Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Should a priest refuse to baptise the child of unwed parents?

From The Tablet-

Last week the Daily Mail reported on a vicar who has allegedly refused baptism to a child because his parents are not married. There is some confusion about the facts as the Anglican Diocese of Chester has claimed that the vicar, Revd Tim Hayes, has not in fact refused to baptise the child. The parish appears to be thriving and the policy the vicar has outlined – which is, it would seem, to ask for baptism to happen after the couple get married (which he has offered to celebrate free of charge) – has been in place for over 20 years.

All of us in ordained ministry have faced this problem. For Catholics we know that simply being unmarried would not be grounds for refusing baptism, and Pope Francis early on in his pontificate roundly condemned priests who did this; such grounds would really only be evidence that parents had no intention of bringing their child up in the Christian faith. On the other hand the Catholic Church and other Christian communities are entitled to ask parents to be properly prepared for the sacrament, and classes for this are increasingly common.

More here-

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