Parishioner sacraments in question after priest’s own invalid baptism

invalid baptism

The validity of some Dearborn, Michigan, parishoners’ sacraments has been called into question after one of its own priests invalid baptism!

Father Matthew Hood learned that he was not a baptised Catholic earlier this month after watching a family video of his baptism and where some words were changed.

The words used at his baptism are not sanctioned by the Church.

Hood remembered a video of his own baptism ceremony in which the deacon said: “We baptize you….”

Hood realised his baptism wasn’t valid – which meant he wasn’t confirmed nor ordained.

According to sacramental theology, only a baptised Catholic can validly receive the other sacraments, since baptism is the means by which a person enters the Church and is incorporated into the body of Christ.

The trouble was, in the three years since his ordination, Hood had worked as a priest, baptising people, confirming them, celebrating Masses, offered absolution and marrying couples.

Once he realised Hood called his archdiocese. He needed to be ordained!

But first, after three years of acting like a priest, living like a priest, and feeling like a priest, he needed to become a Catholic!

First, he needed to be baptised.

After receiving the sacrament of baptised he was confirmed and received the Eucharist. He made a retreat, was ordained a deacon and on August 17 he was ordained a priest. (As pictured.)

Hood called the ensuing two weeks “a roller coaster”.

“My heart goes out and breaks for those for whom I’ve celebrated Mass, Mass intentions I’ve offered, the confessions I’ve heard, and especially the sacraments of anointing of the sick that I’ve celebrated for people on their deathbeds, my grandmother included among them,” Hood said.

St. Thomas Aquinas once famously said, “God binds Himself to the sacraments, but He himself is not bound by them.”

Hood said, The Lord is still merciful and fully capable of imparting grace even when human error occurs.

Archbishop Allen Vigneron of the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit has acknowledged “human error has resulted in disruption to the sacramental lives of some members of the faithful” and vowed to remedy the situation for those impacted.

“As far as God ‘taking care of it,’ we can trust that God will assist those whose hearts are open to Him”, the Archbishop said.

On August 6, the Vatican released a document saying that baptisms using the word “we baptise” rather than “I baptise” makes the baptism invalid.

A doctrinal note accompanying the CDF letter said it has received number of cases in which baptisms have been administered using the words: “In the name of the father and of the mother, of the godfather and of the godmother, of the grandparents, of the family members, of the friends, in the name of the community we baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

The document was signed by Cardinal Luis Ladaria, head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, and by the department’s secretary, Archbishop Giacomo Morandi.


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