Death of Pope Benedict XVI

The Abbey-Principality of San Luigi wishes to express its condolences on the announcement of the death of Pope Benedict XVI.

Ecce sacerdos magnus, qui in diébus suis plácuit Deo: Ideo jure jurando fecit illum Dóminus crescere in plebem suam. Benedictiónem ómnium géntium dedit illi, et testaméntum suum confirmávit super caput eius. Ideo jure jurando fecit illum Dóminus crescere in plebem suam. Gloria patri et filio et spiritui sancto.

Copyright of the seal of the Order of Corporate Reunion

Various seals have been used by the Order of Corporate Reunion over the years. The seal illustrated here is not a historical seal, but instead was designed by Dr John Kersey in his capacity as Bishop and Pro-Provincial of Canterbury of the Order. He retains the copyright of the seal and permits its use only by the authentic Order of Corporate Reunion which is registered in England and Wales (no. 12692440) and in California, USA (no. C4684442), as a non-profit religious corporation.

The use of this seal by Michael James Kline or his associates, who falsely and fraudulently claim to represent the Order of Corporate Reunion, is in violation of copyright and notice is hereby given that all action at law is reserved against any such violation.

False claims regarding the late Archbishop Caudill on the website of Rutherford Johnson

Our attention has been drawn to the website of one Rutherford Johnson and specifically to the reproduction therein of a photograph from this website without permission. The photograph appears on the section of this website devoted to the Apostolic Episcopal Church and may be viewed here.

False information added to our photograph

Johnson reproduces our photograph with the addition of wholly false information about the bishops pictured, all of whom are now deceased. This may be seen in the screenshot below taken from

Johnson falsely identifies the consecration with these words, “Consecration of former Bishop of the See of St. Stephen, Coadjutorship of Rome and Apostolic See of the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate and Anglican Patriarchate of Rome; H. Edwin Caudill by Macario V. Ga; Supreme Bishop of the Philippine Independent Church, and Bishops Frank Benning and John Hamers. 21 October 1993, Holy Cross Polish National Catholic Church, Brooklyn, New York.”

The actual facts about Archbishop Caudill and the photograph

The late Howard Edwin Caudill (1932-98) was a Continuing Anglican bishop. He was born on 9 January 1932 in South Charleston, West Virginia, USA, and was ordained to the priesthood in the Protestant Episcopal Church by Bishop Hubbard on 22 April 1956. In 1976, he left the PECUSA. He was received into the Anglican Catholic Church, a Continuing Anglican denomination, on 11 October 1980, and served that church as rector of Good Shepherd Church in Oklahoma City between 1980 and 1983. On March 26 1983, he was consecrated bishop by Robert Condit Harvey of the American Episcopal Church, assisted by Anthony F.M. Clavier and John M. Hamers. After this he served as bishop of the Diocese of the Southwest, which had originally been part of the Anglican Catholic Church, but had subsequently become independent. In 1984, Caudill took the Diocese into the American Episcopal Church, but withdrew from that jurisdiction in October 1988 to become independent once again, incorporating The Anglican Church, Inc. In 1993, Caudill and The Anglican Church, Inc. Diocese of the Southwest, became part of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, a church with Anglican patrimony and strong connexions with Continuing Anglicanism, and he became the AEC’s Archbishop of the Central Province of the USA on 21 August 1993. He was additionally appointed as Archbishop of the AEC Western Province of the USA on 1 March 1998, and died later that year.

The Apostolic Episcopal Church is in full communion with the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Philippine Independent (Catholic) Church), which is a member church of the Anglican Communion  and the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches, and has been associated specifically with the faction (approximately half) of that church that remained loyal to Obispo Maximo Macario Ga y Vilches (1913-2002) (today renamed the Archbishopric of Metro Manila and the entire Philippines of the P.I.C.C.). It was in the context of this relationship that the consecration of 21 October 1993 occurred. The photograph was taken by Bishop Francis C. Spataro, who between 1998 and 2015 was Primate of the Apostolic Episcopal Church. The original of the photograph is preserved in the Archive of the Apostolic Episcopal Church maintained at the Office of the Primate in England together with other photographs taken on the same occasion.

The consecration of 21 October 1993 was undertaken in and for the communion of the Apostolic Episcopal Church and for no other body. At no time was Archbishop Caudill “Bishop of the See of St. Stephen, Coadjutorship of Rome and Apostolic See of the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate and Anglican Patriarchate of Rome”. These are fictitious titles invented by Rutherford Johnson, who has never had anything to do with our communion or with the late Archbishop Caudill.

Let us leave the final words in this matter to Archbishop Caudill himself:

Further falsehoods in a claimed “Apostolic Succession”

Johnson goes on to list a claimed Apostolic Succession at

We have had cause to comment previously on aspects of this succession and reproduce the contents of our memorandum on this subject below.


Preliminary observations

1.     It has been asserted that Ronald D. Nowlan (also Nowland), quondam archbishop of Christ’s Apostolic Church of North America in Long Beach, California, was consecrated on 3 February 1997 by Robert R. Johnson, who was in turn consecrated by Jean Balland, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Lyons, on 19 March 1969.

2.     In a 1999 press article, Nowlan is quoted as saying, “I got my orders through Utrecht, through Brazil, and through the Church of Antioch”, but does not mention his claim of succession from a Roman Catholic archbishop. The article goes on to say, “Nowland, a former Roman Catholic, said his church does not “differ all that much from the Roman Church,” except, of course, in the areas of papal infallibility, the indissolubility of marriage, the teaching on artificial contraception, and the ordination of women.”

3.     The circumstances of this lineage are of relevance principally because of the consecration of Paul Victor Verhaeren (Patriarch Stephanos I) (1939-2011) and Wayne Moore Hay by Nowlan on 21 November 1998. These two men founded the Anglican Catholic Byzantine Orthodox Church in Poughkeepsie, New York, which has subsequently been renamed Saints Cyril and Methodius Church. There are many bishops today who claim successions deriving from this consecration. The Apostolic Succession information on the website of Verhaeren and Hay can be viewed here.

Cardinal Balland

1.     Jean Marie Balland (1934-98) was ordained priest in 1961 and was on faculty of the Pontifical Gregorian Seminary 1962-68. In November 1982 he was appointed Bishop of Dijon by Pope John Paul II and consecrated bishop on 12 December 1982. He was Archbishop of Rheims 1988-95, Archbishop of Lyon 1995-98 and appointed Cardinal Priest 1998, dying in the same year.

2.     Balland was not consecrated bishop in 1969, so the claimed succession above is easily established as blatantly false. In fact, he was not consecrated until 1982. The Roman Catholic Church does not record that he ever consecrated a Robert R. Johnson. Indeed, investigation has been unable to establish that the said Robert R. Johnson ever existed. The only bishops to be consecrated by Balland served in the Roman Catholic Church, which Balland never left.

