Do Anglicans Have a Valid Eucharist?

 by Dr. Taylor Marshall

Here’s the short answer: No, Anglicans or Episcopalians (the tradition deriving from Henry VIII’s Church of England) do not have a valid Eucharist. This question was settled by His Holiness Pope Leo XIII in his papal bull Apostolicae Curae on the nullity of Anglican orders, issued 18 September, 1896.

There are two reasons for the nullity of Anglican Holy Orders. After explaining these two reasons, I’ll respond to the objection that Anglicans/Episcopalians have since “revitalized” their Apostolic Succession through the intervention of schismatic bishops of the Old Catholic/Orthodox/Polish National Catholic communities.

There are two reasons for the invalidity of Anglican Orders and Eucharist:

First Reason Against Anglican Eucharist: Invalid Form of Priestly Ordination

In 1550, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (a convinced Protestant) changed the ordination rite for bishops, priests, and deacons. Sacerdotal language was removed and the Roman form was abolished. Without valid bishops, you don’t have valid priests. Without valid priests, you don’t have valid Eucharists. If you don’t have valid Eucharists, you don’t have the Real Presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

Here’s the timeline for understanding the decline of the Catholic priesthood in England:1533 King Henry VIII entered into formal schism with the Catholic Church

1535 King Henry VIII punishes Saint John Fisher and Saint Thomas More with martyrdom.

1547 King Henry VIII died

After the king’s death, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (a Catholic bishop who had been secretly married) immediately began Protestantizing the Church of England that King Henry VIII had severed from Rome.

In 1547, Peter Martyr Vermigli (a former Augustinian priest who married and became Protestant) and Bernardino Ochino (a former Franciscan priest who married and became Protestant) were both invited to England by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, and given a pension of forty marks by the crown.

In 1548 the Protestantized Vermigli was appointed Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford.

In 1549 Vermigli took part in a great disputation on the Eucharist. Here, Luther’s doctrine of sacramental union of the bread and Christ (sometimes called consubstantiation) was publicly denied. Vermigli instead endorsed the Calvinistic teaching that the Real Presence of Christ was conditioned by the subjective faith of the recipient. For Vermigli, Christ was not objectively present in the Eucharist at all.

In 1549, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer rejected the Latin Mass. Thomas Cranmer invited the arch-Protestant Martin Bucer and Peter Martyr Vermigli to advise him in the liturgies of the Church of England. Cranmer composed his own vernacular liturgies. The Mass came to be called the service of “Holy Communion.”

In 1550, Cranmer changed the Ordinal – the Ordination rite for the Church of England. This is the official date by which Holy Orders ceased in England.

1553-1558 Queen Mary restored Catholicism to England (along with valid clergy and all seven valid sacraments). Mary had Archbishop Cranmer burned at the stake as a heretic.

1559 Queen Elizabeth I re-issued Archbishop Thomas Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer with it’s faulty ordination rites and liturgies.

It is clear to all that the liturgy influenced and produced by Vermigli, Bucer, Ochino, and Cranmer was a flat out rejection of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. These are the same liturgies officially adopted by Anglicans to this day. While there have been modifications over time (eg 1928 BCP and the Scottish BCPs), they are essentially the same rites with the same theology.

Second Reason Against Anglican Eucharist: Invalid Form of Priestly Intent

The 39 Articles are still the doctrinal formulary of Anglicanism. It is a public document. All clergy in the Church of England had to swear to the 39 Articles which officially rejected transubstantiation. American Episcopalians claim that they don’t necessarily make this vow, but it’s assumed since the document is appended to the ordination rite. The Anglican formulary which all Anglican clerics affirmed reads:

Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions. {Here they vainly claim that “transubstantiation” overthrows the sacrament – that’s rather strong language!}

The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper, is Faith.

