Monday, August 8, 2016

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 178 - Part I.


YOUCAT Question n. 178 - Part I. If a sacrament is administered by someone who is unworthy, does it fail to have its effect?    

(Youcat answer) No. The sacraments are effective on the basis of the sacramental action that is carried out (ex opere operato), in other words, independently of the moral conduct or spiritual outlook of the minister. It is enough for him to intend to do what the Church does.         

A deepening through CCC        

(CCC 1131) The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.     

Reflecting and meditating      

(Youcat comment) By all means, ministers of the sacraments ought to live an exemplary life. But the sacraments take effect, not because of the holiness of their ministers, but rather because Christ himself is at work in them. In any case, he respects our freedom when we receive the sacraments. That is why they have a positive effect only if we rely on Christ.     

(CCC Comment)     

(CCC 1127) Celebrated worthily in faith, the sacraments confer the grace that they signify (Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1605; DS 1606.). They are efficacious because in them Christ himself is at work: it is he who baptizes, he who acts in his sacraments in order to communicate the grace that each sacrament signifies. The Father always hears the prayer of his Son's Church which, in the epiclesis of each sacrament, expresses her faith in the power of the Spirit. As fire transforms into itself everything it touches, so the Holy Spirit transforms into the divine life whatever is subjected to his power.         

(This question: If a sacrament is administered by someone who is unworthy, does it fail to have its effect? is continued)

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