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US priest resigns over baptism controversy

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A priest in Phoenix in the United States, Rev. Andres Arango, has resigned from his position after his diocese discovered that hundreds of the baptisms he performed were invalid because he had changed one word while performing the sacrament.

Arango, a priest of more than two decades, had been using the phrase, “we baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” instead of “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

After the discovery and the backlash it generated, the priest volunteered to resign and in a letter to his parish on Tuesday, wrote:

“It saddens me to learn that I have performed invalid baptisms throughout my ministry as a priest by regularly using an incorrect formula. I deeply regret my error and how this has affected numerous people in your parish and elsewhere.

“I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience my actions have caused and genuinely ask for your prayers, forgiveness, and understanding,” he wrote.

READ ALSO: 120 Catholic priests workers come out as gays, demand sweeping reforms in church

The Bishop of Diocese of Phoenix Thomas J. Olmsted, in another letter to the parish, said: “It is with sincere pastoral concern that I inform the faithful that baptisms performed by Rev. Andres Arango, a priest of the Diocese of Phoenix, are invalid.

“This determination was made after careful study by Diocesan officials and through consultation with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome.

“The issue with using ‘We’ is that it is not the community that baptizes a person, rather, it is Christ, and Him alone, who presides at all of the sacraments, and so it is Christ Jesus who baptizes.

“Those who believe they or their children were baptized by Arango, can fill out a form online to be properly baptized.

“Subsequent sacraments, including marriage, may need to be repeated by those who had invalid baptisms performed by Arango.”

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