Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Truth Is Stranger #49: "Sir, step AWAY from the holy water!"

Fake priest arrested while attempting to baptize baby.

LISBON (Reuters) - A man pretending to be a priest was arrested by police as he prepared to baptize a baby in a small town in the north of Portugal.

"When the man said 'in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit' police came in and grabbed him," a member of the church was quoted by local daily Jornal de Noticias as saying.

A spokeswoman for the Portuguese police said the 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of impersonating a priest and had several similar arrest warrants to his name....

Apparently the couple will get the baby baptized later, but depending on when in the baptism said arrest occurred, this seems theologically sticky.

Not to mention weird, of course.


Ma Beck said...

If he said, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit", using water, Baby is baptized.
No need for a do-over.
(What a strange story!)

Puff the Magic Dragon said...

A priest may perform a "Conditional Baptism" if the parents are concerned that the Baptism was stopped beofre completion before the arrest.

Ma Beck said...

Apparently, he was arrested just after he said, "Father, Son, Holy Spirit", which means the baptism was complete, but, hey, if I was a parent, I'd want a REAL PRIEST'S name on my baby's certificate, too.
Anyone who's dealt with church red tape for a marriage, etc. knows that you'd better have your sacramental certificates in order, buddy.

Anonymous said...

Sacraments, including baptism, have to be performed with the right intention (the one baptizing has to intend what the church intends). Normally the use of the appropriate words is sufficient witness to the intention of the baptizer, be they christian or otherwise. However, if there is evidence to the contrary concerning the baptizer's intention, then the baptism might be invalid. There may be a case here for a propoer conditional baptism.

Anonymous said...

Besides, there is more to the Baptism ceremony than just the baptism with water, there is the rite of exorcism, the anointing with Holy Oils etc etc.
So a conditional baptism, and completing with the rest of the rituals migh tbe a good idea.

John said...

Hmm. Was it an authentic baptism? That would be a fascinating question.