23 October 2008

Concelebration 3

They wear chasubles; they join in with the laying on of hands; the presbyters who partake in the ordination of a new presbyter are real participants and not just the bestowers of a chummy blessing. At a mundane level, they can rightly be seen as a club welcoming a new member or, rather, performatively incorporating that new member. But I also venture the opinion - and here I do speculate beyond what magisterial documents explicitly state - that those presbyters are true ordainers. I am not a presbyterian; I do not believe that those presbyters, either individually or collectively, could ordain a new presbyter without their Bishop. He is central; he is essential; he is the Apostolic Man who incorporates new men into the everlasting sacerdotium of Christ. But his presbyters do it with him. What they could not do on their own they can and do perform with him. They are not individuals; they, in and with their Bishop, are a corporate organism functioning corporately.

Incidentally, that is but one reason why a bishop who has 'womenpriests' in his presbyterium (whether he has 'ordained' them or given a commission for their 'ordination' or merely licensed them or given a commission for their licensing) is the unacceptably dysfunctional head of an unacceptably dysfunctional collegium. That is why Eric Kemp, back in 1993, refused not only to ordain but also to authorise the ordination or licensing of women; as he said to me, 'They are not members of my priestly community' and 'What one does through the agency of another, is as good as a thing done by oneself' (he said it in the Latin). The furthest he was prepared to go was to remain Bishop of Chichester while women were 'ordained' and'licensed' to work in the County of Sussex by a bishop outside the diocese acting under a Commission from George Carey.

And that is why we cannot settle for anything less than a system with bishops who are genuinely the heads of presbyteria separate from the sacramental corruptions of the mainstream Church of England. The idea that we can be kept happy as long as some 'pastoral' provision is made to spare us having women bishops to do confirmations needs to be squashed.

And that reminds me ... who is the Minister of Confirmation?

1 comment:

motuproprio said...

I am reminded that Mgr Graham Leonard on quite a number of occasions laid hands as a participating Catholic presbyter upon men upon whom he had previously laid hands as an ordaining Anglican bishop.