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Thousands of Baptisms Rendered ‘Invalid’ Because Pastor Used ‘We’ and Not ‘I’ for Decades

A priest in Arizona resigned after he incorrectly performed baptisms for decades, possibly derailing the rite for thousands of people.

The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix on its website confirmed Fr. 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 correct phrase “I baptize you in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit” in English and Spanish.

The diocese explained that the single incorrect word matters for worshippers because “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.”

“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.”

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Faithfully Magazine is a fresh, bold and exciting news and culture publication that covers issues, conversations and events impacting Christian communities of color.


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