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Author Topic: A Question For Catholics: Sacraments and "Intent"  (Read 4353 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 06, 2012, 12:52:17 AM »

As I understand it, a precondition in Catholic theology for a sacrament to be valid is that the one performing the sacrament must have the correct intent. In the case of baptism, it is said, even an atheist can perform it if he uses the correct matter and form and has the correct intent. My question is twofold:

1. How can the faithful know the intent of the clergy? What if a few hundred years ago some bishop didn't really intend to consecrate another bishop? Does that mean the second wasn't really a bishop? Does it mean the priests he ordained could not perform valid sacraments? That could be a lot of priests by today.

2. How can a person who doesn't believe in sacramental grace at all have the intent to bestow that grace on another person?
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2012, 04:34:13 AM »

As I understand it, a precondition in Catholic theology for a sacrament to be valid is that the one performing the sacrament must have the correct intent. In the case of baptism, it is said, even an atheist can perform it if he uses the correct matter and form and has the correct intent. My question is twofold:

1. How can the faithful know the intent of the clergy? What if a few hundred years ago some bishop didn't really intend to consecrate another bishop? Does that mean the second wasn't really a bishop? Does it mean the priests he ordained could not perform valid sacraments? That could be a lot of priests by today.

2. How can a person who doesn't believe in sacramental grace at all have the intent to bestow that grace on another person?

I JUST had this conversation with a Roman seminarian on Tuesday night. He insisted that a priest at the altar who does everything visibly but privately says to himself, "I intend NOT to consecrate this" although he says the consecration aloud and to all others it appears he is, then the Mass is invalid and the gifts remain only common bread and wine. I insisted that the priest's visible and external intent forces an internal intent - like trying to say, "I refuse to consummate this marriage" to yourself during the first intercourse with your wife. Obviously, the marriage is being consummated. Now, if you want to fail to consummate the marriage, you can refuse to do so or even substitute it with some perversion, but the act of it is done and in that, the actual intent is revealed, regardless of the pretended intent.

I don't think a non-believing priest, who is acting as Christ and on behalf of the Church, can cause a sacrament not to happen by pretending to himself he does not will it to happen as long as he acts publicly as if it is. A sacrament is, after all, an external manifestation of an inward grace. He may desire to thwart the Holy Spirit, but as long as he does not make that intent clear, his intent to do what the Church does is presumed.

I asked my Byzantine priest and he said that's a very Roman question, and in the East we wouldn't even think about why a priest would do such a thing. He also agreed with me that even if a priest were pretending to himself that he privately intended for a sacrament not to happen, it would still happen because visibly and publicly he is acting on the Church's behalf.

So that's the answer as far as I can tell. Although, if the priest spends the homily talking about how he doesn't believe in the Real Presence, and says, when I say the words nothing happens, then you can be sure that it's not a valid Mass, because he obviously and openly doesn't intend to consecrate it and is no longer doing what the Church intends. However, sacraments are presumed valid unless opposing evidence is presented - so a "private" intention not to consecrate can't really happen.
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2012, 05:27:01 AM »

As I understand it, a precondition in Catholic theology for a sacrament to be valid is that the one performing the sacrament must have the correct intent. In the case of baptism, it is said, even an atheist can perform it if he uses the correct matter and form and has the correct intent. My question is twofold:

1. How can the faithful know the intent of the clergy? What if a few hundred years ago some bishop didn't really intend to consecrate another bishop? Does that mean the second wasn't really a bishop? Does it mean the priests he ordained could not perform valid sacraments? That could be a lot of priests by today.

2. How can a person who doesn't believe in sacramental grace at all have the intent to bestow that grace on another person?
.
I've been told before that intent is more of an institutional thing, so that if an individual pastor is performing a sacrament but with improper intent, the sacrament is still valid so long as the institution has proper intent, and that if the pastor has proper intent, but the organization does not, then the sacrament is invalid. The concept seems like a completely nonsensical way to approach the sacraments, as it turns them into seven magic spells based on having proper form and intent (except for marriage apparently, as even a non Roman Catholic couple can cast the marriage spell on each other with the assistance of a justice of the peace, even if they lack proper form and intent) rather than seven mysteries.
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2012, 05:38:40 AM »

Smells like witchcraft.
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2012, 08:39:24 AM »

As I understand it, a precondition in Catholic theology for a sacrament to be valid is that the one performing the sacrament must have the correct intent. In the case of baptism, it is said, even an atheist can perform it if he uses the correct matter and form and has the correct intent. My question is twofold:

1. How can the faithful know the intent of the clergy? What if a few hundred years ago some bishop didn't really intend to consecrate another bishop? Does that mean the second wasn't really a bishop? Does it mean the priests he ordained could not perform valid sacraments? That could be a lot of priests by today.

2. How can a person who doesn't believe in sacramental grace at all have the intent to bestow that grace on another person?
.
I've been told before that intent is more of an institutional thing, so that if an individual pastor is performing a sacrament but with improper intent, the sacrament is still valid so long as the institution has proper intent, and that if the pastor has proper intent, but the organization does not, then the sacrament is invalid. The concept seems like a completely nonsensical way to approach the sacraments, as it turns them into seven magic spells based on having proper form and intent (except for marriage apparently, as even a non Roman Catholic couple can cast the marriage spell on each other with the assistance of a justice of the peace, even if they lack proper form and intent) rather than seven mysteries.

I don't know the answers to all questions about intent (and the  difficulties Rome has gotten herself into in connection with intent), but it certainly doesn't turn the sacraments into magic spells. Rather, it prevents it from being just a question of saying "the right words".
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2012, 10:38:52 AM »

As I understand it, a precondition in Catholic theology for a sacrament to be valid is that the one performing the sacrament must have the correct intent. In the case of baptism, it is said, even an atheist can perform it if he uses the correct matter and form and has the correct intent. My question is twofold:

1. How can the faithful know the intent of the clergy? What if a few hundred years ago some bishop didn't really intend to consecrate another bishop? Does that mean the second wasn't really a bishop? Does it mean the priests he ordained could not perform valid sacraments? That could be a lot of priests by today.

2. How can a person who doesn't believe in sacramental grace at all have the intent to bestow that grace on another person?
.
I've been told before that intent is more of an institutional thing, so that if an individual pastor is performing a sacrament but with improper intent, the sacrament is still valid so long as the institution has proper intent, and that if the pastor has proper intent, but the organization does not, then the sacrament is invalid. The concept seems like a completely nonsensical way to approach the sacraments, as it turns them into seven magic spells based on having proper form and intent (except for marriage apparently, as even a non Roman Catholic couple can cast the marriage spell on each other with the assistance of a justice of the peace, even if they lack proper form and intent) rather than seven mysteries.

I don't know the answers to all questions about intent (and the  difficulties Rome has gotten herself into in connection with intent), but it certainly doesn't turn the sacraments into magic spells. Rather, it prevents it from being just a question of saying "the right words".

And I would agree that that idea certainly isn't what Rome's teaching on the matter is supposed to convey. I just notice that a lot of people wind up treating the sacraments as if they are magical incantations because of this mentality. I think most of us would probably agree, for example, that there is something nonsensical about a question concerning what happens if a priest consecrates the bread and wine without desiring to do so. And yet the very question belies an almost magical approach to the sacraments on the end of those who would ask such questions.
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2012, 11:18:37 AM »

Quote form Wikipedia.
"This is known as ex opere operantis, Latin for from the work of the one doing the working, that is, that the validity of the sacrament depends upon the worthiness and holiness of the minister confecting. The Catholic position, according to Augustine, was ex opere operato — from the work having been worked; in other words, that the validity of the sacrament depends upon the holiness of God, the minister being a mere instrument of God's work, so that any priest or bishop, even one in a state of mortal sin, who speaks the formula of the sacrament with valid matter and the intent of causing the sacrament to occur acts validly."

