Hosts Not Consecrated?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
You're going to think this is a stupid question, but I was debating this with 2 friends and the answer isn't obvious: We were talking about the miracle of consecration, and absolution, etc and how some percentage of PRIESTS in a survey professed to NOT really believe in transubstantion, but that communion is only a symbolic gesture! This would mean that unbenownst to the parishioners, they weren't really receiving consecrated hosts during mass. (If what my friend says is true that the priest has to WANT to do what the sacrament is defined as doing for it to be a valid sacrament.) But even if they weren't consecrated, would the person receiving communion receive the same grace because he THINKS they are? I was thinking that, if not, some people might go to mass and be a good catholic, and not even receive communion ever, even during Easter, and not know it. It would be so terrible, and worse, what if a priest didn't believe he was granting absolution for sins? they might not even get forgiven for their sins in confession, and could go to Hell and think they were in a state of grace! It's a scary thought, and are we the only ones to ever have thought of this "catch-22?" Jeanne
-- Galwithanother Question (email@example.com), July 21, 2004
Strictly speaking the "intention" required of the minister in the performance of the sacraments is "to do what the Church intends." It is not necessary that the priest understand, even correctly, what the theology of the sacrament. For example, were I unbaptized and trapped on an island with a Jew and wanted to be baptized, the Jew could baptize me if he agreed to "do whatever the Church thinks it does." So stop worrying about the intentions of the priests. If, God forbid, they were actually heretics, they probably think that their ideas are "correct." Now, let us assume that the "priest" was really in imposter and a fraud and did not "intend to do what the Church intends." In that case, the Grace of the sacrament would be available to those participating in the rite because of their desire. This is like the person who dies alone wanting to be baptized but cannot because their is no one to perform the ceremony: a "baptizm of desire." God would not deny graces or forgiveness to anyone who truly wanted them just because of the sins, heresy, or stupidity of the minister. This is called reception of grace "ex opera operantis"-- because of the action/desire of the person acting/ desiring. Stop trying to second guess the spiritual or moral state of your clery and start focusing on leading a life of devotion and prayer.
-- observer (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 22, 2004.
In every case that an actual priest celebrates the traditional mass to a community, saying all the right words, using all the proper gestures... that mass is always valid, transubstantiation takes place. The people are recieving the body and blood of Christ, even if he didn't believe in the Eucharist. Even if a man who is pretending to be a priest walks into a Church and celebrates the mass using all the right words and gestures and the community is completely tricked, they would still be recieving the Body and Blood of Christ. In that case the sacrament would be valid but licit.
The same with absolution, bro.
-- tim (email@example.com), July 22, 2004.
NO WAY!! If a man pretending to be a priest went through the motions of celebrating a Mass, absolutely NOTHING would happen. There would be NO consecration, NO sacrament, NO Mass. The whole charade would be totally invalid. The people would NOT receive the Body and Blood of Christ, just plain bread and wine. It is entirely possible that God might bestow the sacramental graces upon those who in good faith were unknowingly duped. But any such graces would be bestowed IN SPITE OF the fact that NO actual sacrament and NO actual Mass had taken place. The power to consecrate the Eucharist comes through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, and ONLY those who have received that sacrament are capable of celebrating Mass. "Capable" - not "authorized".
It is true however that a Mass celebrated by an actual priest who uses the correct matter and form is valid regardless of the priest's personal beliefs or feelings.
-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), July 22, 2004.
Reread, all responders, my first post. The unordained cannot validly say Mass or give absolution. They can, of course, perform (in emergencies) Baptism, as any lay person can. Next, it is not the case that any Mass said by an ordained priest using the correct forumula is always "valid": otherwise a priest could not take the part of a priest-character in a stage play and avoid confecting the Eucharist every time he plays the part on stage. The intention required for the Mass to be valid is "to do what the Church intends." An ordained priest may avoid consecrating the Eucharist in a play or otherwise by "not intending to do what the Church intends," i.e. by not intending to do whatever the Church expects priest to do at Mass. The inquirer should ignore the two posts after mine both cotnain errors.
-- observer (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 22, 2004.
actually, observer, you are quite incorrect, and paul m is quite right.
the personal beliefs of the priest do not affect the consecration of the eucharist, what matters is the ordained powers of the priest, and the action the priest takes in front of the congregation during the rite of the mass. while such a consecration WOULD take place, it would be PREFERABLE if the priests intentions were correct, although not necessary. (see the most recent version of the text: MASS CONFUSION)
on the other hand, again, paul m is correct in stating that it is not merely the actions which are counted towards the consecration. no ordinary person could enact the transubstantiation because they lack the powers granted by ordination.
