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Can just one Bishop consecrate?

OrthoNoob

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I know that in general, at least three bishops are supposed to consecrate another bishop. What I'm wondering is: In an emergency (if he were the only Bishop on the continent and in danger of death, for instance), could just one Bishop do it? Would such a consecration be (to use Latin terminology) "valid"?
 

Benjamin the Red

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Not canonically, no. The only single person that could consecrate a bishop would have to be one of the Twelve Apostles (or Christ Himself, of course).

But, in an emergency situation, you do what you have to. I've heard that in some places during Communism, a bishop would consecrate a new bishop over the grave of another bishop and sight the reposed bishops as a co-celebrant to the consecration. However, I don't know how much truth there is to that, but I trust the person who told me as reliable on such things.
 

Asteriktos

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It is possible to do a "laying on of hands" type service which affirms or blesses or confirms a consecration or ordination done improperly or somewhat outside normal circumstances. Something not totally dissimilar to this is mentioned in canon 8 of the First Ecumenical Council, where many of the Cathari were received with their clerical status intact. This type of thing was done, if memory serves, at the 7th ecumenical council, to receive iconoclast bishops without consecrating them. There are similar allowances for other sacraments as well, such as Canon 84 of Trullo allowing for corrective/conditional baptisms in cases where people are not sure if a real baptism ever took place, but that is a bit different.
 

Benjamin the Red

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We usually receive RC and OO priests by vesting at the Litury. They make confession, receive absolution and then enter the altar and vest. They come out in procession at the Great Entrance and from then on are considered Orthodox priests. Perhaps we do something similar with bishops? Can't say for sure, though. Never heard of a bishop converting in modern times.

Hopefully someone more knowledgable will now come along. ;D
 

Severian

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I think Saint Jacob Baradeus, when the non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Communion was on the verge of extinction by the Empire, had to ordain several other Bishops single-handedly in order for the OO Church in Antioch to survive.
 
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