Frequently Asked Questions

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Most Common Questions

Q: What is the official status of the Anglican Patriarchate?

The Anglican Patriarchate (Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church) is an ecclesiastical sovereignty by right of Rome with an independent government in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Additionally, we descend from the See of Utrecht, which was granted autonomy in 1145 by Pope Eugene III and confirmed in 1520 by Pope Leo X in the Bull Debitum Pastoralis, this right becoming known as the Leonine Privilege. As the sole successor of Pope Leo X and temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle in Italy and Britain, the Patriarchate is fully Catholic and holds the same canonical authority as the Roman Communion (Vatican). The Patriarchate is the ecclesiastical successor to temporal Rome, the temporal patrimony of the Roman Empire claimed historically by right of the papacy. The succession passed to the Patriarchate after Benedict XVI by right of Rome and Florence, with the Archfather (Coadjutor of Rome and Bishop of St. Stephen) with papal authority as temporal successor of St. Peter, and the Pope (Bishop of Rome) as spiritual successor of St. Peter and de facto sovereign of the Vatican City-State.

Q: Are "traditionalist" groups affiliated with the Anglican Patriarchate?

No.

Q: Do you ordain clergy outside the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church?

Generally no. Exceptions are rare and strictly regulated by canon law.

Q: What is the New Roman Communion?

The New Roman Communion is defined as the Anglican Patriarchate and the churches of all Bishops recognised by the Patriarchate. It takes its name from the Florentine heritage of the Anglican Patriarchate, with Florence recognised as the second New Rome after Constantinople. Bishops of the New Roman Communion need not be of the Anglican Rite, but may be of any traditional Catholic Rite.

Q: Who is the head of the Anglican Patriarchate and New Roman Communion?

The Coadjutor and Prince of Rome, Bishop of St. Stephen, who is most commonly known as the Archfather or Florentine Archfather.

Q: What is an Archfather?

The personal title of Archfather has common ancient origins with the title of Patriarch and Pope, and it was among the traditional titles of Popes. Patriarchs are found in the Old Testament and eventually among Christian clergy. The title of Pope was used first for the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria and later also for the Bishop of Rome. Today the title of Archfather refers exclusively to the Florentine Archfather, Coadjutor and Prince of Rome.

Q: Why is the Archfather also given the honorific of "Papa"?

The honorific of "Papa", always in its Latin form, is used frequently in front of the Archfather's name and simply means "Father." It is of Roman and Byzantine origin. Informally, the Archfather is sometimes known as the Anglo-Catholic Papa or the Florentine-Roman Pontiff. His formal title is Archfather-Prince and Coajutor of Rome.

Q: What is the authority of the Archfather?

By right of Rome, the Archfather speaks with supreme authority and the full voice and authority of the Pope within and regarding the jurisdiction of the Anglican Patriarchate and New Roman Communion.

Q: What is the Leonine Office? How does it relate to the Petrine Office?

The Florentine Archfather, as successor to Pope Leo X, holds what is known as the Leonine Office. It is an extension of the Petrine Office, the primacy of the Pope, and shares in its authority within and regarding the jurisdiction of the Anglican Patriarchate and New Roman Communion. (Read more about the Petrine Office, Leonine Office, and the Anglican Patriarchate.

Q: Several others now suddenly claim to be the "true" Anglican Rite of the Catholic Church. Are you one of them?

A: Our long and ancient history of deeds and actions speaks for us. True faiths concentrate on positive acts of faith and service. There is no compelling need to prop ourselves up with words.

Q: Are you the "true" Roman Catholic Church? What about others?

A: We are a continuation of the ancient and traditional One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church, with the Archfather possessing by right of Rome supreme authority with the full voice and authority of the Pope within and regarding the jurisdiction of the Anglican Patriarchate and New Roman Communion. We do not feel the need to comment on others, instead encouraging all to focus on Christ-like acts of faith and service.

Q: Why do some Bishops in the Anglican Patriarchate wear red?

The Governor-General and Arch-Chancellor wear red habits, including red zucchetti (skull caps), because they hold titular Prince-Bishoprics. It is an ancient custom deriving from the Holy Roman Empire that Prince-Bishops wear red. Crown Cardinals also wear red habits. The Prefect-General, whether lay or clerical, is similarly entitled to a red habit with yellow mantellone and fur cappuccio distinct to the office.

