Q: I have a question about baptisms I hope you can give me some insight on:
I am working with one young woman who was baptized Episcopalian but whose three children are not baptized. My understanding from her is that she is nearing accepting the Catholic Faith and being ready to be received into the Church. The issue is that her eldest son turns seven next month. Logistically, it seems that she would be unable to get family members and friends, including godparents, into town before he turns seven. The RCIA applies to those “who have attained the use of reason and are of catechetical age” (RCIA # 252). I know we use the age of seven as a rule of thumb, but how much flexibility do I licitly have to be able to baptize this youngster as an infant at say 7 years, 2 weeks or even, for that matter, 7 years, 2 months, so that he can be baptized with his siblings and also experience continues formation with his age-peers?
A: I think that this circumstance is exactly one of the reasons that the law does not set a definite age. That kid is on the border and could be considered either an infant or an adult. Given the family dynamics, if I were in your shoes, I’d go with infant baptism for all three kids.