How to defend this apparent discrepancy: Non-Catholic pastors can validly baptize, but NOT administer a valid Eucharist


#1

A complaint from a Protestant friend:

So, if a non-Catholic pastor can validly baptize -- which even the Catholic church recognizes. Why can't a non-Catholic pastor validly consecrate the Eucharist? (for example, let's say in the Lutheran or Anglican tradition). That seems inconsistent

Thanks for your help!


#2

Actually any Catholic or non-Catholic lay person can validly baptize. One does not need to be ordained in order to baptize, but only a validly ordained priest can confect the Eucharist.


#3

The answer is in the Apostles Creed. “I believe in one baptism”.


#4

Good question. Because, I just always "knew" that most anyone can administer baptism, following the formula, "I baptize you in the name of the Father..."
I knew that only priests can consecrate the bread and wine that makes real the full and true presence of Christ.
I know, for instance that deacons can pretty much administer all the sacraments, except consecration of the Holy Eucharist.
I know that the real ministers in a marriage are the man and woman, and everyone else is witness, with priest or deacon as an official Church witness.
So, those things I just "knew," and not quite questioned why.

The Eucharist as held in Catholic belief is pretty much a pinnacle of sorts.
Whereas other Christian beliefs speak of their breaking of the bread as symbolic, we have made the huge step of saying that it is more than just symbolic.
I recall a friend of mine, a Lutheran convert, and she points to this particular belief, Christ's words were, "This is my body,"


#5

Apostolic Succession in short. In a more detailed manner, the power of the keys is needed to have the authority to offer sacrifices. Peter got the power, but the other apostles got it to an extent too. Those Protestant groups can't confect the Eucharist because they broke their succession by downgrading Ordination from being a sacrament. Basically Ordination consecrates someone to act in place of Christ. Thus Confession requires at least a priest as well.


#6

[quote="WoundedIcon, post:5, topic:325833"]
Apostolic Succession in short. In a more detailed manner, the power of the keys is needed to have the authority to offer sacrifices. Peter got the power, but the other apostles got it to an extent too. Those Protestant groups can't confect the Eucharist because they broke their succession by downgrading Ordination from being a sacrament. Basically Ordination consecrates someone to act in place of Christ. Thus Confession requires at least a priest as well.

[/quote]

To clarify, even had protestants believed in the Sacrament of Holy Orders they "still" would not have valid ministers as they would still be self ordained and not ordained by Christ Himself. There are some protestant denominations who believe in the Real Presence and have the "Eucharist" at their service. Is it really Christ? Of course not. Without a validly ordained Catholic Priest, it is nothing more than playing make believe.


#7

Protestants don't have the eucharist at all. Ask your non-Catholic acquaintance if the bread his community uses for communion becomes the actual body of Christ, the actual body of Christ under the appearance of bread. That is the eucharist. Protestants themselves as a rule don't believe that they administer the eucharist, but rather that they have something else than this, generally unchanged bread.
Some Episcopalians do believe that they have the eucharist. If your friend is an Episcopalian, ask again here, but I will assume your friend is a Protestant who is not Episcopalian.


#8

[quote="Pilosopo, post:4, topic:325833"]
I know, for instance that deacons can pretty much administer all the sacraments, except consecration of the Holy Eucharist.

[/quote]

Actually, deacons cannot administer Holy Orders (the bishop is the only ordinary minister), Confirmation (bishops are the ordinary ministers and priests by delegation are the extraordinary minister), Reconciliation (bishops and priests are ordinary ministers) and Anointing of the Sick (bishops and priests are ordinary minister). That's four of the seven.

Deacons can only minister in Holy Communion, Marriage and Baptism. Only bishops and priests can confect the Eucharist. Deacons can administer Holy Communion.


#9

[quote="dcarollo, post:1, topic:325833"]
A complaint from a Protestant friend:

So, if a non-Catholic pastor can validly baptize -- which even the Catholic church recognizes. Why can't a non-Catholic pastor validly consecrate the Eucharist? (for example, let's say in the Lutheran or Anglican tradition). That seems inconsistent

Thanks for your help!

