Catholic Bishops outside of the Roman Catholic Church Vatican II are not only heralds, but custodians of the most ancient and a powerful continuous spiritual lineage that still exists in Apostolic Succession from Vatican One
In regards to the validity of catholic bishops. Secular Courts of England & Wales have for many years refused to enter in to such questions in defining such answers. In a court case in reference number 02/TLQJ/1760. 31st July 2003 the Right Reverend Jonathon Blake issued legal proceedings against Associate Newspapers Limited in regards matters of a statement that the said newspaper published. The secular Courts of England & Wales was asked by the Right Reverend Jonathon Blake’s barrister to seek clarity on his validity for which the Judge being His Honour Mr Justice Gray in the Queen Bench High Court stated “ the validity of a bishop is ruled as an area of non- justiciability”. His Honour went on to say that the claimant Bishop J Blake
“claim to validity could not be adjudicated upon by the court as it would involve a detailed and painstaking examination of questions of doctrine, theology and ecclesiology, combining an assessment of history and a full understanding of contemporary and emergent theology and ecumenism”.There is past legal authority that established that any secular Court would ‘not venture into doctrinal disputes or differences and would not regulate issues as to the procedures, customs and practices adopted by religious bodies’.
This does not mean that a Court will not examine if need be questions of doctrine, theology and ecclesiology combining an assessment of history and ecumenism if that need arises. In the case of Archbishop James Atkinson-Wake who was consecrated within an ESTABLISHED Church, this itself makes a difference for English & Welsh secular Courts who are willing to examine the much needed questions of doctrine, theology and ecclesiology combining an assessment of history and ecumenism as to the Catholic Bishops credibility & validity as this is what is stated by His Honour, Mr Justice Gray Queen Bench High Court in his conclusion of the case of Bishop J Blake v’s Associated Newspapers. The judge stated with the absence at that time of any denomination or established Church was the consecration of Bishop J Blake in conformity with the customs and practices of an established Christian denomination.
As already stated the secular Courts will make rulings on Archbishop James Atkinson-Wakes credibility & validity because he can satisfy the secular courts that he was:
1, Consecrated by the Patriarch of the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church founded in 1945 (An Established Church).
2, Archbishop Atkinson-Wake holds various lines of Apostolic Succession from well established Christian Churches and he has shown that point.
3, Archbishop Atkinson-Wake’s consecration was in conformity of the Catholic Apostolic Canon laws.
4, Archbishop Atkinson-Wake received a Mandatum: a Bishops Mandate granting permission for the consecration of a bishop who will serve as a bishop in any capacity, including as an auxiliary or titular bishop,
5, Archbishop James Atkinson-Wake was consecrated according to the Canons of the Holy Fathers, Apostolic Canon One. A Bishop must be ordained by two or three bishops, there was no doubt of this being complied with.
5, The liturgy used Pontificale Romanum, is the Latin Catholic liturgical book that contains the rites performed by bishops
6, The proper matter (e.g., bread and wine in the Eucharist);
7, The proper form (i.e., the words pronounced over the matter, for example: "This is my Body", etc., in the Eucharist);
8, And in the minister (i.e., in him who confects the sacrament), the proper intention.
If Archbishop Atkinson-Wake had not been consecrated within an ESTABLISHED CATHOLIC CHURCH and the norms of the Catholic Apostolic Canons. English & Welsh Courts would not rule clearly upon his validity as they so do. In regards to the English & Welsh secular Courts, notwithstanding cases ordered the area non-justiciability are such cases:
1. General Assembly of Free Church of Scotland v. Lord Overtoun 1904, 2. R. v. Archbishops of Canterbury and York ex parte Williamson. 3. Varsani v. Jesani 1999.
“The court will not venture in to doctrinal disputes or differences. But there is authority that the court will not regulate issues as to the procedures adopted by religious bodies or the customs and practices of a particular religious community or questions as to the moral and religious fitness of a person to carry out the spiritual and pastoral duties of their office”.
Further cases also involved to similar findings are:1. R. v Chief Rabbi ex parte Wachmann 1992.2. R. v Imam of Bury Park Jame Masjid Luton and other ex parte Suliman Ali.3. Prebble v. Television New Zealand Limited 1995.Therefore we also make you aware of the European Convention on Human rights citing;1. Serif v. Greece 2001. 2. Manoussakis v Greece 1996. Human Rights Act 1998. 3. Otto-Preminger-Institut v Austria 1994.
In the Burton County Court, England secular court action for damage caused to Archbishop Atkinson-Wakes motor vehicle was sought. The defendant’s barrister decided to take the argument line that the credibility and validity was that Archbishop Atkinson-Wake was not a real Catholic Archbishop. Under the guidance laid down by previous High Court Judges of England & Wales, Any court does have the right to enter in to such an argument and examine doctrine including canon law of Catholic Apostolic Churches; theology and ecclesiology combining an assessment of history with a full understanding of contemporary and emergent theology and ecumenism including the authority and entitlement of former Roman Catholic Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa who was later Catholic Archbishop of the established Brazilian Catholic Church and his successor His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez authority and entitlement to consecrate a Bishop James Atkinson-Wake was in conformity with the customs and practices of an ESTABLISHED Christian Church. Archbishop James Atkinson-Wakes barrister took control of the case and raised the question of validity for which was provoked by a letter issued to a third party involved in a later Court Case from the Roman Catholic Vatican Two Bishop of Nottingham, Right Reverend Malcolm McMahon. He stated that in his opinion that James Atkinson-Wake is not a valid catholic priest / bishop. This led to a 1 day painstaking examination of doctrine including canon law of Catholic Apostolic Churches; theology and ecclesiology combining an assessment of history with a full understanding of contemporary and emergent theology and ecumenism by the Judge, the conclusion by Deputy District Judge Harrop was;
1, Deputy District Judge Harrop…….. 1. “Mr Atkinson-Wake is involved with a church that is Schismatic, it has broken away from the traditional Roman Catholic Church in much the same way that the C of E did and he has drawn that analogy. The C of E has an Archbishop of Canterbury that the Roman Catholics might not recognise or take direction from, his position is the same” .
CONCLUSION by Deputy District Judge Harrop
2. “Within his own church he is an Archbishop quite properly recognised”………
3. "Archbishop Atkinson-Wake has the same authority & recognition as the Archbishop of Canterbury"
4. “It’s understandable that I am going to revert back to Archbishop now”.
His Honour Mr Recorder Ross. Circuit Judge. There was a further court case in Nottingham from the period of 18.03.2013 to the 22.03.2013 by a third party mentioned earlier, were the defendants barrister also took the same line as an earlier case. The defendant in produced a letter from the Right Reverend Malcolm McMahon, Roman Catholic Bishop. The defendant’s barrister also took the line on credibility and validity that Archbishop Atkinson-Wake was not a real Catholic Archbishop. Upon evidence supplied in written format from the Roman Catholic Bishop used against Archbishop Atkinson-Wake.
After a 5 day Court trial involving a painstaking examination of doctrine including canon law of Catholic Apostolic Churches; theology and ecclesiology combining an assessment of history with a full understanding of contemporary and emergent theology and ecumenism in the County Court before His Honour Mr Recorder Ross who is a Midland Circuit Judge upon one of Archbishop Atkinson-Wakes bishops namely; Right Reverend Dr Brian Dineley giving evidence after being challenged on his credibility & validity by the defendants barrister, after all Archbishop Atkinson-Wake and two assisting bishops did consecrate Right Reverend Dr Brian Dineley as a Catholic bishop. After his sudden death being the following evening of the 21.03.2013 after Right Reverend Dr Dineley had already given evidence on the 19 March 2013 to Archbishop Atkinson-Wake and his validity. His Honour Mr Recorder Ross did state that the “Right Reverend Dr Brian Dineley gave his evidence in a sincere manner, he did his best to assist the court and executed his evidence in an outstanding manner” he continued to pass praise using the phrase “ RIGHT REVEREND Dr. Brian Dineley”. And that there was no finding of fact against Right Reverend Dineley’s character or any stain upon him.
CONCLUSION BY HIS HONOUR. MR RECORDER ROSS. There is no question by His Honour the Circuit Judge passing such words that the credibility and validity of one of Archbishop Bells bishops principally consecrated by him. Therefore by de Jure & de facto the validity confirmed rests also with this third Judge. His Honour Mr Recorder Ross with the same understanding by him addressing both Right Reverend Dr Brian Dineley and the same for Most Reverend Dom. James Atkinson-Wake. The third Judge therefore has supported the findings from earlier Judge such as; Deputy District Judge Harrop in his examination of credibility & validity on the 22 November 2012 and upheld the same findings. Many people ask why have Court Judges of England & Wales rued upon credibility & validity of Archbishop James Atkinson-Wake. The answer is very simple. Archbishop James Atkinson-Wake was consecrated within an Established Christian Church and within the canon laws of the Catholic Apostolic Churches and for the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church founded in 1945 by a former Roman Catholic Bishop in lawful Apostolic Succession from the Apostles.
Validity of a Catholic Bishop does not rest with the Holy See of the Roman Catholic Church despite popular belief, but with the Catholic Church the bishop was consecrated for and with his Principal consecrator and the recipient as stated above.Lord Colonsay stated in Forbes V Eden, “…A court of law will not interfere with the rules of a voluntary association unless to protect some civil right or interest which is said to be infringed by their operation” The power of the Pope is not unlimited; not only can he not change anything which is of divine institution (to suppress episcopal jurisdiction, for instance), but he is to build and not to destroy (cf. II Cor.10,8); he is enjoined, through natural law, not to sow confusion in the flock of Christ” (Dict. de Theol. Cath., II, col.2039-2040).
Therefore, Archbishop Atkinson-Wakes claim to validity is a far easier argument to reach than other fellow bishops who have failed in courts. After all the secular Courts of England & Wales and the Judges so appointed are as independent in reviewing this case of validity / credibility that any bishop could seek.
In newspapers in Italy such as ‘La Stampa’ controlled by the Vatican curia has issued many statements in 2012 /13 stating that “Archbishop Atkinson-Wake is a Schismatic” for which is a most welcomed term as Schism is referred to denote splits within a church or religious body the schism that the Roman Catholic Church is described as being.
In this context, "schismatic", as a noun, denotes a person who creates or incites schism in a church or is a member of a splinter Church, it does not invalidate ones Holy Orders but more so clarifies that one’s Holy Orders are valid by accepting that once they was at one with the previous church. Reverend Andrew Cole BA. STL, JCL Private Secretary to the Bishop of Nottingham in England confirmed in a letter dated the 9 January 2013 that James Atkinson-Wake belongs to a Schismatic Community. H.E. Bishop Mario Cornejo Radavero, Doctor in Canon Law from the Pontificale University of Lateran, Licence in Theology from the Catholic University in Peru former Auxiliary Bishop to His Eminence Cardinal Ricketts have issued a written signed and sealed attestation as to the validity to Archbishop Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez, Bishop Josivaldo Periera de Oliveria and anyone by his hands dated the 2 March 2010. He also confirms the Apostolic Lineage is intact.
Also the former Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain the late Archbishop Faustino Sainz Munoz has also in 2010 confirmed that Patriarch Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez is a true Bishop in a private letter dated November 2010 along with various Cardinals and fellow Roman Catholic Bishops.Within this book you will see various photographs taken at St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. These photographs have been taken over a few years were Archbishop James Atkinson-Wake and some fellow bishops from his episcopal household has held secret liaison with the Vatican and its curia. Archbishop Atkinson-Wake and some of his household that is fellow bishops have and were invited and participated in the Beatification Ceremony of Blessed Pope John Paul II at St Peters Basilica. Co celebrated Mass with various Cardinals at St Peters Basilica. Attended the Palace of the Holy Father and curia within the walls of the Vatican City at invitation of the Holy See after all the security to attend such events is strictly tight with checks made by Vatican Secret Service etc. …. There is even a photograph of Archbishop Atkinson-Wake & Archbishop John Carroll with their chauffeur inside the Vatican Palace forecourt after clearing several layers of security. I.e. Vatican Police, Vatican Swiss Guards and Secret Service. The Holy See had years of secret talks with Archbishop Atkinson-Wake and his fellow bishops until Archbishop Atkinson-Wake decided that he and his fellow bishops wish not to join full communion with Rome over one or two doctrinal issues one being the Magisterium. After talks broke down and Archbishop Atkinson-Wake released the private photographs to the world. The Holy See press office decided to act quickly by stating that Archbishop James Atkinson-Wake firstly to the Catholic Herald was valid but illicit. This then led to further statements to La Stampa. i.e. Vatican Insider newspaper in Italy that Archbishop Bell was a schismatic belonging to a schismatic group ICAB founded by Catholic Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa and therefore the Holy See curia refuses to recognise him officially as a Catholic bishop. However, thus consecration was only Sub Conditione in case there was any invalidity of his previous.
However, we have it on good authority there is no doubt that the apostolic lines that Archbishop Atkinson-Wake holds is Valid.
You see the word officially sneaked in by them. The Holy See after being pushed by reporters on the photographs of Archbishop Atkinson-Wake meeting the Holy Father then Pope Benedict XVI at St Peters Basilica, Vatican City released a statement playing down the meeting by suggesting that Archbishop James Atkinson-Wake & Archbishop John Carroll was merely present at a General Audience. However the truth behind this was that both Archbishops as descendants from Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa was invited to be introduced to the Pontiff of Rome as Catholic bishops, both were sat with fellow Roman Catholic Bishops and Cardinals away from the general public. Both Archbishops was introduced in a line with the fellow Roman Catholic Bishops and Cardinals. After all photographs don’t lie! Even one of Archbishop Atkinson-Wakes fellow Bishops was invited and co celebrated Mass at St Peters Basilica at Vatican City as shown in the photograph as he was given full episcopal vestments and was permitted to celebrate Mass with Cardinal Bertone and fellow bishops. Once again the Holy See by their actions have shown that Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa, His Holiness Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez and Archbishop David Bell and his fellow Archbishops and bishops are true Catholic Bishop’s.
They are not in full communion with the Pope of Rome. However by the aforementioned actions they have noted and stated de Jure & de Facto the validity of the apostolic line.
APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION does not depend on obedience to the See of Peter that is to the Patriarch of the Roman Catholic Church, but rather on the objective line of succession from Apostolic sources, the proper matter and form, and the proper intention ... likewise ICAB, Old Catholic & Traditionalist bishops are bishops in Apostolic Succession ...
The Old Catholics like the Orthodox, possess a valid priesthood." Separated Brethren, William J. Whalen, pp. 204, 248.There is also the example of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre he was a French Roman Catholic Archbishop. Following a career as an Apostolic Delegate for West Africa and Superior General of the Holy Ghost Fathers, he took the lead in opposing the changes within the Roman Catholic Church associated with the Second Vatican Council. In 1970, Archbishop Lefebvre founded the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). In 1988, against the express prohibition of Pope John Paul II, he consecrated four bishops to continue his work with the SSPX. The Holy See immediately declared that he and the other bishops who had participated in the ceremony had incurred automatic excommunication under Roman Catholic canon law as Archbishop Lefebvre did not have permission/Mandate from the Pope of Rome to perform such consecrations.
On 2 July, Pope John Paul II condemned the consecration in his apostolic letter Ecclesia Dei, in which he stated that the consecration constituted a schismatic act and that by virtue of canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law, the bishops and priests involved were automatically excommunicated. Archbishop Lefebvre declared that he and the other clerics involved had not "separated themselves from Rome" and were therefore not schismatic and that they "found themselves in a case of necessity", not having succeeded, as they said, in making "Rome" understand that "this change which has occurred in the Church" since the Second Vatican Council was "not Catholic". In a letter addressed to the four priests he was about to consecrate as bishops, Archbishop Lefebvre wrote: "I do not think one can say that Rome has not lost the Faith."Cardinal Silvio Oddi, who had been Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy from 1979 to 1986, visited Lefebvre's tomb, knelt down at it, prayed, afterwards saying aloud: "Merci, Monseigneur". Thereafter Cardinal Oddi said he held Archbishop Lefebvre to have been "a holy man" and suggested that the Society of St Pius X could be granted a personal prelature by the Holy See like that of Opus Dei. In January 1992, the then-superior general of the Society, Fr. Franz Schmidberger, rejected this hypothetical offer by an unpublished private letter to the Holy See. The letter's content was described by Bishop Richard Williamson as basically saying that, "as long as Rome remains Conciliar, a fruitful and open collaboration between the two [the SSPX and the Holy See] does not seem possible. In 2009, at the request of the four surviving Catholic bishops, Pope Benedict XVI lifted their excommunications.
Therefore confirming that even excommunicated bishops and bishops without a papal mandate are still true Catholic bishops. SSPX could be described as a third order.When the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church was first established in 1912 by Roman Catholic Priest Canon Manuel Carlos de Amorim Correira and more so since episcopal Apostolic Succession was brought to it in July 1945. The Brazilian Catholic Church has operated and adheres to its own canon laws.
