I ran across this today on a Catholic history blog:
On 24 July 1904, Solanus Casey was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Sebastian Messmer at the St. Francis of Assisi Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. ** He will be ordained a “sacerdotus simplex” or “Mass Priest” which prevented him from hearing confessions or preaching doctrinal sermons because of a judgment that he had not performed sufficiently well in his seminary classes**. Indeed, Fr. Casey had great difficulty in seminary as most of the classes were in German, with which he was not very familiar.
Throughout his life as a member of the Capuchin Franciscans, Fr. Casey will acquire a reputation for holiness. 20,000 people would visit his coffin just prior to his burial. He was been declared venerable by Pope John Paul II.
More about Fr Solanus and his Cause here.
But I’ve never heard of a priest who can only perform certain sacraments. I mean, if they thought his understanding of theology was so bad he couldn’t hear confessions how could they trust him with the Eucharist?
And can Holy Orders be divided?
It almost seems like they were proactively suspending him for preaching unsound sermons and doing invalid Confessions.
Does sacredotus simplex still exist?