ASK FATHER: Are “butt baptisms” valid?
From a priest…
Are partial immersion baptisms valid?
Where the baby is dipped up to the waist 3x, with valid words of baptism spoken.
Here’s the deal.
The “proximate matter” of baptism is ablution. This means physical contact of the water and the person’s body. The ablution symbolizes outwardly what happenes in the soul.
There are different ways to accomplish this ablution. There is dipping or immersion (immersio), pouring (infusio) or sprinkling (aspersio).
The immersion does not, apparently, even have to be a three-fold immersion. Pope Gregory the Great, in a letter to the Church in Spain, permitted a single immersion. According to Ott’s helpful book this was to