Still question the "intent" part.
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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2012, 11:40:42 AM »

Quote form Wikipedia.
"This is known as ex opere operantis, Latin for from the work of the one doing the working, that is, that the validity of the sacrament depends upon the worthiness and holiness of the minister confecting. The Catholic position, according to Augustine, was ex opere operato — from the work having been worked; in other words, that the validity of the sacrament depends upon the holiness of God, the minister being a mere instrument of God's work, so that any priest or bishop, even one in a state of mortal sin, who speaks the formula of the sacrament with valid matter and the intent of causing the sacrament to occur acts validly."

Still question the "intent" part.

To the extent that individual, rather than institutional intent, is relevent, isn't it the intent to perform the Sacrament? That is, the atheist baptizer may not intend to unite the Baptized to Christ and the atheist priest may not intend to transform the bread and wine, since they don't believe the metaphysical portion is even possible, but they do intend to perform the Christian rite (for whatever reason). This is as distinguished from an actor who doesn't 'intend' to perform the actual rite, but merely to copy the form?
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2012, 05:37:24 PM »

Quote form Wikipedia.
"This is known as ex opere operantis, Latin for from the work of the one doing the working, that is, that the validity of the sacrament depends upon the worthiness and holiness of the minister confecting. The Catholic position, according to Augustine, was ex opere operato — from the work having been worked; in other words, that the validity of the sacrament depends upon the holiness of God, the minister being a mere instrument of God's work, so that any priest or bishop, even one in a state of mortal sin, who speaks the formula of the sacrament with valid matter and the intent of causing the sacrament to occur acts validly."

Still question the "intent" part.

To the extent that individual, rather than institutional intent, is relevant, isn't it the intent to perform the Sacrament? That is, the atheist baptizer may not intend to unite the Baptized to Christ and the atheist priest may not intend to transform the bread and wine, since they don't believe the metaphysical portion is even possible, but they do intend to perform the Christian rite (for whatever reason). This is as distinguished from an actor who doesn't 'intend' to perform the actual rite, but merely to copy the form?

Nicely done.
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2012, 11:09:42 PM »

The Roman formulation strikes me highly legalistic. It is evocative of the traditional necessity in criminal law to prove both a guilty act (actus reus) and a guilty mental state (mens rea) in order to make out an offence.
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2012, 11:34:55 PM »

The Roman formulation strikes me highly legalistic.

This could be copy-and-pasted into a lot of situations.
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« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2012, 03:26:08 PM »

I insisted that the priest's visible and external intent forces an internal intent - like trying to say, "I refuse to consummate this marriage" to yourself during the first intercourse with your wife. Obviously, the marriage is being consummated. Now, if you want to fail to consummate the marriage, you can refuse to do so or even substitute it with some perversion, but the act of it is done and in that, the actual intent is revealed, regardless of the pretended intent.
Interesting problem for the Corban factory, er, Marriage Tribunals.

Obviously, the marriage is being consummated? Not any more obvious than any number of marriages with hidden "impediments" revealed only after the couple divorce and want to remarry.
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« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2012, 03:28:07 PM »

Quote form Wikipedia.
"This is known as ex opere operantis, Latin for from the work of the one doing the working, that is, that the validity of the sacrament depends upon the worthiness and holiness of the minister confecting. The Catholic position, according to Augustine, was ex opere operato — from the work having been worked; in other words, that the validity of the sacrament depends upon the holiness of God, the minister being a mere instrument of God's work, so that any priest or bishop, even one in a state of mortal sin, who speaks the formula of the sacrament with valid matter and the intent of causing the sacrament to occur acts validly."

Still question the "intent" part.
To the extent that individual, rather than institutional intent, is relevent, isn't it the intent to perform the Sacrament? That is, the atheist baptizer may not intend to unite the Baptized to Christ and the atheist priest may not intend to transform the bread and wine, since they don't believe the metaphysical portion is even possible, but they do intend to perform the Christian rite (for whatever reason). This is as distinguished from an actor who doesn't 'intend' to perform the actual rite, but merely to copy the form?
There is only one priesthood, Christ's, and He believes. The earthly minister is only the instrument "by the hands of" and hence his intent matters no more than the hammer's hitting the nail.
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« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2012, 03:32:32 PM »

As I understand it, a precondition in Catholic theology for a sacrament to be valid is that the one performing the sacrament must have the correct intent. In the case of baptism, it is said, even an atheist can perform it if he uses the correct matter and form and has the correct intent. My question is twofold:

1. How can the faithful know the intent of the clergy? What if a few hundred years ago some bishop didn't really intend to consecrate another bishop? Does that mean the second wasn't really a bishop? Does it mean the priests he ordained could not perform valid sacraments? That could be a lot of priests by today.

2. How can a person who doesn't believe in sacramental grace at all have the intent to bestow that grace on another person?
.
I've been told before that intent is more of an institutional thing, so that if an individual pastor is performing a sacrament but with improper intent, the sacrament is still valid so long as the institution has proper intent, and that if the pastor has proper intent, but the organization does not, then the sacrament is invalid. The concept seems like a completely nonsensical way to approach the sacraments, as it turns them into seven magic spells based on having proper form and intent (except for marriage apparently, as even a non Roman Catholic couple can cast the marriage spell on each other with the assistance of a justice of the peace, even if they lack proper form and intent) rather than seven mysteries.

I don't know the answers to all questions about intent (and the  difficulties Rome has gotten herself into in connection with intent), but it certainly doesn't turn the sacraments into magic spells. Rather, it prevents it from being just a question of saying "the right words".

And I would agree that that idea certainly isn't what Rome's teaching on the matter is supposed to convey. I just notice that a lot of people wind up treating the sacraments as if they are magical incantations because of this mentality. I think most of us would probably agree, for example, that there is something nonsensical about a question concerning what happens if a priest consecrates the bread and wine without desiring to do so. And yet the very question belies an almost magical approach to the sacraments on the end of those who would ask such questions.
Hence all these concerns about "validity" and "licency," and the difference between us and the Vatican, conventionally labeled St. Cyprian vs. St. Augustine.  If a man isn't ordained by the hand of a bishop in valid succession within the One, Holy, Catholic Church, he can intend his heart out, the bread will remain bread (at least as far as we know and it concerns us).
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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2012, 12:51:58 PM »

Aren't the words of consecration necessary for the bread and wine to be consecrated? If the intrinsic sense of the words is added to or taken away from, the consecration does not occur, so presumably, something is made active by the priest's vocalisation, united to his intent, through the grace of God?

There must be a moment where bread and wine become body and blood. When and how do the Orthodox believe that transubstantiation takes place?

Hope I haven't intruded on the conversation, the questions occurred to me and I thought I would ask.
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« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2012, 01:04:11 PM »

Aren't the words of consecration necessary for the bread and wine to be consecrated? If the intrinsic sense of the words is added to or taken away from, the consecration does not occur, so presumably, something is made active by the priest's vocalisation, united to his intent, through the grace of God?

I don't know about "intent." That's partially the point of this thread. But otherwise I would agree.

