[quote="MorEphrem, post:4, topic:334676"]
It depends on the Ritual Church within the Catholic Church, but yes the Latin Church is deacon/priest/bishop. In the some of the Eastern Catholic Churches (and I know the Latin Church use to have more orders but I'm not quite sure as many) there are 9 orders to reflect the 9 orders of angels.
I'm curious to ask: we would say that they're literally 9 different ordinations and the 7th (bishop) is kind of where you reach the fullness of ordination; is this the same mentality in the Latin Church? I don't think I've ever heard a Latin say that someone is being ordained bishop.
AFAIK, it's only the Syriac Churches who maintain the 9 orders: 3 Minor (Cantor, Lector, Sudeacon), 3 Major (Deacon, Priest, Bishop), and 3 Median (Archdeacon, Periodute, Chor-Episcopus). The first 6 follow in order, IOW, each is a prerequisite for the next, although it is very traditional for a deacon to be non-transitional. The last 3 are more honorifics than anything else and do not. The first of the Medians is rightfully conferred on Deacons. The priesthood is a prerequisite for second two Medians but, while they may follow in order, it is not necessarily the case that the second is prerequisite to the third. Long, confusing story shorter, it would ever have been rare for a bishop to have received all 8 of the other Orders. More often than not it would have been 7, but 6 or even 5 would not have been all that unusual.
[quote="DeepeningFaith, post:6, topic:334676"]
Traditionally (as in those that maintain use of the pre-Vatican II books) the order goes as follows: Tonsure (Conferral of the Clerical State)
Porter, Lector, Exorcist, Acolyte (The Minor Orders)
Subdeacon, Deacon, Priest (The Major Orders)
Today, it is just Deacon, Priest, Bishop with Lector and Acolyte being Institutions but not Orders.
Theologically, it has been argued both ways: that you are actually ordained a Bishop OR that it is a consecration. The Vatican II documents lean towards it actually being an ordination, and while this is Magisterial teaching, because it is not completely clear, as far as I know, there is no definitive teaching. The second mentality is that once ordained a Priest, you have the fullness of the Priesthood and that the consecration as a Bishop simply is one of jurisdiction. However, having read the old ordinations, I personally lean towards the Bishop being an Ordination. It seems as though the Priest is called to share in the BISHOP's power of sanctifying, governing, and teaching, but to a lesser degree.
I recommend looking at both St. Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologicae and the Vatican II documents.
Also, seeing that (Pius XII) defined the form and matter of the sacraments of the Deaconate, Priesthood, and Episcopate; I believe this leans credence to the notion of the Bishop being an ordination rather than simply a conferral of jurisdiction.
Yes, despite the insistence of some Scholastics that the episcopacy was not considered a part of the Sacrament of Holy Orders in the Latin Church, I believe that the facts are, as you suggest, pretty clear that it is. And even most of the Scholastics would agree that the episcopate represents the "fullness of the priesthood" so it would perhaps be clearer to say that the episcopate was considered separate from "Major Orders" in a juridical sense rather than a Sacramental sense.
The Sub-Diaconate is a bit of different story. It was, for many centuries, considered a "Major Order" but that was really only in a juridical sense. Had it been in a Sacramental sense, the order could not have been suppressed. Nor, for that matter, would it have been so easily dispensed: it was never much of an issue for a sub-deacon to be laicized, since there was no "ontological change" involved in the ordination.