By Patsy McGarry
Babies baptised into the Catholic Church are “infant conscripts who are held to lifelong obligations of obedience”, according to former president Mary McAleese.
Saying that early Baptism breaches fundamental human rights, she said: “You can’t impose, really, obligations on people who are only two weeks old and you can’t say to them at seven or eight or 14 or 19 ‘here is what you contracted, here is what you signed up to’ because the truth is they didn’t.”
The current model of Baptism “worked for many centuries because people didn’t understand that they had the right to say no, the right to walk away”, she declared.
“But you and I know, we live now in times where we have the right to freedom of conscience, freedom of belief, freedom of opinion, freedom of religion and freedom to change religion. The Catholic Church yet has to fully embrace that thinking,” she told The Irish Times.
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