Showing posts with label Baptism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baptism. Show all posts
Sunday, January 26, 2020
What Does Being a Godparent Mean?

What does being a godfather mean? What does being a godmother entail? What do godparents do? Whether you are godmother or godfather, you may not know the responsibilities and requirements of being a godparent. Not everyone is eligible to be a godparent. And because you take on the responsibility for the baptized person's religious upbringing, you bear responsibility before God. It's not an honor to accept lightly.

Baptism is above all a Sacrament, instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and it is necessary for salvation. Not all denominations have valid Baptisms though. For more information on Baptism as a Sacrament click here.

Eligibility to be a Godparent

  • Godparents must be baptized, have attained the use of reason and have the intention of fulfilling their role as a godfather of a godmother.
  • A godparent must be a confirmed Catholic and have received their First Holy Communion
  • A godparent must not belong to a heretical or schismatic sect, nor have been excommunicated by a condemnatory or declaratory sentence, nor suffer from infamy of law, nor be excluded from legal acts, nor (if a cleric) have been deposed or degraded from the clerical rank.
  • A godparent must live a life in conformity with the teachings of the Church including weekly attendance at Mass, rejection of artificial contraception and abortion, and a godparent must not support politicians who promote and support abortion, etc.
  • Godparents cannot be the father or mother or spouse of the person to be baptized
  • Godparents must be designated either by the person to be baptized or by the parents or guardians, or in their default by the minister of baptism.
  • The godparent must, either in person or through proxy, physically hold or touch the one baptized, or receive him immediately after baptism from the sacred font or from the hands of the minister.
  • The godparent must be at least sixteen years of age, unless for a just reason the minister admits younger persons or unless a different age is stipulated by the Bishop.
  • The godparent must not be under excommunication, nor excluded from legal acts, nor suffer from infamy of law for reason of a notorious crime, even though no sentence was pronounced against him, nor must he be under an interdict, or otherwise a public criminal, or disgraced by infamy of fact.
  • The godparent must know the rudiments of the faith.
  • The godparent must not be a novice or professed member in any religious organization, unless there is nobody else to be had and the permission is granted by at least the local superior.
  • The godparent must not be a cleric in sacred orders, unless he has the explicit permission of his proper Ordinary
  • The godparent must not be in a mix-marriage (marriage with a non-Catholic) who believes his/her children should choose their own religion when they grow up rather than be raised in the Catholic religion.
  • The godparent must not be involved in an invalid marriage (Justice of the Peace, marriage outside the Church)

As we stated above, a person that is a godparent must not be excommunicated by a condemnatory or declaratory sentence.  What does this mean?  Well here are some of the grave offenses that this would include:

From the 1983 Code of Canon Law:

  • The person who throws away the consecrated Eucharistic species (can 1367);
  • The person who takes or retains the consecrated species for a sacrilege purposes (ibid.);
  • A person who uses physical violence against the Roman Pontiff (can 1370 § 1);
  • A person who falsely denounces before an ecclesiastic superior a priest for solicitation to sin in confession (can. 1390);
  • A person who procures a completed abortion (can. 1398).

Besides these cases, which are also punished with automatic excommunication in the Code of Canon Law of 1917, there were still others incurring latae sentenciae excommunications. They include:

