Ed Peters on Card. Coccopalmerio’s alarming assertion

Ed Peters – HERE – has some observations about recent comments made by Card. Coccopalmerio – who, frankly, is becoming a bit a of a concern.

The Bitter Pill (aka The Tablet, the UK’s … not best Catholic weekly) has Coccopalmerio opining that perhaps Anglican orders are not invalid after all.  You will recall that Pope Leo XIII determined that they are and that that is the position of the Church.

Peters looks at quite a few angles of the story.  However toward the end he put his finger directly on the most serious problem:

That said, and as important as the above questions might be, the cardinal’s further statement, one directly attributed to him, also deserves a closer look: namely, that the Church has “a very rigid understanding of validity and invalidity: this is valid, and that is not valid. One should be able to say: ‘this is valid in a certain context, and that is valid another context.’”

That, folks, is huge.

Huge is right.  Once we go down that path, we don’t know anything any more and we are pretty much Brother Billy Bob’s Faith Community in the old gas station down by the park.

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39 Responses to Ed Peters on Card. Coccopalmerio’s alarming assertion

  1. Julia_Augusta says:

    Why is this happening? Why is a cardinal making us, average Catholics, confused about what to believe and what not to believe? I came back to the Church after several decades and I’m totally shocked about the things that bishops and cardinals say these days that contradict what I learned in high school (Catholic/girls/run by Belgian nuns).

    Anglicans! What’s the DNA of the Anglican Church? Their founder was a guy who wanted to marry his mistress and dump his long suffering wife, and after that the same guy raided the Catholic Church in England and enriched himself and his cronies with the theft of church property. He destroyed the lives of many English people, too. That’s the DNA of their “church”. And now we have a cardinal saying that Anglican orders *may* be valid? When are they valid? Under what circumstances? This is too much for me!

    I don’t have a degree in Theology; I know very little about Canon law. The whole purpose of the Pope, cardinals, bishops and priests is to tell me the position of our holy Mother Church on a whole range of issues. If they just confuse me and I have to figure out things myself (very time consuming BTW), I will no doubt be in error in so many ways!

  2. (X)MCCLXIII says:

    From England:

    This seems inept and is certainly untimely. Even if Leo had been wrong in 1896, I can’t imagine how any informed Cardinal could believe that contemporary Anglican bishops – any of them – could be said to intend to do what the Church does when they attempt to confer ordination.

    Leo was right then and he’s righter now.

  3. asburyfox says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, we are in the greatest crisis and apostasy in the history of the Church. Scripture says that if these times were not shortened, even the elect wold have been deceived. Chaos and madness everywhere. Every man for himself. Do not follow these clerics to the hell they are going to.

  4. Maltese says:

    So the Cardinal is suggesting that openly lesbian priestesess might be validly ordained?

  5. Maltese says:

    This is the Twilight Zone.

  6. iPadre says:

    These things are so disturbing.

    Maybe my confessor is correct, we are close to the end of the world.

    “Will there be any faith when the Son of man returns?”

  7. Kerry says:

    “He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth.”
    Seems quite clear.

  8. Kerry says:

    One could further play this “context” game and ask “In what context did you make those remarks Cardinal?”

  9. JonathanTX says:

    I guess that means that in this context (the context of “I can do whatever I want,” apparently) I can refer to our blogger as Cardinal Zuhlsdorf now. Congrats, your eminence!

  10. Pingback: Ed Peters weighs in on Anglican Orders | Anglicanorum Coetibus Society Blog

  11. Sonshine135 says:

    Here again, we digress into “degrees of truth”. To illustrate the silliness of such argument, 2+2=4 only in a certain context. It may not equal 4 in another context.

    See how silly that statement is? The truth is the truth. Their is no degree of truth outside of the idea that some truths are harder for some people to emotionally accept than for others. As Peter Kreeft says in his book on the Catechism. Fact Faith and Feeling are all on standing on a wall. As long as Faith looks forward to Fact, they all remain on the wall. If Faith, however, turns backward to Feeling- Feeling and Faith fall off the wall. Fact always stays firmly in place.

  12. robtbrown says:

    Cardinal Coccopalmiero has shown once again that he knows as much about theology as a pig knows about Sunday.

    Anyone who has taken the time to study or merely read Apostolica Curae knows that it was the consequence of the Anglicans asking Rome to re-examine the question that had already been settled by Paul VI with Praeclara Charissimi, which was triggered by the appearance of the Edwardine Ordinal. 