There must be a moment where bread and wine become body and blood. When and how do the Orthodox believe that transubstantiation takes place?

The Orthodox Church does not teach any dogmatic understanding of how the Real Presence works; all She says for sure is that the bread and wine, after the epiclesis, are the real, true, corporeal, local, Body and Blood of Christ. So we don't believe in transubtantiation per se (at least not as more than a theologoumenon.)

As for when precisely the transformation occurs, it is completed at the epiclesis, but +Met. KALLISTOS says it can be considered to have begun even at the Great Entrance.
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« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2012, 01:26:35 PM »

Aren't the words of consecration necessary for the bread and wine to be consecrated? If the intrinsic sense of the words is added to or taken away from, the consecration does not occur, so presumably, something is made active by the priest's vocalisation, united to his intent, through the grace of God?

I don't know about "intent." That's partially the point of this thread. But otherwise I would agree.

There must be a moment where bread and wine become body and blood. When and how do the Orthodox believe that transubstantiation takes place?

The Orthodox Church does not teach any dogmatic understanding of how the Real Presence works; all She says for sure is that the bread and wine, after the epiclesis, are the real, true, corporeal, local, Body and Blood of Christ. So we don't believe in transubtantiation per se (at least not as more than a theologoumenon.)

As for when precisely the transformation occurs, it is completed at the epiclesis, but +Met. KALLISTOS says it can be considered to have begun even at the Great Entrance.

Transubstantiation does not teach a "corporeal" transformation in terms of earthly human corpus.  The Catholic Church teaches that the substance of the bread and wine become the mystical body of Christ.

Good to know that the Orthodox think it's still his earthly body.  Another way that they mistake things.

M.

PS:  I am speaking with tongue in cheek here...
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« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2012, 01:32:48 PM »

Aren't the words of consecration necessary for the bread and wine to be consecrated? If the intrinsic sense of the words is added to or taken away from, the consecration does not occur, so presumably, something is made active by the priest's vocalisation, united to his intent, through the grace of God?

But in this case, I don't think the Roman Catholics would really even say that intent matters. Suppose that the priest has lost his faith and he celebrates a Mass. Will God not make the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ? To say that the Mass would be invalid seems awfully close to donatism, where the sinfulness of the minister affects the sacraments performed by him.

There must be a moment where bread and wine become body and blood. When and how do the Orthodox believe that transubstantiation takes place?

Typically at the epiclesis.

Hope I haven't intruded on the conversation, the questions occurred to me and I thought I would ask.

They are good questions.

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« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2012, 02:13:48 PM »

Aren't the words of consecration necessary for the bread and wine to be consecrated? If the intrinsic sense of the words is added to or taken away from, the consecration does not occur, so presumably, something is made active by the priest's vocalisation, united to his intent, through the grace of God?

But in this case, I don't think the Roman Catholics would really even say that intent matters. Suppose that the priest has lost his faith and he celebrates a Mass. Will God not make the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ? To say that the Mass would be invalid seems awfully close to donatism, where the sinfulness of the minister affects the sacraments performed by him.

I have another question that may seem bizarre (especially since the thread has already linked Catholicism with a propensity for "magical spells"!)

Catholicism maintains/maintained that the phenomenon of a "Black Mass" is possible precisely for these sorts of reasons - that a consecrated priest, by virtue of his consecration and by following the rubrics, can still effect the transubstantiation (as defined dogmatically by the Fourth Lateran Council) of bread and wine into body and blood. According to a Catholic understanding, the Eucharist he confects would be illicit, but not invalid.

Now, is such a thing possible in the Orthodox world-view - I would imagine not. Why? Is there any comparable understanding of a licit/illicit, valid/invalid dichotomy in liturgical celebration?

I've chosen a very extreme example, hopefully it didn't offend anybody.
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« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2012, 02:35:58 PM »

Aren't the words of consecration necessary for the bread and wine to be consecrated? If the intrinsic sense of the words is added to or taken away from, the consecration does not occur, so presumably, something is made active by the priest's vocalisation, united to his intent, through the grace of God?

But in this case, I don't think the Roman Catholics would really even say that intent matters. Suppose that the priest has lost his faith and he celebrates a Mass. Will God not make the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ? To say that the Mass would be invalid seems awfully close to donatism, where the sinfulness of the minister affects the sacraments performed by him.

I have another question that may seem bizarre (especially since the thread has already linked Catholicism with a propensity for "magical spells"!)

Catholicism maintains/maintained that the phenomenon of a "Black Mass" is possible precisely for these sorts of reasons - that a consecrated priest, by virtue of his consecration and by following the rubrics, can still effect the transubstantiation (as defined dogmatically by the Fourth Lateran Council) of bread and wine into body and blood. According to a Catholic understanding, the Eucharist he confects would be illicit, but not invalid.

Now, is such a thing possible in the Orthodox world-view - I would imagine not. Why? Is there any comparable understanding of a licit/illicit, valid/invalid dichotomy in liturgical celebration?

I've chosen a very extreme example, hopefully it didn't offend anybody.

Where do you read any formal explanation of the assertion that a Black Mass is valid but illicit?

M.
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« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2012, 02:39:56 PM »

Aren't the words of consecration necessary for the bread and wine to be consecrated? If the intrinsic sense of the words is added to or taken away from, the consecration does not occur, so presumably, something is made active by the priest's vocalisation, united to his intent, through the grace of God?

But in this case, I don't think the Roman Catholics would really even say that intent matters. Suppose that the priest has lost his faith and he celebrates a Mass. Will God not make the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ? To say that the Mass would be invalid seems awfully close to donatism, where the sinfulness of the minister affects the sacraments performed by him.

I have another question that may seem bizarre (especially since the thread has already linked Catholicism with a propensity for "magical spells"!)

Catholicism maintains/maintained that the phenomenon of a "Black Mass" is possible precisely for these sorts of reasons - that a consecrated priest, by virtue of his consecration and by following the rubrics, can still effect the transubstantiation (as defined dogmatically by the Fourth Lateran Council) of bread and wine into body and blood. According to a Catholic understanding, the Eucharist he confects would be illicit, but not invalid.

Now, is such a thing possible in the Orthodox world-view - I would imagine not. Why? Is there any comparable understanding of a licit/illicit, valid/invalid dichotomy in liturgical celebration?

I've chosen a very extreme example, hopefully it didn't offend anybody.

Where do you read any formal explanation of the assertion that a Black Mass is valid but illicit?

M.

Saint Thomas Aquinas addresses the issue:
"A perverse intention belongs to the wickedness of the minister. But the wickedness of the minister does not annul the sacrament: neither, therefore, does his perverse intention." et al.

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4064.htm#article10
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« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2012, 02:42:36 PM »

Aren't the words of consecration necessary for the bread and wine to be consecrated? If the intrinsic sense of the words is added to or taken away from, the consecration does not occur, so presumably, something is made active by the priest's vocalisation, united to his intent, through the grace of God?

But in this case, I don't think the Roman Catholics would really even say that intent matters. Suppose that the priest has lost his faith and he celebrates a Mass. Will God not make the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ? To say that the Mass would be invalid seems awfully close to donatism, where the sinfulness of the minister affects the sacraments performed by him.

I have another question that may seem bizarre (especially since the thread has already linked Catholicism with a propensity for "magical spells"!)

Catholicism maintains/maintained that the phenomenon of a "Black Mass" is possible precisely for these sorts of reasons - that a consecrated priest, by virtue of his consecration and by following the rubrics, can still effect the transubstantiation (as defined dogmatically by the Fourth Lateran Council) of bread and wine into body and blood. According to a Catholic understanding, the Eucharist he confects would be illicit, but not invalid.

