Validity of a Church’s Orders

There has been a recent scuffle on the internet about the validity of Orders in the Anglican Catholic Church. The person concerned is a priest of one of the American continuing Anglican Churches and seems to be drifting towards the position of radical Roman Catholic traditionalism. For those people, putting it simply, there are no valid Orders anywhere, except possibly in the Orthodox Churches. Even that would be doubtful because the Sacraments would be deprived of validity through the changes in the rites (cf. Apostolicae Curae) or the lack of the power of jurisdiction from the Pope. If there is no Pope, hard luck!

This is certainly a caricature that does not reflect the position of most traditionalists and sedevacantists. The reductio ad absurdam would seem to invalidate the claims of all sacramental Christianity. Either Christianity is all bunk or the Protestants were right. It is not my intention to write an apologia for the Orders of the Anglican Catholic Church. Nothing would change the belief of a person who is convinced of the contrary. The matter has been discussed recently, and Fr Jonathan Munn expresses a desire for help to get his ideas together on this subject. I think he has done very well for himself as he has written on his own blog article DUK Birthday Preparations. He feels daunted not so much by the questions of Donatism, St Augustine and St Cyprian but the tangle of canon law. One problem with the traditionalists is ontologising canon law, making ontological reality out of conventions and laws in spite of principles of interpretation like ἐπιείκεια (the principle in ethics that a law can be broken to achieve a greater good.) and salus animarum suprema lex. Canon law cannot be used (or interpreted) to “suicide” the Church. This diabolical dilemma of choosing between validity or liceity is nonsense. The machine has a dead-man’s handle and a pressure safety valve.

Roman Catholicism traditionally follows the anti-Donatist theology of St Augustine, which would make it theoretically possible for a bishop to use his sacramental powers to ordain and consecrate bishops and priests of nothing (episcopi vagantes). Eastern Orthodoxy follows the Cyprianic position according to which such wantonly irregular ordinations are not only illicit but invalid, lacking any sacramental power. The most extreme position I have found expressed by a serious theologian was Cyrille Vogel in Ordinations Inconsistantes et Caractère Inamissible.

In his preface, Vogel approaches the Roman Catholic position very critically. This contested position is resumed by saying that any bishop or priest, even under excommunication or other canonical sanction, who confers an ordination using the rite of the liturgical books and with the intention of “doing what the Church does”, does so validly. Usually, the Church will not accept and canonical effects of such an ordination, and will receive a repentant person in the state in which he left the Church. Thus a priest having received an illicit episcopal consecration would be received back as a priest, but generally in practice as a layman. The immediate consequence of this doctrine is the multiplication of episcopi vagantes and priests without a canonical title or mission. Frankly, why would we care in our world of absolute religious diversity?

This principle depends on the conferring of a metaphysical and ontological “character” in the recipient’s soul. “Once a priest, always a priest“. This character is deemed to be indelible or inamissible (word not to be confused with inadmissible). Vogel’s thesis is that such a doctrine is foreign to all the oriental Chalcedonian and Non-Chalcedonian Churches. It is also foreign to the Old Catholics of the Union of Utrecht and the Churches of the Reformation including Anglicanism. For Vogel, if a priest or a bishop loses the canonical exercise of his ministry, he also loses the very quality of his ordination and lapses back to the lay state. I know of no translation of this book in French into English, but its methodology and use of authorities and quotes is impeccable. It would be a difficult one to refute.

Roman Catholicism has tended to declare the ordinations of “heretical bodies” invalid, not for canonical reasons, but because the rites had been modified manifesting a “positive contrary intention” (I don’t intend to do what the [Roman Catholic] Church intends). Apostolicae Curae of 1896 promulgated by Pope Leo XIII is based on this principle. Similarly, the traditionalist priest Fr Anthony Cekada wrote these pieces to use the principles contained in Apostolicae Curae to conclude the invalidity of ordinations and consecrations conferred in the Roman Catholic Church but using the rites promulgated by Paul VI.

I am not endorsing this position but merely showing that it exists and needs to be approached critically. It almost concurs with the reply to Apostolicae Curae by the Anglican Archbishops in 1896, Saepius Officio in which this observation was made:  In overthrowing our orders, he [Leo XIII] overthrows all his own, and pronounces sentence on his own Church. It is also striking that the Anglican Archbishops affirmed belief in the inamissble character of ordination. If you go to the crankier elements of the sedevacantist world, you will find ideas like SSPX being invalid because Archbishop Lefebvre was consecrated by a Freemason! The end is nigh!!!

