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‘De-baptism’ trend spreads in Belgium
CathNews Asia ^ | January 11, 2011

Posted on 01/11/2011 11:17:44 AM PST by Alex Murphy

A trend to ‘de-baptism’ is growing in Belgium as Catholics leave the Church in the wake of clerical abuse scandals.

“When you don’t agree with an organisation that you never chose to join in the first place, the healthiest thing to do is to leave,” Damien Spleeters told AFP.

The 24-year-old is among a growing crowd exasperated by church policy on issues such as AIDS, and angered by revelations last year of massive child abuse by priests and lay workers.

Spleeters last year wrote to the bishop overseeing the parish where his parents had him christened as a baby to announce he no longer wanted the church “to speak in his name” so was requesting to be struck off the baptism register.

“Whilst we deplore your decision,” replied Abbot Jean-Pierre Lorette, “the Catholic Church respects each individual’s freedom and will not hold back against their will those who wish to leave it.”

Spleeters, the priest added, was in consequence “logically” excommunicated.

In an interview, the young Brussels resident said “I don’t consider myself an atheist” but explained he turned to de-baptism due to growing irritation with the Catholic hierarchy.


TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture; Worship
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A trend to ‘de-baptism’ is growing in Belgium as Catholics leave the Church in the wake of clerical abuse scandals. “When you don’t agree with an organisation that you never chose to join in the first place, the healthiest thing to do is to leave”....
"Roman Catholics, the largest U.S. church with a reported 69 million members, start counting baptized infants as members and often don’t remove people until they die. Most membership surveys don’t actually count who’s in the pews on Sunday. To be disenrolled, Catholics must write a bishop to ask that their baptisms be revoked..."
....it is possible, for example, to be born Catholic, married Methodist, die Lutheran and still be listed as a member of the 1 billion-member Roman Catholic Church....
"...The Catholic understanding of membership is that a person becomes a member upon baptism and remains a member for life," Gautier said. "Whether you show up at church or not is not what determines whether you're a member."
-- from the thread When It Comes to Church Membership Numbers, the Devil's in the Details
Related threads:
Austrian Catholic church exits increase to a record high since 1945
Irish service offering defection from Catholic Church is suspended ["no longer possible to defect"]
Why I left the Catholic Church
Actus Formalis Defectionis ab Ecclesia Catholica

1 posted on 01/11/2011 11:17:47 AM PST by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy

Interesting that these people think they have any control over this. Baptism is a done thing, you can’t undo it. You can leave the Church physically, you can renounce your faith, you can denigrate Christianity. You can do all those things but if you were baptized, you are just another member of the Body of Christ being unfaithful from within.


2 posted on 01/11/2011 11:21:46 AM PST by BelegStrongbow (St. Joseph, patron of father, pray for us!)
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To: Alex Murphy
This article can be summed up in the following words:

ME! ME! ME! ME! IT'S ALL ABOUT ME!!!!!

3 posted on 01/11/2011 11:23:06 AM PST by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: Alex Murphy

Boy you’re obviously on a mission.


4 posted on 01/11/2011 11:30:44 AM PST by diamond6 (Pray the Rosary to defeat communism and Obamacare!!)
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To: BelegStrongbow

“Baptism is a done thing, you can’t undo it. “ What’s a person’s status when excommunicated?


5 posted on 01/11/2011 11:31:47 AM PST by Silentgypsy
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To: Alex Murphy
Damien ... told AFP


6 posted on 01/11/2011 11:34:43 AM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: BelegStrongbow

The good news is you don’t have to de-baptize in order to get into hell.

In fact, this is one of the few things you can just “wish” you could do, or even “wish upon a star” you could do - and it is granted!!!

Boy, that Catholic Church man, just wont unclench it’s nails once it gets you eh? It still counts you until you die.....when it’s big eye in the sky finally decides, even if you’re Lutheran, to cross you off the rolls and they shrink by one. Those legions of beurocrats that are claiming souls that no longer follow, just to keep the numbers inflated and the money coming in and the votes for representatives in the Changes Department. You may think you’re free, but they have your name somewhere on a paper, like your soul, and they will NEVER free it!

