Conditional baptism

Mainline Christian theology (including Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Church of the East, Anglican, Lutheran and most other Protestants) has traditionally held that only one baptism is valid to confer the benefits of this sacrament. In particular, the Council of Trent defined a dogma that it is forbidden to baptize a person who is already baptized, because the first baptism would make an indelible mark on the soul. Likewise, "Methodist theologians argued that since God never abrogated a covenant made and sealed with proper intentionality, rebaptism was never an option, unless the original baptism had been defective by not having been made in the name of the Trinity."[1] Therefore, in cases where the validity of a baptism is in doubt, a "conditional" baptism may be performed.[2][3]


Such uncertainty may result from questions about whether the Triune name of God was used by the person administering the baptism. In some cases, there are doubts about whether a church from which someone is converting baptizes in a valid manner. For example, the Catholic Church has said that the validity of baptisms in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (which does not practice conditional baptism) and in some other communions is doubtful. It is an issue where an infant is a foundling, and it is not known whether the child had been baptized before abandonment. Another example of a case requiring conditional baptism is when an emergency baptism has been performed using impure water. Then, the validity of the baptism is in question. In that case, a conditional baptism is later performed by an ordinary minister of the sacrament with certainly valid matter.

In a typical baptism, the minister of the sacrament (in the Catholic Church usually a deacon or a priest, but sometimes, especially when the baptized is in imminent danger of death, a lay person or even a non-Christian) says

I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit[4]

while pouring water upon the head of the one being baptized, or immersing him or her in water. In a conditional baptism, the minister of the sacrament says

If you are not yet baptized, I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.[5]

Other cases

Only the living can be recipients of Sacraments. Thus, if it is uncertain whether the baptizand is dead (i.e., his soul has parted from the body; this is the case for the first few hours or so after death in the modern sense), the formula is "If you are alive, I baptize [...]". In severe cases of birth anomaly, the (practically, always emergency) baptism formula is "If you are a human being, I baptize [...]".[6]

Likewise, if an emergency baptism has been performed over a part of the body other than the head (practically: during birth), or on a pregnant woman's womb (for the unborn child), the child is to be conditionally rebaptized (with the usual "if you are not baptized") even though the emergency baptisms should be performed in this way if necessary.[6]


  1. ^ Cracknell, Kenneth; White, Susan J. (5 May 2005). An Introduction to World Methodism. Cambridge University Press. p. 193. ISBN 9780521818490.
  2. ^ Jr, Charles Yrigoyen (25 September 2014). T&T Clark Companion to Methodism. A&C Black. p. 263. ISBN 9780567290779. Methdoists historically do not rebaptize unless the ecumenical formula was not used or another major impediment calls into question the adequacy of an earlier rite. When questions arise of a very grevious nature, there is the possibility of conditional baptism using the words 'If you are not already baptized, I baptize you in the name, etc.'
  3. ^ Vatican. "DIRECTORY FOR THE APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLES AND NORMS ON ECUMENISM 99, D; 112". PONTIFICIUM CONSILIUM AD CHRISTIANORUM UNITATEM FOVENDAM. Vatican. Archived from the original (web) on August 16, 2010. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
  4. ^ Book of Common Prayer p. 307
  5. ^ BCP p. 313
  6. ^ a b Rituale Romanum: Holy Baptism - General Rules

Affusion (la. affusio) is a method of baptism where water is poured on the head of the person being baptized. The word "affusion" comes from the Latin affusio, meaning "to pour on". Affusion is one of four methods of baptism used by Christians, which also include total submersion baptism, partial immersion baptism, and aspersion or sprinkling.Christian denominations which baptize by affusion do not deny the legitimacy of baptizing by submersion or immersion; rather, they consider that affusion is a sufficient, if not necessarily preferable, method of baptism. Affusion and aspersion tend to be practiced by Christian denominations that also practice infant baptism. This may be due to the practical difficulties of totally immersing an infant underwater. However, Eastern Orthodox and some Roman Catholics practice infant immersion. Amish, Old Order Mennonites, and Conservative Mennonites still practice baptism by pouring.

Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea

The Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea is a province of the Anglican Communion. It was created in 1976 when the Province of Papua New Guinea became independent from the Province of Queensland in the Church of England in Australia (officially renamed the Anglican Church of Australia in 1981) following Papua New Guinea's independence in 1975.

The first Archbishop and Primate of Papua New Guinea was David Hand, the Bishop of Port Moresby. Succeeding Primates were also as a diocesan bishops until the consecration of Joseph Kopapa, who was Primate from 2010 to 2012. Before his election to the primacy, Kopapa was Bishop of Popondota but, prior to the primatial election, it was decided that the primate would have no diocesan responsibilities and would take on a solely national role.