He also wrote, perhaps approaching Vogel’s position, at least partially. Episcopi vagantes in the USA are a real problem for the traditionalists and sedevacantists. Many are indeed quacks and charlatans, and discredit the more serious among independent clerics.

The following is another study on untrained traditionalist clergy. (1) Canonical criteria for determining fitness for priestly ordination. (2) Sinfulness of conferring orders on the unfit. (3) Orders conferred by the unfit enjoy no presumption of validity. (4) The unfit may not exercise their orders. (5) Objections and answers.

All that gives a lot of information about these questions of “us and them”, how “we” have valid orders and can claim to be or represent the true church, and how we can arrive at the certitude of “their” orders being invalid. Therefore, “their” church is false, a counterfeit, a forgery, a deception against which the uncritical faithful – like children – have to be protected.

If my readers are interested in this question, I invite them to open the above links and read the available literature. I haven’t the heart to go into all this. It makes me quite nauseous. However, I am prepared to be helpful by asking the question “Have you thought of …?

There are several parts of the question about Orders in the Anglican Catholic Church.

The first is Anglican Orders in General. The Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches re-ordain clergy who convert to them. Most Orthodox Churches also re-ordain Roman Catholic clergy who swim the Bosphorus. Sedevacantists re-ordain priests who were ordained with the Pauline rites. I suspect that the SPPX does the same thing. The big question is Valid for whom? Do we have to be approved of by the Roman Catholic Church? Are they the judges of everything, even more so given that there is a case against their own orders?

I am brought to the dilemma of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Mikado opera saying that the village executioner may not cut off another’s head until he’s cut his own off! Self-decapitation is both difficult and dangerous (ouch)! I am tempted to approach this problem of each-other’s ordinations with the same flippancy.

Even though we do not use the 1568 Roman Pontifical, our rites do express the intention of doing what the universal Church does. From the beginning, our Church has constituted a College of Bishops. This constitutes a Particular Church which is not the Universal Church but participates in the Universal Church. When receiving clergy from elsewhere, our Church often uses the sub conditione solution for re-ordination. The SSPX explains conditional ordination in scholastic and canonical terms. I too received conditional ordination from Bishop Damien Mead when I came to the ACC. I had been ordained a deacon regularly in the Roman Catholic Church (to boot, in the traditional Roman rite from Cardinal Palazzini who had been consecrated in the old rite), but to the priesthood by a bishop who had been consecrated by the flamboyant +Clemente Dominguez y Gomez, himself consecrated by Archbishop Pierre Martin Ngo-Dinh-Thuc. The conditional ordination simplifies a lot of potential polemics: I am valid for the Church to which I belong. I refer to my original ordination of 24th June 1998 for my anniversary celebrations. That is standard practice.

Post-Reformation Anglicanism has other ways of dealing with irregular ordinations. To this day, the Church of England will not accepts priests it has not itself ordained. I would be on shaky ground trying to deal with that point of view. This short article Valid but Irregular sheds some light on how things are judged by Church of England authorities. The title Valid bu Irregular suggests a similar position to that of the Roman Catholic Church, definitely not Cyrille Vogel’s position!

One problem evoked is episcopal consecration by a single bishop or at least less than the usual three. Many Roman Catholic consecrations, especially in missionary or persecution situations, have been allowed to be conferred by a single bishop. When Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated four bishops in 1988 for the SSPX, he had one co-consecrator, Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer. Rome condemned the consecrations for their irregularity but affirmed them to be valid. There are certainly extraordinary situations when regular Anglican consecrations were conferred by only one bishop. If anyone can find examples, I would be delighted to hear about them. Would the ACC lack validity because it was not founded by a canonical act of the Anglican Communion “in communion with Canterbury”? The question seems absurd. Being in a state of schism or dissidence has never affected validity except for the Orthodox. At least in practice, all Anglican Churches subscribe to the inamissible character of ordination. Only the very low church people would deny that ordination is a Sacrament.

The cleric who started all this asked Archbishop Haverland to “let him go” quietly as a condition for not kicking up a fuss. Someone else tells me that he is very near to some quite cranky traditionalist or sedevacantist groups in America. It is a classical move: “burn up” one’s old church before making a move, which justifies the person’s “unstable” move and change of allegiance. In spite of my Archbishop’s reasonableness and respect of the cleric’s desire to make a move, the cleric has made a big fuss after all.

