Why are Anglican Holy Orders invalid?


#1

Hi everyone. I am sure this has been discussed before but I have not seen any of the threads before and would prefer a fresh response to my thread so that my particular issue can be addressed as simply as possible.

Why is it that Anglican Holy Orders are considered to be invalid? Please explain as simply and shortly as possible in layman’s terms. Thank you.


#2

The CC will have a different answer but it is my belief that they are not invalid at all. The heirs of Augustine are still at work in Britannia.
WP


#3

During the reign of Edward and up unto the Restoration, the Anglican Church used a Ordination Rite known and the Edwardian Ordinal.

It lacked several things that the Catholic Church considers to be essential to a valid Ordination.

Add to that several Bishops during the Cromwellian era were simply appointed (as was the Puritan practice) instead of Ordained.

Charles II restored what would be a valid ordination rite to the Anglican church, but it was done too late, there were no valid bishops left to actually perform the Ordinations.

The net result is that all of the validly ordained Bishops died out and their replacements were not valid. So Apostolic Sucession was lost.

There was a movement in the 19th Century called the ‘Oxford Movement’ that attempted to restore the lost Apostolic Sucession with the assistance of ‘Old Catholic’ bishops ( a Catholic schismatic group that DOES have valid sucession).

So now we are left with the case of some Anglican priests and bishop that may have valid Orders, but it would require a lot of research to figure out.

Of course that is now going out the window again with the Anglicans using women bishops, as women cannot be validly Ordained at all.


#4

This is a fair statement of the logic behind Apostolicae Curae, except that the Oxford Movement had no connection at all with the joint consecrations that began with the Old Catholics, in 1932, and the PNCC in 1946.

The fault presumed in the Ordination Rite in the Edwardine Ordinal was said to have involved form and intent (intent in the case of the consecrators of Archbishop Parker in 1559. Parker was a sort of bottleneck in the episcopacy of the Church of England). Form and intent have to be considered together in* ACs* condemnation of Anglican orders, since it is simple to find Rites that the RCC considers as conveying valid orders which use the same form. Anglicans often point that out.

The history behind *Apostolcae Curae *is a little more revealing, but doesn’t change the fact that RCs should affirm it. Anglicans, such as myself, don’t.

GKC

Anglicanus Catholicus


#5

Wow thank you. I am now convinced that Anglican’s do not have a valid Eucharist because they do not have valid Holy Orders. Wow. This came as quite a shock to me. Thank you.


#6

Are you certain of this?
I was under the understanding that the self same bishops deposed under the tyrant Cromwell were restored by HRH CII.
WP


#7

By Cromwell’s time, there were no bishops, the office having been abolished by Parliment in 1643, by the Solemn League and Covenant (along with the Book Of Common Prayer, shortly thereafter, and, for all practical purposes, the Church of England). The Restoration in 1660, in effect, restored the Church of England, as it had been. +Piers, +Skinner, +Roberts, +Warner and +King, at least, were restored to their dioceses. And life went on.

GKC


#8

The fault presumed in the Ordination Rite in the Edwardine Ordinal was said to have involved form and intent (intent in the case of the consecrators of Archbishop Parker in 1559. Parker was a sort of bottleneck in the episcopacy of the Church of England). Form and intent have to be considered together in* ACs* condemnation of Anglican orders, since it is simple to find Rites that the RCC considers as conveying valid orders which use the same form. Anglicans often point that out.

Yes, the argument that Leo successfully made was that the words were ambiguous at best. Some rites have similar ordination Forms, but in those Rites the meaning of it is very clear.

But when Anglicans used words like “priesthood” and “eucharist” in their ordination ritual, they very clearly did not have the same meaning behind them as in other valid rites. As the Anglicans at the time, the 39 Articles and such, totally disowned the concept of a sacrificial priesthood and anything resembling transubstantiation. Basically, Leo concluded that you might as well have replaced “bishop” with “bureaucratic state minister” and “eucharist” with “symbolic commemoration of the Lord’s Supper.” Clearly not valid intent in the Form.

Even the bishop’s personal beliefs as an individual dont matter. If they had been intending to do “what the Church does” or “what Jesus did” it would have been valid, even if they did not personally believe. But they no longer believed that Jesus was the one who instituted the priesthood, and no longer intended to do “what the Church does” but rather “what the Anglican state institution does”…and what the Anglican state apparatus intended, was clearly not to confer true orders if they officially rejected the notion of a sacrificial priesthood and eucharist.

