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Author Topic: What Can't Non-Chrisitans Baptize?  (Read 2264 times) Average Rating: 0
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ialmisry
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« on: November 10, 2008, 04:44:47 PM »

I'm working on an ongoing project of going through the CCC, seeing what of it could serve as an Orthodox expression of the Faith (a lot of it, btw), what of it contradicts the Orthodox dogmas (not as much as you might expect), what of it is not heretical per se but could be heterodox or unorthodox, etc.  One section I've come across is this:

Quote
V. Who can Baptize?
1256 The ordinary ministers of Baptism are the bishop and priest and, in the Latin Church, also the deacon.57 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 possibility in the universal saving will of God and the necessity of Baptism for salvation.58

________________________________________
57 Cf. ⇒ CIC, can. 861 # 1; CCEO, can. 677 # 1.


58 Cf. ⇒ 1 Tim 2:4.

I've seen the fact the Orthodox do not accept baptism by non-Christians mentioned in connection with this, but I don't recall any discussion of why not.  I take it as a given.  Any ideas?

Also, are the OO in agreement with us on this issue of baptism by non-Chrisitans?
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2008, 05:19:50 PM »

The 1979 Episcopal BCP specifically says that the emergency baptism rite can be administered by "any baptized person" (p. 313) Earlier BCPs did not themselves specify who an appropriate/necessary minister was. I think the general theology of this (would have to check Hatchett though) is that since baptism incorporates into the church, it is to be administered by the church.
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ialmisry
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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2008, 05:29:50 PM »

The 1979 Episcopal BCP specifically says that the emergency baptism rite can be administered by "any baptized person" (p. 313) Earlier BCPs did not themselves specify who an appropriate/necessary minister was. I think the general theology of this (would have to check Hatchett though) is that since baptism incorporates into the church, it is to be administered by the church.

Yes, that would be our objection to the Vatican's statement.  It is also a point I have shown to anabaptists: if only adults can be baptized, then no one has been baptized for centuries, with the establishment of infant baptism as the norm, as there is no one to administer it.  At the Mormons are consistent in claiming St  John had to come back and baptize Joe Smith.
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2008, 06:13:32 PM »

Yes, that would be our objection to the Vatican's statement.  It is also a point I have shown to anabaptists: if only adults can be baptized, then no one has been baptized for centuries, with the establishment of infant baptism as the norm, as there is no one to administer it.  At the Mormons are consistent in claiming St  John had to come back and baptize Joe Smith.

The Anabaptists don't believe baptism is sacramental, so it doesn't necessarily matter to them. I'm not even sure whether any of them have the "only Christians can baptize" rule.
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2008, 06:24:53 PM »


I've seen the fact the Orthodox do not accept baptism by non-Christians mentioned in connection with this, but I don't recall any discussion of why not.  I take it as a given.  Any ideas?


Well, my guess is that such a discussion would be pretty unorthodox, having in mind two (or more?) Ecumenical Councils and (at least) one local Council (and several Guidelines, starting from St. Basil's the Great) laid down the rules about baptisms of various heretics/schismatics.

Those lawyers. Wink

Still, though there is no dispute about the necessity of baptism for salvation, I'm yet to see an Orthodox authority to pronounce who cannot be saved...
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2008, 07:03:04 PM »


I've seen the fact the Orthodox do not accept baptism by non-Christians mentioned in connection with this, but I don't recall any discussion of why not.  I take it as a given.  Any ideas?


Well, my guess is that such a discussion would be pretty unorthodox, having in mind two (or more?) Ecumenical Councils and (at least) one local Council (and several Guidelines, starting from St. Basil's the Great) laid down the rules about baptisms of various heretics/schismatics.

Those lawyers. Wink

Still, though there is no dispute about the necessity of baptism for salvation, I'm yet to see an Orthodox authority to pronounce who cannot be saved...
The difference here though is that here the baptisers don't even claim to be Christian, so even Patristics on heretics and schismatics, is of little help.
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2008, 07:45:07 PM »


The difference here though is that here the baptisers don't even claim to be Christian, so even Patristics on heretics and schismatics, is of little help.

