Many believers and skeptics along with some Catholics wonder, “Why do Catholics baptize infants?” Yet, Catholics admit that they do not actually baptize according to the baptism that Christ instituted. Read the words of the Roman Catholic church for yourself. By “baptism”, the Roman Catholic church means sprinkling, and it is true that the Roman church can accept pouring and immersion too. The Roman Catholic church admits to having changed baptism from immersion into sprinkling and pouring. They recognize that Biblical baptism is immersion. The Roman Catholic denomination states,
“The most ancient form usually employed was unquestionably immersion. This is not only evident from the writings of the Fathers and the early rituals of both the Latin and Oriental Churches, but it can also be gathered from the Epistles of St. Paul, who speaks of baptism as a bath (Ephesians 5:26; Romans 6:4; Titus 3:5). In the Latin Church, immersion seems to have prevailed until the twelfth century. After that time it is found in some places even as late as the sixteenth century. Infusion and aspersion, however, were growing common in the thirteenth century and gradually prevailed in the Western Church. The Oriental Churches have retained immersion, though not always in the sense of plunging the candidate’s entire body below the water.” (Fanning, W. (1907). Baptism. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved June 4, 2013 from New Advent: newadvent.org/cathen/02258b.htm. emp. added.).
The Roman Catholic church recognizes that their “baptism” is not Biblical or the original. They also note the words of earlier Christian writers stating,
“The same is taught by the Fathers. St. Justin Martyr (First Apology 66) declares that in baptism we are created anew, that is, consequently, free from all stain of sin. St. Ambrose (On the Mysteries 3) says of baptism: ‘This is the water in which the flesh is submerged that all carnal sin may be washed away. Every transgression is there buried.’ Tertullian (On Baptism 7) writes: ‘Baptism is a carnal act in as much as we are submerged in the water; but the effect is spiritual, for we are freed from our sins.'” (ibid.).
Immersion for baptism was the Biblical mode of baptism and the only mode of baptism. Baptism is transliterated from the Greek baptizo meaning “immersion, dunk, submerge”. This is clear from the baptisms described in the Bible of those going into the water (Acts 8:38). Baptisms required much water (John 3:23, cf. Acts 10:47-48). The meaning of baptism is to be buried with Christ (Rom. 6:4, Col. 2:12). The Roman Catholic church has admittedly changed the baptism that Christ established and the Apostles taught and practiced.
Yet, they still profess a belief in “baptizing” infants, because Augustine defended this practice. The Roman Catholic sect professes,
“St. Augustine (On the Soul, Book III) says ‘If you wish to be a Catholic, do not believe, nor say, nor teach, that infants who die before baptism can obtain the remission of original sin.‘ A still stronger passage from the same doctor (Epistle 28) reads: ‘Whoever says that even infants are vivified in Christ when they depart this life without the participation of His Sacrament (Baptism), both opposes the Apostolic preaching and condemns the whole Church which hastens to baptize infants, because it unhesitatingly believes that otherwise they can not possibly be vivified in Christ,'” (ibid. emp. added).
As the following quotes will show, the Roman Catholic church is diligent to affirm that infants must be sprinkled as “baptism” or be “deprived of the happiness of heaven”.
While Jesus said in the present tense about little children, “for the kingdom of heaven is of these” (Matt. 19:14), the Roman Catholic church does not understand that this refers to children being eternally safe from condemnation, because children have never sinned (Rom. 4:15, 5:13). Yet, the Roman church believes in “original sin”, which has no basis in the words of Christ or His Apostles and prophets. The Roman Catholic church thinks,
“Original sin may be taken to mean: (1) the sin that Adam committed; (2) a consequence of this first sin, the hereditary stain with which we are born on account of our origin or descent from Adam. […]
Besides, even before the use of reason, sin is already in the soul, according to the data of Tradition regarding the baptism of children and the sin contracted by generation” (Harent, Stéphane. Original Sin. The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 22 Feb. 2012: from New Advent: newadvent.org/cathen/11312a.htm. emp. added).
