Q: In our baptismal record, a number of entries mention baptism of children above the age of reason with a notation of ‘neo-conversus, baptism absolute’. A Google search reveals that this is old terminology for those who were received into the Church.
What is not clear is if these people were baptized, or baptized & confirmed, or simply made a profession of faith (having perhaps been baptized in a Christian community).
Can you shed any light on this practice and how I should interpret this notation? It has become relevant because I don’t know how to fill out a requested baptismal record.
A: That entry indicates a baptism, not a reception. “Absolute baptism” is what “conditional baptism” is not – it’s a normal baptism. Probably the child came from a non-Catholic Christian family, and was baptized in the usual way without the conditional formula. No confirmation. Just baptism.