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BAPTISMAL ANNULMENT

The Roman Catholic Church claims that sprinkling water on a baby or an adult while saying, "I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" does amazing things. It takes away the sin we are born with, original sin, and any other sins and grafts us on to Jesus making us his servants. It puts Jesus and God inside us to live in us and inspire us. The Church says that baptism heals the inclination towards sin that original sin causes. Baptism is a sacrament. It pictures cleansing from sin and the effects of sin and actually does what it pictures.

Is it really that simple?

Canon 19 like all decrees of Nicaea I, is considered infallible as it was delivered by a general council of the Church. It discusses the followers of Bishop Paul of Samosota who taught that God was one person and that Jesus was not divine at all but merely a holy man. Though they baptised the same as the Catholics did, the baptism was considered invalid because of their denial of the Holy Trinity which teaches that God is Father and Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit, three persons yet one God.

Concerning the Paulianists who have flown for refuge to the Catholic Church, it has been decreed that they must by all means be rebaptised; and if any of them who in past time have been numbered among their clergy should be found blameless and without reproach, let them be rebaptized and ordained by the Bishop of the Catholic Church.

So baptism can be invalid though it seems the ceremony was done correctly.  The Catholic Church at the end of the day only guesses that it validly baptises children or that any particular baptised child is really baptised.

If baptism is so great for children then how come children have only self-regarding desires?  Work has to be done to address that and yet we are told that baptism turns a child into a forgiven friend of God who is healed from the selfish human outlook put in us by original sin which it remits.

The Church claims that when you were baptised as a baby you were made a member of the Church and obligated to obey its Bible and its God and its popes for all eternity. This claim is very vindictive. If there is indeed an obligation, the Church has to hope that you will suffer if you fail to keep it.

Obligations mean things you have to do on pain of being condemned as an immoral person worthy of suffering punishment. Any obligation with no punishment is not an obligation at all. Religion cannot prove religious obligations to be real. You need proof before you have the right to make obligations for people.

The Church claims it is not vindictive but wants those who do not do their duties to repent. But that is admitting that it is vindictive towards those who do not repent. Oh the hypocrisy! And inventing more obligations than is necessary is intrinsically vindictive.

It is far more vindictive to say people should be punished for breaking the vows made for them to be faithful to the Church than it is to say they should be punished for vows they made themselves as adults. Parents need to ponder this stuff before considering getting their babies baptised.

Baptism needs to be declared null and void and incapable of conferring fair and just obligations. Annulling is not an option. It's an obligation.

ARE YOU REALLY BAPTISED?

The purpose of law is to regulate human affairs. We can't have chaos so we need law.

Nobody can prove that a person who was baptised was really baptised. The priest might have withheld his intention thus turning the ceremony into an act. Canon law assumes that your baptism is real - it has to. But that still does not mean that it is right to. By assuming, it clearly indicates that it does not claim to be right. Laws are about regulation not about being right though the law hopes it is right. The Church recognises this point for it says that if a man becomes a woman in the eyes of the law he is still in reality a man.

The Church says that the effects of baptism include making you a child of God and a member of his Church and cleansing you of all sin including original sin. If you are an adult and you go through baptism without intending to receive any of the effects then the baptism is null and void. It only looks like a baptism. The baptism is as invalid as a baptism performed on television by an actor in the role of a priest. The baptism will have to be repeated when the person has the proper dispositions. Then the baptism will be valid.
 
Anglican priests and bishops are not really priests and bishops at all according to the Roman Catholic Church. Through Leo XIII the Church definitely declared that Anglican ordinations were "absolutely null and utterly void." Yet Anglicans have retained the Catholic way of making priests and bishops. The Church argues that because Anglicanism does not really believe in priests who offer Mass it cannot confer real ordination. This is proof that the Church knows a person can go through a sacramental ceremony and while there is seemingly no real problem with that ceremony, the ceremony might fail to confer a sacrament.

