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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

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Infant Baptism & Coerced Baptism


Questions from Dina:

Why does it make sense to baptize a child who doesn’t know what is happening, or what about forced baptism over the centuries? Why does either have an effect? In one case the baby knows nothing and int he other you have an unwilling “convert” who wants nothing to do with the Catholic faith?  Thanks!

Response from Father Joe:

We do not force baptisms upon adults. Missionaries often endured great hardships and even suffered martyrdom in bringing the faith to others around the world. Unwilling converts cannot be validly baptized or received into the Church. This has always been the case. The situation with children depends upon several points:

1. The apostolic and patristic tradition of baptizing whole households, including the children of believers.

2. While a child has not yet reached the age of reason, parents may profess faith on behalf of a child with the expectation that they will raise the child in the faith and insure the sacraments of penance, holy communion and confirmation. There are three sacraments of initiation, not one: BAPTISM, EUCHARIST, and CONFIRMATION. At confirmation that person will make for himself the profession and promises made by parents at baptism.

3. The Church is the sacrament of salvation. Catholics are called both to a CORPORATE faith in Jesus as well as a PERSONAL one. This corporate element, linked to the communion of the saints, is why parents can profess faith for a child. We do not come to the Lord alone.

4. After the age of reason, an unbaptized child must take catechesis and make the baptismal promises himself.

5. The sacraments, including baptism, do what they are intended to do. They were instituted by Christ for his Church.

6. Baptism is more than an acknowledgment or affirmation of saving faith, it accomplished the following:

  • Makes one a temple of the Holy Spirit;
  • Accesses sanctifying grace;
  • Conforms a person to the likeness of Christ;
  • Washes away sin (original sin);
  • A person is spiritually adopted as a son or daughter of our heavenly Father;
  • Incorporates us into the Catholic Church;
  • We become a Christian; and
  • We enter the doorway to the sacramental life.


3 Responses

  1. I am not trying to argue, only to shed light on this matter. You say, “What would it matter to an atheist anyway?” You could say the same for a Wiccan. But it does matter. Too many Christians look down upon those of other faiths. Just because they are baptized, they feel superior.

    The truth is that most Christians are fakers! They say they love Jesus but they do not do what he says. Instead of loving, forgiving and healing, they are prejudiced (a form of hating), judgmental and hurtful.

    The order of events seems confused to me: baptism, instruction and discipleship. What is the pattern, really? Your bible does not say what you say. Is it a person’s faith or his parents’ that matters? Does it matter at all as long as the ritual or incantation is correct?

    You are deaf to any message but the Church’s. Like magic, I may not place faith in your rituals, but believer or not, I would not discount your ability to bless and curse. The supernatural is real.

    FATHER JOE: Prayer is not like a spell. Sacraments are effective but they are not magic. Maybe you misunderstand what Catholics believe? For instance, the bread and wine become the substance of Jesus Christ at the Eucharist. This is understood as an objective reality. However, “whatever is received is received according to the mode of the recipient.” That means the reception of graces from the sacrament depends upon our faith and moral disposition.

  2. Blessed Be! I was once a Catholic, but now worship nature and the goddess. We need to be in tune with the world. The masculine has brought violence and war upon the world. The feminine principle is the only way out.

    The presence of the divine is not just in the “Blessed Sacrament” but in all things. A child is not made blessed by water but by the loving choice that brought her into being.

    I channel spirits which tell me the truth. I will give you and your readers the benefit of these communications.

    You say that “baptism is more than an affirmation of saving faith,” well this is not true. The water reminds us that babies are already holy. Even your own church no longer insists upon baptism for salvation. You say that “baptism makes you a temple of the Holy Spirit,” well this is a big lie. The spirit of the goddess is intimately connected to sexual pleasure and fertility. The child is already saturated with the spirit that brought her into the world. You say that it “accesses sanctifying grace and molds a person to the likeness of Christ,” here are your most egregious lies. Grace is everywhere. It is a graced world. Living in harmony with it brings happiness. You image Christ as a man and insist that the male principle can save us. It cannot. We are all in the image of the goddess. But some stray from the path. We begin as good but then come corruption. You say that it washes away sin, but it is a sign of repentance, nothing more. There is no spiritual adoption. Saying it is constitutes a BIG lie! We are children of the divine, not just Catholics! You are such a closed-minded man. It makes it impossible to talk with you. This is not just me talking, but the goddess that speaks through me.

    FATHER JOE: As one who has left the Church, you really have no say about these matters. You are now animated by something other than the Holy Spirit. May the true God deliever you from your spiritual deception and bondage.

  3. I was forcibly dunked. I should have been asked l allowed to choose.

    FATHER JOE: What religion? How old? Catholics sometimes immerse but we still mostly pour water over the head. What would it matter to an atheist anyway? The action would only have meaning for believers or those who came to embrace the faith of their parents.

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