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Are a priest's masses still valid, if he doesn't believe in the Real Presence? This is my current situation, and it is really weighing on my mind. Thanks, everybody.
Take my answer as a layman.
Any error in what I say comes from me — a 33 year old layman — and any answer by an orthodox priest or religious should be trusted over anything I say.

My understanding is that, as long as the priest intends to do as the Church does, it would be a valid Sacrament. I think it’s similar to Baptism. My understanding is that even a Protestant layman can validly administer Baptism if they do it with the intention of doing what the Church does.

Also — and I believe St. Augustine said a fair bit about this — the state of the soul of the priest doesn’t invalidate the Sacrament. My understanding is that a priest can validly command the species of bread and wine to be transubstantiated into the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, even if the priest is in mortal sin. This probably isn’t news to you.

Would I go elsewhere? Yes. You have have very limited options I take it?
(09-29-2019, 09:08 AM)Birdie Wrote: [ -> ]Are a priest's masses still valid, if he doesn't believe in the Real Presence?


:O

(09-29-2019, 09:08 AM)Birdie Wrote: [ -> ]This is my current situation, and it is really weighing on my mind. Thanks, everybody.

I would assume yes because of the Eucharistic Miracle of Ludbreg 1411 - http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/...dbreg1.pdf

In any case, I would definitely go elsewhere if available, I would also try and have charitable words with the Priest as this is as serious as it gets, I would arm yourself with Eucharistic Miracles and the teachings of the Church. Catechism, Saints previous Popes etc, they all bear witness to the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, every single one.

"For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."

God Bless You
(09-29-2019, 09:08 AM)Birdie Wrote: [ -> ]Are a priest's masses still valid, if he doesn't believe in the Real Presence? This is my current situation, and it is really weighing on my mind. Thanks, everybody.

This question just came up a few weeks ago and was addressed by our Prior. Neither sanctity, nor virtue, nor even Faith are required on the part of the minister. All that is required for the valid administration of the sacrament is for the minister to have the intention to do what the church does (as Fulton Fan said), and he must use the form and matter instituted by Christ. The matter is the wheaten bread and wine, and the form consists of the words of Christ.
Presuming valid form and matter and minister, a generic intention to do what the Church does is sufficient to confect a Sacrament. That's the Catholic teaching and speculative side of this question.

The real problem comes in the practical application. 

Agere sequitur esse — One acts according to what they are. We could say that one's actions follow one's being and even one's belief. If someone is stating outside that they deny what the Church believes, it will be somewhat difficult for them to properly intend to do what the Church does. A Catholic priest, openly denying a key aspect of the Catholic Faith which can be easily known might form a correct intention, but also may not, and is more likely not to.

If one refuses to submit to the Church is belief, it is not very likely that he would submit to the Church in intention. 

If his intention was contrary to that of the Church, the Sacrament would not be performed. While we cannot know his exact intention, external words and actions would argue against his forming the correct intention. He might, and he might not, and there's the issue.

The theory is fine (we're not Donatists), but in practice I think there is sufficient reason to doubt the validty of his Masses.

Appealing to a Eucharistic Miracle also does not solve this problem. Our Lord certainly can cause himself to become physically present anywhere at anytime. He does so Sacramentally at the priests' words when the matter and intention is correct, but the purpose of the miracle was to restore the Faith in his Real Presence for that doubting priest. It was not to encourage people to doubt in order to obtain some favor of God, or answer a theological question.

In short, we cannot assert the certain validity of the OP's Mass, nor can we assert its invalidity, but the very fact that one can doubt is a serious problem.
Just so I know where I stand here:

The Eucharist is literally the Body and Blood of Christ, right?

And the Eucharist contains Christ in His humanity and divinity, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, right?

Those are the points that came up, and which I had to defend. But I'll own it, if I'm wrong.
(09-29-2019, 03:38 PM)Birdie Wrote: [ -> ]Just so I know where I stand here:

The Eucharist is literally the Body and Blood of Christ, right?

And the Eucharist contains Christ in His humanity and divinity, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, right?

Those are the points that came up, and which I had to defend. But I'll own it, if I'm wrong.

The Council of Trent defines as de fide  (i.e. that it must be believed as part of the Catholic Faith) that the Eucharist is (and does not merely contain) the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ who is really, truly and substantially, but Sacramentally presents under the accidents (appearances, sometimes referred to as "the species of") of Bread and Wine.

If one denies this he asserts a material heresy. If he denies it knowingly he is guilty of the sin of heresy which is a sin against the Faith, so he has lost the Catholic Faith. If he persists in this through malicious stubbornness he can be declared a formal heretic and excommunicated once officially judged to be a heretic and stripped of his ecclesiastical rank.

Thus in session XIII of the Council of Trent it infallibly defines this by condemnation :

Quote:CANON I.-If any one denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema.

CANON II.-If any one saith, that, in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood-the species Only of the bread and wine remaining-which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation; let him be anathema.

CANON III.-If any one denieth, that, in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist, the whole Christ is contained under each species, and under every part of each species, when separated; let him be anathema.

CANON IV.-If any one saith, that, after the consecration is completed, the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are not in the admirable sacrament of the Eucharist, but (are there) only during the use, whilst it is being taken, and not either before or after; and that, in the hosts, or consecrated particles, which are reserved or which remain after communion, the true Body of the Lord remaineth not; let him be anathema.

...

CANON VIII.-lf any one saith, that Christ, given in the Eucharist, is eaten spiritually only, and not also sacramentally and really; let him be anathema.
Thanks for your response, MM. This priest said that the Blessed Sacrament wasn’t literally the Body and Blood of Christ, and that it wasn’t really God. This came about when I told him that I would be receiving Communion kneeling. He got very upset, when I objected to him saying these things. So I’ve wondered since then whether his Masses were valid, and whether I should attend them at all, if he was right. What would be the point? But I have no other Mass available to me, so I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. It makes me feel so alone.
(09-29-2019, 06:36 PM)Birdie Wrote: [ -> ]Thanks for your response, MM. This priest said that the Blessed Sacrament wasn’t literally the Body and Blood of Christ, and that it wasn’t really God. This came about when I told him that I would be receiving Communion kneeling. He got very upset, when I objected to him saying these things. So I’ve wondered since then whether his Masses were valid, and whether I should attend them at all, if he was right. What would be the point? But I have no other Mass available to me, so I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. It makes me feel so alone.

You could tell him that he's denying the very clearly defined Catholic Faith, and thus is speaking heresy by saying this. I'm not sure that's even going to have much of an effect, but it's not wrong.

Trent is more or less a swear word in modern seminaries. He's probably never read it. Nevertheless The Roman Catechism otherwise known as the Catechism of the Council of Trent (which was intended to help priests who were not properly trained at the time learn about what they needed to preach about), is a good resource.

You could present this to him, or any Catechism that says the same thing, but unfortunately it's likely a lost cause.
And they wonder why 69% of US Catholics don't believe Catholic Doctrine on the Real Presence of Christ, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Most Blessed Sacrament!
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