Charity medals in memory of Bishop Juliusz Nowina-Sokolnicki

Juliusz_Sokolnicki

The Primate has authorized the issue of two charity medals in memory of the late Bishop Juliusz Nowina-Sokolnicki. The Most Revd. Juliusz Nowina-Sokolnicki (1920-2009) served as Assistant Bishop of the Apostolic Episcopal Church in Great Britain both as deputy to the late Archbishop-Count George Boyer and as bishop with special responsibilities for the Polish-speaking peoples. He was consecrated for the Apostolic Episcopal Church on 27 May 1983.

Juliusz Nowina-Sokolnicki is best-known in his capacity as the head of one of the two entities that maintained rival claims to be the Polish government-in-exile between 1971 and the fall of communism in 1990. He was Prince Grand Master of the Order of St Stanislas.

The Charity Medals are issued in gold (for outstanding merit) and silver. The silver medal is available for a donation of PLN 120 which includes an individually-named certificate signed by the Primate. For each medal, a donation will be made to support activity centres for children from poor families in Wrocław, Poland.

If you would like to receive the silver charity medal, please write to Dr Norbert Wójtowicz who is co-ordinating the project and can receive your donation. He can be reached at keeperofthelaws@wp.pl

Below are pictures of the gold and silver medals. The ribbon is based on the colours used for the arms of Bishop Juliusz Nowina-Sokolnicki. The reverse of the medal bears the arms of the Apostolic Episcopal Church.

Sokolnicki medal obverseSokolnicki medal reverse

Death of Patriarch Yuri I

Patriarch Yuri I (centre) with Archbishop Spataro of the AEC and Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan of the Order of Corporate Reunion at St Lucy’s Cathedral

The death has been announced of Patriarch Yuri I, Apostolic Administrator of All American World Patriarchates and Patriarch of the Byelorussian Orthodox National Church in Exile. He had been suffering from cancer for some years and passed away yesterday aged 82.

The episcopate of Emigidiusz Jerzy Ryzy was intimately connected with that of his late brother, Uladyslau Ryzy-Ryski (1925-78). Uladyslau Ryzy-Ryski was a Byelorussian priest who during the 1960s came into contact with Patriarch Wolodymyr (Walter Myron Propheta) (1912-72) of the American Orthodox Catholic Church. The AOCC, which was incorporated in 1965, was an attempt to build an indigenous American Orthodoxy inspired by the earlier example of Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh (1880-1966), being non-ethnically and non-nationally established and welcoming all who sought Orthodoxy. Patriarch Wolodymyr based his church upon a steadfast witness to the seven Ecumenical Councils but allowed his bishops a free choice of liturgical and other matters provided these were in accordance with an Orthodox understanding.

On Christmas Day 1965, Metropolitan Peter Zhurawetzky (who was recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarch) then-acting Archbishop of Miensk and all Byelorussia of the Apostolic Synod of “SUBOZHNIA” and Patriarch of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Patriarchate of America elevated to the rank of Archbishop and consecrated Ryzy-Ryski, to be the Apostolic Administrator of the Byelorussian Orthodox Catholic Church of St Apostle Andrew in both the Eastern and Western Rite. Ryzy-Ryski also served as Chancellor to the Holy Orthodox Catholic Patriarchate of America.

In 1967, without leaving Patriarch Wolodymyr’s jurisdiction, Ryzy-Ryski began a new mission, the American World Patriarchates, and became known as Patriarch Uladyslau I. This loosely-structured mission sought to create an international hierarchy of bishops. It was formally separated from the jurisdiction of Patriarch Wolodymyr when, just before his death in 1972, Patriarch Wolodymyr excommunicated Patriarch Uladyslau.

The work of Patriarch Uladyslau was organized from the Bronx in New York, where he established a Cathedral of Learning and the People’s University of the Americas. This offered courses in English as a second language and the humanities for immigrants (particularly Spanish-speakers) at affordable fees, and became extremely popular. Meanwhile, the American World Patriarchates expanded with the appointment of patriarchs for Puerto Rico, Colombia, Haiti, Santo Domingo, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, El Salvador, Nigeria, the West Indies, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan and the Ukraine.

Patriarch Yuri, like his brother, had spent his entire adult life in exile. In Poland, where he lived in the city of Ustka, he trained and worked as an engineer for over a decade. He came to the United States in 1976 and began training for ordination the following year. His rapid advancement was in recognition of the responsibilities that his brother’s illness would soon require him to assume.

