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Conflicted internally and with DH over baptising DS - advice needed

(29 Posts)
Terramirabilis Wed 17-Dec-14 21:14:30

Our DS is four months old and is our first. My DH and I are both baptised Catholics although only I still practice. We had a Catholic wedding which my DH agreed to very willingly for my sake and for my DM and his DM. We had said that we wouldn't baptise DS because of doubt over whether you should really baptise someone who can't consent. Now I am feeling more like I would like to baptise DS although I still have some doubts. Maybe part of it is the disappointment my DM will feel if we don't do it. DH is thinking about it. Anyone any advice? NB Catholics are supposed to have their children baptised as babies/small children as waiting till "the age of reason" isn't really a thing.

Viviennemary Wed 17-Dec-14 21:18:48

I'm a Catholic but don't go to church. I think unless their are any huge objections from your DH you should have your baby baptised. Especially as you really want to. I can't see any reason why not.

hairylittlegoblin Wed 17-Dec-14 21:20:27

I don't know the Catholic position on baptism but in my protestant church child baptism is seen as thanking God for the baby and promising to share your faith with them. Both of our children were baptised in this way. I don't believe that it 'makes' them Christian - only their own faith can do that.

Not sure if that helps but for me it was a lovely way of celebrating our babies being born.

RandomMess Wed 17-Dec-14 21:21:10

Can you have some sort of blessing and service of thanks for safe arrival instead?

heather1 Wed 17-Dec-14 21:21:17

Yes you should have him baptised. Your doubts are your conscience speaking to you. It doesn't matter that he isn't old enough to consent. Baptism in the Catholic faith will give your Ds the sanctifying grace he needs to get to heaven (if heaven forbid he died before he reached the age of reason). It will also give him the graces to grow in his faith as he gets older.
Why not speak to your parish priest. He can explain the reasons for baptism, to you far better than someone on Mumsnet.

meandjulio Wed 17-Dec-14 21:29:16

As a practising Catholic I think you have every right to enjoy and benefit from the pleasures and rituals of your religion. TBH I think your DH should come up with some strong reasons against. If he doesn't believe, then he can't believe it can do the baby any harm?

hairylittlegoblin Wed 17-Dec-14 21:41:01

Wow heather is that the Catholic position on baptism? I am genuinely gobsmacked.

gingerdodger Thu 18-Dec-14 22:20:44

The promises made at baptism are made by parents and godparents to raise the child in the faith so maybe that is yours and your DH's starting point in thinking about whether they are ones you wish to make.

It is the first of the sacraments welcoming the child into the church but these are followed up (or not) through First Holy Communion and Confirmation as the child making their own commitment.

I have known quite a few older children be baptised into the Catholic Church (at their own request) so whilst most are baptised as babies it is not unheard of.

Will you be taking your child to mass and raising them as a Catholic? If so then this may influence your decision one way or another.

specialsubject Sat 20-Dec-14 13:38:57

if this was a discussion about circumcision I would encourage your doubts. A bit of water chucking never hurt anyone and if it makes you and the grandparents happier, do it.

adiposegirl Wed 24-Dec-14 17:11:17

"doesn't matter that he isn't old enough to consent. Baptism in the Catholic faith will give your Ds the sanctifying grace he needs to get to heaven (if heaven forbid he died before he reached the age of reason). It will also give him the graces to grow in his faith as he gets older."

Agrah! the curse of Catholic doctrine shakes head

glorious Thu 25-Dec-14 20:18:31

Actually Catholic teaching is that we don't know what happens to unbaptised babies but we hope they are saved. Limbo is not doctrine, it's just an idea which was widely accepted

Anyway OP we do many things for our children's benefit which they don't consent to, e.g. vaccination. If he later decides he's not religious or not Christian then baptism to him is just oil and water in his eyes and will have done no harm. If you are bringing him up Catholic then he won't feel like the odd one out when he is small.

But you have to be happy with this decision. Is there someone you could talk it over with?

glorious Thu 25-Dec-14 20:19:51

'In his eyes' in the figurative sense there fgrin

Moresproutsplease Thu 25-Dec-14 21:21:33

That's a relief glorious, I thought for a moment you meant that literally grin

glorious Fri 26-Dec-14 15:33:55

Epically bad sentence there. Only if the priest is really inaccurate!

HollyJollyXmas Fri 26-Dec-14 15:36:32

If you are intending to raise your child as a Catholic, baptise him. If not, dont.

I dint really get it?

