… I was reading a book by deceased Anglican Bishop Charles Gore that stated no valid priestly consecration before the 9th century EVER mentioned the power to offer sacrifice. Correct me but wasn’t one of Leo XIII’s argument was that Anglicans removed all mention of “sacrifice” from the BCP?
If no mention of sacrifice was ever mentioned in Catholic circles before the year 800, then how can the church say that Anglican orders are invalid? And didn’t Benedict XVI redo some of the new missal readings by borrowing from the 1928 BCP?
This is one for GKC, but meanwhile I think I’m right in saying that it was not simply the absence, as Rome thought, of the sacrificial role of the priest in the Edwardian ordinal of the Church of England that made Anglican orders invalid, it was what Rome held to be the removal of reference to that role. Rome held that such removal indicated a change of intent as well as a change of form on the part of the Church of England – that it had no longer the intent to make a priest as the Church makes a priest.
Your argument based on earlier forms used by the Catholic church is similar to the argument made by the English archbishops in response to Leo, but of course it doesn’t, by itself, answer the question of intent.
Eastern Churches (if I recall correctly, correct me if I am wrong) do not refer to a sacrificial role in their ordinations either, HOWEVER, the idea is still there, the IDEA was eliminated during the English reformation and therein lies the problem.
Yes, the BCP was revised under James I, and of course later, but the Catholic argument is that any such revisions were too late: “invalid” ordinations under the Edwardian ordinal had caused a breach in apostolic succession such that later ordinations, under revised BCPs were also invalid.
But it is agreed by all that the Sacraments of the New Law, namely the sensible and efficient signs of invisible grace, confer grace, and effect what they signify, and signify what they effect. Now the effects which ought to be produced and therefore signified by Holy Ordination to the Diaconate, Priesthood and Episcopate, namely power and grace, are found in all the rites of the Universal Church in different times and places, to be sufficiently signified by the imposition of hands and the words determining it. Further, no one is ignorant that the Roman Church has always considered valid the Ordinations conferred by the Greek rite, without the delivery of the instruments, so that at the Council of Florence itself, when the union of the Greeks with the Roman Church was dealt with, it was by no means imposed on the Greeks that they should alter the rite of Ordination, or insert the delivery of the instruments: on the contrary the Church wished that in Rome itself the Greeks should be ordained according to their own rite. From which it may be gathered, that even according to the mind of the Council of Florence, the delivery of the instruments is not, by the will of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, required for the substance and validity of this Sacrament. If at any time by the will and decree of the Church the delivery of the instruments had also been necessary for validity, everyone knows that the Church has power to change or abrogate what she has decreed.
Since these things are so, having invoked the divine light, by Our supreme Apostolic Authority and certain knowledge we declare, and as far as is needed, we decree and enact: the sole matter of Holy Orders for the Diaconate, the Priesthood and the Episcopate to be the imposition of hands: the sole form also to be words determining the application of the matter, which unequivocally signify the sacramental effects–that is the power of Orders and the grace of the Holy Spirit–which are accepted as such and used by the Church. Hence it follows that we declare, so as indeed to do away with every controversy, and to close the way to scruples of conscience, we declare by our Apostolic Authority, and if at any time it has legitimately been settled otherwise, we ordain that at least in future the delivery of the instruments is not necessary for the validity of Holy Orders for the Diaconate, the Priesthood, and the Episcopate.
**Lest any occasion for doubt should arise, we ordain that the imposition of hands in the conferring of any Order should be by touching physically the head of the ordinand, although even moral contact suffices for the accomplishment of the Sacrament.
Given at Rome, at St. Peter’s, the thirtieth day of November, on the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, in the year 1947, the ninth of Our Pontificate.
Yep, this is a different topic, though, wherein Rome is tidying up its own position on the delivery of the instruments, holding that the matter in ordination is the laying on of hands, as of course it is for Anglicans.
I’ve read it but what I am curious about is the ordinations before the 8th century and whether they mentioned “offering sacrifice” or not. According to Bishop Gore, no ordinations before that mentioned sacrifice. What puzzles me is why it took the Vatican over 300 years to address Anglican orders if it were such a major issue?
The story is complicated, and when GKC gets online he may well give us the benefit of his expertise in exactly this subject. But it arose out of the situation in the 2nd half of the 19th century when, as a result of the Oxford Movement, there came about renewed interest (both sides) in reunion with Rome, and renewed concern that when Anglican priests crossed the Tiber they were ordained unconditionally. Hopes arose that if Rome could reassess Anglican orders she might be able to find them valid, which would prove a major step towards reunion. No such luck.