When Patriarch Uladyslau died on 1 March 1978 he was succeeded by his brother, who had been consecrated on February 19 that same year by Patriarch Uladyslau, Metropolitan Peter Zhurawetsky and other bishops, and who now became Patriarch Yuri I. On 29 May 1978, Metropolitan Zurawetzky elevated Patriarch Yuri to be Apostolic Administrator of the American World Patriarchates while still recognizing him to be a Bishop of his own Byelorussian jurisdiction.

Under Patriarch Yuri the American World Patriarchates continued its growth and mission. By 1997, the AWP could report 19,457 members, 17 congregations, and 54 priests in the United States; one congregation with three priests in Canada, and work affiliated with the AWP taking place in 17 additional countries.

A great wish of Patriarch Uladyslau was that he should re-establish Orthodoxy in his homeland of Byelorussia (Belarus). This was accomplished under Patriarch Yuri during the 1990s and at this point congregational numbers began to increase substantially. His first visit to his homeland since childhood took place in 1993, and thereafter he returned annually. As of 1993, there was one bishop there, six assisting priests in Minsk, Lida, and Siomki Goradok, and a lay membership of thirty-five thousand which was continuing to grow. However, this activity was opposed by the Belarusian regime, which suppressed many of the churches that had opened.

On January 28 2001, Patriarch Yuri was also raised to Archbishop of the Holy Orthodox Church, Archdiocese of the Atlantic, by bishops of the Uniate Western Orthodox Catholic Church, the Apostolic Episcopal Church, the African Orthodox Church, the Order of St Benedict the Moor, the Anglican Independent Communion and the Order of Corporate Reunion in St. John’s Episcopal American Catholic Church, New York City.

Patriarch Yuri continued to reside in New York and ran a Belarus Home Mission there as well as being active in Belarusian civic associations. The AWP entered intercommunion with the AEC and Patriarch Yuri was often an ecumenical guest at St Lucy’s Old Roman Catholic Cathedral where services of the Order of Corporate Reunion have been held over the years. He was held in great respect and affection by all as a source of wise spiritual counsel and sound teaching.

The wake and funeral will be at the memorial home in Ossining, likely on Friday night at 8 pm. The funeral, which will be according to the Western Rite, will be led by bishops who were friends and colleagues of Patriarch Yuri, followed by burial at the family plot on Saturday.

Memory Eternal! Memory Eternal! Memory Eternal!

Apostolic Episcopal Church bishops participate in consecration

On 23 May, Archbishop Francis C. Spataro (AEC Emeritus Primate), Archbishop Paget Mack of the AEC, and Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan of the Order of Corporate Reunion assisted Bishop Piers Vaughan in consecrating David Sheihan Hunter Lindez to the Sacred Episcopate for the Apostolic Church of the Golden and Rosy Cross. The ACGRC descends from the work of the late Archbishop George Boyer of the AEC and is under the Primacy of Bishop Michael Buckley (Tau Marcus) in the United Kingdom.

Old Catholic Church of Great Britain and related matters – statement of clarification

The Old Catholic Church of Great Britain has been held in personal union with the Apostolic Episcopal Church since 2015, with Dr Kersey serving as Primate of both churches. Recent material appearing on the website of ex-clergy of our jurisdiction have made it necessary to issue a statement of clarification which we trust will show the falsehood of their claims.

Dr Kersey writes: “As Primate and Archbishop of Elmham in the Old Catholic Church of Great Britain, I have noted the statements made in respect of the Benedictine Order of St Romuald, the Old Catholic Church of Great Britain and the late Archbishop Aelred Peter Coghlan Distin at http://holycrossbenedictines.weebly.com/journal—in-hoc-signo-vinces.html with interest. The article published there on these matters is familiar to me because it consists almost entirely of my own words, first published on the website of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, which have been reproduced without my permission and in violation of my copyright by Michael Skelly and by Alistair Bate, who is a former bishop of my jurisdiction. As a general rule, I am only too happy to see my words reproduced by others, with appropriate acknowledgement; however, to see my text plagiarised and used to support lies and distortions can hardly be expected to meet with my approval.

The claims made in this article in respect of Michael Skelly are bizarre and false, and have clearly been made under the impression that our documentary archive on these matters is incomplete. On the contrary, among the considerable number of documents present here are documents that directly disprove the statements made by, or on behalf of, Michael Skelly, and that were issued both by my predecessor Archbishop Distin before witnesses and in some cases by Michael Skelly himself. We also possess a number of emails sent by Archbishop Distin that confirm the matters formalized in the documents. We find no evidence whatsoever that Archbishop Distin was “confused” or anything other than fully compos mentis at the time that he issued this documentation. By contrast, Michael Skelly wrote to me on 12 March 2007, “…may I ask you to bear the following in mind concerning myself? If I sometimes don’t answer any questions you ask me, it is not because I am being rude, but rather due to my poor memory. This is a result of a near fatal road traffic accident in 1997.”

