Monday, June 25, 2007

Fake priest arrested baptizing baby

Heh. I guess it's nice to know that in secular Europe, impersonating a priest (one assumes, this being Portugal, that we're talking Roman Catholic here) is a civil crime as well ... :) Fake priest arrested baptizing baby | Oddly Enough | Reuters.com

Back to the midterms.

3 comments:

UltraCrepidarian said...

That's ironic, considering that anyone (not only a priest) may baptize. The minister of the sacrament is the Holy Spirit. The priests and deacons are the normal ones to do so, but in a pinch, anyone can.

So it's funny that the law in Portugal doesn't allow something that church Canon law does allow. Weird. Weird. weird.

W

Gashwin said...

Yeah. Perhaps, though, the issue here is his impersonating a priest, not his baptizing. [And, under normal circumstances, anyone but a cleric baptizing is illicit under canon law, I think. Valid but illicit. It's only under extraordinary conditions -- say, in extremis -- that a non-ordained person, or, for that matter, even a non-Christian, may baptized.]

Mac said...

It would be interesting to know the statutory formula by which the offence is defined. It seems mildly like the now droll-seeming English common law tort of jactitation of marriage. In what circumstances does it contravene the law to impersonate a priest? What, short of dressing up in vestments and performing a baptism, say, or a form of marriage, would constitute such impersonation? Trick-or-treating in a cardinal's costume (there's a droll photo of Conrad Black at a fancy dress party dressed as Cardinal Richelieu)? What about when a religiously observant judge who disapproves of civil weddings performs one and mildly subverts its secularism by saying "God bless you" to the happy couple?