The same as the Catholic Orthodox Churches including the Old Catholic Church of Utrecht and many other established churches as the Church of England is governed by Ecclesiastical law / Measures.Since the beginning, the ordained ministry has been conferred and exercised in three degrees: that of bishops, that of presbyters, and that of deacons. The ministries conferred by consecration / ordination are irreplaceable for the organic structure of the Church: without the bishop, presbyters, and deacons, one cannot speak of the Church (cf. St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Trall. 3,1). Consecration & ordination confers an inedible character whose authenticity doesn't depend upon any canons. When the Roman Catholic Church talk’s about Schism it should remind itself that the Roman Catholic Church Western Rites entered Schism in the 11th Century. They should be carefully reminded about their own position as being a church in schism church. see diagram:
His Excellency, Archbishop James Atkinson-Wake was consecrated a catholic bishop by principal consecrator His Holiness, Patriarch of Brazil. Most Reverend Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez who was ordained priest sub conditione (after issues although Father Castillo Mendez was originally consecrated by August 10, 1944, Bishop Valentín Comellas y Santamaría) & consecrated on 3 May 1948 by Principal consecrator; Most Reverend Dom. Carlos Duarte Costa, Archbishop of Rio de Janerio. 1st Co consecrator H.E. Most Reverend Dom. Salameo Ferraz former Bishop of Sao Paulo who returned to the Roman Catholic Church and was accepted as a valid bishop by His Holiness Pope John XXIII and was never re-consecrated not even ad cautelm by the Roman Catholic Church and their actions confirmed validity by de jure & de facto. Bishop Ferraz was appointed as Titular Bishop of Eleutherna, he returned to Rome in late 1956'. 2nd Co consecrator, the Most Reverend Dom Antidio Jose Vargas Diocesan Bishop of Lages, (Brazil) consecrated by H.E. the Most Reverend Dom. Carlos Duarte Costa on the 8 December 1946, Co consecrated by Most Reverend Dom. Salamao Ferraz he was assisted by two fellow catholic bishops as co –consecrators;
1st Co consecrators were Most Reverend Dom. Olinto Ferreira Pinto Filho. Diocesan Bishop of Rio de Janerio, (Bishop Olinto Ferreira Pinto Filho was ordained priest on November 16, 1947 by Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa & consecrated sacred bishop on 1st May 1966 by Most Reverend Dom. Pedro dos Santos Silva, who was consecrated sacred bishop by Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa on the 4 Nov 1956)
2nd co consecrator were Most Reverend Dom. Josivaldo Pereira de Oliveira, Coadjutor Bishop of Rio de Janeirio ( Bishop Josivaldo was consecrated sacred bishop by Principal Consecrator; Most Reverend Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez, 1st Co consecrators were H.E. Bishop Luigi Mascolo on the16/03/1980 who in turn was consecrated in 1964 by principal consecrator H.E. Bishop Antidio Jose Vargas &. 2nd Co consecrator H.E. Bishop Victor de Tarso Sanches Pupo who was consecrated in 1965 by H.E. Bishop Pedro dos Santos Silva who was consecrated 4 May 1956 by Catholic Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa).
His Holiness, Patriarch of Brazil elevated Bishop Atkinson-Wake to the status as Archbishop Bell on the 21 June 2006, later installing him as a Cardinal of the Brazilian Catholic Church for the UK.
The purpose here is not to review the ins and outs of Archbishop Duarte Costa’s career. But rather, we want to determine whether or not the catholic bishops consecrated by Archbishop Duarte Costa from 1945 to 1961 and those consecrated by these catholic bishops are validly-consecrated catholic bishops — that is, whether or not they possess the sacramental power possessed by all Catholic bishops to administer the Sacrament of Baptism, Confirmation, to ordain priests who are real priests, and to consecrate other bishops who are true catholic bishops from the hands of Most Reverend Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez, His Holiness, Patriarch of Brazil from 1948 to 2009. This sacramental power, called Apostolic Succession, passes from one Catholic bishop to all the bishops that he may consecrate.
They in turn pass this sacramental power on to all the bishops they consecrate, and so on.
To pursue our inquiry, therefore, we must look to the episcopal consecrations of the three prelates to whom six bishops from 1945 to 1956 traced their consecrations: Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez, Bishop’s Salameo Ferraz and Orlanda Arce- Moya. If the episcopal consecrations of the latter two must be regarded as valid, then the line of orders which proceeds from them is likewise valid. Now, as we shall demonstrate below, the pertinent facts and the pronouncements of popes, canonists (canon law experts) and Catholic moral theologians all lead to one unavoidable conclusion: we are obliged to regard as valid the episcopal consecrations Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa conferred on Bishop Salameo Ferraz, Orlando Arce-Moya & Bp Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez.
Since the consecrations of Bishops. Ferraz and Arce-Moya were declared valid by Pope John XXIII. We are likewise obliged to regard as valid the line of orders which proceeds from them, and thus to hold that the priests ordained in this line are truly priests and that the bishops consecrated in this line are truly bishops.
I. SOME NOTES ON THE INVESTIGATION.
In 1937 Roman Catholic Diocesan Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa deceived resignation to the Roman Catholic Church was accepted by Pope Pus XI. In place he was appointed for which is confirmed in the 1937 Acta Apostolica Sedis as Titular Bishop of Maura (a catholic bishop nevertheless). Upon His Holiness Pope Pius XI accepting Msgr Carlos Duarte Costas forced & deceived resignation he directly relinquished any and all authority as the Roman Catholic Pope of Rome over Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa. From 1945 to 1956 Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa consecrated 8 catholic bishops in total, three of them being Bishop Salameo Ferraz on the 15 August 1945, Bishop Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez on the 3rd May 1948 and Bishop Orlando Arce-Moya on the 30 November 1956.One who is excommunicated or suspended can still excommunicate another. For such a one has lost neither orders nor jurisdiction, since neither is he ordained anew when he is absolved, nor is his jurisdiction renewed. But excommunication requires nothing more than orders or jurisdiction.
Therefore even one who is excommunicated or suspended can excommunicate. In simple words an excommunicated or suspended catholic bishop does not lose his jurisdiction. The power of consecration results from the power of the character which is indelible, wherefore, from the very fact that a bishop has the character of order, he can always consecrate, though not always lawfully.
It is different with the power of excommunication which results from jurisdiction, for this can be taken away and bound that is all. Then Roman Catholic Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa refused to follow the political policy of the Vatican and was deposed from his diocese in 1937. He was named on the 22nd September 1937 by the Roman Catholic Church Patriarch i.e. Pope Pius XI as titular Bishop of Maura, which was tantamount to being the bishop of nowhere, but simply a catholic bishop (As per Acta Apostolicae Sedis known as Acts of the Apostolic See of Rome).Most Reverend Dom Jaime de Barros Câmara was installed as the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro on the 15 September 1943 extremely jealous and angry at Bishop Carlos for many years when he was ordained Bishop of Mossorro, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil on the 2nd February 1936. As Archbishop he now felt he had the right to levy a suspension against Titular Bishop Duarte Costa in April 1945, he personally “excommunicated him on July 6, 1945”.
However, the Roman Catholic Archbishop had NO AUTHORITY to discipline a bishop NOT OF HIS OWN HOUSEHOLD. In other words not under his authority / Archdiocese and by such attempted actions the Roman Catholic Archbishop is suspended for a period of 1 year himself according to Roman Catholic Canon law 1917 and Sacred Council of Trent. As Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa resignation to the Roman Catholic Church Pontiff also known as the Patriarch of the West was accepted in 1936, NINE YEARS PREVIOUSLY such authority over him did NOT EXIST. EXCOMMUNICATION IN FORCE by the HOLY SEE has no bearing. Therefore, Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa was not Excommunicated by the Catholic Church, but an individual Archbishop within the Roman Catholic Church. To be honest it has little or no bearing at all as for hundreds of years bishops have excommunicated each other for one reason or another. His Holiness, Pope JOHN XXIII, Patriarch of the West of the Roman Catholic Church actions of accepting THEM AS CATHOLIC BISHOPS after the individual Catholic Archbishops actions towards Bishop Duarte Costa in July 1945. By his bishops consecrated in August 1945 & November 1956 clearly shows VALIDITY de Jure & de Facto.
II. THE FACT OF THE CONSECRATIONS. We begin our inquiry by asking two simple questions:
• On 8 December 1924in Brazil, did Archbishop Silveira Cardinal Cintra performed the rite of episcopal consecration for Rev’d Father Carlos Duarte Costa using the traditional Catholic rite?
• On 15 August 1945 in Brazil did Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa perform the rite of episcopal consecration for Rev’d Father Salameo Ferraz using the traditional Catholic rite?
• On 3rd May 1948 in Brazil did Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa perform the rite of episcopal consecration for Reverend Father Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez assisted by Bishop Salameo Ferraz and Bishop Jose Vargas using the traditional Catholic rite?
• On 30 November 1956 in Brazil did Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa perform the rite of episcopal consecration for Rev’d Father Orlando Arce-Moya using the traditional Catholic rite?
• On 13 June 2006 in Brazil did His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez perform the rite of episcopal consecration for Rev’d Father David Bell using the traditional Catholic rite?
The answer to all these questions is YES. But note that we’ve used a deliberate clumsy phrase. We’ve asked if Archbishop Silveira Cardinal Cintra, Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa & H.H. Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez performed the rite of episcopal consecration for the above people, rather than asking if he consecrated them. Why?To call attention to an important distinction between two things:
• The fact of a sacrament — i.e., did a ceremony take place? and
• The validity of a sacrament — i.e., did the ceremony work?
Catholic canonists and moralists such as Fathers Cappello, Davis, Noldin, Wanenmacher, and Ayrinhac take such a distinction for granted. So, too, do Church tribunals convened to rule on the validity of a marriage  or an ordination. Facts first,validity later? In this section, therefore, we will not address the issue of validity (Did the consecrations work?), but merely the issue of fact (Did the ceremony take place; did Archbishop. Silveria Cintra, Abp Carlos Duarte Costa and Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez perform the rite?) Clearly, the above consecrations took place. But since a few traditional priests have claimed that fact of the consecrations is not “proven” or “certain,” or can’t be “acknowledged,” we’ll take a few moments to prove the obvious.
A. Legal Limbo.
When things were normal in the Church, it was easy to ascertain the fact that an episcopal consecration took place. You went to someone with authority. He looked up the particulars in an official register. If an authorized church official had duly recorded the consecration in the register, church law regarded it as a fact — “proven” in the eyes of church law. The same goes for baptisms, confirmations and priestly ordinations.If these official registers were lost or accidentally destroyed, you took another route. You brought the evidence to someone with authority — a diocesan bishop or a judge in a Vatican tribunal, say. The official examined the evidence and issued a decree stating that so-and-so had received the sacrament. These officials enjoyed a legal power called ordinary jurisdiction — authority, deriving ultimately from the pope, to command, make laws, punish and judge. Part of that authority consisted in the power to establish in the eyes of church law the fact that a given sacramental act took place — to function as a sacramental counterpart to the Registrar of Deeds. In both cases — that of either official registers or hierarchical decrees — someone with ordinary jurisdiction was exercising his power. He judged he had sufficient legal evidence that, say, a particular ordination had been performed. He entered it into the official register, or issued a decree. The fact of the ordination was then established before the law. In contrast to this, consider my own ordination. It’s a fact that His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez ordained me to the episcopacy in Brasilia, Brazil 13 June 2006. But that fact has not been legally established. It’s not recorded in the ordination register of the Diocese of Brazil for the Roman Catholic Vatican II Church, as their church law would require. Should normalcy return to the Church in my lifetime, I’d go to someone with ordinary jurisdiction? He would then rule on the evidence and issue a decree which would legally establish the fact of Archbishop Atkinson-Wake’s ordination. Where does this leave the fact of Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa and Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez consecrations? In fact the same place it leaves Archbishop Atkinson-Wakes ordination /consecration. The consecrations and all sacraments traditional catholic clergy confer: in a sort of legal limbo. Since no one in the traditional movement possesses ordinary jurisdiction, no one has the power to rule on the legal evidence that a particular sacrament was performed and then establish it as a fact before church law. That’s a function of church officials who have received their authority from a pope. Nevertheless, we traditional Catholics can and do establish the fact that we have conferred or received sacraments. The means we use is moral certitude, a simple concept we’ll apply to the consecrations, just as we do to any other sacrament.
Unlike many consecrations, Archbishop Duarte Costa, Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez and Archbishop James Atkinson-Wake’s consecrations received little or no publicity in the Brazil. Nevertheless, it’s easy to document the fact that the ceremonies took place. Here are some sources:
· Published consecration documents & photographs of the consecration of Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa by Roman Catholic Archbishop Silveira Cardinal Cintra and assisting bishops
· Published consecration documents & photographs of the consecration of Bp. Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez by Abp Carlos Duarte Costa and assisting bishops.
· Published consecration documents, photographs and DVD evidence of Bp. David Bells consecration by His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez and assisting bishops on 13 June 2006.
· Roman Catholic Vatican Archives known as Acta Apostolica Sedis dated 1937 stating that Bp Carlos Duarte Costa resignation was accepted by Pope Pius XI from Diocesan Bishop of Botucatu to appointment as Titular Bishop of Maura.
· Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church archives and notwithstanding government records of the consecration documents issued by His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez for which all bear the signature & seals witnessing each other’s signature and office they hold. Witnessing from that of Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez, Bp Olinto Ferreira Pinto Filho and Bp Pereria de Oliveria such as:
1. Brazilian Notary's.
2. Bureau of Vital Static’s Federal District Brasilia DF.
3. Secretary of State of Foreign relations Consular Assistance Division of the Brazilian Government, Brasilia DF.
4. British Embassy Brasilia DF.
5. Home Office Official of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office United Kingdom on behalf of Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth affairs with a further seal attached known as
6. Apostille as in line with the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961:
• A recorded letter dated 26 June 2006 signed and sealed by His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez.
• An email from Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez dated July 2007, which speaks of pure catholic intent of the Catholic Apostolic Succession transmitted by the principal consecrating catholic bishop to catholic Bishop James Atkinson-Wake.
C. An Established Fact.
Faced with this documentation, the reader sensibly concludes that it is a fact that Roman Catholic Archbishop Silveria Cardinal Cintra through Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa through to Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez through to Archbishop David Bell performed these consecrations and a fact that he used the traditional Catholic rite. Why?
The documentation all points to the same basic facts. The parties involved never change their stories on these facts. It “rings true.” The “sound of truth” we hear, when considering facts about this or any other matter, results from moral certitude, a common-sense standard we employ all the time. Catholic moral theologians say that moral certitude occurs when we realize it’s impossible for us to be wrong about a particular fact, since the opposite of that fact is so unlikely that we know it would be imprudent to believe it. It therefore involves considering the opposite of something to see how likely it is to arrive at moral certitude about the Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa consecrations, therefore, we consider whether the opposite of the evidence we have is likely enough to be believable: i.e., that Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa did not perform either Bishop Salameo Ferraz, Castillo Mendez or Bishop Arce-Moya’s consecration, or that, if he did, he did not use the traditional rite for which was repeated by H.H. Patriarch Castillo Mendez to Bishop David Bell.
This pre-supposes scenarios like the following:
(1) That Abp. Carlos Duarte Costa, Patriarch Dom. Castillo Mendez (both now deceased), faked photos on several occasions, committed perjury in two instances, and engaged in a complex and well-orchestrated conspiracy.
(2) That the different people most directly involved were completely mistaken about the fact that episcopal consecrations took place.
(3) That Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa, Bishop Salameo Ferraz and Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez subsequently conferred ordinations and episcopal consecrations they knew were null and void.
(4) That Abp Carlos Duarte Costa, Bishop Salameo Ferraz and Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez aided and abetted to consecrate anyone as a bishop with some rite other than the traditional Catholic rite.
(5) That the persons involved with the consecrations also deceived officials about the event, and / or conspiracy.
These scenarios, obviously, are preposterous and absurd, and no evidence whatsoever exists to support them. But they’re the only kind of theories someone can put forward if he wants to say that we have no moral certitude about the fact of the Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa, Bp Salameo Ferraz and Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez consecrations. This leaves us with moral certitude about the fact of the Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa, Bp Salameo Ferraz and Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez consecrations, certitude “which excludes all fear of error and every serious or prudent doubt.” This is all that theologians require for any sacrament. Since we have no serious or prudent ground to doubt that the consecrations took place and that the old rite was used, we must regard both occurrences as established facts.
III. THE VALIDITY OF THE CONSECRATIONS.
We now turn to the question which occasioned this study:
• Are we obliged to regard that Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa, Bp Salameo Ferraz, Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez and Archbishop David Bell consecrations as valid — i.e, as having worked?
Based on the principles church law and moral theology apply to all the sacraments, we are obliged to answer Yes. To understand why, we have but to recall how little is required to perform a valid episcopal consecration, and how church law and moral theologians consider those requirements as met in a given case, unless there is positive evidence to the contrary.
