The clergy of the Province of St Mary the Virgin of the Apostolic Episcopal Church met in Synod on Thursday, December 30, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. co-ordinated from Ecuador (Provincial Headquarters) by the Provincial, Mar Pantaleon, and with attendance through the medium of the internet. The Provincial Synod was attended by all the Bishops and clergy in good standing with the Provincial See, and clergy from the USA, Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador and Spain participated. A letter sent by the AEC Primate and Presiding Bishop Mar Joannes Edmundus with a reflection on John 6:38-40 was read. The reports from each of the Dioceses were received, as well as their pastoral projections for 2022. Better times are really coming in our Province and in our Church! Despite the restrictions stemming from the Covid pandemic, the clergy have managed to continue serving their people. We pray that God’s blessing will rest upon their work and the people whom they serve.
The Apostolic Letter “Traditionis custodes” issued by Pope Francis recently has caused considerable concern to those who have a devotion to the Tridentine Rite. It has been necessary before responding to analyse carefully the detail of the Apostolic Letter itself, its accompanying documentation, its context, and then the responses of others to its contents. In our response, it is also necessary to set out certain priorities, so that we are seen both to uphold our brethren in full communion with the Holy See and also to state in truth the position from where we ourselves stand.
The latitude in interpretation in the language of the Apostolic Letter itself would permit an intelligent and literal interpretation that would, perhaps surprisingly, allow it to be interpreted as supportive of the status quo within the obedience of the Holy See, with the addition of some key caveats. Having examined a wide range of responses, including from the bishops of the Roman obedience, we find that some bishops are indeed minded to take this approach. Others have more regard to the modernist context that surrounds the Apostolic Letter, and have interpreted it in such a way as to lead them to prohibit the celebration of the Tridentine Rite either partially or fully within their dioceses, or to require of their traditionalist parishioners that they give explicit written assent to the provisions of the Apostolic Letter and the Second Vatican Council as a condition of continuing their chosen form of worship.
It is difficult not to have sympathy for some of the issues that the Holy Father raises. He says truthfully that the Church is divided and that the basis for at least some of this division is adherence to the Tridentine Rite and an opposition to the modernist reforms of Vatican II. Again, we are aware that it is possible to interpret the decisions of Vatican II in a traditionalist rather than a modernist light, but this is a minority viewpoint and not one that seems to be in evidence in the context of the current Apostolic Letter. Rather, it seems to us that the Holy Father is making explicit a dilemma for those of the Roman obedience. Firstly, he appears to want unanimity in both the full acceptance of Vatican II and on the modernist interpretation of Vatican II that he himself holds along with the majority of Catholics. Secondly, for those who are unable in conscience to accept this, what he is taking away is the prospect of forming a distinct traditionalist community within the Church that has the capacity for growth and ultimately for influence. The spirit of the Apostolic Letter is that the Tridentine Rite, where not extinguished altogether, is to be driven to the margins. This comes at a time when the traditionalist expressions of the Church have been those that have been growing in the most visible way, particularly among the young, and where there have inevitably been other questions that have arisen as a result of the cognitive dissonance between the expression of traditionalist worship and teaching, and the modernist emphasis of the Papacy.
As Christians, our aim should be to bring healing where there is division, and wherever possible not to be the cause of further division. It would not be possible to be involved in the work of ecumenism without having as an aspiration that such work would result in new ways of working together and of emphasising the fact that, however disparate our churchmanship, much more still unites us than divides. A starting-point for such work is a respect for those who differ from us. These differences ultimately reflect the fact that mankind is diverse, not uniform, and if we are to have the proper regard for the fact that each one of us is made in God’s image, we should avoid crude or sweeping attempts at collectivisation or centralization.
The history of the Church is not one of papocentralism nor of the Church as a centrally governed direct hierarchy. The government of the Church has historically been entrusted to its bishops, who have differed widely in their theology and polity while preserving the deposit of faith. The place of the Pope in such a structure is certainly not entirely without an obvious overarching power, but it is much more in line with the Orthodox view of the Papacy as a primacy of honour rather than one of jurisdiction. Had the present Apostolic Letter been issued some centuries ago, the view that might have been taken then would have been much more equivocal than in the modern Church. It could well have been said, and it would not have been without significant scholarly support, that if a Pope were to err in his teaching or polity, it was largely permissible to ignore any such aberration without significant spiritual or practical consequences accruing.
