The Novus Ordo Ordination Rites similar to the Anglican
The Angelus June 1979

Anglican Orders
by Rev. Michael Clifton

In 1896 Pope Leo XIII declared Anglican Orders invalid with his Bull Apostolicae Curae. The Ecumenical Movement has now gained such momentum that determined efforts are being made to secure a reversal of Pope Leo's decision so that the orders of clergy belonging to the worldwide Anglican Communion, which includes the Episcopal Church in America, will be recognized as equivalent to the orders of Catholic clergy. Father Michael Clifton, an English priest and an authority on recusant history, shows in this article that the teaching of Apostolicae Curae cannot possibly be reversed. He also shows the manner in which the movement to recognize Anglican Orders is linked to the Agreed Statements of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission which have not yet been rejected by the Vatican and that the new Catholic ordination rites have been influenced by ecumenical motives.

In recent years there has been much talk among ecumenically minded Catholics of the possibility of recognizing Anglican Orders despite the clear declaration by Pope Leo XIII in Apostolicae Curae (1896) "that ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been, and are, absolutely null and utterly void." At first sight it may appear astonishing that the matter could be raised again, but when almost every doctrine that Catholics hold sacred is questioned from some quarters within the Church it is not surprising that there are those who would wish to overturn the solemn teaching of the Church on Anglican Orders. This would provide a short cut to so-called "Church-unity" based on a minimum of doctrine.

This article will deal briefly with the entire question of Anglican Orders and attempt to analyze the "new arguments" that are being advanced to circumvent the judgement of Pope Leo XIII. The term "Anglican Orders," as used within the article, includes the Episcopalian Church in the U.S.A. and all the other branches of the world-wide Anglican communion.

The history of the Anglican ordinal dates back to 1550 during the reign of the boy-king, Edward VI. In 1549, Archbishop Cranmer of Canterbury and his supporters had used force to impose Protestant liturgical forms upon the English people by means of his Book of Common Prayer. Although King Henry VIII had broken with Rome, the Church in England retained the Catholic liturgy and even those bishops appointed after the break with Rome were validly (though illicitly) consecrated with the traditional pontifical.

Archbishop Cranmer had become a convinced Protestant during Henry's reign and with the accession of the boy Edward he brought his beliefs into the open. Cranmer put in hand his famous Book of Common Prayer in which the Sacrifice of the Mass was abandoned in favor of a nondescript "communion service." The Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England still describes the sacrifices of Masses as "blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits."

Some Protestant churches retained the titles "Bishop" and "Priest" and still do. What is important is the significance they gave to these terms. Was it exactly the same as that of the Catholic Church from which they had broken away? By no means, for we find the key element of the priesthood, the power to offer the Sacrifice of the Mass, is explicitly excluded from the new "ministry." To this end, Cranmer altered the ordination rites drastically and expunged every reference to the sacrificial role of the priesthood. In doing so, he vitiated the form of the sacrament and the so-called bishops and priests ordained with his new ordinal are not bishops or priests at all in the sense the Catholic Church understands these words. That is to say, they have not received valid Catholic orders. Between 1550 and 1554 all new bishops were consecrated with one or other versions of the new ordinal which was revised in an even more anti-Catholic direction in 1552. Those Catholic-minded bishops consecrated during the reign of Henry VIII who made a public stand for their Catholic principles were imprisoned. In 1554 Mary Tudor became queen. She was a Catholic.

Cardinal Reginald Pole was appointed Papal Legate to England and entrusted with the task of reconciling the English people to the Holy See. All bishops consecrated with the Edwardine Ordinal were declared to be deposed. Those consecrated with the traditional ordinal were re-instated if they had not married and were penitent for their activities during the reigns of Henry and Edward. The rest were officially degraded from the status of bishop or priest. Among these were Archbishop Cranmer and Bishops Ridley and Latimer who were eventually burnt at the stake. Episcopal Registers contain records of the re-ordination of sixteen clergy who had previously been ordained using the Edwardine Ordinal, but not a single instance has been produced of a cleric who had received Edwardine Orders only being allowed to continue his ministry without re-ordination.

