“Can I Baptize Another Child Without the Parents’ Permission?” (Special Podcast Highlight)

🎙️ Drew Mariani tackles a deeply personal and often contentious issue: Should you secretly baptize your grandkids? Joining him is Msgr. Brian Bransfield.


The Struggle is Real 


You might have friends or family members who aren’t baptizing their little ones. It’s a heartache many of us face. So, you find yourself wondering if you should take matters into your own hands. Can you secretly baptize your friend’s kid, or your niece, nephew, or grandchild? 


Why Baptism Matters 


Not Just a Ritual: Baptism is a sacrament given by Jesus Christ Himself. Through baptism, original sin is washed away, and we are reborn as God’s children. We become part of the body of Christ. 


Historical Context: In the Middle Ages, some people delayed baptism until their deathbed, hoping to cleanse all their sins at once. But waiting is risky because we never know when our last day will be. Life is unpredictable! 


Biblical Foundation: Remember John 3:5? “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” This shows how vital baptism is for salvation.


The Trinitarian Formula 


Crucial Words: The formula “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” is essential because it invokes the Holy Trinity. Without these words, the baptism isn’t valid. No shortcuts here! 


Secret Baptisms: Should You Do It? 


Validity: If done correctly, even a layperson can validly baptize. But here’s the catch—while the sacrament might be valid, secret baptisms can create tricky situations, especially regarding who will guide the child’s faith journey.


Ethical Dilemma: Secretly baptizing the child might seem like a loving act, but it can lead to family conflicts and misunderstandings.


The Powerful Effects of Baptism 


Encounter with Christ: The first effect of baptism is meeting Jesus in His death and resurrection. It’s about a profound spiritual rebirth.


Lasting Impact: Baptism leaves an indelible mark on our souls. Even if we drift away, this sacrament continually calls us back to Christ.


Welcoming the Baptized with Open Arms 


Church’s Role: The Church should warmly welcome those seeking baptism for their children, even if the parents are not practicing their faith. The very act of asking for baptism shows a readiness and openness to grace.


Advice for Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents 


Communication and Prayer: Instead of secret baptisms, engage in open dialogues with the family away from faith. Pray for your niece, nephew, or grandchildren and be a gentle, loving guide towards the faith.


Taking Responsibility: If you’ve already baptized in secret, understand that you now have a special responsibility to help nurture the child’s faith. This might mean sharing resources, encouraging church attendance, and being a spiritual mentor.


A Listener’s Story 


Anne’s Experience: Anne called in to share how she secretly baptized her niece. Years later, she revealed it to her niece, who expressed a deep sense of gratitude and connection to God. Anne now feels a responsibility to continue guiding her niece spiritually.


Msgr. Bransfield’s Guidance: Pray for your baptized loved ones and guide them towards their faith journey. Encourage them to engage with the Church and partake in the full richness of the sacraments.


Final Thought 


Baptism is a gateway to a profound relationship with Jesus. It’s a transformative encounter that calls us to a lifelong journey of faith. Let’s support each other in this sacred mission, welcoming all who seek the grace of baptism.

Drew Mariani is an award-winning journalist, writer and broadcaster. He currently hosts The Drew Mariani Show™ reaching a potential audience of 220 million people. His 3-hour daily program offers a unique insight on the most important issues of the day and a platform for dialogue with listeners and newsmakers.