The Restoration restored less ambiguous terminology, and more orthodox beliefs, but it was too late. All the valid bishops were gone from England. And even then there were some groups in Anglicanism more puritan and rejecting of the notion of priesthood and eucharist, and others more “High Church” accepting them. And power fluctuated between the two, so you never know. At any given time the word “priest” in the ordinal could have officially meant a sacrificial priest in the interpretation of the official Anglican apparatus when the High Church folk were in charge, and at other times the Anglican institution probably just intended it to mean “minister and worship leader” in the case of the more Puritan.

When you reject the notion of the priesthood and eucharist, and then change your ritual to reflect that disbelief, you won’t have the apostolic sucession for very long. Even if the new ritual you use is ambiguous and potentially valid with the right intent.

But the mere change of the ritual itself was very telling. For if they believed the same things…they would have kept the same Form. Clearly, the reason for the change in rites was a change in beliefs. And when you change a Form specifically to reflect wrong beliefs, even if the wording is still potentially valid, the intent behind it is clearly invalid, as the intent behind the change was REJECTING the valid beliefs. And the people at the time would have been fine with that. They didnt want our kind of priests or eucharist, and changed their rites specifically to not express our beliefs, even if the wording came out merely ambiguous. What they left out, even if not necessary for validity, is also very telling about what they intended to express by changing the ritual, and how they interpretted the meaning.


#9

True, though the words were Merry del Val’s, as modified by Gasquet.

But when Anglicans used words like “priesthood” and “eucharist” in their ordination ritual, they very clearly did not have the same meaning behind them as in other valid rites. As the Anglicans at the time, the 39 Articles and such, totally disowned the concept of a sacrificial priesthood and anything resembling transubstantiation. Basically, Leo concluded that you might as well have replaced “bishop” with “bureaucratic state minister” and “eucharist” with “symbolic commemoration of the Lord’s Supper.” Clearly not valid intent in the Form.

Even the bishop’s personal beliefs as an individual dont matter. If they had been intending to do “what the Church does” or “what Jesus did” it would have been valid, even if they did not personally believe. But they no longer believed that Jesus was the one who instituted the priesthood, and no longer intended to do “what the Church does” but rather “what the Anglican state institution does”…and what the Anglican state apparatus intended, was clearly not to confer true orders if they officially rejected the notion of a sacrificial priesthood and eucharist.

The Restoration restored less ambiguous terminology, and more orthodox beliefs, but it was too late. All the valid bishops were gone from England. And even then there were some groups in Anglicanism more puritan and rejecting of the notion of priesthood and eucharist, and others more “High Church” accepting them. And power fluctuated between the two, so you never know. At any given time the word “priest” in the ordinal could have officially meant a sacrificial priest in the interpretation of the official Anglican apparatus when the High Church folk were in charge, and at other times the Anglican institution probably just intended it to mean “minister and worship leader” in the case of the more Puritan.

When you reject the notion of the priesthood and eucharist, and then change your ritual to reflect that disbelief, you won’t have the apostolic sucession for very long. Even if the new ritual you use is ambiguous and potentially valid with the right intent.

But the mere change of the ritual itself was very telling. For if they believed the same things…they would have kept the same Form. Clearly, the reason for the change in rites was a change in beliefs. And when you change a Form specifically to reflect wrong beliefs, even if the wording is still potentially valid, the intent behind it is clearly invalid, as the intent behind the change was REJECTING the valid beliefs. And the people at the time would have been fine with that. They didnt want our kind of priests or eucharist, and changed their rites specifically to not express our beliefs, even if the wording came out merely ambiguous. What they left out, even if not necessary for validity, is also very telling about what they intended to express by changing the ritual, and how they interpretted the meaning.

This is a good statement of the theological logic behind the conclusions of Apostolicae Curae. And is why I said that the concepts of intent and form have to be considered together, not as two separate faults, but the single fault affecting validity, in the RCC position. For a counter arguement, see Fr. John J. Hughes’ STEWARDS OF THE LORD, the opposite side of the coin from Clark’s ANGLICAN ORDERS AND DEFECT OF INTENTION, the two best presentations I know of, of the two sides.

GKC


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