Receiving advanced Sacraments without the Initiation Sacraments first


#1

What would happen if, say, a person who isn’t a priest were to be Consecrated a bishop? Or what if someone who was never even baptised in the first place were ordained a priest or Bishop? Would the ordinations be valid? Does the ordination somehow confer along with it the Sacraments of Initiation? I find it hard to imagine that a baptism could occur after the ordination.

Or what if two non-Catholics were to be married by a priest? If they later decide to become Catholic, would the marriage administered by the priest still be valid, or do they have to get validation?

What if one were to receive holy orders or matrimony without having been Confirmed first?

Lastly, what if a sacramentally married person were to join the religious or priestly life without having gotten any annulment?

(Let’s please not turn this into a discussion of this and that being against Church rules; I’m already aware of that. The question pertains to the validity of these sacraments in these circumstances. There are always dismissive users like that who really don’t add anything to the conversation.)


#2

Fine, I’ll bite.

  1. Said person would receive all the sacraments in order. I believe it was St. Ambrose who became a bishop that way. He was baptized, but the people acclaimed him as their bishop, so he received orders to be a presbyter and then became bishop.

2)The marriage bond would not be considered sacramental. But while in RCIA, depending if the non-Catholics were Baptized or not, if either spouse has a prior marriage then an annulment is required.

  1. Confirmation would come first. Marriage cannot happen without certain documents like your baptismal certificate, which lists your Confirmation record. Otherwise, you’d need sworn affidavits attesting to having received Confirmation.

  2. A sacramentally married person will have it recorded on their Baptismal record, so lying isn’t really possible, as the process for vetting candidates is quite thorough, including full background checks. A sacramentally married person can enter once the spouse is deceased and the children are grown/independent. Otherwise, an annulment is necessary.


#3

Then he would be a validly ordained bishop. Ordination to the diaconate and priesthood is not required for a valid episcopal ordination.

Or what if someone who was never even baptised in the first place were ordained a priest or Bishop?

It would be an invalid attempt at ordination. Not an ordination.

Would the ordinations be valid?

No

Does the ordination somehow confer along with it the Sacraments of Initiation?

No

I find it hard to imagine that a baptism could occur after the ordination.

It cannot.

Or what if two non-Catholics were to be married by a priest? If they later decide to become Catholic, would the marriage administered by the priest still be valid, or do they have to get validation?

Their natural marriage would become a valid sacrament.

What if one were to receive holy orders or matrimony without having been Confirmed first?

Ordination: illicit but still valid.
Marriage: not quite illicit, but improper. Still valid.

Lastly, what if a sacramentally married person were to join the religious or priestly life without having gotten any annulment?

Then he would have lied about his state in life.

While it’s not impossible, it is unlikely that someone could do this. No doubt it’s happened in history, though.

This gets into all kinds of “what ifs”

If caught, he would not be able to continue in religious life, or continue as a priest.

It might or might not make the ordination invalid. Again, too many “what ifs.”

(Let’s please not turn this into a discussion of this and that being against Church rules; I’m already aware of that. The question pertains to the validity of these sacraments in these circumstances. There are always dismissive users like that who really don’t add anything to the conversation.)

Edit:
On that last point, we do have married priests. Marriage all by itself does not make an attempt at ordination invalid.

I take the question to mean that you are not asking about a married man who legitimately goes through the proper process to be ordained.


#4

Once again, I’m not referring only to the standards within the confines of canon law. I am aware that these do not follow anything that is proper and that there are safeguards against it (I did my thesis on conclaves and I’m aware that a baptised man elected Pope would need to have the three Holy Orders) but rather pertain to hypothetical scenarios where things are not done the way they should be. I thought that much was obvious.

But to give an example, say a schismatic bishop were to consecrate other men bishops, as is happening with Emmanuel Milingo, and doesn’t have any regard for the proper purpose but only wishes to extend his line and schismatic group, which even advocates their bishops to be married. I doubt the bishops he consecrated even had been priests. So in their case, would their consecrations as bishops without having been priests prior to that even be valid?

By extension of that, what about the hypothetical scenario where one who was never even baptised were to be consecrated by a renegade Bishop? Say such a bishop just picked one of his followers who’d do his bidding. Would the unbaptised person’s consecration be valid? If it would be, say he later decided to get baptised; would the baptism after consecration actually be needed as well, or would the consecration, if valid, intrisically have had those necessary initiation sacraments?

Your second response addressed the questions as I laid them out, but I’m afraid the other three did not.


#5

Thanks, this response addresses the questions the way I hoped. I did not know that diaconal and priestly ordinations weren’t needed before an episcopal ordination, very fascinating.

But, yes, my curiosity is about cases where the wrong things are done. It’s always fascinating to observe things out of the norm. And, it’s entirely possible for some of these things to happen with the renegade schismatic Bishops, again like Emmanuel Milingo and the Bishops he illicitly consecrated. I do wonder if Milingo’s group will go the same way that Anglican Orders were deemed to eventually have lost their sacramental validity, but that’s another topic for another time.


#6

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  1. The OP did not say that the non-Catholics were unbaptized. If the priest celebrated the wedding of two Anglicans it would be sacramental.

I can actually see that happening in an isolated area like ours where the priest is present in a community and the minister can’t make it in for the planned wedding of a non-Catholic couple. Since for weddings the priest is an agent of the province as well as the Church (AFAIK, the province doesn’t limit the priest’s officiant license to Catholic ones) I can see the couple turning to him to officiate at their wedding. But whether or not they were baptized, if they became Catholic the marriage would not need to be convalidated because it would already be valid.

