The Australian picks up story on Invalid Baptism at St Mary’s South Brisbane

Well, it took a little while, but the mainstream press has finally picked up the story. No surprise that the author of the Oct 2nd article “Brisbane church defies Pope on baptism” is by George Pell’s biographer Tess Livingstone. Still The Oz seems to think the story sufficiently newsworthy. The editorial board at SCE agrees. Here is the guts of Livingstone’s article:

DESPITE four years of pressure from Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby and a recent Vatican crackdown on invalid baptisms, the controversial St Mary’s South Brisbane has again defied church authorities.

A recent baptism, captured on video and dated September 21, has been posted on the YouTube internet site.

The clip shows resident priest Terry Fitzpatrick baptising a young child with the words, “We baptise you in the name of the creator, sustainer and liberator of life”, adding “who is also father, son and spirit”.

The priest then added: “That’s good, nice and cool” and invited “everyone to put water on him”.

The Australian put several questions to Father Fitzpatrick yesterday but he declined to comment.

…The two priests at St Mary’s, Father Fitzpatrick and Peter Kennedy, were ordered to revert to the correct form of baptism in 2004 after it emerged that hundreds of children had been baptised using the wrong formula.

In March, a statement released with approval from the Pope outlawed baptisms being conferred with the words “I baptise you in the name of the creator, and of the redeemer, and of the sanctifier” or “I baptise you in the name of the creator, and of the liberator, and of the sustainer”.

…A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Brisbane said: “Once those with liturgical expertise have had an opportunity to view the YouTube link/footage and discuss it with others, they will be able to provide some advice to the Archbishop as to the validity.”

In the combox of the blog on this topic below, Scotus Barbarus wrote:

I filmed the video, on Sept. 21, 2008. I was visiting Brisbane from the US and had my camera because I was a tourist. I had no intention of going to film a baptism.

That said, once I was there, and I realized an invalid baptism was likely to occur, I was torn as to whether or not it would be appropriate to film. My judgement was that since liturgy is fundamentally a public action and since these abuses must be brought to the attention of the bishop, filming it was a good idea.

The film looks “covert” because I set the camera on the pew.

Thursday, October 02, 2008 11:11:00 PM

He has since removed the video from YouTube following a request to do so from one of the persons appearing in the video (one assumes a member of the baptismal party). Nevertheless, given the statement of the spokesman for the Archdiocese quoted in the article above, I believe it is now essential for Scotus Barbarus to make his video available to the relevant authorities.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “The Australian picks up story on Invalid Baptism at St Mary’s South Brisbane

  1. Tony

    … I believe it is now essential for Scotus Barbarus to make his video available to the relevant authorities.

    Hear hear!

    Why stop there though? Why not marshal individuals in every parish to hold their mobile phones aloft and record proceedings. Videos could then be placed on YouTube and scoured over by those looking for fault.

    Then they could be sent to the local bishop and if they don’t give satisfaction — and, let’s face it, they’re a bunch of wimps anyhow — send it to Rome.

    Viva vigilante Catholicism!

    😉

  2. Schütz

    As the old saying goes, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  3. Anonymous

    Vigilante Catholicism? Isn’t the priest alleged to be the vigilante doing the assault (albeit on a non-standard side being the one doing the wrong thing)?