BASIC R.C. BELIEF
This doctrine, which was hotly debated for centuries, states that in
certain cases, an ordained priest may conduct all the sacramental forms,
yet inwardly withhold his intention of having to be a valid sacrament, thus
invalidating it. The Council of Trent saw this as a way of attacking the
Protestant view of assurance of salvation, for if no one is sure that a
priest has given his intention, there is no assurance of the sacraments
validity (CATHOLIC DICTIONARY OF THEOLOGY, Vol. III, p. 135).
It is necessary for the penitent to have the intention of performing the
penance given at Confession for the absolution to be effective.
From THE SIGN, July 1959. "In many indulgenced prayers, one sees that the
prayer must be said "for the intentions of the Holy Father." To comply with
the requirement, it is sufficient that one have the general intention to
pray for the intention of the Pope or of the Church. Those intentions are
the following: `the exaltation of the Church, the propogation of the Faith,
the end of heresy and schism, peace and harmony among Christian rulers and
nations, and other blessings for the welfare of Christianity."
For the average Catholic, the above phrsase simply means that the prayer
is being offered in line with the practice and devotional life of the
From HOLY ORDERS, Catholic Enquiry Centre, London NW3. Nihil Obstat:
Joannes Barton; Imprimatur: Georgius Craven. "Only those who have been
properly ordained by a properly consecrated bishop of the Catholic order
have valid orders, that is, are truly Catholic priests. The bishop who
confers the Holy Order must be in line with the bishops going back in
unbroken succession to the Apostles. He must intend to give the men
ordained power to offer the sacrifice of the body abnd blood of Christ,
preach the Word, forgive sins and administer the other sacraments."
POST VATICAN II
There is not much thought today that a priest might withhold his intention
and invalidate a sacrament, but his intention is still necessary to make it
This unscriptural doctrine is a result of the sacramental theology of Rome.
The doctrine of Intention disproves the Roman Catholic theory that the New
Birth is water baptism. John 1:13 states that the New Birth is not of the
will of man; if it relied on the priest's intention for its validity, it
would rely on man's will.
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