The Catholic Church says thousands of people will have to redo their baptisms after discovering that a priest used incorrect wording when performing the sacrament.
Reverend Andres Arango is the former priest of St. Gregory Catholic Church in Phoenix, Arizona, on Christian post reports. Concerns were first raised last year about his baptisms when he was heard saying: “We baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
In a statement posted on St. Gregory’s website, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix explains that the wording to use when baptizing someone is “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy -Spirit”.
“The key phrase in question is the use of ‘We baptize’ in place of ‘I baptize’,” writes Olmsted. “The problem with using ‘We’ is that it is not the community that baptizes a person, rather it is Christ, and He alone, who presides over all the sacraments, and so it is Christ Jesus who baptized.”
Olmsted says the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has made it clear that no one, including priests, “can add, delete or change anything in the liturgy on their own authority.”
In a note from Arango himself on the same web page, the priest states, “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 mistake and how it has affected many in your parish and elsewhere. With the help of the Holy Spirit and in fellowship with the Diocese of Phoenix, I will dedicate my energy and full-time ministry to help remedy to this and to heal those affected. To do this, I have resigned as pastor of St. Gregory Parish in Phoenix effective February 1, 2022.”
Olmsted says he doesn’t believe Andres did anything intentionally wrong. The diocese says anyone whose baptism can be linked to Arango’s ministry can fill out a form to have the sacrament re-celebrated.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank God for giving me the opportunity to serve your community,” Arango said. “You have all enriched my life beyond measure. It has been a blessing and an honor to have served and worked alongside people whom I consider my dear friends and family.”
Arango has ministered for over 20 years in congregations across Brazil and in San Diego, California, as well. according to to the New York Times.