Mary married Philip of Spain but when it became clear that she could not bear him a son he left England never to return. Mary died broken-hearted in 1559, realizing that her sister Elizabeth would soon make fresh break with Rome.

The Catholic Diocesan Bishops made a better showing in 1559 than they had in 1533, and this time they all were deprived of their sees for refusing to accept Protestantism. This left Elizabeth the problem of creating a new hierarchy. She had designated one Matthew Parker to be the new Archbishop of Canterbury and to consecrate him she prevailed upon Bishop Hodgkin, consecrated validly in 1537, together with two Edwardine bishops consecrated only with Cranmer's Ordinal.

But, although the chief consecrator was himself a validly ordained bishop, they used the Edwardine (Cranmerian) Ordinal and the consecration of Archbishop Parker was, therefore, invalid from defect of form. In all subsequent ordinations, the Edwardine Ordinal was used and thus all succeeding bishops of the Church of England are not bishops as the Catholic Church understands the term. Apostolic succession had been lost.

In 1661, some alteration was made to the Anglican Ordinal. The words "for the office and work of a Priest (or Bishop)" were added. However, these words do not remedy the abiding defect of form or intention in the Anglican ritual. In two cases of the reception of convert clergymen, it was declared that their orders had been null and void from the beginning. 1


The 1552 ordinal, a slightly revised version of the one produced in 1550, has the following formula of ordination:
Quote:Receive the Holy Ghost, whose sins thou dost forgive they are forgiven; and whose sins thou dost retain they are retained. 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. Amen.

The word priest does not even occur in this passage. Furthermore, Cranmer modified the entire rite in a sense which excluded the Catholic concept of priesthood (sacerdotium) in favor of the Lutheran position. To this end, all reference to the priestly power of offering sacrifice was removed from the rite, and the "Traditio" (handing over) of the Chalice, still included in the 1550 rite, was eliminated.

Cranmer's Ordinal is derived from a Latin Lutheran rite suggested to him by Martin Bucer, a radical disciple of Luther.2 The traditional (Sarum) pontifical had been drastically revised to accommodate a theology of the priesthood which was heretical. Bishop Bonner, although guilty of the sin of schism, had retained the Catholic faith in all other respects and was imprisoned for his Catholic beliefs during the reign of Edward VI. He wrote the following with regard to those ordained with Cranmer's Ordinal:
Quote:Priests being among other things called to the ministration of the Sacraments and the chiefest and most precious of all sacraments being the Sacrament of the Altar, in ministration whereof the priest ought to both consecrate and to offer. Therefore, the late made ministers in the time of the schism, in their new devised ordination having no authority at all given them to offer in the Mass the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ, but both they so ordered (or rather disordered, and their schismatical orderers) also, utterly despising and impugning not only the oblation or sacrifice of the Mass but also the real presence of the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ in the Sacrament of the Altar, therefore I say that all such damnably and presumptuously did offend against Almighty may thereby consider what thanks you owe to Almighty God who hath restored unto you the right use of the Sacraments again and also how much you ought to esteem the right priesthood, now brought home again by which as an ordinary means, God works his graces amongst you.3

Here Bishop Bonner clearly sees that the Edwardine "priests" were in no way Catholic priests.

In 1662 the form was revised as follows.:
Quote:Receive the Holy Ghost for the office and work of a priest in the Church of God, now committed unto thee by the imposition of our hands. Whose sins thou dost forgive they are forgiven and whose sins thou dost retain they are retained. 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. Amen.4

Even though the words have been amended there is still no suggestion of a sacrificial priesthood and the word committed is not the same as conferring. In the Catholic Priesthood, new powers are transmitted (conferred) on the ordinand. The Church confers Sacraments. In any case, by 1662, the Apostolic Succession had long been lost.


