Sins effect on priests


#1

I have a question, I don't know much about priestly vows and how sins affect them.

If a priest were to masturbate, would he be excommunicated, or removed from the priesthood because he broke a vow of celibacy?

Or if he has sex, does that make him no longer a priest, and if so can he still perform valid sacraments?

Basically, what sort of sins would do this, if any?

Thanks!


#2

Hi Jerok. Let me try to answer your question but first let me say that masturbation and sex outside of marriage does not excommunicate a Catholic and that includes priest (although the Church teaches that both sins are Grave sins). The sins that may excommunicate a Catholic are abortion, apostasy, desecration of the Blessed Eucharist, heresy, violence committed to the Holy Father and ordained ministers. A priest may be excommunicated though if he enters into civil marriage without getting dispensation from the Holy Father. As regards the effect of sins on priests, well I believe venial and grave sins have much the same effect to priests and to other Christians as well-they weaken our souls and diminish if not totally take away sanctifying grace in us.


#3

[quote="Jerok, post:1, topic:214915"]

Or if he has sex, does that make him no longer a priest, and if so can he still perform valid sacraments?

Basically, what sort of sins would do this, if any?

[/quote]

Jerok, even if a priest is in a state of mortal sins, the sacraments he performs are still valid.

When receiving or celebrating the sacraments, the priest is subject to the same requirements of sanctity and state of grace as every other Catholic; that is, the state of grace is required for fruitful reception of all sacraments except those that actually forgive sins.

Therefore a priest who is in a state of mortal sin should seek to confess as soon as possible and refrain from celebrating the sacraments until he has done so.

Normally, to celebrate Mass or receive Communion while in a state of mortal sin would be to commit a sacrilege. Yet, the sacrament would be valid; that is, there would be a true consecration and a true sacrifice.

The reason is: Christ is the principal actor of the sacraments, so they are efficacious even when performed by an unworthy minister. As St. Thomas Aquinas says: Christ may act even through a minister who is spiritually dead.

ewtn.com/library/liturgy/zlitur68.htm

That's that short answer. The rest of the article goes into more depth.


closed #4

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