The C of E’s church in Rome to host fake ordination of a woman

From the Times comes this telling tale about the future of Anglican/Vatican relations:

May 13, 2010
Italy to ordain the first woman priest near Vatican

Italy’s first woman [fake] priest is [not] to be ordained a stone’s throw from the Vatican later this month. [You would have to throw that stone pretty hard.]

Maria Vittoria Longhitano, 35, a member of the Italian Old Catholic Church, a breakaway group not recognised by the Vatican, will be ordained at All Saints Church, near the Spanish Steps in Rome, on 22 May. [This is the Church of England church in the City.]

A spokeswoman for All Saints Church said Ms Longhitano, who is married, was not being ordained as an Anglican. “We are offering our church as the venue because the Old Catholics have no venue of their own in Rome,” she said. “They use our facilities for their regular worship.” [But consider what they are going to do in their church.]

The Old Catholics, founded in the early 19th century in an attempt to set up a national Italian denomination separate from Rome, do not accept a number of central Catholic doctrines including papal infallibility and the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.  [And apparently some other things too.]

Ms Longhitano, a teacher in Miian with a degree in philosophy and theology, became a [fake] deacon last year. She will [not] be ordained by Bishop Fritz-René Müller of the Union of Utrecht, to which the Italian Old Catholics are affiliated.

She said that she had dreamed of being a priest since childhood, and her [pretend] ordination “represents a great opportunity for women of faith”. [The greatest opportunity to endanger souls, perhaps.] She hoped that it would “stimulate a debate among Catholics” on female ordination, which has been definitively ruled out by successive Popes, including Pope Benedict XVI.


The C of E’s church in Rome, allowing this to take place in their church, in Rome.


UPDATE 14 May 0047 GMT

The great Fr. Blake, P.P. of Brighton has a great comment on his blog about this:


When the Archbishop of Canterbury wanted a largish celebration in Rome to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the All Saints Anglican Centre in Rome, the diocese of Rome allowed him to use a Roman Basillica of S Sabina, [Which was wrong.] it even allows him to carry a crozier, a symbol of authority. How does All Saints respond? It makes itself available for the ordination of an Old Catholic women priest, who herself claims it is a stunt, "to stimulate a debate amongst Catholics".

Maybe Benson had something when he coined the phrase, "Old Mother Damnable".


Well done.

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  1. Oneros says:

    “an attempt to set up a national Italian denomination separate from Rome”

    Umm…they might need to re-check their history on this. That’s not QUITE how the Old Catholics started.

  2. TrueLiturgy says:

    Oneros: very true

    Also, the sad thing is that the Old Catholics actually have valid apostolic succession, therefore valid sacraments. However, maybe they’ll go with only females from now on and then the apostolic succession will go away. But since this most likely will not happen, this will cause great confusion for their members. Maybe they will come back to the Church in the manner that the Anglicans are coming back, in masse!

  3. The Old Catholics ‘ordained’ Sinead O’Connor. At that point, “apostolic succession” is not the word that comes readily to mind.

  4. William Tighe says:

    Probably not, TL, as the European OCs are tiny, liberal and totally given over to the vices of WO (women’s ordination) and SS (sanctified sodomy, the “blessing” of homosexual “life partnerships”). I wrote this article over a decade ago about them:

    and a few years later a friend did a follow-up:

    and now they have “outstripped even the Anglicans in their iniquity.” More to the point, they completely lack any thing like the conservative “opposition groups” which are found in many Anglican churches to the dominant liberals. They are a dying lot, and have clearly set their hopes of survival on recruiting disaffected Catholics, with small and indifferent success so far; and most of those have been men and women of a certain “orientation” (by which I don’t mean preferring Ad Orientem celebration).

    That Bishop Mueller who will purport to ordain that poor deluded lady is, by the way, the bishop of the Swiss Old Catholic Church (known formally as the “Christ Catholic Church”), which has about 40 clergy and 25,000 members, on paper at least.

  5. Daniel Latinus says:

    There are Old Catholics and then there are Old Catholics.

    The Old Catholics of the Union of Utrecht, are a substantial denomination with real congregations. Whatever their heresies, they are a church. The Union of Utrecht has been in communion with the Anglicans since the early 20th century, and recognizes Anglican Orders. It should surprise (or for that matter, agitate,) no one that the CofE church in Rome is hosting the Italian affiliate of the Union of Utrecht. Standard operating procedure.