  • The editors of heretical or schismatic books that promote apostasy, heresy or schism (can. 2318 § 1);
  • Those who read books forbidden by the Holy See without due license (ibid.);
  • Authors who publish books on religious matters without due permission (can.2318 § 2);
  • Those who contract marriage before a non-Catholic minister without permission (2319 § 1 n. 1);
  • Those who contract marriage with a implicit or explicit agreement of educating the offspring outside of the Catholic Church (ibid. n. 2);
  • Those who knowingly bring children to be baptized by non-Catholic ministers (ibid. n. 3);
  • Parents or godparents who allow their children be educated in a non-Catholic religion (ibid. n. 4);
  • Those who are not priests and celebrate masses and hear confessions (can. 2322 n. 1);
  • Those who sell false relics,  distribute them or expose them for the veneration of the faithful (can. 2326);
  • A person who profits from indulgences granted (can. 2327);
  • A person who appeals a law, decree or mandate of a Sovereign Pontiff to an Ecumenical Council (can. 2332);
  • Those invested with temporal power who directly or indirectly prevent the execution of the orders of the Apostolic See or its Legates from being executed (can. 2333);
  • Those who make laws, decrees or mandates against the liberty and rights of the Church (can. 2334 n.1);
  • Those who directly or indirectly impede the jurisdiction of the Church in the external or internal forum (ibid. n.2);
  • Those who enroll their names in Masonic sects or other such associations that plot against the Church and the legitimate civil authorities (can. 2335).
  • A person who enters a monastery or convent without due permission in violation of monastic cloister  (can. 2342 n.1);
  • Nuns who leave the monastic cloister without due permission (ibid. n. 3);
  • A person who physically attacks a Cardinal or a Papal Legate (can. 2343 § 2);
  • A person who does the same to a Patriarch, an Archbishop or a Bishop (ibid., n. 3);
  • A person who does the same to priest or a religious (ibid. n. 4);
  • Those who usurp or keep goods that by right belong to the Catholic Church (can. 2345);
  • Those who provoke or accept a duel (can. 2351);
  • Those who forge false documents of the Apostolic See (can. 2360 § 1);
  • The priest or the religious who contracts marriage after taking the solemn vow of chastity (can 2388 §1);
  • Those who contract marriage after taking the non-solemn but perpetual vow of chastity(ibid., § 2);
  • Those who sell offices, benefices or honors of the Church (can. 2392 § 1);
  • Those who steal, destroy or substantially harm documents belonging to the Episcopal Curia (can. 2405).

Being a Godparent Is Both An Honor and A Great Responsibility

All in all, being a godparent is both a great honor and a serious responsibility.  For that reason, the Church has put a number of laws in place in regards to who may rightfully serve as a godparent.  Please review the above to ensure you qualify and your life is appropriately conformed to the life-saving religion of Jesus Christ - the Catholic religion.  As a godparent, you must be committed to the Church's teachings and participate in the life of the Church (i.e. going to Mass weekly, going to Confession often, praying daily, and all other duties that a Catholic must observe).  You also must stand firm to the pro-life views of the Church and reject all that the Church rejects (as listed above for example). You must help ensure that the child (or adult) who is being baptized will be raised in the Catholic Faith.

Godparent Classes

The Church often requires those preparing for the honor of serving as a godparent to attend a class to understand what Baptism is (and what it is not), why it is a Sacrament, why it is necessary for salvation, and what the godparents must do at a Baptism and throughout the life of their godchild. produces a best-selling and extremely popular online Baptism course for those looking to take an online course of study.
Friday, March 27, 2015
Baptized in Christ: A Catholic Study of the Sacrament of Baptism for Godparents and Parents
edit_button proudly publishes a best-selling online Baptism Preparation Program, intended for godparents and parents of children to be baptized. We are excited to announce that this best-selling course is now also available in paperback format as well as in eBook format, for use on your Kindle, Nook, or alternative e-reader.
In this short book we will discuss the necessity for, Scriptures relating to, the history of, and the Rite for the Sacrament of Baptism. Baptism is the first Sacrament of the Faith, and it is the Sacrament by which a person becomes a Christian. It is truly a life-giving Sacrament since it is necessary for our salvation to receive it. Baptism was given to the Church as the Sacrament of initiation into the Faith and for the forgiveness of sins, both Original Sin and all personal sins. Through Baptism we are made sons and daughters of God, and God’s very life comes to dwell within us. It is through the graces of Baptism that we are given the foundations of virtue and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and it is through the graces of Baptism that we live as Christians at all. 

To learn more and order the paperback, please click here. It’s only $10.99!

To preview the eBook, please click here. It’s only $7.95!
Thursday, August 3, 2006
Can Non-Catholics Be Saved?

The Church has always taught that there is no salvation outside of the Church (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus). We are called to bring all people into the One Church of salvation, the Catholic Church.