-- paul h (email@example.com), July 22, 2004.
you guys need to go back to sunday school.
ill get you the canon scripts soon. if a man were to dress up as a priest, say the words and make the gestures, the mass is valid.
Are you saying that there are such things as valid masses in which the transubstantiation does not take place? i knew when i was in 1st grade that when we go to a Eucharistic celebration, the bread and wine became the body and blood of Christ.
In canon law it states that if someone were to impersonate a priest, say the words and make the gestures in front of a community, the community still attended a VALID but LICIT EUCHARISTIC CELEBRATION.
There are no such things as valid Eucharistic celebrations without the consecration. remember, the laity DO participate in the sacramental priestood...not fully, but they do. the idea of a lay man consecrating is not as repulsive as you guys are making it out to be.
c'mon guys...wise up
-- dookie (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 22, 2004.
In fact, there are 11 separate Canons dealing with the Minister of the Eucharist, and the very FIRST statement in the very FIRST such Canon reads as follows ...
(Can. 900 §1) "The only minister who, in the person of Christ, can bring into being the sacrament of the Eucharist, is a validly ordained priest."
Pretty straightforward, wouldn't you say?
-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), July 22, 2004.
Tim and dookie, I think by “licit” you mean “illicit”. heh,heh
For the consecration to take place, the priest must be validly ordained AND he must intend to do what he understands is done in every Mass by saying the words of consecration. Even if his understanding or belief is incorrect and he personally thinks the bread and wine do not actually become the real body and blood of Jesus.
The priest’s intent IS important. If someone sitting in the front pew had been to the bakery and the liquor store on the way to Mass and had a bottle of wine and a loaf of unleavened bread sitting on the pew, these would NOT be consecrated, even if the priest was looking and pointing directly at them when he said the words of the consecration, unless he INTENDED to consecrate them.
-- Steve (email@example.com), July 22, 2004.
Thank you Steve for stating the faith and discipline of the Church, which I have explained twice. For a valid Eucharist the celebrant must be ordained and "intend to do what the Church does" as he understands it. I am a priest with 20 years ordination, a doctorate in Church history, and 8 years of training in the theology of Thomas Aquinas, whom I teach to doctoral students at my university. This will probably be the last time I post to this board.
-- observer (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 23, 2004.
Thank you all for your postings! Observer, Please don't stop posting, as you have knowledge that most of us don't, and express it eloquently! Jeanne
-- Galwiththequestion (email@example.com), July 23, 2004.
Dookie and Tim are wrong. Paul & Observer are quite right. A non- ordained person saying the words of consecration accomplishes nothing. The bread is still bread.
What they may be remembering is the idea of "ecclesia supplet" or "the church supplies." However, that theological idea has been much mis-applied. The only thing that the "Church supplies" is jurisdiction - NOT matter, not form, not intention and certainly not ordination. The arena where "ecclesia supplet" actually applies is rather limited and a bit convoluted to get into here.
Hope that's helpful.
-- Fr. Mike Skrocki, JCD (cand) (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 23, 2004.
Tim & Dookie: Please review our Rules of the Forum thread which outlines the rules for conduct in the forum, particularly the section that says you cannot post under two different pseudonyms in the same thread.
-- Ed (email@example.com), July 24, 2004.
please, observer, do not stop posting. its not fair that these people loose out on your wisdom because of a jerk like me. i learn better sometimes when i post opposing arguments (mostly stupid ones). it helps me to become a better apologist. my theology isn't great, but when I write whatever might contradict what everybody is saying, i usually get excellent repsonses. when everybody agrees, i never learn anything.
well you can do what you want. im going to continue visiting this forum because it helps me grow in my theology and in my faith. ill try not to play devil's advocate so much.
im sorry guys
-- tim and dookie (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 24, 2004.
Must the rite of ordination state that the priest is conferred the right to offer sacrifice? I have been told thatit must be specifically stated.
-- Seeking answers (email@example.com), July 26, 2004.
I'm not sure if the rite of ordination actually includes that phrase, but it would be rather redundant, since the definition of "priest" is "one who offers sacrifice on behalf of the people".
-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), July 26, 2004.