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ALMIGHTY GOD SAVE THE UKRAINE AND DELIVER HER FROM THE ENEMY
BY APOSTOLIC DECREE & ARCHIEPISCOPAL MANDATE ~ WE ARE THE ANGLICAN RITE METROPOLIA OF THE UKRAINIAN AUTOCEPHALOUS ORTHODOX CHURCH ~ AOC ~ A MEMBER OF THE STANDING EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE OF ORTHODOX BISHOPS ESTABLISHED IN 1951 ~ THE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF AMERICA & DEPENDENCIES
TITULAR ARCHIEPISCOPAL SEE OF GLASTONBURY ~ WHERE THE OLD WORLD AND THE NEW COME TOGETHER WITH DECENCY AND ORDER ~ BRINGING RELEVANCE & MEANING FOR THE CHRISTIANS LIVING IN THESE CHALLENGING TIMES OF MORAL DECAY AND CIVIL UNREST ~ A SAFE HAVEN AND A BEACON OF LIGHT & HOPE FOR CLERGY AND LAITY ALIKE ~ ORTHODOX IN THEOLOGY ~ BOOK OF ACTS IN MISSION ~ CATHOLIC IN COMMUNION ~ ANGLICAN RITE TRADITIONAL CHRISTIAN CATHOLIC ORTHODOXY THAT PRE-DATES THE CHURCH OF ROME BY DECADES ~ WHERE TRADITION HAS MEANING AND THE ENTIRE SACRED SCRIPTURES ARE BELIEVED IN THEIR COMMON SENSE UNDERSTANDING
The Anglican Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of America owes her Patrimony to Mater Orthodoxa Ecclesia Anglicana which literally translates from the Latin as the Mother Orthodox Church of England. Holy Tradition and Secular History points to Circa 37 A.D. when the Archiepiscopal See of Glastonbury was Established. St. Joseph of Arimathea (the Uncle of the Holy Mother Mary) assisted by St. Mary Magdalene, Sts. Mary and Martha and St. Lazarus of Bethany (whom Christ wept over as He Raised him from the Dead) were the first Missionaries to arrive in England. Together they firmly planted the Orthodox Christian Church in the British Isles by a Mandate and Commission of the Original Apostolic College. THE ARCHIEPISCOPAL SEE OF GLASTONBURY BECAME THE (ORIGINAL) FIRST GREAT PATRIARCHATE OF HOLY ORTHODOXY IN THE WEST FOLLOWING ANTIOCH & JERUSALEM IN THE EAST. THUS, GLASTONBURY TOOK HER PLACE AS THE THIRD PATRIARCHATE OF THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH. For Centuries the propaganda promoted by Rome that she was the Mother of the Western Church was accepted without being challenged. There is strong Evidence (as maintained above and below) to suggest that nearly two Decades before the Church of Rome was Organized, the Archiepiscopal See of Glastonbury was a Living Parochial Reality standing on Her own Apostolic Foundation within Holy Orthodoxy. The Historic Episcopate was Established and Priest’s Ordained to serve newly formed Missions throughout the Region. THE FEAST DAY IN HONOR OF ST. JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA-GLASTONBURY ~ IS CELEBRATED WITH A SOLEMN HIGH MASS-LITURGY ACCORDING TO THE SARUM-CORINTHIAN RITE OF SALISBURY ~ AT OUR ALTAR’S ON MARCH 17TH ~ OLDE SARUM ORDO.
ENGLAND FIRST. ST. PETER ACCOMPANIED BY HIS WIFE ST. PERPETUA WERE EVANGELIZING GREAT BRITAIN DECADES PRIOR TO BEING PLACED IN ROME. It is the Witness and Testimony of Holy Tradition that St. Peter the Apostle at the behest of St. Paul the Evangelist went to the British Isles on a Preaching and Church Planting Mission to. This was to insure that the Work of St. Joseph be secured and given additional Episcopal oversight. Accompanied by his devoted WIFE St. Perpetua they took up residence in the Archiepiscopal See of Glastonbury and traveled throughout the country. St. Peter was busy Teaching, Preaching, Ordaining and establishing local Missions. St. Perpetua had the task of Ministering to the Woman and Children there while being a Help-Mate to her Apostle Spouse. THIS IS UNEQUIVOCAL PROOF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST APPROVED & BLESSED A MARRIED EPISCOPATE. THUS, IT IS HOLY TRADITION SUPPORTED BY HISTORICAL TESTIMONY ~ LONG BEFORE ST. PETER WAS EVER ALLEGEDLY IN ROME HE EXERCISED HIS EPISCOPATE WITH WIFE ST. PERPETUA IN ENGLAND RESIDING IN THE PATRIARCHAL-ARCHIEPISCOPAL SEE OF GLASTONBURY. It has been further suggested by more than one reputable Scholar, considering the timing of St. Peter’s Episcopate there, he authored his Second General Epistle to the Church’s (The Letter of II Peter) on British soil. This would have been during the later part of his stay in Great Britain while in Glastonbury or in close proximity thereto around 55 to 60 circa A.D. There are scant historical sources which account for St. Peter Exercising his Episcopate in any other Land other than Great Britain during these years. Holy Tradition and what can be pieced together using sound logic and the resources at hand make our contentions a verifiable certainty. Not withstanding the efforts of Rome to suppress this knowledge to bolster her claims of Primacy and God-like Authority above all other the other Church’s.
