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Code of Canon Law

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  • BOOK IV : THE SANCTIFYING OFFICE OF THE CHURCH (Cann. 834 – 848)
    • PART I : THE SACRAMENTS
        • TITLE I: BAPTISM (Cann. 849 - 878)
          • CHAPTER III : THE PERSONS TO BE BAPTISED
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CHAPTER III : THE PERSONS TO BE BAPTISED

Can. 864 Every unbaptised person, and only such a person, can be baptised.

Can. 865 §1 To be admitted to baptism, an adult must have manifested the intention to receive baptism, must be adequately instructed in the truths of the faith and in the duties of a christian, and tested in the christian life over the course of the catechumenate. The person must moreover be urged to have sorrow for personal sins.

§2 An adult in danger of death may be baptised if, with some knowledge of the principal truths of the faith, he or she has in some manner manifested the intention to receive baptism and promises to observe the requirements of the christian religion.

Can. 866 Unless there is a grave reason to the contrary, immediately after receiving baptism an adult is to be confirmed, to participate in the celebration of the Eucharist and to receive holy communion.

Can. 867 §1 Parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptised within the first few weeks. As soon as possible after the birth, indeed even before it, they are to approach the parish priest to ask for the sacrament for their child, and to be themselves duly prepared for it.

§2 If the infant is in danger of death, it is to be baptised without any delay.

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

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

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.

§2 An infant of catholic parents, indeed even of non-catholic parents, may in danger of death be baptised even if the parents are opposed to it.

Can. 869 §1 If there is doubt as to whether a person was baptised or whether a baptism was conferred validly, and after serious enquiry this doubt persists, the person is to be baptised conditionally.

§2 Those baptised in a non-catholic ecclesial community are not to be baptised conditionally unless there is a serious reason for doubting the validity of their baptism, on the ground of the matter or the form of words used in the baptism, or of the intention of the adult being baptised or of that of the baptising minister.

§3 If in the cases mentioned in §§1 and 2 a doubt remains about the conferring of the baptism or its validity, baptism is not to be conferred until the doctrine of the sacrament of baptism is explained to the person to be baptised, if that person is an adult. Moreover, the reasons for doubting the validity of the earlier baptism should be given to the person or, where an infant is concerned, to the parents.

Can. 870 An abandoned infant or a foundling is to be baptised unless diligent enquiry establishes that it has already been baptised.

Can. 871 Aborted foetuses, if they are alive, are to be baptised, in so far as this is possible.




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