It is plain that the Anglican Bishops who conferred the Episcopate on the ACC acted with the intention of continuing their own Church in the context of a crisis situation making objectively schismatic acts necessary and justifiable. I have no problem with the validity and liceity by epikeia of such an act.

Like Fr Munn, I remain committed to participating in the priestly ministry of the Anglican Catholic Church as a whole and I continue to participate actively in the Diocese of the United Kingdom as a priest in the Patrimony of the Metropolitan. For the others, all I can say is Bien faire et laissez braire! Let us do good ourselves whatever noise others make like braying donkeys.

* * *

Addition from 28th January 2022. This article by Sarah Wagner-Wassen (wife of one of our priests) has just appeared, which is a brief history of Apostolic Succession in the Anglican Catholic Church. The bestowal of episcopal orders — the case of the Anglican Catholic Church

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17 Responses to Validity of a Church’s Orders

  1. Joe says:

    Wow… This post & subject brings me back! How strange that these arguments are still going around, at a time when even Rome no longer wishes to be Roman. With all that’s happening in the world, and within the wider Church, I have to heave a sigh and simply ask, “What does this vaingloriousness down here?

    For some years leading up to Anglicanorum Coetibus, I actually had a website dedicated to this very (niche) subject. I devoured an absurd — and probably unhealthy — number of works treating the validity of Anglican Orders, including some incredible primary sources that I still own and page-through even now and again. (De Hierarchia Anglicana? Lacey’s A Roman Diary? Yes, I have them and more — luxuriant still in their tattered boards!)

    Those were heady days — I’m speaking now of the time just before Anglicanorum Coetibus was promulgated. I was a traditionalist Roman Catholic who favored the recognition of Holy Orders in certain Continuing Anglican jurisdictions as valid or at least conditionally valid. Can you imagine? The cheek! Then came Anglicanorum Coetibus, the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, and… all that. Anglican clergy were and still are ordained absolute, despite everything. To quote a popular meme, my disappointment was immeasurable and my day was ruined. (Our getting Fr Hunwicke was a positive boon, though, and no mistake!)

    And my blog was so much straw.

    Ah, well. Discovering this argument evidently alive and well among Continuing Anglicans themselves does provoke a weary smile. A fellow predisposed to obsession with the arguments contra validity would indeed find a better home in the SSPX.

    I ask your prayers for us all, Father. Prayers for us all.

    • Thank you for the encouraging comment. Yes, I remember 2010-12 when I was in the TAC. I was invited to all kind of conferences and Radio Courtoisie interviews with the traditionalists who saw the potential of what Anglican culture and patrimony could bring to the RC Church.

      Unfortunately, I have a feeling that more Roman Catholic traditionalists will capitulate in spite of the fighting talk. Some will resist and may have as many problems with the SSPX as with Rome. Their only solution is a “parallel SSPX” with their own bishops. There are serious Ngo-Dinh-Thuc line bishops in the world, and there are also regular bishops who might be prepared to be suspended and excommunicated for illicit ordinations and consecrations. I don’t have a good feeling about it. To see the Tridentine liturgy go as obsolete as Sarum – now that would be a pity.

      The convergence of Fr Cekada with the Archbishops of York and Canterbury is quite a discovery. If our Orders are invalid, so are theirs for the same reasons.

      Can you remind me which was your blog? Is it still up?

      I think that this subject was a flash in the pan. Rome goes back to the 1970’s having cancelled Benedict XVI and John Paul II. The future seems to be Chinese Communism and Trans-humanism for billionaires.

      Indeed, prayers….

      • Joe says:

        My blog was titled “Accipe Potestatem.” It survives only in the WayBackMachine, fittingly.

        I agree that some RC traditionalists will capitulate. Some already have — pace the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, in Chicago. The FSSP is holding firm; but for how long? The Fraternity will surely have to undergo yet another purge of members suspected of ‘rigidity’ now. The FSSP has been down that road before (at least twice, if I remember correctly). With new, Rome-appointed leadership, what remains then of the FSSP will fall into line amid pledges of fidelity and wearing gothic chasubles every first Sunday of the month.

        In other places, though, the fight will continue. The influential Rorate Caeli blog has already urged its readers to avail themselves of SSPX Sacraments without hesitation if necessary. The New Liturgical Movement has yet to do the same, I think, but the editorial line can easily be pushed in that direction. These blogs serve a wide readership, and many clergy.

