When there is a mixed marriage between a Catholic and a Protestant some ask, "Could the children not be baptised into both Churches?"

The Church replies, "Baptism is the great Sacrament common to almost all Christians. When a person is baptised he or she enters into a certain unity with all those who are baptised. Baptism, however, does not simply mean becoming an "unattached" Christian; it marks one's entry into the life, faith and worship of a particular Christian communion which, in turn, takes up the responsibility to initiate the new Christian into its life and traditions. A joint celebration of Baptism, or even the registration of the Baptism in both Churches, would, therefore, be a source of confusion. It would, in any event, simply postpone a problem which must be faced when the questions of schooling, First Communion, and so on, arise. To attempt to have two baptismal ceremonies would be entirely wrong. It would imply a refusal to recognise that Baptism, in whatever denomination it is properly celebrated, is the sacramental bond of unity among all who receive it. It would suggest that Baptism in one Church somehow needed to be "completed" in another" (page 16, Preparing for a Mixed Marriage, Irish Episcopal Conference, Veritas, Dublin, 1984).  This shows that baptism seeks to confer an obligation on the child to be an active part of the religious organisation baptising it, to believe what it believes, to give it money for its upkeep, to promote what it promotes and to worship in accordance to how it worships.

When parents don't believe or are doubtful about the claims of religion, they must ask themselves what they are having the child baptised for. Even if they don't believe, they are getting the child classed with a religion and that is bad enough. But it is very bad if you live in an area where Protestants and Catholics for example hate each other and engaged in violence against each other. If the child is injured, many secularists would say that you must take some responsibility for that. It certainly was a cause! It is sickening to think of priests baptising babies as Catholics in parts of Northern Ireland.


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