Hello all, yes, this is my first post. I am a teacher and graduate of theological studies and philosophy. As always, there is something I don’t know, lol and need to ask others. My question lies with the validity of the sacrament based on the minister.
If one makes a valid confession, but the intention of the priest is not in line with the purpose of the sacrament, would it be invalid? Would the recipient (confession) not receive absolution, or would it simply be that they receive no sacramental grace?
For example, a person goes to confession, has the full intention required for the sacrament and confesses all sins without reservation and receives the “words of absolution”, then does their penance. But what if the priest does not willfully intend the absolution, either maliciously or because it is just a mere habit. Is there a valid sacrament?
I was always under the impression that if the minister corresponds to the rite of confession, the penitent is absolved. So that, as long as the penitent has heard the words “I absolve you…” that the penitent knows they have been absolved. I reasoned that if the minster said the rite, and did not deny the recipient absolution that by merit of corresponding to the rite, the penitent will receive the absolution and grace.
Recently, I read the book The Sacramental Mystery by Paul Haffner and it seems that I am incorrect, that the intention of the minister must be true as well. In fact, the minister plays a larger role than I originally thought. I realized this for the Eucharist, that the minister must intend which hosts to include in consecration etc. Don’t know why I didn’t think about this for confession
Can anyone help me on this one? Thanks in advance for any help.