Saturday, November 22, 2008

Why I Request Conditional Baptism

I've asked the instructor of my RCIA classes 3 times if I could receive a conditional baptism - which every convert had to have before the Second Vatican Council, though only out of practices not teaching, Protestant baptisms have been declared valid since Trent- and every time I request one immediately, before I can even say why they reject it.

Well as such tomorrow is my 'rite of acceptance' an interesting liturgical innovation by which we stand at the front of the church and 'receive'? the sign of the cross/signum crucis. I was supposed to be a 'candidate' rather than a 'catechumen' because I've been baptized already (in a church which Rome has declared a defective false heretical group) and apparently it would be 'offensive' to say their baptism wasn't real (even though it somehow isn't offensive to say that everything else they do is wrong).

The problem: I forgot to pick up my 'baptismal record' (which I doubt my church even has, why would you record an event that is merely symbolic and entirely ineffectual?). So it's too late now and I don't know what to do as tomorrow morning I need it. SO i've turned the problem into a final attempt to receive conditional baptism and be accepted as a Catechumen - I've written this document on it. If they don't let me in and continue to show that they can't even understand their own theology - that's it. ....seriously ... there's no way God's true Church could be that idiotic. (Though that may not be true, I've read some medieval church history). In any case, I've already said I'm becoming Anglican if they refuse or it becomes an issue (because I KNOW that the CofE isn't God's true church and so at least I'll have certainty - aka I'll have certainty I'm wrong).

Here's the document I wrote:

Catholic Declarations on Baptism:
Canon 4 - “If anyone says that the baptism which is given by heretics in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit with the intention of doing what the Church does, is not true baptism, let him be anathema.” – Council of Trent on Baptism

1213 “1213 Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word."

Baptism is Regenerative (saving) and is done with the intent to bring the baptized individual into the Church.

1284 “In case of necessity, any person can baptize provided that he have the intention of doing that which the Church does and provided that he pours water on the candidate's head while saying: "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."”

On February 16, 2004 I was baptized by full immersion at Harbour Fellowship Baptist Church in the proper Trinitarian formula, but it was not done with the intention or understanding that the Catholic Church has of baptism. In almost no ways is it possible to link the Baptist understanding of Baptism with the Catholic position.

Fellowship Baptist and Baptist Declarations on Baptism:

Baptism, which is the immersion of the believer in water, whereby he obeys Christ’s command and sets forth his identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.

Even if the Baptist Minister did intent me to enter into ‘the church’ the Baptist definition of Church is:

“The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church. In Him… is vested in a supreme and sovereign manner all power… The Pope of Rome cannot in any sense be head of the Church, but he is that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, who exalts himself in the church against Christ and all that is called God, who the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.” – London Baptist Confession (1689) 26.14

The Catholic Encyclopedia says:
“the only two sacraments, or ordinances as they call them, which Baptists generally admit, are not productive of grace, but are mere symbols. Baptism does not bestow, but symbolizes, regeneration, which has already taken place.”

Therefore, I would like to ask for a conditional baptism, not out of stubbornness, but out of genuine belief and study of the documents of the Catholic Church.


  1. Your rejection of a trinitarian baptism was due to the minister and their understanding? How is that not Donatist? Do you think part of that is left over from your Baptist understanding?

  2. I guess I just thought since it said intent of doing what the Church does, and I know that only the Anglicans, Orthodox, and Lutherans have the same intent as Catholics. It's just the definition.

    But I understand your concern for donatism, it's not that the minister was unholy, it was just that when he baptized me he was not thinking the same thing. It's like the fact that Mormons baptize in the Trinitarian formula, and so many Mormons entered the Church without a conditional baptism and later it was declared their baptisms were invalid because of their strange understanding of the trinity - or rather lack thereof.

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