Short, and to the point

When it comes to official documents, the Vatican is as good as any other body in writing them in dryasdust language. Very rarely, if ever, are they written to please the eye as well as the ear. Having said that, however, one can only admire the following question-answer method as used by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. For example,

First question: Whether the Baptism conferred with the formulas «I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier» and «I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer» is valid?

Second question: Whether the persons baptized with those formulas have to be baptized in forma absoluta?


To the first question: Negative.

To the second question: Affirmative.

The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, approved these Responses, adopted in the Ordinary Session of the Congregation, and ordered their publication.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, February 1, 2008.

Instead of giving long winded and, ultimately, evasive answers, wouldn’t it be good if Governments were forced to use a similar format for questions regarding its policies? It would certainly give ministers something to think about.


A Matter of Money

Zimbabwe and China are both alike in iniquity yet while the British Government tries to find a way of banning the Zimbabwean cricket team from touring England (BBC On-Line report here), the Prime Minister gets ready to travel to China to watch the British Olympic team compete in the Beijing Olympics. And without a shred of irony, a spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport says, “We should not let international sport become a propaganda tool for dictators.” Oops.