Let us begin with the position of Michael Skelly. In 2007, Skelly shared with me a copy of his Instrument of Solemn Profession in the Benedictine Congregation of St Romuald. The document is dated 21 November 2001 and witnessed by Archbishop Distin. This is accompanied by his Certificate of Episcopal Consecration by Archbishop Distin. The document is dated 21 November 2001 and it appoints Skelly as Lord Bishop of All Fortrenn in the Benedictine Congregation of St Romuald within the Titular Archbishopric of Lindsey in Anglia. These documents are reproduced below and are clear and unambiguous in their contents:

These documents prove the falsehood of the following statements: “Further to a meeting held at Drumrack near Anstruther, Fife, on 1 May 1995 between Distin and Michael Skelly, on 5 May 1995 Distin appointed Dom Michael Skelly as his perpetual coadjutor with right of succession and consequently relinquished all jurisdiction of the Church and Order. On 1 June 1996, Distin Blessed and Enthroned Dom Michael Skelly O.S.B.(C.S.R.) as Bishop-Abbot for life at Distin’s Monastic Oratory of St. Fillan located at Aipple Yaird, Newburgh, Fife. Distin then became Bishop Abbot Emeritus.”

As of the dates mentioned above in 1995-96, Skelly had yet to enter into Solemn Profession in the Order, which he did not do until November 2001. Moreover, the evidence of the certificate above is that Skelly fully accepted the authority of Archbishop Distin on behalf of the Benedictine Order of St Romuald as of November 2001, and as is evident on the certificate of consecration, that Order was within the Titular Jurisdiction of Lindsey in Anglia – that is to say, subordinate to that jurisdiction. There is not a word of any appointment as co-adjutor or abbot on the certificate of consecration or indeed on any other document.

Also in our archive is a copy of the ordination certificate of a priest from 24 November 2001, undertaken by Skelly as the ordaining bishop and witnessed by Archbishop Distin. The jurisdictional authority cited by Skelly for this action is the “Gallican Diocese of Mercia” and he describes himself as “Gallican Bishop of All Fortrenn”.

The dissolution of the Benedictine Order of St Romuald was undertaken in two stages by Archbishop Distin. In the first, on 25 November 2004, he announced that it was disbanded due to lack of support.

It appears that a “second chance” was then given, but that this produced no more encouraging a response. On 25 January 2005 Archbishop Distin dismissed all the members of the Order individually via an Ad Clerum, since they had failed to renew their commitment to the Rule of St Benedict as he had requested. “Brother Michael” is included on the list of members to be dismissed.

From these documents it can be seen that firstly that the Benedictine Order of St Romuald was indeed dissolved by Archbishop Distin, and secondly that Skelly was among those who were formally dismissed from the Order by him.

Let us now address the libelling of my immediate predecessor Archbishop Phillip Kemp. The article states, in impertinent terms, “The late Bishop Phillip Kemp claimed to have re-founded the Order in 2007 as he also claimed to be Distin’s successor, which he certainly was not.”

Having known Archbishop Kemp personally, I am in a position to vouch for his character. Whatever the issues that may have befallen us over the years, I consider him to have maintained a high standard of personal integrity as befitted not only his office as a bishop but his rank as a Captain in the British Army and an officer for a large trades union. He and I discussed the position regarding Archbishop Distin in great detail on a number of occasions, and while this relationship was complex and at times strained, it was for the greater part one of affection and positive Christian endeavour, as attested by a number of the emails in my possession. It is nothing short of disgraceful that Alistair Bate and Michael Skelly, neither of whom to my knowledge ever met Archbishop Kemp, should attempt to malign his character in this manner, and such an action reveals much about them. If they had imagined that, being dead, Archbishop Kemp would have no-one to defend him, they are sorely mistaken.

Here is Archbishop Kemp’s certificate of consecration by Archbishop Distin for the Old Catholic Church in Great Britain, dated 6 June 2004 and witnessed:

Here is Archbishop Kemp’s mandate of election as co-adjutor of the Old Catholic Church of Great Britain, issued on the same day:

And here is the instrument of retirement of Archbishop Distin in favour of Archbishop Kemp, dated 13 September 2004, from which date Archbishop Kemp succeeded Archbishop Distin as Primate of the Old Catholic Church in Great Britain:

Since that jurisdiction included the titular archbishopric of Lindsey, it follows that it also included authority over the Benedictine Order of St Romuald. It had been agreed that Archbishop Distin would continue as Abbot of the Order after his retirement in September 2004, and his decision to dissolve it was therefore taken during the Primacy of his successor. Authority over the Order was then exercised when Archbishop Kemp revived it, renaming it the Benedictine Congregation of St Romuald and appointing the Rt. Revd. Dom Simon Scruton as its Abbot under the name Aelred Peter II on 19 August 2006. The use of that name and office by Michael Skelly or any other party would appear to be entirely without legitimacy or warrant. It should be noted that as of 15 August 2006, Archbishop Distin had been excommunicated from the jurisdiction.

