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Originally Posted by Elizabeth Maria
I am a member of the OCA ... how am I to know about the ways of the GOARCH.


Because you seem to have this way of reporting thing as fact, when in most cases they may be a vague recollection.

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This topic is rapidly going off into a tangent. Posters are warned that either they stick to topic, open a new one on the various tangents, or face this one being closed.

In Christ,

BOB

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Fr Serge and others have answered this well.

Not only has the Old Catholic communion (1871 schism from Rome over papal infallibility; liberal since the 1970s - for example now they ordain women; a tiny church in north-central Europe based in Utrecht, The Netherlands, the Dutch in Dutch touch) participated in Anglican ordinations since the 1930s but earlier in the 1900s a former Old Catholic bishop contributed his 'line' by taking part in consecrating an Episcopal Church bishop.

Rome's always recognised their orders but that may change because of women's ordination.

The Dutch touch, so named by a good conservative Anglo-Catholic priest in England, made Anglo-Catholicism possible after Apostolicæ Curæ, or the latter's true but may no longer apply to Anglican clergy.

Two kinds of people seem to argue for it: conservative Anglo-Catholics justifying their existence outside Rome or Orthodoxy, and liberal Roman Catholics who admire liberal Anglicans and want to use the Dutch touch to bestow on them a kind of equality to the Roman Church.

The 'lines of succession' game is a dangerous one/slippery slope into the make-believe world of the episcopi vagantes, with whom Anglo-Catholics long have had some crossover.

Many vagantes claim Eastern 'lines' which both is true on paper - a few Westerners got themselves bishopped by a well-meaning Syrian or Assyrian prelate only to go freelance once they got back to England or America - and shows they either don't know or don't care how Eastern sacramentology works (the Orthodox and others: if it's not in our church we don't care about your 'lines'; you're a layman).

Considering that the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Rt Revd Mark Hanson, now can claim apostolic succession through being made a bishop with Episcopal co-consecrators, part of the ELCA-Episcopal merger, one has to draw the line somewhere!

John Jay Hughes 40 years ago was the first ex-Anglican to be conditionally ordained a Roman Catholic priest thanks to the Dutch touch.

The argument about doing what the church does - as with baptisms by groups that deny baptismal regeneration - is what the late, great Anglo-Catholic Eric Mascall used to defend Anglican orders. Rome doesn't agree.

The ways the Orthodox receive ex-clergy from other apostolic churches and indeed all converts from other Christian bodies is wildly inconsistent.

The point here is as Fr Serge wrote no Orthodox or Roman bishop receives ex-Anglican clergy in their orders.

As for splits from the Orthodox community like the Old Calendarists ISTM they're always treated economically - all they need to be Orthodox again is to come back into communion, with no rebaptisms, rechrismations or reordinations. Technically they're not Orthodox but are still 'part of the family'.

Pedantry: there's no such thing as 'more invalid'. Either something's valid (grace-filled to put it in Orthodox idiom) or not. The unworthiness of the minister doesn't affect validity as Fr Serge explained about the Donatist heresy.

Should you cross yourself going past an Anglican church? It's up to you! But if you want to remain in good standing with Rome or an Eastern church don't receive Communion etc. there.

BTW there are no Old Catholics in Britain or America: they are in communion with the Anglicans so they tell people there to go to the Church of England, Episcopal Church etc.

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This article throws another wrench into the Apostolic Succession discussion, since the Anglicans now accept as 'valid' those Lutheran pastors consecrated to the episcopate by other pastors. (Not to mention the term limits of the Lutheran episcopate, where after the term is filled, the bishop returns to the pastorate).
Quote
ELCA NEWS SERVICE

