Pope Francis to Liberalize the Sacrament of Baptism?
#1
In the Catholic Church priests have the right to refuse baptism to parents they consider sinful (i.e. not married, gay). Some have gone so far as to argue that canon law requires priest refuse baptisms to children of notorious sinners. The former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio has been very critical of this approach and I would not be surprised if one of his first major acts is a restriction on a priest's ability to refuse to perform a baptism. 

Quote:Cardinal Bergoglio has explained the meaning of all this in an interview with the international magazine "30 Days":

"The child has no responsibility for the condition of his parents' marriage. The baptism of children can, on the contrary, become a new beginning for the parents. A while ago, I baptized the seven children of one woman, a poor widow who works as a maid and had her children by two different men. I met her on the feast of Saint Cajetan. She said to me, 'Father, I am in mortal sin, I have seven children and have never had them baptized, I don't have the money for the godparents and for the party... I saw her again and after a little catechesis I baptized them in the chapel of the archepiscopal residence. The woman said to me, 'Father, I can't believe it, you make me feel important'. I said to her, 'But madam, what do I have to do with it? It's Jesus who makes you important."

Bergoglio is anxious not to extinguish a tradition typical of the most remote areas of Argentina, in those towns and villages where the priest comes only a few times a year:

"There, popular piety feels that children must be baptized as soon as possible, so there are men or women known by all as 'bautizadores' who baptize the children when they are born, in anticipation of the arrival of the priest. And when he arrives, they bring the children to him so that he can anoint them with holy oil, completing the rite. When I think about it, I am reminded of the story of those Christian communities in Japan that were without priests for more than two hundred years. When the missionaries returned, they found all of them baptized and all of them sacramentally married."

The cardinal continues:

"The conference in Aparecida urged us to proclaim the Gospel by going to meet the people, not by waiting for the people to come to us. Missionary fervor does not require extraordinary events. It is in ordinary life that mission work is done. And baptism, in this, is paradigmatic. The sacraments are for the life of men and women as they are. They may not make big speeches, but their 'sensus fidei' grasps the reality of the sacraments with more clarity than many specialists do."

http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/art...1210?eng=y
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#2
Isn't there reciprocity with Protestant baptisms viewed as valid by the church now?
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#3
(03-14-2013, 07:47 AM)Ursus Wrote: Isn't there reciprocity with Protestant baptisms viewed as valid by the church now?

Baptisms by heretics have always been viewed as valid provided they follow the trinitarian formula. 
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#4
(03-14-2013, 07:13 AM)Someone1776 Wrote: In the Catholic Church priests have the right to refuse baptism to parents they consider sinful (i.e. not married, gay). Some have gone so far as to argue that canon law requires priest refuse baptisms to children of notorious sinners. The former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio has been very critical of this approach and I would not be surprised if one of his first major acts is a restriction on a priest's ability to refuse to perform a baptism. 

Where in canon law does it say this?

Baptism is necessary for salvation and it isn't the child's fault that their parents have sinned.  I am not a scholar or a theologian so correct me if I'm wrong, but Christ did say, "Let the children come to me..."
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#5
(03-14-2013, 08:33 AM)Chestertonian Wrote:
(03-14-2013, 07:13 AM)Someone1776 Wrote: In the Catholic Church priests have the right to refuse baptism to parents they consider sinful (i.e. not married, gay). Some have gone so far as to argue that canon law requires priest refuse baptisms to children of notorious sinners. The former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio has been very critical of this approach and I would not be surprised if one of his first major acts is a restriction on a priest's ability to refuse to perform a baptism. 

Where in canon law does it say this?

Baptism is necessary for salvation and it isn't the child's fault that their parents have sinned.  I am not a scholar or a theologian so correct me if I'm wrong, but Christ did say, "Let the children come to me..."

Can.  868 §1. For an infant to be baptized licitly:

1/ the parents or at least one of them or the person who legitimately takes their place must consent;

2/ there must be a founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the Catholic religion; if such hope is altogether lacking, the baptism is to be delayed according to the prescripts of particular law after the parents have been advised about the reason.
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#6
Pope Benedict had the same or similar ideas it seems.  This is an article from Fr. Z's blog back in 2009 which he re-posted comparing the two on this issue:

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2009/12/whos-the-important-one/

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#7
I'm always intrigued by early Church policy on this which was the total opposite of this proposed liberalization. It was extremely common to delay baptism until adulthood, and to keep it from young or uncertain believers. We all know the anecdote about Ambrose of Milan.

Even the Vatican II antiquarians seem to have thought free and liberal baptism was a good doctrinal/liturgical development of the late imperial and early medieval Church.
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