Subsequently, Abbot Aelred Peter II retired on 30 August 2008 in favour of the present Abbot, Dom Thomas Hugh Bodkin OSB(csr) who serves today in that office under the name Hugh I.

The Benedictine Congregation of Saint Romuald was accepted into intercommunion with the Order of Antioch on 28 September 2014 at which point its Abbot, Hugh I, became a member of that Order. By this act the Congregation returned, albeit briefly, to a position of intercommunion with its parent body, the Old Catholic Church of Great Britain. In a ceremony before witnesses on 16 February, Abbot Hugh was formally incardinated into the Apostolic Episcopal Church. On 11 March, at the petition of Abbot Hugh, a full canonical release was issued to him and the Congregation ceased to be in intercommunion with us once more.

This information is more than sufficient to prove the falsehood of the claims made by Alistair Bate and Michael Skelly. In the case of Michael Skelly, who is a vulnerable and elderly man labouring under a serious neurological disability, some degree of leniency may be appropriate, not least in recognition of our previous extensive correspondence which was entirely amicable throughout. In the case of Alistair Bate, who knows exactly what he is doing, the same cannot be said to apply.

It is now over four years since Alistair Bate resigned from my jurisdiction rather than be subject to an inquiry into his conduct – an inquiry which, it should be recalled, was at an initial stage and had reached no conclusions at the point of his resignation. Almost immediately afterwards, he underwent re-consecration at the hands of a prelate not associated with our communion. Rather than embrace the freedom and independence he had apparently sought, he and those associated with him have on numerous occasions published provocative and inaccurate material online directed at my jurisdiction and at me personally. Moreover, in February 2013 I was the recipient of a crude threat of violence directed towards me by Bate’s partner, Bruno Pedrini. It should not be imagined that the decision on my part to exercise restraint in not making a public response to these items or reporting them to the relevant authorities will not be revisited in the light of present and future events.”

Death of Bishop Leila Boyer

+Leila Boyer with Archbishops Phillip Lewis (Ethiopian Coptic Orthodox Church) and Paget Mack (Apostolic Episcopal Church), London, November 2008

The Apostolic Episcopal Church has been informed of the death from cancer of +Leila Boyer, Presiding Bishop of the Pre-Nicene Ekklesia and Church of the Ascension, and extends its condolences to her family and clergy.

+Leila Boyer, née Christian, was the wife of the late Archbishop-Count George Boyer, OCR (1921-2008), who served as Archbishop of Great Britain and sometime Secretary of Metropolitan Synod of the Apostolic Episcopal Church. Archbishop Boyer was the designated successor of the esotericist Richard, Duc de Palatine (1919-78), who had been installed as Presiding Bishop of the Pre-Nicene Catholic Church (later renamed the Pre-Nicene Ekklesia) and Lord Bishop-Abbot of the Order of St Raphael (in addition to numerous other ecclesiastical, chivalric and academic offices) by Mar Georgius of Glastonbury in 1953. In consecrating the Duc de Palatine, Mar Georgius acted under the authority of the British Exarchate of the Order of Antioch.

Following the death of Archbishop Boyer, Archbishop John Kersey, now Primate of the AEC and Prince-Abbot of San Luigi, was installed in the offices he had held within the AEC and the Order of Corporate Reunion, while +Leila Boyer succeeded her late husband as Presiding Bishop of the Pre-Nicene Ekklesia and as a member of the Council of Three established by the Duc de Palatine. As an esoteric jurisdiction, the Pre-Nicene Ekklesia accepted the ordination of women to the major orders, and accordingly +Leila had been consecrated bishop by her husband in 1990.

+Leila was a welcome guest at Archbishop Kersey’s installation service and at several subsequent ecumenical services in London. In her later years she completed a biography of Richard, Duc de Palatine, and edited his works for publication. She was generous in sharing a number of archival, documentary and liturgical resources concerning the Duc de Palatine with Archbishop Kersey, and helped make the Duc de Palatine’s work better known among those who had a capacity to benefit from it.

