Wherein a Crazy Catholic Rants
The Pope baptized an infant (along with plenty of others) on the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus, and folks have once again gone psychotic in one form or another because *gasp* the parents of this child were not married in the Church.
WHY IS THIS NEWS?
For the love of all that's holy, people, Pope Francis is not Christ come back to Earth (and he's not the anti-Christ, either, for you folks wagging your heads at his supposed lack of decency). He did what he did as a priest in Argentina... he did what priests and deacons all over the world do on a weekly basis; he exercised his vocation and gave himself over to God to be used as a conduit for Divine Grace. He welcomed a child into our Family. He brought God's blessing down on that child in the Name of the Blessed Trinity and encouraged family and friends alike to bear faithful witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pope Francis was not, as I've seen some suggest, blessing civil marriages as if they were equal to sacramental unions. He was not acting blasphemous by recognizing the inheritance this baby was due as a child of God. Regardless of a person's background - ALL are welcome to the flood of grace God wishes to reign down upon us. We were all created SPECIFICALLY to be His children forever.
I mean, are you seriously going to look God in the eye and say, "Nope, God. This kid doesn't have two sacramentally married parents. You CAN'T want to baptize her, right?"
GAH! The audacity. That's exactly what you're saying when you complain about Pope Francis baptizing her! SHAMEFUL.
Also, Pope Francis was not, as others have suggested, being some sort of social prophet by his actions. It is very doubtful he baptized that child to condemn the Church's stance on the traditional family. It's also very doubtful he was trying to cause any waves or be the beacon for social justice folks are clamoring so hard for him to be.
He acted as any priest should have - he acted with love and a deep respect for his God-given vocation. May that child grow to love and honor God and His Church, and may the Pope's encouragement strengthen her parent's resolve to reconcile themselves with the same Church they professed their desire to graft their daughter into.
It's beginning to drive me insane - from both ends of the spectrum! Folks are hating on him for being "untraditional enough" and then others are lavishing praise on him as if every pontiff before him was a baffoon. It's ridiculous.
On the heels of that, there's this little button thingie (and others like it) going around that was commented at least a dozen times on various threads about the above story.
NO, NO, NO, NO and NO.
The Blessed Mother was NOT an unwed mother. Stop spreading this. Correct anyone you see posting it. It's NOT TRUE.
I've posted about this before, but it obviously bears repeating:
She wasn't unwed, though a lot of people misunderstand that.
In being "betrothed" to St. Joseph, she was married under Jewish Law. Jewish marriage was a two step process back then. Betrothal (important part) and then public witness (formality). Kinda like us with our Church ceremony and then shipping off our papers to the town hall with the signatures of our witnesses.
Betrothal was so binding that upon completion of the betrothal ceremony (which Mary and Joseph took part in), the woman was considered a wife (and hence if we follow the language used in the gospel of Matthew back to its roots, we see that he does, in fact, use the term "gyne" or "wife" for Mary after she and Joseph are betrothed in the Temple).
Besides, God specifically sets forth laws for us to follow. He wouldn't break the rules for Himself, especially since He came to serve as our example on how to fulfill the law faithfully in every respect.
It is simply through present-day misunderstand of ancient Jewish custom that we believe the Blessed Mother to have been an unwed mother.
So please - stop posting the memes about the Blessed Mother being unwed. If you see others posting the memes, enlighten them.
Finally, a plea from a parent who happens to still believe in the saying "It takes a village to raise a child."
While I was in the waiting room of the Emergency Room a few days ago, I witnessed an incident that STILL has me absolutely baffled.
A mother and father were sitting one row ahead of me. They had a gorgeous little girl of maybe 18 months of age. She was toddling all over the place, but walking was apparently new for her given how much she'd fall.
Her father got up and left (where he went is anyone's guess) and her mother was on her cell phone. The little girl was walking all over the waiting room, and given how much she was toppling over, I sorta kept an eye on her in case she hurt herself. Her mother wasn't paying any attention to where she was walking. She was on her phone the entire time I saw her.