The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not by Christ’s ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped. {Notice this forbids the use of tabernacles, monstrances, and Eucharistic processions}

This is a public document expressing the beliefs of Anglicans. It thereby expresses the intent of the minister when he confects the sacrament. Many Anglican priests reject this doctrine of the 39 Articles (they call themselves Anglo-Catholics), but that doesn’t much matter. A public document containing a public heresy must be publicly repudiated and disavowed. Yet, if one were to do this, he would not longer be Anglican. He’d be an independent Catholic claiming to have Holy Orders. Until an Anglican priest makes this public disavowal of heresy, he is still submitting to it and cooperating with it. Moreover, most Anglo-Catholic priests tolerate these public errors as espoused by their bishops and brother clergy.

A real Catholic would perceive the words of the 39 Articles as a grave and public crime against the Kingship of Christ. The 39 Articles are a blasphemous denial of transubstantiation and also of the revered doctrine that the Eucharist should be reserved or lifted up. A real Catholic would publicly recant of these errors. Anglo-Catholics, instead, wink at the Anglican error regarding the most Blessed Sacrament and pretend that they have everything in common with Catholic priests. The truth is that the Book of Common Prayer was built and structured to frame the Calvinistic theology of Cranmer, Bucer, and Vermigli. A false theology that holds that Christ is not objectively present in the Blessed Sacrament.

What about the claim of a “revitalized” Anglican Apostolic Succession?

Now then, there are Anglo-Catholic priests that have received valid ordinations by dissenting Catholic bishops and who openly profess belief in transubstantiation. Is their Mass valid? Perhaps. Yet many of these priests openly concelebrate with “women priests” or allow “women deacons” to serve their liturgies. This alone reveals that they do not believe in the Catholic doctrine of the priesthood and Eucharist. The orthodox doctrine of Holy Order prohibits the ordination of women to any degree of Holy Orders (even to the ministerial diaconate).

Those Anglo-Catholics who do not compromise by serving alongside women clerics are still living a double life. Even if a man were validly ordained and had proper intent to consecrate and sacrifice, his willingness to consecrate the Body and Blood of Christ apart from the Holy Father in Rome renders every consecration as an act of schism. While the Mass is itself valid and glorifying to God, it is still a sacrilege for the priest who celebrates it. Think of a Catholic priest. If the priest is in mortal sin, he commits sacrilege, but his Mass is valid.

The Catholic priesthood and the Eucharist were never meant to be severed apart from the Pope and the local Catholic bishop. As Saint Ignatius of Antioch said, where the Catholic bishop is, there is the Catholic Church.

Summary

The Church of England officially denied the sacerdotal and sacrificial priesthood of the Catholic Church including her belief in transubstantiation. This is seen today in the Anglican belief that women can be validly ordained. This entails that Anglicanism does not and never has enjoyed a valid priesthood. Even if there are rare exceptions, it would be objectively evil for such priests to celebrate the Mass while being in schism with the Holy Father of Rome.

Consolation for Anglican Clergy

Having been an Anglican clergyman, I was uncomfortable with the teach of Apostolicae Curae and it’s conclusion that Anglican Orders were utterly null and void. Pope Leo XIII offers these comforting words to those Anglican clerics who make the difficult and burdensome decision to repudiate their ministry and enter in to the Catholic Church. The Pope promises that they will receive a special hope and reward on the Last Day. This is the beautiful conclusion to Apostolicae Curae:

39. We wish to direct our exhortation and our desires in a special way to those who are ministers of religion in their respective communities. They are men who from their very office take precedence in learning and authority, and who have at heart the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Let them be the first in joyfully submitting to the divine call and obey it, and furnish a glorious example to others.

Assuredly, with an exceeding great joy, their Mother, the Church, will welcome them, and will cherish with all her love and care those whom the strength of their generous souls has, amidst many trials and difficulties, led back to her bosom. Nor could words express the recognition which this devoted courage will win for them from the assemblies of the brethren throughout the Catholic world, or what hope or confidence it will merit for them before Christ as their Judge, or what reward it will obtain from Him in the heavenly kingdom! And we, ourselves, in every lawful way, shall continue to promote their reconciliation with the Church in which individuals and masses, as we ardently desire, may find so much for their imitation. In the meantime, by the tender mercy of the Lord our God, we ask and beseech all to strive faithfully to follow in the path of divine grace and truth.

