Was it invalid if the baptizer said “We baptize?” and not “I baptize?” In recent years, because of this discrepancy, a priest has been “re-ordained,” Catholics have asked for a do-over, and comedians have laughed at the Catholic Church. Adding to the ridicule on the other side, a prominent atheist has used a hair dryer to “de-baptize” Christians who are no longer believers.
There seems to be little wisdom here. Or as Father Steve Newton, CSC, said on Facebook, the current controversy “is nuts and it is destructive.”
You may recall a most dramatic consequence of an invalid baptism involved the Rev. Matthew Hood, who was baptized as a boy and later became a priest: Because his baptism was invalid, so was his 2017 ordination. The archdiocese said marriages performed by Hood might not be valid and urged couples to speak to their pastor as soon as possible “so any steps can be taken to remedy your marital status in the church, if necessary.” Hood was baptized again and ordained as a priest a second time.
In Oklahoma, a new priest, the Rev. Zachary Boazman, learned that his baptism was invalid. Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley subsequently validated marriages performed by Boazman, who was baptized and ordained again.
Then there’s the other side of the coin. In Italy, Catholics abandoning the church want their names removed from parish records. How many? One hundred thousand since 2010.
A “Word on Fire” article says “de-baptism” can’t be done, but an atheist with a hair dryer says it can. He symbolically dried up the offending waters that were sprinkled on their foreheads as young children.
And finally, some wisdom about the proper way to resolve an issue like this, from Michael Centore at Today’s American Catholic.