Faith/Spirituality Forum: Validity of a Sedevacantist Confirmation
Validity of a Sedevacantist Confirmation QUESTION from N. M. C. on May 1, 2002 When I was growing up, my family went to mass not at the local parish, but at a sedevacantist catholic church for the Tridentine mass. This group was a congregation of traditionalists who believed that the novus ordo English mass was invalid and that the church had no legitimate pope after Vatican II, and they believed a lot of other odd things. I now know that this group was wrong and broken away from the the true Roman Catholic Church under good Pope John Paul II, to which I now belong.
This is my question: I received the sacrament of confirmation as a teenager from a sedevacantist bishop, and I'm just wondering if this was a valid confirmation?
I've wondered about this for years, but I don't know who to ask. Any response would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. -- N.M.C.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on May 20, 2002 Dear N.M.C.:
The answer to your question is -- Maybe.
Without question the sacraments conducted by such a group are illicit (which means illegal and without the permission of the Pope), but are they invalid (which means that they are fake)?
The answer to the validity issue depends upon whether the minister of the sacrament (the bishop or priest) is a valid bishop or priest.
If the bishop who confirmed you is a valid bishop (who has left the Church) then the confirmation is valid. If the bishop who confirmed you was not a valid bishop (he was not consecrated a bishop by another valid bishop) then your confirmation is not valid.
So the question is whether the bishop was a valid bishop.
I cannot answer that since I do not know the lineage of the bishop involved.
If I were you, I would contact your local diocese and tell them your situation and have them make a determination as to the validity of your confirmation.
If your confirmation is not valid, or if it cannot be determined whether the confirmation is valid or not, that can be corrected easily enough by your diocesan bishop.
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