ARCHBISHOP CARLOS DUARTE COSTA.
THE TRUTH OF HIS SACRAMENTS ARE VALID & HIS SUCCESSORS ARE TRUE BISHOPS ACCORDING TO UNIVERSAL LAW.
The contents here written is actual evidence of the truth according to Canon Law and the teachings of the Catholic Forefathers. Not here-say or speculation as some people do, but simple hard facts. On the 13 June 2006 Reverend Father David Bell were consecrated a catholic bishop by one man in the capacity of principal consecrator being His Holiness, Patriarch of Brazil. Most Reverend Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez he was assisted by two fellow co consecrators .Why not download and read for later as an alternative to reading it now. Download the PDF report in regards Bishop Duarte Costa, His Sacraments and Episcopal Validity
Patriarch Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez was appointed by Catholic Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa Roman Catholic Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa, ACTA APOSTOLICAE SEDIS 1937 and consecrated a bishop on 3 May 1948 by him, The purpose here is not to review the ins and outs of Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa’s career. But rather, we want to determine whether or not the bishops consecrated by Archbishop Duarte Costa from 1945 to 1961 and those consecrated by these bishops are validly-consecrated 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 bishops from the hands of Most Reverend Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez from1948 to 2009.
This sacramental power, called the 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: Bp’s Castillo Mendez, 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. Catholic Bishop Salamao Ferraz , Bishop of Eleuterna, ACTA APOSTOLICAE SEDIS 1969 & Orlando Arce-Moya. Since the consecrations of Bps. Ferraz and Arce-Moya were valid, 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 resignation was accepted by Pope Pus XI although he had been consecrated sacred bishop by Roman Catholic Cardinal Sebastiao Leme da Silveira Cintra Roman Catholic Sebastiao Leme Cardinal da Silveira Cintra, Brazil, ACTA APOSTOLICAE SEDIS. In place of being a Diocesan Bishop he was appointed as Titular Bishop of Maura which is confirmed in the 1937 Acta Apostolica Sedis. Roman Catholic Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa, ACTA APOSTOLICAE SEDIS 1937 (a catholic bishop nevertheless) .
Upon His Holiness Pope Pius XI of the Roman Catholic Church accepting Diocesan Bishop Carlos Duarte Costas resignation, the pontiff directly relinguished 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, (Notice from Vatican Two records of the death of the Roman Catholic Bishop Ferraz Catholic Bishop Salamao Ferraz , Bishop of Eleuterna, ACTA APOSTOLICAE SEDIS 1969 ) Bishop Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez on the 3rd May 1948 and Bishop Orlanda Arce-Moya on the 30 November 1956.
One who is excommunicated or suspended can 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 a excommunicated or suspended 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. Bishop Carlos refused to follow the political policy of the Vatican and was deposed from his diocese in 1937. He was named the titular Bishop of Maura, which was tantamount to being the bishop of no where.
Most Reverend Jaime de Barros Câmara was installed as Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro on the 15 September 1943 extremely jealous and angry at Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa 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 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 Archbishop is suspended himself for a period of 1 year according to Roman Catholic Canon law 1917 and the Sacred Council of Trent.
As Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa resignation to the Roman Catholic Church Pontiff was accepted in 1936 some NINE YEARS PREVIOUSLY such authority over him did NOT EXIST. THERE IS NO EXCOMMUNICATION IN FORCE by the HOLY SEE.
Therefore, Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa was NOT EXCOMMUNICATED by the CATHOLIC CHURCH but an INDIVIDUAL CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP within the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, which to be honest has little or no bearing at all as for hundreds of years bishops have excommunicated each other for one thing or another.
Therefore, Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa was not Excommunicated by the Catholic Church but an individual Archbishop within the Roman Catholic Church which to be honest has little or no bearing at all as for hundreds of years bishops have excommunicated each other for one thing or another. Pope JOHN XXIII actions of accepting after the individual Catholic Archbishops actions towards Archbishop Duarte Costa in July 1945 by his bishops consecrated in August 1945 & November 1956 clearly shows this de Jure & de Facto. You can not excommunicate a catholic bishop who is a Apostle of Christ on earth representing that of St Peter. Catholic Bishops are Apostles of St Peter chosen careful by bishop to bishop over the century's so long as there apostolic succession traces back to one of the apostles no matter whom it may be.
