Cardinal Dissolves the Sacrament of Orders

Cardinal Dissolves the Sacrament of Orders

[Cardinal Coprophagia waves magic wand to validate the “absolutely null and utterly void” Anglican orders (including those of their priestesses and bishopettes)]

In a recently published book liberal Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, claims that the Anglican orders are not invalid, writes The Tablet.

Coccopalmerio contradicts Leo XIII’s bull Apostolicae curae (1896), which declares that they are “absolutely null and utterly void”.

Coccopalmerio instead claims: “We have had, and we still have a very rigid understanding of validity and invalidity: this is valid, and that is not valid. One should be able to say: ‘this is valid in a certain context, and that is valid in another context’.” These words imply that the sacrament of ordination has no value in itself, and amount to a denial of this sacrament.

Get AQ Email Updates

6 comments on “Cardinal Dissolves the Sacrament of Orders

  1. Is His Eminence going to deal with the issue that, even if he argues, in defiance of a Papal ruling, that the original Anglican Orders are valid, what about the fact that since then the Anglicans have brought in so-called women priests and so-called women bishops? These of course are totally impossible and therefore the clergy “ordained” by these so-called bishops are also totally invalid.
    Or will His Eminence, in true heretical style, go on to argue in favor of female ordination?

  2. Is the Vatican’s top canonical official undermining canon law?

    By Phil Lawler | May 11, 2017

    My favorite canon lawyer, Ed Peters, has some “Questions in the wake of Cdl. Coccopalmerio’s comments on Anglican orders.” I recommend his analysis highly, for anyone who wants an expert perspective; I happily defer to Peters on the legal issues. Let me add a few comments, however, on the pastoral implications of the cardinal’s statements.

    In case you missed it, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio—who must be taken seriously, since he heads the Pontifical Council responsible for the interpretation canon law— made headlines by saying that we should not assume that the ordination of an Anglican priest is invalid. This appears to be a clear contradiction of the pronouncement by Pope Leo XIII that Anglican orders are “absolutely null and utterly void.” Cardinal Coccopalmerio remarked that the Catholic Church has held a “very rigid understanding of validity and invalidity.”

    According the London Tablet, which broke this story, Cardinal Coccopalmerio suggested that it’s possible to say: “this is valid in a certain context, and that is valid in another context.” Peters repeatedly, and charitably, observed that the cardinal might have been misquoted—a point that should be kept in mind. But if the Tablet story represents his views accurately, Peters adds, this “is huge.”

    In the Tablet account, Cardinal Coccopalmerio comes very close to saying that the validity of an ordination depends on the attitudes and/or merits of the individual. (“This is about the life of a person and what he has given…”) That attitude, however understandable, is contrary to the very purpose of law. The law is the same for every man: regardless of his status, regardless of his virtue. You either are, or are not, an ordained priest. Your attitudes, your behavior, your feelings—and how other people feel about you—do not determine the question. Canon law does.

    Although Peters does not explicitly say why it is “huge” [his emphasis] that Cardinal Coccopalmerio places so much emphasis on the “context” of the Anglican ordination, I think it is because the Vatican’s top canonical official seems to be slipping into an increasingly common error: confusing the purpose of making the law, or preaching the law, with the pastoral application of the law. The results of this error reach far beyond the question of Anglican orders.

    Every intelligent Christian knows that the morality of a given action is affected by the circumstances. There is an enormous difference between the act of a starving man who steals a crust of bread and that of a hoodlum who steals a car for a joyride. Any good confessor recognizes that difference. But the men who write laws—even canon laws—are not acting as confessors. They must fashion legislation that applies to everyone. The law is a teacher; it sets norms of behavior. Might there be exceptions to those norms? Of course! But if you begin with the exceptions—if you cannot state the law clearly without mentioning the exceptions—the law loses its force.

