Catholic Bishop ordains Anglican Bishops?

This has been an interesting thought that popped into my head thinking about the Anglicans, China and Orthodox Christians. Does anyone know if this has happened? I’m almost certain that this will eventually happen somewhere down the road, thus restoring valid orders to the Anglican Church. Any thoughts on this?

Hasn’t this already happened with certain Anglican bishops through Old Catholic bishops?

Absolutely. I can’t recall the year, perhaps another poster knows, but it was done because the RCC claimed that the CofE had lost the validity of its orders. The CofE disputed that but had the bishops re-consecrated anyway in order to remove any doubt.

Thereafter, the RCC accepted the validity of Anglican orders for a time and then began rejecting it again.

This ordination id INVALID and ILLICIT. The Anglicans have their own bishop, why would a Catholic bishop be ordaining?

I am confident that the Catholic bishop will be EXCOMMUNICATED.

What you are talking about has, for all intents and purposes, already happened. It would not be easy these days to find an Anglican priest that did not have orders that could be traced back to valid Catholic orders. Look up “Dutch touch” and “Polish Pat” to find out about this.

In that we consider ordination to be a Sacrament, both form and intention must be correct. If Anglican ministers do not consider the episcopacy (or indeed the position of the Priesthood) to be Holy Orders, then the intention must be faulty.

Between Edward VI and Charles I (correct me if I’m wrong) the Book of Common Prayer contained prayers for the “creation of Priests and Bishops” that were phrased in such a way that meant that the form was also faulty. Therefore there is almost a century of invalid ordinations, and so anglican orders may bell be null and void.

I note that xixxvmcm85 mentioned Old Catholics, who are recognised as validly ordained (as the Archbishop of Utrecth was a validly-appointed Archbishop when he decided that he didn’t like the outcomes of the 1st Vatican Council).

The Old Catholics now have extremely questionable views (same-sex marriage, women priests) but this doesn’t invalidate their orders, though it brings into question whether or not they can be in full communion with the Vicar of Christ. However, it can be clearly demonstrated that apostolic succession is valid and their priests are, probably, able to administer the sacraments.

Further to this, however, appointing bishops without a papal mandate is grounds for automatic excommunication so it may be the case that the Old Catholics aren’t really that much of a powerful force.

I don’t think you were paying attention.

The consecrating bishops were OLD Catholic - not aged but schismatic (though some of them may also have been aged). And the RCC does recognize their orders as valid, at least in some of the Old Catholic denominations, as in the Eastern Orthodox.

I know. Part of what you wrote is correct, most is not.

In 1932, after the Bonn agreement in which the Old Catholics of Utrecht and the Anglicas entered into inter -communion agreement, OC and Anglican bishops began joint episcopal consecrations. In 1946, this also began between PNCC bishops and Episcopal bishops in the US. The process was commonplace, for many years, the current status I am not sure of. A list of thee co-consecrations, from the Anglican side, from the beginning, can be found in a book I often mentioned, Hughes’ STEWARDS OF THE LORD, appendix II. along with a good discussion of the topic.,

The joint participation of the OC/PNCC bishops theoretically infused valid (but illicit; see Ott, p. 458 ) episcopal lines into the Anglican episcopacy, which were then propagated through Anglicanism as the affected bishops ordained/consecrated, in turn. It is difficult by now to find an Anglican cleric who doesn’t have such lines, somewhere in the background.

The reasoning behind the joint consecrations lay in the joint communion established between the Churches in 1932/1946, not directly because of Apostolicae Curae. Anglicanism has never reacted quite as some RCs think it did, to that pronouncement. No one would attempt, in any case, to “re-ordain” anyone in orders, the consecration /ordination done originally having imparted an indelible character, and not being repeatable.

The RCC never made any official comment on the impact of such co-consecrations, certainly never treated Anglican orders as valid again, because of it. However, the logic, as found in Ott, suggests that such actions would impart valid but illicit orders.

I see I have some more comments to make.


The bishops in questions were not RCC, but Old Catholic/Utrecht and Polish National Catholic, both Churches being considered as possessing valid, but illicit (schismatic) orders.


Traced back to valid, but illicit orders, in Rome’s eyes. But, again, while the logic follows Ott, there is no formal RC pronouncement on the effect of the joint consecrations, if any.


Yes. I figured you would put us all in good order in this thread eventually!

You are referring to the stated logic behind the stated conclusion in Apostolicae Curae. It rested on the intertwined judgments of form and intent, as you suggest (and technically, they had to intertwined), and I pass over the details because I feel like it). Save to note that the form in question was the Edwardine ordinal, and that intent is a complicated topic. But such was the bottom line of AC.

The OC-Utrecht (though not all OCs, generally) do seem to have run off the rails of late, with regard to females in sacerdotal garments, but whatever the judgment on their recent actions, the status of those who imparted their episcopal lines to Anglicanism between 1932 and (at least) 1962, that being the latest date my only source covers, remain the same: valid but illicit. And that’s what is found in Anglicanism, at a minimum.

An aside: validly consecrated bishops, though later excommunicated, still can transmit valid/illicit orders. See again Ott, p. 458.


I’d do my best.

Was busy this morning.


Having spoken to some modern Old Catholics, I have noted that they can have an understanding of sacraments, including ordination, that is very much outside the orthodox western (or Eastern) understanding. It seems to me that if Anglican history brings up questions regarding intent, so should theirs. I find it weird that the orders of an Old Catholic priest who thinks that Jesus was a metaphor and the priesthood is largely meaningless are valid while an orthodox Anglican’s are not.

As I said, current OCs (and there are more than one flavor) seemed to be, generally, on the same road to disaster as much of the developed Anglican world.

But intent is a complicated issue, inhering in the sacramental act, and not easily generalized about.


This would presume the use of a valid rite of ordination. I do not think that the Church views the Anglican rite of ordination of a bishop as a valid rite.

I know the Church does not view the Eucharistic rite as valid as they are current making changes to it in England for the ordinate to use and in the United States the Book of Divine Worship of the Anglican Use (and possibly for use by the US ordinate) is a modified version of the Book of Common Prayer that was used here.

In general, that is not known. The judgment on the Edwardine Ordinal was as to its form in approximately 1559. The supposed defect was cured in 1662, during a small set-to between the Church of Scotland and the Church of England; the form of Anglican consecration/ordination since that date has not contained the supposed defect.This is the sort of thing that is fuzzy, in that the RCC has not commented formally on the OC/PNCC question.

Most forms of the Anglican Order of the Mass are often criticized for an inadequate Epiclesis, and no doubt that will be adjusted; as it has been in the AU Book of Divine Worship. Sounds like a good idea to me. But I am not sure if the judgment would be invalid, or inadequate.


As GKC said - making changes doesn’t necessarily imply that a rite is invalid without the changes.

You agree, then, that the RCC’s reasons for rejecting the validity of Anglican orders are weak?

Not trying to put words in your mouth, just asking.

I don’t agree with the words or the conclusions. But the argument is not a contemptible one.

I look at the whole affair from more than a theological perspective. As in the case of a similar affair, Henry VIII’s Great Matter, politics, personalities and theology all played a part.

What is more important is that the RCC asserts, and requires all of its adherents to affirm, that Anglican orders are not valid. That will not likely be changed.