Council Day 4 – Vito

The canon passed at Council Day four stated the lapsed Christians must be re-baptized before reentering the church. The original canon proposed stated lapsed need to be punished before being let into the church. I strongly believe that the lapsed should not succumb to any form of punishment or consequence. They were Christians before they lapsed, and they should remain Christians after they lapsed if God is in their hearts. They had gone through a moment of weakness, as we all have, and the church should forgive and allow them back into the church. I understand the beliefs of the bishops who proposed the original canon. The lapsed have publically shown their weakness in a trying time and their faith needs to be proven before letting them back into the church in order to avoid those who only want earthly rewards. However, I do not see it as the churches place to punish the lapsed. Regardless, I was pleased that the original canon did allow lapsed to reenter the church and did not shut them out completely.

And after conducting a vote and realizing the majority believed there needed to be some type of consequence, I began to open my mind. I still believed strongly that punishment should not be the consequence. Punishment is harsh and will instill fear in our member and paint a negative picture of the church. Therefore, I supported previous proposals of re-baptism into the church. If the lapsed are true believes they will happily go through baptism again to show their faith. This is not a punishment but a public display of faith, which we can do freely now after the persecution.