How can a Priest who abuses children


#1

still turn the Eucharist into the body and blood of Christ? If the person is abusing children at night, just as an example, then the next morning celebrates the mass, how can such a person change the bread and wine into Jesus Christ?

Also, what if the priest is saying the right words, but has very bad intentions, and doesn’t really believe that he is doing anything to the bread and wine…is it still chaning? Why?

Thanks in advance.


#2

Short, quick answer.

It is becuase it is God who turns the Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood, not the priest.


#3

Thank God the efficacy of the sacraments does not depend on the virtue of the priest! If it did, then Jesus would not have given us much of a gift in the sacraments, because they are filtered through sinful human beings.

The intention of the priest is a necessary component for a valid Eucharist. The priest must intend to do what the Church does to confect a valid Eucharist.


#4

Longer answer:

Because the priest, by virtue of his ordination not his personal holiness, has been endowed by the Holy Spirit witht he capacity to become and alter Christus (another Christ). In other words, during the consecration, the priest stands in the place of Christ, and it is Christ who, through the priest, changes the bread and wine into His Body and Blood.

It has been the constant tradition of the Church that the Sacrament of the Eucharist occurs simply because of the action being done (validly, of course), not the sanctity of the one doing it.


#5

Apostolic Succession, plain and simple.

Our priest said that even an excommunicated priest could perform the last rites in an emergency situation (like on an airplane if someone had a heart attack and he was the only priest present - extreme example of course). That Holy Orders were like baptism, it imprints your soul and that can never be taken away.


#6

posted by atsheeran

The intention of the priest is a necessary component for a valid Eucharist. The priest must intend to do what the Church does to confect a valid Eucharist.

Are you sure:confused: I did not think the intention of the priest mattered. It is not the priest whose faith or lack of it that the miracle is happening, but as ByzCath said God who is doing the miracle.

If it depended on the intentions of the priest, then there could be thousands of Catholics who never receive a valid sacrament because the priest no longer believes or intends to confect a valid Eucharist.

Are you sure the intentions of the priest are necessary?

posted by Dr. Collosus
It has been the constant tradition of the Church that the Sacrament of the Eucharist occurs simply because of the action being done (validly, of course), not the sanctity of the one doing it.

This would negate the intention of the celebrant as long as the action were correct. Yes?
God Bless,
Maria


#7

This is great stuff, I need more help though, keep it coming. I didn’t think that the intentions of the priest mattered, though i wasn’t sure. That would seem to tie into what I was talking about. If the priest is so bad as to be abusing kids, then for all we know, the Priest could have bad intentions when consecrating the wine and bread…how would we, the faithful know, that we are taking an invalid Eucharist, therefore we’d be worshipping bread instead of Christ?


#8

[quote=MariaG]Are you sure:confused: I did not think the intention of the priest mattered. It is not the priest whose faith or lack of it that the miracle is happening, but as ByzCath said God who is doing the miracle.

If it depended on the intentions of the priest, then there could be thousands of Catholics who never receive a valid sacrament because the priest no longer believes or intends to confect a valid Eucharist.

Are you sure the intentions of the priest are necessary?

[/quote]

I believe intention is necessary.

As atsheeran said…

[quote=atsheeran]The priest must intend to do what the Church does
[/quote]

He does not have to believe, just intend to do what the Church does.


#9

The Catholic doctrine of the efficacy of sacraments distinguishes between grace being conferred from work already performed in the actions of Christ and therefore present in the sacrament itself:

*Ex opere operato

*versus grace being conferred due to pious actions being performed by the priest here and now:

Ex opere operantis

The efficacy of the sacrament of the Eucharist is given by actions already performed by Christ, and therefore comes from the sacrament itself ex opere operato.

reference: Catechism 1128


#10

I believe the intentions of the priest only come into effect when there is more than one paten or chalice. The effect of the consectration can be extended to those things the priest intends to consecrate (such as extra chalices on the altar for use by deacons or EMHCs) but the ones he holds in his hands are always consecrated.


#11

Forgive me for my confussion. It may be my Protestant roots showing.

