Phoenix priest botched baptisms for decades

Discussion in 'Non-Anglican Discussion' started by Invictus, Feb 8, 2022.

  1. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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  2. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    My feeling: they're elevating form over substance. I doubt that God is sitting on His throne shaking a finger at each of those baptisms and saying, "Nope, I do not recognize that as a valid baptism." But I guess it will be interesting to ask Him about this when I get there. :)

    “The issue with using ‘We’ is that it is not the community that baptizes a person, rather, it is Christ, and Him alone, who presides at all of the sacraments, and so it is Christ Jesus who baptizes,” Olmsted explained.​

    Based on that statement, I'm now wondering: was the priest supposed to say, "Christ baptizes you in the name of the Father and of Himself and of..." ??? Because according to Olmsted, it isn't the priest who baptizes, so he can't very well say, "I baptize you," either! :hmm:
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2022
  3. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Christ came to liberate us from overly legalistic approaches to grace. One of the concerns in establishing the validity of sacramental acts has to do with intent. The form of the worlds is important, and those who devisde the liturgy in it's various manifestations do need to take this into account. When the priest says 'I baptise ...' he is standing as the whole Church, the Body of Christ, in personi Christi. The use of the plural may be confusing, in terms of appearing to sperate Christ for the body of the Church, but to then argue that the sacramental action was in some way invaid of defective, appears to be unreasonably legalistic and liturgically silly.

    Many of us now recite the Nicene Creed, beginning 'We believe ...' and that is clearly not how it was written at the 1st Council of Constantinople. That does not mean that we are somehow flawed in our faith.
     
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  4. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Substance without form is shapeless, form without substance is powerless. As it happens, both the 1662 and the 1979 BCP use the formula “I baptize…”
     
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  5. Elmo

    Elmo Member

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    I checked the 1549 and the 1559 BCP as well and they both say 'I baptise...'
     
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  6. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    We have to balance two factors here. One big part of church teaching is that intent plays a huge role in all church ceremonies. But another part of church teaching is that the Church is what God set up to perform his will. The Church is not an optional obstacle between us and God, but rather the actual way that God has set up for us to commune with him. So in this case, while I appreciate the argument for intent, the clear facts are that "the Church" was missing in the process of baptism. It's as if the person was not baptized in the first place. The intent was there, sure, and intent may be enough provisionally, but if those people never proceed to fix the defect by receiving the Christian Baptism in the end, then that's on them.

    Anyway this incident just speaks to the great defects of catechesis and formation within the Roman church. Very sad what's happening with them.


    The instruction of baptism is taught to us by our Lord Jesus Christ himself.
     
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  7. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    What I don’t understand is why the priest in question deviated from the rite in the first place. I mean, how hard is it to read words printed on a page? Isn’t that what they’re paid to do?
     
  8. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Modernism. Liberalism. You find the "faith once delivered to the saints" as unsatisfying, deficient, missing something that was actually essential. And you fill it in with your own activities.
     
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, fine, but we're talking about a Roman Catholic priest and Roman Catholic doctrine, when I quoted Olmsted's statement. So why are people "correcting" me with Anglican doctrine??? :order:
     
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  10. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Irrelevant since we're discussing Roman Catholic doctrine and actions in this thread.

    The question remains: if Olmsted is correct in saying that "We" is wrong because only Christ baptizes, then "I" must be just as wrong in a RC baptism. On the other hand, if the RCC says "I" is correct, then the stated rationale is balderdash and Olmsted needs to come up with a better one.
     
  11. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I can't see how you reach that conclusion. "We" indicates that the entire church, corporately, was baptizing the individual. How can "the Church" be missing from that? :confused:
     
  12. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I was merely pointing out that the Anglican rite uses the same wording, i.e., it’s not a Roman Catholic idiosyncrasy that was deviated from.
     
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  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Roman Catholicism is the idiosyncracy! :laugh:
     
  14. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    You know what I mean, though. Anglicans would have considered it a deviation as well.
     
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  15. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    In the secular world, an example of deviant behavior is.... well, you can use your imagination (there are so many possible examples!)
    In the liturgical world, an example of deviant behavior is saying "we" instead of "I" in the baptismal rite. :biglaugh: :rofl:

    Ok, I agree that a church has every right to specify the precise wording it considers correct, and if the wording is not used precisely, it has a right to pronounce invalidity. Nevertheless, the spiritual effect of it all is precisely zero; God looks at the heart of the person who went through that ceremony, not at the "we" versus "I".

    Therefore, I think the RCC was unwise to inform all those "pseudo-baptized" people that they need a do-over. What good could it do in terms of what really counts (one's relationship with God)?
     
  16. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I do not believe we have a “relationship with God” (at least not in the sense that modern Americans use the phrase), and in any event, one cannot have a relation to God - beyond one of mere dependence - outside the Church. So if these baptisms were invalid, that’s a very serious problem.
     
  17. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The Church is that body among the peoples of the world that does God's will. They have one job: to do his will. The clergy have their own role in that: to perform the sacraments, rites, and ceremonies which he instituted: to say the Lord's Prayer, to teach the Commandments, to baptize in the way he told them to, etc. If the clergy for instance taught another kind of "Lord's Prayer", then they wouldn't be teaching the one God instituted. If they taught an altered set of Commandments, then they wouldn't teach the ones God instituted. It's simple: if they aren't following God's command, then they aren't functioning as God's ministers. They become their own ministers. That's what happened in this case: this RC priest substituted for God's wisdom his own wisdom, and thought that he could improve on God. And thereby, he was not performing God's will, but rather his own. And thus, "the Church" (the body instituted to enact God's will) was missing during those "baptisms". What was present was a humanist and humanitarian secular entity, performing a religiously-inspired secular ritual.


    God teaches: "It's not that you chose me; but rather, that I chose you." Baptism is not a warm ceremony which we do to feel "religious", but rather the gift of kindness which he bestows on those whom he chose to engraft into his Church. It is a supreme act of mercy on his part. Baptism is the foundation of God's relationship with us, it manifests in a visible way God's awesome call on his elect. There is no "relationship with God" outside of baptism.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2022
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  18. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I had a hunch you would take issue with that. I should have clarified; the relationship we have with God is of Redeemer and redeemed, of Father and child, of Master and servant... all three at one time. Stalwart, as well, noted that a relationship exists.
     
  19. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    We are not dependent upon the priest's perfection for our relationship with God. A priest's iniquities or errors do not invalidate the Eucharist, am I correct? In the same way, the priest's error should not invalidate the baptism.

    These ceremonies were probably carried out in the presence of other members of the church, including parents and family of the one being baptized, and possibly an entire building full of church members. "The Church" was not missing; far from it! All of the participants and witnesses understood it (at the time when it was conducted) to be a valid baptism. I think Jesus would say to them the same as He spoke to the centurion: Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.
     
  20. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I am not disagreeing with you, save that issue is not about the moral or other deficiency but rather about the pronoun being used in therite itself. I would always uphold Article 26, however the question in this case is aboutthe use of precise words.
     
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