Q: Why does the Archfather have a white habit?

The Archfather uses a white habit often trimmed with red, which is based on the habit of the Order of St. Stephen. The zucchetto (skull cap) is in plain white silk to match the habit, much like the custom of a white skull cap being used by members of religious orders with white habits. Some other elements of the habit remain red.

Q: Why do some of the bishops in the Anglican Patriarchate have different titles?

This reflects the ancient and diverse history of the Anglican Patriarchate. The Archfather is known as "His Holiness and Eminence," a style unique to the Anglican Patriarchate. It is a combination of the papal style of "Holy" (as successor Leo X and temporal successor St. Peter the Apostle) with the style of "Most Eminent." "Most Eminent," or "Eminentissimus," dates to the Roman Empire as a title often used by the Caesars. Of Constantine the Great, the Roman Emperor who legalised Christianity, the ancient writer Sedulius wrote "The Most Eminent Emperor prided himself more to be God's servant than of his earthly empire." It was also used by the Praetorian Prefects, who held the highest office, governing a division of the late Empire, from Constantine onward. The title of "Eminence" also came to be used by Cardinals and ecclesial Prince Electors of the Holy Roman Empire, both of which are among the traditional titles held by the Archfather. Thus the style of "Holiness and Eminence" reflects the unique authority and heritage of the Florentine Archfather.

The two principle electoral bishops are each referred to as "His Highness" or "His Eminence." (The more formal version is "His Most Eminent Royal Highness," abbreviated H.M.E.R.H.). Crown Cardinals are referred to as "His Eminence." Other bishops are referred to as "His Excellency." For more on protocol for all clergy, please refer to the Protocol Page.

General Questions

Q: Why is the church called the "Anglican Patriarchate?"

A: We are Old Roman Catholics in descent from the See of Utrecht who also have inherited the heritage of the English Church. ("[Utrecht] is a small independent Roman Catholic Church." Encyclopedia Britannica.) We are of the English Rite because we have heritage and additional Apostolic Succession from the ancient English (Anglican) Church, the original Anglican Rite (Use); because some aspects of our liturgy are Anglican in style; and because we are the Servants of Our Lady of Walsingham in Italy through our unique patrimony and service at the Shrine of the Holy House in Walsingham, England. We are Roman likewise by our heritage and hierarchy, and because we profess the same teachings as the Holy See in authentic exercise of her Magisterium; because our lines of Apostolic Succession were held in common with those of the Roman Communion until 1739, when Bishop Dominique-Marie Varlet, the Roman Catholic Titular Bishop of Ascalon, consecrated Peter John Meindaerts as Archbishop of Utrecht without Papal Bull, in accordance with the ancient Leonine Privilege; and because we use the pre-1955 Roman Rite Missale, the pre-Vatican II Rituale, and the Pontificale of Pope Leo XIII, with modifications only to include distinctly English tradition that does not conflict with the authentic teachings of the Church. Additionally, we descend from the See of Utrecht, which was granted autonomy in 1145 by Pope Eugene III and confirmed in 1520 by Pope Leo X in the Bull Debitum Pastoralis, this right becoming known as the Leonine Privilege. The Anglican Patriarchate as the sole successor of Pope Leo X and temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle in Italy and Britain, is fully Catholic and holds the same canonical authority as the Roman Communion (Vatican). The Patriarchate is the ecclesiastical successor to temporal Rome, the temporal patrimony of the Roman Empire claimed historically by right of the papacy. The succession passed to the Patriarchate after Benedict XVI by right of Rome and Florence, with the Archfather (Bishop of St. Stephen) with papal authority as temporal successor of St. Peter, and the Pope (Bishop of Rome) as spiritual successor of St. Peter and de facto sovereign of the Vatican City-State. The Anglican Patriarchate (Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church) serves as patriarchal see of the New Roman Communion, which is defined as the Anglican Patriarchate and the churches of all Bishops recognised by the Patriarchate. It takes its name from the Florentine heritage of the Anglican Patriarchate, with Florence recognised as the second New Rome after Constantinople.


Pope Saint Gregory the Great
sent Saint Augustine of Canterbury
to England in 595 to Christianize
the English pagan, thus establishing
the Catholic Church of England.

