Anglican Orthodox Independent Communion – Original Province

A MEMBER OF THE STANDING EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE OF ORTHODOX BISHOPS

Established in 1951

TITULAR ARCHIEPISCOPAL SEE OF GLASTONBURY IN THE AMERICAS

The Anglican Independent Communion – Original Province 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 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 First Great Church of Western Civilization by a Mandate and Commission of the Original Apostolic College chosen by Our Lord Jesus Christ. 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 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. The Historic Episcopate was Established and Priest’s Ordained to serve scattered Missions throughout the Region.

We know as Early as 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 St. Joseph and his Missionary Work in the England. The word got out quickly that Holy Orthodoxy was Alive and Well in England. Unfortunately the wiles of Paganism among Uncivilized Vagabonds indigenous to the Region 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.

There is a curious part of our History which has never been fully explained by the most Learned of Church Historians. St. Augustine of Canterbury (fame) arrived 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.

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 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 the Church 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 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 Orthodox Glastonbury ~

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 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 Independent Communion – Original Province has remained small, but steady and stable. We have stayed True to our Glastonbury Patrimony and Organizing Bishop ++Compton-Caputo of Blessed Memory. We have held firm and fended off the Intrigues attempted to be inflicted upon us by the Popish 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 Loved, Appreciated and held in High Esteem. As a matter of historical fact the SEC was in existence long before the clandestine and ethnic SCOBA.

How are you different from the Episcopal Church? and The Old Catholic Church?

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 Home Page and continue below.)

Concerning the Sacred Ministry

There have been many misguided attempts over the recent decades to make the Sacrament of Holy Orders conform to the same ills that presently plague society. These efforts have been to target most directly the Steps to the Priesthood with a view to modify, alter, update and reinvent the Tonsure, the Minor Orders, the Sub-Diaconate and the Diaconate to make them more relevant for our time. Since the 1970’s individual Bishops and entire Communions have felt the need to either keep those which suited their purpose, change those which did not or abrogate some or all of them. These Steps to the Holy Priesthood in one form or another have been a rich part of the Western Tradition as far back as the early Second Century. (The exception obviously being the Order of Deacon which we find fully established in the New Testament.) The Service Books, Ordinals and Pontificals of the Sovereign National Western Church’s hallmark these Offices~Orders~Ministries~ Ordinations and reveal to those who receive them in a vivid manner the evolution of parochialism, authority, responsibility and sense of duty expected in Service to Holy Mother Church. To experience these Ordinations are vital and add indescribable longing and meaning to the Seminarian on the journey leading to the Holy Priesthood. The writer of this Apologia can attest to the veracity of this contention from the experiences of others related to him in this regard and that of his own.

The Anglican Orthodox Independent Communion-Original Province 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 out 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. The Sarum-Corinthian Pontifical which grew up alongside of the Pontificale Romanum in the Gregorian Tradition is used for all Ordinations up to and including Consecration to the Sacred Episcopate by our Bishops.

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.

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.

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. So, 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.

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 Byzantine Church and the High Church Party routinely adopted the term Liturgy.

For the sake of clarity and fidelity to our Glorious Patrimony, the Anglican Orthodox Independent Communion (other than usage of the word “Liturgy” as explained above) avoids 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”. 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. Sitting, Standing, Kneeling and Genuflections during the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist are all accepted forms of Adoration and Posture for Clergy and Laity alike. We do not give Holy Communion to Infants nor Confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on those who have not reached the age of discernment. To deviate from this would violate our established Parochial Custom in the Western Rite. Confirmation is reserved to our Bishops who under normal circumstances confer the Sacrament during annual Parish Visitations. We make the Sign of the Cross in a manner that might be considered by our Eastern Rite Brethren as doing it backwards. Respectfully, that is the way we might 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.

We will always respect, honor and conform to the established Parochial Use of the Eastern 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

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. Each Soul standing before the Creator and given his Eternal Destiny.

Are you “Continuing Anglicans”?

There are those from Continuing Anglican Jurisdictions who are quite comfortable saying we are. However, the precise answer is, NO. Here is Why. 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. Where such Dogma is in full concord with the Undivided Church we are in full agreement. However, if any Popish 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 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 Prime Bishop of the Polish National Catholic Church. We do not acknowledge the Bishop of Rome as Pope, “Primus Inter Pares” or Patriarch of the West. Neither are we looking to join the Roman Catholic Church for she is replete with Superstitious practices and Heresies a plenty.

Nor do we sympathize with the Low Church Party and recognize Sacraments celebrated by Ministers who do not possess the Historic Episcopate. 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 Albatross 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 BELIEF

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 Independent Communion 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.

“PRO DEO ET HUMANITATE”