        I pray we don’t end up with a parallel SSPX, with suspensions a divinis, interdicts, “true remnant” talk, etc. One SSPX is enough. Lord, have mercy.

        By the way, I believe you and I may have chatted (online) before, many years ago. We move(d) in the same fora dedicated to English liturgical patrimony.

      • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

        What might ‘parallel FSSPXs’ be like? Like various monastic orders, mendicant orders, etc.? Or like various ordinariates? Or like various ‘uniat’ Churches? Or old-fashioned Anglo-Papalists? Affirming but not in everything submitting to diocesan episcopacy and Papacy, however they were treated by them at an given moment?

      • The neologism is my invention. It took a lot of working on canon law for the SSPX to find a solution for being schismatic without being schismatic. The Gallican heritage of the French was helpful so that Archbishop Lefebvre could create an independent structure, disobey the Pope and yet remain Roman Catholic in the eyes of his own faithful. The corpse in the gibbet has been the many mistakes of men like Joseph Vilatte and Arnold Harris Mathew and their attempts to found Old Catholic and Old Roman Catholic Churches. They lost their credibility very quickly. The sedevacantists have created some viable communities with Bishops Dolan and Sanborn, but the more radical have lost their credibility.

        The SSPX won’t ordain priests for the former Ecclesia Dei communities (Institute of Christ the King, Institute of the Good Shepherd, Fraternity of St Peter, etc.) unless there is an ideological agreement. Those societies were seen as lax for having collaborated with the “Conciliar Church” in 1988 onwards. If they start using the Novus Ordo, it will drive their faithful away. If they disobey Rome, they have to “suck it up” with the SSPX or find bishops willing to suffer sanctions from Rome. The sedevacantists and the SSPX don’t (at least in practice) accept bishops consecrated in the new rite. It would be quite a volte-face to accept orders from Ngo-Dinh-Thuc bishops. The criteria for validity could get quite narrow.

        Frankly, the former Ecclesia Dei traditionalists are over a barrel unless Pope Francis dies or gets “found out” for paedophilia (or covering up) in Buenos Aires.

        It should become apparent in the next few months when Rome really tightens the screws.

      • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

        Thank you for this!

        So, in the first instance the ‘most’ that the former Ecclesia Dei communities could do would be to continue with the priests they have for as long as they live, as sorts of bishopless and in that sense ‘lesser parallels’ of the FSSPX. But in how far would how many of their faithful go along with that?

      • It’s no longer my war, but I know how these people think.

        No one will will go to seminary without the prospect of being ordained. Without bishops, they will go the way of the priestless Russian Old Believers or the Anti-Concordat (1801) Petite Eglise. The last Petite Eglise priest died in 1830. Since then it is a church of lay devotions in which only Baptism and Marriage are possible. The traditionalists have generally studied church history.

        There are five sources of ordination:

        1) In the case of capitulation and use of the Novus Ordo, bishops of the official Church,
        2) Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider, Archbishop Viganò and one or two others if they are prepared to face sanctions. Also they were consecrated with the Novus Ordo rite of episcopal consecration.
        3) The SSPX bishops – if ideological agreement is reached with some backpedalling.
        4) Bishop Richard Williamson and those he consecrated – same as with the SSPX
        5) Sedevacantist bishops of the Ngo-Dinh-Thuc and Alfredo Méndez-Gonzalez – Kelly successions – agreement with sedevacantism required.

        We’ll see what happens.

  2. spikus says:

    Odd that the PNCC was not mentioned. One of the elements involved with the G3/PNCC talks is the recognition of “orders” (fixing??). Rome recognizes the PNCC orders—-w/ a pained face but still recognizes them. This would put the G3 in a special place.

  3. Father Richard Cumming says:

    Dear Father Chadwick,

    Thank you for referring to my article. You state: “For those people, putting it simply, there are no valid Orders anywhere, except possibly in the Orthodox Churches.”

    It seems that, like your colleagues, you have misunderstood the argument presented in my article.

    I believe wholeheartedly that ACC orders are sacramentally valid. I do, however, find it impossible to claim that they are canonically valid. ACC orders are canonically invalid because ACC bishops are episcopi vagantes, because not one of the four bishops involved in the Denver consecrations communicated apostolic jurisdiction to the ACC.

