Vatican City, Aug 6, 2020 / 03:03 am
The Vatican’s doctrinal office issued Thursday a clarification on the sacrament of baptism, stating changes to the formula to emphasize community participation are not permitted.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith responded to a question about whether it would be valid to administer the sacrament of baptism saying “We baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
The formula for baptism, according to the Catholic Church, is “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
The CDF ruled Aug. 6 any baptisms administered with the formula “we baptize” are invalid and anyone for whom the sacrament was celebrated with this formula must be baptized in forma absoluta, meaning the person should be considered as not yet having received the sacrament.
The Vatican said it was responding to questions on baptismal validity after recent celebrations of the sacrament of baptism used the words “In the name of the father and of the mother, of the godfather and of the godmother, of the grandparents, of the family members, of the friends, in the name of the community we baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
The response was approved by Pope Francis and signed by CDF prefect Cardinal Luis Ladaria and secretary Archbishop Giacomo Morandi.
A doctrinal note from the CDF Aug. 6 said “with debatable pastoral motives, here resurfaces the ancient temptation to substitute for the formula handed down by Tradition other texts judged more suitable.”
Quoting the Second Vatican Council document Sacrosanctum Concilium, the note clarified that “no one, ‘even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.’”