September 19, 2002

SYNOD BISHOP GRANTS SECOND ELCA ORDINATION EXCEPTION
02-226-JB

CHICAGO (ELCA) -- A candidate for ordination in the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) was ordained this month by a pastor
other than a bishop -- the second time an ELCA seminary graduate was
granted an exception to rules governing the ELCA's full communion
relationship with the Episcopal Church.
The Rev. Matthew Kuempel's ordination occurred Sept. 14, after
the Rev. Gerald L. Mansholt, bishop of the ELCA Central States Synod,
Kansas City, Mo., granted Kuempel's request that someone other than a
bishop preside at his ordination.
Mansholt's decision to allow Kuempel's request resulted in the
resignation of the Rev. William J. Sappenfield, who quit as one of
Mansholt's three ecumenical representatives in the synod.
Sappenfield is pastor of St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Olathe, Kan.
The ELCA's 2001 Churchwide Assembly adopted a bylaw amendment
on ordination in "unusual circumstances," which allows a synod
bishop, under certain circumstances, to authorize another pastor of
the church to preside at an ordination. The full communion agreement
of the ELCA and Episcopal Church directs that "a bishop shall
regularly preside and participate in the laying-on-of-hands at the
ordination of all clergy." The full communion agreement is known as
"Called to Common Mission" (CCM).
Prior to CCM, bishops presided at most Lutheran ordinations,
but it was not required. For some Lutherans, CCM is controversial
because they say the agreement gave bishops more authority and it
threatens Lutheran identity.
Kuempel was ordained by the Rev. Tom E. Kesselring, pastor of
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Pflugerville. Though Kesselring presided,
Mansholt was present and at one point in the ordination rite laid
hands on Kuempel's head.
Kuempel was called to a two-point parish, Good Shepherd
Lutheran Church and Zion Lutheran Church, Washington, Kan. He will
start Sept. 29. His wife, the Rev. Kristen Kuempel, was ordained by
Mansholt Sept. 8 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Richland, Wash.,
under the terms of CCM. She was called to serve a three-point parish
in Kansas.
The Rev. Daniel D. Shaw was the first candidate for ordination
under CCM who was ordained by a pastor other than a bishop. Shaw was
ordained July 20. The Rev. Wm. Chris Boerger, bishop of the ELCA
Northwest Washington Synod, Seattle, granted the exception.
The Kuempels graduated from Luther Seminary, an ELCA seminary
in St. Paul, Minn., and were assigned to the Central States Synod in
March. Matthew Kuempel said he asked Mansholt for the exception in
April and it was officially granted in August, after a call had been
extended. Kuempel, 29, entered the seminary in 1998, before CCM was
adopted by the ELCA and the Episcopal Church.
"I decided it would be important for the church and for my
ministry to exercise the freedom provided for in the (bylaw)
amendment," he said. Kuempel said he was aware that CCM was
controversial and that its adoption was upsetting for some Lutherans.
"I think it is helpful for the peace of the church for
exceptional ordinations to take place," he said. "I hope there are
more. My hope is that with each graduating class there will be more
(exceptions) as part of the evangelical freedom that we have."
Despite the exception request, when Mansholt offered to attend
Matthew Kuempel's ordination, "I was excited," Kuempel said.
Mansholt also explained to the congregations which eventually called
Kuempel that the ordination would be done under the exceptions bylaw,
Kuempel said.
For his part, Mansholt said he consulted with synod deans,
Episcopal Church colleagues, the synod council and the ELCA presiding
bishop before he granted Kuempel's request for an exception.
In a letter to be sent to the synod, Mansholt said he
recognizes his decision has ramifications for the Episcopal Church as
well as the ELCA.
"I have made this decision after much thought and prayer," he
said. "Eventually I came to the conclusion there seems to be more to
be gained by granting the exception, (and) more to be lost by denying
the request at this point in time."
"Matthew sees the requirement for a bishop to preside at an
ordination as adding something extra to the true unity of the
church," Mansholt said in his letter. "I understand the provisions
as a sign, a symbol that one is ordained into the one ministry of
Word and Sacrament, not as something that guarantees the validity of
the ordination."
"At this point in time, as CCM is being implemented, with
significant theological debate and disagreement having been among us,
it seems best for the building up of Christ's Church that this
exception be granted."
Mansholt said he is eager for the Kuempels to begin their
ministry in the synod. "They are two fine pastors with many gifts
for ministry," he added.