The bishop still remains a Catholic Bishop with the right to dispense the sacraments.
II. THE FACT OF THE CONSECRATIONS.
We begin our inquiry by asking two simple questions:
• On 8 December 1924 in Brazil, did Abp. Silveira Card Cintra perform the rite of episcopal consecration for Carlos Duarte Costa using the traditional Catholic rite?
*Did Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa establish as a bishop can lawful do his own Catholic Church with their own Canon Law the answer is yes. Therefore, all consecrations from this day is governed by their own Church Canon Law and not that of the Roman Catholic Church in the same way that the Orthodox Churches are governed by their own canon laws established by their Patriarchs and not the Patriarch of the West being the Pope Of Rome.
• On 15 August 1945 in Brazil did Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa perform the rite of episcopal consecration for Salameo Ferraz using the traditional Catholic rite?
• On 3rd May 1948 in Brazil did ABp. Carlos Duarte Costa perform the rite of episcopal consecration for Luis Fernando Castillo Menndez assisted by Bp Salameo Ferraz and Bp Jose Vargas using the traditional Catholic rite?
• On 30 November 1956 in Brazil did ABp. Carlos Duarte Costa perform the rite of episcopal consecration for Orlando Arce-Moya 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 Abp. Silveira Card Cintra and Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa 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 Abp. Silveria Cintra, Bp Carlos Duarte Costa and 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 Father David Bell 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 of 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 my ordination.
Where does this leave the fact of Abp Carlos Duarte Costa and Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez consecrations? In the same place it leaves my ordination, 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, ABp Duarte Costa and Bp Castillo Mendez 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 photographs of the consecration of Bp Carlos Duarte Costa by Abp. Silveira Cintra and assisting bishops
· Published photographs of the consecration of Bp. Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez by Abp Carlos Duarte Costa and assisting bishops.
· Published photographs and DVD evidence of Bp. David Bells consecration by 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 Bucato to appointment as Titular Bishop of Maura.
· Roman Catholic Vatican Archives known as Acta Apostolica Sedis dated 196 shows Bishop Salameo Ferraz as Titular Bishop of Eleuntrna for the Roman catholic Church Vatican II.
· Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church archives and notwithstanding government records of the consecration documents issued by Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez for which all bear the signature and seals of witness who each verified each others 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 Bp 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 David Bell.
C. An Established Fact
Faced with this documentation, the reader sensibly concludes that it is a fact that Abp. Silverira Cintra through Bp Carlos Duarte Costa through to Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez through to Abp 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 Abp Carlos Duarte Costa consecrations, therefore, we consider whether the opposite of the evidence we have is likely enough to be believable: i.e., that Abp Carlos Duarte Costa did not perform either Bp. Salameo Ferraz, Castillo Mendez or Bp. Arce-Moya’s consecration, or that, if he did, he did not use the traditional rite.
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 Abp Carlos Duarte Costa, Bp 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, Bp 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 Abp’s Carlos Duarte Costa, Bp Salameo Ferraz and Bp Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez consecrations.
This leaves us with moral certitude about the fact of the ABp’s Duarte Costa, Bp Salameo Ferraz and Bp 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 the ABp’s Carlos Duarte Costa, Bp Salameo Ferraz and Bp Castillo Mendez consecrations as valid — i.e, as having worked? See signed documents attesting to the validity of Catholic Apostolic Succession of Archbishop Castillo Mendez from a Doctor in Canon law Pontifical Lateran University. DOCTOR IN CANON LAW PONTIFICAL LATERAN UNIVERSITY AUXILIARY BISHOP TO CARDINAL RICKETTS CONFIRMS BISHOP LUIS FERNANDO CASTILLO MENDEZ ROMAN CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION VATICAN ONE. VALID. PDF
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.