3.     Notwithstanding its patent falsehood, this succession (whose fabricated line also includes several bishops claimed to be ancestors of Cardinal Balland, but who are listed over a century after their death, with fabricated details of their episcopal appointments) continues to appear and be claimed by a number of groups descending from Nowlan.


Since the exposure of these facts, the following adjustments have taken place.

1.     It is now claimed that Nowlan’s consecration on 3 February 1997 was not by Johnson but by one Gerald Gates, who it is asserted in turn was consecrated on 2 November 1972 by Agusto Montez-Silvieri, who stands in the Duarte Costa lineage deriving from the Roman Catholic Church. Investigation has been unable to establish that the said Gerald Gates ever existed.

2.     Verhaeren and Hay have asserted that Irwin R. Young, Jr. assisted as co-consecrator at their consecration by Nowlan on 21 November 1998, and their lineage has since also been traced through him. However, another source has said that Young consecrated them after their consecration by Nowlan. Young claims a lineage through documented Independent Catholic bishops. If this lineage can be verified, it would be the only valid lineage held by bishops in this succession.

Opinion of the late Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan

In January 2010, Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan, Universal Primate of the Order of Corporate Reunion, was consulted for advice on those claiming episcopal orders in successions deriving from Nowlan. Archbishop Brennan responded to us as follows;

“This succession is all bogus…. not at all real. Nowlan  was either never consecrated or made up a very bad and poorly constructed lineage…. Beckertz, D’Autel and Balland are actually names from a previous century — bishops long dead before the quoted consecrations.  I had a [Roman Catholic] expert in successions look at this and he clearly said it was a fake…Any Nowlan succession is unfortunately bogus.”


Where a succession is found to be false and another set of facts is put in its place by parties who have a considerable interest in the outcome, that alternative history will require more than usual verification for acceptance. In this case, the successions in question rely on claims of consecration by bishops whose very existence is unknown to standard references and concerning whose existence, activities and claims no evidence has been put forward by those who claim to stand in their succession.

Any independent bishop whose concern is with the truth should recognize that the Nowlan “successions” are unsupported by evidence and are based on falsehoods that are easily exposed. By associating themselves with these successions, they place their validity and credibility in doubt.


Despite the wish of our communion, which is that we should enjoy peaceful ecumenical relations with our fellow Christians, whatever differences there may be in our churchmanship, from time to time individuals believe that they can steal our intellectual property and lie about our communion without there being appropriate consequences. This notice may serve as proof that this is not the case.

Members of the San Luigi Orders – Archbishop Joanny Bricaud (Tau Jean II), his work and his succession

Jean-Baptiste (Joanny) Bricaud (1881-1934) was Patriarch of the Universal Gnostic Church in France. He was a Prelate-Commander of the Order of the Crown of Thorns and, together with his wife Eugénie, was of vital importance in the preservation of its archives and spiritual tradition in the last years of Prince-Abbot Joseph III.

Bricaud had entered the minor seminary in preparation for the Roman Catholic priesthood, but instead took up secular employment in a bank and continued an extensive exploration of Gnostic and kabbalistic traditions that had begun while he was a seminarian. He had contact with French esotericists Elia Alta and Charles Henri Détré (Teder) (1855-1918) and became involved with the Eliate Church of Carmel and the “Work of Mercy” which had been founded in 1839 by Eugéne Vintras (1807–1875), as well as the Johannite Church of Primitive Christians, founded in 1803 by the Templar revivalist Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat (1777–1838). He became a member of the Martinist Order and in that capacity met Gerard Encausse (Papus) (1865-1916) who was head of that order, in 1899.

The Gnostic Church in France had been established by Jules-Benoît Stanislas Doinel du Val-Michel (1842–1903), a librarian, Grand Orient Freemason and spiritualist. In 1888, while archivist at the Library of Orléans, Doinel discovered a charter dated 1022 by Canon Stephan of Orléans, who was a Gnostic forerunner of the Cathars and was burned at the stake in that same year as a heretic. This inspired Doinel to make a detailed study of Cathar and Gnostic teachings, and convinced him that it was Gnosticism that was the essential religious basis for Freemasonry.

Following a mystic consecration by the avatar of Jesus Christ in a vision, Doinel announced that the year 1890 was to begin the “Era of the Gnosis Restored” and became Patriarch of the Gnostic Church. The new church was to have both male and female bishops, the latter to be known as sophias, and they would take a mystic name prefaced by the Greek letter Tau (which represents the Tau Cross) or the Egyptian Ankh. Among the first bishops consecrated by Doinel, who became known as Tau Valentin, was Papus. Membership of the church was restricted to those who, in the view of its hierarchy, were “of high intelligence, refinement and open mind”.

The Gnostic liturgy was strongly Roman Catholic in influence (perhaps prefiguring a similar influence in the later Liberal Catholic Church), with a Gnostic Mass as the central ceremony, and two other main rites from the Cathar tradition, the Consolamentum and the Appareillamentum.

In 1895, Doinel resigned as Patriarch and converted to Roman Catholicism. He now launched a series of bitter attacks on his former church, which naturally endeared him to the Roman hierarchy. However, he repented of this behaviour, and was readmitted to the Gnostic Church as a bishop in 1899 by his successor as Patriarch, Léonce-Eugène Fabre des Essarts (Tau Synesius) (1848-1917).

It was Tau Synesius who consecrated the twenty-one year old Joanny Bricaud as a bishop of the Gnostic Church in 1901. Papus, who wanted to see a more directly Martinist and Roman Catholic-modelled body than the more general esotericism of Tau Synesius, encouraged Bricaud to found his own church as a schism of the Gnostic Church, which he did in 1907, adopting the name Gnostic Catholic Church and the title of Tau Jean II. In February 1908, the Episcopal Synod of the Gnostic Catholic Church elected Bricaud as its Patriarch, which event marked the point at which Bricaud’s jurisdiction, subsequently known as the Eglise Gnostique Universelle, became acknowledged as the successor jurisdiction to the Gnostic Church of Doinel, the Carmelite Church of Vintras and the Johannite Church. Papus conditionally consecrated Bricaud in 1911, from which date the Eglise Gnostique Universelle was considered to be the official church of Martinism. Eventually, in 1926, the remnant of Tau Synesius’ church also chose to unite with Bricaud’s Eglise Gnostique Universelle.

In 1908, an exchange of orders between Papus and Theodor Reuss (Merlin Peregrinus) (1855–1923), founder and head of the Ordo Templi Orientis, led to a commission to Papus in respect of authority within the Rites of Memphis and Mizraïm, and to Reuss in respect of establishing the Eglise Gnostique Universelle in Germany (which he did through subsuming it within the OTO).