[/quote]

My lengthy reply below may seem to ramble. This is because the Protestant friend mentioned above might still be confused by a "too short" answer that leads to a next question - which I try to anticipate and answer all at once (same page).
All info below is not so much authoritive - just a sharing about things I've seen, and a few examples that may clarify things for the questioner rather than further confuse them. :)

It's not inconsistent - the two sacraments are different, hence have different rules.
The Catholic Church (which was issued the keys by Jesus) decided somewhere along the line that "less than priests" could validly baptize. Not so with CONSECRATING the Eucharist.

Even a non-Catholic lay person could baptize validly in an emergency using the right form, words, water and having the intent to baptize a person into the Catholic Church - plus the intent of the baptized if they are past the age of reason (I believe). Since it is an emergency - even that last bit about*** intent*** would not prevent one from baptizing a living but unconscious person (say on a battlefield). I'm thinking of the baptism scene from "Black Robe" (after an Indian ambush) here I must admit.

Lutherans do not have valid orders because Luther was not a Bishop and able to pass apostolic succession on in the laying on of hands.

Anglicans had valid Bishops and Order despite their break from Rome at the time of Henry VIII -- and during the reign of his daughter Mary (when Catholicism was returned as the faith of the realm) probably some of the same churchmen continued on with mass unhindered. However (I'd heard) that Henry appointed some Bishops without their having had the hands of other Bishops laid upon them (i.e. they were invalid Bishops per apostolic succession) and then the priests such Bishops ordained would be ordained apart from legitimate apostolic succession.

Catholic Deacons, Acolytes, Lectors, Laymen, Sisters Superior, Nuns, College Theologians and others who are not priests cannot consecrate the Eucharist either -- until or unless they ever are ordained priests. But they can distribute the consecrated Eucharist or transport it if deputized (even a bit informally) to do so.

RELATED STORY:

We had a non-Catholic (but baptized Christian) leader in our Diocese wide Catholic Young Adult Ministry (a board member). Once, during a retreat, a visiting priest said a mass and at Communion time, he gestured that leader to come forward (which he did). Thinking the man to be Catholic, the priest had him help distribute the Eucharist, administer a chalice.

I don't think (or remember if) that guy received communion, but he dutifully distributed the hosts saying "Body of Christ" and as we answered "Amen" he correctly administered the hosts.

WAS that Eucharist invalidated by a seemingly unqualified and spontaneously deputized "extraordinary minister of the Eucharist"? No. It was the Eucharist. I don't think the priest ever found out his presumption of Catholicism was wrong. That leader had given a talk (for SOME talks our rules allowed Christian non-Catholics to speak) -- and Father probably presumed him to be eligible.

Going back to JESUS. He gave the power to "do this" to the 11 faithful apostles on the night of the Last Supper. Not to everyone. And these apostles, the initial Bishops of the Church (and Bishop ordainers) passed the powers on to a next generation of Bishops in their succession.

Individually - Some Anglicans (priests too) have become Catholics. Even Catholic priests (I know of one personally - and a married one at that)! He was married as an Anglican priest then came over. He of course CAN consecrate the Eucharist and absolve sins in confession to boot! I THINK when an Anglican priest converts to Catholicism he is ordained by a Catholic Bishop (even if his initial Orders per apostolic succession MIGHT be valid since they "might not" be). Is such called a conditional ordination?

And though I personally don't know of one who is - it might be possible for a Lutheran who rejoined the Catholic Church to become a priest too - and receive those powers (to serve - and this may already** be **somewhere).

Among the "Eastern Churches," Eastern Catholic Churches are in union with Rome but operate under a different "rite" (valid Eucharist, priests, Patriarchs have power to consecrate); the Eastern Orthodox Churches that are not currently in union with Rome on some matters nevertheless have apostolic succession.

The Consecration of the Eucharist during the divine liturgy of both the Eastern Catholic churches and the Eastern Orthodox churches is valid. A Catholic of the Roman rite of the Church can attend an Eastern Catholic divine liturgy and receive Communion during that liturgy without problem, and the Eastern Catholic divine liturgy would fulfill the Sunday/holy day obligation. Although Catholics can occasionally attend Eastern Orthodox liturgies as a guest, those liturgies do not fulfill the Sunday/holy day obligation to attend Mass. Catholics ordinarily should not receive Communion at an Eastern Orthodox divine liturgy, though there are circumstances in which this is permitted.