St. Simon the Apostle also known as Simon the Zealot has some interesting connections to the the Primitive Church in the British Isles. Holy Tradition, early sources of Christian Antiquity and Documents suppressed by the Vatican for centuries give him (as well as St. Peter as cited above) a unique role in the Evangelizing of the British Church. There are two distinct periods of time that Researches have contended that St. Simon was active in the British Isles. In both instances it has been suggested he was Mandated to replace men who had done significant work before his arrival. And that he was sent by those Apostles to Evaluate the Work already Established and to do what he could to see it Prospered and Flourished. The first sources claim after the departure of Patriarch St. Joseph; St. Simon was sent on a Preaching and Fact Finding Journey and remained long enough to accomplish his Mission. This would have been circa 44 to 47 A.D. The other time given equal credence was shortly after St. Peter left England sometime in the early 60’s A.D. It is tenable St. Peter would have wanted an Apostle to follow him and report back the findings of that Apostle (St. Simon) on the health and well being of the Church. There is a third Tradition which maintains he was there during both time periods. Whatever the case, there is far too much Tradition and History to dismiss the reality that St. Simon the Zealot had an important role in the Establishment of the Holy Orthodox Ancient British Church.
St. Aristobulus one of the Seventy Commissioned by Our Lord Jesus Christ whom He sent forth to Spread the Gospel spent many years in Missionary Work in Great Britain. He was the HUSBAND of St. Mary Salome, (the Sister of the Blessed Virgin Mary; one of the Holy Woman at the foot of the Cross at Calvary) and the Brother of St. Barnabas. We know he spent time in the Glastonbury Patriarchate and carried on in the footsteps of St. Joseph of Arimathea the Apostle of Great Britain. It is impossible to determine the exact dates he exercised his Episcopate. It was either shortly before St. Peter arrived (circa 50 to 55 A.D.) or shortly after (circa 60 to 65 A.D.) he departed. Some authorities maintain they were both in the British Isles during the same period of time and their Path’s did in fact cross. Several Researchers of Apostolic History suggest they spent time in Prayer and in the Breaking of the Bread together in Episcopal Collegiality. All three scenarios are attested to by Holy Tradition and each equally plausible. The various Sources which Document the Early History of the British Church present an most fascinating possibility. That is, St. Peter the Apostle, St. Simon the Zealot and St. Aristobulus of the Seventy were all at the same time (several months to a year) Resident and Cultivating the Work of Patriarch St. Joseph of Glastonbury in Orthodox England.
THE ARCHIVES OF THE EASTERN CHURCH’S HAVE PROVIDED EXCELLENT SOURCES BASED UPON HISTORY AND SACRED TRADITION WHICH GIVE US TREMENDOUS INSIGHT INTO HOLY ORTHODOXY IN 1ST CENTURY ENGLAND. IN PARTICULAR, WE CITE THOSE OF THE ARMENIAN APOSTOLIC CHURCH, THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH, THE COPTIC CHURCH OF EGYPT AND THE ETHIOPIAN ORTHODOX TEWAHEDO CHURCH IN THIS REGARD. IN THE ARCHIVES OF THEIR MOST ANCIENT AND REVERED MONASTERY’S ~ MANUSCRIPTS HAVE BEEN UNCOVERED THAT REVEAL SEVERAL OF THE ORIGINAL APOSTLES ~ AS INDICATED ABOVE ~ DID IN FACT ~ DO EXTENSIVE MISSIONARY WORK IN SECURING THE HOLY ORTHODOX FAITH IN THE BRITISH ISLES. THERE WOULD BE NO MOTIVE ~ OTHER THAN BEING FORTHRIGHT FOR THESE GREAT HISTORIC EASTERN RITE COMMUNIONS TO MAKE THESE MANUSCRIPTS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD. WE OWE THESE BRETHREN OF THE EASTERN RITE PATRIMONY A SINCERE DEBT OF GRATITUDE AND APPRECIATION FOR THEIR GOODWILL IN CHRIST.