 

Q: Is there such a thing as the Anglican Rite?
A: Yes. The Anglican Church began when Saint Augustine of Canterbury was sent to England by the Pope to found the Catholic Church there in 595 A.D. The Anglican Rite was a distinct usage of the Roman Rite. (Novak, Rev. Victor E. "The Anglican Rite in Historical, Theological, and Ecumenical Perspective." Virtue Online.) In fact, several "uses" were developed in the English Church, one of the most famous of which being the Sarum Use (also known as the Sarum Rite). Within the modern Latin Rite, John Paul II established a distinct "Anglican Use" (instead of a Rite) for post-Reformation Anglicans joining the Roman Communion. This was continued by Benedict XVI and expanded into the Anglican Ordinariate (Roman Catholic - Anglican Form). Today there is no Anglican Rite within the Roman Communion. The Anglican Rite exists within the New Roman Communion in the form of the Anglican Patriarchate.

Q: What is the definition of Roman Catholicism?
A: "The largest of the Christian denominations is the Roman Catholic Church. As an institution it has existed since the 1st century AD...The name of the church is derived from its base in Rome and from a Greek term meaning 'universal.' The word Catholic refers to the wholeness of the church, and for many centuries the Roman Church has maintain its claim to be the only true Christian denomination." (Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1996). The Anglican Patriarchate, as the sole successor of Pope Leo X and temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle in Italy and Britain, is Roman by right and holds the same canonical authority as the Roman Communion (Vatican). The Patriarchate is the ecclesiastical successor to temporal Rome, the temporal patrimony of the Roman Empire claimed historically by right of the papacy. The succession passed to the Patriarchate after Benedict XVI by right of Rome and Florence, with the Archfather (Bishop of St. Stephen) with papal authority as temporal successor of St. Peter, and the Pope (Bishop of Rome) as spiritual successor of St. Peter and de facto sovereign of the Vatican City-State.

"Christian church characterized by its uniform, highly developed doctoral and organizational structure that traces its history to the apostles of Jesus Christ in the 1st century C.E." (Marriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions © 1999, page 938)

"The Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church recognizes the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, as the Vicar of Christ on this earth, and as the Head of the Church. It traces its origin from the naming of the Apostles Peter by Jesus as the chief of the Apostles . The authority of Peter as head of the Church is exercised by his successors as the Bishops of Rome. The doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church come from the faith given by Christ to his Apostles." (World Religions, By Benson Y. Landis, © 1957 Page 110)

Saint Augustine of Canterbury

Q: What is Imperial Old Roman Catholic or Imperial Catholic?
A: Imperial Old Roman Catholicism, or simply Imperial Catholicism descends from the ancient Roman Catholic Diocese of Utrecht in the Netherlands and historically tied to the Holy Roman Empire. It maintains the privilege of autonomy of government.

Q: What is the Latino culture and Germanic culture of the Anglican Patriarchate?
A: The Germanic culture of the Anglican Patriarchate of originates with the Merovingian dynasty and of the Holy Roman Empire. The culture of the Frankish people represented in the patriarchate is principally through Italy, portions of modern-day Germany, France, and the British Isles. The Latino culture of the Anglican Patriarchate includes Italy, France, Spain, and portions of the French and Spanish Americas. Latino culture originated with the Latins in the Roman Empire and spread with the Empire around much of Europe. That included especially not only Italy, but Spain and Gaul (roughly modern-day France). With the expansion of Spain and France (which included significant Italian support) to the New World, Latino culture spread to the Americas. Those modern societies that have historical romance languages, which derived from Latin, comprise the modern Latino society. In the Europe, that includes at least Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Romania, Switzerland, and parts of Belgium. In the New World, it includes those people descended from the European Latino countries. They are properly termed both Latino like their European counterparts and also Latin Americans (Latino-Americano in Spanish and Italian). Unfortunately in recent times, the United States has appropriated the European term "Latino" and changed its meaning, defining it as only the Latin-Americans. What ever the motivation may have been for doing that, it disenfranchised and excluded Latinos of European origin, including the very fountainhead of Latino culture, the Italian peninsula where Lat language and culture in originated and spread through the Roman Empire. Those of European Latino culture, heritage, or origin, however, rightly should not permit their own heritage and history to be erased.