The Roman Catholic church recognizes that infants and children are not mentioned to have been baptized in the Bible. Yet, the Roman church infers that infants are not excluded from baptism, and that the references to households being baptized in the Bible included babies and little children. The Roman Catholic sect admits,
“The Catholic Church, however, maintains absolutely that the law of Christ applies as well to infants as to adults. When the Redeemer declares (John 3) that it is necessary to be born again of water and the Holy Ghost in order to enter the Kingdom of God, His words may be justly understood to mean that He includes all who are capable of having a right to this kingdom. Now, He has asserted such a right even for those who are not adults, when He says (Matthew 19:14): ‘Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of heaven is for [“of”, Catholics added “for”] such.’ […]
Moreover, St. Paul (Colossians 2) says that baptism in the New Law has taken the place of circumcision in the Old. It was especially to infants that the rite of circumcision was applied by Divine precept. If it be said that there is no example of the baptism of infants to be found in the Bible, we may answer that infants are included in such phrases as: ‘She was baptized and her household’ (Acts 16:15); ‘Himself was baptized, and all his house immediately’ (Acts 16:33); ‘I baptized the household of Stephanus’ (1 Corinthians 1:16).” (Fanning, W. (1907). Baptism. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved June 4, 2013 from New Advent: newadvent.org/cathen/02258b.htm. emp. added).
The Roman Catholic church overlooks that Jesus instructed that belief come before baptism (Mark 16:16). They dismiss that repentance also came before baptism in the Bible (Acts 2:38, Rom. 6:4-6, Col. 2:11-13). They refuse to see that infants and little children cannot accomplish these essentials of faith and repentance, and that these households in scripture did not include babies and little children being baptized. Concerning baptism, this catholic Roman church declares,
“To the objection that baptism requires faith, theologians reply that adults must have faith, but infants receive habitual faith, which is infused into them in the sacrament of regeneration. As to actual faith, they believe on the faith of another” (ibid. emp. added).
This is not in the Bible, and the Bible is the only source for Christ’s words. Christ is perfect and so are His words (Heb. 4:15, 1 Pet. 2:22). Yet, the Roman Catholic confession has no confirmation from Christ. Christ is not their Prince of Peace.
What if an infant is not baptized before he dies? The Roman Catholic sect admits,
“The fate of infants who die without baptism must be briefly considered here. The Catholic teaching is uncompromising on this point, that all who depart this life without baptism, be it of water, or blood, or desire, are perpetually excluded from the vision of God. This teaching is grounded, as we have seen, on Scripture and tradition, and the decrees of the Church. Moreover, that those who die in original sin, without ever having contracted any actual sin, are deprived of the happiness of heaven” (ibid. emp. added).
Regarding the pain of eternal separation from God, the Roman Catholic church must now reason,
“Since the twelfth century, the opinion of the majority of theologians has been that unbaptized infants are immune from all pain of sense. This was taught by St. Thomas Aquinas, Scotus, St. Bonaventure, Peter Lombard, and others, and is now the common teaching in the schools. It accords with the wording of a decree of Pope Innocent III (III Decr., xlii, 3): ‘The punishment of original sin is the deprivation of the vision of God; of actual sin, the eternal pains of hell.’ Infants, of course, can not be guilty of actual sin.” (ibid. emp. added).
How do Roman Catholics defend an infant being deprived of heaven as just? They admit,
“Finally it must be borne in mind that unbaptized infants, if deprived of heaven, would not be deprived unjustly. The vision of God is not something to which human beings have a natural claim. It is a free gift of the Creator who can make what conditions He chooses for imparting it or withholding it. No injustice is involved when an undue privilege is not conferred upon a person. Original sin deprived the human race of an unearned right to heaven. Through the Divine mercy this bar to the enjoyment of God is removed by baptism; but if baptism be not conferred, original sin remains, and the unregenerated soul, having no claim on heaven, is not unjustly excluded from it.
As to the question, whether in addition to freedom from the pain of sense, unbaptized infants enjoy any positive happiness in the next world, theologians are not agreed, nor is there any pronouncement of the Church on the subject.” (ibid. emp. added).
There is the Roman Catholic “baptism” in their own words. Why do Catholics “baptize” infants? What do you think?