Now, is such a thing possible in the Orthodox world-view - I would imagine not. Why? Is there any comparable understanding of a licit/illicit, valid/invalid dichotomy in liturgical celebration?

I've chosen a very extreme example, hopefully it didn't offend anybody.

I think that it is not at all unreasonable that God would withhold His grace in such a situation. That is my biggest problem with the concept of validity, to be honest. It makes it so that God has no say in the matter, so to speak, because so long as certain conditions are met (apostolic succession, proper form and intent, etc.), then validity is guaranteed. Perhaps there are no efficacious sacraments outside of the Church, or perhaps there are, but I think such things are in God's hands and beyond our knowing in a formulaic sense.
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« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2012, 02:56:50 PM »

Aren't the words of consecration necessary for the bread and wine to be consecrated? If the intrinsic sense of the words is added to or taken away from, the consecration does not occur, so presumably, something is made active by the priest's vocalisation, united to his intent, through the grace of God?

I don't know about "intent." That's partially the point of this thread. But otherwise I would agree.

There must be a moment where bread and wine become body and blood. When and how do the Orthodox believe that transubstantiation takes place?

The Orthodox Church does not teach any dogmatic understanding of how the Real Presence works; all She says for sure is that the bread and wine, after the epiclesis, are the real, true, corporeal, local, Body and Blood of Christ. So we don't believe in transubtantiation per se (at least not as more than a theologoumenon.)

As for when precisely the transformation occurs, it is completed at the epiclesis, but +Met. KALLISTOS says it can be considered to have begun even at the Great Entrance.

Transubstantiation does not teach a "corporeal" transformation in terms of earthly human corpus.  The Catholic Church teaches that the substance of the bread and wine become the mystical body of Christ.

Good to know that the Orthodox think it's still his earthly body.  Another way that they mistake things.

M.

PS:  I am speaking with tongue in cheek here...

Does belief in transubstantiation really exclude the more physical understandings of the Eucharist, like St. Cyril's understanding, given in the eleventh of the twelve chapters? Surely both are true.
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« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2012, 02:57:10 PM »

Aren't the words of consecration necessary for the bread and wine to be consecrated? If the intrinsic sense of the words is added to or taken away from, the consecration does not occur, so presumably, something is made active by the priest's vocalisation, united to his intent, through the grace of God?

But in this case, I don't think the Roman Catholics would really even say that intent matters. Suppose that the priest has lost his faith and he celebrates a Mass. Will God not make the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ? To say that the Mass would be invalid seems awfully close to donatism, where the sinfulness of the minister affects the sacraments performed by him.

I have another question that may seem bizarre (especially since the thread has already linked Catholicism with a propensity for "magical spells"!)

Catholicism maintains/maintained that the phenomenon of a "Black Mass" is possible precisely for these sorts of reasons - that a consecrated priest, by virtue of his consecration and by following the rubrics, can still effect the transubstantiation (as defined dogmatically by the Fourth Lateran Council) of bread and wine into body and blood. According to a Catholic understanding, the Eucharist he confects would be illicit, but not invalid.

Now, is such a thing possible in the Orthodox world-view - I would imagine not. Why? Is there any comparable understanding of a licit/illicit, valid/invalid dichotomy in liturgical celebration?

I've chosen a very extreme example, hopefully it didn't offend anybody.

Where do you read any formal explanation of the assertion that a Black Mass is valid but illicit?

M.

Saint Thomas Aquinas addresses the issue:
"A perverse intention belongs to the wickedness of the minister. But the wickedness of the minister does not annul the sacrament: neither, therefore, does his perverse intention." et al.

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4064.htm#article10

I see what you were looking at.  Well this has nothing to do with the question of intending what the Church intends.  This is a reference to personal sinfulness.

If the minister of the sacrament does not intend what the Church intends, and a minister of the demonic, by definition, does not so intend what the Church intends, then you have nothing in a black mass but pure evil.

These are not the kids of situations that the concepts of valid and licit were introduced to explain...so once again we go off the deep end and blame the Church for our own unwillingness to follow what she says and not what we think.

Have fun!!  Wink

M.
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« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2012, 03:02:04 PM »

Aren't the words of consecration necessary for the bread and wine to be consecrated? If the intrinsic sense of the words is added to or taken away from, the consecration does not occur, so presumably, something is made active by the priest's vocalisation, united to his intent, through the grace of God?

I don't know about "intent." That's partially the point of this thread. But otherwise I would agree.

There must be a moment where bread and wine become body and blood. When and how do the Orthodox believe that transubstantiation takes place?

The Orthodox Church does not teach any dogmatic understanding of how the Real Presence works; all She says for sure is that the bread and wine, after the epiclesis, are the real, true, corporeal, local, Body and Blood of Christ. So we don't believe in transubtantiation per se (at least not as more than a theologoumenon.)

As for when precisely the transformation occurs, it is completed at the epiclesis, but +Met. KALLISTOS says it can be considered to have begun even at the Great Entrance.

Transubstantiation does not teach a "corporeal" transformation in terms of earthly human corpus.  The Catholic Church teaches that the substance of the bread and wine become the mystical body of Christ.

Good to know that the Orthodox think it's still his earthly body.  Another way that they mistake things.

M.

PS:  I am speaking with tongue in cheek here...

Does belief in transubstantiation really exclude the more physical understandings of the Eucharist, like St. Cyril's understanding, given in the eleventh of the twelve chapters? Surely both are true.

C'mon outside that box, dearheart... Smiley  The mystical body is certainly material...It is simply no longer in its fallen state but in its glorified state...and we have no idea what that is...but we know it will NOT corrupt...eh?  So it is not quite right to refer to the Most Precious Body and Most Pure Blood as corporeal because that is a definitive reference to our own human bodies...in all of their corruptibility.

M.
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« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2012, 03:06:30 PM »

Aren't the words of consecration necessary for the bread and wine to be consecrated? If the intrinsic sense of the words is added to or taken away from, the consecration does not occur, so presumably, something is made active by the priest's vocalisation, united to his intent, through the grace of God?

But in this case, I don't think the Roman Catholics would really even say that intent matters. Suppose that the priest has lost his faith and he celebrates a Mass. Will God not make the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ? To say that the Mass would be invalid seems awfully close to donatism, where the sinfulness of the minister affects the sacraments performed by him.

I have another question that may seem bizarre (especially since the thread has already linked Catholicism with a propensity for "magical spells"!)

Catholicism maintains/maintained that the phenomenon of a "Black Mass" is possible precisely for these sorts of reasons - that a consecrated priest, by virtue of his consecration and by following the rubrics, can still effect the transubstantiation (as defined dogmatically by the Fourth Lateran Council) of bread and wine into body and blood. According to a Catholic understanding, the Eucharist he confects would be illicit, but not invalid.

Now, is such a thing possible in the Orthodox world-view - I would imagine not. Why? Is there any comparable understanding of a licit/illicit, valid/invalid dichotomy in liturgical celebration?

I've chosen a very extreme example, hopefully it didn't offend anybody.

Where do you read any formal explanation of the assertion that a Black Mass is valid but illicit?

M.

Saint Thomas Aquinas addresses the issue:
"A perverse intention belongs to the wickedness of the minister. But the wickedness of the minister does not annul the sacrament: neither, therefore, does his perverse intention." et al.

