Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Baptism by the laity
Baptism by the laity QUESTION from Robert Grey November 5, 2001
If a catholic lay person, with the intention of doing what the Church does when it confers the Sacrament of Baptism, baptizes someone who is NOT in danger of death and does not appear to be in such a danger, this Baptism is illicit because the lay person is not the ordinary minister, and that person, having performed the baptism, is of course in grave sin. But my question is the following. Is the Baptism so performed by a lay person, with clean water, valid matter for use in the Sacrament,using the correct trinitarian formula, making the correct pouring of water and having the intention of doing what the Church does when it baptizes, a VALID OR INVALID conferral of the Sacrament when the person being baptized is clearly not in articulo mortis?
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on November 3, 2001
Yes, a baptism under the circumstances you described is valid. The danger of death is needed for liceity as you described, but not validity.
This is why the church recongnizes most protestant baptisms as valid. Most Protestants use the actual formula, since it is found in scripture.
Let me just repeat for emphasis.. yes, it is extremely illicit and grave matter. The laity shouldn't be playing with what is rightfully entrusted to the clergy unless absolutely needed.
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