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.

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.

Members of the San Luigi Orders: Mar Georgius of Glastonbury

Mar Georgius (Hugh George de Willmott Newman) (1905-79), Patriarch of Glastonbury and sometime Prince-Catholicos of the West, was a Prelat-Commandeur of the Order of the Crown of Thorns (brevet 45/1094), Knight Grand Officier of the Order of the Lion and of the Black Cross (brevet 46/244), and Doctor Christianissimus, having been admitted to the San Luigi Orders by Prince-Abbot Edmond I. He additionally served from 1946 as Exarch for Britain of the Order of Antioch under Bishop Howard Ellsworth Mather (this branch of the Order was absorbed into the Abbey-Principality in 1963). The insignia of the OCT was conferred upon him by Archbishop Odo A. Barry by commission of the Prince-Abbot in 1955. After a disagreement, he was removed from the Roll for some years, but this matter was subsequently resolved and he was reinstated in full in 1964.

Early years in the Catholic Apostolic Church

The future Mar Georgius, then Hugh George Newman, was born in Forest Gate, London, on 17 January 1905 and baptised in the Catholic Apostolic Church (sometimes called the “Irvingites” or The Universal Church) at Mare Street, Hackney. The CAC received what they believed to be a divine revelation that led to the calling of twelve men as a Renewed Apostolate in the 1830s, with the belief that this would prefigure an imminent Second Coming. These dramatic developments produced a widespread and at one point numerous following, assisted by the fact that the CAC did not seek to present itself as a separate church but as a universal body dedicated to presenting the Renewed Apostles to mankind in general and specifically to other churches, which it hoped would then adopt and support their cause.

The failure of such bodies as the Church of England and Roman Catholic Church to accept the CAC’s Testimony forced the CAC to pursue a more independent existence as a church body than it would have chosen for itself, and in time divisions within the Apostles and their successive deaths without the Second Coming having occurred led to the movement slowly fading away. There was no provision for the calling of further apostles to replace those who had died (although one body in continuation of the CAC held otherwise and established an episcopal succession which continues to this day), and no new clergy could be ordained to major orders after the last Apostle, Francis Valentine Woodhouse, had died.

Newman was to fulfil his vocation by leading a church that combined elements of the CAC, and indeed was believed by him to be a direct continuation of it, with Eastern and Western Orthodoxy, but the origins of this body were also to be found substantially in English Old Catholicism.

Newman’s grandfather was a deacon in the CAC and his father a Subdeacon, and aged seven, Newman himself was admitted as an Acolyte. He was educated at the Crawford School, Camberwell, and later at evening classes and under a private tutor, having passed the general school leaving examination under a special provision at the early age of thirteen. Newman took employment in solicitors’ firms and at the age of 21 was promoted to Managing Clerk.

At this time, he was politically active, and participated in attempts to restore Archduke Otto von Habsburg to his rightful position as Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary and Bohemia. In recognition of these efforts, the Archduke Otto, then under the Regency of his mother, the Empress Zita, granted a number of senior titles of nobility to Newman, including Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, Duke of Saxe-Noricum in the Austrian Empire, and Baron Willmott in the Kingdom of Hungary, in 1925. Newman accordingly changed his surname by deed poll to “de Willmott Newman”, the added title reflecting his mother’s maiden name. In May 1929, de Willmott Newman was one of the founders of the Royalist International, together with the author Herbert Vivian, Charles C. Bagnall (described as “an old New Zealand Jacobite”) and Fregatten-Kapitan Emmerich Zeno von Schonta (erstwhile Aide-de-Camp to Emperor Charles of Austria). The Royalist International aimed to “combat bolshevism, and restore Monarchy everywhere.” This body published a magazine, the Herald, from 1930 onwards, and had some success in Jacobite circles in the pre-war years. This work brought Newman into personal contact with a number of members of the European Royal Houses and aristocracy.

Discerning his vocation

Although Newman had felt a vocation to the priesthood since the age of sixteen, the Catholic Apostolic Church (having since 1901 entered the “Time of Silence,” with the death of its last Apostle) had decided not to ordain new clergy. In order to overcome this obstacle without breach from the church of his birth, Newman was required to consider in detail exactly why he was feeling this call and exactly what he should do in order to fulfil it within the CAC’s theology.

Aged nineteen, he was admitted an underdeacon in the CAC. Around this time, Newman’s vocation became more certain, and he was convinced that he was called to the office and work of a Bishop. He discussed this with the clergy of the CAC, who told him to be patient and await a time when God’s plan was revealed in more detail.