In 314 A.D. at the Council of Arles in France the British Church was represented by a small Delegation of English Bishops. The other Bishops at this local Synodical Council marveled at the arrival of these unknown Churchman. Until this very hour no one knows how they learned of this French Council. The English Bishops according to Sacred Tradition informed those at the Council of the Ministries of St. Joseph, St. Peter & (his wife) St. Perpetua, St. Simon, St. Aristobulus and their Missionary Work in the England. The word got out quickly that Holy Orthodoxy was Alive and Well in the British Isles. Unfortunately the wiles of Paganism among Uncivilized Vagabonds indigenous to the Region and the Political Enemies of the Church all but obliterated the See of Glastonbury over the Centuries. History and Tradition have given us the ability to look back over those troubled Times and piece together the story of the beginning of Western Christendom at the Holy City of Glastonbury. Fortunately the Church in other Regions of the Country survived the various onslaughts faced by the enemies of “MATER ORTHODOXA ECCLESIA ANGLICANA” ~ “THE MOTHER ORTHODOX CHURCH OF ENGLAND”.
There is a curious part of our History which has never been fully explained by the most Learned of Church Historians. St. Augustine of Rome arrived at Canterbury in England in 597 A.D. Upon landing on British soil he was greeted by an array of Bishop’s, Priests’s, Deacon’s, Subdeacons and Laity. He was astonished and did not know what to make of it all? He expected to find nothing of the kind and certainly no Established Church structure. After all, the whole Purpose of his Journey to England was to Establish the Church in “the waste lands inhabited by pagans”. He was more than surprised to learn his Work was already completed Prior to making the trip. Augustine quickly learned the British Church employed a Liturgy and followed a Church Calendar (ORDO) unfamiliar to what he was accustomed to in Rome. This is proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the Veracity of what we have detailed thus far of our History and Patrimony. It is also proof positive of the lengths the Bishop of Rome has employed to re-write history both Ancient & Modern. The sole purpose of these tactics being to bolster his claim of Universal Primacy of Jurisdiction above all other Bishops who have always been ~ “PARES INTER PARES” ~ “EQUALS AMONG EQUALS“.
Throughout the Centuries following our Glorious Beginnings, the British Church remained a Stalwart Witness to the Faith once Delivered to the Saints. Sadly a combination of weak self serving Monarch’s and the influence of the Bishop of Rome whom they allowed to rule above them led to periods of Confusion, Turmoil, Religious Wars, Moral Decay and Spiritual Unrest. Unfortunately the Clergy became slothful, impious and motivated by the lure of filthy lucre. The Bishop’s and the Abbot’s often being the gravest of offenders in this low ebb of moral depravity. The Laity were innocently caught up in the midst of it all looking only to Worship in the Parish Church’s at the hands of Dedicated, Honest and Vigilant Clergy. Libraries are full of Volumes written over the Centuries which detail the plight of the English Church during these turbulent Centuries.
During the 16th Century you had the Bishop of Rome on the one side and the Puritanical Calvinist’s on the other looking to hijack the already compromised Religious System that existed in Ecclesia Anglicana. Each for their own selfish gain and without regard for the Truth of Holy Orthodoxy looking to completely strip her of her Glorious Patrimony. In the end it degenerated into two rival claimants to the Throne of Canterbury, the Protestants verses the Roman Catholics. Neither being proper Lawful Spiritual claimants to the tarnished See. This division and the tiny group of faithful who were True to Holy Orthodoxy have remained at odds until today.
In successive Centuries their rose up factions within ECCLESIA ANGLICANA who in the best way they could did what was necessary to stay within the confines of the Orthodox Faith. The most significant being those in the 19th Century. Under the Guidance of the Spirit of the Living Christ all was not lost.
Fast forward to the USA and the state of the Episcopal Church in the 1970’s. It is well known to any individual familiar with what came to be called PECUSA of the turmoil, schismatic factions, immorality and heresy preached by her Ministers as a matter of routine from her Pulpits. The Book of Common Prayer was “revised’ and was left a shell of its former Dignity and Beauty. The totality of her Sacramental System was overthrown in 1976 when females were formally admitted and “ordained” to the Ministry. Since that time PECUSA (now ECUSA) has entered into Full Ecclesiastical Communion with the Lutheran Church in America. They exchange Ministers and Celebrate all Sacraments as having one and the same Ministerial authority. The Historic Episcopate in ECUSA has now given way to Synodical-Presbyterial Ministry. According to their own Words and in Deed, the fullness of the Historic Episcopate is no longer retained in Heretical ECUSA. As we write this, the Episcopal Church (ECUSA) is conducting talks with the United Methodist Church, The Presbyterian Church of the USA and the Congregational Church. The stated Purpose of this Dialog is to enter into the same Agreement they have in place with the Lutherans. Where all of this will end up is anyone’s guess?