Now they’ll need counseling because they no longer belong to anything, have no meaning in their lives, and the Church doesn’t seem to be missing them.

The Left Myself Behind series.


7 posted on 01/11/2011 11:35:07 AM PST by If You Want It Fixed - Fix It
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To: BelegStrongbow

So why don’t we just get some committed Catholic “priests” to borrow some strategically placed fire hoses and “baptise” everyone in the world?

Then everyone will be a member of the body of Christ, according to your formula, since the will and/or faith of the baptizee is not an issue (of no consequence).


8 posted on 01/11/2011 11:38:00 AM PST by srweaver (Never Forget the Judicial Homicide of Terri Schiavo)
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To: Alex Murphy

I don’t understand. They’re mad at God?


9 posted on 01/11/2011 11:41:34 AM PST by DManA
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To: srweaver

I was born in a Catholic hospital into a family of another faith (A of G). The Catholic Nuns at the time would routinely take non-Catholic babies and secretly baptise them before they went home. Probably happened to me. Is there any way I can undo that?


10 posted on 01/11/2011 11:44:28 AM PST by sportutegrl
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To: sportutegrl

Is this something that bothers you?


11 posted on 01/11/2011 11:55:15 AM PST by D_Idaho ("For we wrestle not against flesh and blood...")
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To: Alex Murphy

What kind of water do you use for a debaptism?


12 posted on 01/11/2011 11:57:28 AM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: srweaver
So why don’t we just get some committed Catholic “priests” to borrow some strategically placed fire hoses and “baptise” everyone in the world?

Then everyone will be a member of the body of Christ, according to your formula, since the will and/or faith of the baptizee is not an issue (of no consequence).

That is a ridiculous suggestion and not at all implied in my post. Baptism is not merely spewing water on people but is performed as a sacrament invoking the Threefold Name. There is the issue of consent for those over 13 yrs old or so and implied consent for those under. Records are kept documenting the consent.

Your suggestion is insulting. One hopes that was inadvertent.

13 posted on 01/11/2011 11:58:49 AM PST by BelegStrongbow (St. Joseph, patron of father, pray for us!)
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To: Alex Murphy
The 24-year-old is among a growing crowd exasperated by church policy on issues such as AIDS, and angered by revelations last year of massive child abuse by priests and lay workers.

A convenient excuse for people who never really 'joined' the Church, whether they were Baptized, or not, or those who had lost their faith a long time ago.

As for his comment about the Church and AIDS, I don't know what the Church does in Europe, but in the US, hospitals run by Catholic organizations have been at the forefront of ministering in both mind, and body, to those with AIDS.

14 posted on 01/11/2011 12:03:29 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: Alex Murphy
“When you don’t agree with an organisation that you never chose to join in the first place, the healthiest thing to do is to leave,”

Ow. Please tell me this is a translation error...

...if you never "joined" to begin with, how can you "leave"...

?

15 posted on 01/11/2011 12:14:08 PM PST by NorCoGOP (OBAMA: Living proof that hope is not a plan.)
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To: srweaver

<< snort >>


16 posted on 01/11/2011 12:36:33 PM PST by T Minus Four ("If Mormonism were a cult, I would know it and I would not be in it")
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To: BelegStrongbow
...implied consent for those under [13]. Records are kept documenting the consent.

That's ridiculous. Firat of all, the consequences of my parents "consenting" seem to be eternal. Do they have the right? What if they chose my marriage partner and my profession based on my "implied consent"?

Second of all, if it really is so binding and eternal, I'm supposed to just take their word for it? Records? What if the church burned down or it was misplaced?

I say infant baptism is pointless and meaningless.

17 posted on 01/11/2011 12:46:24 PM PST by T Minus Four ("If Mormonism were a cult, I would know it and I would not be in it")
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To: DManA

They seem to think baptism is something they did to honor the Catholic Church, instead of in obedience to Scripture.

