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I watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding the other day (which I did not like - I should have known to stay away from a movie with no battle scenes) and was especially bothered by one scene.  A man gets baptized in order to please his fiancee's family and be accepted by them.  There is no indication that it has any other meaning for him at all.  If someone really did this, wouldn't it be an act of sacrilege?  Would such a baptism be valid or is it lacking proper intent?
Baptism requires faith on the part of the recipient (or a parent or guardian in the case of infants and others incapable of making the act of faith) to be valid, but its very minimal and may be marked by no more than submission and docility to the rites of the Church, from what I've read.

This article recounts a similar example from a canon law journal where the Roman Rota ruled the Baptism invalid.

http://catholicexchange.com/when-is-a-baptism-invalid/

The third paragraph of the response gets into validity of baptism and the last paragraph has the example where the "recipient" was judged to have simulated the sacrament, thus causing it to be invalid.  Simulating a sacrament is also a sacrilege, I believe.

It's been a while since I've seen the movie, and I was more disturbed by the family not caring about proper instruction in the faith, rather than the recipient of baptism. If this were a real situation I think I would charitably assume that he believes at a minimal level that this is something good and he will learn more as he practices the faith, and that pleasing his future wife and in-laws was just the initial motivation.
It may be implicit, in these sense that if one presents himself to be baptized, and recites the creed, the person is assumed to consent. It may have a delayed effect until the person is fully sincere. To not be sincere about the statements preceding baptism I think would be a sacrilege, but how grave is really only known to the person himself.
I forgot to add: it's a secular movie. There's good reason to avoid assuming that what is shown in terms of instruction, devotion, assent, etc, is actually what is in the story 'implicity.' The movie is simply not interesting in showing that aspect.

Just like no one goes to the bathroom in that movie (I don't think) but that doesn't imply they are some weird race of people who don't need to use the bathroom.
I thought the moving was quite charming. It reinforced what family should be. While schismatic, those squid clubbers had kids and stuck together.
(11-30-2012, 11:25 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: [ -> ]Baptism requires faith on the part of the recipient (or a parent or guardian in the case of infants and others incapable of making the act of faith) to be valid, but its very minimal and may be marked by no more than submission and docility to the rites of the Church, from what I've read.

This article recounts a similar example from a canon law journal where the Roman Rota ruled the Baptism invalid.

http://catholicexchange.com/when-is-a-baptism-invalid/

The third paragraph of the response gets into validity of baptism and the last paragraph has the example where the "recipient" was judged to have simulated the sacrament, thus causing it to be invalid.   Simulating a sacrament is also a sacrilege, I believe.

Thanks for this link.  The article does a really good job of addressing my questions.
(11-30-2012, 11:35 AM)newyorkcatholic Wrote: [ -> ]It's been a while since I've seen the movie, and I was more disturbed by the family not caring about proper instruction in the faith, rather than the recipient of baptism. If this were a real situation I think I would charitably assume that he believes at a minimal level that this is something good and he will learn more as he practices the faith, and that pleasing his future wife and in-laws was just the initial motivation.

I agree that in real life we would normally assume the best. I joined the Catholic Church when I was engaged to my husband-to-be, but it was a sincere decision, not something to please my fiance or his family.
(11-30-2012, 08:22 PM)Heinrich Wrote: [ -> ]I thought the moving was quite charming. It reinforced what family should be. While schismatic, those squid clubbers had kids and stuck together.

I do not think the family portrayed in that movie is what a family should be.  The wife nagged her husband and conspired with her female relatives to manipulate him.  The idea of the husband/father being the head of the family was mocked.  The character was portrayed as foolish and easily deceived.  The daughter lied to her parents.  The couple in love committed fornication.  Although religion played a large role in their lives, it seemed to be a manifestation of their ethnic identity rather than faith in Christ.  After the young man's baptism he said, "I'm Greek now," and that seems to have been the attitude of all the characters.
I think it's a prett clear example of using religion as a prop. The baptism is simply a cultural rite of passage (as unfortunately too many, even Novus Ordo Catholics, see it as), and not the initiation into the Church and the washing away of original sin.
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