-- excerpt from an answer on a related topic by CAF's Michelle Arnold

catholic.com/quickquestions/are-eastern-masses-valid-should-catholics-receive-communion-at-them


#10

[quote="CaptFun, post:9, topic:325833"]
Even a non-Catholic lay person could baptize validly in an emergency using the right form, words, water and having the intent to baptize a person into the Catholic Church - plus the intent of the baptized if they are past the age of reason (I believe).

[/quote]

Just to add a word of emphasis. The non-Catholic does not need to be a Christian, or believe in the existence of God. ANYONE can baptize validly in an emergency.

BECAUSE this is the gateway to all other sacraments and to salvation. It must be readily available in emergencies.


#11

[quote="Evan, post:10, topic:325833"]
Just to add a word of emphasis. The non-Catholic does not need to be a Christian, or believe in the existence of God. ANYONE can baptize validly in an emergency.

BECAUSE this is the gateway to all other sacraments and to salvation. It must be readily available in emergencies.

[/quote]

True. Covered in non-Catholic - but your emphasis is probably a benefit since this fact amazes people. :-) Thanks Evan


#12

[quote="SaintFrancis333, post:6, topic:325833"]
To clarify, even had protestants believed in the Sacrament of Holy Orders they "still" would not have valid ministers as they would still be self ordained and not ordained by Christ Himself. There are some protestant denominations who believe in the Real Presence and have the "Eucharist" at their service. Is it really Christ? Of course not. Without a validly ordained Catholic Priest, it is nothing more than playing make believe.

[/quote]

One needs to walk very carefully here.

Among the Protestants are the Anglican/Episcopalians and (for lack of a better term) "hig" Lutherans. Both have a service that can look and sound like a Mass, or come very close.

Where the problem comes in is that on an occasion, someone will be ordained legitimately (as in, validly) although not licitly by a bishop who has broken off from the Church (such as the group called Old Catholics). It may not happen often, but has been known to occur. And if a man were to be ordained by a bishop who either broke off, or was ordained by another who broke off, then the ordination is valid, and they could validly confect the Eucharist. Not licitly, but validly. The Anglican/Episcopal ordinations were deemed invalid after they made changes to the sacrament which Rome deemed no longer provided validity.


#13

[quote="mdgspencer, post:7, topic:325833"]
Protestants don't have the eucharist at all. Ask your non-Catholic acquaintance if the bread his community uses for communion becomes the actual body of Christ, the actual body of Christ under the appearance of bread. That is the eucharist. Protestants themselves as a rule don't believe that they administer the eucharist, but rather that they have something else than this, generally unchanged bread.
Some Episcopalians do believe that they have the eucharist. If your friend is an Episcopalian, ask again here, but I will assume your friend is a Protestant who is not Episcopalian.

[/quote]

I believe you can include some of the Lutherans also.


#14

[quote="CaptFun, post:9, topic:325833"]

And though I personally don't know of one who is - it might be possible for a Lutheran who rejoined the Catholic Church to become a priest too - and receive those powers (to serve - and this may already** be **somewhere).Lutherans have been ordained Catholic priests, as have Methodists; and in my archdiocese we had a married priest who had been a Presbyterian minister, and he was awesome! Sadly, he died - sorely missed.

[/quote]


#15

=dcarollo;10724725]A complaint from a Protestant friend:

So, if a non-Catholic pastor can validly baptize -- which even the Catholic church recognizes. Why can't a non-Catholic pastor validly consecrate the Eucharist? (for example, let's say in the Lutheran or Anglican tradition). That seems inconsistent

Thanks for your help!

NOT only can your Pastor friend Baptize; but IF necessary so can you; me or any Christian under defined conditions.

WHY?

It has to do with God's DESIRE that "all men be saved"

The Other sacramnets [marriage excluded**] require Ordination AND Direct Apostolic Succession.

** Marraige: The couple themselves EFFECT the marriage and make it VALID. The Church atcs [or pastor] as a a wittness only. BUT the Ordained Priest [for the church] makes it SACRAMENTAL and a source of Gods grace.:D

LOOK carefully at Matthew 16:19-20
"God is passing on to Peter and through Peter to HIS Successors" UNLIMITED powers of Governance [binding and loosning]. cf. WHAT ever Laws you make or void; HEAVEN WILL SUPPORT!