I haven't missed that.

There is valid baptism. Trinitarian. Three-times immersion in water. By a priest. With GodFather. It's required for salvation.

There is yet another case, of (I don't know the proper English term) "announcing" - in case of unbaptized who are in danger of death. Trinitarian. Performed by a baptized soul. No necessarily in water, sand can do it, or dust. If God allows and the endangered survives, baptism can be performed afterwards.

There is also "baptism in blood". It's not Trinitarian. There is no priest, or baptized soul to baptize. Yet, it's baptism, sufficient for salvation.

Mentioned Cannons referred to baptisms that aren't valid, yet, as a rule, if they were Trinitarian ones, there would be no other baptism, just a chrismation, or confession. It's applicable until today.

In all of the cases, baptized is immersed into Christ's death, so he could be resurrected in Christ's Resurrection, upon His Second Arrival. Before His Second Arrival, there is Holy Spirit.

Since Salvation is in the power of the Saviour, and Holy Spirit is here with us, it isn't competence of any mortal human, regardless his position in the Church, to declare who can't be saved. No one knows that except the Savior.

Therefore, how could we know if baptism by an unbaptized, "whom have a will to do what the Church does" would be sufficient for salvation or not?
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ialmisry
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2008, 09:44:06 AM »

Yes, that would be our objection to the Vatican's statement.  It is also a point I have shown to anabaptists: if only adults can be baptized, then no one has been baptized for centuries, with the establishment of infant baptism as the norm, as there is no one to administer it.  At the Mormons are consistent in claiming St  John had to come back and baptize Joe Smith.

The Anabaptists don't believe baptism is sacramental, so it doesn't necessarily matter to them. I'm not even sure whether any of them have the "only Christians can baptize" rule.

The ones I've talked to weren't sure.  They seem rather perplexed when I brought it up.  Rather odd for those who insist on "believer's baptism" would not insist that the baptiser be a believer.
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2008, 10:06:54 AM »


The difference here though is that here the baptisers don't even claim to be Christian, so even Patristics on heretics and schismatics, is of little help.

I haven't missed that.

There is valid baptism. Trinitarian. Three-times immersion in water. By a priest. With GodFather. It's required for salvation.

There is yet another case, of (I don't know the proper English term) "announcing" - in case of unbaptized who are in danger of death. Trinitarian. Performed by a baptized soul. No necessarily in water, sand can do it, or dust. If God allows and the endangered survives, baptism can be performed afterwards.
I think you are refering to emergency bapstism or baptism of necessity.

Quote
There is also "baptism in blood". It's not Trinitarian. There is no priest, or baptized soul to baptize. Yet, it's baptism, sufficient for salvation.

Mentioned Cannons referred to baptisms that aren't valid, yet, as a rule, if they were Trinitarian ones, there would be no other baptism, just a chrismation, or confession. It's applicable until today.

In all of the cases, baptized is immersed into Christ's death, so he could be resurrected in Christ's Resurrection, upon His Second Arrival. Before His Second Arrival, there is Holy Spirit.

Since Salvation is in the power of the Saviour, and Holy Spirit is here with us, it isn't competence of any mortal human, regardless his position in the Church, to declare who can't be saved. No one knows that except the Savior.

Therefore, how could we know if baptism by an unbaptized, "whom have a will to do what the Church does" would be sufficient for salvation or not?
The question is that the Church, in all the others cases, would at most would give a "provisional" baptism if there was any question if the person was baptized or not.  But the one baptized by a non-Christian would be treated as if not baptized at all.  So the Church makes a distinction, which I agree with.  But I don't recall a reasoned explanation for the distinction.

For those who stress akrivi, stringeness, the answer is simple: outside the Church no salvation.  For those who apply economia, the answer is not so straight forward.  I would hold that only the Body of Christ can baptize into the Body of Christ, but I don't see a clear Scriptural or Patristic argument on this matter versus the Vatican's view.
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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2008, 11:17:39 AM »

The key word here is intention. The baptizer needs to intend to do what the Church does. Anyone can baptize in grave necessity because of an application of the principle of sacraments being efficacious ex opere operato. The state of the minister is irrelevant to the working of the sacrament.