    Why did the Anglicans, who knew for over 300 years that Rome considered their Orders invalid (and were fine with it) then decide under Leo XIII that they wanted the matter re-examined? The occasion, which caused the Anglicans to get religion, was the plan to re-establish the Catholic Hierarchy in England.

  13. Benedict Joseph says:

    Yet again the priesthood comes into the crosshairs.
    The real crunch now is realization of an ecclesial entity liberated from the “superstitious nonsense” they find aggravating in its stubborn refusal to evaporate. News several weeks ago that notorious Italian “theologian” Alberto Melloni has unveiled his research that the Holy Priesthood is a sixteenth century confection and it need be abandoned.
    No reprimand or correction from the Domus Sanctae Marta was forthcoming.
    Now this.
    Curious it is that those who find themselves offended by five simple questions and unwilling to clearly answer them are so willing to reopen questions that have been authoritatively answered.
    Ironically the only offence against ecclesiastical authority that is found intolerable is questioning the authority of individual ecclesiastics who themselves continually question multiple facets of the perennial Magisterium.
    For myself, I wonder when such individuals render themselves superfluous.
    Roman Catholicism appears reduced to an interminable clerical identity crisis. Self-absorbed in the extreme, there is little conviction from which to draw to energize, catechize, evangelize the faithful. The only meal on the table is self-doubt, self-contempt and self-loathing.
    A religious body reduced to its own self-obsession is powerless to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus. We have become consumed by the distraction of our self, leaving little room to recall and make present Jesus Christ.
    Institutional neurosis is out of hand.

  14. The problem here is simple: either Dementia or a YUGE narcissism problem. My 2 bits is in the narcissism. Cocopalmierio is OUT. Of. CONTROL.

  15. ce lathrop says:

    Well, we Orthodox told you so. By the way, the door Eastward is open: you have to lose the filioque, but you’ve already lost the papal infallibility functionally, and you can keep your orders because we consider them….what’s the word you use? Oh, yes, valid. Just sayin’.

  16. gretta says:

    Even if, just for argument’s sake, it was possible the validity question could be raised because since Leo’s pronouncement some possibly-valid-but-definitely-illicit Old Catholic bishop snuck into an Anglican bishop’s consecration, at some point, with the Anglicans now consecrating women bishops, this whole question will very soon be most definitively moot.

    [There are still issues of intention and of the texts used, etc.]

  17. gsk says:

    @Benedict Joseph: all quite excellent points, very good, except I’ll quibble with the first. The consistency with Francis (et al) is specifically the undermining of Church authority, and the attack on the priesthood is only a by-product. There are multitudinous scattershot statements out of Rome about pious devotions, various beliefs, occasional saints, and the need for holiness (FrancisStyle), but never support for the institutional Church. Rather, he keeps reminding us that her ranks are filled with hypocrites, pharisees, and rigid sourpusses, and it appears as though “Catholic” [specifically] is only meant to be a brand: of Mercy (FrancisStyle). Ironically, the only use for Papal authority is to constantly batter her, badger her, and buffalo her to stop being so rigid. That his bully pulpit rests on her beleaguered shoulders is a point he either chooses to ignore, or is part of a suicidal scheme that defies rational explanation.

  18. robtbrown says:


    iPadre says:

    Maybe my confessor is correct, we are close to the end of the world.

    Or maybe close to the disaster referenced in the Third Secret of Fatima.

    Anyway, it seems we’re close to the end of reason.

  19. Imrahil says:

    Dear ce lanthrop,

    accepting that we are in a certain manner enemies (in another manner friends, of course), even an enemy deserves that his position is understood accurately. We can do mental battle afterwards, but let’s not do battle while putting each his terms onto the table.

    So: no, we have not lost Papal infallibility just because the dogma says what it says. That we may have to remind ourselves that it only says what it says and not a million other things besides, is not a “functional loss of the dogma”, but actually a way, if an uncomfortable one, to realize firm belief in it.

  20. Imrahil says:

    Dear (X)MCCLXIII,

    we know that it is not necessary to intend to do what the Roman Church does, or to know what the Church does and intend to do it, or not to err in assuming what the Church does and intend to do it; all that is necessary is the intent to do what the Church does.

