DOP CIRCULAR NO. 2013-078
25 July 2013
TO: ALL PARISH PRIESTS, PARISH ADMINISTRATORS, RECTORS, CHAPLAINS, GUEST PRIESTS, PRIESTS ON LOAN AND RELIGIOUS PRIESTS IN THE DIOCESE OF PARAÑAQUE
RE: GUIDELINES ON THE PROPER RECORDING OF EMERGENCY BAPTISM
Can. 860 §1. Apart from a case of necessity, baptism is not to be conferred in private houses, unless the local ordinary has permitted it for a grave cause.
§2. Except in a case of necessity or for some other compelling pastoral reason, baptism is not to be celebrated in hospitals unless the diocesan bishop has established otherwise.
Can. 877 §1. The pastor of the place where the baptism is celebrated must carefully and without any delay record in the baptismal register the names of the baptized, with mention made of the minister, parents, sponsors, witnesses, if any, the place and date of the conferral of the baptism, and the date and place of birth.
Can. 878 If baptism was administered neither by the parish priest nor in his presence, the minister of baptism, whoever that was, must notify the parish priest of the parish in which the baptism was administered, so that he may register the baptism in accordance with can. 877 §1
In cases of necessity outside the parish church (hospitals, homes, jails and other facilities) when the ordinary ministers of baptism are not present (Bishops, priests and deacons) and in danger-of-death situation, any lay person with the proper intention and basic understanding of the formula of baptism may administer this sacrament to an infant or adult. Hence, the proper recording of to the register of baptism as stated in Canon 877 §1 should be religiously observed. The Following procedures should be done;
a. Emergency baptisms should be reported immediately to the parish where the hospital or the facility belongs in terms of jurisdiction for it to be recorded in their register of baptism. It should be noted though in the “observanda” that the said baptism was administered in an emergency case ( e.g. by a lay person ).
b. If the child survives, the parents should be advised to approach their proper parish priest to “supply the rites of baptism”. “Supplying the rites of baptism” means completing the rites of baptism. Since the pouring of water had already been done during the emergency circumstance, the priest will just have to proceed immediately to the other symbols of the rites of baptism.
c. If the child belongs to another parish, the details to be entered in the canonical book are that of the supplied baptism. The date and place of the emergency Baptism should be listed in the “observanda” of the baptismal register.
d. If the child belongs to the parish where the emergency Baptism was recorded, The supplied Baptism should be listed in the “observanda” of the baptismal register.
e. In case the documents will be needed later by the baptized as a requirement for the marriage and others, the date of the emergency baptism should be sought and not that of the supplied baptism.
I hope that though these reminders, we may be well guided in handling the emergency cases of baptism in our parishes.
Rev. Fr. CARMELO O. ESTORES