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Feb. 17, 2022

Grace Over Law

Grace Over Law

I’m not one to tell the Catholic Church how to run their organization. They were around long before I came along and they’ll be around long after I’m gone. However, when I read stories like this, I have to ask myself if the hierarchy has any idea what message they are sending not only to their people, but to the world. The short version of the story is a priest was baptizing people using the word “we” rather than “I.” In other words, “We baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…” Now, let me first say I have no idea why. I don’t know if he was sending a message that baptism comes from the church vs. an individual or if he just preferred it that way or what. I really don’t know. But I do know this. He baptized thousands of conscientious, loving, members of his parish using this formula and now the Bishop has pronounced the baptisms invalid!

That is insane. Plain and simple. Regardless of your beliefs about god, the church, baptism, heaven, hell, or anything else, put yourself in the shoes of these people. Your church, that you hold in high esteem and you believe holds the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, just declared your membership in the Body of Christ invalid. Invalid. This is not because you have done anything wrong. Maybe you took first confession, attended mass, took the Sacraments faithfully. Tough. Invalid. You aren’t a member. What a terrible way to treat your people, Bishop. It’s hateful and judgmental, But you are following the letter of the LAW, dispensed without grace, and you have declared your judgment.

This is how they treat their own! Can you imagine what they think of people like me? The Catholic Church claims to descend, through Peter, from Jesus Christ himself - someone who railed against the religious leaders for their strict adherence to the law without mercy or grace to the people who they led. The person who said we no longer live under the law. The person who taught us there was a better way. They claim his name, but they adhere to strict rules, rules that were not under the control of the very people condemned, and they pass judgment on the validity of these people’s baptism, which has a downstream impact on almost all aspects of their lives in the church.

Common sense, mercy, and grace have been thrown out the window in order to adhere to THE LAW. Shame on you, Bishop Olmsted, and anyone else that supports his legalistic approach to the gospel. I have a feeling, if there is a god and that god is rendering judgment on this situation, it’s not the people being declared invalid he would judge, but the Bishop who doesn’t practice what Jesus taught on this earth.