Celine Dion's celebrity baptism

Celine Dion's celebrity baptism March 8, 2011

This isn’t exactly earth-shaking news — but when was the last time a celebrity baptism made headlines?


Celine Dion baptised her twin sons in Las Vegas on Saturday, March 05, 2011.

The singer and her husband Rene Angelil christened four-month-old tots Eddy and Nelson at the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, in a ceremony that featured chanted prayers and songs.

Her representative said of the Melkite Greek Catholic rite: “It was a beautiful, traditional family ceremony.”

The boys wore gowns by Baby Dior while their 10-year-old brother, Rene-Charles, was one of their godparents, along with Celine’s sister Linda and Rene’s three oldest children, Patrick, Jean-Pierre and Anne-Marie.

200 friends and family were in attendance, including the doctors who helped Celine, 42, conceive the babies through In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and those who treated 69-year-old Rene when he had cancer over 10 years ago.

You can read more at the link.  And, of course, People magazine has more, too.

For those who are wondering: here’s the Church’s teaching about IVF, which describes the procedure Celine Dion underwent this way:

The marital act is not a manufacturing process, and children are not products. Like the Son of God himself, we are the kind of beings who are “begotten, not made” and, therefore, of equal status and dignity with our parents.

In IVF, children are engendered through a technical process, subjected to “quality control,” and eliminated if found “defective.” In their very coming into being, these children are thoroughly subjected to the arbitrary choices of those bringing them into being. In the words of Donum Vitae: “The connection between in vitro fertilization and the voluntary destruction of human embryos occurs too often. This is significant: through these procedures, with apparently contrary purposes, life and death are subjected to the decision of man, who thus sets himself up as the giver of life and death by decree.” The document speaks of “the right of every person to be conceived and to be born within marriage and from marriage.” To be within and from marriage, conception should occur from the marriage act which by its nature is ordered toward loving openness to life, not from the manipulations of technicians.

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment

13 responses to “Celine Dion's celebrity baptism”

  1. There are so many canonical and moral oddities in that story…where to begin? I guess I won’t bother but will instead rejoice that the children were baptized.

  2. “The singer and her husband christened” the babies??? Don’t the Melkites have a priest do their baptisms?

    And five godparents?

    I guess Dan is right. Let’s just be glad that the twins are baptized. That fact is good example for those who hear of it.

  3. Interesting to note that, at least on a quick reading, the 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches apparently does not limit the number of sponsors to two, as does the 1983 Code of Canon Law applicable to the Latin Church. Compare Canon 684 of the former with Canon 873 of the latter.

    Canon 684.

    1. According to the most ancient tradition of the Churches the person who is to be baptized should have at least one sponsor.

    2. In fulfilling the function of a sponsor, the sponsor is to assist in the Christian initiation for a person who is no longer an infant; or to present the infant to be baptized and to help the baptized person lead a Christian life in harmony with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations connected with it.

    Canon 873.

    There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each.

    Also, for the Eastern Churches no age for sponsors is given in the Code, rather it is a matter to be established by particular law (Canon 685), whereas in the Latin Church, the Code sets 16 as the age (Canon 874), although a bishop can establish a different age by particular law for his diocese, and the minister of baptism can grant an exception for just cause:

    Canon 685

    1. For a person to fulfill validly the role of a sponsor it is necessary that he or she: (1) be initiated with the three sacraments of baptism, chrismation with holy myron and the Eucharist; (2) belong to the Catholic Church, with due regard for 3; (3) have the intention of carrying out the responsibility of sponsor; (4) be designated by the person to be baptized or the parents or guardians, or, if there are not any, by the minister; (5) not be a father, mother or spouse of the person to be baptized; (6) not be bound by excommunication, even a minor one, suspension, deposition or deprived of the right of acting in the function of a sponsor.

    2. To assume licitly the role of sponsor, in addition to what is required, the sponsor should be of the age required by particular law and lead a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken.

    3. For a just cause, it is permitted to admit the Christian faithful of another Eastern non-Catholic Church to the function of a sponsor, but always at the same time with a Catholic sponsor.

    Canon 874

    1. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must: (1) be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function; (2) have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause; (3) be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on; (4) not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared; (5) not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.

    2. A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness of the baptism.

  4. I can’t quote Canon Law of either the Eastern Church or the Latin Church. Suffice it to say, that any time I see or hear of a child/person being Baptized I rejoice.
    May Celine and Rene raise these precious gifts of God in the Faith in which they have been Baptized.
    I’m overjoyed that they have so many God Parents. They are not my children and therefore it is not up to me who their God Parents are.
    I feel sure that God in His Heaven is smiling down on this family.

  5. Well, all things considered, I suppose it’s better than having Governor Guomo and his lady as the godparents and having Bishop Hubbard officiating. But that would have been an interesting combination.

  6. Congratulations to the new members of the Catholic Church.

    The story made no mention if the twins received Confimation and received their first Holy Communion.

    It is the norm of the Melkite Rite to receive all three at the same time.

  7. Sad, we should be celebrating that they STILL maintain a formal connection with the Church not tossing stones, don’t you think?

  8. I concur that all Catholic Christians should rejoice re this event. My question is why it is news at all when in reality it ought to be the norm for every Christian and nothing newsworthy. The only reason for the newsworthiness of it is the celebrity of the mother. Many millions of non-celebrity mothers and fathers have their offspring baptized all over the world on an ongoing basis for over 2000 yrs. It seems that among the 200 present, journalists were also invited, which begs the question what IS being celebrated here by the “star”?

  9. Don’t Celebrities believe that normal rules, including those established by the Church, don’t apply to them? I wonder if God allows exceptions on similar grounds. But consider St. Dismas, the thief who stole heaven on the first Good Friday.

  10. I say who but God and they know? Births are miracles, and miracles often change people. Even if life was created in a less than ideal way in the eyes of God, that doesn’t lessen the value of it (life).

    Maybe they DID do it for the right reason, not our call. Tomorrow’s Magnificat meditation reading is very interesting re: how we ALL do “good” things often for the “wrong” reasons.

    A 79 year old father is more concerning to me Fran than a young Godparent. 🙂

    But hey, the good news: Two more members of the Body of Christ.

    God Bless all of them. And who knows, maybe one of the “celebs on the invite list” was touched by the Holy Spirt. God works in very interesting ways.

  11. Looks like IVF worked wonderfully! The boys are healthy and have 2 loving parents and a big brother. All children born into this world should be that lucky.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.