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4064.htm#article10

I see what you were looking at.  Well this has nothing to do with the question of intending what the Church intends.  This is a reference to personal sinfulness.

If the minister of the sacrament does not intend what the Church intends, and a minister of the demonic, by definition, does not so intend what the Church intends, then you have nothing in a black mass but pure evil.

These are not the kids of situations that the concepts of valid and licit were introduced to explain...so once again we go off the deep end and blame the Church for our own unwillingness to follow what she says and not what we think.

Have fun!!  Wink

M.

Not sure why you're taking that tone (maybe I'm reading your post in the wrong way). All I'm try to do is explain a conclusion I've reached, imperfect as it is. I'm here for clarification, information and out of interest. Not really looking for snide remarks.

And I'm not sure that saying this isn't what they "were introduced to explain" somehow closes the case. Either there is sense in what the Saint is saying, and his statements are applicable, or not. Of course I may be misapplying what he said, but Aquinas writes that a perverse intention does NOT invalidate the sacrament. That's the example I gave.

My larger interest in asking was to get an Orthodox view of the whole thing. I imagined that, because of whatever reasons, Orthodox teaching doesn't have the processes/inclination to address such a situation in the same way. That's part of what makes it interesting to me.
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« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2012, 03:15:47 PM »

Aren't the words of consecration necessary for the bread and wine to be consecrated? If the intrinsic sense of the words is added to or taken away from, the consecration does not occur, so presumably, something is made active by the priest's vocalisation, united to his intent, through the grace of God?

But in this case, I don't think the Roman Catholics would really even say that intent matters. Suppose that the priest has lost his faith and he celebrates a Mass. Will God not make the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ? To say that the Mass would be invalid seems awfully close to donatism, where the sinfulness of the minister affects the sacraments performed by him.

I have another question that may seem bizarre (especially since the thread has already linked Catholicism with a propensity for "magical spells"!)

Catholicism maintains/maintained that the phenomenon of a "Black Mass" is possible precisely for these sorts of reasons - that a consecrated priest, by virtue of his consecration and by following the rubrics, can still effect the transubstantiation (as defined dogmatically by the Fourth Lateran Council) of bread and wine into body and blood. According to a Catholic understanding, the Eucharist he confects would be illicit, but not invalid.

Now, is such a thing possible in the Orthodox world-view - I would imagine not. Why? Is there any comparable understanding of a licit/illicit, valid/invalid dichotomy in liturgical celebration?

I've chosen a very extreme example, hopefully it didn't offend anybody.

Where do you read any formal explanation of the assertion that a Black Mass is valid but illicit?

M.

Saint Thomas Aquinas addresses the issue:
"A perverse intention belongs to the wickedness of the minister. But the wickedness of the minister does not annul the sacrament: neither, therefore, does his perverse intention." et al.

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4064.htm#article10

I see what you were looking at.  Well this has nothing to do with the question of intending what the Church intends.  This is a reference to personal sinfulness.

If the minister of the sacrament does not intend what the Church intends, and a minister of the demonic, by definition, does not so intend what the Church intends, then you have nothing in a black mass but pure evil.

These are not the kids of situations that the concepts of valid and licit were introduced to explain...so once again we go off the deep end and blame the Church for our own unwillingness to follow what she says and not what we think.

Have fun!!  Wink

M.

Not sure why you're taking that tone (maybe I'm reading your post in the wrong way). All I'm try to do is explain a conclusion I've reached, imperfect as it is. I'm here for clarification, information and out of interest. Not really looking for snide remarks.

And I'm not sure that saying this isn't what they "were introduced to explain" somehow closes the case. Either there is sense in what the Saint is saying, and his statements are applicable, or not. Of course I may be misapplying what he said, but Aquinas writes that a perverse intention does NOT invalidate the sacrament. That's the example I gave.

My larger interest in asking was to get an Orthodox view of the whole thing. I imagined that, because of whatever reasons, Orthodox teaching doesn't have the processes/inclination to address such a situation in the same way. That's part of what makes it interesting to me.

Pardon.  You are right in reading my tone.  But you get that response from me because you are going to people who regularly misread Catholic teaching to get an opinion on your own misreading of the Saint vis a vis the teaching on "intent"...

What could you possibly hope to gain from that except extended confusion...

And that is precisely how we are in much of the mess that we are in as two separated confessions...and so I get annoyed and it shows.

So pardon my annoyance, but the substance of my annoyance remains, in this case,...shall we say...valid.
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« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2012, 03:23:45 PM »

Aren't the words of consecration necessary for the bread and wine to be consecrated? If the intrinsic sense of the words is added to or taken away from, the consecration does not occur, so presumably, something is made active by the priest's vocalisation, united to his intent, through the grace of God?

But in this case, I don't think the Roman Catholics would really even say that intent matters. Suppose that the priest has lost his faith and he celebrates a Mass. Will God not make the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ? To say that the Mass would be invalid seems awfully close to donatism, where the sinfulness of the minister affects the sacraments performed by him.

I have another question that may seem bizarre (especially since the thread has already linked Catholicism with a propensity for "magical spells"!)

Catholicism maintains/maintained that the phenomenon of a "Black Mass" is possible precisely for these sorts of reasons - that a consecrated priest, by virtue of his consecration and by following the rubrics, can still effect the transubstantiation (as defined dogmatically by the Fourth Lateran Council) of bread and wine into body and blood. According to a Catholic understanding, the Eucharist he confects would be illicit, but not invalid.

Now, is such a thing possible in the Orthodox world-view - I would imagine not. Why? Is there any comparable understanding of a licit/illicit, valid/invalid dichotomy in liturgical celebration?

I've chosen a very extreme example, hopefully it didn't offend anybody.

Where do you read any formal explanation of the assertion that a Black Mass is valid but illicit?

M.

Saint Thomas Aquinas addresses the issue:
"A perverse intention belongs to the wickedness of the minister. But the wickedness of the minister does not annul the sacrament: neither, therefore, does his perverse intention." et al.

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4064.htm#article10

I see what you were looking at.  Well this has nothing to do with the question of intending what the Church intends.  This is a reference to personal sinfulness.

If the minister of the sacrament does not intend what the Church intends, and a minister of the demonic, by definition, does not so intend what the Church intends, then you have nothing in a black mass but pure evil.

These are not the kids of situations that the concepts of valid and licit were introduced to explain...so once again we go off the deep end and blame the Church for our own unwillingness to follow what she says and not what we think.

Have fun!!  Wink

M.

Not sure why you're taking that tone (maybe I'm reading your post in the wrong way). All I'm try to do is explain a conclusion I've reached, imperfect as it is. I'm here for clarification, information and out of interest. Not really looking for snide remarks.

And I'm not sure that saying this isn't what they "were introduced to explain" somehow closes the case. Either there is sense in what the Saint is saying, and his statements are applicable, or not. Of course I may be misapplying what he said, but Aquinas writes that a perverse intention does NOT invalidate the sacrament. That's the example I gave.

My larger interest in asking was to get an Orthodox view of the whole thing. I imagined that, because of whatever reasons, Orthodox teaching doesn't have the processes/inclination to address such a situation in the same way. That's part of what makes it interesting to me.

Pardon.  You are right in reading my tone.  But you get that response from me because you are going to people who regularly misread Catholic teaching to get an opinion on your own misreading of the Saint vis a vis the teaching on "intent"...

What could you possibly hope to gain from that except extended confusion...

And that is precisely how we are in much of the mess that we are in as two separated confessions...and so I get annoyed and it shows.