Although the Bull of Pope Leo XIII Apostolicae Curae constitutes the final papal condemnation of the validity of Anglican Orders, it is by no means the first. When Cardinal Pole came to England to regularize the religious position after Queen Mary came to the throne, he asked for guidance from Rome. In 1555, Pope Paul IV issued a Bull entitled Praeclara Charissimi which clarifies the powers given to Cardinal Pole. The following passage is relevant here:
Quote:Provided always that those who have been promoted to a major as well as minor ecclesiastical orders, by any other person than a bishop or an archbishop duly and rightly ordained shall be bound to receive the said orders anew from their ordinary, and shall not in the meanwhile minister in the said orders.5

Here there is no question of doubtful ordination or conditional re-ordination. It is quite determined....the Edwardine Orders are null and void and re-ordination is required.

Later in the same year, the Pope clarified the matter still further by writing:
Quote:We declare that it is only those Bishops and Archbishops who were not ordained and consecrated in the form of the Church that can not be said to be duly and rightly ordained and therefore the person promoted by them to these orders have not received orders but ought and are bound to receive anew these said orders from the ordinary ....6


During the 19th century many important Anglicans had been received into the Catholic Church and there was quite a large body of Anglicans usually known as "Anglo-Catholics" who were eager for corporate reunion with Rome. Anglo-Catholics are still to be found in the Church of England. They hold views and positions very close to those of the Catholic Church and in some cases in almost complete opposition to the doctrines of the Church of England as found in the Thirty-Nine Articles.

An influential member of the Anglo-Catholic party at that time was Lord Halifax, and he considered it would help matters along if Rome could be persuaded to accept Anglican Orders as valid. Pope Leo XIII was very anxious to obtain unity with the Anglicans but had been totally misinformed regarding the true situation in England. Cardinal Gasquet relates in his diaries the events of 1895 during the visit to Rome of Cardinal Vaughan of Westminster. Vaughan told Gasquet of his first meeting with the Pope:
Quote:Directly he entered the Pope's room, the Holy Father began at once about his great desire to effect the "re-union of England with the Holy See"....He told me, "You Catholics of England are quite mistaken in the real attitude of those who are outside the Church in England towards re-union. They are really just on the point of coming in, but are being continually repelled by the hostility of Catholics....whereas it only requires some paternal, kind, come now, etc., take courage etc., to bring them back en masse to the fold of the true Church." With regard especially to the question of Anglican Orders the Pope went on to say, If indeed they really seemed to be doubtful, for his part, he was disposed to grant that they (the Anglicans who submitted to the authority of the Church) should be allowed to receive ordination sub conditione as in the case of a doubtful baptism.7

Cardinal Vaughan then spent the rest of the interview trying to explain the real state of affairs in England to the Pope.

All this goes to show that Pope Leo was favorably disposed towards Anglicans and their orders. But at the end of the day after he had appointed a theological commission to look into the question he promulgated his final decision "absolutely null and uttterly void."

In the actual bull Apostolicae Curae, Pope Leo opens by giving an account of the history of Anglican Orders, then analyzes the defects of form and intention. Section 25 reads:
Quote:But the words which until recently were commonly held by Anglicans to constitute the proper form of priestly ordination—namely "Receive the Holy Ghost," certainly do not in the least definitely express the Sacred Order of Priesthood or its grace and power, which is "chiefly the power of consecrating and of offering the true Body and Blood of Our Lord" (Trent, Sess. 23 de Sac. Ord., Canon 1) in that sacrifice which is "no nude commemoration of the sacrifice offered on the Cross" (Trent, de Sac. Missae Can. 3).

This form had indeed, afterwards added to it the words "For the office and work of a priest" etc.; but this rather shows that the Anglicans themselves perceived that the first form was defective and inadequate. But even if this addition could give to the form its due signification, it was introduced too late as a century had elapsed since the adoption of the Edwardine Ordinal.

In paragraphs 30 and 31 the Pope deals with the Edwardine Ordinal:
Quote:In the whole Ordinal, not only is there no clear mention of the sacrifice of consecration, of the priesthood, and of the power of consecrating and offering sacrifice, but every trace of these things which had been in such prayers of the Catholic rite as they had not entirely rejected, was deliberately removed and struck out. In this way the native character or spirit as it is called of the ordinal clearly manifests itself.

