ANSWER TO THE APOSTOLIC LETTER
OF POPE LEO XIII.
ON ENGLISH ORDINATIONS.
see Leo XIII: Apostolicae Curae, 1896
To the whole body of Bishops of the Catholic Church, from the Archbishops of
I. It is the fortune of our office that often, when we would fain write about the
common salvation, an occasion arises for debating some controverted question which cannot
be postponed to another time. This certainly was recently the case when in the month of
September last there suddenly arrived in this country from Rome a letter, already printed
and published, which aimed at overthrowing our whole position as a Church. It was upon
this letter that our minds were engaged with the attention it demanded when our beloved
brother Edward, at that time Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of all England and
Metropolitan, was in God's providence taken from us by sudden death. In his last written
words he bequeathed to us the treatment of the question which he was doubtless himself
about to treat with the greatest learning and theological grace. It has therefore seemed
good to us, the Archbishops and Primates of England, that this answer should be written in
order that the truth on this matter might be made known both to our venerable brother Pope
Leo XIIIth, in whose name the letter from Rome was issued, and also to all the other
bishops of the Christian Church throughout the world.
II. The duty indeed is a serious one; one which cannot be discharged without a certain
deep and strong emotion. But since we firmly believe that we have been truly ordained by
the Chief Shepherd to bear a part of His tremendous office in the Catholic Church, we are
not at all disturbed by the opinion expressed in that letter. So we approach the task
which is of necessity laid upon us "in the spirit of meekness"; and we deem it
of greater importance to make plain for all time our doctrine about holy orders and other
matters pertaining to them, than to win a victory in controversy over a sister Church of
Christ. Still it is necessary that our answer be cast in a controversial form lest it be
said by anyone that we have shrunk from the force of the arguments put forward on the
III. There was an old controversy, but not a bitter one, with respect to the form and
matter of holy orders, which has arisen from the nature of the case, inasmuch as it is
impossible to find any tradition on the subject coming from our Lord or His Apostles,
except the well known example of prayer with laying on of hands. But little is to be found
bearing on this matter in the decrees of Provincial Councils, and nothing certain or
decisive in those of Oecumenical and General Assemblies.
Nor indeed does the Council of Trent, in which our Fathers took no part, touch the
subject directly. Its passing remark about the laying on of hands (session XIV. On extreme
unction, chap. III.), and its more decided utterance on the force of the words
"Receive the Holy Ghost," which it seems to consider the form of Order (session
XXIII. On the Sacrament of Order, canon IV.), are satisfactory enough to us, and certainly
are in no way repugnant to our feelings.
There has been a more recent a more bitter controversy on the validity of Anglican
ordinations, into which theologians on the Roman side have thrown themselves with
eagerness, and in doing so have, for the most part, imputed to us various crimes and
defects. There are others, and those not the least wise among them, who, with a nobler
feeling, have undertaken our defence. But no decision of the Roman pontiffs, fully
supported by arguments, has ever before appeared, nor has it been possible for us, while
we knew that the practice of reordaining our priests clearly prevailed (though this
practice has not been without exception), to learn on what grounds of defect they were
reordained. We knew of the unworthy struggles about Formosus, and the long vacillations
about heretical, schismatic and simoniacal ordinations. We had access to the letter of
Innocent IIId on the necessity of supplying unction and the Decree of Eugenius IVth for
the Armenians; we had the historical documents of the XVIth century, though, of these many
are unknown even to the present day; we had various decisions of later Popes, Clement XIth
and Benedict XIVth, but those of Clement were couched in general terms and therefore
uncertain. We had also the Roman Pontifical as reformed from time to time, but, as it now
exists, so confusedly arranged as to puzzle rather than enlighten the minds of enquirers.
For if any one considers the rite Of the ordination of a Presbyter, he sees that
the proper laying on of hands stands apart from the utterance of the form. He also cannot
tell whether the man, who in the rubrics is called "ordained," has really been
ordained, or whether the power, which is given at the end of the office by the words --
"receive the Holy Ghost; whose sins thou shalt have remitted they are remitted unto
them, and whose sins thou shalt have retained they are retained" -- with the laying
on of pontifical hands, is a necessary part of the priesthood (as the Council of Trent
seems to teach) or not necessary. In like manner if anyone reads through the rite Of
the consecration of an elect as Bishop, he will nowhere find that he is called
"Bishop" in the prayers and benedictions referring to the man to be consecrated,
or that "Episcopate" is spoken of in them in regard to him. As far as the
prayers are concerned the term "Episcopate" occurs for the first time in the
Mass during the consecration.
From these documents therefore, so obviously discordant and indefinite, no one, however
wise, could extract with certainty what was considered by the Roman Pontiffs to be truly
essential and necessary to holy orders.
IV. Thus our most venerable brother in his letter dated the 13th of
September, which begins with the words Apostolicae curae, has approached this
question after a manner hitherto unexampled, although the arguments urged by his are
sufficiently old. Nor do we desire to deny that in entering upon this controversy he has
consulted the interests of the Church and of truth in throwing over the very vain opinion
about the necessity of the delivery of the "instruments," which was nevertheless
widely accepted by scholastic theologians from the time of S. Thomas Aquinas up to that of
Benedict XIVth, and even up to the present day. At the same time he has done well in
neglecting other errors and fallacies, which for our part also we shall neglect in this
reply, and in regard to which we hope that theologians on the Roman side will follow his
example and neglect them for the future.
V. His whole judgment therefore hinges on two points, namely, on the practice of the
Court of Rome and the form of the Anglican rite, to which is attached a third question,
not easy to separate from the second, on the intention of our Church. We will answer at
once about the former, though it is, in our opinion, of less importance.
VI. As regards the practice of the Roman Court and Legate in the XVIth century,
although the Pope writes at some length, we believe that he is really as uncertain as
ourselves. We see that he has nothing to add to the documents which are already well
known, and that he quotes and argues from an imperfect copy of the letter of Paul IVth Praeclara
carissimi. Where, for example, are the faculties granted to Pole after 5 August 1553
and before 8 March 1554, which Julius confirms in his letter of the latter date, to be
"freely used" in respect to orders received with any irregularity or failure in
the accustomed form, but does not detail and define? Without these faculties the
"rules of action" to be observed by Pole are imperfectly known. For the
distinction made in the letters of both those dates between men "promoted" and
"not promoted," to which the Pope refers, does not seem to touch the position of
the Edwardian clergy, but the case of those who held benefices without any pretence of
ordination, as was then often done. Who in fact knows thoroughly either what was done in
this matter or on what grounds it was done? We know part; of part we are ignorant. It can
be proved however on our side that the work of that reconciliation under Queen Mary (6
July 1553 to 17 Nov. 1558) was in very great measure finished, under royal and episcopal
authority, before the arrival of Pole.
In the conduct of which business there is evidence of much inconsistency and
unevenness. Yet while many Edwardian Priests are found to have been deprived for various
reasons, and particularly on account of entering into wedlock, none are so found, as far
as we know, on account of defect of Order. Some were voluntarily reordained. Some received
anointing as a supplement to their previous ordination, a ceremony to which some of our
Bishops at that time attached great importance. Some, and perhaps the majority,
remained in their benefices without reordination, nay were promoted in some cases to new
cures. Pole did not return to England after his exile until November 1554, and brought the
reconciliation to a conclusion in the fifteen months that followed. The principle of his
work appears to have been to recognise the state of things which he found in existence
upon his arival, and to direct all his powers towards the restoration of papal supremacy
as easily as possible. In this period one man and perhaps a second (for more have not yet
been discovered) received new orders under Pole, in the years 1554 and 1557; but it is
uncertain in what year each of them began the process of being reordained. At any rate
very few were reordained after Pole's arrival. Others perhaps received some kind of
supplement or other to their orders, a record of which is not to be found in our
But if a large number had been reordained under Pole, as papal legate, it would not
have been at all surprising, inasmuch as in his twelve legatine constitutions, he added,
as an appendix to the second, the Decree of Eugenius IVth for the Armenians, saying that
he did so "inasmuch as very great errors have been committed here (in England) with
respect to the doctrine concerning the head of the Church and the Sacraments." And
this he did, not as our Archbishop, but as papal legate. For these consititutions were
promulgated at the beginning of the year 1556. But Pole was only ordained Presbyter on the
20th March of the same year; and said Mass for the first time on the following
day, being the day on which our lawful Archbishop, Cranmer, was burnt alive; and on the 22nd he was consecrated Archbishop.
We quote here the Decree of Eugenius Ivth, as reissued by Pole, because it shows how
slippery and weak the judgment of the Church of Rome has been in this matter. Further when
Pope Leo extols the learning of Pole on this point and writes that it would have been
quite irrelevant for the Popes to instruct the legate "as to the conditions necessary
for the bestowal of orders," he seems wholly to forget Eugenius' Decree, which he has
silently thrown over in another part of his letter. (Cp. 3 and 5.) "The sixth
sacrament is that of Order: the matter of which is the thing by the delivery of which the
order is conferred : as for instance the order of the presbyterate is conferred by the
porrection of the chalice with wine and the paten with bread : the diaconate by giving the
book of the Gospels : the subdiaconate by the delivery of the empty chalice with the empty
paten on it : and in like manner as regards other orders by the assignment of the things
pertaining to their ministers. The form of priesthood is as follows: Receive the power
of offering sacrifice in the Church for the living and the dead. In the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. And so as regards the forms of the
other orders as is contained at length in the Roman Pontifical. The ordinary minister of
this Sacrament is the Bishop : the effect, an increase of grace, so that a man may be a
fit minister." Here the laying on of hands, and the invocation of the Holy Spirit
upon the candidates for orders, are not referred to even by a single word. Yet Eugenius,
as is clear by his explanation of other Sacraments, is not speaking of things to be
supplied by the Armenians, as writers on the Roman side are sometimes fond of saying, but
is teaching the Church, as if he were its master, in careful adherence to Aquinas, about
what is absolutely necessary to the administration of the Sacraments. So also he writes in
the earlier part of his Decree: "All these Sacraments have three requisites for their
performance, things as their 'matter;' words as their 'form,' and the person of the
minister who celebrates the Sacrament with the intention of doing what the Church does : and if any of these be absent, the Sacrament is not performed" (Conc. xiv. p. 1738).
