Frequently Asked Questions

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Most Common Questions

Q: What is the official status of the Imperial Roman Church?

The Imperial Roman Church is comprised of the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate, the Anglican Patriarchate of Rome, and the churches of bishops recognised by the Catholicate. The Anglican Patriarchate (Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church) is a Gallo-Russo-Byzantine ecclesiastical sovereignty by right of Rome with an independent government in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. It is a continuation of, as we say in the Holy Mass, the Apostolic, Orthodox, and Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ in 33 AD.

Additionally, we descend from the See of Utrecht, which was granted autonomy in 1145 by Pope Eugene III and confirmed in 1520 by Pope Saint Leo X in the Bull Debitum Pastoralis, this right becoming known as the Leonine Privilege. As the sole successor of Pope Saint Leo X and temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle, 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 Papa-Catholicos of Rome-Ruthenia 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. From 2021, the traditional and historic Gallican Rite of the Merovingian dynasty is also under the spiritual guidance and protection of the Anglican Patriarchate of Rome and the Catholicate.  

Q: What is the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Rite? 

The Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate is a continuation of, as we say in the Holy Mass, the Apostolic, Orthodox, and Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ in 33 AD. (Website of the Catholicate.)

Gallo-Russo-Byzantine is a descriptive term refers to the heritage, succession, and Apostolic lineage and authority of the Imperial Roman Church. It also constitutes a distinct rite derived from several ancient Christian rites, especially the Ruthenian-Byzantine and the Roman. Its members may be described as Old Roman Catholic, Old Catholic, or Pontifical Orthodox, or Pontifical Orthodox Old Catholic. The church's heritage spans the historic Roman Empire, from Spain and Britain in the west to Russia in the east; from northern Gaul to north Africa and the middle east. Its apostolic authority is Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Greek, Gallican, Syrian, Armenian, Chaldean, and Antiochean. The Anglican Rite was formed from a combination of the Gallican Rite (in Gaul and Spain, but of Byzantine origin) that was present in Britain and the Roman rite brought by St. Augustine of Canterbury.

Q: What is Pontifical Orthodoxy or Pontifical Orthodox Old Catholicism?
A: A unique heritage and practice of Old Roman Catholicism descending from the ancient Roman Catholic Diocese of Utrecht and the
Russian Orthodox, Greek, Gallican, Syrian, Armenian, Chaldean, and Antiochean churches. It is one of the descriptive names of the faith and the membership of the Imperial Roman Church and is under the pastoral leadership of the Supreme Pontiff of the Imperial Roman Church.   

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

No.

Q: What is the difference between the Patriarchate/Catholicate and the Vatican? 

The Patriarchate and Catholicate are traditional Rome and the historic Pontifical States. The modern Roman Communion is the Vatican. 

Q: Do you ordain clergy outside the Patriarchate, Catholicate, and Imperial Roman Church?

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

Q: What is the Imperial Roman Church?

The Imperial Roman Church is an ancient historical entity dating to the Christian Roman Empire and is modernly defined as the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate, the Anglican Patriarchate of Rome, and the churches of all Bishops recognised by the Catholicate and Patriarchate. It was formerly known as the New Roman Communion. Bishops of the Imperial Roman Church need not be of the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Rite, the Anglican Rite, or the Gallican Rite, but may be of any traditional Catholic Rite. Its members may be described as Old Roman Catholic, Old Catholic, or Pontifical Orthodox, or Pontifical Orthodox Old Catholic See also: Historic communion with the Orthodox Patriarchates of Antioch and Alexandria.

Q: Who is the head of the  Imperial Roman Church?

The Coadjutor of Rome and Prince of the Romans, Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicos (Catholicos of Rome-Ruthenia), who is also known as the Archfather or Florentine Archfather. (Website of the Catholicate.)

Q: What is an Archfather?

The personal title of Archfather has common ancient origins with the title of Patriarch and Pope/Papa, 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 of Rome and Prince of the Romans.

Q: Why is the Archfather also given the honorifics of "Papa" and "Holy Father"?

Although Archfather is a title, other honourifics are commonly used. 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. Also, the Archfather is sometimes known as the Papa-Catholicos, the Florentine-Roman Papa, the Florentine-Roman Pontiff, or the Holy Father. 