    The Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC), an American body that broke away from Rome over an ecclesiastical power struggle, joined the Union of Utrecht in the 19th century, whence they received their epicopacy. The PNCC rejects the ordination of women, and either withdrew or was expelled from the Union of Utrechtas a result. The PNCC has some loopy ideas, but is generally theologically conservative. They preserve the apostolic succession, have real congregations, and they are a church.

    Then there are the vast array of Old Catholic and Independent Catholic groups, headed by clerics referred to as episcopi vagantes (wandering or wayward bishops). With these groups, it typically is not really clear where the bishop’s or priest’s orders came from. In a lot of cases, these groups consist of a P.O. box, a website, a “bishop” or three, and a congregation consisting of the “bishop’s” immediate family. The denomination’s cathedral is usually the living room of the “bishop’s” apartment, or maybe his garage. A few such groups are quite large, have several congregations, some of which have been around for a while. Theologically, they run the gamut from New Age superstition, to modernistic, to wannabe traditionalist. Some ordain women and accept homosexuality; others do not. I believe it was one of these episcopi vagantes who “ordained” Sinead O’Connor.

  6. Dave N. says:

    I don’t get why this is news, so maybe someone can help me out here.

    The Church of England has been ordaining women to their priesthood for awhile now—I think around 10-15 years—and as far as I know the same has been true for many of the Old Catholic groups as well.

    So exactly WHY would one expect the C of E to object? Just because it’s happening in Rome?

  7. Oleksander says:

    William Tighe,

    thanks for linking the interesting articles, yours was very informative

  8. RichardT says:

    As Dave said above, no surprise that the Church of England has allowed this; they have been “ordaining” women “priests” since 1994 (the current debate is about whether they should start “consecrating” women as “bishops”).

    I am told that there has been some doubt about the continuing validity of “Old Catholic” orders for some time, due to their theology of Orders, and this will only increase it.

  9. Charles E Flynn says:

    The faux ordination will have the same validity as one performed as part of a play, or a take of a scene from a movie.

  10. Patrick50 says:

    Man, Thats juts wrong. why oh why.

  11. Re: Sinead and Daniel Latinus’s comment

    Well, I see on Wikipedia that the guy who ordained her calls his outfit the “Irish Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church”, even though news reports at the time said he was ordaining her to the Old Catholic church.

  12. TJerome says:


  13. wanda says:

    LOL, TJerome! You’ve said it all in a nutshell.

  14. moon1234 says:

    And any Bishop who tries this will automatically excommunicate himself along with the person attempting it. I am fairly confident that apostolic succession for these so called “Bishops” end long ago. They are no more Catholic Bishops than Federal Express is some wing of the US government.

  15. Grabski says:

    Daniel The PNCC has some loopy ideas

    As a Polish American and a Scrantonian, I can tell you that the PNCC does not have ‘loopy’ ideas. Importantly, there is intercommunion (if that is the correct word) between the PNCC and RC. They are very traditional.

    Off topic, but when we would go to ethnic days at amusement parks and the like, the Italians or Irish would have Mass, while we Polaks would have Vespers to accomodate both groups. It will be interesting to see if Scranton’s new Polish American Bishop can get the PNCC to swim the Tiber; they are on the banks of it.

  16. Daniel Latinus says:


    The last time I checked (it has been a while), the PNCC believed in divorce and remarriage, accepted contraception, had mandatory confession for children and optional confession for adults, and had the odd idea that listening to the reading of the Scriptures is one of the seven sacraments. If the PNCC has come to a more orthodox position on these points, I would be glad to hear it. (And I am aware that the PNCC repudiated its founder’s belief in universal salvation.) But my main point is that the PNCC has retained significantly more orthodoxy than its former partners in the Union of Utrecht. So there is more realistic hope for a reconciliation.

    I had feared that with the passing of John Paul II, the opportunity to reconcile the PNCC would also fade; I would be glad to be wrong about that too.

  17. Grabski says:

    Daniel The PNCC has some traditions that were meant to increase its numbers, I agree. Divorce and married clergy (including married bishops) was one. Parish ownershp by parishioners was another.

    Penance is one of the seven sacraments. Reconciliation is optional for we Roman Catholics. To understand ‘optional’ is to understand 19th c. traditions, where a believer not only went to confession during Lent, but he was given a paper w/ his name on it by the priest. When he did his Easter duty, that paper was deposited in a basket. W/o being enrolled in that way, you were banned from a Christian burial and a Catholic cemeteries. Now, their choice of reconciliation mirrors ours

    Yes, the scripture was elevated to a sacrament, but wasn’t the role of the scripture elevated post VII?

    And of course, their choice of the vernacular predated Rome’s by 70 years.

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