A priest in the Archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan, learned in early August 2020 that his baptism, which he thought he had received thirty years ago, was in fact invalid, and that most of the sacraments he had conferred as part of his ministry, were too. This is a sad consequence of conciliar liturgical anarchy.
The story - revealed by the Archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan, USA, on August 22, 2020 - would be incredible and could almost lead to a smile, if not for the deep wounds inflicted on the Church by the liturgical innovations that have appeared in in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, and which are still far from ceasing today.
Fr. Matthew Hood was firmly convinced at the very beginning of August 2020, that he had received the sacrament of Holy Orders in 2017, and legitimately exercised his ministry in a parish in Dearborn, Michigan.
But on August 6, a doctrinal note from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated that the use of personalized formulas in the sacrament of baptism—such as “in the name of the community, we baptize you in the name of the Father, etc.”—renders it invalid, and necessitates repeating it absolutely, according to the form approved by the Church.
Fr. Matthew Hood reads the document and suddenly feels a shiver run through his body: he gets his hands on the video filmed at his baptism a few days after he was born in 1990, and what he sees freezes his blood.
On the screen, one clearly sees the permanent deacon—Mark Springer, in charge of most baptisms in the parish between 1986 and 1999—using the erroneous form “ ‘we’ baptize you,” on the infant, instead of the “ ‘I’ baptize you.”
Following a quick inquiry conducted by the diocesan hierarchy, Matthew Hood received in a few days all the sacraments: baptism, confession, Eucharist, confirmation, and orders, after a brief canonical retreat.
But the task of the archdiocese had only just begun: since August, the clerics of the Episcopal Curia have been working to find all the subjects invalidly baptized by Mark Springer, as well as all those who, since 2017, have received sacraments from Fr. Matthew Hood.
In its August 22 communiqué, to justify its position, the Archdiocese of Detroit recalls: “As far as the sacraments are concerned, there must not only be the good intention of the minister but also the proper matter and form. If one of these elements is missing, the sacrament is not valid.”
The man through whom the scandal came, Deacon Mark Springer, has been dismissed: “he is no longer in active service,” the ecclesiastical authority carefully notes.
The question is whether, as in Agatha Christie’s best novels, one is not mistaken: would Mark Springer — and so many other clerics with him — would have gotten caught up in the flood of liturgical innovations, had he not had the sad example of the diocesan liturgical commissions, set up at the Second Vatican Council, in order to “adapt” the liturgy, and to insist on its “community dimension”?
Everyone should reread, with renewed interest, the series of articles published on FSSPX.News, 50 Years of the New Mass, including the analysis of the dogmatic constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, promulgated in 1963.