A. Recipe for Validity:
Among the many beautiful ceremonies of the Catholic Church, the Rite of Episcopal Consecration is surely the most splendid and the most complex. It takes place on the feast of an Apostle, usually before a large gathering of the faithful. In its most solemn form, the catholic bishop who performs the rite is assisted by two other catholic bishops (called “Co-Consecrators”). To perform an episcopal consecration observing all the elaborate ceremonial directions takes about three to four hours.
· On the other hand, to perform an episcopal consecration validly takes about 15 seconds.This is about the length of time it takes a catholic bishop to impose his hands on a priest’s head and recite the 16-word formula the Church requires for validity.The foregoing may startle the many readers. But the case is akin to something we all learned in catechism class. All you need to baptize someone validly is ordinary water and the short formula (I baptize thee, etc.). It was so simple that even a Moslem or a Jew could get it right if someone really wanted to be baptized. And once the water was poured and the short formula was recited, you’d be just as validly baptized, and just as much a Christian as if the pope himself had done it in St. Peter’s Basilica.
The recipe the Catholic Church lays down for a valid episcopal consecration is equally simple. Other than a validly-consecrated catholic bishop to perform the rite and a validly-ordained priest who intends to receive consecration, there are just three ingredients essential for validity:
(1) The imposition of hands by the consecrating bishop (technically called the matter of the sacrament).
(2) The essential 16-word formula recited by the consecrating bishop (technically called the form of the sacrament).
(3) A minimal intention on the consecrating bishop’s part “to do what the Catholic Church does” (called ministerial intention).
Though all the ceremonies prescribed in the rite should be observed, the three foregoing elements are all that is required for an episcopal consecration to be valid.
B. Burden of Disproof.
Once you’re certain of the fact that a real catholic bishop performed a consecration using a Catholic rite, is it then necessary to prove positively that the catholic bishop did not omit one of these essential elements during the ceremony? NO. The mere fact that a catholic bishop used a Catholic rite is of itself sufficient evidence for validity, which thereafter requires no further proof. Validity becomes a “given,” which can only be disproved. And this can only be achieved by demonstrating that one of the ingredients essential to validity was either absent (or probably absent) when the ceremony was performed.
This applies to all the sacraments and is evident from:
1. Ordinary Pastoral Practice. Day-to-day sacramental record-keeping takes for granted that the minister of a sacrament fulfilled the essential requirements for validity. Official baptismal and ordination registers say nothing whatsoever about technical terms such as “matter,” “form” or “ministerial intention.” And sacramental certificates merely state that so-and-so received a sacrament “with all necessary and fitting ceremonies and solemnities,” or simply “according to the rite of the Holy Roman Church.” They say nothing more, because church law requires nothing more. Such sacraments are regarded as valid without further proof.
2. Canonists. Canonists speak of “the queen of presumptions, which holds the act or contract as valid, until invalidity is proved.” It is applied to the sacraments in the following way: If someone goes before a church court to challenge the validity of a Catholic baptism, marriage or ordination, the burden of proof is on him. He must show that something essential was lacking when the sacrament was conferred.
3. Church Law and Moral Theology.
These sources forbid read ministering a sacrament conditionally unless there is a “prudent” or “positive” doubt about validity. As an example of a doubt which would not fall into this category, the Dominican moral theologian Fanfani speaks of a priest who does not recall whether he recited the essential sacramental formula. “He should repeat nothing,” says Fanfani. “Indeed, he sins if he does so — for everything that is done must be supposed to have been done correctly, unless the contrary is positively established.” That the essential parts of the rite were performed is once again simply taken for granted.Canonist Gasparri (later a Roman Catholic Cardinal and compiler of the 1917 Code of Canon Law) offers a general principle: “…an act, especially one as solemn as an ordination, must be regarded as valid, as long as invalidity would not be clearly demonstrated.”
4. Even Unusual Cases. Canonists and moralists even extend these principles to cases where someone other than the usual Catholic minister employs a Catholic rite to confer a sacrament. If a midwife who says she performed an emergency baptism is serious, trustworthy and instructed in how to perform baptisms, says the theologian Merkelbach, “There is no reason to doubt seriously the validity of a baptism.”
Finally, so strongly does the Church hold for the validity of a sacrament administered according to a Catholic rite, that she extends the principle not only to Catholic clergymen, but also even to schismatics. Thus ordinations and episcopal consecrations received from Orthodox bishops, and from Old Catholic Bishops in Holland, Germany and Switzerland “are to be regarded as valid, unless in a particular case an essential defect were to be admitted.” The foregoing, of course, reflects the Church’s reasonableness. She doesn’t ask us to disprove convoluted negative accusations — “Prove positively to me that you did not omit to do what you were supposed to do to make the sacrament valid.” Otherwise, hordes of specially-qualified witnesses would have to be trained to do an independent validity check each time a priest conferred a sacrament. It is easy to see, therefore, why a sacrament administered with a Catholic rite must be regarded as valid till the contrary is positively established.
The requirements for a valid episcopal consecration, then, are minimal. And when a Catholic rite is employed for this or any other sacrament, ordinary pastoral practice, canonists, church law and moral theologians require no further proof for a sacrament’s validity — even when it is administered by a schismatic. Validity, rather must be disproved.When we turn to consider the consecrations of Bp’s Carlos Duarte Costa, Salameo Ferraz, Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez, and Bp David Bell. Three key facts are absolutely certain:
(1) Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa was a validly-consecrated bishop as he was Vatican I consecrated within.
(2) Bishop Salameo Ferraz was a validly consecrated bishop as he worked on Vatican II commissions as a Vatican I Catholic Bishop.
(3) His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez was a validly consecrated catholic bishop.
(4) They all performed the rite of episcopal consecration for then Bishop Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez on the 3 May 1948. Who Patriarch Dom Fernando Castillo Mendez with 2 assisting bishops performed the rite of episcopal consecration for Bishop James Atkinson-Wake in the Patriarchal Cathedral in Brasilia DF in 2006.
(5) Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa, Bp Salameo Ferraz and Bp Vargas employed a Catholic rite for then Bp Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez consecration in turn the same was repeated for the consecration of Bishop James Atkinson-Wake .We have a validly-consecrated bishop. Each one performed the rite of episcopal consecration. Each one used a Catholic rite. No further proof is needed. Therefore:
· We are obliged to regard the episcopal consecrations Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa conferred in 1948 on then Bishop Castillo Mendez who conferred consecration in 2006 on Bishop James Atkinson-Wake as valid but illicit.(illicit meaning without the approval and blessing of the Pope of Rome for which is not needed) Ecclesiastical Law in both the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches the method for receiving holy orders, whether as deacon, presbyter or bishop (where applicable) is by the laying on of the hands with prayer according to the prescribed liturgical forms. Both churches claim to maintain the historic succession of bishops from the time of the apostles and restrict (notwithstanding the provisions of the 1917 Code of Canon Law) presidency at an ordination service to a bishop. Roman Catholic Church has a well-developed concept of the sacramental validity of the holy orders that it imparts and recognises the orders of other Churches as either valid and licit (lawful), valid but illicit or invalid. The Church of England does not use language of validity in its corpus of ecclesiastical law concerning holy orders.
The Church of England sees ordination by a bishop in historic succession as normative. Such ministers in historic normative are eligible to be permitted to officiate in the Church of England by the archbishops under the terms of the overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure 1967. A Measure is an Act of Parliament which has received Royal Assent. In the case of Archbishop James Atkinson-Wake he was consented by the Lord Bishop of Stafford of the Church of England to use one of their churches for a funeral therefore complying with the Measure 1967 and by those actions is recognise also by de Jure & de Facto of validation under Ecclesiastical Law. We must remember that that the Church of England as a whole has no legal status or personality. There is no act of parliament that purports to establish it as the Church of England as stated by Lord Hope of Craig head for which was heard in a court case heard in the House of Lords. The relationship which the state has with the Church of England is one of recognition, not of devolution to it of any of the powers or functions of government. Lord Hob house of Wood borough, delivering a concurring opinion stated, the Church of England is not itself a legal entity. The legal entities are the various office holders and various bodies set up within the structure. Ecclesiastical law exists to facilitate and animate these various persons and bodies. As has already been stated, the ecclesiastical law by which the Church of England is governed is part of the law of the land and its courts are courts of the realm. The principle of religious liberty has long been recognised at common law, albeit it has never previously been guaranteed as is now the case under the Human Rights Act 1998. A self-denying principle of non-interference by which the judiciary decline to enter in to questions concerning the internal affairs of religious organizations is well acknowledged. Lord Reid explained it as follows; “No temporal court of law can determine the truth of any religious belief: it is not competent to investigate any such matter and it ought not to attempt to do so” Article 9 of the said human rights states; “….. It includes the right to hold a religion or belief and to change it and the right not to allow the State to determine one’s religion or belief is legitimate” In the High Court of the Chancery Division a case of Versani v’s Jesani 1999 Ch19 stated by Judge Patten was that
“ …..the court will not venture in to doctrinal disputes or differences, But there is authority that the court will not regulate issues as to the procedures adopted by religious bodies or the customs and practices of a particular religious community or questions as to the moral and religious fitness of a person to carry out the spiritual and pastoral duties of his office”.
The topic is addressed by Mark Hill QC ‘Judicial Approaches to Religious Disputes in R O’Dair & A Lewis Current Legal Issues 4; Law and Religious (Oxford University Press, 2001) 409. Mark Hill QC sits as a Recorder in the Crown Court and the County Court on the Midland Circuit as is most of the research enclosed in regards to Ecclesiastical Law was assisted by Mark Hill QC fellow Editorial Board being; Professor Sir John Baker QC, University of Cambridge. Professor Norman Does, Centre for Law & Religion, Cardiff University. The Right Worshipful Charles George QC, Dean of the Arches. Sir John Laws, Lord Justice of Appeal. Professor Maria Celis, Catholic University of Chile.
IV. “Negative” Doubts.
The only way a sacrament can truly be said to be doubtful is if you establish a positive (or prudent) doubt about its validity. A doubt is positive when it possesses a basis which is clearly objective and firmly rooted in reality. In the case of a sacrament, it must be founded on solid evidence that something essential to validity was probably omitted.
To establish a positive doubt about the validity of Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa consecration’s to Bp’s Salameo Ferraz, Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez and Bp Orlando Arce-Moya consecrations including that of Archbishop James Atkinson-Wake, you’d have to prove that, when the rite was performed, a substantial defect either did occur or probably occurred in one of the following essential elements:
• The imposition of hands.
• The essential 16-word formula.
• The minimal intention of the bishop “to do what the Church does.”
No one who was present at Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa consecrations or at Archbishop James Atkinson-Wake consecration by His Holiness, Patriarch Dom. Castillo Mendez has ever said or proved that one of these defects occurred, no such evidence has ever been proved beyond all reasonable doubt. Absent any evidence whatsoever for such a defect, any objectors raise personal speculations, musings, conjectures, hypotheses and — a favourite device — rhetorical questions about what may or may not, or possibly could or could not, have occurred during the “essential 15 seconds” of the fore mentioned consecration. The chief characteristic of such objections, however, is that they are subjective — i.e., rooted not in a knowledge of what occurred during the rite, but in the objector’s lack of personal knowledge of what occurred. Such objections are what moral theologians call negative (or imprudent) doubts. And negative doubts don’t render a sacrament “doubtful.”
We’ll limit ourselves to a few of the more frequently-repeated negative doubts.
1. I question whether Bp Carlos Duarte Costa and Bp Castillo Mendez “intended to do what the Church does,” so the consecrations must be considered doubtful.
• A priest or bishop who confers a sacrament doesn’t have to “prove” that he intends to do what the Church does. He is automatically presumed to intend what the rite means. This is certain theological doctrine, taught by the Church. And to deny it is “theologically rash.” Pope Leo XIII specifically confirmed the principle with regard to Holy Orders when he said that someone who seriously and correctly uses the matter and form “is for that very reason deemed to have intended to do what the Church does.”
We quoted earlier the Canonist Gasparri’s statement that an ordination must be regarded as valid until invalidity is demonstrated. He also says that a catholic bishop who confers Holy Orders is never presumed to have the intention of not ordaining someone as long as the contrary is not proved. For no one should be presumed to be evil, he adds, unless he is proven as such.Attacking Abp’s Carlos Duarte Costa, Bp Salameo Ferraz & Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez ministerial intention, therefore, is impermissible the same for that of Archbishop James Atkinson-Wake.
• The mere attempt to do so, moreover, betrays an epic spirit of presumption. Investigating and trying cases where ordinations are impugned for lack of intention was the job of a Vatican court called the Holy Office in the Roman Catholic Church? The pope himself then specifically confirmed the court’s decision. No clergy, therefore, have neither the right nor the authority to attack the ministerial intention of a validly-consecrated Catholic Bishop. The very idea is silly.
I think Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez was insane or senile, so the consecrations must be considered doubtful. Since it attacks Patriarch Dom. Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez ministerial intention. From what we’ve said above, it’s likewise impermissible.
• The minimum “level” of intention required to confer a sacrament validly is virtual intention. A lengthy discussion of this technical concept isn’t possible here. All we need say is that virtual intention guarantees that a sacrament is valid, even if the priest or bishop is internally distracted before and during the whole sacramental rite.• Virtual intention, says the theologian Coronata, “is certainly present in someone who regularly performs sacramental actions.”
The mere act of putting on vestments and going to the altar is considered sufficient evidence for virtual intention.His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez celebrated Mass regularly before and after the consecrations — and very devoutly. It’s ridiculous to imply that, when he vested and performed the three-hour-long episcopal consecrations, Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez suddenly couldn’t manage the bare minimum of a virtual intention.
• Those who actually knew him dismiss these accusations. Several bishops and clergy including laity, who was present at the consecration of Bishop David Bell, attested under oath that Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez “conferred the consecrations in full possession of his intellectual powers.” Stating that he was of “sound mind,” “perfectly lucid,” and “had the intention to do what the Church does.” Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez, was “nobody’s fool,” and discussed with competence various issues in theology and canon law. He even regaled Bp Brian Dineley, Bp John Carroll and Abp James Atkinson-Wake with details about Abp Atkinson-Wakes consecration with excitement.. Validity of the consecrations is beyond question. • His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Luis Castillo Mendez remained as Patriarch of Brazil and travel widely to various countries.
• We therefore draw the appropriate conclusion: Catholic teaching forbids assaults on Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez sacramental intention. And, in light of statements from the many and those who knew him, Catholic moral principles dictate that one cease repeating the baseless calumny that he was incapable of conferring a valid sacrament.
B. Non-Existent “Requirements”Objection1.
Without a signed certificate, an episcopal consecration is doubtful.
• There is no church law which says that failure to issue a certificate automatically renders an episcopal consecration doubtful. Moral certitude about the fact a sacrament took place is all that’s required to regard it as valid.
• In any case, Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez had such episcopal signed certificate from his consecrating bishop’s & such is recorded in government records of the said episcopal consecration.
• In any case, then Bishop David Bell has such episcopal signed certificate from his principal consecrator and assisted consecrating bishop’s and such is recorded in the Brazilian government records of the said episcopal consecration.
• Under church law, only three classes of people can challenge the validity of an ordination or consecration.
(1) Recipient of the sacrament,
(2) his diocesan ordinary, and the
(3) ordinary of the diocese where the sacrament was conferred **All other persons, says the Canonist Cappello, lack the right to accuse.**
Without “qualified witnesses” an episcopal consecration is doubtful.
• No church law prescribes that witnesses, qualified or otherwise, must be present at an episcopal consecration — still less, that a consecration is doubtful without them.
Without at least two priests present to attest that it was performed validly, an episcopal consecration is doubtful. This “requirement” doesn’t exist, and is directly contradicted by acts authorized by the Holy See.
• The function of the priest-assistants is not, to attest to the validity of a consecration. Pope Benedict XIV Patriarch of the West of the Roman Catholic Church says clearly that the reason for the priest-assistants is to add solemnity to the liturgical act and to carry out the prescriptions of the rites.
• In mission countries, episcopal consecrations were often performed without priest-assistants. The practice was sanctioned by Pope Alexander VII, Pope Clement X and Pope Pius VI. Pius VI’s brief, in fact, was addressed to bishops in what was then called Tonkin and Cochin China.
• The Church did not merely allow episcopal consecrations to be performed without two priest-assistants, but in some cases specifically ordered it. In one case, Rome ordered that an episcopal consecration not only be performed secretly and without assistants, but even under the seal of confession.In a more recent case, Pope Pius XI in 1926 ordered that the Papal Nuncio to Germany perform a secret episcopal consecration without anyone present. The Nuncio was Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, later, of course, Pope Pius XII. Pacelli petitioned Rome that he be allowed to have at least one priest present — not, please note, to serve as a “witness,” but merely so the Cardinal could have someone to hold the Missal on the new bishop’s shoulders as prescribed while the Preface was recited.
