I know that lay investiture was common practice since the time of Charlemagne untill the crackdown by Pope Gregory VII. Now, as I understand it, Gregory declared that all priestly ordinations by lay investiture were “null and void.” As well, I know that an agreement was reached between the Holy Roman Emperor and the Pope saying that the Emperor would stop investing the priests and bishops with “spiritual” powers (ie: with ring and crosier) and would content himself with investing them with temporal powers. Now my question is this: if ordinations by lay investiture are invalid, and lay invesiture was such common practice, how do we know that our current bishops are not validly ordained? Wouldn’t lay investiture break the line of apostolic succession? After all, President Bush can’t ordain bishops validly! Or am I mistaken? Was a valid ordination by bishop accompanied by this lay investiture? It just seems like I’m reading so much about Kings investing bishops with spiritual powers, and this seems as if it would make it invalid.
I think that lay investiture was more a matter of appointment than Ordination. In other words, the king would decide who would be the local bishop, and that man would be ordained by bishops serving the king. It wasn’t that the king was giving Holy Orders to those people, just selecting who would receive them.
That’s what I recall, anyway.
Peace and God bless!
That’s what I thought…but then what’s the deal with Kings investing bishops with “spiritual” powers with the ring and crosier?
The ring and crosier would be symbols of ecclesiastical authority. The actual Ordination is a laying on of hands by a Bishop. Investing a person with the ring would be like investing someone with the crown; it’s the symbol of their new authority, but the crown doesn’t have magical powers in and of itself.
It seems to me that the Pope is simply saying “You can give people secular authority within your jurisdiction, but you can’t ever give them authority within the Church.”
Peace and God bless!
we have this same problem today with the officially recognized Catholic Church in China, whose bishops are appointed by the state, and the underground Catholic Church, in union with Rome, whose bishops are appointed by the Pope. We saw in the recent TV moves about Pope JP2 how the communist government insisted on the right to approve new bishops, how the cardinal suggested Wotyla as someone who would not make waves, and because other nominees were not accepted by the state. in this case the appointment still had to be endorsed by Rome, but those nominated could not operate without state approval.
those who argue against the separation of church and state should recall that the issue of the government appointing church leadership was one of the abuses the constitution meant to prevent.