Notice: Fraudulent use of the name of the Apostolic Episcopal Church by “The Apostolic Episcopal Church in India”

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.

Notice: Fraudulent misrepresentation of the Apostolic Episcopal Church

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.

Death of Archbishop Paul Lorentzen

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.

Memory Eternal!

Death of Bishop Pedro Bravo-Guzman

The Apostolic Episcopal Church has been informed of the death of Bishop Pedro Bravo Guzman following a long illness. He was seventy years old.

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.

Memory Eternal!

Bestowal of the Sokolnicki Medals at ceremony in Poland

On 24 April a ceremony took place in Poland at which the Juliusz Sokolnicki Memorial Medals were presented by H.E. Dr Norbert Wójtowicz, Grand Prior for Continental Europe of the San Luigi Orders. The Medals, which are awarded in silver and in gold, were instituted by the Apostolic Episcopal Church to commemorate the late Count Juliusz Nowina-Sokolnicki, who was a bishop of the Apostolic Episcopal Church. They are charity medals and for each medal, a donation will be made to support activity centres for children from poor families in Wrocław, Poland.

Dr Wójtowicz presents the Gold Medal to Ryszard Złociński

Recipients of the Sokolnicki Medals in Gold: Stanisław August Chmura, Maciej Myczka and Ryszard Złociński.

(Not shown) Recipients of the Sokolnicki Medals in Silver: Jerzy Mieczysław Korwin Małaczyński, Wacław Nowak, Jolanta Cieśla Zagórska, Jan Stanisław Posiew.

List of Recipients of the Juliusz Sokolnicki Memorial Charity Medal:

– Count Prof. Jose Antonio de Almarza Martin Vogue
– Mr Alfredo Lopez Ares
– Mr Wiesław Barnat
– Mr Czesław Berkowski
– Mr Władysław Borcz
– Mr Stanisław August Chmura
– Ms Jolanta Cieśla-Zagórska
– Mr Robert Clifford Hoani Cribb
– H.S.H. Edmond III, 8th Prince Abbot of San Luigi
– Ms Anna Galara
– Mr Robert Galara
– Mr Jacek Gromek
– Mr Bernd Höhle
– Prince Mykhailo Iashvili-Shubin
– Mr Jan Jagielski
– Mr Andrzej Robert Janczak
– Grand Prince Michel Karatchevskyi-Volk
– Mr Wojciech Karwowski
– Count Albert Aleksey von Kloss-Ignatenko
– Mr Zygmunt Piotr Kłodnicki
– Mr Krzysztof Krężel
– Dr. Marian Król
– Mr Stefan Kukowski
– Mr Thaddäus Baron V. Lison
– Mr Francisco Gonzáles Lupion
– Mr Bernard Edward Malinowski
– Mr Jerzy Mieczysław Korwin Małaczyński
– Mr Miroslaw Mandryga
– Mr Janusz Moszkowski
– Mr Krzysztof Muszyński
– Ms Marta Muszyńska
– Mr Maciej Myczka
– Mr Wacław Nowak
– Mr Roman Henryk Orlicz
– Mr Włodzimierz Pacelt
– Mr Stanisław Pagacz
– Mr Jacek Pastuszka
– Mr Mieczysław Perlak
– Rev. Dr. Józef Pick
– Mr Mirosław Pietruszka
– Mr Piotr Pniewski
– Mr Aleksander Podolski
– Dr. Nikolay Pokrovskiy
– Mr Jan Stanisław Posiewka
– Ms Ewa Potocka
– Mr Jan Zbigniew Potocki
– Mr Victor Otero Prol
– Mr Mark S. Rackley
– Prince Krzysztof Konstanty Radziwiłł
– Mr José M Francisco Roig Reverté
– Dr. Daniel Jesús García Riol
– H.E. Bp. Adam Rosiek
– Rev. general-major PSD Stanisław Rospondek
– Mr Jan Rudziński
– Mr Shane Ryan
– Most. Rev. Dr. Franck William Schaffner
– Dr. Taras Shevchenko
– Ms Ewa Straehli de Siemieńczyk
– Mr Tomasz de Siemieńczyk
– H.E. Abp. Francis Spataro
– Prof. Stanisław Leszek Stadniczeńko
– Rev. Monsignor Jan Stanisławski
– Mr Herbert Steindl
– Ms Karen Stevens
– Mr Jan Sylwestrzak
– Mr Zbigniew Kazimierz Szymański
– Mr Jan Szymczak
– Mr Dariusz Śliwiński
– Mjr Paweł Świetlik
– Rev. Dr. Andrzej Targosz
– Mr Richard H. Taylor
– Unia Polskich Ugrupowań Monarchistycznych
– Mr Wladislaw A. Usoff
– Mr Zenon Piotr Zalewski
– Rev. Grzegorz Zdrojewski
– Mr Ryszard Złociński

 

Death of the Revd. Richard Pumphrey

The sudden death of the Revd. Richard Pumphrey as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident has deprived the Apostolic Episcopal Church of one of her most effective priests.

