Eastern Orthodox - Oriental - Anglican - Old Catholic


Does the Catholic Church recognize all the seven sacraments with the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, and Old Catholic churches?


The other three may have valid orders, but the Anglican Church does not. Therefore the only sacraments that they administer validly by Catholic standards are baptism and marriage, since anyone can administer a valid baptism, and the two people involved actually marry themselves with their vows, the priest is there as a witness…


Ok. I figured as much with the Eastern and Oriental and suspected the Anglican church no lnger has valid orders but the Old Catholic I was not sure.


Can any one answer about Old Catholics???


If you look at all the Old Catholic websites they claim to have valid orders through various Dutch bishops that left the Church after Vatican I.


On one of their FAQ’s they say that communion is open to all who desire to receive and membership is by virtue of being baptised. I’ve seen elsewhere that they are “in communion” with different churches that obviously aren’t or never claimed to be Catholic or held traditional Catholic views. That in and of itself makes me suspicious of their claims to be “catholic” and having valid orders.




I know Dollinger who helped start the Old Catholics was a heretic and excommunicated. I also read that the Anglican church took interest in them. But with the Anglican church we know they do not have valid orders. With the Old Catholic they claim to be like EO in that they are only schismed and still have valid orders???


Well the original Old Catholic bishops certainly had valid orders, as they were regular members of the Church until they pulled out after the Infallibility of the Pope was proclaimed. That would seem to indicate that unless they have been incredibly careless (which I think is doubtful), their present orders would be considered valid, although possibly illicit (not sure about that one).

I do know that some Anglican pastors have turned to Old Catholic bishops for ordination–in fact I think the last pastor in my Episcopal parish, before I swam the Tiber, said he had received valid orders–I didn’t think to ask him where. He left the main-line Episcopal church when they started ordaining women, and spent the rest of his life in one of the splinter groups who left over ordinations…


Interesting… thanks for posting.


I cannot speak for the other Churches but the Orthodox really do not claim to have gone into schism. Their self-perception is that they are the One, Holy, Catholic Church.


From the Orthodox point of view I am sure that is correct.

Maybe you could help me understand something?

Why is it that the Orthodox does not accept the RCC orders and Eucharist?

I ask because as a Catholic (RCC) we see the Orthodox as having a valid Eucharist.


The Orthodox have a weird way about them. They don’t seem to like to get into details. The answer to this question is always something enigmatic like “we know where Christ is, but we don’t know where He isn’t”. :stuck_out_tongue:



Don’t the Orthodox have something like 7 different regions headed by a different Bishop at each with the authority to decide for his region?

How do they know these other Bishops in the other regions have Christ? Do they do the same thing in their other regions that they do with Catholics?


They’re in communion with one another and recognize each others’ sacraments. It is only these churches which comprise the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church, according to the Orthodox. Churches like the Catholic Church are generally classified as heterodox. Individual Orthodox churches have different degrees of acceptance of Catholic sacraments. I believe that some Orthodox churches even rebaptise Catholics, but I may be wrong…

None of them explicitly accept our Eucharist, as far as I know.


I thought (and it is likely that I’m very wrong) BUT I thought that the Anglicans (or maybe just some branches of the Anglican communion) were somehow moving back to valid orders.

I forget the mechanism and I’ll have to go look it up BUT I thought that they somehow had a few bishops who somehow could trace a line of Apostolic succession and were using those to ordain (and even re-ordain) their priests and bishops.

I thought that this was part of JPII’s rapprochement with Canterbury.

Enquiring minds want to know.


When I was reading about the Old Catholics I read that the Anglican church was using their bishops to try and validate the Anglican bishops… so to speak.


I would imagine that since the change in the wording of ordination (that rendered it invalid) occurred so long ago that any Anglican priests or bishops with valid holy orders would’ve passed on years and years ago. I know JPII had reservations about further rapprochement since the Anglicans ordain women and practicing homosexuals. Also, Anglican theology concerning the Eucharist doesn’t exactly match up with Catholic understandings and even at that I don’t believe Anglican’s even require a unified belief in what the Eucharist means to them.

When I was reading about the Old Catholics I read that the Anglican church was using their bishops to try and validate the Anglican bishops… so to speak.

