What does illicit but valid mean?

What exactly does this mean? “Illicit but valid” as in reference to an ex-priest confecting a sacrament? For example, if an ex-priest confects the Last Rites, it seems by this statement that the Rites are fully effective, but how can that be if the confection is unlawful?

Thanks in advance!

Dear Un,

“Illicit” means unlawful. If one parks in a no-parking zone, one has the ability to park there, but not the authority to do so. A so-called ex-priest may not have the authority to confect the sacraments, but he still has the ability (sacramental power) to do so. I say “so-called” ex-priest because once a man is ordained a priest, he will always be a priest, even if he is no longer allowed by the Church to function as one.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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