Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Why Water Down Baptism? (Letters: You May Be Right)

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Why Water Down Baptism? (Letters: You May Be Right)

Article excerpt

NOVEMBER'S SOUNDING BOARD, "IS BAPTISM A GOD-given rite? by Michael J. Daley sadly demonstrates that there is a lack of norms to be followed by parishes. We see a refusal in one parish only to be met by a joyous reception in another. What's wrong with this picture?

As a child in a Catholic school years ago, I learned that Baptism was to be bestowed as soon after birth as was possible; to delay this for many weeks or months was a sin of omission. Baptism was the gateway to heaven, whereby the infant was joyously absolved of the original sin of Adam and infused with sanctifying grace, and thus was made a true child of God. This occasion had absolutely nothing to do with the spiritual condition of the parents.

I was further taught that it would be mortally sinful on the part of a priest to withhold Baptism from one requesting it. As a class we were taught how to baptize in case of emergency (remember that?). In Catholic hospitals infants in some danger were systematically baptized by hospital personnel. …

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