Of course, baptism should be performed by a priest in a church with godparents present. Of course, for Protestants, this never happens (they not having Holy Orders)---but we accept their baptisms.

Usually there will be a conditional baptism if the original baptism was performed in irregular conditions. For example, my sister, not baptized herself, had an "accidental" pregnancy after a sexual encounter with a male friend of hers. The friend promptly quit their relationship and washed his hands of her. Despite being a high school dropout with few prospects, she decided to keep the child (thank God), who was born in July. Not knowing if she would ever present her daughter for baptism, I (with her permission) baptized little Isabella with a glass of water. I am quite certain that if my sister ever were to join the Church, Isabella would have to have a conditional baptism.
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« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2008, 11:39:15 AM »

The key word here is intention. The baptizer needs to intend to do what the Church does. Anyone can baptize in grave necessity because of an application of the principle of sacraments being efficacious ex opere operato. The state of the minister is irrelevant to the working of the sacrament.

Of course, baptism should be performed by a priest in a church with godparents present. Of course, for Protestants, this never happens (they not having Holy Orders)---but we accept their baptisms.

Usually there will be a conditional baptism if the original baptism was performed in irregular conditions. For example, my sister, not baptized herself, had an "accidental" pregnancy after a sexual encounter with a male friend of hers. The friend promptly quit their relationship and washed his hands of her. Despite being a high school dropout with few prospects, she decided to keep the child (thank God), who was born in July. Not knowing if she would ever present her daughter for baptism, I (with her permission) baptized little Isabella with a glass of water. I am quite certain that if my sister ever were to join the Church, Isabella would have to have a conditional baptism.
I'm not so sure conditional baptism would be necessary (for one thing, if Isabella showed up in church one day, your action might be a cause), but that's another issue.

Another issue is baptism of intention, which you have linked here in a way.  The Orthodox do not accept that either.
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« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2008, 12:01:44 PM »

Yes, that would be our objection to the Vatican's statement.  It is also a point I have shown to anabaptists: if only adults can be baptized, then no one has been baptized for centuries, with the establishment of infant baptism as the norm, as there is no one to administer it.  At the Mormons are consistent in claiming St  John had to come back and baptize Joe Smith.

The Anabaptists don't believe baptism is sacramental, so it doesn't necessarily matter to them. I'm not even sure whether any of them have the "only Christians can baptize" rule.

The ones I've talked to weren't sure.  They seem rather perplexed when I brought it up.  Rather odd for those who insist on "believer's baptism" would not insist that the baptiser be a believer.

I don't think I've ever heard of such a "rule", but I do know baptisms are always conducted by the Bishop-at least amongst the more traditional ones. With their insistance upon holy living, I cannot imagine any of them consenting to baptism performed by anyone less than a practising Christian and ordained member of their particular constituency.
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« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2008, 12:21:34 PM »

I'm not so sure conditional baptism would be necessary (for one thing, if Isabella showed up in church one day, your action might be a cause), but that's another issue.

Well, she obviously doesn't have a baptismal certificate. For her to receive further sacraments, I'd imagine she'd need written proof of her baptism---unless, perhaps, signed statements by me, my sister and three witnesses would do.
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« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2008, 12:23:49 PM »




 
Quote
It is also a point I have shown to anabaptists: if only adults can be baptized, then no one has been baptized for centuries, with the establishment of infant baptism as the norm, as there is no one to administer it.  


Ialmisry, can you please clarify what you mean here? I don't understand what is meant. In the Early Church, it seems quite obvious to me that mostly adults were baptised, upon their repentance and confession of faith. The establishment of infant baptism came much later. Many of the early Anabaptist founders were Roman Catholic priests, so in a sense would have still continued from the apostolic line, no? (albeit, not, of course, in the "proper" sense). Some Anabaptist-type groups practise immersion exactly as we do (without, of course, the chrismation ceremony).
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« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2008, 12:40:09 PM »

I don't think I've ever heard of such a "rule", but I do know baptisms are always conducted by the Bishop-at least amongst the more traditional ones. With their insistance upon holy living, I cannot imagine any of them consenting to baptism performed by anyone less than a practising Christian and ordained member of their particular constituency.