His Holiness also deals with defect of intention in the rite:
Quote:The Church does not judge about the mind and intention in so far as it is something by its nature internal, but insofar as it is manifested externally she is bound to judge concerning it. A person who has correctly and seriously used the requisite matter and form to effect and confer a sacrament is presumed for that very reason to have intended to do what the Church does. On this principle rests the doctrine that a Sacrament is truly conferred by the Ministry of one who is a heretic or unbaptized, provided the Catholic rite be employed. On the other hand, if the rite be changed with the manifest intention of introducing another rite not approved by the Church and of rejecting what the Church does, and what by the institution of Christ belongs to the nature of the Sacrament, then it is clear that not only is the necessary intention wanting to the Sacrament but that the intention is adverse to and destructive of the Sacrament.

Finally, in Paragraph 36 comes the final judgement.
Quote:"We pronounce and declare that ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been, and are, absolutely null and utterly void."

It might be imagined that this was the end of the matter. But almost immediately the Pope had to make the position crystal clear in a letter to Cardinal Richard of Paris concerning suggestions in an ecumenically orientated journal, the Revue Anglo Romaine, that his Bull had not finally settled the question of Anglican Orders:
Quote:There  are  some  among  its  writers (Revue Anglo Romaine) who instead of defending and illustrating this constitution, try instead to weaken it by explaining it away....It was our intention thereby to deliver a final judgement and to settle absolutely that most grave question about Anglican Orders which indeed was long since lawfully defined by Our predecessors but by Our indulgence was entirely reheard....All Catholics were bound to receive it with the utmost respect as being finally settled and determined without any possible appeal. 8

The theological status of Apostolicae Curae at very minimum would seem to be that it possesses infallibility from the ordinary magisterium of the Church, re-iterating her constant teaching from the start of the Reformation. It has the nature of a "Dogmatic Fact." The following description of dogmatic facts is taken from Dr. Rahner:
Quote:They are facts which cannot indeed be deduced from the revealed word of God but which the Church must nevertheless recognize and formulate as such with certainty because they are necessary for the preservation of the Deposit of Faith in all its purity.9

Yet in spite of Apostolicae Curae and the clarifying letter, the arguments have continued albeit along slightly different lines. The aim, however, is always the same—to get around the decree at all costs to clear the way for a pseudo-unity.


After the 1st Vatican Council there came into existence a small break-away body known as the "Old Catholics", based mainly in Holland, which rejected Papal Infallibility. They retained nearly everything else of Catholic belief and their bishops possess valid orders as far as one can tell. On certain occasions Old Catholic bishops have participated with Anglicans in "ordaining" ministers. The Catholic Church, however, would not accept these as valid ministers because the formula they used (the Anglican Ordinal) is defective. Father Francis Clarke S.J. writes:
Quote:However orthodox may have been the subjective intention of those Old Catholic prelates, the formula they used, insufficiently determinate in itself, was outwardly and objectively determined to a defective sense by the ritual setting in which it was pronounced. The original anti-sacerdotal significance of the Ordinal...remained decisive . . . .10

It has been strongly rumored that several leading Anglican and Episcopalian bishops have visited Holland especially to receive Catholic Orders at the hands of Old Catholic bishops. Such bishops may, indeed, possess valid Catholic Orders now. But any Anglican ordination in which they participate are still invalid because of the intrinsic invalidity of the Anglican Ordinal.

In more recent times new arguments have been adduced, notably by Fr. Yarnold S.J, in order to get around Apostolicae Curae. The Church has always taught that valid orders can only be conferred by ordination from a bishop who can trace his orders through an unbroken chain of Episcopal Succession back to the time of the Apostles. Now, Fr. Yarnold tells us that this "assumption" is being questioned. It is said that we cannot prove from history that this principle has always been followed, and also that there are "two strands" of succession. The first is by ordination from a bishop in the Apostolic Succession and the second is "a call coming from a community which seeks to be faithful to the teaching commission of Christ handed down through the apostles to the whole Church." Fr. Yarnold suggests that in the absence of the first strand, this absence is not sufficient to invalidate the orders if the second strand holds. The argument goes that although both should be present, the second source might suffice to keep the priesthood and the episcopacy alive.