• Pius XI sent the bishop whom Pacelli consecrated, Mgr. d’Herbigny, into Russia in order to consecrate bishops secretly. He conducted the first such consecration on 21 April 1926 for a certain Father Neveu. The consecration took place without priest-assistants and in the presence of two laymen — circumstances identical to those of the Thuc consecrations. Mgr. d’Herbigny issued no certificate. The Church, obviously, would not allow — still less command — a bishop to perform an episcopal consecration without priest-assistants if such were “doubtful.” It is impossible, therefore, to maintain that the Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez consecrations are “doubtful” on such grounds.
Without a papal dispensation, an episcopal consecration performed without two priest-assistants is doubtful.
• Once again, no law or canonist supports this.
• The teachings of the canonists directly contradict it. Bouix says flatly: “Even if there should be a consecration without any assistants and without obtaining a pontifical dispensation, it would still be valid.” Regatillo, writing in a 1953 work, goes even further. He says that a consecration performed without a dispensation would be valid even if the bishop “is the only one who is present at the consecration.”
• Pope Alexander VII, Pope Clement XI and Pope Benedict XIV declared that consecrations performed without such a dispensation are valid.
Traditional Catholics, long accustomed to controversies where the virtue or wickedness of persons or organizations stands at centre stage, may find all the foregoing dry and bland. We’ve spent no time at all arguing over the personal qualities of the parties involved — whether or not Abp Carlos Duarte Costa, Bp Salameo Ferraz and or Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez were virtuous, wise, prudent, logical, consistent or theologically perspicacious.Such discussions have no bearing whatsoever on the issue of whether or not a sacrament is valid. They concern what theologians call the probity of the minister. And it is a truth of the Catholic faith that the valid administration of a sacrament does not depend on a priest or bishop’s probity.
The issue of whether the Abp Carlos Duarte Costa, Bp Salameo Ferraz or Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez consecrations were valid, therefore, boils down to a few dry principles and a handful of facts:
(1) All that is required to perform an episcopal consecration validly is an imposition of hands, a 16-word formula and the minimal intention “to do what the Church does.”
(2) Once you establish the fact that a validly-consecrated bishop performed an episcopal consecration using a Catholic rite, the essential elements are taken for granted. The validity of the consecration requires no further proof; rather, it can only be disproved — and the burden of disproof is on the accuser. This is evident from ordinary pastoral practice, canonists, church law and moral theology. The principle is extended even to episcopal consecrations performed by schismatic’s.
(3) Three essential facts are beyond any dispute:
(a) Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa was a validly-consecrated a Roman Catholic Bishop.
(b) He performed the rite of episcopal consecration for Bp Salameo Ferraz on the 15 August 1945 and then Bp Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez on 3 May 1948.
(c) Abp Carlos Duarte Costa employed a Catholic rite for both consecrations as so did Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez upon consecration of then Bp James Atkinson-Wake.
(D) The Holy See of the Roman Catholic Church Vatican II has shown on not less than two occasions that two consecrations done by Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa since his deceived resignation in 1937 was accepted by Pope Pius XI and that his alleged excommunication on the 6 July 1945 from the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Pius XII, Patriarch of the West is still nevertheless valid by ‘de jure and de facto’ in that both bishops he consecrated that is:
· Bishop Salameo Ferraz consecrated on the 15 August 1945 was accepted as a valid catholic bishop by then Pope John XXIII as he was received and appointed on May 10, 1963 as Titular Bishop of Eleuterna, he was later called by Pope Paul VI to serve on a working commission of the Second Vatican Council and addressed the Council Fathers in session. .
· Bishop Orlanda Arce Moya consecrated October 1956 was accepted as a valid catholic bishop by then Pope John XXIII, He was appointed by the Pope John XXIII as Auxiliary Bishop to the Cardinal -Archbishop of Madrid, Spain.
Neither Bishops Salameo Ferraz and / or Bishop Orlanda Arce Moya were re-consecrated, not even sub-conditione. By the said actions of the Roman Catholic Church they accepted the authority of Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa to consecrate bishops even outside the Roman Catholic Church after 1945.
Let’s also not forget that a co-consecrator to then Bp Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez on the 3 May 1948 was Bishop Salameo Ferraz accepted by Pope John XXIII as a Catholic Bishop from the hands of Abp Carlos Duarte Costa and that a co-consecrators are themselves’ bishops who assist the presiding bishop in the act of consecrating a new bishop. It is a very strict rule of the Church that there should be two such assistant bishops, or three bishops in all-though an exception is made for missionary countries where it is practically impossible to bring so many bishops together, The part assigned by the Roman Pontifical in its present form to the assistant bishops is, after helping to place the book of the Gospels on the shoulders of the elect, to join the consecrator in laying hands on his head, and in saying over him the words Accipe Spiritum Sanctum..
If there is any problem with the validity of the presiding bishop from the bishop receiving consecration. It can be rest assured that one of the co consecrators will be a valid catholic bishop. Therefore, there could not be any errors in the Apostolic Succession. In the situation of then Bp Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez his co consecrator being Bp Salameo Ferraz and Bp Vargas who both were consecrated by former Roman Catholic Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa then Archbishop of Rio de Janerio. The Validity of Bp Salameo Ferraz has already been clearly establishedin this case, that if then Bishop Castillo Mendez validity was at error, the co- consecrators (also known as assistentes ) of then Bishop James Atkinson-Wake would take effect this being Bishop Olinto Ferreira Pinto Filho, he was ordained a priest by Catholic Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa on November 16, 1947. He was later raised to the Catholic Episcopate as a catholic bishop on 1st May 1966 by Catholic Bishop Pedro dos Santos Silva, he in turn was consecrated also by Catholic Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa on 4 May 1956. Bishop Josivaldo Pereira de Oliveria was a co consecrator also to then Bishop James Atkinson-Wake. He also was raised to the Catholic Episcopate as a Bishop by Principal Consecrator Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Méndez Co consecrators were 1. Bishop Luigi Mascolo who in turn was consecrated in 1964 by Bishop Antidio Jose Vargas and 2. Bishop Victor de Tarso Sanches Pupo who was consecrated in 1965 by Bishop Pedro dos Santos Silva who was consecrated 4 May 1956 by Catholic Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa.. It is impossible for these lines of Apostolic Succession to be all invalid. As Pope John XXIII confirmed that both consecrations of Bp Salameo Ferrraz and Bp Orlando Arce-Moya was valid during his reign as Pope, Patriarch of the West for the Roman Catholic Church. As Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez was consecrated some 3 years after Bp Salameo Ferraz and some 8 years before Bp Orlanda Arce-Moya there is no question that the apostolic succession of Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez is valid but illicit.
We have a validly-consecrated bishop’s. They performed episcopal Consecrations. They used a Catholic rite. We are obliged, therefore, to regard the episcopal consecrations Abp Carlos Duarte Costa conferred on Bp’s Salameo Ferraz, Bp Orlando Arce-Moya and Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez as valid who conferred such on then Bishop James Atkinson-Wake as valid but illicit in the view of the Roman Catholic Church and simply valid in the eyes of the Orthodox and Anglican Church. Since these consecrations were valid, we are likewise obliged to regard the Abp Carlos Duarte Costa, Bp Salameo Ferraz and Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez including Bp Orlando Arce-Moya are validly-consecrated bishops who possess the sacramental power to confirm, to ordain, and to consecrate other catholic bishops. If someone were to say a catholic bishop whether it be Abp Duarte Costa or Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez was guilty for having arrived at such a mistaken notion of the existence of an emergency (not, in fact, existing), still:
Decree concerning the Consecration of a Bishop without Canonical Appointment.
"The Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, in virtue of a special faculty established for it by the Supreme Pontiff, published the following Decree: "A Bishop, of whatever rite or dignity, who consecrates as a Bishop someone who is neither nominated by the Holy See nor expressly confirmed by that same See, and he who receives consecration, even if coerced by grave fear (c.229, §3, 3), incur ipso facto [automatically] excommunication most especially reserved to the Apostolic See. This Decree takes effect from the date of its promulgation.Those who have attempted to invoke this decree in our own circumstances seem to have confused two things:
1. The Mandatum: the papal document granting permission for the consecration of a bishop who will serve as a bishop in any capacity, including as an auxiliary or titular bishop, and
2. The canonical appointment: a papal decree designating a bishop as Ordinary (or "residential bishop") of a duly constituted diocese, which appointment auxiliary and titular bishops did not receive.Canonist Fr. Eduardo Regatillo, in his Institutiones Juris Canonici (Santander: Sal Terrae 1956), 2:600, states that the 1951 decree affects only bishops consecrated without papal appointment to be heads of dioceses. "Anyone who is to be promoted to the episcopacy needs the canonical appointment by which he is constituted Bishop of such a vacant diocese. In practice, it may be doubted whether only those who are to be consecrated residential Bishops are affected - that is, those who are consecrated for a diocese now in existence - or also titular bishops (who are created for an extinct see or diocese), or bishops who are consecrated for no diocese."From the purpose intended by the Holy Office, the decree appears to cover only those who are consecrated as residential bishops, for this is the actual case which the Holy See intends to condemn."This new type (of offense) differs from the one mentioned in canon 2370, where the canon refers to consecrations performed without apostolic mandate (described in canon 953). The new decree, on the other hand, punishes consecrations performed without pontifical appointment .· "An appointment designates the person and bestows the title (to an office)".
· “A mandate grants the permission to confer the consecration."Regatillo's interpretation is confirmed a reading of Pope Pius XII's encyclical (reproduced below), especially paragraphs 45-48.NO traditional Catholic bishop - at least none of our acquaintance - has been consecrated to the episcopacy and then received illegal designation and title to a diocese established by the Roman Pontiff.Traditional Catholic bishops are consecrated for no diocese. One cannot claim, therefore, that the 1951 Decree applies to them.Reverend Fr. Kaschewsky is a German fellow canon lawyer and correspondent for Una Voce Deutschland. Below is his study on behalf of many fellow canon lawyers concerning the legitimacy of the Episcopal Consecrations? The consecration of a bishop has, in the hierarchy of the Sacrament of Orders, pride of place. A cardinal and the pope do not have a higher consecration.
A bishop possesses two powers:
· a power of consecration;
· A power of jurisdiction, which he can exercise only if he is in charge of a diocese.The episcopal power is a power of divine right, which endows a bishop with a personal authority and gives him a legal and constitutional status which the Pope and or a Patriarch can neither suppress nor modify.
1. A bishop is not allowed to confer episcopal consecration on anyone without papal mandate (Canon 953, CIC (Code of Canon Law in Latin 1917). whoever acts contrarily incurs an excommunication latae sententiae - reserved to the Holy See (Canon 1382, CIC 1983). The excommunication latae sententiae takes effect by the very act itself; it does not need to be decreed. In this particular case, the 1917 Canon Law inflicted only a suspension ("Ipso iure suspensi sunt, donec Sedes Apostolica eos dispensaverit - They are suspended by the Law itself, until the Apostolic See dispenses them." (Canon 2370. CIC 1917.)It is only since the Decree of the Holy Office of August 9, 1951, that the sanction of the excommunication ‘ipso facto ‘ most specially reserved to the Holy See was introduced for illegal episcopal consecrations. This was due, without doubt, to the tragic turn of the Church in the People's Republic of China. This sanction was later confirmed after the actions of the sect of Palmar de Troya in Spain.2. However, Canon Law is far from judging things only according to their exterior aspects. Not to take into account the particular circumstances and the subjective disposition of the persons in question would also be in contradiction with the Church's current notion of justice. In the case of an episcopal consecration without papal mandate, the threatened sanction, according to the terms of Canon 1382, is very clearly an ipso facto sanction as stated above. Therefore, in this case one must apply the principle:An ipso facto sanction does not apply if there exists an attenuating circumstance as laid down by law.Since the specious arguments of persons have distressed many loyal Catholics, it will be useful to consider the falsity of their arguments, and to establish the validity of the holy orders received by Bishop Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez, in the light of the definitions of the Church and of sound Catholic theology, we have already spoken about the three required elements needed for a valid episcopal consecration so let’s look at the required confection of a valid Sacrament.Before giving a response, it is necessary to formulate the question precisely.
For the valid confection of a Sacrament, it has always been believed and the Church has solemnly defined that three things are required:
1. The proper matter (e.g., bread and wine in the Eucharist);
2. The proper form (i.e., the words pronounced over the matter, for example: "This is my Body", etc., in the Eucharist);
3. And in the minister (i.e., in him who confects the sacrament), the proper intention.
In the case of the consecration of then Catholic Bishop Castillo Mendez, there can be no question that in such solemn and public ceremonies a mistake of matter or of form could escape unnoticed. The question, therefore, if question there is - and such as the above-mentioned persons have posed it - is a question of the INTENTION of Archbishop Duarte Costa when he administered the sacrament of holy orders to then Catholic Bishop Castillo Mendez and then same from His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez to then Catholic Bishop James Atkinson-Wake and so on.
Before considering the case directly, it will be useful to consider in summary the teaching of the Church and of sound theology on the INTENTION OF THE MINISTER OF A SACRAMENT in general. First of all, what the question is NOT.
The Church has solemnly defined, and all Catholics must believe, that for the valid confection of a sacrament neither faith nor the state of grace is required in the minister. Therefore, both sinful and heretical, schismatical and apostate priests or bishops can still validly (though sinfully and illicitly) confect the sacraments, provided, of course, that they use the proper matter and form and have the necessary intention. The question, therefore, is NOT whether or not Archbishop Duarte Costa, could validly administer a sacrament at all, but whether he did in this case.
Secondly, let us formulate more precisely the question of the REQUIRED INTENTION. We shall distinguish the external intention (by which the minister wishes to accomplish properly the external ceremonies and rites of the sacrament, but inwardly wishes not to confect the sacrament); and the internal (by which the minister truly and interiorly wishes to do what the Church does). The question is, does the external intention suffice? That is, will a sacrament be valid if the minister properly performs all the necessary external rites and ceremonies (with the proper matter and form), if within himself he wishes not to confect the sacrament?
The Church has defined that the minister must have the intention of doing what the Church does (Trent, sess. 7, and can. 11). Therefore, at least the external intention of doing what the Church does, and thus of accomplishing the ceremony properly, is required. For one reason, because the minister of the sacrament acts only as the minister of Christ, and thus must intend to act as such, and not simply to perform a natural action, or to act in his own name or by his own power. But, furthermore, today theologians commonly hold, and the declarations of the Church seem to confirm, that the external intention does not suffice, but that to confect a sacrament validly, the minister must have, at least implicitly, the INTERNAL INTENTION of doing what the Church does.
Why? The Church solemnly requires matter, form and intention for a valid sacrament. But if no internal intention were required, there would be no reason to include intention as the third element in the list, for the external intention of accomplishing the ceremony properly is actually nothing more than the use of the matter and form.Therefore, this required intention must be something more: internal.Furthermore, if the minister had no internal intention, he would simply be acting in his own name, or by his own power, performing a natural and not a supernatural act. The central question, then, will be: How are we to recognize the presence of this internal intention required in the minister for the valid confection of a sacrament?
Pope Leo XIII answers clearly and with solemn authority: Concerning the mind or intention, inasmuch as it is in itself something internal, the Church does not pass judgment; but in so far as it is externally manifested, she is bound to judge of it. Now, if in order to effect and confer a Sacrament a person has seriously and correctly used the due matter and form, he is for that very reason presumed to have intended to do what the Church does. It is on this principle that the doctrine is solidly founded which holds as a true Sacrament that which is conferred by the ministry of a heretic or of a non-baptized person, as long as it is conferred in the Catholic rite.
St. Thomas Aquinas, the Prince of Theologians, says the same thing (III, Q. 64, A. 8 ad 2): In the words uttered by (the minister), the intention of the Church is expressed; and this suffices for the validity of the sacrament, EXCEPT THE CONTRARY BE EXPRESSED EXTERIORLY on the part of the minister. Therefore, in the conferral of the sacrament of holy orders (or of any other) as long as the ordaining bishop, be he Catholic or apostate, observes externally the rite prescribed for the sacrament, he MUST be presumed to have the right intention, and the sacrament MUST be accepted as valid. Let us recall one more time that there is not the least question of the possibility of receiving valid ordinations from a bishop who has abandoned the faith. In fact, such ordinations received from heretics or others are normally valid. In defining this truth of faith,
Pope Paschal II does not add the least qualification, not even an implicit reference to cases where such ordinations might not be valid:Therefore, instructed by the examples of our Fathers, who at diverse times have received Novatians, Donatists, and other heretics in their orders [i.e., acknowledging the validity of the orders which they had received in their heretical sects]: We receive in the episcopal office [i.e., as valid bishops] the bishops of the aforesaid kingdom, who were ordained in schism... October 22, 1106. Let us consider momentarily a few more points on the intention required in the minister of a sacrament.
· We shall distinguish the intention of doing what the Church does, and the intention of doing what the Church intends. The Church does (performs) a sacred rite instituted by Christ, and by this rite she intends to confer grace - and in some sacraments, the character. · The minister does not at all need to intend to confer grace by the rite which he performs. It suffices that he intend to perform a sacred rite. (So all theologians teach.)
