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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.