The Spiritual Seed of our Glastonbury Forefathers is Replanted and Takes Root in the United States
The same Missionary zeal of St. Joseph of Arimathea and St. Mary Magdalene took root on the East Coast in the USA. The fires of Glastonbury were to burn bright once again. In the 1980’s a group of concerned (ECUSA) Laity and Clergy in Maryland and Delaware decided action needed be taken to restore Orthodox Belief and Worship within their ranks. ++Peter Compton-Caputo of Maryland was the man of the hour. He met with groups of Clergy and Laity alike and formed Missions in several States as the need arose. They still exist and are active til this day. The work being fully realized and coming to fruition in the late 1990’s. Upon the death of ++Compton Caputo, Succession in the USA fell to ++John Gains of St. James Parish in Georgetown, Delaware. Within a few short years he and his Congregation joined the Independent Anglican Church-Canada Synod and leadership fell on his Coadjutor ++Josephus Johannes Palumbo, OCR who became the third Archbishop Metropolitan. It should be noted that under the present Archbishop “ORTHODOX” was added to our name to emphasize our Unique place within Western Sarum-Corinthian Rite Jurisdiction within Holy Orthodoxy. This brand of Churchmanship and Practical Ideology which sets us apart from what has been termed “Continuing Anglicanism” is detailed on other Pages on this Website. (There is a summarized and detailed Apologia regarding the differences in several paragraph’s below as well.) In the decades ++Compton-Caputo led the Church, he often referred to us in Sermons and in Writings he penned as “The Western Rite Orthodox Church”.
Since early 2006 The Anglican Orthodox Christian Archdiocese in America (formerly known as the Anglican Independent Communion) has remained small, but steady and stable. We have stayed True to our Glastonbury Patrimony and Organizing Archbishop-Metropolitan ++Peter Compton-Caputo of Blessed Memory. We have held firm and fended off the Intrigues attempted to be inflicted upon us by the Papal Council of Trent and the Calvinist Puritanical 39 Articles of Religion of the Protestant sympathizers. The “VIA MEDIA” (Middle Way) of Mater Orthodoxa Ecclesia Anglicana has been safely Protected and Secured within our Humble, but Sacred Walls.
“WITH NO CONTROVERSY AND NO COMPROMISE”
Questions and Supplemental Explanations for those encountering us for the first time:
We are Members of the Standing Episcopal Conference of Orthodox Bishops. This Conference was Established in 1951 in an effort to Promote Brotherhood among Bishops of the Eastern and Western Rites within Holy Orthodoxy. The Conference has been a continuous Witness and Staunch in the Defense of Holy Mother Church since her humble beginnings. We are living proof in action that you do not need to become Greek, Russian or Ukrainian to be a member of the Holy Orthodox Church. In the Standing Episcopal Conference of Orthodox Bishops, the Western Rite is not merely Allowed or Tolerated; she is Revered, Appreciated, Honored, Respected, held in High Esteem and treated with Equality. As a matter of historical fact the SEC was in existence a decade before the clandestine and ethnic SCOBA.
How are you different from the Episcopal Church? and The Old Catholic Church?
THE SHORT AND DIRECT ANSWER IS WE ARE THE HOLY ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH PRIOR TO THE SCHISM OF 1054. However, to further Declare our Position as Staunch Defenders of BIBLICAL BOOK OF ACTS ORTHODOX TEACHING, the first three glaring differences are; we do not Perform same Sex Unions. We do not Ordain Homosexuals to the Sacred Ministry. Whether they be currently celibate or living openly in this lifestyle. Neither do not Ordain Females as Bishop’s, Priest’s, Deacons nor to the Sub-Diaconate, Minor Orders or bestow upon them the Tonsure. Neither are Females admitted as Altar Servers. We Encourage Woman who feel called to Service in the Church to explore the possibility of being Set Aside as a Lay Deaconess. (Other major differences have been detailed on the Tutorial for Clergy Page and continue below.)