Bishop Paulo Miraglia Gulotti had been consecrated by Prince-Abbot Joseph III in 1900 for work in Italy. On 4 December 1904, Gulotti consecrated another French esotericist, Jules Houssaye (Abbé Julio) (1844-1912). Houssaye consecrated Louis-Marie-François Giraud (1876-1951) as Mar Louis on 21 June 1911. After Bricaud had become Patriarch of the Eglise Gnostique Universelle, he had contact with Giraud, a bishop of the Eglise Catholique Gallicane, who ordained him deacon and priest on 25 July 1912 and consecrated him on 21 July 1913, thus bringing the Eglise Gnostique Universelle within the Vilatte succession and the historic Apostolic Succession proper, via the lineage of the Syrian Orthodox Church.

On 20 May 1914, Bricaud received a further conditional priestly ordination and episcopal consecration from Albert Laurain de Lignieres, who was the French co-adjutor to British Old Catholic bishop Arnold Harris Mathew and also a bishop of the Eglise Catholique Gallicane. Laurain de Lignières had been consecrated in 1909 by Henry Marsh-Edwards (1866-1931), one of the British bishops consecrated by Prince-Abbot Joseph III. Pursuant to this, Bricaud was appointed Bishop of Lyons in the Eglise Catholique Gallicane.

On 10 September 1919, Bricaud received a warrant via Theodor Reuss to establish the French Sovereign Sanctuary of the Orders of Memphis and Misraïm. On 30 September, he established a Supreme Grand Council of the Confederated Rites, which consolidated the Masonic and associated esoteric bodies that were under his aegis.

Bricaud and the Ancient British Church

According to Richard, Duc de Palatine’s work “The Right of Succession”, in which he discussed the Apostolic Successions he had received from his consecrator Mar Georgius of Glastonbury, Catholicos of the West, Bricaud appointed John Yarker the English representative of L’Eglise Gnostique Universelle, L’Ordre Martiniste, the Rite Ancien et Primitif Memphis-Mizraim, and L’Ordre de la Rose Croix. Palatine continues, “The Grand Orient of France, being based upon the Gnostic doctrines, extended John Yarker Jr. the Hand of Friendship with the proviso that all the Gnostic and Chrestian Orders were to remain separate from the common Masonic Lodges…Dr. [Herbert James] Monzani Heard [Mar Jacobus II (1866-1947), fifth British Patriarch and a bishop of the Catholicate of the West] was consecrated a Bishop of L’Eglise Gnostique Universelle, and thus through him the Chrestian/Gnostic lines of the Right of Succession passed into England.  John Yarker Jr. died in 1913, but before he died he passed to Dr. Heard the whole of his authorities both secular and religious. Dr. Heard did consecrate and initiate Dr. Hugh G. de Willmott Newman [Mar Georgius of Glastonbury] into L’Eglise Gnostique Universelle and also into all the Masonic Orders Dr. Heard gained from John Yarker Jr.” These statements indicate that Yarker was towards the end of his life consecrated a bishop of the Eglise Gnostique Universelle, presumably by Bricaud, and then that Yarker in turn consecrated Heard, who consecrated Mar Georgius. Mar Georgius never publicly referred to holding any Gnostic succession (although documentation exists attesting to his Masonic and Rosicrucian authorities), but in doing so he was surely simply following the common practice in the membership of esoteric bodies in those days (and sometimes still) of maintaining silence lest his motives and involvement should be misunderstood by others. Mar Georgius was also a bishop of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, which since 1977 has been united with the Catholicate of the West and is today part of the Abbey-Principality of San Luigi, and thus this succession has passed to the present Prince-Abbot of San Luigi.

Bricaud and Prince-Abbot Joseph III (Vilatte)

In February 1922, Prince-Abbot Joseph III was in France once more, and there he began to correspond with Bricaud. They continued contact after his reconciliation with Rome in 1925, and from 1927 onwards, Bricaud and his wife-to-be Eugénie (Mother Angelique Sophia) (they would marry in December 1929) were key to Prince-Abbot Joseph III’s plans for the continuation of his work.

By 1927, Prince-Abbot Joseph III had determined that he would not remain within the Roman Catholic Church. He had gained much-needed rest and respite from his time there since 1925, as well as welcome financial support through his Papal pension and from donors in the United States. However, he was frustrated by the Roman authorities’ unwillingness to allow him to celebrate Mass in public and felt that his mission demanded a more active witness. He intended to travel to the United States where he would conduct his mission through the Order of the Crown of Thorns and through the nascent Order of Antioch, which he planned in detail. In addition, it was planned that he would resume the headship of the American Catholic Church on the intended resignation of its Primate, Archbishop Frederick E.J. Lloyd.

For many years it was thought that many of the documents and artefacts associated with Prince-Abbot Joseph III – all of which had been seen by the future Prince-Abbot Edmond I during his visits – had been either destroyed in a fire at his home, or seized and subsequently destroyed at his death by the Roman authorities. In fact, neither was the case. A great deal of thought went into the best place for the safekeeping of this substantial archive. As correspondence of the time shows, Prince-Abbot Joseph III viewed Prince-Abbot Edmond I as his closest friend (see letter from Prince-Abbot Joseph III to Prince-Abbot Edmond I of 19 July 1925: “you are my Chancellor-General and my most sincere and faithful friend for ever”.) However, Prince-Abbot Edmond I was at the time and for some years to come still a priest in the Protestant Episcopal Church. Prince-Abbot Joseph III remembered the ill-treatment he had received at the hands of that church, and understandably feared that his most prized possessions would not be safe in an Anglican vicarage. A decision was taken as a result that they should be entrusted to Archbishop Lloyd in Chicago, who was both independent ecclesiastically and possessed of considerable financial means. Correspondence between Prince-Abbot Joseph III and Lloyd was smuggled in and out by the Bricauds, without the knowledge of the Roman authorities, and this was then followed by the archives themselves. One letter refers to the skirts of Mme. Bricaud concealing more than her virtue!

The Bricauds were key to the spiritual developments of Prince-Abbot Joseph III’s last years. A complete Missal, Service Book, Ritual and Pontifical was prepared by Bricaud under the nihil obstat of (and with an extended forward by) Prince-Abbot Joseph III. This is dedicated to Mother Angelique Sophia. It was subsequently translated from French into English by a professor of the University of Chicago under the commission of Mrs Lloyd. The nature of the work is esoteric, with a concluding section explaining its meaning with reference to Pythagoreanism, the symbolism of the triangle, and the use of Hebrew characters. There are three forms of the Divine Liturgy (the Rite of Perfection): one for bishops, one for priests, and one exclusively for the use of sophias. Although it might at first appear that Prince-Abbot Joseph III through his nihil obstat had given his support to the ordination of women in this Gnostic context, his subsequent response to Bricaud on the matter showed that this was not the case. In subsequent publications, the main form of this liturgy (the “Wadle Mass”, or “Divine Liturgy of the Antiochene Malabar Rite of the Holy Catholic Church”) has been referred to as originating under the authorship of Lloyd, but comparison has shown it to have originated with the Bricaud Missal.

