Catholic priest resigns after he incorrectly performed baptisms for more than 20 years

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By VT

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An Arizona priest has resigned after he incorrectly performed thousands of baptisms for more than 20 years, CBS News reports.

On the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix website, it explains that Andres Arango used the words: “we baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” instead of the phrase: “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” in English and Spanish.

So essentially, he used one incorrect word - "We".

The diocese explained that this is significant for those being baptized as “it is not the community that baptizes a person and incorporates them into the Church of Christ; rather, it is Christ, and Christ alone, who presides at all sacraments.”

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Credit: Svetlana Lazarenka / Alamy

“Therefore, it is Christ who baptizes,” the diocese said. “If you were baptized using the wrong words, that means your baptism is invalid, and you are not baptized.”

For Catholics, baptism usually entails babies having water poured on their heads during a religious ceremony.

Arango has officially resigned as pastor of St. Gregory Parish in Phoenix following the controversy.

“I deeply regret my error and how this has affected numerous people in your parish and elsewhere,” he said in a statement. “With the help of the Holy Spirit and in communion with the Diocese of Phoenix, I will dedicate my energy and full time ministry to help remedy this and heal those affected.”

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Credit: Littleny / Alamy

Arango has served as a pastor, parochial administrator, parochial vicar for more than two decades in Brazil, California, and Arizona. All of the baptisms he performed “until June 17, 2021, are presumed invalid,” the Diocese of Phoenix said.

The diocese said in a statement to USA TODAY that "the number of baptisms Father Arango has performed in his priestly ministry" is in the thousands.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's orthodoxy office, stated in 2020 that baptisms performed by saying “we” instead of “I” are invalid.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix has shared in a statement he does “not believe Fr. 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,” he said.

Featured image credit: Fabrizio Troiani / Alamy

Catholic priest resigns after he incorrectly performed baptisms for more than 20 years

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

An Arizona priest has resigned after he incorrectly performed thousands of baptisms for more than 20 years, CBS News reports.

On the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix website, it explains that Andres Arango used the words: “we baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” instead of the phrase: “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” in English and Spanish.

So essentially, he used one incorrect word - "We".

The diocese explained that this is significant for those being baptized as “it is not the community that baptizes a person and incorporates them into the Church of Christ; rather, it is Christ, and Christ alone, who presides at all sacraments.”

size-full wp-image-1263145317
Credit: Svetlana Lazarenka / Alamy

“Therefore, it is Christ who baptizes,” the diocese said. “If you were baptized using the wrong words, that means your baptism is invalid, and you are not baptized.”

For Catholics, baptism usually entails babies having water poured on their heads during a religious ceremony.

Arango has officially resigned as pastor of St. Gregory Parish in Phoenix following the controversy.

“I deeply regret my error and how this has affected numerous people in your parish and elsewhere,” he said in a statement. “With the help of the Holy Spirit and in communion with the Diocese of Phoenix, I will dedicate my energy and full time ministry to help remedy this and heal those affected.”

size-full wp-image-1263145318
Credit: Littleny / Alamy

Arango has served as a pastor, parochial administrator, parochial vicar for more than two decades in Brazil, California, and Arizona. All of the baptisms he performed “until June 17, 2021, are presumed invalid,” the Diocese of Phoenix said.

The diocese said in a statement to USA TODAY that "the number of baptisms Father Arango has performed in his priestly ministry" is in the thousands.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's orthodoxy office, stated in 2020 that baptisms performed by saying “we” instead of “I” are invalid.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix has shared in a statement he does “not believe Fr. 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,” he said.

Featured image credit: Fabrizio Troiani / Alamy