This view is, of course, a complete novelty. The true position is that to be in total conformity with the teaching of the Apostles it is necessary to be in communion with the successors of the Apostles. Christ founded one Church and those who belong to bodies which were originally constituted in opposition to the one true Church of Christ, cannot be held to be completely in conformity of mind and heart to the life of Christ who willed that there be but one flock and one shepherd.

Father Yarnold appears to be saying that if any small group comes together and states that it is seeking to follow Apostolic teaching then the Catholic Church should recognize the validity of the orders of the ministers of that sect. The theory has its origin in a Lutheran theologian, E. Schlink, but is cautiously suggested by Hans Kiing in his book Structures of the Church.11

However Father Yarnold's main argument for a "revision" of Apostolicae Curae would seem to be that, granted the form is vague, the intention to "do what the Church does" even if falsely understood by the reformers, would in fact validate the orders. Yarnold argues that the words "Holy Sacraments" in the Anglican Ordinal would cover the "Eucharist" even though its sacrificial interpretation was excluded, and that by continuing the basic structure of bishops and priests, the Ordinal expresses the intention to do what the Church does in this regard.

In fact both these points are covered in Apostolicae Curae but on the point of the basic structure, the preface to the Edwardine Ordinal nowhere suggests that ordination, itself, is a Sacrament. The reformers only allowed two Sacraments, Baptism and the Lord's Supper. All the Anglican rite does is to denote the bestowing of authority to exercise an office in the community. The Lutheran position is that while bishops are appropriate persons to ordain, where necessary the local community could ordain its own presbyters and superintendants. So, quite simply, "His Holy Sacraments" do not include the rite which the Anglican ordinand is taking part in nor is his "Eucharistic Ministry" in any way a continuation of the Catholic Church as the essential sacrificial element in it has been denied.


Behind this attempt by Fr. Yarnold to evade Apostolicae Curae lies a none too subtle attack on the very nature of the Catholic priesthood itself. Hans Küng has already written a book Why Priests? in which he reproduces extreme Lutheran teaching and states that the Catholic Church should accept it. In his view, there is no real distinction between priest and layman. The Church has supposedly got it all wrong since the end of the first century. There was an early clash between the Judaisers and the Hellenisers, and in the end the Judaisers won the day which meant the Church adopted a hierarchical ministry instead of the pure simplicity that Our Lord really intended for His followers.

Küng does not believe the Mass is a Sacrifice in any real sense at all. It is merely a commemoration meal based on the Last Supper. And have we not all heard just about enough about the Mass being merely a "Meal"?

Well, with the Mass reduced in status, and priest reduced in status to a mere layperson, Küng wishes to have "Eucharistic Presidents" elected by their "local communities." They take no vows and can be elected for just as long as their local committee wants them. The blurring of the distinction between priest and laity is, of course, well under way at present. We have Communion in the hand, lay ministers of Communion, priests abandoning their clerical dress, being called by their Christian names, considering themselves more as social workers, demanding release from the vows of celibacy, and rejecting the orders of such bishops as are still disposed to issue any!

Matters have not been helped by the production of the so-called "Agreed Statements" particularly those on the "Ministry" and the "Eucharist." These statements were drawn up after discussions between Catholic and Anglican theologians. They have not been formally approved by either Church and one sincerely hopes they never will be. Readers will not be surprised to learn that one of the Catholic theologians was Father Yarnold S.J. and that in these documents one will look in vain for a definite statement of the Catholic Church's teaching. Rather one will find what may be termed "studied ambiguity." The cause of ecumenism is not helped by attempting to produce an anemic religion based on the lowest common denominator of doctrine.


A revised Catholic Ordinal was issued in 1968. In 1947 Pope Pius XII had decreed that the essential words in the ordination of a priest were:
Grant we beseech Thee, Almighty Father, to this thy servant, the dignity of the Priesthood; renew the spirit of holiness within him, that he may hold from Thee O God, the second rank in thy service and by the example of his behaviour afford a pattern of Holy living.

