Indescriminate Baptism

I like Charlotte Church. I bear her no personal animosity in any way. I just thought I ought to say that before I continue.

Charlotte and her boyfriend Gavin Henson had their daughter Ruby baptised today. Their other child was present in utero. When I first saw the headline in the news, I assumed that the baptism was in a building belonging to the Church in Wales – the Welsh component of the Anglican Communion. After all, Anglicans take a wide range of views on the propriety of certain types of relationships. If they are willing to marry gay couples in London, it does not seems unreasonable to suppose they might baptise the child born out of wedlock to two people living very openly (as celebrities do) in fornication.

But no, it was a Roman Catholic church with, one must presume, a Roman Catholic priest, using, again one must presume, a Roman Catholic rite of baptism. In 1980, Pope John Paul II approved of the “Instruction on Infant Baptism” promulgated by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It specifically addresses the Dialogue Between Pastors and Families With Little Faith or Non-Christian Families:

In fact the Church can only accede to the desire of these parents if they give an assurance that, once the child is baptized, it will be given the benefit of the Christian upbringing required by the sacrament. The Church must have a well-founded hope that the Baptism will bear fruit.

How can the Church have assurance that the child will have a Christian upbringing when the parents have no regard for the sacrament of marriage? I have no problem with the baptism of children born out of wedlock, if their parents have subsequently gotten married. Otherwise, how can the parents acknowledge at the font their duty to raise the child to keep God’s commandments?

Charlotte wants to have six children by the time she is 32. She has not indicated when, along the way, she plans to enter into the sacrament of marriage. But like I said, my problem isn’t with Charlotte. She is living in perfect harmony with the spirit of the age and that is the life she has chosen.

My problem is with a church possessing valid sacraments demonstrating a very unguarded approach to their administration and sending a message that the church has given up on the exclusivity of marriage as the valid relationships within which to engage in sexual relationship and raise children.

Basketball Shoes

We went shopping today in the city by the bay – Cardiff Bay – an it is clear that the genetic differences in children are not limited to boy with trucks and girls with dolls.

The older unnamed child, being of the male of the species, wanted some new trainers. Specifically, he wanted basketball shoes. Not a brand name – just canvas basketball shoes. The younger unnamed child, a female of the species, needed “summer clothes”. Actually, she didn’t know she needed summer clothes – she was told this by the Unnamed Woman.

So we go into a large clothing retailer. The male child goes to the shoes, finds his size, tries them on, and is ready to go. All he wants to do is go outside and change into his new shoes. But insead he gets a lesson in shopping with females. They graze amongst the rows of dresses and skirts.

We were sent to find him some clothes. Clothes that would require an additional dresser to store them. He didn’t need any clothes. He didn’t want any clothes. He only wanted basketball shoes. He’d found basketball shoes. He wanted to go. He had places to go, people to see, basketball shoes to wear.

After a while, the rows of merchandise gleaned, the females had all the dresses and skirts and shoes the younger child “needed” out of that store and we went to the tills. I joked about the where we were going to fit the additional wardrobe in the younger child’s bedroom.

Apparently this wasn’t funny. Clothes are not a laughing matter.