ECUMENICAL REPRESENTATIVE RESIGNS
After Mansholt officially granted the exception, he informed
Sappenfield Aug. 20 and met with him and another pastor Aug. 29, both
of whom expressed concerns about the decision. Mansholt
characterized the conversation as "cordial," though he said both
expressed "strong and unbending convictions about the full communion
agreement" of the ELCA and Episcopal Church.
Sappenfield, who served as Mansholt's ecumenical representative
in the Kansas City area, served nearly 15 years as the synod bishop's
representative to the Lutheran Ecumenical Representatives Network
(LERN), including two terms on the executive board.
Each bishop of the ELCA's 65 synods is considered the synod's
ecumenical officer. Each bishop names one representative to LERN,
which is coordinated through the ELCA Department for Ecumenical
Affairs. Sappenfield's term with LERN ended this year, though he
continued to serve in a similar role for the synod.
In May 2001, LERN said the bylaw represented "a unilateral
change" in CCM and it declared the bylaw "deficient in its intended
purpose to restore peace and unity in the ELCA."
Sappenfield said he met with Mansholt in May 2002 and expressed
concern then about the possibility of exceptions. Sappenfield was
not informed of Kuempel's request for an exception until after it was
granted, he said.
After Shaw's ordination in July, Sappenfield wrote a letter to
Mansholt dated July 20, in which he expressed multiple concerns. In
it, he wrote the bylaw amendment "is in violation of CCM," and
granting Shaw's exception "is not having a pacifying effect on our
ecumenical relations."
Sappenfield said he should have been consulted before Mansholt
reached his decision on Kuempel's request. However, Sappenfield said
even if he had input, he knew if an exception was granted he couldn't
continue as the bishop's ecumenical representative, "because I don't
agree," he said. Sappenfield resigned as a synod ecumenical
representative shortly after he met with Mansholt in late August
about the Kuempel exception.
"Ordination is an act of the whole church," he said. "It's not
an individual matter between the person called and the Holy Spirit.
That's why this (ordination by a bishop) is an appropriate thing to
do."
"The ELCA unilaterally changed a bilateral agreement,"
Sappenfield said of the adoption of the bylaw. "I don't agree with
this. I think it lacks integrity, it's bad for relations with our
existing ecumenical partners and its bad for our ability to maintain
policy within our own denomination."
Sappenfield expressed disappointment that there wasn't better
communication with him about Kuempel's request, and he said granting
the exception amounted to allowing a first-year graduate to determine
ecumenical policy.
"This is damaging for our relationships with the Episcopal
Church," he said.

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or NEWS@ELCA.ORG
http://listserv.elca.org/archives/elcanews.html

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Bob,
I think that was in line with what I posted. Iwas not making an appeal that Anglican Orders were valid and I adhere to the view of the Church, "utterly void and invalid".
But there have been some ordinations that have been valid.

I even know of some Bishops in the Lutheran Fellowship that had doubts about the validity of their own orders and went and got themselves ordained by Old Catholich Bishops.

Stephanos I

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Strange that you say there are no Old Catholic Churches in America. There are two down the street from me and there is also an Episcopal group.
Stephanos I
I am sure if you googled it there would be others.

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Actually there are two varieties of Old Catholics in North America:

a) the Polish National Catholic Church, which is by far the largest of the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht (although its connection with the Union of Utrecht is rather strained of late) and

b) various and sundry minute groups, some of which are somehow historically linked to Utrecht, and who call themselves "Old Catholic". These latter are best ignored.


Quote
The argument about doing what the church does - as with baptisms by groups that deny baptismal regeneration - is what the late, great Anglo-Catholic Eric Mascall used to defend Anglican orders. Rome doesn't agree.



Please forgive me for contradicting, but doing what the Church does is precisely what Rome insists upon (by the way, I know nothing about E. L. Mascall's theology - the only one of his works I've ever read is a volume of poems).

to offer a couple of examples - Cardinal Richelieu is known to have said Mass three times in his entire life: on the occasion of his ordination to the priesthood, on the occasion of his consecration to the episcopate, and in celebration of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes and the French King's "reconquest" of La Rochelle. When Richelieu died the Pope of the day commented that the Cardinal's career was one of utterly unblemished success - unless, of course, there was a God after all! But no one suggested that this made his ordination invalid.

On the Protestant side, we may note that the Church of Sweden (Lutheran) has taken great care to maintain a historic episcopal succession; most other Lutherans do not. Amusingly enough, the Lutheran bishops from Sweden are normally invited to the consecrations of Lutheran Bishops in Germany, Denmark, and so on - but are never invited to join in the actual laying on of hands! [It doesn't exist, we don't believe in it, but we certainly don't want it!] Well, it's a point of view.

Fr. Serge


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Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
Actually there are two varieties of Old Catholics in North America:

a) the Polish National Catholic Church, which is by far the largest of the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht (although its connection with the Union of Utrecht is rather strained of late) and


Father I am ready and willing to concede that you may be more in the know and up to date about the situation, but calling the PNCC's relationship to the Ultrajectines "Strained" seems generous *IF* what I understand is correct - that is, that the PNCC has simulatneously withdrawn from Utrecht/been booted for their rather lack of enthusiasm over women's ordination/homosexual "marriage"...

At this time, (again *IF* I understand correctly) the PNCC seems largely out on their own and in communion with only a handful of daughter congregations up to and including some "high church lutherans" from Scandanavia that have organized themselves as a "National Catholic Church" for their country... (I am not sure that you could fill more than a couple of busses with the membership of that Scandanavian group, but I could be wrong)...

