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Monica wrote:

Hi Mike,

I am a Catholic and still in the process of learning more. I have read your answers about Baptism and have another question.

  • Why do Catholics say that one should be baptized eight days after birth?

In Christ,


  { Why do Catholics say that one should be baptized eight days after birth? }

Mike replied:

Hi Monica,

We don't!

What you assert in your question (that one should be baptized eight days after birth) was condemned at the Council of Carthage by St. Cyprian of Carthage in 252 A.D.

Catholics, like all Christians, should baptize their infants very soon after birth because Our Lord has revealed to us, the necessity of Baptism for salvation. (Mark 16:16) Baptism transforms an infant from the Old Adam with original sin to the New Adam: Jesus. Baptism removes original sin from the soul of the baptized [person or infant] and makes them a child of God.

Because of the grave importance and necessity of Baptism and the inability for the infant to speak for itself, the parent's faith and love for each other, manifested in the child, is imputed into the child.

This means the parents speak for the child at birth. Later, at Confirmation, the child ratifies that decision and says,

"Yes to God, and No to Satan." on [his/her] own.

I have appended some additional Scripture passages that support this Catholic teaching. You may also be interested in my Scripture Passages page here:

Baptism is necessary for salvation.

John 3:5
"No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit."
Mark 16:16
"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved."
Acts 16:30-33
"What must I do to be saved? ... he and all his family were baptized."
1 Peter 3:21
"Baptism which saves you now."
See also:
Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:38, Acts 16:15

On Baptism in General.

Sacrament of Baptism

Catholic Note:

Some non-Catholic Christians believe that Baptism is necessary and sets us free from sin. Many others think it is merely a symbol of one's desire to follow Christ, having no real effect upon the soul. The Catholic Church teaches that Baptism is both necessary for salvation and regenerative, causing us to be reborn as children of God. Through Baptism we receive the life-giving, sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit. This grace wipes away Original Sin that stains each soul because of the fallen nature we inherited from Adam and Eve. The Church prescribes Baptism by water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as the normative gateway to God and his family, the Church. While most Protestants agree the Baptism is a good idea, many do not believe it is really necessary; and many think is un-biblical to baptize babies. The Church has baptized infants from the earliest times and continues to do so today. The Church also teaches that catechesis must follow Baptism to properly assist the baptized on his Christian journey. Some fundamentalists believe that the only acceptable Baptism is by immersion. Both immersion and sprinkling are acceptable forms of Baptism in the Catholic Church. To learn more about the Church's teaching on Baptism, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church CCC 1213-1284.

"The Church is the extension of Christ's incarnation, and that extension takes place through the sacraments" (Scott Hahn , Swear to God, Page 22)

Commanded by Christ and taught by the Apostles.

Matthew 28:19
"Go therefore ... baptizing them in the name of the Father ..."
Mark 16:16
"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved."
John 3:5
No one enters heaven without baptism of water and spirit.
Acts 2:38
"Peter [said] ... repeat and be baptized."
Acts 2:41
Those accepting St. Peter's message are baptized; 3000 members are added.
Acts 8:12
Once they believed Philip's teaching, men and women were baptized.
Acts 8:38
Philip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch.
Acts 10:48
"He [Peter] ordered them to be baptized."
See also:
Mark 10:38, John 3:22, Acts 9:18, Acts 16:15, Romans 6:3, 1 Corinthians 12:13-27
Galatians 3:27

Replaces the need for circumcision.

Colossians 2:11-12
Baptism is described as the circumcision of Christ.
See also:
Genesis 17:12-14

Jesus sets the example for us.

Matthew 3:16
"After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water."
Mark 1:9
"Jesus came ... and was baptized in the Jordan by John."
Luke 3:21
"And Jesus also had been baptized."

Baptism is regenerative.

John 3:5, 22
Born of water and the spirit; Apostles begin baptizing
Romans 6:3-4
So by our baptism into his death we were buried with him, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glorious power, we too should begin living a new life.
Acts 2:37-38
Repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Spirit.
Acts 22:16
And now why delay? Hurry and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on His name.
1 Corinthians 6:11
"Now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and through the Spirit of our God."
Ephesians 5:26
"Cleansing her by the bath of water with the word."
Colossians 2:12
"Burned with him in baptism .. raised with him [in] faith."
Hebrews 10:22
So as we go in, let us be sincere in heart and filled with faith, our hearts sprinkled and free from any trace of bad conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Titus 3:5
Saved us through bath of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit.
1 Peter 3:21
"It is the baptism corresponding to this water which saves you now — not the washing off of physical dirt but the pledge of a good conscience given to God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
See also:
Romans 4:23-25, Galatians 3:27, 1 Peter 1:23

Baptism takes away all sin.

Mark 1:4
John the Baptist preaches a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Mark 16:16
"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved."
Luke 3:3
John the Baptist still preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
John 1:33
John testifies that Jesus is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.
John 3:5
No one enters heaven without baptism of water and spirit.
Acts 2:38
"Be baptized ... for the forgiveness of your sins."
Acts 22:16
"Have yourself baptized and your sins washed away."
Colossians 2:13
"You were dead [in] transgressions ... he brought you to life."

Baptism not to be repeated.

Ephesians 4:5
"One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism."
Hebrews 6:4-6
After the enlightened [baptized] fall away, they cannot be enlightened again.
Hebrews 10:26
No sacrifice for sins after deliberate sin after knowing the truth.

Faith of others is efficacious.

Matthew 8:5-13
Jesus heals a servant because of the Centurion's faith.
Matthew 15:21-28
Daughter healed because of the Canaanite woman's faith.
Luke 5:20
"When he saw their faith, he said ... 'your sins are forgiven.'"
Luke 7:7
"Say the word and my servant will be healed."
Baptism to be administered to children "Infant Baptism"
Joshua 24:15
"As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
Matthew 8:5ff
Servant healed because of Centurion's faith.
Matthew 15:21ff
Daughter healed because of the Canaanite woman's faith.
Matthew 18:14
It is not the will of God that children be damned.
Matthew 19:14
"Let the children come to me."
Mark 10:14
Let the children come, for such is the kingdom of Heaven.
Luke 7:1ff
Just say the word, and let my servant be healed.
Luke 18:15-17
People were bringing even infants to him ... whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.
John 3:5; Mark 16:16
No one enters heaven without baptism of water and spirit.
Acts 16:15
Paul and Silas baptize Lydia and her whole household.
Acts 16:30-33
Paul and Silas baptize a prison guard and his whole family.
Acts 18:8
Crispus, his family, and other Corinthians are baptized.
Romans 5:18-19
All are born with Adam's sin and need Baptism.
1 Corinthians 1:16
"I baptized the household of Stephanas."
Colossians 2:11-12
Baptism has replaced circumcision.
See also:
Mark 10:13-16, Luke 18:15, Acts 2:39, 1 Corinthians 15:22
St. Hippolytus of Rome (c. 215 A.D.)
"Baptize first the children; and if they can speak for themselves, let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them."
(The Apostolic Tradition 21)
Origen (post 244 A.D.)
"The Church received from the Apostles the tradition of giving baptism also to infants."
(Commentary on Romans 5, 9)
St. Cyprian of Carthage (252 A.D.)
This council [Council of Carthage] condemned the opinion that infants must wait until the eighth day after birth to be baptized, as was the case with circumcision.
(St. Cyprian of Carthage, Letter 64 (59), 2)
Hope this helps,

Mike Humphrey

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