Womenpriests valid but illicit?

This Rock Volume 12, Number 3 March 2001

I have read this article and there was alot of talk about things being “valid but illicit.” As I understand it, if I Bishop is excommunicated, he can still perform a mass and the bread and wine will turn into the Body and Blood of Christ. SO it will still be valid. Also mentioned in this article, is that if a Pope breaks canon law, his actions will be valid but illicit. Does this mean that the ordination of women by a validly ordaine Bishop are valid but illicit (illicit because of them breaking canon law because they are not men)?

Please tell me if I am wrong, this article was rather confusing to me.

SO is when is a Bishop no longer able to validly make transubstantiation happen if not after excommunication?

Every sacrament requires proper matter and form. The matter is usually something physical - water for Baptism, bread and wine for Eucharist, etc. The form is the words that are spoken. The matter for Holy Orders is oil and a man to be ordained. A man is specified, not a woman. Therefore, an attempt to ordain a woman would not be successful because of the lack of proper matter for the sacrament. This is not a discipline that can be changed, like eating meat on Friday.

If a bishop or priest is excommunicated, he remains a priest or bishop. Ordination confers a character on the soul that is not able to be removed. The man becomes a different kind of creature - a priest - and will remain so forever. Excommunication is a discipline which prohibits the priest or bishop from lawfully exercising his priestly powers. It does not remove the priestly powers - they are part of the character that can never be removed. So that would be a case of valid but illicit.

Hope this helps.

Betsy

If a bishop or priest is excommunicated, he remains a priest or bishop. Ordination confers a character on the soul that is not able to be removed. The man becomes a different kind of creature - a priest - and will remain so forever. Excommunication is a discipline which prohibits the priest or bishop from lawfully exercising his priestly powers. It does not remove the priestly powers - they are part of the character that can never be removed. So that would be a case of valid but illicit.

So theoretically, a Bishop could start teaching a heresy (since he is not infallible) and ordain other priests would believe similarly to him and basically make his own religion while still transubstantiation takes place in their churches?

Yes. That has already happened.

Betsy

Do you mean SSPX? Is there any way for the Church to stop this or is the only thing they can hope for is that they listen to them?

Thanks for the replies, very helpful

[FONT=Times New Roman][size=3]CoE fits in here as well I believe, I heard some Lutherans but not really sure.
But no there is no way to stop it, this is why picking bishops is a serious ordeal, and once they are picked the pope must deal with them in a way so they do not leave. In a way it adds more strength to the hierarchy.
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Denominations that maintain Apostolic Succession, and therefore, Transubstantiation, include the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, SSPV, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church.

Invalid and therefore Illicit. Pope JohnPaul II made an Infaillible declaration and proclamation in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis that the ordination of women was outside the authority of the Church.

I think your other question and comments were adequately answered by the above posts.

I’ll add that a Pope can break Canon Law without doing anything illicit. The Pope is above Canon Law. He can change any law, or grant a dispensation from any law, by his own authority. And if he acts contrary to Canon Law, he is without guilt and his actions are not even illicit, because his authority is greater.

However, there are certain provisions of Canon Law that are not per se of Church law, but are direct expressions of articles of faith or teachings of the moral law. The Pope cannot depart from these provisions licitly, nor without sin.

So if I go into an Eastern Orthodox Church, I should worship the consecrated bread and wine?
Does the Anglican Church and Sedevacantists maintain Apostolic Succession?

Would it be a sin to go to one of these non-Catholic Churches and receive the Body of Christ even though I don’t believe the teachings of that Church?

And just to clarify, you cannot be Orthodox and go to heaven (generally speaking) because they are not subject to the Roman Pontiff?

This is correct. Jesus IS truly present in their Communion.

Does the Anglican Church and Sedevacantists maintain Apostolic Succession?

According to a ruling by the Catholic Church years ago, the Anglican Church is NOT to be regarded as having valid Apostolic Succession. However, there are lineages within the denomination that might. The Catholic Church does NOT recognize the Real Presence within their sacrament, although many Anglicans will debate that with you. Sedevacantist groups like SSPX and SSPV DO maintain legitimate Apostolic Succession.

Would it be a sin to go to one of these non-Catholic Churches and receive the Body of Christ even though I don’t believe the teachings of that Church?

It IS allowed to receive at these churches, but there are some caveats. First, they have to ALLOW you to. It is highly unlikely that the Eastern Orthodox would allow you to receive, although some Oriental Orthodox and the Assyrian Church of the East might. Also, attending one of their services will NOT fulfill your Sunday obligation to the Catholic Church, although attending an SSPX service most likely would, since it has an “highly irregular” status, NOT a completely schismatic one. That said, you’d still want to think carefully before attending there.

And just to clarify, you cannot be Orthodox and go to heaven (generally speaking) because they are not subject to the Roman Pontiff?

Tough to say. Most of their doctrine is the same as the Catholic Church, and they have seven valid sacraments. No one left alive in their Church is an active schismatic, meaning that none of them initiated the breakoff from the Catholic Church. It is entirely possible that a great many of the Orthodox are saved, since they are invincibly ignorant of the necessity of the pope. Now, if one were to ACTIVELY convert from Catholic to Orthodox, that would be another matter entirely. Expect a lot of debate on this point.

