Daniel Iacobuţ: Botezul, poarta credinţei

This article reveals that emeritus pope Benedict XVI’s presentation of Baptism as a door of faith in the Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei is, in fact, rooted into the Church’s liturgical experience, particularly in the rite of celebrating the sacraments of Christian initiation. The article develops this idea in three parts, all three focusing on the baptism seen as a door of faith: the first part presents the Baptism as participation to Christ’s Paschal Mystery; the second part looks at the relationship between Baptism and faith; the third, more liturgical, explores the initial rite of celebrating the Baptism, rite which would take place at the church’s door. In this last part, we show that entering the catechumenate, for both the adult Christian initiation and the beginning of the rite of Baptism for children, was named rite of acceptance and welcoming. It could also be called liminal rites as they take place ad limen, at the church’s door, around a door threshold which meant entering the church once passed by.
Starting with the names – admission, welcoming – we understand that they refer to overcoming separation for becoming closer, for entering in a new relationship, in a communion with God and with the Church through Baptism. In fact, if we consider In 10,7.9, there is only one door through which one could enter to be in communion with God, and this is Christ the Saviour. This is the reason why the place for officiating the rite of welcoming is the church’s door, which symbolizes Christ-the door, and the culmination of this rite is tracing the cross on the forehead, the true door which gives access for the communion with God and with our neighbour. These liminal rites tighten the interdependencies between lex orandi, the law of the prayer, and lex credendi, the law of belief: the Church’s celebration clearly presents the Baptism as the ianua vitae spiritualis, the door of life in the Spirit and the foundation for the entire life of faith of a Christian.

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