I’m Seriously Loving This Guy

Then-Cardinal Bergoglio, chewing out some of his priests for refusing to baptize children of single mothers:

“In our ecclesiastical region there are priests who don’t baptize the children of single mothers because they weren’t conceived in the sanctity of marriage,” Bergoglio told his priests. “These are today’s hypocrites. Those who clericalize the Church. Those who separate the people of God from salvation. And this poor girl who, rather than returning the child to sender, had the courage to carry it into the world, must wander from parish to parish so that it’s baptized!”

Love that. Also, his message to the denizens of Fortress Katolicus:

“Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit,” Bergoglio said.

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  • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com Beadgirl

    I genuinely want to know — how on earth did these priests justify not baptizing a baby? That seems to be contrary to pretty much every aspect of Christianity I can think of.

    • Amy

      I’m not sure about single parents, but I know a priest who will not baptize children of co-habitating couples because, according to him, if the parents are content to live in grave sin there isn’t the required hope that the child will be raised in the Faith.

      • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com Beadgirl

        But are they “content” to live that way? Is the priest able to read their hearts, to see whether they are struggling to conform with the Church, or do not fully understand Church teaching, as opposed to flouting it knowingly (and I mean really knowingly)? What if one parent really does want to get married but the other refuses, and the first parent does not leave because she is scared or needs the financial support or thinks it is better for the child to have both parents?

        My point is, unless the priest really knows the couple well, I think he should give them the benefit of the doubt. Especially because it is an innocent child who is caught in the middle, and who has absolutely no say in anything.

        And anyway, even if there is no hope that the child would be raised Catholic, isn’t it still a good idea for her to be baptized? To at least remove original sin and enter the Church that maybe she will come back to as an adult? What’s the Church’s reasoning on this?

  • http://platytera.blogspot.com/ Christian

    If a parent gives evidence of genuine Christian belief and practice, then I can’t see the circumstances of conception being an issue.

  • quasimodo

    “If a parent gives evidence of genuine Christian belief and practice…”

  • FW Ken

    Home today with a cold, I’m reading and watching a lot. The more I read and see, the more I like.


  • Julie

    I guess this means they wouldn’t have baptized Jesus. Probably just as well. He had John the Baptist waiting by the river.

  • http://www.bede.org Stefanie

    As RCIA Director in California, I have heard many Catholics from Latin American countries who were told by their priests: 1. an out-of-wedlock child could not receive any sacraments until the mother was married 2. you cannot come inside a church on Sunday unless you have confessed your sins on Saturday — every Saturday, every Sunday.
    This heretical teaching has caused many Catholics in Latin America to turn to other Christian churches and abandon Rome because they feel Rome abandoned them first.
    God bless Nuevo Papa Franciscum! May the goodness he has already shown be broadcast to the world — let us win souls through our actions so that ears will be opened to hear God’s words.

  • Jared B.

    That quote alone won my wife over. Her first child, my stepdaughter, was born out of wedlock, and a big part of my wife’s return to being a faithful practicing Catholic was getting her daughter baptized. Her family’s parish priest turned her down, and even cited Canon Law about requiring evidence that the child will in fact be raised in the faith. He took it that the fact that she’d had been cohabiting with a man and had a child outside of marriage was sufficient counter-evidence that she would not live as a Catholic and raise her baby as one…despite the fact that she had resumed attending Mass every Sunday for almost a year by then. Had to ‘parish-hop’ to another priest in town who was willing to baptize her child, and the other parish just lost an otherwise loyal parishioner.

  • http://arkanabar.blogspot.com Arkanabar

    Stefanie, that’s terrible! I tend to think that the two things that God wants most from us are repentance and mercy.

  • Allison

    Lapsed Catholic here, but how could any priest possibly justify not baptizing a child based on the circumstances of its conception? How does a sin committed by a child’s parents make the child unworthy of salvation? And isn’t the fact that the mother wants it baptized de facto evidence that it will be raised in the faith? The Catholic Church needs to SUPPORT women who don’t abort their unplanned children–not punish them for giving birth.

    • Mark Shea

      I agree.