So pardon my annoyance, but the substance of my annoyance remains, in this case,...shall we say...valid.

I'm sorry to have annoyed you. I still don't quite understand how Aquinas' teaching on this issue favours your interpretation though (that a wicked priest's consecration is both invalid and illicit, rather than valid but illicit which is what he seems to say).
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« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2012, 03:33:14 PM »

Aren't the words of consecration necessary for the bread and wine to be consecrated? If the intrinsic sense of the words is added to or taken away from, the consecration does not occur, so presumably, something is made active by the priest's vocalisation, united to his intent, through the grace of God?

But in this case, I don't think the Roman Catholics would really even say that intent matters. Suppose that the priest has lost his faith and he celebrates a Mass. Will God not make the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ? To say that the Mass would be invalid seems awfully close to donatism, where the sinfulness of the minister affects the sacraments performed by him.

I have another question that may seem bizarre (especially since the thread has already linked Catholicism with a propensity for "magical spells"!)

Catholicism maintains/maintained that the phenomenon of a "Black Mass" is possible precisely for these sorts of reasons - that a consecrated priest, by virtue of his consecration and by following the rubrics, can still effect the transubstantiation (as defined dogmatically by the Fourth Lateran Council) of bread and wine into body and blood. According to a Catholic understanding, the Eucharist he confects would be illicit, but not invalid.

Now, is such a thing possible in the Orthodox world-view - I would imagine not. Why? Is there any comparable understanding of a licit/illicit, valid/invalid dichotomy in liturgical celebration?

I've chosen a very extreme example, hopefully it didn't offend anybody.

Where do you read any formal explanation of the assertion that a Black Mass is valid but illicit?

M.

Saint Thomas Aquinas addresses the issue:
"A perverse intention belongs to the wickedness of the minister. But the wickedness of the minister does not annul the sacrament: neither, therefore, does his perverse intention." et al.

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4064.htm#article10

I see what you were looking at.  Well this has nothing to do with the question of intending what the Church intends.  This is a reference to personal sinfulness.

If the minister of the sacrament does not intend what the Church intends, and a minister of the demonic, by definition, does not so intend what the Church intends, then you have nothing in a black mass but pure evil.

These are not the kids of situations that the concepts of valid and licit were introduced to explain...so once again we go off the deep end and blame the Church for our own unwillingness to follow what she says and not what we think.

Have fun!!  Wink

M.

Not sure why you're taking that tone (maybe I'm reading your post in the wrong way). All I'm try to do is explain a conclusion I've reached, imperfect as it is. I'm here for clarification, information and out of interest. Not really looking for snide remarks.

And I'm not sure that saying this isn't what they "were introduced to explain" somehow closes the case. Either there is sense in what the Saint is saying, and his statements are applicable, or not. Of course I may be misapplying what he said, but Aquinas writes that a perverse intention does NOT invalidate the sacrament. That's the example I gave.

My larger interest in asking was to get an Orthodox view of the whole thing. I imagined that, because of whatever reasons, Orthodox teaching doesn't have the processes/inclination to address such a situation in the same way. That's part of what makes it interesting to me.

Pardon.  You are right in reading my tone.  But you get that response from me because you are going to people who regularly misread Catholic teaching to get an opinion on your own misreading of the Saint vis a vis the teaching on "intent"...

What could you possibly hope to gain from that except extended confusion...

And that is precisely how we are in much of the mess that we are in as two separated confessions...and so I get annoyed and it shows.

So pardon my annoyance, but the substance of my annoyance remains, in this case,...shall we say...valid.

I'm sorry to have annoyed you. I still don't quite understand how Aquinas' teaching on this issue favours your interpretation though (that a wicked priest's consecration is both invalid and illicit, rather than valid but illicit which is what he seems to say).

You don't annoy me.  This kind of discussion does.

At any rate, I know that Aquinas is referring to personal sinfulness because I am formally trained in the Church's teaching and I know that this is how the Church teaches against Donatism.  The personal sinfulness of the priest does not bear out against any sacrament, and that is what Aquinas was talking about. 

What you are talking about with reference to validity is the intention of the minister to do as the Church intends...and that is not what Aquinas was referencing.

At any rate...I don't much care how you go with it.  You don't seem to care either so that is why I said:  Have fun!
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« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2012, 03:41:35 PM »

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« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2012, 03:46:04 PM »

You don't annoy me.  This kind of discussion does.

At any rate, I know that Aquinas is referring to personal sinfulness because I am formally trained in the Church's teaching and I know that this is how the Church teaches against Donatism.  The personal sinfulness of the priest does not bear out against any sacrament, and that is what Aquinas was talking about. 

What you are talking about with reference to validity is the intention of the minister to do as the Church intends...and that is not what Aquinas was referencing.

At any rate...I don't much care how you go with it.  You don't seem to care either so that is why I said:  Have fun!

So what of the example I gave of a priest who has gone into apostasy in his heart, but still serves the liturgy? What exactly applies in his case? Could it be argued thad he still intends on doing what the Church intends, even though he no longer believes in God? Or could it be argued that his sin of disbelief in this case won't be to the detriment of the laity? Perhaps a combination of both?
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« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2012, 03:51:17 PM »

You don't annoy me.  This kind of discussion does.

At any rate, I know that Aquinas is referring to personal sinfulness because I am formally trained in the Church's teaching and I know that this is how the Church teaches against Donatism.  The personal sinfulness of the priest does not bear out against any sacrament, and that is what Aquinas was talking about. 

What you are talking about with reference to validity is the intention of the minister to do as the Church intends...and that is not what Aquinas was referencing.

At any rate...I don't much care how you go with it.  You don't seem to care either so that is why I said:  Have fun!

So what of the example I gave of a priest who has gone into apostasy in his heart, but still serves the liturgy? What exactly applies in his case? Could it be argued thad he still intends on doing what the Church intends, even though he no longer believes in God? Or could it be argued that his sin of disbelief in this case won't be to the detriment of the laity? Perhaps a combination of both?

What is the logic here? 

Is the hardest heart the only one to be reprobate or is it sufficient to simply brush off God's commands as useless when facing life in a fallen world?   Who will burn and who will be saved?  The hardened sinner or the lukewarm one?

We don't know. 

Neither do we know if a liturgy is valid or not in those cases that begin to slide off the edges of the defining yard-sticks.  God knows.

The Church says, in those fringe cases, that the Holy Spirit takes care of the faithful and no harm will be done unto them, and that is all we need to know and believe.

M.
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« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2012, 04:47:54 PM »

You don't annoy me.  This kind of discussion does.

At any rate, I know that Aquinas is referring to personal sinfulness because I am formally trained in the Church's teaching and I know that this is how the Church teaches against Donatism.  The personal sinfulness of the priest does not bear out against any sacrament, and that is what Aquinas was talking about. 

What you are talking about with reference to validity is the intention of the minister to do as the Church intends...and that is not what Aquinas was referencing.

At any rate...I don't much care how you go with it.  You don't seem to care either so that is why I said:  Have fun!

So what of the example I gave of a priest who has gone into apostasy in his heart, but still serves the liturgy? What exactly applies in his case? Could it be argued thad he still intends on doing what the Church intends, even though he no longer believes in God? Or could it be argued that his sin of disbelief in this case won't be to the detriment of the laity? Perhaps a combination of both?

What is the logic here? 

Is the hardest heart the only one to be reprobate or is it sufficient to simply brush off God's commands as useless when facing life in a fallen world?   Who will burn and who will be saved?  The hardened sinner or the lukewarm one?