Now in our Church from March 1550 to 1st November 1552, though the delivery
of the instruments still remained in some degree (i.e., of the chalice with bread in the
case of Presbyters, and of the pastoral staff in that of Bishops, and of the Bible in
both) yet the forms attached to them had already been changed very nearly into those which
now are in use. In the year 1552 the delivery of the chalice and the staff was dropped and
that of the Bible alone remained. King Edward died on the 6th July 1553.
According to this Decree, then, all these Presbyters ought to have been reordained. But
Pole's opinion scarcely agreed with his practice. Nor does Paul Ivth himself, in his Brief Regimini universalis, make any demands as to the form in which Presbyters are
ordained, though careful about "properly and rightly ordained" Bishops. (See
last page of Appendix.)
VII. The second, but scarcely stronger, foundation of the papal opinion about the
practice of his Court appears to be the judgment of Clement Xith in the case of John
Gordon, formerly Bishop of Galloway, delivered on Thursday 17th April 1704 in
the general Congregation of the Inquisition, or, as it is usually called, the holy Office.
We hre make a short answer on this case, inasmuch as it cannot be treated clearly on
account of the darkness in which the holy Office is enveloped, a darkness insufficiently
dispersed by Pope Leo's letter. The fuller treatment of this has been relegated to the
Appendix. There are, however, four reasons in particular for considering this case as a
weak and unstable foundation for his judgment. In the first place, inasmuch as Gordon
himself petitioned to be ordained according to the Roman rite, the case was not heard from
the other side. Secondly, his petition had as its basis the old "Tavern fable,"
and was vitiated by falsehoods concerning our rite. Thirdly, the new documents of
"incontestable authenticity" cited by the Pope are still involved in obscurity,
and he argues about them as if he were himself uncertain as to their tenor and meaning.
Fourthly, the decree of the Congregation of the holy Office, if it is to be considered to
agree with Pope Leo's judgment, can scarcely be reconciled with the reply of the
consultors of the holy Office on Abyssinian ordinations, said to have been given about a
week before, and often published as authoritative by Roman theologians up to 1893.
Therefore all those documents ought to be made public if the matter is to be put on a fair
footing for judgment.
Finally, it must be noted, that Gordon never went beyond minor orders in the Roman
Church. That is to say, he only did enough to receive a pension for his support from
VIII. The Pope has certainly done well not to rest satisfied with such weak
conclusions, and to determine to reopen the question and to treat it afresh; although this
would seem to have been done more in appearance than in reality. For inasmuch as the case
was submitted by him to the holy Office, it is clear that it, being bound by its
traditions, could hardly have expressed dissent from the judgment, however ill founded,
which was passed in the case of Gordon.
Further when he touches upon the matter itself and follows the steps of the Council of
Trent, our opinion does not greatly differ from the main basis of his judgment. He rightly
calls laying on of hands the "matter" of ordination. His judgment on the
"form" is not so clearly expressed; but we suppose him to intend to say that the
form is prayer or benediction appropriate to the ministry to be conferred, which is also
our opinion. Nor do we part company with the Pope when he suggests that it is right to
investigate the intention of a Church in conferring holy orders "in so far as it is
manifested externally." For whereas it is scarcely possible for any man to arrive at
a knowledge of the inner mind of a Priest, so that it cannot be right to make the validity
of a Sacrament depend upon it, the will of the Church can both be ascertained more easily,
and ought also to be both true and sufficient. Which intention our Church shows generally
by requiring a promise from one who is to be ordained that he will rightly minister the
Doctrine, Sacraments and Discipline of Christ, and teaches that he who is unfaithful to
this promise, may be justly punished. And in our Liturgy we regularly pray for "all
Bishops and Curates, that they may both by their life and doctrine set forth (God's) true
and lively word, and rightly and duly administer (His) holy Sacraments."
But the intention of the Church must be ascertained "in so far as it is manifested
externally," that is to say, from its public formularies and definite pronouncements
which directly touch the main point of the question, not from its omissions and reforms,
made as opportunity occurs, in accordance with the liberty which belongs to every Province
and Nation -- unless it may be that something is omitted which has been ordered in the
Word of God, or the known and certain statutes of the universal Church. For if a man
assumes the custom of the middle ages and of more recent centuries as the standard,
consider, brethren, how clearly he is acting against the liberty of the Gospel and the
true character of Christendom. And if we follow this method of judging the validity of
Sacraments, we must throw doubt upon all of them, except Baptism alone, which seems
according to the judgment of the universal Church to have its matter and form ordained by
IX. We acknowledge therefore with the Pope that laying on of hands is the matter of
ordination; we acknowledge that the form is prayer or blessing appropriate to the ministry
to be conferred; we acknowledge that the intention of the Church, as far as it is
externally manifested, is to be ascertained, so that we may discover if it agrees with the
mind of the Lord and His Apostles and with the Statutes of the Universal Church. We do not
however attach so much weight to the doctrine so often descanted upon by the Schoolmen
since the time of William of Auxerre (A.D. 1215), that each of the Sacraments of the
Church ought to have a single form and matter exactly defined. Nor do we suppose that this
is a matter of faith with the Romans. For it introduces a very great danger of error,
supposing any Pope or Doctor, who may have great influence over the men of his own time,
should persuade people to acknowledge as necessary this or that form or matter which has
not been defined either in the word of God or by the Catholic Fathers or Councils.
For, as we have said, Baptism stands alone as a Sacrament in being quite certain both
in its form and its matter. And this is suitable to the nature of the case. For, --
inasmuch as the Baptism of Christ is the entrance into the Church for all men, and can be
ministered by all Christians, if there be a pressing need, -- the conditions of a valid
Baptism ought to be known to all. As regards the Eucharist (if you set aside, as of less
importance, questions about unleavened bread, and salt, about water, and the rest), it has
a sufficiently certain matter : but up to the present day a debate is still going on as to
its full and essential form. But the matter of Confirmation is not so entirely certain;
and we at any rate do not at all think that Christians who have different opinions on the
subject should be condemned by one another. The form of Confirmation again is uncertain
and quite general, prayer, that is to say, or benediction, more or less suitable, such as
is used in each of our Churches. And so with respect to others.
X. But this topic of Confirmation requires to be treated rather more at large : for it
throws much light on the question proposed by the Pope. He writes truly that laying on of
hands is a "matter" "which is equally used for Confirmation." The
matter therefore of Confirmation seems, in his judgment, to be laying on of hands, as we
too hold in accordance with Apostolic tradition. But the Roman Church for many centuries
has, by a corrupt custom, substituted a stretching out of hands over a crowd of children,
or simply "towards those who are to be confirmed," in the place of laying on of
hands to be conferred on each individual.
The Orientals (with Eugenius IVth) teach that the matter is chrism, and use no laying
on of hands in this rite. If therefore the doctrine about a fixed matter and form in the
Sacraments were to be admitted, the Romans have ministered Confirmation imperfectly for
many centuries past, and the Greeks have none. And not a few amongst the former
practically confess the corruption introduced by their Fathers, having joined laying on of
hands to the anointing, as we have learnt, in many places, while a rubric on this point
has been added in some Pontificals. And it is fair to ask whether Orientals who are
converts to the Roman communion require a second Confirmation? Or do the Romans admit that
they, who have changed its matter, have had as good a right to do so as themselves who
have corrupted it?
Whatever the Pope may answer, it is clear enough that we cannot everywhere insist very
strictly on that doctrine about a fixed form and matter; inasmuch as all Sacraments of the
Church, except Baptism, would in that way be rendered uncertain.
XI. We enquire therefore what authority the Pope has for discovering a definite form in
the bestowal of holy orders? We have seen no evidence produced by him except two passages
from the determinations of the Council of Trent (Session XXIII. On the
Sacrament of Order, canon I., and Session XXII. On the sacrifice of the
Mass, canon III.) which were promulgated after our Ordinal was composed, from which
he infers that the principal grace and power of the Christian priesthood is the
consecration and oblation of the Body and Blood of the Lord. The authority of that Council
has certainly never been admitted in our country, and we find that by it many truths were
mixed with falsehoods, much that is uncertain with what is certain. But we answer as
regards the passages quoted by the Pope, that we make provision with the greatest
reverence for the consecration of the holy Eucharist and commit it only to properly
ordained Priests and to no other ministers of the Church. Further we truly teach the
doctrine of Eucharistic sacrifice aand do not believe it to be a "nude commemoration
of the Sacrifice of the Cross," an opinion which seems to be attributed to us by the
quotation made at that Council. But we think it sufficient in the Liturgy which we use in
celebrating the holy Eucharist, -- while lifting up our hearts to the Lord, and when now
consecrating the gifts already offered that they may become to us the Body and Blood of
our Lord Jesus Christ, -- to signify the sacrifice which is offered at that point of the
service in such terms as these. We continue a perpetual memory of the precious death of
Christ, who is our Advocate with the Father, and the proptiation for our sins, according
to His precept, until His coming again. For first we offer the sacrifice of praise and
thanksgiving; then next we plead and represent before the Father the sacrifice of the
cross, and by it we confidently entreat remission of sins and all other benefits of the
Lord's Passion for all the whole Church; and lastly we offer the sacrifice of ourselves to
the Creator of all things which we have already signified by the oblation of His
creatures. This whole action, in which the people has necessarily to take its part with
the Priest, we are accustomed to call the Eucharistic sacrifice.
Further, since the Pope reminds us somewhat severely of "the necessary connection
between faith and worship, between the law of believing and the law of praying,"
it seems fair to call closer attention, both on your part and ours, to the Roman Liturgy.
And when we look carefully into the "Canon of the Mass," what do we see clearly
exhibited there as to the idea of sacrifice? It agrees sufficiently with our Eucharistic
formularies, but scarcely or not at all with the determinations of the Council of Trent.
