Friday, February 29, 2008

Warm up the baptismal pool again

CWN tells us that the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has weighed in on that radical-feminist-inspired variation in the baptismal rite that's so popular in some dioceses: "In the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier." (Instead of that horribly patriarchal, male-chauvinist "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit").

Not valid, says the CDF.

Were you "baptized" with that renegade formula, which Fr. Cool and Bishop Trendy insisted on? Then get baptized "again" -- because you weren't actually baptized the first time.

This is an amazing display of backbone on Rome's part. And it's all the more delicious because they've checkmated the opposition by going right back to the words of the Gospel of St. Matthew: Jesus himself, they point out, is the one who told us to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

The dissidents are always telling us how we ought to return to the practices of the early Church. Well, dissidents, it seems that a straightforward reading of Matthew tells us that "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" was the practice of the early Church, at least if you assume that the disciples did what Jesus told them. And since that formula was OK for two thousand years, it looks like they did. It was fine with every generation of Catholics until you and Gloria Steinem came along.

So warm up the jacuzzi again.

And this time use the right words.