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Carren wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Can a man, who is still married but separated from his wife, who had a baby with his girlfriend have their baby baptized in a Catholic Church?

He is Catholic and his girlfriend is not.

Carren

  { Can he have (his and his girlfriend's) baby baptized, if he's still married but separated? }

Mike replied:

Hi Carren,

Thanks for the question.

You said:

  • Can a man, who is still married but separated from his wife, who had a baby with his girlfriend have their baby baptized in a Catholic Church?

He is Catholic and his girlfriend is not.

No, not to my knowledge. When the Church baptizes a baby, She has to have a good hope the child will be raised Catholic.

Assuming the man was properly married in the Church, the Church isn't going to condone an adulterous relationship that brings forth new life with another woman outside of his valid marriage.

If he has a question about whether his marriage is valid, he should petition the Church for an annulment.

Maybe Fr. Jonathan has two cents to add to your question.

Mike

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Hi, Carren —

The answer is “Yes” if there is a real founded hope that the child will be raised Catholic and the man can prove he is the father or legal guardian.

In this case, however, there would need to be a lot of pastoral care.

From the information provided there is not enough evidence for me as a priest to proceed with the Baptism. I would want to interview the mother and see.

I guess the difference between my answer and Mike's is that his is shutting the door based on the adulterous affair and mine keeps the door open to the possibility but with great caution.

Fr. Jonathan

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