There have been Anglican Bishops continuously since the Reformation, but valid Orders have not been continuously handed on. Henry VIII began the Church of England in 1534. The Bishops who submitted to him were validly consecrated, and validity lasted until 1550. But in that year, under Edward VI, a great effort was made to protestantize still more the Church of England both in doctrine and in practice. The form of Ordination was deliberately changed, all reference to priesthood in the true Christian sense of the word being eliminated. This defective form, utterly useless for the true ordination of priests, remained unchanged until 1662 – 112 years later. Then the mistake was realized and the form was corrected. But the correction was too late, for those with correct Orders had died, and only those who had been invalidly consecrated remained to hand on their pretended Orders. Not a few Anglicans have tried to make sure of Orders by re-ordination at the hands of schismatical Bishops. The Anglican Bishop Knox, writing in the National Review for September, 1925, said correctly, “The Pope refused absolutely to recognize our Anglican Orders on the ground that our Church does not ordain priests to offer the Sacrifice of the Mass. In spite of attempts made by our Archbishop to conceal this defect, the Pope from his point of view was unquestionably right. It is true that certain priests of the Church of England offer so-called Masses, but as they were not ordained by the Church with the intention that they should offer the Body and Blood of Christ to the Father, the Sacrament of their Ordination is for this purpose a failure. The Prayer Book and Ordinal are simply un-Catholic, since they show no sign of fulfilling the most important of all Catholic functions.”
Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer CartyBoost your faith with the help of the Catholic book we suggest below. It is a helpful resource that answers a lot of questions and can be shared with family and friends.
The Case for Catholicism - Answers to Classic and Contemporary Protestant Objections
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