    That is the essence of my argument, carefully constructed over the course of a four-year period and with the benefit of having served on the G4 Doctrine Commission on Holy Orders. I look forward to the day that a public representative of the ACC actually responds to it. Until that day, I will simply note with great pleasure that at least several other priests of the ACC have written to me to tell me that they actually agree with my conclusions.

    Former member of the G4 Doctrine Commission on Holy Orders

    • I had not intended to mention the name of Fr Richard Cumming in my blog articles, that was until he sent the above message. I have no judgement to make about his person. However, I think the value of his argument according to which “ACC bishops are episcopi vagantes” can be assessed in the light of his own acts as manifested in the website The Society of Pius IX.

      In this site, it is revealed that Fr Cummings is himself a bishop consecrated by Fr Michael J. Kline claiming a succession from the Belarusian patriarchate and the Order of Corporate Reunion. He links to The Order of Corporate Reunion, which appears to be at variance with The Order of Corporate Reunion.

      A person using the pseudonym “Frederick George Lee” wrote a message on a Facebook thread on 14th February of this year stating:

      There is a new organization out there, formed under the aegis of the OCR… It is called the “Society of Pius IX”. We repudiate and disassociate the true Order of Corporate Reunion from this organization. The OCR was never established to be a jurisdiction, yet certain individuals with malintent continue to consecrate bishops and impart jurisdiction in the name of the OCR“.

      I don’t know who this “Dr Lee” is other than the historic personality mentioned in Anson’s Bishops at Large. It appears that there are two Orders of Corporate Reunion, or that one has been invented to create the illusion of the Society of Pius IX having a form of “power of jurisdiction” that would give this organisation the validity they deny to constituted ecclesial bodies like the ACC and other Churches in full communion.

      It gives me no pleasure to write about this kind of skulduggery, but Fr Cummings did invite himself to comment on this blog. We will see what this “Society” will look like in reality after a short time. The tree is judged by its fruit.

      • Father Richard Cumming says:

        Dear Father Chadwick,

        Thank you for your response. In the context of this page, I would prefer to confine our remarks to the matter at hand, namely the adjudication of the canonical status of ACC orders. It seems that the representatives of the Anglican Catholic Church are inclined to raise all manner of topics in order to deflect from any discussion of the substantive issue. This is disappointing.

        As to the remark that a tree is judged by its fruit, I have a list of clergy of the ACC who have been married two, three, even four times, and if you were aware of the extended context of this sorry debacle, you would know that my parish was in impaired communion with the Diocese of the Holy Cross for four and a half years because it refused to be in communion with the ACC on this account. At all events, unless you would like to have a public debate about why the ACC ordains polygamists in violation of the ancient canons, let us confine ourselves to the subject at hand, namely the adjudication of the canonical status of ACC orders.

        For the record, “Frederick George Lee” is one of many names assumed by John Kersey, whose reputation precedes him. Please see the following page: .

        All the very best to you and yours,

        Father Richard Cumming

      • Dear Fr Cumming,

        I am not a canonist (apart from the general course I had at university as a part of theology) and am not inclined to write an apologia of our Church. I have seen more than a share of antipopes, Palmar de Troya, sedevacantists, traditionalists, Archbishop Lefebvre & succession, Archbishop Ngo-Dinh-Thuc & succession, Bishop Kelly, etc. – all hurling the same accusations against each other. The stuff you have put up on the internet is no different. If you have issues with the ACC, I suggest you take it up with Archbishop Haverland.

        I have no connection with or any sympathy with Bishop Kersey. I refuse to go on the defensive in regard to someone who has no authority over me. Perhaps you should apply to the Church of England or ECUSA, or convert to Roman Catholicism via your local parish.

        I thank you for your courtesy and extend my own to you.

        Fr Anthony Chadwick

  4. Raúl says:

    Dear Rev Chadwick,

    I have read this article many times and want to congratulate him on the sincerity with which he recounts his own testimony from the prairies of Tradiland. One of the conclusions I got from reading your blog (and your way) is that it is difficult to stay in traditionalism and stay sane. Sooner or later you end up leaving because it is mostly a road to nowhere.

    At the same time, a year ago in Bolivia, after the death of the elderly “bishop” Gary Alarcón Zegada (consecrated by López-Gastón, of the “Thuc branch”), a small community was left without priests or bishops. Before he died, he consecrated Julio Aonzo for the second time, an Argentine who after a few months broke off relations with the people of Bolivia (in Argentina Aonzo is well known and has a terrible reputation). He then disappeared from the map, so after getting the re-arrangement and re-consecration, nothing more is known about him.

