Afterthought: An “invalid” priest and the dizzying consequences

A couple of weeks ago, I published a post about a Roman Catholic priest, Matthew Hood (photo above), who recently discovered that his infant baptism was “invalid,” which, as a consequence, rendered his ordination invalid. That led to all kinds of ramifications and diocesan “remediations,” which I examined in the first post (see here).

Afterwards, another thought came to mind regarding priest Hood and the specific sacrament of the eucharist that I will focus on further below. But first, let’s lay some groundwork.

The Catholic church teaches that during the mass, the priest mystically changes bread wafers and wine into the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ, which are then offered up to God the Father as a sacrifice for the sins of those assembled, and also for the pope, the local bishop, and anyone else who is specially mentioned. The congregants then line up to receive a consecrated Jesus wafer from the priest. They are taught that consuming the Jesus wafer provides graces to help them resist sin and do good in order to merit their salvation at the time of their death. Some Catholics testify that consuming the Jesus wafer is, for them, a very powerful, mystical experience. Some even report feeling an emotional closeness to Jesus that borders on the rapturous.

Let’s now return to the case of priest Matthew Hood. Hood was ordained as a priest on June 3, 2017, but discovered this past summer that he was invalidly baptized as an infant, which meant his ordination was also invalid. So, over the course of three years, Hood celebrated mass at two different parishes as an invalid priest. If Hood celebrated mass at least once per day over that span, that’s at least 1000 times he went through the motions of transubstantiation – the supposed changing of the bread wafers and wine into the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ – without having done so because he had not actually been ordained and invested with priestly powers (I write these things strictly for hypothetical purposes).

So for three long years, not one congregant noticed that the bread wafers dispensed by Hood were not transubstantiated. Don’t miss it, my friends. This is very revealing! Not one parishioner spoke up and said, “Hey, there’s something wrong here! I’m not experiencing any wonderful feelings or behavior-changing results from these communion wafers like I normally do.” NOT ONE PERSON raised a concern about the faux Jesus wafers distributed by Hood during the three years he was an invalid priest.

All of the above is not surprising to me. As a Roman Catholic, I consumed the transubstantiated Jesus wafer at least weekly, beginning with my first communion at age seven up until my early-teen years (fourteen?), after which I began attending mass irregularly. I estimate that I received communion over 500 times in my 27 years as a Catholic, which included a four-year stint as an altar boy. Not once in those 500+ times did I ever undergo some type of mystical, empowering experience. I was exactly the same after consuming the Jesus wafer as I was before. I also observed there were no radical or even subtle changes in my parents, my sisters, or my Catholic grammar school and high school classmates after they had received the Jesus wafer.

The bottom line: those Catholics who claim a mystical and/or behavior-altering experience after consuming the allegedly transubstantiated Jesus wafer are self-delusional as this invalid priest saga proves. Religious sacraments, rituals, and ceremonies don’t save. The Good News is that salvation is by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone this day and then ask the Lord to lead you to an evangelical church in your area that preaches the Gospel without compromise.

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.” – Matthew 24:23

42 thoughts on “Afterthought: An “invalid” priest and the dizzying consequences

  1. Logical, Tom, very logical! 🙂👍👍That is what we all call, placebo effect. By accepting JESUS CHRIST alone as ones Lord And Savior by faith alone in once life, we will be filled, guided, convicted, and interceded by the HOLY SPIRIT because of GOD’s grace alone. Sadly, there are a lot that are being misled to the power of the wafer (that ought to be just for remembrance) and not focusing on the power of GOD that saves them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Kent, and thanks for mentioning the placebo effect. Yes, many Catholics swear to the behavior-changing effects and feelings of euphoria from the faux Jesus wafer, but its all without substance. The natural man always focuses on the material (e.g., “receiving” Jesus means ingesting the Jesus wafer) rather than the spiritual (receiving Jesus as Savior by faith alone).