Or rather it should be said that two methods of explaining the sacrifice are put forth at
the same time by that Council, one which agrees with liturgical science and Christian
wisdom, the other which is under the influence of dangerous popular theology on the
subject of Eucharistic propitiation. Now in the Canon of the Mass the sacrifice which is
offered is described in four ways. Firstly it is a "sacrifice of praise,"
which idea runs through the whole action and so to say supports it and makes it all of a
piece. Secondly it is the offering made by God's servants and His whole family, about
which offering request is made that it "may become to us the Body and Blood" of
His Son our Lord. Thirdly it is an offering to His Majesty of His "own gifts and
boons" (that is, as Innocent IIIrd rightly explains it, of the fruits of the
fields and trees, although the words of the Lord have already been said over them by the
Priest), which are called the holy Bread of eternal life and the Chalice of everlasting
salvation. Fourthly and lastly (in the prayer Supra quas propitio) the
sacrifice already offered in three ways, and according to Roman opinion now fully
consecrated, is compared with the sacrifices of the patriarchs Abel and Abraham, and with
that offered by Melchisedech. This last, being called "holy sacrifice, unblemished
victim," shows that the comparison is not only in respect to the offerer, but also to
the things offered. Then the Church prays that they may be carried up by the hands of the
holy Angel to the altar of God on high. Lastly, after the second series of names of
Saints, there occurs the piece of a prayer (Per quem haec omnia) which appears
rather suitable to a benediction of fruits of the earth, than to the Eucharistic
It is clear therefore from what has been already said that the law of believing,
set forth by the Council of Trent, has gone some distance beyond the boundaries of the law
of praying. The matter is indeed one full of mystery and fitted to draw onwards the
minds of men by strong feelings of love and piety to high and deep thoughts. But, inasmuch
as it ought to be treated with the highest reverence and to be considered a bond of
Christian charity rather than an occasion for subtle disputations, too precise definitions
of the matter of the sacrifice, or of the relation which unites the sacrifice of the
eternal Priest and the sacrifice of the Church, which in some way certainly are one, ought
in our opinion to be avoided rather than presssed into prominence.
XII. What therefore is the reason for impugning our form and intention in ordaining
Presbyters and Bishops?
The Pope writes, if we omit things of less importance, "that the order of
priesthood or its grace and power, which is especially the power of consecrating and
offering the true Body and Blood of the Lord in that sacrifice which is no nude
commemoration of the sacrifice offered by on the cross" must be expressed in the
ordering of a Presbyter. What he desires in the form of consecration of a Bishop is not so
clear; but it seems that, in his opinion, in some way or other, "high
priesthood" ought to be attributed to him.
Both however of these opinions are strange, inasmuch as in the most ancient Roman
formulary used, as it seems, at the beginning of the third century after Christ (seeing
that exactly the same form is employed both for a Bishop and a Presbyter, except the
name), nothing whatever is said about "high priesthood" or
"priesthood" nor about the sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ. "The
prayers and oblations which he will offer (to God) by day and by night" are alone
mentioned, and the power of remitting sins is touched on.
Again in the old Roman Sacramentary, which may perhaps be assigned to the VIth century,
only three prayers are employed for the ordination of Presbyters. Two are short collects,
namely Oremus dilectissimi, and Exaudi nos, and a third longer, like a
Eucharistic preface, which is the real Benediction, and was in former times attached to
the laying on of hands, which begins, Domine sancte pater omnipotens aeterne Deus,
honorum omnium, etc. These prayers, from the VIth to the IXth century and perhaps
later, made up the whole rite for ordaining a Presbyter in the church of Rome, with no
other ceremonies whatever. These prayers, scarcely altered, are retained in the Roman
Pontifical, and form as it were the nucleus of the service For the ordering of a
Presbyter, although the laying on of hands which used to be attached to the longer
form has passed to the commencement of the office, and is given again at the end of the
Mass. But in the Benediction "priesthood" is not attributed to the Presbyters,
and in none of that series of prayers is anything said of the power of sacrificing or of
the remission of sins. "Priestly grace" too, which is prayed for in the second
collect in most of the Pontificals, is simply "spiritual grace" in some other
uses both English and foreign. Yet this form is undoubtedly valid.
Similar things may be said about the form for the consecration of a Bishop. The
Collects and the Benediction remain in the modern Pontifical, only slightly changed. They
begin Exaudi Domine supplicum preces (now Adesto), Propitiare
Domine, and Deus honorum omnium. The second of these mentions "the horn
of priestly grace," the third, "the high priesthood," but nothing else
which can be alleged as confirming the Pope's position. All the rest of the matter in the
Pontifical is derived from the usage of later times and especially from Gallican rites.
And this also may be said as to the power of remitting sins, which is mentioned by the
Council of Trent (see ch. iii. n. 1) together with "a certain power of consecrating
and offering," and with equal emphasis. It appears nowhere up to the Xith century in
the ordination of a Presbyter; nowhere in the old Roman form for the consecration of a
Bishop. It appears only in the long Gallican interpolation in the blessing of a Bishop Sint
speciosi munere tuo pedes eius up to ut fructum de profectu omnium consequatur.
But the Pope who appeals to the Counil of Trent must submit to be judged by it. Either
then these Roman formulas were valueless because of their defect in the matter of
sacrifice and remitting sins, or else the authority of that Council is of no value in
settling this question about the necessary form of Order.
We may here quote another ancient form of consecrating a Bishop which was used both
in England and elsewhere during the XIth century and displays the same simplicity. It
begins, Pater sancte omnipotens Deus qui per Dominum, and prays for those about
to be consecrated, "that they may be enabled to celebrate the mysteries of the
Sacraments which have been ordained of old. May they be consecrated by Thee to the high
priesthood to which they are called"; but it says not a word about sacrifice nor
about the power to remit sins.
XIII. On the subject of the title of Bishops our simple and immediate reply is that the
name of high Priest is in no way necessary to describe this office in the form of
consecration. The African Church openly forbad even her Primates to use this title; the
words 'pontifical glory,' which sometimes appear in Sacramentaries, denote a secular or
Jewish distinction rather than a rank in the Church. We are content with the name of
Bishop to describe the office of those who, when they were left, after the removal of the
Apostles, to be chief pastors in the Church, exercised the right of ordaining and
confirming, and ruled, together with a body of presbyters, over a single
"parochia" or diocese, as it is now called. And to this order the Pope, in the
beginning of his letter, following the sound custom of antiquity, reckons himself to
belong. Bishops are undoubtedly Priests, just as Presbyters are Priests, and in early ages
they enjoyed this title more largely than Presbyters did; nay, it was not till the fourth
or fifth century that Presbyters, in the Latin Church at any rate, came to be called
Priests in their own right. But it does not therefore follow that Bishops nowadays ought
to be called high Priests in the form of Consecration. The question of the priesthood of
Bishops was perhaps different in early times, certainly up to the Ixth and possibly the
Xith century, when a simple Deacon was often made Bishop per saltum, i.e. without
passing through the presbyterate. In those days of course it was fitting, if not indeed
necessary, to apply to the Bishop the term Priest, as, e.g., is done in the Prayer still
used in the Pontifical, which speaks of "the horn of priestly grace." But
inasmuch as this custom of consecration per saltum has long since died out
(though perhaps never expressly forbidden by statute) and every Bishop has already, during
the period of his presbyterate, been a Priest, it is no longer necessary to confer the
priesthood afresh, nor, if we give our candid opinion, is it a particularly good and
regular proceeding. Nor ought the Romans to require it, inasmuch as the Council of Trent
calls preaching of the Gospel "the chief duty of Bishops" (Session V. on
Reform, ch. ii. and Sess. XXIV. on Ref., ch. iv.). It is not
therefore necessary that either high priesthood or any other fresh priesthood should be
attributed to Bishops.
But although in our Ordinal we say nothing about high Priests and Pontiffs, we do not
avoid using the terms in other public documents. Examples may be taken from the Latin
edition of the Book of Common Prayer, A.D. 1560, from the ltter written by twelve
Bishops on behalf of Archbishop Grindall, A.D. 1580, and from Archbishop Whitgift's
Commission to his Suffragan the Bishop of Dover, A.D. 1583.
XIV. Two of the arguments advanced against our form, which specially commend themselves
to the Pope, shall receive a somewhat larger answer.
The first of these is, that about a century after the Ordinal was published, in 1662,
we added to the words "Receive the Holy Ghost" other words intended to define
the office and work of a Bishop or Priest (cp. chap. XV., notes 1 and
3). The Pope suggests that these words of our Lord without the subsequent addition are
inthemselves insufficient, imperfect, and inappropriate. But in the Roman Pontifical, when
a Bishop is consecrated by the laying on of the hands of the consecrating Bishop and
assisting Bishops, the only form is "Receive the Holy Ghost." In our later
Pontificals, on the other hand, the Holy Spirit is invoked by the Hymn "Come, Holy
Ghost," with the exception of the Exeter book, in which the Roman form is added. Then
came the prayer about the "horn of priestly grace." As we have already said, the
words Bishop or Episcopate do not appear in any prayer of the Pontifical until after the Consecration; so that if, according to the Pope's suggestion, our fathers of the year
1550 and after, went wrong in the form by omitting the name of Bishop, they must have gone
wrong in company with the modern Roman Church. At that time too there immediately followed
in our Ordinal those words of S. Paul which were believed to refer to the consecration of
S. Timothy to be Bishop of Ephesus, and were clearly used in this sense: -- "And
remember that thou stir up the grace of God which is in thee by imposition of hands; for
God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and of soberness"
(2 Tim. i. 6,7).
You may remember, brethren, that these are the only words quoted by the Council of
Trent to prove that Order confers grace (Session XXIII. On the sacrament of
Order c. III.). This form then, whether contained in one sentence as in the Roman
Church, or in two as in ours, is amply sufficient to create a Bishop, if the true
intention be openly declared, which is done in the other prayers and suffrages (which
clearly refer to the office, work and ministry of a Bishop), in the examination, and other
like ways. We say that the words "Receive the Holy Ghost" are sufficient, not
that they are essential. For they do not occur in the more ancient Pontificals whether
Roman or English, nor in any Eastern book of any date. But we gladly agree with the
Council of Trent that the words are not vainly uttered by Bishops either in
consecrating a Bishop or in ordering a Presbyter, since they are words spoken by our Lord
to His Disciples from whom all our offices and powers are derived, and are fit and
appropriate for so sacred an occasion. They are not equally appropriate in the case of the
diaconate, and are accordingly not used by us in admitting to that office.
