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How many Masses by Bishops like Stika are possibly Invalid or is such a Doubt likely Wrong?

- Updated November 29, 2019

On November 25, Bishop Rick Stika on Twitter said:

"Mass is Not the worship of Jesus."
(Gloria.tv, "After the message, the Bishop has gone on lockdown," November 28, 2019)

The Council of Trent infallibly taught:

"If any one saith, that, in ministers, when they effect, and confer the sacraments, there is not required the intention at least of doing what the Church does; let him be anathema."
(history.hanover.edu, "The Council of Trent, The Seventh Session," Canon XI, 1995)

This is what canonlawmadeeasy.com says on the matter:

"If the priest [or bishop] actually decides that he does not intend... does not want to effect a consecration in the way that the Church intends, well that would be pretty defective [invalid]!"
(canonlawmadeeasy.com, "What Makes a Mass Invalid?")

How many Masses by bishops and priests like Stika are possibly invalid?

Ironically, Francis apologist Bishop Stika who says "The Mass is Not the worship of Jesus" in defense of the Francis Pachamama Amazon Synod proposal to allow married priests on Twitter said:

"I feel sorry for those who would deny the Sacraments [which is "Not the worship of Jesus"] to those who desire them. I am sure at your judgement you will have some explains to do."
(Crux, "U.S. bishops at odds over Amazon synod's married priests proposal, July 9, 2019)

It appears that Stika at his "judgement... will have some explains to do."

At the very least, doesn't Stika's statement plant a doubt about his intend to do what "the Church does"?

However, Fr. VF in the comments section below who I have found to be a very sound theologian says such doubts are unwise and most likely wrong because "invalidity is unlikely... except by a direct, explicit intention not to do what the Church does." Please read his full comments below in the comment section.
(This paragraph was added on November 29, 2019.)

Even so, it's getting to the point where all the bishops needs to be given dubia questions like Francis was given so the Catholic faithful don't have to doubt if their bishops are Catholics or heretics?

Remember that during the Arian heresy crisis only a handful of bishops joined St. Athanasius in being fully faithful to the Catholic faith and were not Arians or Semi-Arians. Even the pope at the time signed a semi-Arian document and excommunicated Athanasius.

Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church.

Comments

Fr. VF said…
Bishop Stika's statement, in itself, is false.

However, the (Roman) Canon of the Mass is addressed to the Father. The priest, therefore, is primarily offering worship (in persona Christi) to the Father.

Nevertheless, the priest and the people are certainly worshiping the Trinity, which, of course, is worship of Jesus Christ.

It is not so easy to invalidate the Mass (or any Sacrament) by merely entertaining stupid or screwy ideas. E.g., merely disbelieving in the Real Presence is not, in itself, sufficient to invalidate the Mass.) In order to invalidate a Mass, a priest must affirmatively intend not to confect or administer the Sacrament. Some theologians would say even that this intention must be expressed--to the sacristan, for instance.
Anonymous said…
"How many Masses by bishops and priests like Stika are possibly invalid?"

That's a question I'm afraid to entertain, but who can deny Stika's comment plants the doubt? A mistake this huge about the nature of the Holy Mass, and therewith the Most Holy Trinity, cannot but raise serious questions about the man's intention at Mass. Questionable thoughts imply questionable intentions. Worse still: Stika is just one bishop. How many more think like him but are not speaking? Perhaps the cry of the SSPX about a state of necessity today isn't as far-fetched as I once thought.
Fred Martinez said…
Fr. Regis Scanlon if I understood him correctly in a audio talk thought disbelief in the Real Presence (Transubstantiation) by Fr. Karl Rahner might invalidate the Mass of those who believed as he did.

Are you saying when Fr. Schillbeeckx said "the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist was not the consecrated bread and wine but the assembled community" that it was 100% definitely a valid Mass?
(Modern Misconceptions about the Eucharist, EWTN)
Fr. VF said…
Schillebeeckx didn't say those words AT MASS, AT THE CONSECRATION, in place of the words of consecration.

And if the priest says the words and does the actions as prescribed by the Church, he is "doing what the Church does," and invalidity is unlikely. The Church is loath to admit that sacraments can be rendered invalid except by a direct, explicit intention not to do what the Church does. This is why the Church rejected Donatism.

A Hindu, Buddhist, Jew, Muslim, or atheist baptizes validly, if he intends to do what the Church does. What the Church does is pour water and say the words. Believing the entire Catholic Faith is not the matter and form of the Sacrament of Baptism. Likewise, a sinful, corrupt, criminal, faithless priest (think McCarrick), if he says the words of consecration (the form) over valid matter, consecrates.
Fr. VF said…
Schillebeeckx didn't say those words AT MASS, AT THE CONSECRATION, in place of the words of consecration.

And if the priest says the words and does the actions as prescribed by the Church, he is "doing what the Church does," and invalidity is unlikely. The Church is loath to admit that sacraments can be rendered invalid except by a direct, explicit intention not to do what the Church does. This is why the Church rejected Donatism.

A Hindu, Buddhist, Jew, Muslim, or atheist baptizes validly, if he intends to do what the Church does. What the Church does is pour water and say the words. Believing the entire Catholic Faith is not the matter and form of the Sacrament of Baptism. Likewise, a sinful, corrupt, criminal, faithless priest (think McCarrick), if he says the words of consecration (the form) over valid matter, consecrates
MEwbank said…
Well, Fr. VF, let us also consider the following, since these refinements seem to seriously qualify what you are stating:

"According to the almost general opinion of current theologians, an inner intention (intentio interna) is necessary for the valid administration of the sacraments.

By intentio interna is meant an intention that is directed not merely to the external execution of the sacramental rite, but also to its inner signification.

The mere external intention (intentio mere externa) … which is directed toward merely performing the external action with earnestness and in the proper circumstances, while the inner religious significance is not taken into consideration, is insufficient…

“The mere external intention is not compatible with the concept of doing what the Church intends, or with the status of the minister as a servant of Christ, or with the religious determination of the sacramental sign, which is of itself capable of many interpretations, or with the declarations of the Church."

Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, (St. Louis: Herder, 1960), 344.
Alexis Bugnolo said…
The Bishop mighty simply be speaking about the here and now purpose of Mass which is the commemoration of what Christ did, rather than the final purpose of the religious act as an act of worship of God the Father, through the Son and in the Holy Spirit.

But what he does say is gravely wrong and should never be said. He should be publicly questioned now, because he is suspect of heresy. That does not mean he is a heretic, but he must explain what he said, if it has not been taken out of a context where that explanation has already been given and is sound (doubt that)...



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