Our first priority in considering a response to Traditionis custodes is that of the salvation of souls. This is the supreme law of the Church. The Declaration of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith Dominus Iesus (2000) states,
“Therefore, there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him. The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches. Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the Catholic Church, since they do not accept the Catholic doctrine of the Primacy, which, according to the will of God, the Bishop of Rome objectively has and exercises over the entire Church.” (IV:17)
We are then given the conditions for a church to be a “true particular church”, viz. Apostolic Succession and a valid Eucharist. In practice, the second condition is only possible if the first is present.
Moreover, such separated churches are not separate in that they do not belong to the Catholic Church, “The Christian faithful are therefore not permitted to imagine that the Church of Christ is nothing more than a collection — divided, yet in some way one — of Churches and ecclesial communities; nor are they free to hold that today the Church of Christ nowhere really exists, and must be considered only as a goal which all Churches and ecclesial communities must strive to reach”. In fact, “the elements of this already-given Church exist, joined together in their fullness in the Catholic Church and, without this fullness, in the other communities”.
Therefore, these separated Churches and communities as such, though we believe they suffer from defects, have by no means been deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church”.
It follows that the separated churches draw upon the same divine essence as the (Roman) Catholic Church. They are elements of a single church, not a sign of a church that consists of many disparate parts. It follows that they are as much partakers of the Holy Roman Church as is the Holy See. It is then for them to define the nature of their relationship with Rome.
Our concern in writing is not that those traditionalists under Papal obedience should now consider attending the Traditional Latin Mass in separated churches and communities, although that may in certain cases be an option for them to consider. They do not need to leave the Roman Catholic Church in order to do so; Canon 844(2) of the current Roman Catholic Code of Canon Law states, “Whenever necessity requires it or true spiritual advantage suggests it, and provided that danger of error or of indifferentism is avoided, the Christian faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister are permitted to receive the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick from non-Catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid.”
Rather we would wish that those who find themselves in spiritual crisis due to the Apostolic Letter should have a clear understanding of their priorities. The first priority must be to ensure that the sacraments they and others receive are unambiguously valid. We do not say at all that the text of the Mass of Paul VI is not valid, but we do say that where the Mass of Paul VI is accompanied by an overtly modernist interpretation it may give rise to doubts in the mind of the faithful who are aware of the opposition of modernism and Marxist so-called “liberation theology” to the inspired and settled teaching of the Church through the ages. Likewise, assent to both Vatican Councils requires the faithful to profess beliefs about the Church that are not in accordance with the tradition of the Church but instead speak of modernism and the desire for a centralised, “managed” church that is at odds with its history before the past two centuries. Lastly, we should remember that obedience to the teachings of the Pope is not a sine qua non for the faithful, particularly if those teachings are perceived to be partisan or at variance with the unambiguously valid tradition of the Church. Tradition is not the preserve of the Pope to change or abrogate; it is the preserve and treasure of the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit. The title of the Apostolic Letter is accurate in that tradition has guardians; a guardian values and nurtures his charge rather than destroying it.
We should also approach these problems from another perspective; if a person feels that the Tridentine Rite and traditionalist theology draw them closer to Jesus and offer them the spiritual nourishment necessary for their journey in faith, who should stand in their way? Should such people be force-fed modernism, or alternatively forced out of full communion with the Pope altogether? The Pope speaks of division in his writings, and yet it seems that (presumably inadvertently) his response to that division will act to proliferate that division still further, and intensify the polarisation between traditionalists and modernists that he says he wishes to heal. We find that the response of a number of Roman Catholic bishops in supporting the continued celebration of the Tridentine Rite within their dioceses is encouraging and to be commended. Where bishops are minded to prohibit its celebration, they are presumably aware that they are forcing a set of difficult and heart-rending choices upon the faithful. At their most extreme, these questions may lead some traditional Catholics to embrace the beliefs known as sedevacantism or sedeprivationism which we do not endorse.
We note that some papocentrist Catholics who belong to groups and societies who have seen fit to attack us in the past have seen the Apostolic Letter as an opportunity to be seized to promote their modernist views. One such writer says of Vatican II and the replacement of the Tridentine Rite with the Mass of Paul VI that “in the opinion of the most recent Popes, many of these things that were antiquated and no longer had any place in today’s modern society just had to go so as not to continue to shock or offend in the modern age.” Such ideas, whether held by the recent Popes or not, are both shameful and heretical. The Church is not concerned with “shocking” or “offending” others. Indeed, the precepts of the Christian faith, for which many of the saints embraced martyrdom, should rightly shock and offend any who oppose them, be they modernists or Marxists. Of course such opponents of tradition are also opposed to the ideas of traditional monarchy and of the nobiliary traditions within the Church.
