Apostolic succession

The Eastern Orthodox and the Anglicans claim to be Apostolic.

I am talking with someone on another forum, and they are claiming the Anglican church is still apostolic. Is this true? HE says to claim they are not on the bases of schism to be supporting donatism.

So I am wondering. Are they still Apostolic?

=EzraJacob;8305462]The Eastern Orthodox and the Anglicans claim to be Apostolic.

I am talking with someone on another forum, and they are claiming the Anglican church is still apostolic. Is this true? HE says to claim they are not on the bases of schism to be supporting donatism.

So I am wondering. Are they still Apostolic?

No, When King Henry went into Schism all direct lines to the CC were severed.

God Bless,


GKC may stop by to note how oversimplified I’m making this, but here’s the nugget at the core: It isn’t the schism that severed the apostolic succession, it’s the fact that Anglicans denigrated the very idea of Holy Orders for more than a generation so that their legitimate line of bishops all died off before their doctrine was restored to a more catholic understanding of Holy Orders and ordination. This all occurred suring a very Calvinistic period early on in the Church of England (Edwardian period). Once the last valid bishop died, the doctrinal reforms that occurred later are moot since the line has already been broken.

If Anglicans had believed all along what they do today, they’d be a schismatic church instead of a protestant christian eclessial community. But that pesky Calvinist period lasted a bit too long.

Orthodox have it, Anglicans don’t.

No. Any Church that breaks away from the Pope is like a branch cut from the tree that is Jesus Christ: it withers and dies.

These are branches cut in the second millennium. But in the first millennium, there were dozens of them. Do you remember any? Donatism, for instance, where are they? (actuallly, I cannot get the last sentence’s meaning)

It is alas quite impossible to describe the Anglican communion using one single phrase.

Any of the former Anglican clergy who are coming over as part of Anglicanorum Coetibus are being ordained. not conditionally ordained or re-ordained but ordained which would indicate to me a lack of valid apostolic succession.

There is the theoretical possibility that there may be some validly but illicitly ordained bishops within the communion and thus cases of apostolic succession but it is impossible to tell for sure.

Certain lines of apostolic succession may have re-entered the Anglican communion through orthodox bishops but that would be in single and isolated cases.

The eastern orthodox are a completely different case and they continue to have apostolic succession.

A coincidence. I don’t wander into this forum often. But here I am. Ok, I’ll expound on it.

It’s correct that schism wasn’t the issue. Schismatic Churches may, in RCC eyes, possess valid/illicit orders (I often think of the OCs of Utrecht). What the RCC claims is the issue with the Anglicans can be found in something I think I see linked, above: Apostolicae Curae.

The point wasn’t denigrating Orders. It was more direct and technical than that. It was an inter-twined judgment of invalid form (in the Edwardine Ordinal), for the ordination/consecration of the clergy, and invalid intent, which is usually said to be the intent of those who used that form (See Clark’s book, below).

The form was judged invalid due to a failure to mention the authority of the priest to offer the eucharistic sacrifice (a sacrificing priesthood). This, in itself, was not a sufficient reason to judge the form invalid, since a number of rites which the RCC holds do convey valid orders have the same form (or “defect”). Intertwined with the judgment of invalid form was another judgment, of invalid intent. Sacramental intent inheres in the sacramental action, and thus, the use of that particular form, constructed as it was by those particular people, indicated invalid intent on the part of the user. Sacramental intent is an internal state, and as long as other sacramental factors are valid, the assumption is that the minister of the sacrament intends facere quod facit eccelsia ; his intent is valid. But in this case, the use of the Edwardine Ordinal, whose form was not exceptional, but whose authors were, was assumed to indicate invalid intent. Which broke the Anglican succession. Thus (says Apostolicae Curae).

The story of Apostolciae Curae is a complicated (and, historically, a sad) one. For the best explication of the RCC case on the subject I suggest (as you know) Clark’s ANGLICAN ORDERS AND DEFECT OF INTENTION. For the best case on the Anglican side, Fr. J.J. Hughes’ (a most interesting man, Fr. John) two books, ABSOLUTELY NULL AND UTTERLY VOID (the history) and STEWARDS OF THE LORD (the theology).


It’s an interesting point, The most common way of raising it is with respect to the joint consecrations by Anglicans and the Old Catholics of Utrecht (beginning in 1932, after the Agreement of Bonn) and with the PNCC, similarly, starting in 1946. These Churches are (or were until recently) held by the RCC to possess valid/illicit orders. And, as stated in Ott, p. 458, valid bishops, even if possessing illicit orders, convey valid/illict orders, when consecrating/ordaining. The joint consecrations between the OCC/PNCC/Anglicans has been ongoing for around 80 years now, and by the logic in Ott (assuming other sacramental factors to be equally valid) has infused valid/illict orders widely in Anglicanism. Which orders are then further propagated each time an Anglican bishop with those lines performs his episcopal functions (other factors being valid). It is likely harder to find an Anglican bishop without these lines than otherwise, by now.

This is, as I say, IAW the logic found in Ott. But no statement on the subject has come from Rome, though it is suspected that it played a part in the sub conditione ordinations of John Hughes and Graham Leonard. So, absent a definitive statement, it remains a curiosity.


I knew you’d spot the Bat-Signal !

Well, I was just wandering around, and there it was.


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