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      1. You are right, Tom, they need a physical evidence rather than receiving it by faith! There are many similar situations in my country such as during processional festivities where these million plus devoutees endanger themselves just for the need to rub their handkerchief to the statue due to its “power and healing qualities,” so they think. GOD bless you and your wife, Tom!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jonah Z. Yes, the bishop attempted to tie the loose ends by asserting that those who came forward for Hood’s faux Jesus wafers in good faith somehow, mystically, did not walk away empty-handed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was going to mention the placebo effect but Kent beat me to it! This is one of the best posts I have ever read. Really well written to the point that it haunts my soul. As a super type A perfectionist I “feel” the weight and heaviness of both the priest and parishioners. I am SO thankful that salvation from beginning to end has nothing to do with me or my achievements. These two posts have been the most visual depictions of works based religion looks like and it again haunts my soul. Was Hood an altar boy? If so, would his time in that role be invalidated as well? Better said, wouldn’t Hood’s entire dealings within mass be invalidated? Like he wouldn’t be able to be a deacon or an elder or hold any position because of his infant baptism? I will admit I do not agree with paedobaptism in any form but this is just horrible to me. I am starting to have a small understanding into Luther’s freedom when he read “the righteous shall live by faith.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Mandy! I appreciate your thoughts on this post and the previous one. Although this story of the invalid priest is a sad saga, I’m grateful for it because it illustrates Catholicism’s sacramental/works righteousness salvation system better than 100 arguments I could present.

      Since Hood’s infant baptism was ruled invalid because the wrong pronoun was used, all of his participation in the sacraments as a young person and older would also be ruled as invalid and ineffectual. Keep in mind that Catholicism dichotomously teaches atheists can merit Heaven if they are “good.”

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      1. The birthday went well, thanks. But it was mostly indoors because it was chilly outside. All of the C-19 precautions go out the window at these family gatherings. With cold weather setting in and everything moving indoors, Corinne and I need to be more cautious.
        How was your weekend?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s family, that’s a tough one! My mom has been here for almost 3 months. She’s heading back to FL next Monday (I keep telling myself I will be ok!!) she will be here again in November, my brother has mandated that she quarantine in November before she sees the kiddos. I am glad you and Corinne know you need to be cautious.

        We had a nice weekend, thank you for asking! How is Corinne healing?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m sure you’ll miss your mom. Yes, quarantining is difficult with family, but I think we need to be more cautious. Crowding together indoors like we did Saturday is not wise.
        Thanks for asking about Corinne! Her health issues are complex and there’s no resolution in sight.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Sorry! Her hand wound is doing well! Thanks for asking!
        Yes, this has been such a challenging year. I used to reminisce to Pastor Slim Jim about how much upheaval there was in the 1960s, but this past year matches all that.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, sister! I’m guessing people of all religions point to some kind of subjective experience/euphoria as validation of their beliefs. The Mormons with their “burning in the bosom” come to ind first, but I’ve also read the testimonies of many Catholics who claim mystical experiences after consuming the Jesus wafer. Right, they will argue that they “felt what they felt” and they will not entertain any further discussion.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 👍🏻
        This specific repercussion involving the invalid priest and the eucharist occurred to me a couple of days after I published the original post. Some Catholics boast about the mystical experience they have after consuming the Jesus wafer, but there’s zero substance to it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, Mormons are famously known for having a “burning in the bosom” verifying that the Book of Mormon is true. Some Catholics are equally convinced about their subjective mystical experience after eating the Jesus wafer. Yup, this kind of subjective, experiential testimony is characteristic of every religion.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! No substance to RC’s claims for the transubstantiated bread wafer. This invalid priest saga proves they can’t tell the difference between a consecrated wafer and an unconsecrated wafer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes indeed! The story was an excellent example of a Catholic legalism/sacramentalism rabbit hole. Might be the most revealing example I’ve come across in the five years of doing this blog.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Crissy. A Catholic once wrote that Roman Catholicism is a very “tactile” religion, but the rituals and pageantry actually involve all the senses – touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste. That’s no accident. It’s only a short leap to involving the emotions and imagination as well. So I definitely agree that Charismaticism/Pentecostalism and the RCC both focus on experientialism/emotionalism.

      I hope your big move went well, yesterday!!!

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      1. Thanks for remembering Tom. Move went well. Almost settled now . The place has a veggie garden, hoping it will become my new hobby although I am not a lover of creepy crawlies 😩
        Hope all is well with you and your family on the other side of the ocean.

        Liked by 1 person

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