    One key Argument of Apostolicae curae is

    This form had, indeed, afterwards added to it the words “for the office and work of a priest,” etc.; but this rather shows that the Anglicans themselves perceived that the first form was defective and inadequate. But even if this addition could give to the form its due signification, it was introduced too late, as a century had already elapsed since the adoption of the Edwardine Ordinal, for, as the Hierarchy had become extinct, there remained no power of ordaining.

    That means (again) that following Apostolicae curae, not deviating from it, we have to say that the validity of the Rite per se of the Anglicans at present is an open question, though at the least there must be some Old Catholic, Orthodox, etc. line of succession that could perhaps confer the order.

    (The practical difference is “only” whether those who convert to Catholicism are to be reordained sub condicione or absolutely.)

  21. Semper Gumby says:

    Imrahil: well said.

    ce lathrop: Your comment is an amusing blend of snideness and miscomprehension. You may want to take a closer look at the Magesterium of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

    Just one observation. The “Magesterium” of Patriarch Aleksi II (KGB codename Drozdov) or Patriarch Kirill (KGB codename Mikhailov) are rather problematic. A bit heavy on encouraging Putin’s imperialism and encouraging the Mohammedans in Tehran. Cheers.

  22. Benedict Joseph says:

    @gsk: I think I get your point. At the risk of revealing myself to be a skeptic – or is it a cynic? – for quite some time I’ve personally fielded the pious aphorisms to which we are often treated as merely doggy devotionals to keep us inflexible rigid Pharisees off the scent. I give them no credence.
    The solemn anniversary of our Lady’s apparition at Fatima, and the wonderful event of the canonization of Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco (for whom I have the greatest devotion) should be a treasure trove of treats.
    I’m not biting.

  23. Rod Halvorsen says:

    “If, by the way, our speaker above were not a credentialed canonist, I would pause to make it clear that the canonical-doctrinal conclusion of the invalidity in Anglican orders does not, repeat not, mean that “nothing happened” at, or as the result of, the rites undergone by Anglican ministers. Such rites can of course be occasions of great grace for their recipients and ministry conducted in their wake can, and doubtless has, helped many to grow closer to Christ.”

    This is a very deeply troubling statement. It should be noted that in making this statement, Dr Peters has left the realm of canon law and entered that of trendy, emotive opinion on theology. Nevertheless, this statement is problematic in the extreme.

    I agree that it would be improper to suggest that “nothing happened”. Something certainly happens when invalidly ordained people administer invalid “Sacraments” to unknowing recipients. While unpopular to state clearly or even to suggest in today’s totally foggy theological environment, such invalidity sets up of a false “church” and leads those astray who receive the false sacraments subsequently administered by the invalidly ordained “priest” {or “priestess” as it were}. Just how such a situation allows individuals to “grow closer to Christ” Dr Peters needs to clarify, especially since the “denomination” in question supports moral teachings that stand in horrific and stark contrast to those found in the perennial Magesterium of the Catholic Church.

    Now we all know that the Church used to speak with clarity on this {and many other topics} but it seems few are willing to go there now, especially this Pope who Anglican Archbishop Venables tells us has told him not to convert. So I have utterly no qualms in suggesting that Coccopalmerio is releasing yet another trial balloon as ordered by the Pope, a balloon lofted in order to see if it will float or if there will be those who will, with the doctrinal ammunition of centuries and a {relatively}
    recent Leonine Final Word to-boot, shoot it down. If this is anything like seemingly now-adiaphoristic topics like the sanctity of marriage, unlikely.

    We are in very stormy waters when a man of Dr Peters’ stature misses this point.

    As for myself and I suspect others who are converts to the One True Faith from Anglican, Lutheran and other similar backgrounds who have experienced the “light” shining in those “churches”, the suggestion that invalidity {with all it brings along with it} nevertheless causes one to “grow closer to Christ” is not appreciated. Not one little bit.

    As for the Old Catholics, that might be true, but does anyone you really believe that is what is at stake here?

    Or is it more likely that the whole {obvious} thrust of this pontificate is to erase all lines between the left-wing, hyper-liberal mainline Protestant religions and the Catholic Church?

    This attempt at obliterating the lines between the Anglican and Catholic faiths is no different than the Pope standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the sexual deviants of the lesbian-led Lutherans in Lund, an association even many Lutherans shun as perverse, diabolical and demented.

