My take on Card. Bergoglio in 2009.

My take on Card. Bergoglio in 2009.

Who’s the important one?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Conclave, Francis and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. catholicmidwest says:

    A key passage: “They should help their children to follow their own desire to enter into friendship with Jesus, which is a form of life, of the future. If parents want their children to be able to make their First Communion, this somewhat social desire must be extended into a religious one, to make a journey with Jesus possible.”

    This is evangelization within the Church, the New Evangelization.

  2. Rouxfus says:

    Thank you for bringing this reflection back into the light. His statement, “The baptism of children can, on the contrary, become a new beginning for the parents” is absolutely true in my case. The decision by my non-Catholic wife and I to baptize our daughter a Catholic, and my accepting the responsibility as her father to teach her that faith, caused me to finally learn the faith I’d never learned very well in the post-Vatican II catechesis of my nonage, lax practice of the faith, and from which I had slowly drifted blithely away. Finally learning the faith (reading Cardinal Gibbons’ The Faith of Our Fathers I came to love it, and the more I learned, the more I realized how badly I’d wasted most of my adult life, but how grateful I was to have been tossed a life ring by my infant daughter. May God bless her.

  3. MarcAnthony says:

    The other thing is that it’s very possible that we may be keeping children out of Heaven if we don’t baptize them. Are we really going to threaten a child with loss of the beatific vision because the parents aren’t frequently practicing, “good” Catholics? That seems grossly unfair to me.

  4. Gratias says:

    I completely agree that children should be baptized freely and easily. But Benedict XVI did not change that. Here’s is to Francisco I actually doing something about it.

  5. BillyHW says:

    Are “severe” and “broad-minded” really the right two words to describe those on opposite sides of this issue?

  6. I am glad that these issues are at last being addressed. I agree with the rigorists that it is nor acceptable to willy-nilly baptise and not to evangelise or catechise the people. But I also think it wrong to refuse baptism to children just because their parents do not come up to a basic minimum in moral standards or belief. Far better to use the occasion of a baptism or first communion to offer the chance of catechesis, to involve parents in teaching the faith to their children and to learn the faith themselves in the process.

    Here in Ireland the general practice seems to be to baptise the child if it requested. It can be soul destroying to baptise infants whose family background gives little hope of any real support for the faith but at least if they ask then there is the chance to present the faith anew. When first ordained we used to bring the couples to the church a few days before the baptism (we had baptisms on Saturdays and Sundays and tried to keep to less than four babies to each service). At the meeting I would go over the rite of baptism with them and explain it as best I could in terms they could understand. It also meant I was not usually an unfamiliar face to them at the baptism. Most parishes here have the Baptismal Team and Faith Friends programs that use parishioners to build up relationships and teach the faith to those who are open to hear it.

    More recently the Archdiocese of Dublin has a program aimed at the families of First Communion children. The faith is taught to the parents who are then expected to teach it to their children. I hope this bears fruit as it seems to be the way to go.

  7. catholicmidwest says:

    However, the contact with the parents should not be momentary or fleeting or superficial. The family should be brought into the parish in an extended and cordial way, and time and effort should be spent on keeping contact and fellowship with them…

    The quote says, “this somewhat social desire must be extended into a religious one, to make a journey with Jesus possible.” This is not trivial. It’s also not the way we’ve done things forever.

  8. BLB Oregon says:

    We have to remember, too, the gravity of what is being extended or, even more seriously, denied. I remember well when our Archbishop Vlazny was giving the homily for his 25th anniversary as a bishop in 2008, he referred to the greatest day in his life: the day of his baptism. If we are going to deny anyone the most important day of that person’s entire life, the day they will consider the greatest day in their temporal life when their life is seen in the light of eternity, the reason must be that the soil for that seed is known to be impervious or hostile. There must be some standard, yes, but we have to remember the consequences for denials can be dire just as much as the consequences can be dire for agreeing so freely that the seed is not given a chance.

  9. BLB Oregon says:

    ….”Are “severe” and “broad-minded” really the right two words to describe those on opposite sides of this issue?”…

    My reading is that he was describing his own mind, when on opposite sides of the issue. Since he has been of both minds, he was in a good position to choose the words he wanted. Still, since the conversation was oral–with facial expressions and voice modulations that have been lost–and wasn’t in English, I would not read too much into those exact words. Translations that manage to hold on to the exact same connotations and poetry as the original utterance are rarely available. Even people who are formulating thoughts directly into the language of the ultimate reader may not have the exactitude they would have when expressing themselves in their theological mother tongue. The arrogance of Babel still exacts its price….

Comments are closed.