Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Italian Bishop Admonishes Parents Regarding "Ridiculous" Baby Names

At Creative Minority Report, Matthew Archbold has a post about an Italian bishop calling on parents to stop giving their kids "ridiculous" names and to instead revert to the traditional practice of naming their kids after saints such as the Blessed Virgin:
Monsignor Bassano Staffieri, retired bishop of La Spezia in Liguria, said that of the 500 girls born in the city this year, "not one was registered or baptised with the name Maria". He added."A name is not just a sound, it has a profound meaning."

Mothers and fathers "should return to using a name like Maria, which is inspired by the Virgin Mary", instead of opting for "exotic or strange names of which their children will later be ashamed", the bishop said. There were signs that parents were reverting to traditional names for boys, "but this is still not the case with baby girls, alas".
All of our children have fairly traditional Christian names, but for the girls, we chose Marian themes: Mary Virginia and Grace Assumpta. (NOTE: Most of our family members - at least those who are not Catholic - think "Assumpta" is a ridiculous name, but that just shows you what they know.)

While we're on the subject, the parish in Columbia, Virginia that we attended right after we entered the Church had a very orthodox and holy priest, Fr. Gerald Przywara. Fr. Przywara baptized both of our boys, James Thomas and Aidan David. He approved of those names, which is very important. You see, Fr. Przywara has a rule about baptizing babies: if the child hasn't been given at least one saint name as either their first or middle name, he automatically appends the name "Mary" or "Maria" to the child at baptism ... regardless of the sex of the child.

I witnessed him do that on at least one occasion where the child had been given an "interesting" first and middle name by the parents.

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At 12/02/2008 10:12 PM, Anonymous Donald R. McClarey said...

This has long been a cherished pet peeve of mine: parents who give their child an often hard to spell novel name, and thereby doom their kid to a lifetime of having their name mispronounced and mispelled. When I query some of my clients as to why they do this, their usual response is that they wanted their kids to have a name that is "unique" or "special". One of the most tiresome aspects of our current age is the unerring capacity of many people to focus on the trivial, "novel name for kid, check!", while completely ignoring the important, "hey maybe I should marry/stay married to the kid's mom?, naah, that would be too hard!".

At 12/04/2008 10:49 AM, Blogger Satria Sudeki said...

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At 3/21/2009 5:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I was raised Catholic and although I am not a strict adherent to the church, the practice of giving at least one (first, middle or both) saint's name to a child has stuck with me. I chose to give my son a saint's middle name. What people fail to realize is that there are many saints out there who have "unique" or unusual names. Not everyone has to be named Michael or Maria (nothing wrong with that though). History/culture/meaning is important and so I made sure to give my son a saint's middle name and he is going to be baptized as such next month.


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