Guest / Limited Access /

Baptisms performed in the name of a gender-neutral Trinity are not true baptisms, the Catholic Church's highest doctrinal authority decreed on Friday (Feb. 29).

A statement by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, explicitly approved by Pope Benedict XVI, declared any baptism performed "in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier" or "in the name of the Creator, and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer" to be invalid.

Anyone so baptized must receive the sacrament in the traditional forma absoluta (using the traditional "in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"), the Congregation stated.

In an official commentary appearing in the Saturday (March 1) edition of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Urbano Navarrete wrote that a person baptized using the rejected formula is incapable of receiving any other sacrament, including marriage.

The decree did not mention specific countries, but it is evidently directed at the English-speaking world. The original Latin version of the statement and all five official translations released by the Vatican quoted the objectionable words in English.

According to a report by Catholic News Service, the use of gender-neutral language in baptisms began recently in North America, but is more common among Protestant than Catholic congregations.

In another official commentary, also appearing in L'Osservatore Romano, the Rev. Antonio Miralles explained that the alternative language, which he ascribed to "so-called feminist theology," deviates from Jesus' gender-specific language in the New Testament, and misrepresents the nature of the Trinity by attributing exclusive roles to each person.

"All three divine Persons are ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedThe Centrality of Doctrine and the Christian Faith
The Centrality of Doctrine and the Christian Faith
A right understanding of God and his gospel moves the Christian to missional living.
TrendingAttempt to Market Anti-Porn Ministry to Mark Driscoll Fans Goes Bad
Attempt to Market Anti-Porn Ministry to Mark Driscoll Fans Goes Bad
Craig Gross on XXXchurch email blast to Resurgence list: 'They sold us your email for a penny.'
Editor's PickWhat Christianophobia Looks Like in America
What Christianophobia Looks Like in America
New Study: Champions of religious freedom tell Christians, 'Keep your faith to yourselves.'
Comments
Christianity Today
Vatican Says Baptisms Must Use Traditional Trinity
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

March 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.