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Pope Benedict changed phrase in Baptism ceremony

August 22, 2013

Before his resignation took effect, Pope Benedict XVI made a small but important change in the text of the ceremony for Baptism.

The outgoing Pope said that rather than a newly baptized person should be welcomed into the “Church of God” rather than the “Christian community.”

The change, which Pope Benedict authorized before he resigned, formally took effect on March 31—when Pope Francis had already taken office. The new wording has not been announced by the Vatican, but appeared in the official bulletin Notitiae, published by the Congregation for Divine Worship.

The new wording applies immediately only to the Latin version of the Baptismal liturgy. National bishops’ conferences will be asked to plan for the introduction of appropriate translations in their own languages.

In English, a simple translation would change one line in the Baptism ceremony. The sentence: “The Christian community welcomes you with great joy,” would presumably become: “The Church of God welcomes you with great joy.”


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  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Aug. 23, 2013 1:02 AM ET USA

    'Community' is one of those words that really ought to be retired from Catholic parlance for a generation or two. Any term that's been so misused for so long needs a vacation.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Aug. 22, 2013 7:15 PM ET USA

    This gives a more universal meaning to the words and strengthens the tie to the Catholic Church. Bravo.