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What Is Ecclesia Supplet?


Fr. Antony Maria OSB

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Fr. Antony Maria OSB

I went to Mass this evening, and the priest who said the Mass suffers from a form of dementia (he has forgotten parts of the Mass before, but until tonight nothing serious to the extent of my knowledge). Tonight, though, he forgot the consecration of the wine. I called one of my parish priests and asked him about it, and he told me that the Mass was still valid and would fall under something called ecclesia supplet (I think that's how you spell it). But he had to go real quick afterwards and wasn't able to fully explain what it is. So, what is ecclesia supplet? Thank you very much!

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In Canon Law Ecclesia Supplet is found in Can. 144 §1. In factual or legal common error and in positive and probable doubt of law or of fact, the Church supplies executive power of governance for both the external and internal forum.

Since what was defective was sacramental form, Ecclesia non supplet quod Ecclesia non habet; the Church cannot supply what the Church does not have, and the Church does not have the ability to supply sacramental form to a minister's deficient utterance.

Bottom line the Mass was not valid. However that said as far as say fulfilling a Sunday Mass obligation, even though Ecclesia supplet seems of no avail here, nevertheless, we may hold that, in some way, Deus providet, that is, God provides, or God foresees.

We need to be wary lest we assume too quickly that Ecclesia supplet will remedy serious mistakes in ministry just because they were not the fault of the faithful.

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  • 10 years later...

Asisto a misa casi a diario y la fórmula que emplea el sacerdote en la consagración es:
"... tomad y comed todos de él porque esto es mi cuerpo que será entregado por todos

ustedes " Añade el "todos"

Y para el vino sigue con la formulación anterior: ... "que será derramada por todos los hombres ..." en vez de "y por muchos ..."

Mi duda es si se realiza la transubstanciación.  Ecclesia suplet?
Agradezco su aclaración.

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