23 August 2010

Invalidity

Fr Zed gives a splendid example of the phenomenon that some readers have criticised me for describing: the very strong tendency to call the Sacraments of those we disagree with "invalid" without any awareness of how difficult it is, according to the formal teaching of the Latin church, for sacraments to be invalid.

A writer had been assured by a RC priest that someone baptised in the SSPX would have to be conditionally rebaptised.

What nonsense. More: illiterate nonsense. That priest clearly had no satisfactory seminary training on the question of sacramental validity. Rather like the Vatican Press office when it declared that Archbishop Milingo's ordinations were invalid.

2 comments:

Rubricarius said...

Whilst, of course, agreeing with you in principle Fr. Hunwicke I fear in practice I have my doubts.

Back, circa 1990, I served an SSPX priest at a baptism at their London conventicle. I had to, inter alia, remind the celebrant to change from a violet to white stole and the nadir came at the actual pouring. The celebrant said Ego te baptizo and no more and then dropped his conch shell. The celebrant turned to me and said "Shall I repeat the formula?" By then rapidly losing patience, and thinking of the glass of whiskey (the Irish variety) I knew I would be offered in the hall next door, I responded "You have not baptised this person. Please use the Trinitarian formula NOW and pour the water - it surely can't be too difficult to do."

I am rather glad, for the catechumen concerned I was present.

Fr LR said...

And people wonder why we Anglican Catholics quibble about coming into communion with the Pope via the local RC episcopal dude. Hercule!