Concerning the Sacred Ministry
The Anglican Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of America will never turn a blind eye while the forces of evil attempt to infiltrate the Church’s Sacred Ministry. Once again our position is this matter is “if it is not broke, why attempt to fix it?” Innovations and what some are now term “re-imagining” the Sacrament of Holy Orders has set those who have done so on a slippery slope from which they appear powerless to climb up from. The unsavory changes, abrogations and additions to the Sacrament have given rise to practices such as eucharistic ministers, lay lectors, altar girls, female clergy at all levels and Holy Orders given freely to all comers simply for the asking. Such atrocities have no place among us. In Accordance with established Western Rite Custom we have retained the Rite of Tonsure. The Minor Orders of Doorkeeper, Lector, Blesser/Exorcist and Acolyte. The Major Order of the Subdiaconte which has proved Invaluable during the Discernment period in ascertaining a True Calling to the Sacred Ministry as required by Canon Law. This Order has a long History dating back to Hippolytus of Rome in the 2nd century. It is thought by some to be the Greatest of the Minor Orders. Other Scholars consider it to be the First of the Major Orders. Many Theologians have Concluded that it stands on its own as a period of Scrutiny to Prove and Test the Fitness and Calling to the Priesthood. It has been fittingly termed the “Probationary Order” throughout the Centuries. The Order of Deacon and the Holy Priesthood which bestows full Sacerdotal Power on the Ordinand have in one form or another been a part of the Historic Ministry from the Church’s earliest beginnings. The Salisbury Pontifical as used by the Bishop’s of the Sarum Corinthian-Rite which grew up alongside of the Pontificale Romanum in the Gregorian Tradition is used for all Ordinations and Consecrations by our Bishop’s.
Concerning the Distinctives of the Eastern Rite
The Eastern Rite and Western Rite of Holy Orthodoxy are in complete concord concerning the esse’ of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. That there existed from the Apostolic Age the three fold Ministry of Deacon’s Priest’s and Bishops is incontrovertible. However, we are fully cognizant that what grew up in and around these Offices over the centuries had much to do with geography, need and local custom. We acknowledge the Tonsure, Minor Orders and the Order of Subdeacon having a commonality among us, yet differing between us in daily parochial undertakings. We fully embrace this and understand such differences in the same vein as those which have always existed between the East and West in the manner of the Celebration of the Holy Communion ~ Divine Liturgy.
But, I am not Eastern European and only Speak English
I thought you had to be Greek, Russian or Ukrainian and follow the Eastern Rite to be Orthodox and be fluent in those languages; is this not True? The Answer to this misconception is a resounding NO! Read on to find out Why?
As was stated in the Introduction earlier this is a misconception that has been proven to be untrue. The proactive and welcoming Standing Episcopal Conference of Orthodox Bishops (SEC) has reached across ethnic lines since 1951. You might say it is where East meets West. Those of us who are Members live this out daily our in our “liturgia” among all of our Brother Bishops. The Eastern Rite is Blessed with rich and time honored customs particular to the locales and circumstance wherein they took root and flourished. We respect, embrace and admire their fidelity to their various Rites and acknowledge their Glorious Patrimony. We in the Western Rite have our own Patrimony which grew up in concert with the Eastern Rite over the Centuries in other Countries. Ours is a Indigenous American Church organized by citizens of the USA. We are English speaking and use the Vernacular language in all Services of Public Worship. As was made abundantly clear above, you do not need to be born a particular ethnicity to become a member of the CHRIST FOUNDED “HOLY ORTHODOX CHURCH”. Yes, there is really such a thing as American Orthodoxy. And you have found it here.
The Communion Service ~ The Divine Liturgy ~ The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
Never will you find any of those in the Byzantine Tradition attempt to co-mingle Liturgical Customs and Vestments or use terminology that appertains to the Western Tradition. We have never come upon an Eastern Rite Parish using the term Holy Communion or Holy Mass for their Sunday Divine Liturgy. Although often times the Western Rite has used the Greek word “Liturgy” in referring to the Communion Service or Holy Eucharist. This is a common practice and began in England in the late 1880’s when the term in the Greek became so common that it fell into a generic usage as one more designation of the Holy Sacrament of the Altar. The Church of England at the time showed a profound interest in becoming more familiar with the customs of the Byzantine Church and as a result the High Church Party routinely adopted the term Liturgy.