XV. The form of ordering a Presbyter employed among us in 1550 and afterwards was
equally appropriate. For after the end of the "Eucharistic" prayer, which
recalls our minds to the institution of our Lord, there followed the laying on of hands by
the Bishop with the assistant Priests, to which is joined the "imperative" form
taken from the Pontifical, but at the same time fuller and more solemn. (Cp. Ch. XIX.).
For after the words "Receive the Holy Ghost" there immediately followed, as in
the modern Roman Pontifical (though the Pope strangely omits to mention it), "Whose
sins thou dost forgive, they are forgiven; and whose sins thou dost retain, they are
retained," and then the words from the Gospel (S. Luke xii. 42) and S. Paul (1 Cor.
iv. 1), which were very rightly added by our fathers, "and be thou a faithful
Dispenser of the word of God and of His holy Sacraments : in the Name of the Father, and
of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." This form is suitable to no other ministry of the
Church but that of a Priest, who has what is called the power of the keys and who alone
with full right dispenses the word and mysteries of God to the people, whether he remain a
Presbyter or be advanced to higher duties as Bishop. Then there followed, as there still
follows, the ceremony of conferring the power to preach and to minister the Sacraments in
the sphere where a man has been appointed to that ministry, together with the delivery of
the holy Bible, which is, in our opinion, the chief instrument of the sacred ministry and
inccludes in itself all its other powers, according to the particular order to which the
man is ordained. And in view of Godon's case it may not perhaps be idele to explain that
these forms are not only verbally but really different.
The former, "Receive the Holy Ghost," with what follows, together with laying
on of hands, confers the general faculties and powers of the priesthood, and as is
generally said, imprints the character. The second, together with the delivery of the
Bible, gives a man the right to offer public service to God and to exercise authority over
the Christian people who are to be entrusted to his charge in his own parish or cure. The
two commissions taken together include everything essential to the Christian priesthood,
and, in our opinion, exhibit it more clearly than is done in the Sacramentaries and
Pontificals. Nor indeed do we avoid the term Sacerdos and its correlatives either
in the Latin edition of the "Book of Common Prayer or of the Ministry of the
Sacraments as administered in the Church," published in 1560 in the reign of
Elizabeth, nor in other public documents written in Latin.
That this was not done without intention appears from the fact that in our translations
of the Bible published in the XVIth century the word is rendered by Priest (the word which
is always used in the Anglican Ordinal and very often in the Communion Office and
elsewhere), while is translated Elder.
When therefore in 1662 the addition "for the office and work of a Bishop or Priest" was made, it would not seem to have been done in view of the Roman
controversy, but in order to enlighten the minds of the Presbyterians, who were trying to
find a ground for their opinions in our Prayer Book. Historians are well aware that at
this period, when the king had been killed, his son driven into exile, and the Church
Government upset, the Church of England's debate with the Presbyterians and other
innovators was much more severe than it was with the Romans. These words then were not
added to give liturgical completeness to the form. For the changes mentioned drew us
further away from the Pontificals instead of bringing us nearer. The object of the
addition therefore was to declare the difference in the orders. And at this period other
similar additions were made by way of protest against the innovators, as for example, the
suffrages in the Litany against rebellion and schism, the prayer for the High Court of
Parliament and for the establishment of religion and peace at home, and the Ember Week
That these facts should escape the Pope's notice is perhaps not strange; they only
prove the difficulty in interpreting our Prayer Book that has arisen from the separation
of our nationalities and churches.
But the XVIth century form was not merely in itself sufficient but more than
sufficient. For the collect Almighty God, giver of all good things which
beseeches God on behalf of those called "to the office of the priesthood," that
they may faithfully serve Him in that office, was at that time part of the form, and used
to be said by the Bishop immedately before the examination. Now however, since the new
words clearly express the same sense, it has been moved elsewhere and takes the place of
the collect for the day.
That the Pope should also have been unaware of this change is no matter of wonder : but
the fact is worthy of your attention. For we note that he shows some hesitation in this
part of his letter, when he suggests that the form of 1662 ought perhaps to be considered
sufficient if it had only been a century older ( 7). He also seems to adopt the opinion of
those theologians who believe that the form does not consist of one prayer or benediction,
whether "precative," as they call it, or "imperative," but in the
whole series of formulas which are bound together by a moral union. For he goes on to
argue about the help which has been "quite recently" (as he believes) sought for
our case from the other prayers of the same Ordinal; although this appeal on our part is
by no means recent, but was made in the XVIIth century when first the argument on the
Roman side about the additional words was brought to our notice. Nor do we suppose that
the Pope disagrees with Cardinal John de Lugo in his teaching that the whole ordination
service is a single action, and that it makes no difference if the matter and form are
separated from one another (as is the case in the Pontifical), if what intervenes makes up
a moral whole.
XVI. The argument however which the Pope appears to consider of chief importance and
stability is not that which concerns the addition of any words to our form, but that which
lays to our charge the removal of certain acts and prayers from the rest of the rite. His
letter says ( 7) : "For, to put aside other reasons which show these (prayers) to be
insufficient for the purpose in the Anglican rite, let this argument suffice for all: 
from them has been deliberately removed whatever sets forth the dignity and offices 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."
And a little later he adds words which are in one way untrue and in another very likely to
mislead the reader, and are unfair to our Fathers and ourselves: -- "In the whole
Ordinal not only is there no clear mention of the sacrifice, of consecration, of the
Sacerdotium, and of the powers of consecrating and offering sacrifice, but every trace
of these things . . . was deliberately removed and struck out" ( 8). In another
passage he speaks (with great ignorance of the facts, we regret to say) of "that
small section of the Anglican body, formed in recent times, whose contention is that
the said Ordinal can be understood and interpreted in a sound and orthodox sense."
Next he declares that we deny or corrupt the Sacrament of Order, that we reject (viz.,
in the Ordinal) all idea of consecration and sacrifice, until at last the offices of
Presbyter and Bishop are left "mere names without the reality which Christ
The answer to these harsh and inconsiderate words has already been partly made when we
gave the warning that he who interprets the acts of our Church by mere conjecture and
takes it upon himself to issue a new decree as to what is necessary in the form of Order,
condemning our lawful bishops in their government of the Church in the XVIth century by a
standard which they never knew, is entering on a slippery and dangerous path. The liberty
of national Churches to reform their own rites may not thus be removed at the pleasure of
Rome. For, as we shall show in part later, there is certainly no one "catholic
rite," but even the forms approved by the Roman Church vary much from one another.
The Pope says nothing however of the well-known intention of our Church set forth in
the preface to the Ordinal, and nothing of the principle which our Fathers always set
before themselves and which explains their acts without any adverse interpretation.
XVII. Now the intention of our Church, not merely of a newly formed party in it, is
quite clearly set forth in the title and preface of the Ordinal. The title in 1552 ran
"The fourme and manner of makynge and consecratynge Bishoppes, Priestes and
Deacons." The preface immediately following begins thus: -- "It is euiident unto
all men, diligently readinge holye Scripture and auncient aucthours, that from the
Apostles tyme there hathe bene these ordres of Ministers in Christ's Church: Bishoppes,
Priestes, and Deacons : which Offices were euermore had in suche reuerent eestimacion,
that no man by his own private aucthoritie might presume to execute any of them, except he
were first called, tried, examined, and knowen to have such qualities as were requisite
for the same; And also, by publique prayer, with imposicion of hands, approued, and
admitted thereunto. And therefore, to the entent that these orders shoulde bee continued,
and reuerentlye used and esteemed, in this Church of England; it is requysite that no man
(not beyng at thys presente Bishope, Priest nor Deacon) shall execute anye of them,
excepte he be called, tryed, examined and admitted, accordynge to the form hereafter
followinge." Further on it is stated incidentally that "euery man which is to be
consecrated a Bishop shallbe fully thyrtie yeres of age." And in the rite itself the
"consecration" of the Bishop is repeatedly mentioned. The succession and
continuance of these offices from the Lord through the Apostles and the other ministers of
the primitive Church is also clearly implied in the "Eucharistical" prayers
which precede the words Receive the Holy Ghost. Thus the intention of our Fathers
was to keep and continue these offices which come down from the earliest times, and
"reverently to use and esteem them," in the sense, of course, in which they were
received from the Apostles and had been up to that time in use. This is a point on which
the Pope is unduly silent.
XVIII. But all this and other things of the same kind are called by Pope Leo
"names without the reality instituted by Christ." But, on the contrary, our
Fathers' fundamental principle was to refer everything to the authority of the Lord,
revealed in the Holy Scriptures. It was for this that they rescinded ceremonies composed
and added by men, even including that best known one, common to the modern Latin and
Eastern churches, though unknown to the ancient Roman church, of holding a copy of the
Gospels over the head of one about to be ordained Bishop during the utterance of the
blessing and the laying on of hands.
Thus then our Fathers employed one matter in imprinting the character, viz., the laying
on of hands, one matter in the commission to minister publicly and exercise powers over
the flock entrusted to each, viz., the delivery of the Bible or Gospels. This last they
probably borrowed from the office of inagurating a new Bishop and similar rites; thus in
the Pontifical the Gospels are still delivered to the Bishop after the ring is given.
Other ceremonies of somewhat later date and imported into the ancient Roman Ordinal from
sources for the most part foreign and especially Gallican, such as the delivery of the
instruments and ornaments, the blessing and unction of hands and head, with the
accompanying prayers, they cut out as they had a full right to do. The porrection of the
instruments came, as is well known, from the formularies for the minor orders and was
unknown to any Pontifical before the Xith century, which appears to be the earliest date
of its mention in writing. When it was reformed, the new formula "Receive the power
of offering sacrifice to God and of celebrating mass (or, as in the Roman Pontifical,
masses) on behalf of both the quick and dead" was likewise dropped. The prayer for
the blessing of the hands could be said or omitted at the discretion of the Bishop even
before the XVIth century. The anointing is a Gallican and British custom, not Roman at
all. Not only is it absent from the 'Leonine' and 'Gelasian' Sacramentaries, but also from
Mabillon's VIIIth and Ixth Ordines and those of S. Amand, which apparently represent the
custom of the VIIIth and IXth centuries.
