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Judith Smith-Ille wrote:

Hi, guys —

A friend told me this evening, that a priest told him, his friend, an ordained Anglican priest, could hear his Confession and give him absolution.

  • I realize that the Anglican could do this but would it count as a valid Confession and absolution in the Roman Catholic Church?


  { Can an Anglican minister validly hear his Confession and really absolve him of his sins? }

Mike replied:

Hi Judith,

That priest was very incorrect.

My colleagues addressed this question of the validity of Anglican Orders in this web posting:

Anglican Orders are invalid. No Anglican minister can absolve anyone's sins.

They are not ministerial priests, in the Catholic sense.

Hope this helps,


Mary Ann replied:

Judith —

Anglican priests do not have the power of orders, that is, the power from a real ordination (laying on of hands from a bishop who was consecrated by a bishop, by a bishop, by a bishop, going all the back to the Apostles).

Lacking that power, he can go through the motions of absolution but the motions don't do what they say, they don't effect what they signify.

It's not a question of whether it would "count" in the Catholic Church, it's a question of whether he can really impart the forgiveness of God and the medicinal grace of the sacrament, and the answer to that is, No.

Mary Ann

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