Q: Is the Papa-Catholicos a counterclaimant to the Pope-Bishop of Rome? 

A: No. Although they share the same origins and soures, the ecclesiastical authority of the modern Papa-Catholicos of Rome-Ruthenia (Florentine-Roman Papa, or Papa-Catholicos) is distinct from any claims made by the Pope-Bishop of Rome and vice versa.

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 historic Roman papacy within and regarding the jurisdiction of the Anglican Patriarchate of Rome, Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate, and Imperial Roman Church.

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

The Florentine Archfather, as successor to Pope Saint 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, Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate, and Imperial Roman Church. (Read more about the Petrine Office, Leonine Office, and the Anglican Patriarchate.

Q: Why is Saint Stephen the Deacon the patron of the Anglican Patriarchate of Rome?

A: Saint Stephen was the first Deacon. He was ordained in Jerusalem by St. Peter the Apostle. The territory of the See of Saint Stephen, as the Coadjutorship of Rome, is the same as the Diocese of Rome. Just as Saint Stephen assisted St. Peter the Apostle in the administration of the church, so too does the Anglican Patriarchate assist by spiritual governance of the Anglican Rite of the Universal Church as Coadjutor of the See of St. Peter as successor to Pope Saint Leo X (and also as holding the temporal Throne of St. Peter). Saint Stephen also has various treasured connections to the history and heritage of the Patriarchate. 

Q: Why does the Archfather hold the Anglo-Roman Metropolitan See of Saint Mark?

A: As the ecclesiastical successor to the temporal overlordship of Italy, the Anglican Patriarchateof Rome is successor to the Patriarchal State of Aquileia in the Holy Roman Empire, in present-day northeast Italy, which was founded by Saint Mark the Apostle. Today this is  reflected in the title of the Archfather as Anglican Archbishop and Metropolitan of Aquileia and Anglo-Roman Primate of Italy.

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

A: The long and ancient history of deeds and actions of the Anglican Patriarchate of Rome 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, Orthodox, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church, with the Archfather possessing by right of Rome supreme authority with full papal voice and authority within and regarding the jurisdiction of the Anglican Patriarchate of Rome, Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate, and Imperial Roman Church. We do not feel the need to comment on others, instead encouraging all to focus on Christ-like acts of faith and service.

General Questions


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

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 Imperial Roman Church, as the sole successor of Pope Saint Leo X and temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle, 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 Papa-Catholicos of Rome-Ruthenia with papal authority as temporal successor of St. Peter, and the 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)

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-Germanic and Slavo-Byzantine culture of the Imperial Roman Church?

A: The Germanic culture of the Imperial Roman Church 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 Imperial Roman Church 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 the Latin 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. Also a key component of heritage of the Imperial Roman Church are the people of central and eastern europe, due to their ancient connections to both the Roman/Byzantine Empire and the  Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. The Imperial Roman Church, through Christ and through its ethnic heritage, unites west and east.

Q: What is the Gallican Rite or Gallo-Roman Rite?

A: The Gallican Rite, associated with the ancient Merovingian Dynasty, has been under the spiritual authority of the Anglican Patriarchate of Rome since 2021, as well as the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate. The Gallican Rite is not a single rite of the Church, but instead is an ancient collection that came into use at least before the 5th century and is associated primarily with Roman Gaul and Western Francia (modern-day France). The neighbouring Iberian Rite was similarly used from the 5th century in Roman Hispania (modern-day Spain). The Iberian Rite was so linked with the Gallican Rite that they are often referred to jointly as Hispano-Gallican. In fact, the territories of the Merovingian Dynasty are widely associated with Spain as well. Also used to describe the Rite is the term Gallo-Roman. The Gallican Rite is also associated with Italy, particularly the areas of Piemonte and Lombardia in the north, as well as Tuscany and Sicily/Naples -- all areas that were historically associated with France. (Website of the Catholicate.) (Website of the Gallican Rite.

Q: Did the Imperial Roman Church (or other Pontifical Orthodox Old Catholic and Old Roman Catholic Churches) ever leave the Catholic Church?

