Catholic baptism

1)Does the Coptic church recognize the baptism of the Catholic Church?
2) If a Catholic wants to join the Coptic Orthodox Church do they have to be baptized again?

Comments

  • 1. Yes. The Catholic Church is an Apostolic, Trinitarian Church. We recognize their baptism. We only require a declaration of faith and a charismation (confirmation) of their faith in the Coptic Church.
    2. No. In the past, they were (re)baptized but this is not the case any more. 
  • edited June 4
    Why is their baptism recognized when they usually just pour or sprinkle water and they have priests who can be homosexual ? Believe that Mary is co-redemptrix and mediatrix and born without sin ? Have popes who kiss the quran and say that all religions lead to the same God?

    Please correct me of im wrong on any of these points
  • This might come out wrong, but if you have a problem with baptism done by a homosexual priest, you have bigger problems. It's a 4th century heresy called donatism. If the validity of a sacrament rested on the sanctity and sinlessness of the priest, we would all be without baptism, separated from God eternally and not saved. Every priest sins and homosexuality is no worse than any other sin. This doesn't mean we accept homosexuality but the validity of one's baptism from such priests is not in question. It wasn't even an issue when people were baptized by known Arians, Nestorians and other heretical clergy. Why is there a double standard for the Catholic Church (or any other Apostolic Church)?

    Secondly, what makes you think a baptism is invalid if there is "just pour[ing] or sprink[ing of] water"? Is there any canon or scripture that requires specific actions? The fathers spoke about the efficacy and need for baptism to become Christian, but they never spoke about the specific action of immersion. Yes, immersion was the norm until the 13th century or so. We can consider immersion the preference. But is baptism so rigid that sprinkling can't be considered effective baptism? In fact, Catholic apologists make a strong argument for pouring from Acts 1:5 and Acts 2:17. What is clear from the Catholic catechesis is that baptism requires initiation, imitation, conversion and repentance in the name of the Trinity. This is exactly what the Orthodox believe. If one does not have conversion, repentance and faith in the Trinity, one is not baptized into Christ and it doesn't matter if it was done by pouring or immersion. At the same time, the fathers stated that there were some who were baptized without ever touching water. If we are going to invalidate baptism because of the amount of water or the manner of water flow, then we are going to have to contradict the fathers, the scriptures and the loving mercy of our God. 

    Thirdly, while we all know St Mary is not co-redemptix, there are certain things our Coptic Orthodox Church says about St Mary that is not that far off (for example, "the source of mercy", "the source of sources", etc). This doesn't mean our Coptic Church believes in co-redemptix but let's not pretend we are immune from mistakes.

    We also do not believe St Mary was born without sin. But this becomes an issue of what original sin or ancestral sin means (they are different). Ignoring the definition of sin for a moment, do not forget that St Gregory Nazianzus said St Mary was "pre-purified" (Apokathartheisa). This idea of prepurified was later championed by John of Damascus (Homily 1 Nativity Dei). Here are two Orthodox fathers saying St Mary's prepurified status parallels Jesus' purified state. Orthodoxy does not believe this prepurified status is equivalent to immaculate conception. (It has also been argued that if the Virgin Mary is not prepurified, then why does every Church, including the Coptic Orthodox Church, have a feast of the conception/nativity of the Virgin Mary? It's not a good argument in itself, but there was a near universal acceptance of St Mary's prepurification status.) The point here is that if the Catholic Church baptism should not be recognized because of what may or may not be "immaculate conception", then you'll may have a hard to time recognizing any Orthodox baptism. 

    Fourthly, there were Oriental popes who kissed the Koran. Should we call them all heretics? Is it the kiss that is the problem? Does kissing the Koran mean you believe in the Koran? No. It is a sign of respect, just like a hand shake. While kissing the Koran is controversial, does it mean one who kisses the Koran believes in Islam? If yes, then anyone who eats Halal hot dogs are just as heretic. 

    Fifthly, I agree with your claim that anyone who says pluralism leads to the same God is speaking heresy. But we need to distinguish personal opinion from official Catholic catechesis and theology. I know from experience that we are not educated enough to tell the difference between the two. 

