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Author Topic: Emergency Baptism of the Dying Adult  (Read 538 times) Average Rating: 0
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wainscottbl
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« on: May 12, 2014, 08:03:37 PM »

So my father has high blood pressure as I mentioned elsewhere and is sort of stubborn about seeing a doctor for various reasons. Now he will die eventually, whether sooner or later--i hope later of course but I worry about him. So it sort of came up and I asked him if I could baptise him if he were dying to which he said yes. Now assuming, God forbid that happens, I am wondering what the Orthodox think on the traditional Catholic rule where a layman/woman, even a heretic, may baptize a person if they are dying and there is no priest. Even if you do not believe pouring to be proper, I had read that Orthodox only use pouring when the person is bedridden or it is impossible to get to a place to do the immersion. What is the view on baptism of the dying unbeliever when there is no priest at hand?
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2014, 08:10:11 PM »

In an emergency, an Orthodox Christian, lay or cleric, can baptise as long as it is done properly and with water.  Chances are that immersion would be out of the question, but pouring is acceptable in such a situation. 

The only way I can imagine this not being OK is if it is done against the will of the person. 

The baptism should be recorded in the books of the local parish in any case.   
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2014, 10:11:45 AM »

Is there a problem with him becoming baptized before he gets to that state?  What is preventing him from being baptized now?  Sorry if I'm being too nosy, just curious.
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2014, 11:45:54 AM »

Not to point out the obvious here, but currently (May it change soon, God Willing!), if our poster did any sort of emergency baptism, it would be RC...
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2014, 12:56:15 PM »

Not to point out the obvious here, but currently (May it change soon, God Willing!), if our poster did any sort of emergency baptism, it would be RC...

Yes. However he asked about our view of their practice, which is consistent with theirs.
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2014, 01:30:45 PM »

Not to point out the obvious here, but currently (May it change soon, God Willing!), if our poster did any sort of emergency baptism, it would be RC...

Yes. However he asked about our view of their practice, which is consistent with theirs.


Indeed.   But some of the replies asking about why he cannot be baptized now, are thus unclear as to which Church.

I was only trying to state, that if the OP leaves this until later, given the current status....
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2014, 10:38:08 PM »

The reason he will not be baptized now is because he does not really seem to care for religion, except for Mormonism because it is my mom and sister's. He likes that because it has done good for my sister, putting her on a good path whereas her other friends ended up pregnant out of wedlock and all other such shameful things. She on the other hand got married, then had the baby and has another one on the way. So Mormonism seems good for that but he does not believe in it. Anytime matters of religion are seriously mentioned he jokes it all off. He will not even set food inside a church except the Mormon church and not for church service. Like when he was kind enough to let me go by the Orthodox church he did not go in with me even though I said he could/should. He just sat in the car. I was in there for a while. Same when I have stopped by the Catholic Church--he will not go into service or anything. I'm not sure what he believes. He says he believes Mormonism is true but that's emotional I think because he does not want to enter their sect--make the sacrifices you have to make like with any religion. To him it's just a feel good thing, I believe. He's never been baptized from what I know. He grew up in the 1960s/1970s and his own family never went to church. I've told him to become Catholic but if anything he'd become Mormon. So I asked him when it seemed light enough but also on a serious note if I could baptize him if he was dying. He said, yes. Let people say if they think it would be valid. I will ask him again if he is able to respond and if not baptize him conditionally.

On whether I could induce him to become Christian, I do not think so. I have tried to but anytime I mentioned it he just jokes it off like I said. He always jokes off serious matters like religion and death. He is joking off this high blood pressure, too. My mom is trying to get him to get serious and see the cardiologist and he just says he will see my uncle who is the undertaker for the community. On that note I am getting mad he will not see the bloody heart doctor even though the family doctor told him, too. He had 200 over something blood pressure and even though it's down between 150 and 170 that is really high. They told him he's a walking death. I don't even want to think of my father dying, both because of the bad relationship we've had--I'd have a lot of regret--and because, well, I cannot judge, but half the time he says he does not believe in God. But it's not just the religious stuff--I don't want him to die, not this young. He still can live another fifteen years or more. It's about taking care of yourself.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2014, 10:38:36 PM by wainscottbl » Logged

Aristotle says in the Metaphysics that "in mathematics goodness does not exist." It is a rather great quote to show to any math teacher when they tell you how important math is. Give them a riddle: I am not tall, I am not short, nor big nor take up any space but simply am. I have no name but I am.
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2014, 11:58:32 PM »

I baptized my father in the hospital the day before he passed away. He was unconscious and on life support, so I baptized him in faith. I made the sign of the Cross on his forehead with holy water, and baptized him in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I did not know if this was proper or not, but I felt like it had to be done. I told my priest about it the next day, and he said I had done the right thing. He also gave my father a baptism name. I have great peace as a result of this.


