Andrew Burnham is puzzled by a simultaneous process of convergence and divergence. By omitting to mention what was the distinctive characteristic of the Catholic priesthood, the Ordinal was embracing a different doctrine of Holy Orders from that of the Catholic Church, whose Orders had been handed down in unbroken succession from the apostles. The omission from the Edwardine Ordinal of what was regarded as the distinctive characteristic of the Catholic priesthood gave to the Ordinal what Leo XIII called a native indoles ac spiritus - an innate nature and spirit - which was Protestant and not Catholic. Much material in the apostolic letter is historical. Thus small differences introduced into the Ordinal in serve for Leo only to demonstrate the defects in the and versions.

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In Apostolicae Curae A. Sacraments of the New Law … ought … to signify the grace which they effect" Paragraph In other words, while we agree with the theological principle, we must challenge the presentation of the associated facts.

The connection of priesthood with the power of absolution is common to both Trent and the ordinal. Note: the words in the Ordinal come straight from the pre-Reformation Sarum rite, undoubtedly a Catholic rite. Compare this fact to the second papal statement in the next section. There is therefore a clear reference to a power peculiar to the sacerdotium, as required by A.

The reference to ministering the Sacraments immediately after the Form in the ordinal obviously refers primarily to the Eucharist, which is consecrated by the priest, and always has been in Anglican tradition, in accordance with the Prayer Book. For more on this point, see the section on the Delivery of the Instruments. This was based on the fact that Timothy ruled 1 Ti. If the Church of England had not believed the two orders were different, it would not have given different services.

If the framers of these services had wanted to show the presbyterium and episcopate were basically equivalent, and differing only nominally, they would have used identical or near identical forms. Instead, they use two dissimilar parts of the New Testament: one traditionally associated with a power of priesthood, the other with one of the earliest consecrations to the episcopate. It may be objected that we have not addressed the main objection in A. From [the prayers of the Anglican Ordinal have] been deliberately removed whatever sets forth the dignity and office of the priesthood in the Catholic rite.

That form consequently cannot be considered apt or sufficient for the Sacrament which omits what it ought essentially to signify Paragraph The unbiblical imbalance of the first statement is confirmed even in recent studies by Roman Catholic theologians. The role of the presbyter or Apostle in offering a Eucharistic sacrifice for Christians is not emphasised in the New Testament, and, in fact, is not explicitly mentioned at all this does not mean the concept is wrong or lacking implicitly as well, of course.

If there is a theological error in A. The essence of the priesthood or presbyterate, that is, the unifying principle from which all other aspects of ministry proceed, is pastoral authority.

The shepherd leads and tends the flock, guiding and disciplining. But he also feeds it with Word and Sacrament. He is willing to lay down his life for the sheep sacrificially, and symbolises the Great Shepherd in this role.

Yet, it can hardly be denied, in the New Testament he is primarily a leader and teacher. The Eucharistic presidency, where he acts in persona Christi, derives from this. The second quote falsifies itself by the use of the sweeping generalisation highlighted in bold. The second quote is therefore another error in fact rather than theology.

According to Pope Leo XIII, it would seem that what has been done to the rite, even more than the rite as it is in itself, whatever its intrinsic deficiencies of form, proves both a lack of sincere intention to confer the historic orders and a deliberate intention not to do so.

The Church of England acted with the following design. The application of statement 1 which is true in itself to the Church of England at the Reformation is refuted in the next section and the third paragraph of the last section. Statement 3 assumes the purported attempt to restore a primitive form was not, as claimed, a reflection of a desire for primitive or true Catholicism but an ingenuous ruse.

This is unjust. See the response to statement 1. Before dealing with what the Rite does say, another point must be made about omissions from it. Therefore omissions in themselves are not necessarily proof of anything in this historical context. Emphasis added. In other words, priests are seen as pastors whose authority extends to kerygmatic, didactic, sacramental and benedictory roles. It is written also, in the Acts of the Apostles, that the disciples which were at Antioch did fast and pray before they laid hands upon or sent forth Paul and Barnabas.

In fact, the original Edwardine Ordinal contained the Delivery or Tradition of the Instruments, though this was removed in the second. The Prayer Book has always reserved Eucharistic consecration to the priest or bishop, As for whether this power of consecration was seen as excluding any concept of offering, see below.

Among the ideas specifically and vehemently rejected by the Reformers and their successors under Elizabeth are the following:. That Christ performs any action in the Eucharist which involves a new offering of himself. However, they affirmed that the Eucharist is a sacrifice of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving, and that it also sacramentally represents and commemorates the Sacrifice of the Cross. In this context we apply the benefits of that One Sacrifice by intercessory prayer to the whole Church, and by Communion to receivers of the Sacrament.