That’s the problem with infant baptism - it’s done for the parents, as the child is too young to know what’s going on. But when we become of an age of awareness and are baptised, we know we’re doing it as commanded by our Lord, and to identify with His death, burial and resurrection.


18 posted on 01/11/2011 12:58:12 PM PST by Joann37
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To: Silentgypsy

That’s easy. You are outside of a state of grace.


19 posted on 01/11/2011 1:02:09 PM PST by ichabod1 (Hail Mary Full of Grace, The Lord Is With Thee...)
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To: sportutegrl

Do you think it harmed you in some way?


20 posted on 01/11/2011 1:09:58 PM PST by DManA
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To: BelegStrongbow

I believe Catholics have a Confirmation process also when the child is old enough to choose, no?


21 posted on 01/11/2011 1:13:01 PM PST by DManA
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To: T Minus Four

Good thing your opinion has no weight past the end of your nose, then.


22 posted on 01/11/2011 1:24:36 PM PST by BelegStrongbow (St. Joseph, patron of father, pray for us!)
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To: DManA

Yes, but it is what it says it is: confirmation of the baptismal cleansing from inherited sin.

By the way, the two sacraments were originally administered together and really should be done so when the baptizand is beyond the age of consent. There is no reason to have an interval between them if the person can answer for him/herself.


23 posted on 01/11/2011 1:26:59 PM PST by BelegStrongbow (St. Joseph, patron of father, pray for us!)
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To: DManA

Yes, but it is what it says it is: confirmation of the baptismal cleansing from inherited sin.

By the way, the two sacraments were originally administered together and really should be done so when the baptizand is beyond the age of consent. There is no reason to have an interval between them if the person can answer for him/herself.


24 posted on 01/11/2011 1:27:08 PM PST by BelegStrongbow (St. Joseph, patron of fathers, pray for us!)
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To: BelegStrongbow

How does the Catholic church view the status of an adult who was baptized as an infant but never confirmed, by choice?


25 posted on 01/11/2011 1:31:13 PM PST by DManA
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To: DManA

Yes, that is correct there are confirmations in the Catholic Church, usually when you are 14.


26 posted on 01/11/2011 1:33:34 PM PST by erod (Unlike the President I am a true Chicagoan.)
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To: srweaver
That's not it. The Church will not baptize an adult against their will, or an infant or child whose parents are not committed to raising the child as a Catholic.

During the horrible Nazi era, lots of Jewish children across Europe had been entrusted by their parents to Catholic neighbors for their protection. Many of these Jewish parents were, after the war, missing or dead, but the Catholic Church would not baptize these children even if they and their Catholic guardians wanted it. The Church said that they must be returned, unbaptized, to whatever Jewish family members could be located, or placed with surviving unrelated Jewish families.

This is because Baptism is NOT to be conferred on anyone unless they are of age to request It, or are Catholic children being raised as Catholics in their own families.

The issue is: once baptized, a person's objective status is: a baptized person. They can leave, but they're still "a baptized person who is not a practicing Catholic." They can be excommunicated, but they're still "a baptized person who is excommunicated." They can go to hell and still be "a baptized person who is damned." That's just the reality. You can't take away what actually happened.

27 posted on 01/11/2011 1:34:14 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Christ said, 'I am the Truth'; not 'I am the custom.'"-- St. Toribio, Bishop)
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To: BelegStrongbow
I disagree with your analogy that once baptized, one becomes a permanent member of the body of Christ.

This may be true for an individual who willfully wanted it and dedicated his/her soul to Baptism, but there are those who were led to the alter and baptised who did not believe in it's sanctity. Like parents who have their child baptized and the child did not willfully ask it to be done, based on his/her commitment to Christ.

Which means they were never saved in the first place. This young man need not denounce his baptism since it never occurred in the first place in the eyes of God. This young soul will die with the beast in the field, by his own free will.

