This Notice has been issued to clarify several matters with respect to succession and rights within the Order of Corporate Reunion.
- When Archbishop +Peter Paul Brennan passed into eternal glory on 2 August 2016, he did not name a successor. On 28 July 2016, Michael Kline circulated an email to senior OCR clergy in which he stated the facts clearly,
“I had requested on 2-3 occasions that +Brennan appoint me as a co-adjutor or successor for the OCR, but he was silent on this matter.”
- We are of the position that since Archbishop Brennan did not name a successor, upon his passing, the primacy of the Order returns to the historical seat of primacy and its occupant. When the OCR was founded in 1874, the head of the Order was not referred to as “Universal Primate”, as certain persons are currently claiming. Instead, the head of the OCR was referred to as the “Prelate” and “Rector Pro-Provincial of Canterbury.” The founder of the OCR, Dr Frederick George Lee served as the Order’s first Prelate and Rector Pro-Provincial of Canterbury. Furthermore, historically since 1946 (a date that predates Archbishops +Brennan, +Spataro, and +Persson) that position has been occupied by the presiding bishops of the Apostolic Episcopal Church.
- Currently, the Presiding Bishop of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, and hence the rightful Prelate and Rector Pro-Provincial of Canterbury of the OCR is The Most Reverend Archbishop +John Kersey, OCR, DD. This position and office was confirmed by Archbishop Brennan and Archbishop Nils Bertil Persson (who installed him in office) on November 23, 2008 (refer to the document below).
- As such, whereas there can be other legal entities formed to represent the OCR in various local jurisdictions, those local organizations of the OCR do not represent the entire OCR. Therefore, the Missouri corporation established by Michael Kline does not represent the entire OCR. Moreover, being the legal owner of said corporation does not in any way, shape, or form lend him to be the head of the worldwide OCR.
- History speaks for itself: Since Archbishop +Brennan did not appoint a successor to his position as Universal Primate (a title that should have never been used to begin with), logically, precedence should be upheld. Since the prelature of the Order had always been with the Rector Pro-Provincial of Canterbury and the Primate of the Apostolic Episcopal Church (at least since 1946), then in the absence of an appointed successor, the prelature should naturally revert to the former practice.