Chapter

Baptisms, Doctrines, Rites, and Symbols

Marina Caffiero

in Forced Baptism

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780520254510
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950283 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520254510.003.0006
Baptisms, Doctrines, Rites, and Symbols

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The baptismal rite was a source of symbolic value and prestige that redounded to the person administering it. The popes used baptismal ceremonies as grandiose public occasions for self-celebration, and as opportunities to reinforce their own image, even on the international level, and to emphasize the spiritual victories of the Church and Catholicism. As for popes, the baptisms that they conveyed personally instead of through the vicegerent, the cardinal vicar, or the rector of the House of the Catechumens, who normally conferred the sacrament to the converted, quite naturally took on a particular religions and political resonance. Not all ceremonies were conducted with equal solemnity and pomp, but that sizable number guaranteed the baptismal ceremonies of converted Jews and “other infidels” a place within the complex and fully articulated ritual system characteristic of the city of Rome in its function of self-celebration as the center of the Church and the papacy.

Keywords: Catholicism; rite; Catechumens; infidels; cardinal vicar

Chapter.  11423 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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