Anyone who claims that things have been getting better in the Archdiocese of Detroit the past five years or so – and if they are, then the improvements have been so negligible so as to be non-existent – needs to open their eyes and realize that stupid, crazy and irregular things are still going on. And I’m not just talking about garish statues in the sanctuary, either.
Case in point – in the most recent of Mosaic, the publication of the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, there’s a column called “Alumni Spotlight”, and this time around a recently deceased Permanent Deacon was featured, written of by his wife. Once you get past the sweet and affectionate remembrance bits, you come to this (emphasis mine):
…On September 26, 2008, Jim passed away unexpectedly following a complicated surgery. He was calm—at peace—but just before surgery, Jim said, “Let God’s will be done, no matter what the outcome.” When he came out of surgery, he didn’t respond well and remained unconscious.
On the fourth day, his condition deteriorated. Jim’s last act as a deacon was the baptism of our second grandchild, Matthew, an event planned to occur after his expected recovery. As Jim lay dying, we brought holy water from the hospital chapel to his bedside, along with a borrowed deacon stole and a crucifix. We placed the crucifix on Jim’s chest. My daughter, Jennifer, and I cupped Jim’s hand to hold the holy water while I pronounced the words of baptism, and we guided Jim’s hand to pour the holy water onto Matthew’s forehead. As we lifted Matthew up, he smiled from ear to ear and looked at all the family and friends— packed shoulder to shoulder—in the room. What a blessing it was to witness! Shortly afterward, the angels filling the room carried Jim’s spirit to meet our Lord.
Excuse me? [edited]
It’s not merely the fact this “baptism” took place that’s so egregious – which it is, because the baptism is invalid, and the baby’s still stained with original sin! [I have learned that this is not the case. See below. ~Ed.]No – it’s also that this is published in the official alumni journal of the Sacred Heart Major Seminary!! Which begs the following questions: what’s really being taught there? How did this make it past the editors? Is this going to go unchallenged by the Archdiocese?
Oh wait – this is where the Elephants in the Living Room continue to meet on Church property with nary a peep from the Chancery, and where retired Bp Gumbleton still has a strong following. And where the
invalid illicit practice of sacraments is proudly publicized.
Is anyone safeguarding the sacred deposit of faith out here? Is anyone caring about the salvation of souls? Makes me wonder…
p.s. I have it on 100% reliable authority that the Mosaic article will be forwarded to The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
UPDATE I: Dr Ed Peters has weighed in on this post, and as he is well-respected by many, including myself, I am compelled to make some necessary amendments. He states that the baptism is illicit but not invalid, based upon conversations he had with competent authorities at the seminary. So I’ve added a correction to my statement – as I said I would in the combox yesterday. I also stand humbly chastised for using language unbecoming of a faithful Catholic, and those expressions have been scrubbed. I apologize for any offense I gave, and I promise to refrain from similar expressions in the future. Mea culpa.
UPDATE II: The online article has been taken down by the Sacred Heart Seminary, per an email I received from Dr Peters this morning. The print edition will feature a clarification, when it is published in a couple months, as he had stated in his post linked to above. And I’ve edited out the family name so as to preserve their privacy.