28 posted on 01/11/2011 1:40:08 PM PST by PSYCHO-FREEP ( Give me Liberty, or give me an M-24A2!)
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To: BelegStrongbow
Well here's a situation: one of my in-laws believed he had been baptized a Catholic. The family fell away over the years but he would still attend mass on occasion and even took communion.

Finally in his mid-thirties his mom guiltily admitted that she just had never gotten around to having him baptised. The were overseas in the military so no one else in the family realized it.

What say you?

29 posted on 01/11/2011 1:48:25 PM PST by T Minus Four ("If Mormonism were a cult, I would know it and I would not be in it")
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To: DManA
How does the Catholic church view the status of an adult who was baptized as an infant but never confirmed, by choice?

The Church views it as baptized as an infant but never confirmed, by choice.

30 posted on 01/11/2011 1:51:48 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: sportutegrl
That's a violation of Canon law. No child is to be baptized a Catholic unless his parents have promised to raise him as a Catholic. Not only that, a nun is not a "regular" minister of the sacrament, and ought not to have done it even at the parents' request unless the child were in danger of death.

And you say this was done secretly when you were a baby?

If true, there would be a baptismal record. You could look it up at the Diocesan offices. Frankly, I consider your story very doubtful.

How did you find out about it? And when? Any evidence? Any links?

31 posted on 01/11/2011 1:59:24 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Christ said, 'I am the Truth'; not 'I am the custom.'"-- St. Toribio, Bishop)
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To: NorCoGOP

This is right up there with women who refuse to marry, and then demand the right to divorce.


32 posted on 01/11/2011 2:01:27 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Christ said, 'I am the Truth'; not 'I am the custom.'"-- St. Toribio, Bishop)
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To: DManA
They're still baptized (objective fact), which means, among other things, they have the right to receive other Sacraments (if they wish, and are otherwise qualified, e.g. Confirmation, Penance, Eucharist, Matrimony, Anointing.)

It has no practical, this-world consequence, if the person ignores it.

33 posted on 01/11/2011 2:05:48 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Christ said, 'I am the Truth'; not 'I am the custom.'"-- St. Toribio, Bishop)
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To: NorCoGOP
I guess he's talking about not having 'joined' in reference to his having been Baptized not of his own consent, but that of his parents, when he was a baby.

He can't be UN-baptized, so someday he might change his mind again, and he can resume his Faith journey, as many have before him.

34 posted on 01/11/2011 2:19:19 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: Mrs. Don-o
It has no practical, this-world consequence, if the person ignores it.

Not in the realm of the physical world, maybe, but one implication is that the voluntarily unconfirmed person forgoes the Graces bestowed by the Sacrament.

I find myself in this position, as I have not yet found a time travel machine to transport me back to 1959 or so and the Church (minus the mistakes of modernism) to which I would wish to be Confirmed.

35 posted on 01/11/2011 2:20:10 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: steve86
I'm not sure I understand your exact problem.

Do you think that, because of sin, the usual minister of the Sacrament of Confirmation (your bishop or his representative) can no longer do so validly?

Do you think the "Gates of Hell" have in fact prevailed, and thus Christ's mission has failed?

Or do you no longer wish to receive the Holy Spirit because of faults and sinful mistakes of some in the household of the Faith?

What is the nature of your difficulty?

36 posted on 01/11/2011 2:37:12 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Christ said, 'I am the Truth'; not 'I am the custom.'"-- St. Toribio, Bishop)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Do you think that, because of sin, the usual minister of the Sacrament of Confirmation (your bishop or his representative) can no longer do so validly?

I do have questions of this nature. Not only because of sin but also, possibly, sloppy or incorrect liturgical procedures.

Do you think the "Gates of Hell" have in fact prevailed, and thus Christ's mission has failed?

No. I think vestiges of the True Church remain. I'm positive they do.

Or do you no longer wish to receive the Holy Spirit because of faults and sinful mistakes of some in the household of the Faith?

No, nothing to do with the situation.