· Indeed, he does not even have to believe that the rite which he is performing is sacred. It suffices that he intend to perform seriously a rite which Christians hold as sacred. Thus, for example, a Jew can validly baptize a Christian child, even though he believes that baptism is a completely meaningless ceremony, if he intends to perform a rite which Christians hold to be sacred. Thus, also a priest who has lost the faith in the Sacraments can still confect them validly as long as he has the intention of performing seriously the rites which the faithful ask of him and which they consider sacred.
St. Thomas teaches the same thing (in IV Sent., dist. 6, Q. 1 A. 3, sol 2, ad 1): Sometimes he [the minister] intends to do what the Church does, although he considers it to be nothing.The minimum intention required in the minister of a sacrament is, then, this: That he intends to perform a rite which the Church considers sacred, and to accomplish seriously all the prescribed externals. Indeed, who could possibly lack this minimal intention in administering a sacrament? We have seen that the Church considers the presence of the required intention the normal case as regards sacraments administered by heretics, schismatics, etc. According to the solemn teaching of the Church, therefore, and the conclusions of sound theology, there is ABSOLUTELY NO JUSTIFICATION for any doubts on the validity of the holy orders of His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Luis Castillo Mendez.As history records, Catholic Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa did not at any moment - neither before, nor during or after the ceremonies - give the least indication that he did not intend to do what the Church does in conferring holy orders upon then Bishop Castillo Mendez. IF there were any justification for questioning the validity of the Bishop’s orders - and we have seen that there is not - the question would concern his sacerdotal ordination rather than his episcopal consecration.
(Let us recall, however, that cases where orders conferred by heretics, etc., are invalid are so rare that Pope Paschal II in defining the Church’s doctrine on this point does not even envisage the case.) The question - if there were any - would concern his ordination to the priesthood more than his consecration to the episcopate, because a single minister, a single bishop – Catholic Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa - confers the holy priesthood, and thus all depends upon the intention of this single minister of the sacrament. (We have seen, however, that all are bound to presume that he had the necessary intention.)
If it is almost impossible for a sacerdotal ordination to be invalid, an invalid episcopal consecration would be even more impossible for this reason:
In accordance with the most ancient tradition of the Church, a new bishop is always consecrated by THREE other bishops. The Pontifical Romanum refers to them as assistantes, but since, as the rubrics prescribe, all three bishops impose hands on the bishop-elect (the matter of the sacrament), and recite the form of consecration, Pope Pius XII (Episcopalis consecrationis, Nov. 30, 1944) insists that they are to be referred to as co-consecrators. Thus, as this was already obvious, all three concur in the consecration (where only one would suffice for validity), and, therefore, even in the unimaginable case where two of the three bishops would lack the necessary intention, the remaining bishop would still validly consecrate the elect. (Cf. also Pius XII, Allocution to the International Congress of Pastoral Liturgy, Sep. 22, 1956.) If I remember correctly, based on a misunderstanding of the nature of the episcopate, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines and many other Catholic Bishops conferences in various countries seem to be of the opinion that a bishop lacking jurisdiction cannot confer the episcopate on another, even lately in a statement issued by the CBCP stated that Archbishop Duarte Costa was not a Bishop and referred to him as MR denying Roman Catholic Bishop Duarte Costa valid episcopacy transmitted from Roman Catholic Cardinal Sebastião da Silveira Cintra on the 8 December 1924, for which is a denial of their own Roman Catholic Episcopacy. The constant practice of the Church, however, disproves this curious theory: if it were true, NO bishop consecrated in heresy or in schism would ever have been validly consecrated; but the Church has constantly received such bishops as valid bishops. (Cf. decree of Paschal II.). In any case, though this has no relation to any question of holy orders, Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa never lost his jurisdiction as a Catholic Bishop. Even as a Titular, and thus ipso facto excommunicated is a myth, he retained his jurisdiction as Catholic Bishop and so did those he consecrated from August 1945 onwards.
Once again, then, our conclusion:
We may and MUST presume that Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez & Archbishop James Atkinson-Wake validly received the sacrament of holy orders. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING would permit or justify a conclusion to the contrary. There is thus need to consider attentively the rules of Canons 1323 and 1324 of the CIC 1983, which correspond to Canons 2205 (N.2,3) of the CIC 1917. These canons deal with the case of an act to which a sanction is normally attached, but which was done only in order to avoid a grave inconvenience or to provide for a necessity. Here is a quote from Canon 1323, N. 4 (CIC 1983): "No penalty is incurred by a person forced by a necessity to act against the law." The former Code (Canon 2205, N.2) speaks in the same sense. (For the restrictions in both cases, see VII to IX here below.)
1. What does the law mean by "grave inconvenience" and "necessity" ?
Let us quote from the book on Canon Law written by E. Eichmann (Kl. Morsdort): A grave inconvenience or necessity is a situation of constraint such that, without fault, the person in difficulty is physically or morally obliged to do something against the law in order to avert the danger. (Necessitas non habet legem - necessity has no law.) This may be a threat against his spiritual goods, his life, his freedom or other earthly goods. It is generally granted - and no one seriously questions this - that due to the orientations taken after the Council, one finds within the Church a serious threat against the spiritual goods especially with regard to priestly formation, Faith, morals and religious worship. The proof of this affirmation is found in many publications including the review, Una Voce Korrespondenz.The question is to know if and how one can combat this attack upon the spiritual goods. No one will contest that one way (if not the only way) of healing the evils which we are suffering from, resides in the raising of priestly vocations and the formation of good priests. Oftentimes young theologians ask us which diocesan seminary may be recommended, i.e., in which the deadly spirit of adaptation to the world has not yet entered, where true devotion is taught and given priority of place, where the adoration of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar is the centre of the priestly life, where Communion kneeling down and the wearing of the cassock are natural. (I say this in order to speak also of the exterior signs, since they are always the indication of an interior disposition.) The answer is: "There is none!"
3. Thus it is sufficiently, clearly and undoubtedly established that there is a situation of grave inconvenience. In order to avert this truly dangerous situation, some candidates to the priesthood are correctly trained outside of official seminaries, who, if the law were strictly followed, would almost certainly never be ordained, i.e., would not be able to become priests. Here is certainly such a situation of necessity, from which any penalty is excluded. Only the consecration of a bishop who would ordain these priests can avert the above-mentioned danger. Otherwise not only the studies and the priestly formation of these candidates for the Holy Priesthood would be lost, but also the faithful who depend upon them would not benefit by these spiritual goods which they would be able to receive through them. Thus the faithful also find themselves in a situation of danger. Of course it would be exaggerating to say that the spiritual goods necessary for the salvation of souls are not administered in any official post-conciliar church; but the disastrous present situation consists in Catholics often having to wonder whether the catechesis and religious services are still truly Catholic or not. Even moderate and objective observers of the present situation of the Church acknowledge that at least in some cases the true intention of the priest, absolutely indispensable for the validity of the sacraments, is doubtful or even clearly not there.First restriction of the principle applied above: in Canon 2205, N. 2 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, the threat of sanction in such situations of emergency was lifted only when it was a law purely of ecclesiastical right and not of Divine Right. This restriction is no longer found in the new Code. Now since those who would like to apply this sanction would most certainly use the new Code, such a restriction would not apply, even if the one performing these consecrations would feel bound by it.
4. Another restriction: only situations of necessity of an accidental character make free from the sanction. This means that the inconveniences which are naturally linked with the fulfilment of a certain law must be accepted and do not authorize one to break the law. However, this restriction does not apply in our case since it is precisely accidental, unusual and highly against the nature of things that respect for the law in our case - that is, to abstain from the episcopal consecration without papal mandate - leads to the situation of peril. The fact that the salvation of souls is endangered by abstaining from such episcopal consecration does not constitute, at least not according to the nature of things, a situation of peril normally linked to obedience to the law, but rather is a characteristic of the present abnormal situation.
· Another restriction: an action incurring a punishment, but performed in order to avert a danger, is not exempted from sanction if it is intrinsically evil or brings prejudice to souls (Canon 1324, N.1.5). In the former Code, the limits of the dispensation from sanctions were still more restricted (Canon 2205, 2): any action leading to the contempt of Faith or of the hierarchy of the Church was also condemned. The question whether or not an episcopal consecration without papal mandate is an act intrinsically evil or leading to the prejudice of souls, without any doubt, goes beyond the framework of law of the Church, or at least cannot be decided by purely juridical considerations. But precisely here judgments differ: some say that it would cause an immense damage for souls because of the danger of schism; others speak of an action absolutely required for the salvation of souls.
5. However, we need not answer this question, since Canon 1324, N. 3, CIC 1983, simply says that in situations described in N. 1, there is no sanction for the person who does not follow the law. This means that even if one would claim that an episcopal consecration without papal mandate would be in all cases an act by itself worthy of an automatic sanction, and bringing prejudice to souls, it would still remain free from an automatic sanction (latae sententiae) because of the emergency situation described above. Now exactly such a sanction is threatened in the case of a non-authorized episcopal consecration by Canon 1382, CIC 1983! It follows, on the basis of a situation of evident peril (Canon 1323 N. 4, Canon 1324, N. 1,5 and N. 3), that the threat of excommunication, threatened in Canon 1382 against the unauthorized consecrator, would not apply. Even if one were to call in question or actually deny altogether the existence of a situation of emergency, as we have described it, the following would still apply: No one will deny that a catholic bishop who, in the aforementioned situation, consecrates another one, would be at least subjectively of the opinion that he is in a situation of necessity such as we have described above. Thus one cannot speak of a premeditated violation of the law: for one who goes against the law but believing even wrongly that his action is legitimate, does not act in a premeditated way.
The New Code is even clearer: A. The person who thought, without fault on his part, that a circumstance foreseen in Canon 1323, N. 4,5,7, applied when he was breaking the law or an administrative order, does not incur any punishment.
B. The violator of the law is not exempt from all penalty, but the penalty laid down in the law or in the administrative order must be mitigated, or a penance must be substituted, if the offense was accomplished by someone believing through an error, even if culpable, that he was in a circumstance foreseen in Canon 1323, N. 4 and 5 (Canon 1324, N. 1.8). Moreover, Canon 1324, N. 3, says: "In the circumstances explained in N. 1, the violator does not incur any latae sententiae penalty (automatic penalty)." Thus those who would suppose that the emergency exists only in the fantasy and the imagination of the Bishop concerned could hardly argue that this supposedly erroneous conception would be punishable. Even if someone were to put it to him that he was guilty for having arrived at such a mistaken notion of the existence of an emergency (not, in fact, existing), still:
1. The automatic excommunication could not follow as mentioned in Canon 1382 (it could not be automatic).
2. In any case, an eventual penalty which a judge might apply would have to be more clement than that foreseen in the law, so that here too an excommunication would be out of the question.A. Due to the existence of a real emergency, a bishop who would consecrate another one without a papal mandate, would not fall under the sanction foreseen for illegal consecration (Canon 1323, N. 4).
B. Even if the emergency did not objectively exist, the violator would remain exempt from any sanction since he would have subjectively and in a non-culpable way estimated that there was a real emergency (Canon 1324, N. 1.5).C. One must also say that, even if there were an erroneous and punishable supposition of an emergency, still there would be no automatic sanction, much less an excommunication (Canon 1324, N. l.8,3).
1. Therefore, the widely spread opinion that the consecration of one or several bishops without papal mandate would cause an automatic excommunication and would lead to schism is completely false. Due to the very terms of the applicable law itself, an excommunication for the aforementioned case could not be applied, neither automatically, nor by sentence of a judge.
St. Thomas Aquinas states; laws are ordinances of right reason made for the common good promulgated by one who has authority in society. A fundamental principle of law is that “Law ceases automatically:1. if through changed conditions, it has become harmful, impossible or irrational;2. If its very purpose has ceased to be verified for the whole community” (Moral Theology, Ff. Henry Davis, 1958).
The same facts were always taught between 1883 - 1973 by: His Eminence, Most Reverend Amleto Giovanni CARDINAL Cicognani, Titular Archbishop of Laodicea in Phrygia. Secretary Emeritus of the Secretariat of State. Cardinal-Bishop of Frascati. Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia. Dean of the College of Cardinals. Professor of Canon Law at the Pontifical Institute of Canon and Civil Law in Rome.
To accuse a priest or bishop of being doubtfully or invalidly ordained or consecrated, without sufficient reason, is objectively a mortal sin of injustice. Sacerdotium vol. III p.3.
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH. DECLARATION “DOMINUS IESUS"
IV. UNICITY AND UNITY OF THE CHURCH
17. Therefore, there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him.58 The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches.59 Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the Catholic Church, since they do not accept the Catholic doctrine of the Primacy, which, according to the will of God, the Bishop of Rome objectively has and exercises over the entire Church.60 On the other hand, the ecclesial communities which have not preserved the valid Episcopate and the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic mystery,61 are not Churches in the proper sense; however, those who are baptized in these communities are, by Baptism, incorporated in Christ and thus are in a certain communion, albeit imperfect, with the Church.62 Baptism in fact tends per se toward the full development of life in Christ, through the integral profession of faith, the Eucharist, and full communion in the Church.63The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience of June 16, 2000, granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with sure knowledge and by his apostolic authority, ratified and confirmed this Declaration, adopted in Plenary Session and ordered its publication.
Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, August 6, 2000, the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.Joseph Card. Ratzinger Prefect. Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B. Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli. Secretary.
(58) Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae, 1: AAS 65 (1973), 396-398. (59) Cf. Second Vatican Council, Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 14 and 15; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter Communionis notio, 17: AAS 85 (1993), 848. (60) Cf. First Vatican Council, Constitution Pastor aeternus: DS 3053-3064; Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 22. (61) Cf. Second Vatican Council, Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 22. (62) Cf. ibid., 3. (63) Cf. ibid., 22.
*So as we read Dominus Iesus August 2000 paragraph 17.
It is clear from reading this it is clear that while not existing in perfect communion with the Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is , by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches(Second Vatican Council, Unitatis redintegratio Ss14 & 15) Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the Catholic Church, since they may not accept the Catholic doctrine of the Popes Primacy. Then declaration then defines such as the Church of England as not being ‘ Churches in the proper sense’ Ecclesiastical & Canon Law defines the definition in Dominus Iesus that the Catholic Church has to recognise the Society as a “true particular Church” in the same way that in instance, the Greek, Bulgarian and Russian Orthodox Churches are.The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published, a document treating of the unicity and salvific universality of Jesus Christ and of the Church. This document has provoked a rather violent reaction in progressive circles and outside the Church, in the majority of the communities who are interested in ecumenism. In effect, this document reminds us forcefully and re-imposes numerous points of traditional Catholic doctrine on the subject. At the same time, these truths of Faith are strongly moderated by other propositions that have Vatican II as their only source. (The general principles of Nostra Aetate, Lumen gentium, Gaudium et spes are spoken of). The principles acquisitions of the last Council concerning the relations of the Catholic Church with other religions, both Christian and non-Christian, are presented as if they had been perfectly integrated into the Catholic Faith. The same things that have been said of the Council can be applied to Dominus Iesus:Two theological traditions that, deep down are incompatible, entered into collision (Bishop Henrici, La maturation du concile, Communio). The real problem is so unusual for a Catholic that we can easily understand the instinctive blindness that enables one to escape from it: the will to be faithful to two councils that are so clearly divergent one from the other is quite simply impossible. This contradiction in the text is clear, especially when it treats of the unicity of the Catholic Church. The identity between the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church does indeed seem to be clearly affirmed, when it speaks of the historical continuity between the Church founded by Our Lord and the Catholic Church of today (§16). But it is at the same time denied by the "subsistit in". (§16 & 17). Cardinal Ratzinger himself declared last Spring that continuity does not exist between the "est" (which affirms this oneness of the Church) and the "subsistit in" (which enables, alongside the one true Church, other churches to be considered as "true". Cf. §17). In effect, in the same text Cardinal Ratzinger affirms on the one hand that the subsistit is the foundation of ecumenism and on the other hand that this subsistit is in contradiction with the traditional est:Since sin is a contradiction, we cannot in the final analysis fully resolve from a logical point of view this difference between subsistit and est. In the paradox of the difference between, on the one hand, the Church’s singularity and concrete realization, and on the other hand the existence of an ecclesial reality outside the unique subject, is reflected the contradictory character of human sin, the contradiction of division. It is consequently not difficult to conclude that ecumenism, whose foundation is in contradiction with the traditional doctrine, as its promoters admit, is itself just as opposed to traditional doctrine.We find in Dominus Iesus a tragic confirmation that an indescribable darkness covers the Vatican. Never in times past has contradiction been taught, even less that which is recognized as such. This document, despite the praiseworthy intention of condemning abuses, will be of no helping in resolving the doctrinal crisis as it intends to do, for it only teaches true doctrine halfway, which means in a falsified way
**Let’s not forget that at least two of the Catholic Bishops later consecrated by Catholic Archbishop Duarte Costa were accepted back in to mainstream Roman Catholicism and went on to enjoy careers in the Vatican II hierarchy and they was never re-consecrated not even sub conditione and by these actions ‘de jure and de facto’ the validity of the Holy Orders that Catholic Bishop Duarte Costa transmitted in August 1945 Bishop Salameo Barbosa Ferraz and November 1956 Bishop Orlando Arce-Moya.
