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Ex-Irish President says infant baptisms violate human rights

Ex-Irish President says infant baptisms violate human rights

Mary McAleese, Ireland’s President from 1997 to 2011 and an outspoken critic of the Catholic Church which she has described as ‘one of the last great bastions of misogyny’, has lashed out at infant baptisms.

According to this report, she claimed that early baptism breaches fundamental human rights, calling babies baptised into the Catholic Church:

Infant conscripts who are held to lifelong obligations of obedience.

In an interview with the Irish Times she said:

You can’t impose, really, obligations on people who are only two weeks old and you can’t say to them at seven or eight or 14 or 19 ‘here is what you contracted, here is what you signed up to’ because the truth is they didn’t.

But you and I know, we live now in times where we have the right to freedom of conscience, freedom of belief, freedom of opinion, freedom of religion and freedom to change religion.

The Catholic Church yet has to fully embrace that thinking. My human right to inform my own conscience, my human right to express my conscience even if it is the case that it contradicts the magisterium [teaching authority of the church], that right to conscience is supreme.

The Catholic Church defends the practice of baptising infants. Its Catechism says:

Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called. The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.

The Catechism adds that Christian parents recognise that the practice of infant baptism:

Also accords with their role as nurturers of the life that God has entrusted to them.

McAleese indicated in the same interview that she would be marching in this Saturday’s Dublin Pride Parade with her son Justin, above, and his husband Dr Fionán Donohoe.

In the past she has been outspoken in her support of homosexuality and women priests, and has criticised Catholic teaching on marriage and family as “homophobic” and:

Completely contradictory to modern science and to modern understanding.

In this report, she said:

Jesus Christ would be better represented by those celebrating marriage equality than ‘miserable people in a tiny empire the size of a golf course.’

She maintains the Church’s characterisation of same-sex orientation as “disordered” can lead to harmful internal conflicts in homosexual Catholics.

She also said that she would avoid the upcoming World Meeting of Families — to be held in Dublin — because its purpose is to reinforce orthodoxy.

In March, McAleese celebrated International Women’s Day by slamming the Catholic Church from across the street of Vatican City — where she’d been banned from speaking — as “one of the last great bastions of misogyny.”

She also branded the Vatican as  “an empire of misogyny,” and “a primary global carrier of the virus of misogyny.”

McAleese, who holds a licentiate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, descibed the Catholic prohibition on ordaining women as “codology” not theology.

16 responses to “Ex-Irish President says infant baptisms violate human rights”

  1. CoastalMaineBird says:

    kudos!

  2. Ate Berga says:

    Speak up! Speak up!

  3. Trapper says:

    Spot on.

  4. AgentCormac says:

    Truth and sanity are the irresistible forces which will, one day, make the RCC not only irrelevant but redundant. Bravo, Mary McAleese.

  5. L.Long says:

    MEH! Baptism..MEH! Its all BS magic symbolism and means nothing! All it does is make the parents tummies feel good. Once I started asking my 1st real questions, my baptism & confirmation were meaningless, as I started my slide down into the special hell for atheists.

  6. Angela_K says:

    “Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin…”
    Don’t these self-severing pious prats ever actually think about the meaningless words they repeat – wait, no, they don’t even think. And yes, baptism is child abuse as is the much more sinister genital mutilation of both infant sexes.

  7. Rob Andrews says:

    So what’s the next step for Ireland or any other country? Should/could they make it illegal.?

  8. Vanity Unfair says:

    Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin…
    Wasn’t Jesus’s substitutionary atonement by crucifixion supposed to have wiped the slate clean for all mankind?
    children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness…
    Because no baptised child ever turns out to be a bad person.
    and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called.
    As long as they follow every little nit-picking rule and ruling that has been crammed into the contract over the past two millennia despite anything the founder might have said.
    The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism.
    Despite there not being any mention of it in the Gospels.
    The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.
    God, despite being omniscient and omnipotent, would have no choice in the matter because the RC Church is even more omniscient and omnipotent: infinity + 1.

    Infinity symbol (8 turned 90 degrees) did not copy.

  9. Vanity Unfair says:

    ∞ That’s ampersand hash x 221e; no spaces
    ∞ ampersand hash 8734; no spaces

    Now, how to write it so the code is readable.

  10. Laura Roberts says:

    So nice to have that conversation started!

  11. Robster says:

    I’d rather have been asked if I wanted god ‘n Jesus thrust upon me. My parents did apologise on discovering my choice of disbelief by age 8. My godmother was a bit weird and severely Jesused but boy could she cook!

  12. Maggie says:

    So many things concerning children and religion are violations of human rights, not just infant baptisms.

  13. 1859 says:

    Well said Ms McAleese – we need voices like yours – I wish you’d been my Mum.

  14. Dan says:

    Making children citizens of a country at birth is child abuse. Babies don’t have the faculties to commit to those legal rights and privileges and one has the right to choose for them.

  15. Michael Glass says:

    If infant baptism violates human rights, what does infant circumcision do?

  16. barriejohn says:

    Under the Roman Catholics, foetuses have more rights than children!