Un-baptizing; can that be done?

The Christmas season is over; today we read about the Baptism of Christ, and recall our own baptisms. some of us today renewed our baptismal promises.

But not everyone. Deacon Greg Kandra notes that some are trying to “unbaptize” themselves.

Some wish to “de-baptize” because they are responding to the sexual abuse scandals within the church; they are so sincerely disgusted that they cannot reconcile the message of Christianity, as voiced by the church, with the deceit and harm that has occurred.

Others, perhaps poorly catechized and uninspired, have no sense of what their baptism means.

And some really don’t want to be Catholic, and will jump for any reason that “works” for a narrative. T’was ever-thus.

In her weekly column Pat Gohn’s explaining why
–even if one wishes it to be so–baptism cannot be “undone.” One can denounce it or ignore it, but Signed, Sealed, Delivered, we’re His:

Baptism announces our Christian identity as beloved adopted sons and daughters of God. This is not earned; it is a pure gratuitous gift of purification and mercy meant to free us, that we may receive Jesus and grow in likeness to him; it consecrates our mission in the Body of Christ, the Church on earth, as it anticipates our promise of heavenly resurrection.

The Gospel invites us to contemplate these things anew; being called a son or daughter of God is not some meaningless platitude designed to make a Christian feel “special.” No, it is a fast reality.

We are God’s beloved, always.

God brands a soul in baptism—like a soul tattoo.

You can read the rest here

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://oxyparadoxy.blogspot.com The Ranter

    Speaking of baptisms, today my husband turned to me at the start of Mass and said, “I might even think about converting.”

  • http://www.noodlingonit.com Kris, in New England

    This is so timely in my own life right now. As my husband and I continue thru the RCIA program at our local parish, I am amazed at how deeply I am connecting to the Catholic faith.

    My husband was raised Catholic, converted to the faith of my birth, then we both left that about 15 years ago. And remained w/out any particular faith for all that time.

    Fast forward to today – the husband is reconnecting to the faith of his birth and I am, quite joyfully, converting to it.

    Perhaps it is because we are older but this time around it is more meaningful. Our hearts and souls have been starving for faith and we either ignored it or weren’t totally aware of it.

    In any event, the Catholic Church does not recognize my baptism; I was baptized at age 23 in a Christian faith that is, quite frankly, one tiny step away from being a cult.

    For a while I was a little miffed that my own baptism, made in with my whole heart at the time, blessed in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, would be rejected so quickly and the requirement of a new baptism be presented.

    As time as passed, as I work thru the RCIA classes and attend Mass every weekend, I realize that I now WANT a Catholic baptism. To start again in that way, to be re-blessed as a Catholic.

    What joy that will bring to me, to my husband and to his family.

  • Lisa

    I think the Church would encounter a revitalization if baptism were done in adulthood rather than during infancy. It would be risky and a sharp fall-out at first, but then the people would earn for it! People would stop treating like an entitlement.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    I’m always touched by stories from converts to Catholicism. And Kris has a wonderful story above. Welcome to our faith Kris.

    Glad to know it can’t be undone, no matter how I scrape my forhead…lol.

    Lisa makes a good point above too. I find the Baptist approach of a full body, adult dunking after a profession of faith to be wonderful. I’ve envied them for it. We as Catholics don’t have any adult sacrements of initiation. The closest would be confirmation, which is in essence a second baptism, but even that is administered as adolencents.

  • Mary

    I would be more impressed if they, like Julian the Apostate, tried to have it washed off with bull’s blood.

  • http://www.noodlingonit.com Kris, in New England

    Manny – thank you! I too love reading stories about conversions, especially to the Catholic faith. The Anchoress helped me early on with a book recommendation “Rome Sweet Home”. I followed that up with “Born Fundamentalist, Born-Again Catholic”. Both were written by people who, like me, had grown up in a fundamental Christian faith yet found something calling to them from the Catholic faith.

    Those books were so helpful; they made my conversion decision so much easier.

  • Joseph Marshall

    I would agree. My Buddhist teachers state that when you take a vow you create what they call a “vow form”, an intangible alteration in the world itself. They also believe that the acts of all of us make such subtle alterations, in a milder way, which they call “karma, cause and effect”. To commit such action on someone else, for religious reasons, when you take upon yourself the authority to do, so creates an impenetrable bond between you and whoever you do it for. If Baptism is a chain around the ankles, then a priest has placed thousands of chains upon himself as well as a single chain on someone else.

    When I look at people I sometimes see in my mind’s eye more than my actual vision shows me. Looking at Christians, my mind’s eye often sees a glowing Calvary Cross 6-12 inches tall a little way in front of them at chest height. Sort of like the discreet little 14k gold crosses people wear as pendants. My teachers call this having “ghost eyes” and say it is an involuntary talent, like having perfect pitch, which bears little to no relation to one’s personal spiritual state

    Some crosses are brighter and more vivid than others, and this appears to have little to do with whether the people currently believe and practice, and little to do, as well, with my specific feelings about them. I strongly suspect that some of the baptisers make stronger bonds than others despite the teaching of dogma to the contrary.

    Actions toward others are far more potent, for them and for ourselves, than our thoughts know. If we did know, most of us would be far more careful about what we do.


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