This essential formula is found in the new Rite. However, all the prayers and ceremonies of the traditional Catholic rite which gave explicit sacerdotal significance to the indeterminate formula quoted above have been omitted. In Apostolicae Curae we have seen that the Anglican form was part also of a ceremony in which all reference to the sacrificial elements had been removed. The reader might well be tempted to ask then what difference is there between the Anglican Ordinal and the new Catholic ritual. The answer, with regret, is "very little." The reader might then say, "The Catholic Church is making the same mistakes as the reformers did?" Well, not quite. There is an escape route. Although the form is not backed up by any definite reference to the sacrificial function of a priest, one may conclude that the intention of the Catholic Consecrating Bishops is to ordain a sacrificing priest in the sense that the Catholic Church has always maintained. The new ordination rite for a bishop also has a form which, in itself, is rather general; but the admonition given to the priest about to be ordained a bishop is crystal clear:
Quote:By the laying on of hands which confers the sacrament in its fullness, the apostles passed on the gift of the Holy Spirit which they themselves had received from Christ. In that way by a succession of bishops unbroken from one generation to the next the powers conferred in the beginning were handed down and the work of the Saviour lives and grows in our time.

This is certainly very clear, but I understand it is optional in the rite. If this is so, I would humbly request those with authority that it be made a compulsory section of the ceremony. Also, would it be too much to ask if the rite of ordination of a priest could contain one definitive mandatory reference to the priest's sacrificial role?

At the moment the Anglicans are pressing for a Common Ordinal and have produced a Series 3 Ordinal as a starter. This is a study in "ecumenical ambiguity" seeking to please all sides and probably succeeding in pleasing none. In fact, it represents nothing more than the appointment by the community to exercise an office within the Church. Nowhere does it state the person who possesses new powers which the generality of the faithful do not possess. The Catholic concept of the priesthood is nowhere specifically excluded. Everything is simply left in a cloud of unknowing. What hope for priests in the future if this kind of process is allowed to prosper?


For a fuller account of all the matters dealt with in this article I recommend a recently published book, The Order of Melchisedech, by Michael Davies. It can be obtained for $7.00, postage paid, from Angelus Press. Among the appendices to the book are the Bull Praeclara Charissimi of Pope Paul IV (1555); his Declaratory Brief of 1555; the Bull Apostolicae Curae of Pope Leo XIII and his letter to Cardinal Richard of Paris (both dated 1896). The paragraph numbers for Apostolicae Curae used in the article are taken from this appendix. The various passages quoted from the successive Anglican Ordinals are also included together with facsimile reproductions of the originals. The book is referred to in the notes as OM.

1. The two convert clergymen were a French Calvinist who had received ordination in the Church of England, and John Gordon, convert Bishop of Galloway in 1704.
2. OM, pp. 107-108.
3. OM, pp. 32-33.
4. Background to this revision, OM, p. 40
5. OM, pp. 154-155.
6. OM, p. 157.
7. Gasquet, Leaves from My Diary, (London, 1911), pp. 7-8.
8. OM, p. 173.
9. Concise Theological Dictionary, p. 134 On the status of Apostolicae Curae as a Dogmatic Fact, see also The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Vol. I, p. 498 and Clark's Anglican Orders and Defect of Intention, pp. 9-10.
10. Yarnold, Anglican Orders, A Way Forward? (Catholic Truth Society, London, 1977).
11. Ibid, p. 11.
12. Sacramentum Ordinis.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
The Problem with Anglican Orders ~ Michael Davies

It has long been recognized that many of the elements in the Anglican rite of 'Orders,' which earned it's condemnation by Pope Leo XIII in Apostolicae Curae, made their way into the Novus Ordo Rite of Priestly Ordination. Mr. Davies, without drawing explicit parallels to the Novus Ordo Rite of Ordination, nevertheless highlights the precedence set by Leo XIII which may very likely be used to condemn that New Rite.