RENOUNCING BAPTISM

Baptism is principally about receiving the obligation to believe in the revelations of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit. That is why it is so important for the minister of baptism to use the words, “I baptise you in the name [ie authority as revealed to us] of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit“. To renounce your faith is to renounce your baptism at least implicitly.

PERSONAL IDENTITY

If an exact copy of me was made and there were two mes are they both me? Some philosophers say no for there can only be one me at the one time. If time had a blip and a time warp caused me to meet myself as I was five minutes ago are both of me me? Again the philosophers say that only one of them is really me.

They reason that uninterrupted bodily continuity makes me me. If so, I am far more different from myself when I was baptised as a baby than I would be if a time warp led to there being two mes. My body has been rebuilt many many times and my mind has hardly anything in common with my baby mind. Thus it is safe to say the validity of my baptism is suspect if not to be rejected outright.

The Church will respond that my soul or mental substance does not change which is why I am the same person as I was born. But this substance is a function - a scanner. There is no reason why it cannot be easily cloned. If it is not me if it is cloned then why say it is me when it is not? You cannot argue that the original me is no longer me because it is duplicated for that is like saying an apple is not an apple but a pear when cut in half.

BAPTISMAL ANNULMENT

Some secular organisations issue de-baptism certificates.

I think Baptismal Annulment Certificates are a much better idea.

Another possibility is that Initiation Annulment Certificates could be used if one does not wish to have one’s baptism invalidated. The only thing that is annulled then is the initiation into the Church allegedly conferred by baptism. The possibility of annulling the initiation stems from the fact that when a baby is baptised even in a Catholic Church by a priest that does not necessarily make her a Roman Catholic . The Church holds that Protestant baptisms are valid and they work but they do not make Roman Catholics of the babies. Initiation is still necessary.

The Church says the bond made with God in baptism is far more important than all the marriages in the universe. Bearing that in mind, when marriages can be annulled or declared void because one or both partners didn’t fully understand what they were doing how could baby baptism be valid? There is more consent between drunks who marry than there is in baptism!

A commitment you make yourself is more binding than any commitment made for you. Indeed, a commitment made for you and on your behalf is not a commitment at all. It’s a lie and an attempt to force religion on you.

Most Catholics do not feel free to refuse to have their child baptised. There is the pressure of the Catholic bigots up the road and the pressure of the relatives and the grandparents. Yet the Church tells them the baby cannot consent to baptism and needs them to consent for it, How could their consent suffice for the child? It is fitting in and an easy life they want - not the baptism!

Who would want to be made a member of a Church that says that if we die in serious sin we are so bad that we will turn our backs on love and suffer for all eternity out of hatred for everybody and God? That is a very serious extreme accusation! If an adult cannot give valid consent to unite with such a faith how can a baby?

Catholics have not been informed properly about the dangerous and deceits of their religion. Many of them don’t even know the rudiments of the Church’s teaching about baptism. Such people are only nominal members of the Church. If it is important to belong to the Church, then your consent to become part of it needs to be valid. It cannot if you do not know the religion very well. How could consent put a baby into the Church in reality when the parents themselves haven't validly consented to their own membership?

Your choice with regard to religious membership when you know what you are doing takes priority over any choice made by your parents and godparents to enter you into such membership. A choice made for you cannot have the same force as one made by you. Your personal choice matters most. So if you reject the religious membership that baptism gave you, you should be annulling your baptism. God is almighty and nothing can violate his will not even the sinner for God then permits the sin to happen. So God knows if a baptised baby will accept the choice made for her or him. Seeing a rejection means that God will have to regard the consent of the godparents and the parents as invalid and not impart membership of the church on you.

Many parents think in terms of baptism putting the label Catholic on their baby but without seeing it as engrafting a child into the Church properly.

The Catholic Church provides conditional baptism for people who are not sure if their baptism was real or valid. If baptism really had power, if baptism really made the baptised person different from an unbaptised person, then the person would know if his or her baptism had worked or not. There would be no need for conditional baptism.