Some Papal Documents:

Pope Innocent III: "There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved." (Fourth Lateran Council, 1215)

Pope Boniface VIII: "We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." (Unam Sanctam, 1302)

Pope Eugene IV: "The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church." (Cantate Domino, 1441.)

Pope Pius IX: "It is to be held of faith that none can be saved outside the Apostolic Roman Church . . . but nevertheless it is equally certain that those who are ignorant of the true religion, if that ignorance is invincible, will not be held guilty in the matter in the eyes of the Lord" (Solemn Allocution Singulari Quadam, December 9, 1854). "We all know that those who are invincibly ignorant of our religion and who nevertheless lead an honest and upright life, can, under the influence of divine light and divine grace, attain to eternal life; for God who knows and sees the mind, the heart, the thoughts, and the dispositions of every man, cannot in His infinite bounty and clemency permit any one to suffer eternal punishment who is not guilty through his own fault" (QUANTO CONFICIAMUR, August 10, 1863).

Saints' Statements:

St. Augustine: "When we speak of within and without in relation to the Church, it is the position of the heart that we must consider, not that of the body" (Treatise on Baptism). "All who are within in heart are saved in the unity of the ark."

St. Augustine: No one can find salvation except in the Catholic Church. Outside the Church, you can find everything except salvation. You can have dignities, you can have Sacraments, you can sing "Alleluia," answer "Amen," have the Gospels, have faith in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and preach it, too. But never can you find salvation except in the Catholic Church. St. Augustine

St. Thomas Aquinas: "... a man receives the effect of Baptism by the power of the Holy Ghost, not only without Baptism of Water, but also without Baptism of Blood: forasmuch as his heart is moved by the Holy Ghost to believe in and love God and to repent of his sins: wherefore this is also called Baptism of Repentance" (Summa Theologica Part II. Question 66. Article 11). "The other two Baptisms are included in the Baptism of Water, which derives its efficacy, both from Christ's Passion and from the Holy Ghost. Consequently, for this reason, the unity of Baptism is not destroyed."

My Conclusion:

I appeal to all Protestants and fellow Christians to not put your salvation at risk at all. Enter the Church of Jesus Christ - the Catholic Church, which only has the four marks of the Church of Jesus. I appeal to you to come to the authentic Sacraments because Protestant Sacraments (usually except Baptism and Marriage) are invalid.

What though of those who have died? We entrust them all to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ. God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but He Himself is not bound by His sacraments. Pray for all departed souls.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
The Sacrament of Baptism

Baptism Is Explicitly Mentioned in Scripture

Baptism is the means by which we are made children of God and have original sin removed from our souls. While all of the Sacraments were instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ, Baptism itself is explicitly mentioned several times in Sacred Scripture:

"Jesus answered, and said to him: 'Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.' Nicodemus saith to him: 'How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born again?' Jesus answered: 'Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God'" (John 3:3-5).

"Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19).

"But Peter said to them: 'Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are far off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call'" (Acts 2:38-39).

Proper Matter and Form of Baptism

Our Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples the exact formula that must be used for a valid Baptism when He said: “All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world" (Matthew 8:18-20).

It is vitally important that each and every baptized person be baptized in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. To be baptized only in the name of Jesus does not constitute an authentic baptism because it does not follow the formula established by Jesus Himself. All Sacraments must have two proper parts – form and matter. In Baptism, for example, we must be baptized with water. Secondly, baptisms must have the proper form meaning that water must be poured over the individuals head three times while saying the words: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Christ Instituted the Sacrament of Baptism

All seven Sacraments were instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ. While some may incorrectly think that St. John the Baptist instituted the Sacrament of Baptism or that the Apostles instituted the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, the Church’s clear teaching is that the Lord Jesus Christ alone instituted all Sacraments as stated in the Catechism of the Council of Trent:

“Since human justification comes from God, and since the Sacraments are the wonderful instruments of justification, it is evident that one and the same God in Christ, must be acknowledged to be the author of justification and of the Sacraments.” 
St. John the Baptist preached a "baptism of repentance" which called for those who received it to repent. It was not the Sacrament of Baptism which our Lord instituted. It was more of what we would consider a sacramental. For that reason, the Apostles baptized those who had received the Sacramental given by St. John the Baptist with the actual Sacrament of Baptism.

