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Fons Mandati Nostri

Patriarchal Encyclical on the Purpose and Authority of the Patriarchal See of St. Stephen

Rutherford I c.p.p. S. Stefani

On the Feast of Saint Willibrord, First Bishop of Utrecht and Apostle to the Frisians

7 November A.D. 2015


To the Bishops, Clergy, and Faithful of the Patriarchal See of Saint Stephen and the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church:

The font of our mandate is the Holy Catholic Church of Christ, founded by Our Lord and Savior in the thirty-third year of the Incarnation. Our Patriarchate is and remains in perpetuity a part of the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Church. We maintain the Leonine and Angeline Privileges and the administrative independence of government so conferred. We affirm that, despite malicious criticism and scandalous defamation to the contrary, we have never left the Catholic Church, the unfortunately political and other disputes of the past notwithstanding. We affirm that, despite vile false witness against us, we remain a part of the Catholic Church, despite the abadonment of the traditional Catholic faith by the Roman Communion since the liturgical and theological abuses following the pastoral Second Vatican Council. We maintain unity and fidelity with the eternal Petrine office and with the eternal See of Rome. We continue and maintain the legacy of His Holiness Pope Leo X, Bishop of Rome and Lord of Florence, in Rome, Florence, and England. Our purpose, in addition to the preservation of said Leonine Legacy, is given by our mandate and comprises mission, service, and charity. This mandate is constant, regardless of the situation at any given time within the Roman Communion. We as a See are defined by what we are for rather than what we are against. On this fact we have preached numerous times. If we were defined by what we are against, then when the problem is solved, our purpose of existence would cease to exist. If the Roman Communion returns to the traditions of the authentic Catholic Faith, we can do nothing but rejoice and give thanks to God. Our traditions particular to our See, as well as our mandate will continue. The mandate is positive, not reactive. Should such a return to the faith occur, greater unity in Christ shall surely result – but our mandate will continue. It is given by God through Saint Stephen the Deacon and Christ’s Holy Church.

  We maintain the traditional Roman Catholic faith and the Catholic Anglican patrimony, for that is our heritage. We are not the separated brethren, for we maintain the traditions and faith of the authentic Catholic Church. Yet, in the interest of unity in Christ, we express malice towards none. If there be a dispute, then let it be on the head of others. If there be a dispute, then let us not engage in such conflict unless compelled by circumstance and as a matter of last resort. Let us seek to follow the example of Christ in love towards our brethren, but also in our unwavering defense of the Holy Faith. We must focus on the mandate of mission, service, and charity of our See and place the problems of the Church in the hands of God. We must pray for our brethren the Bishops, Clergy, and faithful of the Novus Ordo and of other traditional Roman Catholic jurisdictions, and also the separated brethren in other Christian traditions. We must work for unity, but in so doing we must never compromise the work of the mandate that we have been given or the sacred traditions of the See in which we serve.

  We are the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church of Florence, under the celestial patronage of Saint Stephen the Deacon and Protomartyr, whose promise it was to keep this See from ultimate harm as long as it remains strong in the Catholic Faith and devoted to him and above all to Christ. In that we maintain and perpetuate our status as a sovereign ecclesiastical government and temporal government-in-exile under international law before all the governments of the world. We are a continuing part, a particular church of the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Church, now and forever.



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