Micah Fri 26-Dec-14 15:45:20

Errrm, just to get practical, have you thought about schools?

If you baptise him it will open up Catholic schools as well.

I am just finding out that very competitive Catholic schools, mainly secondary, use a baptised within 6 months of birth criteria too.

My dd was baptised at 8 months due to me having an emcs, ptsd, and my family being in all four corners, plus wanting it done in my old parish so my elderly relies could attend. Took me a while to match up everybody's free dates and organise things.

She's at Catholic primary, and we are practicing Catholics, but the 6 month thing may be an issue.

SwedishEdith Fri 26-Dec-14 15:50:21

Do you actually believe in this stuff? If you do, I'm not sure you have much choice do you? If you don't believe, don't bother.

CPtart Fri 26-Dec-14 16:30:12

A non-practising catholic here who had DC baptised simply to "cover all bases" and ensure they could get into the best local schools by a mile, which are Catholic. Agree with poster above, the 6 month thing did come into play for secondary. Luckily both DC were baptised at 6 months.
Hypocritical maybe, but their education comes before my morals.

Pippidoeswhatshewants Fri 26-Dec-14 16:38:44

I had a major meltdown over christening, or rather not christening, ds, as I am Catholic and dh is CofE. Dh refused to let ds be christened Catholic, and we were unable to get him christened CofE as we were abroad. PND did not help the situation much, and I was getting more and more hysterical, what with the pressure from my Catholic family and ds going to hell if he died unchristened.

A chat with a Catholic and CofE priest later I was happy to wait with the christening, as they both assured me that innocent children will not end up in hell.

Ds is now 10 and still unchristened, and I am back to being a happy atheist.
If you can live with the hypocrisy, I would consider school options.

sashh Fri 26-Dec-14 17:24:51


This 6 month thing became standard just as immigration from Eastern Europe became noticeable, in Eastern Europe it is tradition to baptise at 12 months.

Also many immigrants take the baby 'home' to be baptised where grandparents and other family are, so it is still often after 6 months.

My cynical side tells me that unless you have a Polish surname you will be OK.

HollyJollyXmas Fri 26-Dec-14 17:48:50

But even if you baptise just for schooling....with a Catholic education you'll have to go to church regularly (most Catholic schools will want evidence from the priest of weekly church attendance) and they'll need to take their communion. Its a commitment. Its not just the baptism day and then forget about it.

Consider it carefully.

GoodKingQuintless Fri 26-Dec-14 17:53:37

Baptize him asap.

In time you may want him to go to a Catholic school, and most demand that children are baptized either before 6 months, or before 12 months, to comply with Canon law.

Without his Baptizm he does not have a chance in Hell (scuse my pun) to attend any Faith school, and while it may not matter now, it most likely will when your child is 3/4 years old and you start applying for schools, and most definitely when you start looking at secondaries.

From a religious perspective, it might deeply concern you and the grannies, that the child is not "written into the big book of God" - if anything were to happen to him.

GoodKingQuintless Fri 26-Dec-14 17:54:55

Holly, without the baptismal certificate, they can sit in the church with the child every day and at every mass, and it wont matter one jot if the child is not baptized "in time".

GoodKingQuintless Fri 26-Dec-14 17:58:14

"This 6 month thing became standard just as immigration from Eastern Europe became noticeable, in Eastern Europe it is tradition to baptise at 12 months. "

We did this. My husband is Polish. I am Norwegian, and we also baptize late.

While we did manage to get a place in an RC Primary, due to a very nice letter of reference from Father Murphy, we were not as lucky for secondary - despite going to Church and educating our son in a Catholic primary. The late baptizm was the reason our son was way down the waiting list, despite our current priest explained there were good reason to baptize late.

sashh Sat 27-Dec-14 08:17:09


It makes me really angry, irrationally so because I would never send a child to an RC school but people I know who have attended church every week of their pregnancy and from the week after birth taking their baby, but have not organised a baptism are excluded.

One of the reason RC schools had an advantage was the low level of ESOL children and I am convinced this rule has been introduced to keep this low.

I was looking at the admissions to my old school recently (teaching equality and diversity) and the intake from RC children baptised before 6 months, in the next town, is given higher priority than children living next door to the school who have attended mass every week for 11 years, been baptised, made FC and confirmed but their baptism was when they were 1 or 2.

The RC church my parents attend has a significant number of Pakistani people in the congregation, can you imagine the logistics of taking a baby to Pakistan so grand parents can see the baptism? The cost, getting a passport, vaccinations etc.

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