A Catholic Priest has resigned after it was revealed that thousands of baptisms he performed are now invalid, due to using 1 wrong word.
What was that word? Instead of saying "I", he was saying "We".
According to a story from National Public Radio, the Arizona priest (identified as Rev. Andres Arango) was ordained in 1995 and, it is believed, has been performing baptisms improperly since.
The Catholic Church has a council that determines whether the terminology priests use during the sacraments is valid, as there are strict rules about the words that can be used.
During baptisms in both English and Spanish, Arango used the phrase "we baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." He should have said "I baptize," the diocese explained. - NPR
The Diocese of Phoenix said that by him using the "We" instead of the "I", all of the baptisms he has performed (using "We") are now invalid, and any sacraments those individuals receive after the voided baptism are also invalid. For example, to receive your First Communion, you must be baptized. Since the baptism is no longer valid, the First Communion is no longer valid.
And it's not just First Communions that are affected. Being baptized in the Catholic Church is the gateway to the rest of the sacraments. Confirmation and, believe it or not, marriage, are both included. If you were not baptized properly, according to the Diocese of Phoenix, and then got married in the Church, your marriage is not recognized by the Church.
The diocese, according to NPR, is encouraging anyone baptized by that priest to review videos from the event to see if he used "I" or "We". They are pouring through official documents to identify any of their parishioners who were baptized by Arango.
As for his retirement: he remains a priest in good standing with the Church and has not been punished in any way. In retirement, Arango said that he will dedicate his time to helping those whose lives were affected by his mistakes.
I am certain that there are several people who were baptized by Arango who are feeling strange right about now. Can you imagine having something like this happen to you? Having done everything you were supposed to do and, because of one man's mistake, having to go back and do it all over again? What a heartbreak for them, I would imagine.
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