  24. Hi Rod H. My statement is quite within the bounds of orthodoxy. First, I said “can … be” not necessary “are”. Second, there are ALL SORTS of rites that are NOT sacraments, but that are occasions of grace. Liturgy of the Hours suffices as one of dozens of examples, Jewish weddings, C.S. Lewis’ confessions, and so on. In the wake of these rites, graces (NOT sacramental, but actual nonetheless) can flow. As for all your other complaints about ecclesiastics this and that, please limit yours about me to mine. Finally, I am not a “man a stature” but I did not “miss the point.” Best, edp.

  25. hicks says:

    Dr. Peters says:
    “The canonical-doctrinal conclusion of the invalidity in Anglican orders does not, repeat not, mean that “nothing happened” at, or as the result of, the rites undergone by Anglican ministers. Such rites can of course be occasions of great grace for their recipients and ministry conducted in their wake can, and doubtless has, helped many to grow closer to Christ.”

    All due respect to Dr. Peters, but this is simply incorrect. Would he make the same concession to me if I were to begin ordaining clergy in the Church of Myself, provided that my church was nominally Christian? Of course not. The Archbishop of Canterbury is no more of a priest than I am, and a lie that keeps people out of Christ’s one and only Church is no occasion of great grace. I get it if Peters is looking to add a spoonful of sugar to the medicine, but we have to be clear.

    I think this all part of broad spectrum undermining of the Catholic priesthood. The Cardinal’s statement makes a lot of sense if you accept what I believe is their thesis: like marriage, the priesthood is actually a rather fuzzy concept. Remember how the pope said that many people who are only shacking up actually have the grace of holy matrimony? Apply that logic to the priesthood. Once you’ve done that, the issue of whether or not Anglican ministers are priests gets completely sidestepped, because being a priest was never what we used to think it was at all. Tony Palmer was a bishop, the Archbishop of Canterbury is a bishop. Becoming a priest is as easy as saying you’re one and getting some people to agree with you. It’s all pretty casual now.

    The level of confusion is absolutely diabolical and, I believe, entering its terminal phase. That all this is happening in the centenary of Fatima is not coincidental.

  26. Rod Halvorsen says:

    Dr Peters:

    To make the statement you made is to suggest that, well, let’s just repeat it: “Such rites can of course be occasions of great grace for their recipients “. “Of course”? “Great grace”?

    As one who grew up in those traditions, I can wholeheartedly say that the entire package of rites and Sacraments are joists and floorboards built above a foundation of watery sand. They all contribute to a facade of “Church” that leads astray from the One True Church and the teachings of Our Blessed Lord. In addition, that facade houses Protestant teachings that affirm immorality as morality, put forth under the false authority of invalid “priests”. All the rites in the world that make people feel good do nothing but prop up a false and weak structure. Catholics used to understand this, but anymore, not so much. “Can” a rite in the Anglican church point to Christ? Well, if it has any Scripture associated with it, the Scriptures can. But so can a chat with a Mormon missionary. But I don’t think you were saying that.

    If it is true that one false teaching embodied in the Magesterium would create even the slightest doubt about the integrity of the
    Magesterium itself, to say nothing of actually debunking the whole religion, what can an entire faith built on the lie of false orders conjure?

    No, as a big fan of your writing and canon law assessments, I think you just made a slip of the pen in the service of intended charity. But the words cannot be left out there alone, unchallenged.

    False orders are the foundation of false teaching, and false teaching does NOT help a person grow in grace. But then, neither does encouraging schismatics, heretics and the simply uninformed to remain so. That I do not believe you intended to do, though others have, it appears. And due to that confusion, I felt sort of a duty to address what I thought and still think is a statement that could be used by some to further such confusion. As a proselyte who is thankful beyond measure be a proselyte, to have been proselytized and to have been saved for the Kingdom and FROM the lies of the Protestant religion, I just wanted to make sure those who still may find themselves bound in those false faiths are not confused in any way by what you didn’t intended to say, but, it appears to me, did.

    I look forward to every piece you write, and still consider you a man of stature, even if you disagree!

  27. Rod Halvorsen says:

    PS: Dr Peters; I believe you are looking at your words with the eyes of a Catholic. I am looking at them with the eyes of a Catholic that used to see things with the scaled eyes of a Protestant…and I still remember. For the sake of those whose eyes are still scaled, I have said what I have said, not at all to demean you in any way. As small a point as this is, it’s big…

  28. gsk says:

    @Benedict Joseph: “doggy devotionals”

    Priceless. The hound of heaven is not amused.