May our separated Anglican brothers and sisters find a comfortable home in the bosom of Holy Mother the Church. We should pray and fast for them to receive these special graces. Moreover, we should be kind and patient as they come into the Catholic Church.

ad Jesum per Mariam,

Taylor Marshall, PhD

About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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32 Responses to Do Anglicans Have a Valid Eucharist?

  1. Sixupman says:

    “Anglo-Catholic” is a term which, at one time, carried some status. They, then, produced a missal in all respects the equivalent of the pre-1962 TLM Missal except that it was in the vernacular. The pope was referred to as Primus Inter Pares and there was no imprimatur, such were the only indications it was not Catholic. Many Anglo-Catholic clergy used Latin and had Benediction and Confession available. Their churches were almost indistinguishable from out own.

    Come Vatican II, the [true] Anglo-Catholic community also became contaminated and what remains is but a shadow of its former self.

    As to the validity of the Sacrament – then, who knows, now highly doubtful.

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  2. Frere Rabit says:

    My warmest congratulations and appreciation, Dr Taylor Marshall, for what is surely the most succinct summary of this vexed question I have ever read, presented with great charity and a desire to help Christians on both sides of the Tiber to see the problem clearly.

    As one who has (infamously) swum the Tiber three times – and by the grace of God not washed up drowned on the beach at Ostia – I have suffered more confusion and angst over the validity of Anglican orders and Eucharist than anyone deserves in one lifetime! I am now content to take a back seat as a Catholic and quietly get on with my job as a secular teacher in a secondary school. I have come to the conclusion that thousands of words are wasted every day arguing about the nature of true faith and Christian practice, and every time I am tempted to add to this noise I should repent of my nonsense. Life is too short.

    If only things could be expressed with simplicity in the way you have done above, and the chattering classes could leave the dialogue to men and women who can do likewise, we would all be better off.

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  3. kathleen says:

    Hi Frere Rabit, nice to see you here again!
    Perhaps as a back seat Catholic (as I see myself too), quietly getting on with your life, you are right where Our Lord wants you to be. Not everyone can be on the “front firing line ;-)”.

    ——-

    My mother converted from Anglicanism when she was very young. Once she was certain of the Truth, she let nothing stop her from becoming Catholic – a decision she always said was the best thing she ever did in her life – although she had to overcome many difficulties and a lot of criticism in the process. Her family came from what she called “High Church” Anglicanism, which in appearance is so similar to Catholicism, but without validly ordained priests is, in my mother’s words, “no more than the nut without the kernel”.

    I do honestly believe though, that good sincere Anglicans who think they are receiving the Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in their “Holy Communion” services, and do so reverently and prayerfully, are bestowed with special graces. God would see their good intentions and desires, and would surely bless them.

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  4. JabbaPapa says:

    I have to agree, the article is excellent !!!

    I have one extremely minor quibble :

    The orthodox doctrine of Holy Order prohibits the ordination of women to any degree of Holy Orders (even to the ministerial diaconate).

    I agree with the intention here, and this is in practical terms the truth — but only because Catholic women deacons were NOT in the ministerial diaconate as such, even though they were actually ordained into Holy Orders per se — also, the ordination of women deacons has technically only been suspended, under a moratorium ; not “prohibited” in the full extent of that word (there is no doctrine forbidding the ordination of women deacons).

    But the intent of the author is correct, notwithstanding ; because it IS prohibited to ordain a woman into the ministerial diaconate as such — women deacons had an entirely different vocation, and it is far from certain that such vocations are even imaginable in the contemporary Church.

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  5. The Raven says:

    Jabba

    One of the early Councils (I forget which) was clear that deaconesses were to be numbered among the laity and not the ordained.

