Pope cracks down on feminist theology
Well, Cranmer agrees with this, and while he has never heard any Roman Catholic refer to God as ‘Our Mother’, it is evident that the feminist nuns and deviant priests who have populated the Roman Catholic seminaries over recent decades have been infected with some extreme Protestant tendencies, favouring liturgies with gender-neutral phrases.
Pope Benedict XVI has long opposed feminism. In his book, The Ratzinger Report, he wrote: ‘I am, in fact, convinced that what feminism promotes in its radical form is no longer the Christianity that we know; it is another religion.’ This has led some of the liberal persuasion to state quite clearly that Benedict ‘is not our Pope’.
The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and readers of The Tablet may sympathise.
But His Holiness has clarified that anyone baptised with the terms ‘Creator’, ‘Redeemer’, and ‘Sanctifier’ will need to be re-baptised using the traditional ‘Father, Son and Holy Ghost’, even though the Father is manifestly creator, the Son is redeemer, and the Holy Ghost the sanctifier. While Cranmer has little time for the new formula, he is intrigued by this papal directive which is not so much an attack on feminist symbolism but upon Protestant baptism.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that when absolutely necessary even a non-Christian can validly baptise. It is very unlikely that a non-Christian could have a correct understanding and belief regarding the effects of the sacrament of baptism, and yet the Church still maintains that non-Christians can validly baptise. If a non-Christian who lacks proper faith in the Church's doctrine of baptism can baptise in an emergency, how could (say) a Baptist believer in the Trinity not be able to validly baptise? Unless and until the Church rules that Baptist Trinitarian baptisms are invalid, there is no reason to conclude that Baptist baptisms are invalid.
Canon 869 provides that conditional baptism should be administered to a non-Catholic Christian only if doubt remains ‘after serious investigation’. Privately coming to the conclusion that one's baptism could not be valid is manifestly not a ‘serious investigation’, which must involve the Church and her ordained ministers who have been given the grace to conduct such investigations and make a determination of validity.
For a valid baptism, it is necessary to have valid matter, valid form, and proper intent. One does not need a proper understanding of Roman Catholic sacramental theology. One simply requires the intention to baptise, after which ‘ecclesia supplet’. Otherwise the Church would have been in grievous error for the past 2,000.
It is the plainest teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that if someone is validly baptised, even illicitly, then baptism must not be repeated. To insist on baptising the validly baptised does indeed constitute Anabaptism, which is deemed a heresy. And if it were beneficial to re-baptise someone who does not need to be baptised, then the Roman Catholic Church would not have a law forbidding re-baptism. If someone is already baptised, then a re-baptism is not a baptism at all: there is no sacrament being celebrated, and so no actual graces to be received from the celebration of a valid and licit sacrament. Those graces would be received through the celebration of Confirmation.