Faith/Spirituality Forum: Return to full communion with the Church
Return to full communion with the Church QUESTION from Anon on January 30, 2003 If a priest ordained via the Duarte Costa line wanted to enter into full communion with the Roman Church, and Pope John Paul, how would he be received, and would his orders be accepted as valid?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on February 7, 2003 Dear Sir:
From what I can find Duarte Costa was validly ordained a Catholic Priest and validly consecreted a Catholic Bishop, who then went into schism in 1945.
This being the case, then those whom he ordained and consecrated after his schism will have valid but illicit orders. Those bishops that he validly, but illicitly, consecrated will, themselves be able to confer valid Orders.
Thus, assuming all this is true and can be proven to the satisfaction of the Holy See, I would think that priest ordained under the Costa line has been validly, though illicitly, ordained into Holy Orders.
Such a priest returning into full communion with the Catholic Church, then, would be considered validly in Holy Orders, but as to whether the person would receive faculties is a different thing.
Validity is a matter of technical proof of succession, clergy status (priest with faculties) is a disciplinary issue.
I would assume that as long as scandal is not a danger, and that orthodoxy and obedience issues are resolved, a priest returning to the Catholic Church would be allowed to perform ministry -- but that is the decision of the Holy See and/or the diocesan bishop.
My advice would be to contact the Diocesan bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese where the person resides and inform him of the desire to return to communion with the Church. That bishop will then be able to advise the person what is necessary to return to the Church and how the issue of priesthood will be handled.
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