I have been wondering what it means for transubstantiation to be performed by fallen priests. Is the Eucharist legitimate? Confession? That hardly seems possible. If a priest sexually abuses a child and performs mass…is any of it legitimate? If they continue their predatory or homosexual ways for decades, is anything they do over that time period legitimate?
Taking an extreme example: Theodore McCarrick and the Eucharist.
From Father Van Sloun, pastor of St. Bartholomew in Wayzata The final question is, “When, and under what conditions, does transubstantiation take place?” It happens within a valid Catholic Mass with a properly ordained priest who is acting “in persona Christi,” in the person of Christ. The priest must be in union with the Church and in line with apostolic succession. Transubstantiation takes place at the moment of the consecration when the priest pronounces the words of institution: “This is my Body” and “This is the chalice of my Blood.” “The priest pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God’s,” said St. John Chrysostom, as quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (No. 1375)
My concern goes deeper. From the Pennsylvania revelations, the percentage of priests partaking in such activities is incredibly high. Verified, reported, factual cases condemned 15-20% publically. What does this mean for the priestly duties they were performing?
I think this topic is, unfortunately, not a question of legtimacy in extremely rare cases, but a grave concern for a church that is infested. I’ve searched, but no one seems to take on this topic. I would love to hear thoughtful responses on what can and can’t be performed.