Greetings and Salutations:
In a note to PESACHIM 60A rAshi opens a subject which is duscussed further in ZEVOCHIM and at the beginning of MENCHOS about a brought offereing that the Cohen messes up.
One of the conclusions or statements is that the Cohen cannot recant if he makes an error. The first question is why not especially if cataches himself early enough in the avodah to rectify his error. For example, a bird opffering which is supposed to have the blood on the bottom half of the alter and steps on a stool to do it then before he does anything he realized he goofed can he recant and step down, or the same thing with a Mincha offereing he goes to one type and reallized that he erred.
In reference to Mincha offereings, in most cases eventhough the Cohen erred, the Mincha is accepted as an offering, but the person who brought the offering has not fullfilled his pledge because the Cophen goofed and offered the wrong one. Why is this person obligated still when his orginal intention and actions was to fulfill his pledge, but it was the Cohen who messed up the matter?
What rectification, responsibvlity etc does the Cohen have or bear for his erreor in the whole matter?
Finally, what is done with teh sacrifice?
Thankingyou in advance, have good shabbos and a Good Yom-tov
The questions you raise spread over a large part of Meseches Zevachim, Menachos, and Me'ilah, along with parts of Yoma, Pesachim, and Temurah. I will try, however, to give you a general answer.
There is a general difference between the lack of an Avodah, and an unfit Avodah. An unfit Avodah such as Pigul, she'Lo Lishmah, left-handed, without Bigdei Kehunah, etc., is not merely a lack of an Avodah, but rather it constitutes a Pesul, an invalid Avodah. Therefore, it will not help to re-do it, since the Korban itself has been disqualified by the fact that the Avodah was done with a Pesul. However, some things merely constitute a lack of an Avodah, such as if the blood was spilled by accident, then if there is blood left (in the animal and not in the vessel), we may start all over again with the same Korban.
Most Pesulim cause the Korban to be totally disqualified, and it must be disposed of (burned) accordingly. If the Pesul happened outside of the Azarah -- such as the animal became blemished with a Mum -- then it is burned immediately, for otherwise we have to wait until it would have become Nosar (Ibur Tzurah) until we can burn it. She'Lo Lishmah is merely a Pesul in the purpose which the Korban is meant to fulfill, and therefore the animal itself -- which is not Pasul -- is offered, but the owner must bring another Korban. Certain Pesulim -- if they are mistakenly brought upon the Mizbe'ach -- are not removed from the Mizbe'ach.
The fact that the owner loses because of the Kohen's error is a fact of life that we just have to live with, similar to someone who is uninsured slamming his car into yours. The fact is that the Korban is Pasul.
As far as the liability of the Kohen is concerned, this is a question of Mazik and relates to the issues of Garmi and Hezek she'Eino Nikar, and depending on the specific circumstances, there might be grounds in Beis Din to obligate the Kohen to pay.