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What, me worry?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Nov 23, 2004

[Bathersby] said Father Peter Kennedy, of St Mary's, should ask parents if they wanted their children re-baptised. [See the item below.]

As every educated Catholic child should know, you can only be baptized once. You can't be rebaptized. If you were baptized once, the second ceremony has no effect.

And if you weren't baptized...

But that's the point. If Father Kennedy has been performing invalid baptisms for the past decade, perhaps (calculating roughly from the statistics furnished in the Courier-Mail story) 500 times in all, this is no small matter. Scores of children are not yet incorporated into the Mystical Body, not open to the action of sanctifying grace. There are-- hello?!-- scores of children who may be deprived of the means of salvation because of this pastor's unchecked arrogance.

And the archbishop's response (as the Courier-Mail relates it, at least) is to tell the pastor that he should desist, and ask the parents if they want to repeat the ceremony-- for effect, this time. The tone of the response (and again, we're dependent on the Courier-Mail account, which may be skewed) suggests that this is a matter of preference. Which do you prefer: one lump or two; smoking or non; valid baptism or fraud?

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Nov. 25, 2004 1:49 AM ET USA

    God works in strange ways, so maybe if some of those falsely baptized children, who demonstrate a deep love for Him and all that pertains to Him, will be Graced with Baptism of Desire. Our Lord is not cold, hard and aloof; He will give the means to know, love and serve Him to those who are open to His inspirations.

  • Posted by: Cornelius - Nov. 24, 2004 1:56 AM ET USA

    I can't understand why the Archbishop would ask the parents if they wanted the 'ceremony repeated' - obviously, Fr. Kennedy's parishioners will be just as confused about Baptism as he is, and see no need to 'repeat' it. The Archbishop should simply come out with a letter saying point blank that all of Fr. Kennedy's 'baptisms' were invalid, i.e., had no effect whatsoever, and if the parents want their children baptized at all, they must arrange it.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 23, 2004 8:54 PM ET USA

    The Courier Mail report is probably accurate. That paper has (quite dispassionately) reported on a number of other abuses in the Brisbane archdiocese in the past, all of which have subsequently proved to be true.

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