5.G.4.2 Recording Catholic Baptism in General

1. To permit adequate space for notations, entries in the baptism register are to be recorded in every other entry space (i.e., a blank entry space is to be left after each entry).

2. The complete legal name of the baptized, the names of the minister, parents, godparent(s), Christian witness if any, the place and date of baptism, and the date and place of birth are recorded in the baptism registry of the parish church in which baptism is celebrated. [1] However, the special norms regarding birth outside of marriage, unknown parentage and civil adoption are to be observed. (See #5.G.4.4 - #5.G.4.6.)  When it is deemed necessary to clarify who the parents or guardians are, an authentic civil certificate of birth or of legal adoption, or some other authentic public document, is to be reviewed by the pastor first.

3. In all cases, the Church sui iuris to which the baptized person becomes ascribed (enrolled) is also recorded (and is reported on any sacramental certififcates that are issued). [2]

4. If baptism is administered outside a parish church (i.e., the sacred place or building itself), it is to be recorded in the register of the parish church in whose territory it was celebrated. (This includes cases when it is administered in a “migrant camp,” hospital, nursing home, prison, etc.)

5. If confirmation and Eucharist are given at the time of baptism (e.g., full initiation at the Easter Vigil), those facts are to be annotated in the record of the baptismal registry and then recorded separately in the registers of Confirmation and First Communion as well.

6. Whenever baptism is conferred conditionally because, after prudent investigation, the fact or the validity of a prior baptism remains doubtful, the word “conditional” is to be appear in the annotations. (See #5.D.1 Conditional Baptism, Proof of Baptism, and Validity of Non Catholic Baptisms.)

7. When an emergency baptism has occurred for some reason and the Rite of Bringing the Baptized Child to the Church is celebrated at a later date at the parish church, the phrase “ceremonies supplied” and the date, place and minister of the Rite are added to the original entry as made in number 1 above.

8. When a priest baptizes someone who will be ascribed to an Eastern Catholic Church, special notation of this is to be made according to the instruction of the curia.

9. To establish a Catholic record if one does not exist, the existing valid marriage of a person when baptized or received into the Church may be inscribed as an annotation.



[1] c. 877 §1.

[2] c. 535 §2, De Concordia Inter Codices


Date approved by Bishop


Posted by
Msgr. S. J. Raica, chancellor