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  6. JabbaPapa says:

    One of the early Councils (I forget which) was clear that deaconesses were to be numbered among the laity and not the ordained.

    I’ve had this discussion too many times and looked into the relevant materials too many times, Raven.

    That statement was NOT definitive, and it referred to the women deacons of one particular sect ONLY, when it was returning into full communion, because their ordinations of those women were not considered as valid.

    The provisions concerning the ordination of women deacons were provided at a later date.

    And don’t get me started on the extremely short History of women priests between 2nd and 5th centuries, until Pope Gelasius I forbade the ordination of women into the priesthood in March 494. (YES they were “‘second-class” priests, if any Anglican out there is interested)

    None of this alters the fact that the consecration of women deacons was (and, technically, *is*) a Sacrament of Order ; nor the fact that the women deacons did NOT participate in the ministerial diaconate as such (except, I would presume, in a very tertiary manner).

    The women deacons could preach and they rendered many other services outside of the Mass, but they did NOT participate in the Liturgy of Sacrifice. I would *guess* that they participated in one way or another in the other Liturgies of the Mass, but this would be a matter for each individual Bishop at the time, not something for internet bloggers 600+ years after the fact.

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  7. JabbaPapa says:

    Me : because their ordinations of those women were not considered as valid

    oh … for some weird purely technical reason, that I can’t remember off the top of my head, BTW …

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  8. ellen says:

    Wow–and I thought I was a “real Catholic”! In my opinion, this sort of rejecting intellectualism isn’t what Jesus came to bring us. He came that we might have life, and have it abundantly, the Word says. Isn’t there a tone that may be struck among all our sad divisions that simply says “Come, follow Me”? Then we follow with eyes directed forward, and trust God to sort it out? A ‘real’ Catholic should be so immersed in trying to love and to mirror Christ’s love, that there is no time for this “you are not valid!” type of mentality.
    Oh, and by my own standard, I fully admit I am not a “real” Catholic. I will try harder, starting today, with God’s help!!

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  9. The Raven says:

    Jabba

    I think that you have in mind the reconciliation of the Docetists – all of whose ordinations were invalid.

    The right of consecration of deaconesses did not involve the laying on of hands (we have this from an early Rituale), it was of a different nature to the ordination of deacons.

    I remain firmly under the impression that there is little or no evidence of women “priests” in the early Church (beyond certain interpretations of early inscriptions that rely heavily in wish fulfilment and lack of knowledge of Greek). Is this not the case?

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  10. JabbaPapa says:

    I think that you have in mind the reconciliation of the Docetists – all of whose ordinations were invalid.

    I honestly can’t remember if it was the Docetists, but I think you’re right — their priests and deacons needed to be re-ordained, and their women deacons were pure and simple laicised.

    (One needs to remember that the last woman deacon died in about 16th century, though possibly late 15th)

    The right of consecration of deaconesses did not involve the laying on of hands (we have this from an early Rituale), it was of a different nature to the ordination of deacons.

    AFAIK you’re wrong on the first point, right on the second.

    Yes the ordination was of a different nature.

    They were not ordained for any sacrificial ministry whatsoever.

    I remain firmly under the impression that there is little or no evidence of women “priests” in the early Church (beyond certain interpretations of early inscriptions that rely heavily in wish fulfilment and lack of knowledge of Greek). Is this not the case?

    🙂

    You’re wrong.

    Let’s nonetheless start out here by restating that the doctrine that only men may be ordained into the priesthood has been provided with a Charism of irrevocable infallibility by Popes Gelasius I, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI.

    There are a few things to understand about the doctrine, that are non-obvious :

    1) It expressly forbids bishops from ordaining women into the priesthood, so that it is a doctrine for the Episcopate specifically (though the clarifications of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI provide that all Catholics must infallibly affirm and defend this Episcopal obligation)

    2) It did NOT invalidate any previous nor existing ordinations, effected prior to March 494

    3) It is completely silent on the question of women deacons

    As for the very VERY tiny numbers of women ordained as priests between about 2nd and 5th centuries, well —

    They were in every scenario imaginable and in every way possible religiously inferior to every single male priest.

