Does an Excommunicated Priest Administer Valid Sacraments? (Part II)

(Part I of this article was posted on April 28, 2022, and can be read here.)

We have been discussing a scenario described to us by John, who wanted to know if his confirmation was administered invalidly.  John was concerned about this because he concluded that before his confirmation, his parish priest had been excommunicated latae sententiae, on the grounds of schism. Continue reading

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Does an Excommunicated Priest Administer Valid Sacraments? (Part I)

Q:  I was confirmed as an adult convert by a priest who had faculties to do so.  Recently, I have noticed that this priest has voiced his personal opinions about Pope Francis that are arguably schismatic. For example, that the Pope has shared heretical opinions in interviews and audiences.

It is my understanding that a schismatic incurs excommunication latae sententiae.

My question then, is does the potential latae sententiae penalty render the sacraments I have received illicit (albeit valid)?  Or does the continued presence of formal faculties protect the legality of the sacraments? Would I need to be confirmed again? –John Continue reading

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What Are the Church’s Current Rules on Indulgences? (Repost)

(On Easter Sunday, Pope Francis will give the traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing in St. Peter’s Square, and under the proper conditions Catholics can gain a plenary indulgence.  So it seems appropriate to repost the Church’s rules on indulgences at this time.  A blessed Easter to all readers!)

Q: While watching live the election of the new Pope, the commentator mentioned that those receiving the Urbi et Orbi blessing could receive a plenary indulgence.  My daughter was watching internet “live-streaming,” and my wife and I were watching on TV.  My daughter asked me if we qualified.  I did some research, and those who received the blessing in person or through the radio did qualify.  I hypothesized that so did we, thanks to technical progress beyond radio.  Was I right? –Bill Continue reading

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Can Divorced Catholics Date, While Waiting for Their Annulment?

Q:  I am a Catholic and recently divorced. I’m in the process of working through an annulment. The internet has a lot of opinions about whether divorced Catholics can/should date prior to annulment.  From what I’ve read, I see nothing that forbids it, although there are a lot of individual priests, theologians and busybodies who weigh in and offer opinions and personal interpretations.  I’m not really interested in what an individual priest whom I’ve never met and who knows nothing about my situation thinks I should do. I am interested in the Church’s teaching and guidance.  Could you weigh in on this?  Ultimately my question for you is “does it say specifically in Canon law that a divorced person should not date?”—Cristy Continue reading

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Canon Law and Priests With Illegitimate Children

Q: What are the canonical effects of a priest fathering a child?  A few priests in my diocese have left over the decades in this situation….

A priest being involved in adultery is undoubtedly a horrible sin, at least in part since it very often involves the breakup of another marriage/family.  But does a priest fathering a child necessarily involve removal from ministry/laicization?  It is certainly a sin, but is it a “canonical crime”?  Or is the fact that removal is almost always the case a result of the combination of the priest realizing he now has an obligation to the mother/child that can’t be fulfilled while in ministry and/or the Bishop reacting to scandal? –Patrick Continue reading

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