Catechism of the Catholic Church

320 Part Two 1254 For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism. For this reason the Church celebrates each year at the Easter Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises. Preparation for Baptism leads only to the threshold of new life. Baptism is the source of that new life in Christ fromwhich the entire Christian life springs forth. 1255 For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents’ help is impor­ tant. So too is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized—child or adult— on the road of Christian life. 55 Their task is a truly ecclesial function ( officium ). 56 The whole ecclesial community bears some responsibility for the development and safeguarding of the grace given at Baptism. V. W ho C an B aptize ? 1256 The ordinary ministers of Baptism are the bishop and priest and, in the Latin Church, also the deacon. 57 In case of necessity, anyone, even a non-baptized person, with the required intention, can baptize, 58 by using the Trinitarian baptismal for- mula. The intention required is to will to do what the Church does when she baptizes. The Church finds the reason for this possibility in the universal saving will of God and the necessity of Baptism for salvation. 59 VI. T he N ecessity of B aptism 1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. 60 He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. 61 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. 62 The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments. 55 Cf. CIC, cann. 872-874. 56 Cf. SC 67. 57 Cf. CIC, can. 861 § 1; CCEO, can. 677 § 1. 58 CIC, can. 861 § 2. 59 Cf. 1 Tim 2:4. 60 Cf. Jn 3:5. 61 Cf. Mt 28:19-20; cf. Council of Trent (1547) DS 1618; LG 14; AG 5. 62 Cf. Mk 16:16. 2101 1311 1239-1240 1752 1129 161, 846