An English judge who was called to deliberate on the case of a divorced couple has written a letter to their 10 year old child, explaining why she can be baptised despite her Jewish mother’s wish for her to wait until she is older.
Judge John Platt who heard the case at Romford County Court in Essex, thanked the young girl, referred to as “C”, for “telling me so clearly why you want to be baptised now’, adding: ‘It is important for me to know how you feel.”
“Sometimes parents simply cannot agree on what is best for their child, but they can’t both be right. Your father thinks it is right for you to be baptised as a Christian now. Your mother wants you to wait until you are older so they have asked me to decide for them. That is my job,” the judge wrote.
Both of “C”’s parents are Jewish but after their separation in 2010 the father converted to Christianity. With the mother’s consent, “C” and her brother started going to Christian masses with their father on the alternate Sundays they spend with him. Now the girl wishes to be baptised.
The judge has decided to allow her to join the father’s faith and to begin going to catechism in preparation for her baptism ceremony because “C’s wishes to be baptised as a Christian must be respected.”
The judge also added: Being baptised does not mean that you give up your Jewish heritage. That will always be part of you and I hope that you will continue to learn more about that heritage and about your mother’s faith. Even after you are baptised you are still free to change your mind about your faith later when you are older. Finally, and this is the most important thing, both your mother and father will carry on loving you just as much whatever happens about your baptism.”
Concerning confirmation, the judge wrote: “In the light of her Jewish heritage, I would consider it appropriate that she should attain a much fuller degree of understanding and greater maturity before being confirmed and I therefore propose that she should not be confirmed before her 16th birthday without the consent of the mother.”