Anglican sacraments

In keeping with its prevailing self-identity as a via media or "middle path" of Western Christianity, Anglican sacramental theology expresses elements in keeping with its status as a church in the Catholic tradition and a church of the Reformation. With respect to sacramental theology the Catholic tradition is perhaps most strongly asserted in the importance Anglicanism places on the sacraments as a means of grace, sanctification and forgiveness as expressed in the church's liturgy.

When the Thirty-Nine Articles were accepted by Anglicans generally as a norm for Anglican teaching, they recognised two sacraments only – Baptism and the Eucharist – as having been ordained by Christ ("sacraments of the Gospel") as Article XXV of the Thirty-Nine Articles describes them) and as necessary for salvation. The status of the Articles today varies from province to province: Canon A5 of the Church of England defines them as a source for Anglican doctrine. Peter Toon names ten provinces as having retained them. He goes on to suggest that they have become "one strategic lens of a multi-lens telescope through which to view tradition and approach Scripture".Five other acts are regarded variously as full sacraments by Anglo-Catholics or as "sacramental rites" by Evangelicals with varied opinions among broad church and liberal Anglicans. Article XXV of the Thirty-Nine Articles states that these five "are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel, being such as have grown partly of the corrupt following of the Apostles, partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures; but yet have not like nature of Sacraments with Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, for that they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God."According to the Thirty-Nine Articles, the seven are divided as follows:

A wider range of opinions about the 'effectiveness of the sacraments is found among Anglicans than in the Roman Catholic Church: some hold to a more Catholic view maintaining that the sacraments function "as a result of the act performed" (ex opere operato); others emphasise strongly the need for worthy reception and faith".


Aspersion (la. aspergere/aspersio), in a religious context, is the act of sprinkling with water, especially holy water. Aspersion is a method used in baptism as an alternative to immersion or affusion. The word is formed of the Latin aspergere, 'to sprinkle', of ad, 'to', and spargo, 'I scatter' (Ezekiel 36:25-26, 1 Corinthians 10:2, cf. Psalm 77:16-20).

In addition, aspersion is performed as part of certain rites to remind people of their baptism, such as the renewal of baptismal vows performed by the Roman Catholic Church on Easter.


Baptism (from the Greek noun βάπτισμα baptisma; see below) is a Christian rite of admission and adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into Christianity. The synoptic gospels recount that John the Baptist baptised Jesus. Baptism is considered a sacrament in most churches, and as an ordinance in others. Baptism is also called christening, although some reserve the word "christening" for the baptism of infants. It has also given its name to the Baptist churches and denominations.

The usual form of baptism among the earliest Christians involved the candidate's immersion, either totally (submerged completely under the water) or partially (standing or kneeling in water while water was poured on him or her). John the Baptist's use of a deep river for his baptising suggests immersion: The fact that he chose a permanent and deep river suggests that more than a token quantity of water was needed, and both the preposition 'in' (the Jordan) and the basic meaning of the verb 'baptize' probably indicate immersion. In v. 16, Matthew will speak of Jesus 'coming up out of the water'. Phillip and the Eunuch also went down and came up out of water (Acts 8:38–39). Baptism is likened unto a burial in Romans 6:3. "Dip" is translated from baptō (βάπτω). The traditional depiction in Christian art of John the Baptist pouring water over Jesus' head may therefore be based on later Christian practice. Pictorial and archaeological evidence of Christian baptism from the 3rd century onward indicates that a normal form was to have the candidate stand in water while water was poured over the upper body. Other common forms of baptism now in use include pouring water three times on the forehead, a method called affusion.

Martyrdom was identified early in Church history as "baptism by blood", enabling the salvation of martyrs who had not been baptized by water. Later, the Catholic Church identified a baptism of desire, by which those preparing for baptism who die before actually receiving the sacrament are considered saved. As evidenced also in the common Christian practice of infant baptism, Christians universally regarded baptism as in some sense necessary for salvation, until Huldrych Zwingli (1484–1531) denied its necessity in the 16th century.Quakers and the Salvation Army do not practice baptism with water. Among denominations that practice baptism by water, differences occur in the manner and mode of baptizing and in the understanding of the significance of the rite. Most Christians baptize "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (following the Great Commission), but some baptize in Jesus' name only. Much more than half of all Christians baptize infants; many others regard only believer's baptism as true baptism.

The term "baptism" has also been used metaphorically to refer to any ceremony, trial, or experience by which a person is initiated, purified, or given a name.

Baptism in early Christianity

Baptism has been part of Christianity from the start, as shown by the many mentions in the Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline epistles.

