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Re: [liturgy-l] Apostolic Succession and the Orthodox

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  • Father Robert Lyons, SST
    ... I am not totally flamiliar with the Coltrane Church, so I can t comment in detail on it, but indeed there is a wide difference (from a Western perspective)
    Message 1 of 99 , Apr 1, 2004
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      Doug M-C said:
      > While John's use of the Coltrane Church might have been a blind
      > alley, Robert Lyon's case is not such a blind alley and
      > demonstrates well John's point.

      I am not totally flamiliar with the Coltrane Church, so I can't comment in
      detail on it, but indeed there is a wide difference (from a Western
      perspective) on the Duarte-Costa line and the Vilatte line. Vilatte, as
      was noted earlier, was defrocked by his consecrating prelate. Rome and
      Duarte-Costa broke communion, but Rome did not cease acknowledging him as
      a valid, though illicilty acting, bishop. One of his consecrateees (is
      that a word?), Salamo (sp) Ferraz was recieved back into the Church before
      Vatican II, wife and all. He was given a titular see and participated in

      > The <Duarte-Costa> apostolic line is a series of bishops who trace
      > their 'descent' from a Catholic bishop in South America. I'm sure
      > he can provide the details of the story. But, essentially, this
      > Catholic bishop left Catholicism (briefly?) and ordained another
      > as bishop.

      Actually, Duarte-Costa died outside of the Roman Church, having served as
      the Patriarch of the ICAB (Independent Catholic and Apostolic Church of
      Brazi) until his death (as I recall... been a while since I really
      checked). I don't believe he ever returned to the Latin Church.

      > As Robert pointed out, the sacraments of the 'descendents' of this
      > bishop are considered valid by the Roman Church. He would not be
      > 're-'ordained if he submitted to Rome at some point.
      > Of course, a woman priest or bishop claiming ordination via this
      > line of succession would not be so recognised. Nor would a person
      > ordained by one of the theosophical bishops of this line. But
      > these would not be recognised because the 'intention to do what
      > the church has always done' would be missing, or because
      > ordination of women is simply not possible (by current Catholic
      > doctrine), or because the form (the use of weird names for God,
      > perhaps) is corrupt.

      Exactly. The line I was ordained in is strictly male-only, no
      theosophisim, etc. Nothing present to invalidate the line, insofar as I
      know. I have seen some folks who have went into Rome from the Independent
      movement who were recieved straight, others who were sub-conditionally
      ordained (usually when the Bishop ordained women to the diaconate or
      presbyterate, but not the episcopate) and others who were absolutely
      ordained (when the consecrating Bishop ordained women as bishops,
      practiced theosophy, etc.)

      > John's point is simply that for the Orthodox the suggestion that
      > Robert is validly ordained and the sacraments he serves are valid
      > is nonsensical because, whatever the apostolic line, his
      > ordination happened outside the Church!

      The question, it seems to me, for the Latin Church, is one of mechanics.
      For the Greek Church, it's more complex.

      Rome asks: Who ordained you? Who ordained them? What form was used.

      Constantinople asks: What do you believe? What did your ordainer believe?
      What jurisdiction was he in/under at the time of your ordination? Oh yea,
      who ordained them and what form was used?

      The problems of both approach are manifold:

      1) The Latin Church has no facility to restrict apostolic succession,
      because it only takes (by strict measure) one Bishop to pass along the
      Succession (was was done initially in the US for Roman Catholics) thus
      'imprinting' the Sacramental nature on the soul of the Presbyter. Note,
      however, that to properly exercise one's 'powers' in the western economy,
      one must be united with a Bishop in Apostolic Succession (thus the desire
      to drag out the paper trail showing lines, etc).

      2) The Greek Church simply says 'if you aren't in, you're out'. The means
      of ensuring that the succession isn't passed along is to simply state
      that, outside of full, recognized communion with the Church, you can't be
      properly ordained. Further, it sounds (though correct me if I am wrong)
      like Orthodox theology doesn't follow the western idea of an indeleble
      'imprinting' of the presbyteral nature on the soul, but allows for a
      transient 'vesting' of power, effective only as long as you are in visible
      communion with the recognized Church.

      Both lead to the problems that, those who profess Christ, love the Lord,
      but cannot - in good conscience - accept those items that they percieve to
      have been added to the ancient Deposit of Faith are left wondering, "What
      am I to do?"

      The best option for many of them is to seek out autocephelas Catholic
      bodies that maintain the ancient faith while trying to, at the same time,
      foster understanding with the Latin, Greek, and Anglican communions. They
      choose as best they can in how they go about securing succession, and they
      ensure that their ordination liturgies and their other liturgical
      observances reflect the faith they believe has been handed down from the
      ancient Church.

      It's a sticky trail to follow - but then again, isn't all faith? It's a
      hard path, but may God lead us all down the right one, and lead us to his
      gift of eternal life.

      Liturgically speaking, thought (and trying to keep from getting so far off
      topic that this discussion gets shut down) what elements do Rome and the
      Orthodox consider necessary for a valid ordination from a *LITURGICAL*

      Father Robert Lyons, SST
      "Purity in doctrine, compassion in application."
    • Thomas R. Jackson
      sorry, not sure how that got mis-addressed
      Message 99 of 99 , Apr 11, 2004
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        sorry, not sure how that got mis-addressed
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