Baptism by Beer – A 13th Century Practice Condemned by Pope Gregory IX

Pope Benedict Backs Up Pope Gregory
IX: Beer is for Drinking Not for Baptizing
Imagine being a 13th century Norwegian parent who had to bring her baby back to the church for another baptism. Your friends ask, “Why are you having the baby baptized again?” You answer, “Well, the first time our little baby Olaf was baptized with beer. The Pope said it was no good. Apparently baptism by beer is invalid.”

This really did happen!  Pope Gregory IX in the 13th century decreed that baptisms by beer were invalid. Apparently this had happened in a region of Norway where water had not been available. The Holy Father had to write to the Archbishop of Trondhjem in Norway to settle this matter – literally to settle the sacramental matter.Pope Gregory IX decreed: “Since according to the Gospel teaching, a man must be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, those are not to be considered validly baptized who have been baptized with beer {cervisia}.”

We all know that the seven sacraments have “form and matter.” This is a principle drawing on the metaphysical principles of Aristotle. Let’s take a look at three sacraments as examples
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