“Infant Conscripts” -Baptism Violates Human Rights Says Former Irish President

John Ragai is licensed under CC BY-2.0

People must have a choice to embrace Catholicism

Mary McAleese, former President of the Irish Republic, claimed early Baptism practices in Catholicism violate basic human rights. She said infants who are baptized into the folds of the Catholic Church are “infant conscripts who are held to lifelong obligations of obedience.” McAleese held the country's presidency for four years, 1997 to 2001.

In an interview with The Irish Times, McAleese said it is not a good practice to impose obligations on people of only two weeks of age. The babies, when they grow into adults, are told they are Catholics as they signed up to the religion. The truth is, she pointed out, the young people had no say in the matter.

The former president is presently a student at Gregorian University in Rome. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in canon law. The doctoral dissertation she published shows her sharp intelligence. She has heavily criticized infant baptism as practiced by the Catholic Church. She said, “If your parents are Catholic and you are baptized in a Catholic Church, that baby becomes a member for life – according to the teaching of the church – of the church and it has rights and obligations.”

McAleese pointed out that in the past, Catholics were unaware of the fact they could walk away from Catholicism if they wanted to, but times have changed. People now have rights to freedom of belief and freedom of religion. The Catholic Church, she lamented, is yet to comprehend such concepts. Young individuals baptized without their knowledge should have the opportunity to say either their wish to continue to be a Catholic or reject the faith. She noted that conversely, the church should respect a Catholic’s right to not agree with the teachings of the Church.

The Catholic Church has the answer to such assertions.
“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.”

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