Arizona Priest Steps Down After Discovering Thousands of His Baptisms Don't Count Because He Said One Word Wrong

An Arizona priest has resigned after being informed that thousands of his baptisms do not count.

The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix confirmed on its website that anyone baptized by Fr. Andres Arango up until June 17, 2021…. wasn’t.

According to Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Father Arango had been using a single word wrong — “We” instead of “I” — therefore invalidating every sacrament of admission to the faith he performed up to that date. And there were thousands.

“We are saddened to announce some difficult information regarding baptisms performed by Rev. Andres Arango, a priest of the Diocese of Phoenix, who also had been a member of the Eudist religious community,” the church statement read.

“After careful study, it has been determined that the form (words) Fr. Andres used for the sacrament of baptism has been incorrect, and all of the baptisms he has performed until June 17, 2021, are presumed invalid.”

In his letter, the bishop claimed the priest had been using the phrase “WE baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”, rather than “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” — and that, apparently, is a big problem.

“The issue with using ‘We’ is that it is not the community that baptizes a person, rather, it is Christ, and Him alone, who presides at all of the sacraments, and so it is Christ Jesus who baptizes.”

To be fair to the priest, personal pronouns in Catholicism are quite complex. According to Church doctrine, it wasn’t even the priest performing the baptism, as the “I” refers to Jesus Christ.

Either way, the diocese was forced into full crisis mode, laying out in very specific terms what was being done to rectify all those botched baptisms, and addressing the multitude of knock-on concerns like “do I need to go to confession?” and “does this affect my marriage?”

Baptism, the first of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, is believed to cleanse babies of all sins, as well as the Original Sin they are born with (thanks to Adam & Eve).

“I do not believe Fr. Andres had any intentions to harm the faithful or deprive them of the grace of baptism and the sacraments,” Bishop Olmsted wrote.

“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.”

In a letter, Fr. Andres — who was formerly a Eudist pastor in Brazil — apologized and begged forgiveness, and announced his resignation.

“It saddens me to learn that I have performed invalid baptisms throughout my ministry as a priest by regularly using an incorrect formula,” he said. “I deeply regret my error and how this has affected numerous people in your parish and elsewhere.”

“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.  In order to do this, I have resigned from my position as pastor of St. Gregory parish in Phoenix effective February 1, 2022.”

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