non-Catholic Churches with valid sacraments

so in a discussion in another thread, i dug up a Canon Law that says that in cases of necessity (ie, danger of death) we can receive Sacraments from a non-Catholic Church which we recognize as having valid Sacraments, should we have no access to a Catholic priest or parish, or the time won’t allow it (ie, there’s an Orthodox priest in the hospital and the nearest Catholic parish is 7 blocks away and a Catholic is on their last breath)

so besides the Orthodox, which other non-Catholic groups do we recognize as having valid sacraments? i think it would start with groups with valid priesthood. so which of the other schismatic groups do we still recognize as having valid Sacraments?

i’m not trying to encourage people to go to these groups, but i think this is information thats good to know just in case we’re backed into that situation where there is someone who can help us and we don’t refuse that help just because we didn’t know better

The Charismatic Catholic Church of Canada
The Old Catholics
The Polish National Church
And the Sedes (yes even them!)
Catholic Reformed Church

These are all considered to have valid Orders therefore valid Sacraments.


I thought Old Catholics lost their validity

I don’t really understand that…can someone explain that to me? I thought non-Catholic Churches did not have valid Sacraments. Are these others in communion with Rome? Or not in communion with Rome?

I remember from my daughter’s pre-baptism classes that there were some Churches whose baptisms Catholics regard as valid. I think (but don’t remember for sure) that it was Episcopal, Lutheran, and Anglican (there may have been more too).

validity of sacraments is dependant on a sect having valid priesthood. like the Orthodox who are not in communion with Rome, but because they have valid Apostolic succesion, and therefore valid Holy Orders, their clergy can perform valid sacraments.

most other Christian groups would have only 2 valid sacraments, Baptism and Matrimony. because both is not dependent on valid priests. anyone can validly baptize, and the ministers of the Sacrament of Matrimony are the husband and wife who confer the sacrament on one another. that is why they are still valid outside the Church

other non-Catholics who are breakaway groups via schism have valid bishops and priests. and if they keep the form and intent and use valid matter, then they can maintain validity of the sacraments, even though its severly illicit for a Catholic to receive a Sacrament from such a group and under normal circumstances can cause harm to one’s good standing within the Church. but since their priesthood is valid, should an extreme case arise, the Church allows the Catholic faithful to receive sacraments from them, the same way say a laicized priest would be able to hear your confession if you are in danger of death

anyone can validly baptize. as long as the Trinitarian Formula is used, along with valid matter (clean water) and a valid intention (intending to do what the Church intends in baptism), then it is a valid baptism.

Yeppers. Even a Non-Christian can perform a valid (emergency) baptism.

but as Catholics we are bound by Church law that we should not baptize unless the situation calls for it (emergency). doing so will be a sin of disobedience to the Church, but the baptism still is valid

I believe the Assyrian Church of the East and the Oriental Orthodox also have valid sacraments.

I don’t think anyone’s too sure about that one. Lately it sounds like they’ve begun “ordaining” women to the priesthood, which brings up some big neon-red flags in terms of understanding the theology (sacrificial vs. “just a title”).

but ordaining women doesn’t make one lose their own valid Holy Orders, right? they still could confer valid Orders on a male

Right! But I think their understanding of the Sacrament of Holy Orders is part of the intention in confecting the Sacrament. Every Sacrament has it’s own rules for what is required, especially by way of intention, and the Sacrament of Holy Orders is a biggie, IMHO. So as for the last part, IDK if the Church would consider their ordination of future males would be valid.

I am thinking of the Anglicans in my mind. When one changes the mission of the Priesthood and what it signifies, this made it so that the Anglicans lost Holy Orders.


Exactly what I was thinking. Quite a bit of the theology behind the sacrificial priesthood is intrinsically connected to the male gender, tracing back to the Old Testament priesthood of Aaron and his decedents, and even back to Adam as the first human created (Jesus being the new Adam of course).

I’ve never even heard of these Churches except for the Sedes…

What makes, for example, the Catholic Reformed Church different from the Catholic Church?

they usually are schismatics. usually they separated themselves from the Church because of disagreement with new doctrine or unwilling to follow a council. didn’t the Old Catholics separate after V1? then sedes after V2. so they were Catholics, the priests and bishops have valid orders. and usually because they didn’t change the faith fundamentally, they still carry the valid orders and pass them on faithfully

This is a Western explanation. How is this explained from an Eastern perspective, where the minister of the sacrament is a priest?

not sure about the Orthodox, but it would be the same for Eastern Catholics i presume

the bishop/priest/deacon merely assists in the Sacrament

but anyway, thats not the point of this thread. my main point here is. i’m riding on an airplane, one engine shut down and the other one caught fire. i’m sitting next to a non-Catholic priest who we recognize as having valid Orders. can i start confessing my sins? if he’s Orthodox, without a doubt. but what about the others. i just want to know, just in case

I believe that the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental orthodox and some traditionalist catholic schismatics have valid orders. This is due to them having genuine apostolic succession and being orthodox in the fundamentals of authentic christianity as taught by the apostles.

This is what negates protestants due to such fundamental differences such as the real presence while orders are considered valid in churches such as oriental orthodoxy where the dispute is basically just about the exact nature of Christ (myaphysism is the oriental view) and it has been determined recently that the difference is mainly over terminology used rather then actual meaning.

The Utrecht Union lost validity; they ordain female priests now.

At present, the ones with valid eucharist and prieshoods that I’m aware of:
Any of the Eastern Orthodox Communion (In communion with either the Ecumenical Patriarch or with Moscow, usually both)
Any of the Oriental Orthodox Communion (In communion with Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria)
The Assyrian Church of the East
The Polish National Catholic Church
Certain “Non-Canonical” Eastern Orthodox churches, including the Ukrainian Orthodox -Kyiv patriarchate, and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.
certain groups of Old Catholics, but only those without female priests and bishops

One should note that Epsicopalians, Lutherans, and Methodists may LOOK like Catholic Masses, they have no valid priests nor bishops;only their baptisms are valid, because anyone can baptize validly… even a heretic.

Baptism: most baptisms are valid; it boils down to being proper trinitarian baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Very few sects don’t count; amongst those whose baptisms don’t count, the LDS.

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