If you were raised a Catholic and look into your soul and see no spiritual or spiritual effects that can only be explained by baptism, then your heart is telling you that your baptism was ineffective. An ineffective baptism means a null baptism. People who come up with a spiritual testimony that their baptism didn’t work, have the right to have the baptism declared null and void.

Transsexuals have the right to have the sex on their birth certificates altered to the sex they believe themselves to truly be. We should have the right to have our baptism declared invalid and have it on paper. We should be struck off the parish registers and be provided with certificates that declare that the baptism is invalid or uncertain. If you are uncertain that your baptism really initiated you into the people of God then this should be taken as evidence that despite appearances the baptism was invalid and no true initiation into God’s Church took place. There is nothing else that one can go by. Nobody has the right to tell you that the baptism was effective and genuine when you see internal evidence that it is not.

If you can’t get a certificate that annuls your baptism, you should get one that declares the validity of the baptism to be doubtful or uncertain.

DANGERS OF BAPTISM

The Catholic claim that baptism enters babies into the family of God and makes them his children the Church and changes them without their consent into friends of God puts out the red carpet to racism. Then why not say that babies born with very dark skin alone are the children of God? What’s stopping you?

When baptism accuses you, without evidence of having been divorced from God and as the kind of person that would sin if able to, and has so many other terrible implications clearly it is not something you would have consented to if able.

The Church sees failing to baptise the child as harming the child spiritually and getting it barred from God's love in Heaven. If the Church really believes that it is right to baptise the child because the child is so helpless, then if the child is really that helpless and dies unbaptised God will not let him suffer any punishment or bad results. The child will go to Heaven. The Church isn’t even semi-coherent. It is just showing its vindictive wishful thinking and how it longs to pressure people to bring babies to it for baptism.

Anne Hathaway left the Catholic church because of its homophobia to join the Episcopalian Church. The Church she joined was simply a church that disobeyed and misrepresented Christian teaching. Thus her joining it was still support of homophobia. If my local Nazi party says it wants equal rights for Jews, it is either not a Nazi Party at all but only pretending to be, or it is lying or ignorant. If it is a real Nazi party I am unwittingly supporting the destruction of Jews. Period. If it is confused and fails to understand its own anti-semitic values to join it is still to support it's evil values.

Merely having your name on the membership rolls of the Church is supporting the Church. As long as it is on, you consent to the authority of the Church and are doing wrong if you disparage or ignore that authority.  It is supporting the Church whether you like it or not because to keep things simple the Church has to count you a member until you defect officially or get into another religion.  What can you expect?

CANON LAW AND INVALID BAPTISM

The Code of Canon Law states: “An oath is the invocation of the divine name as witness to the truth. It cannot be taken except in truth, judgment and justice…An oath extorted by deceit, force or grave fear is by virtue of the law itself invalid (Canons 1199, 1200).”

You cannot swear or promise or vow to what you do not know or understand properly. The Church uses these laws to argue that the oath, promise and consent to keep the secrets of Freemasonry is invalid. Freemasons do not know when they take their oath of secrecy what it is they have to keep secret. The Church says such an oath is evil and demeaning.

The Canon Law we have seen shows that the baby or child cannot have any obligations towards the Catholic Church - ever. The attempt of the Church to impose Church membership on him or her was invalid. If the consent of the Freemason is invalid how much more is the membership of the baby in the Catholic Church?

CONCLUSION

Baby baptism confers no obligations whatsoever and is merely an empty superstitious ritual that pays homage to nonsense and bigotry.

APPENDIX
 

CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH

RESPONSE TO A 'DUBIUM'
on the validity of baptism conferred by
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Mormons

Question: Whether the baptism conferred by the community The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Mormons in the vernacular, is valid.
Response: Negative.

The Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, in the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved the present Response, decided in the Sessione Ordinaria of this Congregation, and ordered it published.

From the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 5 June 2001.

