Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Holy Father on Infant Baptism

Practicing what he has long preached, the Holy Father baptized the child of a couple in a civil marriage - as well as a single mother's son ...

Pope Francis has baptized 32 babies in the Sistine Chapel and told their mothers to have no qualms about feeding them there. Two of the infants are the daughter of a couple that did not get married in the Catholic Church and a single mother's son.
Unlike his predecessors, who usually delivered long and theology-laden homilies at the yearly event, the pope offered a brief, improvised homily of some 300 words centered on the children.
"Today the choir will sing but the most beautiful choir of all is the choir of the infants who will make a noise. Some will cry because they are not comfortable or because they are hungry," he said in a familiar, relaxed tone to the parents.
Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel are some of the world's most celebrated works of art. The ceiling depicts the creation of man and the altar wall shows a severe God at the Last Judgment.
But the pope told the mothers not to feel intimidated by the surroundings.
"If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice. Because they are the most important people here," he said, speaking in the same room where he was elected on March 13 as the first non-European pope in 1,600 years.
Francis said in an interview last month that mothers should not feel uncomfortable breastfeeding during his ceremonies. - Buenos Aires Herald
During the homily, in effect a brief catechesis, Pope Francis explained to the parents that the most important thing they can do is to transmit the faith of their forefathers to their children.

Sadly, some Catholics will be expressing their disapproval.

Viva il Papa!

Update:  As to be expected, Deacon Kandra has a very balanced commentary on the situation here.


  1. Not me! What a blessing for the children, their families – and the Church.


  3. "some Catholics will be expressing their disapproval"

    And sipping on vinegar too. So what else is new? I bet the blessed event was one to remember. Those precious babies are born again in the waters of Baptism.

    May their parents be inspired by the loving example of Papa Francisco draw closer to Jesus and to His Church.

  4. ...I have not been praying so much For the Pope: as Thanking God FOR this Pope - I feel not just grateful for his presence...but safer and relieved that he is here, with us. He will be very important to the world, in a more visible way, I am sure, in the upcoming days.

    1. Consolata - I've been thinking of you. So good to hear from you - God bless!

  5. Every time I read something about him I have to shake my head in disbelief. He makes profound things so simple! How does he do it? LOVE! Like St. Therese of Lisieux his vocation is love!

    1. I agree - I think he is very much like St. Therese. He is making the Church less forbidding for ordinary people who believe they must be perfect to belong.

    2. Like St. Therese, the pope is often misunderstood as being sentimental or stupid. He is neither.

  6. What a great man. Love is what propels him and how he upsets the Pharisee's of his day !!!!!

  7. I don't think too many people are upset about this and even if a few are, why make an issue of it? Francis did what he should have done and let the little children come to the Lord. But there's no need to always have a pharisee or some other self-righteous strawman to underscore the good Francis is doing. Let what is admirable stand on its own.

  8. I see this as a concrete example of the Holy Father's desire expressed in EG 27:

    "I dream of a “missionary option”, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation. The renewal of structures demanded by pastoral conversion can only be understood in this light: as part of an effort to make them more mission-oriented, to make ordinary pastoral activity on every level more inclusive and open, to inspire in pastoral workers a constant desire to go forth and in this way to elicit a positive response from all those whom Jesus summons to friendship with himself."

  9. Hi Terry - thank you for thinking of me ! I have been reading Joseph Schmidt's "Walking the Little Way of St. Therese of Lisieux", and like his earlier book, it is so good. really, really helps to know that she, too, experienced hostility in interacting with some charaters ! and that She had to physically Flee from them sometimes ! (if only I could...).
    I had to take some time off from work: lifting all those heavy milk jugs et al to pour drinks at tables for 40 people-who-are-old, (not old people) and the sheer physicality of it all - (tennis elbow):after three days I feel so much better. anyway: soon I will be off the internet here at home: much too expensive. I will so miss checking in here several times a day to listen to everyone....I am a bereft over this - but there is always the library, and I can lurk while nursing coffee at Panera, etc. (if I can figure that out).
    one day....wireless will be free to all, in our country and all over the world, but will we want to imbibe with the continued loss of privacy ?
    I feel my job is God's gift to me - I am so grateful. I experiece it like water running over stones in a brook: eventually even the sharpest of rocks become smooth, their sharp edges gently worn down.
    God Bless everyone here, and Terry: you have such a special mission ! I love it.

  10. Common sense prevails.

  11. Pope "Francis said in an interview last month that mothers should not feel uncomfortable breastfeeding during his ceremonies. - Buenos Aires Herald"

    I would have preferred it if he had said don't hide your breasts when nursing as if nursing is sexual, but it's better than the typical prudishness.

    As for his baptizing the baby of a couple in a civil marriage, he should have first regularized their marriage, then baptized the child. Because as it is, his act is scandalous because it tells the world that living in sin is acceptable.

    As it stands, the visible Church is actively attacking marriage through its scandalous annulment practices, and now this. What next?


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