The Sanctifying Role of the Church (Code of Canon Law, c. 842, 849; Catechism of the Catholic Church 1213, 1263, 1265, 1267-1270)
Through Baptism, God enables us to participate in his life in Jesus Christ and makes us his children. It is through this sacrament that we receive the Holy Spirit and become members of the People of God, of the Body of Christ, which is the Church. Baptism becomes our commitment to grow in this new life and to strive to acquire spiritual maturity. By baptism, God purifies us from sin.
Baptism is the sacrament of faith which has the Risen Christ as its source, and it is the offer of salvation for all people. Intimately linked to Confirmation and to Eucharist, Baptism is, with these two sacraments, Christian Initiation. The child is baptized in the faith of their parents, godparents and of the Church.
Basic Guidelines and Information for Infant Baptism (Code of Canon Law, cc. 867-868; Catechism of the Catholic Church 1251)
Parents are responsible for bringing their child to the Sacrament of Baptism as soon after birth as possible. Except in case of necessity, the church is the usual place of baptism. In order that a child be baptized, it is necessary that the parents consent, or at least one of them, or someone legally standing in their place, and that there is reasonable hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic faith.
In order for someone to be eligible as a godparent they must be chosen by the parents, have the ability and the intention to fulfill the role, be at least 16 years of age, and be a confirmed Roman Catholic, who has already received the Holy Eucharist, is leading a life in harmony with the Catholic faith and will be a good role model for the one being baptized, and be neither the father nor the mother of the child.
A baptized person who belongs to another Christian community may be admitted only as a “Christian witness” (not a godparent) provided that there is at least one Roman Catholic godparent who fulfills the above criteria. A non-baptized person cannot be a witness (Code of Canon Law, cc. 872-874; Catechism of the Catholic Church 1255).