Saturday, June 18, 2016

The nullification of the faithful

Pope Francis recently said most Catholic marriages are null. The crisis management team at the Vatican has now issued a revised statement. 

The pope isn't saying anything theologically innovative. The valid reception depends on the right intention of the recipient. 

But the effect of his statement is to imply that most contemporary married Catholics who were married in the Church, are actually committing fornication. 

I'd add that the issue isn't confined to married couples. As we know, a significant percentage of the Catholic clergy are homosexual. Many of them are active homosexuals. When they took holy orders, they had no intention of abstaining from sexual relations. Doesn't that invalidate their ordination? And if they were invalidly ordained, then that nullifies their sacramental actions. 

If they baptize your child, that nullifies baptism. Nothing really happened. If they absolve you of sin, that nullifies absolution. Nothing really happened. If they celibates Mass, that nullifies transubstantiation. You're just eating bread. 


  1. At least the baptism part wasn't nullified. So long as someone uses the correct (trinitarian) formula, even a heretic can perform a valid baptism.

  2. The protestant understanding of baptism is the same though. Calvin himself taught that all trinitarian baptisms where valid even when done by the heterodox. His understanding of baptism and the visible church known as the "vestia ecclesia" was hugely influential in the Rome's Vatican 2 redefinition of the boundaries of the visible church. I am sure you did not have to be rebaptized when you joined the PCA church John?

  3. It's true that Catholicism draws an ad hoc distinction between baptism and other sacraments in that regard.