Monday, March 30, 2015

The Road To Hell Is Paved With Defective Intentions

 One of the most misunderstood requirements for sacramental validity is that of intention. All Traditionalist Catholics know the basic teaching of the Church on the requirements for a valid sacrament:

  • proper administer
  • matter
  • form
  • intention
  • no obex (i.e. obstacle) on the part of the recipient 
 The role of intention, i.e., "intending to do what the Church does in the administration of a sacrament" has been used by the Society of St. Pius V (SSPV) to attack the consecrations of Archbishop Thuc. Some Thuc bishops and their priests casts similar aspersions against the consecration of Bp. Kelly of the SSPV by Bp. Mendez. And, of course, there's the old charge that Abp. Lefebvre was neither bishop nor priest due to his ordaining/consecrating bishop (Cardinal Lienart) lacking proper intention for being an (alleged) Freemason.

It is unquestionable that the Church requires proper intention for a sacrament to be valid. Unlike the matter and form, which can be readily detected, the intention of the sacrament is not as easy to discern. What is a proper intention? What makes it defective? How does it apply to various cases, and to the Vatican II sect's sacraments? These are the questions I will seek to answer in this post.

1) What is "Intention?"

 In American civil law, there is something called mens rea, i.e., "mental state" which is necessary for legal culpability. For example, in order to be found guilty of murder, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused intended to kill the person. If the intent was lacking, even though the physical act resulted in the death of a person, the accused would be found not guilty. The physical act must be accompanied by a mental state in order for the crime to be committed.

 Likewise, in the sacraments, the minister of the sacrament is duty bound to subordinate and adapt his will to the Will of Christ Who gives the mandate. Christ continues perpetually to live and work in the Church. Therefore, it suffices to have the intention to do what the Church does. (See theologian Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, (1960), pg. 343)

 There is a debate as to whether an external intention is sufficient. To seriously perform the outward ceremony, but not to have a corresponding internal intention to do what the Church does, is considered insufficient by the unanimous opinion of the theologians since the 13th century. (See De Salvo, Intention of the Minister of the Sacraments, CUA Press (1949), pg. 92).

The minister does not have to intend what the Church intends, such as the production of the effects of the Sacraments (e.g. the forgiveness of sins, transubstantiation, etc.); nor does he have to intend to execute a specific Catholic rite. It suffices if he has the intention of performing the religious action as it is current among Christians (See Ott, op. cit., pg. 344)

2) The Validity of the Sacraments is Independent of Both the Minister's Worthiness and Beliefs

 This is the logical result of # 1 above. The minister performs the sacrament "in the person of Christ" Who is without sin. The priest consecrates the host saying "This Is My Body," not "This Is Christ's Body."

3) Is Having the Proper Intention Easy to Discern?

 Yes. A "virtual intention" to perform a sacrament is all that is required. Without getting into the technicalities of a "virtual intention," the Church teaches that it “is certainly present in someone who regularly performs sacramental actions.” (See theologian Coronata M. Conte a Coronata, De Sacramentis: Tractatus Canonicus (Turin: Marietti 1943) 1:56) The mere act of putting on vestments and going to the altar is considered sufficient evidence for virtual intention.

 Furthermore, according to theologian B. Leeming(Principles of Sacramental Theology [Westminster MD: Newman 1956)], 482)--- “This principle { A priest or bishop who confers a sacrament doesn't have to “prove” that he intends to do what the Church does. He is automatically presumed to intend what the rite means}is affirmed as certain theological doctrine, taught by the Church, to deny which would be theologically rash… the minister is presumed to intend what the rite means..”

4) Provided the minister seriously performs all the sacramental rites, there is no need for being doubtful about the validity of the sacraments, for it is presumed that the minister has the requisite intention, unless he externally manifests the contrary. (See De Salvo, pg. 105)

 As Pope Leo XII stated in Apostolicae Curae, declaring Anglican Orders "absolutely null and utterly void," "The Church does not judge about the mind and intention in so far as it is something by its nature internal, but so far as it is manifested externally, She is bound to judge concerning it."

5) When is an Intention Defective?

  • When the minister merely simulates a sacrament as in jest
  • When the minister has a positive contrary intention, "I do not intend to (baptize, ordain, confirm) this person"
  • No minister is presumed to have such unless/until externally manifested
  • If the person is declared (by competent professionals) to be habitually insane


 It is easy to see that formulating a necessary intention for validity is not difficult when you have a valid minister of the sacrament who seriously sets about to perform the traditional pre-Vatican II rite. There are witnesses and photos showing Bp. Mendez performing the rite of episcopal consecration on Fr. Clarence Kelly.  He never manifested a positive contrary intention, and was not declared insane. Ditto for Archbishop Thuc and Cardinal Leinart. 

