The Vatican issued a statement that baptisms performed using words that do not refer to the Father, Son, and Spirit are invalid. According to Zenit:

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith clarified that two formulae for baptism that remove the masculine names for God are invalid and undermine faith in the Trinity.

The congregation’s statement, made public today, responded to two questions concerning the validity of baptism conferred without referring to God the Father and Son.

The first question is: “Is a baptism valid if conferred with the words ‘I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier,’ or ‘I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer’?”

The second question is: “Must people baptized with those formulae be baptized ‘in forma absoluta’?”

The responses are: “To the first question, negative; to the second question, affirmative.”

That is, the use of the wrong words means that no baptism was performed. The person remains unbaptized, and cannot receive any other sacraments. If he went through the rites of confirmation and matrimony, he did not in fact receive those sacraments. He must be baptized, confirmed, and married for the first time.

But the Brisbane archdiocese in which most of these pseudo-baptisms were performed decided that the Vatican was wrong, the baptisms were valid, but illicit. According to the Chancellor Jim Spence in the Courier Mail:

The Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane says the blunder may affect anyone baptised at the St Marys Catholic Church before 2004.
The notice has been issued after a fresh directive this week from the Catholic Church in Vatican City.
The baptisms used two illicit formulas: “I baptise you in the name of the Creator and of the Redeemer and of the Sanctifier and “I baptise you in the in the name of the Creator and of the Liberator and of the Sustainer.
The legitimate formula is “I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
The chancellor of the diocese, Father Jim Spence, said the priests at the parish were ordered to revert to the traditional formula in 2004 but that some people may still be unaware their baptisms were wrongly administered.
He said he was unaware how many people it may affect. The church is currently considering whether there will be a need for those illicitly baptised to have the ritual legitimately.
“It doesn’t mean it’s invalid, it just means it’s illicit, he said.
“It doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen, it means that it shouldn’t have happened.
“I guess (those affected) would have all sorts of reactions. I would hope that anybody whos troubled by it would get in touch.”
Baptism, the first of seven sacraments in the church, is the rite of initiation into the church and is usually administered shortly after birth.
Fr Spence said the illicit baptisms did not invalidate subsequent sacraments, including confirmation, penance and marriage.

The laity of Australia have access ot the Internet, and can read the Vatican’s statement. They can choose between the authority of Jim Spence and Pope Benedict.

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