  29. demivalka says:

    “Second, there are ALL SORTS of rites that are NOT sacraments, but that are occasions of grace. Liturgy of the Hours suffices as one of dozens of examples, Jewish weddings, C.S. Lewis’ confessions, and so on.”

    Dr. Peters, I don’t claim to have any particularized theological or canonical expertise but your comment above has left me flummoxed. I take it your “occasions of grace” are in reference to “actual graces” of which the CCC states “Habitual grace, the permanent disposition to live and act in keeping with God’s call, is distinguished from actual graces which refer to God’s interventions, whether at the beginning of conversion or in the course of the work of sanctification.”

    So “actual grace” is, arguably, that gift of will which moves someone towards Christ. I see the colorable argument that an atheist/agnostic who reads C.S. Lewis might be moved in the direction of seeking after Christ. (Notwithstanding, I appreciate Rod Halvorsen’s argument of the poor souls trapped in confirmed protestantism. I also take issue with Catholics who read Lewis in place of the 2000 year Catholic treasury at their disposal.) But what exactly is there in a Jewish wedding ceremony that creates a trajectory in the participants toward Christ? In most cases, it is either a perfunctory event undertaken by secularized Jews or a solemn rite undertaken by those serious adherents of Talmudic Judaism. (In the case of Ivanka Trump, such was a confirmation of apostasy from Jesus Christ.) There is seemingly nothing which points one specifically to Christ in a Jewish wedding. What am I missing?

    I admit that God does often write straight which crooked lines and that those who come to Him often do so in the most circuitous of ways but that if we apply the label of “actual grace” to every crooked line, then we have all descended into ultra-Coccopalmerio-ism. For example, is it an “actual grace” when a Hindu sees that the Pantheon of gods he was raised to worship is nonsensical and he eschews them becoming an agnostic? He has arguably moved away from false worship. Conversely, what about an atheist who becomes a Hindu? Hasn’t he now opened himself to the possibility of the divine? If everything is actual grace, then isn’t nothing actual grace?

    If we are to believe that Christ is the only name by which men are saved, you’ve one-upped Coccopalmerio by making a Jewish wedding an occasion of actual grace (at least he is talking about the validly baptized). Unless the grace you are describing is the kind of general, formless stirring for the transcendent that any human heart may experience watching a gorgeous sunset. If so, it didn’t help the argument pointing out why Coccopalmerio’s comments are a “huge” problem.

  30. Oh dear. How to put this? You both have read assertions into my position that simply are not there, and/or changed facts for hypotheticals which would change my responses, and/or missed points I wrote clearly on or did not (need to) raise. You’ll understand that I cannot make here all the distinctions necessary for fully replying even to you two. So, my statements are, again, all sound as presented by a Catholic for Catholics. I invite people to figure out how, or not, as they think best. Cordially, edp.

  31. Benedict Joseph says:

    #gsf: ruff ruff ruff !!!

  32. Rod Halvorsen says:

    “Oh dear. How to put this? You both have read assertions into my position that simply are not there,”

    I suspect we are not the only ones, which thereby begs the question as to the slip of the pen. But I’m satisfied with your point here, that what I have seen in your writing is not what you intended. And THAT is absolutely good enough for me, as the point has been made, discussed, and clarified.

    Thank you.

  33. lmgilbert says:

    Si quis etiam descendit in semi-Coccopalmerio-ism, A.S. – PPXIII, A.A.S. 2024

    h/t demivalka

  34. Filipino Catholic says:

    I am sorely itching to repeat a certain king Henry’s exasperated exclamation concerning Thomas Becket, and apply it anew to all these fellows befouling the clarity of the Magisterium with… shall we say organic fertilizer.

  35. Simon_GNR says:

    Julia_Augusta: ‘…the DNA of their “church” ‘

    Julia, I was a member of the Anglican Church of England for the first 22 years of my life, before I was received into the Catholic Church) and I think I might know a little about the heritage of that ecclesial community. You mention the DNA of their “church” and I should like to list some of the inherited characteristics (which is what DNA is all about) of the C of E:

    1. At the very start of the Church of England all its bishops were validly consecrated Catholic bishops and all its priests were validly consecrated Catholic priests.