++Bricaud Cross

Bricaud and the American Chapter of the Order of the Crown of Thorns

In addition, a complete plan was formulated for an American Chapter of the Order of the Crown of Thorns, under the patronage of St Louis. Central to this work was a jewelled pectoral cross given by Bricaud to Prince-Abbot Joseph III (photographed at right). At the beginning and end of each meeting of the Chapter, three gold-framed photographs were venerated: in the centre, of Prince-Abbot Joseph III wearing the Bricaud Cross, and to the sides, of Prince-Abbot Joseph III and Bricaud, and of Bricaud and Mother Angelique Sophia. The Chapter members each wore the Bricaud Cross in rotation during meetings, regardless of ecclesiastical or chivalric rank.

Unfortunately, relations between Bricaud and Prince-Abbot Edmond I did not proceed as planned. The intention had been for Prince-Abbot Edmond I to be fully involved (as befitted his office) in the American Chapter and the work taking place in Chicago. However, Prince-Abbot Edmond I regarded Bricaud as having turned Prince-Abbot Joseph III against him and having supplanted him as his closest friend and confidant for his own gain. Indeed, Prince-Abbot Edmond I went to his grave believing that Prince-Abbot Joseph III had betrayed him through reposing his trust in Bricaud.

Prince-Abbot Edmond I rejected Bricaud’s approaches during the early 1930s and as a result the American Chapter was separated from the canonical jurisdiction of the Order as a whole, eventually becoming closed to non-members of the American Catholic Church. After the deaths of Lloyd in 1933 and Bricaud in 1934, the archives moved from Chicago to Laguna Beach in California where Archbishop Lowell Paul Wadle (1900-65) succeeded Bricaud. For several years, relations between Prince-Abbot Edmond I and Wadle were publically at odds – Prince-Abbot Edmond I condemning Wadle for his esotericism and heresy, and Wadle condemning Prince-Abbot Edmond I for his social respectability and “selling out” to the Episcopalians for a paycheck. However, in private, they formed a highly productive relationship, and in 1960 formal union was entered into by the two prelates. In 1971, the American Chapter was reabsorbed into the general administration of the Abbey-Principality under Prince-Abbot Edmond II.

The succession to Bricaud

Bricaud had consecrated Victor Blanchard (1878-1953) (Paul Yésir) on 5 July 1920. However, this act did not negate the fact that much of the relationship between Bricaud and Blanchard was antagonistic. Blanchard had not accepted Bricaud as head of Martinism in France and in 1921 had established his own Martinist body, the Martinist Order and Synarchy. Unlike Bricaud’s body, this did not restrict membership to men who were Master Masons, admitting women and non-Masonic members. Blanchard also received many other esoteric authorities during his career and on 14th July 1938 proclaimed that he was the Universal Grand Master of the Rose-Croix and of all the initiatic orders of the entire world. On 28 January 1945, Blanchard consecrated Robert Amadou (Tau Jacques) (1924-2006), who on 17 September 1988 (pictured at right) conditionally consecrated Archbishop Bertil Persson of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, consecrator of the present Prince-Abbot of San Luigi.

Bricaud in 1907, and then again in 1918 or 1919, consecrated the Haïtian Lucien François Jean-Maine (Tau Ogdoade-Orfeo I) (1869-1960), who had previously received consecration from Tau Synesius and other Gnostic bishops, and who was at that time living in France and later Spain. Tau Ogdoade-Orfeo I was also a Voudon high priest, initiated in his father’s temple. About 1910, he was given a charter by Papus for the Ordo Templi Orientis in Haiti and the French West Indies. Aspects of the O.T.O. had much in common with the Voudon heritage into which he had previously been initiated. The Spanish-Haitian development of this body would be designated Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua after 1921.

Tau Ogdoade-Orfeo I had also received the Rites of Memphis and Misraïm from his first consecrator Tau Orfeo VI (Paul-Pierre de Marraga) of the Spanish Albigensian Gnostic Church (From Tau Orfeo VI he had also inherited a line of episcopal succession through the French Eglise Constitutionelle that originated with Pope Benedict XIII). In consequence, Tau Ogdoade-Orfeo I was able to impart to Papus a number of the higher grades in Memphis and Misraïm and in return, Papus gave him charters for those Orders he had received from John Yarker and Theodor Reuss. Significantly, Tau Ogdoade-Orfeo I did not maintain his esoteric authorities separately from his Gnostic church authorities. Frater Joseph has written of this, “For under the combined influences of the O.T.O., Martinism, Gnosticism, and Voudoo-not to mention the Fraternitas Lucis Hermetica-the Spanish and Haitian branches of the Rite of Memphis-Misraim gave up entirely their quasi-masonic character and became completely esoteric and Gnostic orders of magic, i.e., The Gnostic and Esoteric Order of Misraim. or of Egypt and the Gnostic and Esoteric Order of Memphis, within the larger, totally occult and much more ecclesiastical “Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis-Misraim”. This point must be emphasized because there are other branches of the Rite of Memphis-Misraim which claim to continue a masonic character, while it is only interested in continuing the Gnostic and apostolic succession and the magical currents of initiation.” (Frater Joseph, History of La Couleuvre Noire, in Skoob Occult Review, no. 3, London: Skoob Books Publishing, Ltd., 1990).

In 1921, having returned to Haiti and married, Tau Ogdoade-Orfeo I developed his own occult initiatic system called La Couleuvre Noire (The Black Snake), since as a Black man he was excluded from much Western European esoteric activity. This work has survived to the present day, as has the succession of Memphis-Misraïm bishops from Tau Ogdoade-Orfeo I. Returning to and slightly amplifying Frater Joseph’s account, we learn that “On January 18, 1966, an American Martinist, Tau Ogoade-Orfeo IV [Michael Paul Bertiaux], born January 18, 1935, was consecrated to the episcopate for the Rite of Memphis-Misraim. The consecration took place in Chicago, with Tau Ogoade-Orfeo II [José Marraga y Adhémar (1893-1969) as principal consecrator] and Tau Ogoade-Orfeo III [Hector François Jean-Maine (1924-84)] acting as the co-consecrator. Later, Tau Ogoade-Orfeo IV received the complete magical consecrations and currents of the Ecclesia Gnostica Hermetica on August 10, 1967. The Ecclesia Gnostica Hermetica carried the magical currents of the secret work of the O.T.O. and the Choronzon Club, and thus united the Crowleyan (Germerian) and Neo-Crowleyan (Choronzon Club and G.B.G.) successions with the Gnostic and Hermetic traditions inherited from the Vilatte succession of bishops.” Bertiaux then on 16 June 1979 consecrated Archbishop Forest Barber of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, through whom this heritage has passed to the present Prince-Abbot of San Luigi.

