PAST DUE: Millions of Conditional Sacraments

On January 14, 2022, the Diocese of Phoenix announced that thousands of putative baptisms performed over the past 27 years by a local priest, Fr. Andres Arango, are not valid. In a letter to the faithful, Bishop Thomas Olmstead wrote: 

Specifically, it was reported to me that Fr. Andres used the formula, “WE baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”  The key phrase in question is the use of “We baptize” in place of “I baptize.” The issue with using “We” is that it is not the community that baptizes a person, rather, it is Christ, and Christ alone, who presides at all of the sacraments, and so it is Christ Jesus who baptizes.

Fr. Andres… Isn’t it cute how Novus Ordite priests, bishops and laity refer to clerics as “Father [First Name]”? One of the cringiest is Boston’s ordinary, a Franciscan who likes to be called “Cardinal Sean.” I digress.

Since the Phoenix story broke, major and minor secular news outlets the world over have leveraged the occasion to paint the Catholic Church as a superstitious purveyor of quasi-magical incantations. A cursory review of the comment sections that often accompany these online reports reveals that the ill-informed, the heretical, and the flat out godless are having a field day poking fun at the Church.

One small problem: The Catholic Church had nothing to do with the debacle.

Many reports, both secular and otherwise, declared that “the Catholic Church invalidated” (or “voided” or “cancelled,” etc.) thousands of baptisms.

Actually, no. The Catholic Church did no such thing. Neither did the conciliar church for that matter. Either a baptism is valid, or it’s not. In the present case, a Novus Ordo bishop correctly identified the objective truth that Fr. Arango’s alleged baptisms were not baptisms at all. It’s the broken clock in action. That’s all.

As for Fr. Arango, he’s a member of the Eudists (the Congregation of Jesus and Mary founded by St. John Eudes). Ordained in 1995 following seminary formation in Brazil, he initially ministered in S. America but has been in Arizona for the past 16 years. 

Fr. Gérard Lecomte, CJM
Formation Director – Eudist Fathers

I know little about today’s Eudists. That said, if the photos on their website of priests in button down shirts and comfy sweaters is any indication, they’re evidently far more Jesuitical than anything resembling Catholic.

One thing, however, is entirely certain: Fr. Arango is Novus Ordo / Vatican II to the bone. 

In other words, he’s a cleric of the conciliar counterfeit church. He is not, properly speaking, a cleric of the Catholic Church, wherein the one Roman Rite leaves absolutely no room whatsoever for the sort of innovation that led to this mess.  

Surely some readers will object to the suggestion that priests of the conciliar counterfeit church are not (again, properly speaking) Catholic priests, especially as it concerns those who offer the Traditional Latin Mass from within the confines of Newchurch. So, let’s consider their central argument:

But if Fr. Arango’s ordination is valid, then he is a priest of the Catholic Church! 

Without delving into legitimate questions concerning the relative doubtfulness of the conciliar ordination and episcopal consecration rites, beyond any doubt whatsoever is the fact that these men are ordained/consecrated for ministry in the Vatican II religion, a false religion that espouses numerous blasphemies and errors.  

Admittedly, the existence of a false religion claiming to be Catholic is unprecedented. To my mind, crystal clear answers concerning the state of their clerics, as individuals, are hard to come by. At least I do not claim to have them. That is not to say, however, that meaningful parallels that shed light on the matter are nonexistent. 

For instance, a somewhat analogous situation exists among the priests and bishops of the Orthodox churches, each of which are schismatic and espouse false doctrines. Their ordinations are valid (but illicit). They are able to validly (but illicitly) confect the sacraments. And yet no one is under the mistaken impression that they are priests of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. If they were to collectively insist otherwise, everyone in their right mind would reject their claims as patently absurd.  

The only logically consistent conclusion that a so-called “traditionalist” (aka Catholic) can draw is that the same applies to conciliar clerics; insist as they might, they simply are not Catholic clerics. Does this offend? Too bad. The truth often does.

At this, let’s continue our exercise in hard truths:

Fr. Arango’s baptismal “creativity,” while not the norm, isn’t exactly a rarity in Novus Ordoland. I recall having a conversation with a conciliar priest friend, over twenty years ago, who knew of others doing the exact same thing as Arango, as well as other clerical counterparts who invoked “the Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier…” while allegedly baptizing. 

There’s also the August 2021 story of a Detroit area priest, Father Matthew Hood, who discovered – after believing he was “ordained” in 2017 – that he too had never been validly baptized, and for the same reason Arango never baptized anyone (“We baptize…”).    

Folks, this nonsense has been going on for more than half-a-century! Imagine just how many supposed baptisms were performed by Fr. Groovy in the 1970’s alone.

Common sense suggests that there are likely millions of individuals roaming the earth who genuinely believe that they’ve been baptized but have not. Look at the Novus Ordo liturgies of Africa. Many of them are improv theater at its worst! Do you honestly believe that they’re consistently baptizing strictly by the book?

It isn’t a stretch to imagine that, as the result of an invalid attempted baptism, millions of persons who genuinely consider themselves Catholic, through no fault of their own, have never actually made a true sacramental confession, have never been confirmed, have never received the Blessed Sacrament worthily, do not have a sacramental marriage, etc. 

Among the not-really-baptized, without a doubt, are numerous men acting as conciliar priests this very day when, in truth, they aren’t even Catholic laymen!

Think about what this means: It means that countless “Masses” have been offered (and are still being offered) that are not the Mass at all; they are of no more value than a Protestant revival meeting.  

Don’t you just hate hearing stories like the Fr. Arango scandal?

Not me. I delight in reading them. I want to see many, many more of them come to light. I welcome all of the negative publicity that they rain down on the conciliar counterfeit church – the derision, the mockery, and the hatred – it deserves nothing less. The more brightly the full light of truth is shined on that error ridden mockery of the Holy Roman Catholic Church the more likely it is that the deceived will awaken.

As for the conciliar sheep – apart from personal memory, solid reliable testimony, or video evidence – no person allegedly baptized in the Novus Ordo can be confident that they actually have been. On the contrary, they have every reason to harbor doubt as to whether or not they have ever been members of the Mystical Body of Christ.

To be clear, this is not what moral theologians call “negative doubt,” described by Fr. Peter Scott, SSPX, as follows:

A negative doubt is a doubt that is not based upon any reason. It is the question “what if” that we frequently ask for no reason at all. Such a doubt cannot weaken moral certitude and is not reasonable. (Cf. Prummer, Manuale Theologiae Moralis, I, §328.)

No reason at all… Not in this case! For untold numbers of persons who received Novus Ordo baptism (alleged), the Fr. Arango story alone is enough to destroy any moral certitude they might otherwise have in its presumed validity.

Had I been baptized in the Novus Ordo rather than the one Roman Rite (as I was in 1961), barring the evidence previously mentioned, I would be making arrangements for my conditional baptism at this very moment.

What about you, dear reader, were you baptized in the Novus Ordo but lack good and solid reasons to be confident in its validity? And what about those of you who are priests, are you certain that your own baptism was validly performed? 

Clearly, the time for widespread conditional baptisms, confirmations and ordinations has long since passed.

What are you waiting for?