Furthermore, we find Pope Nicholas I. writing in the IXth century (874) to Rudolf of
Bourges that in the Roman Church the hands neither of Priests nor Deacons are anointed
with chrism. The first writer who mentions anything of the kind is Gildas the
Briton. The same may be said of the anointing of the head, which clearly came, in
company with much else, from an imitation of the consecration of Aaron, and makes its
first appearance in the IXth and Xth centuries outside Rome, as may be gathered from
Amalarius (On the offices of the Church,bk. ii. 14) and our own Pontificals.
There remains to be mentioned the Gallican Benediction Deus sanctificationum omnium
auctor, which was added superfluously to the Roman Benediction (cap. XII.), and was
rejected like the rest by our Fathers. This prayer, which is manifestly corrupted by
interpolation as it stands in the Roman Pontifical, seemed to favour the doctrine of
transubstantiation, rejected by us, and is in itself scarcely intelligible, so that it was
singularly inappropriate to a liturgy to be said in the vulgar tongue for the edification
of our own people. And yet this very prayer, whatever it may imply, teaches nothing about
the power to offer sacrifice.
XIX. What wonder then if our Fathers, wishing to return to the simplicity of the
Gospel, eliminated these prayers from a liturgy which was to be read publicly in a modern
language? And herein they followed a course which was certainly opposed to that pursued by
the Romans. For the Romans, starting from an almost Gospel simplicity, have relieved the
austerity of their rites with Gallican embellishments, and have gradually, as time went
on, added ceremonies borrowed from the Old Testament in order to emphasise the distinction
between people and Priests more and more. That these ceremonies are "contemptible and
harmful," or that they are useless at their proper place and time, we do by no means
assert -- we declare only that they are not necessary. Thus in the XVIth century when our
Fathers drew up a liturgy at once for the use of the people and the clergy they went back
almost to the Roman starting-point. For both sides alike, their holy Fathers, and ours,
whom they call innovators, followed the same most sure leaders, the Lord and His Apostles.
Now however, the example of the modern Church of Rome, which is entirely taken up with the
offering of sacrifice, is held up to us as the only model for our imitation. And this is
done so eagerly by the Pope that he does not hesitate to write that "whatever sets
forth the dignity and offices of priesthood" has been "deliberately
removed" from the prayers of our Ordinal.
But we confidently assert that our Ordinal, particularly in this last point, is
superior to the Roman Pontifical in various ways, inasmuch as it expresses more clearly
and faithfully those things which by Christ's institution belong to the naature of the
priesthood ( 9) and the effect of the Catholic rites used in the Universal Church. And
this, in our opinion, can be shown by a comparison of the Pontifical with the Ordinal.
The Roman formulary begins with a presentation made by the Archdeacon and a double
address from the Bishop, first to the clergy and people, and then to the candidates for
ordination -- for there is no public examination in the ordination of a presbyter. Then
follows the laying-on of the Bishop's hands, and then those of the assistant presbyters,
performed without any words; in regard to which obscure rite we have quoted the opinion of
Cardinal de Lugo (chap. XV.). Then the three ancient prayers are said, the two short
collects, and the longer Benediction (chap. XII.) Which is now said by the Bishop
"with his hands extended infront of his breast." This prayer, which is called
the "Consecration" in ancient books, is considered by weighty authorities,
since the time of Morinus, to be the true "form" of Roman ordination, and
doubtless was in old days joined with laying on of hands. Now however "extension of
hands" is substituted for laying on of hands, as is the case in Confirmation (chap.
X.), while even that gesture is not considered necessary. At any rate, if the old Roman
ordinations are valid, directly this prayer has been said the ordination of presbyters is
complete in that church even at the present day. For any "form" which has once
sufficed for any Sacrament of the Church, and is retained still unaltered and complete,
must be supposed to be retained with the same intent as before; nor can it be asserted
without a sort of sacrilege that it has lost its virtue, because other things have been
silently added after it. In any case the intention of the more recent part of the Roman
formulary cannot have been to empty the more ancient part of its proper force; but its
object may not improperly be supposed to have been as follows, first that the priests
already ordained should be prepared by various rites and ceremonies for the offering of
the sacrifice, secondly that they should receive the power to offer it in explicit terms,
thirdly that they should begin to exercise the right of the priesthood in the celebration
of the Mass, lastly that they should be publicly invested with another priestly power,
that of remitting sins. Which opinion is confirmed by the language of the old Pontificals,
as for example in the Sarum Pontifical we read "Bless and sanctify these hands of
thy priests." All therefore that follows after that ancient "form,"
just like our words added in 1662, is simply not necessary. For those powers above
specified can be conveyed either implicity and by usage, as was the method in ancient
times, or at once and explicitly; but the method of conveyance has no relation to the
efficacy of ordination.
Our Fathers then, having partly perceived these points, and seeing that the scholastic
doctrine concerning the transubstantiation of the bread and wine and the more recent
doctrine of the repition (as was believed) of the sacrifice of the cross in the Mass, were
connected by popular feeling with certain of the ceremonies and prayers that followed,
asked themselves in what way the whole rite of ordination might not only be brought to
greater solidity and purity, but might become more perfect and more noble. And inasmuch as
at that time there was nothing known for certain as to the antiquity of the first prayers,
but the opinions of learned men assigned all efficacy to the "imperative" forms,
they turned their attention to the latter rather than to the former.
With this object therefore in view they first aimed at simplicity, and concentrated the
parts of the whole rite as it were on one prominent point, so that no one could doubt at
what moment the grace and power of the priesthood was given. For such is the force of
simplicity that it lifts men's minds towards divine things more than a long series of
ceremonies united by however good a meaning. Therefore having placed in the forefront the
prayers which declared both the office of the priesthood and its succession from the
ministry of the Apostles, they joined the laying on of hands with our Lord's own words.
And in this matter they intentionally followed the example of the Apostolic Church,
which first "fell to prayer" and then laid on hands and sent forth its
ministers, not that of the Roman Church, which uses laying on of hands before the prayers.
Secondly when they considered in their own minds the various offices of the priesthood
they saw that the Pontifical in common use was defective in two particulars. For whereas
the following offices were recounted in the Bishop's address: -- "It is the duty of a
priest to offer, to bless, to preside, to preach and to baptize" and the like, and
mention was made in the old "form" for the presbyterate "of the account
which they are to give of the stewardship entrusted to them," nevertheless in the
other forms nothing was said except about offering sacrifice and remitting sins, and the
forms conveying these powers were separated some distance from one another. Again too they
saw that the duties of the pastoral office had but little place in the Pontifical,
although the Gospel speaks out fully upon them. For this reason then they especially set
before our Priests the pastoral office, which is particularly that of Messenger, Watchman
and Steward of the Lord, in that noble address which the Bishop has to deliver, and in the
very serious examination which follows: in words which must be read and weighed and
compared with the holy Scriptures, or it is impossible really to know the worth of our
Ordinal. On the other hand, as regards the sacraments, in their revision of the
"imperative" forms, they gave the first place to our Lord's own words, not
merely out of reverence, but because those words were then commonly believed to be the
necessary "form." Then they entrusted to our Priests all "the mysteries of
the sacraments anciently instituted" (to use the words of our old Sacramentary, see
chap. XII.), and did not exalt one aspect of one of them and neglect the others. Lastly
they placed in juxtaposition the form which imprints the character and the form which
And in these and similar matters, which it would take long to recount, they followed
without doubt the example of our Lord and His Apostles. For the Lord is not only recorded
to have said "Do this in remembrance of me," and "Go therefore and teach
all nations baptizing them" -- in order to teach the due ministry of the Sacraments,
but many things and those most worthy of attention about the pastoral office, both His
own, as the good Shepherd, and that of His disciples, who instructed by His example ought
to lay down their lives for the brethren. (Cp. St. John x. 11--18 and 1 Ep. iii. 16.) Many
things too did He deliver in the Gospel about the preaching of the Word, the stewardship
entrusted to His chosen servants, the mission of His Apostles and His disciples in His
stead, the conversion of sinners and remission of offences in the Church, mutual service
to one another, and much which it pleased the divine Wisdom especially to instruct His
messengers, watchmen, and stewards, in order that they might bear witness to the world
after His departure and duly prepare a holy people until He should come again. And as the
Lord had done, so did the Apostles. S. Peter is a witness to this, when as a Fellow-elder
he exhorts the elders, that is the Presbyters and Bishops, to "feed the flock of God
which is among you," and promises them that "when the chief Shepherd shall
appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away" (1 Pet. v. 1--4). S.
Paul is a witness, when he admonishes the Presbyters and Bishops of Ephesus with his own
lips (Acts xx. 18--35), and instructs them in an epistle of extraordinary spiritual power
(Eph. Iv. 11--13). A witness too is Pope S. Gregory, to whom the whole English race now
scattered over the earth owes so much, who in his book "On the pastoral care"
has much to say on these matters and on the personal life of pastors, but is almost or
entirely silent on the offering of sacrifice. His book too was held in such high honour
that it was delivered to Bishops in the IXth century, together with the book of the
canons, at the time of their ordination, when they were further exhorted to frame their
lives according to its teaching.
S. Peter also himself, who commends the pastoral office so urgently to the Presbyters,
exhorts the whole people, in the earliest part of the same Epistle, about offering, as a
holy priesthood, spiritual sacrifices to God. This shows that the former office is more
peculiar to Presbyters, seeing that it represents the attitude of God towards men (Ps.
xxiii. [xxii.], Isaiah xl. 10, 11, Jerem. xxiii. 1--4, Ezek. xxxiv. 11--31), while the
latter is shared in some measure with the people. For the Priest, to whom the dispensing
of the Sacraments and especially the consecration of the Eucharist is entrusted, must
always do the service of the altar with the people standing by and sharing it with him.