Dorothy Day

Dorothy Day (November 8, 1897 – November 29, 1980) was an American journalist, social activist, and Catholic convert. Day initially lived a bohemian lifestyle before gaining public attention as a social activist after her conversion. She was a political radical, perhaps the best known radical in American Catholic Church history.Day's conversion is described in her autobiography, The Long Loneliness. Day was also an active journalist, and described her social activism in her writings. In 1917 she was imprisoned as a member of suffragist Alice Paul's nonviolent Silent Sentinels. In the 1930s, Day worked closely with fellow activist Peter Maurin to establish the Catholic Worker Movement, a pacifist movement that combines direct aid for the poor and homeless with nonviolent direct action on their behalf. She practiced civil disobedience, which led to additional arrests in 1955, 1957, and in 1973 at the age of seventy-five. As part of the Catholic Worker Movement, Day co-founded the Catholic Worker newspaper in 1933, and served as its editor from 1933 until her death in 1980. In this newspaper, Day advocated the Catholic economic theory of distributism, which she considered a third way between capitalism and socialism.Pope Benedict XVI used her conversion story as an example of how to "journey towards faith... in a secularized environment." Pope Francis included her in a short list of exemplary Americans, together with Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., and Thomas Merton, in his address before the United States Congress. The Church has opened the cause for Day's possible canonization, which was accepted by the Holy See for investigation. Due to this, the Church refers to her with the title of Servant of God.

Elizabeth Hesselblad

Saint Maria Elizabeth Hesselblad (4 June 1870 – 24 April 1957), was a Swedish nurse who was a convert to the Catholic Church and founded a new form of life of the Bridgettines known as the Bridgettine Sisters. She was a professed member of the Bridgettine order.

Pope John Paul II beatified her on 9 April 2000 and Pope Francis approved her canonization in late 2015; the canonization date was determined on 15 March 2016 and was celebrated on 5 June 2016 in Saint Peter's Square. Hesselblad is also recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations due to her efforts in World War II saving the lives of Jewish people during the genocide of the Holocaust.

Emergency baptism

An emergency baptism is a baptism administered to a person in danger of death. This can be done by a person not normally authorized to administer the sacraments.

History of baptism

John the Baptist, who is considered a forerunner to Christianity, used baptism as the central sacrament of his messianic movement. Christians consider Jesus to have instituted the sacrament of baptism. The earliest Christian baptisms were probably normally by immersion, though other modes may have also been used. By the third and fourth centuries, baptism involved catechetical instruction as well as chrismation, exorcisms, laying on of hands, and recitation of a creed. In the West, Affusion became the normal mode of baptism between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, though immersion was still practiced into the sixteenth. In the sixteenth century, Martin Luther retained baptism as a sacrament, but Swiss reformer Huldrych Zwingli considered baptism and the Lord's supper to be symbolic. Anabaptists denied the validity of infant baptism, which was the normal practice when their movement started and practiced believer's baptism instead. Several groups related to Anabaptism, notably the Baptists and Dunkards, soon practiced baptism by immersion as following the Biblical example.

Index of religion-related articles

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James Roosevelt Bayley

James Roosevelt Bayley (August 23, 1814 – October 3, 1877) was an American prelate of the Catholic Church. He served as the first Bishop of Newark (1853–72) and the eighth Archbishop of Baltimore (1872–77).

John Clement Gordon

John Clement Gordon (1644–1726), originally just John Gordon, bishop of Galloway, was born in Scotland on 1644, and was a member of the Gordon family of Coldwells, near Ellon in Buchan, Aberdeenshire. He became a chaplain in the Royal Navy and then royal chaplain "at New York in America", by which time he was a Doctor of Theology; when, on a vacancy in the see of Galloway, a congé d'élire in his favour was issued 3 December 1687. He was accordingly elected bishop on 4 February 1688, and consecrated at Glasgow by John Paterson, Archbishop of Glasgow.

After the so-called "Glorious Revolution", he followed James VII/II to Ireland and then to France, and while residing at Saint-Germain he read the liturgy of the church of England to such English, Scottish and Irish protestants as resorted to his lodgings. Subsequently, however, he was converted to Catholicism by Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet. It appears that he was privately received into the Roman church during his sojourn in France, though at a later period he made a public abjuration of Protestantism at Rome, before Giuseppe Cardinal Sacripanti, the cardinal protector of the Scottish nation.

At his conditional baptism he took the additional name of the reigning pontiff, and ever afterwards signed himself John Clement Gordon. The pope, wishing to confer some benefice pension on the new convert, caused the sacred congregation of the inquisition to institute an inquiry into the validity of Gordon's Protestant orders. After a long investigation his orders were treated as if they were null from the beginning. The decree of the inquisition to this effect was issued on 17 April 1704. After this Gordon received the sacrament of confirmation, and Pope Clement XI conferred on him the tonsure, giving him the benefice of the abbey of St. Clement, by reason of which Gordon commonly went by the name of the Abate Clemente. It is observable that he never received other than minor orders in the Roman Catholic Church.