So even though it is through Christ, the Priest still needs to intend for it to happen? He just can’t go through the motions without intent?

God Bless,
Maria

okay, so even if the priest did not intend to confect, if he goes through the motions, what he holds will become the body and blood, but the “extras” on the altar won’t?


#12

[quote=MariaG]Forgive me for my confussion. It may be my Protestant roots showing.

So even though it is through Christ, the Priest still needs to intend for it to happen? He just can’t go through the motions without intent?

God Bless,
Maria
[/quote]

Read CCC 1128. Neither intention nor moral uprightness matter because Christ Himself is the sole source of the grace of the sacrament.


#13

[quote=adnauseum]Read CCC 1128. Neither intention nor moral uprightness matter because Christ Himself is the sole source of the grace of the sacrament.
[/quote]

I read it and it does talk about intention.

(bold emphasis added)

1128 This is the meaning of the Church’s affirmation that the sacraments act ex opere operato (literally: “by the very fact of the action’s being performed”), i.e., by virtue of the saving work of Christ, accomplished once for all. It follows that “the sacrament is not wrought by the righteousness of either the celebrant or the recipient, but by the power of God.” From the moment that a sacrament is celebrated in accordance with the intention of the Church, the power of Christ and his Spirit acts in and through it, independently of the personal holiness of the minister. Nevertheless, the fruits of the sacraments also depend on the disposition of the one who receives them.

All this is speaking of is on the personal holiness. The priest still must intend to do what the Church does.


#14

[quote=adnauseum]Read CCC 1128. Neither intention nor moral uprightness matter because Christ Himself is the sole source of the grace of the sacrament.
[/quote]

Actually, CCC 1128 says the priest must celebrate the sacrament “in accordance with the intention of the Church”

1128 This is the meaning of the Church’s affirmation49 that the sacraments act ex opere operato (literally: “by the very fact of the action’s being performed”), i.e., by virtue of the saving work of Christ, accomplished once for all. It follows that "the sacrament is not wrought by the righteousness of either the celebrant or the recipient, but by the power of God."50 From the moment that a sacrament is celebrated in accordance with the intention of the Church, the power of Christ and his Spirit acts in and through it, independently of the personal holiness of the minister. Nevertheless, the fruits of the sacraments also depend on the disposition of the one who receives them.

The intention of the priest matters.


#15

Sorry for the overlap. ByzCath made the point I was making. I always take too long in making my posts.


#16

I think we should solilcit a ruling by someone who is studied in the issue. I’m certainly not.

Now as an amateur philosopher, I offer the following:

In the relevant CCC passage, the intention referred to is the intention of the Church, versus an individual.

Surely we’re not saying that the individual priest must have a specific mental state or mental act in order for the Eucharist to be valid? This would seem to put the validity of any specific consecration in question.

Again, I appeal to someone who is an expert in this area to weigh in on this.


#17

This is from the Catholic Encyclopedia at newadvent.com:

“The Church teaches very unequivocally that for the valid conferring of the sacraments, the minister must have the intention of doing at least what the Church does”


#18

[quote=atsheeran]Thank God the efficacy of the sacraments does not depend on the virtue of the priest! If it did, then Jesus would not have given us much of a gift in the sacraments, because they are filtered through sinful human beings.

The intention of the priest is a necessary component for a valid Eucharist. The priest must intend to do what the Church does to confect a valid Eucharist.
[/quote]

“”"“Thank God the efficacy of the sacraments does not depend on the virtue of the priest! “””""

It seems to “depend upon the preists sex though”

I laughed at this…


#19

Ask an expert, someone already has.

From Ask the Apologist.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=13383&highlight=intent+priest

Yes, a priest must intend to do what the church does.

Thanks all for the input that cleared up something for me personally, even though I didn’t know I needed it to be clarified!

God Bless,
Maria


#20

[quote=michael777]"""“Thank God the efficacy of the sacraments does not depend on the virtue of the priest! “””""

It seems to “depend upon the preists sex though”

I laughed at this…
[/quote]

No it doesn’t as there is no such thing as a female priest.

To be a priest on must be male.


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