John asked:

Since Anglican bishops and Eastern Orthodox bishops were former Catholics why doesn't the Church recognize Anglican holy orders?

Tim Staples replied:

"Actually the reason is Pope Leo the XIII actually issued an infallible declaration on this - that the Anglicans, when they split they changed the rite of ordination. ...there was no longer a specificity between which order is being applied. Whether it's to the episcopacy or the presbyterate. That would invalidate orders right there. But secondly...they removed the sacrificial element of holy orders because they unfortunately, when [Thomas] Cranmer and the boys took over after Henry the VIII died they gutted Anglicanism of all of its Catholic...the seven sacraments, the idea of the holy sacrifice of the mass... when they deny the holy sacrifice of the mass ... you are no longer ordaining a priest because the principle reason why a priest exists is to offer the holy sacrifice of the mass. So when they removed that then they're no longer ordaining priests and so their apostolic succession ends right there.

Now the Eastern Orthodox communities have all maintained their view of seven sacraments and most importantly apostolic succesion and the holy sacrifice of the mass. So there's no reason why the Eastern Orthodox orders would be invalidated. They still maintain valid holy orders, apostolic succession, they have not denied anything that is essential to that and so therefore they still have a valid sacrament.. or two sacraments - holy orders and eucharist..."

Source material:

Dr. Ludwig Ott - Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma.

James Likoudis' website. His writings and essays concerning doctrines and morality of the Catholic Church.


Catholic Answers, "Open Forum" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2015)

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Show air date: July 28, 2015

Name of show: Open Forum

Guest comments by: Tim Staples

Question appeared in show: 46:34

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