Former Catholic Priests and Consecration


#1

Would a former Catholic priest who converted to the Anglican or Episcopal Church validly consecrate the Host into the Body of Christ during their “supposed” consecration?


#2

Presuming the essential words are correct, they have the intent to do so, and the bread and wine is valid matter, yes. Ordination leaves a permanent mark on the soul and changes it. There is no such thing as a “former Catholic priest”. They still maintain their ability to consecrate and to absolve sins. That being said, it is illicit for a defrocked priest to do so unless in an emergency (ie: comes across a dying person in a car accident).


#3

How can someone who has left the Church still have the proper intent? :shrug:


#4

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:3, topic:293769"]
How can someone who has left the Church still have the proper intent? :shrug:

[/quote]

That is the question!


#5

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.


#6

It’s not impossible. We’re not splitting hairs here. The point I was making was that a “former priest” can still consecrate, even if he leaves the church.


#7

But how does their liturgy work? Do they use the same words at their "consecration" as we do?


#8

[quote="Facite, post:7, topic:293769"]
But how does their liturgy work? Do they use the same words at their "consecration" as we do?

[/quote]

I suppose it depends. There are several IFs involved:

IF a defrocked priest uses a legitimate missal approved by the Church, and
IF the matter used is valid, and
IF a defrocked priest has the intention to do what the Church intends (even though he has separated himself from the Church) and
IF if he was validly ordained in the first place

then and only then it would be valid. Totally illicit, mind you, but valid nonetheless. If any one of those is missing, so is the validity.


#9

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:3, topic:293769"]
How can someone who has left the Church still have the proper intent? :shrug:

[/quote]

He left over something extraneous to his belief in the Eucharist - say he wanted to get married, had a problem with celibacy, the Petrine office, use of "filioque" in the creed....lot's of reasons....you name it; you got it...


#10

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:3, topic:293769"]
How can someone who has left the Church still have the proper intent? :shrug:

[/quote]

Let me now ask you, has someone "left the Church" if he is a great sinner? What if he rejects or accepts some things the Church mandates otherwise - when is he a heretic and would any heresy do? How could anyone know this and ever be certain of the validity of the mysteries?

Let's face it this Orthodox Trojan Horse of the superficial differences of Cyprian v. Augustinian understanding of the sacraments is less than admirable....and sadly too often slipped in.


#11

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:6, topic:293769"]
It's not impossible. We're not splitting hairs here. The point I was making was that a "former priest" can still consecrate, even if he leaves the church.

[/quote]

There are three requirements for a valid Sacrament.

1 - valid formula said by a valid minister - since the priest is validly ordained and assuming he says the words correctly according to what the Church has approved, then he fulfills this requirement

2 - valid matter - let us assume the priest purchases hosts and wine from a Catholic supply store

3 - valid intent - the priest must do as the Church wills. Thus the question, since the priest left the Church, how can he have the same will as the Church?


#12

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:11, topic:293769"]
There are three requirements for a valid Sacrament.

3 - valid intent - the priest must do as the Church wills. Thus the question, since the priest left the Church, how can he have the same will as the Church?

[/quote]

If the priest has the proper intent it's irrelevant if he has formally left the Church (voluntarily or involuntarily by sin or otherwise). Church membership is not the touchstone. The sanctity of the priest is not the touchstone. The intent of the priest is the touchstone and he may well disagree on matters unrelated to the sacraments. So if he were to leave over something extraneous, he can validly confect the sacrament. God works in mysterious ways....


#13

[quote="johnnykins, post:12, topic:293769"]
If the priest has the proper intent it's irrelevant if he has formally left the Church (voluntarily or involuntarily by sin or otherwise). Church membership is not the touchstone. The sanctity of the priest is not the touchstone. The intent of the priest is the touchstone and he may well disagree on matters unrelated to the sacraments. So if he were to leave over something extraneous, he can validly confect the sacrament. God works in mysterious ways....

[/quote]

Again, how can you have the same intent as the Church if you are no longer with it? :shrug:


#14

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:13, topic:293769"]
Again, how can you have the same intent as the Church if you are no longer with it? :shrug:

[/quote]

Ask the Eastern Orthodox. They're not with the Church anymore, yet they have valid sacraments.

The intent the priest needs to have in the intent to confect the Eucharist.


#15

The Orthodox theology on the Sacraments is different from the Catholic. They do not have a legalistic concept of validity as the Catholic Church has. The Catholic pronouncement on validity of their Sacraments has no bearing or effect on what they think about their Sacrament.

If I ask the Orthodox about Catholic Sacraments they will say that the Catholic Sacraments are doubtful at best.


#16

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:13, topic:293769"]
Again, how can you have the same intent as the Church if you are no longer with it? :shrug:

[/quote]

The Church does allow, I think, for a laicized priest to celebrate the Eucharist in an emergency (say a war situation, a sinking ship, in a hostage crisis or something like that). So if he does in that situation then he is having the same intent as the Church I would think. Such a priest though can be in good standing with the Church (i.e. still be a practicing Catholic)

Perhaps for a priest who left the Church altogether, an emergency situation might cause a change of heart and a reconsideration of his rebellion, and want to help those with him in the same situation. I would think that's valid and licit as well.


#17

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:13, topic:293769"]
Again, how can you have the same intent as the Church if you are no longer with it?

[/quote]

Frequently such a priest has left the Church because of a different view on ecclesiology. Such a view need not change his intent to consecrate a valid Eucharist exactly as the Church has always done. Indeed, such a view is probably shared by a large number of priests who remain within the Church.

If you take the Orthodox approach, I don't think those views would matter either - in that case the key is whether the sacrament takes place within the church, or if instead it is part of say a Lutheran liturgy, and is therefore no sacrament at all.

Exactly.


#18

Maybe an example will help clear up your confusion:

A validly ordained Catholic priest leaves the Church and becomes an Anglican Priest. At the Anglican “mass” he takes bread and wine and says the words of consecration. What was his intent? Since the Anglican’s believe they have valid orders his intent can be reckoned to be to change the bread and wine into Jesus body blood soul and divinity and so it does.

I see a similar situation with the SSPX. They have a valid priesthood that is not currently in communion with the Church (i.e. they are no longer with it) yet they confect a valid Eucharist. Does not matter much that they were not “in” the Church before they went “out” as a former Catholic priest would be, the fact is that they have valid orders and can trans substantiate outside of the Church.

The same with our separated Orthodox brothers. They have a valid priesthood that is not currently communion with the Church yet I would be the first to defend that they have a valid Eucharist.


#19

The requirements for a sacrament are form, matter, and intent. We can presume that the matter is valid: bread and wine. We can debate the intent issue until we are blue in the face, but if the priest intends to confect the Eucharist, then that is what will be done. The form can be debated, too, but as far as I am are, the only requirement is the words of institution: “This is my Body.” “This is … my Blood.”

A good example within the Church would be Fr. Bill Rowe, recently given an early retirement for changing the texts of the Mass. We saw how one of his liturgies had many grave abuses and was more like a Jerry Lewis telethon than a Mass. But a valid priest, within the Church, with bread and wine, it is said that he always used the words of institution, and so there is no doubt that he confected a valid Eucharist, no matter how illicit the circumstances surrounding it.


#20

Okay, so I understand now that in order for their consecration to be valid; three parts; form, intent and matter. However, would we be allowed to receive their Eucharist since it is the REAL Body and Blood of Jesus?


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