And it must also be admitted that the intimate connection between 1b and 2a above is not apparent in the earliest Reformers, but neither is it denied. Later writers made the connection very clear from early in the 17th Century, for example, Richard Field, Lancelot Andrewes and Francis White.

That the doctrine these men taught was not only permitted in the 17th Century Church of England but encouraged is shown by their consistent preferment subsequent to preaching or writing in accordance with these beliefs. In other words, even if a committed and definitive rejection of orthodoxy is detected in the 16th Century which is here disputed , it can not be fairly ascribed to Anglicanism after this.

Ambiguities, yes. Outright negation, no. To the objection that this does not matter if the Apostolic Succession was already lost, we respond by referring the reader to the next two sections. It is also important in judging the intention of Anglican churches compared to the wider Catholic tradition to note that, unlike many European Reformed bodies, Anglicans have always recognised the validity of Roman and Orthodox Orders and never re-ordained those Roman Catholic priests who have come to them — whereas they have consistently re-ordained ministers from Protestant churches without episcopal succession.

This is despite the offence this has caused fellow heirs of the Reformation. These practices demonstrate that the Church of England always saw its clergy as being in the same orders as Roman Catholic clergy, thus signalling its acceptance of Roman Catholic rites as valid and effective, despite its preference for its own reformed versions.

It may be objected at this point that we have gone too far afield to help us in understanding the intent of the Ordinal itself. But this has been necessary for two reasons. First, this larger context was appealed to in A. Indeed, whether it is the Ordinal, Liturgy or Articles we are considering, they must be taken to mean what the Church of England has interpreted them to mean, not necessarily what the original authors have.

The Italian line was inserted in the seventeenth century through Archbishop de Dominis. Eastern Orthodox lines were inserted in the nineteenth century. These consecrations occurred after the Caroline Divines had strengthened the doctrines of Eucharistic Sacrifice and Holy Orders in the Church of England.

Bishop Chambers, the chief consecrator of the first ACC bishops, had as one of his consecrators a bishop of the Polish National Catholic Church, whose orders are recognised by Rome, as we understand it. The rite used was that in the American Book of Common Prayer. Therefore the wider context of the Ordinal proves a deliberate intent to convey a sacerdotal ministry in ordination. These changes obviate the objections of A. While the infallibility of the Church is not restricted to occasional statements defining what is de Fide for Christians, that is formulating dogmas, there are limits, even on Roman theory, to its extent.

For example, in excommunicating a heretic and anathematising his purported heresy, it is generally acknowledged that it is possible for even an Ecumenical Council to err in ascribing the said heresy to the person involved, through misinterpretation or misreporting of his words or intent.

Similarly, even if all or most of the strictly theological assertions in A. This is because the application of general principles to particular historical cases is intrinsically inerrant only insofar as the understanding of those cases is inerrant. But the only history that the Church is guaranteed indefectible knowledge of is that tied up with and essential to Divine Revelation.

And this rules out infallible interpretations of the works or words of anybody after the Apostolic age. Therefore, if it can be shown that the Church of England did not intend to stop ordaining priests and bishops of the Catholic Church to perform the ministrations proper to these orders, including Eucharistic sacrifice, then the conclusion of A.

That the Church of England had a positive and explicit intention to continue Catholic episcopacy and priesthood for the purposes of ministering Word and Sacrament, particularly the Eucharist, and absolving sinners is conclusively shown above.

And we shall prove that the order of the Church set out by this realm … is the same that was used fifteen hundred years past. The three crucial questions then are these. Pope Leo XIII disclaims such powers in the Bull Paragraph 33 , but, unfortunately, also makes no reference to the abovementioned written, public claims of the English Reformers.

As to the second question, we hope it is clear from the discussion above that, despite verbal denials of propitiation, the Anglican Church, as a Church, did not deny the essential elements of Eucharistic sacrifice. For example, the clear denial of Baptismal Regeneration by most Protestants has not prevented the Roman Catholic Church from recognising the validity of their Baptisms.

Nevertheless, it has been asserted by some Roman Catholic scholars in the Twentieth Century, e. This interpretation of the Bull claims the general intention is admitted to be present, but that a simultaneous positive and deliberate intention not to convey a primary effect of the sacrament is identified as the reason the general intention is insufficient in this case. The problem with this interpretation, designed to counter the traditional Anglican appeal to clear evidence in the Ordinal of their intention which is not even referred to let alone refuted or disputed in A.

