Is this Excommunication?


I am scrupulous to a crazy degree about everything. I am currently returing from attending a Eastern Orthodox and after a Sedevacatnsit chapel. I have confessed the first one to the priest at the Sede chapel, was this then forgiven by his absolution or is it invalid when given by a heretical catholic priest?

I have since confessed that i have attened masses and received the sacraments from a chapel that is not in communion with rome or thw holy father to a true catholic priest at my parish. I was absolved. Does this still mean that i am excommunicated for attending and wanting to become Easter Orthodox? Or was it validly absolved?

Thank you for any help! I am so worried!!!


Outside of the danger of death, absolution is not valid from a priest who does not have faculties (permission) from the ordinary. I judge it is unlikely that a sedevacantist priest would have such.

Is *wanting to become Easter Orthodox *an excommunicable offense?
:confused: In any case, I would explain the situation to your (valid) confessor, follow his advice, and let it go. (Do not allow scrupulosity to cause you to second guess beyond that)



Yes, talk this over with a Catholic priest with proper faculties. Attending an Eastern Orthodox Church is no sin. “Wanting to join” a church not communion with the Catholic Church is unlikely to be a mortal sin in your case.


This sort of question came up frequently in the early church. There were so many splits and heresies and troubles of all kinds. People who were baptized or received other sacraments were concerned about whether their received sacraments had been valid.

The Donatists were a group from this period who believed that we should be a church of saints, not sinners. Therefore, they held that sacraments given by a “traditori”, a church official who collaborated during the persecutions of Diocletian, were invalid. This is known as ex opere operantis, the belief that the validity of the sacraments depends on the worthiness of the minister. "They were renounced in 314D at the Council of Arles called by Constantine, but continued to exist for several hundred years.

The Catholic position given by Augustine was “ex opere operato”, the validity of the sacrament is based on the holiness of God with the minister being only his instrument. This meant that any bishop or priest, even if they were in a state of mortal sin still offered valid sacraments assuming:

  1. he spoke the formula for the sacrament with valid matter, correct words and signs.
  2. he had the intent of causing the sacrament to occur validly.

That being said, your sacrament may have been valid. The best way to know would be to speak to a Catholic priest. He should be able to tell you for sure. I would not worry too much. If you made a good confession and assumed it to be valid I don’t think it would be held against you. Whether it “counts” is another matter.



The confession may have been valid, but it was illicit because the priest was a Sedevacantist without permission to administer the sacraments.


No, sorry folks, ex opere operato does not apply in the case of the Sacrament of Penance, which requires Jurisdiction to be valid. The SSPX and SSPV and other groups lack jurisdiction and have invalid Confessions, along with possibly Matrimony. The OP needs to get back to a priest with valid faculties in order to be validly absolved.


But she went and confessed the sede receptions to a priest in good standing. Furthermore, the prior confession MIGHT be valid via supplied jurisdiction, if the penitent was genuinely mistaken as to whether the Sede chapel was in communion with Rome. If not, of course, it would be invalid. However, since she confessed subsequently to a priest in good standing, the sins confessed in such an invalid confession might have already been absolved (as part of sins that penitent was unaware they committed, or genuinely forgot to tell the priest).


Thank you for your responses. However this is leading to more scrupules. So everything i had confessed to the Sedevacantist priest was not forgiven? So i just received the Eucharist in a state of sin and invalidated three confessions? Great. That makes me feel much better.


If it was done through ignorance and misunderstanding, then you can go to a priest and make a full confession.
It doesn’t sound as if there was any intent on your part.

God bless.


Be at peace.

Previously you posted:

You have been absolved.
Of all your sins.
Even those ignorantly confessed in an invalid manner.

If, now that you are aware that some of your sins, from which you are already absolved, were confessed in an invalid manner, you wish to re-confess them, informing the priest that that is what you are doing, it would be a worthy thing.
But it is not strictly necessary that you do so.



A person who admittedly has severe scruples probably should not be reconfessing sins he knows are absolved. That only reinforces the scruples, and actually is scrupulous behavior in itself. He should learn to trust the priest and the Church in the matter and accept without question that his sins have been absolved.

The ideal thing would be for him to place himself under the direction of a confessor or spiritual director who is familiar with scrupulous behavior and submit to their direction.


I suggest:
Go to confession or to your advisor.Tell him of your concern, but that you had a questionable absolution. Describe the situation, but not the sins, and ask if you need to confess them over again. Tell him you tend to be overly scrupulous. If he says you need to repeat that confession, do it and find peace. If he says it is not necessary, fight the urge to confess it anyway. Let it go and be at peace.


The OP himself stated he finally confessed all of this to a Catholic priest in communion with Rome and was absolved. His absolution was not questionable, and the OP recognizes that. Why are people suggesting he either re-confess his sins or speak to a priest further about it? That only reinforces the scrupulosity. It does nothing to help the OP trust that his sins are indeed forgiven and absolved.


It wasn’t clear for me. My understanding was that he’d confessed that he’d gone to a Church that wasn’t in communion with Rome to receive absolution, and I didn’t understand that he’d confessed all. . .
I actually still don’t have a clear understanding of exactly what happened.
However, if the Catholic Priest absolved him of everything, then yes it is valid.

Sorry if I did more harm than good. I know how frustrating scruples can be. :frowning:


As a rule of thumb, it is an extremely bad idea for a scrupulous person to seek advice here on CAF due to the extensive debate and dissent that will follow on from even the simplest questions. We are anonymous amateurs and not moral theologians or priests, and so our debates on matters of conscience carry zero weight, especially in the absence of links to reference materials to bolster our positions. That is why the only good advice that can be given to a scrupulous person here is to seek professional help, to identify and trust a confessor in good standing with the Church, and to follow his advice in all things.




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