LIKE A PRECISE FINELY TOOLED SHIP’S NAUTICAL COMPASS LEADING TO THE CORRECT DESTINATION EAST AND WEST POINT THE WAY TO HOLY ORTHODOXY
For the sake of clarity and fidelity to our Glorious Patrimony, the Anglican Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of America ~ Anglican Rite Metropolia (other than usage of the word “Liturgy” as explained above) avoids the mingling together the customs and traditions appertaining to our Eastern Rite Brethren. Our Bishops do not carry the title of Mar or employ the term Vladyka as a form of address or reference. The wives of our Clergy are honored as Mother or Sister, not as Episcopa, Presbytera or Matushka. We refer to the Epiclesis in the Divine Liturgy~Holy Communion Service as it translates in English that being “The Invocation”. We do not use the Byzantine designation of Chrismation, but rather Confirmation; although it is the same Sacrament. We Love, Honor and Venerate the Theotokos-God Bearer and call her the Blessed Mother Mary or the Holy Virgin Mary according to Western Custom. Our Clergy and Lay Members are free to use Statues or Icons in their Houses of Worship and for private Devotions. Many of us make use of a combination of both. We use unleavened bread as has been our Custom for untold Centuries at the Holy Table. Daily Celebrations of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass ~ The Divine Liturgy are commonplace among Western Rite Orthodox Worshiping Communities. Sitting, Standing, Kneeling, Elevations and Genuflections during the Celebration of the Divine Service are all accepted forms of Adoration and Posture for Clergy and Laity alike. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament (using a Veiled Ciborium or a Monstrance) and Stations of the Cross in Lent are Devotions that are Particular in the Western Rite. The strict use of Liturgical Colors throughout the Church Year is also a different Custom than that of our Sister Communions of the Eastern Rite.
Regarding the Differing Pastoral Practice and Custom of Baptism & Confirmation in the Eastern & Western Rite and The Manner of Making the Sign of the Cross
In the WESTERN RITE of which the THE SARUM-CORINTHIAN RITE OF ANGLICANA IS THE COUNTERPART OF THE ROMAN GREGORIAN RITE we do not distribute Holy Communion to Infants. Young Children are led to the Communion Rail and infants are carried by their Parents or Godparents to receive a Special Blessing. Nor is it our Custom to Confer the Sacrament of Confirmation (Chrismation in the Eastern Rite) on those who have not reached the Age of Discernment. Engaging in the polemics of Theological diatribe regarding the differing practice of the Eastern Rite would be an inane undertaking. Simply put, to deviate from our Tradition, Ethos and Ideology in this matter would violate our established Parochial Custom in the Western Rite. This is purely a Pastoral matter which has stood the test of time for Centuries in the West prior to the Schism of 1054. History bears Witness to the Reality that the differing practice of the the Eastern Rite and Western Rite Orthodox Communions was always acknowledged by both. This was never a barrier or impediment to full Ecclesiastical Union and Concord. And that the East and West respected the well Established Tradition and Custom of the other in Print and Deed is well Documented and Chronicled. The differing Traditions regarding Baptism and Confirmation had no bearing on the Great Schism of 1054. Confirmation is reserved to our Bishops who under normal circumstances confer the Sacrament during annual Parish Visitations. It is Customary for the Bishop to Examine the Candidates Prior to the Laying on of Hands & Anointing with Holy Chrism. It is a very moving Experience to witness young Christians stand before the Bishop and Answer his Questions with Faith, Confidence and Seriousness of Purpose. And then Forthwith Renew the Promises made by their Godparents at Baptism to Take Up the Cross of Christ and Live Wholly for Him.
In the Western Rite we make the Sign of the Cross in a manner that is backwards according to the way our Eastern Rite Brethren perform this Sacramental Act. Respectfully, that is the way we view Eastern Rite Faithful in performing this act of pious Devotion. St. Paul wrote of the Sign of the Cross in his Epistles. He did not provide the accompanying mechanical instructions of how it is to be performed. Making this an issue of contention among Orthodox Brethren would not speak well for either side.
IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT WE OF THE WESTERN RITE AND OUR EQUAL (BUT DIFFERING IN CUSTOMS) EASTERN RITE BRETHREN HAVE A COMMON UNDERSTANDING AND COME TO TERMS WITH THE REALITY THAT WE ARE EQUAL WITH THEM, BUT DIFFERENT. WE MUST NEVER MINGLE OR CONFUSE THAT WHICH IS THE TRUTH OF HOLY ORTHODOXY AND THAT WHICH IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD IN TERMS OF PAROCHIALISM, POLITY, LOCAL CUSTOM AND LANGUAGE. SADLY, NOT ENOUGH CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THIS CONCEPT ON BOTH SIDES. IT HAS CAUSED STRIFE AND DIVISION OVER THE CENTURIES THAT COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED BT THE EAST & WEST. SINCE 1951 THE STANDING EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE OF ORTHODOX BISHOPS HAS PUT THIS IN PROPER PERSPECTIVE AND HAS BEEN A WITNESS OF FULL CONCORD AND UNITY. THE CHURCH OF THE EAST AND THE CHURCH OF THE WEST ARE ONE CHURCH AND WE (SEC) LIVE OUT THIS AS OUR BELIEF DAILY AMONG OUR MEMBER BISHOPS.