Thus the prophecy of Malachi (i. 11) is fulfilled, and the name of God is great among the
gentiles through the pure offering of the Church.
We, therefore, taking our stand on Holy Scripture, make reply that in the ordering of
Priests we do duly lay down and set forth the stewardship and ministry of the word and
Sacraments, the power of remitting and retaining sins, and other functions of the pastoral
office, and that in these we do sum up and rehearse all other functions. Indeed the Pope
himself is a witness to this, who especially derives the honour of the Pontifical tiara
from Christ's triple commendation of His flock to the penitent S. Peter. Why then does he
suppose that, which he holds so honourable in his own case, to contribute nothing to the
dignity and offices of the priesthood in the case of Anglican Priests?
XX. Finally, we would have our revered brother in Christ beware lest in expressing this
judgment he do injustice not only to us but to other Christians also, and among them to
his own predecessors, who surely enjoyed in an equal measure with himself the gift of the
For he seems to condemn the Orientals, in company with ourselves, on account of
defective intention, who in the "Orthodox Confession" issued about 1640
name only two functions of a sacramental priesthood, that is to say that of absolving sins
and of preaching; who in the "Longer Russian Catechism" (Moscow, 1839)
teach nothing about the sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ, and mention among the
offices which pertain to Order only those of ministering the Sacraments and feeding the
flock. Further, it thus speaks of the three Orders: "The Deacon serves at the
Sacraments; the Priest hallows the Sacraments, in dependence on the Bishop; the Bishop not
only hallows the Sacraments himself, but has the power also to impart to others by the
laying on of his hands the gift and grace to hallow them." The Eastern Church is
assuredly at one with us in teaching the ministry of more than one mystery describes the
character of the priesthood better than the offering of a single sacrifice.
This indeed appears in the form used in the Greek Church to-day in the prayer beginning O God who art great in power: -- "Fill this man, whom Thou hast chosen to
attain the rank of Presbyter, with the gift of Thy Holy Spirit, that he may be worthy
blamelessly to assist at Thy Sanctuary, to preach the Gospel of Thy Kingdom, to minister
the Word of Thy Truth, to offer Thee spiritual gifts and sacrifices, to renew Thy people
by the laver of regeneration," etc. (Habert, Greek Pontifical, p. 314, ed.
But let the Romans consider now not once or twice what judgment they will pronounce
upon their own Fathers, whose ordinations we have described above. For if the Pope shall
by a new decree declare our Fathers of two hundred and fifty years ago wrongly ordained,
there is nothing to hinder the inevitable sentence that by the same law all who have been
similarly ordained have received no orders. And if our Fathers, who used in 1550 and 1552
forms which as he says are null, were altogether unable to reform them in 1662, his own
Fathers come under the self-same law. And if Hippolytus and Victor and Leo and Gelasius
and Gregory have some of them said too little in their rites about the priesthood and the
high priesthood, and nothing about the power of offering the sacrifice of the Body and
Blood of Christ, the church of Rome herself has an invalid priesthood, and the reformers
of the Sacramentaries, no matter what their names, could do nothing to remedy her rites.
"For as the Hierarchy (to use the Pope's words) had become extinct on account of the
nullity of the form, there remained no power of ordaining." And if the Ordinal
"was wholly insufficient to confer Orders, it was impossible that in the course of
time it could become sufficient, since no change has taken place. In vain those who
from the [VIth and XIth centuries] have attempted to hold some kind of sacrifice or of
priesthood, [and power of remitting and retaining sins], have made some additions to the
Ordinal." Thus in overthrowing our orders, he overthrows all his own, and pronounces
sentence on his own Church. Eugenius IVth indeed brought his Church into great peril of
nullity when he taught a new matter and a new form of Order and left the real without a
word. For no one knows how many ordinations may have been made, according to his teaching,
without any laying on of hands or appropriate form. Pope Leo demands a form unknown to
previous Bishops of Rome, and an intention which is defective in the catechisms of the
To conclude, since all this has been laid before us in the name of peace and unity, we
wish it to be known to all men that we are at least equally zealous in our devotion to
peace and unity in the Church. We acknowledge that the things which our brother Pope Leo
XIIIth has written from time to time in other letters are sometimes very true and always
written with a good will. For the difference and debate between us and him arises from a
diverse interpretation of the self-same Gospel, which we all believe and honour as the
only true one. We also gladly declare that there is much in his own person that is worthy
of love and reverence. But that error, which is inveterate in the Roman communion, of
substituting the visible head for the invisible Christ, will rob his good words of any
fruit of peace. Join with us then, we entreat you, most reverend brethren, in weighing
patiently what Christ intended when He established the ministry of His Gospel. When this
has been done, more will follow as God wills in His own good time.
God grant that, even from this controversy, may grow fuller knowledge of the truth,
greater patience, and a broader desire for peace, in the Church of Christ the Saviour of
The Case of John Gordon.
John Gordon, whose case we discussed briefly in chapter VII., was consecrated Bp. of
Galloway in the south of Scotland in Glasgow Cathedral in 1688. He followed King James II.
into exile. , was afterwards received into the Roman Church, and was baptised afresh
conditionally. He took in addition to his own Christian name that of Clement, who was then
Pope. Gordon, as is well known, asked Clement in a petition or memorial, which is still
extant, that he might take orders according to the Roman rite. There is no need to go
through all the arguments of his petition. It is enough to say that they are very far
remote from the truth. Their basis is the fable about Archbishop Parker's consecration.
Concerning the matter, form, and intention he writes: "They used no matter, unless it
be the delivery of the Bible, nor any lawful form : indeed they have cast aside the
Catholics' form and changed it into this: 'Receive the power of preaching the word of God,
and of ministering His holy Sacraments,' which is essentially different from the orthodox
forms. And what intention can they possibly conceive who deny that Christ or the early
Church instituted any unbloody sacrifice?" He takes no account of the truer matter
and form employed among us, namely, the laying on of hands and the words "Receive the
Holy Ghost," and all that then as now preceded and followed them. We do not know what
prompted Gordon to commit this great fault.
It was then on this petition, which only touched the form of the ordination of
presbyters, that Clement XIth judged the case : and those, who had only known history from
the book of Michel Le Quien, naturally believed that he had simply judged according to
Gordon's views. But the fact was really different, as is clear from the Statement prefixed
to the decree, which Estcourt printed as late as the year 1873, and which has been
strangely overlooked in this controversy, and from the letter of Pope Leo XIIIth, who
writes: -- "And in order that the judgment concerning this form might be more certain
and complete, precaution was taken that a copy of the Anglican Ordinal should be submitted
to examination." The Statement, after first reciting the date of the consecration and
similar facts, proceeds: -- "The action was performed generally (fere) as follows. First, prayers weere said according to thee Anglican Liturgy. Secondly, a sermon was
delivered to the people about the dignity and office of a Bishop. Thirdly, the
said John knelt down and all the aforesaid pseudo-bishops laid their hands on his head and
shoulders, saying, Take the Holy Ghost, and remember that thou stir up the grace which
is in thee by imposition of hands: for we have not received the spirit of fear, but of
power and love and of soberness. Fourthly, after a few short prayers by way of
thanksgiving, the action was terminated." Then follows the form of Decree which, in
its earlier part, differs considerably from that supplied by Le Quien, though it does not
contradict it. The copy of the Statement and Decree given in Estcourt's book issued from
the holy Office 2 April, 1852, and is witnessed by Angelo Argenti, notary of the said
Office, so that it may be held to be a genuine document.
The judicious reader will note first, that the form of episcopal consecration
alone is quoted here, though Gordon in his petition only referred (however untruly) to the
form used in the ordination of presbyters. Hence a question at once arises, whether the
holy Office accepted Gordon's assertions on that subject as true, or not? If it believed
them true, its judgment based on such a falsehood is worthless: if it believed them false,
why did it not make more accurate statements about that form? Secondly, he will
observe that the form here quoted is not that which was used, at least in England, in
1688, but the earlier one of 1550 and 1552. For it does not contain the words added in
1662 -- for the Office and Work of a Bishop in the Church of God, now committed unto
thee, etc.; and the words are said to be uttered by all the consecrators. Further the
form was compared so carelessly that grace was substituted for grace of God and we have not received for God hath not given us (2 Timothy i. 7, as
in S. Jerome's version). Thirdly,the description of what took place agrees in
fact neither with the earlier books nor with the later. For laying on of hands on the
"shoulders" is nowhere ordered in our Ordinals; and many things, like the
presentation, the examination, the hymn Veni Creator, are passed over in silence.
But what is said under the fourth head in the Statement is simply untrue. For after the
words Take(or Receive) the Holy Ghost, etc., follows the
delivery of the holy Bible, with the second imperative form, Give heed unto reading
exhortation and doctrine, etc. Then the Lord's Supper is celebrated, and lastly, in
1550 and 1552 there followed a single collect (Most merciful Father, we beseech thee
to send down upon this thy servant), to which a second (Prevent us, O Lord)
was added in 1662, together with the blessing (The peace of God which passeth).
The "few short prayers by way of thanksgiving" do not occur at all. Further, the
sermon is not ordered in the books of 1550 and 1552, but first appears in the Ordinal of
1662, though it is probable that one was delivered. This comparison then of the Anglican
Ordinal, whatever book was used, at least as far as it can be judged by the Statement, was
most careless, and perhaps did not extend to the ordination of presbyters. Certainly,
whatever the reasons may have been, it says nothing about it. Lastly, we do not know what
to say about the omission to mention the fact of the delivery of the Bible in the
consecration of the Bishop. The words "was performed generally as
follows" seem to point to a carelessness, which must be called culpable considering
the seriousness of the case.
