Episcopal insignia = liturgical vestments


The episcopal insignia - including, traditionally, even such things as the colored slippers known as “buskins”…are considered vestments. They each have a symbolism, rich and quite antique; these symbolic meanings are described in the Roman Pontifical as each article is handed over to the newly consecrated bishop.

In fact, the longest part of the traditional Roman Pontifical Rite of Episcopal Consecration is the handing over of insignia.

Both Paul VI and John Paul II presented episcopal insignia to laymen. Not even priests; mere laymen. Anglican orders are invalid. No Anglican “priest” possesses Holy Orders, and all Anglican “Masses” are invalid.

Presenting episcopal insignia to laymen is called a cause for scandal. Grave scandal, for those who love dearly and respect what those insignia signify. There have been attempts by some here to justify the presentations…even to the extent of indicating that mere laymen have no business assuming the worst about Christ’s vicar.

But there, there indeed, is the heart of the sensus fidelium. The sensus fidelium tells us it is always wrong to give to laymen that which is reserved for bishops. There is no justification, no equivocation; it’s wrong. Plain and simple. And, in fact, a scandal.

Alas, it stems from a false notion of ecumenism.




But some will always defend the actions of the pope, no matter how scandalous, as if criticizing the fallible human actions of a man is the same as criticizing Christ Himself.


And some will always attack the Holy Father for anything they can, thinking they are more Catholic than the pope. That’s nothing new, though. Martin Luther did it, Ulrich Zwingli did it, Archbishop Lefebvre did it.


If a pope decides to start handing over episcopal insignia to laymen, we have a more serious problem than Renaissance popes who consecrated their close relatives…at least those relatives became valid bishops.

No; the incidents with the Anglican laymen playing bishop and the pope joining in on the masquerade are serious. Quite serious.


I am more Catholic than the Pope. The Pope is not the standard of Catholicity, but Christ.

Since I have never kissed the Koran, I am more Catholic than the Pope. And I’m quite certain that Archbishop Lefebvre the Great was more Catholic than the Pope.

Catholicism is defined by Christ and His doctrine contained in Scripture and Tradition, the Deposit of Faith, not by the cult of personality surrounding a Pope.


No, Anglican orders are not valid, they don’t have validly ordained clergy, the Archbishop of Canterbury is really the “archlayman,” to quote someone I can’t recall right now, but within Protestantism, particularly due to the Oxford movement, the Anglican Church is the closest in polity to the Roman Catholic Church in maintaining the *form *of the orders. One of the Popes (again, I don’t recall which) said that we had a special relationship with Anglicans and I assume that is because of the maintenance of the form of this polity. That doesn’t mean that we’re walking lock-step with them in some false ecumenism. Did John Paul II not warn them that some of the steps they were taking would make further conversation increasingly difficult?

Further, this wasn’t about any person criticising the pope for something he did in his prudential judgement. Dr. Bombay makes mention of the Koran kissing. I wish the pope hadn’t done that. I think it was a bad idea and he shouldn’t have done it. The Assisi thing? Bad idea. The giving of the ring and the cross? Honestly, I don’t know. What it’s about is the constant picking at and haranguing of the Holy Father and the post-conciliar Church. Further, it isn’t about a cult of personality surrounding any pope. No one has confused the Pope with Christ.

We should pray for the Holy Father. He has a heavy burden.


Popes can make mistakes. They are human after all.

Creating new Masses; kissing korans; treating other religious leaders as equals; meeting with protestants; surpressing the minor orders; allowing all these “options” in the Liturgy; all mistakes. The Pope is human after all.

Although I think it must be said that not even Alexander VI created a New Mass, and mistakes in teaching are worse then mistakes in personal morality…


I can meet with the Queen of Great Britain and be presented by her with a crown.

She and I and anyone with two brain cells to rub together who sees this knows that that doesn’t in any way make me a Queen, or her equal at all. That she is presenting the Crown to me as a gift, albeit one of great significance, but not investing any sort of authority in me by so doing.

