At 4:39 pm -0400 12/4/00, John Cowan wrote:
>Raymond Brown scripsit:
>> Yes, that's true - tho strictly in Catholic eyes such people were never
>> ordained priest before.
>Doesn't that depend on whether their sect has the Apostolic Succession
>or not?

...and here we get onto thorny ground where debate can get acrimonious.
Apostolic Succession alone is not enough.  If, e.g. a neo-Nazi regime
established itself in, say, California (I am *NOT* implying anything by
this - I'd guess that probabaly CA is one of the least likely places) and
the State seceeded from the Union, although they retained the Governor &
all the governmental institutions, would that make those institutions
automatically valid?

In Catholic teaching, as I've understood it (and I became Catholic as an
adult under instruction), correct _intention_ is essential for validity of
sacraments.  Whether or not apostolic succession was maintained in the
English Church through the turbulent Tudor period is controversial.  But
the main reason that Anglican orders were not recognized by Rome is the
lack of intention to ordain priests in the Catholic sense.

Now one can argue till the cows come home (as we say) about this - and
personally I do not think this list is the appropriate place to do that -
the objective fact is that rightly or wrongly, Rome decided that Anglican
orders were not valid.

>I would think that Orthodox Orders would be at least conditionally
>valid, though it is settled that Anglican Orders aren't.

Orthodox orders are valid (not conditionally, they are).  The choice for an
Orthodox priest joining the Roman Catholic fold is whether to retain his
own rites and be a 'Uniate' or to change over to the Latin rite.  AFAIK
such priests normally retain their Eastern rites.

"Old Catholic" orders are also recognized as valid (i.e. those Catholic
communities in continental Europe (and I guess there are probably now some
in the US) which went into schism when the definition of Papal
infallibility was solemnly proclaimed at Vatican I (I believe there were
one or two other schism as well).

The question of Anglican orders is now confused in that some 'High Church'
clergymen have in the past (the practice may still continue from time to
time) had their orders 'confirmed' by conditional ordination from Orthodox
bishops and certainly bishops of the "Anglo-Catholic" wing of the Anglican
community do ordain with the intention of creating priests in the Catholic
sense (but Bishops from the Protestant "Low Church" tradition certainly do
not).  So the whole issue is now clouded.  An Anglican minister from the
High Church tradition who converted to Rome might well now receive
'conditional ordination'.   I believe the same sort of situation now exists
regarding the Catholic attitude towards the Swedish Lutheran Church.

At 1:05 am -0400 13/4/00, Nik Taylor wrote:
>Raymond Brown wrote:
>> Depends what one means by 'priest'; the word translates both the Latin
>> 'presbyter' (from which it is derived) and 'sacerdos'.  Some Protestant
>> clergy would be deeply offended at being called priests.
>I've always been told that we don't use "priest" because we (I'm
>Lutheran) believe in the "Priesthood of All Believers", or as one pastor
>put it, "We're all priests, some of us are just pastors".

Yep - this is the general Protestant position - but I think some of your
Lutheran brethren in the Swedish Church (which, like the Anglican Churches)
claims to have maintained the Apostolic Succession of its Bishops (I do
*not* think this is a the appropriate list to argue whether the claim is
true or not) are more in tune with the "Anglo-Catholic" (Anglican High
Church) position on this.

In fact the Catholic (and I'd guess the Orthodox also) teaching also is
that we are all priests and share in Christ's high-priesthood, i.e. we are
all priests in the sense of the Latin "sacerdotes" or Greek "hiereis".  But
some are 'presbyteri' (Greek 'presbyteres') - and the word "priest" is
derived from the Latin 'pesbyter' (that's why Catholic priests live in

In the King James version the word is translated as "Elders".  And at the
time of the Reformation 'Elder' or 'Presbyter' was used to replace
"priest" because the latter term was bound up with the idea of a pagan
priest (sacerdos) offering sacrifice, i.e. the Sacrifice of the Mass - and
that was anathema to the Protestant leaders of the time.

Of course, in Catholic eyes the real priest who offers the Sacrifice of the
Mass is Christ; we are privileged to be allowed to share Christ's
priesthood and assist in the offering of that Sacrifice, but our ordained
'presbyter' (that's the Latin word) exercises his priesthood in more
special way that I or the rest of the congregation does in that he is
empowered, through the action of the Holy Spirit, to transform the bread &
wine into the real body & blood of Christ at every offering of that

Now whether or not I and my fellow worshippers are right in our beliefs or
we are simply deluding ourselves is not, I think, something that this list
is set up to argue about.  But it's because of such beliefs that some
people - and I fully understand & respect them - get touchy about their own
ministers or pastors being called 'priests'.

This thread IIRC began because the Kemrese are Uniate Catholics.  Maybe we
should return to things Brythenig again   :)


A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
                   [J.G. Hamann 1760]