Mutual Respect Among the Rites As We Are Orthodox First
The Anglican Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of America will always respect, honor and conform to the established Parochial Use of the Eastern (Byzantine) Rite when we are in their Temples of Worship. We ask that they do likewise when they are in ours. Accordingly, there is no such thing as Eastern Rite or Western Rite Theology. We are simply ORTHODOX as in the BOOK OF ACTS long before there was an Eastern or Western Rite. Holy Orthodoxy has never been found in a particular Rite. It is found in the individual who believes in the fullness of Apostolic Faith, Order, Witness, Mission and Ministry as left to us by the Apostles of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the Protection of the Holy Spirit. MARANATHA.
Concerning the Genocide of the Unborn Child ~ The Bible Human Sexuality ~ The Ancient Liturgies ~ Modernism ~ Eternity
We Believe to (abort) Terminate a Pregnancy is Murder and a Grave Sin culpable by all involved in this barbarism. We have a Document called the Didache of Christian Antiquity to rely on when it comes to Abortion. The Didache or “Teaching of the 12 Apostles” many Scholars date between 70 to 100 A.D. Several of the Original 12 Apostles were still living during these decades. In the First 400 years of the Church this Document was held in such high Regard that many Bishops Read and Taught from it at Public Worship. We read in the Didache, “DO NOT KILL THE UNBORN CHILD”. This is Irrefutable Evidence of the Teaching on Abortion during the Apostolic Era. If not, the question then becomes, From what Source did it Originate? Logic dictates it would have come in some form to the Apostles from Christ Himself.
Sexual Relations are Confined to a Man and a Woman who have a Lawful Marriage Sanctioned by the Church. The Sacred Scriptures in their Entirety and Holy Tradition are the Standard of Christian Doctrine and Morality. The Ancient Liturgies do not need to be Modernized and Diluted nor stripped of their Splendor and Dignity. Heaven and Hell are Real and at some point in time we will be judged Worthy of the One or Reduced to the Consequence of the other. At the Final Judgement each Soul standing before the Creator and given his Eternal Destiny.
Outwardly you appear to be “Continuing Anglicans”?
It might appear that way, but No we are not. If “Continuing Anglicans“, “Traditional Anglicans” or “Independent Anglicans” as they often refer to themselves were to rid their Jurisdictions of Extremes in Ideology of High Church verses Low Church factions; remove the Filioque from the Nicene Creed and discard the Heretical 39 Articles of Religion they would in esse’ be exactly as we are.
Many Continuing High Church Anglicans bind themselves to a number of Roman Catholic Dogmas. Among them are the Immaculate Conception, Transubstantiation and Purgatory which are completely Papal innovations. Where Roman Catholic doctrine is in full concord with the Undivided Church we are in full agreement. However, if any Papal Teaching is in conflict with Christ’s True Religion we will Refute it with the utmost Vigor. We do not acknowledge the Bishop of Rome as the Vicar of Christ on Earth as many Anglo-Catholics do. The title of Pope as used by the Bishop of Rome (i.e. the Dogma of Papal Infallibility) is a man made innovation and not in use among us. We respect the Bishop of Rome in the same way we honor and respect the Metropolitan of the Latvian Orthodox Church, the Primate of the Apostolic Orthodox Church of Russia and the Prime Bishop of the Polish National Catholic Church. We do not acknowledge the Bishop of Rome as having any form of Universal Jurisdiction. In 1054 A.D. the Bishop of Rome as a matter of Historical Fact separated from Holy Orthodoxy over advocating Superstitious Practices in word and deed; the insertion of the Filoque in the Nicene Creed and Exaggerated Claims of Universal Primacy of Jurisdiction. We Pray the Roman Catholic Church lead by the All Good and Life Sustaining Holy Spirit returns in Unblemished Form to Holy Orthodoxy from whence she came.
We are not sympathizers of the Anglican Low Church Party nor do we recognize Sacraments celebrated by Ministers who do not possess the Historic Episcopate. We do believe the Sacraments Celebrated in good faith by Protestant Clergy are a means of Efficacy & Blessing for their own Members. That we would maintain otherwise would in effect deny sincere albeit errant Christians of the Benefits of Christ’s Redemption. GOD FORBID. You will find Continuing Anglicans who tout themselves as Evangelical Low Churchman who are nothing more than Baptists or Presbyterians in the practical manner of Exercising their Ministry. We do not accept Morning or Evening Prayer Services as adequate Forms of Worship on the Lord’s Day. This is how Liberal Protestants and Fundamentalist Evangelicals Worship. The Continuing Anglican Movement is replete with rival High and Low Church factions warring with the other in the same Jurisdiction. Over the Decades this strife has given way to much Schism and further splintering among themselves.