+ Joseph Cardinal RATZINGER
Prefect

+ Tarcisio BERTONE, S.D.B.
Archbishop emeritus of Vercelli
Secretary
 
THE QUESTION OF THE VALIDITY OF BAPTISM CONFERRED IN THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
Fr Luis Ladaria, S.J.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has given a negative response to a "Dubium" regarding the validity of Baptism conferred in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly known as the Mormons. Given that this decision changes the past practice of not questioning the validity of such Baptism, it seems appropriate to explain the reasons that have led to this decision and to the resulting change of practice.
 
Doctrinal errors usually do not invalidate baptism
 
This explanation becomes even more necessary if one considers that errors of a doctrinal nature have never been considered sufficient to question the validity of the sacrament of Baptism. In fact, already in the middle of the third century Pope Stephen I, opposing the decisions of an African synod in 256 A.D., reaffirmed that the ancient practice of the imposition of hands as a sign of repentance should be maintained, but not the rebaptism of a heretic who enters the Catholic Church. In this way, the name of Christ attains great honour for faith and sanctification because whoever is baptized in the name of Christ, wherever that has taken place, has received the grace of Christ (cf. Denzinger-Hüngermann [DH] 110-111). The same principle was upheld by the Synod of Arles in 314 (cf. DH 123). Well known also is the struggle of St Augustine against the Donatists. The Bishop of Hippo affirms that the validity of the sacrament depends neither on the personal sanctity of the minister nor on his belonging to the Church.
 
Right intention is the intention to do what the Church wants, what Christ wants
 
Even non-Catholics can validly administer Baptism. In every case, however, it is the Baptism of the Catholic Church, which does not belong to those who separate themselves from her but to the Church from which they have separated themselves (cf. Augustine, On Baptism 1, 12,9). This validity is possible because Christ is the true minister of the sacrament: Christ is the one who truly baptizes, whether it is Peter or Paul or Judas who baptizes (cf. Augustine, Treatise on the Gospel of John VI, 1,7; cf. CCC n. 1127). The Council of Trent, confirming this tradition, defined that Baptism administered by heretics in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, with the intention of doing what the Catholic Church does is true Baptism (cf. DH 1617).
 
The validity of doubtful baptism is presumed especially in the case of marriage, as in the case of the Christians of Nagasaki
 
The most recent documents of the Catholic Church maintain the same teaching. The Code of Canon Law prescribes that those who have been baptized in non-Catholic ecclesial communities (as long as there is no doubt regarding the matter or the form or the intention of the minister or of the person being baptized) should not be baptized again (cf. Code of Canon Law, can. 869 §2), Intrinsically connected to this problem is that of who can be the minister of Baptism in the Catholic Church. According to the Code, in cases of necessity anyone can baptize, provided the intention is correct (cf. can. 861 §2). The Code of Canon Law confirms the fundamental elements of Tridentine teaching and makes more explicit what is the required correct intention: "The intention required is to will to do what the Church does when she baptizes. The Church finds the reason for this possibility in the universal saving will of God and the necessity of Baptism for salvation" (CCC, n. 1256. Evidently, the necessity of Baptism spoken of here is not to be understood in an absolute sense; cf. ibid., nn. 1257-1261). Precisely because of the necessity of Baptism for salvation the Catholic Church has had the tendency of broadly recognizing this right intention in the conferring of this sacrament, even in the case of a false understanding of Trinitarian faith, as for example in the case of the Arians.
 
Taking into account this deeply-rooted practice of the Church, applied without any doubt as to the multiplicity of non-Catholic Christian communities emerging from the so-called Reform of the 16th century, it is easily understood that when there appeared in the United States the religious movement of Joseph Smith around 1830, in which the matter and the words of the form of Baptism were correctly utilized, this Baptism was considered valid, analogously to the Baptism of so many other non-Catholic ecclesial communities. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, according to their teaching, received the priesthood of Aaron in 1829. Given the circumstances of the Church in the United States in the 19th century and the means of social communication at that time, even though the new religious movement gained a considerable number of followers, the knowledge that ecclesiastical authorities could have had of the doctrinal errors that were professed in this new group was necessarily very limited throughout the entire century.
For the practical cases that emerged there was applied the response of the Holy Office of 9 September 1868 given for the Christian communities of Japan which had remained isolated and without priests from the time of the persecution at the beginning of the 17th century. According to this response: 1) those persons about whom there was doubt whether they were validly baptized should be considered Christians; 2) this Baptism should be considered valid with regard to the validity of marriage (Gasparri, Fontes, IV, n. 1007).
 
