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I have a general question about how the mindset or "status" of the priest affects the Mass in traditional Catholic understanding. Specifically, three situations:

1. The priest is in a state of mortal sin

2. The priest no longer believes in Transubstantiation (or maybe doesn't even believe in God) but has remained as a priest for whatever reason.

3. Hopefully rarer, but the priest is knowingly performing the Mass for an illicit purpose. For instance, maybe someone has paid him to consecrate a Host so that the person can do eucharistic adoration in their home, or something like that.
Here is my opinion, but I hope that someone who knows more will come along and offer more thoughts:

1.  Validity not affected (see the heresy Donatism).  But the extrinsic merit of the Mass is reduced.

2. May affect validity if the priest's lack of faith means that he does not intend to do what the Church does in confecting the Sacrament -- otherwise the Church supplies for the lack of faith.  The extrinsic merits may or may not be affected.  Consider that many Eucharistic miracles that took place at the altar took place at the hands of priests who had some doubts.

3. Likely not valid because the priest does not act with the intention to do what the Church does in confecting the Sacrament. 
What do you mean by affects?  In the first and third situations the Mass is still just as valid, whereas in the second situation it could be valid if the priest intends to do "what the Church intends", or invalid if he actively intends some meaning against the Church's teachings.  In the first situation the priest would be committing further grave sin unless he fulfils the prescript of CIC 1917 c. 807 / CIC 1983 c. 916.  In the second situation the priest does not sin by his personal struggles of faith so long as he maintains the intention during Mass of doing "what the Church intends".  In the third situation, abstracting from the specific situation you mentioned, saying Mass for a purpose which exposes the Eucharist to harm of desecration would not only be gravely sinful, but also an excommunicable act (CIC 1917 c. 2320 /CIC 1983 c. 1367), whereas for lesser situations as you describe, I reserve comment.
I've always understood everything except the part about the priest being in mortal sin and his own (required, representing all the people) communion. Is he not committing sacrilege by consuming the Body and Blood?  That's obviously a matter of personal sin -- again, not affecting the validity of the consecration, etc.  But it seems to me that this represents quite a danger for the priest.
(06-21-2016, 11:18 AM)Miriam_M Wrote: [ -> ]I've always understood everything except the part about the priest being in mortal sin and his own (required, representing all the people) communion. Is he not committing sacrilege by consuming the Body and Blood?  That's obviously a matter of personal sin -- again, not affecting the validity of the consecration, etc.  But it seems to me that this represents quite a danger for the priest.

How right you are!  Check out this article I just found that discusses the issue of priests offering Mass in a state of mortal sin: http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com...in-beware/

We need to always be praying for our priests!
(06-21-2016, 11:47 AM)ermy_law Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-21-2016, 11:18 AM)Miriam_M Wrote: [ -> ]I've always understood everything except the part about the priest being in mortal sin and his own (required, representing all the people) communion. Is he not committing sacrilege by consuming the Body and Blood?  That's obviously a matter of personal sin -- again, not affecting the validity of the consecration, etc.  But it seems to me that this represents quite a danger for the priest.

How right you are!  Check out this article I just found that discusses the issue of priests offering Mass in a state of mortal sin: http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com...in-beware/

Heavy duty!  Thanks for that, um, frightening  link. Were I male, I would not desire the responsibility of being a priest, and thankfully --were I male-- I would be most unsuited, anyway (by temperament), and therefore not so called.

I've often thought about this problem, of the priest who offers Mass in a parish, and his own personal sanctity.  In former eras, there was virtually never a priest assigned alone to a parish, unless that were really remote.  And in our trad parish, as in many other metro areas, there are abundant numbers of priests near that parish who could hear our trad priest's confession by appointment, should such an appointment be necessary prior to offering Mass on any day.  We're also a combo parish, in that there is always an N.O. priest administrator also assigned and living at the same rectory.  But that pattern is not duplicated across our region or most regions.  Many priests are operating alone, whether they say the N.O. or whether they offer an indult TLM in a diocesan parish. 

Quote: We need to always be praying for our priests!
Amen,. This cannot be said too often.  I do commit to pray for our trad and heavily-trad-sympathetic diocesan priest.  But I don't do it enough.
(06-21-2016, 09:52 AM)ermy_law Wrote: [ -> ]2. May affect validity if the priest's lack of faith means that he does not intend to do what the Church does in confecting the Sacrament -- otherwise the Church supplies for the lack of faith.  The extrinsic merits may or may not be affected.  Consider that many Eucharistic miracles that took place at the altar took place at the hands of priests who had some doubts.

I can imagine several situations for this one -- you could have a priest struggling with his faith who continues to do the Masses in the hope that he will regain his faith. But you could also have a priest who is basically an atheist, but finds himself in his 40s or 50s with no marketable job skills (in his mind), so he remains as a priest just so he has an income, and maybe so he doesn't face social ostracism, etc.
(06-21-2016, 09:33 AM)incorrigable Wrote: [ -> ]I have a general question about how the mindset or "status" of the priest affects the Mass in traditional Catholic understanding. Specifically, three situations:

1. The priest is in a state of mortal sin

2. The priest no longer believes in Transubstantiation (or maybe doesn't even believe in God) but has remained as a priest for whatever reason.

3. Hopefully rarer, but the priest is knowingly performing the Mass for an illicit purpose. For instance, maybe someone has paid him to consecrate a Host so that the person can do eucharistic adoration in their home, or something like that.



Here is an entry from the Modern Catholic Dictionary that may be helpful.

"EX OPERE OPERATO. A term defined by the Council of Trent to describe how the sacraments confer the grace they signify. Trent condemned the following proposition: "That grace is not conferred `ex opere operato' by the sacraments of the New Law" (Denzinger 1608). Literally the expression means "from the work performed," stating that grace is always conferred by a sacrament, in virtue of the rite performed and not as a mere sign that grace has already been given, or that the sacrament stimulates the faith of the recipient and thus occasions the obtaining of grace, or that what determines the grace is the virtue of either the minister or recipient of a sacrament. Provided no obstacle (obex) is placed in the way, every sacrament properly administered confers the grace intended by the sacrament. In a true sense the sacraments are instrumental causes of grace."
1. The priest is in a state of mortal sin

From the Code of Canon Law;

Can.  916 A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P39.HTM
3. Hopefully rarer, but the priest is knowingly performing the Mass for an illicit purpose. For instance, maybe someone has paid him to consecrate a Host so that the person can do eucharistic adoration in their home, or something like that.

From the Code of Canon Law;

Can. 1367 A person who throws away the consecrated species or takes or retains them for a sacrilegious purpose incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See; moreover, a cleric can be punished with another penalty, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P52.HTM

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