a) "Sacrament of Order." In this sense, Aquinas distinguishes that he means "...as a sacrament... every Order is directed to the sacrament of the Eucharist. Wherefore since the bishop has not a higher power than the priest, in this respect the episcopate is not an Order." The episcopal elevation does not place any indelible character upon the soul. Thus, the candidate for the episcopacy must already have been validly ordained. This is the point that the SSPX tried to obfuscate in their 1988 Angelus article they released attempting to defend against the exposure of Liénart's Freemasonry and his 1947 attempt to elevate Lefebvre. They attributed Lefebvre's validity as having come - not from Liénart - but from the episcopal power of the two valid co-consecrators present with Achilles Liénart in 1947.
SSPX argued hypothetically that even if Lefebvre had never been validly ordained in 1929 by Liénart because Liénart was a Freemason prior to his 1928 episcopal elevation, and therefore Liénart was never a valid bishop, nevertheless, the episcopal elevation ceremony of 1947 would have automatically made Lefebvre a priest. How? Because, they said, that part of Q. 37 says the previously never-received lesser powers of Orders are automatically provided by reception of the higher power of Order (ordination). The SSPX author then extended (erroneously) this Q. 37 principle Lefebvre's elevation, thus declaring Lefebvre a valid bishop, even if he had never been a validly ordained priest from 1929 to 1947.
But I argue that the SSPX had to deliberately withhold the teaching of Summa Suppl Q. 40 Art. 5 Reply to Obj. 2 which clearly states that the episcopal elevation does not place a character on the soul - it merely provides more grace to assist the bishop in his responsibilities - and that the episcopal candidate must have a previous valid ordination. And so to counter that fact, the SSPX two years later came up with another article in the Angelus now arguing that one has to accept the elevation of Liénart in 1928 as being valid - even though they do not deny he was a Freemason - on the belief that since no one could know his mind at the time and that he had a proper episcopal elevation ceremony, then we must assume (*False, not the whole of the teaching. They likely KNOW this. -TCW) he had the minimal proper intent. Mr. Donald Sanborn in Brooksville, Florida, makes this same argument today.
*"With this inherent defect of 'form' is joined the defect of 'intention' which is equally essential to the Sacrament. The Church does not judge about the mind and intention, in so far as it is something by its nature internal; but in so far as it (intention) is manifested externally she is bound to judge concerning it." -Leo XIII, Encyclical Apostolicae Curae (Against the validity of Anglican Orders).
(And) Pope Alexander VIII condemned the following:
In response, I argue that the continued high-ranking *membership of Liénart in the Freemasonic Religion - including his gleeful, deathbed statement in 1973 (that the "...Catholic Church is dead.") - is itself a manifestation of his intent, as a **Freemason, i.e., to destroy the Catholic religion, a well documented primary goal of Freemasonry.
*Lefebvre himself (in an act of damage control) acknowledged that Achilles Liénart was a Freemason in a tape-recorded talk he gave in Montreal, Canada on May 27, 1976. Yet, then, stated that it did not adversely affect the validity of his own Orders. (FALSE!!) -ED
**“[T]hose secret societies of factious men who, completely opposed to God and to princes, are wholly dedicated to bringing about the fall of the Church, the destruction of kingdoms, and disorder in the whole world…Their law is untruth: their god is the devil and their cult is turpitude… Our predecessors, Clement XII, Benedict XIV, Pius VII, Leo XII, repeatedly condemned with anathema that kind of secret society…” (Traditi Humilitati - Encyclical of Pope Pius VIII, May 24, 1829)
“[S]uch that they profane and defile the passion of Jesus Christ by certain of their impious ceremonies, that they despise the Sacraments of the Church (for which they seem to substitute other new things invented by themselves through their supreme wickedness) and despise the very mysteries of the Catholic Religion and that they overthrow this Apostolic See against which, because on it the Sovereignty of the Apostolic Chair has always flourished, (S. Aug. Epist. 43.) they are roused by a certain unparalleled hate and they devise every dangerous destructive plot.” (Constitution of Pope Pius VII – Ecclesiam a Jesu Christo – 9/13/1821)