Q: What does it mean to be "Roman of the English/Anglican Rite?"
A: The Anglican Patriarchate is an Anglo-Roman Particular Church and serves as patriarchal See of the New Roman Communion. We are not a Protestant community, separate church, or denomination. We reject modernism and every innovation, adhering instead to the historic doctrine and discipline of the Catholic Church in the Apostolic period. We are Catholic by Leonine Privilege and Right of Rome, by special favour of the Church, and because we derive our authority from Jesus Christ in unbroken succession from the Apostles through the Bishops; because our communion is confined neither to time nor space; and because we teach, profess, and preserve the Faith once delivered by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to the Apostles; and as sole successor of Pope Leo X and temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle in Italy and Britain, the Patriarchate remains fully Catholic holding the same canonical authority as the Roman Communion (Vatican). The Patriarchate is the ecclesiastical successor to temporal Rome, the temporal patrimony of the Roman Empire claimed historically by right of the papacy. The succession passed to the Patriarchate after Benedict XVI by right of Rome and Florence, with the Archfather (Bishop of St. Stephen) with papal authority as temporal successor of St. Peter, and the Pope (Bishop of Rome) as spiritual successor of St. Peter and de facto sovereign of the Vatican City-State.

Q: Did the Anglican Patriarchate (or other Old Roman Catholic Churches) ever leave the Catholic Church?

A: Absolutely not. The Anglican Patriarchate is the sole successor of Pope Leo X and temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle in Italy and Britain and as such remains fully Catholic and holds the same canonical authority as the Roman Communion (Vatican). The Patriarchate is the ecclesiastical successor to temporal Rome, the temporal patrimony of the Roman Empire claimed historically by right of the papacy. The succession passed to the Patriarchate after Benedict XVI by right of Rome and Florence, with the Archfather (Bishop of St. Stephen) with papal authority as temporal successor of St. Peter, and the Pope (Bishop of Rome) as spiritual successor of St. Peter and de facto sovereign of the Vatican City-State. Also, as Old Roman Catholics, we descend from the See of Utrecht, which was granted autonomy in 1145 by Pope Eugene III and confirmed in 1520 by Pope Leo X in the Bull Debitum Pastoralis, this right becoming known as the Leonine Privilege. The Church Councils in 1215 and 1717 further confirmed this right. It has also been confirmed by several more recent affirmations. Indeed, the See of Utrecht, from which we descend, provided a Pope, Hadrian VI, in 1522. (For more on the Old Roman Catholic Church, please read this article. ) The Anglican Patriarchate, as as Patriarchal See of the New Roman Communion, remains Catholic in perpetuity by right of Rome.


The See of Utrecht was
first granted autonomy in 1145
by Blessed Pope Eugene III

Q: Are you "Episcopi vagantes?"
A: No. That term, meaning "wandering bishops," is often applied in a derogatory fashion against Old Roman Catholics and Old Catholics who do not know any better and sometimes even by those who ought to know better. Based on the autonomy granted to the See of Utrecht and further recognition of the status of that See and Old Roman Catholics, Old Roman Catholics continue rightly to claim licitness under Canon Law. Therefore, it is inappropriate to apply the term "episcopi vagantes" to Old Roman Catholic Bishops. Furthermore, as sole successor of Pope Leo X and temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle in Italy and Britain, the Anglican Patriarchate, New Roman Communion (Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church) remains fully Catholic holding the same canonical authority as the Roman Communion (Vatican). The Patriarchate is the ecclesiastical successor to temporal Rome, the temporal patrimony of the Roman Empire claimed historically by right of the papacy. The succession passed to the Patriarchate after Benedict XVI by right of Rome and Florence, with the Archfather (Bishop of St. Stephen) with papal authority as temporal successor of St. Peter, and the Pope (Bishop of Rome) as spiritual successor of St. Peter and de facto sovereign of the Vatican City-State.

Q: Are you a part of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops or other Episcopal Conferences of the Roman Communion?
A: No. The USCCB or other episcopal conferences of the Roman Communion are not part of the Anglican Patriarchate or the New Roman Communion.

Q: Do you recognize the USCCB or other Episcopal Conferences?
A: Of course. We recognize the Bishops, clergy, and faithful under the USCCB or other Episcopal Conferences as brother Catholics, even though they are not part of the New Roman Communion. We always seek a cooperative relationship wherever possible.

