An “invalid” priest and the dizzying consequences

Although the Roman Catholic church claims it is a Christian institution (it actually declares that it is the “one, true church”), its salvation system of sacramental grace and merit is antithetical to the genuine Good News Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

Roman Catholicism appeals to the religious lost with its precise liturgical rituals and formal pomposity, but beneath the ornate facade is an impossible legalism that dooms the soul.

While searching for news items for a recent weekend roundup, I came across the article far below, which required a post all by itself. It’s an excellent example of a Roman Catholic legalistic religious rabbit hole that just gets deeper and deeper and deeper. Fasten your seat belt and let’s delve into this bizarre and sad circumstance.

Roman Catholic priest, Matthew Hood (photo above), was enjoying a family video of his 1990 infant baptism, but became very distraught when he observed the presiding deacon, Mark Springer, using an incorrect version of the baptismal formula. Instead of saying, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” as the church mandates, the deacon had incorrectly said, “We baptize you…” Hood immediately contacted his superior, the archbishop of Detroit, who in turn contacted the Vatican in Rome. The Vatican quickly ruled that Hood’s infant baptism was invalid because of the incorrect wording, which meant that his ordination as a priest in 2017 was likewise invalid. The bishop immediately had Hood rebaptized using the correct formula, and then reconfirmed, and reordained, but the problem doesn’t end there. Only validly ordained priests are supposedly empowered to administer the sacraments. As an invalidly ordained priest, Hood had illegitimately administered the sacraments of 1) the eucharist, 2) confession, 3) last rites, 4) marriage, and 5) confirmation (note: the RCC allows that anyone may administer the sacrament of baptism, even an atheist, as long as they follow the precise rubrics).

The archdiocese is now instructing all of the members of the two parishes where Hood was assigned to inquire if any remedial follow-up is needed as well as all those who were baptized by Springer from 1986 to 1999 when he was active.

Everyone who was married or confirmed by Hood will need to have those sacraments re-performed by a validly ordained priest. But what about the thousands of times Hood invalidly administered the sacraments of the eucharist, absolution, and last rites? What happens to those souls who relied on Hood for those sacraments during the three years he was an invalid priest? According to Catholic theology, the sacraments are essential to salvation, yet Hood’s parishioners were receiving bogus sacraments for three years. What about the members who had received illegitimate eucharist, absolution, and last rites during that time span and died? The archbishop of Detroit, Allen H. Vigneron, attempted to quell any panic by stating, “We can be assured that all those who approached Father Hood, in good faith, to receive the sacraments did not walk away empty-handed.” Hmm. That message presumes upon a laxness on the part of Catholicism’s god that is contradicted by all of the current, highly-prioritized, diocesan-dictated remediation.

My friends, this sad saga is an excellent illustration of how Catholicism’s salvation system of sacramental grace and merit is a legalistic rabbit hole that just gets deeper and deeper. One irregular contingency leads to another and another and another. At the same time that it deals in all of the legalistic scrupulosity detailed above, the Roman Catholic church dichotomously teaches that people of all religions (e.g., Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.) and even atheists can merit Heaven if they are sincere and “follow the light they are given.” Turn from false (c)hristianity, repent of your sin, and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone.

Detroit priest’s invalid baptism had ripple effect, archdiocese says
https://www.catholicnews.com/detroit-priests-invalid-baptism-had-ripple-effect-archdiocese-says/

