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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. What does the Catholic Church teach regarding miscarriages? Should the Sacrament of Baptism take place?

A. 1. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia,

"Abortion may be briefly defined as 'the loss of a fetal life.' In it the fetus dies while yet within the generative organs of the mother, or it is ejected or extracted from them before it is viable; that is, before it is sufficiently developed to continue its life by itself. The term abortion is also applied, though less properly, to cases in which the child has become viable, but did not survive the delivery... Abortion occurs at any time between conception and a safe delivery. The word miscarriage is taken in the same wide sense."

A miscarriage may also be called a "spontaneous abortion." This refers to a naturally occurring events, not to medical abortions or surgical abortions.

On the subject of miscarriages (spontaneous abortion), the Catholic Code of Canon Law # 871 states:

"If aborted fetuses are alive, they are to be baptized insofar as possible."

While the percent of miscarriages is low compared to live birth, every parent should learn how to baptise in case of an emergency such as in a miscarriage.

Memorize the following three requirements:

I. Water must be used.

II. The person administering the Sacrament of Baptism must sprinkle water upon the candidate 3 times, while saying the words, I baptize you in the name of the Father (sprinkle) and of the Son (sprinkle) and of the Holy Spirit (sprinkle).

III. The person administering the Sacrament of Baptism must have to intent to baptise as the Catholic Church intends for it to be done.

If there is doubt that the soul of the individual is still present, you can still proceed with the Sacrament of Baptism. It then become a conditional Baptism. If the soul is present, the Baptism shall be valid. If the soul is no longer present, the Sacrament shall not be valid.

Canon Law # 869 1. states: "If there is a doubt whether a person has been baptized or whether baptism was conferred validly and the doubt remains after a serious investigation, baptism is to be conferred conditionally."

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