Validity of Confession in CMRI church

I hope someone can help me. I came back to the church about 10 years ago. I went to a a church in the area that had the “traditional Latin Mass”, and offered confession before Sunday Mass. I went to confession, Mass and Communion that day. I never went back but joined the parish where I grew up.

I was informed today that the “traditional” church I went to 10 years ago is a CMRI church and the my confession is probably not valid!

Please, can someone help me? Am I in a state of mortal sin? Thank you so much.

Shonmarie

I would suggest that you speak to a good Canonist(a more proper term than Canon Lawyer), and see what he has to say.

Perhaps Deacon Lansing could help you out?

[quote=Shonmarie]I hope someone can help me. I came back to the church about 10 years ago. I went to a a church in the area that had the “traditional Latin Mass”, and offered confession before Sunday Mass. I went to confession, Mass and Communion that day. I never went back but joined the parish where I grew up.

I was informed today that the “traditional” church I went to 10 years ago is a CMRI church and the my confession is probably not valid!

Please, can someone help me? Am I in a state of mortal sin? Thank you so much.

Shonmarie
[/quote]

While there would be a defect present because the priest lacks faculties to forgive sins, I wouldn’t worry about your being in a state of mortal sin now. It would probably still help to get expert opinion, but here are two cents you can take or leave:

For one, I assume you’ve been to confession since then. You’re obligated to confess all mortal sins of which you are aware. Since I assume you’ve been faithful in this, your subsequent absolution would have repaired all guilt of mortal sin.

Second, when a penitent confesses in good faith to a priest united to Rome who does not happen to have faculties (say a priest visits his family on vacation outside his diocese and forgets he can’t hear confession there) the Church ‘supplies’ the faculties needed. This could possibly be the case for your specific confession as well since you were unaware of the priest’s status.

[quote=Shonmarie]I hope someone can help me. I came back to the church about 10 years ago. I went to a a church in the area that had the “traditional Latin Mass”, and offered confession before Sunday Mass. I went to confession, Mass and Communion that day. I never went back but joined the parish where I grew up.

I was informed today that the “traditional” church I went to 10 years ago is a CMRI church and the my confession is probably not valid!

Please, can someone help me? Am I in a state of mortal sin? Thank you so much.

Shonmarie
[/quote]

Would I be correct in assuming then that you have not been to confession since then? If you have then it is a moot point what happened at a confesion ten years ago. If you haven’t go this afternoon and take care of it. Very simple.

[quote=Andreas Hofer]While there would be a defect present because the priest lacks faculties to forgive sins, I wouldn’t worry about your being in a state of mortal sin now. It would probably still help to get expert opinion, but here are two cents you can take or leave:

For one, I assume you’ve been to confession since then. You’re obligated to confess all mortal sins of which you are aware. Since I assume you’ve been faithful in this, your subsequent absolution would have repaired all guilt of mortal sin.

Second, when a penitent confesses in good faith to a priest united to Rome who does not happen to have faculties (say a priest visits his family on vacation outside his diocese and forgets he can’t hear confession there) the Church ‘supplies’ the faculties needed. This could possibly be the case for your specific confession as well since you were unaware of the priest’s status.
[/quote]

I remember hearing that once a Priest is given faculties for Confession, he can hear Confessions anywhere in the world.

Let’s say that “Father A”. a very conservative man, gets ordained, and his Bishop, “Bishop Niceguy”, gives him faculties to hear Confessions. Father A can now hear Confessions anywhere in the world. Father A gets his universal faculties from Bishop Niceguy, since he is incardinated in Bishop Niceguy’s Diocese.

A Bishop in another Diocese, “Bishop Badguy”, does not want Father A(the conservative Priest) to hear Confessions in Bishop Badguy’s Diocese. So Bishop Badguy takes away Father A’s faculties in Bishop Badguy’s Diocese only. Since Father A is incardinated is Bishop Niceguy’s Diocese(and therefore gets his universal faculties from Bishop NIceguy), Bishop Badguy only has power over Father A in Bishop Badguy’s own Diocese. Father A’s faculties are intact elsewhere in the world, unless an individual Bishop takes away Father A’s faculties, in the induividual Bishop’s Diocese only.

I hope that you can understand that!

[quote=GoLatin]I remember hearing that once a Priest is given faculties for Confession, he can hear Confessions anywhere in the world.

Let’s say that “Father A”. a very conservative man, gets ordained, and his Bishop, “Bishop Niceguy”, gives him faculties to hear Confessions. Father A can now hear Confessions anywhere in the world. Father A gets his universal faculties from Bishop Niceguy, since he is incardinated in Bishop Niceguy’s Diocese.