We don't know. 

Neither do we know if a liturgy is valid or not in those cases that begin to slide off the edges of the defining yard-sticks.  God knows.

The Church says, in those fringe cases, that the Holy Spirit takes care of the faithful and no harm will be done unto them, and that is all we need to know and believe.

M.

That is reasonable, I suppose.
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« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2012, 05:01:09 PM »

You don't annoy me.  This kind of discussion does.

At any rate, I know that Aquinas is referring to personal sinfulness because I am formally trained in the Church's teaching and I know that this is how the Church teaches against Donatism.  The personal sinfulness of the priest does not bear out against any sacrament, and that is what Aquinas was talking about. 

What you are talking about with reference to validity is the intention of the minister to do as the Church intends...and that is not what Aquinas was referencing.

At any rate...I don't much care how you go with it.  You don't seem to care either so that is why I said:  Have fun!

So what of the example I gave of a priest who has gone into apostasy in his heart, but still serves the liturgy? What exactly applies in his case? Could it be argued thad he still intends on doing what the Church intends, even though he no longer believes in God? Or could it be argued that his sin of disbelief in this case won't be to the detriment of the laity? Perhaps a combination of both?

What is the logic here? 

Is the hardest heart the only one to be reprobate or is it sufficient to simply brush off God's commands as useless when facing life in a fallen world?   Who will burn and who will be saved?  The hardened sinner or the lukewarm one?

We don't know. 

Neither do we know if a liturgy is valid or not in those cases that begin to slide off the edges of the defining yard-sticks.  God knows.

The Church says, in those fringe cases, that the Holy Spirit takes care of the faithful and no harm will be done unto them, and that is all we need to know and believe.

M.

That is reasonable, I suppose.

...and true... Wink

...but I will admit it is not nearly as much fun as pushing the envelope.  And now you know how some of the silliness of scholasticism was born...
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« Reply #34 on: August 20, 2012, 05:50:46 PM »

You don't annoy me.  This kind of discussion does.

At any rate, I know that Aquinas is referring to personal sinfulness because I am formally trained in the Church's teaching and I know that this is how the Church teaches against Donatism.  The personal sinfulness of the priest does not bear out against any sacrament, and that is what Aquinas was talking about. 

What you are talking about with reference to validity is the intention of the minister to do as the Church intends...and that is not what Aquinas was referencing.

At any rate...I don't much care how you go with it.  You don't seem to care either so that is why I said:  Have fun!

So what of the example I gave of a priest who has gone into apostasy in his heart, but still serves the liturgy? What exactly applies in his case? Could it be argued thad he still intends on doing what the Church intends, even though he no longer believes in God? Or could it be argued that his sin of disbelief in this case won't be to the detriment of the laity? Perhaps a combination of both?

What is the logic here? 

Is the hardest heart the only one to be reprobate or is it sufficient to simply brush off God's commands as useless when facing life in a fallen world?   Who will burn and who will be saved?  The hardened sinner or the lukewarm one?

We don't know. 

Neither do we know if a liturgy is valid or not in those cases that begin to slide off the edges of the defining yard-sticks.  God knows.

The Church says, in those fringe cases, that the Holy Spirit takes care of the faithful and no harm will be done unto them, and that is all we need to know and believe.

M.

That is reasonable, I suppose.

...and true... Wink

...but I will admit it is not nearly as much fun as pushing the envelope.  And now you know how some of the silliness of scholasticism was born...

Sometimes, it is better just to admit that we don't know (studying some of the Fathers like St. Basil the Great has convinced me of that), yet you're definitely right that such an admission is not quite as fun to make as pushing the envelope and speculating is. Smiley
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« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2012, 06:29:13 PM »

You don't annoy me.  This kind of discussion does.

At any rate, I know that Aquinas is referring to personal sinfulness because I am formally trained in the Church's teaching and I know that this is how the Church teaches against Donatism.  The personal sinfulness of the priest does not bear out against any sacrament, and that is what Aquinas was talking about. 

What you are talking about with reference to validity is the intention of the minister to do as the Church intends...and that is not what Aquinas was referencing.

At any rate...I don't much care how you go with it.  You don't seem to care either so that is why I said:  Have fun!

So what of the example I gave of a priest who has gone into apostasy in his heart, but still serves the liturgy? What exactly applies in his case? Could it be argued thad he still intends on doing what the Church intends, even though he no longer believes in God? Or could it be argued that his sin of disbelief in this case won't be to the detriment of the laity? Perhaps a combination of both?

What is the logic here? 

Is the hardest heart the only one to be reprobate or is it sufficient to simply brush off God's commands as useless when facing life in a fallen world?   Who will burn and who will be saved?  The hardened sinner or the lukewarm one?

We don't know. 

Neither do we know if a liturgy is valid or not in those cases that begin to slide off the edges of the defining yard-sticks.  God knows.

The Church says, in those fringe cases, that the Holy Spirit takes care of the faithful and no harm will be done unto them, and that is all we need to know and believe.

M.

That is reasonable, I suppose.

...and true... Wink

...but I will admit it is not nearly as much fun as pushing the envelope.  And now you know how some of the silliness of scholasticism was born...

Sometimes, it is better just to admit that we don't know (studying some of the Fathers like St. Basil the Great has convinced me of that), yet you're definitely right that such an admission is not quite as fun to make as pushing the envelope and speculating is. Smiley

Isn't (sometimes outlandish) speculation, within a rigorous intellectual framework, part of the fun of scholasticism?

Now, how many angels can do the quickstep on the head of a pin....?
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« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2012, 06:35:31 PM »

Intent is not the intent of the person but rather the intent of the Church.  So when a priest who does not believe in the Real Presence says Mass following all the rubrics and words and uses the proper matter of unleavened bread with no additives, and grape wine with no additives, then the consecration is valid because "he does what the Church intends in consecrating the bread and wine."  This is why even heretical and schismatic clergy can still perform the Sacraments validly but illicitly (outside of the law of the Church).  This is why there is the problem of rogue priests being able to confect the Eucharist validly even though they have been severed from the Catholic Church.

I don't agree with it, but it is what the Church teaches.
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« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2012, 06:49:05 PM »

Intent is not the intent of the person but rather the intent of the Church.  So when a priest who does not believe in the Real Presence says Mass following all the rubrics and words and uses the proper matter of unleavened bread with no additives, and grape wine with no additives, then the consecration is valid because "he does what the Church intends in consecrating the bread and wine."  This is why even heretical and schismatic clergy can still perform the Sacraments validly but illicitly (outside of the law of the Church).  This is why there is the problem of rogue priests being able to confect the Eucharist validly even though they have been severed from the Catholic Church.

I don't agree with it, but it is what the Church teaches.

There are limits to that...At some point a heretic is removed from the Church and no longer is able to do as the Church intends because the Church recognizes that they cannot.  The same would apply to one who intends something demonic in what they do...however much the form is intact.

There is never a one-size-fits-all in Church law...It is always open first and foremost to the actions of the Holy Spirit, and then to those who teach and impose the laws of the Church.

M.
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« Reply #38 on: August 20, 2012, 06:53:51 PM »

There are limits to that...At some point a heretic is removed from the Church and no longer is able to do as the Church intends because the Church recognizes that they cannot.  The same would apply to one who intends something demonic in what they do...however much the form is intact.