Bricaud died on 21 February 1934 and was succeeded as Patriarch of the Eglise Gnostique Universelle by Constant Chevillon (Tau Harmonius (1880-1944)). According to the account of Mme. Bricaud, Chevillon worked closely with Bricaud in his last years, and indeed the two men are buried in the same tomb. Bricaud certainly consecrated Chevillon, probably in the mid-1920s, but no record of the exact date of this event has survived. Chevillon was consecrated again by Giraud on 5 January 1936. At the time of his assassination by agents of the Vichy government during World War II, Chevillon had consecrated no bishops. His successor was René Chambellant (Tau Renatus (1907-93)) who was consecrated in 1945 by Edouard Gesta (Dr X), who had been consecrated by Blanchard on 28 January 1945. After World War II, the church was placed in a state of dormancy and Chambellant relocated for many years to Africa.

While there would be a continuation of elements of the work of the Eglise Gnostique Universelle through the churches led by Robert Ambelain and his successors, this would essentially be a work of revival and rebirth that continues in many Gnostic churches of today, perhaps illustrating that its inner traditions and their spiritual teachings are capable of creating their own organizational frameworks through the transmission of initiatic and episcopal successions.

Holy Water and incense blessed by Bricaud is today part of the San Luigi archive, as are some of his vestments and items from the Vilatte archive that he helped save. He remains one of our most important forefathers and a continuing presence and inspiration.

Notice concerning the Order of Corporate Reunion

Official website of the Order of Corporate Reunion:

The Order is incorporated with nonprofit status in England, UK, and California, USA.

This Notice has been issued to clarify several matters with respect to succession and rights within the Order of Corporate Reunion and to address the false claims and actions of Michael James Kline, Dario Caldarelli and Ben Wiltshire. The false claims made by Rodney Rickard have already been dealt with here.


On 25 January 2010, a non-profit corporation named “The Order of Corporate Reunion” was formed in the State of Missouri, USA. Because various claims have been made concerning the authority and succession to this corporation by Michael James Kline and others associated with him, notably at, we have seen fit to examine these claims and to arrive at conclusions as to whether they can be upheld. The analysis that follows is divided into sections for the convenience of the reader.

As a preliminary, we invite the reader to examine the incorporation documents of this corporation, to which we refer in detail below, and to verify the same at the website of the Missouri Secretary of State, Division of Corporations, at The corporation reference number is B01036801.

>>Copy of the Missouri OCR corporation creation documents

1. The nature of the corporation

The corporation was formed pursuant to Section 352.060, Chapter 352, Revised Statutes of Missouri. This law requires that the circuit court shall satisfy itself, based on the articles of incorporation, that the corporation is formed from a benevolent association as defined in Section 352.010 “Any number of persons not less than three, who shall have associated themselves by articles of agreement in writing, as a society, company, association or organization formed for benevolent, religious, scientific, fraternal-beneficial, or educational purposes, may be consolidated and united into a corporation.” The fact that the petition for incorporation is examined by a circuit court is of no more consequence than that the court in doing so satisfies itself that the purposes and lawfulness of the said corporation is in conformity with the statutes; in other words, it is created as a nonprofit (benevolent) corporation with exactly the same effect as a nonprofit corporation in any other state.

The process of incorporation:

a. proceeds when the court is satisfied that the application is made for genuine nonprofit/public benefit purposes and is in conformity with the law.

It does not:

b. confer any special authority upon the corporation. The corporation has no more powers than any usual nonprofit corporation in Missouri.
c. require judicial investigation into the historical or jurisdictional claims of the proposed corporation. The court has no powers under law to investigate historical claims, and there is no evidence that it did so in the documents of incorporation.

It has been asserted that the Missouri corporation is the only worldwide entity that has the right to the name and history of the Order of Corporate Reunion. This is completely false.

The Missouri corporation could never have “become the Order” because as of 2010, the Order was an unincorporated worldwide membership organization, all of whose members and officers had not been appointed under the Missouri corporation, nor were asked to consent to the incorporation, nor who became voting or non-voting members or officers of the resulting corporation. As will be seen, the Missouri corporation had a voting membership of one.

Both as of 2010 and since that time multiple corporations have been formed in the USA and elsewhere in the world to represent the Order, and the Missouri OCR corporation is powerless to prevent these actions, since its powers extend only to the limits of the law of the State of Missouri. At best, then, the Missouri OCR corporation was merely a local organization of the Order. That confusion arose as to the facts of the matter is entirely due to the assertions of Michael Kline.

The claims made that the court process had recognized the corporation as the sole representative of the Order is false, even though an assertion to that effect was made by the incorporators in Article V of the pro forma decree for incorporation. Interestingly, that assertion is specifically made “under English common law” and not under the laws of the State of Missouri or indeed the United States of America. The Missouri court had no powers under law to investigate the truth of historical claims regarding England or English law; merely to establish whether the proposed corporation met the requirements of the nonprofit statute and was in keeping with the laws of Missouri and of the United States of America. See Section 352.060 “If the court shall be of the opinion that such articles of agreement and the purposes of the association come properly within the purview of this chapter, and are not inconsistent with the constitution or laws of the United States, or of this state, the court shall enter of record an order to that effect.”

The only matters that would give rise to investigation are stated thus in the same section, “But no such order shall be made until such petition shall have remained on file in the clerk’s office of said court for at least three days after said petition shall have been presented to the court; and whenever the judge to whom such petition shall have been presented shall entertain any doubt as to the lawfulness or public usefulness of the proposed corporation, it shall be his duty to appoint some competent attorney, as a friend of the court, whose duty it shall be to examine said petition and show cause, if any there be, on some day to be fixed by the court, why the prayer of said petition should not be granted, and said attorney shall not be confined in his examination to said petition and articles of association, but may introduce such testimony as may be available and proper in order to fully disclose the true purposes of the association.” So we can see that the only grounds for further investigation are the “lawfulness or public usefulness” of the proposed corporation – not its historical or jurisdictional claims.

2. The membership of the corporation

The membership of the corporation is defined in Article VI, where it is stated that there shall be only one member of the corporation, the Universal Primate, who as stated in the incorporation was the late Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan (1941-2016).

Note well the following under the same article, “Mention of any other “members” are considered non-voting, and therefore have no legal rights to ownership, title, nor legal management of the Order of Corporate Reunion; former members are also considered having no legal rights to ownership, title, nor legal management of the Order of Corporate Reunion. Non-voting membership is open to the public, under such reasonable rules and regulations as the Universal Primate-Bishop may provide.”