Thanks for the thought you put into the questions! I may resolve my on-going stalemate on this by traveling to an FSSP parish, where things are still as they should be, as far as I can tell.

37 posted on 01/11/2011 2:53:11 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

I should qualify the part of that having to do with “faults and sinful mistakes”.

No, those fallen from Grace do not dissuade me from receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation in my normal parish/diocese.

I think, however, that God allowed those transgressions to occur as a consequence of errors the Church made in the modern era.

This tarnishes the Church but does not destroy it.


38 posted on 01/11/2011 2:57:46 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: If You Want It Fixed - Fix It
You may think you’re free, but they have your name somewhere on a paper, like your soul, and they will NEVER free it!

When the coin in the cougher clinks, a soul from purgatory springs!

39 posted on 01/11/2011 3:07:37 PM PST by ichabod1 (Hail Mary Full of Grace, The Lord Is With Thee...)
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To: T Minus Four

I knew a priest, Episcopal, who said he had been accepted for seminary, was ready to seal the deal, and then discovered that he couldn’t find his baptismal record. He said that he thought, if I’m going to be a priest, I suppose I really ought to have been baptized. They figured it out somehow - I don’t remember the resolution, but I just thought it was funny. You never think about the possibility of a priest not having been baptized, or not able to prove it.


40 posted on 01/11/2011 3:15:19 PM PST by ichabod1 (Hail Mary Full of Grace, The Lord Is With Thee...)
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To: Joann37

Well, if we’re going to use the “infant does not give it’s consent” then why bring the baby to the doctor? Why give it immunizations, why change the diapers? The baby didn’t give its consent. The parent is obviously acting in the best interest of the child for its body AND its soul.

I can never understand why infant baptism is such a stumbling block for protestans. Its all good. Besides, what happens if that baby dies?


41 posted on 01/11/2011 3:15:39 PM PST by diamond6 (Pray the Rosary to defeat communism and Obamacare!!)
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To: Joann37

Nooo, it’s done in case the child dies before reaching the age of reason, so they won’t go to hell or get stuck in limbo for eternity. Let all who have ears hear.

Waaah. I don’t like the church. I wanna take back my baptism. I protest. Let him go join the baptists. They have the opposite problem - they think you can get baptized again, and again, and again. We say to them, you still only got baptized once, the rest of the times, you went swimming.


42 posted on 01/11/2011 3:19:32 PM PST by ichabod1 (Hail Mary Full of Grace, The Lord Is With Thee...)
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To: DManA

www.catholic.com is a great resource for Catholic teaching. Just use their search engine or the message board and ask an apologist.


43 posted on 01/11/2011 3:19:50 PM PST by diamond6 (Pray the Rosary to defeat communism and Obamacare!!)
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To: sportutegrl

From catholic.com
Early Teachings on Infant Baptism

Although many Protestant traditions baptize babies, Baptists—and “Bible churches” in the Baptist tradition—insist that baptism is only for those who have come to faith. Nowhere in the New Testament, they point out, do we read of infants being baptized.

On the other hand, nowhere do we read of children raised in believing households reaching the age of reason and then being baptized. The only explicit baptism accounts in the Bible involve converts from Judaism or paganism. For children of believers there is no explicit mention of baptism—either in infancy or later.

This poses a problem for Baptists and Bible Christians: On what basis do they require children of believers to be baptized at all? Given the silence of the New Testament, why not assume Christian baptism is only for adult converts?

This, of course, would be contrary to historical Christian practice. But so is rejecting infant baptism. As we will see, there is no doubt that the early Church practiced infant baptism; and no Christian objections to this practice were ever voiced until the Reformation.

The New Testament itself, while it does not explicitly say when (or whether) believers should have their children baptized, is not silent on the subject.

Luke 18:15–16 tells us that “they were bringing even infants” to Jesus; and he himself related this to the kingdom of God: “Let the children come to me
. . . for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”

When Baptists speak of “bringing someone to Jesus,” they mean leading him to faith. But Jesus says “even infants” can be “brought” to him. Even Baptists don’t claim their practice of “dedicating” babies does this. The fact is, the Bible gives us no way of bringing anyone to Jesus apart from baptism.