This proved to be the moment at which Newman’s role became clear to him, and it was a role which was from this point onwards to imbue context to his entire ministry. In short, it was this: the Restored Apostolate of the CAC had provided twelve Apostles that fulfilled Revelation 4:4 “And round about the throne [were] four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” Now, Newman believed that his charge was as follows,

“(1) That just as the Tabernacle in the Wilderness was not intended to be permanent, but was a model or pattern in accordance with which the Temple was later erected in Jerusalem; so, the work by the Restored Apostles was a pattern of a greater work thereafter to be established in the Church at large.

(2) That the Restored Apostles, having completed the pattern, thereby laying the foundations of the future work, the pattern was destined to be taken down, so that the greater work might be established in Christendom at large. Accordingly, no attempt was to be made to perpetuate the Apostolic Work after the death of Apostle Woodhouse, but it was to be suffered to gradually fade away until “the Altar was covered”, i.e. the Holy Eucharist had ceased to be offered.

(3) That, just as our Lord Jesus Christ, after sending forth the New Testament Apostles, later “sent other Seventy also before His face into every place whither He Himself would come” (Luke x, 1), so, after the removal of the Tabernacle, the work of the Restored Apostles would be succeeded by the Work of the Seventy. These would not be Apostles, but apostolikoi, or Apostolic Men, who would receive their doctrine from the Restored XII. It would be to these men that the work of applying the pattern to the Church at large, or erecting the Temple upon the foundation already laid, would devolve.

(4) That the work of the Restored XII and that of the LXX would be two separate stages of the one Work of the Lord; though the LXX would receive their commission outside the work of the XII. But, the prophetic utterances stated: “The Lord prepareth them in secret even now.”

[Mar Georgius, A Personal Statement, 1971]

This work is that laid down by the Restored Apostles in their prophesies of 1858-60; that their church should be succeeded by a future episcopal body, which had been awaited at the commencement of the “Time of Silence” in 1901, but that most CAC members had come to accept would not appear at any definite stage. This mission was what Newman believed himself to be called to accomplish.

Newman believed that it had been revealed to him by God that he was to undertake a mission in connexion with the Work of the Seventy, and initially with the work of augmenting the number of the Apostles from the Restored Twelve to twenty-four by the commission of twelve further men to fill their ranks. Although Newman later came to believe that his focus on the additional twelve was in error, with hindsight we can see the two phases of his ministry, representing concentration on the Twenty-Four and on the Seventy respectively, as complimentary to each other rather than in conflict.

Clearly these men were to be found outside the CAC, for the CAC’s work was coming to an end and was in any case separate, though connected to the episcopal church that would follow it. So it followed that Newman would need to understand thoroughly what the different churches that made up Christendom believed, and how and on what points they differed. He would not, however, need to leave the CAC even were he to be ordained outside it – for since its outset the CAC had included among its clergy those ordained in the mainstream Apostolic Succession, whose orders were recognised through a simple blessing, those ordained in non-Apostolic churches being meanwhile reordained ab initio.

An important discovery in consequence of these detailed studies of the different churches had been of the close relationship between the theology of the CAC and Orthodoxy of the Eastern Churches. The exact correspondences would be properly the preserve of an experienced theologian to explain in full, and such a work was indeed undertaken by the late Dr Judith Pinnington in a series of articles in the “Glastonbury Bulletin”. We may, however, summarise the conclusion arrived at, which was that there was no contradiction inherent in the teachings of the CAC, including the Restored Apostolate, and commonly-understood Orthodox precepts as far as the churches led by Newman were concerned, throughout his lifetime and for some years after his death.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Newman met or corresponded with many of those bishops who at the time headed autocephalous churches deriving from the Old Catholic, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox communions. “Sympathising with these Bishops and their Churches on account of acts of persecution, or semi-persecution, which many of them had sustained at the hands of the Anglicans, and being attracted to œcumenical ideals [which were, of course, also inculcated in the Catholic Apostolic Church], he saw, in what he himself calls “non-Ultramontane Catholicism”, a potential instrument for assisting the process of Christian Unity by the provision of a “bridge” between Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and even Protestantism of the Anglican and Lutheran types. Eventually, he arrived at the view that the various lines of Apostolic Succession must have been permitted to overflow their normal boundaries, and to have been preserved, sometimes merely by a thread, for the furtherance of the Divine Plan.”

Continue reading “Members of the San Luigi Orders: Mar Georgius of Glastonbury”