We know that Catholics sacraments impart an indelible mark on the believer. Does that extend to record-keeping?
Spain’s Supreme Court has ruled that Catholic parishes don’t have to erase people from their baptismal records. Three years ago, Manuel Blat Gonzalez asked his baptismal record at a Valencia parish be erased. Others made the same appeal. “I did not want to be listed as part of something I am not,” said Jose Helguera Prado of Madrid.
Lower courts had ruled that request a valid one and instructed the Church to comply. Cardinal Agustin Garcia-Gasco Vicente of Valencia protested and the case went to the top. In its ruling, the Supreme Court sided with the cardinal. Baptismal books are not records in the sense of other public records kept by governments, businesses, or other agencies. They constitute a “pure accumulation” of information, therefore not covered by recent laws that permit Spanish citizens to insist on their names and information being removed from other public lists.
“We are satisfied with the decision because baptismal books have been recognized as sacramental,” said Luis Agudo, the Valencia diocese’s communications director.