Illicit but valid
It sounds like an oxymoron. Catholic officials used it to deny facts.
Vern is a musician for Catholic womenpriest Masses whose enthusiastic support of women’s ordination led to this email exchange. It followed a forum after Mass with our Mary Magdalene, First Apostle community.
We chatted about the phrase, “sacramentally valid but illicit.” And I think I remember you mentioning that the phrase was not said by any "authority" of the "regular" Roman Catholic Church. You went further to say the regular authority will not even discuss it.
'Sacramentally valid but illicit" applies to women priests. Church hierarchy admits that women priests who say Mass, baptize, officiate at marriages and the like, make it really happen (it’s valid) but they're not allowed to do so (it's illicit).
There also are ordained male priests not authorized to act as priests. One example is a friend of mine, an immigrant from India who is a married priest. He and his wife have come to several Mary Magdalene, First Apostle events.
I remember back in the 1990s Pope John Paul II even ordered discussion [about womenpriests] not only to stop, but also not be brought up in the first place. His decree was most likely, but not exclusively, the result of the story of Ludmila of Czechoslovakia becoming globally public after the fall of USSR Communism.
Why did Vern remember Ludmila? He is a descendent of Czech immigrants. I went to Google to refresh my memory.
Ludmila Javorová was the first modern woman Catholic priest. She was secretly ordained in 1970 by a male Roman Catholic bishop in the underground Czech Church during communism’s oppressive rule of Czechoslovakia. When Soviet domination ended and Ludmila Javorová’s ordination was revealed, the Vatican refused to accept it. “Illicit but valid,” said a Czech archbishop. He based his ruling on Canon Law.
Could you tell me who and from where that phrase first came from?
I am so happy having places like MMFA for me to come and "rest" my questioning self.
Thanks for your help. St. Mary Magdalene Prayers to you always, Vern
Vern’s modesty is remarkable. I don’t know when Canon Law first used this ridiculously rationalistic distinction, and I have to admit that Vern was more knowledgeable about the subject than I was. He led me to researching it.
Something tells me I heard that phrase, “illicit by valid,” or something like it came up when all the clergy abuse surfaced. There was a question about the validity of the Sacrament of Eucharist when Mass was conducted by a priest who abused.
The validity question also came up in talk about the priest himself confessing, being forgiven, and then continuing to say Mass. There was also the question of an abusive priest hearing confession of his victim(s) and the confessions being valid.
Vern had deliberated on “illicit but valid” more deeply than I had.
I am impatient with the legalistic distinctions, and I'd guess Pope Francis would agree with me that the Church should instead reach out with compassion and mercy to all people who cry out for care. The insistence on official permission violates both conscience and common sense.
Vern agreed that insisting on permission violates conscience and common sense.
Thank you, Vern, for caring so much.