The little girl toddled over to an elderly man in a wheelchair. As soon as he saw her, his face lit up and he said, "Hey baby! Hi there. Want to give me five?" and he held out his hand to her. She looked at him with the biggest smile and immediately went over to interact. Just as she was about to reach him, she fell over. The elderly man immediately reached down to scoop her up - and it obviously hurt him to do so. As he set her back on her feet, she let out a big squeal. It's that sound babies make when they're really excited and half giggling about something.
I guess that sound made it through her mother's cell phone conversation, because she finally got up to see where her daughter had wandered off to. When she came around the column (which was blocking her view of her daughter), she noticed the elderly man patting her on the head.
While STILL having the conversation on the cell phone, she angrily looked at the older man and shook her head "No" while dragging (physically DRAGGING) the little girl away. She didn't even look at her daughter. She just glared at the elderly man and yanked her back behind the column.
A few moments later, her boyfriend / husband / whatever walked in and sat next to the mother. Again, mom is STILL on the phone, but tells that person to "hold on" so she can relay what happened with the man in the wheelchair. She proceeds to tell him that the "creepy old guy" was "grabbing our daughter." He got angry and said, "Where? Who is he?" and she starts saying "He's behind the column."
I saw where this was leading, so I immediately got up, walked over to them and said, "I'm sorry to interrupt, but I just wanted to let you know that he was only helping your daughter up. She fell in front of his wheelchair, and he just helped her to her feet."
She shot me an angry look, but the man she was with said, "Oh, okay. Thanks."
Mother-of-the-Year went right back to talking on the phone as I made my way back to my seat.
A few minutes later, dad was telling his daughter she can't go near strange men because they would take her away and rape her.
This child was MAYBE 18 months old. I would hope she has no clue what rape is. And what in God's name is he attempting to scare her off men like that for??? He SHOULD have been reprimanding his partner for letting the little girl wander off in the first place. He SHOULD have been telling her to put the phone away and giving the little girl any semblance of attention. Instead, he scares his little girl into thinking every male in the universe is a bad guy seeking to kidnap / sexually abuse her.
And all the elderly guy - IN A WHEELCHAIR - was trying to do was be helpful. All he wanted to do was help a little girl up and make her smile.
I'm all for teaching kids that they need to be aware of their surroundings and who they're with, but c'mon. This is ridiculous. We need to recognize the good in people.
1/12/2014 11:35:44 pm
Amen Sister!! You have expressed it so well...thank you. I highly recommend a book on Pope Francis called "Pope Francis Our Brother, Our Friend". The Author interviewed 20 Priests / People who know him very well. I cried at some parts of the book. Once a fellow priest he knew came to him for spiritual comfort after he found out that some people in Argentina had put a hit out on his life. Pope Francis was a Bishop then and he prayed that if anyone was going to die that it would BE HIM, not the Priest who was his friend. If I remember correctly his hands were shaking as he said this. He is just like Jesus...He would lay day his own life for his personal friends and for God's Church and all God's children in God's many pastures. Another touching part for me was a lady who is a beggar in Argentina who was around the Cathedral there a lot. She said Pope Francis would always greet her when he was a Bishop there and would always ask her to pray for him. The man who wrote the book asked her how she felt when she found out he was elected Pope. Part of her answer is as follows: "Because he cared for me, he cared FOR US, he knew ALL OF US." That made me cry because he does care for all us in every station of life, just like Jesus did.
AMEN! Many of my friends are Catholic converts (as am I), and I have heard so many say that their return to the faith started with their child's baptism. Many were in irregular marriages at the time, and if the priest had refused to baptize their child, that could have pushed them even further away from the faith. Instead, the baptism and its corresponding graces helped bring them to the faith, leading them to go through the steps to get their marriages convalidated. It sounds like the couple in question are on the fence about taking those extra steps, and Pope Francis is trying to encourage them in their journey. We should be rejoicing that this couple wanted their child baptized.
I just discovered your blog and have spend a creepy amount of time reading many of your posts this weekend. You have such an intelligent insight on so many issues. I in RCIA, planning on being baptized at Easter Vigil and I just wanted to thank you for your thought provoking blog. And, thank you for intervening when that couple was so uncharitable to that man. Perhaps your actions have caused them to second guess their actions (I doubt it, but you never know.)
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