Holy See Condemns Feminist Baptism Formula

Source: FSSPX News


The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has condemned a formula of Baptism inspired by “feminist theology” and in use mainly in English-speaking countries. During the audience granted to Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Benedict XVI approved the answers drafted during the ordinary session of the discatery and ordered them to be published. Signed on February 1, by Cardinal Levada and his secretary, Archbishop Angelo Amato, the document was release by the Holy See Press Office on February 29.


First question: Whether the Baptism conferred with the formulas «I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier» and «I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer» is valid?

Second question: Whether the persons baptized with those formulas have to be baptized in forma absoluta?


To the first question: Negative.

To the second question: Affirmative.

In an explicative note, Bishop Antonio Miralles, consultant for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, underlined that the document concerns “facts which occurred in English-speaking countries.” “The doubt is not about English, but about the formula itself, which might also have been expressed in another language,” he specified. “The various names given to the Divine Persons in the baptismal formula which are different from the biblical formula and have been taken into consideration in the present answers, come from what we call feminist theology, which avoids the words Father and Son, under the pretext that they are masculine words, and plays and the neuter gender in English language. Now, this overturns Trinitarian faith.” “It would be irresponsible to minimize such a danger, by justifying the idea according to which God can remedy any human negligence.”

“On the contrary, we are called to accomplish proper ? what God entrusted to our responsibility.” “Baptism given in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost obeys the order given by Jesus and reported at the end of the Gospel according to Matthew” and “the baptismal formula must explicitly and not merely approximately express faith in the Trinity,” Bishop Miralles added.

In a second note diffused together with the document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith, Jesuit Cardinal Urbano Navarrete declared that “the answers of the Congregation constitute an authentic doctrinal declaration with very extensive canonical and pastoral consequences. It implicitly affirms that persons baptized with the said formulas did not actually receive the sacrament. Consequently, they must be treated for all the canonical and pastoral effects according to the juridical criteria relative to the general category of unbaptized persons in the Code of Canon Law.” And he went on to specify the consequences with regard to the sacraments: “Persons baptized with one of these formula are not capable of receiving any sacrament until they have been validly baptized.” “Consequently, if such persons had received other sacraments (…) such as confirmation and the sacrament of Holy Orders, these sacraments will have to be given again ad validitatem.”

Baptism conferred with this invalid formula can be a cause of marriage annulment. There also are disciplinary consequences for people who will administer baptism with the disputed formula. (Sources: Apic/Imedia/VIS/vatican.va)