Sunday, August 17, 2014


UPDATE: A Vatican report indicates the Holy Father did Confirm this adult. However I wonder if the Anointing with Sacred Chrism after baptism (as in infant baptism) was confused for Confirmation.This anointing is a remnant of Confirmation when it was seperated from Baptism for infants in the Latin rite. The Eastern rites continue the ancient tradition of offering all three sacraments of initiation even to infants.

Those who promote the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) will not like the liberty Pope Francis took this morning when he privately [!]baptized an older adult. He did so outside of Mass, without Confirmation and of course without Holy Communion.

Those who insist on rigidly following the RCIA process and incorporating all three sacraments of Initiation, that of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist at the same ceremony and usually only at the Easter Vigil will be apoplectic! And to think it was done privately and not in community! O, the agony of it all!

In addition the elitists promoting the rigid RCIA process will be apoplectic because there seems to be no RCIA process of catechesis. When you read between the lines below, meaning the Pope baptized him without a great deal of catechetical preparation, you can only imagine how those who promote RCIA will feel about the Holy Father allowing this omission! It is implied in the news story about this: 

"Fr. Lombardi underscored that Lee “solicited baptism. Obviously, he was not Christian and that is why he asked for it, but it is clear that he has had preparation with prayer, and with this pilgrimage that he made, we can say that he has been on a spiritual journey.”  

I think I can infer that what is implied in Fr. Lombardi description is that the Korean was not in any RCIA program and had only the preparation of prayer with this pilgrimage that he made, a spiritual journey! I find this stunning and groundbreaking! Of course it ties in with the Holy Father's insistence that priests and deacons in no way place stumbling blocks in the path of those who request baptism for their children, even if the parent or parents' status with the Church is dubious!

Please note the Holy Father is wearing a surplice over His Holiness' cassock and stole--will the mozzetta be far behind? 

Here's the story!

Korean man takes name of ‘Francis’ at baptism by Pope

Seoul, South Korea, Aug 17, 2014 / 01:24 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Sunday morning Pope Francis baptized 62-year-old Lee Ho-Jin – the father of one of the victims from the Sewol Ferry tragedy earlier this year – who took on the baptismal name “Francis.”

Vatican Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi reported that the baptism was celebrated in 20 minutes without Mass. It was officiated by a Korean priest, who is acting as the Pope's translator, with Pope Francis conducting the immersion and anointing.

According to the nunciature in Korea where the the baptism took place, the ceremony was attended by Lee Ho-Jin's son, daughter, and a priest of the Suwon diocese.

On Aug. 15, Fr. Lombardi told CNA that the Pope met with some of the family members from the ferry tragedy before a Mass with thousands of Koreans at the World Cup stadium in Daejon earlier in the week.

He approached, blessed and “touched the head of each one of them and he shared his closeness” with them, Fr. Lombardi said.

Lee spoke to the Pope, the Vatican Spokesman said, after “having made a long pilgrimage carrying a cross and praying for his young son who died on the ferry.”

Fr. Lombardi underscored that Lee “solicited baptism. Obviously, he was not Christian and that is why he asked for it, but it is clear that he has had preparation with prayer, and with this pilgrimage that he made, we can say that he has been on a spiritual journey.”

According to official sources, the cause of the ferry's shipwreck of Sewol was a sharp turn. At least 36 people were officially declared dead, an d around 280 have not yet been found.

Announced by the Vatican in March, the Pope's Aug. 13-18 trip follows an invitation from the president of the Korean Republic, Park Geun-hye, and the bishops of Korea.

During his time, the Pope traveled from the capital city of Seoul to Daejon, where he celebrated the Sixth Asian Youth Day with thousands of young people. He also visited the rehabilitation center for disabled persons in Kkottongnae, as well as a shrine in Haemi for a closing Mass with Asian youth.
The Preparatory Committee for the 2014 Papal Visit to Korea reported that it is the first time in 25 years that a Pope has baptized a Korean since a group were baptized by Pope John Paul II in 1989.


Gene said...

Well, gee, how protestant of him. Sola Scriptura, anyone?

Gene said...

Well, then we should just haul off and baptize anybody who wants it as long as they have prayed, read the Bible, and request it. Hey! What a stunning blow for ecumenism. This is great!

Православный физик said...

Well...who am i to judge?

Anonymous said...

I read from another source that Pope Francis did give him Confirmation, but not Holy Communion obviously.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

After baptizing a person there is an anointing with sacred chrism which is not Confirmation but clearly a remnant of Confirmation when confirmation was seperated from baptism in the Latin Rite. The Eastern Rites continue to offer all three sacraments even for infant baptism.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The report you read may have confused the baptismal anointing with confirmation. But we will have to see if there is a clarification .

Anonymous said...

At least they were spared 40 weeks of lessons and having to read Christ Among Us. If St. Ambrose had required RCIA from Augustine, he would have remained pagan.

Unknown said...

