Today I read that Pope John IX held a council which said it’s decree on Holy Orders was irreversible. However, Sergius III latter reversed it. Is this a good argument against infallibilty?

Decrees on discipline are not infallible or irreversible.


So the question of Anglican Orders cannot be decided infallibly?

First off, Holy Orders confers an indelible character, and cannot be repeated or removed, and this is the consistent teaching of the Church. Per the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1581 This sacrament configures the recipient to Christ by a special grace of the Holy Spirit, so that he may serve as Christ’s instrument for his Church. By ordination one is enabled to act as a representative of Christ, Head of the Church, in his triple office of priest, prophet, and king.

1582 As in the case of Baptism and Confirmation this share in Christ’s office is granted once for all. the sacrament of Holy Orders, like the other two, confers an indelible spiritual character and cannot be repeated or conferred temporarily.74

1583 It is true that someone validly ordained can, for a just reason, be discharged from the obligations and functions linked to ordination, or can be forbidden to exercise them; but he cannot become a layman again in the strict sense,75 because the character imprinted by ordination is for ever. the vocation and mission received on the day of his ordination mark him permanently.

Second off, if you’re going to cite the declarations of a Council or Pope, please, by all means, cite sources for these statements. You can’t just say “Pope so-and-so said or did this” and not put up a link to a source for the statement.

Thirdly, to whomever said “decrees on discipline are not irreversible,” the nature of a sacrament is not a disciplinary matter. The particular ritual and liturgical praxis might be, even what the essential words are, but the actual nature of the sacrament is part of the consistent tradition of the Church.


Sorry, I suppose that I made the unwarranted assumption that the OP was talking about the form of the Sacrament. My bad.

To the OP: As Edward said, we really need a citation or link to your source in order to answer your question.

I guess how I put it came off kind of harsh, and I apologize for that. I can see how you’d make that assumption, so sorry for being a little trigger-happy in that regard.


No. The Church does not have the authority to teach beyond her own people. She cannot infallibly teach about Anglicans or Jews or Muslims.

The Church can recognize (or not recognize) certain orders, but She cannot rule on them.

Hi thinkandmull,

I think you may be confusing the irreversibility of the seal of the sacrament with the infallible teaching.

But I’m not sure, as I don’t know what you’ve read. As others have noted, can you please provide a source? It makes it much easier when we see what sources you’re getting your information from.

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