Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Catholic Logic

There's been a push for a while to replace masculine language with non-gender-specific language in the Catholic Mass. It throws me off sometimes because I say the prayers in mass by rote, as I learned them in Catholic School, and when they've gone and changed the words it makes my sporadic attendance obvious.

Anyway, one recent change in North America was for the priest to say at baptisms, "I baptize you in the name of the Creator, Liberator and Sustainer," instead of "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." They were trying to get away from masculine language.

Oh no no no. Pope says you can't say that. The new phrase doesn't emphasize the trinity enough, and after all, the whole trinity thing is what separates us from other Christians.

Fine. Words matter. BUT....not only do we have to change the words back to the original....every baptism that was performed using the renegade phrase is INVALID and needs to be re-performed. And, of course, if you have an invalid baptism, any other sacraments that came afterward, like, say, marriage, would be invalid too.

Oh Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Give me a break. It's like the Pope is stomping his feet, yelling, "You wanna go and do your own thing? Well, ha ha, none of those baptisms count! You have to do 'em all over! :P~~~~!"

This is what makes me crazy about the Vatican. Do they really think that God is keeping a list of what phrase was used? Are they going to withhold Holy Communion because someone may have an invalid baptismal sacrament? Am I going to organize a re-baptism for my sons because I don't remember which phrase was used? We had a ceremony, the babies were anointed and welcomed into the church, that's what happened and that was the point.

This is all about a church being authoritarian and concerned with earthly power. They're afraid that if they say, "Naw, you don't have to re-baptize everyone," that could subvert the idea that they are all powerful and always right about everything. Arrrgh. C'mon guys, this is why people think Catholics are crazy.

Chocolate-covered holy wafers to anyone who reads this rant. But only if you've been baptized correctly.

ETA: Oh, and by the way, those who get re-baptized are dammed anyway because they get water sprinkled on them instead of a full bath. Bummer.

Oh, BTW, no leprechauns were caught yesterday. But Larry Leprechaun took A.'s money and left a note saying, "Better luck next time, lads."


jessmonster said...

I'll pass on the chocolate covered holy wafer, but thanks anyway.

It's one thing to make things more gender neutral, but another thing to replace mentions of the trinity. But to make all those people get re-baptized? Kind of seems to defeat the purpose of baptism.

We are ALL OVER the full immersion in the Orthodox church. I'm a fan. But again, a petty reason to re-baptize.

Lunasea said...

See, Jess, that's the thing - I can understand (even if I don't completely agree) with going back to the trinity - that's important in Catholicism. But to make all those baptisms invalid just smacks of authoritarianism.

Beastarzmom said...

Hey, I was told you could absolutely NOT EVER rebaptize. Once done, it's done.
I don't like those new words anyway...

Anonymous said...

I'm not Catholic, but all of the churches I have attended over the years (Methodist, Baptist, and Bible) believe in the Trinity. That said, the re-baptizing is crazy. What about the priests who were baptized with the wrong "formula?" (Wow, doesn't that sound personal?) Does that mean everyone who has ever confessed to them or taken communion from them are screwed?

Sarah O. said...

Sometimes I am so incredibly glad I was raised Presbyterian.

Someday I've got to tell you about when my mother converted to Catholicism. Her priest was a converted Jew.

Beastarzmom said...

I'm wondering how Mark Morford (SF Chron)got hold of Lunasea's rant! She is just always one step ahead of everyone else! His column today is all about the new "sins" announced by the RCC.
interesting and bizarre stuff.

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