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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,772 ✭✭✭Mark Hamill


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    In the RCC’s view, Ian Paisley’s baptism isn’t just sufficient to make him a member of his own church. It’s sufficient to do everything that baptism in a Catholic ritual does. In particular, it’s sufficient to create the famous “permanent ontological bond” with the RCC.

    Prove this point.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,331 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    Prove this point.
    Mark, you yourself have already posted a link to a church document which emphasises the fact that nothing is lacking in a non-Catholic baptism, and that it is fully sufficient for anyone wanting to join the Catholic church. And in this thread we have already looked at the statements about baptism in the code of canon law, which are not qualified in any way by reference to the liturgy used or the identity of the celebrant. What more proof do you want?

    Surely the onus is on those who assert that the Catholic church teaches the insufficiency of non-Catholic baptism to prove their point? Robin has argued that this has to be "read into" the Catholic church's teachings, which is tantamount to admitting that it's not there explicitly. It's not a strong argument - basically, he says it has to be read in because, if it's not read in, his beliefs are wrong - but at least he recognises the need to mount some kind of argument. Can you find anything at all which suggests that the Catholic church teaches that non-Catholic baptism have a different sacramental effect than Catholic baptisms? If you can't, then I think you must accept that the Catholic church's teachings about the effects of baptism are exactly what they say on the tin.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,772 ✭✭✭Mark Hamill


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Mark, you yourself have already posted a link to a church document which emphasises the fact that nothing is lacking in a non-Catholic baptism, and that it is fully sufficient for anyone wanting to join the Catholic church. And in this thread we have already looked at the statements about baptism in the code of canon law, which are not qualified in any way by reference to the liturgy used or the identity of the celebrant. What more proof do you want?

    Surely the onus is on those who assert that the Catholic church teaches the insufficiency of non-Catholic baptism to prove their point? Robin has argued that this has to be "read into" the Catholic church's teachings, which is tantamount to admitting that it's not there explicitly. It's not a strong argument - basically, he says it has to be read in because, if it's not read in, his beliefs are wrong - but at least he recognises the need to mount some kind of argument. Can you find anything at all which suggests that the Catholic church teaches that non-Catholic baptism have a different sacramental effect than Catholic baptisms? If you can't, then I think you must accept that the Catholic church's teachings about the effects of baptism are exactly what they say on the tin.

    The document I linked to says the water part of the baptism doesn't need to be repeated, not that all baptisms, even those specifically not RCC, create a “permanent ontological bond” between the baptised and the RCC.

    Non-RCC baptised people who wish to convert need to do profession of faith to do so, which means that their non-RCC baptism was lacking the profession of faith that is inherent in a RCC baptism to be considered equivalent to a RCC baptism. This has been explained to you before, repeatedly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,331 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    It has been asserted repeatedly, but it's wrong.

    In the first place, sacramental baptism does not include a profession of faith. The essential elements of the sacrament of baptism are the water, and the words "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit", or similar. That's it. Nothing else.

    It's true that the RCC baptismal liturgy also includes many extras, including a profession of faith, but that's not an element of the sacrament. And, even if it were, the baptismal liturgies of other Christian denominations mostly also include the profession of faith, so it wouldn't be lacking. (It's usually the exact same profession of faith you will find in an RCC liturgy - the Apostles' Creed, or a set of baptismal promises covering the same ground.)

    (For the record, the RCC also considers that sacramental marriage also creates a "permanent ontological bond", and this teaching too does not distinguish between marriages celebrated in the RCC and those celebrated elsewhere. And ditto for the sacrament of ordination. In fact, if you can find an official RCC statement that the ontological effects of any valid sacramentever vary according to whether it is celbrated in the RCC or not, now would be a really good time to point to it. And, if you can't find that, maybe that suggests you have come up with this distinction yourself, in order to sustain your preconceptions?)


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,772 ✭✭✭Mark Hamill


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    It has been asserted repeatedly, but it's wrong.

    In the first place, sacramental baptism does not include a profession of faith. The essential elements of the sacrament of baptism are the water, and the words "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit", or similar. That's it. Nothing else.

