A Word to our Catholic Brothers and Sisters

Let me start by saying that I am not a Roman Catholic, and so I don’t want to be overly critical. Baptists, too, make serious mistakes, and we should be called out—lovingly, I hope—when we do. I hope you take this word in a loving way, for I have something to say and I want you to read it in love.

The Catholic Church has declared that many baptisms were invalid because the priest used the wrong pronoun. (He said, “We baptize” instead of “I baptize.”) 

The word that I want to say to you is a word you know and that you talk about all the time—as do we.

The word is grace.

Could you not find a way to declare that God’s grace is more powerful than a priest’s mistake? Do you not believe this? 

Did not Jesus spend much of His ministry disputing with the Pharisees on this very issue? Did he not point out to them that God’s grace and love for God and others was far more important than their rules about eating on the Sabbath, handwashing, miracles, Sabbath rules, and enjoying fellowship with sinners?

Wouldn’t this apply to your rules about baptism?

As I understand it, both the priest and the families operated in good faith. No one was in rebellion against God. No one purposely did anything wrong. There was no false representation. It was a simple mistake in using the wrong word. Could not you—through your Bishops or your Cardinals or your Pope—declare that God’s grace is sufficient?

When as part of the Christian community you communicate that churches (of any denomination) are more concerned with rules than they are with grace, with words than they are with love, and with protecting their procedures rather than helping people, then we are not communicating the truths of the Christian faith, and we turn people away from God rather than to Him.

Your church and ours disagree on many particulars of the Christian faith.  But we believe in God.  We believe in Jesus.  We believe in loving others.

And we believe in grace.

I highly encourage you to find a way to show God’s grace on this issue.


  1. Donna Bruce says:

    Thank you for this. Well said

  2. Edie Woronicz says:

    Pastor Jack:

    Your article was absolutely excellent. Right to the point. I Love the word Grace and for this situation it fits perfectly.


    Edie Woronicz