EWTN Catholic Q&A
mode of partism
Question from Lito on 11-10-2012:

Is there a biblical reference for baptism of an infant? how it is being done by pouring water or dipping into the water, what is really proper in doing such.

I'm a catholic, there are some sect asking me why are the catholic baptism practice is by pouring water?

Thanks & more power God Bless us All

Answer by Fr. John Echert on 11-12-2012:

The essential components of Christian baptism include water as to matter and baptism into the three Persons of the Holy Trinity as to form. Apart from these essentials, the Church has the authority to determine and adjust other aspects of the sacrament, such as whether it is done by immerson or flowing water. Probably the allowance for pouring water than immersion was a partical matter, as pools of water were not always available or immersion desireable. Not sure how early this form was allowable but it may go back to Apostolic times. Immersion has a certain symbolism to it not as evident as in pouring--the idea of dying and being buried with Christ--but that symbolism is not essential as to form. Non Catholics do not accept the authority of the Catholic Church to determine such matters and the Scriptures are silent on this, inasmuch as the Bible never dictates that only immersion can be used for baptism.

Thanks, Lito

Father Echert