An Australian blogger, Sentire cvm Ecclesia, alerted me to a distressing story.
You will remember that in the Diocese of Brisbane, Australia, there was a terrible… and I mean terrible… problem of invalid baptisms being performed by priests who were using an invalid form. Instead of using the proper and valid "I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (while pour the water), they were saying something like "in the name of the Creater, Redeemer and Sanctifier", or some such invalid nonsense.
WDTPRS looked at this here.
The Holy See intervened and the local bishop at last intervened to put this to a stop.
Now we get this story from The Australian. The writer the biographer of Card. Pell. My emphases and comments.
Brisbane church defies Pope on baptism
Tess Livingston, October 2, 2008
DESPITE four years of pressure from Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby and a recent Vatican crackdown on invalid baptisms, the controversial St Mary’s South Brisbane has again defied church authorities.
A recent baptism, captured on video and dated September 21, has been posted on the YouTube internet site. [It has since been made "private". Sentire cvm Ecclesia wrote that the video has been made available to Church authorities.]
The clip shows resident priest Terry Fitzpatrick baptising a young child with the words, "We baptise you in the name of the creator, sustainer and liberator of life", adding "who is also father, son and spirit". [Sorry, Father. That's invalid.]
The priest then added: "That’s good, nice and cool" and invited "everyone to put water on him". [Groovy!]
The Australian put several questions to Father Fitzpatrick yesterday but he declined to comment. [What is there to say? How about, "I regret my terrible mistake. I apologize and I will never do that again. From now on I won't be stupid and defy the Church in the matter of validity of the foundational sacrament Jesus instituted for our salvation.]
Catholic commentator and editor of Annals magazine, Paul Stenhouse, said he doubted the baptism was valid "because the form of the Sacrament cannot be varied".
"It sounds like green theology to me," Father Stenhouse said. [Good catch.]
The legitimate form of baptism is: "I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
The two priests at St Mary’s, Father Fitzpatrick and Peter Kennedy, were ordered to revert to the correct form of baptism in 2004 after it emerged that hundreds of children had been baptised using the wrong formula.
In March, a statement released with approval from the Pope outlawed baptisms being conferred with the words "I baptise you in the name of the creator, and of the redeemer, and of the sanctifier" or "I baptise you in the name of the creator, and of the liberator, and of the sustainer". [That can be found here.]
The fresh controversy has emerged after Archbishop Bathersby wrote to St Mary’s in August warning that the church could be closed down "by practices that separate it from communion with the Roman Catholic Church".
The letter was prompted by complaints to the Vatican about a Buddhist statue in the church.
Three Vatican Congregations — for bishops, clergy and worship and the sacraments — asked the Archbishop to act.
The St Mary’s community, which includes a significant number of Catholic teachers and school principals, has been meeting to consider its position. [I could help them with that. I think the Archbishop there is going to help them with that very soon.]
St Mary’s has sparked controversy for years because of its own Eucharistic prayer, which is said by the congregation as well as the priest, its elimination of important sections of the mass, its occasional substitution of other material for scriptural readings, and its female and non-Catholic preachers. [Sounds like a great place, huh?]
A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Brisbane said: "Once those with liturgical expertise have had an opportunity to view the YouTube link/footage and discuss it with others, they will be able to provide some advice to the Archbishop as to the validity."
What did the Holy See issue about the form of baptism they were… um.. are using at that parish? There was a response by the CDF to a dubium.
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS PROPOSED
on the validity of Baptism conferred with the formulas
«I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier»
and «I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer»
First question: Whether the Baptism conferred with the formulas «I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier» and «I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer» is valid?
Second question: Whether the persons baptized with those formulas have to be baptized in forma absoluta?
To the first question: Negative.
To the second question: Affirmative.
The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, approved these Responses, adopted in the Ordinary Session of the Congregation, and ordered their publication.
Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, February 1, 2008.
William Cardinal Levada
+ Angelo Amato, S.D.B.
Titular Archbishop of Sila
[00327-02.01] [Original text: Latin]