A Bishop in another Diocese, “Bishop Badguy”, does not want Father A(the conservative Priest) to hear Confessions in Bishop Badguy’s Diocese. So Bishop Badguy takes away Father A’s faculties in Bishop Badguy’s Diocese only. Since Father A is incardinated is Bishop Niceguy’s Diocese(and therefore gets his universal faculties from Bishop NIceguy), Bishop Badguy only has power over Father A in Bishop Badguy’s own Diocese. Father A’s faculties are intact elsewhere in the world, unless an individual Bishop takes away Father A’s faculties, in the induividual Bishop’s Diocese only.

I hope that you can understand that!
[/quote]

Yes I can understand it, even though I looked on catholic-hierarchy.org and couldn’t find Bp. Badguy’s see!:wink:

I was just trying to think up a situation in which a priest might not have faculties and figured it was more likely that someone would be unaware of his not having them in that case than if his own ordinary had revoked them (which would probably cause some buzz and be hard for him to forget having no faculties whatsoever).

Anyone interested in reading the canonical norms regarding faculties for confession can read them here:
vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P3G.HTM


I also just remembered a priest telling me that priests (I don’t know if its universal but at least enough for him to make the generalization) get an “ID card” in Latin to present as verification of their ordination (and maybe faculties as well). I think that’s pretty cool. You think substituting that for your driver’s license could get you out of a ticket?

(I had not intended to post during Lent, but it’s the Vigil of Sunday, and this is serious stuff.)

There are serious questions regarding the CMRI which pertain to the validity of its ordinations (as opposed to, say, those of the SSPX), and it is difficult without investigation to perceive how canon 144 would apply in this case (the factual or legal common error, or the case of positive and probable doubt of law or of fact). And that’s about all I feel comfortable saying lest I drift off to esoteric dicussion.

Shonmarie, I could not comment about a person’s state of soul. To ease your mind, make an act of perfect contrition and trust in the infinite mercy of God, say your prayers, get a good night’s sleep, and speak with your parish priest as soon as possible.

Akins has a piece worth reading on the topic for those who would be interested in the SSPX side: jimmyakin.org/2005/02/sspx_confession.html

I would caution against applying Akin’s piece to the CMRI though, and no one should not use it to evaluate his or her own situation or that of another person.

But as one of my professors used to say, if you think it’s common error, it’s probably not. There’s a lot of misuse of the claim to supplied jurisdiction. Ignorance is neither error nor doubt.

God bless.

I have been to confession many times since then and received the sacraments. I did e-mail my parish priest today, but I have not heard back yet. I just don’t want to have to recall all those sins from the prior years again - it was painful enough the first time- but if I have to, I will. I am not going to receive the Eucharist tomorrow, just in case. I just wish I would have known about CMRI before. Just thought it was another Catholic Church in my area. Thanks for all your help.

Shonmarie

cameron_lansing wrote:

There are serious questions regarding the CMRI which pertain to the validity of its ordinations (as opposed to, say, those of the SSPX), and it is difficult without investigation to perceive how canon 144 would apply in this case (the factual or legal common error, or the case of positive and probable doubt of law or of fact). And that’s about all I feel comfortable saying lest I drift off to esoteric dicussion.

The CMRI were initially Schuckardites (followers of Francis Schuckart - who poses as Pope Hadrian II). The present head of the CMRI was consecrated bishop by a Thuc bishop. Further information and documentation regarding the Vatican’s position on Thuc ordinations/consecrations may be viewed in an associated document at jloughnan.tripod.com/buckley.htm

I heard from my parish priest this morning. He said that the church I went to rejects the renewal of vatican II, but that the priest is validly ordained and my confession was, therefore, valid.

From everything I’ve read in these posts and on the links, I disagree with him. I have been to confession many times since my initial return and that particular confession. Do I need to go and REPEAT that entire confession? The thought of this makes me literally sick to my stomach. I am in such turmoil - all these years of thinking I was in the state of grace. My heart is so very heavy.

Shonmarie

[quote=cameron_lansing]But as one of my professors used to say, if you think it’s common error, it’s probably not. There’s a lot of misuse of the claim to supplied jurisdiction. Ignorance is neither error nor doubt.
[/quote]

My presentation of supplied jurisdiction was based on the incidental (not the main point of conversation) explanations of various priests and not on any actual documentation, so I guess you may not be posting during Lent but I would love to hear an explanation of the actual conditions in which it applies.

