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Baptism gives us 'a new birth in Christ' says pope

Francis begins series of teachings on the Church's sacraments

08 January, 14:17
Baptism gives us 'a new birth in Christ' says pope (ANSA) - Vatican City, January 8 - Baptism is more than a mere "formality" but is a "gift" that gives a person "a new birth in Christ," Pope Francis said during his weekly audience Wednesday in St. Peter's Square. It is important to remember that baptism "is not a mere formality," said Francis. He noted that baptism is one of the Catholic Church's seven sacraments, adding "it gives us new birth in Christ, makes us sharers in the mystery of his death and resurrection, grants the forgiveness of sin and brings us new freedom as God's children and members of his Church". The pope's remarks were the first in a series of catecheses, or Catholic religious teachings, that he plans to deliver on the sacraments, Vatican Radio reported.

The pope said that baptism is a gift that also brings responsibilities. "Our baptism has changed us, given us a new and glorious hope, and empowered us to bring God's redeeming love to all, particularly the poor, in whom we see the face of Christ," said Francis. "Our baptism has also given us a share in the Church's mission of evangelization; as disciples, we are also missionaries".