An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Apostolicae Curae

The Encyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII on Sept. 13, 1896, in which Anglican holy orders were condemned as invalid through defect of form and intention in the Ordinal of Edward VII. This ordinal was used for the consecration of Archbishop Matthew Parker on Dec. 17, 1559. The letter judged Anglican ordinations to be “absolutely null and void” because the Ordinal deliberately excluded all reference to the sacrificial nature of the eucharist and the priesthood. These charges were answered in a “Responsio” issued by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York on Mar. 31, 1897, but to no avail. The Roman Catholic position set forth by Apostolicae Curae has remained an obstacle between these two traditions. The Ordinal in the 1979 BCP includes a petition that the priest may “offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to [God].”

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.