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Evansville, Indiana
October 30, 1987     The Message
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October 30, 1987

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October 30, 1987 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Question Corner 13 I O&A By FATHER IOI-IN DIETZI NC News Service Columnist Q. I am a 73-year-old grandmother and have a problem causing me great concern. One of my six children married outside the church. He and his wife are good people but never attend any church. After some years of marriage they decided they did want children. The priest (not of my parish) baptized their child, who will soon be 4 years old, They now want another child baptized in another parish. The priest there, she says, said some harsh things and told them he cannot baptize the :aughter. They cannot understand this. My daughter-in- law was thinking about joining the Catholic Church, she says, but has real reservations since they are being treated this way. Should I baptize the baby? Please help me. --Florida A. The Catholic Church's law and policy on this are clear: Unless the priest or deacon has solid reasons for believing that a child will be raised in the Catholic faith, he has no right to baptize that child, except of course in an emergency. The reasons for this are .probably obvious to Church's policy on baptizing children of non-practicing Catholics most Catholics. They appear-both in the Rite of Baptism and in canon law. To some degree this depends on the priest's personal judgment. Maybe the first priest felt he had good reason to believe the parents intended to do everything necessary to give their child a Catholic upbringing. Certainly that would include regular attendance at Mass. If that expectation was not lived up to, as your letter seems to indicate, it is not surprising that the present priest is reluctant to baptize the second child. From what you say, there appears no evidence that the parents of these children ever intended to practice the Catholic faith; as much as possible in their circumstances, in order for their child to be raised a Catholic. Insofar as that wou!d be the facet (and I do not second-guess any priest s judgment when I say this) your situation offers another good proof that we, priests of lay people, do not in the long run do anyone a favor when we ignore the church's regulations about the sacraments. Whether this happens out of some feeling of compassion or, too often, just not Wanting to take the time or pains to explain an unfavorable answer, such responses usually come back to haunt either ourselves or someone else. Since the parents came to the priest for bap- tism, they apparently harbored some inclination toward the Catholic faith. Perhaps a kind explana- tion of the reason the church normally expects at least one of the parents to be a practicing Catholic, before baptism of a child, might have made them stop and think. At least it could have prevented some of the present hurt and tension. Perhaps the baptism brochure which you re- quested and we are sending will help your son and his wife to reflect on what they really want for their children and for themselves. A free brochure explaining Catholic teaching and practice on annulments is available by sending a stamped self-addressed envelope to Father John Dietzen, Holy Trinity Parish, 704 N. Main St., Bloomington, IlL 61701. Questions for this column should be sent to Father Dietzen at the same address. Copyright (c) 1987 by NC News Service I i i Ministry Day to be Nov. 8 at Resurrection A day of reflection and kind of ministry are encouraged and Models of the Church" will renewal for all liturgical to attend, according to Father be held November 8, at Resur- minsters in the diocese of Hamel. He says people in- rection Catholic Church, 5301 Evansville "will give us an op- terested in the day of prayer and N e w H a r m o n y R o a d, portunity to discover where we reflection should contact Mary Evansville. Registration begins are as Church," according to Ann Wittgen, 817 South Dex- at 1:30, with the program ather Michael Hamel, who ter, Evansville, IN 47714. The beginning at 2 p.m. A con- will lead the afternoon program reservation fee is $5, due by cluding Marian Vesper prayer sponsored by the Secretariat on Nov. 2. Registration at the door service is scheduled for 4:30 Worship. will be $7. p.m. All who participate in any "Ministry Day IIl: Ministry Father Hamelsayshispresen- tation will help liturgical ministers see their ministry within the context of the ministry of the whole church, "to see if we are still on target, if we are being faithful to the words of Jesus." Father Hamel says the main message of Jesus was that we should be a church of reconciliation, "but how can we offer reconciliation if we are not ourselves reconciled?" As part of the day's structure, Father Hamel promises an op- portunity for meditation and prayer time, and a chance to find healing. He hopes the "song, music, and prayer" will provide a spiritual uplift for all who attend. Participants will also receive a copy of a pastoral letter on the liturgy, written by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago. Earthquake closes soup kitchen LOS ANGELES (NC) -- Earth- to serve those men and women quake damage has forced a "seeking sustenance at our Catholic Worker soup kitchen door," said Jeff Dietrich, a in downtown Los Angeles to member of the Catholic Worker close its doors, community. In coming weeks, the Engineers were examining Catholic Worker community the building to determine will develop a primitive out- whether to tear it down or door facility so it can continue rebuild it. Wed1 Citizens Leadership Checking you get: No minimum balance. Unlimited chechwriting. First order of 200 checks at no charge. VISA or MasterCard at no annual fee. Special interest rate discounts on direct, personal installment loans. ?SuperSusie MoneyMover cards good all over the Tri-State area. And six other very useful bank services. Apply at any Citizens office today for Leadership Checking. The one account does it all...for less than you're probably paying right now! Cltlzens00.;jn.=. What a tnk Citizens . 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