It may not be a brilliant thing on her part to do this, just as it wasn’t for John Paul II o kiss the Koran etc etc. But if the Pope, the Queen, or any person of note, does nothing which can be misconstrued by the uneducated or those of malicious intent, then they will literally do nothing.


Excuse me…there isn’t anything malicious about pointing out that it is grossly inappropriate to give episcopal insignia to laymen.

As for the Queen of England…I don’t recall her handing out crowns. Whyever would she? Indeed, why would she.

And as for your mention of “uneducated”…that’s another frequent retort. We’re just not smart enough to know what the pope knows.

Sorry. Giving episcopal insignia to laymen is never defensible. It’s called a scandal.


First of all, mistakes as far as SOME are concerned. The Pope is inherently able to create a liturgy without reference to any of us (that’s not a slavish cult of devotion to the pope, that’s a matter of canon law). The same goes for the minor orders and the options. And the popes since Vatican II haven’t altered any of the teachings of the Church. They may have explained them, but they didn’t change them. So any comparison between Alexander VI and the post-conciliar popes is ludicrous.


What source can you cite specifically that says the presentation of the ring and the cross are “called” a scandal? You’ve used that phrase twice. I’m asking out of curiosity.


Just because the Pope can do something doesnt mean he was should have.

I have the power not to go to class, but that doesnt mean its a good idea.

And of course, yes a comparison between Alexander VI and Paul VI- John Paul II cant really be made: Alexander VI really only damaged his own soul; Paul VI damaged the Church.


Oh, how grand! Here we go again!

Document-hounding. Every conceivable action needs a document. That document spells out exactly what we must do and believe. Anything else is up for grabs…it’s got to be in a “source”, a “document”.

Logic? Who cares. The sensus fidelium? Who cares. Nothing matches a “document”…a source.

Because nobody ever wrote on official Vatican stationery that kissing Korans is forbidden, we shouldn’t make a big deal about it.

Because no pope ever explicitly said giving the explicit symbols and insignia of a bishop to a layman was not allowed, we shouldn’t make a big deal about it.

So tell me: where is the document or source that says there must be a document or a source for every assertion we make about Catholicism?


Again, that’s your opinion, your prudential judgement.


I simply asked what you were refering to. So now we can assume that YOU are calling it a scandal?


I call it a scandal too.


It’s a logical and reasonable deduction that it’s scandalous to give the very symbols of the episcopacy, the very insignia of the bishop’s sacramental office, to a layman.

Especially if you’re the man who is entrusted with guarding the deposit of the Faith.

Then again, there are bishops in America who have let their cathedrals…their sanctuaries…be used for “episcopal consecrations” of Methodist “bishops”…yes, another scandal. Fake sacraments in a sacred space.


No, really, it isn’t either. It would have been wrong and scandalous for Paul VI or John Paul II to say that the Anglicans did, in fact, have valid orders, as that would have contradicted a previous teaching on a matter of faith and morals. But the giving of a ring and a cross isn’t necessarily scandalous, depending on the popes’ intent. Did either of Pope Paul VI or Pope John Paul II say that, “Receive this ring/cross as a sign of the ministry that we both share” or anything like that?


Actually, it would have been heretical to say they had valid orders, since the teaching on Anglican Orders of Leo XIII is infallible.

Now as for what they DID do…you’re playing a typical game. Sure, they gave insignia. But they didn’t say why. They didn’t SAY they were acknowledging the Anglican laymen as bishops. They just gave bishops’ insignia.

If I give a girl a diamond engagement ring and don’t say “I’m asking you to marry me,” what’s she going to think? When she opens the box, will she really think, “Oh, he’s just giving me a diamond ring. It doesn’t mean anything until the words are explicitly uttered.”

Of course not. It’s not heresy to GIVE the insignia…but it is a scandal. Because reasonable people know what it signifies…acknowledgment of their episcopal ministry. It’s not a box of candy or a basket of fruit. It’s a gift WITH MEANING. Significance.

And therein lies the scandal.

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