Clinic Baptism

Clinic Baptism Baptism on a sick-bed was so called, from κλίνη, a bed, and was allowed in the case of one already a candidate for baptism whose life was endangered; but if he recovered, he was not held eligible to orders. The first instance of clinic baptism is found in a letter from the Roman bishop Cornelius (about 250) to Bishop Fabius at Antioch, in which it is stated that "when Novatian, who had only received the baptismus clinicorum, and without a subsequent imposition of hands by the bishop, had been ordained priest by a predecessor of Cornelius, the whole clergy and the people had protested on the ground that it was not permitted to ordain any one a clergyman who, like him (Novatian), had received baptism only upon the sick-bed; that, however, the bishop had asked to allow an exception in this case" (Eusebius Hist. Eccl. 1, 643). The same principle was expressed in 314 by the Synod of Neo Caesarea, and reasserted by a Paris synod in 829. Bishop Cornelius, in the letter above referred to, even hesitated to consider a clinic baptism as valid and officient; "if," he says, "of such a one (clinicus), it can be said at all that he has received baptism." Similar doubts were expressed by others; but, on the other hand, Cyprian strongly insisted that a clinic baptism was just as valid and efficient as any other (Epist. 76). Wetzer u. Welte, Kirch. — Lex. 2, 636; Herzog, Suppl. 2, 595; Bergier, s.v. Cliniques; Bingham, Orig. Eccl. b. 11, ch. 2, § 5; Mosheim, Commentaries, cent. 3. § 15.

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