Q: Are you part of the Episcopal Church of the USA or the Anglican Communion?
A: No. While the Episcopal Church includes the largest body of protestant Anglican Churches in the USA, several Anglican jurisdictions continue legitimately to exercise their unique independent authority. Also, the Anglican Patriarchate, while in the Anglican tradition due to parts of its specific heritage, is an Old Roman Catholic Patriarchate and Patriarchal See of the New Roman Communion.

Q: Do you recognize the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion?
A: Of course. Although Leo XIII declared purely Anglican orders to be null and void in Apostolicae Curae, we nevertheless recognize the members of the Episcopal Church as brothers in the Anglican tradition even though they are not part of the New Roman Communion. We always seek a cooperative relationship wherever possible.



Q: Are you part of the Utrecht Union of Old Catholic Churches?


Pope Leo XIII

A: No. We are in succession from Archbishop Mathew of England, consecrated in 1909 by Geraldus Gul, Archbishop of Utrecht, who separated from the Utrecht Union in order to preserve the orthodoxy of the Catholic Faith within Old Roman Catholicism. This was due to attacks within Utrecht against the Catholic Faith and in opposition to the decrees of the First Vatican Council. While "Old Catholic" is often used as a short version of "Old Roman Catholic," the term "Old Catholic" also refers to the movement begun in 1870 against, among other things, Papal Infallibility. This resulted in an eventual split between the Old Roman Catholic Church in Great Britain and continental Old Catholics, which had caused the See of Utrecht to descend into modernism. Thus Utrecht was overwhelmed and forced to adopt many modernist practices and doctrines inconsistent with traditional Imperial Catholicism. True Old Roman Catholicism, the fruit of the venerable Church that was home to Saint Willibrord and Saint Boniface, lives on to this day. She does not adopt modernist doctrine and practices, compromise with Protestant theology, or compromise with or adopt non-Christian practices. Indeed, there is much similarity between the "Old Catholicism" from which Archbishop Mathew separated and the modernist form of Catholicism widely practiced today. (Read Archbishop Mathew's letter separating the Old Roman Catholic Church in Great Britain from the Utrecht Union.) Additionally, as sole successor of Pope Leo X and temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle in Italy and Britain, the Anglican Patriarchate, New Roman Communion remains fully Catholic holding the same canonical authority as the Roman Communion (Vatican). The Patriarchate is the ecclesiastical successor to temporal Rome, the temporal patrimony of the Roman Empire claimed historically by right of the papacy. The succession passed to the Patriarchate after Benedict XVI by right of Rome and Florence, with the Archfather (Bishop of St. Stephen) with papal authority as temporal successor of St. Peter, and the Pope (Bishop of Rome) as spiritual successor of St. Peter and de facto sovereign of the Vatican City-State.

 

 


Archbishop
Arnold Harris Mathew

Q: Are you under direct administrative leadership of the Pope?

A: No, we have independence of ecclesiastical government, as we descend from the See of Utrecht, which was granted autonomy in 1145 by Pope Eugene III and confirmed in 1520 by Pope Leo, this right becoming known as the Leonine Privilege; and also directly by Right of Rome as successors of Pope Leo X. The Church Councils in 1215 and 1717 further confirmed this right. It has also been confirmed by several more recent affirmations. We do, however, profess a spiritual unity with Rome and accept the Bishop of Rome as First Among Equals, Vicar of Christ, and head of the Universal Church on earth. The Bishop of St. Stephen is successor of Pope Leo X and temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle in Italy and Britain, and is Legate of Christ and head of the Anglican Rite of the Universal Church on earth.

Q: What is the legacy of Pope Leo X continued by the Patriarchate of St. Stephen?

A: The Patriarchal See is the successor to Pope Leo X. The episcopate of the ARRCC is in succession from Leo X. He also was the second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, founder of the Medici dynasty in Tuscany, which succeeded the Margraviate of Tuscany in the Holy Roman Empire and which developed into the Kingdom of Etruria, part of the patrimony of the Patriarchate. When his older brother Piero de' Medici died, Giovanni Cardinal de' Medici (the future Leo X) became head of the House of Medici and of the Florentine Republic. Also, Leo X sought to preserve the Catholic Faith in England during the rise of the Protestant Reformation and granted the title of Defender of the Faith to Henry VIII and created the royal Chancellor and Archbishop of York, Thomas Wolsey Cardinal Priest of Santa Cecilia.

