Mary raises a very difficult question. What if a man enters the priesthood for evil motives, whether to gain money or have access to boys. Is his ordination valid? Is it possible for the recipient of ordination to have such inadequate or wrong motives that his ordination is invalid?

In diocesan files I came across a brief discussion by Dallas church officials as to whether they should seek to have the abuser Rudy Kos’s ordination annulled. They did not explain the grounds.

I can only guess they thought his motivation for ordination was not simple inadequate but evil, and that rendered his ordination invalid. I also guess they decided not to pursue the annulment because it would create a crisis of conscience among Catholics who had received the Eucharist or the sacrament of penance from him. Perhaps the lien of reasoning was the bishop intended to ordain a man who had presented himself as a devout Christian; but Kod was not, he was a pederast and perhaps not even a believer.

There are also sheer imposters who pretend to be priests, but I don’t think God punisher those who think they are receiving the sacraments from such imposters.

For example, the Council of Trent, I believe, taught that a spiritual communion is fully as efficacious as a sacramental communion. Protestants who communicate at their services may not receive Jesus in the elements, but their communion with Him can be as fully sanctifying as a Catholic’s. Those who receive the sacraments from imposters, I suggest, receive grace of the sacrament but not through the sacrament, which does not exist in that case.

God is not out to trick us; he desires that we be saved.

But bishops who knowingly or carelessly ordain such evil men will have much to answer for at the Judgment – although the way some bishops act, I doubt whether they believe in the Judgment or even God. It would not be the first time the Church had deistic or agnostic bishops.

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