    Their ONLY purpose was to provide Eucharistic Communion and the other basic Sacraments in some places so isolated from everywhere that no full priest was available.

    At a time when celibacy was entirely optional, these women were subjected to the most extensive sexual restrictions that I have ever seen — the simple fact of being discovered alone and in private with a strange man was punishable by FORMAL excommunication and defrocking; for reasons of heresy and apostasy (!!!)

    No woman priest was permitted to give Mass in the presence of a male priest, and instead she had to order herself among the laity for any Mass given by a male colleague (I would assume that exceptions to this existed during the training period).

    Any woman priest discovered to be pregnant was punishable by FORMAL excommunication and defrocking; for reasons of heresy and apostasy, as above.

    … and so on and so forth …

    Not exactly consonant with the current secular “equality” taboo, eh ? !!!

    In the contemporary Church, their powers and prerogatives as priests could be viewed as just about equivalent as those of some 75-90 year-old put out to pasture in some tiny parish somewhere out in the sticks — except MINUS the right to act either as curate or to say any Masses in the presence of any real priest from a different parish.

    I mean — basically, they were like some sort of super-deacons with the right to give Masses i the absence of a priest, and with some extremely draconian requirements of sexual morality added on top.

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  11. JabbaPapa says:

    oh, no married woman could be ordained, nor any woman with any children, sorry forgot that one in my list.

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  12. JabbaPapa says:

    Oh, no women deacons could be ordained either, if married or with children, was forgetting that this is one of the few provisions in common — though the sexual taboos on womezn deacons were nowhere near so drastic, unless they were religious, not laity..

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  13. The Raven says:

    Jabba

    What evidence are you relying on?

    As far as I am aware, Pope Gelasius reconfirmed the orthodox position that women may not be ordained in the face of gnostic sects that did claim to ordain women. The only other references we have are to priests’ wives (“presbytera”) on some few inscriptions that have been claimed by the WO movement.

    Please enlighten me!

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  14. JabbaPapa says:

    I only found my references by sheer accident, and doubt that I can find them again.

    In fact, Pope Gelasius I forbade the ordination of women because some Bishops had been ordaining some women. This was a (rare and unusual) phenomenon in the Eastern Church principally.

    It took around a century or so for the general opposition to this practice to be materialised in the form of a Papal declaration on the subject.

    The pope’s letter is rather a cracker, it’s positively seething with indignation !!!

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  15. The Raven says:

    Jabba

    The relevant part of the epistle of Gelasius at 14 26 reads: “Nevertheless we have heard to our annoyance that divine affairs have come to such a low state that women are encouraged to officiate at the sacred altars, and to take part in all matters imputed to the offices of the male sex, to which they do not belong.”

    I am not entirely sure that this is even properly read as referring to ordinations. In addition, the instruction was addressed to a small number of diocese, rather than the universal Church, suggesting that whatever had gone on was geographically limited; the innovation of a district rather than the praxis of the Church.

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  16. JabbaPapa says:

    You are correct that it was a very restricted phenomenon — and I’m sorry that I am unable to link to any other of the relevant documents, nor historical analyses, by virtue of no longer having any idea where they are located (I did try, once, to relocate them — and failed dismally, so it’s not for want of trying). It was an extremely marginal phenomenon, restricted mainly to the Eastern Provinces of the Church, with a smattering of cases in North Africa and Southern Europe.

    There is a late 4th/early 5th century document concerning women deacons especially — that also includes some very brief description of the restrictions upon the women priests, whilst simultaneously expressing grave doubts about the validity of such priests, and clearly alluding to the possibility that such ordinations might eventually be universally forbidden. If I remember the contents of that document correctly, that is. That is where my description of the rather extreme religious and personal restrictions that they were subjected to comes from.