Q: Doesn't "Roman Catholic" mean that you are under direct administrative Papal leadership?

A: No. Today, the term "Roman Communion" has indeed come to mean churches administered directly by the Pope. However, Churches of the Old Roman Catholic tradition still exist that are not under administrative Papal direction. These Old Roman Catholic Churches descend from the See of Utrecht, which was granted independence of government by the Holy See in 1145. The Anglican Patriarchate likewise descends from the See of Utrecht and is also the Patriarchal See of the New Roman Communion by right of Rome. Although the Anglican Patriarchate is thus not part of the administrative structure of the Roman Communion, it recognizes the primacy of the Holy Father. This is quite different from the Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches, which formally split from Rome in the East-West Schism, and the Old Catholic schism at the time of the First Vatican Council. However, since the Anglican Patriarchate, as sole successor of Pope Leo X and temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle in Italy and Britain, remains fully Catholic holding the same canonical authority as the Roman Communion (Vatican), the Holy Father is senior to the Archfather only in terms of precedence, for the Archfather holds the same authority as the Pope within and pertaining to the patriarchal jurisdication.

Q: Are you schismatic Roman Catholics?


Pope Leo X, who confirmed the autonomy
of the See of Utrecht, which then became
known as Leonine Privilege.


Saint Willibrord, First Bishop of Utrecht,
was consecrated by Pope Sergius I.

A: No. Most who make this argument do not understand the history. Neither are we ex-Catholics, former Catholics, or non-Catholics. First, the Anglican Patriarchate is, by right of Rome, the Anglican Rite of the Universal Church and the Patriarchal See of the New Roman Communion. Bishops of the New Roman Communion need not be Anglican Rite, but may be of any Catholic rite. Furthermore, Old Roman Catholicism is not, nor has it ever been, a sect or schism of the Catholic Church. Autonomy was granted to the See of Utrecht, from which we descend, in 1145 and confirmed many times since. Some, however, claim that Old Roman Catholics are heretics or schismatics, usually due to an accusation of the Jansenist heresy in the 17th century against Archbishop Codde, the Archbishop of Utrecht, by the Jesuits. Despite the fact this claim was never proven and Archbishop Codde was declared innocent, the baseless accusations continued. Through pressure of the Jesuits, Archbishop Codde was dismissed, which not only threatened the independence granted under Leonine Privilege by previous Popes and Councils, it caused division and misinformation at that time and which abounds to this day (The New Schaff-Herzog of Religious Knowledge). The Anglican Patriarchate recognizes the primacy of the Pope as the head of the Church. Our priests pray for the Holy Father in the Canon of the Mass. We do, however, maintain our rights under Leonine Privilege as given and confirmed by Popes, Ecumenical Councils, and special favor of the Church by right of Rome. (For more information on the politics and situation of the accusations of the Jansenist heresy and Utrecht, please see H. Daniel-Rops. The Church in the Seventeenth Century. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1963)

Q: Are you part of the Continuing Anglican movement?
A: No. While our parent Anglican diocese was originally part of that movement in 1978, it has since embraced the fullness of the Catholic Faith through Rome and is not a part of or associated with the Continuing Anglican movement or the Traditional Anglican movement, both of which typically reject the tenets of Roman Catholicism.

Q: Why are you not part of the Anglican Ordinariate in the Roman Communion?
A: The Ordinariate (Roman Catholic - Anglican Form) was created as a mechanism for corporate conversion by Anglicans, whose Holy Orders and Sacraments are not recognized as valid by the Holy See (see Apostolicae Curae, Leo XIII). Our Church is, by right of Rome, the Anglican Rite of the Universal Church and the Patriarchal See of the New Roman Communion. Also, it is part of the Old Roman Catholic tradition, stemming from the See of Utrecht, with Holy Orders recognized as valid by the Holy See. As sole successor of Pope Leo X and temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle in Italy and Britain, the Patriarchate remains fully Catholic holding the same canonical authority as the Roman Communion (Vatican). The Patriarchate is the ecclesiastical successor to temporal Rome, the temporal patrimony of the Roman Empire claimed historically by right of the papacy. The succession passed to the Patriarchate after Benedict XVI by right of Rome and Florence, with the Archfather (Bishop of St. Stephen) with papal authority as temporal successor of St. Peter, and the Pope (Bishop of Rome) as spiritual successor of St. Peter and de facto sovereign of the Vatican City-State.(See Dominus Iesus, 2000, the Concordat of 1976, and Canon 844 Sec. 2).