This is good enough for me from the Holy Scriptures: "As they went on the way, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "Behold, here is water. What is keeping me from being baptized?" 37 38He commanded the chariot to stand still, and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, and the eunuch didn't see him any more, for he went on his way rejoicing. "

Rood Screen said...

Personally, I think RCIA is a cult.

Under ordinary circumstances, the candidate should just meet with the priest for a few weeks, and then be sacramentally initiated. RCIA would be fine if it only concerned itself with the liturgical rituals of initiation, but instead it has become this monster hiding the sacraments in its lair.

How can it be that we routinely administer baptism, confirmation and Holy Communion to the children of unfaithful Catholics, but we force well-disposed converts to endure months of spiritual group therapy just to become Christians/Catholics?

RCIA is a cult. Requiring it for reception of the sacraments is a sin.

Anonymous said...

Oh for Peter's sake! Father I know you enough to know your tongue is firmly in your cheek here with respect to the Pope's action but many laity may be confused...

RCIA and other protocols are imposed as a GENERAL guideline for catechumens. This like all things involving large numbers of human beings allows for a bell curve. Some exceptions exist to the general rule and Canon Law does allow the legislator of canon law (that would be the Pope) to make exceptions to the rule without thereby nullifying the rule.

The baptism of the Ethiopian in the book of Acts was also spontaneous and quick but that doesn't mean all baptisms everywhere ought to be spontaneous and quick. Indeed much mischief can come when people are introduced (as adults) to the divine mysteries without a proper dose of doctrine and theology and praxis of prayer and repentance.

Indeed Church history is full of cases of whole peoples who convert but then struggle for centuries whereas other peoples converted after a longer period of introduction and held to the faith much more consistently.

So this is a 'scandal' only for woefully uninformed Catholics - if that - because they'd have to be set up to expect otherwise to even notice this happened!

Gene said...

RCIA, as it is taught at St. Jo's, is a very positive thing and hardly a cult. People need to know what they believe and why they believe it. It is taught by a number of different Priests, a Sister, and several lay people. Texts are provided and are, for the most part, adhered to in teaching. We regularly have 40 or more attending from September until Easter. Many excellent and honest questions are raised and dealt with and the faith of everyone, teachers and catechumens, is strengthened.

Anonymous said...

The IDEA of RCIA is good. The reality of it is another subject altogether. It varies in each parish and diocese. I have seen RCIA well-run, usually by a hands-on pastor (someone the LCWR would accuse of "top=down" management) and woefully mismanaged by various laypeople, modernist nuns and indifferent priests. The real problem the Church needs to look at is how many potential converts never converted because of this roadblock. I have known at least TWO converts who could have TAUGHT (and probably should have) RCIA who nearly dropped out because it was so unbearable and infantile. And, as JBS observes, it has, in many cases, turned into a sort of cult.

It is high time to re-think how to receive converts in the Church. In Church time, that means we will wait a minimum of another 50 years before anything happens.

Bill said...

The DRE of my former parish was nearly apoplectic when I declared I would not be baptized at Easter. I won't call RCIA a cult, but I will mention that what was routinely taught in that parish included numerous things not to be found tin the Catechism. Their favorite "theologian" was Fr. Richard Rohr, and we received many handouts written by Sr. Joan Chittister.

I would assert that those coming into RCIA have a right to be given only what the Church teaches, and to be shielded from the dissidents they will not yet be able to recognize.

Cameron said...

RCIA is basically a joke and even the libbies agree.

Unknown said...

JBS, I cannot speak for the experiences of others, but Gene's right about the RCIA at St. Jo's. I went through it this past year, and I'm sure it's how RCIA should work. There was certainly nothing cultish about it.

Now, when I was considering conversion to Orthodoxy, it was much as you described—i.e. I met with the parish priest two or three times a week. I'm not sure how it works with Eastern Catholic churches (maybe Joe P does?). I didn't go through (almost, but not quite) with baptism, but I do wonder if that approach would have been better suited to someone with my personality (I'm very quiet, especially in large groups).

Rood Screen said...


I'm surprised to find you defending, even promoting, a touchy-feely, 1970's novelty like this.

Initiation rituals are fine, and wisely encouraged by Vatican II. Systematic study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is fine, and should be offered to potential converts. But, this tiresome monster we call RCIA is not fine, and should be suppressed. "Repeal and replace."

Gene said...

In RCIA, we used the CCC and the Baltimore Catechism. Doctrine was taught…Fr. taught on the Sacraments. It is like a course in Catholic theology and doctrine, which is exactly what it should be.

I have spoken to others from other Churches who say that it is nothing but feel-good session where "relevant issues" are discussed in a casual atmosphere. Great...

Marc said...

Fr. JBS, Gene and I both taught RCIA at St. Joseph (with others) prior to my moving to another state. So, that might give you some idea about the doctrinal content. It is certainly unlike the terrible RCIA stories that I've heard.

Gene said...

Fr. JBS, If it was a touchy-feely thing I would not be there. There is nothing 1970's about it and I know because I was there in the '70's and hated it. There is absolutely nothing touchy feel about Fr. MacDonald, Fr. David, or anyone else there. Perhaps other RCIA groups could take a page from our book.

