For the past twenty years at a Catholic church in Phoenix, Arizona one pastor has been saying one word wrong while he was performing baptisms and they’ve all been rendered invalid. And you thought you’d been having a bad day at work.
Poor ol’ Rev. Andrews Arango at the St. Gregory church had been saying “we” instead of “I” and according to the Catholic church that really messed things up. When administering the sacrament, he had been saying “We baptize you in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” When he should have been starting with “I baptize you.” There has been no clarification on how bad it would have been if he’d replaced, say, the word ‘Son’ with ‘Bon Jovi’ or something, but it probably wouldn’t have been good.
Church leaders did some investigating and found that he’d been saying the wrong word for twenty years and that all of the baptisms done in that time are now invalid. Which is a bit of a problem for everybody who was baptised during that period because it symbolises purification and it’s a “requirement for salvation”.
You’re probably thinking that surely God got the gist of the whole thing, but even still Rev. Arango has resigned from his role as pastor. He said that “It saddens me to learn that I have performed invalid baptisms throughout my ministry as a priest by regularly using an incorrect formula.”
It must be sad news for the Catholics in the area who had been baptised by the former pastor, but you can bet there are some local Anglicans that are feeling pretty smug right about now.
The Rev said that he deeply regrets his error. Now all he needs is for there to be somebody about who is big into the idea of forgiveness who could forgive the pastor for his sins.