My friend and I were discussing the necessity of receiving minor orders prior to becoming a priest. Since Paul VI abolished the minor orders, a man can become a Novus Ordo
priest without having first received minor orders; this shows that Novus Ordo
rite of ordination is not even Catholic, let alone valid.
St. Thomas Aquinas addresses the question of "Whether we ought to distinguish several Orders?" (Summa suppl. q. 37 a. 1
). St. Thomas clearly says in the corpus that the "Multiplicity of Orders was introduced into the Church for three reasons." In the reply to objection 2, St. Thomas writes:
The division of Order is not that of an integral whole into its parts, nor of a universal whole, but of a potential whole, the nature of which is that the notion of the whole is found to be complete in one part, but in the others by some participation thereof. Thus it is here: for the entire fulness of the sacrament is in one Order, namely the priesthood, while in the other sacraments there is a participation of Order. And this is signified by the Lord saying (Num. 11:17): "I will take of thy spirit and give to them, that they may bear with thee the burden of the people." Therefore all the Orders are one sacrament.
So, how can a man skip right to the priesthood, bypassing the minor orders?
The Council of Trent sess. 23 ch. 2
also makes this very
On the Seven Orders.
And whereas the ministry of so holy a priesthood is a divine thing; to the end that it might be exercised in a more worthy manner, and with greater veneration, it was suitable that, in the most well ordered settlement of the Church, there should be several and diverse orders of ministers to minister to the priesthood, by virtue of their office; orders so distributed as that those already marked with the clerical tonsure should ascend through the lesser to the greater orders. For the sacred Scriptures make open mention not only of priests, but also of deacons; and teach, in words the most weighty, what things are especially to be attended to in the Ordination thereof; and, from the very beginning of the Church, the names of the following orders, and the ministrations proper to each one of them, are known to have been in use; to wit, those of subdeacon, acolyth, exorcist, lector, and door-keeper; though these were not of equal rank; for the subdeaconship is classed amongst the greater orders by the Fathers and sacred Councils, wherein also we very often read of the other inferior orders.
And especially this anathema sit
in Canon II
Si quis dixerit, præter sacerdotium non esse in Ecclesia Catholica alios ordines et majores et minores, per quos, velut per gradus quosdam, in sacerdotium tendatur: anathema sit.
If any one saith, that, besides the priesthood, there are not in the Catholic Church other orders, both greater and minor, by which, as by certain steps, advance is made unto the priesthood: let him be anathema.