An unexpected question on baptism led to the Code of Canons again, and I’ve learned something surprising.
By church law, we seem to assume that only children are baptized. Canon 27 says this:
On the Administration of Holy Baptism
- In the administration of the Sacrament of Baptism, the sponsors must have been themselves baptised, and shall, if possible, be communicants.
- In default of others, the parents of the child may be admitted as sponsors, and in cases of necessity, of which the cleric administering the Sacrament shall be judge, one sponsor shall be deemed sufficient.
- While the Sacrament of Baptism shall normally be administered in church, the clergy may baptise elsewhere when, by reason of some impediment, the child cannot be brought to church.
- … [tells you what to do if you’re not sure if someone’s been baptized]
Time for a new canon, then? (though I fear the poor committee on cannons would never get a night’s sleep if we insisted that all canons were accurate, useful and appropriate for current teaching and practice.)