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Pope Francis baptizes child of unmarried couple


1389661009569_700(Catholic Online) The pope previously has encouraged priests to baptize the children of unmarried women in order to pass on the Christian faith. He has denounced those who refuse to do as “hypocrites.”

“You parents have the baby boy or girl to be baptized, but in a few years it will be they who will have a baby to be baptized or a grandchild… And so goes the chain of faith,” the pope declared, according to the Vatican Network.

“What does this mean? I would just tell you this: you are the ones that transmit the faith, the transmitters; you have a duty to pass on the faith to these children. It’s the most beautiful legacy that you leave to them: the faith.”

Breaking with the tradition of delivering a long and formal speech, Pope Francis instead read a short script he had written himself.

The mass took place under the famous fresco painted by Michelangelo, the same room in which Francis was elected on March 13 as the first non-European pope in 1,600 years.

The pontiff telephoned an Italian woman in September to tell her he would personally baptize her child after she became pregnant by a man who was already married. Thirty-five year old shop worker Anna Romano was on holiday when she received the call from the Argentinean Pope. [More]


Catholic Online



  1. Kim says:

    Canon law says that there should be a reasonable hope that the child will be raised Catholic. Parents who claim to be Catholic but who have refused the sacrament of marriage and are openly living in sin don’t make for this “reasonable hope.” My parish priest would not baptize in such a situation unless the child was in danger of dying. He has baptized the children of single unmarried moms who have made a commitment to live according to Church teaching. Pope Francis could have asked the couple to have a church ceremony before the baptism. It could have been done very quickly. That this was not required speaks volumes about him.

  2. Lynne Newington says:

    What a huge publicity stunt!
    I wonder if the child is permitted to have their fathers name recorded permanently or is it only clerical dads who have their name removed when no one’s looking.

  3. Recovering Catholic says:

    If the ritual of infant water baptism means a lot to the parent, and if a priest refuses to baptize a child of an unmarried parent, that parent can always just baptize the child herself with water and a prayer.

    But after doing that, she should bring her child up to a point where the child “desires” on its own to be baptized in the “spirit.” This is what “real” baptism is, and the “only” kind of baptism that really means anything.

  4. Concerned says:

    Any priest who would refuse to baptize a baby should be removed.

    • Lynne Newington says:

      It was the norm during Francis’s timeline as ecclesiastical authority in Argentina so don’t be fooled by this PR exercise.

  5. Tony says:

    Of course baptise the baby if the parents with it. It’s like a no brainer.
    We do it in our parish.

    • Ann (WOC) says:

      Agree with all above. Why should the child not be welcomed into the community of faith and grace? If the child as a young adult chooses to leave later that is his/her decision, and as RC suggests, he/she can be offered the choice. In the meantime, give all the support possible to the mother/family. It is hypocritical to rail against abortion then not support parent/s who choose birth once the child is born. Francis continues to evolve.


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