    In front of the chapel of “bishop” Alarcón (who violated all Roman liturgical norms), was the grandson of this poor man: Miguel Mendoza, a neo-Nazi boy, who is active in a fascist group in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. he keeps insisting that he is a “seminarian”, calls himself “brother” and keeps saying that he will soon be ordained and consecrated a bishop. I wonder what for? Recently, for example, he held the services corresponding to Holy Week, because he did not know that the Liturgical Calendar is mobile… this boy who does not know the Catholic faith, who knows nothing about the liturgy and who “celebrates” the Mass without being anything more than a layman (he prays a kind of “Dry Mass”) pontificates from the deepest ignorance, threatens those who oppose him, attacks those who correct him. I don’t know how many faithful will remain there, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some bishop ends up ordaining him some time later. In traditionalism (let’s not talk about old Catholicism) it only takes perseverance to get holy orders.

    It’s sad, very sad.

    A big hug from Argentina,

    In Christ, Raúl Miguel.

    • Thank you for this lucid comment. I find you have understood things well. I find some Facebook threads that still go on about which church is the true one, against which all other churches, even if similar, are false. The saying by many people “I am spiritual but not religious” is more understandable than many realise. Most church people dismiss such an idea as impossible. Perhaps I would re-express it: some people find that religious institutions have crushed them spiritually, but yet they cannot find rest in atheism and materialism. If one cannot “be spiritual” without submitting to the claims of some clerical sociopath or bureaucratic institution, then, all that is left if atheistic materialism. That is where the sadness lies. What is “being spiritual”?

      Many people seek alternative practices and techniques of meditation. What really is important is to find oneself – and how we relate to everything around us and other people. Religion grows from the transcendence of the soul and what we experience. Liturgy is a symbol which manifests that unity and nobility of spirit. Pope Francis is not wrong when he denounces clericalism, except that he bathes in it himself. It is a deadly cancer in the Church.

      Unfortunately, some people aspire to the priesthood and status of a bishop because they are narcissistic or similar personalities. One characteristic of such a personality is the ideology ( that blames a particular category for all the ills of a church, nation or whatever. South America is a part of the world of which I have no personal knowledge, victim of colonialism and the plunder of natural resources. Catholicism is still associated with the old Spanish and Portuguese kingdoms and their greed. Distorted forms of Nazism and Marxism found their way down there and got mixed up with drug cartels and some of the most evil people in this world. If you ask a favour from the Devil, you become beholden!

      The young boy is seeking some kind of status to raise him from his present life, whatever that is. I have met bishops from the Duarte Costa church in Brazil, and many are both ignorant and arrogant. They argue with each other. A meeting took place in Portugal in 2004 in the domain of a corrupt archbishop, and I saw the whole thing disintegrate within less than a week. Some people are “religious but not spiritual”. I would prefer the innocent and gentle seeker to some of these men who think they are everything. I am amazed at the spread of fundamentalist Protestantism in that part of the world, because the Church cannot relate to ordinary people.

      There are no hard and fast criteria about the choice of candidates for ordination, except doing one’s best to avoid ordaining evil, narcissistic and sociopathic men. What has broken Catholicism is the demise of the parish and the local community which forms and judges the character of those put forward for ordination and leadership in the Church. That was the rupture between the Middle-Ages and the Industrial Revolution.

  5. aw3644050 says:

    Do you regret not receiving trad-Rite Priestly Ordination from Bishop Palazzini?

    Why was Bp.Palazzini the only pre-July 1968 Bishop within Conciliar Church to trad-Rite Ordain Priests Diaconate; Subdiaconate?

    Just 13 pre-June 18,1968 Roman Rite Bishops still living. Once these 13 Bishops pass away,the ancient Rites of Pope St.Damasus & valid Bishops/Priests die with them.

    It’s my hope prayer & petition to our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ; the Holy Trinity, that 1 or more pre-July 1968 Bishops conditionally Ordain Consecrate Novus Ordo “Bishops” “Priests” and pass along Apostolic Succession. Also 1 Thuc, 1 Lefebvre, and 1 pre-July 1968 Bishop conditionally Ordain Consecrate each other, to erase all possibility of invalidity doubt etc…

    This issue is extremely important, we can’t stress enough without valid Bishops, we cease to have a Church. Bp.Williamson; Fr.Vigano currently affirm the positive validity of Bp.Montini’s disastrous unfortunate “New Rite of Holy Orders” & all Novus Ordo “Sacramental Rites.” It’s possible we will live to see Econe SSPX not trad Rite Consecrate any Bishops, and Novus Ordo “Bishops” replace Bp’s Fellay Degalarata; Tissier once they pass away.