Let us remember that we are not called to be of this world (John 15:19); and indeed many of the problems which the early Christians encountered in ancient Rome have unfortunately returned amid the crisis of faith of our world during the past century. Jesus has the answers to these problems, and any who find answers that are inconsistent with His teachings are to be regarded as false shepherds.
We note that there is reference in the Pope’s writings to the Society of St Pius X, which continues the expression of the Roman Catholic Church as the church was constituted before Vatican II. We find the position of the SSPX unsatisfactory because its insistence on upholding Vatican I creates a tautology. The SSPX at once upholds the incorrect proposition that the Pope is infallible, and yet refuses to accede to Vatican II despite its blessing and active promulgation by the “infallible” Pope Paul VI and all his successors, together with the college of bishops. The truth is that the Pope is not and never has been infallible; infallibility is attributed solely to the college of bishops not merely of the Roman Catholic Church but instead of the entire undivided Church speaking through an Ecumenical Council under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Within a profoundly divided Church as we see today, there can be no valid Council.
It follows logically that the only consistent and accurate voice representing Tradition within the Roman heritage is that of the Old Catholic understanding, accepting the pre-1870 position of the Church and adhering to neither Vatican Council. The Old Catholic position incidentally has been on numerous occasions affirmed as theologically consistent with the position both of the Orthodox Churches and the Anglican Communion. Moreover, Roman Catholic canonists of the past century have repeatedly stated that the sacraments of the various branches of the Old Catholics are valid notwithstanding their partial or impaired communion with the Holy See.
The Tridentine Rite remains the normative liturgical form within our communion and is understood in the context of a traditional liturgical interpretation. Not being in full communion with the Holy See, we are not bound by the Apostolic Letter as a matter of discipline, though as always we should consider the views of the Pope with the respect that they are due. We continue to hold Pope Francis in prayer and also pray for the healing of the Church so that Jesus’ own prayer may be fulfilled, “that all may be as one” (John 17:21).
The Abbey-Principality of San Luigi and the Catholicate of the West wish everyone a very happy Easter.
The new scandal, the new nightmare, the tomb of the Pope’s Roman Catholic Moral Theology: aborted babies used for making COVID-19 Vaccines.
by Professor Luca Scotto di Tella de’ Douglas
Bioethics was born after the most terrible experiments made on prisoners during the Second World War II by the Nazis and the Japanese allied to the Nazis. Dr. Mengele and Dr. Ishii without any ethics, pity, mercy, or compassion tortured and killed a huge quantity of human beings who were used like guinea pigs. Now after some decades in the name of profit and for a few months of supposed protection – a shield from Covid 19 – we discovered the skeleton in the closet, the vaccines proposed as a great solution are based on the torture and death of innocent babies, aborted. Several vaccines are made in cells from foetuses aborted for example, decades ago. They include vaccines against rubella, hepatitis A, and chicken pox/shingles.
We don’t need to be saints in order to raise a firm ethical objection to this cruel and merciless, barbaric and inhuman trivialization and banalization of Human Life that, for profit and career is not any more considered as sacred but a mere tool for making money. The manufacture of this group of unethical vaccines using such ethically-tainted human cell lines demonstrates profound disrespect for the dignity of Human Life which for us comes from God and which deserves to be respected in depth. A true “hara kiri”, a suicide, was made by the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life (that should after this be renamed FALLING) when it declared in 2005 and reaffirmed in 2017 that in the absence of alternatives, Catholics could, in “good conscience”, receive vaccines made using historical human fetal cell lines. This means that if there is a risk for health, a Roman Catholic can ask legally and with a pure conscience, to the scientist, to have a medicine (a vaccine is a medicine) without even asking how it was produced. If in that production they were partners in crime, accomplices in horrible acts such as abortions, who cares. This is something profound, serious and shameful that has nothing of Christianity about it; it is simply abominable even for a non-Christian and for an Atheist Man of Good Will.