    (If I had known at the time that I was able to consult these materials that I’d occasionally spend some time discussing them, I would not have lost all trace of them, sorry for that — I was actually looking for information on the history of women deacons, and only stumbled upon this rather **astonishing** historical oddity by sheer accident)

    Notwithstanding that the Pope’s instruction was indeed provided to that tiny minority of bishops and dioceses that you mention, it is still his letter which is the first document to explicitly and formally condemn and forbid the ordination of women by Bishops, and it constitutes the historical basis for the establishment of the Catholic doctrine.

    The issue was that prior to that, each separate Bishop had the right to exercise personal sovereignty in this matter, among the other areas of episcopal sovereignty. Most of the separate Provinces and Orders of the Church had already ruled against the ordination of women at the time, so that the great majority of Bishops already had no authority to do so — however certain individual Bishops and certain individual Provinces were not subjected to those rulings, and therefore could exercise their own sovereignty in this matter.

    The reason why the debate on the question took so long, nearly 200 years, to resolve is that it was also a question of episcopal sovereignty, and some local bishops were not only reluctant to agree with the general position on the question, but they were also resistant to being dictated to by the Councils and the Pope.

    The doctrinal debate, of which only some remnants and associated declarations have physically survived, was eventually won by the European Bishops, who were strongly opposed to these ordinations, with the support of a large majority of the Eastern ones. This letter by the Pope put a final end to the debate, and he established that all Bishops everywhere are completely unable to ordain any women into the priesthood.

    The quarrel over the question of women priests had dragged on from the beginning of the 4th century til the end of the 5th, until it was finally ended by the Pope. It is very unclear when that very minority practice had started, my guess would be somewhere around 3rd century — but it was not until the early 4th century that the numbers of such ordinations had grown to the point where it turned into a religious debate in the Church as a whole.

    The VAST majority of priests, Bishops, and Faithful were by the way strongly opposed to the ordination of women to the priesthood during the entirety of the period when it was a live debate in the 4th and 5th centuries — just as during 20th and 21st centuries, when the debate was briefly reignited.

    (The Pope’s letter is a lot more entertaining in the original than the translation BTW, if you have enough knowledge of Late Latin to make better sense of it)

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  17. kathleen says:

    Excuse me butting in here Raven and Jabba 😉

    But in answer to Ellen @ 15:39 yesterday:

    Ellen, you don’t make it very clear what you actually mean by saying you are not a “real” Catholic. Have you been baptised into the Catholic Church? Or are you a convert perhaps? (Baptism in most Protestant churches is recognised as a valid Sacrament BTW, but the catechumen would then need to be Confirmed into the Catholic Church to be able to call themselves a Catholic.) In so doing, this “soon-to-be Catholic” is confirming and upholding the whole Doctrine and Teaching of the Catholic Church. Then you could say, he/she is a “real” Catholic.

    Other than the Orthodox churches (and other “Catholic” churches under the Pope, but not Roman Catholic), all remaining Christians are “Protestants”, i.e. they have at some point of their history “protested” against certain dogmas or parts of the Catholic Church’s Doctrine. As I’m sure you are well aware, Protestantism covers a wide spectre of Christian thinking; some like the Anglicans nowadays being fairly similar in their beliefs to Catholics, and others, e.g. Anabaptists, being very far removed.

    The Anglicans who call themselves “Anglo Catholic” especially, do certainly hold many beliefs and similarities to (Roman) Catholicism, but they are still in schism over the fundamental question of authority and cannot be called “real” Catholics. In order to remain faithful to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, many holy martyrs over the centuries lost their lives rather than submit to “a false teaching” (1 Timothy 6:3). This is the reason the Anglican orders are considered null and void, because the Anglicans under Henry VIII (or his offspring), either voluntarily or by force, turned away from Christ’s Vicar on Earth (i.e., the Pope) and the Catholic Church.

