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Joe wrote:

Hi, guys —

I came back to the Church after a decade as an atheist, and in the meantime got married to a wonderful, unbaptized woman.

We've had our marriage convalidated, and now my wife is expressing interest in getting baptized, but she's not sure about becoming Catholic.

I have a two-part question:

  • Would the Church baptize my wife but hold off on the other sacraments?
  • Would it be morally okay for me to encourage her to get baptized by another Christian denomination, just so she's baptized?

Thank you!

Joe

  { Would the Church baptize my wife but hold off the other sacraments and should I encourage her? }

Paul replied:

Dear Joe,

Being baptized means being baptized into a certain faith. Faith and baptism are the flip sides of each other, like the heads and tails of a coin. The question to ask would be, What does your wife believe and what does she want to say "yes" to? It seems to me that would decide which denomination she would want to be baptized in.

Having said that, you might want to remind her that the Catholic Church is the fullness of the faith that God gave the world in Jesus Christ, established by Christ in and through His Apostles in an unbroken line of succession to today's pope and bishops.

The Catholic Church might allow for adult baptism without the other two sacraments of initiation (Confirmation and Communion), however you would have to inquire into this with your pastor.

Logically, I'm not sure it makes much sense to say "yes" to the Catholic faith in baptism but
"not yet" to being confirmed in or nourished by Christ in His Body.

Peace,

Paul

Mike replied:

Hi Joe,

First, let me greet and welcome you to the Catholic Church!
Your presence makes us a stronger body of Christ.

My colleague Paul said:
Logically, I'm not sure it makes much sense to say "yes" to the Catholic faith in baptism but "not yet" to being confirmed in or nourished by Christ in His Body.

I agree. Holy Communion with the Lord every Sunday implies a communion in the faith of the Church.

If your wife is not ready to make this commitment, you should find a "Catholic-like" Protestant church where she feels comfortable accepting the teachings she believes in and that administer a valid Baptism.

In the meantime, keep her in your prayers and share with her the abundance of graces the Church offers through the sacraments, especially in Confession and the Eucharist.

Encourage her to consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn everything we believe as Catholics.

Hope this helps . . . and again Welcome to the Family!

Mike

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