    A good priest, when he preaches against a particular serious sin, leaves his congregation with no doubt that the action is gravely wrong. When a parishioner confesses that same sin, the same good priest might recognize that, in this individual case, the penitent bears little guilt for his act. But even if the sinner’s guilt is clear, and the matter is grave, the good confessor is quick to offer absolution, reminding the penitent that God’s abundant mercy can expunge all sins.

    But imagine the confusion that would arise if the same priest, in his homily, had said that the same gravely sinful action could be excused in some circumstances. (And isn’t this the message that many pastors have drawn from Amoris Laetitia?) As a confessor, a priest might tell a repentant sinner: “You were wrong to rob the bank, and you must make restitution, but God forgives you.” But he should not, as a preacher, tell his congregation: “God will forgive you if you rob a bank.” That is a very different, and potentially deadly, message.

    Or look at the question for a slightly different perspective. We are all tempted toward sins, and those temptations very often lead us to think that the moral law does not apply to our particular cases. The Tempter tells us: “This is an exception; the rule doesn’t apply to you here.” Then, if we do fall into sin, the Tempter changes his message radically, trying to convince us that we should not confess, because God can never forgive us for what we have done. The good priest counters temptation on both scores: as a preacher, by upholding the standards of moral law; as a confessor, by dispensing God’s mercy.

    But when the preacher feels compelled to downplay the importance of law, isn’t he making the Tempter’s task easier? And when the president of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts suggests that the answer to an important canonical question depends entirely on the context, he too downplays the importance of the objective law. That indeed in huge.

  3. Tell Copacabana there’s an opening at the FBI.

  4. Quid est veritas? – “I am a Cardinal and I’m diiiigging a hooole… diiigging a hooole…”

    MAY 11, 2017 by HILARY WHITE

    (If it’s stuck in my head, I see no reason to suffer alone… But I’ll spare y’all the ten hour version which you can click on here.)


    Crazy Uncle [Pope] Leo [XIII]. Poor old guy, prolly thought 2+2 was going to equal 4 forever.

    36. Wherefore, strictly adhering, in this matter, to the decrees of the Pontiffs, Our Predecessors, and confirming them most fully, and, as it were, renewing them by Our authority, of Our own initiative and certain knowledge, We pronounce and declare that ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been, and are, absolutely null and utterly void. – Leo XIII, Papal Bull Apostolicae Curae, 1896

    … and that, said John, is that.


    Main Cast c. 1968. Seated from left to right: Cardinal Willebrands, Cardinal Walter Kasper, Cardinal Secretary of State Cardinal Casaroli, Father Joseph Ratzinger.
    … But that was then, and this is the current year.

    A few thoughts have come to mind about this latest Coccopalmerio thing. Yes, I suppose by now we’ve all heard that Cardinal Coccopuffs – most famous for having bolted in terror from his own book launch for fear of facing up to awkward questions about adultery and sin and eternal damnation and whatnot – has come up with another stinger. Yes, apparently Anglican “orders” aren’t as absolutely null and utterly void as we had been led to believe, like the Terminator at the end of the movie.

    At this point I think it’s safe to consider this formerly obscure nonentity to be one of Bergoglio’s chosen mouthpieces for his (or his masters’) vision of a New-NewChurch, one whose primary concerns and aims are indistinguishable from those of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals. And of course, one of the most important of the goals of such people is the creation of a non-doctrinal, “non-dogmatic” pseudo-religion that makes no distinctions between “denominations” but welcomes all into the lukewarm, mushy-marshmallow embrace of friendly togetherness (and heaven help anyone who refuses to join…Get it? “heaven help em”? Heh…)

    So, of course the Francismachine is obliged to start erasing any remaining traces of the old notion – explicitly laid down by Pope Leo XIII in his world famous blockbuster 1896 papal bull, Apostolicae Curae – that the Anglican “Church” … isn’t.

    Then, 1966 And All That…

    It’s important to understand that Cardinal Cocco isn’t the first. In fact, the love affair between the Vatican Proggies and the Anglos goes waaaay back.