Her concern for others was notable, and although deliberately self-effacing and unconcerned with personal status, the effect of her spiritual presence was striking. After her husband’s death she was increasingly concerned with working outside formal church structures, and emphasised the unified nature of her mission across all boundaries of denomination or creed. May she rest in peace and rise in glory!

Missions of the AEC in Scandinavia and Continental Europe (including Hungary)

From 6 February 2015 the following changes have been in effect:

Scandinavia and Continental Europe (including Hungary)
There are no authorized AEC missions in these areas at the present time. All future activity will be under the direct authority of the Primate for the time being.

Dr Bertil Persson
Dr Persson served as Primate of the AEC between 1986 and his retirement in 1998 on health grounds. Between 1998 and 6 February 2015, Dr Persson was designated Emeritus Primate and held the titles of Archbishop of Scandinavia and of Continental Europe.

On 31 December 2014, Dr Persson submitted a request to the Primate that he should retire from all clergy duties in the AEC, and this request was duly accepted. A copy of the document issued by Dr Persson is given below.

As of 6 February 2015, Dr Persson has not been a member of the AEC and has no authority to represent the AEC in any capacity. Any ordination, consecration or clergy appointment undertaken by him after this date will not be recognized within the AEC.

Dr Bertil Persson är inte medlem i den Apostoliska Episkopala Kyrkan efter den 5 februari 2015. Han har inte tillstånd att vidta några åtgärder på uppdrag av den Apostoliska Episkopala Kyrkan. Eventuella åtgärder som han kan ta (samordning, invigningen av biskopar, etc) kommer inte att erkännas av den Apostoliska Episkopala Kyrkan. Den Apostoliska Episkopala Kyrkan har några godkända uppdrag eller präster i Sverige eller Kontinentaleuropa.

Although the AEC appointed a titular bishop for Scandinavia and Continental Europe until February 2015, in practice there has been no authorized ministerial activity in these areas for some years, with the exception of Hungary (see below).

Excommunication of Bertil Persson

The actions of Dr Persson during the period before and after 6 February 2015 have caused Metropolitan Synod of the Apostolic Episcopal Church to formally excommunicate him. The reasons for this are as follows:

  1. His repeated disrespectful comments towards the Primate and Emeritus Primate of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, and latterly the promotion of schism against them.
  2. His open and public endorsement of the Church of Scientology, a sect whose beliefs are completely incompatible with the Orthodox Faith professed by the Apostolic Episcopal Church.
  3. His open and public endorsement and holding of office in the Universal Peace Federation, an organization affiliated to the Unification Church (“Moonies”) of the Revd. Sun Myung Moon, a sect which again is considered completely incompatible with the Orthodox Faith as professed by the Apostolic Episcopal Church.

As evidence for the second point, let us cite the following reference from a journal of the Church of Scientology, one among many such references. The reference pertains to the erection of the “European Church of Scientology” in Malmö, Sweden: http://www.freedommag.org/special-reports/sptimes/scientology-malmo-speakers.html “Dr. Bertil Persson, Professor of Religion and Scandinavia’s Permanent Representative at the UNESCO University for Peace: “With the opening of this Church, we are really at a turning point. The future activities based on Scientology are, in fact, predestined for great success for humanity.” This statement and the beliefs and practices of the Church of Scientology are anathema to our Church and to the Orthodox Faith.

As evidence for the third point we cite the reference http://www.upf.org/chapters/sweden where Dr Persson is described as “National Peace Council Member” for the Universal Peace Federation. Whilst our Church endorses work for global peace, it cannot extend such an endorsement to an organization that has been described as a “Moonie peace group” since the beliefs and practices of the Unification Church (“Moonies”) are anathema to our Church and to the Orthodox Faith.

By resolution of the Metropolitan Synod, ordinations and consecrations conducted by Dr Persson between his episcopal consecration for the Apostolic Episcopal Church in 1971 and his resignation as Primate in 1998 will continue to be recognized within our Church. Ordinations and consecrations undertaken by Dr Persson between his resignation as Primate in 1998 and 6 February 2015 at the commission of the Primate of the Apostolic Episcopal Church only will also be recognized. However, any consecration or other episcopal act performed by Dr Persson after 6 February 2015 will not be recognized within our Church, and likewise any “private” ordination or consecration from before that date that was not endorsed by the Primate of the Apostolic Episcopal Church will also not be recognized.

Hungary
Mission activity was recommenced in Hungary in November 2014. Due to the situation that had developed there by February 2015, it was decided that it was not appropriate that this work should continue to be a part of the AEC. For the purposes of clarification, as of 6 February 2015, the AEC has had no authorized missions in Hungary and no authorized clergy. No Hungarian website has been authorized to use the distinctive emblems or logos of the AEC. Nor have any Hungarian book or pamphlet publications, whether liturgical or discursive, been authorized by the AEC.