ORDINATION & SACRAMENTAL VALIDITY PDF.......CANON LAW SOCIETY OF GREAT BRITAIN REPORT ON VALIDITY OF HOLY ORDERS.....
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 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 ABp’s Carlos Duarte Costa, Bp Salameo Ferraz, Bp Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez, and Bp David Bell. Three key facts are absolutely certain:
(1) ABp. Carlos Duarte Costa was a validly-consecrated bishop as he was Catholic Vatican One, consecrated within by a Cardinal of the Roman catholic Church Vatican One.
(2) Bp Salameo Ferraz was a validly consecrated bishop as he worked on Vatican II commissions as a Vatican One Catholic Bishop. Acta Apostolicae Sedis of Bishop Ferraz as Roman Catholic Bishop Vatican II
(3) Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez was a validly consecrated catholic bishop
(4) They all performed the rite of episcopal consecration for Bp. Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez on the 3 May 1948 who.
(5) Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez with 2 assisting bishops performed the rite of episcopal consecration for Bp. David Bell.
(6) Abp Carlos Duarte Costa, Bp Salameo Ferraz and Bp Vargas employed a Catholic rite for Bp Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez consecrations in turn the same was repeated for the consecration to Bp David Bell.
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 ABp Carlos Duarte Costa conferred on Bp Castillo Mendez conferred on Bp David Bell as valid but illicit.(illicit meaning without the approval and blessing of the Pope of Rome, Patriarch of the West of the Roman Catholic Church)
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 Abp Carlos Duarte Costa consecratons to Bp’s Salameo Ferraz, Bp Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez and Bp Orlando Arce-Moya consecrations including that of Bp David Bell, therefore, 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 ABp Carlos Duarte Costa consecrations or at Bp David Bell consecration by His Holiness Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez has ever said or proved that one of these defects occurred.
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.
Objection 1. I question whether ABp Carlos Duarte Costa and Patriarch Dom 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 and Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez ministerial intention, therefore, is impermissible.
• 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. 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.
Objection 2. I think Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez was insane or senile, so the consecrations must be considered doubtful.
Since it attacks His Holiness 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 Bell, attested under oath that His Holiness, 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.” Bp Castillo Mendez, was “nobody’s fool,” and discussed with competence various issues in theology and canon law. He even regaled Bp Dineley, Abp Carroll and Abp Bell with details about Abp Bells consecration with excitement.. Validity of the consecrations is beyond question.
• His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez remained as Patriarch of Brazil and travel widely to various country’s.
• We therefore draw the appropriate conclusion: Catholic teaching forbids assaults on Bp 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”
Objection 1. 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 Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez had such episcopal signed certificate from his consecrating bishop’s. and such is recorded in government records of the said episcopal consecration.
• In any case, Archbishop David Bell has such episcopal signed certificate from his consecrating bishop’s. and such is recorded in 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.**
Objection 2. 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.
Objection 3. 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 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 Bp Castillo Mendez consecrations are “doubtful” on such grounds.
Objection 4. 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 center 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 Bp’s Duarte Costa, Salameo Ferraz or 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’s 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) Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa was a validly-consecrated Roman Catholic Bishop Vatican One.
(b) He performed the rite of episcopal consecration for Bp Salameo Ferraz on the 15 August 1945 and Bp Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez on 3 May 1948
(c) Abp Duarte Costa employed a Catholic rite for both consecrations. So did His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez upon consecration of Bp David Bell.
(e)The Holy See of the Roman Catholic Church Vatican Two has shown on not less than two occasions that two consecrations done by Abp Carlos Duarte Costa since his voluntary resignation in 1937 which was accepted by Pope Pius XI and his alleged excommunication on the 6 July 1945 from the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Pius XII are nevertheless valid by ‘de jure and de facto’ in that both bishops that Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa consecrated that is:
· Bishop Salameo Barbosa 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. ACTA APOSTOLICAE SEDIS OF BISHOP SALAMEO FERRAZ CONSECRATED BY BISHOP DUARTE COSTA 15 AUGUST 1945
· 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 Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa to consecrate bishops even outside the Roman Catholic Church after 1945.