No non-voting members of the corporation were known to have been appointed by Archbishop Brennan. Nor were any changes made to the terms or appointments of officers and members of the Order of Corporate Reunion whose tenure antedated the Missouri incorporation.

3. Appointment of a successor to the Universal Primate

The petition makes provision for the appointment of a successor to the Universal Primate at Article VIII, in which it is stated that the Universal Primate shall choose “a successor by the ancient right of bequeathing (ref. advowson)” The meaning of this is unambiguous: it is that the only means by which a person may succeed as Universal Primate is if his predecessor bequeaths the role to him.

Archbishop Brennan did not appoint a successor. On 28 July 2016, four days before Archbishop Brennan died, Michael Kline circulated an email to senior OCR clergy in which he stated the facts clearly, “I had requested on 2-3 occasions that +Brennan appoint me as a co-adjutor or successor for the OCR, but he was silent on this matter…I would serve willingly as a manager of the OCR as Camerlingo [sic] until a Primate is appointed.” This email shows not only that Kline was definitively not named by Archbishop Brennan as his successor but that it was also not expected by him or anyone else that he would succeed him as Primate of the OCR, still less that he would subsequently claim that such an office was his by right.

4. The role of the “executor” and “administrator”

Article VII further nominates Bertil Persson of Sweden and Francis Spataro of New York, described as “two additional Order of Corporate Reunion leaders” as “executor” and “administrator” respectively “in the event of the untimely death of the Primate”. Persson was Universal Primate between 1998 and 2004, while Spataro was the Order’s representative for New York.

What are the powers of these roles?

  1. Neither Persson nor Spataro was a voting member of the corporation, and so they were subject to the restrictions in Article VI, that is to say “Mention of any other “members” are considered non-voting, and therefore have no legal rights to ownership, title, nor legal management of the Order of Corporate Reunion”.
  2. An executor has the power to protect the assets of a nonprofit corporation, and then to ensure their transfer to the rightful beneficiaries (if any). It is not clear that the Missouri OCR corporation had any assets since OCR members were not solicited at any time for dues or donations, and the OCR did not own any property.
  3. The requirements for an out-of-state executor, such as Persson, to act lawfully in performing this role are stated at Missouri Revised Statutes 473.117, section 3 as follows: “Before a nonresident of this state or a corporation organized under the laws of another state or country is issued letters testamentary or of administration he, she or it shall file in the probate division of the circuit court a designation, including the signature and address, of a resident of this state, or a corporation of this state authorized to administer trusts, as agent for the service of process on and the receipt of notice by such nonresident or foreign corporation.  This designation shall be recited in the letters testamentary or of administration.  Such a designation may be revoked only by a new designation of an agent for service and notice in this state, which shall be endorsed on the letters testamentary or of administration.  By filing such designation, the nonresident submits personally to the jurisdiction of the court in all proceedings relating to the administration of the estate and to the performance of his fiduciary duties until discharged of those duties by the court.”
  4. There is no evidence that Persson was ever issued letters testamentary or of administration regarding the Missouri OCR corporation by the circuit court. Any action taken without these prerequisites would be legally invalid.
  5. The role of “administrator” in regard to a corporation in this context is undefined by statute and therefore it cannot be said that this role conferred any legal powers upon its holder.

5. What powers was Michael Kline given under the corporation?

The only mention of Kline occurs on the final page of the petition, in which it is stated, “+Bishop Michael Kline may execute written articles of incorporation and is acknowledged before the Universal Primate as an officer, and he is authorized to act on our behalf as a Registered Agent and Incorporator before the Honorable Circuit Courts of Missouri.”

Therefore, Kline was never a voting member of the corporation, and his powers were confined to those of an officer, to wit, the execution of written articles of incorporation, the duties of a registered agent and an incorporator.

6. How could the failure to nominate a successor be overcome?

In Kline’s own words, reproduced above, Archbishop Brennan appointed no successor.

There is no provision anywhere in the corporation for any other person to be appointed as Universal Primate.

If Persson had been granted letters testamentary or of administration (which he was not), could he have validly appointed anyone to the position of Universal Primate? No, because Article VI is explicit on this point “Mention of any other “members” are considered non-voting, and therefore have no legal rights to ownership, title, nor legal management of the Order of Corporate Reunion.”

Therefore neither Persson, nor Spataro, nor indeed Kline, had any legal right to ownership, title, nor legal management of the Order of Corporate Reunion according to the Missouri OCR corporation. Those sole rights in respect of the Missouri OCR corporation rested with Archbishop Brennan and they died with him.

7. Would the corporation have continued in existence in the absence of a Universal Primate?

Yes. However, the corporation would have had no members, and so would effectively be a dead letter, unable to act other than to continue its existence on paper.

Kline can maintain the corporation as its resident agent by paying the appropriate dues and representing himself as an officer of the corporation – but his powers are confined to the legal steps needed to keep the corporation in good standing. As he is not a member of the corporation, he cannot do anything else validly in its name.

Because the corporation now has no members, it cannot appoint any other resident agent to succeed Kline in the event of Kline’s incapacity or death. Consequently, the corporation will likely be administratively dissolved for failure to file returns and pay dues when this happens.

8. Was Kline ever appointed validly as Universal Primate?

Kline has claimed that he was appointed as Universal Primate by Persson and Spataro. However, it is clear from the above analysis that neither of them had the required authority to make such an appointment under the terms of the Missouri corporation.

The following timeline is instructive:

  1. On 1 August 2016 (at which time Brennan was still alive), Spataro asserted that he had appointed Kline “Provisional Primate” of the OCR during Brennan’s incapacity. Spataro cited the Missouri corporation as his authority to make this appointment. However, as has been shown, the corporation did not give Spataro any such authority.
  2. Brennan died that evening. In an email sent on 3 August, Kline stated “After I receive the official appointment letter from +Francis, then we plan to file this with the Secretary of State.” It will be clear firstly that no such letter would have been legally valid under the terms of the corporation, and secondly that as such, it could not have been filed with any authority. Examination of the corporation file at the website of the Missouri Secretary of State shows that there is but one sole document filed for the corporation – its creation.

It can therefore be seen that at no point was Kline appointed validly as Universal Primate, nor could any such appointment have been made by anyone except Archbishop Brennan.

No contact names are shown for the Missouri OCR corporation at the website of the Secretary of State, presumably because it now has no members. The address given is Kline’s, as resident agent.

There is nothing in the corporation file with the Secretary of State to indicate that Kline has ever been officially recognized in any capacity other than that of resident agent.