    It's true that the RCC baptismal liturgy also includes many extras, including a profession of faith, but that's not an element of the sacrament.

    This is just weak semantics. The sacrament doesn't include the profession, but the liturgy does. And if you do the sacrament with a profession to a different church, then you need to redo the profession to the RCC in order to fully convert to Roman Catholicism.
    This is why the RCC doesn't declare Paisleys baptism invalid, but do not claim that he is bonded to them.
    Peregrinus wrote: »
    And, even if it were, the baptismal liturgies of other Christian denominations mostly also include the profession of faith, so it wouldn't be lacking. (It's usually the exact same profession of faith you will find in an RCC liturgy - the Apostles' Creed, or a set of baptismal promises covering the same ground.)

    (For the record, the RCC also considers that sacramental marriage also creates a "permanent ontological bond", and this teaching too does not distinguish between marriages celebrated in the RCC and those celebrated elsewhere. And ditto for the sacrament of ordination. In fact, if you can find an official RCC statement that the ontological effects of any valid sacramentever vary according to whether it is celbrated in the RCC or not, now would be a really good time to point to it. And, if you can't find that, maybe that suggests you have come up with this distinction yourself, in order to sustain your preconceptions?)

    As I have pointed out before, when the RCC says "Church" in it's liturgies or catechisms or codexs, it is referring to the Roman Catholic Church. Non Roman Catholic Church's may use similar wordings in their equivalent sacraments, but they are referring to their own churches. The RCC doesn't count or record protestant marriages or Anglican frockings, because those events were performed in reference to their perspective churches, therefore the RCC doesn't see them as being the same as RCC marriages or frockings.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,331 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    No, the sacrament/liturgy distinction is crucial. The Catholic churches claims about the permanent ontological bond created by baptism are claims about the sacrament, not about the prayers and rituals which usually attend it (including the profession of faith) and they apply to all baptism, not just those coupled with a liturgy celebrated by a Catholic priest. I have repeatedly asked you for anything from the RCC that qualified the "permanent ontological bond" claim by saying that it refers only to baptisms celebrated in a Catholic liturgy; nothing has been produced. And while you may be in denial about the reasons why you cannot find anything of the kind, I am not.

    And your claims about the Catholic attitude to non-Catholic marriages are flat-out wrong. The reason why the Catholic church doesn'r record non-Catholic marriages are (a) why would it? It's not a statistics agency. And (b) even if it wanted to, how could it? The participants have no reason to tell the RCC church about their Presbyrian marriage. But as to whether they count the non-Catholic marriage, in the sense of counting it as a true, valid, effctive, sacramental marriage that creates a permanent ontological bond; they absolutely do. As you will discover, if you present to the RCC seeking a Catholic marriage and inviting them to disregard your prior non-Catholic marriage to a spouse who is still living.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,772 ✭✭✭Mark Hamill


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    I have repeatedly asked you for anything from the RCC that qualified the "permanent ontological bond" claim by saying that it refers only to baptisms celebrated in a Catholic liturgy; nothing has been produced. And while you may be in denial about the reasons why you cannot find anything of the kind, I am not.

    This is just laughable stupid at this point and we are not going to get anywhere if you continue this charade both in denial that I haven't produced this evidence and of this evidence itself. I will not respond to anything else until you acknowledge this point:
    When the Roman Catholic Church talks about "the Church" with a capital "C" in it's writings, laws and teachings, it is referring to the Roman Catholic Church.
    Therefore when, in the ACTUS FORMALIS DEFECTIONIS AB ECCLESIA CATHOLICA, it says:
    the sacramental bond of belonging to the Body of Christ that is the Church, conferred by the baptismal character, is an ontological and permanent bond which is not lost by reason of any act or fact of defection.
    it is saying:
    the sacramental bond of belonging to the Body of Christ that is the Roman Catholic Church, conferred by the baptismal character, is an ontological and permanent bond which is not lost by reason of any act or fact of defection.

    This is much the same as how the Irish Constitution just uses the phrase "the State" throughout instead of saying "the State of the Republic of Ireland" each time.

    Lets see who is in denial.


