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Argentine cardinal decries priests' refusal to baptize out-of-wedlock children

Catholic World News - September 06, 2012

Using unusually strong language, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires has criticized Catholic pastors who refuse to baptize children born to single mothers.

The cardinal expressed his sympathy for a young woman who, after becoming pregnant, resists temptations to abortion and gives birth to the child. Then, he said, she finds herself “on a pilgrimage, going from parish to parish, trying to find someone who would baptize her child.”

The priests who reject this woman, Cardinal Bergoglio, are “hijacking” the sacrament, using rigid rules to preserve their own status, and are likely to “drive God’s people away from salvation.” He likened them to the Pharisees, and reminded them that Jesus regularly condemned the Pharisees, while spending his time with those they regarded as sinners.

“I say this with sadness, and if it sounds like a complaint or an offensive comment please forgive me,” the cardinal said. But he insisted that priests should serve the spiritual needs of the people and not “the interests of religious power.”

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  • Posted by: bkmajer3729 - Sep. 06, 2012 7:36 PM ET USA

    If at face value this story is true, where is the consistency in applying Roman Catholic Church Law; where is the compassion. Most likely as with most situations, there is more than we are aware. Nevertheless, I do wonder about consistency and understanding church law. If this is true and the action of not Baptizing is not matter of Church law, is this not as siginficant a scandal as sexual abuse? How can refusing a sacrament to a worthy recipient be anything less than scandalous?

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