Tamas Szeles
The position of Tamas Szeles, who was appointed to the office of AEC Archbishop of Hungary in November 2014, was reviewed in the light of subsequent developments, and it was decided that his Faculties as a clergyman of the AEC should be withdrawn for cause. As of 6 February 2015 he has not been a member of the AEC and has no authority to represent the AEC in any capacity. Any ordination, consecration or clergy appointment undertaken by him after this date will not be recognized within the AEC.

Szelés Tamás nem tagja az Apostoli Egyház Episzkopális után február 6 2015. Ő nem eljárásra felhatalmazott az Apostoli Egyház Episzkopális semmilyen módon. Minden olyan cselekmény történik vele (teszi papok, püspökök stb) készülék nem ismer az Apostoli Egyház Episzkopális. Jelenleg nincs engedélyezett missziókon és weboldalak közé tartozik, és nem engedélyezett könyvek magyar nyelven.

Excommunication of Tamas Szeles
The actions of Dr Szeles during the period before and after 6 February 2015 have caused Metropolitan Synod of the Apostolic Episcopal Church to formally excommunicate him. The reasons for this are as follows:

  1. His promotion of schism against the Primate and Emeritus Primate of the Apostolic Episcopal Church by the establishment of a sect “Magyar Apostoli Epizkopális Egyház” (supported by Dr Bertil Persson) that illegally uses the name and symbols of the Apostolic Episcopal Church.

“Magyar Apostoli Epizkopális Egyház”
This Hungarian body has been formed by Tamas Szeles and Bertil Persson, former bishops of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, following their departure from our communion. Both men are excommunicates and neither possesses any form of jurisdiction or authority from our church. The use of the name and symbols of the Apostolic Episcopal Church on websites or videos by these men is illegal and fraudulent.

Book review by Archbishop Spataro

Turning to Tradition; Converts and the Making of an American Orthodoxy. By D. Oliver Herbel. Oxford University Press, 2013.

Reviewed by Francis C. Spataro

This is the story of recent movements in the United States which greatly expanded the Eastern Orthodox Church in America. Russian explorers to Alaska brought their Ancient Faith to North America. However, the men mentioned in this book ignited a light which still glows today.

The first of these is St. Alexis Toth who was a Catholic priest from Austria-Hungary, sent to the USA to work as a missionary among the many thousands of Uniates who had immigrated to this country to seek a better life. He ended up converting them en masse to the Russian Orthodox Church which had been the religion of their ancestors. It is an amazing study in the inability of the local Roman Catholic hierarchy to adjust to Catholics of a different Rite and History. The majority Irish bishops were trying to keep immigrants from the Irish Potato Famine from being lost to the Catholic Church. So they lost thousands of immigrants from Austria-Hungary instead.

Then we have the turning to Orthodoxy of Black Americans who eventually founded the African Orthodox Church here, in the West Indies and Africa. The first Black man ordained a priest was Fr. Raphael Morgan. Then we have Fr. Moses Berry and the Order of St. Moses the Black. Fr. Berry was first attracted to non-canonical Orthodoxy through the Holy Order of MANS and the Brotherhood of Christ the Saviour. Having personally known Metropolitan Pangratios and Bishop Joseph Langdon, I can comment knowingly about this phenomenon. Eventually,both the Order of MANS and the Brotherhood converted to canonical Orthodoxy, joining either the Orthodox Church of America (OCA) or the Antiochian Orthodox Church.

Finally we have the saga of the Evangelical Orthodox Church and Pastor Peter Gillquist. This large group from the Campus Crusades have already documented their journey in Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith. Unfortunately the change from Fundamentalist, Evangelical Protestants was too radical an effort. Many “deconverted” after joining the Antiochian Orthodox Church. In some cases ethnic Orthodoxy was not severe enough for these Fundamentalists who wanted to live like the Thebaid Monks of Egypt. Some changed to the OCA while others just went back to being Evangelical Orthodox.

This is a very fascinating book, especially for me who since 1976 through the Vilatte Guild has watched and recorded so many persons in both Independent – Autocephalous and Canonical Orthodoxy. The Bibliography is well done and very complete. I highly recommend this study to all interested in American Orthodoxy.

