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Baptism and subsequent conversion
Question from Anonymous on 1/10/2013:

What is the Church's view of a child born of an interfaith relationship who is baptized Catholic and then subsequently converted (as a child) to Judaism? Does the conversion "negate" the purpose and validity of the baptism in the eyes of the Church?

Answer by Catholic Answers on 1/10/2013:

Anonymous--

The Church would not in any way presume to have a negative view of an innocent child who not only was not raised in the Catholic faith, as per a condition of baptism his parents explicitly agreed to, but was initiated instead into a non-Christian religion. The child's baptism remains valid, and the Church simply would hope that the graces imparted in baptism would eventually guide the child back to the Catholic faith that he was so unjustly deprived of.

As for the parents, that is another matter. The Catholic parent and the child's baptismal sponsors solemnly promised at the baptism to raise the child in the Catholic faith. The non-Christian parent did not have to make such a promise, but the baptismal celebrant should at least have made certain that the non-Christian parent understood the responsibilities undertaken by the Catholic parent to raise the child Catholic and been satisfied that the non-Christian parent would not impede the faith of either the Catholic parent or the Catholic child.

For these parents to deprive their child of his Catholic faith is a grave injustice and very serious matter. The Catholic parent in particular should reflect upon Jesus' words regarding those who would impede the faith of young children: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea" (Mark 9:42).

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers


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