Mary McAleese, former head of the Republic of Ireland from 2007 to 2011, did not hesitate to claim that baptizing infants in the Church “violates human rights.”
It makes “infant conscripts who are held to lifelong obligations of obedience,” exclaimed the former Irish president on June 23, 2018, in the columns of the Irish Times. She added:
You can’t impose, really, obligations on people who are only two weeks old and you can’t say to them at seven or eight or 14 or 19 ‘here is what you contracted, here is what you signed up to’ because the truth is they didn’t.
The former head of State’s remarks are based on an absolute notion of total freedom: “We live now in times where we have the right to freedom of conscience, freedom of belief, freedom of opinion, freedom of religion and freedom to change religion. The Catholic Church yet has to fully embrace that thinking,” she concluded.
There is nothing surprising about this; although she was raised in the Catholic religion and has a degree in Canon Law, Mary McAleese has distanced herself from the Church. Known for her support for the cause of homosexuals and “women priests”, the former president has accused the Church’s teaching on marriage of “homophobia”.