In this ordination sermon on June 29, 2016, Bishop Tissier expressly points out several of the important changes in the New Ordination Rite that may earn for it too one day, a condemnation:
Quote:…The Fraternity uses all available means today, in light of the situation in the Church, to transmit to all priests of the Church this truth of the priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the reality of Christ, Priest and King, to communicate this to the whole Church.

This nature of the priest as mediator seems to me to be very simply illustrated in the priestly ordination ceremony.

By the anointing of the priest’s hands, by the tradition of the chalice and the paten, and by the second imposition of the hands accompanied with the power to absolve sins. Now these three rites are accomplished at the end of the ordination when the ordinands are already priests by the silent imposition of the bishop’s hands and the consecratory preface. They are already priests. Nevertheless, the Church insists, through these three secondary rites, on specifying the nature of the priest’s power.

First of all, the anointing of the hands, so beautiful, so meaningful. The priest is no longer a man like others, he is a consecrated man because he receives the anointing of his hands. Anointing the two hands of the ordinand, of the ordained, the priest [bishop] pronounces these words: “Consecrate and sanctify, O Lord, these hands by this unction and our blessing so that whatsoever they shall bless and consecrate be consecrated and made holy, in the name of the Lord.” From now on, dear candidates to the priesthood, you will work wonders, you will consecrate and sanctify. Consecrating at mass, of course, holding the chalice that will become the chalice of the Precious Blood, and holding the paten that will become the paten holding Our Lord Jesus Christ, His immolated Body. Thus, you will consecrate the Holy Eucharist, you will renew sacramentally the sacrifice of the Cross. And you will sanctify souls through your hands, through all the blessings of the Church, through baptism, and through the Holy Communion you will give.

But, dear faithful, this marvelous anointing of the priest’s hands was tampered with [truqué] by the Conciliar Church 46 years ago. Paul VI instituted other words, which say nothing of consecration or sanctification. That is why we preciously safeguard the treasure of these ordination prayers.

The second rite is the rite of presenting the young priest with the chalice and the paten, with these very clear words: “Receive the power to offer sacrifice to God.” These words you will not find in the other parts of the ordination. Nowhere. It is in this secondary rite that you will ultimately find specified what this priesthood is you are going to receive. “Receive the power to offer sacrifice to God,” and it continues, “and to celebrate masses for the living as well as for the dead, in the name of the Lord.” To celebrate masses, this is quite clear, for the living as well as for the dead.

Not only a sacrifice of praise for the living, but also the sacrifice of expiation and propitiation for the souls in purgatory, who are no longer spoken of in the Church today. Your priesthood is a priesthood having effects for eternity, not only on earth but in Heaven for admitting in souls, and in purgatory for the deliverance of souls.

Archbishop Lefebvre would tell us: “The priest is a man of eternity, who lives not only in time, but whose priesthood has eternal effects.”

But this prayer, once again, was tampered with by the Conciliar Church—the new ordination rite where the bishop presents the chalice and the paten, with the wine and the host, yes, simply saying: “Receive the gifts of the faithful, to offer them to God.” So, what does that mean? You are receiving the gifts of the faithful to offer them to God? Is that all? We are not receiving the gifts of the faithful, we are receiving the gift of God, which is Our Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed on the Cross, to offer Him anew to God the Father. This is the truth! Obviously, we cannot accept this new, tampered with ordination rite, which casts doubts on the validity of numerous ordinations [done] according to the new rite.

And finally, the third beautiful rite—secondary, it is true, but still so important—the power to absolve sins. The priest [bishop] says to the ordinand, as he spreads open his chasuble to signify he shall thenceforth be able to exercise his priesthood and all of his priestly functions: “Receive the Holy Ghost, whose sins thou shalt forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins thou shalt retain, they are retained.” These beautiful words of Our Lord to the Apostles on Easter, on Easter evening, what could be more beautiful? To express this power, which the young priests have already received by the silent imposition of hands and the preface, this is true, but expressing it in an explicit manner, that the priest has the power to forgive sins. You will say but only God can forgive sins. Exactly—the priest is the instrument of God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of sins.

