.- Archbishop Hector Aguer of La Plata called on parents this week not to fall into the error and sin of denying their children the sacrament of Baptism, under the false argument that they should let them decide whether or not they want to be Christians when they get older.
“This is not only an error but I would dare say it is also a sin, a lack of piety and love for their children for whom they provide so much care and who they deprive of the greatest of gifts: they deprive them of God,” the archbishop said during his program Keys to a Better World.
He noted that this error is common even among people who have received good formation, and “it is totally contrary to the teaching and discipline of the Church.” “If these parents are really Catholic and live their faith, what more can they desire for their children than the inestimable gift of divine grace?” he asked.
He called it “curious” that some parents would say they want their children to make up their own minds about being Christians when they are older, since they have no problem imposing all kinds of conditions and restrictions on their children in other areas of education, in their tastes and their hobbies, and even in which soccer team they should support.
“They impose a ton of things on them but they deprive them of the gift of faith and the grace of God during the decisive years in which their personalities are being shaped,” the archbishop warned.
He underscored that baptism is still appreciated in Argentina, but that in addition to the problem of some postponing the sacrament until adulthood, there are other problems as well such, as the selection of pagan, aboriginal or bizarre baptismal names.
Archbishop Aguer went on to note that many parents do not appreciate the sacrament and lack clear awareness of the commitment it entails. “Passing on the life of faith to their children implies a commitment to bringing them up in that faith,” he said.
He urged Argentineans not to let the faith become a merely cultural aspect of their lives but to embrace the beauty of Baptism, “because it is there that the pure gift of the grace of salvation, that makes us children of God, is fully made manifest.”