Welcome home, Anglicans

. If Archbishop Lefebre , a schismatic, could validly ordain Bishops and priests(which he did) and other schismatics such as the Old catholics, can be allowed to exist, then why can the Anglican Orders not also be valid, as they were also rooted in schism , not heresy? In 1896, Pope Leo issued a papal letter stating that Anrglican orders were invalid. End of story? Not so. From day one theologians questioned the accuracy of the statement, and a little research throws up a fascinating story of intrigue and wheels within wheels. It seems that Lord Halifax traveled to Rome to partake in a joint Commission on Anglican Orders. On arrival, he was sidetracked and a unilateral enquiry led to the 1896 declaration.

The basis of this was that a break in the Succession had occurred in the reign of EdwardV1. End of story? Not so. When the Catholic Mary ascended the throne, Cardinal Pole was sent to repair the damage. A distinction was made between those who had been ordained in the Protestant era, and those who might have legitimate credentials. There were clergy who had been validly ordained by remnants of the old Catholic era.What went wrong? Elizabeth 1 arrived on the scene,and swept the whole edifice away.

The controversy centres on Bishop Parker, the kind of Big Daddy of Anglican Orders.if his ordination was valid, then so were all the succeeding ones. So why did the events of 1896 take place? It seems that the Pope was advised by Cardinal Gasquet that a whole army of Anglican priests was about to defect to Rome so he should not recognize Anglican Orders.

End of story? Not so. Pope Paul V1 gave the then Archbishop of Cantebury an Episcopal ring, and Pope John paul 11 gave Rowan Atkinson a Pectoral Cross. Now, these are symbols of ecclesiastical authority, and as one commentator observed, “You don’t hand out those things to laymen”

In November 2003, Cardinal Murphy -O’Connor commented”… The Catholic Church is already beyond the position expressed in’ Apostolica Curae’”

What exquisite fun the possibility of valid Anglican Orders would bring. Catholics would be able to worship in the ancient Churches again, and the Vatican could wrestle with the problems of married clergy, women priests and gay bishops.

Of course, there are one or two slight obstacles, such as the role of the Papacy(not insurmountable) and the position of Mary(not insurmountable.)

Did i hear you say,“It will never happen!” one thing I have learned, in religion as in politics "never’ never means never.

Did I hear you say it will never happen.? One thing I have learned: in politics and in religion never does not mean never.

[font=Times New Roman][size=3]What exquisite fun the possibility of valid Anglican Orders would bring. Catholics would be able to worship in the ancient Churches again, and the Vatican could wrestle with the problems of married clergy, women priests and gay bishops.[/size]


Not to mention contraception and abortion. I can say that it will never happen because the Anglican church has all but abandoned orthodox Christianity. For them to be in communion with Rome they would have to go back to the authentic form. Why do that? Most of the Anglicans and Episcopalians that wanted authentic Christianity are already Catholic.

Greetings, Maklavan,

I suspect you have been doing some reading on the subject.

The issue of declaring Anglican Orders invalid, (you are correct in identifying Archbishop Parker as the crux) wasn’t related to the matter of schism, but to the form and intent of the Edwardine Ordinal of 1552, which *Apostolicae Curae * declared inadequate to perform a valid ordination or consecration. Anglicans disagree.

The history of how the Commission resulting in *Apostlicae Curae * came about is a little more complicated than that, having its ultimate origin in the activities of Viscount Halifax and the Abbe Portal, who were originally only interested in starting a discussion on the idea of improving relations between the Anglican Communion and Rome. The issue of Anglican Orders was chosen (with some trepidation) as the opening subject to start talks going toward that end, and Portal wrote a pseudononymous article on the subject, which caused some interested discussions in Rome, and some horrified reactions at Westminister… Things went down hill from there. I strongly urge anyone interested in the matter to read over Fr. J. J. Hughes’ book ABSOLUTELY NULL AND UTTERLY VOID, esp. chapters 3 and 4, for more detaiIs of the history. Lots of quotes in it.

It was Cardinal Vaughan who was most insistent, in his comments to the Pope, once the issue had been raised, that continued nonrecognition of Anglican Orders would cause a wave of Anglo-Catholic converts to finally make the leap. Ironically, Halifax felt the exact opposite; that if Rome were to recognise the validity of Anglican Orders, it would result in more Anglican clergy going to Rome, in that they would not have to deny the validity of their ordination in doing so. Halifax’s and Portal’s ultimate goal was not the recognition of Anglican Orders, but corporate reunion.

My hasty comments on a most interesting post.


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