The historical anabaptists (Amish, Mennonites, Hutterites, etc.) would rebaptize unless the person were transferred by letter from a group that they recognized. That's what makes them Anabaptists.

The key word here is intention. The baptizer needs to intend to do what the Church does. Anyone can baptize in grave necessity because of an application of the principle of sacraments being efficacious ex opere operato. The state of the minister is irrelevant to the working of the sacrament.

That seems to be a Catholic vs. everyone else issue. As a rule, for the other sacraments the state of the minister does matter (especially e.g. the Eucharist).

Quote
Usually there will be a conditional baptism if the original baptism was performed in irregular conditions. For example, my sister, not baptized herself, had an "accidental" pregnancy after a sexual encounter with a male friend of hers. The friend promptly quit their relationship and washed his hands of her. Despite being a high school dropout with few prospects, she decided to keep the child (thank God), who was born in July. Not knowing if she would ever present her daughter for baptism, I (with her permission) baptized little Isabella with a glass of water. I am quite certain that if my sister ever were to join the Church, Isabella would have to have a conditional baptism.

Ummmm.... not necessarily. The normal way to "complete" such a baptism (at least for Anglicans, and it's hard to imagine a reason why it would differ for Catholics) is a church rite which is essentially the normal rite with the actual act removed. If it were possible to get into contact with you, then a conditional baptism would not be necessary, because it would be able to determine that the baptism was performed and done correctly, and thus recorded. The main reason conditionals are done is because of an inability to find records. For instance, when I was confirmed in high school there was another kid who almost had a conditional done. He had been baptized at a church camp, and they were having trouble finding any record that it had been done at all. And then there was ECUSA's must notorious case: Carolyn Tanner Irish. When she was elected bishop of Utah, it was discovered that her only baptism was Mormon, and there was a great deal of high level discussion as to what to do. In the end it was apparently determined that the Mormons used the correct form and that therefore they would essentially accept it by economy, but if it could not be so determined, she would have been conditionally baptized (which I think should have been done in any case, because as far as intent is concerned, the Mormons are a bit far out there).
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« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2008, 12:42:37 PM »




 
Quote
It is also a point I have shown to anabaptists: if only adults can be baptized, then no one has been baptized for centuries, with the establishment of infant baptism as the norm, as there is no one to administer it.  


Ialmisry, can you please clarify what you mean here? I don't understand what is meant. In the Early Church, it seems quite obvious to me that mostly adults were baptised, upon their repentance and confession of faith. The establishment of infant baptism came much later. Many of the early Anabaptist founders were Roman Catholic priests, so in a sense would have still continued from the apostolic line, no? (albeit, not, of course, in the "proper" sense). Some Anabaptist-type groups practise immersion exactly as we do (without, of course, the chrismation ceremony).

By around the year 1000, the whole of the Christendom had been Christianized, and infant baptism had become the norm, with adult baptism dying out except for the conversion in new territories, from Islam etc.  The first anabaptists show up around half a millenium later.  The  problem is that for all those 5 centuries the Christians were baptised as infants.  So if infant baptism doesn't count, then when the Anabaptists came into existence, there would be noone to baptise them, as all lines of adult believers baptizing adult believers going back to the Apostles would have died out centuries earlier, due to the prevelance of infant baptism.  In other words, if the infant now is not truly baptized, then those "Roman Catholic priests" were not really baptized as infants, and hence, they could not baptize.
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« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2008, 12:51:08 PM »

Quote
The historical anabaptists (Amish, Mennonites, Hutterites, etc.) would rebaptize unless the person were transferred by letter from a group that they recognized. That's what makes them Anabaptists.

I am aware of this. They were originally named "Anabaptists" because they did not accept the validity of infant baptism-rather they felt baptism should be a conscious decision-a result of true repentance and conversion- which could be made only by  an adult, therefore all the original converts were rebaptised.

