As a Catholic, there are many questions that come to my mind when I read the story of Fr. Andres Arango. For example, questions like
What Happens to Those He Baptised Who Don’t Even Know that he baptized them?
What Is the Possibility of Having Other Priests From Around The World Who May Have Used An Incorrect Formula At One Time of The Other? There may never be traces and what happens to the people they baptized?
How Could Fr. Andres Have Get It Wrong If He Used a Book At All Times.
If you are not familiar with this story, let me give you a brief from my own little understanding.
This is a story of a Catholic Priest Fr. Andres Arango who on February 1st 2022 resigned as a Priest of St. Gregory Parish in Phoenix.
Fr. Andres Arango resigned after the Vatican ruled that thousands of his baptisms are invalid because he used the wrong words for 25 years.
Fr. Andres used the words ‘we baptize you’ instead of the words ‘I baptize you’. The Church ruled that using the words ‘we baptize you’ refers to the community while using the words ‘I baptize you’ invokes the power of God.
According to the ruling, using the wrong phrasing invalidated all the baptisms Fr. Arango had performed since being ordained in 1995 through June 2021.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix said that it was possible that some marriages could be affected, but did not explain further.
This one can be shocking. Let’s say that the baptism is invalid, does it invalidate other Sacraments that the individual had received after baptism? There is a story of the Priest who had to be re ordained, will marriages be ….what???
According to a message posted online that is said to be from Fr. Arango, he will now work full-time offering spiritual guidance to Catholics whose baptisms were ruled invalid so that he can baptize them again.
The church said the number of invalid baptisms runs into the thousands, but did not reveal exactly how many Fr. Arango performed.
Following the Vatican’s note of clarification, other priests working in Catholic diocese across the United States realized they had also been improperly baptized by priests.
It was explained that after becoming an ordained priest for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City in 2020, Father Zachery Boazman reviewed a video of his 1992 baptism and realized the wrong wording had been used.
The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City said that he was re-ordained following the discovery.
So now I come back to my first questions, first what will happen to people who were baptized by Fr. Andres whom do not even know that he baptized them? Are these people going about as baptized Catholics without knowing that their baptism is invalid?
What are the spiritual implications? Are they Christians since their baptism has been declared invalid?
Many questions to ask.
I ask again, what is the possibility that there may be Priests in different parts of the world like my Africa or Nigeria who may have at one time or are still using this so called incorrect formula? Will there be a possibility of ever tracing those people? Does this mean that there could be very many invalid baptism without these people or those individuals even knowing? They don’t even know that their baptism is invalid.
I come to think again, I used to always see and think that Catholic Priest always have a book to read from during Mass, Baptism or other Liturgical prayers so how come Fr. Andres make this mistake for 25 years? Was he always prayed from the book?
Was the mistake from him or a mistake in a book? If it was a mistake from a book, then my guess is as good as yours…
Let’s hear what you have to say, use the comment section to tell us what you think.