Kurt Martens, associate professor of canon law, was quoted in a National Catholic Register story on baptisms of the children of same-sex couples. See the article below.

New Pastoral Frontier: Baptisms of Children to Same-Sex Couples

From: National Catholic Register Date: July 14, 2014 Author: Peter Jesserer Smith

... Although overuse and abuse of the term "pastoral" has tainted its meaning for some Catholics, authentic pastoral care as intended by the Church means applying the laws and guidelines of the Church to a person's concrete situation.

Canonist Kurt Martens, editor of The Catholic University of America's canon-law journal The Jurist, explained that the facts and circumstances of each case are unique and different.

"There's no real straightforward answer," he said. "You have to look at local circumstances fully in every individual situation."

Martens explained that canon law is like a toolbox. It provides some tools and some general instructions, but it remains up to the pastor to figure out how to put it all together for each individual situation.

"It doesn't give you the answer for every conceivable and unconceivable situation," he said. "You have to apply it and work with it in every situation."

He said what the Church is looking for "revolves around whether there is a founded hope that they will be raised in the Catholic faith: Is there any hope that they will be raised in the faith, in every aspect of it?"

Other questions also come to mind, Martens said: What degree of hope must a pastor have? Can the child be excluded from baptism because of his parents' or guardians' lifestyles?

He added that a pastor has to ask these questions in every situation where the child is raised in circumstances that contradict Church teaching and could affect how the child is brought up in the faith. These issues apply with respect to a cohabitating heterosexual couple who refuse to get married as much as to a cohabitating same-sex couple whose union can never be sanctioned by the Church.

"Are we going to deny the child the fruits of baptism? That is the question," he said. "And you might have good reasons for doing that." ...

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