The current Pope and the Vatican approve of Catholics receiving vaccines manufactured using human fetal cells by abortion “only” in the absence of alternatives but this is also equivalent to justifying the dirty trafficking of organs sold, for example by countries where the death penalty is in force and the organs of executed criminals are sold. The important thing is to get what you need, ethics are of no use, obviously, morality is something heavy and impractical, better to be cynical, selfish and not ask too many questions.
Let us ask ourselves this, would Jesus, the Christ, ever approve, in order to create a medicine, to have innocent babies killed in small pieces in the womb of Mothers? To order this butchery of fetuses and consciences?
The Apostolic Episcopal Church strongly condemns the purchase and use of aborted human foetal corpses for so-called “scientific” uses. The AEC firmly calls on drug companies to work to create ethical medicines and vaccines that reject certain shameful uses of Human Life.
The Apostolic Episcopal Church, founded in 1925 in New York, USA, is a worldwide communion with unbroken succession from its foundation. Its name is particular, not generic, and while there are many churches that have similar names, it is not conceivable to us that any reasonable enquirer could fail to be aware of our web presence and our distinctive history and mission. The official URL of the Apostolic Episcopal Church is www.apostolicepiscopalchurch.org, which domain now redirects to this website.
The only past mission that the AEC has been associated with in India was when the Catholicate of the West, with which the AEC was and is united, was incorporated in India under the Societies Act of 1860 during 1950. This period came to an end when Mar Petros, who was responsible for the Catholicate in India, died in 1954. No church activity in India has been authorized since that time, although there was briefly a mission in Pakistan during the 1990s. By contrast, today there are good relations between our communion and the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church in India, and it would be the wish of the Apostolic Episcopal Church to support the important work of our Malankaran brethren there rather than set up any form of competition.
An entity has recently appeared on Facebook calling itself “The Apostolic Episcopal Church in India”, apparently based in Secunderabad and claiming links with “Dayspring Christian University” This, according to information received, is a continuation of the imposture of Gary Barkman. The Apostolic Episcopal Church issued an Ad Clerum concerning Gary Barkman and his associates on 23 February 2013 and the salient points of this document are repeated below,
The Metropolitan Synod of the Apostolic Episcopal Church (AEC), has recently expressed its concern at the actions of one Dr Gary Barkman and those clergy associated with him. Dr Barkman has established a website at http://drgbarkman.tripod.com on which he holds himself out to be “Patriarch” of the Apostolic Episcopal Church and other clergy of his body to be likewise clergy of the Apostolic Episcopal Church. This is a baseless, fraudulent and impertinent imposture. For some time, text and images belonging to an official AEC website were reproduced on Dr Barkman’s website verbatim and without acknowledgement. After receiving representations from Metropolitan Synod to cease and desist from these actions, these materials have now been removed. However, there continue to be unauthorized references to the AEC on the website and the revised name of Dr Barkman’s group, viz. “Episcopal Apostolic Church” is close enough to that of the AEC to cause needless confusion.
For the purposes of clarity, it is therefore made explicit that:
- Dr Gary Barkman, Dr Titus MacMillan and other clergy associated with them are not, and never have been, members of clergy of the Apostolic Episcopal Church.
- The Apostolic Episcopal Church has had no office of “Patriarch” since the 1990s.
- Any claim by these men to represent the Apostolic Episcopal Church is unauthorized and without warrant of Metropolitan Synod of the AEC.
- Any assertion by these men that the AEC is or has become a Pentecostal body is false and baseless. The AEC continues to abide by its Statement of Faith as recorded inter alia on p 561 of “Religious Bodies, 1936: pt. 1. Denominations, A to J : statistics, history” by Timothy Francis Murphy, United States Bureau of the Census, 1936.
A list of the members of Metropolitan Synod of the Apostolic Episcopal Church is provided here. No other bishop, whether their church is in intercommunion with the Apostolic Episcopal Church or not, is recognized as a member of Metropolitan Synod. No person who derives their authority from Gary Barkman is recognized as a member, let alone as clergy, of the Apostolic Episcopal Church. Lastly, the Apostolic Episcopal Church has no clergy and no missions in India at present.
The Apostolic Episcopal Church wishes to advise the public that the website at https://aecorcny2.weebly.com (and previously at https://apostolicepiscopalchurchocr.weebly.com which is defunct at the time of writing) is fraudulent and has not been authorized by the Apostolic Episcopal Church. In addition, Rodney Rickard, who is responsible for this imposture, is not and never has been a member of the Apostolic Episcopal Church.
