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BAPTISM


262


BAPTISM


who speaks of baptism as a bath (Ephes., v, 26; Rom vi 4- Tit , iii, 5). In the Latm Church, immer- sion sterns to have prevailed imtil the twelfth century. After that time it is found in some places even as late as the sixteenth century. Infusion and aspersiori. however, were growing common m the thirteenth century and gradually prevailed m the Western Church The Oriental Churches have retained im- mersion, though not always in the sense of phingmg The candidate's entire body below the w;ater. B.Uuart rDe Bapt I iii) says that commonly the catechumen is placed in the font, and then water is poured upon the head He cites the authority of Goar for this statement. Although, as we have said, immersion was the form of bapti.sm that generally prevaied in the early ages, it must not thereby be inferred that the other forms of infusion and aspersion were not also employed and held to be valid. In the case of the sick or dying, immersion was impossible and the sacrament was then conferred by one of the other forms This was so well recognized that infusion or aspersion received the name of the baptism of the sic\ (baptismus cUmcorum). St. Cyprian (Ep. Ixxm) declares this form to be valid. From the canons of various early councils we know that candidates for Holy orders who had been baptized by this method seein to have been regarded as irregular, but this was on account of the culpable negligence supposed to be manifested in delaying baptism until sick or dying. That such persons, however, were not to be rebap- tized is an evidence that the Church held their bap- tism to be valid. It is also pointed out that the cir- cumstances under which St. Paul (Acts, xvi) baptized his jailor and all his household seem to preclude the use of immersion. Moreover, the acts of the early martyrs frequently refer to baptizing in prisons where infusion or aspersion was certainly employed.

By the present authorized ritual of the l^atin Church, baptism must be performed by a laving of the head of the canditiate. Moralists, however, state that in case of necessity, the baptism would probably be vahd if the water were apphed to any other principal part of the body, as the breast or shoulder. In this case, however, conditional bap- tism would have to be administered if the person survived (St. Alph., no. 107). In like manner they consider as probably valid the baptism of an infant in its mother's womb, provided the water, by mearis of an instrument, would actually flow upon the child. Such baptism is, however, later to be repeated con- ditionally, if the child survives its birth (Lehmkuhl, n 61) 'it is to be noted that it is not sufficient tor the water to merely touch the candidate; it must also flow, otherwise there would seem to be no real ablution. At best, such a baptism would be con- sidered doubtful. If the water touches only the hair, the sacrament has probably been validly con- ferred though in practice the safer course must be followed. If only the clothes of the person have received the aspersion, the baptism is undoubtedly void The water to be employed in solemn baptism should also be consecrated for the purpose, but ot this we shall treat in another section of this article It is necessary in baptizing to make use of a threefold ablution in conferring tliis sacrament, by reason ot the prescription of the Roman ritual. This iieces- sarily refers, however, to the liceity, not to the validity of the ceremony, as St. Thomas (III, Q. Ixvi, a 8) and other theologians expressly state. The threefold immersion is unquestionably very ancient in the Church and apparently of Apostolic origin, it is mentioned by TertuUian (De cor. miht., in), St. Basil (De Sp. S., xxvii), St. Jerome (Dial. Contra Luc, viii), and many other early writers. Its object is, of course, to honour the three Persons of the Holy Trinity in whose name it is conferred, lliat this threefold ablution was not considered necessary to


the validity of the sacrament, however 's pl^in Ir the seventh century the Fourth Council of foledc (633) approved the use of a single ablution in ba,p tism. as a protest against the false tnmtanan theone of the Arians, who seem to have given to the three fold immersion a significance winch made it impl; three natures in the Holy Trinity. To insist on th unity and consubstantiality ot the three Divine Pe. sons, the Spanish Cathohcs adopted the single abk tion and this method had the approval of Pop Gregory the Great (I, Ep. xliii). The Eunoinia heretics used only one immersion and their baptisi was held mvahd by the First Council of Constant nople (can. vii); but this was not on account ot tt single ablution, but apparently because they baj tized in the death of Christ. The authority of th canon is, moreover, doubtful at best.

m Form —The requisite and sole valid torrn .

baptism is: "I baptize thee (or This personals ba]

tized) in the name of the Father and of the bon ai

of the Holy Ghost." Tliis was the fo™ given 1

Christ to His Disciples in the twenty-eighth chapt

of St Matthew's Gospel, as far, at least, as there

question of the invocation of the separate Persons

the Trinity and the expression of the nature ot tj

action performed. For the Latin usage: I bap i

thee" etc., we have the authority of the Cpunci

Trent'(Sess. VII, can. iv) and of the Council of tU

ence in the Decree of I'nion. In addition we ha

the constant practice of the whole \\ estern Chur(

The Latins also recognize as valid the form used

the Greeks; "This servant of Christ is baptized , e

The Florentine decree acknowledges tne validity

this form and it is moreover recognized by the B

of Leo X, "Accepimus nuper", and of Clement V

"Provisionis nostra;". Substantially, the Latin a

Greek forms are the same, and the Latm Church 1

never rebaptized Orientals on their return to uni

At one time some Western theologians disputed '

Greek form, because they doubted the validity ot

imperative or deprecatorj' formula: Let this per,

be baptized" {baptizetur). As a matter of fact h<

over, the Greeks use the indicative, or enuntiat.

formula: "This person is baptized (PaTrTlfe

baptizatur). This is unquestionable from tl

Euchologies, and from the testimony of Arcu,

(apud Cit., tit. ii, cap, i), of Goar (R.t. Grsec IlUu

of Martene (De Ant. Eccl. Rit., I) and of the theoL

cal compendium of the schismatical Russians

Petersburg, 1799). It is true that m the decree

the Armenians, Pope Eugene IV nses bapUz,

according to the ordinary version of this dec j,

but Labbe, in his edition of the Council of Flon i

seems to consider it a corrupt reading, for in ■■

margin he prints baptizatur. It has been sugge;

by Goar that the resemblance between /SairTlc

and baptizetur is responsible for the mistake

correct translation is. of course, baptizatur

In administering this sacrament it is absoHi s necessary to use the word "baptize" or its eqmva ,» f \lex VIII, Prop, damn., xxvii), otherwise the '*■-


(Alex. \ li-L, IIUU. uaiiiu.., .i.-^..'/,

mony is invalid. Tliis had already Ij^en decree. > Alexander III (Cap. Si quis,I,x, De Bapt.), and h confirmed by the Florentine decree It has beer i. constant practice of both the Latin and G Churches to make use of words expressing tht performed. St. Thomas (III, Q Ixvi, a. 5) says , since an ablution may be employed for many r poses, it is necessary that in baptism the meo of th4 ablution be determined by the words o i- form However, the words; "In the name ol . Father", etc., would not be sufficient by thems e to determine the sacramental nature of the abhi n St Paul (Coloss., iii) exhorts us to do all things i r name of God, and consequently an ablution cou ,

performed in the name °f t^'^- JTv, rn thp r restoration of health. Therefore it is that in the ^