The final result was the Bull “Apostolicae Curae”, in which Anglican orders were declared to be invalid. As the Bull itself explains at length, its decision rests on. APOSTOLICAE CURAE. Pope Leo XIII. Apostolic letter of His Holiness by Divine Providence giving judgement on Anglican Ordinations, 13 September 1. Apostolicae curae et caritatis, qua Pastorem magnum ovium, Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum (Hebr. XIII, 20), referre pro munere et imitari, aspirante eius.

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This form had, indeed, afterwards added to it the words “for the office and work of a priest,” etc; but this rather shows that the Anglicans themselves perceived that the first form was defective and inadequate. This practice is fully proved by the numerous cases of absolute re-ordination according to the Catholic rite even in Rome. Among the ideas specifically and vehemently rejected by the Reformers and their successors under Elizabeth are the following:. In fact, the original Edwardine Ordinal contained the Delivery or Tradition of the Instruments, though this was removed in the second.

Retrieved 12 July We were careful, also, that they should be able to re-examine all documents bearing on this question which were known to exist in the Vatican archives, apostolicze search for new ones, and even to have at their disposal all acts relating to this subject which are preserved by the Holy Office or, as it is called, the Supreme Council and to consider whatever had up to this time been adduced by learned men on both sides.

But this has been necessary for two reasons. And would either deficiency be enough, if proven, to invalidate the sacramental intention? He then directed that the acts of those sessions, together with all the documents, should be submitted to a council of cardinals, “so that when all had studied aposholicae whole subject and discussed it in Our presence each might give his opinion”. Nos autem ea consilia atque optata minime negligentes, maximeque voci obsequentes apostolicae caritatis, censuimus nihil non experiri quod videretur quoquo modo conducere ad animarum vel avertenda damna vel utilitates fovendas.

But who those Bishops not “validly and lawfully ordained” were had been made sufficiently clear by the foregoing documents and the faculties used in aposgolicae said matter by the Legate; those, namely, who have been promoted to the Episcopate, as others to other Orders, “not according to the accustomed form of the Church,” or, as the Legate himself wrote to the Bishop of Norwich, “the form and intention of the Church,” not having been observed.

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Eodem porro argumento vel uno illud etiam corruit, opinantium posse in legitimam Ordinis formam sufficere precationemOmnipotens Deus, bonorum omnium largitorquae sub initium est ritualis actionis; etiamsi forte haberi ea apotsolicae tamquam sufficiens in ritu aliquo catholico quem Ecclesia probasset. In the examination of any rite for the effecting and administering of Sacraments, distinction is rightly made between the part which is ceremonial and that which is essential, the latter being usually called the “matter and form”.

Apostolic letter of leo xiii on the question of the validity of Anglican ordinations, issued Sept. It is true that this form was subsequently amplified by the addition of the words ‘for the office and work of a priest’; but this rather proves that the Anglicans themselves had recognized that the first form curea been defective and unsuitable. Catholic Online on Twitter Catholic Tweets.


The same documents were called into use and considered again in the examination of the second case, and additional written statements of opinion were also obtained from Consultors, and the most eminent doctors of the Sorbonne and of Douai were likewise asked for their opinion.

Moreover, what the letters of Julius III themselves say about freely using the Pontifical faculties, even on behalf of those who had received their consecration “irregularly minus rite and not according to the accustomed form of the Church,” is to be especially cure.

The intention in question, however, is not the minister’s purely interior intention, of which “the Church does not judge. Michael Luke marie St.

The unbiblical imbalance of the first statement is confirmed even in recent studies by Roman Catholic theologians. According to Pope Leo XIII, it would seem that what has been done to the rite, even more than the rite as it is in itself, whatever its appostolicae deficiencies of form, proves both a lack of sincere intention to confer the historic orders and a deliberate intention not to do so.

We accordingly commissioned a number of persons of eminent learning and erudition, known to differ in their views on this question, each to draw up in writing a reasoned report of his opinion; they were then summoned to Our presence and directed to communicate their reports to one another and to make such further investigations and studies as the subject seemed to demand.

Similarly, though speaking with respect to Lutherans” Cardinal Ratzinger argued in a Lutheran-Catholic dialogue that among the Christian churches there is a real yet imperfect koinonia, or communion.