The website makes a number of wholly inaccurate statements concerning the faith and position of the Apostolic Episcopal Church and the AEC wishes to formally dissociate itself from these. All relevant information about the faith and nature of the AEC is provided on its official webpages on this website. Furthermore, Rickard’s website copies sections of this official website verbatim and without acknowledgement, violating our copyright and demonstrating a high degree of intellectual dishonesty.
This statement has been issued only after the failure of discussions with Rickard, who has been contacted privately by senior clergy both of the Apostolic Episcopal Church and of other churches in attempts to make him desist from this course of action. It has been made clear to him that there will inevitably be legal consequences from his imposture and in addition he is likely to do considerable damage to his own reputation.
On 15 December 1995, the AEC and the Order of Corporate Reunion in New York, which were at that time united under a single administration, authorized the formation of a corporation in the State of New York called The Apostolic Episcopal Church – Order of Corporate Reunion, Inc. The incorporators were the Most Revd. Donald Hugh, then Archbishop of the Province of the West in the Apostolic Episcopal Church, and the Most Revd. Francis C. Spataro, then Archbishop of the Province of the East in the Apostolic Episcopal Church. On 23 June 1996, Archbishop Hugh was suspended a divinis from membership of the Apostolic Episcopal Church by then-Primate Archbishop Bertil Persson, and Archbishop Spataro subsequently resigned from membership of the corporation. As of 23 June 1996, authority was therefore withdrawn from the corporation by the Apostolic Episcopal Church.
Dr Hugh continued to maintain this corporation and a schismatic representation of the Apostolic Episcopal Church and the Order of Corporate Reunion for some years afterwards. As AEC Primate from 1998-2015, Dr Spataro decided not to act on the matter and this was also the policy that Dr Kersey pursued after succeeding as AEC Primate in 2015. The view that was taken was that there was some sympathy for Dr Hugh’s past differences with Dr Persson, that his schism was small and had attracted few if any followers, and that Dr Hugh was advanced in years and his false representation of our church would likely die with him. In the past decade there was some contact between Dr Hugh and Archbishop Brennan of the OCR and this contributed towards a thawing of relations, even if reunion was not to be achieved.
It was therefore with dismay that the Apostolic Episcopal Church learned earlier this year that Dr Hugh’s New York corporation had recently been purchased by Rodney Rickard, who has never been a member of the Apostolic Episcopal Church. Rickard represented to us that he was interested in working with us to re-establish the Order of Corporate Reunion, of which he had previously been a member, on a sounder footing in the USA. These efforts were supported by us, but it was never discussed or made clear to us by Rickard that he would also be making false claims regarding the Apostolic Episcopal Church. Indeed, when the implications of his actions were made clear to him initially, he gave an undertaking “We are NOT AND WILL NOT be using AEC-OCR as an acronym for these two ecclesial entities.” This was a lie, as is proven by Rickard’s current website.
There are loosely-constituted church movements such as Pentecostalism and some schools of the Baptist Church in which any person may claim the authority to lead and teach. The Apostolic Episcopal Church is definitively not of this classification. Since its inception, it has been a canonical and hierarchically-organized church, and during its earlier years had provision for synodical governance. It has never been a free-for-all or a body in which mere ownership of a corporation would give an individual any rights within it. The present constitution of the AEC is dependent upon the Primate and Presiding Bishop as a church nonprofit Corporation Sole in the State of Hawaii and upon the canons of the church which are the bylaws of that corporation. Canon IV:12 states
No person may incorporate any corporation, or establish any non-profit or other entity using the name “Apostolic Episcopal Church” without first having received the consent of Metropolitan Synod, nor may any website be maintained that uses the name and distinctive emblems of the Apostolic Episcopal Church without receiving the consent of the Primate.
The Apostolic Episcopal Church has today initiated primary legal action against Rickard with the aim of ending his fraudulent misrepresentation of our church. It has also taken the step of declaring that he and any persons who may join his schism are to be regarded as vitandus by this Church. We pray that they may yet repent of their actions and cease their wrongdoing.
Archbishop Lorentzen (left) with Archbishop Paget Mack of the AEC at his consecration at St Lucy’s Cathedral in New York in 2014
The Apostolic Episcopal Church has been informed of the death of the Most Revd. Paul Lorentzen, who served as Archbishop of the Province of the East in the Apostolic Episcopal Church between 2015 and 2019. He died of cancer on 5 July at the age of 71.
