Australian priests stop ‘New Age’ baptism, retake Trinitarian formula

.- Parishioners baptized at St. Mary’s Parish in the Archdiocese of Brisbane in the last decade should contact the church and check whether or not the church actually recognizes their baptism, said Fr. Adrian Farrelly, the archdiocese’s tribunal judicial vicar. Two days ago, Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane stated that children baptized at the South Brisbane church using non-traditional words – "creator, liberator and sustainer" instead of "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" – would have to be re-baptized.

"The canonical advice I received is that the baptisms are invalid and that re-baptism would be needed," Archbishop Bathersby said. "The words of Scripture can't be adjusted to suit our own taste. The next thing we'll be getting rid of Christ himself.

“Leading people to believe that they are baptized into Christ when they are not is the greatest injustice of all," he added.

According to Catholic teachings, only explicitly Trinitarian baptism – "in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit" – is valid. Hundreds of children were baptized at St Mary's in the past decade with the use of non-traditional words.

The "creator, liberator and sustainer" formula became popular among New Age- influenced Catholic communities, more interested in a broad Christian, rather than Catholic, identity. 

But the Church's regional tribunal in Brisbane says the priests have invalidated some ceremonies in which these words were used, especially the baptisms.

"They simply haven't received baptism,” said Fr. Farrelly. “They've gone through a ceremony, and they may well think that it's baptism, but the fact of the matter is that it isn't.”

This has upset many parishioners. The two priests at St. Mary's, Fr. Peter Kennedy and Fr. Terry Fitzpatrick, declined to comment.

However, in an earlier report, filed by News.com.au, Fr. Kennedy, 67, said he was taken aback by the archbishop's statement and said the archbishop was wrong, “but he is the archbishop.”

The priest, who has served for 46 years, defended the use of the non-traditional words, which although not Scripture-based, are based on the doctrine of the Trinity, he said.

"It's fundamentalism to argue that the actual words are all-important," he said. "That's the trouble with the Church; under the present Pope you're not allowed to have different opinions," Fr. Kennedy said.

A more recent report indicates that the two priests have already reverted to the traditional reference to the Holy Trinity.

Fr. Farrelly says the problem of the hundreds of unbaptized Brisbane Catholics is a serious matter. "For all sorts of good reasons, at times, people will decide, well, we can do it this way or that way,” he said.

“But when you're dealing with the spiritual lives of people, there is a need to have a quality assurance that one is giving to the people what it is they're asking. The words that you use are important."

Fr. Farrelly suggests that parents, whose children received baptism in the last 10 years at St. Mary’s make an appointment with a priest and ask to have their child baptized according to the way the Church says it must be done. 

“Otherwise the person isn't baptized,” he said, “and baptism's the doorway into everything else that happens within the Church.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

A state without territory elects new government
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage

Liturgical Calendar

July 24, 2014

Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:10-17


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 2: 1-3, 7-8, 12-13
Gospel:: Mt 13: 10-17

Saint of the Day

St. Charbel Makhlouf »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:10-17


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: