[quote="DexUK, post:15, topic:270915"]
It would be very nice if that were so, but sadly that wouldn't be the case, and certainly not in the case of the Eucharist.
Now in the case of Marriage, I am 95% sure that the marriages conducted would be valid sacramentally, since the priest doesn't actually confer the sacrament itself, even if lacking administratively..
There is a question mark about baptisms though: it is difficult to determine the counterfeit priest's intentions. If he was acting to fraudulently obtain Mass stipends, etc, then no, they wouldn't be valid. If he was trying to be a priest for a different reason and was believing himself capable of baptising within the definition we would understand, then possibly the baptisms were valid. In either case, those baptised, should they ever find out, would be wise to be conditionally (re-)baptised.
As for confessions, then any absolution would most certainly have been invalid, but were a person to die believing themselves absolved, then I think God would most certainly be merciful and not hold them to account on the basis that they had been conned. Those who subsequently confessed to a validly ordained priest would then have received full absolution for everything not previously absolved and they would have had no sin in 'withholding' acts previously invalidly absolved.
As for other sacraments, it is highly unlikely that a fraudulent priest would admit candidates to the Church via RCIA rites, which include confirmation, as this would normally involve diocesan record keeping which would root out the con man.
With all due respect, you have unjust judgment. You simply don't deprive the innocent of their faith for the sake of the actions of a false shepherd. If he mislead the sheep into sinning then that would be a separate matter; however, if it was the sheep's intent to exercise their faith through the sacraments that this false priest mocked then they are absolutely valid in regards to the sheep. That is right judgment.
There are two people present in the sacraments. The shepherd and the sheep. Just because one is absent (the shepherd) does not invalidate the sacrament received by the sheep, when the sheep believes that the shepherd is present. And that is exactly what happened in this case.
You don't punish the believer because the wolf dressed in sheep's clothing.