Death of Bishop James White

The Abbey-Principality has been informed of the death of Bishop James White of the Liberal Catholic Church in Australia.

Bishop James served as Diocesan Bishop for Western Australia in the Liberal Catholic Church of Australasia and latterly as Regionary Bishop Emeritus. During his retirement, he remained active in ministry and during 2017 explored the possibility of joining the Apostolic Episcopal Church. Although this did not happen, nevertheless Bishop James continued to maintain friendly relations with our communion and exercised a supervisory role in respect of the small Community of St James, which was comprised of former clergy of the Liberal Catholic Church and the members of the Apostolic Episcopal Church in Australia.

Bishop James attended a private ceremony of the San Luigi Orders in Australia on 13 May. Following the ceremony, he fell down some steps. Despite receiving immediate assistance from trained personnel, including a former police officer, he sustained head injuries which have sadly proved fatal.

In his correspondence, Bishop James showed a consistent support and concern for others and a broad traditional churchmanship that marked him out as a natural source of leadership in the Faith. Our prayers are with his widow and family at this difficult time.

Developments in the Byelorussian Patriarchate of St Andrew the First-Called Apostle

The Byelorussian Patriarchate of St Andrew the First-Called Apostle was established in 1970 under the late Patriarch Peter II Zhurawetsky, in whose memory the Patriarchal seat has been held vacant since his death in 1994. From the outset the executive duties of the Patriarchal office were devolved to the Ecclesiast of All Byelorussia, the first holder of this office having been the late Prince Kermit of Miensk. Under Prince Kermit, the Patriarchate was latterly maintained as a private ekklesia of the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios.

Since the succession of Prince Edmond of Miensk to the position of Ecclesiast of All Byelorussia on the death of his adoptive father Prince Kermit in 2015, there has been an increase in the ecclesiastical activities in exile of the Patriarchate, these having been centred on missions in Brazil which have latterly expanded to other countries.

Recent developments among the clergy of the Patriarchate have caused profound concern, in particular the complete breakdown of the relationship that had existed between the clergy and the Exarchate based in Brazil, which resulted in representations being made to the Ecclesiast. With efforts to bring about peace and reconciliation having failed, and with the priority being to safeguard the faithful and to ensure that any ministry of the Patriarchate should be fully in keeping with orthodox Christian principles, it has been necessary to initiate a revision of the policy of the Patriarchate and in particular its relationship with those missions that have hitherto been associated with it and which have operated under the working name Igreja Católica Ortodoxa Bielorussa no Brasil.

With immediate effect, the position of the Patriarchate has reverted to the former status of a private ekklesia of the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios solely. As such, its only member of clergy is now the Prince of Miensk as its Ecclesiast. All former members of the clergy, all lay ministers and all attached missions have been released from the Patriarchate immediately and without canonical penalty. They are therefore free to re-organize themselves under a new canonical administration or to join other churches should they wish.

Those clergy and missions who have wished to remain with our communion have been transferred to the Apostolic Episcopal Church and the Order of Antioch, whose lists will be updated in the near future to reflect this.

Treaty of Amity, Friendship and Goodwill with the Stooldom of Abura Papagya

The Abbey-Principality of San Luigi has entered into a Treaty of Amity, Friendship and Goodwill with the Stooldom of Abura Papagya, Abura Traditional Area, Republic of Ghana. The Stooldom is a recognized traditional kingdom in Ghana, ruled by HRH Nana Kojo Kurentsir X, the current Papagyahen (King), who was enstooled in 2015.

The website of Papagya linked above gives further information concerning the Kingdom, its history and its current projects.

As is customary on these occasions, an exchange of honours has taken place whereby HRH Nana Kojo Kurentsir X has been awarded the Grand Collar of the Order of the Crown of Thorns, and the Prince-Abbot has been awarded the Grand Collar of the Royal Order of Kwakyen Ababio.