Members of the San Luigi Orders: Archbishop Paul Schultz

Archbishop Paul Christian Gerald William Schultz (1931-95) was a member of the San Luigi Orders, being admitted by Prince-Abbot Edmond II on 3 July 1976 in a ceremony in Hollywood, and was the author of “A Brief History of the San Luigi Orders” (1977). He was a bishop of the Mexican National Catholic Church, the Old Roman Catholic Church, the Apostolic Episcopal Church and the Philippine Independent Catholic Church.

Paul Schultz was born in Decatur, Indiana, on 10 April 1931. His father, Paul Christian William Adolph Schultz (1900-75) was pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Decatur for many years, later working with the Division of Gifts and Endowments at Valparaiso University. Schultz graduated from Glendale College, California, in 1950, and then studied for the ministry first at Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois, and then at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.

On 30 January 1952 he was ordained priest by Grant Timothy Billet, co-founder and primate of the Old Catholic Church in North America. This action was the cause of a long-term rift between Schultz and his father, and after a short time, Schultz resumed his studies, this time at the University of Heidelberg, where he earned a diploma in basic science and public health. Returning to California, he was appointed as a professor at Los Angeles City College. At this time he came to befriend Prince-Abbot Edmond I. However, he had not altogether abandoned his plans for ministry, and alongside his teaching continued his seminary studies, eventually graduating from California Graduate School of Theology in 1974. He would continue his teaching career, his final appointment being as Professor Emeritus at the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic, Whittier (now part of Southern California University of Health Sciences), and was noted as a popular lecturer.

As of 1974, Schultz was a lay member of the First Lutheran Church in Glendale, California. His graduation from seminary that year meant that he finally felt able to fulfil his ministerial vocation. He had also healed the breach with his father and received a Lutheran ordination and consecration from him in October and December 1974, the form of such being to the office of Superintendent and Visitor for the Power of Minister. In consequence, Schultz junior established the Collegiate and German Lutheran Church of the Buffalo Synod Tradition of the Old Lutheran Church. This small group later merged with that of Jürgen Bless, who would himself receive episcopal consecration from Schultz in 1986.

The nature of Schultz’s work changed rapidly during the mid-1970s from that of pastor of a small Lutheran community to a much wider ecumenical Catholic mission. The major factor in this was the considerable development of Free Catholicism in California at that time, leading to a number of jurisdictions being based there which represented different Catholic and Orthodox heritages. Schultz was seen as a reliable and trustworthy figure, personally orthodox and of stable life, who was in a good position to build bridges between small jurisdictions whose primates were at times at odds with each other, and who could undertake missions involving contact with the larger churches with credibility.

Key to this expansion was Schultz’s role as Prelate and Rector Provincial of New York in the Order of Corporate Reunion (also known as the Order of Christian Renewal). This position came about as a result of the decision of Archbishop Wallace David de Ortega Maxey (1902-92) of Glendale, California, to come out of retirement in 1976 and resume his previous episcopal offices as worldwide Primate of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, Patriarch of Malaga in the Catholicate of the West, President of the Ancient Christian Fellowship and Prelate and Rector Provincial of New York in the Order of Corporate Reunion. During 1976-77, Archbishop Maxey transferred most of his offices to Archbishop Robert Ronald Ramm (also a member of the San Luigi Orders), and Ramm in turn consecrated Schultz Apostolically and installed him for the OCR on 17 October 1976. The OCR had been founded in 1874 as an initiative of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Milan in order to provide the Church of England with a source of valid Holy Orders, these orders being conveyed by means of additional commissioning through conditional episcopal consecration. During the twentieth-century, its activities – which were always somewhat clandestine – expanded to encompass a wider mission of Christian reunion among the smaller churches.

Through accepting and bestowing such additional commissioning, which was not concerned with the validity of the Episcopate but instead with the ability to work ecumenically in different contexts, Schultz came to hold episcopal office in several of the Free Catholic jurisdictions simultaneously. On 18 May 1975, he had received consecration as a Catholic bishop from Prince-Abbot Edmond II of San Luigi and the then-Vice Chancellor of the San Luigi Orders for the United States, Archbishop Frederick Charles King (of the Old Roman Catholic Church of Hollywood, California, and the American Orthodox Catholic Church, whose erstwhile primate, Homer Ferdinand Roebke, had also consecrated Schultz two months before his death in 1975). Archbishop King had himself been consecrated by Prince-Abbot Edmond II on 24 November 1964. This confirmed Schultz’s role within the San Luigi Orders as a custodian of their direct Apostolic Succession from the Syrian Orthodox Church. Prince-Abbot Edmond II was to write on 20 January 1977 that Schultz’s “A Brief History of the San Luigi Orders” would soon be off the press, and that this publication had coincided with an upsurge in activity in the American Grand Priory: the forthcoming investiture on 28 January would honour “the widow of a well-known Governor; the Mayor of Los Angeles for 16 years; the editor of a ‘Who’s Who’ publication; the director of music for a major studio; the head of education for the State of Washington; a much loved local TV star who has done much for children with learning disabilities; the leading black attorney in the western part of the country who has done much for youth of all races; and one of the southland’s most famous doctors.”

