When Anglican priests ordained by Orthodox bishops--can they then consecrate?


I heard (15 years ago or more) that some Anglican or Episcopalian priests got Orthodox bishops to ordain them, so what I am wondering is if that means their consecrations are valid?



If true, yes.



But did this really happen, and if so why? It has been my understanding that Orthodox are somewhat hostile to Western rites (of which Anglican, based as it is on the old Roman Rite, would seem to be one). Why even would an attempted ordination to a Rite different than their own be valid?


My guess is yes.


Depending on the bishop, if it’s done for any reason at all, it would be to spite the Catholic Bishops in whatever region :stuck_out_tongue:


Yes. As well as Bishops from Roman Catholic lines. ( Arch. Carlos Duarte-Costa
(b. 7-21-18; b8; d. 3-26-1961) c. 8-15-1945 / Geraldus Gul of the Union of Ultrecht May 11, 1892), through whom modern Anglicans can trace their lines, along with other valid lines. This is the whole reasoning / argument for current valid Succession of Anglicans even if it was lost following Reginald Pole as the last Roman Archbishop of Canterbury ( c.1550’s).

Valid but illicit.

Thanks for posting.


Well the Orthodox do not take episcopacy and Apostolic Sucession so lightly as to do anything to spite someone. I know you are joking but I wanted to make sure that is clear. As to supposed hostility to Western rites that’s simply innacurate. There is a Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Archdiocese and the Russian Orthodox Church has a Western Rite. Here is Russian Orthodox Bishop Jerome vested for a Western rite liturgy.



I heard that this was happening, but can not verify it. I just wanted to see if their consecrations would the. be valid as I am hoping :slight_smile: to explain consecration and apostolic succession to a Protestant friend of mine.


When you say the Western Rite, do you mean the Latin Mass as celebrated some time in the past (1962 or before) or the current Ordinary Form? I had no idea that there was a “Western Orthodox” group!


There are several different masses in use. The Liturgy of St Tikhon is a modified version the of the old Book of Common Prayer. The Liturgy of St. Gregory the Great is a modified version of the Tridentine Mass. You also have the Sarum Rite, Gallican Rite and Ambrosian Rite used much less frequently. The current Ordinary Form is not used.


Well the reason you can’t verify it is it’s not happening. :wink:


If an Orthodox bishop ordained him, then his ordination is presumed to be valid. If he was ordained as an Orthodox priest, for an Orthodox Church his ordination is valid (even if he later becomes an Anglican).

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that any attempt to consecrate the Eucharist is always valid when it happens within an Anglican context. It might be, or might not be.

It’s questionable though (at best), if the attempt at ordination happens in a purely Anglican context. Anglicans do not fall into the category of “Churches with valid sacraments.”

Even though there was an attempt to ordain Anglican bishops by Old Catholic bishops in the early 20th century, those attempted ordinations were/are sill null and void. Nothing changed.


You might be thinking of Old Catholics, who began consecrating Anglican bishops after the signing of the Bonn Agreement in the 1930s. Old Catholics are not Orthodox (but are in communion, I believe, with at least some Orthodox sees) but are a splinter Roman rite faction that went into schism after Vatican I over its refusal to accept Papal infallibility (they are liberal on a number of other issues as well, but largely use the liturgical books in force at the time of their schism, i.e., the 1870s or so.

Anglican ordinations in some areas MAY be valid as a result – in at least one case an Anglican bishop who converted was ordained conditionally to the presbyterate because he was able to prove with reasonable doubt that he had been ordained by an Anglican bishop in the line of an Old Catholic bishop (but not, I believe, consecrated thus). The issue has not been studied systematically recently, so the policy of the late 19th century of ordaining Anglican converts absolutely remains normatively in place, even in exceptions are occasionally made.



You are mistaken. No Old Catholics are in communion with any Orthodox. :slight_smile:


The fairly recent Anglicanorum Coetibus makes no provision whatsoever for conditional ordination of former Anglican clergy. On the contrary, the Church has made it clear that there will be no more conditional ordinations (that doesn’t mean an exception is impossible, though). The logical conclusion is that the Church sees no reason to address the question. Nothing has changed. Anglican attempts at ordination are still null and void.

The issue has been studied recently. Then-Cardinal Ratzinger listed the teaching that Anglican attempts at ordination are null and void to be among the infallible teachings of the Church (not an “infallible pronouncement” as defined by Vatican 1, though). If anything did happen to change that situation, he surely would have addressed it. He did not. Most telling is that he did not consider it an open question when, later as Pope Benedict, he formed the first Anglican Ordinariates (on the contrary, the question has been considered closed and all ordinations are done without condition). This is very clear evidence that there’s nothing to investigate.


Thanks so much Fr David, Seraphim, SW, for being so informative! I learned a lot :slight_smile:


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