Happy Advent #2 to all of you Catholics!!
I have a question, a very specific question. General comments on the topic will be appreciated, but I’m hoping to get to the bottom of this specific question.
Here it is:
I’m reading, at the instruction of a family member, Mary Walsh’s book, “The Wine of Roman Babylon.” Mary was a Catholic, she left the faith when she started reading the Bible and thinking for herself (per her testimony) and now, or at least until she died, she’s either very old or dead by now, she is/was a Seventh Day Adventist, judging by her last few chapters where she says that the soul is mortal, hell is temporary, and Saturday is the day to worship in church. Yeah, I think SDA.
So, in this book, chapter on “Masses and Purgatory” on p. 81 she quotes St. Robert Card. Bellarmine as saying:
“No one can be certain, with the certainty of faith, that he receives a true sacrament, because the sacrament cannot be valid without the intention of the minister, and no man can see another’s intention.” Bellarmine, De Justificatione, Book 3, Ch. 8, in Disputationes de Controversiis Christianae Fidei… Vol. 4, p. 442, col. 2
Now, I’m familiar with the 3 necessary parts of the sacrament, namely matter, form, and intention. I also was settled in believing that the words (form) used would count for the proper intention. Otherwise, how picky can you be about intention, since many non-Catholics don’t share the exact intention of the Church when they baptise people, but they are generally considered valid if they use the proper words (form), and matter of course. They would not be valid if the Baptist minister merely intended to administer an outward sign of inner faith, which is not what the Catholic Church teaches. But they are considered valid, so…?
Not the same for the Eucharist, since you don’t believe the transubstantiation occurs w/o both Apostolic Succession and proper belief in the sacrament. Same with Holy Orders too.
So, I’m a little confused. Anybody have the Bellarmine book so you can quote the context?