  1. When it comes to Confirmation and Marriage, Canon 1065 says “§1. Catholics who have not yet received the sacrament of confirmation are to receive it before they are admitted to marriage if it can be done without grave inconvenience.”

Grave inconvenience is in the eyes of the beholder and no Catholic who was not confirmed was denied marriage until such time as the Confirmation could be imposed by any pastor who served our parish in the last 16 years.


#7

Thanks, that was insightful. Though it didn’t surprise me that the state would allow priests to officiate marriages to non-Catholics if they wanted to, I didn’t know there was any provision within the Canon Law for a Catholic priest to ever officiate at an Anglican wedding (presuming, of course, that the scenario you described is licit). In such a circumstance, I would have thought that the couple would just find a justice of the peace, not seeking to have a Catholic priest officiate. I guess it makes sense in a way, since we let Anglicans use Catholic parishes at times (not sure if that includes letting them use the altar; presumably it does). Even if it’s licit, I find it bizarre. But that’s yet another topic for another time.


#8

I know things have been done in my diocese that has raised eyebrows (sometimes just mine since I was privy to it). For example, our pastor was in an isolated community and was asked to celebrate the Baptism of an Anglican child because, due to a storm, the Anglican priest couldn’t get there and the godparents had flown in for the occasion. My understanding was that if a Catholic priest baptized a baby that child was Catholic. However, our pastor went to the Anglican church, used the Anglican ritual and baptized the baby. I know, because he told me. Not sure that our bishop ever knew about it, though.


#9

I can’t seem to find any direct references to it, but that seems to be illicit. Even for a priest to use an Anglican ritual for anything seems totally illicit. Sounds like as per Canon Law, the kid really is Catholic even if his name isn’t in the register.

In my experience (and I’m sure in yours) at times priests get the rules wrong and do things illicitly. Just last Divine Mercy Sunday, I went to Confession and the priest did it just in the chairs and didn’t use the Confessional, even though that’s a breach of Canon Law. Other people waiting in line with me to go also complained. I had to e-mail them afterward to point it out. He didn’t have the key to the Confessional, but that’s not an excuse – if you know you’re on schedule to do Confessions, you should have gotten it beforehand; and if you’re a resident priest, you should at least know where the key is.

At the same parish, they break the host prematurely during the “He broke the bread” line and not at the proper time of Infraction at the Agnus Dei, and they still did this even after the Vatican issued a document reminding priests that they aren’t to do this.

And at my Cathedral, they always omitted the Gloria, didn’t have people kneel at the Consecration and used glass chalices. Even though they corrected those things, it’s still a surprise it happened in the first place and went on for so long.

Anyways, I doubt that the priest’s actions in the account you related to us was at all licit. But again, since the point of this post was to examine what happens outside of proper form and canon law, it adds nicely to the discussion, so thanks for that. :thumbsup:


#10

Baptism Required CIC (parallel canons exist in CCEO)

Can. 889 §1 Every baptised person who is not confirmed, and only such a person, is capable of receiving confirmation.

Can. 912 Any baptised person who is not forbidden by law may and must be admitted to holy communion.

Can. 959 In the sacrament of penance the faithful who confess their sins to a lawful minister, are sorry for those sins and have a purpose of amendment, receive from God, through the absolution given by that minister, forgiveness of sins they have committed after baptism, and at the same time they are reconciled with the Church, which by sinning they wounded.

*Revelant for the imparting of the the imparting of the apostolic blessing with anointing of the sick:

*Can. 996 §1 To be capable of gaining indulgences a person must be baptised, not excommunicated, and in the state of grace at least on the completion of the prescribed work.

Can. 1004 §1 The anointing of the sick can be administered to any member of the faithful who, having reached the use of reason, begins to be in danger of death by reason of illness or old age.
Can. 1007 The anointing of the sick is not to be conferred upon those who obstinately persist in a manifestly grave sin.

Can. 1024 Only a baptised man can validly receive sacred ordination.

Can. 1055 §1 The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of their whole life, and which of its own very nature is ordered to the well-being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children, has, between the baptised, been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament. §2 Consequently, a valid marriage contract cannot exist between baptised persons without its being by that very fact a sacrament.


#11

Ah, thank you.


#12

Ordination as a deacon and then a priest is not required for a valid episcopal ordination. So the fact that they were ordained bishops immediately does not itself make the attempts invalid. There may be other factor(s) that make the attempts invalid. I don’t know enough of the details.

By extension of that, what about the hypothetical scenario where one who was never even baptised were to be consecrated by a renegade Bishop?

That’s different because baptism is necessary for a valid ordination (any order).
Only a baptised man can be validly ordained. No baptism means an invalid attempt at ordination.

Say such a bishop just picked one of his followers who’d do his bidding. Would the unbaptised person’s consecration be valid?

Again, no.

If it would be, say he later decided to get baptised; would the baptism after consecration actually be needed as well, or would the consecration, if valid, intrisically have had those necessary initiation sacraments?

Again, “It would be an invalid attempt at ordination. Not an ordination.”
Ordination does not supply the sacrament of Baptism.
Ordination before Baptism is nothing but an invalid attempt at a sacrament. Nothing more.

Your second response addressed the questions as I laid them out, but I’m afraid the other three did not.


#13

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