NOW, as though there were not enough morsels to chew on in this discussion, it could and should be noted that the presense of an Ultrajectine bishop at an episcopal consecration wherein that Ultrajectine bishop comes forward to co-consecrate according to rites laid out by the book of common prayer...

Well in and of itself - his presense or participation alone - does not necessarily strengthen the case or make good argument for validity. I recall the venerable William Tighe has noted that an Ultrajectine with presumably valid orders coming forward in a consecration and uttering "receive the holy spirit" just doesn't cut it according to Rome.

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My wording in describing the relationship between the PNCC and the Union of Utrecht was intended to be generous! They have not been expelled from the Union of Utrecht, but it is quite true that they have distanced themselves (I'm being generous again) over the issues you mention.

One should add that they massively outnumber the adherents of the European Churches connected to the Union of Utrecht. They have rather more than ten times the number of adherents of the Old Catholic Archdiocese of Utrecht.

The group you mention in Scandinavia relates directly to the Polish National Catholic Bishop of Buffalo-Pittsburgh. In Scandinavia they are called the "Nordic Catholic Church", which can involve some delicate explanation in the English-speaking world.

Father Serge

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Thanks for the replies.

Michael_Thoma, exactly. In that church context does a claim to apostolic orders mean anything? The apostolic churches say no.

Which relates to what I've been told about Sweden: that church claims succession but they recognise non-episcopal Lutheran pastors. I've been told by an ex-Lutheran it's because of Lutherans' weak ecclesiology marking them as Protestants, in which forms of church government like episcopal or synodal are man-made options.

I know that many vagante churches and clergy call themselves Old Catholic; they also like to call themselves Orthodox. They use both to mean 'high-church but not under Rome'.

By Old Catholic I mean a church or person in the Utrecht communion like Roman Catholic means under Rome, Anglican means your bishop is recognised as a member by the Lambeth Conference and Orthodox means being in the commonly understood Orthodox communion recognised by the patriarchs.

Thanks for clarifying about the relationship between the PNCC and Utrecht. I've been told Utrecht's conservative churches are in a kind of impaired communion with them. And I didn't know the PNCC (not a big church; I'm guessing a few tens of thousands of people on the rolls and far fewer practising, a lot like Slavic Orthodox and Greek Catholic churches in America, and likewise Slavic and based in the Rust Belt) outnumbers European Old Catholics!

100 years ago Utrecht like Rome didn't recognise Anglican orders; in 1930 that changed. That and getting burned so many times by attempts to set up dioceses in Britain and America, with clergy going freelance (becoming vagantes), are why they now tell people there if they want to join them, be Church of England or Episcopal.

I thought the Nordic Catholic Church was only in Norway (conservative high-church ex-members of the Lutheran state church, their version of Anglo-Catholics); are there parishes elsewhere? Check them out on the Web. Their pages are all in Norwegian (of course); they have adopted lots of Orthodox stuff from icons to vestments to the priestly blessing hand cross. Yes, they're under the PNCC bishop Fr Serge said; no bishop of their own.

P.S. The real Orthodox bishop whom some vagantes claim their 'lines' from was Aftimios (Ofiesh); he and some of his followers left Orthodoxy in 1933 (he got married and was deposed).

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Reminds me of an old theology joke: "Lutherans find bishops desirable, but not always neccesary; Anglicans find bishops neccesary but always desirable" wink

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Intention "to do what the Church does" has been established by decisions of the Holy Office and comes (in modern times) from Saint Robert Bellarmine.

Fr. Serge

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AFAIK Mascall's argument defending Anglican orders is based on Rome's ruling on 'doing as the church does' regarding the Oceanic Methodists. Before baptising they would read a statement denying baptismal regeneration yet Rome recognised the baptisms.

I'm not defending his position, Father, only stating what I think it was.

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Strained? The PNCC and the Slovak Old Catholic Church have both formally withdrawn/been expelled from the Union of Utrecht over their non-acceptance of the ordination of women/blessing of homosexual unions. These two remain in communion with each other. The Toronto Cathedral parish of the PNCC has gone into schism with the PNCC by maintaining communion with the Utrecht Union and the Anglican Church of Canada, there is a court case ongoing in which the PNCC is trying to regain the cathedral.

Fr. Deacon Lance


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That's what I thought. So except for the Toronto cathedral there are no Old Catholics in North America (or Britain). You've only got the on-their-own PNCC and vagantes. The Archbishop of Utrecht says 'if you like us be an Episcopalian'.

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