Report: A Catholic Priest In Arizona Send Thousands to Hell

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Report: A Catholic Priest In Arizona Send Thousands to Hell
Rev. Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD). Report: A Catholic Priest In Arizona Send Thousands to Hell

A priest in the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona, has resigned after condemning thousands of his members to hell.  Many people and some journalists in major news outlets have expressed their horror after the revelation that Reverend Andres Arango had performed an illegitimate baptism to thousands. But how could a Catholic priest disqualify Jesus Christ’s work on the cross and condemn those he baptized to eternal damnation? Such power is greater than any power a human being can possess. And yet, according to the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, this power resides in the hands of Catholic priests.

 

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According to the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, the priest was supposed to use certain words while conducting one of the primary sacraments that qualify Catholics for entering into salvation. While performing baptism, the priest used the words “we baptize you” instead of the words “I baptize you.” This mistake meant that all those Catholics whom he had baptized were not baptized and since in Roman Catholicism, baptism is a sacrament that must be performed for entry into the Church and eternal life, those poor souls are now eternally lost.

 

Those who are not familiar with Catholic theology find this disturbing. They are wondering where in the Bible it is written that a person enters into heaven through which words a member of the clergy uses in baptism. The foundation of Catholicism is the sacraments, including Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Matrimony, and Holy Orders. They are spiritual ideals that qualify one within Catholic membership to eternal life. They are conducted under strict guidance of the church and any deviation from the specific wording, for example,  ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ in baptism, nullifies the sacrament.

 

According to Roman Catholicism, salvation is not based upon an individual’s decision: A person cannot enter into the Kingdom of God through faith in Jesus Christ only. The idea of being a believer in Jesus Christ is not an individual decision of the person unto salvation.  Rather, belief is a collective communion of the individual and the church. And what is the church? According to Catholicism, the Church is the established entity whose head is the pope (on earth). This entity is not just an organization but also a living organism. This means that for heaven to accept an individual, one must be inducted into the ‘Church’ through the submission to the sacraments. One cannot decide to submit to the sacraments without being guided into the process through certain processes permitted by Catholic Church Doctrine. To this end, no one will see the Kingdom of God outside of becoming a member of the Catholic Church and submission to the sacramental ‘ordination.’

 

It is for this reason that many Catholics fear to move out of Catholicism. Moving away from the Catholic Church and its established spiritual legality would mean moving away from Christ and therefore being disqualified for their entry into the Kingdom of God.

 

It is this spiritual legalism that Martin Luther, (born November 10, 1483, Eisleben, Saxony, Germany—died February 18, 1546), fought against. Luther’s rebellion against Catholic Sacramental theology as necessary for salvation resulted in what is now known as Protestantism. As a priest within the Catholic Church, Luther read the book of James and it was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that what was written in the book of James contradicted the Catholic principle of salvation through participation in the sacraments. The reason is because the idea of sacraments is based upon a person’s ability to fulfill sacramental rites before death. He realized that what Christ did was offer through grace, free salvation to man—based upon belief of the individual in the work of Christ Jesus as the means of salvation (and, of course, following Him). Thus, salvation is a gift of God’s grace to those who believe that Christ died for their sin (see Ephesians 2:8-9).

 

According to St. Paul, persons are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Martin Luther argued from Scriptures that the works (sacraments) are an affirmation of that free gift of salvation, not the means of salvation. After receiving salvation freely through faith in Christ (being born again), an individual, who has received the Holy Spirit, then willingly wants to do good works, rejoicing in response to the mercy and grace freely given by God because of Jesus Christ’s redeeming work on the cross. This clearly means an individual’s salvation is not dependent upon the words of a priest.

 

To see the reaction of horror of international media houses at the thought of thousands of Catholics not being qualified to go to heaven because of the words of a priest in Arizona affirms the ignorance within which many people live without understanding what God says in Scripture about salvation. Pastoral communities have a spiritual role in the life of a Christian, but one of them is not affirming salvation through a priest’s words. God offers salvation freely through the work of Yesu Kristo (Jesus Christ) alone.  In John 14:6, Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me” (NKJV). That is absolute! It is Christ who will declare one qualified or disqualified from entry into heaven, not a priest in Arizona.

 

By Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD)

HTBluff Associates

Diaspora Messenger Senior Columnist

 

For more information refer to these media reports: https://www.npr.org/2022/02/15/1080829813/priest-resigns-baptisms

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Report: A Catholic Priest In Arizona Send Thousands to Hell

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1 Comment
  1. El Tigre says

    I understand that if you are on your way to be baptized and get killed in a car accident, you will be considered baptized. What difference is this from believing your baptism is valid?

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