Gene said...

Examples of non-touchy feely:
An RCIA student was whining about the Church's stance on homosexuality. Fr. Mac: "We do not condemn homosexuals and we encourage them to repent and live a chaste life. But, the Church is not going to change just so you do not have to feel guilty."

Another RCIA leader and I were discussing a certain actress. Fr. David overheard us and said, "Lust is a sin, yes?" I replied, "We were only discussing her acting ability." Fr. David, "You are lying to a Priest. Come to Confession."

RCIA student to Marc: "You are saying that this is the doctrine of the Church so love it or leave it."
Marc, "Yes, that is essentially what I am saying."

Our RCIA does not take prisoners.

Rood Screen said...


Perhaps Father McDonald should post a description of the program you provide, and invite RCIA coordinators around the country to come for a visit. It sounds like they could learn something.

Are you sure you all don't sit in a circle on bean-bag chairs, surrounded by lava lamps, incense and peppermints whilst doing your enneagrams?

George said...

I second what others here have commented about RCIA at St Joseph's. I've attended most of the sessions over the last two years and I can attest to what they say as being true. JBS, if it has become a " touchy-feely, 1970's novelty", in some parishes then that is not a good thing at all. The pastor has to get a handle on this and monitor what is being taught. Make sure what is being taught is orthodox-that it is from the Magisterial teaching of the Church and not the kind of things in Bill Meyer's comments.
As far as the Holy Father baptizing this ,one can only imagine the headlines if did not do this. "Pope Francis refuses to baptize father whose son perished in the Sewol Ferry accident." These kind of things can come about and you just have make a decision to do what is best given the circumstances. Had the person not been formally baptized for some reason, he would have had baptism of desire.

George said...

I meant to type

As far as the Holy Father baptizing this MAN ,one can only imagine the headlines if did not do this.

Gene said...

JBS, Ah, yes, I remember lava lamps, bean bag chairs, shag carpet, incense, that awful Patchouli perfume girls wore, those dumb bead curtains hanging between rooms, enneagrams (LOL)…you forgot the candle in the Chianti bottle, mandalas, "The Three Pillars of Zen," aikido classes on every corner, and three-bong-hit zen masters holding classes in the old gym or in the basement of the Unitarian church…the days when you had to be an accomplished orator of Ciceronian skill NOT to get laid. The 70's…yay…vomit.

Gene said...

George, you are correct. I cannot imagine the headlines had he not done it...

Gene said...

On a more serious note…St. Jo's RCIA is a classroom model, with a syllabus, assigned readings, and designated teachers for every session. Among the teachers are the Priests, Sister Elizabeth, a college professor of Constitutional Law and American history who is devout, tireless, and a fantastic teacher, Marc, another attorney who, as a convert, has struggled with theological issues on every level in his own journey and who is devout and disgustingly bright and knows more about Catholic doctrine than most Priests, Jerry (the director of the program) who is devout, prayerful, and who tirelessly gives his time and energy to even the most difficult catechumens. Jerry has been instrumental in bringing several hundred people into the Church over the last several years. He goes to the head of the line at the Pearly Gates. Fr. MacDonald is a serious minded, matter-of-fact Pastor who understands the importance of the program and won't brook any sloppiness.
These kinds of people are most likely available in most parishes. They need to be recruited and supported. Having a structured, classroom model helps and keeps down the nonsense and drift. It can be done.

rcg said...

There are two kinds of people who will volunteer to help in RCIA, those who want to do it, wand those who want it done. Shun the first, seek the second.

Rood Screen said...

Lest I be counted an absolutist, here's ten Sixties songs I don't entirely dislike:

The Zombies—Time of the Season
Mamas and the Papas—California Dreaming
The Turtles—Happy Together
Gary Puckett & the Union Gap—Young Girl [but the lyrics seem a little creepy to me]
Gary Puckett & the Union Gap—Woman
The Yardbirds—For Your Love
Strawberry Alarm Clock—Incense and Peppermints
The Association—Along Comes Mary
Jefferson Airplane—Somebody to Love
Gerry & the Pacemakers—Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I love those!

Gene said...

Well, Frs., I hate all those songs and all those groups. LOL! Here are the ones I like:
Save the Last Dance for Me…Drifters
Image of a Girl…Safaris
A Thousand Stars…Kathy Young and the Innocents
Stand By Me…Ben E King
Runaround Sue…Dion
Green Onions…Booker T and the MG's
Bring It on Home to Me…Sam Cooke
Surfin' USA…Beach Boys
Return to Sender…Elvis
Unchained Melody…Righteous Brothers

George said...

I have to say that when I first heard (and subsequently would hear)
the Zombies—"Time of the Season" I thought it was the strangest music. Also the Doors "Light my Fire". It was just the way in heard music at the time. I hear things a little different today so I can tolerate listening to those a little better.
I like some on both of the lists above.

George said...

Let me add that I don't care for the music of the Zombies or the Doors.