A priest in Phoenix resigned earlier in February after his diocese discovered that the baptisms he performed were invalid.

  • The reason? He changed one word.

What he said: “We baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

What he was supposed to say: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

How religious is your county? This new tool holds the answer
The untold stories of American religious life

Why the change matters: “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,” said Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix Thomas J. Olmsted, according to NBC News.

Flashback: The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2020 previously said “we” could not be used for the sacrament.

The bigger picture: For Catholic believers, priests will pour water over the head of people — often babies — who are being baptized.

  • Baptisms are important for Catholics since “it affects sacred practices for Catholics such as confirmation, communion and more,” according to USA Today.

What’s next: “I pledge to work diligently and swiftly to bring peace to those who have been affected, and I assure you that I and our diocesan staff are wholeheartedly committed to assisting those who have questions about their reception of the sacraments,” Olmstead said.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.