Author Topic: Filipino baptisms have doubtful validity  (Read 492 times)

Offline truly-a-philosofan

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Filipino baptisms have doubtful validity
« on: July 10, 2020, 06:31:56 AM »
This is the sign of the Cross in Filipino/Tagalog:

Sa Ngalan ng Ama, at ng Anak, at ng Espírito Santo. Amen.

These very words are also used in baptisms, with this additional phrase placed at the beginning Binabautismuhan kita n.

Now, here’s the problem, the word Anak, as a translation for the Son, is not masculine, but neuter. Tagalog/Filipino distinguishes son and daughter by adding adjectives to Anak such as Lalaki or Dalaga, which doesn’t happen in the official Filipino translation for the N. O. baptismal rite.

Hence my description for my religious affiliation. If it is certain that my own baptism was done in my native tongue, then I will have to ask ASAP for a conditional baptism.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 07:22:11 AM by truly-a-philosofan »
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Offline TheReturnofLive

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Re: Filipino baptisms have doubtful validity
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2020, 06:34:30 AM »
lol

What about languages that have no grammatical gender like Japanese?
 

Offline truly-a-philosofan

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Re: Filipino baptisms have doubtful validity
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2020, 09:06:02 AM »
lol

What about languages that have no grammatical gender like Japanese?

If the words used in their baptisms have similar problems as the one I mentioned in Filipino/Tagalog, then, barring the undoubted pope’s final judgement, the Japanese who believe the Catholic faith must ensure they’re validly baptized.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 09:13:58 AM by truly-a-philosofan »
For the evil of the soul, its own will takes the initiative; but for its good, the will of its Creator makes the first move; whether to make the soul which did not yet exist, or to recreate it when it had perished through its fall.

St. Augustine, City of God XIII:15
 
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Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Filipino baptisms have doubtful validity
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2020, 09:51:41 AM »
That is why the sacramental forms should be performed in Latin or another dead language.
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Offline Kent

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Re: Filipino baptisms have doubtful validity
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2020, 11:28:37 AM »

Now, here’s the problem, the word Anak, as a translation for the Son, is not masculine, but neuter. Tagalog/Filipino distinguishes son and daughter by adding adjectives to Anak such as Lalaki or Dalaga, which doesn’t happen in the official Filipino translation for the N. O. baptismal rite.


I recall hearing Fr. Hesse talk about this once, although I think it was a different language than Tagalog.  He was of the opinion that (whatever language this was), baptisms should not be performed with it because it did not have the necessarily sufficient explication of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 

Whether or not this is the case for anak, I do not know.  One thing I would say is that being neuter, it is at least a better signification of reality than a feminine word would be-- if you baptized (in English) in the name of the Father, Daughter, and Holy Ghost that wouldn't be a valid baptism.  I say it is a 'better' signification just because the English word 'Son' doesn't mean, in the baptismal formula (or any time it is used in a Trinitarian context) exactly the same thing as what the word 'son' means in its usual, colloquial usage.  'The Son' (implicated in baptism) rather exceptionally does not indicate that the person in question was naturally born to a man and woman who copulated together, for instance.  That is a fairly significant difference.  If I refer to my son, I am doing so in a very different way than God the Father refers to Jesus Christ as His son.  There is an analogy between the two, to be sure, but the word isn't being used the same way.

I am sorry I cannot give you a more direct or less abstract answer.  This is something I have wondered about myself, just out of curiosity-- say, if you had a priest with a very thick accent, so thick that (say) when he says "Holy Ghost" he really says "oily host" by all accounts.  At what point (if any) does the intention to say the right words compensate for not actually saying them?  I didn't ever imagine actually encountering someone for whom that question had practical import.

As Michael Wilson said, this is why sacraments are performed in a dead language.  My advice to you would be to speak to a Filipino traditionalist priest.  Mine actually happens to be one, I'll ask him the next time I see him and see if he has an opinion.

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Offline TheReturnofLive

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Re: Filipino baptisms have doubtful validity
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2020, 04:44:57 PM »
Here's a hypo;

Say someone's on their deathbed, and says "I want to be Baptized." Another person says "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spir..." but before he can finish, the person dies.

Does the deathbed person burn in hell for all eternity?

And if not, why should you worry about God supplanting grace is technically deficient rites?
 

Offline truly-a-philosofan

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Re: Filipino baptisms have doubtful validity
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2020, 01:31:42 AM »
Here's a hypo;

Say someone's on their deathbed, and says "I want to be Baptized." Another person says "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spir..." but before he can finish, the person dies.

Does the deathbed person burn in hell for all eternity?

And if not, why should you worry about God supplanting grace is technically deficient rites?

If the one who’s to be baptized had perfect contrition before that, then one need not worry.
For the evil of the soul, its own will takes the initiative; but for its good, the will of its Creator makes the first move; whether to make the soul which did not yet exist, or to recreate it when it had perished through its fall.

