The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano reports that the Pope mentioned the example of an unwed mother coming to Church to ask for baptism for her child to exemplify the error of allowing protocol to distance people from the Lord.
The paper quotes the Pope:
A girl-mother goes to the parish to ask for Baptism for her child and hears “a Christian” say, “No, you can’t have it, you’re not married.”
“Look at this girl who had had the courage to carry her pregnancy to term” and not to have an abortion. “What does she find? A closed door,” as do so many. “This is not good pastoral zeal, it distances people from the Lord and does not open doors. So when we take this path…we are not doing good to people, the People of God.” Jesus “instituted seven sacraments, and with this approach we institute the eighth, the sacrament of the pastoral customs office.”
The last few days has been filled with debate about whether or not Pastor Winans of Perfecting Church was right or not about christening babies of unwed mothers. The issue becomes muddied when baptisms serve the purely social function of introducing the baby to society, to the decent people of the church.
Here is a look at what a few churches believe:
The Anglican/Episcopal take on it is this:
- “holy baptism is the sacrament by which God adopts us as his children and makes us members of Christ’s Body, the Church, and inheritors of the kingdom of God.” (Book of Common Prayer p.858)
- At baptism, the individual “renounces Satan, repents of sins, and accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior.”
Most Christians belong to denominations that practise infant baptism. Denominational families that practise infant baptism include Catholics, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, some Nazarenes, the United Church of Christ (UCC), Moravian Church, Metropolitan Community Church, Wesleyans, Episcopalians, and the Reformed church.
A baby dedication is a profession before the church that you will raise the child in a godly home and instruct them in the ways of the Lord. Living in sin(unmarried) proves that you have NO intention of doing either.