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baptism

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I've been in a relationship with my cousin for about 5 years. We have lived together for about two and we are not married. However, we have a daughter that is about 9 months and her father wants to baptize her. Does the catholic church allow this? I stopped by the parish office for information about doing so and they weren't very nice about us not being married. I can't even imagine mentioning we are cousins. I honestly don't know what to do. Will they find out? Should I say something? Can she be baptized? Has anyone been through this?

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Not being a Catholic, I don't know the rules regarding Church Canon. With that said, I do know that the Church takes a dim view of unmarried couples cohabiting, especially with children. They would very much prefer that you be married before trying to have a child baptized. The reason is that Christening, baptizing, and confirmation are all part of a process of training to understand and live within the doctrine and faith of the Church. If the parents are refusing to do that themselves, it means the child will be raised in a home that is divided and inconsistent.  Likewise, if your cousin is Catholic and you are not, they would prefer that you go through the process of learning and ultimately Confirmation to become Catholic yourself.  They view marriages between a Catholic and non-Catholic different than between two Catholics.

As for your being cousins, yes, the Church will likely express some degree of frustration. With that said, assuming you are in a state where it would be legal to do so, you can apply for dispensation to marry... but I don't see that being approved if you are not both confirmed Catholics.

When dealing with the Church, understand that priests are human and each will take a different view and treat you differently according to their individual attitudes and personal dispositions. If you are treated in a way you don't like by one, expect that another may be more gracious.  Such is the way with all things human.

I hope that helps.  Best wishes,

CM

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