St. Augustine, City of God XIII:15
 
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Offline Jayne

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Re: Filipino baptisms have doubtful validity
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2020, 03:50:14 PM »
This is the sign of the Cross in Filipino/Tagalog:

Sa Ngalan ng Ama, at ng Anak, at ng Espírito Santo. Amen.

These very words are also used in baptisms, with this additional phrase placed at the beginning Binabautismuhan kita n.

Now, here’s the problem, the word Anak, as a translation for the Son, is not masculine, but neuter. Tagalog/Filipino distinguishes son and daughter by adding adjectives to Anak such as Lalaki or Dalaga, which doesn’t happen in the official Filipino translation for the N. O. baptismal rite.

Hence my description for my religious affiliation. If it is certain that my own baptism was done in my native tongue, then I will have to ask ASAP for a conditional baptism.


Sa Ngalan ng Ama, at ng Anak, at ng Espírito Santo. Amen. is the officially approved translation of "in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritui Sancti".   It has the authority of Rome behind it.  So one's view of this translation depends on one's view of that authority.

Sedevacantists, who do not recognize that authority, need to figure out for themselves whether they think it is a good enough translation.  For those who do recognize it ( eg. SSPX, Ecclesia Dei trads) there is no question that baptisms performed using it are valid.

Perhaps you have heard of the practice of baptisms using "inclusive language" such as "in the name of the Creator, the Redeemer and the Sanctifier".  These are, without question, invalid.  We know this because they were officially declared to be invalid. (An article about this here: https://canonlawmadeeasy.com/2008/09/11/inclusive-language-and-baptismal-validity/


Just as those baptism are invalid because those with the authority to do so declared it an incorrect translation, a baptism with the official Tagalog translation is valid because those with the authority to do so declared it a correct translation.  This is not a linguistics question, but one of ecclesiology.

edit:  I noticed your other thread in the Sedevacantism section after I wrote this.  Apparently you agree with me on the implications of recognizing the authority of Rome.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 03:56:01 PM by Jayne »
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Offline Jayne

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Re: Filipino baptisms have doubtful validity
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2020, 06:24:10 PM »
I thought some more about this question, as if from the SV perspective in which post-Vatican II authority does not exist. 

I found a history book that says "The proper administrator of baptism is the priest, but, in cases of necessity, laymen may baptize, male or female, and parents may baptize their own children.1644"  And the footnote says: "They were allowed to use the vernacular in the ceremony. Synods of Treves, 1227, Mainz, 1233. And priests were instructed to teach laymen the baptismal ceremony in the vulgar tongue that they might use it if the exigency arose. Fritzlar, 1243, Hefele, V. 1099. " https://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc5.ii.xvi.iii.html#fnf_ii.xvi.iii-p10.1

This establishes that vernacular baptisms are recognized as valid at least as early as 1227.

I also found the first Tagalog catechism (1593) online:http://www.gutenberg.org/files/16119/16119-h/16119-h.htm

While this work does not contain the baptism formula, it does have this:

Quote
T. ylan ang personas?
S. tatlo. T. anong ng̃alang nang
naona? S. ang dios ama. T. anõg
ng̃alan nang ycalua? S. ang di
os anac. T. anong ng̃alan nãg
ycatlo? S. ang dios spiritusãcto.

The second person of the Trinity is called "dios anac" without any adjective to specify son rather than daughter.   This shows that this usage is not a post-conciliar innovation, but goes back to the earliest introduction of Catholicism to the Philippines. Therefore, we have no reason to think that "Binabautismuhan kita n sa Ngalan ng Ama, at ng Anak, at ng Espírito Santo." is an incorrect translation of the Latin.

I conclude that there are no linguistic grounds to question the validity of your baptism.
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Offline Jayne

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Re: Filipino baptisms have doubtful validity
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2020, 06:37:59 PM »
I am sorry I cannot give you a more direct or less abstract answer.  This is something I have wondered about myself, just out of curiosity-- say, if you had a priest with a very thick accent, so thick that (say) when he says "Holy Ghost" he really says "oily host" by all accounts.  At what point (if any) does the intention to say the right words compensate for not actually saying them?  I didn't ever imagine actually encountering someone for whom that question had practical import.

The Catholic Encyclopedia article on baptism says "When, through ignorance, an accidental, not substantial, change has been made in the form (as In nomine patriâ for Patris), the baptism is to be held valid." 