So far we have drawn our information from documents already known. But the Pope now
adds, from the secret archives, it would seeem, of the holy Office, something which was
unknown to us before: "in the delivery of the decision this reason (i.e. the
Consecration of Parker) was altogether set aside, as documents of incontestable
authenticity prove," and immediately afterwards, "nor was weight given to any
other reason than the defect of form and intention." What, we ask, are these
"documents of incontestable authenticity," what defects of form and intention,
and if any, of what kind, do they record? Are they defects in the consecration of a
Bishop? Or perhaps in the ordination of presbyters? Or in both? These points are of the
greatest importance if the matter is to be fairly judged. The Pope it is true argues that
this judgment of Clement "was in no wise determined by the moission of the tradition
of the instruments," and adds the reason that "in such a case, according to
established custom the direction would have been to repeat the Ordination
conditionally." This argument is both in itself weak, and also seems to prove that
the documents in question really say nothing about the kind of defect, since it is only
conjecturally inferred. We may further ask, whether the custom was really then
established. For the cases cited of the years 1604 and 1696 do not conern the omission of
the ceremony, but the delegation of presbyters by the ordaining Bishop to deliver the
instruments (Le Quien ii. pp. 388--394). Again in 1708, when a certain Capuchin happened
to get ordained with the porrection of the paten but without the Host on it, the
Congregation of the Council decreed that the whole ordination must be conditionally
repeated as though it were settling some new point. In this year there was no question
of the omission of the whole ceremony but only of a part of it.
The question of the omission of the entire ceremony was apparently raised afterwards,
"when one that was to be ordained Priest, although he had received all the customary
imposition of hands of the Bishop, yet failed to go forward to where the Bishop stood
holding out to him the usual instruments of the Paten with the Host, and of the Chalice
with the Wine, because his mind was wandering." For Benedict XIVth, in his book On
the Diocesan Synod first published at Rome in 1748, writes that "Before we put
the last touches to this book, this question was debated in the sacred Congregation of the
Council could debate upon the repetition of ordination on this account, and decide not
without long deliberation, it would seem, that it was to be repeated
"conditionally," the custom was scarcely an established one in 1704.
But the Statement and Decree of the holy Office, at any rate according to the
interpretation put forth by the Pope, can scarcely be reconciled with another document,
which is said to have issued from that body eight or nine days before, of which the
significant part was printed as No. 1770 in the Collectanea of the Propaganda in
1893. We refer to the reply about the ordinations of the Monophysite Abyssinians in
which approval is plainly given to some very careless ordinations of presbyters, effected
only by a touch of hand and the words Receive the Holy Ghost, with no other
matter or form whatever, except perhaps what is contained in a prayer which is entirely
silent about the priesthood.
We see that this document is now called by some "the mere votum of a
consultor," and is as far as possible repudiated. But it is plain that some such
answer was given at that date; for we read in the reply of the holy Office of 1860,
"Let the answer of this Congregation of the Supreme Inquisition, given Wednesday, 9th April, 1704, be made (to the question)." Then follows the answer published by Roman
theologians, which is now repudiated. And Cardinal Patrizi, secretary of this
Congregation, minimized the force of this document to the best of his power in 1875, using
the words of P. Franzelin (afterwards Cardinal), though not publishing all he wrote.
If this reply then is true and genuine, we may ask whether the holy Office did approve
of our form for ordination of presbyters, and only disapprove that for consecration of a
Bishop? We are quite ignorant : but it is not wholly incredible.
If it is false and forged, where on earth has the true one vanished? And why has the
false so long and so publicly taen its place? And who hereafter can believe that the holy
Office is an adequate witness in such a controversy, or even on the character of its own
For these reasons we may justly say that the darkness in which the holy Office is
enveloped is insufficiently dispersed by the Pope's letter. The documents are preserved in
the keeping of the holy Office and ought to be consulted. As things stand, however,
everyone must judge that the case of Gordon is an insecure and unstable foundation for
anyone to rely upon who wishes to prove our orders null on account of the practice of the
III. Sess. XXIII. On the Sacrament of Order, Canon I., where a certain power of consecrating and offering is claimed for the priesthood
together with one of remitting and retaining sins. Cp. ib. Chap. i. See below
Chaps. xv. and xix.
III. "Episcopal chair" is mentioned in the blessing after
VI. See James Pilkington, Exposition on the Prophet Aggeus ii. 10--14, published in 1560 (Works, Parker Society, p.163): -- "In the
late days of Popery, our holy Bishops called before them all such as were made ministers
without such greasing, and blessed them with the Pope's blessing, annointed them, and then
all was perfect: they might sacrifice for quick and dead, but not marry in no case, etc.
..." Cp. Innocent IIId ep. vii. 3 (1204).
VI. See Labbe and Cossart, Councils, vol. xiv. p. 1740,
Paris 1672, and vol. xiii. p.538 on the year 1439. Compare also Councils of Great
Britain, Wilkins vol. iv. p.121, col. 2, which differs slightly and omits the words
of the Decree of Eugenius. It is obvious that Eugenius generally borrows the language of
Aquinas' Exposition of the articles of the creed and of the Sacraments of the Church (Works vol. viii. Pp.45--9, Venice, 1776).
VII. Compare the letter "Apostolicae curae," 5. "It is
important to bear in mind that this judgment was in no wise determined by the moission of
the tradition of instruments, for in such a case, according to the established custom, the
direction would have been to repeat the Ordination conditionally," etc. Which mode of
argument differs widely from the quotation of a clearly expressed document. See the
X. In the so-called "Gelasian" Sacramentary (perhaps of the
VIIth century) we still read the rubric In sealing them he lays his hands on them with
the following words: then follows the prayer for the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit.
And in the "ordines" called those of S. Amand, which are perhaps of the VIIIth
century, in ch. Iv. The pontiff touches their heads with his hand. But in the
"Gregorian" we read raising his hand over the heads of all he says, etc. In the ordinary editions of the Pontifical, we read again: Then stretching out
his hands toward those who are to be confirmed he says, etc.
XI. "Sacrifice of praise," that is a Eucharistic sacrifice,
like the peace-offerings and thank-offerings of the Old Testament, the ritual peculiarity
of which was that the man who offered was a partaker with God. "Sacrifice of
praise" is the expression of the old Latin version: see the Lyons Pentateuch;
"Offering of thanksgiving" is from that of S. Jerome (Lev. vii. 12, 13). Hence
in our Liturgy both are united: "this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving."
XI. On the Sacred Mystery of the Altar, V. chap 2.
XI. This prayer has given a good deal of trouble to the commentators.
We may compare for example Innocent IIIrd On the sacred mystery of the altar, v.
3; Bellarmine On the Sacrament of the Eucharist (on the Mass), vi. 24; and
Romsée Literal meaning of the Rites of the Mass, art. xxx. Its older form
appears in [Pseudo-Ambrose] On the Sacraments, iv. 6 27, where its parts are
found in inverse order; and where we also read "by the hands of Thy angels." It
seems to have been already added to the Roman Canon in the time of Leo Ist, if the
statement about the words "holy sacrifice, unbleminshed victim" added by him,
which is found in his Life, is a true one. Cp. his Sermon iv.3, where he
speaks of Melchisedech as "immolating the sacrifice of that sacrament, which our
Redeemer consecrated as His body and blood."
XII. See the Canons of Hippolytus in the edition of Hans
Achelis in the 6th volume of the series of Texte und Untersuchungen edited by Gebhardt and Harnack, Leipzig, 1891, pages 39--62.
XII. See e.g. Edm. Martenne (or Martene) Anc. Rites of the Church t. ii. pp. 429, 493, Rouen 1700.
XII. The old Roman Sacramentary may be collected from three books
especially, as far as the prayers are concerned, viz., the "Leonine,"
"Gelasian," and "Gregorian," as they are called. But the first alone
is Roman without any admixture. The Gelasian was introduced into Gaul about the beginning
of the VIIIth century, and the Gregorian under Charles the Great, being sent thither by
Pope Hadrian about A.D. 780. Both of them contain Gallican rites and prayers mixed with
the Roman. Three "Ordines" should also be consulted for the knowledge of the
rites, namely the 8th and 9th of Mabillon, and those called by the
name of "S. Amand," which were first printed by the learned L. Duchesne in the
Appendix to his book Antiquities of Christian Worship, Paris, 1889. All of which
show the same simplicity.
XII. This form occurs in the Missal of Leofric of Exeter (p. 217 of
the edition by F. E. Warren, Oxford, 1883), in a Pontifical of Jumièges (Martenne On
the Ancient Rites of the Church, t. ii. p. 367, Rouen 1700), and in the Sarum
Pontifical (see Maskell Ritual Monuments of the Eng. Ch. 2nd ed.
Oxford, vol. ii. p. 282). The words about celebrating the mysteries and the Admonition
to Priests (ib. p. 246) seem to have served our fathers as a precedent in
the ordination of a Presbyter. This form, which has a certain affinity to those in the Canons
of Hippolytus and the Apostolic Constitutions, has an air of great
antiquity, and except for the expression 'high priesthood,' appears equally applicable to
the ordering of a Presbyter. It is believed by some to be of Roman origin and to have been
adapted by Augustine of Canterbury to our use.
XIII. See Third Council of Carthage can. 26 A.D. 397: "The
Bishop of a chief see may not be called chief of the the Priests, or high Priest, or
anything else of the kind, but simply Bishop of a chief see." St. Augustine of Hippo
is believed to have been present at this Council. The passage cited for this title by
Baronius, etc., is certainly not from Augustine.
XIII. On this point cp. Mabillon Commentary prefixed to the Ordo
Romanus, chaps. xvi. And xviii. (Migne Pat. Lat. Vol. 78, pp. 912--3 and
919--20) and Martenne Ancient Rites of the Church, lib. I. c. viii., art. 3, sec.
