The comments in the previous blog raise the interesting question of whether the ordination of an unbeliever is valid. That is, if I man was baptized, but has lost his faith and seeks ordination anyway, is he validly ordained a priest or consecrated a bishop?
In two cases (including Rudy Kos) I have come across memos that indicated the chanceries in Dallas and Santa Fe considered asking the Vatican to nullify the ordination of priests.
As far as I know this request was not carried through, nor were the grounds specified. I presume the grounds were fraud: Rudy Kos wanted to be ordained solely to get access to boys. The other priest has had a checkered career as a Jew and as Buddhist. One does wonder whether he was ever a Christian.
A marriage can be declared null: that is, it never existed, on such grounds as insanity, fraud, or consanguinity. The grounds for nullifying the ordination of a priest would presumably include fraud or insanity. But nullifying the ordination of a priest would mean declaring that all the masses he celebrated were not masses and all the confessions he heard were not sacramental confession. This would create an enormous crisis of conscience for many of the laity.
But I wonder whether at least some of the sexual abusers were not indeed frauds: that is, they either were not believers at all or sought ordination for evil purposes. Can such a man really be ordained? Was Maciel ever really a Christian? Can you become a priest without being a Christian?