Yeah but remember that long before this time, the church did exist in England long before St Augustine arrived to convert the Saxons. I love the story with the bishops and the hermit’s advice on how to deal with St.Augustine so one would say England and Rome always kind of never saw eye to eye.
ALMIGHTY God oure heavenly father, whiche of thy tender mercye dyddest geve thine onely sonne Jesus Christ, to suffre death upon the crosse for our redempcion, who made there (by hys one oblacion of hymselfe once offered) a full, perfecte and sufficiente sacrifice, oblacion, and satisfaccion, for the synnes of the whole worlde, and dyd institute, and in hys holye Gospell commaund us to continue, a perpetuall memorye of that his precious death, untyll hys comynge agayne: Heare us O mercyefull father wee beeseche thee; and graunt that wee, receyving these thy creatures of bread and wyne, accordinge to thy sonne our Savioure Jesus Christ’s holy institucion, in remembraunce of his death and passion, maye be partakers of his most blessed body and bloud: who, in the same night that he was betrayed, tooke bread, and when he had geven thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his Disciples, sayinge: Take, eate, this is my bodye which is geven for you. Doe this in remembraunce of me. Lykewyse after supper he tooke the cup, and when he had geven thankes, he gave it to them, sayinge: Drink ye all of this, for this is my bloud of the new Testament, whiche is shed for you and for many, for remission of synnes: do this as oft as ye shah drinke it in remembraunce of me.
¶ Then shal the minister first receyve the Communion in both kyndes hymselfe, and next deliver it to other ministers, yf any be there present (that they may help the chief minister,) and after to the people in their handes kneling.
¶ And when he delyvereth the bread, he shall saye.
Take and eate this, in remembraunce that Christ dyed for thee, and feede on him in thy hearte by faythe, with thankesgeving.
And the Minister that delyvereth the cup, shal saye,
Drinke this in remembraunce that Christ’s bloude was shed for thee, and be thankefull.
Page from the 1552 Book showing the form for administration of the elements
¶ Then shall the Priest saye the Lordes prayer, the people repeating after him every peticion.
¶ After shalbe sayde as foloweth.
O LORDE and heavenly father, we thy humble servaunts entierly desire thy fatherly goodnes, mercifully to accept this our Sacrifice of prayse and thanksgeving: most humbly beseching thee to graunt, that by the merites and death of thy sonne Jesus Christe, and through fayth in his bloud, we and al thy whole church may obtayne remission of oure synnes, and all other benefytes of his Passion. And here we offre and presente unto thee, O lord, our selfes, our soules, and bodies, to be a reasonable holy, and lively Sacrifice unto thee: humbly beseching thee that al we which be partakers of this holy Communion, maye bee fulfylled with thy grace and heavenhy benediccion. And although we bee unworthy throughe oure manifolde sinnes to offre unto thee any Sacrifice: yet we beseche thee to accept this our bounden duetie and service, not weighing our merites, but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom and with whom, in the unitie of the holy ghost, all honour and glory bee unto thee, O father almightie, world without ende. Amen.
(Here I read that the Anglican priest is offering Sacrifice, acknowledging the same Eucharist as a Sacrifice) I have even heard a Catholic priest call the Eucharist the perpetual memorial.
Was Leo able to read the hearts and minds of all english clergy?
Didn’t need to. Because no-one can read the intent of the consecrator it is assumed that his intent is that of the Church — unless there is evidence otherwise. Leo held that the change in the form was the evidence otherwise.
Some things are so basic, so taken for granted, they are not explicitly defined until a much later date, when a challenge is brought up, and there is need for clarification. In the United States Constitution, there was no mention of marriage being a union of man and woman. Suppose in the 1980s, there had been a constitutional amendment to explicitly state that fact. It would be a mistake for a future historian to look at that amendment, and say that gay marriage had been common and socially accepted until the 1980s, when some group decided to change the rules.
I believe it is only in the last decade the Catholic Church declared Mormon baptism isn’t valid. That doesn’t mean the Church considered it valid for all those years, or was unsure for all those years. The question didn’t come up until recently. Then it was answered. That recent answer, and clarification, doesn’t mean the Church changed the rules, or invented the doctrine, a few years ago. People in earlier years probably never considered this.
Some aspects of the Real Presence were clarified until over 1000 years after Christ. That’s because it was not questioned till over 1000 years after Christ. After it was questioned, theologians looked more closely to clarify, to explain the doctrine for more people, in a more formal detailed way.