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320

Part Two

1254

For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow

after

Baptism. For this reason the Church celebrates each year at the Easter

Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises. Preparation for Baptism

leads only to the threshold of new life. Baptism is the source of that

new life in Christ fromwhich the entire Christian life springs forth.

1255

For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents’ help is impor­

tant. So too is the role of the

godfather

and

godmother,

who must be firm

believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized—child or adult—

on the road of Christian life.

55

Their task is a truly ecclesial function

(

officium

).

56

The whole ecclesial community bears some responsibility

for the development and safeguarding of the grace given at Baptism.

V.

W

ho

C

an

B

aptize

?

1256

The ordinary ministers of Baptism are the bishop and

priest and, in the Latin Church, also the deacon.

57

In case of

necessity, anyone, even a non-baptized person, with the required

intention, can baptize,

58

by using the Trinitarian baptismal for-

mula. 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.

59

VI.

T

he

N

ecessity of

B

aptism

1257

The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for

salvation.

60

He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel

to all nations and to baptize them.

61

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.

62

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.”

God has

bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound

by his sacraments.

55 Cf. CIC, cann. 872-874.

56 Cf.

SC

67.

57 Cf. CIC, can. 861 § 1; CCEO, can. 677 § 1.

58 CIC, can. 861 § 2.

59 Cf.

1 Tim

2:4.

60 Cf.

Jn

3:5.

61 Cf.

Mt

28:19-20; cf. Council of Trent (1547) DS 1618;

LG

14;

AG

5.

62 Cf.

Mk

16:16.

2101

1311

1239-1240

1752

1129

161, 846