Sunday, July 06, 2008

Apostolic or Null and Void?


There is story that the former Bishop of Fulham, who was recieved into the Catholic after the ordination of women to the priesthood in the C of E, left his mitre behind for his successor. After wearing it for a few months, he looked inside and found written, "absolutely ..... null and totally .... void", it is quote from Leo XIII's judgement on Anglican orders.


After the revision of the Prayer Book the C of E sought to answer this by including Old Catholics in their Episcopal Ordinations. For example, Graham Leonard, the former Bishop of London was ordained a Catholic priest conditionally because it seemed that several of his consecrators as an Anglican bishop had valid orders.


In the Preface of Apostles, in English, there is the phrase, "... from their place in Heaven the guide us still". My concern has always been that "being Apostolic" has as much to do with fruit as it does with root. I mean for example, none of those Churches which we consider as Catholics to be Apostolic have ordained women. Apostolicity is about the past, the root, but it is also about the present, the fruit. Christ promises to be with his Church, which he built on the Apostles, until the end of time, well, we need then to look for the evidence of that.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't it also about validity of form [and intention] as well as Apostolic succession, Father? Do those wishing to be ordained use a form which is designed and intended to make a man a sacrificing priest, rather than a functioning minister?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Oct...
Yes it is, but with the acceptance of Addai and Mari as a valid Eucharistic Prayer, that has become a more tenuous arguement.

Michael Petek said...

Isn't the form of Addai and Mari guaranteed ex adiunctis, that is from the liturgy as a whole beyond the operative formula, or from the faith of the Church?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Michael that is what they say, but that is highly problematic for trad. cath. theology.

Basil Roberson said...

And the difference between Anglican orders and post-1968 Roman ones..?

Joe said...

Father, I'm puzzled, having done some rudimentary studies of early Eucharistic Prayers.

Are you saying that Addai and Mari is accepted by the Church as a valid Eucharistic Prayer? If so, it would greatly assist me if I could find a citation for when that was done. I'm wondering if it was linked with discussions with the Assyrian Church a few years back.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Joe,
Yes, I don't have details.
It was a few years ago. Cdl. Kaspar was very involved.

Joe said...

Father Ray

Thank you. I've now searched the Vatican Website and found the document from the Council for Christian Unity. Link below for your reference:

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_20011025_chiesa-caldea-assira_en.html

God bless and thank you for all you do for the Church, particularly via this blog.