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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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84.

 Closely following the Fathersinstitutions, we decree also as concerning infants, whenever there can be found no reliable witnesses who can state beyond a doubt that they have been duly baptized, and neither are they themselves owing to their infancy able to give any information at all in reply to questions respecting the mystagogical rite administered to them, they must be baptized without putting any obstacle in the way, lest any such hesitation may deprive them of such purifying sanctification.

 

Interpretation.

This Canon too is likewise word for word c. LXXX of Carthage, decreeing that whenever no witnesses can be found to testify that infants have been baptized (perhaps because they were captured by barbarians and abducted to distant regions,[222] and were thereafter redeemed from captivity by Christians), nor can they themselves give any information that they have been baptized, owing to infancy, or, more explicitly speaking, owing to the infantile age at which they were baptized. Such infants, I say, ought to be baptized without any hindrance, lest any doubt as to whether they have been baptized or not result in depriving them of the purification effected through and by virtue of the bath. And see the Footnote to Ap. c. XLVII.

 

 




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