Baptized at (not in) The Roman Catholic Church

Written by Joel on October 8th, 2011

Next Saturday, my daughter will be baptized. We chose to have the baptism at the Roman Catholic Church where my wife is a member. I also attend Saturday mass with her when I can. This of course raises the interesting question about the nature of baptism and where one finds a faith home, particularly as an inter-church family. We do plan to raise her in the Roman Catholic Church, though of course how could I not share my own faith with my own child as a Protestant Christian, and as a pastor at that? We’ll just have to wait and see what that looks like as her faith grows.

The church where I am currently serving as pastor practices infant baptism, so that particular issue isn’t so challenging (I wonder what challenges would have presented themselves had I discovered my first call in a Disciples of Christ context where infant baptism is not practiced). Still though, I often wonder if all things Catholic may prove to be initially suspicious for a Protestant congregation. I invited my congregation to the baptism.

Penny’s baptism does come shortly after the reception of Common Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Baptism, approved at this year’s General Synod. The Roman Catholic Church and Reformed Traditions mutually recognize the validity of one another’s baptism. It is the sacrament we are able to already share. There is one baptism after all, and she will be baptized into a body of believers that is so much bigger than any one manifestation of the church (denomination) that happens to be able to gather next Saturday at any one particular place on the map.

Baptism is so much bigger than all that. Our faith fathers and mothers who went on before us, the saints, and all those who will come after us – all Christians throughout the entire world – this is the body of faith she will be incorporated into. The Body of Christ so expansive, yet so intimately near as to care for even the tiniest of babes placed in it’s care. We are very much looking forward to celebrating Penny’s baptism in just over a week.


 

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