Correct me if I’m wrong but even if the Old Catholics have valid holy orders wouldn’t the fact that they openly enter into communion with other groups that don’t adhere to Catholic teachings and theology make their ordinations at least illicit, but possibly invalid. Isnt’ there more to the validity of holy orders than just the proper form, isn’t some sort of right belief also necessary or adherence to right belief and authority?



You have a problem with that?

I think that would probably ultimately apply from a Roman Catholic view as well.

Anyway, it’s an honest response. Which is why we do not see Old Catholics as having a valid Episcopate either, and we don’t fret over Anglicans who think they can claim an Old Catholic lineage. We don’t have to make up rules “on the fly” over special cases…we know we are not in communion, that is enough.

So, to be as clear as possible: If we don’t teach the same things, we cannot be in communion or concelebrate. Since we all share the desire to be in communion, everyone is conscious of the need to be conservative in theological matters.

That simple rule has kept Holy Orthodoxy stable for over one thousand years.

"The Orthodox have a weird way about them. "
This was particularly ironic to me, since the Orthodox actually practice the same discipline as they did when we were all one communion, our way is actually your forgotten way.


In Holy Orthodoxy there is no distinction of licity over validity. Something is either valid or it is not. But we have no definition of “not” as such, it’s just “not”.

If it is valid it is (in a sense) automatically licit.

The alternative is not defined. It is not like saying “I have a drivers license, but it has expired”, it’s more like saying “either you have a drivers license or you do not”, but not “what kind of license would you have then?”, we don’t assume anything. Either you have one or you don’t, and we cannot speculate on whatever else you might have.

So Orthodox cannot say that Roman Catholic Orders are valid but illicit in the Latin sense. They just are not accepted for concelebration in an Orthodox church and we are not in the business of “rating” the other folks.

This brings me to your very good question: “wouldn’t the fact that they openly enter into communion with other groups that don’t adhere to Catholic teachings and theology make their ordinations at least illicit, but possibly invalid.”

This is exactly the case for Orthodox. Not only must one teach and believe the Orthodox Catholic Truth, one must not concelebrate or commune with those who do not. It’s that simple. This form of discipline is important in prevent the watering down or relativising the Faith.

If an Orthodox bishop communes heretics…he’s out. He will no longer be considered a valid bishop, we will no longer recognize his ordination. (Which is why Eastern Catholic bishops are not recognized by Orthodoxy, not because of what they taught initially…but they commune and concelebrate with non-Orthodox.) For us there is no such thing as valid but illicit, those legal distinctions were introduced in the west after the Great Schism and Gregorian Reformation.

[In a sense Roman Catholic Orders to Orthodoxy stand in a similar position as Old Catholic and Anglican Orders do to Roman Catholicism. And for us the Anglican, Old Catholic and Roman Catholic Episcopate are all rather unclear in the same way. This is not intended to insult, it’s just how it is.]


I understand perfectly well what you mean and I can’t argue with what you said. The Latin church tries to make the distinction between valid, licit and illicit. It’s more a technical usage of terms that’s meant to define their status according to the Catholic church. I think that’s what the Old Catholics and Anglicans are trying to claim with “valid” holy orders – meaning that the person that ordained them comes from a line that is connected to a real apostolic succession, but they ignore the fact that even if that heritage is there they have abandoned the one true faith.

As I said before there is more to validity than saying the right words and your understanding of what happens to a bishop that communes with heretics is right along the same lines, I believe. No worry, no offense taken here.



The Orthodox Church is divided into a number of autochephalous and autonomous Churches usually organized along national lines. Here’s a link scroll down to the bottom to see a list of Churches.


Not in the same way the pope speaks for the Catholic Church. Take Metropolitan Herman primate of the OCA for example. His title is Metropolitan of all America and Canada but he is also Archbishop of Washington and New York and his regular jurisdiction extends only to his own diocese. But, he does have authority to call councils, sit as president and make certain executive decisions without a council.

How do you know the pope has Christ? We know when a bishop teaches the Apostolic Faith in accordance with the Traditions of the Church and in agreement with conciliar decisions.

No because all of the Orthodox Churches teach exactly the same faith, a faith which at this point we don’t share with Roman Catholics.

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