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Baptism / Baptize


“To baptize (Greek baptizein) means to ‘plunge’ or ‘immerse’; the ‘plunge’ into the water symbolizes the catechumen’s burial into Christ’s death, from which he rises up by resurrection with him, as ‘a new creature’” (CCC 1214). According to Paul, those “who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life” (Rom 6:3-4).

Baptism initiates one into the Church by freeing one from Original Sin by the merits of Jesus Christ. “Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: ‘Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word’” (CCC 1213). Baptism is necessary for the forgiveness of sins and the reception of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).

Baptism as a requirement for salvation is clear from the words of Jesus to Nicodemus, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above” (Jn 3:3). The Catholic Church holds, “Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are ‘reborn of water and the Spirit’” (CCC 1257).


Use of the Trinitarian formula for baptism is a firm expression of the belief in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Baptism “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” means submission to the Most Holy Trinity. In the past, the Israelites were “baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (1 Cor 10:2).


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