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Baptized? Check the videotape

Baptized? Check the videotape

Not The Onion.

Matthew Hood recently took a look at the videotape of his 1990 baptism. What he heard on the videotape left him unsettled.

Rather than the words “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” the priest had used the words “We baptize you.” Hood might not have noticed except that he was a Roman Catholic priest and on August 6 the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a note clarifying that baptisms using “we” instead “I” are not valid.

For Hood that meant that not only his baptism was invalid, so was his ordination. And so were any sacraments that required an ordained priest.

From the American Magazine:

Father Matthew Hood, associate pastor of St. Lawrence Parish in Utica, contacted the Archdiocese of Detroit…”The archbishop called me, and I could tell he was even more concerned about it than I was, and I was very concerned about it,” Father Hood said.

…the archdiocese is attempting to contact anyone else who might have been invalidly baptized by Deacon Springer, who served at St. Anastasia from 1986 to 1999, or who received invalid sacraments from Father Hood, who served at Divine Child Parish in Dearborn from July 1, 2017, to July 1, 2020, and since then at St. Lawrence. Deacon Springer is retired and is not currently in active ministry.

Although Father Hood was not able to validly perform some marriages, celebrate Mass, grant absolution, administer confirmation or anoint the sick, any baptisms he performed are presumed valid, since a priest is not required to baptize so long as the correct formula, matter and intention are present, said Father Stephen Pullis, director of evangelization and missionary discipleship for the archdiocese.

And Mr. Hood? He is Father Hood once again.

On Aug. 9, he was validly baptized, confirmed and received the Eucharist, and after a week on retreat, he was ordained a transitional deacon and a priest two days later on Aug. 17.


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Steven Wilson

While serving as a reader at the CofE parish in Heidelberg, Germany, I got to assist at the baptism, confirmation and installation of the parish warden, whose records (if any) had been incinerated in the Blitz of his home parish in London when he was a wee child, and was thus presumed by the Bishop of Gibraltar-in-Europe to have been neither a warden (which required confirmation) nor confirmed (which required baptism) nor baptized (which required paperwork).

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