Current doubts about the validity of Mormon baptism
 
In the 20th century, the Catholic Church became more aware of the Trinitarian errors which the teaching proposed by Smith contained, though he used the traditional terms, and therefore more and more doubts spread about the validity of the Baptism conferred by the Mormons, in spite of the fact that the form, as far as the substance of the terminology goes, coincided with that used by the Church. As a result, almost imperceptibly there developed difference of practice, insofar as those who had a certain personal knowledge of the teaching of the Mormons considered their Baptism invalid, while the common practice continued of applying the traditional principle of the presumption in favour of the validity of such Baptism, since there was no official norm in this regard. In recent years, as a result of a request from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Bishops' Conference of the United States undertook a detailed study of this delicate issue with the hope of coming to a definitive conclusion. On its part the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith undertook a new examination of the material that came from the United States and thus was able to resolve the proposed question.
 
What are the reasons which now led to this negative position regarding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which seems different from the position of the Catholic Church throughout the centuries?

Huge divergence on Trinity and baptism invalidates the intention of the Mormon minister of baptism and of the one to be baptized
 
According to the traditional doctrine of the Catholic Church there are four requirements for the valid administration of the sacrament of Baptism: the matter, the form, the intention of the minister, and the right disposition of the recipient. Let us examine briefly each of these four elements in the teaching and practice of the Mormons.
 
I. The Matter. On this point there is no problem. Water is used. The Mormons practice Baptism by immersion (cf. Doctrine and Covenants [D&C] 20:74), which is one of the ways of celebrating Baptism (application of the matter) which is accepted by the Catholic Church.
 
II. The Form. We have seen that in the texts of the Magisterium on Baptism there is a reference to the invocation of the Trinity (to the sources already mentioned, the Fourth Lateran Council could be added here [DH 8021). The formula used by the Mormons might seem at first sight to be a Trinitarian formula. The text states: "Being commissioned by Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (cf. D&C 20:73). The similarities with the formula used by the Catholic Church are at first sight obvious, but in reality they are only apparent. There is not in fact a fundamental doctrinal agreement. There is not a true invocation of the Trinity because the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, according to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are not the three persons in which subsists the one Godhead, but three gods who form one divinity. One is different from the other, even though they exist in perfect harmony (Joseph F. Smith, ed., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [TPJSI, Salt Lake City: Desert Book, 1976, p. 372). The very word divinity has only a functional, not a substantial content, because the divinity originates when the three gods decided to unite and form the divinity to bring about human salvation (Encyclopaedia of Mormonism [EM], New York: Macmillan, 1992, cf. Vol. 2, p. 552). This divinity and man share the same nature and they are substantially equal. God the Father is an exalted man, native of another planet, who has acquired his divine status through a death similar to that of human beings, the necessary way to divinization (cf. TPJS, pp. 345-346). God the Father has relatives and this is explained by the doctrine of infinite regression of the gods who initially were mortal (cf. TPJS, p. 373). God the Father has a wife, the Heavenly Mother, with whom he shares the responsibility of creation. They procreate sons in the spiritual world. Their firstborn is Jesus Christ, equal to all men, who has acquired his divinity in a pre-mortal existence. Even the Holy Spirit is the son of heavenly parents. The Son and the Holy Spirit were procreated after the beginning of the creation of the world known to us (cf. EM, Vol. 2, p. 961). Four gods are directly responsible for the universe, three of whom have established a covenant and thus form the divinity.
 
