The diocese of Madison Wisconsin—no bastion of liberal Catholicism with its very conservative bishop, Robert Morlino—recently announced a policy welcoming the children of same-sex unions for baptism. Two months ago there was the baptism of the daughter of a lesbian couple baptized in Cordobá Argentina in which the local Archbishop claimed that baptism “was the right of every child.” In fact, in most parishes in the United States same-sex couples are very welcome and there would be no questioning having their children baptized, but it has set off a firestorm among the neo-trads who see that baptizing the child is an unofficial sanction of the union of the parents.
What should we do if a single parent were to bring his or her child for baptism? What would we do if an unmarried heterosexual couple presented a child for baptism? What would we do if the heterosexual couple married outside the Church came to have their child baptized? In each of these cases I presume the priest or deacon would privately address the home situation and suggest solutions to the problematic relationships that would bring everyone into accord with Catholic doctrine and practice, but at the end of the day, I have no doubt that the child would be baptized and the parents treated with respect. The suggestion that we should treat differently the child of a same-sex couple only demonstrates that the objection is not theological but gender-biased.
I am writing this on Monday though it won’t be published until tomorrow. The gospel this morning warned us not to judge lest we be judged and it reminded us that until we remove the wooden beam from our own eye, we cannot see clearly enough to remove the splinter from another’s eye. This sort of self-righteous Catholicism that some neo-trads advocate is just so out of step with the words of Christ in the Gospel. I have no doubt that we are called to challenge one another to ever greater holiness, but I have no desire to return to the Church of the super-holy, especially when it is spiritual pride that masquerades as true holiness.