Wednesday, January 25, 2012

To Whom Should we Entrust Baptized Infants?

I realize a lot of my friends who read my blog are baptists.  For the sake of discussion, assume with me that infants of believers are to be baptized.  Benedict XVI recently baptized XVI babies in the Sistine chapel.  Vatican Information Service (VIS) reports (January 9, 2012) that:
The Pope concluded by entrusting the newly baptised infants to the Blessed Virgin, "that they may grow in age, wisdom and grace, and become true Christians, faithful and joyful witnesses of the love of God".
There is a gnat and a camel here.

The gnat first.  Aren't newly baptized infants "true Christians" already?  What sort of theology does Benedict XVI have, in which newly baptized infants are not true Christians?  This is a gnat because it may be simply a slip of the tongue or a translation glitch.

Now, the camel.  What is Benedict XVI doing entrusting them to Mary?  On what basis does Benedict XVI suppose that Mary can have any influence on their ability to
  • grow in age
  • grow in wisdom
  • grow in grace
  • become (remain?) true Christians
  • become faithful witnesses of the love of God; or
  • become joyful witnesses of the love of God?
What this looks like is just more Mariolatry - treating Mary as though she were a goddess, capable of doing what only God can do.  Does Benedict XVI use the word "goddess"?  No.  Functionally though, where a Presbyterian minister would entrust a child to God or a Baptist might "dedicate" the child to God, Benedict XVI is entrusting the babies to Mary.



Coram Deo said...

I thought Romanist dogma was such that the sacrament of baptism is treated as the instrument of justification. I realize, of course, that they add a whole host of unbiblical rules and rituals into mix in order to maintain a state of grace, but I wonder if your gnat isn't another camel even by Rome's lights.

Ljdibiase said...

Another reason to reject RC baptism. Trinitarian, eh?

Wm Tanksley said...

One wonders when the fourth member will be added, and the Koran thereby vindicated (kinda). (Of course, it's a common enough speculation that the reason the Koran makes that claim is that Arabs reported seeing worship of Mary; so the Koran's mistake would be completely understandable if it weren't for the fact that it claims to be completely divine.)

My friend is an amateur historian; he tells me that the natives living where the Spanish landed later wrote that they were impressed by the Spaniards' piety in kneeling before "the Cross and the Lady".

On a very side note, I'm amused that the number of infants baptized is written in roman notation. Of course it is :-).