Paul Lorentzen was a graduate of McKee High School and following his Associate of Science degree earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion and a Master of Divinity degree from Faith Evangelical College and Seminary, Tacoma, Washington. He followed this with a PhD in Christian Counseling for substance abuse.
His secular career ended with the position of plant superintendent of The South Beach Psychiatric Center, from which he retired in 2001. Thereafter he pursued his religious vocation and was ordained priest in the North American Lutheran Church. He pastored various Lutheran churches in New York, including St Paul’s Lutheran, Brooklyn, Immanuel Lutheran, and Eltingville Lutheran Church, Staten Island.
He came to know the late Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan of the Order of Corporate Reunion, who was in communion with the Apostolic Episcopal Church. Archbishop Brennan duly ordained him deacon and priest and he joined the OCR. In addition to his other ministerial responsibilities he served as a deacon in the Association of Independent Evangelical Lutheran Churches (which was also in communion with the AEC) at St George’s Astoria. During this period he was also supply clergy for the Episcopal Church on Staten Island. On June 20, 2014, he was consecrated bishop by bishop Alan Stanford, assisted by bishops Gregory Raeppel and George Jachimczyk. Bishop Stanford was consecrated by Archbishop Maxey, formerly Primate of the AEC.
In 2014, Archbishop Francis Spataro announced his retirement as Primate of the Apostolic Episcopal Church. Paul Lorentzen was admitted to the Apostolic Episcopal Church and conditionally consecrated bishop by Archbishop Spataro assisted by Archbishop Brennan and Archbishop Paget Mack of the AEC at St Lucy’s Old Roman Catholic Cathedral on 30 December 2014. He was appointed Provincial of the East when Archbishop Spataro retired on 5 February 2015, served as a Deputy to the Primate, and received the honorary degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology from the AEC. As a result of Archbishop Brennan’s efforts, he was also appointed a Delegate at the United Nations to represent the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II.
During 2015, Archbishop Lorentzen accepted the Lutheran pastorate of Transfiguration Church on Staten Island, New York, where he also ran a men’s ministry called Transfiguration Life Together. It was further intended that an Evangelical Catholic mission for the AEC should develop there, but this unfortunately did not happen. Archbishop Lorentzen also wished to extend his existing work in the Episcopal Church by becoming certified with them so that he could go on their regular call roster for Staten Island, but again this came to nothing.
The death of Archbishop Brennan in 2016 seems to have marked a turning-point in Archbishop Lorentzen’s ministry. Archbishop Lorentzen was in attendance upon him during his last days and gave him Holy Communion on his deathbed, Most of the former ecumenical activity that had been associated with the OCR, and with which the AEC had also been closely involved, came to an end. When the AEC reasserted its own representation of the Order of Corporate Reunion in 2017, Archbishop Lorentzen was supportive of this action, but it was difficult to escape the impression that his priorities were now elsewhere.
By February 2019, Archbishop Lorentzen’s ministry had developed to the extent that it was now wholly centred upon the Lutheran Church, giving rise to concerns that while he continued to hold senior office in the AEC, this had now become purely a nominal appointment. It was clearly not in the best interests of anyone that this situation should continue, and accordingly he resigned from the AEC and the OCR and thereafter devoted himself to the Lutheran ministry.
He was past master of Tompkins Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons No. 471, and Lodge No. 66, and a member of Nansen Lodge Sons of Norway on Staten Island.
He was passionate about rescued Pit Bull dogs, and they were his constant companions.
Bishop Pedro was Presiding Bishop of the Association of Independent Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AIELC) which was in communion with the AEC, and pastored St Peter and St Paul Independent Lutheran Church in Astoria, New York. His associate clergy were Archbishop Spataro of the AEC and Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan of the Order of Corporate Reunion. Services were conducted in Spanish and membership was reported as 55 persons. Bishop Bravo together with Archbishop Spataro was a member of the Queens Federation of Churches, NY. Bishop Bravo served additionally as a Provost of the Order of Corporate Reunion during Archbishop Brennan’s primacy.
He suffered a stroke in 2016 and subsequently stepped down from his position in the AIELC in favour of Bishop Manuel A. Acuna of Argentina.