He died at Rome in 1726. Gordon was resident in the Papal States when James VIII/III went there with his court in 1717. He is often thought to be the author of a controversial piece entitled Pax Vobis, or Gospel Liberty, but that attribution is now considered unlikely. He was the last Bishop of Galloway in the church of Scotland, episcopacy being abolished in the Scottish church in 1689.

Joshua Maria Young

Joshua Maria Young (October 29, 1808 – September 18, 1866) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Erie, Pennsylvania, from 1854 until his death.

List of Catholic authors

The authors listed on this page should be limited to those who identify as Catholic authors in some form. This does not mean they are necessarily orthodox in their beliefs. It does mean they identify as Catholic in a religious, cultural, or even aesthetic manner. The common denominator is that at least some (and preferably the majority) of their writing is imbued with a Catholic religious, cultural or aesthetic sensibility.

Luci Baines Johnson

Luci Baines Johnson Turpin (formerly Nugent, born July 2, 1947) is an American businesswoman and philanthropist. She is the younger daughter of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife, former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson.

Marian Rivera

Marian Rivera Gracia-Dantes (Fil) or Marian Gracia Rivera de Dantes (Es) (née Spanish: Marian Gracia y Rivera; Filipino: Marian Rivera Gracia; born 12 August 1984), known professionally as Marian Rivera, is a Filipino commercial model and actress, best known for her roles in MariMar, Dyesebel, Amaya, and Temptation of Wife.As a recording artist, Rivera has released two studio albums: the Marian Rivera Dance Hits and Retro Crazy. She starred in such films as My Bestfriend's Girlfriend, You to Me Are Everything, and Panday 2.She was included in 2011's Top 20 Endorsers. She was hailed as FHM Magazine's Sexiest Woman in 2008, 2013, and 2014, setting the record of three cumulative victories through voting online and SMS.

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. He is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the circumstances of his criminal conviction for homosexuality, imprisonment, and early death at age 46.

Wilde's parents were successful Anglo-Irish intellectuals in Dublin. Their son became fluent in French and German early in life. At university, Wilde read Greats; he proved himself to be an outstanding classicist, first at Trinity College Dublin, then at Oxford. He became known for his involvement in the rising philosophy of aestheticism, led by two of his tutors, Walter Pater and John Ruskin. After university, Wilde moved to London into fashionable cultural and social circles.

As a spokesman for aestheticism, he tried his hand at various literary activities: he published a book of poems, lectured in the United States and Canada on the new "English Renaissance in Art" and interior decoration, and then returned to London where he worked prolifically as a journalist. Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress and glittering conversational skill, Wilde became one of the best-known personalities of his day. At the turn of the 1890s, he refined his ideas about the supremacy of art in a series of dialogues and essays, and incorporated themes of decadence, duplicity, and beauty into what would be his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). The opportunity to construct aesthetic details precisely, and combine them with larger social themes, drew Wilde to write drama. He wrote Salome (1891) in French while in Paris but it was refused a licence for England due to an absolute prohibition on the portrayal of Biblical subjects on the English stage. Unperturbed, Wilde produced four society comedies in the early 1890s, which made him one of the most successful playwrights of late-Victorian London.

At the height of his fame and success, while The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) was still being performed in London, Wilde had the Marquess of Queensberry prosecuted for criminal libel. The Marquess was the father of Wilde's lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. The libel trial unearthed evidence that caused Wilde to drop his charges and led to his own arrest and trial for gross indecency with men. After two more trials he was convicted and sentenced to two years' hard labour, the maximum penalty, and was jailed from 1895 to 1897. During his last year in prison, he wrote De Profundis (published posthumously in 1905), a long letter which discusses his spiritual journey through his trials, forming a dark counterpoint to his earlier philosophy of pleasure. On his release, he left immediately for France, never to return to Ireland or Britain. There he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), a long poem commemorating the harsh rhythms of prison life. He died destitute in Paris at the age of 46.

William Kurelek

William Kurelek, CM (March 3, 1927 – November 3, 1977) was a Canadian artist and writer. His work was influenced by his childhood on the prairies, his Ukrainian-Canadian roots, his struggles with mental illness, and his conversion to Roman Catholicism.

His father, Dmytro Kurelek, was born in Boriwtsi, Bukovina. Mary Huculak, his mother, was born in Canada, and received her elementary education in a local rural school. Her family had come with the first wave of Ukrainian immigration to Canada and was also from Boriwtsi. Dmytro and Mary were cousins. Dmytro arrived to work on the Huculak farm early in 1923. The couple married in the summer of 1925, his mother not quite nineteen at the time.

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