9, 10, t. ii., p. 278 foll., and the 8th "Ordo" of Mabillon
(=Martenne i.), which is found in MSS. Of the IXth century, where it is clear that there
was no distinction in the form if the man to be consecrated was only a Deacon. The XIIIth
canon of the Council of Sardica was but poorly observed in the West, as appears
incidentally from the translation by Dionysius Exiguus, who renders the words of the canon
as follows: "unless he have discharged the duty of Reader and the office of Deacon or Presbyter." As instances are quoted John the Deacon, the disciple of S. Gall
(Walafrid Strabo in the Life of S. Gall, c. 23--25, A.D. 625). Constantine the
anti-pope (A.D. 767) and the Popes Paul I. (A.D. 757), Valentine (A.D. 827), and Nicolas
I. (A.D. 858). This custom was one amongst the charges brought against the Latin Church by
Photius of Constantinople. Nicolas did not deny the fact, but retorted on the Greeks their
custom of promoting a layman to be a Patriarch. (Ep. lxx. In Labbe and Cossart Councils viii. p. 471 B). The ordination of a Deacon to the Episcopate per saltum is
further implied in the Ritual of the Nestorian Syrians in Morinus, On Ordinations, pt.
ii. P. 388, Antwerp, 1695=Denzinger, Rites of the Orientals, vol. ii. p. 238
XIII. See the collect for the clergy and people after the Litany, and Councils of Great Britain iv. pp. 293 and 304. In the latter passage Grindall is
styled by his brethren "Noble Christian Prelate and High Priest of God in the Church
XIV. See Council of Trent, Sess. XXIII. On the sacrament
of Order, can. IV.
XV. In the Articles of Religion 1562, in the Canons of 1571 and elsewhere: See Councils of Gt. Brit. vol. iv. pp. 236, 263, 429.
Similarly in the Greek translation of our Prayer Book (Cambridge 1665) and occur in the
Ordinal, the Order for the Holy Communion, and elsewhere. In certain Latin versions
Presbyter seems to be used in preference.
XV. See G. Burnet Hist. Of Ref. vol. ii. p. 144 (1680) and Vindication
of Ord. Of Ch. Of Eng. p. 71 (1677); H. Prideaux Eccl. Tracts pp. 15, 36,
69--72, etc. (1687) ed. 2, 1715; cp. his letter in Cardwell Conferences pp.
387--8 n., ed. 3 Oxf. 1849.
XV. It is worth while quoting the collect here, as used in 1550 and
1552, since such stress is laid at Rome upon the words "to the office and work of a
Presbyter or Priest.": "Almighty God, giver of all good things, which by thy
Holy Spirit hast appointed divers Orders of Ministers in thy Church; Mercifully behold
these thy servants now called to the Office of Priesthood; and replenish them so with the
truth of thy doctrine, and innocency of life, that, both by word and good example, they
may faithfully serve thee in this Office, to the glory of thy Name and profit of the
Congregation; through the merits," etc. This collect expresses shortly the idea of
the "blessing," Deus honorum omnium. It is even thought by some that
"bonorum" (="of all good things") is a variant of "honorum."
XV. See Burnet Vindication pp. 8, 71, who writes that the
additional words are not essential to Ordination, but are merely explanations "of
what was clear enough by the other parts of these offices before"; and Prideaux Eccl.
Tracts p. 117, who quotes the prayer Almighty God in full and argues from
it. Bramhall had written similarly in 1658 Works A.C.L. iii. pp. 162--9, Oxf.
XV. On the Sacraments in General, disp. ii. sec. v. 99 t.
iii. pp. 293--4, Paris 1892.
XVI. Latin instar omnium.
XVI. Latin officia. The English version inaccurately has
XVI. Latin reticet.
XVI. This word is left untranslated.
XVI. Latin non ita magna.
XVIII. See Apost. Const. viii. 4 and Statutes of the
Ancient Church can. 2, which appear to be of Gallican origin from the province of
Arles, although they are sometimes published with the false title of the IVth Council of
Carthage. That this rite was foreign to the Church of Rome is clearly testified by the
writer of a book On the divine offices which is included in the works of our
Alcuin and is perhaps of the XIth century. "(The rite) is not found in either
authority whether old or new, nor in the Roman tradition" (ch. xxxvii., Migne's P.L. vol. 101, p. 1092). On its use in the consecration of a Pope see Mabillon Ord. IX. 5.
XVIII. Migne P.L. vol. 119, p. 884, where the letter is
numbered 66. Cf. Also Martenne On the ancient rites of the Church bk. I. c. viii.
art. ix. 9 and 14. This reply of Nicholas, beginning "Praeterea sciscitaris," is
inserted in Gratian's Decree, dist. xxiii. c. 12.
XVIII. Letter 106 p. 111 (Stevenson's edition 1838). He mentions
"the blessing by which the hands of Priests or Ministers are dedicated"
(initiantur). The anointing of the hands of Presbyters and Deacons is ordered in Anglican
Sacramentaries of the Xth and Xith centuries.
XVIII. Cp. Council of Trent Sess. XXIII. On the
Sacrament of Order, can. v., which, though it apparently admits that unction is not
requisite in Ordination, anathematises those who shall say this and other ceremonies of
Order are "contemptible and harmful."
XIX. The English Version has "office."
XIX. See Martenne Anc. Rites of the Church book i. ch. viii.
art. ix. 18, tom. 2 p. 320 Rouen, 1700, and Gasparri Canonical Treatise on Ordination 1059, Paris, 1893.
XIX. See the Archbishop's address to the people in the consecration
of a Bishop, and Acts xiii. 3; cp. vi. 6 and xiv. 22.
XIX. This is proved by Hincmar in the preface to his Book of the
LV. Chapters; Migne P.L. vol. 126, p. 292.
XIX. This is evident from the Greek Liturgies and the Roman Missal
where nearly everything is said in the plural number. Cp. E.g. the Order of the Mass: "Pray, brethren, that my sacrifice and yours may be made acceptable in the sight of
God the Father Almighty"; and in the Canon, "Remember, Lord, Thy
servants and handmaids N. and N. and all here present ... [for whom we offer unto Thee,
or] who offer unto Thee, this sacrifice of praise," and later: "This oblation of
us Thy servants and also of all Thy family," etc. On this point see e.g. S. Peter
Damian in his book The Lord be with you, in ch. viii., on the words "for
whom we offer unto Thee." "It is clearly shown that this sacrifice of praise
although it seems to be specially offered by a single Priest, is really offered by all the
faithful, women as well as men; for those things which he touches with his hands in
offering them to God, are committed to God by the deep inward devotion of the whole
multitude"; and on "This oblation." "From these words it is more clear
than daylight that the sacrifice which is laid upon the sacred altars by the Priest, is
generally offered by the whole family of God."
XX. [The English of this and the following sentence seems hardly to
represent the Latin. "Quum tale ipsum permanserit" might rather be translated
"since it [i.e. the Ordinal] remained such as it was." The following sentence
might be rendered: -- "And they laboured in vain who from the times of Charles Ist
onwards attempted to introduce (admittere) something of sacrifice and priesthood, by
making some additions to the Ordinal."]
App. See Le Quien Nullity etc. vol. ii., App. pp.
lxix.--lxxv., Paris, 1725, to which the Decree of the Holy Office is appended. Cp. E. E.
Estcourt The question of Anglican Ordinations discussed (Lond. 1873) App. xxxvi.,
pp. cxv. foll., who also printed a different Statement of the case and another form of the
Decree that follows with some care. The royal charter for the consecration is dated 4 Feb.
1688 (subsequent to the election) and sealed 4 September : the statement gives 19
September as the date of the consecration.
App. See P. Gasparri Canonical Treatise on Ordination sec.
1084 (vol. ii. p. 261, Paris, 1894). A similar case of another Capuchin, a subdeacon, was
settled by the same Congregation 10th Jan., 1711 : See Treasury of
Resolutions vol. ix. pt. 2, p. 165.
App. See for the Abyssinian rite at that time Job Ludolf's Commentary on his Hist. Of Aethiopia pp. 323--8, Frankf. O. M. 1691. The questions raised as
to these ordinations and the reply of "the Consultors of the Supreme
Inquisition" were first made public as far as we know, in the time of Benedict XIVth,
by Filippo da Carbognano (1707--1762), a Franciscan, Professor at the Roman College of the
Propaganda, in his Appendices to Paul G. Antoine's Universal Moral Theology, which were published at Rome, in 1752 (p. 677 foll.), and often elsewhere, e.g. Venice
1778 (III. I., p. 172), Turin 1789 (V. p. 501 sq.), Avignon 1818 (V. p. 409). What
Gasparri writes (in his Canonical Treatise on Ordination No. 1057, Paris, 1893)
about the Appendices to Concina's Moral Theology is not clear to us. On the
Abyssinian case see E. E. Estcourt, The question of Anglican ordinations discussed (London 1873), Appendices xxxiii., xxxiv. and xxxv., where the formulas of the Coptic and
Abyssinian ordinations, the resolutions of the holy Office of the years 1704 and 1860, and
the letter (24 Nov., 1867) of Louis P. J. Bel, Bishop of S. Agata de' Goti and Vicar
Apostolic of Abyssinia, are printed. See also P. Gasparri Canonical Treatise on
Ordination, sec. 1057--8, who adds the letter written by Cardinal Patrizi, Secretary
of the Congregation of the holy Office, to Cardinal Manning, dated 30th April,
1875. Cp. Also Revue Anglo-Romaine tom. i., pp. 369--375 (1896) from which we
gote the Collectanea, and A. Boudinhon in Le Canoniste Contemporain t.
xx., pp. 5--10, Paris, 1897, who adds some things lately published at Rome. F. da
Carbognano dates the reply Thursday, 10th April, and is followed by Manning,
and Patrizi makes no objection. The reply of 1860 and the Collectanea mention 9th April.
App. We add here the Abyssinian form of ordaining a presbyter
published by Ludolf in 1691, Commentary on Hist. Aeth. p. 328: -- "My God,
Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, regard this thy servant, and bestow on him
the spirit of grace and the counsel of holiness, that he may be able to rule thy people in
integrity of heart; as thou regardest thy chosen people, and comandedst Moses to elect
elders, whom thou filledst with the same spirit with which thou endowedst thy servant and
thy attendant Moses. And now, my Lord, give to this thy servant the grace which never
fails, continuing to us the grace of thy spirit, and our sufficient portion; filling our
heart with thy religion, that we may adore thee in sincereity. Through," etc. The
form given by Bp. Bel (Estcourt p. cxiii.) differs very little.
App. Gasparri believes that Paul the IVth approved our ordinations as
regards presbyters and deacons: On the value of English Ordinations pp. 14, 15,
45, Paris, 1895. Cp. Above p. 13.