On Bishops and the Ordination of Women


The intent is required. Again, it, at the minimum, should be virtual and to do whatever the Church does. If the minister of baptism does not have such an intent, the baptism is invalid. However, it is a very low standard to meet. If, for example, an atheist knows that Catholics in general will always prefer a dying baby be baptized, and that he can, even if he does not believe the first thing of the Catholic faith, but out of respect for that desire, he does baptize the baby if he finds himself the only available human being who can do it. The minimum intention is very well met there, because while he cannot intend the remission of original sin (“intend what the Church intends”, because he doesn’t believe it), he can very easily intend to do whatever it is the Church does: baptize according to the wishes of the parents, who themselves desire a Catholic baptism for their child. He is doing whatever it is the Church has asked of him. He is doing what the Church does, without intending what the Church intends.


You don’t need a proper understanding for a valid sacrament. The minister need only intend to do what the Church does–he can be mistaken about what that actually is and even not believe in it–in fact, he can even be mistaken about which is the right Church! This is why even atheists can baptize validly, for example, as long as they are intending to celebrate the rite that Christians do (even if they believe it to be fruitless and are only doing to patronize the person requesting the baptism).

St. Robert Bellarmine explains this:

There is no need to intend to do what the Roman Church does; but what the true Church does, whichever it is, or what Christ instituted, or what Christians do: for they amount to the same. You ask: What if someone intends to do what some particular or false church does, which he thinks the true one, like that of Geneva, and intends not to do what the Roman church does? I answer: even that is sufficient. For the one who intends to do what the church of Geneva does, intends to do what the universal church does. For he intends to do what such a church does, because he thinks it to be a member of the true universal church: although he is wrong in his discernment of the true church. For the mistake of the minister does not take away the efficacy of the sacrament: only a defectus intentionis does that.

In the 19th century, the Holy Office even said certain Methodist baptisms were valid which included the minister saying it was only symbolic and Catholics were superstitious to think otherwise.

It’s in Latin on page 246 here:


The ordination of a woman priest wouldn’t be valid in the first place.


JPII ended all debate with the following

"4. Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.

Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful. "

From JPII ordinatio-sacerdotalis


The last paragraph of the article is most relevant here.



And this is why the PNC broke communion with the Old Catholics (but now I’ve been told that the PNC has this problem, too. This is also why we know that whether or not they kept them for centuries, the Church of Sweden no longer has valid orders.

They also misunderstood the very essence of what priests and bishops are to the extent that Orders meant nothing; they were just the designated people to hold office. That break ended Orders in the Anglican Church.



The answer is yes. If the bishop intends to do what the Church does when he performs the sacrament then it is valid in the case of a man. If the bishop is validly ordained then the sacrament is valid.
A better example would be the baptisms done by the Protestants. Even though their eclesiology is flawed that flaw does not invalidate the baptism.


From my understanding, the problem was that those who broke the line did understand what the Catholic Church’s sacerdotal priesthood was and they deliberately modified the rite so as not to confer that sacerdotal power–like you said, they just made it a designation of a person holding an office of leadership. This invalidated the sacrament by virtue of what is called “the principle of positive exclusion.”


This is not the point the OP is making, and he made that clear in the beginning. The point is the validity of ordinations (of men) by a bishop who holds on to the heretical view of women’s ordination. And the point we’re trying to make is that no, it does not invalidate such ordinations.


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