Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  216 / 665 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 216 / 665 Next Page
Page Background

188 • Part II. The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated

Who Can Baptize?

The ordinary ministers of Baptism are the bishop and priest

and, in the Latin Church, also the deacon. In case of necessity,

anyone, even a non‑baptized person, with the required inten-

tion, can baptize, by using water and the Trinitarian baptismal

formula. 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. (CCC, no. 1256)


The Baptism of Adults

For adults today, the Church, after the Second Vatican Council, has

restored the order of the Catechumenate in the Rite of Christian

Initiation of Adults (RCIA). It outlines the steps for the formation of

catechumens, bringing their conversion to the faith to a greater maturity.

It helps them respond more deeply to God’s gracious initiative in their

lives and prepares them for union with the Church community. This

process is meant to form them into the fullness of the Christian life and

to become disciples of Jesus, their teacher. This includes an initiation into

the mystery of salvation, the practice of faith, hope, and love, and other

virtues in a succession of liturgical rites.

Persons baptized into another Christian church and now seeking

full communion with the Catholic Church are also welcomed to par-

ticipate along with catechumens in the RCIA in the process of learning

about the Catholic faith and being formed in that faith. They bring to

the process of preparation their prior experience of Christian life and

prayer. For a baptized Christian, reception into full communion with

the Catholic Church involves reception of the Sacrament of Penance and

Reconciliation and then a Profession of Faith followed by the celebra-

tion of Confirmation and the Eucharist.