Are There Any Reasons for Children to Be Rebaptized?

Photo by Irina Sudnik

There is no such concept as “rebaptism” in the Orthodox Church.  Every day we recite a summary of the basic Christian truths in Nicene Creed, one of which parts states: “I Confess one Baptism for the remission of sins.” Baptism can be acquired only once, because Baptism is a spiritual birth, and a person can be born only once. Therefore, since it is impossible to be reborn, it is also impossible to be rebaptized. Another question is how graceful this or that baptism is. And this question is very complicated. Since ancient times, there have been three practices of turning the believers to Orthodoxy in the Church: through Baptism, through Chrismation and through Repentance. Consequently, there are certain conditions that allow you to determine whether a baptism was performed correctly or incorrectly in a particular denomination. Thus, according to the tradition, the Sacrament of Baptism is recognized as valid if the baptismal formula is pronounced correctly and a person is baptized “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.

At the same time, it should be clarified that most of the holy fathers, following martyr Cyprian of Carthage, advocated the following categorical position: “There is no salvation outside the Church.” In other words, if this or that structure that calls itself a church, but in fact is not such, and performs some sacraments, they cannot be recognized as valid. After all, how can a so-called priest, being himself in a schism and therefore not being a member of the Church as the Body of Christ, turn someone to this Body?

St. Cyprian of Carthage

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Regarding this issue, the words of His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine in relation to the so-called “Kiev Patriarchate” are very expedient and relevant: “First of all, it must be said that from the point of view of Orthodox ecclesiology, the structure that is called the “Philaret Church” is not a church. This is just a neoplasm that emerged in 1992 and was registered by state authorities as a religious association, but which at the same time has nothing to do with the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church that we proclaim in Nicene Creed. Essentially, this is a separated from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church association, which called itself “the Kiev Patriarchate”, which is not recognized by any of the Local Orthodox Churches not only as a patriarchate, but even as an Orthodox church organization. The initiator and leader of this schism, M. Denisenko, is deprived not only of all his sacred degrees and monastic status, but also banned from the Church on the basis of church rules. Therefore, all his actions (which he blasphemously calls sacraments) and the actions of his subordinates have nothing to do with the Church of Christ. They are not just graceless, but blasphemous as well. Today, ‟baptized ˮ in the ‟Kyiv Patriarchate” are accepted into the Orthodox Church through the Sacrament of Baptism – not rebaptism, but namely Baptism – since any actions performed by schismatics are not Sacraments.”

Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds

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The Editor of the Catalog of Good Deeds.

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