9. Conclusions

  1. Archbishop Brennan appointed no successor as Universal Primate.
  2. No other person was authorized under the terms of the Missouri OCR corporation to appoint a Universal Primate
  3. Therefore, Archbishop Brennan was the last Universal Primate and the last member of the Missouri OCR corporation.
  4. The purported appointment of Michael Kline as Universal Primate by Francis Spataro and Bertil Persson was legally invalid from the outset under the terms of the Missouri OCR corporation, which provides that any persons named in the pro forma charter other than Brennan shall “have no legal rights to ownership, title, nor legal management of the Order of Corporate Reunion.”
  5. The invalidity of this appointment is further shown by the fact that no letters testamentory or of administration were issued in respect of the Missouri OCR corporation to any person, and that neither Kline nor anyone else was registered by the Secretary of State as a voting member of the corporation.

Some questions for Michael Kline

  1. Can you produce any document showing that the Secretary of State of the State of Missouri recognizes that you are the Universal Primate for the purposes of the Missouri OCR corporation?
  2. Can you produce any document showing that the Secretary of State of the State of Missouri recognizes that you are a voting member of the Missouri OCR corporation?

If the answers to these questions are “no”, as we believe will be the case, Michael Kline’s claims regarding the Universal Primacy of the OCR are wholly false.

We hold that the Missouri OCR corporation is a dead letter. It exists only on paper, has no voting members and therefore cannot act other than to continue its nominal existence for as long as Kline, as its resident agent, has the capacity to do so.

The continuation of the Order of Corporate Reunion must therefore be found not in the Missouri corporation but in the unincorporated worldwide membership organization that preceded and coincided with it. The continuous history of that organization for nearly a century is found in the Apostolic Episcopal Church, whose representation of the OCR was never subsumed in the Missouri OCR corporation, and which continues to maintain that representation today.


When the OCR was founded in 1874, the head of the Order was not referred to as “Universal Primate”, as certain persons are currently claiming. Indeed, this title has no provable antecedence before the 1980s, and was used by a branch of the Order whose historical and jurisdictional claims have proved impossible to verify. Instead, the head of the OCR was referred to as the “Prelate” and “Rector Pro-Provincial of Canterbury” (doubtless in reference to his intended role as the guiding light in the unification of Rome and the Church of England). The founder of the OCR, +Dr Frederick George Lee served as the Order’s first Prelate and Rector Pro-Provincial of Canterbury. Furthermore, historically since 1946, that position has been occupied by the presiding bishops of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, the church which has the longest unbroken formal relationship with the OCR, dating from 1933. It was only in 1998 that the joint offices of head of the AEC and the OCR were separated.

The Order has faced a number of conflicting claims as to authority and lineage during its complex history. Where these claims are based on false assertions, we believe it is in the interest of the faithful that this should be made known. We invite those who assert that Arnold Harris Mathew was secretly consecrated conditionally by prelates of the Order in 1909 (and thus continued rather than revived the Order) to put forward evidence to support that assertion. We have seen none whatsoever. We likewise invite those who believe that Friedrich Heiler and the Anglican bishop George Bell were ever “Universal Primates” of the Order to produce any evidence that supports these claims. There is none, and Bell’s papers in particular are extensively preserved. Lastly, we invite anyone with proof that the outlandish claims made by the late Diederik D.J. Quatannens, who again claimed to be “Universal Primate” of the Order, concerning his alleged episcopal consecration were true to produce them. Quatannens unfortunately appears to be the source of the majority of false statements and legends concerning the Order, which seem to have been part of his stock-in-trade as an arch-conspiracy theorist convinced that the Catholic Church was being controlled by secret para-church and Masonic bodies.

In 1998, Quatannens passed what he asserted was the “Universal Primacy” of the OCR to Bertil Persson, who in turn retired in favour of the late +Peter Paul Brennan in 2004. However, Quatannens’ tendentious claims regarding the OCR’s history were completely separate from the AEC’s representation of the OCR, which continued regardless of the 1998 separation and was never formally or otherwise merged in it. It is important to note that the AEC does not claim to continue Quatannens’ pseudo-OCR; rather, it holds that the events of 1998 were an error that gave rise to understandable confusion. During the time of the late +Peter Paul Brennan there was no need to raise historical and jurisdictional issues since it was universally held that Archbishop Brennan did an excellent job in leading the OCR. Indeed, we had hoped that this status quo would hold after Archbishop Brennan’s death in 2016, at which point he named no successor. Sadly, this has not proved to be the case. The AEC initially restated its position regarding the OCR during the aftermath of Archbishop Brennan’s death, and then formally acted upon this in 2017 with the support of all AEC clergy and the Emeritus Primate, Archbishop Francis Spataro.

The Presiding Bishop of the Apostolic Episcopal Church is also Prelate and Rector Pro-Provincial of Canterbury in the OCR. There is no such position as “Universal Primate” of the OCR and no historical basis for such a position.

Currently, the Presiding Bishop of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, and the Prelate and Rector Pro-Provincial of Canterbury of the OCR is The Most Reverend Archbishop +John Kersey, OCR, OA. He was confirmed as Bishop and Rector Pro-Provincial of Canterbury by Archbishop Brennan and past AEC and OCR primate Archbishop Bertil Persson (who installed him in office) on November 23, 2008, and succeeded as Prelate of the OCR and Presiding Bishop of the AEC on February 6, 2015.

The OCR as constituted under the AEC recognizes no other organization as legitimately continuing the Order, not merely because of lack of historical continuity, but because of the lack of respect of other organizations for the OCR’s clear and authentic mission as a bridge between Rome and the Anglican Communion. We dissociate ourselves completely from those pseudo-prelates who would use the name of the OCR as a front for ordination mills and attempts at personal aggrandisement.


When the late Archbishop Brennan passed into eternal glory on 2 August 2016, he did not name a successor to his position of Universal Primate of the OCR.

We do not accept the various claims made by Michael Kline to the effect that he was by rights the successor of Archbishop Brennan, or that he became so automatically by virtue of his position as an officer of the OCR’s corporation in Missouri. The falsehood of any such claims is shown clearly in Kline’s own words and in the analysis above.

On 28 July 2016, four days before Archbishop Brennan died, Michael Kline circulated an email to senior OCR clergy in which he stated the facts clearly, “I had requested on 2-3 occasions that +Brennan appoint me as a co-adjutor or successor for the OCR, but he was silent on this matter…I would serve willingly as a manager of the OCR as Camerlingo [sic.] until a Primate is appointed.” This email shows not only that Kline was definitively not named by Archbishop Brennan as his successor but that it was also not expected by him or anyone else that he would succeed him as Primate of the OCR, still less that he would subsequently claim that such an office was his by right.

