“We have to be in grace to receive Communion. What about the priest who is giving us the Eucharist?” asked Gill. In the wake of news about scandals in the church, this question might be one that some of the faithful are wondering. If a priest is in a state of mortal sin, does his celebration of the sacraments continue to be valid?
“It’s still valid because if a bad priest says a Mass, it’s still a good Mass; because it’s Christ who works the sacrament. If that priest does and intends what the Church does and intends, then it is valid,” explained Father Richard Simon, host of Father Simon SaysTM on Relevant Radio®.
That is not to say that a priest should say Mass in a state of mortal sin. “However, it is not licit. In other words, the priest is committing a sacrilege and he should get to Confession as soon as possible if he thinks he’s in a state of mortal sin! But you needn’t worry that is somehow invalidates your Communion.”
Though the focus lately has been on some members of the clergy that have committed horrible abuses, we mustn’t forget that so many of our priests have been faithful leaders. It’s important that we continuously pray for our priests, that they may be holy examples of virtuous lives and are covered with the graces needed to lead us toward Christ in our journey of faith.
Lord, bless our priests. Help them to imitate your love, mercy, and holiness and bring many souls closer to you.