I’m feeling really tired. I was hoping to avoid this issue for a few days. When the actual document is published, it will be worth a read. Anyway, CNS has the story with select questions and answers. dotCommonweal has threads here and here with dozens of comments. Liam and I have been exchanging a few e-mails on it today.
Baptizing in the name of the “Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier” is not something I can recall seeing. On occasion, I hear it invoked for the communal signation at prayer, and sometimes during presidential prayer outside of Mass.
Playing with sacramental formulas, even with the best intentions of assuaging the alienation of sexism, and even with the intent to baptize in the same persons of the Trinity but with different names, seems like too much playing to me. Using the correct liturgical formula should not be an issue. The minister should use it. A local minister of baptism should have integrity on two fronts. The bishop is thus assured of the liceity of what happens liturgically. The people are assured there is no corruption by the expression of maleness to the exclusion of the feminine–the minister’s life-witness and the community’s should reinforce those values.
The CDF is right to condemn the CRS formulation and to insist on the traditional words.
The CDF may be less prudent in the approach to “invalid” baptisms. I have witchhunt worries. Earlier today, I wrote to Liam:
There is a very real danger that this can turn into a circus. A new check box for marriage invalidations. An easy out for laicising a wayward priest. Liturgical police combing through parish baptism records and outing hundreds of “fake” Catholics.
I’m interested in seeing the CDF decision in its entirety. All I’m prepared to say at the moment is that this situation, both the clumsy CRS formula and the talk of “invalidity,” may give too much boldness to the liturgical busybodies among us.