Does the Anglican Church's First Female Bishop Nullify any Claim to Apostolic Succession?

I recently saw on Fox News that the Church of England named their first female bishop, what impact does this have on any claims of apostolic succession, or anything else for that matter.



The Catholic Church declared Anglican Communion orders invalid over 150 years ago. The problem is not just with valid matter (men) but also valid form and intention. The Church found sufficient evidence that form and intention are lacking.

The election of a woman to the post of bishop within the Church of England follows the election of a woman to the post of bishop in the Episcopal Church a number of years ago. This changes nothing vis-à-vis the Catholic Church’s teaching that the AC’s orders are already invalid.


Some *individual *priests *may *have been validly ordained by bishops from outside the AC who in fact have valid succession-- Old Catholic, etc-- but that fact would not therefore restore validity to the AC orders as a whole. And we cannot be sure any individual person is validly ordained without a thorough investigation by Catholic authorities.

Unless the Catholic Church speaks otherwise, we must presume all Anglican orders to be invalid.

Anglican orders have been invalid since the Edwardian ordinal in the 16th century. This does seem to kill the ecumenical activities between the CoE and the Church, though. Invalid orders could have been overcome, this can’t. The CoE would have to backtrack entirely here and re-forbid women “priests” and “bishops” for any real chance of reunion to be possible. CS Lewis had an interesting take on this issue. I used his writing to create an “interview” on the topic. If interested you can check it out here:

Female Ordination? An Interview with CS Lewis

This is one of the things that led to the Anglican use parishes that are now in communion with us. (Thanks Be To God!).

It has no effect at all on Apostolic Succession since as was stated above the Anglicans lost that a long time ago.

Considering that the second head of the Church of England was a woman (Elizabeth I)…A woman bishop is small taters isn’t it?


It has also led to a lot of schism within the Anglican Church itself. I was once with the (now defunct) Anglican Catholic Church (ACC), which broke away from the Episcopal Church largely in response to the “ordination” of plus-Babs in 1989. The founding ACC Bishops were conditionally consecrated by PNCC Bishops (whose Apostolic Orders are recognized by the Catholic Church). So the ACC had valid Orders.

I watched +Babs make a speech after her “ordination.” I remember her words: “There is a fresh wind of change blowing through our church.” And I remember asking myself, does this mean the Anglican Church has been somehow wrong all these years, that it needs to change? Even as an Anglican, I sensed the Catholic idea that doctrine should never change. I retreated into “traditional Anglicanism,” which led me to the *really really *traditional form of Anglicanism, the Catholic Church.

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