Actually, it is.
I know it sounds difficult to accept. What we have to keep in mind that the Church says very clearly “do NOT do this…” It’s like many things in secular life. There are plenty of things that we have the ability to do, but it’s still wrong to do them.
I think that was Malphono’s point. It is not that a priest must follow all of the rubrics for a valid confection (though certainly he must for a licit confection!), but he must have the intent to do what the Church does, and to me it seems that the intent of the Church (and ultimately of Christ) is much more than simply transforming bread and wine in any context…it must be within the context of the august sacrifice.
I see what you’re getting at, but the context isn’t required for validity. A priest is required to follow the Missal for a complete Mass. There’s no doubt about this. But still, if he attempts consecration outside of Mass, it still happens.
Brendan suggested that a priest muttering “this is my body” over bread at a grocery store could validly confect the Eucharist,
Yes, he could. But remember that just because he can do it, doesn’t mean he should do it. After all, someone could also go through the bread aisle, open every package and throw each loaf onto the floor. We all know that no one should do such a thing, but we likewise accept that a person has the ability to do it.
but I would think such a priest would be 1) mentally ill to attempt such a thing and 2) intending to do something completely alien to the mind of the Church. Yes, Trent defined that “this is my body” and “this is my blood” are the necessary words, the necessary form, but isn’t that whole definition dependent upon the context of the holy sacrifice of the mass?
No, it’s not dependent on context; not for the sake of validity.
I know that our Eastern brothers and sisters would certainly struggle with this argument. As far as the Orthodox are concerned, if the divine liturgy is not celebrated, the Eucharist is not present. Period.
Let’s keep in mind that no one is actually suggesting that such a thing would be right and proper.
It’s just a hypothetical situation. Defending the possibility that it “could” be done is not in the least way defending any priest who might do it.