  • Registered Users Posts: 34,494 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    (I posted this in Hazards but was pretty sure there was a better thread for it)

    This interesting article was published just a few days after the last post in this thread, but I only came across it today:

    He was able to use Australian data protection law to force the church to annotate the baptismal register with his chosen form of words stating his defection from the church. I don't see why GDPR etc. couldn't be used here to do the same, holding "inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading" data about people without giving them the opportunity to correct it is wrong.

    The diocese in question (and, no doubt others) gives copies of these registers to state libraries and genealogists, so without this amendment the "historical record" would show not only that he had been baptised but imply that he remained a catholic (which is where the inaccurate, out of date, irrelevant or misleading part comes in).

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,134 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder


    holding "inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading" data about people without giving them the opportunity to correct it is wrong.

    again, it is not any of the above. it's a record you were baptised. you might not like the fact you were baptised, but it happened, and a record of that changes nothing.



  • Registered Users Posts: 34,494 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    If all they did was hold this information in their own archives, maybe.

    But that's no longer the case when they're providing baptism records as source material for historians. They are passing on information on people which implies their membership of the RCC, but in many cases that information is "inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading".

    He used a data protection law very similar to ours and the RCC chose to cave rather than fight that law, which would be very odd if they believed the law protected their previous stance.

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 19,219 Mod ✭✭✭✭Bannasidhe


    And speaking as a historian who has often found myself knee deep in archives and historical records there is absolutely no reason a record cannot be amended or annotated. Happens all the time.

    So - the baptismal record in a church in Cork states that a baby Bannasidhe was baptised into the Roman Catholic Church on a specific date many decades ago. Said record has since been amended to state that adult Bannasidhe defected from the Roman Catholic Church on a specific date a decade or so ago. The original record has not been destroyed. It is still extant and records a thing that happened. However, it has been noted that it is not a true reflection of the facts as the person named is no longer a member of that particular organisation.

    Historians love that kind of stuff. Amend away- just ensure we can still see the original.

    Interestingly enough the original record is incorrect as for some inexplicable reason the priest wrote down baby Bannasidhe's next door neighbour as 'sponsor' when it should have been her first cousin. Next door neighbour was not even present according to witnesses. I always think about that when people make the 'historical records are sacrosanct' argument - even when they are demonstrably incorrect?



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,134 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder


    They are passing on information on people which implies their membership of the RCC

    if the historian is an idiot, maybe. any historian would know that all the baptismal record means is that the person was baptised. not that they were a practicing catholic.



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 19,219 Mod ✭✭✭✭Bannasidhe


    Far from being an idiot it's more likely the case that a historian is bound by the standards of their discipline and can only make statements that are supported by evidence.

    There is a record that says a person was baptised as a member of the RCC - ergo the not idiot Historian can state this person was inducted into the RCC (i.e. is a Roman Catholic). Unless there is an accessible record that states this person defects the Historian cannot definitively state this person 'left' the RCC. So the not idiot Historian could, inadvertently or because they cannot cite the evidence, provide false information as to a person's religious beliefs.

    The logical thing from the perspective of the not an idiot Historian is that the original - publicly available - record be amended should the person referred to in the record jump ship.

    E.g:

    "footnote: Giles Murphy was baptised into the RCC on 27th July 1978, however that record was amended on 14th March 2001 to include the information that Murphy had officially defected from the RCC. Parish Register of St Malachy de Pomp accessed on-line 5/12/2020"



  • Registered Users Posts: 26,331 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    Most of the time, I'm sure, an error is just an error. But there will probably be times when even the errors are saying something significant - e.g. when a record omits or distorts some fact, that can be a hint that the fact was embarrassing or inconvenient to someone at the time. Or, more simply, the presence/number of errors can alert the reader to the general reliability - or unreliablity - of the record-keeping system.

    So, same goes as for annotations - if you correct an error in a record, correct it in such a way as makes the original error and the correction plain to subsequent readers.

    More generally, I agree that if people want their baptismal records annotated to show their later defection, they should be entitled to have that done. But remember that the overwhelming majority of people who leave the Catholic church will never bother to do this so, while it may be significant to the individual concerned, trying to measure the rate of people leaving by counting annotations to baptismal records would be pretty useless. If that's what you're interested in, I think you'd get a much better handle on the phenomenon by comparing census returns over time.