Schultz’s wife, who was Spanish, brought him into closer contact with the Hispanic community in California. Inevitably, his association with San Luigi led to a connexion from 1976 onwards with Archbishop Emile Rodriguez y Fairfield of the Mexican National Catholic Church and the Old Roman Catholic Church of Great Britain under Archbishop Gerard George Shelley. Rodriguez consecrated Schultz on 20 March 1977 for the ORCCGB at a time when Archbishop Shelley was largely inactive due to advanced age and much of the ministerial burden had devolved upon Rodriguez, who would eventually succeed Shelley as Primate. Rodriguez assigned Schultz to administer the See of Caer-Glow and to pastor the MNCC’s California congregation of St Augustine of the Mystical Body of Christ. On 20 May 1978, Schultz received a further conditional consecration from another member of the San Luigi Orders, Archbishop Edgar Ramon Verostek (1909-94) of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church – Utrecht Succession, another of the Carfora-succession churches.

On 5 July 1981, Schultz suffered a serious heart attack, to be followed by two more within the ensuing three years. This caused a revision of his responsibilities, and in 1984, having been confronted with irrefutable evidence of Prince-Abbot Edmond II’s mental illness, he ended his work with him, continuing, however, his association with Archbishop Rodriguez.

At this time, he became involved with Archbishop Bertil Persson of Sweden in efforts to unite the various jurisdictions of the Apostolic Episcopal Church. This ecumenical communion, which had its origins in a 1925 commission by the Exarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church in the United States, had divided into its separate provinces in 1951 when Archbishop Maxey had retired from office as its worldwide Primate; this had led to rival claims to succeed him with the heads of each of the three provinces asserting that they were the true primate. During the 1970s, co-operation was again established between the Scandinavian Province and the Province of the East, United States, and in the 1980s negotiations with Archbishops Ramm and Maxey of the remaining Province, the Province of the West, United States (also called the Apostolic Episcopal Catholic Church) likewise bore fruit. This meant that the divided church could once more be united, and accordingly Persson was installed and consecrated as worldwide Primate of the AEC by Maxey, Ramm, Schultz, Rodriguez and other bishops on 7 November 1986 (ratified by a further instrument of 11 June 1988). Schultz was consequently appointed as AEC Provincial of the West from 7 November 1986 onwards.

Schultz had noted the historic parallels between the creation of the Mexican National Catholic Church and the Philippine Independent Catholic Church (Iglesia Filipina Independiente) (a member church of the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches and of the Anglican Communion). He began a correspondence with the PICC and this in due course led to a historic meeting in Glendale, California, on 15 June 1988, when an intercommunion agreement was signed between the Apostolic Episcopal Church (represented by Archbishop-Primate Persson) and the Philippine Independent Catholic Church (represented by Archbishop Francisco de Jesus Pagtakhan (1916-2008), PICC Archbishop Secretary for Missions, Ecumenical Relations and Foreign Affairs). This event was achieved despite the strong opposition of some elements of the PICC and their Anglican intercommunion partners, who had protested at Pagtakhan’s earlier consecrations for the Continuing Anglican movement and split the church into opposing factions. Nevertheless, this was to be the first official concordat to be achieved between an Anglican Communion and Utrecht Union member church and a Free Catholic communion. Schultz was conditionally consecrated on the same day by Pagtakhan (this was the first occasion when he had been consecrated by three bishops simultaneously, which is a requirement for validity among the Anglicans) and on 24 July 1988 was installed as Bishop of Los Angeles for the PICC.

On 14 March 1987, Schultz received conditional consecration from our present Grand Prior of the United States for the San Luigi Orders, Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan (who in 2005 would succeed Archbishop Persson as Universal Primate of the Order of Corporate Reunion) and on the following day Schultz bestowed conditional consecration on Archbishop Brennan in return. The photograph at the top of the page was taken in 1989 when Schultz assisted Archbishop Persson in consecrating the late Karl Barwin as Metropolitan of the Evangelical Catholic Church.

Schultz died unexpectedly on 13 September 1995 leaving a widow and three children. His successor as OCR Rector Pro-Provincial of New York would be Archbishop Francis C. Spataro, who in 1998 would succeed Archbishop Persson as Primate of the AEC.