As is easily seen, to the similarity of titles there does not correspond in any way a doctrinal content which can lead to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. The words Father, Son and Holy Spirit, have for the Mormons a meaning totally different from the Christian meaning. The differences are so great that one cannot even consider that this doctrine is a heresy which emerged out of a false understanding of the Christian doctrine. The teaching of the Mormons has a completely different matrix. We do not find ourselves, therefore, before the case of the validity of Baptism administered by heretics, affirmed already from the first Christian centuries, nor of Baptism conferred in non-Catholic ecclesial communities, as noted in Canon 869 §2.
 
III. The Intention of the Celebrating Minister. Such doctrinal diversity, regarding the very notion of God, prevents the minister of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from having the intention of doing what the Catholic Church does when she confers Baptism, that is, doing what Christ willed her to do when he instituted and mandated the sacrament of Baptism. This becomes even more evident when we consider that in their understanding Baptism was not instituted by Christ but by God and began with Adam (cf. Book of Moses 6:64). Christ simply commanded the practice of this rite; but this was not an innovation. It is clear that the intention of the Church in conferring Baptism is certainly to follow the mandate of Christ (cf. Mt 28,19) but at the same time to confer the sacrament that Christ had instituted. According to the New Testament, there is an essential difference between the Baptism of John and Christian Baptism. The Baptism of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which originated not in Christ but already at the beginning of creation (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith [AF], Salt Lake City: Desert Book, 1990, cf. pp. 110-111), is not Christian Baptism; indeed, it denies its newness. The Mormon minister, who must necessarily be the "priest" (cf. D&C 20:38-58.107:13.14.20), therefore radically formed in their own doctrine, cannot have any other intention than that of doing what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does, which is quite different in respect to what the Catholic Church intends to do when it baptizes, that is, the conferral of the sacrament of Baptism instituted by Christ, which means participation in his death and resurrection (cf. Rom 6,3-11; Col 2,12-13).
 
We can note two other differences, not as fundamental as the preceding one, but which also have their importance:
 
A) According to the Catholic Church, Baptism cancels not only personal sins but also original sin, and therefore even infants are baptized for the remission of sins (cf. the essential texts of the Council of Trent, DH 1513-1515). This remission of original sin is not accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which denies the existence of this sin and therefore baptizes only persons who have the use of reason and are at least eight years old, excluding the mentally handicapped (cf. AF, pp. 113-116). In fact, the practice of the Catholic Church in conferring Baptism on infants is one of the main reasons for which the Mormons say that the Catholic Church apostatized in the first centuries, so that the sacraments celebrated by it are all invalid.
 
B) If a believer baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, after renouncing his or her faith or having been excommunicated, wants to return, he or she must be rebaptized (cf. AF, pp. 129-131).
 
Even in regard to these last elements it is clear that the Baptism of Mormons cannot be considered valid; since it is not Christian Baptism, the minister cannot have the intention of doing what the Catholic does.
 
IV. The Disposition of the Recipient. The person to be baptized, who already has the use of reason, has been instructed according to the very strict norms of the teaching and faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It must be maintained therefore that one cannot think that the Baptism received by that person is anything different from what he was taught. It does not seem possible that the person would have the same disposition that the Catholic Church requires for the Baptism of adults.
 
Difference of views: Mormons hold that there is no real Trinity, no original sin, that Christ did not institute baptism
 
Summing up, we can say: The Baptism of the Catholic Church and that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differ essentially, both for what concerns faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in whose name Baptism is conferred, and for what concerns the relationship to Christ who instituted it. As a result of all this, it is understood that the Catholic Church has to consider invalid, that is to say, cannot consider true Baptism, the rite given that name by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints.
 
It is equally necessary to underline that the decision of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is a response to a particular question regarding the Baptism of Mormons and obviously does not indicate a judgment on those who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Furthermore, Catholics and Mormons often find themselves working together on a range of problems regarding the common good of the entire human race. It can be hoped therefore that through further studies, dialogue and good will, there can be progress in reciprocal understanding and mutual respect.

Taken from:
L'Osservatore Romano
Weekly Edition in English
1 August 2001, page 4