The Eucharist and Forgiveness of SINS were are and ARE very precisely granted to ONLY the Apostles and there successors.

Eucharist: Luke 22:19-21 & 1st. Cor. 11:23-26
Forgiveness of SINS John 20:19-23

If in doubt: READ mt. 10:1-8 then Mk. 14:16-17 and Mt. 28:18-20 and see to whom God GRANTS his powers and authority>

cf. "As the does send ME; NOW, I also SEND "YOU"
John 17:18 AND jon 20:21

God Bless,


#16

[quote="dcarollo, post:1, topic:325833"]
A complaint from a Protestant friend:

So, if a non-Catholic pastor can validly baptize -- which even the Catholic church recognizes. Why can't a non-Catholic pastor validly consecrate the Eucharist? (for example, let's say in the Lutheran or Anglican tradition). That seems inconsistent

Thanks for your help!

[/quote]

I would think it's because Catholics believe that the Eucharist is the real Body and Blood of Christ, while other denominations do not.


#17

[quote="PacoG, post:8, topic:325833"]
Actually, deacons cannot administer Holy Orders (the bishop is the only ordinary minister), Confirmation (bishops are the ordinary ministers and priests by delegation are the extraordinary minister), Reconciliation (bishops and priests are ordinary ministers) and Anointing of the Sick (bishops and priests are ordinary minister). That's four of the seven.

Deacons can only minister in Holy Communion, Marriage and Baptism. Only bishops and priests can confect the Eucharist. Deacons can administer Holy Communion.

[/quote]

I'm sorry. Yes, I overlooked Holy Orders, and confirmation.
I'm still somewhat stuck with the idea that only priests can consecrate/transform bread and wine into the Body & Blood of Christ. Is that not correct?
(I'll look it up...) But thanks...


#18

I think I'll go with the following summary for now, thanks to this parish...

stclementcincinnati.org/FaithFormation/The7CatholicSacraments.aspx


#19

For the record, the Anglican bishops does not have valid ordination as cleared by the Vatican, and disapproved to be valid by the future Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, also as evidenced by their ordination and acceptance of women bishops and priests in the anglican communion, it only shows that their understanding of priesthood is not the same as the catholic understanding of priesthood as instituted by Christ

[quote="CaptFun, post:9, topic:325833"]

Anglicans had valid Bishops and Order despite their break from Rome at the time of Henry VIII -- and during the reign of his daughter Mary (when Catholicism was returned as the faith of the realm) probably some of the same churchmen continued on with mass unhindered. However (I'd heard) that Henry appointed some Bishops without their having had the hands of other Bishops laid upon them (i.e. they were invalid Bishops per apostolic succession) and then the priests such Bishops ordained would be ordained apart from legitimate apostolic succession.

[/quote]


#20

=Pilosopo;10729765]I'm sorry. Yes, I overlooked Holy Orders, and confirmation.
I'm still somewhat stuck with the idea that only priests can consecrate/transform bread and wine into the Body & Blood of Christ. Is that not correct?
(I'll look it up...) But thanks...

CONSIDER this:

Jesus our PERFECT [unerring] God

Told only HIS Apostles: Directy; spcifically and exclusively" "do this in menoory of me"
Luke 22:21 & Paul: 1st/ Cor. 11:23-26

AND look at my previous POST and you'll see that ONLY the Apostles and by necessary succession; todays CC's and the eastern Churches in Schism; DO HAVE direct Apostolic Succession.

Are we to presume that God did not plan for contingencies:rolleyes:

HERE"S WAY sicincly:

Every other church and set of faith beliefs is:

MAN-Originated: [Not God-FOUNDED!]

&** In Competition **with Christ One and ONLY Church

Because there is ONLY One God

Because God IS Good and Perfect

God can ONLY Hold One set of Faith beliefs on LONG-defiend issues,

CERTAINLY God did not wait for the Protestant Revolution to expose His Singular truhs.

I pray this clarifies it for you.:signofcross::gopray2:


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