Ordaining Bishops

Do bishops need permission by the pope to ordain other bishops?

Anyone have a referance?

Yes. that is one of the problems that arose with the SSPX.

Yes. I can point you to Canon 377, §1, which says “The Supreme Pontiff freely appoints bishops or confirms those legitimately elected,” and Canon 378, §2: “The definitive judgment concerning the suitability of the one to be promoted pertains to the Apostolic See.”

what does the SSPX say when confronted about this?

I think they basically say, well, the Pope needs to accept our bishops.

Yes that is what they say, I Pray that the Talks with them go that His Holiness will do just that.

They say that there was a case of grave necessity, therefore the penalty of excommunication would not apply (as another canon states). However that is a discussion that has been debated to death on here.

Yes, in the Latin Church, in the Eastern churches it does vary to some extent from notification, to confirmation.

The problem is when they did this the Bishop doing the Ordaining and those being Ordained excommunicated themselves.

I read somewhere that during the time between Pope Clement IV’s death in 1268 and Pope Gregory X’s election, there were bishops being validly ordained, but without the approval of any pope. Would this be an example of supplied jurisdiction? Does anybody know what bishops these were?

There’s also the part where John Paul II sent them a letter saying “If you do this you’re excommunicated”. It’s not a big surprise that it happened.

I would question if this requirement or prohibition existed in Church law of that time. It may take considerable research since we didn’t have a codified law at that time.

Hello aball1035,

The most direct reference in answer to your original question is in canon 1382: “Both the bishop who, without a pontifical mandate, consecrates a person a bishop, and the one who receives the consecration from him, incur a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the apostolic see.” The ordination is usually considered valid, however.

In answer to your questions quoted above–no, “supplied jurisdiction” does not apply to ordination (see canon 144). And, I do not know who these bishops might have been. The origin of the canon I quoted above is in the 1950s. So, back in those days, I do not know of what, if any, kind of regulations were in effect regarding the papal approval of the ordination of bishops.

The ordination of a bishop without papal approval, as long as it is done by another bishop, is generally considered valid, even today. So, with the SSPX, for example, even though their ordination was clearly illicit and resulted in excommunications, the ordination was never considered invalid.


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