Can Any Other Person Administer The Sacrament of Baptism In The Catholic Church Apart From A Priest?
The ministers allotted to administer baptism in the Catholic church are the priests – bishops included. In danger of death, any person can baptize even a non-Catholic or non-Christian provided he has good disposition, that is, Baptize in the name of the church with Trinitarian formula.
However, the record of such Baptism has to be registered with the nearby Church. Baptism can be done by immersion or pouring of water over the head or forehead of the person to be baptized.
Ezekiel 36:25 – “I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleans you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleans you“. The above passage from the old testament is a prototype of baptism.
Can Someone Who Is Not Baptized Be Recognized As A Member Of The Church?
Christ established the church and instructed that membership should be by baptism. He told the apostles in Mathew 28:19 – “Make disciples of all nations, baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit“.
Salvation is though faith in Christ and reception of Baptism. Mark 16:16 says, “Who ever believes and is baptised is saved. But whoever does not believe will be condemned“. Catholics believe that baptism washes us from the original sin of Adam and Eve and other sins committed prior to baptism.
1 Peter 3:18-21 explained that just as the flood cleaned the world of sin in the days of Noah so does baptism save us now.
Baptism is a sacrament that makes us adopted children of God, members of Gods household.
Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:5, “verily, verily I say to you, no one can enter into the kingdom of God unless he’s born of the water and spirit“. Through baptism we became followers of Christ and members of the Church.
We are already “born again” therefore don’t need the watchword. The slogan born again is for those who do not understand what baptism is all about. When people asked how they can be saved, Peter replied: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the holy spirit“ (Acts 22:16). Thus, those who joined the apostles were baptized after they professed their faith to the Lord.
From the above explanation, it is obvious that one has to be baptized in the Catholic church before he can be fully recognized as a member of the church. No wonder Mass can not be celebrated for a churchgoer who died without being baptized.
Physically, for the affection towards our fellow, the person will be recognized but not as a member of the Church. It is therefore very important to embrace the sacrament of baptism to be fully adopted as a child of God.