"I would have expected any Catholic to have a better grasp on such a basic topic, let alone a priest who is a member of an order famous for its academic achievements. [I'll get you a popsicle it was a Jesuit.] Makes me very glad that the efficacy of the sacrament is independent of the lunacy of the minister of the sacrament. [Good call.]"
I suspect that that priest is infected, willingly or not, with the deeply harmful errors of the likes of Richard McCormick SJ and Charles Curran. Many priests of a certain age are. Many of certain religious orders are.
First, let’s clarify what the Church teaches.
For a sin to be a mortal sin, it must meet three conditions. It must be:
- of grave matter
- committed with full knowledge of the sinner
- committed with deliberate consent of the sinner
Check out CCC 1857.
The third condition is NOT: “desire to completely destroy your relationship with God” – FAIL. That could be a result, but the desire to do so is not a condition.
The third condition (deliberate consent) means that you must not only know that what you are going to do is a sin, you also will to do it. If your will is not engaged, you are not guilty of a mortal sin. If you are being forced, you are under duress, you are impaired in some way, etc., your will is not wholly involved. Mortal sins are not accidents. Mind you, objectively the act itself might be serious enough to be grave matter, but subjectively you are not guilty of a mortal sin if your will isn’t wholly involved. Again, you have to know it is a mortal sin and then you commit that sin anyway, willingly. This means that mortal sins are intended by the sinner. They are a willing rejection of God’s law and love. That does NOT mean that you want thereby “completely to destroy your relationship with God”. Example: “I am going to do X. I know X is wrong. I am going to do it anyway. I want to do X in order completely to destroy my relationship with God.” NO. That is not how 99.99999% of sinners wind up committing mortal sins. As a matter of fact, that would be something so rare as to be unfathomable: that someone sets out to deliberately to do exactly that. There is a difference between knowing that you are harming your relationship with God by sinning and “desiring to completely destroy your relationship with God”.
Link (here) to the lengthy post by Fr. Z