I’ll just quote the gist of the article, which almost could have come from The Onion (my emphasis to show the damage caused by not using a preferred pronoun):
A priest in the Archdiocese of Detroit earlier this month learned his baptism, performed 30 years ago, was invalid and that sacraments he has performed for others such as marriage and confession are invalid.
The Rev. Matthew Hood, who since July has served as associate pastor of St. Lawrence Parish in Utica and at Divine Child in Dearborn since 2017, learned he was invalidly baptized as an infant by Deacon Mark Springer, who improperly used “We baptize” rather than “I baptize” to confer the sacrament from 1986 to 1999, a statement from the archdiocese said.
An invalid baptism means Hood, a graduate of Sacred Heart Major Seminary who sought ordination to the priesthood 2017, was invalidly ordained to the priesthood and limited in his ability to celebrate valid sacraments during the past three years, the archdiocese said.
“The note from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith alerted the Church throughout the world that baptisms were not valid in which a particular word or words were changed,” the archdiocese said in a statement.
“To say ‘We baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ does not convey the sacrament of baptism. Rather, ministers must allow Jesus to speak through them and say, ‘I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’
The archdiocese is seeking to contact anyone who may have received invalid sacraments.
“It is the duty of the local Church to ensure that everyone entrusted into her care has the full benefit and certainty that come from the valid reception of the sacraments, which have been given to us to keep us as secure as possible on the path to heaven,” Archbishop Allen Vigneron said.
Contact tracing! At least it’s easier here than for Covid-19 because you need find only the people to whom Father Hood gave sacraments. Still, that’s thirty years worth of Catholics!
I’m curious as to how many people are going to go to hell because they couldn’t be contacted, and thus their own baptisms, confessions, and expiations were invalid—all because Hood was baptized by “we” rather than “I”. More important, how did they find out?
Hood has now been baptized properly, and henceforth his sacraments will be “valid”. But still I wonder whether, if the priest administered “invalid sacraments”, can people really go to hell? I know that homosexuality is a “grave sin” to Catholics, and an unconfessed homosexual act can send you to hell. Would a gay person who confessed this to the incorrectly baptized Hood still have to fry for eternity? Theologians, please weigh in!
Apropos, Steve sent a video clip with a note:
This is a famous scene from the first Harry Potter movie about the importance of proper pronunciation when spellcasting.