Visiting priests preaches on "bread-only" Mass


You’re confused. Please re-read what I actually wrote.


Not in the case you mention anyway and not that Canon.

The nature of internet forums is that anyone can chime in. You thread doesn’t “bother me”. I just wonder is it necessary to make several posts about liturgical abuses every day. There is such a thing as focusing too much on abuses.


Yes. That does incur the penalty of excommunication.

It is important to note the qualification “for sacrilegious purposes”

Something like this can happen by accident. If someone is vacuuming the church and there is a consecrated Host under a pew, that Hosts gets picked up by the vacuum, then the person throws the bag in the trash, that would NOT meet the criteria under the law.

It would also not apply if someone is acting out of a misguided sense of piety. If the person running the vacuum discovers the Host and (not knowing what else to do) walks over to the parish cemetery and buries the Host in the ground, thinking that would be a respectful response, that would likewise not meet the canon.

If the crime has been committed and the bishop determines that it has been committed, he would indeed need to contact the Congregation. He cannot judge the matter himself. It is beyond his jurisdiction. The Congregation can give him jurisdiction or they can continue to reserve it to themselves. It’s their decision. Typically, this would depend on the overall gravity. For example, a priest who was warned repeatedly not to do this would be more likely to have to defend himself to the Congregation instead of to the local bishop (by delegation).

If excommunication applies, the bishop cannot lift it (except for danger of death). He must either refer the matter to the Congregation or he must be delegated by the Congregation to act as the judge.


Simply put:

There is NO EXCUSE for doing this. None. Not ever. No exceptions. Nothing.

Can. 927 It is absolutely forbidden, even in extreme urgent necessity, to consecrate one matter without the other or even both outside the eucharistic celebration.


Please stop trying to stir the pot. It does no one any good. Thanks.


Well, that’s good to know. Why do some priest do things like this in that case? Caught up in the moment? Overwhelmed by surroundings?

Why do they then preach about it well removed from the war zone? That sorta garbage really does confuse Catholics – and there are a lot of such things.

It it possible this priest really didn’t know what he did was wrong? The deacon present clearly had no idea as he talked about “pictures of priests celebrating Mass on the hoods of Jeeps during World War II.”


I do not know. I cannot judge. I can say that it’s not permitted. I can say there are no exceptions.

Again, I cannot say that I know. What I do know is that for many combat veterans, being able to admit things they did in combat (things they aren’t proud of) can be part of the healing process.

Deacons don’t necessarily need to know it because they don’t consecrate–they rely on the priest to know what he is doing. As a priest, I can say that there’s no excuse for doing it, and there’s no excuse for not-knowing.

The same can be said for the sins I commit.


He seemed to be rather proud of his actions. But that’s neither here nor there. The worst part of it all is that hundreds of people left Mass feeling that what he described was perfectly OK. It made some of us wondering just where are the hard boundaries?



Let’s read carefully, since you think I’m incapable of it:

Two statements:

  • invalid Mass
  • no Eucharist confected

If I follow @FrDavid96’s guess, then fine: you were trying to say “an invalid attempt at Mass”, and failed to do so. For someone who gets on my case for minutae (in the ‘fruit wine’ thread)… pot, meet kettle? :wink:

If Fr David’s suggestion isn’t what’s going on, then I stand by my assertion: you’re wrong about the ‘Mass’, and correct about the ‘attempt at confecting the Eucharist’.

Have a nice night @Duesenberg. You might want to cut back on the caffeine a little bit… :rofl:


Perhaps you could exercise some self control and simply skip over any thread I start? Very simple to do. There are some folks on CAF that really endeavor to control threads. It can get offensive. They should just skip over those which they are not willing to make a positive contribution.


Why couldn’t he have told the men “no”?


He could have. In place he could have offered blessings and confession.


raises hand

I’m confused. I thought “illicit” meant that it shouldn’t happen, and “invalid” meant it can’t happen. i.e. if you baptize somebody with rice pudding, it is invalid. The baptism never happened.

