Emergency Baptism

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

  1. PDL

    PDL Active Member Anglican

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    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 Active Member

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    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 Active Member

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    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

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    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

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    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 Active Member

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    Doesn't this bring up the messy issue of Baptism for the dead and 1 Cor 15:29?
     
  7. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    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.
     

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