Why do we do that? Catholic Traditions Explained

Question:
Why do we baptize infants when the Bible says “repent and be baptized”? How can an infant repent?

Answer:
When you take a trip, you do not wait until you run out of gas before you fill the tank—at least not on purpose! You fill your tank and pack your bags as you anticipate a trouble-free journey. We can make a similar case for the baptism of children as they begin their spiritual journey. In the early church, only adults were baptized when they professed faith in Jesus as the Messiah. As the church grew, children were baptized and raised in faith. The Bible does not limit baptism to adults. Several passages point to infant baptism. Jesus said, “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them,” while Paul would baptize people “and their household.” He did not limit baptism to adults. Ultimately, our whole life is an act of repentance, a continual struggle to turn from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. We believe that baptism is more than a symbolic act of faith. It forgives original sin as well as personal sin, and brings us into the church, where we begin our journey of faith.