Let’s argue the Roman Catholic Church said His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez was not an ordained priest, therefore he could not be consecrated a bishop later for which do we really think a Roman Catholic Bishop would not be so stupid or negligent not to check that the person about to be consecrated is a priest, Then the Roman Catholic Church Vatican II would have to show proof of this their accusation if any. With this in mind, the co- consecrator (assitente bishop) being Bishop Olinto Ferreira Pinto Filho who also laid on hands with pure intent would take effect bearing in mind we have already established that Bishop Carlos Duarte had the authority as a catholic bishop to ORDAIN priests and CONSECRATE bishop’s as he consecrated as a valid Catholic Bishop’s Salameo Barbosa Ferraz & Bp Orlanda Arce –Moya. **Bishop Olinto Ferreira Pinto Filho was ordained a priest by Catholic Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa on November 16, 1947. He was later raised to the Episcopate as a catholic bishop on 1st May 1966 by Catholic Bishop Pedro dos Santos Silva, he in turn was consecrated also by Catholic Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa on 4 May 1956. Therefore, Archbishop David Bell is a valid catholic bishop whether some Roman Catholic Bishops from Vatican II or the Holy See of Rome likes it or not. Such acceptance does not rest on the Patriarch of the West, Bishop of Rome but upon the intent and also an unbroken Apostolic Succession.
FR GREGORY HESSES STD. JCD STATEMENT.
Fr Gregory Hesse STD. JCD. Ordained in 1981 in St. Peter's Basilica. He held doctorates in both Thomistic theology and Canon Law, he served as Secretary to Cardinal Stickler at the Vatican the same information, for as long as the catholic bishop consecrating a new catholic bishop is a Catholic Bishop already, then he can validily consecrate a new catholic bishop. So long as the catholic bishops words are pronounced and that the catholic bishop uses the catholic books old or new as it makes no difference. Not even if the catholic bishop elect is not already a deacon and or priest as the higher order always include the lower no matter what language it is said in as long as the translation and or meaning remains the same. He also stated that all popes are bound by each other decrees that they can not simple dismiss there past decrees. This means that all the information within remains. This video supports the CCEW facts within.
1. 1917 Code of Canon law states: A bishop is not allowed to confer Episcopal consecration on anyone without a papal mandate (Roman 2. Catholic Church Canon 953, CIC 1917). Whoever acts contrarily incurs Excommunication latae sententiae—"reserved to the Holy See" 3. (Canon 1382, CC 1983). Excommunication Latae Sententiae takes effect by the very act itself; it does not need to be decreed. In this 4. particular case, the 1917 Canon Law inflicted only a suspension ("Ipso iure suspensi sunt, donec sedes Apostolica eos dispenaverit"— 5. "They are suspended by the law itself, until the Apostolic See dispenses them" [Canon 2370, CC 1917.1).
However, if such a consecration 6. or act was a matter of emergency, then the act (Suspension) itself cannot take place. 7.
2. The decree of the Holy Office of Rome; August 9, 1951, that the sanction of the excommunication ‘ipso facto’ most specially reserved to the Holy See of Rome was introduced for illegal Episcopal consecrations some 3 years after the consecration of Bishop Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez was consecrated and therefore does not apply.
3. S. Woywood, Practical Commentary on the Code of Canon Law (New York: Wagner 1952), 1905. “A sacred order is presumed valid until its invalidity is established by proof to the effect that it was received with want of intention on the part of the petitioner. He must show that something essential was lacking when the sacrament was conferred.”
4. P. Gasparri, Tractatus de Sacra Ordinatione (Paris: Delhomme 1893), 1:970. “Canonist Gasparri (later a cardinal and compiler of the 1917 Code of Canon Law) offers a general principle: “…an act, especially one as solemn as an ordination, must be regarded as valid, as long as invalidity would not be clearly demonstrated.”…tum quia actus, praesertim adeo solemnis qualis est ordinatio, habendus est ut validus, donec invaliditas non evincatur.”
5. A priest or bishop who confers a sacrament doesn’t have to “prove” that he intends to do what the Church does. He is automatically presumed to intend what the rite means. This is certain theological doctrine, taught by the Church. And to deny it, is “theologically rash”. B. Leeming, Principles of Sacramental Theology (Westminster md: Newman 1956), 482. “This principle is affirmed as certain theological doctrine, taught by the Church, to deny which would be theologically rash… the minister is presumed to intend what the rite means..”
6. Pope Leo XIII specifically confirmed the principle with regard to Holy Orders when he said that someone who seriously and correctly uses the matter and form “is for that very reason deemed to have intended to do what the Church does Bull Apostolicae Curae, 13 September 1896. “Iamvero quum quis ad sacramentum conficiendum et conferendum materiam formamque debitam serio ac rite adhibuit, eo ipso censetur id nimirum facere intendisse quod facit Ecclesia.”
7. A bishop who confers Holy Orders is never presumed to have the intention of not ordaining someone as long as the contrary is not proved. For no one should be presumed to be evil, he adds, unless he is proven as such -Tractatus de Sacra Ordinatione, 1:970. “Proinde numquam praesumitur ministrum talem intentionem non ordinandi habuisse in ordinatione peragenda, donec contrarium non probetur; tum quia nemo praesumitur malus, nisi probetur…”
8. Theologian Coronata, “is certainly present in someone who regularly performs sacramental actions.” The mere act of putting on vestments and going to the altar is considered sufficient evidence for virtual intention M. Conte a Coronata, De Sacramentis: Tractatus Canonicus (Turin: Marietti 1943) 1:56. “Virtualis enim intentio, ut iam vidimus, est intentio ipsa actualis quae cum distractione operatur. Talis intentio certe habetur in eo qui de more ponit actiones sacramentales.
9. Recipient of the sacrament for challenges, his diocesan ordinary, and the ordinary of the diocese where the sacrament was conferred. See Canon 1994.1. “Validitatem sacrae ordinationis accusare valet clericus peraeque ac Ordinarius cui clericus subsit vel in cuius diocesi ordinatus sit.” All other person lack the right to accuse, See Cappello 4:683. “Aliae personae extraneae procul dubio jure accusandi carent.”
10. A consecration without any assistants and without obtaining a pontifical dispensation, it would still be valid. S. Many, Praelectiones de Sacra Ordinatione (Paris: Letouzey 1905), 519. “Alexander VII, brevi Onerosa, 4 Feb. 1664, concessit ut aliqua episcopalis ordinatio, apud Sinas, fieret ab uno tantum episcopo, cum assistentia duorum presbyterorum, et etiam, si opus esset, sine illorum assistentia.”
11. Pope Alexander VII, Brief Alias, 27 February 1660. “Quantum spectat ad sacramentum et impressionem characteris fuisse validam.” Pope Clement XI and Pope Benedict XIV declared that consecrations performed without such a dispensation are valid De Synodo Diocesana 13.13.9-10. “…consecrationem hujusmodi validam, licet illicitam, esse censuerunt… ratam firmamque, sed illicitam Consecrationem pronuntiavit.” Benedict’s emphasis, quoting Clement’s decree of 26 November 1718.
12. The Catholic faith that the valid administration of a sacrament does not depend on a priest or bishop’s probity. Cappello, 1:36. “In ministro non requiritur nec status gratiae, nec vitae probitas, imo nec ipsa fides, ad validam sacramentorum confectionem vel administrationem. Haec est veritas catholica de fide.”
13. Pope Leo XIII answers clearly and with solemn authority: Concerning the mind or intention, inasmuch as it is in itself something internal, the Church does not pass judgment; but in so far as it is externally manifested, she is bound to judge of it. Now, if in order to effect and confer a Sacrament a person has seriously and correctly used the due matter and form, he is for that very reason presumed to have intended to do what the Church does. It is on this principle that the doctrine is solidly founded which holds as a true Sacrament that which is conferred by the ministry of a heretic or of a non-baptized person, as long as it is conferred in the Catholic rite.
14. St. Thomas Aquinas, the Prince of Theologians, says the same thing (III, Q. 64, A. 8 ad 2): In the words uttered by (the minister), the intention of the Church is expressed; and this suffices for the validity of the sacrament, EXCEPT THE CONTRARY BE EXPRESSED EXTERIORLY on the part of the minister [emphasis given by author]. Therefore, in the conferral of the sacrament of holy orders (or of any other) as long as the ordaining bishop, be he Catholic or apostate, observes externally the rite prescribed for the sacrament, he MUST be presumed to have the right intention, and the sacrament MUST be accepted as valid. Let us recall one more time that there is not the least question of the possibility of receiving valid ordinations from a bishop who has abandoned the faith. In fact, such ordinations received from heretics or others are normally valid.
15. In defining this truth of faith, Pope Paschal II does not add the least qualification, not even an implicit reference to cases where such ordinations might not be valid: Therefore, instructed by the examples of our Fathers, who at diverse times have received Novatians, Donatists, and other heretics in their orders [i.e., acknowledging the validity of the orders which they had received in their heretical sects]: We receive in the episcopal office [i.e., as valid bishops] the bishops of the aforesaid kingdom, who were ordained in schism... October 22, 1106.
16. Let us consider momentarily a few more points on the intention required in the minister of a sacrament. We shall distinguish the intention of doing what the Church does, and the intention of doing what the Church intends. The Church does (performs) a sacred rite instituted by Christ, and by this rite she intends to confer grace —and in some sacraments, the character. The minister does not at all need to intend to confer grace by the rite which he performs. It suffices that he intend to perform a sacred rite. (So teach all theologians.) Indeed, he does not even have to believe that the rite which he is performing is sacred. It suffices that he intend to perform seriously a rite which Christians hold as sacred. Thus, for example, a Jew can validly baptize a Christian child, even though he believes that baptism is a completely meaningless ceremony, if he intends to perform a rite which Christians hold to be sacred. Thus, also a priest who has lost the faith in the Sacraments can still confect them validly as long as he has the intention of performing seriously the rites which the faithful ask of him and which they consider sacred.
17. St. Thomas teaches the same thing (in IV Sent., dist. 6, Q. 1 A. 3, sol 2, ad 1): Sometimes he [the minister] intends to do what the Church does, although he considers it to be nothing. The minimum intention required in the minister of a sacrament is, then, this: That he intend to perform a rite which the Church considers sacred, and to accomplish seriously all the prescribed externals. Indeed, who could possibly lack this minimal intention in administering a sacrament? We have seen that the Church considers the presence of the required intention the normal case as regards sacraments administered by heretics, schismatics, etc. It is almost impossible for a sacerdotal (Priestly) ordination to be invalid, an invalid episcopal consecration would be even more impossible for this reason: In accordance with the most ancient tradition of the Church, a new bishop is always consecrated by THREE other bishops. The Pontificale Romanum refers them as assistants, but since, as the rubrics prescribe, all three bishops impose hands on the bishop-elect (the matter of the sacrament), and recite the form of consecration.
18. Pope Pius XII (Episcopalis consecrationis, Nov. 30, 1944) insists that they are to be referred to as co-consecrators. Thus, as this was already obvious, all three concur in the consecration (where only one would suffice for validity), and, therefore, even in the unimaginable case where two of the three bishops would lack the necessary intention, the remaining bishop would still validly consecrate the elect. (Cf. also Pius XII, Allocution to the International Congress of Pastoral Liturgy, Sep. 22, 1956.)
19. Consecrations without Papal Mandate: leads us to consider the precedent found in ecclesiastical history for the consecration of bishops during the time of interregnum (the vacancy of the Apostolic See). “On November 29, 1268, Pope Clement IV died, and there began one of the longest periods of interregnum or vacancy of the papal office in the history of the Roman Catholic Church. The cardinals at that time were to assemble in conclave in the city of Viterbo, but through the intrigues of Carlo d’Anglio, King of Naples, discord was sown among the members of the Sacred College and the prospect of any election grew more and more remote. “After almost three years, the Mayor of Viterbo enclosed the cardinals in a palace, allowing them only strict living rations, until a decision would be made which would give to the Church its visible Head. At last, on September 1, 1271, Pope Gregory X was elected to the Chair of St Peter. “During this long period of vacancy of the Apostolic See, vacancies also occurred in many dioceses throughout the world. In order that the priests and faithful might not be left without shepherds, bishops were elected and consecrated to fill the vacant sees. There were accomplished during this time twenty-one known elections and consecrations in various countries. The most important aspect of this historical precedent is that all of these consecrations of bishops were ratified by Pope Gregory X, who consequently affirmed the lawfulness of such consecrations.” there is on 9 separate other occasions that a pope did not sit on the Chair of St Peter’s throne for a record time of between 2 to 4 years. However consecrations of hundreds of bishops took place. Yet there was no Papal Mandate issued for their consecrations. (Information taken from Vatican Archives) And yet there consecrations remain valid and licit.
19A. Pope Benedict XVI to the Bishops of the World to Present the "Motu Proprio" on the Use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the Reforms of 1970. That the Latin Mass was to be used and an acceptable rite. Pope Benedict XVI, with the Motu Proprio of July 14, 2007 acknowledged that the traditional mass, has never been repealed and that every priest can celebrate it. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI ‘Pontiff’ affirmed by Decree on the 21/01/2009 that traditionalist bishops are not schismatic’s or excommunicated.“ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC”To the ecclesiastic communities that form the Catholic Church, together with its presbyters, deacons, seminarians, and members of religious orders; and sharing our faith and our reflections also with the communion of Catholic and Apostolic Churches with which we have sealed full and perfect communion, as with all men and women of good will, who are determined that the Church, the Body of Christ, be manifest as the visible sacrament of salvation and of the unity of all creation:
As stated, the effect of the sacraments comes ex opere operato (by the very fact of being administered). Since it is Christ who works through them, their effectiveness does not depend on the worthiness of the minister. The belief that the validity of the sacrament is dependent upon the holiness of the administrator was rejected in the Donatist crisis.
However, an apparent administration of a sacrament is invalid, if the person acting as minister does not have the necessary power (as if a deacon were to celebrate Mass). They are also invalid if the required "matter" or "form" is lacking. The matter is the perceptible material object, such as water in baptism or wheaten bread and grape wine for the Eucharist, or the visible action. The form is the verbal statement that specifies the signification of the matter, such as, (in the Western Church), "N., I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit". Furthermore, if the minister positively excludes some essential aspect of the sacrament, the sacrament is invalid. This last condition lies behind the 1896 judgement of the Holy See denying the validity of Anglican Orders.
Obvious claimed cases are administration of a sacrament by a priest under a penalty of excommunication or suspension, and an episcopal ordination without a mandate from the Pope.
. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH CHARGED TO CONTINUE CHRIST’S ONGOING MISSION.
One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic are the four characteristics that identify the Church established by Jesus Christ and commissioned by him to continue in the world the mission that the Father had entrusted to him. This is the unanimous witness that the Holy Scriptures gives us and that, over the length of centuries, impelled first the work of the Apostles and then of those who have received from the Apostles the mission that Jesus had entrusted to them.The Gospel of John expresses clearly the continuity that exists from the mission of Jesus to the mission of the apostles. Jesus, shortly before being glorified, prayed to the Father, “I am not going to continue in the world, but they are still in the world, while I go to be with you. I have given them your word, but the world hates them because they are not of the world, as I also am not of the world. As you sent me to be among those who are in the world, I also send them. … And for their sake I now consecrate myself so that they too may be consecrated by the truth.”1 And so that there may be no doubt of the fact that this mission is not limited to the twelve apostles but was a charge that they should pass on, the prayer continues: “I do not pray only for them, but also for those who believe in me on hearing their message. I ask you that all of them be one; that as you, Father, are in me and I in you so they also may be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the same glory that you gave me so that they may be a single thing, as you and I are one.”2 After the resurrection, Jesus confirms the mission and grants them the Spirit in order to consecrate them, to give them the glory and to train them to exercise the ministry: “Then Jesus said to them again: — Peace to you! As the Father sent me, so I am sending you. And he breathed on them and said to them: — receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive any man’s sins, they stand forgiven; if you pronounce them un-forgiven. Un forgiven they remain.”
3. THE APOSTOLICITY OF THE CHURCH. In order to carry out this mission, under the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, the apostles and their successors continue to preach the Gospel, celebrate the sacraments, and organize the Church. The result was the formation of what we can call the “Apostolic Tradition.” To live it and preserve it in its integrity constitutes the fourth distinguishing mark of the Church.Used in this sense, the word “Tradition” has nothing to do with the traditions that our communities frequently reject, considering them to be contrary to the Gospel and the voice of the Spirit. The popular sense in which tradition is spoken of is synonymous with “custom,” and indeed there are many customs in popular religion that are reprehensible because they give rise to evil, superficiality, legalism, authoritarianism and lack of commitment and keep us from discovering the true meaning of the faith. The sense in which we are using the word “Tradition” here is different from the popular usage. Etymologically “tradition” means “to hand over” or “to reveal,” and that is what it means for us. It refers to the living faith of the Apostles and of the Church of all times which is “handed over” to us by Holy Scripture, by the creeds of faith and by the liturgical and sacramental life, and which, by the work of the Holy Spirit, “reveals” to us the living presence of Jesus Christ in our midst and permits us to experience that we are in communion and continuity with the same faith and the same mission of the Apostles and the Church of all times.
