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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. My sister gave birth to a son last month. She went to the priest of the local Catholic Church to arrange for her son to be baptized. The priest told my sister that she did not meet the Church requirements to have her son baptized. He said the reason was because my sister married outside the Catholic Church. My sister is very upset that her son is being denied the Sacrament of Baptism. Can the priest do that?

A. 1. According to Canon Law # 868.1 of the Catholic Church:

868 1. For an infant to be baptised lawfully it is required:

1 that the parents, or at least one of them, or the person who lawfully holds their place, give their consent;

2 that there be a well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the catholic religion. If such hope is truly lacking, the baptism is, in accordance with the provisions of particular law, to be deferred and the parents advised of the reason for this.

Since your sister decided the marry outside the catholic Church and is now living in sin through a non-recognized marriage, she disqualied herself as a suitable parent to raise her child in the Catholic Church. One cannot claim to be a Catholic in good standing while rejecting whatever teachings of the Church that oppose their desire.

Based on the above, the priest was legally bound to refuse to baptize your nephew until such time as your sister has repented and obtain a Sacramental Marriage within the Catholic Church.

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