Baptism, Shmaptism!

Catholic News Service reports on a ruling by the Vatican holding thatbaptismsperformed by invoking"the Creator, the Liberator, and the Sustainer"--rather than the old-fashioned Father, Son & Holy Ghost--are invalid, as are all sacraments that follow thereof, such as marriage. Whoops.Apparently this formula, and a couple of variations, is used in some Catholic parishes, andperhaps more widely in Protestant churches. The aim was to take the testosterone out of the Trinity. The Vatican--with the Pope's imprimatur--says no gender-bending allowed. And those baptized with that formula--or married, or exorcised, etc--will have to go back and do them again, the right way. Whatever the merits of the Trinity language debate, I'm not sure the pastoral prescription is the best one. I suspect those told to do the sacraments again will wind up in one of those alt-Catholic categories the Pew study found this week...UPDATE: Check this CNS folo:http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0801185.htmU.S. officials: Vatican statement clarifies validity of baptisms

David Gibson is the director of Fordham’s Center on Religion & Culture.

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