 In the Vatican II sect, an argument has surfaced that the Novus Bogus "mass" may now be valid. Apologists for the sect have stated that since 2011, when they changed the words consecration  of the wine back to "for many" (instead of "for all"), there can be no more doubt as to validity. Not quite.
Most of their priests are invalidly "ordained" in the Pauline Rite of ordination making them laymen. It doesn't matter what form they use if they are not priests. Furthermore, the words "the mystery of faith" were not restored, and many theologians believe them to be integral to the form.

 However, let's assume that an elderly priest who went along with the Vatican II sect in the 1960s (ordained in the 1950s) is of sound mind. Let's further assume that he uses the complete, correct form of the consecration in English during the New "mass." We have a valid mass, right? NO! Here we would have a defect of intention!

 How, you ask? In 1969, The General Instruction on the Roman Missal (GIRM) replaced the "Words Of Consecration" with an "Institution Narrative." Deploring Traditional Catholic theology, and scholastic philosophy, the Modernists don't like "magic words" that effectuate "myths" like transubstantiation. Rather, the whole "Eucharistic Prayer" (replacing the Sacred Canon) now causes the Body and Blood of Christ to be present--present insofar as the bread and wine no longer signify the same role (the heresy of transignification).

 In 2001, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith headed by Ratzinger, approved as valid a "mass" by schismatic Assyrians that contains no words of consecration! (See "Guidelines for Admission to the Eucharist between the Chaldean Church and the Assyrian Church of the East") The document approved by Ratzinger claims that "the Words of Eucharistic Institution" are contained "in a dispersed euchological way, that is, integrated in successive prayers of thanksgiving, praise, and intersession." This statement overthrows EVERYTHING the Church has taught about sacramental forms.

 Also in 1969, Cardinal Ottaviani issued his famous Ottaviani Intervention  against the New "mass." On page 44, it states: "All this, in short, changes the modus significandi of the Words of Consecration--how they show forth the sacramental action taking place. The priest now pronounces the formulas for Consecration as part of an historical narrative, rather than as Christ's representative issuing the affirmative judgement This is My Body. (Emphasis in original) Pre-Vatican II treaties on invalidating defects that occur in the form of the sacrament of the Eucharist, insist that the Words of Consecration must not be recited as part of an historical narrative.

 According to theologian/rubrician O'Connell: "Defects in the Form of the Sacrament...Any change in the form, by omission, addition or interpolation which would alter the meaning would make the consecration invalid...The Words of Consecration have to be said not merely as an historical narrative of words once used by Our Lord---as the Celebrant recites them, e.g., in the accounts  of the Last Supper which are read in the Mass during Holy Week.....but in a present affirmation, speaking in the person of Christ, and intending to effect something here and now, by pronouncing these words."
(See J. O'Connell, The Celebration of Mass: A Study of the Rubrics of the Roman Missal   [Milwaukee:Bruce Publishers], 1941), pgs. 225-226)

 According to the pre-Vatican II principles of sacramental theology, the recitation of the form as part of a narrative is an external manifestation of a defect of intention (See principle # 5 above) The priest, using a rite alien to the Church (Novus Bogus) recites the words as part of an historical narration. In the True Mass, the priest must pause before reciting the Words of Consecration, and then (bending over the host/chalice to be consecrated) pronounce them distinctly, attentively, and secretly (just loud enough for him to hear). This manifests the intention to effect transubstantiation in the here and now by virtue of his sacerdotal power. In the Institution Narrative, he simply recounts what took place nearly 2,000 years ago, and manifests a contrary intention--a defect theologian/rubrician O'Connell discussed.

Traditionalists should stop questioning unnecessarily the intention of alleged "Masonic bishops" and start questioning the intention of everything Vatican II. Those intentions are defective, invalidating, and downright evil.  


  1. So if someone leaves the novus ordo, they should make a general confession to a valid priest?

  2. I hold the sedevavantist position but I think the sspx are valid priests and bishops.the reason being is sedevavantism isn't a dogma.

    1. You are correct; the SSPX is valid. Beware that Bp Fellay has begun a policy whereby V2 sect "priests" who enter the SSPX are not required to received conditional ordination in the Traditional Rite. These priests are NOT valid! As long as they were traditionally ordained, you need not worry about validity.

  3. Recently I read Bishop Tissier spoke out against allowing invalid novus ordo clergy into their society.Thankfully we are blessed with an independent catholic church with a valid bishop. (30 minutes from home) I feel sorry for SSPX parishioners because they are going through what catholics endured in the late 60's.