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.
I hope that Fr. Spence was misquoted, because if not this is serious misinformation. The doctrinal note from the CDF specifically said " Hence, they must them be treated for all canonical and pastoral purposes with the same juridical criteria as people whom the Code of Canon Law places in the general category of ‘non-baptised’".
So it is not a case of illicit baptisms, but invalid baptisms. This also does effect some sacraments. For those who were married after an invalid baptism it does not change the fact that they were married, it means they will not be sacramentally married until they are baptized. It also does not effect confessions in any real sense other than that they must be baptized before they can go to confession again now that they are aware of the problem. It does though invalidate anybody who was confirmed or ordained who was invalidly baptized. These two sacraments can only be conferred on a baptized person.