From a reader:
Several months ago, we attended a violin recital in a Methodist church (did not attend their service) and the pastor announced that he would be doing a “beach baptism”, and I imagine that he used the salt water from the ocean. According to my Angelus Press missal, “Salt water should only be be used when necessary, but should be used then (i.e. in danger of death), and the same applies to melted ice or snow.” Because the pastor announced this, it didn’t sound like a case of extreme necessity.
That said, would such a baptism (using salt water) be valid if there was no danger of death?
Salt water is really water. Melted ice is, last time I checked, water. Melted snow is, last time I checked, water. Valid baptism is conferred using true liquid water, sweet or salt.
Yes, salt water can be used. As a matter of fact, the Holy Water blessed by the priest using the older, traditional form of the Roman Ritual has salt in it, exorcised salt. Were a priest to use Holy Water to baptize, surely that would be valid matter.
Baptismal Water, blessed on Easter or Pentecost, does not have exorcised salt in it, as does Holy Water.
In any event, it is always best to follow the official books given to us by the Catholic Church for the conferral of valid sacraments, no? The only reason why we would care what a Methodist minister might say about the water she is going to use for a baptism is that, when the baptized person wants to become a Catholic, we want to be sure that valid matter was used.