St. Jerome writes, “Those who were baptized with John's baptism needed to be baptized with the baptism of our Lord." Likewise, St. Augustine says, “Our sacraments are signs of present grace, whereas the sacraments of the Old Law were signs of future grace.” In Acts 19:1-5, St. Paul baptizes several people that were previously baptized in repentance by John. Why? They were baptized not only because they did not know of the Holy Ghost but also because they had not received the baptism of Christ.

How Does Baptism Work?

In Sacramental Theology, the Church teaches that the Sacraments work ex opere operato (latin meaning "from the work performed"), which was defined by the Council of Trent. The Council of Trent dogmatically defined that grace is always conferred by a Sacrament, "in virtue of the rite performed and not as a mere sign that grace has already been given, or that the sacrament stimulates the faith of the recipient and thus occasions the obtaining of grace, or that what determines the grace is the virtue of either the minister or recipient of a sacrament." 

Thus, provided there is no obstacle placed in the way (e.g. improper matter used, the wrong words were said, the minister did not have the proper intention) every Baptism properly administered confers the grace intended by the Sacrament. The reception of Baptism does not depend on the sanctity of the individual priest conferring it since it is ultimately Christ acting through all the Sacraments in the conferring of grace. 

What are the Effects of Baptism?

Baptism first and foremost clears all sin from our soul. This is why we are baptized – we want the sin of Adam (original sin) washed away. Every human person aside from the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived with original sin. Do note, that our Lord was also conceived without original sin but He was a divine person, not a human person. And St. John the Baptist was born without original sin but he was conceived with original sin. He was cleansed with original sin when he leapt in his mother's womb, a miracle we remember as part of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth.

Through Baptism original sin is washed away, and at the same time, if we are baptized after having committed sins ourselves (actual sin) those sins are washed away as well along with any temporal punishments for them. If we would die immediately after Baptism, our soul would go straight to Heaven.

Most Protestants view baptism as the covering up of our sins. That is not correct. Baptism completely washes the soul clean. We receive sanctifying grace, which raises us up to a supernatural level; Baptism regenerates and saves the person. In this respect, an indelible mark is placed on the soul that initiates him into the life of the Church, and allows him to receive the other Sacraments. Even if a baptized person goes to Hell, this mark will remain for all eternity on the soul.

Through Baptism was become sharers in the Divine Nature of the Blessed Trinity. We become sons of God and tabernacles of the Most Holy. We become temples for the Holy Spirit. In Baptism we are born again as St. Peter writes of the divine sonship in Baptism as “…Being born again not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the word of God who liveth and remaineth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23). In Baptism we are buried in Christ so that we might rise with Him (cf. Romans 6:3-4).

The Catechism of the Council of Trent states, “…it should be taught that by virtue of this Sacrament we are not only delivered from what are justly deemed the greatest of all evils, but [we] are also enriched with invaluable goods and blessings. Our souls are replenished with divine grace, by which we are rendered just and children of God and are made heirs to eternal salvation."

Prefiguring Images of Baptism in the Old Testament

God chose water, the humble source of life, to be the matter by which mankind would be born from above. Through the Great Flood and Noah’s Ark, the Church sees a prefiguring image of salvation through Baptism. And through “the crossing of the Red Sea” Israel was liberated from slavery just as the baptized are saved from slavery through sin. Likewise, Moses was pulled out of the waters as a baby, just as we are pulled from sin through the waters of Baptism.

Why Was Christ Baptized by St. John?

We find in Christ's Baptism a two fold purpose. He clearly did not need to receive forgiveness of sins because He is God Himself and can not sin. But He chose to undergo the ritual first for our own edification so that we might follow His example, and secondly so that He might in a sense given the waters of Baptism their power: “The Lord was baptized, not to be cleansed Himself but to cleanse the waters, so that those waters, cleansed by the flesh of Christ which knew no sin, might have the power of Baptism. Whoever comes, therefore, to the washing of Christ lays aside his sins” (St. Ambrose).

