The Council of Trent* fixed the no. of sacraments at 7 (baptism, confirmation, eucharist, penance, extreme unction, order, matrimony) and called them necessary for salvation (Sess. VII, Canons 1 and 4). Baptism and penance are called sacraments of the dead, because they are administered to those dead in sin; the others, sacraments of the living. Baptism, confirmation, and order are held to imprint an indelible character (see Character indelebilis) on the soul and therefore cannot be repeated. The validity of a sacrament is not made dependent on the personal worthiness of the officiating priest, provided he has the intention of doing, in the sacrament, what the ch. does. See also Grace, Means of, I 8; Opus operatum; Roman Catholic Church, The, B 4, 6, 7; Sacrament and the Sacraments; William of Auxerre.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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