41 thoughts on “An “invalid” priest and the dizzying consequences

  1. Wow !
    I am speechless .
    I feel very sad for the priest who is just a victim of the RCC false gospel. I can not thank God enough for calling people out of that religious damming institution.
    Thank you Tom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Crissy! Every once in a great while I stumble across an item, like this one, that really nails the impossible legalism of Roman Catholicism. I’m grateful for the article, but, like you, I’m saddened by these poor Catholic souls who cling to their church’s false gospel and its legalistic intricacies.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s heartbreaking Tom. It grieves me.
        I find prayer a relief. What I mean is that we can bring the pain we feel for these poor deceived souls before the Throne of Grace and leave it with Almighty God.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, although I “celebrate” that I stumbled across this amazingly revealing news item, as an ex-Catholic I could also “feel” the dismay and panic of those parishioners when they were informed that all of the sacraments they received over the past three years were invalid. This false gospel grieves the soul and, yes, we must pray for lost Catholic souls.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What one word can do damage for these “(c)hristians,” Tom! Such legalistic and sacramental views are contrary to GOD’s grace. A rabbit hole indeed. What an unmasking and worthy of a solo article. What will happened to those marraiges he has officiated, automatic annulled perhaps; a chance for those who change their minds so quickly? Funny, yet so sad why they are still misled. It only takes a sincere reading of the Bible and asking GOD to open one’s mind and heart. Were it not for GOD’s grace indeed. There are too many of them out there to be guided. Maybe after this virus, with boldness, I’ll try to talk face-to-face with a RCC friend and try to persuade based on your materials. GOD bless you and your wife, Tom.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Kent. The circumstances described in the article demonstrate the scrupulously legalistic nature of Roman Catholicism’s false gospel. Every genuine Gospel Christian would rightly recoil at what’s revealed by this article. I’m grateful I stumbled across the article, but I’m saddened for all Roman Catholics who are blinded and enslaved by this false gospel. Lord help us to reach out to Roman Catholics with the Good News. Thanks, Kent, and may God bless you and yours as well!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Honestly, I feel the weight of the priest. I hope this points this priest to the True Gospel that Christ is our burden carrier, our intermediary, our Great High Priest. As someone who does NOT like to let people that I care about down, I am sure that this priest is carrying unimaginable guilt and remorse. What’s sad is that I do not think he feels he let down Jesus; but rather, he let down the entire legal system. This whole post is a tract for leaving the RCC and coming to faith alone, by grace alone in Christ alone. There are NO works, no law filling that any human can do to please God and earn salvation. As your post shows, it only takes one small mishap and in the. Ase of this priest, he isn’t even the one who “messed up” it was done to him. There are three kinds of pits one that we willingly walk into, one we back into and one we get thrown into. In this instance it seems like this priest is the latter. I pray that the Holy Spirit will open this priests eyes to the Truth. It was necessary for One Man to die for the sake of many and maybe in this case, the invalidating of this one man will bring others out of RCC and into a real, personal, authentic relationship with Jesus Christ. Thank you Papa Tom for this post. This is one of those applications that will stick with me for forever and that is not an exaggeration.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Mandy. I likewise feel sorry for this priest who is an unwitting pawn in this false gospel system. All false legalistic religious systems will run into contingencies that cannot be resolved. I toil away week after week trying to demonstrate as best I can how Rome’s false gospel is not the genuine Gospel of grace. When I stumble upon a very revealing article, such as this one, I rejoice for its enlightening clarity, but I am saddened for those who are blinded by this false church. Yes, I pray that the Lord will use this “crisis” to cause many, including the priest, to question their religion and trust in Jesus Christ by faith alone. As an ex-Catholic who has studied the Catholic religion extensively for many years, this “crisis” was disturbing even for me.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The other thing that has been going around in my mind is why reveal this and not child abuse/molestation/pedophilia? I am thankful this priest and those higher up did not choose to ignore this for their parishioners/devotees sake. I thought you and Kent had an interesting point/dialogue in regards to marriages being annulled. I am sure to some that is a gift from God. I am glad this “crisis” still disturbed you. It means you have both a heart and a conscious! There was heaviness in my heart just reading your summary, I cannot even imagine how much worse the heaviness is truly believing one has to merit/earn/work for their salvation.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You bring up a good point that I also thought about. What motivated this priest to make an issue out of his baptismal “irregularity”? Perhaps he viewed the video with family and felt compelled to “do the right thing.” Or perhaps the young priest still takes the legalistic precepts of his religion very seriously. I imagine many older priests (and liberal priests) would have buried the revelation under an attitude of “what the public doesn’t know won’t hurt them.” The Detroit archbishop, Vigneron, was first promoted to the prelacy in 1996. It’s reasonable to assume that over those 24 years he covered up for abusive priests in some form or fashion. As you ask, why make a huge issue of this invalid ordination when the prelates covered up for abusive priests for decades? Thanks for the kind words. My heart grieves for those chained to this legalistic religious treadmill.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. 👋🏼
      Hope you and your daughters had a good homeschooling session. I had some good success with my last two painting-related projects which involved some home handyman jerryrigging.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. BTW, I’m currently reading a book titled “Dopesick” about the opioid epidemic in America. The reason I bring it up is because we often use the term, “hipster,” and I just read a passage in which the author states that the word can be traced to the Chinese opium dens of the 1800s where the indulgers reclined on one hip while smoking their opiate concoctions.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m only 70 pages in but it’s definitely not a breezy read. It’s actually downright depressing. I’m also reading Warfield’s book on the cessation of the apostolic gifts. I wasn’t thinking clearly when I decided to read those two simultaneously.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. When I saw the title “invalid priest” I thought it was a priest who couldnt walk…and maybe futilely sought healing from RCC. Agh, it’s worse than that.
    “Invalid religion” – true, any way you read it.
    Good post Tom, press on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lisa Beth! While writing this post, I didn’t even think about the other meaning (and pronunciation) of “invalid” that you’re referring to. Another example of why English is a difficult language for foreigners.
      Yes, an invalid priest and an invalid religion.
      Thank you for the encouragement in the Lord!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Every once in awhile, like with this article, the RCC gives me a gift and does ALL of my heavy lifting for me. I couldn’t have possibly imagined a more damning indictment of Catholic legalism than this situation. The ECTers would definitely leapfrog this type of revealing controversy. I have another thought associated with this post that I need to fire off sometime in the next week. I truly appreciate your support. I think most evangelical pastors these days would just as soon turn a blind eye to something like this.

      Liked by 1 person

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