After his diocese declared that thousands of baptisms he performed had been invalidated, a priest resigned. Instead of saying "We baptize" you, he said "We baptize...". ."
"It is with sincere pastoral concern, that I inform you that the baptisms performed by Reverend Andres Arango (a priest of Diocese of Phoenix) are invalid," Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, Diocese of Phoenix wrote last month.
He wrote that he made this determination after carefully studying the diocesan officials as well as consulting with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Rome.
Arango stated, "We baptize" you in the Name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, instead of "I baptize" you in the Name of The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit.
Olmsted stated that "The problem with using the term 'We" is that it's not the community that baptizes someone, but Christ, and Him alone who preside at all of the Sacraments and it is Christ Jesus who baptismizes."
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Vatican in 2020 stated that use of "we” during the Sacrament rendered it invalid.
According to Katie Burke, a spokesperson for the Diocese of Phoenix, Arango was a priest who performed baptisms since 1995.
Burke explained to NBC News via email that "It is my understanding, Father Arango used the incorrect words at the beginning of his priesthood (1995), until it was brought into the attention of the diocese in the summer of last year."
Although she couldn't determine the exact number of people affected, she believes it to be in the thousands.
Burke said that baptisms made by Arango after June 17, 20,21 are presumed valid.
Arango wrote to his parish: "It saddens my to learn that I have performed ineligible baptisms throughout the course of my ministry as a priest using an incorrect formula." My error is deeply regretted and has had a devastating effect on many people in your parish as well as elsewhere.
He stated that he had resigned effective February 1, in order to "dedicate all my energy and full-time ministry to helping remedy this and heal the people affected."
He wrote, "I deeply apologize for any inconvenience caused by my actions and ask for your prayers and forgiveness."
According to the diocese, Arango "hasn't been disqualified from his vocation or ministry" and "remains in good standing as a priest."
To be properly baptized, anyone who believes they were baptized in Arango may fill out an online form. According to the Diocese, Phoenix, some people who received invalid baptisms from Arango may need to repeat subsequent sacraments such as marriage.