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 19,219 Mod ✭✭✭✭Bannasidhe


    I was really just responding to the oft used "but historical record" argument against annotating by saying, as a historian, I can state with absolute certainty that annotating records is not an issue as long as the original information can still be read. The more info the better.

    Using census records not really a very good option in Ireland due to the limits imposed by our strictly adhered to 100 year rule. I can pop into any church and ask to see the baptismal/marriage records for relatively recent time periods - I may even get lucky and find extensive info on-line incl birth certs, marriage, death but census wise I am restricted to 1901/1911. Our next release will be 2026 of the 1926 census.

    That leaves a gap between 1911 and 1926. Or to put it in context, my grandmother was born in 1912 - the first time I will encounter her in an Irish census she will be 14, however I can easily find her aged 17 (would have been 18 in July) in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census.



  • Registered Users Posts: 34,494 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    The census is little more accurate than baptismal records - many people believe that once baptised into a religion they either should, or must, tick that box.

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



  • Registered Users Posts: 26,331 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    Oh sure. My point is that baptismal records and census records tell us different things. If you're interested in the religious affiliation of a particular individual, the relevant census records may be inaccessible; the church records may be all you have access to (and they may contain limited information). But if you are interested in population-level information about religious affiliation, then the census records are far more useful and far more reliable.

    I've often seen this asserted, but mainly as an article of faith supported by, at best, anecdotal evidence about one or two individuals expressing that view. On the face of it, it looks fairly improbable; at the very least, it raises the question of why Irish people would believe this when people in other countries plainly don't. But that's not a question that seems ever to have occurred to the devotees of this particular faith.

    To be honest, it looks to me like a comforting belief that people embrace, not because of any evidence, but because it enables them to reject census data on religious affiliation which doesn't show what they'd like it to show.



  • Registered Users Posts: 34,494 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    at the very least, it raises the question of why Irish people would believe this when people in other countries plainly don't.

    Your basis for saying that people in other countries don't, is...?

    A 78% catholic population wouldn't have a greater number of non-religious marriages than religious.

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



  • Registered Users Posts: 26,331 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    1. Well, Australia, for example. The proportion identifying as religious in the census (60.3%) is known to be substantially lower than the proportion of the population who were baptised in infancy (estimated in excess of 80%).
    2. 78% is the proportion of the population as a whole that identifies as Catholic, whereas marriages are not evenly distributed across the population as a whole; they are concentrated in particular age groups. Census religious affiliation is heavily skewed by age. You need to correct for this before a comparison between census-reported affiliation and choice of marriage ceremony becomes meaningful. You'd also need to correct for second marriages, which may be celebrated in non-religious ceremonies because a Catholic ceremony isn't offered.
    3. An alternative approach would be to stop offering pontifical decrees about why people identify as religious in the census, and stop trying to come up with speculations that validate your preconceptions, and instead actually look for evidence. There's bound to be some qualitative research out there on religious affiliation and what it means to people in contemporary Irish society. If you want to know why people identify as religious in the census the best way to find out is to ask them.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,740 Mod ✭✭✭✭smacl


    "A 78% catholic population wouldn't have a greater number of non-religious marriages than religious."

    Depends very much on the age distribution of those that identify as Catholic. If, for example the majority were middle aged and older, they would make for a far smaller proportion of those getting married. The fact that there are more non-religious than religious marriages suggests to me that this is the case, and is an indicator that Catholicism is quite literally dying out in this country. Speculation of course, but also supported by statistics regarding mass attendance and other forms of religious observance (as opposed to religious identification).



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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,331 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    But that's the point. Religious observance/practice and religious identification are not the same thing. In other countries, a marked mismatch between religious observance (as measured by things like mass attendance, preference for church over civil wedding, etc) and religious identification can persist for generations, so a decline in one in Ireland doesn't necessarily signal a decline in the other, or at any rate a decline of a similar magnitude.