After he sheds this mortal coil.

This is something that my mom told me several years ago, that I think might help put things into perspective.

The reason that we only allow men to be priests, is because we follow the example of Jesus, whom we should all try to imitate. During his ministry, Jesus only picked men to be priests. Say what you want about Jesus following tradition, nevertheless, he only chose men to be his twelve disciples. It was to these twelve that God sent the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and it was to them that the authority of the Church was granted.

This gift God gave to men, the priesthood, to be our mediator between God and man in peronsa Christi.

Women, however, had already been granted a gift, dating back to the dawn of life on this planet. They were given the gift of bearing children. Say what you will about the pains and sufferings, but mothers have a bond with their children that the father can never hope to have. It was through this gift, that women are able to participate in Creation.

We should remember that God created both man and women together for a reason. While it was through Adam and Eve that sin entered the world, it was through Mary that our redemption (Christ) entered the world, and it was through Christ that we were redeemed.

Archistrage

Rolltide, the SSPX ARE NOT sedevacantist, unlike the SSPV who are.

SSPX are not heretics. They are a schismatic movement. Big difference.

Jesus ultimately decides whether He does or does not allow transubstantiation to occur. The only ones who can truly tell(without only faith) are those with other various Gifts of the Spirit or angels. =)

Women priest(esses) are an abomination to God. They could never take the place of a priest, hard as they try. They were never meant for the consecrated priesthood.

Think about it this way - Jesus had no problem breaking social convention in regards to women that existed in His day.

Think about His compassionate treatment of the woman caught in adultery, the woman with a hemmorhage (merely by touching her He broke Levitical law), His conversation with the woman at the well (who as a foreigner AND a ‘bad’ woman living in sin, was doubly taboo), His compassion for the woman who anointed His feet and so on.

Then again - if women were fine to be priests, who more fitting for the honour than His own mother Mary? Or Mary Magdalene? Either of them were far more worthy, character-wise, than the Apostles who all except John ran away from Him at His crucifixion. There’s something very pointed about Jesus NOT choosing them at least to be Apostles, not commissioning them to celebrate the Eucharist or forgive sins as He did the Twelve.

Grace & Peace!

The difficulty with this line of reasoning is that the facts that they were Jewish and that there were twelve of them are at least as important as the fact that they were men. In which case, the church should only have 12 male Jewish priests at any one time.

A further difficulty is the idea of men as the only ones capable of acting in persona Christi–by ordaining men only we are saying that women are incapable of imaging God or of expressing in themselves the image of God with any accuracy. That is, men have more of the image of God than women or are at least more capable of manifesting it. The danger is obvious–either Christ saved all people by virtue of our common humanity, a fact which allows women to image Christ just as well as men, or he saved males specifically by virtue of his maleness. If we accept the latter premise, then we might find ourselves believing that women are less human than men. This was, in fact, a common belief in the ancient world. But today, we all know that such a belief is absurd.

Moreover, the question of who can give birth (women or men) is a question of biology. The question of who can image God is a question of theology and part of the much deeper issues of human ontology and soteriology. The two questions (that of biology and that of theology) are not equivalent.

I understand that PJPII stated that he could not change the current understanding of the priesthood. But that does not strike me as a particularly well-thought-out theological response while as an institutional response (i.e., a response engendered by institutional rather than theological concerns) it seems just peachy. I understand, also, the Scholastic form-matter-intent formula for validity of a sacrament, but find its insistence on reducing humans to their sexes in the this case as reductive and, well, inhuman (I am, moreover, not a great fan of the Aristotelianism behind Scholasticism and wonder how the church can continue to embrace it as it does without a suitably Platonic corrective, particularly in light of the dangers of nominalism).

Finally, to LilyM’s point…absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Just some thoughts…

Under the Mercy,
Mark

All is grace and mercy! Deo Gratias!

When a pope says that he doesn’t have the authority to change Church Tradition (any more than he can add books to the bible) he is just stating Catholic truth. **What surprised us when JPll made his statement was that he defined the ordination of only males to the priesthood as being a part of Tradition. ** Prior to that, many of us believed it was merely a discipline of the church, like the practice of ordaining only unmarried men in the western church.

Is this an ex-cathedra statement, an exercise of the charism of papal infallibility? When this question was asked, the former Cardinal Ratzinger, as JPll’s spokesman, affirmed that it is.

So, it appears that it is invalid and impossible to ordain women to the priesthood. (Even if a bishop said the words and laid his hands on a woman, the sacrament wouldn’t happen.) The Holy Spirit has spoken. At least, this is the Catholic point of view. A faithful Catholic would say you gotta take it up with God if you’re unhappy about it; the pope is only telling it like it is. We can give possible historical and theological reasons for it and we can like or dislike it but it is what it is.

Yes, Rome has spoken

To go back to the situation of a schismatic, women priest Church. Yes, you would still have a valid Eucharist when the bishop or properly ordained men celebrated Mass. With what they would call a woman priest, you would only have bread and sacrilege.

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