Thousands of Arizona Catholics recently learned they may have been improperly baptized with the wrong words.
In Michigan, a separate but similar controversy has been ongoing since 2020. For years, a deacon at St. Anastasia Church in suburban Detroit used the words "we baptize" instead of "I baptize." The Vatican says that phrase makes the sacrament invalid.
The Detroit Archdiocese says it found about 200 baptisms were done properly, and 71 people so far have been baptized again. But 455 people haven't responded. One person who was affected was a priest, the Rev. Matthew Hood. He was quickly baptized and ordained again as a priest in 2020.
The situation has had many seriously upset, with one unidentified woman commenting during a talk who said, “Why do you think so many people are leaving the Catholic Church?” She said, “This is a great example why. This is just awful.”
Another man said, “What would Jesus do?” And then said, “I think he would be on a different side here and say by what you’re doing you have disrupted so many lives, so many people,”
Church members went to try and find videos of baptisms to see if family members had invalid sacraments.
Rev. Hood said, “We’re aware there are young people who no longer practice the faith. This problem has opened that up.” He said, “But for some individuals, it has been the opportunity to say I haven’t taken my faith seriously and this is an opportunity to do that, to realize something real is at play here.”