Why does the Church recognize Protestant baptism if Protestantism has no valid priesthood?

Full Question

As I understand it, Protestants do not have a valid priesthood, and only priests can baptize unless there is a danger of death. Why, then, does the Catholic Church recognize Protestant baptism?


Since baptism is necessary for salvation and God wills the salvation of all, the Church recognizes all validly administered baptisms, even if Protestant. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

The ordinary ministers of baptism are the bishop and priest and, in the Latin Church, also the deacon. In case of necessity, anyone, even a non-baptized person, with the required intention, can baptize by using the Trinitarian baptismal formula. The intention required is to will to do what the Church does when she baptizes. The Church finds the reason for this possibility in the universal saving will of God and the necessity of baptism for salvation. (CCC 1256)

When considering the validity of non-Catholic baptism, the Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism instructs:

Baptism by immersion, or by pouring, together with the Trinitarian formula is, of itself, valid. Therefore, if the rituals, liturgical books, or established customs of a church or ecclesial community prescribe either of these ways of baptism, the sacrament is to be considered valid unless there are serious reasons for doubting that the minister has observed the regulations of his/her own community or church. (DE 95.a)


1 comment

  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    “Since baptism is necessary for salvation….“
    Understand the implications of this. Aborted, miscarried or stillborns who committed the grievous sin of dying before being baptized, through no fault of their own, have no real path to salvation. The RCC allows believers to “hope” that Yahweh isn’t an evil, unjust monster who sends complete innocents to Hell, but that is the default position for the Church catechism. It worships a god who it believes sends complete innocents to eternal torment.
    Now today we know that the original word “aionion” means ‘of an age’ rather than “eternal,” and we know that the RCC translated four words (Sheol, Gehenna, Hades & Tartarus) none of which means “Hell” as we know it, to the pagan word “Hell,” so none of this is real, but they want you to worship a god that they believe sends complete innocents to eternal hellfire (oh, you’re allowed to believe in Limbo – but it’s not official, and it’s not salvation).
    I can’t understand how any decent human being could worship an all-powerful being who presumably punishes complete innocents for all of eternity. What could possibly be more evil than that?

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