=Third Day;6533476]Jon, earlier you said this:
"the HOLY SPIRIT, performs the transubstantiation, through the priest **,who is a vehicle for GOD's grace **by the sacrament of Holy Orders, which was a sacrament instituted by Jesus at the Last Supper, hence my inquiry into apostolic succession"
Well, I don't think I said the "Transubstantiation", but ok. On to your inquiry.
I don't see how Lutheran priests have valid orders. Lutherans do not have bishops with apostolic succession. If this is true, then your Eucharist is not valid. No change take place at the consecration because your priest is simply a lay person. Where am I wrong?
You're not wrong, from a Catholic perspective. It is the teaching of the Catholic Church and Orthodoxy, that orders must be within Apostolic Succession. It is, obviously, a disagreement between us, but one that is probably amongst the easiest (in my opinion) as we move closer to reconciliation.
That said, the Lutheran reformers expressed a strong desire to maintain AS, but due to the circumstances of that era, Lutherans instead used presbyter ordination, which we defend by divine law. From the LCMS website:
Although the Luth. symbols affirm the desire to retain the apostolic succession and hist. episcopate (Ap XIV 1, 5) only a few canonically consecrated bps. accepted the Reformation and, except in Swed., political and other considerations prevented them from transmitting the apostolic succession to the Luth. community. Lacking bps. to ordain their candidates for the sacred ministry, the Luths. appealed to the patristically attested facts that originally bps. and priests constituted only one order; that the right to ordain was inherent in the priesthood (a principle on which a number of popes of the 15th c., among them Boniface IX, Martin V, and Innocent VIII, acted in authorizing Cistercian abbots who were only priests to ordain); that thence “an ordination administered by a pastor in his own church is valid by divine law” (Tractatus 65); and that when the canonical bps. refuse to impart ordination “the churches are compelled by divine law to ordain pastors and ministers, using their own pastors for this purpose (adhibitis suis pastoribus)” (ibid., 72). The succession of the ministry in the Luth. Ch. may therefore be presumed to be a valid presbyterial one.
The issue is not lost on current dialogue between Lutherans and Catholics, and I think you'll find current statements interesting:
including this one from Cr. Ratzinger:
I count among the most important results of the ecumenical dialogues the insight that the issue of the eucharist cannot be narrowed to the problem of 'validity.' Even a theology oriented to the concept of succession, such as that which holds in the Catholic and in the Orthodox church, need not in any way deny the salvation-granting presence of the Lord [Heilschaffende Gegenwart des Herrn] in a Lutheran [evangelische] Lord's Supper