In short, we Believe to look back to 1976 with the mind set that this is the Year Christ Founded the Church is nonsense and ludicrous. Our question would be, “What exactly are you Continuing?” The Episcopal Church was Chaotic, Heretical and a Secular Society that promoted the worst of liberal social causes when you left it. So, are you now Roman Catholic’s in waiting or Evangelical Protestants who have arrived at your intended destination? Fidelity to Holy Mother Church is not measured by the use of Incense, Candles, Holy Water, Laced Surplice’s or the Ringing of Bells (High Church). Neither is it to be measured by the elimination of them (Low Church). The Heart of the Church is Her Orthodoxy and without Fidelity to the “Correct Belief” all those things just detailed are mere empty Vessels. And to abrogate them without Orthodox Belief is the Ultimate exercise in Futility.
AN OPEN INVITATION
Are you a Lay member or Minister of the Episcopal Church who wants to rid yourself of the Liberalism and Heresies of ECUSA? Is it your desire a return to Traditional Worship and Biblical Sermons? If the answer is YES; then you would be quite comfortable in becoming Members of our Olde English expression of Holy Orthodoxy. Continuing Anglicans who are not Papal Sympathizers or do not hold to an Evangelical approach to Ideology are also at Home with us. It all comes back to the “VIA MEDIA” (MIDDLE WAY) which is Orthodoxy. Whether you are Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, a Latter Day Saint, a Seeker of Truth or Anything Else; You are Most Welcome Here.
THAT WHICH APPEARS TO BE INSIGNIFICANT MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN MATTERS OF (CORRECT) ORTHODOX BELIEF. THE COUNCIL OF TOLEDO IN 531 A.D. SUMMONED BY LOCAL BISHOPS IN SPAIN TOOK UNILATERAL PRESUMPTIVE ACTION UPON ITSELF. THE MATTER HAVING BEEN SETTLED ONCE AND FOR ALL TIME BY THE FIRST ECUMENICAL COUNCIL OF NICEA IN 325 A.D. THE SPANISH BISHOPS ACTING IN THEIR OWN NAME ADDED THE WORDS “AND THE SON” TO THE CREED. SINCE THAT TIME AND ITS ACCEPTANCE BY NEARLY ALL DIOCESE’S IN THE WEST HAS BROUGHT DISCORD AND SCHISM WITHIN THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH.
THE FILIOQUE AND THE NEED TO FOR ITS OMISSION IN FIDELITY TO THE ANCIENT CHURCH
As is stated elsewhere recitation of the Nicene Creed separates us from the Episcopal Church and Continuing Anglicans. They have retained the Papal Error of reciting the Creed with the addition of the Filioque (and the Son) in their Public Worship Services. The Anglican Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of America uses the Nicene Creed in its pure unadulterated form as Holy Orthodoxy has from time Immemorial. Once the Universal Church decided on which Books were to be included in our Bible, to add additional Books was unthinkable. Once the Articles of Faith were decided upon by the Universal Church in the wording of the Nicene Creed, should this same Standard not be Upheld? The Restoration of the Creed in its original form could have easily been made by Continuing Anglicans from their early beginnings. Why they have not done so is a Question they have yet to answer? In the case of High Church Continuing Anglicans, it is their affinity towards the Papal Church which is the apparent rationale. The Low Church factions identify with Protestant Evangelicals among whom the addition Filoque has never been a consideration. In each case Orthodox Doctrine and Historical continuity with the Universal Church as defined by St. Vincent of Lerins appears to be Irrelevant in this Matter.
John Henry Newman Much Admired and Revered by Continuing Anglicans and His Theological Introspection on the 39 Articles of Religion
According to Papers Written by his own hand, (Tract 90 and in personal correspondence with his contemporaries) John Henry Newman ultimately left his beloved Church of England over daily Intellectual and Ideological Struggles over the 39 Articles of Religion. Newman wrote to a contemporary, “I am afraid before I can come to terms with these Articles, I will surely be driven to madness”. He spent sleepless nights with pen and paper attempting to turn these decidedly Protestant-Calvinist platitudes into Catholic Articles of Belief. He finally gave up in despair, realizing all his efforts were for naught. Upon realizing his folly in this matter he forthwith converted to the Papal Church. If nothing else, we must give Newman accolades for his Intellectual Honesty and Integrity in this regard. There were many others like him who championed the Oxford Movement when they were in the Church of England. This high profile Convert (Newman) brought many High Church Anglicans with him. He was rewarded by the Bishop of Rome with Extravagant gifts of Vestments, Altar Ware and given large Stipends. His greatest Boon came when he was Awarded the Red Hat and made a Cardinal.
TRADITION WITH MEANING
“PRO DEO ET HUMANITATE”