Third Council of Constantinople: The former have been moved by an awareness of the excellence of the Christian priesthood and a desire that their ministers should not be without its twofold power concerning the body of Christ, while the latter have been prompted by the wish to remove an obstacle in the way of the Anglicans’ return to unity.

Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia. No safeguard which wisdom and prudence could suggest to ensure the thorough sifting of the question was neglected. May the God of peace, the God of all consolation, in His infinite tenderness, enrich and fill with all these blessings those who truly yearn for them. And so, if the answer to the first crucial question asked above — which assumes particular, deliberate denials of elements known to be essential to the order being conferred — was yes, it would be difficult to deny the sacramental intention was insufficient.

Although the Church does not judge what is in the mind of the minister, she must pass judgment on what appears in the external rite.

A Critique of Apostolicae Curae

From them has been deliberately removed whatever sets forth the dignity and office of the priesthood in the Catholic rite. He does not quote the words that come after in each case, which are clearly an attempt to do what he requires: But, as We stated at the beginning, there is nothing we so deeply and ardently desire as to be of help to men of good will by apotolicae them the greatest consideration and charity.

As to the second question, we hope it is clear from the discussion above that, despite verbal denials of propitiation, the Anglican Church, as a Church, did not deny the essential elements of Eucharistic sacrifice. Second, as it speaks of the Gordon case the letter assumes that in Gordon was ordained according to the Edwardian ritual, whereas his ordination took place in Scotland, where the Ordinal of Edward VI was not cjrae.


From them has been deliberately removed whatever sets forth the dignity and office of the priesthood in the Catholic rite. Those faculties were “certainly not intended to deal with an abstract state of things, but with a specific and concrete issue.

Apostolicae Curae

In the observance of this practice we have a proof directly affecting the matter in hand. Having regard to these proposals and desires, and paying heed above all to the bidding of apostolic charity, We resolved for Our part that nothing ought to be left untried which might seem to contribute in any way to averting harm to souls or promoting their well-being.

Voluntatis in ipsam Nostrae ea praecipue testis est epistola, quam superiore anno dedimus propriam ad Anglos, regnum Christi in fidei unitate quaerentes: There is therefore a clear reference to a power peculiar to the sacerdotium, as required by A.

But if, on the contrary, the rite is changed with the manifest purpose of introducing another rite which is cufae accepted by the Church, and of repudiating that which the Church does and which is something that by Christ’s institution belongs to curaf nature of the sacrament, then it is evident, not merely that the intention necessary for a sacrament is lacking, but rather that an intention is present which is adverse to and incompatible with the sacrament. Inthe Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a doctrinal commentary to accompany Pope John Paul II ‘s apostolic letter Ad tuendam fidemwhich established the formula of the profession of faith to be made by those assuming certain offices in the church.

Leo XIII Judgement on Anglican Ordinations

In the rite for the performance and administration of any sacrament a distinction is justly made between its ‘ceremonial’ and its ‘essential’ part, the latter being usually called its ‘matter and form’. Let them be the first in joyfully submitting to the divine call and obey it, and furnish a glorious example to others. Regii oratores, viri tres admodum insignes et omni virtute praeditiin quibus Thomas Thirlby episcopus Eliensis, sic habebant propositum, Pontificem de conditione rei religiosae in eo regno notitia ampliore edocere, ab ipsoque in primis petere ut ea quae Legatus ad eiusdem regni cum Ecclesia reconciliationem curaverat atque effecerat, haberet rata et confirmaret: Unless this declaration had applied to the actual case in England, that is to say, to the Edwardine Ordinal, the Pope would certainly have done nothing by this last letter for the removal of doubt and the restoration of peace of conscience.

Original Intent and Original Rite Before dealing with what the Rite does say, another point must be made about omissions from it. We finally directed the findings of these sessions, together with the other documents, to be placed before Our Venerable Brethren the Cardinals of the same Council; these were to study the matter, then discuss it in Our presence, and each pronounce his opinion. Verumtamen optimum factu duximus supersedere sententiae, quo et melius perpenderemus conveniret ne expediretque eamdem rem auctoritate Nostra rursus declarari, et uberiorem divini luminis copiam supplices imploraremus.

Those, especially, who were interested in the movement that looked towards Corporate Reunion thought that, as a condition to such reunion, Anglican orders should be accepted as valid by the Catholic Church.

Need for due signification in a sacramental rite