France: De-Baptism… And the Problem With Baptizing Non-Believers

If ever there were evidence needed to call into question the practice of infant baptism, it can be found in France. Today.

In France, an elderly man is fighting to make a formal break with the Catholic Church. He’s taken the church to court over its refusal to let him nullify his baptism, in a case that could have far-reaching effects.  Seventy-one-year-old Rene LeBouvier’s parents and his brother are buried in a churchyard in the tiny village of Fleury in northwest France. He himself was baptized in the Romanesque stone church and attended mass here as a boy.  LeBouvier says this rural area is still conservative and very Catholic, but nothing like it used to be. Back then, he says, you couldn’t even get credit at the bakery if you didn’t go to mass every Sunday.

If he hadn’t been baptized before he was able to decide for himself, he wouldn’t need to ask to have his baptism undone.  This is precisely why infant baptism is inappropriate.  Until a person desires it, it remains a meaningless exercise in futility.

3 thoughts on “France: De-Baptism… And the Problem With Baptizing Non-Believers

  1. Pingback: The Quest for De-Baptism in France « Fr Stephen Smuts

  2. I heard that story on the radio this morning, and my two reactions were “Maybe if you didn’t baptize infants you wouldn’t have this problem” and “What difference could it possibly make to you whether you’re on some list of people baptized?”

    I mean, if there’s a list somewhere, my old school has me down as an honor roll student even though I don’t live there anymore. If you look through the old newspapers at my college, you’ll find some op-ed pieces that I wish I’d never written. I’m listed as a past president of the College Republicans there, too.

    It’s stuff that happened years ago. It doesn’t mean anything now. If you become an atheist and don’t think that baptism matters, what difference could it possibly make to you that your name is on a list saying that you were baptized. I’m kind of thinking that people like this have too much time on their hands and overly-think skins.


  3. Church membership as business pre-requisite, like being in lunch club, country club, high school booster club… Been going on since, what, the 400s?


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