[quote=Shonmarie]I have been to confession many times since then and received the sacraments. I did e-mail my parish priest today, but I have not heard back yet. I just don’t want to have to recall all those sins from the prior years again - it was painful enough the first time- but if I have to, I will. I am not going to receive the Eucharist tomorrow, just in case. I just wish I would have known about CMRI before. Just thought it was another Catholic Church in my area. Thanks for all your help.

Shonmarie
[/quote]

Shonmarie, you have already asked this question in the EWTN Q & A and received a reply from the priest there. Why are you continuing with this here? We are mostly lay people and not experts. You asked a good faithful priest - abide by his response to you.

I apologize if I have offended anyone by asking these questions. I did receive a response from my priest, as I indicated. I had not yet read the response from EWTN when I posted the last reply. I will not bother anyone again.

[quote=Shonmarie]I apologize if I have offended anyone by asking these questions. I did receive a response from my priest, as I indicated. I had not yet read the response from EWTN when I posted the last reply. I will not bother anyone again.
[/quote]

Shonmarie,

Don’t worry about “bothering” anyone. Your question is important and needs to be answered. Here’s my take on it: you confessed your sins. You believed they were forgiven and, even after returning to the Catholic Church continued to confess without rehashing the prior sins. Sins that are forgotten and not intentionally omitted are forgiven in confession. Therefore, it seems to me that regardless of the state of the CMRI priest, your sins have now been forgiven. If you are still feeling a little concerned about them, simply mention to the priest in confession what had happened, and accept his guidance.

Deacon Ed

I think the question was one of validity. A sacrament is valid if it has proper form, matter, and intent, and is administered by the appopriate person, in this case a priest. There is nothing in there about having anybody’s permission to administer it in their jurisdiction. The sacrament may be illicit (like, to take an extreme example, the consecrating of bishops by Archbishop LeFebre was illicit), and it may be unwise for a Catholic in communions with Rome intentionally to take part, but I don’t see how it could have been invalid.

Traditional Catholics with a capital “T,” and I am not one of them, often seem to me to have a lot more going for them when they question the validity of sacraments performed in some ways by some priests in full communion with Rome than the other way around. Invalid matter at communion seems for one thing a continuing problem.

[quote=jbuck919]I think the question was one of validity. A sacrament is valid if it has proper form, matter, and intent, and is administered by the appopriate person, in this case a priest. There is nothing in there about having anybody’s permission to administer it in their jurisdiction. The sacrament may be illicit (like, to take an extreme example, the consecrating of bishops by Archbishop LeFebre was illicit), and it may be unwise for a Catholic in communions with Rome intentionally to take part, but I don’t see how it could have been invalid.

[/quote]

Please see some of the posts above. Confession is not like saying a Mass. A priest who is suspended cannot validly confess sins (unless the penitent is in danger of death) even though he may validly (but illicitly) consecrate the Eucharist. This is because the power to forgive sins is given to the priest by his bishop.

[quote=Shonmarie]I apologize if I have offended anyone by asking these questions. I did receive a response from my priest, as I indicated. I had not yet read the response from EWTN when I posted the last reply. I will not bother anyone again.
[/quote]

Shonmarie, it’s not a case of offending anyone, but - or so it seemed to me - an anxiety that need not be Ask a good priest, ask the question where you know you will get good advice, such as in the Ask an Apologist forum here, or on EWTN’s Q & A, and you can rest assured that you were given a good answer.

Ask questions like yours here, where most of us are simple lay people, you are likely to only get opinions, many of which will be mistaken and you may end up more confused than ever.

That’s all I meant. I apologize to you if I made you think you had offended.

[quote=jbuck919]I think the question was one of validity. A sacrament is valid if it has proper form, matter, and intent, and is administered by the appopriate person, in this case a priest. There is nothing in there about having anybody’s permission to administer it in their jurisdiction. The sacrament may be illicit (like, to take an extreme example, the consecrating of bishops by Archbishop LeFebre was illicit), and it may be unwise for a Catholic in communions with Rome intentionally to take part, but I don’t see how it could have been invalid.

Traditional Catholics with a capital “T,” and I am not one of them, often seem to me to have a lot more going for them when they question the validity of sacraments performed in some ways by some priests in full communion with Rome than the other way around. Invalid matter at communion seems for one thing a continuing problem.
[/quote]

The problem with your statement is that both marriage and confession require jurisdiction. As a deacon I can validly marry any Catholic, no matter what diocese provided I have delegation of authority to do so. To validly hear a confession requires a delegation (see canon 966). Of course, in cases where death is imminent any priest can hear a confession (canons 976, 986.2).

Deacon Ed

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.