But, dear faithful, this prayer, this rite of transmitting the power to forgive sins, was simply suppressed in the new rite of ordination. It is no longer mentioned. So this new rite of ordination is not Catholic. And so we shall continue, of course, to faithfully transmit the real and valid priesthood through the traditional rite of priestly ordination.

Source  [Emphasis mine.]
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
A Vindication of The Bull 'Apostolicæ Curæ', A Letter on Anglican Orders, By the Cardinal Archbishop and Bishops of the Province of Westminster, In Reply to the Letter Addressed to Them By the Anglican Archbishops of Canterbury and York 1898

This Vindication is available in an easy to read PDF format below. It further clarifies the Papal Bull and certainly gives us a moment's pause when considering the similarities between the reasons behind why the Anglican Orders were declared invalid and the milieu surrounding the creation of the Novus Ordo Rite of Orders post Vatican II!

A short excerpt from the Vindication:

Cranmer’s doctrine on the Real Presence

When once it is realised that the true key to the meaning of the omissions and dubious phraseology of the Praver Book and Ordinal is to be sought in the views and aims of Cranmer and his party, it becomes indisputable what the key is. The difficulty is indeed not to find but to select testimonies for citation,and it may even seem superfluous to cite testimonies at all in proof of so patent a fact. Still, we have promised some specimens, and will proceed now to give them. That you may understand better, however,the significance we attach to them, may we remind you again of what has been said above concerning the intimate connection between the doctrines of the Real Objective Presence, the Sacrifice, and the Priesthood? Without the Real Objective Presence there can be no true Sacrifice, and without a true Sacrifice no true Priesthood. 

Cranmer wrote a long treatise entitled A Defence of the True and Catholic Doctrine concerning the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ,and in the Preface he tells us very distinctly what were the principal ’corruptions’ he desired to see abolished:

Quote:What availeth it to take away beads, pardons, pilgrimages, and such other like Popery, so long as two chief roots remain unpulled up ? Whereof so long as they remain will spring again all former impediments of the Lord’s harvest and corruption of His flock. The rest is but branches and leaves... but the very body of the tree, or rather the roots of the weeds, is the Popish doctrine of transubstantiation, of the Real Presence of Christ’s Flesh and Blood in the Sacrament of the Altar (as they call it), and of the Sacrifice and Oblation of Christ made by the priest for the salvation of the quick and the dead. Which roots, if they be suffered in the Lord’s vineyard, they will overspread all the ground again with the old errors and superstitions.

Here we find the two doctrines which underlie and condition the doctrine of a true Priesthood formally declared to be the roots of evil which most of all needed destroying. This passage is really decisive as to Cranmer’s rejection of the Catholic doctrine, but it will be satisfactory to know more precisely what he himself held; and, faithful to the engagement we have made, we will pass over what he says of transubstantiation.We have to do only with his opinions on the Real Presence. He tells us that Christ is present in the bread and wine only figuratively :
He is not in the bread spiritually (as He is in the man), nor in the bread corporally (as He is in heaven), but sacramentally only (as a thing is said to be in the figure by which it is signified).

Hence it is true to say that He is not in the bread and wine at all, but only in the heart of the receiver :
Quote:They teach that Christ is in the bread and wine; we (as the truth itself requires) teach that Christ is in those who worthily partake of the bread and wine... They teach that Christ remains in the sacramental bread, even if it be kept a whole year; but that after the Sacrament has been received, when the bread is ground in the mouth and changed in the stomach, He departs to heaven; but we teach that Christ remains in the man who receives the bread worthily as long as the man remains a member of Christ.

And this, he says in another place, is what is meant by a phrase in the First Prayer Book, afterwards removed as susceptible of a ’Popish’ meaning:
Quote:Therefore in the Book of the Holy Communion we do not pray absolutely that the bread and wine may be made the Body and Blood of Christ, but that unto us in that holy mystery they may be so ; that is to say, that we may so worthily receive the same that we may be partakers of Christ’s Body and Blood, and that therewith in spirit and in truth we may be spiritually nourished.

It should be noticed, too, that it is only the worthy receiver of the Sacrament in whom Christ, according to Cranmer, is present.

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"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre

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