Anglicans and Orthodox and the Eucharist

:slight_smile: I have two questions that I’m wondering about…

I heard the Catholic Church teaches that the Orthodox have a valid Eucharist, but the Anglicans do not, and this has something to do with Apostolic Succession.
is this true?

If so, why do the Orthodox have Apostolic Succession, and why do Anglicans do not?

(I’m looking for the Catholic perspective on this but other perspectives are welcome too).

thank you :slight_smile:

I was also wondering, do only the Catholic and the Orthodox churches have the Eucharist? (the Real Presence)… do all Protestants not have it, even if they believe in it? why is Apostolic Succession important for having the Eucharist? (in other words…why does a validly ordained priest need to do it)
I’m not questioning this btw, I believe what the Church teaches :slight_smile: I just want to know…

I have a Protestant friend who believes in the Real Presence and believes that Jesus is present in any Communion: even when people think it’s a symbol. She doesn’t believe the consecration is necessary. I’d disagree, but we can also say that we know where the Eucharist is, not where it isn’t?

I know it’s in the Church for sure :slight_smile:

This is a subject that comes up often. The RCC position on the Orthodox Eucharist is a little complicated, but, it is considered to be valid, but illicit.

The position of the RCC on the Anglican Eucharist is related to their position on Anglican orders. The Bull Apostolicae Curae, for reasons stated therein, held that Anglican orders were null and void, for technical reasons related to the form of ordination used, in the Edwardine Ordinal, and the intention of those who consecrated William Parker, in 1559. Form and intenetion must be considered together, in this.

This is the short version. It gets more complicated.



Added: Yes, it’s apostolic succession. Only those who are in succession from the Apostles, and thus have received their authority, transmitted, can confect a valid sacrament, generally.

If so, why do the Orthodox have Apostolic Succession, and why do Anglicans do not?

The simple answer is that the Orthodox have valid consecration rituals as handed down to them by the Apostles. The Orthodox have never invalidated these by changing them. Furthermore, the Orthodox have never consecrated female Bishops or priests.

The Anglicans changed the consecration rituals they received from the Catholic Church. The Edwardine Ordinal they adopted did not validly consecrate Bishops and so they lost the Apostolic Succession they once had. The Anglicans have further destroyed any remaining Apostolic Succession by consecrating female Bishops and ordaining female priests. It is impossible for a woman to become a Bishop or a priest. It goes against the teachings and practices of the Apostles. Both Catholic and Orthodox agree on this issue.

As do many Anglicans, likewise.

And, again, the judgment on Anglican orders, in* Apostolicae Curae*, requires the consideration of both the form in the Ordinal, and the intent of those who used it, in that particular circumstance. The form itself is not exceptional, there being a number of rites which have the same “defect”, which the RCC does recognize as validly conveying the sacrament of order.


This is certainly an Apostolic Succession killer. :o

Yep. Invalid matter, as a matter of fact.


This is 100% true but the Anglicans like yourself, your parish in continuing Anglican, they don’t “ordain” women priests. Neither does San Joaquin, Fort Worth, Quincy, and many African dioceses and other Anglican provinces across the world. Those would not lose their apostolicity due to female ordination, only the liberal groups like the Episcopal Church.

I thank you. You speak the truth, on the matter.


Some Anglicans believe they have Apostolic Succession and some Anglicans believe they don’t and then there are us who believe that if the dogma of Apostolic Succession was true we would have it but as it isn’t true, who cares?

Apostolic Succession is a very complicated, dogmatic dogma and as Jesus said “The Kingdom of God belongs to such as a little child” if a child can’t understand it, it’s probably not worth knowing about.

Anglicans also officially believe in the real presence but in reality may believe anything. We are officially Consub rather than Transub but nobody has said that Jesus isn’t there.

Where do you find the official statement on Consub?


It’s in the BCP somewhere.

There is an outward sign (Bread) and an inward grace (The Body of Christ)

There is an outward sign (Wine) and an inward grace (The Blood of Christ)

Therefore when we partake of the bread and wine we partake of the body and blood of Christ.

True. The outward/inward sign is true of all sacraments. And that is a confirmation of the Presence.

But I don’t think you’ll find a Consub statement in the BCP. And the BCP (any of them) is not normative on Anglicans, generally.


says who?

That’s not totally accurate. There are several Anglican diocese that broke away from the Episcopal church who recognize ordained female priests.

Jesus’s plan to establish a visible Church is clear in Scripture. It’s the whole reason why he brought on 12 apostles and invested so much of himself so clearly in them. He clearly prayed for that Church to be unified and his behavior clearly indicates that He desired the church to be a visible presence. From the day of Pentecost, the apostles immediately behaved in a manner that spread the Church in an organizational way. Whenever they left a town, they established bishops there first.

Neither Jesus, not the apostles simply wrote a book and distributed it among the people and told them “this is the gospel. Figure it out and develop your own churches.” From the earliest times, apostolic succession has been the mark of the authentic church, standing as a safeguard against error or deception.

In simple terms, there came a period in the history of Anglicanism when the crucial value of that valid apostolic succession was derided and discounted for an entire generation. Once the last of those with valid orders died out, there could be no retrieving it, regardless of sincerity of desire. Jesus simply did not establish a “Do it yourself” church.

This is the same reason that other denominations don’t have a valid Eucharist. They have discarded Jesus’ design for the church in favor of one concocted by mere men. Bad choices have consequences, even for those with good hearts and good intentions.

But do realize that this doesn’t mean catholics (including the orthodox) are the only ones with access to God’s Grace. God’s got that great Mercy thing going on. It doesn’t mean that somebody else’s well intentioned, but faulty attempt at Eucharist is valid, but it may mean that God finds other ways to give them Graces.

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Fort Worth does not. +Iker would lay hands on hairspray for the making of deacons, but not priests.

As to the others, I don’t know.


Catholicity, in the Vincentian sense.



So what? What does that have to do with Anglicans or any other Protestants for that matter?

The newly formed Diocese of the Holy Spirit recognizes female ordination. These are the churches who will eventually be moving into newly formed diocese geographically as they form but will remain as one diocese spread across the US until that happens. I personally know of six female Anglican priests that will be part of the new North American Anglican Province.

I have no doubt of that at all; my bishop and others from our diocese are close observers of what is going forward. And it’s the main reason I am dubious of the whole enterprise. There is no real benefit in attempting to reconstruct the Episcopal Church, circa 25 years ago. We were separated from it, at that point, for roughly 8 years, on such issues.


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