Immersion is Unnecessary

Baptism by immersion is unnecessary for Salvation. For around 12 centuries, immersion was the common form practiced in the Catholic Church. However, St. Thomas Aquinas, who lived in the 13th Century, states, “Baptism can be conferred by sprinkling and also by pouring.” Tertullian, who was born c. 160 AD, said that Baptism is a “sprinkling with any kind of water” (De Bapt., Ch. 6). The Didache (The Teaching of the Apostles) holds that baptismal water may be poured when there is not enough water for immersion. St. Thomas Aquinas also states that the three thousand converts baptized by St. Peter on the first Pentecost were most likely not baptized by immersion; there was not enough water in Jerusalem at the time. He also says that it is highly unlikely that the jailer baptized in the prison at Philippi or the Gentiles in the home of Cornelius were immersed in water.

Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?

Yes, the Council of Trent states that Baptism is necessary for salvation. "Canon 5. If anyone says that baptism is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation, let him be anathema." (Canons On Baptism, Session VII, Council of Trent).

We also hear from Our Lord: "'Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). He is speaking of Baptism.

What though of those who have died? We entrust them all to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ. God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but He Himself is not bound by His sacraments. Pray for all departed souls, that they were able to be saved before death by a miraculous intervention of God.

Infant Baptism

The Church has always taught that the Sacrament of Baptism can and should be conferred on children. In Baptism we are “born again”; it is the start of the life that continues in the next. Since Baptism is the start of life, a child should be baptized as soon as possible that they might have a share in divine sonship. As Jesus says, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:14).

In the Gospel Jesus instructs us to go forth and baptize the whole world – not just adults. St. Paul baptized whole families and it is most likely there was at least one child in those families (Acts 16:15; 1 Cor. 1:16). The Third Council of Carthage (253 AD) with St. Cyprian taught that infants should be baptized as soon as possible after birth. The Council of Milevis in 416 AD taught the necessity of baptism for infants. This same position has been reaffirmed at the Fourth Lateran Council as well as the Councils of Vienne, Florence, and Trent. See the Fifth Session of the Council of Trent for more information.

Are Non-Catholic Baptisms Valid?

The Church may accept the validity of most Protestant Baptisms, since a validly ordained minister is not required for this particular Sacrament, so long as those Baptisms used the proper matter, form, and intention. For this reason, the alleged baptisms of certain groups like the Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses are not valid for lack of proper words and proper intention. The issue with Protestant Baptisms for other sects is whether the baptizer had the right intention. Due to many protestants having erroneous conceptions on original sin and the role of Baptism, doubt may exist on the validity of such baptisms.  Anyone seeking to convert who was baptized in a protestant denomination should consult with a priest to determine if they need to be conditionally baptized.
The Church teaches very unequivocally that for the valid conferring of the sacraments, the minister must have the intention of doing at least what the Church does. This is laid down with great emphasis by the Council of Trent (sess. VII). The opinion once defended by such theologians as Catharinus and Salmeron that there need only be the intention to perform deliberately the external rite proper to each sacrament, and that, as long as this was true, the interior dissent of the minister from the mind of the Church would not invalidate the sacrament, no longer finds adherents. The common doctrine now is that a real internal intention to act as a minister of Christ, or to do what Christ instituted the sacraments to effect, in other words, to truly baptize, absolve, etc., is required. This intention need not necessarily be of the sort called actual. That would often be practically impossible. It is enough that it be virtual. Neither habitual nor interpretative intention in the minister will suffice for the validity of the sacrament. The truth is that here and now, when the sacrament is being conferred, neither of these intentions exists, and they can therefore exercise no determining influence upon what is done. To administer the sacraments with a conditional intention, which makes their effect contingent upon a future event, is to confer them invalidly. This holds good for all the sacraments except matrimony, which, being a contract, is susceptible of such a limitation. 
Source: Catholic Encyclopedia
1962 Rite of Baptism:

To see the comparison of Sacrament Baptism in the Old and New Rites, see my post on Baptism Old vs. New Rite.  Two videos of the 1962 Rite follow:


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