Nowadays, however, most groups do not require rebaptism, unless, of course, it is one of those groups who feels that only immersion qualifies as the correct method of baptism. Most groups would rebaptise a person who converted from, say, a group which baptizes infants. Infant baptism simply does not qualify with anabaptists as baptism because it is not a voluntary act on the part of the one being baptised.

But we Orthodox do not accept the baptisms of most other churches either. Even baptised former Anglicans and RCs are accepted into the Church by baptism in my jurisdiction.
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« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2008, 12:54:38 PM »

Quote

By around the year 1000, the whole of the Christendom had been Christianized, and infant baptism had become the norm, with adult baptism dying out except for the conversion in new territories, from Islam etc.  The first anabaptists show up around half a millenium later.  The  problem is that for all those 5 centuries the Christians were baptised as infants.  So if infant baptism doesn't count, then when the Anabaptists came into existence, there would be noone to baptise them, as all lines of adult believers baptizing adult believers going back to the Apostles would have died out centuries earlier, due to the prevelance of infant baptism.  In other words, if the infant now is not truly baptized, then those "Roman Catholic priests" were not really baptized as infants, and hence, they could not baptize.

Interesting point indeed! Well, the only thought I can offer is what I have heard some anabaptists saying, that is, they feel they have "spiritual" apostolic succession... Roll Eyes

I think Keble is right of course, in that a key point is the anabaptist understanding of baptism as an "ordinance" rather than a sacrament. So, with that understanding in mind, it really wouldn't matter.

Just like recently I was appalled to hear an evangelical protestant friend of mine recounting with excitement how she had gathered with a couple of other women and they had had a very informal (to say the least) "communion" service. At first I was aghast, but then later calmed down, thinking, "Really they can do as they please, because for them "communion" is merely symbolic, and not sacramental."
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« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2008, 01:49:44 PM »

I'm not so sure conditional baptism would be necessary (for one thing, if Isabella showed up in church one day, your action might be a cause), but that's another issue.

Well, she obviously doesn't have a baptismal certificate. For her to receive further sacraments, I'd imagine she'd need written proof of her baptism---unless, perhaps, signed statements by me, my sister and three witnesses would do.
Yes.  According to canon, that will do.
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« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2008, 02:10:42 PM »

.... Not knowing if she would ever present her daughter for baptism, I (with her permission) baptized little Isabella with a glass of water. I am quite certain that if my sister ever were to join the Church, Isabella would have to have a conditional baptism.

Pardon my ignorance but the Catholic Church does not baptize babies born out of wedlock?  The RCC never heard of Economy?   Huh
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« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2008, 02:15:09 PM »

.... Not knowing if she would ever present her daughter for baptism, I (with her permission) baptized little Isabella with a glass of water. I am quite certain that if my sister ever were to join the Church, Isabella would have to have a conditional baptism.

Pardon my ignorance but the Catholic Church does not baptize babies born out of wedlock?  The RCC never heard of Economy?   Huh
We DO baptize Children born out of wedlock. I think the question above was whether or not the mother planned on presenting the Child for baptism.
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« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2008, 02:25:32 PM »

We DO baptize Children born out of wedlock. I think the question above was whether or not the mother planned on presenting the Child for baptism.

Thanks.   Smiley

Anyway, a decision to baptize would be the mother's decision.  Meanwhile, I feel that extreme baptisms of infants are reserved only if the infant faces imminent death and not because the mother made a conscious choice not to baptize.
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« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2008, 03:04:10 PM »

We DO baptize Children born out of wedlock. I think the question above was whether or not the mother planned on presenting the Child for baptism.

Thanks.   Smiley

Anyway, a decision to baptize would be the mother's decision.  Meanwhile, I feel that extreme baptisms of infants are reserved only if the infant faces imminent death and not because the mother made a conscious choice not to baptize.
But he did mention that he had obtained mom's consent.  Admittedly, a tricky situation, as an infant is baptized into a household of faith, which evidently is not the case here.  Many I know have made the case that the baptism in this situation is worse, as Isabella would have more to answer for now, having been baptized.  I've tended towards the idea that where an uncle or grandparent is taking on duties that the parents should, as long as said uncle or grandparent is going to follow through on those promises, i.e. the extended household, there is reason for hope.
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