    2. In the reign of Henry’s VIII’s daughter, Mary I, the Church of England was reconciled with the Holy See. Whatever Henry VIII did to the Church in England it was not sufficient for this reconciliation to be impossible.

    3. The Church of England has the three-fold ministry of bishops, priests and deacons.

    4. The Church of England has the three creeds, Apostles’, Nicene and Athanasian.

    In present times there are aspects of Anglicanism that might surprise some Catholics:

    (i) Holy Communion is received kneeling;

    (ii) The Holy Days of Epiphany and Ascension Day are celebrated on the proper days, not the nearest Sunday;

    (iii) Anglican church music is often better than in Catholic churches. I believe that Anglican cathedral choral evensong is a precious jewel of devout worship that no Catholic Church can match. At parish level, C of E congregations often sing hymns with enthusiasm, unlike the barely lukewarm response often given by Catholic congregations.

    (iv) In England at least, in an Anglican church there is often a much stronger sense of continuity with pre-Reformation Catholic Church in England than in Catholic Churches reordered since Vatican II.

    (v) Some Anglican churches still used the King James Version or the Revised Standard Version of the Bible: both of these are greatly preferable to the dreadful Jerusalem Bible which is almost universal in the present day Catholic church in England.

    (vi) Some Anglican clergy may have been validly (from a Catholic point of view) ordained. For instance, when the late Monsignor Graham Leonard became a Catholic priest ( he was previously the Anglican Bishop of London, the third most senior cleric in the C of E) he was *conditionally* ordained a Catholic priest. There was some reason to believe that he may have already had valid orders, one of the co-consecrators at his Anglican episcopal consecration being a validly consecrated bishop of the schismatic Old Catholic Church.

  36. tacitus63 says:

    One of the many very alarming things about the Cardinal’s dithering opinion is, that it sounds as though he doesn’t believe very much. He ought to take some time off, reconsider his vocation, and if he still doesn’t believe very much, go teach in a secular university. He would fit right in.

  37. robtbrown says:

    Simon GNR says,

    vi) Some Anglican clergy may have been validly (from a Catholic point of view) ordained. For instance, when the late Monsignor Graham Leonard became a Catholic priest ( he was previously the Anglican Bishop of London, the third most senior cleric in the C of E) he was *conditionally* ordained a Catholic priest. There was some reason to believe that he may have already had valid orders, one of the co-consecrators at his Anglican episcopal consecration being a validly consecrated bishop of the schismatic Old Catholic Church.

    The position of Rome has been that Orders will not be recognized as valid unless the principal ordaining bishop has valid Episcopal Orders.

    When Graham Leonard decided he wanted to be a Catholic, he told Rome that 1) he wanted his Orders recognized as valid, and 2) he wanted to be a bishop. He was conditionally ordained and never became a bishop.

    Re your other comments: Apostolic Succession was lost in England because the Anglican Church wanted no part of Transubstantiation or the Sacrifice of the Mass–thus wanted no part of the priesthood. That defect of intention (manifest in defect of form) invalidated ordination.

    Apostolic Succesion was not lost due to a lack of piety, nor can it be restored by a restoration of piety–no matter how beautiful Anglican Vespers can be.

  38. robtbrown says:

    To restate what I’ve noted here before:

    1. The Sacraments work ex opere operato, which means that of themselves they cause grace.
    Protestants deny this, often employing the phrase “occasions of grace”. Thus, Ed Peters is completely within the realm of Catholic theology to say that Anglican pretensions for ordination CAN BE occasions of grace. Such a possibility, however, would IMHO include more than a bit of ignorance on the part of the self-deluded ordinand.

    2. In Apostolicae Curae the basis for the invalidity of Anglican Orders is not merely defect of rite. That is certainly a factor, but defect of Intention is and must always be equally included in the foundation (cf. AC). This individual intention was tied to the context of the Anglican theology of the time, which had no use for the priesthood,

    4. Thus, if a Catholic bishop of good standing would use the rite, it would be a valid ordination

  39. robtbrown says:

    tacitus63 says:

    One of the many very alarming things about the Cardinal’s dithering opinion is, that it sounds as though he doesn’t believe very much. He ought to take some time off, reconsider his vocation, and if he still doesn’t believe very much, go teach in a secular university. He would fit right in.

    I was thinking more in terms of a nursing home for Alzheimer’s patients.