Consecrations according to the 1968 rite


I have seen, mostly from sedevacantist and traditionalist sources, that 1968 consecrations of bishops are invalid, because the main prayer doesn’t have any reference to the episcopate.

1.- What does consecrate someone bishop? The whole rite or the essential prayer?
2.- Could you give me reasons of its validity (I know that the church has supreme authority)?


There are no divinely instituted words of ordination. What is definitely of apostolic practice is the laying of hands Therefore, what is valid is what the Church says is valid. For all one cares, the Church could simply state that the intent to ordain along with the laying of hands in silence is valid, if the Church promulgates it to be so.


Actually, this is the way that it was explained to me in my youth many decades ago–that ordination was conferred simply by the laying on of hands without any accompanying prayer. (There were accompanying prayers and much additional ritual, but not at the moment of the laying on of hands.) I haven’t looked at the current ordination liturgy; I think it does include words of ordination, but apparently it is the laying on of hands which is required.


I’d be very grateful if someone answered this question I exposed before:
What does consecrate someone bishop? The whole rite or the essential prayer? (Pontificale Romanum by Paul VI)


What they say is a lie. Therefore there’s no point in addressing the issue any further.

because the main prayer doesn’t have any reference to the episcopate.

1.- What does consecrate someone bishop? The whole rite or the essential prayer?
2.- Could you give me reasons of its validity (I know that the church has supreme authority)?


Ask them what authority they have to make de fide pronouncements on this as well as the new Rite of Ordination of priests. They have none.

The most diabolical thing they do is put that question mark in your Catholic mind to make you question and doubt.


I seriously doubt that anyone can trace back to it’s original foundation where these questions and these positions have come from. Many, if not most of the people holding these positions confuse rules with faith, seemingly presuming that faith is simply a process of following a certain rule exactly.

Likewise, they have so little sense of history of the Church that one would have to look for it with a searchlight, microscope and tweezers. It is hard to fault someone who simply knows no better, and is following what they have been taught; and trying to pin culpability on their teachers does not follow well, as they simply reiterate what they were taught. As noted; it is nigh impossible to trace it back to the source.

We all need to keep in mind that Christ constantly dealt with the Pharisees, whose rigidity about rules and their obvious lack of understanding the “why” of the rules was not something invented by the individuals He spoke with. It had a long-standing history.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

If one reads the Gospels carefully, one will come to the conclusion that Christ did not pass along exact rules as to how the Sacraments were to be celebrated - at least, it is not presented in the Gospels or the Epistles, or in any other writing of the Early Church indicating that He set the specifics.

Logic and an understanding of sacramental historical theology would show that the Church is the determinate of the specific rules (and would note that those rules are not absolute; that there are acceptable variations). That, however, tends to be a somewhat esoteric study engaged by a very few.

 Sadly, this was the case with me, even though I didn't regard the sedevacantists seriously; it really denies the article in the Creed in which we profess belief in the Church. The communion of saints itself is no longer a lived reality and consequently the theological virtue of hope is lott, and the other two become distorted as well.


To answer the OP, I have some experience with the argument that the sedevacantists have made in regards to this issue. Before going on, I will preface the following with the proviso that am not nor have been a sedevacantist. In addition, I have no “dog in this fight”.

Firstly, as many Catholics know, 3 things must be present for a sacrament to be valid in the eyes of the Church. Matter, Form and Intent. A basic example would be that if a priest poured water over the head of a Catechumen (or infant), and said “I baptize you in the name of God”, no matter what the priests intentions were, because the correct form was omitted, the baptism would then be invalid. Simply laying hands on the candidate during consecration is not enough. This is key in understanding why some of these groups think the New Rite of Episcopal Consecration are at least “doubtful” or to some, outright invalid.

It’s important to note that in Apostolicae Curae, Sept. 13, 1896, Pope Leo XIII solemnly declared that Anglican Ordinations are invalid by declaring that they were invalid due to defects in the rite:

“… of Our own motion and certain knowledge We pronounce and declare that Ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been and are absolutely null and utterly void.”

Here are the problems which Leo XIII saw with the Anglican Rite, which contributed to its invalidity:

Apostolicae Curae, Sept. 13, 1896: “When anyone has rightly and seriously made use of the due form and the matter requisite for effecting or conferring the sacrament he is considered by that very fact to do what the Church does. On this principle rests the doctrine that a sacrament is truly conferred by the ministry of one who is a heretic or unbaptized, provided the Catholic rite be employed. On the other hand, if the rite be changed, with the manifest intention of introducing another rite not approved by the Church, and of rejecting what the Church does, and what by the institution of Christ belongs to the nature of the sacrament, then it is clear that not only is the necessary intention wanting to the sacrament, but that the intention is adverse to and destructive of the sacrament.”

He goes on…

“For, to put aside other reasons which show this to be insufficient for the purpose in the Anglican rite, let this argument suffice for all: from them has been deliberately removed whatever sets forth the dignity and office of the priesthood in the Catholic rite. That form consequently cannot be considered apt or sufficient for the sacrament which omits what it ought essentially to signify.”

“So it comes to pass that, as the Sacrament of Orders and the true sacerdotium [sacrificing priesthood] of Christ were utterly eliminated from the Anglican rite, and hence the sacerdotium [priesthood] is in no wise conferred truly and validly in the Episcopal consecration of the same rite, for the like reason, therefore, the Episcopate can in no wise be truly and validly conferred by it; and this the more so because among the first duties of the Episcopate is that of ordaining ministers for the Holy Eucharist and sacrifice.”

“Being fully cognizant of the necessary connection between faith and worship, between ‘the law of believing and the law of praying,’ under a pretext of returning to the primitive form, they corrupted the liturgical order in many ways to suit the errors of the reformers. For this reason in the whole Ordinal not only is there no clear mention of the sacrifice, of consecration, of the sacerdotium [sacrificing priesthood], but, as we have just stated, every trace of these things, which had been in such prayers of the Catholic rite as they had not entirely rejected, was deliberately removed and struck out. In this way the native character – or spirit as it is called – of the Ordinal clearly manifests itself. Hence, if vitiated in its origin it was wholly insufficient to confer Orders, it was impossible that in the course of time it could become sufficient since no change had taken place.”

The argumentation from some is that the form approved by Paul VI did exactly what Leo XIII had cited for the reason that the Anglican orders were invalid.

This is just one aspect of what some view as problematic vs what I cited above from Leo XIII and what Pius XII decreed in Sacramentum Ordinis.

I will post more later…


Do you have a copy of the Rite?

Notice how many times the word “bishop” and equivalents are used?

Btw, the Roman Rite has always performed the laying on of hands in silence.

1.- What does consecrate someone bishop? The whole rite or the essential prayer?

It is the rite as a whole. There was a longstanding opinion by many theologians that the laying on of hands was essential, and in fact the Church required the Armenians to include it in their ordination rite for reunion, but the discovery of forms in antiquity that omitted it makes that position untenable.

2.- Could you give me reasons of its validity (I know that the church has supreme authority)?

The Church has the supreme authority to determine what suffices for the validity of a sacrament. Read the decree on Anglican Orders in 1896. The notion that someone at “Novus Ordo Watch” or one of the other eccentric websites has greater authority and insights than the Church itself is blasphemous.


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