    It's entirely possible that we'll arrive at a situation in Ireland where you have, say, 10% mass attendance but 50% plus Catholic identification. Obviously in that situation a Catholic identification doesn't mean regular mass attendance, but the much more interesting question is what it does mean. Hotblack suggests that it means people who were baptised believe that they have to identify as Catholic in the census but, um, I await evidence that this is the case. The only way to really find out what it means is to ask them.



  • Registered Users Posts: 34,494 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    Almost certainly the vast majority of people giving church marriages a swerve are baptised.

    Remember it's only in the last few years that catholic primary schools cannot refuse a pupil for lack of a baptism certificate. There was a possible real-world consequence to avoiding baptism in Ireland worse than just annoying the mother-in-law.

    Whereas Australia as a developed country has a public school system providing non-church-run schools for most pupils

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,740 Mod ✭✭✭✭smacl


    Perhaps, but those cultural Catholics (e.g. identifying as Catholic without attending mass) would typically in the past also have attended church for births, communions, weddings and funerals. It is admittedly just speculation, but I doubt many people who avail of a non-religious wedding would identify as religious on a subsequent census. Not sure if the stats are publicly available but it would be interesting to see a breakdown of religious identification by age group. My understanding is that religious observance tends to be higher among older age brackets, the question is whether the same is true of religious self-identification within the census. If this were true, one might also argue that people return to religion to some extent as their mortality comes into sharper focus, but again just speculation.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,367 ✭✭✭JimmyVik


    I havent been in a church since my confirmation.

    Nobody really cares.

    Just ghost the church. All done. You're out.



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    I think that seeing the number of people who actually take the effort would be an important metric.


    A historian could see a social apathy in the decline of mass attendance or receipt of church marriages etc.

    Seeing a complimentary rise in the number of people actively removing themselves from the active register would indicate an ANTI church sentiment



  • Registered Users Posts: 19,265 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump


    Lads, wait til you find out that some strict conservative Jewish branches could consider a person to be Jewish even if neither they, nor their parents etc. have had any connection with the religion for generations. You, your parents and your grandparents etc. etc could have been practising Catholics and you might still be considered to be Jewish by the Orthodox Jews



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    I'd have more issue, with that, if those sects had massive sway on the social and education policies in Ireland



  • Registered Users Posts: 34,494 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    @smacl Not really any evidence of your last sentence occurring, comparing an age cohort in 2016 with the same cohort of ten years younger people in 2006 shows an increase in "no religion/atheism/agnosticism" numbers, except in the now 80-84 and 85+ cohorts where it is steady, but a significant number of them would have died in that ten year period.

    So we can see the effect of people who ticked a religion in 2006 but who ticked no religion in 2016.

    https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-cp8iter/p8iter/p8rnraa/


    Table 8.2 on that page is interesting too, "no religion" almost doubled among primary age kids, in some areas over 25% of primary age kids were put down on the 2016 census as "no religion", any chance of either of these changes being reflected in the local schools...?

    Actually, looking at figure 8.4, maybe the RCC's best hope is that the housing crisis continues to worsen and adults living with their parents will still have the catholic box ticked for them 😋

    Post edited by Hotblack Desiato on

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



  • Registered Users Posts: 19,265 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump



    I'd say it's more likely that you'd just have issue with anything that you can tack to something "Catholic". If you aren't religious and don't want to be Catholic then don't be. Some of the posts here come across like an ex girlfriend after the relationship has ended who keeps walking towards the door but then turning around and saying "I'm going, look at me. I'm actually going to go. Look at me. Why is nobody looking at me. Hey I said I'm leaving.... Hello... Anybody there.... I'm going to go...why is nobody looking or listening...".

    If I was a member of the local GAA club for 2 weeks at under 10's well I'm still technically a (non-paying) member of that club for life insofar that they are my club unless and until I transfer to another club. I'm not going to give a shite though if they have me associated with them if I have no interest in GAA.

    If you don't want anything to do with them, just don't. Having some official "divorce document" doesn't grant you anything that just ignoring them would.



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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,134 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder


    i'll repeat my usual rationale for making no effort to 'leave' the church - seeking acknowledgement from them is a tacit way of accepting that their rules have an effect on me. i pay no heed to and place no weight in what they think, as regards my beliefs, so i'm not going to honour their rules by seeking to play by them.



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