    That does not imply non-Catholics are either “in sin” (as this would be a question of the individual’s conscience between them and God) or that they cannot achieve holiness too. It only means that Protestants no longer have the fullness of Truth in their churches. (Likewise, there are “real” Catholics who give very bad witness to their Faith. Sin has always been a part of the human condition since Adam and Eve!)

    Certainly Jesus Our Lord and Saviour came to bring us “abundant life”, and to do so He gave the keys of the Church to Peter to watch over it to make sure “the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.” For there can only be one Truth – that is simply common sense. And Truth cannot be compromised.

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  18. Toadspittle says:

    .
    “For there can only be one Truth – that is simply common sense.”

    …And why should there only be one way to skin a cat, (or a Protestant?) Kathleen?

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  19. kathleen says:

    OK Toad…..Example: Is the consecrated Bread and Wine the real Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ….. or not?
    Yes or No. One Truth. Get it?

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  20. Toadspittle says:

    .

    “OK Toad…..Example: Is the consecrated Bread and Wine the real Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ….. or not?”

    Toad doesn’t know, Kathleen, and he doesn’t see how he can ever know.
    Hard to demonstrate conclusively, he suspects.
    So he will continue to reserve judgement. Get it?

    Most people in the world clearly don’t believe your implied assertion.
    Which, of course, doesn’t make it untrue. But neither does it make it a question of “common sense.” Quite the reverse. Or so Toad thinks.
    How could “common sense” ever resolve such an issue?

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  21. kathleen says:

    You might not know Toad, but faithful Catholics – and even other good Christians who might be “looking in” – do certainly believe in the truth of the above statement. It may not be “most people in the world“, but it’s not a small percentage of the world population either.

    I only mentioned this assertion to you (about the Real Presence in the consecrated Bread and Wine) as an example of what the Catholic Church defines as Truth. There are many Truths of Faith contained in the Nicene Creed and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    You may have no certainties in anything, seeing everything as relative, but you must admit that only one Truth can exist on certain issues, even if you, with your reasoning and doubts on everything, cannot discover it.

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  22. Toadspittle says:

    .
    Well, Kathleen, Toad is prepared to accept as certain that Napoleon lost the Battle of Waterloo, that a triangle has three sides, and that a bachelor is an unmarried man, and that the Earth is the third planet from the Sun.
    On a metaphysical note, he believes it to be true that Beethoven is a better composer than Snoop Doggy Dog (though some may disagree.)
    So he believes quite a lot of things to be true, and certain.

    And he is also quite prepared to believe as certain that“…faithful Catholics – and even other good Christians who might be “looking in” – do certainly believe in the truth of the above statement.”

    However, their – and your – belief is no guarantee of the truth of the above statement.
    And it would not be “common sense” to think that it was.

    Can you see that?
    No. Oh, well.

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  23. kathleen says:

    “However, their – and your – belief is no guarantee of the truth of the above statement.

    It is to me, and millions of other Catholics. Yes, Catholics hold certain Teachings of the Church to be True and indisputable. You may not believe them, but that’s your look out. What I was saying about “common sense”, was that some beliefs can only be True or False; there is no in between option.

    Toad, do you ever read people’s comments? Or do you just skim through them, picking on one or two phrases to attack, without trying to understand what the person is really saying?

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  24. Toadspittle says:

    .
    Yes. Kathleen, Toad does read people’s comments. Carefully.
    Not, perhaps, in the same way you read his, but that’s your look out, isn’t it?
    For you to suggest otherwise, would be offensive ( if there actually were any way of offending him, ) as well as foolish.
    Has it ever struck you that Muslims have the same attitude as you – that they also believe that what they believe is true and indisputable – that, for example, if you are not a Muslim, no paradise for you?
    How does that strike you? Mistaken? Biased? Bigoted? Narrow-minded? Short-sighted?
    If so, Toad agrees, absolutely.

    Do you see what he’s getting at?
    No. Oh, well. Try reading it again. Carefully.
    (And he’s not suggesting here that all Catholics belive that Heaven is some sort of club for Catholic Members only, or even that all Muslims believe likewise with their lot. Maybe some don’t.)