    We had Cardinal Basil Hume, one of the primary architects of modernist NuChurch in the UK, telling us all in 1978 that because the Anglos were more or less worried about the same thing, they came up with what I like to call “the Anglican Deke” [of the “Dutch touch” by a co-consecrating and validly consecrated Old Catholic or other schismatic bishop] …

    “I could not in practice dismiss all Anglican Orders as “null and void” because I know that a number of Anglican Bishops have in fact had the presence at their ordination of an Old Catholic or an Orthodox bishop, that is, somebody who, in the traditional theology of our Church, has been ordained according to a valid rite.”

    And Hume also gave us the hint that dismantling, overturning or just ignoring to death Apostolicae Curae was a main goal of the Vaticantwoist Proggies from early on. (A reading of Michael Davies on what exactly happened at Vatican II will open quite a few eyes about how central Anglicanism has been to the entire VaticanTwoist project. It’s notable that John XXIII Roncalli was a big fan of the Anglos too. Something that often enrages NO-Conservatives is being shown the evidence that the Anglican BCP service was one of the models used by Archbishop Bugnini for creating the Novus Ordo: Annibale Bugnini: The main author of the Novus Ordo.)

    Anyway, the upshot is that the “Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission” (ARCIC) has been talkingtalkingtalking pleasant nothings ever since, and got nowhere because of the absolute and utter roadblock of Pope Leo’s very unequivocal “NO”. (And of course, Benedict’s move to create the Ordinariates was one of the main reasons they hated him so passionately. I remember at the press conference at the Sala Stampa when the Proggie mouthpiece for CNS, Cindy Wooden, asked the inevitable first question: “But what about ARCIC?!!?!?” Cardinal Levada shut the entire nonsense down by laughing and responding that they’ve been talking for 40 years and have accomplished exactly nothing. Oh, it was a fine moment!)

    It will probably not surprise readers to hear that this Anglican/Catholic “dialogue” was the main project of Cardinal Walter Kasper who more or less inherited the Neverending Tea Party from the previous Mad Heretical Hatter, Cardinal Willebrands. The line has been through all these decades that there really is no “break” between Canterbury and Rome, if only we squint hard enough. It was all just an unfortunate misunderstanding that can be ironed out if we have enough tea and biscuits. This line of course was strongly endorsed and supported by Paul VI, who is known to have been very close to Anglicans in his work in the Vatican before he was sent to Milan, and later carried on by John Paul II who was certainly “great” at muddying the waters with his famously ambiguous “gestures”.


    All the popes since Paul VI have, in fact, delighted in greeting English laymen dressed up as priests as though they were authentic shepherds of the flock, giving them presents of pectoral crosses and bishops’ rings, and even getting their pictures taken kissing their hands. (What, you thought Bergoglio invented all this bowing and scraping and smooching-up to heretics and enemies of the Faith?)

    In fact, it was one of the main points of contention between Traditionalists and Neo-catholics throughout the last five decades. And of course, quite famously, JPII’s little Assisi festivals of religious indifferentism were the trigger that pushed Archbishop Lefebvre to declare an official state of emergency.

    But up until now, most high ranking prelates have managed to keep their toes barely within the formal limits of the letter of the law. Even Cardinal Kasper (smiling with warm benignity at the shenanigan pictured above) started making conservative-ish sounding noises during the Benedicting Hiatus.

    But of course, all bets are off now!

    Phil Lawler has helpfully helped me not to have to link to anything Christopher Lamb writes.

    “When someone is ordained in the Anglican Church and becomes a parish priest in a community, we cannot say that nothing has happened, that everything is ‘invalid’,” writes Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio in a new book. But isn’t that pretty much what Pope Leo XIII did say, when he declared Anglican orders “absolutely null and utterly void”? Yet the statement by Cardinal Coccopalmerio cannot be dismissed lightly, since he is president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts: the Vatican body that is responsible for the official interpretation of the Code of Canon Law. He argues that the Church has suffered from “a very rigid understanding of validity and invalidity.” (And “rigidity,” of course, seems to be regarded as the one unforgiveable sin in his pontificate.) Are we being prepared for another break with the teaching of previous Pontiffs?