    Finally, it's very easy to point the finger at someone else for things you believe they do wrong. Christ tells us to look to ourselves first. This does not mean we accept wrong dogma and beliefs. But if your mindset is already looking for mistakes and reasons to condemn someone instead of having a mindset that is looking to reunite and remove all these obstacles, then the problem has always been the person and not the Catholic Church or Pope Francis or anyone else. 
  • edited June 6
    Hi Remnkemi and thank you for your concern and your detailed and clear answer.

    I have realised that my comment was not so clear, my intention was not to argue against Catholic baptism or against the catholic church, but to get some understanding as to why the Coptic Church accepts the RC baptism.

    My concern is not about the priests preforming the baptism, but with the church that allows the ordination of priests who clearly goes against the scriptures, its not a small issue since they are to be looked up to, inspired and guided by, if the sheperds are not obeying the will of the King then how can we trust them with faith issues and such and how can we trust a church that accepts this?

    As for co-redemptrix it is also for me a serious matter because it seems to me too close to idolatry and we know that Gods hates idolatry

    As for pouring and sprinkling, from what ive understood its the norm in the RC, but i cant see why it should be since the only way to baptism with water mentioned in the scriptures is by full immersion, the word means to immerse and how can we be buried with just sprinkling and pouring? Its not an adequate symbolism anymore and a very important part of the sacrament is the symbolic meaning. I dont know how much it matters to pour/sprinkle contra immersing, but i believe it should always be the norm and I agree with you that it should be the preference

    For me the act of kissing a specific item that holds specific teaching against the essence of christianity and which even have commands to kill the chrisitans amongst others + so much more can be added- but to kiss that book is for me utterly unacceptable, it is one thing to respect it by not destroying it, but its a whole other thing to bow down and kiss it publicy so that even if they have good intentions the people who see it can be tempted to sin against their conscience and to misunderstand the action and thus be misled. I am deeply concerned by this, but im not saying that there can be found good in the quran, i know it has some good teaching and it can even build character and it can be great foundation for converts in contrast to many atheist converts who will often be quite confused a long time after conversion

    I hope that its clear that my aim is not to point fingers, but that im concerned and i seek to better understand why and what

    Thank you for pointing out that we need to distiguish between personal opions and official theology and catechesis. I didnt think enough about that and will keep it in mind.




  • Studyandlearn, 
    Let's continue discussing. You wrote:
    "My concern is not about the priests preforming the baptism, but with the church that allows the ordination of priests who clearly goes against the scriptures, its not a small issue since they are to be looked up to, inspired and guided by, if the sheperds are not obeying the will of the King then how can we trust them with faith issues and such and how can we trust a church that accepts this? "
    You need to be careful about your conclusions. Yes, it is wrong for a church to ordain or allow unrepentant, sinful priests any clerical rank. But not everything is so clearly black and white. Another example might help illustrate. According to St Paul, the bishop is supposed to be married to one wife. Yet, the Coptic Church does not allow bishops to be married. Does this mean that the Coptic Church is "clearly going against the scriptures"? Is the Coptic Church "not obeying the will of the King"? Far from it. It took centuries for all Orthodox Churches to conclude that bishops should not be married. It was not done in defiance to God's will but, as we believe, it was done by the will of the Holy Spirit over many generations. What we can conclude certainly is what 2000 years of Orthodox historical theology tells us about Catholic baptism: It is done in the Name of the Trinity, it requires initiation, imitation, conversion and repentance. The validity of the Catholic Church and Catholic baptism is not invalidated by the ordination of sinful priests. Anything more than this is really for God's judgment.

     As for co-redemptrix it is also for me a serious matter because it seems to me too close to idolatry and we know that Gods hates idolatry
    Again, it is your conclusion that needs reflection. Does a title for St Mary like "Source of Mercy" equal idolatry? Protestants will say yes since only God is the true source of divine mercy. But we understand titles like these as an expression of our theology in God, not St Mary. Co-redemptix is also not so black and white. St Iraneus said St Mary was the Theotokos and he called on her to "save us". Is St Iraneus calling St Mary God? Is this idolatry? No because it is a reflection on our theology of God as the king who listens to his mother, not the false idolatry of St Mary to a divine status. It requires people to understand the distinction between the two. I think the Roman Catholic understanding of St Mary as co-redemptrix aligns more with a theology of God and St Mary's role in her Son's salvation (not the elevation of St Mary to a divine status). 

