Baptism War

Kasia has not spoken to her mother-in-law for six months. The women quarreled over the baptism of the child, or rather the lack of it. There are more and more such family stories.

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Kasia was brought up in a Catholic family. She is baptized and confirmed. She stopped attending church in high school. She did not deviate from the Catholic faith, but did not fully agree with the rules in force therein.

At first, her parents thought that this was a temporary rebellion and that it would be over. Over time, however, they realized that Kasia had withdrawn from the church consciously. They accepted her decision.

During her studies, the woman met Robert. The boy came from Nowa Wieś Wielka, a small town near Bydgoszcz. He was in church every Sunday, he went to confession regularly. He did not hide his faith. That's how he was brought up.

1. And I do not vow to you ...

Robert's parents liked Kasia. However, when she admitted that she did not attend church, they avoided her. They tried to convince their son that this was not a girl for him. They said they would not create a lasting relationship because it would not be built on a solid foundation.

It was then that Robert objected to his parents for the first time. After two years of acquaintance, he moved out from his parents and moved to Kasia in Bydgoszcz. After the couple finished their studies, they began to think about marriage.

- A church wedding was out of the question. I didn't want to live a lie. And I didn't want to take part in the whole nativity scene. Paying for the sacrament? I do not agree to it - says Kasia.

The bride and groom took a civil marriage. Robert's parents did not appear at the ceremony. The son's persuasion and the visit of Kasia's parents did not help. They said it was "pretend" anyway, and the only one, chosen for Robert by God, was waiting for him somewhere. And it will be with her in front of the altar.

But no one showed up. Three years after the wedding, Kasia became pregnant. She gave birth to a son, Mikołaj. Robert informed his parents about the birth of his grandson. Unexpectedly they came to visit.

- We were very surprised to see them at the door. I didn't want to visit them, but I understood that they wanted to welcome Santa. They were nice, they asked me about the pregnancy and how I felt. I thought that maybe their attitude towards us has changed and they accepted the fact that we do not have a church wedding with Robert - says Kasia.

At the next visit, the mother-in-law started asking the woman about baptism. The daughter-in-law told them that Nicholas would not be baptized, but that he would not cause problems when he wanted to receive the sacrament himself in a few years.

- And then the drama happened. Robert's mother started screaming that I was possessed by Satan and that I had destroyed her son's life. She yelled so much that a neighbor came to check if everything was okay with us - says Kasia.

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The next day, the woman called her son. She apologized to him and suggested a meeting on neutral ground, without Kasia. Robert went to his parents. His two aunts and his grandmother were sitting in the living room next to his mother.

- First, they tried to gently tell me that I had to baptize Nicholas. This is my duty and it's over. They assured that they had already agreed everything. They found a priest who would administer the sacrament even though we do not have a church wedding with Kasia. I was adamant so the threats started. Parents said that they would not want to have contact with us - recalls Robert.

And they keep their word. They have not spoken to their son for six months. They did not call to ask how Mikołaj was feeling, although he is their first grandson. They set the condition: the child is to be baptized.

- The whole situation seems sick. I am sorry that our son suffers from this. He doesn't ask questions yet, but he will be in some time. And what am I going to tell him? That Grandma and Grandpa do not love him because he does not go to church? Where is Christianity here? Where's understanding and acceptance? - asks Kasia.

2. Apparently sacrament

More and more young people choose not to baptize their newborn children. They talk about the appearance of religiousness and churchness. They don't want to live a lie. They know that neither they nor the godparents will be able to live up to the oath taken during the sacrament. So why baptize them?

In Poland, religion is still very strongly connected with culture, customs and traditions. So you can avoid the church, but reception of the sacraments is necessary because "it should be". Not everyone has the strength and willingness to go against the tide, especially since the family can be very firm in this matter. He is afraid of social ostracism, pointing fingers and gossip.

Therefore, she persuades young parents to be baptized with all her strength and is involved in the preparation of the ceremony. There is a lot of work to do. You have to rent a room, order a cake, buy a suitable outfit for a child, send elegant invitations. It is also appropriate to thank the guests. And not just anything, because they are glazed almonds, which symbolize health, happiness, fertility, wealth and longevity. The bill must be supplemented with the pastoral service for the priest.

- We will talk to Santa Claus about religion. But we'll let him decide for himself. Maybe he would like to go to the synagogue, maybe to the church? Baptism cannot be erased. It's a lifetime decision. Let the interested person take it himself, not me - says Kasia.

Holy Baptism is the foundation of the Christian life. In Poland, it is accepted that it is adopted right after birth. It has to do with the popular belief in the protective power of this sacrament.

Parents have the right to decide about baptism for a child up to the age of 7. This turning point is not accidental, because it is then that, according to the Code of Canon Law, a Christian ceases to be a child and can consciously make a decision about his faith.

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