I went to a funeral and suspected that the priest was not really a priest (the way he was dressed, how he conducted the Mass, etc)…
It turned out I was right!
There are many false priests in my city, and they offer their ‘service’ for funerals, weddings, etc.
I told this to a Catholic friend and said it saddened me that my friends thought they were having a real Mass for their deceased loved one, and they were not.
He answered: ‘the faith supplies what was lacking at that Mass’. And he cited a Canon Law article that says ‘Ecclesia supplet’ (CIC 144|1 )
I told him that if a false priest celebrates a ‘Mass’, no matter how great the faith of the people attending may be, Christ is not present on the supposedly consecrated species of bread and wine. Period. It is not a matter of faith. There was no validly ordained priest there, so there is no Eucharist either.
I am sure about that, but still I do not know for sure what the principle of ‘Ecclesia supplet’ means and how it applies.
Could someone please explain it to me?