    The 3 SSPX Bishops are in their mid-late 70’s,and they aren’t even hinting at Consecrating 2 new Bishops. If Bp. Williamson continues preaching the so called “New Mass” & “New Rites” are positively valid and a means of Sanctifying Grace, the Lefebvre line could possibly go extinct.

    • Thanks for this comment. I have become quite jaded about these issues of validity based purely on a “mechanical” apostolic succession. The priesthood and the episcopate (and diaconate) are a charisma in the context of something recognisable as the / a church, for the interests of the church in question.

      Do I regret not being ordained a priest by Cardinal Palazzini? My ordination depended on my belonging to the same priestly institute as when I was ordained a deacon. Difficulties at that level caused my decision to leave and consider other options. Looking back from today, perhaps I should have decided on a simple return to secular life and another philosophy of life. In 1998, I was still intent on seeking the priesthood even if it were “illicit” or in an “extraordinary” perspective, however sincere those words would mean. I have found a different canonical context for the exercise of my priesthood and a sense of vocation and general meaning in my life.

      You still follow the general dualistic mindset of sedevacantism and RC traditionalism. I don’t. I am no more attracted to the “conciliar church” (expression of Archbishop Lefebvre from the 1970’s) than to the caricature of pre-conciliar Catholicism represented by the various traditionalist strands.

      I reverted to a “Gallican” variety of Anglicanism. Nothing is perfectly coherent, but we all have to go somewhere and call it “home” – that or lapse into nihilism. Are RC bishops consecrated in the new rite valid, or to be judged in the way Anglican Orders were by Apostolicae Curae in 1896? The controversies have brought no progress of thought, and so are stale, tired and irrelevant. We Continuing Anglicans like to think of our Sacraments as valid, as they are at least for us, but in the end there is no empirical proof by scientific experiment. The RC Church is the “one true Church” for members of that church, but not for us. Absolute Truth is not situated at this level.

      Perhaps traditionalists should go the way of the Petite Eglise anticoncordataire or the беспоповцы in 17th century Russia. Does such absurdity condemn all claim to credibility of Christianity? We need to ask the question so that a more credible provisional answer can emerge at our own existential level. What is Christianity about? As far as I can see, it is the inner life of our humanity in freedom and our empathy for other people in their own states of life. This inner, esoteric, spiritual life is maintained through the use of sacramental and iconographic symbols. Such a Christian life can survive in the Underground Church as in the imitation of the old Roman Empire the Papacy become at certain times (cf. Unum Sanctam of Boniface VIII). Our time is post-Christian in institutional terms but will survive in some way. So I don’t really care about the future of the Society of St Pius X or the sedevacantists. They are irrelevant except to themselves.

      If Christianity depends on these “valid” consecrations of bishops, then perhaps the whole requires an act of euthanasia or being allowed to die. There are more important things, and there are ways the Church in her mystical dimension will survive and adapt to future conditions that are unknown to us. It is like our ability or inability to maintain or change the earth’s atmosphere and climate (another controversial question with emotional and dualist responses).

      It is time to grow up and begin to find a reason not to give it all up as childish bunk. The real treasure transcends all the dross…

      • Stephen K says:

        What is Christianity about? As far as I can see, it is the inner life of our humanity in freedom and our empathy for other people in their own states of life. This inner, esoteric, spiritual life is maintained through the use of sacramental and iconographic symbols.

        I think this is indeed what it is all about. Religion is a framework and can take various forms but if it does not stimulate, nourish and enhance the above then it is an empty vessel in spiritual terms. This is how I have come to understand the relationship between religion and spirituality. I think that going beyond and behind the exoteric dimension is a necessary process in coming to understand or experience what Jesus described as the kingdom of God.

        In my life I fall very short but different people remain signposts and guides to the Gospel for me. The reduction of any sacrament to its external mechanics, which is what a lot of these arguments amount to, merely fosters and encourages enmity and division, no matter how you slice it, and this is antithetical to the caritas et amor Christ preached.

        My best wishes to you and my co-readers for the new year.

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