Thus Peter declared, “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children” (Acts 2:38–39).

The apostolic Church baptized whole “households” (Acts 16:33; 1 Cor. 1:16), a term encompassing children and infants as well as servants. While these texts do not specifically mention—nor exclude—infants, the very use of the term “households” indicates an understanding of the family as a unit. Even one believing parent in a household makes the children and even the unbelieving spouse “holy” (1 Cor. 7:14).

Does this mean unbelieving spouses should be baptized? Of course not. The kingdom of God is not theirs; they cannot be “brought to Christ” in their unbelief. But infants have no such impediment. The kingdom is theirs, Jesus says, and they should be brought to him; and this means baptism.

Baptism is the Christian equivalent of circumcision, or “the circumcision of Christ”: “In him you were also circumcised with . . . the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead” (Col. 2:11–12). Thus, like circumcision, baptism can be given to children as well as adults. The difference is that circumcision was powerless to save (Gal. 5:6, 6:15), but “[b]aptism . . . now saves you” (1 Pet. 3:21).

The first explicit evidence of children of believing households being baptized comes from the early Church—where infant baptism was uniformly
upheld and regarded as apostolic. In fact, the only reported controversy on the subject was a third-century debate whether or not to delay baptism until the eighth day after birth, like its Old Testament equivalent, circumcision! (See quotation from Cyprian, below; compare Leviticus 12:2–3.)

Consider, too, that Fathers raised in Christian homes (such as Irenaeus) would hardly have upheld infant baptism as apostolic if their own baptisms had been deferred until the age of reason.

For example, infant baptism is assumed in Irenaeus’ writings below (since he affirms both that regeneration happens in baptism, and also that Jesus came so even infants could be regenerated). Since he was born in a Christian home in Smyrna around the year 140, this means he was probably baptized around 140. He was also probably baptized by the bishop of Smyrna at that time—Polycarp, a personal disciple of the apostle John, who had died only a few decades before.


44 posted on 01/11/2011 3:20:47 PM PST by diamond6 (Pray the Rosary to defeat communism and Obamacare!!)
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To: ichabod1

Ha! I wonder if he had to go through RI with all the little kids :-) Maybe he CLEPed it!


45 posted on 01/11/2011 3:28:05 PM PST by T Minus Four ("If Mormonism were a cult, I would know it and I would not be in it")
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To: ichabod1

You can’t “save” someone else.


46 posted on 01/11/2011 3:29:18 PM PST by T Minus Four ("If Mormonism were a cult, I would know it and I would not be in it")
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To: T Minus Four

I assume RI is the same as RCIA? I think they found it. I’m sure they would have just doused him if they couldn’t find it, to make sure.


47 posted on 01/11/2011 3:52:49 PM PST by ichabod1 (Hail Mary Full of Grace, The Lord Is With Thee...)
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To: T Minus Four

Of course you can’t - that’s why we don’t go around “witnessing” or harassing people over it. Only God saves.


48 posted on 01/11/2011 3:54:16 PM PST by ichabod1 (Hail Mary Full of Grace, The Lord Is With Thee...)
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To: T Minus Four

If he wasn’t baptized, then he isn’t baptized. What are you asking?


49 posted on 01/11/2011 4:00:40 PM PST by BelegStrongbow (St. Joseph, patron of fathers, pray for us!)
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To: DManA
How does the Catholic church view the status of an adult who was baptized as an infant but never confirmed, by choice?

As an unconfirmed member of the Body of Christ. There is an ongoing debate as to whether this person could be admitted to Communion. The ancient answer was that Confirmation was necessary to convey sufficient gifts of the Holy Spirit, so until confirmed people were not admitted unless confirmed.

50 posted on 01/11/2011 4:03:22 PM PST by BelegStrongbow (St. Joseph, patron of fathers, pray for us!)
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