Baptism Policy of the Diocese of Lafayette
INTRODUCTION: Infants are to be baptized according to the norms of the Rite of Baptism. Children of catechetical age and adults are to be initiated according to the principles of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.).
1. The ordinary ministers of Baptism are bishops, priests, and deacons. In imminent death of the one to be baptized, any member of the faithful or anyone with the right intention may administer Baptism.
2. The primary responsibility of raising a child in the faith rests with the parents. The parish is to provide preparation for the parents.
3. Only if no adult is willing to make a commitment to bringing the child up as a Catholic would the celebrant have an obligation to delay the Baptism. In cases of indefinite delays the celebrant is to inform the Regional Vicar.
4. The celebration is ordinarily to take place in the parish church of the candidate for Baptism (Canon 857). Exceptions to this policy are to be discussed between the pastor of the parish church of the candidate and the celebrant of the Baptism.
5. Every person initiated into the church must have a sponsor. Canon 873 states that "There is to be only one male sponsor or female sponsor or one of each." The sponsor must be a confirmed Catholic who lives the faith in visible fashion. A baptized Christian may serve as a witness, but only with a single Catholic sponsor who meets the above mentioned requirements (Canon 874).
6. The Roman Ritual is the only approved ritual for Baptism.
7. A complete entry is to be made of the Baptism in the baptismal registry of the church of Baptism. In the case of an unwed mother, the name of the father cannot be entered without the supporting evidence of an authentic statement signed by the father and witnessed by a notary public or from information on a valid certificate of live birth.