. 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.