How is a Mass invalid and yet the Eucharist still confected during the Liturgy of the Eucharist?


This soft type of matzah (or massa, as it is rendered by Syrian and other Middle Eastern Jews) is normally prepared at home. It’s usually somewhat thinner than standard pita and, although it can bubble or blister from the heat of the oven or baking surface, normally does not “split” when baked. It’s quite similar to a type of thin flatbread made by the Bedouins (and others in the Middle East) which is also usually unleavened. Because it’s unleavened, this type of bread has a tendency of dry out and become stale rather quickly, so it’s normally consumed the same day it’s prepared. It can, however, be kept in reasonable condition for a few days (as in the case of massa during Pesach) by covering it with a lightly dampened cloth.


The consecration of the Precious Blood would be invalid.


It all depends on how an individual uses the vocabulary.

It is logically impossible to have an “invalid Mass” because if it is invalid, it’s not a Mass. It’s like talking about a “vegetarian steak.” If it’s vegetarian, it can’t be a steak. Nevertheless, it’s rather common to find the term used. It’s simply easier than constantly saying or typing “an invalid attempt at Mass.”

Let’s say that the priest has a host (valid and licit matter). The parish is accustomed to using white wine. The priest goes through the offertory with the host. He likewise does the offertory with the wine; or so he thinks. He accidentally uses the water cruet instead and just doesn’t notice. There is no wine in the chalice. He goes through all the parts of the Mass as usual, unaware of the problem. He even drinks from the chalice, but for some reason (maybe he has a bad cold and can’t taste or smell anything) he never notices.

The end result is this:
A valid, but illicit, consecration of the bread into the Body of Christ.
An invalid, and likewise illicit, attempt to consecrate the Precious Blood.

One person might say “this is an invalid attempt at Mass.” And so it is, because for the entire Mass to be valid, both species must be consecrated and consumed. Please take note of the difference between the words “invalid attempt at Mass” and “invalid Mass.”

Another person might say “this is an incomplete Mass.” That person would likewise be correct because only one species was consecrated.

It is possible to have a valid consecration of one species (or even both) outside the context of a complete Mass. Possible, but always absolutely forbidden.

Still, another person might say “this is an invalid Mass.” That person would be using the wrong vocabulary, but still conveying the right idea. In an official church document, or in an academic setting, the proper vocabulary would be required. In an informal setting, people can get away with simply using a shortcut way of speaking and say “invalid Mass” when they really mean “invalid attempt at Mass.”

It’s the same with any other sacrament. In formal language, we NEVER say “an invalid [insert name of sacrament” but always “an invalid attempt at [the sacrament.” Baptism, Confirmation, Ordination, Marriage…all 7 The proper vocabulary is always “invalid attempt at…” But we allow ourselves a certain license in the vocabulary in an informal setting.


And assuming it’s made with wheat flour (not barley or rye etc.) and nothing else is added (herbs or honey, etc), such is certainly both valid and licit matter for the Eucharist.


If I may comment on this. Sometimes we do “know”. However, during formation we were firmly instructed that the way to handle this kind of situation is to “privately” raise it with the priest and then do what he says, even if it is not what we would do. Accordingly it would be a bit of step to assume the deacon “had no idea”. He may very well have had a private discussion with Father, as I would have.


Are you more upset because he did it, he spoke about it, because he proudly spoke about it, or because your fellow parishioners were edified by the story?


Thank you for this clarification. On reading the link if I have understood it right it seems to be only a problem if the action is ‘for a sacrilegious purpose’.

§ 2. Also reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is the delict which consists in the consecration for a sacrilegious purpose of one matter without the other or even of both, either within or outside of the eucharistic celebration[20]. One who has perpetrated this delict is to be punished according to the gravity of the crime, not excluding dismissal or deposition.

So could a priest in prison and under observation to prevent religious activity quietly consecrate bread and share it with fellow Catholics without breaching the canon?

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