4. THE CATHOLICITY OF THE CHURCH.
A consequence of living the “Apostolic Tradition” is the experience of catholicity. It constitutes the third characteristic of the Church. By the witness and the work of the Holy Spirit, we are capable of recognizing the presence of Jesus Christ and the new life within us. This enables us begin to experience communion, on a personal as well as communitarian level, with those who have believed in Him in all times and in all places. Further, it impels us to live in communion with all human beings and with the whole creation and to make an effort for our communities to have space and respect for everyone and everything. Then catholicity ceases to be a mere theological concept and becomes living reality. 1 John 17:11, 14, 18-19.2. 2 John 17:20-22. 3 John 20:21-23.
5. THE HOLINESS OF THE CHURCH.
To live the apostolicity and the catholicity makes us recognize that the agent who allows us to experience this communion is the Holy Spirit. For it is He is who breaks the barriers of selfishness, of time and of space and transforms us so that it is not we who live but Christ who lives in us.4 This makes us aware of the second characteristic of the Church, which is holiness. When we discern the living presence of the Spirit, the holiness ceases to be a distant ideal, professed in the Creed of Faith or the Confession, and is identified as the experience of God living within each of us in the midst of the community. For that reason Paul calls believers “saints” or a “holy people.”5 (Cf. Col. 1:2) for the holiness of the Church, does not come from living according to a strict moral code but from the living presence of the Spirit who transforms and illumines and is manifest in his people. Paul expresses this reality in the letter to the Ephesians in the following way: “By the grace of God you have received salvation by means of faith. This is not anything that you yourselves have achieved, but it is the gift of God. It is not the result of your own works, lest anyone boast of anything.”
6. THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH.
The experience of holiness as a free gift, as liberation from all the bondage and hindrances as well as from selfishness, leads to the first characteristic of the Church: its unity. This finds its basis and guarantee in the gift of the same Holy Spirit.7 the Church is born on the day of Pentecost by the pouring out of the Spirit.8 It is the Spirit then who maintains and assures her unity. Paul reminds the Ephesians and exhorts them, “Be sure to maintain the unity that comes from the Holy Spirit. There is one body and one Spirit, as God has called us to one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; there is one God and Father of us all.”9 For that reason we can say that the Church, in her fundamental reality is one and indivisible; for by the Spirit we enter in to form part of the Body of Christ, which is one and indivisible.10 In spite of the existence of this indestructible unity, as result of human fragility and ambitions, institutionally and historically, divisions have been created among the various ecclesiastical bodies, and these divisions mar the manifestation of and the witness to that spiritual indivisibility. From that fact it comes the necessity of committing ourselves to the work of ecumenism so that visibly and historically we can radiate the unity that the Spirit creates and guarantees in the whole Body of Christ.
7. OUR EXPERIENCE OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CHURCH.
For our catholic church and for each one of the communities that form it, the unity, the holiness, the catholicity and the apostolicity are not abstract theological concepts. Nor are they established and learned doctrines that over time have been settled on. Rather they form part of our life and our daily path. 4 Cf. Gal. 2:20. 5 Cf. Col. 1:2. 6 Eph. 2:8-9. 7 Cf. 1 Cor. 12:12-13. 8 Cf. Acts 2:1ff. 9 Cf. Eph. 4:3-5. 10 Cf. Eph. 4:12; Col. 1:18; 2:19; Eph. 2:21; 5:25-27 That experience is what gives us unity and has enabled us to confront with peace and perseverance the adversities of rejection and marginalization. As individuals and as a community we have experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit by means of meditation on the Word of God and the liturgical life celebrated in prayer and sacrament, and this experience has created the certainty of being united in Christ to our brothers and to all humanity; we have tasted holiness in recognizing that we are incessantly made righteous, freed from sin and gifted with many charismas and ministries; we have received the sensitivity and the capacity to be inclusive and to open ourselves to communion and dialogue with all human beings, and to accept the plurality of forms of spiritual expression, thus attaining the enjoyment of catholicity in its deepest and most genuine sense; at last we have been able to get to the heart of and take on the full Apostolic Tradition.
8. ROOTS AND CONTEXT OF OUR ECCLESIASTIC EXPERIENCE.
Without doubt the seeds of the deep spirituality and the vitality of our church have been sown and have been taking root through a series of special circumstances. The fact that 88% of our communities come from ethnic groups; that the great majority of these live in situations of extreme poverty; and that very many are located in the areas that suffered the armed conflict, were persecuted, massacred, and displaced, is not a coincidence. Also today the poor, the simple, those that are least in the eyes of the great of the world continue to be the fertile soil upon which the seed of the Kingdom may fall and give abundant fruit. In the face of such portents the words of Jesus ceaselessly resonate with intense contemporary relevance: “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for you have shown to the simple the things that you have hidden from the wise and expert.”11 And that makes us feel close to and in perfect harmony with the primitive communities to whom Paul said, “God has called you in spite of the fact that few of you are wise by human criteria, and few are people with authority or belong to important families. God has chosen the scorned and unimportant of this world, that is, those who are nothing, in order to bring to naught those who are something. But God himself has united you with Jesus Christ and has also made Christ be our wisdom, our justice, our sanctification and our liberation.”12 The experience of poverty, of marginalization and of exclusion, moistened and fertilized by the blood shed by many of your grandfathers, your fathers, your relatives, in order to witness to the catholic faith, has prepared the fertile soil onto which the seeds of the Spirit have fallen and are bearing abundant fruit of joy, of liberty and of spiritual discernment. When we see the reality that we are living, we realize with great happiness and gratitude that everything that the New Testament and the letters of the Church Fathers tell us about the life of the Church in the first centuries is exactly what we are living now: the certainty of the living presence of Christ by means of the Spirit and the multiplying of marvellous signs that testify to the divine nearness and election, accompanied, nevertheless, by lack of understanding, by persecution and exclusion. This reality makes it seem that when we read what happened before we are reading what we are living now. And from this realization comes the certainty that we are maintaining continuity and unbreakable communion with the full Apostolic Tradition. 11 Matt. 11:25-26. 12 1 Cor. 1: 26, 28, 30.9.
FRUITS OF OUR ECCLESIASTIC EXPERIENCE.
When the Roman Catholic hierarchy declare us schismatic and broke communion with us, this certainty made us, far from being hesitant, angry or resentful, feel blessed as we identified our experience with that of the apostolic church when it was expelled from the synagogue.13 In the depth of our heart we have experienced, in addition to joy, a real freedom to speak clearly and comprehensively the testimony that the Spirit is inspiring us within, namely the testimony that we have the certainty of having been elected and of being upheld by the Lord.14 The one thing that has clouded our happiness is that in this act of rupture we see a sign of hardness and a lack of discernment that tries to close off the power of the Spirit that is renewing His church so that it may be today what it was in its beginnings.But even this very sadness has brought us closer to, more keenly aware of the apostolic roots, for it has made us identify ourselves with the feelings that Paul had toward the people of Israel, expressed in his letter to the Romans.15. This shared certainty has made all of us; with the exception of one community that had approached us more out of curiosity than faith, not only persevere in the alliance and in the communion but also continue to experience notable growth. At least a hundred new communities have united with us over the past year.
10. THE SACRAMENTALITY EXPERIENCED IN THE CHURCH
Notwithstanding all these signs of life and hope and the confidence that God is present in our midst and blesses us, the declaration made by the Roman Catholic hierarchy put us in a very difficult situation from the sacramental point of view. We are all aware that the flowering of life and of gifts, as well as the attraction that our communion exerts and its rapid growth, are strictly linked to the freedom in the Spirit that is alive in our communities, bringing joy and love toward everyone. We also recognize that the source from which all these gifts have come to us is the sacramental life, for we have centred our spirituality on the Eucharist.We cannot, however, understand sacra mentality in isolation from the whole life of the Church. Christ is the great sacrament by means of whom the Father communicates grace and new life to us.16 The Church is the sacrament of Christ, which, by means of her witness and ministry makes him present, to communicate his life by the pouring out of the Holy Spirit.17 It is in this context that we must understand the significance and the validity of the seven sacraments; for the outpouring of the Spirit, which is conveyed to us by each of them, comes from the Church as a single whole; and the gifts and ministries which are received are aimed at building up of the whole body, which is the Church herself. According to the Apostolic Tradition, the whole Church—one, holy, catholic and apostolic, in the sense in which we experience it and have explained it—is made really, efficaciously and sacramentally present in each local church.18 Moreover, the mystery of the Church as the whole Body of Christ is uniquely concrete and manifest in each local church, which at the same time is open to communion with other local churches in order to signify its catholic and ecumenical character.13 Cf. John 16:2. 14 Cf. Mark 10:30. 15 Cf. Romans 10. 16 Cf. Rom. 5:12. 17 Cf. Rom. 12:4-5; I Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 4:12; I Pet. 2:511.
THE CONFIGURATION AND DIMENSIONS OF THE LOCAL CHURCH.
Now then, in this letter the expression, “local church,” is to be understood as the People of God who in a particular region are organized as a communion of communities that professes the faith in accordance with the witness of the Holy Scriptures and the Confession or Ecumenical Creeds, that observes the liturgy of prayer and sacraments, recognizing as the culmination of its existence the celebration of the Eucharist, that gives witness of the Gospel as the fruit of experiencing the gifts of the Spirit from which come new life and the capacity to love, that recognizes the bishop as a visible sign of its unity, and that by this means is in communion with other local churches. The Church Fathers address this theme marvellously.With respect to the Eucharist as a moment in which the wondrous mystery of the unity of the whole Church is realized in the local church, Cyprian of Carthage, echoing the Didache and Ignatius of Antioch, said, “When the Lord calls bread, which is made of many grains of ground wheat, his body he indicates thereby the union of the whole Christian people whom he carries within himself. And when he calls the wine, which is a single drink but is made of many separate grapes, his blood he indicates thereby also that the flock that we form proceeds from a multitude changed into a unity.”19 Referring to the significance of the bishop, Ignatius of Antioch in his letter to the Christians of Smyrna said, “You must all follow the lead of the bishop, as Jesus Christ followed that of the Father, and follow the presbytery as you would the Apostles. … Let no one do anything touching the Church, apart from the bishop. Let that celebration of the Eucharist be considered valid which is held under the bishop or anyone to whom he has committed it. Where the bishop appears, there let the people be, just as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”20 And in the letter to the Magnesians, he adds, “Just as the Lord, being one with the Father, did nothing without Him, … so neither must you undertake anything without the bishop and the presbyters. At your meetings there must be one prayer, one mind, one hope in love, in joy that is flawless, that is Jesus Christ.”21 If any one of the five elements that identify the local church is lacking, its sacra mentality is seriously affected, and even, as the Fathers of the Church mention, even the validity or the actions that they carry out can be questioned. 18 Cf. 1 Cor. 1:2. 19 Cyprian Epist. 69, 5:2; cf. Epist. 63, 13:4; cf. Didache 9:4 and 10:5; cf. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Ephesios 20:2. 20 Letter to Smryna, 8-9, in The Epistles of St. Clement of Rome and St Ignatius of Antioch, tr. James A. Kleist (New York, c. 1946), p. 93. In the series, Ancient Christian Writers, vol. 1. 21 Letter to the Magnesians, 6-7. Op. cit. p. 71. In the first centuries the local church was almost exclusively identified by a geographic territory, for it was thought that a local church could exist only in a defined territory.22 Nevertheless, over time the concept of the local church has taken on new connotations with respect to territoriality. Emigrations, situations of persecution in certain places, the problem created by the break of the visible unity of the churches and, most recently, phenomena like human mobility and globalization have progressively brought it about that the concept of the local church, while maintaining a certain geographic connection, is used also to indicate the People of God which, organized as a communion of communities, live and are configured with all the characteristics of the local church, but is constructed in places where other churches already exist. This reality, which has been hard for many to accept and which in some cases has even been the object of virulent debates since some people consider it to be contrary to the church canon,23 has a historical justification in the diversity of rite, history, spirituality, theological tradition, etc., and it has a theological basis in a series of witnesses that we find especially in the Pauline epistles, in which there are glimpses of the fact that in the same place or region there were several local churches.24 As result, the phenomenon of the coexistence of local churches in shared territories came about. This situation has occurred, for example, in the case of the Orthodox Catholic and Roman Catholic churches of the Eastern rite, which upon going into exile have organized their local churches where there already existed other local churches. It happens also in the case of the Roman Catholics of the Eastern Rite, which coexist with Catholic Orthodox churches in territories where the latter have been established for many centuries and normally tend not to tolerate or recognize this coexistence. In other territories the coexistence of Roman Catholics with Anglican Catholic churches takes place. Furthermore this is the situation in which the independent local Catholic churches find themselves, which normally coexist territorially with Roman Catholic districts and sometimes with local churches of other denominations.
THE SITUATION IN FACE OF THE BREAK OF COMMUNION WITH THE ROMAN CATHOLIC HIERARCHY VATICAN II.
When the Roman Catholic hierarchy Vatican II continue to declare the break of communion with us as a catholic church, it was precisely the sacramental constitution of the church that inevitably put us into a situation in which, in order to guarantee that we maintain full ecclesiastical character and that we constitute ourselves in the local church as the sacramental presence of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, we had to begin “dialogues with other Catholic churches which, although not under the jurisdiction of the throne of Peter, nevertheless are capable of transmitting the apostolic succession.”25 Each of the steps that we have taken was made with the prior discernment of, consultation with and approval by our General Assembly of Delegates. The August 2006 Assembly approved the communiqué that we had worked out on the fifteenth of that month, and it was decided that as soon as the Roman Catholic hierarchy Vatican II made public the declaration of break of communion with us, we should begin contacts with independent communions of Catholic churches. 22 Cf. Canon VIII of the Council of Nicea. 23 Insofar as it was established in the Council of Nicea. (Cf. Cabib VIII). 24 Cf. Gal. 1:2, 22; I Thess. 2:14; 1 Cor. 16:1, 19; 2 Cor. 8:1. 25 Communication of August 15, 2006, N.7The Plenary Assembly of November, 2006, decided to intensify communication with the communions of independent Catholic churches, and that took place in the plenary of February, 2007. In the August the Assembly constituted in Extraordinary Synod, in view of the progress our inter-ecclesiastical dialogue had made, knowing that the establishment of communion with whatever union of independent Catholic churches with the prospect of receiving the apostolic succession, would imply that we have a bishop, it was appropriate and in complete accord with our basic statutes to elect the first bishop for our church. It turned out that this unworthy servant was elected. Then, as bishop elect, Catholic Bishop David Bell was charged to proceed with contacts in order to define the path that the Lord was calling us to follow. We had been in contact with the Catholics of the Utrecht Union since October 2006 and Catholic Orthodox churches. The smooth communication with them, as well as our agreement on matters of ecclesiology and the fundamentals of the life of faith, of sacraments and witness, led to me being invited to meet with the three bishops of the Union and with representatives of their council of theologians. In spite of the advanced stage of our communication, the problem of language and cultural difference made us decide to initiate contacts with the Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil, but without breaking our communication with the Orthodox & Utrecht, with the firm wish of continuing to make our relation and communion with the Union of Utrecht closer. As result of communication with the Catholic Church of Brazil, Archbishop James Atkinson-Wake was consecrated sacred Diocesan Bishop on 13 June 2006. The consecration took place in the Cathedral Church of Our Lady & Miraculous Medal, Brasilia Distro Federal, Brazil. Archbishop Bell was personally elevated to higher positions / office also by Patriarchal Bull and answerable directly to His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez. With these steps, our church will be fully constituted in sacrament whereby in reality and efficacy the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church becomes visible. Our new situation entails the commitment to work to achieve communion with other local churches, having as its goal to gain full and perfect historical union among all Christians in order to be able to share the same Eucharistic table. This will be possible when all the local churches, including us, fully discover the original character of the Apostolic Tradition.13.
ERRORS CONCERNING THE SACRAMENTAL VALIDITY OF THE EPISCOPACY.
