2 August, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 01/11/2009
VATICAN
Pope administers baptism to 13 children
The Sistine Chapel as a little parish: a tradition begun with John Paul II. Benedict XVI stresses that parents are educators, and not "owners" of their children. Having children baptized is not an act of "violence." The feast of the Baptism of Jesus "introduces us to the daily reality of a personal relationship with him."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Benedict XVI today administered baptism to 13 children in the majestic yet intimate surroundings of the Sistine Chapel. Beneath the grand vaults painted by Michelangelo were mothers and fathers, infants whimpering or smiling happily, grandparents and relatives, transforming the solemn atmosphere of the chapel into an everyday setting, like a little parish.

The tradition of celebrating the baptism of children on the feast of the Baptism of Jesus began with John Paul II, and continues with the current pope.

In his homily, Benedict XVI first of all explained the value of today's liturgical feast, which concludes the Christmas season. The entire Christmas season, he said, celebrates the coming of God as a man among us; "lowering himself to the point of the helpless powerlessness of love, he demonstrates what true greatness is, and even what it means to be God." "The feast of the baptism of Jesus," the pope added, "introduces us . . . to the daily reality of a personal relationship with him. In fact, through immersion in the waters of the Jordan, Jesus united himself with us. Baptism is, so to speak, the bridge that he built between himself and us, the road by which he makes himself accessible to us; it is the divine rainbow over our lives, the promise of God's great yes, the door of hope, and at the same time, the sign that shows us the path to travel in an active and joyful way in order to encounter him and feel ourselves loved by him."

It is thanks to the baptism of Jesus that children are baptized: "heaven," he explained, "really opened and continues to open, and we can entrust each new life that emerges into the hands of him who is more powerful than the obscure powers of evil."

The pope then highlighted the responsibilities of parents: "the child," the pope explained, "is not the property of the parents, but is entrusted by the Creator to their responsibility, freely and in a way that is always new, so that they may help him to become a free child of God. It is only if parents develop this awareness that they will be able to find the right balance between the presumption of being able to dispose of their children as if they were their private possession, shaping them on the basis of their own ideas and desires, and the libertarian attitude that is expressed in allowing them to grow in full autonomy, satisfying all of their desires and aspirations, believing this to be the right way to cultivate their personality."

Baptizing children who cannot yet give their consent "is not an act of violence, but gives them the richness of divine life in which is rooted the true freedom that is proper to the children of God; a freedom that must be educated and formed with the passing of the years, so that it may become capable of responsible personal decisions."

Baptism, Benedict XVI recalled, is the entry into a family that is "greater and more lasting, more open and numerous" than that of blood, "the family of believers," the Church, "a family that has God as its Father, and in which all recognize one another as brothers in Jesus Christ."

Returning to today's feast, the pope concluded: "with baptism, we do not immerse ourselves . . . simply in the waters of the Jordan in order to proclaim our commitment of conversion, but the redeeming blood of Christ, which purifies and saves us, is poured out upon us. It is the beloved Son of the Father, with whom he is well pleased, who restores to us the dignity and joy of calling ourselves truly 'children' of God."


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/13/2008 VATICAN
Pope: in Baptism, God himself saves us from the abyss of death
01/07/2007 VATICAN
Pope: Baptism is not magic but a gift of God in the family of the Church
01/09/2011 VATICAN
Pope: Baptism and faith, the most precious gift of life
01/08/2012 VATICAN
Pope: Baptism is the first educational choice and the first witness to children
03/09/2013 VATICAN
Toward Conclave, chimney stack fitted on Sistine Chapel roof

Editor's choices
CHINA
Unofficial catholic community of Wenzhou speak out against forced demolition of Crosses, whole diocese fasting
by Joseph YuanAfter 90-year-old Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang of Wenzhou led 26 priests of the open Church community to protest against the government’s act to demolish Crosses, Coadjutor Bishop James Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou also led his priests to issue an open statement “Strongly demand a halt to demolish Crosses on all churches.
CHINA
Wenzhou: 90-year-old bishop and 26 priests protest against cross demolitions
by Joseph YuanThis is not the first time that the old bishop and his priests speak out against the demolition campaign against crosses and churches, which has touched more than 400 buildings. During the protest, police tried to disperse the group, which sought to submit a petition. The faithful recite a Crown of the Divine Mercy is in support of the Chinese Church. In Lishui, churches are expected to be torn down by 31 August.
ISRAEL - IRAN
After nuclear deal, Israel ought to become Iran’s best ally
by Uri AvneryThis is the thesis of Uri Avnery, leader of Gush Shalom, a major supporter of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. According to the great statesman and peace activist, Iran only wants to be a regional power in the Islamic world, able to trade with everyone, inspired by a sophisticated experience that goes back thousands of years. Iran, which faces backward-looking Gulf monarchies and emirates, could be a great ally against Daesh. Meanwhile in Israel Netanyahu, politicians and the media continue to blunder.

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.