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Anonymous Armen wrote:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am from Turkey with Armenian origins. I am 45 years old and an English teacher at a "public - state run" high-school. I am writing this letter to confess what has been happening since I told the Saint-Antoine Priest Michael on August 23, 2022, that I was baptized by some Protestant missionaries back in 1993 when I was only 16 years of age.

As soon as I had done so, I was excluded from Communion which to me looked like a just decision at first sight. I talked to him after Mass and said that I was ignorant then and did not know any distinction between Catholic and Protestant faiths. I was brought up in a Muslim family and I was not aware of my Armenian roots until 1993. I was shocked when mom told me that my father was an Armenian who passed away many years ago.

The non-Muslims are strictly monitored and never allowed to work at state offices in Turkey. That's why people like me always hide their identity and faith if they work for the state. Talking about the Armenian Genocide is considered as treason and being a Christian is always seen as a threat to the Turks. I have never ever prayed at a Protestant Church in my life, and I have always prayed at Saint Antoine Church in Istanbul and when I was in Germany, I joined the Mass at Catholic churches. The dear priest Michael told me I needed to come the following day and speak to the dear priest Iosef about the situation stating that he would inform him. I did so the following day and was at the door before 10:00 AM. The priest was not at the church and told me to come on Tuesday. I went to the church yesterday and met him.

He told me to get a kind of registration paper from the Armenian Protestant Church. Meanwhile I asked him why he would demand this paper which they could not accept anyway, and he strictly ruled out other options and told me to get the paper. Under pouring rain, I went to the Gedik-Pasha Armenian Protestant Church for the first time in my life and met Mr. pastor Kirkor. When I explained him the situation, he showed mercy and told me that a missionary called Misak must have baptized me at home which I can't really remember as I was just a teenager then. I went to the Armenian Catholic Church the same day but sadly it was closed.

I am deeply sorry and kind of depressed about the situation as I feel naked and like an infidel. The pastor tried to boost my energy but to no avail; I still feel sinful and like an infidel. Yesus Kristus and our Queen Mother Mary. I am ashamed of them.

I have been praying to Yesus, The Almighty, for days to help me out of trouble and be embraced by the Catholic Church by being officially baptized.

I would be grateful if you told me what to do.

May Jesus Christ Almighty forgive and accept me into His Heart again. May our Savior bless us all forever Amen. This is the most important issue for my soul at the moment.

Please show me a way out, I am at your feet on my knees.

Yours faithfully,

Istanbul, Turkey

  { Can you show a Muslim how to be embraced by the Catholic Church by being officially baptized? }

Eric replied:

Dear Armen,

I am very sorry about the problems you have been having with the Catholic parish and the way that they treated you. That was not at all Christian. There is no reason for you to feel ashamed, or sinful, or like an infidel; this was not your doing and not your fault.

If you do not have documentation of your Protestant baptism, the Catholic priest can do a conditional baptism. This is routine and they should not object to the request. If you have any problems, find another priest or appeal to the local bishop.


Mike replied:

Dear Armen,

While I totally agree with the sediments of my colleague, Eric, I wanted to provide a possible answer as to why they asked for your Baptismal certificate. A Christian can only receive Baptism once and while some Protestant Christian groups perform a valid Trinitarian Baptism, others do not.

This previous question and answer (below) should give you a good understanding of why the priest asked for this. It lists Protestant Christian groups who practice a valid Trinitarian Baptism, as well as those that don't.

I hope this helps,


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