It is important that we now reflect upon what, according to the one Apostolic Tradition, gives sacramental validity to an episcopal ordination and effectively establishes a local church as the sacramental presence of the one, holy, catholic, apostolic church. The first thing that we have to confront is the widespread error that the basic criterion of validity or at least of lawfulness of the ordination of a Bishop is that he be named by the Bishop of Rome, or Pope, with the consequence that the local bishop and the church he serves are subordinate to the Pope. This custom is based on the jurisdictional power that the Bishop of Rome progressively claimed for himself in order to act as Supreme Pontiff with absolute power over all the Church. Nevertheless, this innovation, introduced incrementally by the Church of Rome, is contrary to the witness of the Holy Scriptures, wherein it is clear that he who elects, and also gives the gifts needed for carrying out the ministry to which one is elected, is the Holy Spirit Himself, acting through the community that, being in prayer, is the body charged to make the discernment.26 This was the practice in the early church, for it is clear that it was the community’s responsibility to do the electing.27 This procedure began to be altered in the East in the fourth century when the Byzantine emperors began to intervene in the nomination with the aim of making the bishops faithful to them. In the West it was in the ninth century when Emperor Charlemagne claimed this role, the alleged reason being that the bishops named be apposite to the function. This procedure brought about serious problems, and at the beginning of the thirteenth century the Popes began to try to name the bishops directly. This became common practice in the fourteenth century, although in reality many times the Pope allowed kings, emperors or cathedral chapters to control the nomination if they would pay clerical salaries. This custom is only one of the many that were introduced in the Roman Church and that indicate its progressive break with the Apostolic Tradition. The break was consummated in the Constitutions of the First Vatican Council, which declared the universal jurisdiction of the Roman pontiff, and were subsequently codified in the 1917 and 1983 Codes of Canonical Law as previously mention within.This practice is reprehensible because (1) it contravenes fundamental principles of the Holy Scriptures and Tradition; (2) it has been the basic cause of the division and the schisms that have occurred in the Church for more than a thousand years, into our own time; and (3) it makes the Roman Catholic Church in practice function as the one and only diocese, a mega-diocese in which de facto the only residential bishop is the Bishop of Rome, for he has universal, absolute power, beyond all appeal, and as result all the other bishops have to perform a merely subordinate role and limit themselves to planning and implementing strictly pastoral and administrative tasks, such that the concept of “communion” is turned into a synonym of “submission” and the concept of “collegiality” effectively means “subordination.” With these innovations the Roman Catholic Church loses its original meaning and puts in question even its legitimacy and its capacity to carry out the mission that it received from the Lord, for it substantially distorts the charge and the mission that Jesus entrusted to the Apostle Peter.Another error concerning the validity of apostolic succession comes from a legalistic and, to a certain extent, magical way of thinking. Many people have tried to reduce the validity of episcopal ordination to the mere fact that there exists a supposed historical apostolic succession, that is, that a bishop is ordained by the laying on of the hands of bishops who, supposedly, in an uninterrupted line have been ordained by one of the apostles. In some cases it is even thought that accumulating various apostolic lines strengthens the validity. In these contexts the concept of validity is wielded like a power or a privilege that is received by someone who, in an autonomous and to a certain extent arbitrary way, can use it according to his pleasure and give it to whomever he wants or it suits him to give it to. This perspective is, however, totally contrary to the Apostolic Tradition for, although the historical succession is an indispensable element, its sacramental validity is subordinate to its being conferred within an ecclesial context that reflects what is witnessed in the New Testament and actualized in the early church. For the same reason, the historical succession, although it may come from multiple supposed apostolic lines lacks sacramental validity when it is conferred outside the framework of the elements required in the Apostolic Tradition. 26 Cf. 1 Tim. 4:14; Acts 1:12-26; 13:1-2; 14:23. 27 Cf. Didache 15:1.14.
THE LOCAL CHURCH AS THE PEOPLE OF GOD AND SACRAMENT OF THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH.
Having explained these mistakes, we now move on to see why the local church is the place where the Church is manifest sacramentally, what the role is that the various forms of ordained ministry have within the local church and what the criteria are by which sacramental validity is judged, both in the local church and also in the ordained ministries, specifically that of the bishop.For the Apostolic Tradition, the local church is the visible reality wherein the one, holy, catholic, apostolic Church, whose sacramental expression culminates in the Eucharistic celebration, makes itself present. In accord with the organization of the early church, one ought to recognize the local church as the People of God.28 This is structured in a synodical and participatory form, 29 with a diversity of gifts and ministries. Among these is to be found the ordained ministry, composed of deacons, priests and the bishop.30 The local church comprises more or less clearly a communion of communities.31 The principle characteristic of the local church is the equality of all its members.32 The parable of the day-workers is a magnificent illustration of this equality.33 The basis of the equality is the fact that all the members have received the same worth on being consecrated as a priestly people34 and all have been made sons and heirs, to live in freedom.35 Each one has received the unction of the Holy Spirit, and therefore, against those who try to impose doctrines and practices on the community, John proclaims, “So much for those who would mislead you. But as for you, the initiation which you have received from him stays with you; you need no other teacher, but learn all you need to know from his initiation, which is real and no illusion. As he taught you, then dwell in him.”36The ministry ordained by the local church is never to be understood as something that is above the community but as a gift that, bestowed by the Holy Spirit, 37 is recognized by the community 38 and exists to serve and build up the community.39 For this reason, the ministry has to be exercised with humility and with no intention of imposing its own tastes or criteria or of trying to create uniformity in place of the unity created by the Spirit, or of trying to supplant the direct action of Christ Himself. John, on having told us of the Last Supper, which is the reference point commonly accepted as the basis for the ordained ministry, ignores the cultic aspect connected with the memorial of bread and wine—on which the synoptic Gospels are centred—and limits himself to presenting to us the washing of feet, which symbolizes the attitude, required in the ordained ministry of peeling away every occasion for pride and exercising extreme humility. And as the synoptics insist that the memorial be repeated, so John insists that this deed is the model of the attitude with which the ministry is to be exercised. “You call me ‘Master’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Then if I, your Lord, have washed your feet, you ought also to wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example: you are to do as I have done for you.40 28 Cf. Rom. 1:6-7; 1 Cor. 1:2; Rev. 21:3. 29 Cf. Acts 15:6-22. 30 Cf. Acts 6:1-7; 11:30; 20:28; Phil. 1:1; I Tim. 3:1-8; 5:17. 31 Cf. Gal. 1:2. 32 Cf. 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:28. 33 Cf. Matt. 19:30—20:16. 34 Cf. 1 Pet. 2:9ff. 35 Cf. Gal. 4:28—5:1.
15. THE MEANING OF FAITH OF THE CHURCH, MANIFESTED AND WORKING IN THE LOCAL CHURCH
The active presence of the Spirit in the members of the Church enables the community in its wholeness, and not just each believer in isolation, to develop an extraordinary capacity for knowing and discerning the truth. In theology this capability is called “sensus fidelium” or “sensus fidei ecclesiae,” which can be translated as the “sense of the People of God.” This sense of faith, this perceptive understanding is not the privilege of a group of leaders or a hierarchy, but is a gift that belongs to all the community. It is the principle of basic discernment. It is what permits the creating of a consensus and it is also the basis for empowering the local church so that it may take on responsibilities, carry out its choices and hold elections. Over the course of church history, the recognition of the “sense of faith” has played a very important role. For example, when the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Jesus Christ, was supported by many, many bishops, it was the People of God who, with their sense of faith, made the witness prevail that the Spirit laid on their hearts and that affirmed the divinity of the Lord. Something similar happened in the Council of Ephesus, when it proclaimed faith in the fact that Jesus Christ is true God and true man. For that reason Augustine of Hippo placed greater value on the Church’s sense of faith than on the arguments that the theologians could give.41In spite of the enormous importance that this dimension has in the Apostolic Tradition, the process of clericalization and then centralization caused the recognition of the importance of “sense of the people of God” to lose its relevance, and become reduced to a mere theological concept that is explained in a more or less artificial form. For the same reason, space for expression and participation in the actual life of the local church became closed to the People of God in the attempt to reduce them to the status of more or less submissive and passive receivers of the arrangements made by the hierarchy on pain of being accused of insubordination and lack of humility and of undergoing marginalization and persecution and eventually of being expelled from the institution. 36 1 John 2:26-27. 37 Cf. Acts 20:28. 38 Cf. 1 Tim. 4:14; Acts 1:12-26. 39 Cf. Eph. 4:11-13. 40 John. 13:13-15. 41 Cf. Augustine, Contra Julianum 1, 29 and 31.
16. THE ELECTION OF THE BISHOP HAS THE RIGHT AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH
The capacity, coming directly from the Holy Spirit, to discern, to create consensus, to experience the unity and to celebrate the faith through prayer and the sacraments is what makes each local church to be a true sacrament in which the totality of the Church is manifest and it is the basis of the rights and responsibilities that the local church has. Among the rights and responsibilities the election of its own bishop occupies a very great place. This ministry, given by the Lord as a gift, among the other charismas, ought to be discerned and recognized by the local church. It is for this reason that this practice cannot be regarded only as a procedure that, as we explained above, was practiced in the first millennium, but that, given the solid basis that it has in Holy Scripture and in the sacramental constitution of the Church as a priestly people, ought to be rediscovered and re-established as an integral part of the Apostolic Tradition wherever it has been lost. For this reason, we consider that the first criterion for the legitimacy and apostolic validity of the episcopacy is that it be the local church, comprising the People of God organized as a communion of communities, together with its ordained ministers and, acting participatorily and synodically in a climate of prayer and discernment, carries out the election. In such circumstances the task of the local church is that of recognizing, on basis of its sense of faith, which of the ordained ministers is the one to whom the Lord has chosen and given the grace to exercise the episcopacy. If this first criterion is eliminated, it is our sense that all the other steps are like castles in the air, because an original and essential element of the Apostolic Tradition has been violated.
17. DIMENSIONS OF THE TRANSMISSION OF THE APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION
After this first step and continuing to reckon with the discernment and consensus of all the People of God, an effort is made to have the election, duly performed by the local church, recognized and ratified by the other local churches that are its neighbours. Through this process, the tie to the historical episcopacy is made real and actual. This process is generally known by the generic term, “apostolic succession.” It means having the elected bishop ordained by a college of bishops that, in turn, have been ordained by other bishops and whose origins claim to go back to the apostles themselves. The Tradition generally recognized that this function was appropriately served by the college of bishops that, consisting of nearby bishops and presided over by the metropolitan (who was also called primate bishop or archbishop) constituted the ecclesiastical province in which the respective local church was found.43 Through the recognition and ratification of the election and the subsequent ordination, the one elected entered the episcopal college and in this way the meaning of the Catholic and ecumenical communion of the local church was signified. For the participation of the local church’s bishop in the episcopal college became the means by which it entered into communion with other churches and shared the concern for the Church universal.Over the course of history, the Orthodox Catholic Churches and the Anglican Catholics have preserved the synodical organization and authority of the college. The Church of Rome, however, introduced innovations that have suppressed the capacity of the episcopal college to act effectively. We believe that, in order to propel the reestablishment of the Apostolic Tradition among the Catholic churches of the West, the Lord has raised up colleges of Catholic bishops, organized in various communions of churches, who have re-established the apostolic practice. Among these the two most relevant are: the Union of Churches of Old Catholics of Utrecht, which is the oldest, and with which, as we explained, we maintain a close relation that, because of the concord that we found with them, we hope to continue deepening, and the Communion of Catholic Apostolic Churches, presided by the Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil, which is the most numerous and with which, as also mentioned, we have sealed full and perfect communion and from which we receive the historical apostolic succession.As result, our conviction is that in order to establish the historical chain of apostolic succession it is not enough that one or several bishops with supposed apostolic lineage lay their hands on a candidate. We believe that it is indispensable that the election be carried out by a local church in accordance with its constitution, and afterwards that this be recognized and ratified by the appropriate college of bishops, and that the candidate begin the process of incorporation into that episcopal college in order then to proceed to his ordination. If any of these steps is omitted the historical chain of apostolic succession loses its full genuine meaning. And if any basic element within the process of transmission of the historical apostolic succession be lacking, it is seriously questionable whether the historical chain of apostolic succession is truly established. 43 Cf. Canon IV, 1 Council of Nicea.
18. THE “RECEPTION” ON THE PART OF THE LOCAL CHURCH
We consider the other indispensable element in the process of implementing the full Apostolic Tradition consists of the local church’s “reception” of the elected bishop. In our specific case this element implies two things. First and above all, the joyful acceptance, on the part of the totality of the People of God that form our church, of the episcopal election carried out by the delegates who participated in the July Synod. Second, it involves awareness and happy acceptance of the fact that, the episcopal election having been recognized and ratified by the full Council of Bishops of the Society and then the episcopal ordination having been celebrated by them, we are entering into communion with other local churches. Then, on being a fully constituted local church, we receive the capacity to be the sacrament and presence of the totality of the Catholic Church. This further means that while we maintain our identity and autonomy intact we take on the promise of prayer and of concern for the wellbeing of the whole Church Universal.
19. IMPLEMENTING THE APOSTOLIC TRADITION WITH CARE
As is clear to everyone, during the course of our process of discernment we have tried to adhere faithfully and carefully to each of the three criteria that, from the perspective of the Apostolic Tradition, give sacramental validity to the local church and to the ordination of its bishop. For we are fully convinced that what justifies our existence and will assure that we shall continue to grow and to ferment renewal will be our readiness and commitment to serve the goal that all the elements and characteristics that comprise the genuine, complete Apostolic Tradition be rediscovered and re-established. That means, full of the Holy Spirit and living in free, pluralist and inclusive communities, we may succeed in our mode of organizing and living as the Church to take shape in all ways to which the Scriptures witness and according to which the indivisible Church lived. To that end we believe that we ought to continue on the road along which the Lord has guided us up to now, for he has given us signs and experiences that give us certainty that we are in full catholic and apostolic communion. But it is also required of us that with profound humility we be continuously converted and renewed so that, our old self being peeled away, we may be able to discover and transmit, with ever greater clarity, the inestimable treasures of his Kingdom.
20. TIME OF GRACE FOR OUR CHURCH: OUR ECUMENICAL COMMITMENT
We see the moment in which we are living as “God’s Time—a time of special grace for us.” For on being constituted sacramentally as a local church in which is manifest and made real the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, symbolized by the presence of the bishop and by the link with other local churches, we can experience, at least spiritually, the ecumenical and catholic communion. Equally we recognize our commitment to work tirelessly so that, the original meaning of ordained ministry, of the episcopal ministry in general and of the Petrine ministry in particular being rediscovered, it may be possible to obtain the desired historical unity in and through pluralism, diversity, respect and in the knowledge of the worth, identity, special characteristics and functions of each local church.This implies that the Bishop of Rome, as successor of the Apostle Peter, re-establish fully the characteristics and talents of the ministry that Christ gave him in order to preside in love 44 and that he resume that style of ministerial practice, which the indivisible church recognized in him during the first millennium, of being first among equals, without diminishing the autonomy that Christ conferred upon 45 and the Apostolic Tradition recognized for each local church. It also entails that each of the local churches and the collegial bodies to which they are joined be open to recognize that Christ is the only Lord and true Shepherd of his Church and that by the Holy Spirit he continues being the master who teaches and effectively guides the whole church,46 according to which what behoves us who are ordained ministers, independently of the rank that our ministry has, is to embody radically the attitude of Christ who, “though the divine nature was his from the start, did not think to snatch at equality with God, but made himself nothing, assuming the nature of a slave.”47 And who taught us clearly that he who receives a ministry within the Church, in contrast to what happens in the world, “… must serve others, and whoever among you wants to be first must be the willing slave of all—like the Son of Man; he did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give up his life as a ransom for many.”48
21. IMPLICATIONS OF OUR ECUMENICAL COMMITMENT
From the vantage point of our poverty and small size, we see ourselves in communion with the whole Church and feel ourselves called to pray, to be concerned for and to love every human being and all of creation. Therefore we say with St. Augustine, “Those who tell us, ‘You are not our brethren,’ call us pagans. … And they ask us, ‘Why are you looking for us, what do you want with us?’ Let us reply, ‘Ye are our brethren.’ They may say, ‘Go away, we have no connection with you,’ but we have an undoubted connection with you: we make confession of one and the same Christ, we ought to be in one Body. … Therefore we pray … for those who are carnal-minded, who are yet our brethren, who celebrate the same holy mysteries … who make answer with the same Amen, identical though not in our company; pour forth to God the quintessence of your charity on their behalf.”49 As concrete manifestation of this love and communion, in the culminating moment of our life, that is, the moment when, on celebrating the Eucharist, our church is actualized as sacrament of the whole Church, we have chosen to sustain our explicit prayer for the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, for all other bishops, for ordained ministers and for those who, from their convictions, care for the People of God, which, in a more or less explicit form, comprises the entire humanity redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. This prayer, spoken in such a sublime moment, is to be a sign of the importance we see in our commitment to work with boldness and resoluteness toward the goal that the communion of all churches and all humanity, which, by the witness of the Spirit, is for us a spiritual reality, move progressively toward and finally reach its historical fullness in which, within the knowledge of the autonomy of each local church, a visible unity is manifest as we are chaired in love by the Bishop of Rome, successor of the Apostle Peter, as the first among equals. 44 Cf. John 21:15-19; Ignatius of Antioch, Prologue of the Letter to the Romans. 45 Cf. Matt. 18:18. 46 Cf. Matt. 23:9, John 14:16; 14:26; 15:26 and 16:7. 47 Phil. 2:6-7. 48 Matt. 20:26-28.