Reordination the repetition of the sacramental ordinance of ordination, has ever been held to be contrary to the true theory of sacraments, and has been forbidden by the Church under pain of severe penalties. The ground of this prohibition is well expressed by Morinus, quoting the Council of Trent (Sess. 23 c. 4): "In the sacrament of orders, as in baptism and confirmation, a character is conferred which cannot be effaced or taken away." The historical evidence as to both the doctrine and practice of the Church is full and complete. The 68th apostolical canon condemned it, and pronounced sentence of deposition on the ordainer and the ordained. The third Council of Carthage (canon 52) forbade it along with rebaptism. Whether the ordinations of heretics and schismatics are to be held valid, and whether those who have received them are on their reconciliation to be received in their several orders, is a question in respect to which the practice of the Church has varied considerably. The Council of Nice decreed that those who had: been ordained by Meletius should be admitted to serve the Church by reordination. The 68th apostolical canon, while condemning the reordination of those once ordained in the Church, allows that of those who had only received heretical ordination. The second Council of Saragossa (A.D. 592) ratifies the baptism of the Arians, but condemns their ordinations. In later times the practice of the Roman Catholic Church has also been very contradictory. Thus the ordinations of Formosus were declared null by Stephen VI, considered valid by John IX, and again declared invalid by Sergius III. The modern Roman practice of reordaining those ordained in the Church of England is not based on any decree of the Church, and has not been invariable. The custom of the Church of England forbids reordination in the case of those ordained within the Church, and asserts the indelibility of the ordination character. See Aquinas, Summ. pars 3 qu. 38 art. ii; Augustine, Cont. Parmen. lib. ii, c. 13; Ep. 50 ad Bonifac. ii, 661 (ed. Bened.); Bingham, Christian Antiq. bk. i, ch. 7; Courayer, Valid. Angl. Ord. (Oxf. 1844); Palmer, On the Church, pt. 6 ch. 6. SEE ORDINATION.

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