The information was given by Fr. Michel Viot on Radio Courtoisie. This priest, a former Lutheran pastor and a former Freemason dignitary, first at the Grand Lodge of France, then at the Grand National Lodge of France, converted to Catholicism in 2001, and received the priesthood in 2003. On December 22nd, he revealed how the French episcopate has recommended modifying the form of baptismal registers in a completely surprising way.
A Change Based on Fear
The proposed change consists of deleting the mention of father and mother and replacing it with the formula: “Surnames and first names of parents or other holders of parental authority.” A “non-discriminatory” and politically correct way of proceeding.
The proposal comes from the Council for Canonical Questions chaired by Msgr. Joseph de Metz-Noblat, Bishop of Langres. This proposal was made more than a year ago, by letter dated December 13, 2018.
The reasons given are strange: the Church should not refuse the sacraments to those who ask it, and “children cannot be held responsible for the circumstances of their parents.” This explanation does not present any difficulty in itself, and is perfectly classic. Moreover, throughout history, the Church has taken into account irregular situations: illegitimate children or children born of unknown parents, adopted children, etc. However, these circumstances never affected the mention of the father and mother of the child to be baptized!
Registers of the Roman Catholic Church
To understand what it is all about, you have to know that by “registers of the Roman Catholic Church,” we have to mean those tools proving membership in this society that is the Church. A society is made up of members. To become a member of the Church, one must receive holy baptism, which is the sacrament given by Jesus Christ for our salvation, and the gateway to other sacraments. This public status as a member of the Church requires registration, which is recorded in the baptismal register.
Being inscribed in such a register proves on the one hand that the member has received the sacrament of baptism, which is essential since baptism cannot be repeated. On the other hand, it shows the state of membership of this society which is the Church. This register will be consulted in several circumstances, in particular to receive the sacraments of confirmation, marriage, or holy orders.
Therefore, the baptismal register differs profoundly from the civil state register, although it may, owing to the nature of the information recorded therein, replace it. Such was the case during the centuries of Christianity, and even today it is found in certain countries.
On this register are inscribed on the one hand the name of the father and the mother of the baptized—when they are known—and on the other hand, that of the godfather and the godmother, who substitute for the parents during the ceremony. The mention of biological parents is important to prevent consanguineous marriages.
In some cases, a mention may be added: “father unknown,” “adopted by,” or any other information allowing the exact location of the child in a family tree. Sometimes, items containing very confidential information can be kept secret.
The registers of the Roman Catholic Church are therefore not intended to be a transfer from the society in which the Church is placed, because it is itself a society, perfect in its order. Nor do they have to bow to a legal system that contradicts the nature created by God and restored by Jesus Christ.
The Conditions of Baptism
A final argument of singular importance militates against the absurd modification of the baptismal registers in question. It falls under the general conditions required by the Church for all baptisms.
Certainly, baptism should not be refused to a child because of the sin that could surround his conception. But before giving baptism, it is necessary to make sure of an indispensable condition: that the Christian education of the future baptized be provided for, as specified by the laws of the Church.
Indeed, as it has been said, baptism provides entry into this society that is the Church, the mystical Body of Jesus Christ, which leads souls to heaven by sanctifying grace and the practice of a true Christian life. Now the Christian life is founded on faith and flourishes in charity and the works which flow from it. This life therefore requires preparation, through a particular formation which is the catechism.
“Christian education has a positive part, instruction and free religious practice, and a negative side, the absence of harmful influences from the point of view of faith and morals,”explains the Treaty on Canon Law of Fr. Raoul Naz. The question then arises, can we baptize a child whom we know with certainty will be subjected to influences contrary to the Catholic faith and morals? To ask the question, is to answer it.
The proposals of Bishop Metz-Noblat and the French episcopate are nothing more than a servile submission, a “dhimmitude” vis-à-vis legal provisions contrary to Catholic morality. They are destroying the very notion of the register of the Roman Catholic Church, and in any case they could not be applied in the context of a ministry truly concerned with the salvation of souls.
Unfortunately, this is not the approach taken by the leaders of the French episcopate. In a circular that Bishop de Metz-Noblat sent on February 28, 2019, he indicates the reasons guiding his recommendations: to make sure that the form of the Roman Catholic register is not likely to be attacked for discrimination by homosexuals or the secular state.