Not only does the Bull not give clear evidence of any such nuanced reading of the situation, but this rationalisation lacks intrinsic plausibility in that it tries to prove a positive and deliberate intention to prevent or actively deny a certain result from omissions, rather than overt statements.

Given that the omissions were made by one person or group of people responsible for the formation of the rite, whereas the rite so modified was used by a later and different group of people, it is impossible to simply identify the intentions in making the omissions with the intentions of those using the rite.

If the objection is made that both groups belonged to the same Church, the obvious answer is that the Church is just as little committed to authorial intentions in construction of the rite. In addition, if someone did not believe that a particular grace was effected by a sacrament because that grace did not exist, e. If I do not believe giving someone a spacesuit makes them safe from radiation, I do not give them the suit with the explicit intention of denying them that property.

There is a difference between not explicitly intending to cause the effect of a sacrament while still intending to really perform the sacramental act, and explicitly intending to inhibit that effect while still having the correct general intent. The former would leave validity unaffected, as acknowledged by all theologians in treating Protestant baptisms, whereas the latter is quite a juggling act, and the Pope gave no indication he posited such complex ambivalence in the original Anglican Ordinals.

The more natural reading of A. And so, if the answer to the first crucial question asked above -- which assumes particular, deliberate denials of elements known to be essential to the order being conferred -- was yes, it would be difficult to deny the sacramental intention was insufficient. Hence, the answer to the third question would be yes with respect to this deficiency. Hence, the answer to the third question would be no, unless the error was imprinted positively on the rite, especially the Form, such that it explicitly denied some or over-wrote all essential elements.

Omission of good elements is not enough. Locate a Church. Defining the Character of the Priesthood It may be objected that we have not addressed the main objection in A. The Fundamental Objection: Defective Intention According to Pope Leo XIII, it would seem that what has been done to the rite, even more than the rite as it is in itself, whatever its intrinsic deficiencies of form, proves both a lack of sincere intention to confer the historic orders and a deliberate intention not to do so.

Original Intent and Original Rite Before dealing with what the Rite does say, another point must be made about omissions from it. Delivery of Instruments and Article 36 In A. The status of A.


Apostolicae Curae

Apostolic letter of leo xiii on the question of the validity of Anglican ordinations, issued Sept. It embodies the pope's conclusion that ordinations made according to the Anglican Ordinal are null and void. Although it calls itself an apostolic letter, it is sent in the name of Leo XIII Leo episcopus, servus servorum Dei, ad perpetuam rei memoriam , and the conclusion is formulated in the first person plural commonly used by the pope. For the historical background of the question and the history of the apostolic letter, see anglican orders; see also satis cognitum, Leo XIII 's encyclical on the unity of the Church, published less than three months before Apostolicae curae , which sets the condemnation of Anglican ordinations in the horizon of Pope Leo's "unionism. While no divisions other than unnumbered paragraphs appear in the text, it can be conveniently divided into an introduction and four parts.


A Critique of Apostolicae Curae

Particular churches. Philosophy, theology, and fundamental theory of canon law. Juridic and physical persons. Associations of the faithful. Institute of consecrated life. Society of apostolic life. Apostolicae curae is the title of a papal bull , issued in by Pope Leo XIII , declaring all Anglican ordinations to be "absolutely null and utterly void".


An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

In Apostolicae Curae A. Sacraments of the New Law … ought … to signify the grace which they effect" Paragraph In other words, while we agree with the theological principle, we must challenge the presentation of the associated facts. The connection of priesthood with the power of absolution is common to both Trent and the ordinal. Note: the words in the Ordinal come straight from the pre-Reformation Sarum rite, undoubtedly a Catholic rite.


We have dedicated to the welfare of the noble English nation no small portion of the Apostolic care and charity by which, helped by His grace, We endeavour to fulfil the office and follow in the footsteps of "the Great Pastor of the sheep," Our Lord Jesus Christ. The letter which last year We sent to the English seeking the Kingdom of Christ in the unity of the faith is a special witness of Our good will towards England. In it We recalled the memory of the ancient union of the people with Mother Church, and We strove to hasten the day of a happy reconciliation by stirring up men's hearts to offer diligent prayer to God. And, again, more recently, when it seemed good to Us to treat more fully the unity of the Church in a General Letter, England had not the last place in Our mind, in the hope that Our teaching might both strengthen Catholics and bring the saving light to those divided from us. It is pleasing to acknowledge the generous way in which Our zeal and plainness of speech, inspired by no mere human motives, have met the approval of the English people, and this testifies not less to their courtesy than to the solicitude of many for their eternal salvation.

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