Q: What is your position on the Declaration of Utrecht and the 14 Theses?
A: We adhere to traditional Roman Catholic doctrine and principles. Our guiding principles are Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the authentic Teaching Authority of the Universal Church. However, the Declaration is useful to study to gain understanding of conflicts arising in Catholicism after the First Vatican Council. Our Apostolic lineage in the Old Catholic line extends to before the Declaration in 1889, and our Particular Church has worked to reconcile the ultramontanist and the ultrajectine positions.

Q: How is the Archfather chosen?
A: The Archfather and Grand Pontiff of the Anglican Rite is elected by the Patriarchal Electors in accordance with the Code of Particular Canon Law. The Electors are prelates appointed by the Archfather.

Q: I'm a Catholic in the Roman Communion. Some customs of the Anglican Patriarchate, New Roman Communion, and of Old Roman Catholicism in general seem different from what I am used to. Can you explain?

A: Old Roman Catholicism is currently a relative minority within worldwide Catholicism. Thus, some Roman Catholics within the Roman Communion may not be aware that there are Roman Catholics outside the Roman Communion. Unfortunately human nature is such that people often focus on superficial differences and use them to create disunity and conflict. Church traditions naturally grow and evolve, sometimes into different branches with similar basic tenets and sufficiently different customs that make them unique. Liturgical practices of the Anglican Patriarchate are virtually identical to those of the Tridentine Rite, with the inclusion of certain distinct aspects of Anglican tradition.


The future Pope Julius II seen here (left) at age 34
as a Cardinal with his uncle, Pope Sixtus IV (right).
It was Julius II who granted Henry VIII's dispensation to
marry his brother's widow, Catharine of Aragon, and who
later refused Henry VIII's petition to annul his marriage.

Q: Can clerics, priests, and bishops in the ARRCC be married?

A: Yes, with permission, and under the regulations of canon law.

Q: Are married clerics, priests, and bishops consistent with Catholic doctrine and tradition?

A: Yes. Married clergy are nothing new. Clerical celibacy is a discipline, not a doctrine. The discipline of clerical celibacy was not instituted in the Roman Rite until the 12th century. Even after that, married clergy existed and continue to exist. Currently the Roman Communion allows married priests under certain circumstances. The Anglican Ordinariate also permits married Ordinaries, who have many of the same authorities as a Bishop and wear vestments like a Bishop. In 1945, Brazilian Bishop Salomão Barbosa Ferraz (in the Apostolic Succession of the ARRCC) was consecrated a Bishop by Carlos Duarte Costa, the founder of the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church. In 1963, Ferraz was received as a bishop into the Roman Communion by Pope John XXIII, while still married. He was appointed Titular Bishop of Eleutherna and Auxiliary Bishop of Rio de Janiero. He was later appointed to one of the committees of the Second Vatican Council by Paul VI. He died in 1969, leaving his wife and seven children.

 


Msgr. Salomão Barbosa Ferraz
Titular Bishop of Eleutherna

Q: Why are Bishops important?

A: Because they are the successors of the Apostles, and they possess the fullness of Christ's Priesthood. Our Church is organized like the historic Church has always been, and that is top down. You can have a Church with one Bishop and no other clergy, but even a church of 100 priests would be a highly deficient church if there was no Bishop. All authority to minister in the local Church stems from the Bishop under whom the priests function.

Q: Does the Anglican Patriarchate teach and profess Catholic doctrine?

A: Yes. In particular, our principal Catechism, the Southwest Anglo-Catholic Catechism (also known as the Catechism of the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church), is based on the Baltimore Catechism, a standard catechism of the Roman Catholic Church before the Second Vatican Council. As Old Roman Catholics who received and inherited the true doctrine of Catholicism, the Anglican Patriarchate preserves that doctrine, as well as the seven Sacraments of the Holy Mass, Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Penance, Matrimony, and Unction.

 

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