Lets also not forget that a co-consecrator to His Holiness Patriarch Dom 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 Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez his co consecrator was Bp Salameo Ferraz and Bp Vargas who both were consecrated by Roman Catholic Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa(Validity of Salameo Ferraz has already been clearly established) in the case that if Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez validity was at error, the co- consecrators( also known as assistentes ) of Bishop David Bell 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 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 being the 7 Bishop to be consecrated.
Bishop Josivaldo Pereria de Oliveria was a co consecrator also to Bishop David Bell and he 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 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. 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 His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez is valid but illicit according to the Roman Catholic Church Vatican Two.
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, Orlando Arce-Moya and Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez as valid who in turn conferred such on ABp David Bell as valid but illicit.
Since these consecrations are valid, we are likewise obliged to regard the Abp’s Carlos Duarte Costa, Bp Salameo Ferraz and Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez including Bp Orlando Arce-Moya. as 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 that he 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 a 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 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 as 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 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 Bishop Castillo Mendez and then same from Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez to Bishop David Bell 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, 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 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.
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.
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 Bishop Castillo Mendez.
As history records, 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 – 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 Pontificale Romanum refers them as assistentes, 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. 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, Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa never lost his jurisdiction as a Bishop. Even as a Titular, and thus ipso facto excommunicated is a myth, he retained his jurisdiction as Catholic Bishop and so di those he consecrated from August 1945 onwards.
Once again, then, our conclusion:
We may and MUST presume that Bishop Castillo Mendez & Bishop David Bell 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, 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 fulfillment 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 by 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 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).
5. 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: H.E. 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
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.63
The 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 Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church as a “true particular Church” in the same way that in instance, the Greek, Bulgarian and Russian Orthodox Churches are.
**Lets not forget that at least two of the Bishops later consecrated by Archbishop Duarte Costa were accepted back in to mainstream Catholicism and went on to enjoy careers in the Vatican 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 Archbishop Duarte Costa transmitted in August 1945 Bishop Salameo Barbosa Ferraz and November 1956 Bishop Orlando Arce-Moya .
Lets argue the Catholic Church said His Holiness Patriarch Dom Castillo Mendez was not a ordained priest, therefore he could not be consecrated a bishop later for which do we really think a Roman Catholic Bishop would 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 layed on hands with pure intent would take effect bearing in mind we have already established that Archbishop 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 and Orlanda Arce –Moya.
**Bishop Olinto Ferreira Pinto Filho was ordained a priest by Roman Catholic Bishop 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 Roman Catholic Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa on 4 May 1956. Therefore, Archbishop David Bell is a valid catholic bishop whether some Roman Catholic Bishops from Vatican Two or the Holy See of Rome does or does not like it. Such acceptance does not rest on the Bishop of Rome but upon the intent and an unbroken Apostolic Succession.
1. 1917 Code of Canon law states: A bishop is not allowed to confer Episcopal consecration on anyone without a papal mandate (Roman 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
5. particular case, the 1917 Canon Law inflicted only a suspension ("Ipso iure suspensi sunt, donec sedes Apostolica eos dispenaverit"—
6. "They are suspended by the law itself, until the Apostolic See dispenses them" [Canon 2370, CC 1917.1). However, if such a consecration 7. or act was a matter of emergency, then the act (Suspension) itself cannot take place.
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 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.
19. 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 a 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 schismatics or excommunicated.
“ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC”
To the ecclesiastic communities that form the Catholic Society, 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, chaired by the Catholic, Apostolic Church of Brazil, 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:
2. THE BRAZILIAN CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC 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 unforgiven. unforgiven they remain.”3
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
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 SOCIETY
For our society 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 sacramentality 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. 2:5
11. 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 sacramentality 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.
12. THE SITUATION IN FACE OF THE BREAK OF COMMUNION WITH THE ROMAN CATHOLIC HIERARCHY VATICAN II
When the Roman Catholic hierarchy Vatican Two 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.7
The 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 Bishop David Bell was charged to proceed with contacts in order to define the path that the Lord was calling us to follow.
