This has been tossed around before but as I understand it Pope Leo decided in 1896 that they were not valid based on a defect in form and intention. It was defective because in the ordinal of 1550 -1662 no explicit mention was made at the laying on of hands of the particular grade of ministry the person was being ordained to.
Staley notes this argument is crushed because in each service of ministry the grade of ministry is indicated again and again and that the services (“Form of ordering of Priests” and “Form of consecrating an archbishop and bishop”) is quite distinct. In fact in the 1550-1662 service book the words were taken out of scripture from Paul’s charge to Timothy Bishop of Ephesus. He goes on to note that the words in the Roman Pontifical are themselves even more vague and so for Leo to condemn Anglican orders would mean condemning those of the Roman Church.
Staley holds that the words Accipe Spiritum Sanctum ONLY are the form in the Roman liturgy. I think at best it can be characterized as a minority opinion (but please contradict me if I am wrong) because the number of authors who accept Accipe Spiritum Sanctum usually also admit Deus, honor omnium dignitatum while some go further and insist on Hoc, Domine, copiose . Variously also some also admit Accipe Evangelium.
And certainly in Deus, honor omnium dignitatum the prayer expresses the order conferred. Hoc, Domine, copiose is even more specific.
Another objection had to do with removal of the intent to ordain in the Catholic intent. Staley notes this is incorrect and that the offending removed passage was only added to the Roman ordinal in the 11th century. He notes the Anglican church actually reverted to an earlier form used in the primitive Roman Church (Sacramentary of Leo the Great).
No, he says it was to an earlier type of service. If he were saying otherwise, he would be sadly mistaken because the prayer of the Roman (and also the Sarum) Pontifical Deus, honorum auctor is the same as used in the Leonine Sacramentary. For a earlier service, the Anglican Ordinal contains many late mediaevel elements not found in early ordinals.
Now his contention is that there is no need to mention the sacrificing bit. That is true- even Pope Leo XIII admitted it. He said the form had to “definitely express the sacred Order of Priesthood …….OR its grace and power” (AC no. 25). But the Leonine Sacramentary ordinations would have taken place at a Eucharist- at which the Roman Canon would have been used- and this itself would have provided the ex adiunctis factor. By contrast can it be said that the 1662 BCP is unambiguous in saying anywhere that the priest is offering the Body and Blood?
But nevertheless, according to AC 25 the word ‘priest’ is acceptable in the form- even Leo XIII referred to it when he said “even if this addition could give to the form its due signification”. Here I quote the Archbishops of E&W on why there still may linger doubt (they are speaking on a different prayer).
The terms ‘priest,’ ‘bishop,’ it may be said, are now declared to be the accepted terms to denote those who have received in substance or in plenitude the sacrificial power. Why, then, have they been rejected in an earlier part of this Letter as not bearing that meaning when they occur in your prayer, Almighty God, Giver of all good things ? The objection is specious, but it forgets that words take their meanings from the communities in which they are used.
Now in the Catholic Church the terms ’ priest ’ and ’bishop’ have always had a sacrificial meaning ; and hence when used in our ‘essential forms’ they definitely convey the required sacrificial meaning. The same is true of the Oriental Communions which use these various ancient ordination forms–as may be seen, if anyone doubts the fact, by an inspection of their Liturgies for the Mass.
But with your Communion it is different. Your Reformers no doubt retained the terms ’ priest ’ and ‘bishop’ as the distinctive names of the two higher degrees of their clergy–probably because they did not dare to discard terms so long established and so familiar. But whilst retaining the terms they protested against the meanings attached to them by the Catholics, and, insisting on the etymological signification, used them, and desired that in future they should be used, to denote, not ministers empowered to offer sacrifice, but pastors set over their flocks, to teach them, to administer to them such Sacraments as they believed in, and generally to tend them spiritually. This meaning they professed to regard as that of Scripture and of the Primitive Church, which explains the language of the Preface of your Ordinal.