This is in a section on validity of form that pertains to this thread:

Quote
In addition to the necessary word "baptize", or its equivalent, it is also obligatory to mention the separate Persons of the Holy Trinity. This is the command of Christ to His Disciples, and as the sacrament has its efficacy from Him Who instituted it, we can not omit anything that He has prescribed. Nothing is more certain than that this has been the general understanding and practice of the Church. Tertullian tells us (On Baptism 13): "The law of baptism (tingendi) has been imposed and the form prescribed: Go, teach the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." St. Justin Martyr (First Apology 1) testifies to the practice in his time. St. Ambrose (On the Mysteries 4) declares: "Unless a person has been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, he can not obtain the remission of his sins," St. Cyprian (Epistle 72), rejecting the validity of baptism given in the name of Christ only, affirms that the naming of all the Persons of the Trinity was commanded by the Lord (in plena et adunata Trinitate). The same is declared by many other primitive writers, as St. Jerome (IV, in Matt.), Origen (De Principiis I.2), St. Athanasius (Against the Arians, Oration 4), St. Augustine (On Baptism 6.25). It is not, of course, absolutely necessary that the common names Father, Son, and Holy Ghost be used, provided the Persons be expressed by words that are equivalent or synonymous. But a distinct naming of the Divine Persons is required and the form: "I baptize thee in the name of the Holy Trinity", would be of more than doubtful validity.

The singular form "In the name", not "names", is also to be employed, as it expresses the unity of the Divine nature. When, through ignorance, an accidental, not substantial, change has been made in the form (as In nomine patriâ for Patris), the baptism is to be held valid.
https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02258b.htm#vi
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Offline TheReturnofLive

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Re: Filipino baptisms have doubtful validity
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2020, 02:45:17 AM »
Here's a hypo;

Say someone's on their deathbed, and says "I want to be Baptized." Another person says "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spir..." but before he can finish, the person dies.

Does the deathbed person burn in hell for all eternity?

And if not, why should you worry about God supplanting grace is technically deficient rites?

If the one who’s to be baptized had perfect contrition before that, then one need not worry.

And if he didn't?

Would that be just of God?

Also, if merely having an intent to Baptism and remain a member of the Church is enough to have perfect contrition, Baptism is pretty much pointless.
 

Offline truly-a-philosofan

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Re: Filipino baptisms have doubtful validity
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2020, 03:43:17 AM »
Here's a hypo;

Say someone's on their deathbed, and says "I want to be Baptized." Another person says "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spir..." but before he can finish, the person dies.

Does the deathbed person burn in hell for all eternity?

And if not, why should you worry about God supplanting grace is technically deficient rites?

If the one who’s to be baptized had perfect contrition before that, then one need not worry.

And if he didn't?

Would that be just of God?

Also, if merely having an intent to Baptism and remain a member of the Church is enough to have perfect contrition, Baptism is pretty much pointless.

God doesn't owe us salvation. We are saved because of His sheer generosity. So I do not understand why you suggest it would be unjust for God to do so.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2020, 03:46:14 AM by truly-a-philosofan »
For the evil of the soul, its own will takes the initiative; but for its good, the will of its Creator makes the first move; whether to make the soul which did not yet exist, or to recreate it when it had perished through its fall.

St. Augustine, City of God XIII:15
 
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Offline Jayne

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Re: Filipino baptisms have doubtful validity
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2020, 09:43:33 AM »
Some additional evidence that "ng Ama, at ng Anak at ng Ispiritu Santo" is the traditional Trinitarian formula in Tagalog can be found in the Tagalog translation of An Open Letter to Confused Catholics:

Quote
Hindi rin niya mababago ang kahalagahan ng anyo. Mayroong mga mahahalagang salita. Halimbawa, hindi maaaring sabihin ng isa, “Binibinyagan kita sa ngalan ng Diyos ,“ dahil ang Diyos mismo ay nagtalaga ng anyong ito: “Kayo ay magbibinyag sa ngalan ng Ama, at ng Anak at ng Ispiritu Santo.”

There are two possible words for "baptize", one from the Spanish cognate "Binabautismuhan" and one from an old Tagalog word "magbibinyag". But the word used to translate "Filius" is always "Anak". 

I also did more research on the language structure. From a linguistic perspective, the situation as described in the OP is technically inaccurate:

Now, here’s the problem, the word Anak, as a translation for the Son, is not masculine, but neuter. Tagalog/Filipino distinguishes son and daughter by adding adjectives to Anak such as Lalaki or Dalaga, which doesn’t happen in the official Filipino translation for the N. O. baptismal rite.

Tagalog is classified as a genderless language.  There is no grammatical gender. In languages that have grammatical gender, one speaks of masculine and feminine and (sometimes) neuter, in contrast to these.  But the term "neuter" is not normally used in describing genderless languages.

Kinship words in Tagalog, such as the ones for child/offspring, sibling, or spouse, may explicitly designate the person's sex by additional words or implicitly by context.   They are comparable to the way the word "cousin" works in English. One may explicitly designate the sex and say "male cousin" or "female cousin".  But when I refer to "my cousin Daniel" I do not add the word "male" because it is clear from the context.

Similarly, when the word "Anak" is used in the context of the Trinitarian formula, it is not necessary to explicitly designate the sex because it is already clear.  There is nothing at all problematic about this translation.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2020, 11:51:19 AM by Jayne »
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