is the title of a papal bull
, issued in 1896 by Pope Leo XIII
, declaring all Anglican ordinations
to be "absolutely null and utterly void"
. The Anglican
Archbishops of Canterbury
of the Church of England
responded to the papal charges with the encyclical Saepius Officio
The principal objection to Anglican orders being valid, according to Leo XIII, was the alleged deficiency of intention and of form of the Anglican ordination rites
. In the case of deficiency of intention, the pope declared that the rites expressed an intention to create a priesthood
different from the sacrificing priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church
and reduce ordination to a mere ecclesiastical institution, an appointment or blessing, instead of a sacramental conferral of actual grace by the action itself.
The view of many Anglican bishops and apologists was that the required references to the sacrificial priesthood never existed in many ancient Latin Rite ordination liturgies, or in certain Eastern Rite
ordination liturgies that the Roman Catholic Church considered to be valid. Many Roman Catholic apologists, including English bishops, asserted that those Eastern Rite forms adequately described the powers proper to a bishop, including his supreme priesthood and the ordination of priests, deacons and subdeacons, thus confirming the true intention and meaning of the rite.
Defect of Anglican ordination rites asserted
Prior to Apostolicae Curae
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