X. OF ORDINATION AND VOCATION.
If the bishops would faithfully discharge their office, and take due care of the church and the Gospel, they might, for the sake of charity and tranquility, not however from necessity, be allowed the privilege of ordaining and confirming us and our preachers; yet with this condition, that all unchristian masking, mummery, and jugglery should be removed. But since they neither are nor wish to be true bishops, but political lords and princes, who will neither preach nor teach, nor baptize, nor administer the Sacrament, nor transact any work or office in the church, but force, persecute, and condemn those who are called to this office, the church must not on their account remain destitute of ministers.
For this reason, as the ancient examples of the church and of the Fathers teach us, we ourselves should and will ordain suitable persons to this office. And they have no right either to forbid or to prevent us from so doing, even according to their own law; for their laws say that those who are ordained even by heretics, are truly ordained, and that their ordination should not be abrogated. As St. Jerome also writes concerning the church at Alexandria, that it was first ruled in common by bishops, priests, and preachers.