While corporations have at various times been formed to represent the OCR in various local jurisdictions, those local organizations of the OCR did not at any point represent the entire unincorporated worldwide OCR membership organization as constituted under Archbishop Brennan. Therefore, the Missouri corporation established by Michael Kline could not represent the entire OCR, despite his claims to the contrary put forward after the death of Archbishop Brennan. Rather than revert to historical precedent, or call a vote of the membership, Kline instead asserted that his Missouri corporation constituted the entire OCR and that he, as its owner, had been confirmed in office as Universal Primate of the OCR by its “executor” and “administrator”. This was notwithstanding the fact that prior to Archbishop Brennan’s death, not a single member of the OCR held membership in the Missouri corporation or had been appointed to office in the OCR through it. Indeed, it might well seem with hindsight that Kline had formed the Missouri corporation purely as a vehicle for his personal advancement.

It should be noted that Francis Spataro, at that time Emeritus Primate of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, and “administrator” of the Missouri OCR corporation responsible for Kline’s appointment, subsequently reversed his earlier position and in an email of February 2019 wrote “On receiving your Letter I state as Emeritus my desire to remain within the AEC’s OCR and do not want my name associated with the organization led by Archbishop Kline.” He has subsequently stated his wish to be considered retired from all religious affiliations.


In June 2021, Michael Kline retired from his representation of the OCR, appointing Dario Caldarelli, of Rome, Italy, to succeed him. We hold that since Kline was never the legitimate successor of +Brennan, he does not possess anything to pass on to a successor so far as the OCR is concerned.

According to documentation in the possession of the OCR, Dario Caldarelli was ordained deacon on 13 September 2012 and priest on 13 September 2013 for the Igreja Católica Apostólica da Redençao, an independent church in Brazil, by its archbishop Dom Edivaldo dos Santos. He was consecrated bishop in this church by the same Edivaldo dos Santos, assisted by bishops Osiel Luiz dos Santos and Genival Martins de Oliveira on 15 September 2013. Research indicates that Osiel Luiz dos Santos and Genival Martins de Oliveira were both themselves consecrated by Edivaldo dos Santos. There is no mention of any co-consecrators at these consecrations.

Edivaldo dos Santos was consecrated on 18 December 2012 by José Milton Cabral dos Santos, who in turn was consecrated on 11 September 2011 by Emmanuel Milingo. There is no mention of any co-consecrators at these consecrations.

The former Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo undertook a number of episcopal consecrations which have been declared illicit by the Holy See and in consequence of which he and a number of the bishops concerned incurred latae sententiae excommunication. Archbishop Brennan was one such bishop. Such canonical penalty, however, has no bearing on the validity of the consecration concerned. The OCR considers the episcopal consecrations conducted by Archbishop Milingo prior to and following the declaration of the Holy See of his excommunication on 26 September 2006 to be valid but illicit in accordance with Roman canon law.

A different situation, however, applies to any ordination or consecration conducted by Emmanuel Milingo after 17 December 2009, on which date the the Holy See Press Office in a statement announced that Milingo had been dismissed from the clerical state. The statement explained the effect of the action as “loss of the rights and duties attached to the clerical state, except for the obligation of celibacy; prohibition of the exercise of any ministry, except as provided for by Canon 976 of the Code of Canon Law in those cases involving danger of death; loss of all offices and functions and of all delegated power, as well as prohibition of the use of clerical attire. Consequently, the participation of the faithful in any future celebrations organized by Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo is to be considered unlawful.”

It is clear that the Roman Catholic Church will not consider any consecration by Emmanuel Milingo after 17 December 2009 as valid. This observation therefore applies to the consecration of José Milton Cabral dos Santos by Milingo on 11 September 2011 and to those who derive their succession from him, including Dario Caldarelli.

The OCR, being primarily concerned with issues of validity according to Roman canon law, cannot recognize the clerical status of men who have received Holy Orders that have been the subject of a pronouncement of the Holy See as to their definitive invalidity. It therefore cannot acknowledge truthfully that it accepts Dario Caldarelli as holding the ordained state validly, purely because the Holy See has made it clear that it does not do so.

We also note that within a short time, Kline has purported to retract his retirement because of disagreements with Caldarelli. These matters do not involve the OCR proper under our leadership and we do not intend to become involved in them, noting only that they are typical of some of the worst aspects of the smaller church bodies and bring no glory to the Body of Christ.

In discussions with Caldarelli, he has referred to placing the matter of the headship of the OCR before an “international court”. The OCR recognizes no “international court” and no tribunal save that of the Holy See itself.

In discussions with Caldarelli, he has claimed to have a document in which Archbishop Brennan appoints Kline as his successor. He has been repeatedly challenged to produce this document and has failed to do so. Our position is that it is either non-existent or false.


For several years now, Kline has posted repeated personal attacks and hatred on social media directed against Archbishop Kersey, the Prelate of the OCR and Primate of the AEC. In January 2022, Kline raised two men from the lay state to the episcopate in the space of three days (surely a record for the independent sacramental movement). One of these men, Ben Wiltshire, has now made common cause with Kline and engaged in public controversy. Our response is simply, “by their fruits shall ye know them”. It is inconceivable that any bishop of a mainstream communion would be permitted to behave in such a manner, and through these actions, these men show amply their unsuitability for any form of ecclesiastical office. We have no intention of being deflected from the Order’s purposeful and successful mission by the behaviour of gadflies.

For over six months, senior members of the OCR were engaged in extensive and detailed negotiations with the generous assistance of an experienced bishop as an independent third party to bring about a position of peaceful co-existence between the OCR as represented under us and the Kline/Caldarelli group. A full agreement was prepared after these negotiations but Kline refused to sign it and it has now also been rejected by Caldarelli who has dismissed those who tried to negotiate peace from membership in his group. In the circumstances, we do not intend to pursue the matter further, but simply to state our case and allow any who are interested to form their opinions accordingly.

If OCR members and those interested have any questions concerning this Notice, please contact us at

In Christ,

The Most Reverend +John Kersey OCR
Prelate, Bishop and Rector Pro-Provincial of Canterbury in the Order of Corporate Reunion

The Most Reverend +Robert Chung, OCR, SCR
Superior General, Bishop of Selby and Provincial of York in the Order of Corporate Reunion

Easter 2022


“The grace of Easter is a great silence, an immense tranquility and a clean taste in your soul. It is the taste of heaven, but not the heaven of some wild exaltation. The Easter vision is not riot and drunkenness of spirit, but a discovery of order above all order—a discovery of God and of all things in Him. This is a wine without intoxication, a joy that has no poison in it. It is life without death. Tasting it for a moment, we are briefly able to see and love all things according to their truth, to possess them in their substance hidden in God, beyond all sense. For desire clings to the vesture and accident of things, but charity possesses them in the simple depths of God.” – Thomas Merton OCSO (1915-68)