There is never a one-size-fits-all in Church law...It is always open first and foremost to the actions of the Holy Spirit, and then to those who teach and impose the laws of the Church.

M.

I haven't seen any limit to that.  Ordinations, for one thing, it seems any rogue bishop can ordain anyone they want.  The only true limit of such ordination is if the rogue bishop ordains a woman, then of course that cannot be.

This is why we have the infamous "Dutch Touch", when some Old Catholic bishop ordained Anglican bishops so that they can regain their validy.  This is how the SSPX keeps ordaining priests despite the fact that the Vatican herself told them not to.  Lefebvre shoudn't even have been able to validly ordain because Canon Law explicitly states that what he did is not the intent of the Church (you cannot ordain bishops without the permission of the Pope), yet the validity of his ordinations were never questioned to this day and the bishops are recognized as bishops.
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« Reply #39 on: August 20, 2012, 06:57:17 PM »

There are limits to that...At some point a heretic is removed from the Church and no longer is able to do as the Church intends because the Church recognizes that they cannot.  The same would apply to one who intends something demonic in what they do...however much the form is intact.

There is never a one-size-fits-all in Church law...It is always open first and foremost to the actions of the Holy Spirit, and then to those who teach and impose the laws of the Church.

M.

Are you sure this is legitimate Catholic teaching, rather than a synthesis of teachings? Could you provide a reference for this perspective? Thank you.
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« Reply #40 on: August 20, 2012, 07:09:08 PM »

There are limits to that...At some point a heretic is removed from the Church and no longer is able to do as the Church intends because the Church recognizes that they cannot.  The same would apply to one who intends something demonic in what they do...however much the form is intact.

There is never a one-size-fits-all in Church law...It is always open first and foremost to the actions of the Holy Spirit, and then to those who teach and impose the laws of the Church.

M.

I haven't seen any limit to that.  Ordinations, for one thing, it seems any rogue bishop can ordain anyone they want.  The only true limit of such ordination is if the rogue bishop ordains a woman, then of course that cannot be.

This is why we have the infamous "Dutch Touch", when some Old Catholic bishop ordained Anglican bishops so that they can regain their validy.  This is how the SSPX keeps ordaining priests despite the fact that the Vatican herself told them not to.  Lefebvre shoudn't even have been able to validly ordain because Canon Law explicitly states that what he did is not the intent of the Church (you cannot ordain bishops without the permission of the Pope), yet the validity of his ordinations were never questioned to this day and the bishops are recognized as bishops.

The Church reserves the right to make the call between true heretics and material schismatics...I trust they can tell the difference.  I don't think you can...actually...and I say that without intending to be mean.  I think you have a bone to pick and so you will, as most find that they must, go to any extreme necessary and define terms as you see them.

Mary
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« Reply #41 on: August 20, 2012, 07:11:50 PM »

The Church reserves the right to make the call between true heretics and material schismatics...I trust they can tell the difference.  I don't think you can...actually...and I say that without intending to be mean.  I think you have a bone to pick and so you will, as most find that they must, go to any extreme necessary and define terms as you see them.

Mary

Fair enough.  Can you give me an example when the Church declares a Sacrament invalid because the person is in heresy or schism?  I am not talking about the Anglican ordinations because that one was because of a change in form, thus it is not the intent that invalidated their ordinations but the error in form.  I want a concrete example where the act of schism or heresy invalidated the Sacrament.
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« Reply #42 on: August 20, 2012, 07:52:08 PM »

The Church reserves the right to make the call between true heretics and material schismatics...I trust they can tell the difference.  I don't think you can...actually...and I say that without intending to be mean.  I think you have a bone to pick and so you will, as most find that they must, go to any extreme necessary and define terms as you see them.

Mary

Fair enough.  Can you give me an example when the Church declares a Sacrament invalid because the person is in heresy or schism?  I am not talking about the Anglican ordinations because that one was because of a change in form, thus it is not the intent that invalidated their ordinations but the error in form.  I want a concrete example where the act of schism or heresy invalidated the Sacrament.

I'm stuck...I can't give you an example.  And I do not know enough about the Anglican situation to comment without looking again and asking, though I don't mean to insult by saying so.  I do believe that the Church gives schismatics and heretics room to change their minds before the entire extra-ecclesial enterprise is removed from succession....So I don't know that it happens in one great declarative...as you ask to see here.

M.
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« Reply #43 on: August 20, 2012, 08:50:10 PM »

I'm stuck...I can't give you an example.  And I do not know enough about the Anglican situation to comment without looking again and asking, though I don't mean to insult by saying so.  I do believe that the Church gives schismatics and heretics room to change their minds before the entire extra-ecclesial enterprise is removed from succession....So I don't know that it happens in one great declarative...as you ask to see here.

M.

I hope you understand where I am coming from.  This is not just "a bone to pick" but rather from what I personally have learned from the history of the Church.  I don't claim I know everything, I only know a couple of examples, that is why I ask for you to come up with an example.  If there is evidence contrary to what my current opinion is on the matter, then I will accept my fault and learn from it.  But the problem is I haven't seen any case where a priest or bishop is told that they cannot perform the Sacraments validly after they left the Church for whatever reason based on the intent.

I think the only 2 Sacraments a priest or bishop outside of the Catholic Church cannot perform validly is confession and marraige.  Marriages have to be "witnessed" by someone designated by the Church to witness on her behalf.  So a layperson (extraordinary circumstance) can witness validly but a priest who has left the Church cannot because he does not have the blessing of the Church to witness.  Same for confession as faculties are required for a priest to validly absolve.  So a priest who leaves the Church does not take the faculties with him, but the Church can, by law, supply the faculties in emergency situations (a defrocked priest can hear confessions if the penitent is in danger of death).

But the other 5 has no such restrictions as long as the proper matter, form and intent is used.
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« Reply #44 on: August 20, 2012, 10:12:21 PM »

I'm stuck...I can't give you an example.  And I do not know enough about the Anglican situation to comment without looking again and asking, though I don't mean to insult by saying so.  I do believe that the Church gives schismatics and heretics room to change their minds before the entire extra-ecclesial enterprise is removed from succession....So I don't know that it happens in one great declarative...as you ask to see here.

M.

I hope you understand where I am coming from.  This is not just "a bone to pick" but rather from what I personally have learned from the history of the Church.  I don't claim I know everything, I only know a couple of examples, that is why I ask for you to come up with an example.  If there is evidence contrary to what my current opinion is on the matter, then I will accept my fault and learn from it.  But the problem is I haven't seen any case where a priest or bishop is told that they cannot perform the Sacraments validly after they left the Church for whatever reason based on the intent.

I think the only 2 Sacraments a priest or bishop outside of the Catholic Church cannot perform validly is confession and marraige.  Marriages have to be "witnessed" by someone designated by the Church to witness on her behalf.  So a layperson (extraordinary circumstance) can witness validly but a priest who has left the Church cannot because he does not have the blessing of the Church to witness.  Same for confession as faculties are required for a priest to validly absolve.  So a priest who leaves the Church does not take the faculties with him, but the Church can, by law, supply the faculties in emergency situations (a defrocked priest can hear confessions if the penitent is in danger of death).

But the other 5 has no such restrictions as long as the proper matter, form and intent is used.

Yes.  I am understanding better and better with each iteration, and I am now regretting my bone-picking comment...pardon.

I don't know that I can get you an example but I will speak with my spiritual father, an eastern Catholic priest, in a few moments and will be reading this part of the thread to him and perhaps by tomorrow have something more to contribute...

Mary
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