Wednesday, May 3

Chinese Ordinations

Where they valid?

The question surrounds the intention of the ministers, given that the intention of the Sacrament is to provide pastors for the Church, "whereas" the intention in these ordinations seems to be to provide pastors for the Church . . . that really tick off the Pope.

I think that sounds dubious, but I wish it were so. It would be very satisfying to say, "So what if you didn't ask us, we don't think they're bishops anyway." It would also galvanize the Chinese laity in a way which, probably, would not be favorable to the Patriotic Association.

But... Their immediate intention really was to supply a bishop to a flock. What is more, episcopal ordinations with very political overtones by factions of the Patristic era were not, so far as I know, challenged as to their validity. The Church's sacramental intention usually quite minimal. It seems to me that their intention to provide a pastor for the flock, even if the person of that pastor is intended as an affront to Rome, meets that minimum.


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