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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Baptism and Baptismal Records

I am in the process of digitizing the baptismal records for St. Joseph, and it led me to ponder a few things. For instance, what happens if the records are inaccurate? Not so much if a name is spelled incorrectly or a sponsor's name is inaccurate but rather, a record for a legitimate baptism does not exist?

Let's go the Rule Book!

Can. 845 §1 Because they imprint a character, the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and order cannot be repeated.
§2 If after diligent enquiry a prudent doubt remains as to whether the sacraments mentioned in §1 have been conferred at all, or conferred validly, they are to be conferred conditionally. 

Can the priest charge for his services?

Can. 848 For the administration of the sacraments the minister may not ask for anything beyond the offerings which are determined by the competent authority, and he must always ensure that the needy are not deprived of the help of the sacraments by reason of poverty. 

Does a baptismal name HAVE to be that of a saint in the Catholic Church?

Can. 855 Parents, sponsors and parish priests are to take care that a name is not given which is foreign to Christian sentiment. 

So it seems it's OK to name a child "Truth" or "Beauty", but not OK to name him "Lusty" or "Satan". I wonder if "Martin Luther" is alright? I think not.