We have been in contact with the Catholics of the Utrecht Union since October 2006 and 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, Bishop David Bell was consecrated sacred Bishop June 2006. The consecration took place in the Cathedral Church of Our Lady & Miracleous Medal, Brasilia Distro Federal, Brazil.
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. (LETS NOT FORGET THAT EVERY BISHOP UP TO AND INCLUDING THE FITH CENTURY ALL WERE REFERRED TO AS POPE / PATRIARCH'S). 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.”36
The 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 community38 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.41
In 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 AS 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 Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church in UK 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.
· Acta Apostolicae Sedis. Periodical. Rome.
· Alexander VII Pope. Brief Alias, 27 February 1660.
· Alexander VII, Pope. Brief Onerosa, 4 February 1663.
· Benedict XIV, Pope. De Synodo Diocesana. In Operum Editio Novissima. Prado: Aldina 1844. Volume 10.
· Beste, Udalricus OSB. Introductio In Codicem. Collegeville: St. John’s 1946.
· Bouix, D. Tractatus de Episcopo. Paris: Ruffet 1873.
· Cappello, Felix M. SJ. Tractatus Canonico-Moralis De Sacramentis. Rome: Marietti 1961.
· Clement X Pope. Brief Decet Romanum, 23 December 1673.
· Code of Canon Law. Vatican: 1917.
· Collectanea de Propaganda Fide. Periodical. Rome.
· Conte a Coronata, Mathaeus OMC. De Sacramentis: Tractatus Canonicus. Turin: Marietti 1943.
· Davis, Henry SJ. Moral and Pastoral Theology. New York: Sheed and Ward 1943.
· Einsicht. Periodical. Munich.
· Fanfani, Ludovicus OP. Manuale Theorico-practicum Theologiae Moralis. Rome: Ferrari 1949.
· Fortes dans la Foi. Periodical. Tours (France).
· Gasparri, Petro. Tractatus de Sacra Ordinatione. Paris: Delhomme 1893.
· Leeming, Bernard SJ. Principles of Sacramental Theology. Westminster md: Newman 1956.
· Leo XIII Pope. Bull Apostolicae Curae, 13 September 1896.
· Lesourde, Paul. Le Jésuite Clandestine: Mgr. Michel d’Herbigny. Paris: Lethielleux 1981.
· Many, S. Praelectiones de Sacra Ordinatione. Paris: Letouzey 1905.
· McHugh, J.A. The Casuist.. New York: Wagner 1917.
· McHugh, John A. OP & Charles J. Callan OP. Moral Theology. Wagner 1929.
· Merkelbach, Benedictus H. OP. Summa Theologiae Moralis. Bruges: Desclée 1962.
· Nabuco, Joachim. Pontificalis Romani Expositio Juridico-Practica. Benziger 1945.
· Noldin, H. & A. Schmitt SJ. Summa Theologiae Moralis. Innsbruck: Rauch 1940.
· Pius VI, Pope. Brief Exigit Pastoralis, 22 July 1798.
· Regatillo, Eduardus F. SJ. Interpretatio et Jurisprudentia Codicis Juris Canonici, 3rd edition. Santander: Sal Terrae 1953.
· Regatillo, Eduardus F. SJ. Jus Sacramentarium, 2nd edition. Santander: Sal Terrae 1949.
· Sodalitium. Periodical. Verrua Savoia (Italy).
· Wanenmacher, Francis. Canonical Evidence in Marriage Cases. Dolphin 1935.
· Woywood, Stanislaus OFM. A Practical Commentary on the Code of Canon Law. Wagner 1952.
· Zitelli, Zephyrino. Apparatus Juris Ecclesiastici. Rome: 1888.
[A] Einsicht 11 (March 1982), 12. “Je n’ai plus de rélations avec Palmar depuis leur chef se proclame Pape. Je désapprouve tout ce qu’ils font.”
[B] The Roman Catholic 5 (January 1983), 8.
[C] Among them: Catholic University, St. John’s, Fordham, Xavier, Marquette, Detroit, Dunwoodie, Douglaston, St. Francis and the Josephinum.
