One of my readers urged me to weigh in on the latest church foolery.
The one in Arizona.
I looked it up.
Father Andres Arango, a Catholic priest in Phoenix, Arizona, was censored by diocesan authorities for flubbing the baptismal rite for thousands of babies at St. Gregory Catholic Church. Those baptisms have been declared invalid, and any subsequent rite built on baptism (First Communion, Confirmation, marriage) will be nullified.
It’s hard to imagine anything worse a priest might have done over 20 years.
(Oh wait, let me think…)
So what was the offense? you ask.
Father Arango said, “We baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” instead of, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” In case you missed it, here’s the flub: “We” instead of “I.”
(And to think he might have said: “We baptize thee in the name of They.”)
Bless Father Arango. Give the man credit for creativity and humility. We (the gathered community) baptize you. That’s pretty cool.
In my day I baptized people “in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Mother of us all.” That wasn’t quite kosher for a Presbyterian baptism. But then I knew the Spanish Inquisition wasn’t coming after me.
So you wonder: Can’t such a slight technicality be overlooked? No! That would condone impropriety. And the church can’t have that.
Arango resigned. “I deeply regret my error [and] will dedicate my energy and full time ministry to help remedy this.”
I don’t know how you recall a baptism or fix it, but there’s likely to be a way. After all, an institution 2,000 years old has dealt with sticky situations before.
If you can find a way to annul a consummated marriage (for the right price), you can find a way to restore a botched baptism. At least that’s a lot easier than, for example, fixing a botched circumcision.
Okay, there. I’ve weighed in on the botched baptisms. Not happily since religion is such a soft target and besides there’s plenty of good along with the bad in every religion.
Anyway, thanks to the reader who suggested the topic. It distracted me from my intended target this week: A certain Kandiss Taylor running for governor in Georgia on a campaign bus emblazoned with the slogan JESUS GUNS BABIES.
(Heaven help us all.)