Emergency Baptism

Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by PDL, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    981
    Likes Received:
    754
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    It is the theology of the Roman Catholic Church that anyone may baptism: bishop/priest/deacon; religious; lay man/woman whether they are Catholic, non-Catholic Christian, non-Christian believer or atheist. All that is required is the proper intent (to baptise), proper matter (water) and proper form (N. I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit). Of course, anyone is only supposed to do it in an emergency, e.g. the person is not baptised and in imminent danger of death. Under normal circumstances you should take your child to be baptised at the parish church by the parish priest.

    I am wondering if the Church of England and/or other members of the Anglican Communion allow anyone to baptise. I have never heard it discussed or mentioned. Would I, for example, validly baptise say, an infant, in danger of death if no priest was available. Alternatively, does baptism in the Anglican churches have to be administered by a priest (including bishops)? Can deacons in the Anglican churches baptise? If you know these things vary by church my greatest interest would be in knowing what applies to the Church of England.
     
  2. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    559
    Likes Received:
    254
    Country:
    New Zealand
    Religion:
    none
    Ahem, I thought the permission of the parents might be desirable. There seems to be no mention of the parents in your thesis. We don't want a modern repeat of the Roman Catholic Edgardo Mortara scandal, do we?
     
  3. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,644
    Likes Received:
    918
    Religion:
    ACNA
    I would say anyone can baptize. They accept other denominations Baptisms right? Say a Baptist Baptism, has no one standing in apostolic secession so it is basically just any lay person Baptizing people.
     
  4. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,741
    Likes Received:
    1,242
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    The Church of England allows, even recommends, emergency baptism of infants, (not that this is theologically, strictly speaking, necessary for saving the soul of an innocent infant. God takes care of infants, whatever.). The most usual instance of such events would be the baptism of a still born or terminally ill infant at childbirth. Usually midwives have always performed the necessary ritual. The Church of England places the responsibility to baptise upon any available baptised person of faith in the circumstances and also requires that person to inform the priest or minister, who would otherwise have baptised, that baptism has already been administered, if subsequently the infant eventually survives.

    Emergency baptism is exactly that though. Such an emergency would probably leave no time to consult parents, (except perhaps the mother, if conscious), and I wouldn't see that as any kind of a problem either. I can't see the logic of a parent objecting to midwives taking whatever steps they may have deemed necessary to preserve a spiritual life, any more than taking whatever steps might be deemed necessary to save the infant's physical life. Permission should not be necessary in either case, it's simply the default humane position if a parent happens not to be there to be asked.
    .
     
  5. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    351
    Likes Received:
    517
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    Anglican, CofE
    In the CofE a Deacon may baptise in the absence of a Priest. (See the rite for the Ordination of Deacons BCP 1662.)

    As Tiffy has already posted, in an emergency a lay person may baptise and the Priest/Minister then notified that Baptism has taken place.

    There is a form a emergency Baptism here: (See note 1 towards bottom of page.)

    https://www.churchofengland.org/pra...p/christian-initiation/emergency-baptism#p198
     
  6. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    559
    Likes Received:
    254
    Country:
    New Zealand
    Religion:
    none
    Doesn't this bring up the messy issue of Baptism for the dead and 1 Cor 15:29?
     
  7. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,741
    Likes Received:
    1,242
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    Not really.

    1 Cor.15:29 might be used to justify the baptism of still born infants but that was not the reason behind the text originally appearing there. The early post pentecostal church had many Hebrew members whose close family had died before before the Christian church existed as a separate entity from the 'Congregation' or people of God. They believed, (probably rightly), that baptism on behalf of their dead children or parents would necessarily include them into the extended blessings of The NEW Covenant because they had been faithful to the OLD in their obedience to YAHWEH.

    YAHWEH is faithful to all who love him and keep His commandments. Deut. 7:9.
     
  8. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    981
    Likes Received:
    754
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    It depends on what one is talking about. I was talking about validity. Your point about parental consent is irrelevant in that regard.

    Baptising a child without the consent of or contrary to the wishes of the parents would be a matter of liceity and not validity.

    My understanding is that the Roman Catholic Church's position is that children are not to be baptised against the wishes of the parents.

    For the record I do not advocate nor agree with baptising children against the wishes of their parents.
     
  9. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,741
    Likes Received:
    1,242
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    I'm not sure what the position of the Anglican Church is but the position of churches in the Reformed Tradition, (unlike the Roman Catholic church which has a somewhat different basis upon which it baptises infants), base the baptism of infants solely upon the infant being a child of the New Covenant which would entail at least one of the parents being a believer. If both parents object to the infant being baptised there would be absolutely no reason for the church to extend the privellidge of baptism to it, since the sign and seal of baptism would be illegitimate and inappropriate for an infant of unbelieving parents outside the Covenant and therefore estranged from it's promises. Eph.2:12. As such the parents would not be in the church themselves and neither could their infant legitimately be admitted to it or declared a member of it, through baptism. Those outside the church who would deny baptism to their infant, cannot even presume to be the children of promise themselves. The church should most assuredly not do so. Rom.9:8, Gal.4:28.

    On the other hand, it would be permissable, in emergency, to baptise an infant even though permission of the parents is not available or obtainable in time. God is quite able to sort wheat from chaff.
    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
  10. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    559
    Likes Received:
    254
    Country:
    New Zealand
    Religion:
    none
    You may want to consider the Papal Bull Postremo mense of Benedict XIV (1747). This Bull refers to Jewish children , it made several guidelines among which were;
    • it is generally not licit to baptize the child of a Jewish family without parental consent
    • it is licit to baptize a Jewish child in danger of death without parental consent
    • church authorities have a duty to remove a baptized child from its parents' custody if the parents have not been baptized and to provide the child with a Christian education, whether that child's baptism is licit or not.
    This Bull has had practicle consequences for several unfortunates since.

    There is also Canon law 868


    Can. 868 §1. For an infant to be baptized licitly:

    1/ the parents or at least one of them or the person who legitimately takes their place must consent;

    2/ there must be a founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the Catholic religion; if such hope is altogether lacking, the baptism is to be delayed according to the prescripts of particular law after the parents have been advised about the reason.

    §2. An infant of Catholic parents or even of non-Catholic parents is baptized licitly in danger of death even against the will of the parents.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
  11. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,514
    Likes Received:
    1,797
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican Christian
    I have long thought that a Papal "Bull" is most aptly named. :p And yes, I know it is short for 'bulletin,' but so many of those decrees remind me of bull excrement.

    Is it any wonder that Thomas Cranmer wrote the following? “Whereof it followeth Rome to be the seat of Antichrist, and the pope to be very antichrist himself. I could prove the same by many other scriptures, old writers, and strong reasons.” Tyndale, Knox, Calvin, and Wycliff all wrote likewise.
     
  12. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,555
    Likes Received:
    2,358
    Traditionally, the Episcopal Church held to the following rule, found as an instruction for the rite of Private Baptism in the 1928 BCP:

    "In cases of extreme sickness, or any imminent peril, if a Minister cannot be procured, then any baptized person present may administer holy Baptism, using the foregoing form. Such Baptism shall be promptly reported to the Parish authorities."
     
    Shane R and Tiffy like this.