According to the Code of Canon Law, in order for the Sacrament of Baptism to be celebrated validly and lawfully, there must be a minister of baptism. There is no circumstance in which a person may baptise himself. There are three important canons in the code which are relevant to issues revolving around the minister of baptism:
- Canon 861 defines the ordinary and extraordinary ministers of baptism, and the circumstances in which the latter may lawfully baptise.
- Canon 862 defines the territorial restrictions on the exercise of baptism by ordinary ministers.
- Canon 863 details the circumstances in which the diocesan bishop is the proper minister of baptism.