[D] F. Cappello, Tractatus Canonico-Moralis De Sacramentis, (Rome: Marietti 1961), 1:21. “Quoties rationabile seu prudens adest dubium de collato sacramento necne aut de collati sacramenti valore.” My emphasis.
[E] H. Davis, Moral and Pastoral Theology. (New York: Sheed and Ward 1943), 3:25. The “validity of a sacrament bestowed.” My emphasis.
[F] H. Noldin & A. Schmitt, Summa Theologiae Moralis (Innsbruck: Rauch 1940), 3:27. “In sacramentis… dubium facti habetur, si dubitatur, an sacramentum reipsa collatum sit vel quomodo collatum sit, nempe cum debita materia, forma et intentione.” His emphasis.
[G] F. Wanenmacher, Canonical Evidence in Marriage Cases, (Philadelphia: Dolphin 1935), 500. “…when the fact of baptism has been established, but the validity remains doubtful…” My emphasis.
[H] H. Ayrinhac, Legislation on the Sacraments (New York: Longmans 1928), 6. "Should a prudent doubt exist as to the fact of their administration or their validity …” My emphasis.
[I] Code of Canon Law, Canon 1014. “in dubio standum est pro valore matrimonii, donec contrarium probetur…”
[J] See S.C. Sacraments, Decree 9 June 1931, Acta Apostolicae Sedis 23 (1931), 457ff.
[K] See J. McHugh & C. Callan, Moral Theology, New York: Wagner 1929), 1:643. “Judgments are morally certain, when error is impossible according to what is customary among mankind, the opposite of what is held by the mind being so unlikely that it would be imprudent to be moved by it.”
* Adnotatio editoris: Ne quid a devotis etiam rudis lectoribus celeretur, auctor reverendus planum facit se dicere fabulam, latius in Statibus Foederatis Americae ab ephemeridibus aliis sordidis diffusam, quod E. Presley, citharoedum ac divum populo gratissimum (qui «Rex» appellabatur et obiit circa idibus Augusti, anno MCMLXXVII), non vero obiisse, sed vivit jam, quasi in occulto, interdum tamen se videndum praestans, praesertim uxoribus tabernas aromatarias frequentibus — exemplum immo vividum, etiamsi nimirum ab auctoribus probatis haud hucusque citatum.
[L] McHugh & Callan, 1:645.
[M] J. Nabuco, Pontificalis Romani Expositio Juridico-Practica ( Benziger 1945), 1:218.
[N] For validity, it is not even necessary that the bishop get all the words exactly right, as long as he does not change the meaning substantially. See E. Regatillo, Jus Sacramentarium (Santander: Sal Terrae 1949), 873.
[O] Wanenmacher, 408.
[P] Wanenmacher, 500. “Similarly when the fact of baptism has been established, but the validity remains doubtful, there is a general presumption in favor of validity. This is especially true of Catholic baptism, and the presumption is elided only by a strict proof to the contrary.”
[Q] Wanenmacher, 411. “Under the Code marriage has the favor of law: hence when there is a doubt, we must hold to the validity of the marriage until the contrary is proved (c. 1014).”
[R] 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.”
[S] L. Fanfani, Manuale Theorico-practicum Theologiae Moralis (Rome: Ferrari 1949), 4:50. “E contra minister qui leviter tantum aut negative tantum, dubitat, de bona administratione alicuius sacramenti, e.g. non recordatur se verba formae pronuntiasse, nil repetere debet, quinimmo peccat si facit: omne enim factum, supponendum est rite factum, nisi positive constet contrarium.” My emphasis.
[T] P. Gasparri, Tractatus de Sacra Ordinatione (Paris: Delhomme 1893), 1:970. “…tum quia actus, praesertim adeo solemnis qualis est ordinatio, habendus est ut validus, donec invaliditas non evincatur.”
