Priest resigns after performing thousands of invalid baptisms

Fox 10

A Catholic priest who carried out baptisms in Arizona has found himself in hot water, after he learned that all baptisms performed by him up to June 2021 were ‘invalid’.

Father Andres Arango, of the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, had apparently been saying just one word wrong during the ceremonies, using “we baptise you” instead of “I baptise you”.

“It is not the community that baptises a person and incorporates them into the Church of Christ; rather, it is Christ, and Christ alone, who presides at all sacraments; therefore, it is Christ who baptises.

“If you were baptised using the wrong words, that means your baptism is invalid, and you are not baptised.

“You will need to be baptised,” a page on the Diocese’s website detailing the issue reads, adding that the error “may seem legalistic” but words spoken are “a crucial aspect” of every sacrament.

The FAQ section also mentions that Fr Arango resigned as a pastor of St Gregory Parish in Phoenix at the start of February, and will now “dedicate his energy and full-time ministry to helping and healing those who were invalidly baptised” alongside diocesan leaders.

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In a message to the local community, Fr Arango wrote: “It saddens me to learn that I have performed invalid baptisms throughout my ministry as a priest by regularly using an incorrect formula.

“I deeply regret my error and how this has affected numerous people in your parish and elsewhere.”

Thomas Olmsted, bishop of Phoenix, added: “I do not believe Father Andres had any intentions to harm the faithful or deprive them of the grace of baptism and the sacraments.

“On behalf of our local Church, I too am sincerely sorry that this error has resulted in disruption to the sacramental lives of a number of the faithful.

“I ask that you join me in praying for Fr. Andres and for all of those who are going to be impacted by this unfortunate situation.”

Those affected by the error have been encouraged to submit a form to the organisation or contact their pastor.

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