Pope Francis Tells Priests Do Not Deny Baptisms
- By Alison Lesley --
- 30 Apr 2015 --
Pope Francis defends the children of homosexual families, telling new priests that those children also deserve baptisms if they want one.
Pope Francis continues to urge Catholic priests not to block gay couples from having their children baptized. Speaking last Sunday during an ordination mass in the Vatican, Francis reminded that priests should not refuse baptism to anyone who asks for the sacrament. The pontiff told the priests: “With baptism, you unite the new faithful to the people of God. It is never necessary to refuse baptism to someone who asks for it.”
During the love of God prayer, Pope Francis said that God’s love is the “highest and purest” largely because “it is not motivated from any necessity, it is not conditioned from any calculus, it is not attracted by any desire of exchange.” The official position for Catholic leaders has been that if the parents, straight or same-sex, pledge to raise the child Catholic, then no girl or boy should be refused baptism.
Some incidents within the Catholic community have, however, raised questions about if baptizing children of same-sex couples could become a new battleground. Last year a Wisconsin bishop routed all such decisions through his office, for example. This case, and others like it, have caused some priests to believe that the church’s stance against homosexuality extends to the children of homosexual couples. But Pope Francis firmly denies that belief.
Francis has previously said that while the church has the right to express its opinion it cannot “interfere” spiritually in the lives of gays and lesbians. As an archbishop in Argentina he stated: “The child has absolutely no responsibility for the state of his parent’s marriage.” As pope, Francis has continued to promote that view by saying all children, no matter their parents’ sexual orientation, deserve access to baptism.