    Note the buzzwords.

    Now, Phil is right of course that it is more significant now than when Hume, a comparative outsider, said it 40 years ago during a period when the papacy wasn’t that interested in this proggie stuff. Hume was also not speaking as a Curial cardinal.

    But I think Phil has managed to skip the point: it isn’t important that Cardinal Cocco said it because of his office. This pope has made it clear that nothing anyone in the Curia does is important and that goes double for canonists! No, it’s because Cocco is in his club. He’s been tapped as a designated frontman for FrancisChurch.

    The odd little performance over his book launch, notwithstanding. (You recall that his book on Amoris L. was touted at first as a kind of quasi-definitive answer to the Dubia. Then it was downplayed as some grownups started asking difficult questions: “No no! It’s not the official answer of the pope! It’s just AN official answer from someone the pope likes… Wait! No! It’s just one cardinal’s personal opinion…No! Wait! It’s important! Really!” … yeah, whatever.)

    Anyway, even though he dropped the ball that time, it seems he’s still being put forward to push the New Paradigm.

    So, why is it still important, I can hear y’all asking. Indeed, I can count on half a hand the number of people for whom the question of Anglican orders is genuinely still a Thing. Mostly these are Anglicans who have been fake-ordained and are trying to figure out how to become Catholics without losing their pensions. Really, there are so few Anglicans left that the question could legitimately be asked why we’re still talking about them at all. Wasn’t there some kind of schism-esque thing there several years ago? Something about some Africans and American gay bishops or something?

    OK, well, to start with the doddering hippies in the Vatican are often at least 20 or 30 years behind the news. To the people still fighting the Great War of 1965 the status of Anglican “orders” is hot! hot! HOT!

    Second, and not to be forgotten: the Anglicans have, in the minds of a guy like Cocco, resolved the Gay-is-OK issue, and it’s something they need to talk more about, amrite?! Something something… mutual enrichment… somethingsomething…

    (If you want to take the question itself seriously… which I’m sure almost no one does… you can go read Ed Peter’s take-down of Cardinal Coocoo’s little slip of the pen. But really, this is one of those times when the message being broadcast has very little to do with the words.)

    But a much more fundamental issue is actually at stake (albeit being stirred in the world’s smallest and least interesting teapot), and it’s about the nature of truth. To Catholics of the past, doctrine was like math: a description of objective reality. But that language is out, right?

    The reason its important to say that then it was no but now it’s yes, is that:

    The. Most. Important. point of all of FrancisChurch is that a “no” can be made into a “yes”.

    How? Because, power. The only thing this pontificate is about is power.

    All you really have to do is wait a while, and talk enough marshmallowy, Anti-Rational gibberish, and hold out until your audience is so intellectually ill-formed and morally stunted that they can’t tell the difference between “development of doctrine” and denial of it.

    And BINGO! Aren’t we ever there! Leo XIII? Oh man! That guy was SOOooooo 19th century! This is the current year! Times change! A man can become a woman, marry a woman who became a man, and have the pope call them a “married couple”. (Yep, not making that one up either: Pope Francis calls woman with sex-change operation a ‘man’ and calls partners ‘married’.)

    Believe me, their time has come. We are in the age when people talk about “moving past” the logical principle of non-contradiction … and they think they’re really saying a Thing.

    But no. It’s not about Anglicans.

