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Comparative Theology, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

5- Baptism is the Task of the Clergymen

 

Baptism should be administered by a canonical clergyman. The Holy Bible shows us that the Lord Jesus Christ did not commend the task of baptism to the public but commanded it to His pure Apostles. Before His ascension, He said to them: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt.28: 19). This is also confirmed in (Mark.16: 15,16).

St-Takla.org Image: Pope Shenouda III during the inauguration of St. Takla Himanot Church Baptistery, Alexandria, Egypt صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: البابا شنودة الثالث وهو يدشن معمودية كنيسة الأنبا تكلاهيمانوت، الإسكندرية، مصر

St-Takla.org Image: Pope Shenouda III during the inauguration of St. Takla Himanot Church Baptistery, Alexandria, Egypt

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: البابا شنودة الثالث وهو يدشن معمودية كنيسة الأنبا تكلاهيمانوت، الإسكندرية، مصر

It is very clear that it was the Apostles who undertook the task of baptism as we read in the Book of Acts in the spread of the Early Church. Then the Apostles commanded the task to their disciples the bishops who in turn commanded it to the priests.

For these reasons we do not accept a baptism which was not administered by a clergyman. The clergyman should be an canonical clergyman in the sense that the laying on of hands was carried out by an apostolic and a canonical bishop. He should not be an expelled nor an anathematized priest, but a priest who has the Presbyterian to administer the Sacraments.

The above reasons are our answers to the question, repeatedly asked of us: “why do the Orthodox Church re-baptise the converts from the Protestant denominations”?

We could also say that we adorn them with all the spiritual treasures which they did not receive when accepted their

Protestant baptism. We usually ask of them: "Have you received salvation in your baptism? Have you received righteousness, newness of life and the forgiveness of sins? Have you been clothed with Christ in baptism? Have you been born anew? Especially that you did not consider baptism to carry with it any of those graces

We also repeat the non-Orthodox baptism as a canonical priest did not conduct it, while our Protestant brethren refute human priesthood, as well as the teaching of the holy sacraments.

While it may have been administered in the Name of The Holy Trinity , we tend not to call the baptism of a Protestant convert “a re-baptism” as it lackes three important qualities:

(a) It was not administered by a clergyman

(b) It was not considered a Sacrament

(c) It was not considered to carry any spiritual efficacious

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