Excommunicated priests and transubstantiation


#1

Is a priest who has been excommunicated still able to change the whole substance of the bread and the wine into the substance of the body and blood of Christ?

Thank you for any answers and references to Church documents! :slight_smile:

frenchandcatholic.wordpress.com/


#2

A priest is someone who received the Sacrament of the Holy Orders. If a priest is excommunicated, first of all he is suspended, that is, the Church revokes his priestly authority.

Now the issue is that a priest - even one in "good standing ;)" has no power or ability of his own: it is the Holy Spirit who, out of His own will, makes the miracle of Transubstantiation take place.

A validly ordained priest, as you may know, is acting in persona Christi, which means that at the moment of Consecration it is Jesus Christ Himself who is pronouncing the blessing and praying the Holy Spirit to come upon the pure gifts.

Remember that the Church is ruled by the successor of s. Peter. To Peter the Lord said:

Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

The moment that a priest is not validly ordained by the Church, or the Church suspended him, the extraordinary miracle of Holy Mass - the Sacrifice, Death, and Resurrection of Christ taking place before our eyes as if we were on Calvary with the Blessed Virgin and St. John - will not take place. At that time, the priest still shares in the common priesthood like the lay faithful, but he may not give blessings, much less celebrate Holy Mass.

On top of that, if a priest is suspended or excommunicated, it is a sacrilege to attempt to celebrate the Holy Mass. All he should be doing is attending Holy Mass on Sundays and days of obligation - for he is still bound to the duties of a Catholic.


#3

[quote="French_Catholic, post:1, topic:293320"]
Is a priest who has been excommunicated still able to change the whole substance of the bread and the wine into the substance of the body and blood of Christ?

Thank you for any answers and references to Church documents! :)

frenchandcatholic.wordpress.com/

[/quote]

A validly ordained priest is a priest forever. Being suspended, returned to the lay state or even excommunicated does not change that. The Church calls this an ontological change.

1582 As in the case of Baptism and Confirmation this share in Christ's office is granted once for all. The sacrament of Holy Orders, like the other two, confers an indelible spiritual character and cannot be repeated or conferred temporarily.74

1583 It is true that someone validly ordained can, for grave reasons, be discharged from the obligations and functions linked to ordination, or can be forbidden to exercise them; but he cannot become a layman again in the strict sense,75 because the character imprinted by ordination is for ever. The vocation and mission received on the day of his ordination mark him permanently.

CCC

Once ordained, the "power" and ability to act as a priest cannot be removed. All priests CAN confect the Eucharist. Their authority to do so, however, comes from thier Bishop. A priest who is excommunicated (formally) or who is returned to the clerical state is generally not allowed to say Mass. A priest who is suspended is often allowed to still say Mass but not publically.


#4

The quoted part is, simply, incorrect. A suspension of faculties does NOT mean an invalidation of a sacrament. If, at the time the sacrament was administered (in the suspended priest's case, the moment of ordination), there was proper matter, form and intent, then the sacrament took place. Nothing ever retroactively invalidates a valid sacrament. In response to the OP, if the suspended or excommunicated priest still intends to do as the Church intends, and uses proper matter and form, then he does indeed confect the Eucharist.

[quote="R_C, post:2, topic:293320"]

The moment that a priest is not validly ordained by the Church, or the Church suspended him, the extraordinary miracle of Holy Mass - the Sacrifice, Death, and Resurrection of Christ taking place before our eyes as if we were on Calvary with the Blessed Virgin and St. John - will not take place..

[/quote]


#5

[quote="juno24, post:4, topic:293320"]
The quoted part is, simply, incorrect. A suspension of faculties does NOT mean an invalidation of a sacrament. If, at the time the sacrament was administered (in the suspended priest's case, the moment of ordination), there was proper matter, form and intent, then the sacrament took place. Nothing ever retroactively invalidates a valid sacrament. In response to the OP, if the suspended or excommunicated priest still intends to do as the Church intends, and uses proper matter and form, then he does indeed confect the Eucharist.

[/quote]

Yes, I agree.


#6

[quote="juno24, post:4, topic:293320"]
The quoted part is, simply, incorrect. A suspension of faculties does NOT mean an invalidation of a sacrament.

[/quote]

Thank you for pointing out my mistake in such a kind way. You are totally right. I think it's called valid but illicit.


#7

[quote="R_C, post:6, topic:293320"]
Thank you for pointing out my mistake in such a kind way. You are totally right. I think it's called valid but illicit.

[/quote]

I believe you are correct. This exact situation happens with Priests who leave the Church to join or form breakaway sects. If they use valid matter they can transubstantiate the bread and wine. It will be the Eucharist (it is a valid consecration) but it will be done illicitly.


#8

Interestingly enough even if the priest concelebrates with an invalidly ordained, (or other denomination)[say an ex- priest and his ordained wife] transubstantiation will still occur. But as TheDoctor said, valid but illicit.


#9

[quote="Itari, post:8, topic:293320"]
Interestingly enough even if the priest concelebrates with an invalidly ordained, (or other denomination)[say an ex- priest and his ordained wife] transubstantiation will still occur. But as TheDoctor said, valid but illicit.

[/quote]

That it is not a simple as you say. The intent of doing as the Church intends migt not be there.


#10

The priest does not need to intend what the Church intends. He only needs to intend to do what the Church does.


#11

An “ex priest” is most likely validly ordained. Ordination is like Baptism, it is a once for all change that occurs at a particular point in time. Nothing that happens afterward can invalidate the ordination.


closed #12

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