I have a very sincere Traditionalist friend who is convinced that the New Rite for ordaining Bishops, promulgated by Pope Paul VI, is invalid. He is very young and impressionable and some older Traditionalist writers have influenced his thinking on this. Still, I don’t know how to reply to him. He claims that the “form” promulgated by Pope Paul VI is such that it does not provide the grace of the sacrament of Episcopal order. How can I convince my young friend that claims that the new form is invalid, are incorrect? Please help me with this & thanks. Jaypeeto2
For any sacrament to be validly conferred the proper matter and form must be observed. Since Jesus did not mandate a specific formula to be used for the consecration of bishops, the Church assumes authority over this. Therefore, when the Church officially authorizes a specific formula to be used we can be certain of its efficacy. Those who argue that particular words, phrases, etc., are absolutely necessary do not fully recognize or respect the authority that Jesus conferred on the Apostles.