We leave the final word of the decision of its validity to the Catholic Church in the future. But nevertheless we can make an apriori conclusion based upon the evidence we have available:
IT APPEARS THAT NEW RITE OF EPISCOPAL CONSECRATION IS INVALID
A communist principle of Lenin was used by de Masons in order to destroy the Episcopacy and therefore also the transmission of the Priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ: “Keep the shell, but empty it of its substance.”
A. General Principles
(1) Each sacrament has a form (essential formula) that produces its sacramental effect. When a substantial change of meaning is introduced into the sacramental form through the corruption or omission of essential words, the sacrament becomes invalid (=does not “work,” or produce the sacramental effect).
(2) Sacramental forms approved for use in the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church are sometimes different in wording from the Latin Rite forms. Nevertheless, they are the same in substance, and are valid.
(3) Pius XII declared that the form for Holy Orders (i.e., for diaconate, priesthood and episcopacy) must univocally (=unambiguously) signify the sacramental effects — the power of Order and the grace of the Holy Ghost.
(4) For conferring the episcopacy, Pius XII designated as the sacramental form a sentence in the traditional Rite of Episcopal Consecration that unequivocally expresses the power of the order that a bishop receives and the grace of the Holy Ghost.
Preface for the Rite of Episcopal Consecration:
“Complete in thy priest the fullness of Thy ministry , and adorned in the raiment of all glory , sanctify him with the dew of heavenly anointing.”
This form univocally signifies the sacramental effects as follows:
(1) “The fullness of Thy ministry,” “raiment of all glory” = power of the Order of episcopacy.
(2) “The dew of heavenly anointing” = grace of the Holy Ghost.
B. Application to the New Form
Preface for the New Rite of Episcopal Consecration:
“So now pour out upon this chosen one that power which is from you, the governing Spirit whom you gave to your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, the Spirit given by him to the holy apostles, who founded the Church in every place to be your temple for the unceasing glory and praise of your name.”
(1) The new form for episcopal consecration that Paul VI promulgated does not seem to specify the power of the Order supposedly being conferred. Can it confer the episcopacy? To answer this question, we apply the foregoing principles.
(2) The short Paul VI form for episcopal consecration is not identical to the lengthy Eastern Rite forms, and unlike them, does not mention sacramental powers proper to a bishop alone (e.g., ordaining). The Eastern Rite prayers that the surrounding Paul VI consecration Preface most closely resembles are non- sacramental prayers for the installations of the Maronite and Syrian Patriarchs, who are already bishops when appointed. In sum, one may not argue that the Paul VI form is in use in valid Eastern Rites.
(3) Various ancient texts (Hippolytus, the Apostolic Constitutions, the Testament of Our Lord) which share some common elements with the Paul VI consecration Preface have been “reconstructed,” are of doubtful provenance, may not represent actual liturgical use, etc. There is no evidence that they were “accepted and used by the Church as such.” Thus they provide no reliable evidence to support for the validity of the Paul VI form.
(4) The key problem in the new form revolves around the term governing Spirit (Spiritus principalis in Latin). Before and after the promulgation of the 1968 Rite of Episcopal Consecration the meaning of this expression provoked concerns about whether it sufficiently signified the sacrament.
(5) Dom Bernard Botte, the principal creator of the new rite, maintained that, for the 3rd-century Christian, governing Spirit connoted the episcopacy, because bishops have “the spirit of authority” as “rulers of the Church.” Spiritus principalis means “the gift of a Spirit proper to a leader.”
(6) This explanation is false and disingenuous. Reference to dictionaries, a Scripture commentary, the Fathers of the Church, dogmatic treatises, and Eastern Rite non-sacramental investiture ceremonies reveals that, among a dozen different and sometimes contradictory meanings, governing Spirit does not specifically signify either the episcopacy in general or the fullness of Holy Orders that the bishop possesses.
(7) Before the controversy over it arose, Dom Botte himself even said that he didn’t see how omitting the expression governing Spirit would change the validity of the rite of consecration.
(8) The new form fails to meet two criteria as what the form of Holy Orders needs to have so as to be valid as laid down by Pius XII.
(a) Because the term governing Spirit is capable of signifying many different things and persons, it does not univocally signify the sacramental effect.
(b) It lacks any term that even equivocally connotes the power of Order that a bishop possess — the “fullness of the priesthood of Christ in the episcopal office and order,” or “the full- ness or totality of the priestly ministry.”
(9) For these reasons, the new form constitutes a substantial change in the meaning of the sacramental form for conferring the episcopacy.
(10) A substantial change in the meaning of a sacramental form renders a sacrament invalid.
Accordingly, for all the foregoing reasons, an episcopal consecration conferred with the new sacramental form promulgated by Paul VI in 1968 appears to be invalid, we cannot trust it at all. Nevertheless we leave the final judgement in the hands of the Catholic Church in a hopefully near future.