Charles Richard Pumphrey was born in 1947 in Evansville, Indiana. Strongly traditionalist in his beliefs, his advocacy of traditional Anglicanism was of a piece with a worldview that he saw as defending a threatened Western civilization. He graduated with an Associate of Arts degree with a major in Bible from Freed Hardeman College in 1967 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and History from David Lipscomb College, Tennessee, in 1969, also studying for a year at Memphis Theological Seminary. In 2003 he received the degree of Master of Theology in Pastoral Counseling from Campbellsville University, Kentucky.

Faced with the modernist changes in the Anglican Communion that became particularly visible towards the end of the twentieth-century, he initially joined the Orthodox Anglican Church. This church was founded as the Episcopal Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of America by Episcopalians in 1963, and was not originally a “continuing Anglican” body, but in 1999 a decision was taken that it would orientate itself to a greater extent with the Continuum, with its name changing to the Orthodox Anglican Church in 2005. He was ordained deacon in 2001 and priest in 2002 by that church’s presiding bishop, the Most Revd. Scott McLaughlin. In 2002, he received the degree of Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from St Andrew’s Theological College and Seminary of the Orthodox Anglican Church, and then served that seminary as a professor between 2002 and 2008. He also undertook pastoral charges as associate priest of Holy Apostles, a Bolivian ministry in Elizabethtown, Kentucky (2004-06), and student chaplain to Ephraim McDowell Memorial Hospital in Danville, Kentucky (2003). He also served as chaplain to his local fire department for several years.

In secular life, he worked in the field of insurance, and was latterly Senior Field Representative for the Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company.

In April 2008, faced with declining opportunities for ministry in the OAC, he was received into the Anglican Catholic Church, one of the Continuing Anglican churches that derived from the 1977 Congress of St Louis, and was inducted as celebrant at All Saints, Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee. He was advanced to Rector of that church in May 2010.

Later that year, he became interested in the opportunities for ministry in the Ecclesia Apostolica Divinorum Mysteriorum, a new communion of the Apostolic Episcopal Church that had been formed with a specific mission towards the inner and contemplative traditions. He was received by incardination into EADM from the ACC in December 2010 and subsequently licensed as a priest in the Apostolic Episcopal Church in February 2015. He was further admitted to membership in the First Class of the Order of Antioch and to membership of the Order of Corporate Reunion.

He was married five times, lastly in 2012 to Tricia, who survives him. Their marriage was close and resulted in a loving home life. One interest they shared was the raising of chickens. By his first marriage he had two daughters, Jennifer and Rebecca, and with his fourth wife he adopted Stephanie. He was also a foster parent and between 2002-07 he served as Chairman of the Washington and Marion County, Kentucky, Foster Care Review Board and as a member of the Interested Party Review Board.

Richard Pumphrey was passionate about making a difference to the world around him. He was politically engaged in what he believed was a struggle for the survival of Western civilization and the Christian values that were at its heart. He advocated for the American Freedom Party and, via social media, was a frequent commentator on political and social issues. In all of this, he avoided any suggestion of bigotry or hatred and grounded his commentary in sound religious principle, careful research and a genuine regard for his community. He also displayed a sense of humour that made his writings accessible and invited others to share his world and the deeply-held values that illuminated it. One of the most significant roles that he took on was as a mentor to young people interested in Traditional Anglicanism.

Our thoughts and prayers at this time are with his widow Tricia and his family.

Memory Eternal! Memory Eternal! Memory Eternal!

The J.S.M. Ward Society is featured in “The Square” magazine

The J.S.M. Ward Society, a constituent society of the Apostolic Episcopal Church and a research centre of the University, has provided the cover feature of the June edition of The Square, the independent quarterly magazine for Freemasons. In his article, Warren D. Pilkington gives an introduction to the nature and aims of the Society and discusses both Ward’s life and his considerable involvement in Freemasonry.

The editor of The Square is Dr Mike Kearsley, who is a Professorial Fellow of the University.