  5. Cardinal Coccopalmerio Announces a New Theory on Anglican Ordinations: “Something” Happens

    by Christopher A. Ferrara
    May 10, 2017

    An article in The Tablet reports that Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, whom the liberal journal bills as “one of the Vatican’s top legal minds,” has called into question Pope Leo XIII’s infallibly rendered decision on the invalidity of Anglican priestly orders. As Pope Leo declared in Apostolicae Curae (1896), after considering the defects in both form and intention in the Anglican ordination rite and the consistent decisions of his own predecessors:

    “Wherefore, strictly adhering, in this matter, to the decrees of the pontiffs, our predecessors, and confirming them most fully, and, as it were, renewing them by our authority, of our own initiative and certain knowledge, we pronounce and declare that ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been, and are, absolutely null and utterly void.”

    Laughably enough, The Tablet characterizes this definitive papal pronouncement as “Leo XIII’s remarks that Anglican orders are ‘absolutely null and utterly void’,” lamenting that Pope Leo’s “remarks” have been “a major stumbling block to Catholic-Anglican unity.”

    But Coccopalmerio apparently thinks he can find a way around Apostolicae Curae by deploying the usual Modernist method: sophistry. The Tablet quotes a recently published book containing the proceedings of the so-called Malines Conversations concerning Catholic-Anglican relations (a revival of the original event in the 1920s), wherein Coccopalmerio opines: “When someone is ordained in the Anglican Church and becomes a parish priest in a community, we cannot say that nothing has happened, that everything is ‘invalid’… This [is] about the life of a person and what he has given …these things are so very relevant!”

    So, as Coccopalmerio would have it, one cannot say that “nothing happens” when someone undergoes the invalid Anglican ordination rite. After all — a blatant appeal to emotion rather than the teaching of the Church or reason itself — “This [is] about the life of a person and what he has given.…” Yes, it would just be so mean if the Church were to say, based on the “remarks” of a mere Pope like Leo XIII, that a layman who thinks he is now a priest is really not a priest. This is about his life, you know.

    So then, what does happen if one cannot, per Coccopalmerio, say that “nothing happens” during the invalid Anglican ordination rite? Apparently, “something” happens, even if Coccopalmerio, being a connoisseur of Modernist ambiguity, will not declare outright that this “something” is the conferral of valid priestly orders.

    In typical Modernist fashion, Coccopalmerio creates the impression that Anglican laymen in clerical clothing are somehow priests. After all, he queries: “Pope Paul VI gave a chalice to the Archbishop of Canterbury? If it was to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist, it was meant to be done validly, no?” But all that proves is that Paul VI too wished to create the impression­ — the false impression — that the “Archbishop” of Canterbury, who resides in a cathedral stolen from the Catholic Church, possesses holy orders as well as the stolen cathedral. Here we see one of innumerable examples of the folly of such meaningless, but seriously misleading, ecumenical gestures.

    In perfect Bergoglian fashion, Coccopalmerio deploys the eraser concept of “rigidity” to rhetorically obliterate the difference between one thing and another­ — in this case the difference between validity and invalidity: “We have had, and we still have a very rigid understanding of validity and invalidity: this is valid, and that is not valid. One should be able to say: ‘this is valid in a certain context, and that is valid in another context.’”

    Perfect nonsense. But then perfect nonsense is what it will take to explain away the definitive declaration of Pope Leo XIII, especially given the absurdity of women’s “ordination” in the so-called Anglican Communion. Does Coccopalmerio think “something” happens when a woman is “ordained” or even “consecrated” a “bishop” by an Anglican “bishop” who himself/herself possess no Holy Orders to confer on another?

    In a similarly nonsensical manner, we are told by Coccopalmerio and the rest of Pope Bergoglio’s collaborators that adultery in the form of a purported “second marriage” is not adultery in “certain cases.” To say that “whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery” would be too “rigid,” even if God Incarnate might disagree.

    A kind of lunacy reigns in the Church today. Surely it is a sign that what the Third Secret predicted is coming to a head.

  6. Live from the Club Coco!!!

    “…music and passion were always the fashion!”

    “… a single shot! But, just who shot who(m)?”

Leave a Reply