[U] B. Merkelbach, Summa Theologiae Moralis (Bruges: Desclée 1962) 3:165. “Ubi ergo persona omnino seria, etiam mera obstetrix, quae sit fide digna, circumspecta, et in ritu baptizandi instructa, assereret infantem a se rite baptizatum esse, non esset cur de valore Baptismi serio dubitaretur;.....”
[V] U. Beste, Introductio In Codicem (Collegeville MN: St. John’s 1946), 951. “Hinc ordines collati ab episcopis schismaticis ecclesiae orientalis, iansenistis in Batavia (Hollandia), veterum catholicorum in Germania et Helvetia, validi habendi sunt, nisi in casu particulari vitium essentiale admissum fuerit.”
[W] 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..” His emphasis.
[X] 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.”
[Y] 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…” His emphasis. The foregoing principles likewise defeat the arguments of those who believe that Lefebvre’s consecrator, Lienart, was a Mason (a phony charge) and thus that Lefebvre’s ordinations are “doubtful.”
[Z] 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.”
[AA] The recipient of the sacrament, 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.”
[BB] See Cappello 4:683. “Aliae personae extraneae procul dubio jure accusandi carent.”
[CC] De Synodo Diocesana 13.13.7. “Et utroque casu aliquid desideratur, quod ad ejusdem actus solemnitatem, et praescriptorum rituum observantiam pertinet; quandoquidem in prima facti specie deest duorum Antistitum praesentia a sacris canonibus statuta; in altera vero desideratur praesentia duorum Sacerdotum, quos Pontifex adhibendos voluit.”
[DD] Z. Zitelli, Apparatus Juris Ecclesiastici (Rome: 1888), 23. “Siquando necessitas postulet vel impossibilitas adsit tres habendi Episcopos, Romani Pontificis erit indulgere ut consecratio ab uno fiat Episcopo cum assistentia duorum Sacerdotum, qui in dignitate ecclesiastica constituti sint, vel etiam a solo Episcopo absque ulla assistentia, ut saepe usuvenit in locis sacrarum missionum.”
[EE] 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.”
[FF] Brief Decet Romanum, 23 December 1673, 3. The Pontiff specifically confirmed the privileges granted by Alexander VII, among them, performing the “…munus consecrationis cum assistentia aliorum duorum presbyterorum, etiamsi non essent episcopi, nec in ecclesiastica dignitate constituti, si adessent, sin minus, etiam sine illorum assistentia…”
[GG] Brief Exigit Pastoralis, 22 July 1798. “…munus consecrationis cum adsistentia aliorum duorum presbyterorum, etiamsi non sint Episcopi, nec in ecclesiastica dignitate constituti, si adfuerint, sin minus etiam sine illorum assistentia…”
[HH] J. McHugh, The Casuist (New York:Wagner 1917), 5:241.
[II] P. Lesourde, Le Jésuite Clandestine: Mgr. Michel d’Herbigny (Paris: Lethielleux), 70. In the account of his secret consecration, Mgr. d’Herbigny writes: “Le Nonce expliqua que Rome lui avait d’abord prescrit d’être seul avec le Père d’Herbigny. Il avait fait valoir que, sans la présence d’au moins un assistant, la céremonie lui semblait irréalisable, ne serait-ce que pour maintenir le Missel sur les épaules du consacré.”
[JJ] See Lesourde, 76ff.
[KK] D. Bouix, Tractatus de Episcopo (Paris: Ruffet 1873), 1:243. “Sed etiamsi fiat consecratio absque ullis assistentibus, et absque obtenta Pontificia dispensatione, adhuc valida erit.”
[LL] E. Regatillo, Interpretatio et Jurisprudentia Codicis J.C. (Santander: Sal Terrae 1953), 465. “Unus episcopus sufficit ad validitatem consecrationis, dummodo ritum essentialem cum debita intentione ponat. Idque etsi sine pontificia dispensatione unicus sit qui consecrationi intersit.” My emphasis.
[MM] Brief Alias, 27 February 1660. “Quantum spectat ad sacramentum et impressionem characteris fuisse validam.”
[NN] 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.
 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.” His emphasis.
Most Reverend David Bell. DD. JD. LL.D. OTH.