Q: I have a question regarding Conditional Baptism. With the terms “immersion” and “pouring” how might one justify “sprinkling” that is apparently typically done in the Methodist Church. I assumed a new position a year ago and my current pastor believes conditional baptisms are necessary in these cases.
A: I think we can presume the validity of all Methodist baptisms. “Sprinkling” may mean a minimum use of water, but the form, intention and purpose of the ceremony is what the Catholic Church expects. I’m unaware of any formal challenge to the validity of Methodist baptisms by sprinkling.
If your pastor has a doubt, I would encourage him to resolve the doubt. The best source is the diocesan marriage tribunal, which has to make the same determination for declarations of nullity. In my view, your pastor should give careful consideration, resolve the doubt, and declare the results: Either the baptism is valid or not.