Spirit, one cannot enter the kingdom of God.” The Church has always understood these words to mean that children should not be deprived of Baptism, because they are baptized in the faith of the Church. This faith is proclaimed for them by their parents and godparents, who represent both the local Church and the whole society of saints and believers: “The whole Church is the mother of all and the mother of each” (Order of Baptism for Children, n.2).
Care must be taken not to impose too many conditions on receiving a child for Baptism; sensitivity to individual circumstances challenge the priest and the Baptismal Preparation Team to neither create impediments for the parents nor discount the privileges and responsibility of Baptism for their child.
The Sacrament of Baptism may never be repeated once it has been validly celebrated (cf. Can. 845.1).
Although the first consideration is always for the welfare of the child, Baptism may be delayed for pastoral reasons, such as readiness of the parents and godparents to accept Baptismal responsibilities. Baptism is not to be refused solely on the basis of the parents’ marital status or religious practice.
Special pastoral concern for parents in irregular marital situations (e.g., invalid marriages, single parents, etc.) is the responsibility of all who work with them in preparing for the Baptism of their children.
Non-traditional families challenge pastors and Baptism Preparation Teams to special pastoral sensitivity as they present their infants for Baptism.
Insofar as possible, living, aborted fetuses should be baptized (cf. Can. 871).
Download the entire guideline document below.
The Office for Worship designed an Online Course for training on the topic of Infant Baptism. Click here to learn more and take the course.
For further information on Infant Baptism, please contact the Office for Worship at 213-637-7262.