Saturday October 31st 2020

How soon after birth should Catholics baptize their infant?

Baptism of ChristAccording to Cannon 867 of the Code of Cannon Law, “Parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptized within the first few weeks. As soon as possible after the birth, indeed even before it, they are to approach the parish priest to ask for the sacrament for their child, and to be themselves duly prepared for it.” The Church teaches that baptism is necessary for salvation.  Canon 867 says that if the child is in danger of death he must be baptized immediately.  Parents need to baptize their child as soon as possible.  It possibly is the earliest and biggest responsibility parents of newborns have for their child.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church includes a statement regarding infants who die without baptism: “As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say: ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,’ allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church’s call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism” (No. 1261).

It is difficult to imagine a legitimate reason why Catholic parents, who truly believe in their faith, would fail to arrange for their children to be baptized as soon as possible.

If your parish requires a baptism class, the parents and God parents should go through their baptize classes before their baby is born.  This will insure minimal wait before their baby is baptized.

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