‘If It’s Just a Symbol To Hell With It’, by Jennifer Roback Morse

Thirty Years a Catholic: Lessons Learned on the Path
February 26, 2022
Fr. Paul D. Scalia: Inward and Outward
February 27, 2022

The Baptism oil painting (photo: Pietro Longhi 1755 / Public Domain)

COMMENTARY: Flannery O’Connor’s Stark Defense of the Eucharist Applies to Baptism Too

By Jennifer Roback Morse, NCRegister, February 25, 2022


Jennifer Roback MorseAmerican novelist Flannery O’Connor once said, “If it’s just a symbol, to hell with it,” in response to a friend who described the Eucharist as a “pretty good symbol.” These words came to mind as I read the non-Catholic media reaction to the invalid baptisms in the Diocese of Phoenix.

Like the Holy Eucharist, baptism is much more than a symbol to Catholics. It is an outward, visible sign of an interior, invisible reality: Baptism washes away sin. We have an obligation to baptize because Jesus told us to. And we have an obligation in obedience and love to baptize correctly. Given that the non-Catholic media does not believe in sin or in the divine authority of Jesus, it is no wonder they are befuddled. ….