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Question 189

Pater I actually have a question this week yay go me... anyways can a child be christened if a parent is a single parent and the child born out of wedlock as it were?    

 

Answer to Question 189

 

Yes there is nothing that should be an obstacle for someone to be baptised, although I have heard of some priests not baptising a child if the parents are not married. This is totally wrong and a misconception of some priests. if this happens the single parent should notify the bishop who will explain to the priest that he can perform the baptism. But there are others issues that must be taken into consideration. I'm not sure how the Orthodox church in England operates, but in Cyprus both parents must give their consent for the child to be baptised. If for example the woman is a single parent, but the father is named on the birth certificate and if he also has certain custody rights and contributes to the child's upbringing, then we need a written note from him saying that he has no objections to the child being baptised in the Orthodox church. This is necessary as the father might be a Muslim of belong to some other religion. If he is Orthodox then he might object to not being present at the baptism or might have objections to the name given to the child at baptism. He might for example want the child to be named after his father or mother and not after her father or mother. If on the other hand the father is not mentioned on the birth certificate and the mother has sole legal custody, then we do not need his permission.