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 |

Back to the midterms.


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.


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?