    As for pouring and sprinkling, from what ive understood its the norm in the RC, but i cant see why it should be since the only way to baptism with water mentioned in the scriptures is by full immersion, the word means to immerse and how can we be buried with just sprinkling and pouring? Its not an adequate symbolism anymore and a very important part of the sacrament is the symbolic meaning. I dont know how much it matters to pour/sprinkle contra immersing, but i believe it should always be the norm and I agree with you that it should be the preference
    Why should it be the norm? Your conclusion is that sprinkling does not have adequate symbolism. Well I can argue that immersion does not have adequate symbolism. I can argue that immersion has the same amount of symbolism as pouring. Baptism requires death. You are dying in water. Yet both immersion and infusion/pouring are equally symbolizing death (ie, neither of them are literal death). In addition, as Roman Catholic apologists point out, we are "baptized" with the Holy Spirit. Are we immersed in the Holy Spirit or is the Holy Spirit poured on us like Acts 2:17 says? The only reason I said immersion should be the preference is because it is a historically precedent. But I don't think pouring invalidates the sacrament or even the symbolism and ritualistic theology of baptism.

    For me the act of kissing a specific item that holds specific teaching against the essence of christianity and which even have commands to kill the chrisitans amongst others
    How did you conclude it goes against the essence of Christianity? Does not Christianity teach us to love our enemies. Is not kissing a sign of love? It doesn't say love your enemies but don't kiss them. It doesn't say love your enemies, but not the enemy who commands to kill the Christian? The reason Christian popes kiss the Koran is to live out this specific command to love your enemy and bless those who curse you. 

    it is one thing to respect it by not destroying it, but its a whole other thing to bow down and kiss it publicy so that even if they have good intentions the people who see it can be tempted to sin against their conscience and to misunderstand the action and thus be misled.
    Why do not people who see acts of kindness, like shaking hands or kissing their enemies, see it as following the commandment. If they saw it as following the commandment, how can they be misled? Why do you conclude that people who see a bishop or cleric kiss the Koran is agreeing with Islam? It all comes down to spiritual insight (as we say in the Monday Psali). One person seeing a bishop kiss the Koran sees it as an abomination and another sees it as a testimony to Christ's commandments. I guess this requires everyone to talk to their priests and see where they are on their spiritual journey.

    I am deeply concerned by this, but im not saying that there can be found good in the quran, i know it has some good teaching and it can even build character and it can be great foundation for converts in contrast to many atheist converts who will often be quite confused a long time after conversion
    We are not talking about the content of the Koran, the teachings of Islam or the conversion process for Muslims or atheists. This is strictly a discussion about the interpretation of the Catholic Church's policies and actions, especially official Catholic theology.
  • edited June 7
    Thanks again for taking the time to answer,

    Now I understand and agree to why their baptism is accepted and thay the church as a whole is not invalidated by the ordination of sinful priests

    (Still there are questionable parts, but I dont want to bring them up, maybe i will make a discussion about that, because i have many questions)

    As for the act of kissing any collection of teachings that has any parts that are contradictory to Gods teaching - how can it be a good act in any situation or way? i havent concluded anything Im just not convinced, because teachings is oneone thing and followers another

    to believe Mary to be co-redemptrix - is this idolatry or close to ? I dont know and i didnt conclude anything, but i am a bit precautious about it because it is an important matter. I need to study it, now I know too little about it

    I agree that the question of immersing, pouring or sprinkling is not the most important part of baptism, but im still convinced that immersion is always a better method symbolically becauese its not only supposed to symbolise death, but also symbolise to be buried. Then to be completely covered by water makes the best symbolism because it involves being covered under something that separates you from breathing. When it comes to adult baptism it has even more value because then they will feel how they are buried by the water and separated from the air and light, and it will be a more dramatic public action and confession of faith and of joining the church.

    Thank you again for the explanations, examples, information, opinions, corrections and advice



  • edited June 7
    My fiance told me now that the Catholic baptism actually still isnt accepted by the Coptic Church, that its still under discussion between the both churches. That it is misunderstanding by media, not accurate news. He wants to know if you have any offical references?
  • I dont know about catholic church.
  • edited June 22
    No. It isn't. I was rebaptized in 2010. They "recognize" them, but you are more than likely going to get rebaptized if you were/are a lapsed Catholic, which I was.
Sign In or Register to comment.