Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bringing Up Baby -- With Two Mommies

Picture for press. Baby has two cute mommies. Nice painting. For the nursery?

Nothing would be easier than to rake all concerned over the coals for two lesbian mommies getting a baby baptized in the Cathedral of Cordoba, Argentina. Source: Rorate Caeli. But the Bear is bigger than that, right?

Maybe not. He is going to take a deep breath and try to think this through, though.

  • women who prefer sex with other women pretending to be married is bad
  • that is a bad arrangement for rearing a child (which they shouldn't have in the first place)
  • the women are to be Confirmed at the baptism -- why, if they are not going to be Catholics?
  • if they have no intention of being Catholics, what is the likelihood of their raising baby as one?
  • if they are not going to raise baby as a Catholic, what is the motive for baptizing baby?

On the other hand, baptizing babies is good. Certainly it is not baby's fault that it was born into a screwed up world. Rorate Caeli cites canon law that says there must be a "founded hope" that the child will be brought up Catholic. The Bear does not know how that has been interpreted in the past. However, it is reasonable to fear that custodians who have gone out of their way to publicly flout the Church's teaching on sexuality may have a difficult time bringing up baby Catholic.

Yet, if they present themselves to the Church with godparents -- one of them possibly the President of Argentina, Cristina Elisabet Fern├índez de Kirchner -- and promise to raise baby Catholic, despite their living arrangements, is it fair to refuse baptism? After all, how many regular Catholic parents really fulfill their duty to raise their children to be Catholic? They don't provide a Catholic education, don't go to Mass, and don't set an example in their personal lives.

Yes, many parents, perhaps most, will fail to raise their baptized children Catholic in any meaningful sense these days. But...

...this situation is different and warrants refusal. (Most people will probably disagree with the Bear, but here he goes, anyway.)

There is no "founded hope" that the child will be raised Catholic when the custodians remain in public rebellion against natural law and Church teaching. They have made a mockery of the sacrament of Marriage, plan to make a mockery of the sacrament of Confirmation, and a mockery of the sacrament of Baptism. One is reminded of the lesbian who presented herself for communion at her mother's funeral after introducing her female sex partner to the priest. For certain people, the sacraments are nothing more than props in their political theater. One strongly suspects, given the shout-out to the president, that this may be the case here.

Furthermore, this is already a scandal. The image of two young, attractive, well-dressed and (by then) "normal looking" women with their adorable baby at the baptismal font next to the priest, and, who knows, the President of Argentina, will destroy all the reasoned arguments against same-sex sex pacts. It might as well give up its teaching on human sexuality and call them "marriages" and be done with it. You can't say one thing and show the opposite.

Perhaps Pope Francis could reach out to Archbishop Nanez and have an informal discussion, you know, bishop-to-bishop.

The Bear sees two options.
  1. Tell the women that the Church will be happy to baptize the baby if they renounce their unnatural sexual practices, submit to the Church as loyal daughters in all matters, and promise to raise baby as a Catholic in the true sense while living together as sisters. OR
  2. Tell the women that the Church will be happy to baptize the baby upon satisfaction that well-formed godparents will have an active role in the child's religious education. However it must be a private ceremony with no pictures, no participation by public officials, and, in fact, no publicity whatsoever. This is necessary to show respect for the Church's teachings on human sexuality and obedience and avoid scandal.
Surely, if the women are sincerely interested in bringing the unfortunate baby up Catholic, they will gladly agree to the requirements of Option 2, at least. After all, baby gets baptized, doesn't he? So, they don't get their 15 minutes of fame. It's not about them, or their cause, right?


(The Bear's mate  -- who is, he hastens to add, female -- wishes the record to show that she disagrees with his analysis because "It's a baby!")

Your argument is invalid. It's an Adorable Baby!

UPDATE: The Bear's mate feels strongly about this and has added an additional argument to "It's a baby!"

"What about guys in the Mafia? Should the Church refuse to baptize their babies?"

No. There's a difference. The private sinfulness of the parents is not the issue. The issue is that they have no intention of being Catholics at all if they are in open rebellion against fundamental moral teachings. They are publicly celebrating sin, and furthermore using the Church to promote it. The mafia don might order an enemy murdered, but he would not announce it at the baptism of his son and expect to be applauded. (Yes, I know Michael Corleone had Moe Green and everyone killed at his godson's baptism -- which the Bear thought was a little heavy handed on Coppola's part -- but he didn't brag about it during the ceremony.) And, by the way, Pope Francis publicly told the mafiosi that it's likely they're going to Hell, so the Church's position on mob hits remains clear.

Also, "gangster rights" is not a popular cause threatening to make mob hits a common thing and uprooting 2000 years of moral witness against murder. The Church cannot lend legitimacy to either murder or sodomy, which are both traditionally  sins that cry out to Heaven.


  1. There is no question that these two clowns (yes, I'm name-calling. Politely.) are acting in bad faith. They are not merely analogous to adolescents being flagrantly disrespectful to their mother in private; they are analogous to adolescents consciously setting out to degrade and humiliate her in public. They deserve no quarter.

    Whatever is done, it should be done to glorify God - not pander to people who are openly contemptuous of Him. That lets out any public show at the baptismal font in this case, and it definitely lets out the current President of Argentina -- a flagrant dissenter from Catholic teaching -- whether in public or in private.

    I have to assume that canon law is well-reasoned, and ought to be adhered to. The thing that troubles me in that regard, in a case such as this, is that canon law presumably takes for granted that those presenting themselves as a child’s parents model the basic components of authentic marriage, i.e. one man and one woman. This remains true in the case of a widow or widower, but is utterly contradicted by a “couple” such as this Argentinian duo. Therefore, I do not see how it is possible for these women to stand at the font as parents. One of them, it seems to me, must relinquish that status.

    Provided that only one of the women in question be permitted to identify herself as the child’s parent, I think that to combine the two options you have presented would be best -- given that, as you have noted, many Catholic parents privately flout the Church's moral teachings after having publicly assented to them. For the good of their own souls, those entrusted with the child's care are required to assent -- and for the good of the child's soul, they are taken at their word. A very sweet deal, which not that many these days seem inclined to notice.

    And yes - it is to be hoped that the Holy Father, as a son of Argentina currently positioned to, um, wield much influence, will have a salutary word with Archbishop Nanez.

  2. The "pastoral option" everyone loves to talk about doesn't work when people do not come to the Church in good faith. It just invites wolves into the pasture with the sheep. Pray God give +Nanez wisdom. And the Bear shudders to think what might come out of Pope Francis' mouth if he does not anticipate and carefully prepare for the inevitable question.

  3. It is a mockery of God and His Commandments and the Blessed Sacrament and marriage and morality and the baptismal promises, and honesty and ... It's extremely contemptuous of God, His Church, the solemn sacrament of baptism. They despise the Faith and of course cannot nor would not being the child up in the Faith. They are going to subject the child to ongoing abuse by engaging in a sexual relationship and pretending to the child that each of them is her mother and that that's natural. I weep at the thought of a little innocent child being subjected to this night and day with no escape or no one to rescue them. Cardinal Bergoglio already permitted a similar sacrilege re transgender homosexual couple and children bought through surrogacy - in Buenos Aires in 2012. The man pretending to be a woman is a famous tv star called Florencia. See Gloria. Tv.


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