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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2014, 12:09:01 AM »

The reason he will not be baptized now is because he does not really seem to care for religion, except for Mormonism because it is my mom and sister's. He likes that because it has done good for my sister, putting her on a good path whereas her other friends ended up pregnant out of wedlock and all other such shameful things.
Yes. I did notice that the Mormons that I have been acquainted with were people of good character. I also see that in the presidential candidates. As governor of Massachusetts, the Mormon  Romney seemed to be an honest and decent man who took his religion seriously, unlike some of the  Catholic politicians from Massachusetts.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2014, 12:10:05 AM by stanley123 » Logged
wainscottbl
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2014, 03:25:31 AM »

Oh I have a funny story to tell. My friend told me of a pious old Catholic woman she was going to move in with to take care of who had cats and she baptized her cats! Yes, baptized the cats and blesses them with holy water sometimes. Of course she does it the Catholic way. Imagine a pious old Orthodox woman doing that!!!!! Triple immersion kitty!
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Aristotle says in the Metaphysics that "in mathematics goodness does not exist." It is a rather great quote to show to any math teacher when they tell you how important math is. Give them a riddle: I am not tall, I am not short, nor big nor take up any space but simply am. I have no name but I am.
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2014, 03:29:57 AM »

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Triple immersion kitty!

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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2014, 05:44:56 PM »

Oh I have a funny story to tell. My friend told me of a pious old Catholic woman she was going to move in with to take care of who had cats and she baptized her cats! Yes, baptized the cats and blesses them with holy water sometimes. Of course she does it the Catholic way. Imagine a pious old Orthodox woman doing that!!!!! Triple immersion kitty!

I'd like to have my cat baptized. But I'm sure my priest wouldn't do it, and I'm also sure it wouldn't be valid.
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2014, 08:02:48 PM »

In an emergency, an Orthodox Christian, lay or cleric, can baptise as long as it is done properly and with water.  Chances are that immersion would be out of the question, but pouring is acceptable in such a situation. 

The only way I can imagine this not being OK is if it is done against the will of the person. 

The baptism should be recorded in the books of the local parish in any case.   

I am not challenging this in any way as you state it - it's the way I've always known it.  I am curious why a baptism can be official by a lay person only in an emergency?  If the baptism counts in an emergency why wouldn't it count any other time? 
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2014, 09:24:47 PM »

I am not challenging this in any way as you state it - it's the way I've always known it.  I am curious why a baptism can be official by a lay person only in an emergency?  If the baptism counts in an emergency why wouldn't it count any other time? 

If I baptised a person in a non-emergency, I think it would still "count" in the sense that it wouldn't have to be repeated (I think...AFAIK we were never taught the answer to your specific question because it is not something we would ask). 

In a non-emergency, Baptism should be conferred by the bishop/priest because the three sacraments which incorporate people into the Body of Christ--Baptism, Chrismation, Eucharist--are usually administered together, and the last two can only be administered by bishops/priests  We can consider Baptism a "stand alone" sacrament in one sense (and to a great extent, Western liturgical practice has conditioned us to view it in this way), but it's really the first sacramental step in a process which finds its fulfillment in the Eucharist.  To divide the sacramental initiation into two or three separate moments is really "exceptional"--there should be some serious reason why it should happen in this way.  It's not something we would do "just because". 
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« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2014, 01:49:07 AM »

I am not challenging this in any way as you state it - it's the way I've always known it.  I am curious why a baptism can be official by a lay person only in an emergency?  If the baptism counts in an emergency why wouldn't it count any other time?  

If I baptised a person in a non-emergency, I think it would still "count" in the sense that it wouldn't have to be repeated (I think...AFAIK we were never taught the answer to your specific question because it is not something we would ask).  

In a non-emergency, Baptism should be conferred by the bishop/priest because the three sacraments which incorporate people into the Body of Christ--Baptism, Chrismation, Eucharist--are usually administered together, and the last two can only be administered by bishops/priests  We can consider Baptism a "stand alone" sacrament in one sense (and to a great extent, Western liturgical practice has conditioned us to view it in this way), but it's really the first sacramental step in a process which finds its fulfillment in the Eucharist.  To divide the sacramental initiation into two or three separate moments is really "exceptional"--there should be some serious reason why it should happen in this way.  It's not something we would do "just because".  

Yeah, one our my Roman Catholic priests mentioned that in a sermon once. I think it was on baptism. Anyway he said the family came to him because the little girl, about seven maybe, have baptised her non-Catholic friend. Her little friend was willing and she poured the water over the friend and said the words. The priest told the parents it was "valid but illicit"...most likely valid he said. He said if she ever wanted to be Catholic she would be conditionally baptised in that case. The priest said that only those who are going to be raised in the faith should be baptized. The friend was not--she did not understand fully and besides her parents did not approve. And it was against the rules of course--priests are the ordinary ministers Catholics say and lay people extraordinary who can do it in times of danger. But if they do it, it is still valid. That's the Roman Catholic view and I am sure to a certain degree it is the Orthodox, though correct me if I am wrong. I feel some may think that terms like "valid but illicit" are legalistic Latin terms. But Orthodox have to have rules of some sort, too....


EDIT: By saying the little baptised girl's parents did not approve they were not mad but of course a minor has to have the parents permission to be baptised, except in case of emergency.
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Aristotle says in the Metaphysics that "in mathematics goodness does not exist." It is a rather great quote to show to any math teacher when they tell you how important math is. Give them a riddle: I am not tall, I am not short, nor big nor take up any space but simply am. I have no name but I am.
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« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2014, 02:20:25 AM »

Growing up Baptist, playing baptism in whatever rich friend's swimming pool you were able to con your way into that day was par for the course. Same for creeks, bayous, beaver dam ponds, horse troughs, etc. I have no count on how many Trinitarian immersions my brothers and cousins got before the end of it. If the right kid did the dunking, you might even get told to "Rise and walk in newness of life..." when you came out of the water.
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