    Oh, and Toad believes (of course he might be wrong) that he is well aware of what you are “really saying”.
    He’s heard it all – on and off – for almost 70 years.

    Like

  25. JabbaPapa says:

    Toad, we’ve all heard exactly what you’re saying here, a thousand times before, from a thousand different sources.

    kathleen is trying to make a point about the very nature of ontology (with some hermeutics and interpretative theory thrown into the mix for taste) ; you’re responding with some rather trite comments based on some very common forms of religious relativism, that we all of us know off by heart in the first place from having been exposed to thousands of online repetitions of them in every single public religious forum we’ve ever paid a visit to.

    ie you’re actually NOT engaging with what she’s been saying, instead you’ve decided to jump up onto a hobby horse of yours, and ride the conversation off into the west…

    Like

  26. Toadspittle says:

    .
    And you, Jabba, are not riding your particular hobby-horses?
    Frequently? And to death? And then, why shouldn’t you?
    Toad doesn’t complain. Why should he?

    Other people’s comments are always “trite,” aren’t they?
    Except Jabba’s, of course.
    Yes, we’re all saying things that have been said many times before, Toad, Kathleen and all of us. Otherwise we’d be “modernists,” wouldn’t we?

    Like

  27. JabbaPapa says:

    No, other people’s comments are NOT “always trite” (a little honesty please, how often have I described one of your writings as “trite” ???), and no, modernism is not one of my hobby horses (you should have mentioned the Vulgate, doctrinal orthodoxy, or various other topics that I do go on about with some frequency — though I try not to do so in any off-topic manner, if you see what I mean) — there is a difference between “saying what others have said before” and the constant neverending repetitions of certain statements over, and over, and over, and over, and over again by the non-religious on religious forums or threads, Catholic ones especially.

    Perhaps you can even see the difference between the two yourself !!!

    Like

  28. kathleen says:

    For Toad to suggest that anything I said to him above was “offensive” – he who offends other commentators here so frequently and with so much relish – is an absolute scream :lol:.

    The best example I’ve ever seen of pot calling kettle black!

    Like

  29. Toadspittle says:

    .
    You are quite correct to chide Toad, Kathleen. He thought he’d made it clear enough that, as well as being Beyond Good and Evil these days, he is also beyond offending.
    But, clearly, he did not.

    So that’s his look out, indeed.
    Because absolute screams are what we all strive for on CP&S, do we not?
    (Insert screamy/smiley face!)

    Like

  30. Frere Rabit says:

    As the one who spent so much energy convincing everyone in CP&S in the early days that Toad was a valuable addition to the new venture, I am pleased to see that he is still providing his energetic and intelligent contribution. He is very wise to have avoided the final death throes of the Damian Thompson blog, from which I have now finally retired. (If I can be granted the strength to not succumb to temptation again!) Be kind to Toad, Kathleen. He is very annoying but very wise. Wise people are always annoying. 🙂

    Like

  31. kathleen says:

    Rabit,
    You’ve always been a loyal friend to Toad. I appreciate that.
    But I am always kind to Toad……. well, nearly always, and I try my hardest to be patient with him. Yet he’s often not very kind to me or others on here. Nevertheless, I still consider him a chum, even if we do have the odd bun fight. 🙂

    Yes, he can be sooooooo annoying sometimes…. but I shall reserve judgement about him being ‘wise‘. 😉 (Can his wisdom be hidden under tons of religious relativism?)

    Yet no one can deny that he has an amazing ability to be genuinely witty…….. sometimes! He often makes me go into fits of giggles.

    Like

  32. Frankly no Anglican priest is as Catholic priests anyway. They have no priesthood as you all, or the Eastern Orthodox do. And they do not profess to be as you all. Of course you are not going to condone Protestants. Only many a fool would seek your approval. The charade of ecumenism with Rome, and pretended brotherhood — speaks for itself.

    Like

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