A: Absolutely not. The Imperial Roman Church is the sole successor of Pope Saint Leo X and temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle and as such remains fully Catholic and holds the same canonical authority as the Roman Communion (Vatican). The Catholicate and Patriarchate are 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 Catholicate and Patriarchate after Benedict XVI by right of Rome and Florence, with the Papa-Catholicos of Rome-Ruthenia 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 Pontifical Orthodox Old Catholics, we descend from the See of Utrecht, which was granted autonomy in 1145 by Pope Eugene III and confirmed in 1520 by Pope Saint 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 of Rome, the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate, and the entirety of the Imperial Roman Church remain 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 an offensive and derogatory fashion
by those who do not know any better and sometimes even by those who ought to know better against Old Roman Catholics and Old Catholics. It is inappropriate and bigoted to apply the term "episcopi vagantes" to the bishops of the Imperial Roman Church. Furthermore, as sole successor of Pope Saint Leo X and temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle, the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate, the Anglican Patriarchate of Rome (Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church), and the Imperial Roman Church remain fully Catholic and Orthodox holding the same canonical authority as the Roman Communion (Vatican). The Catholicate and Patriarchate are 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 Papa-Catholicos of Rome-Ruthenia 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 the US Conference of Catholic Bishops or other Episcopal Conferences of the Roman Communion part of the Anglican Patriarchate of Rome?
A: No. The USCCB or other episcopal conferences of the Roman Communion are not part of the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate, the Anglican Patriarchate of Rome, or the Imperial Roman Church.

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 Imperial Roman Church. We always seek a cooperative relationship wherever possible.

Q: Are the Episcopal Church of the USA or the Anglican Communion part of the Anglican Patriarchate of Rome?
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 in Pontifical Orthodox Old Catholic tradition.

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 Imperial Roman Church. We always seek a cooperative relationship wherever possible.


Pope Leo XIII

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

A: No. In addition to our Gallo-Russo-Byzantine heritage, 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 and are also known as Pontifical Orthodox Old Catholic. 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 Saint Leo X and temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle, the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate, the Anglican Patriarchate of Rome, and the Imperial Roman Church remains fully Catholic holding the same canonical authority as the Roman Communion (Vatican). The Catholicate and Patriarchate are 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 Papa-Catholicos with papal authority as temporal successor of St. Peter, and the 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-Bishop of Rome?

A: No. The visible head of the church, Legate of Christ, and representative of Christ on earth for matters pertaining to the Catholicate, Patriarchate, Anglican Rite, Lower Gallican Rite, and the Imperial Roman Church as a whole is the Archfather. 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 Saint Leo X, this right becoming known as the Leonine Privilege; and also directly by Right of Rome as successors of Pope Saint Leo X. The Church Councils in 1215 and 1717 further confirmed this right. It has also been confirmed by several more recent affirmations.  The Coadjutor of Rome is successor of Pope Saint Leo X and temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle, and is Legate of Christ and Supreme Pontiff of  the Imperial Roman Church.

Q: What is the legacy of Pope Saint Leo X continued by the Imperial Roman Church?

A: The Apostolic See of the Catholicate is the successor to Pope Saint Leo X. The episcopate of the Imperial Roman Church is in succession from Saint 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 Anglican Patriarchate of Rome. When his older brother Piero de' Medici died, Giovanni Cardinal de' Medici (the future Saint Leo X) became head of the House of Medici and of the Florentine Republic. Also, Saint 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.


Pope Saint 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.

Q: Are you schismatic Roman Catholics, schmismatic Orthodox, or other forms of schismatic?

A: No. Most who make this argument do not understand the history. As Pontifical Orthodox Old Catholics we are not ex-Catholics, former Catholics, or non-Catholics, ex-Orthodox, former Orthodox, or non-Orthodox. Furthermore, neither Pontifical Orthodoxy nor 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 Pope-Bishop of Rome in his role as Bishop of See of Rome and as head of the Roman Communion. The Archfather as Coadjutor of Rome likewise holds papal spiritual primacy within and pertaining to the jurisdiction of the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate, the Anglican Patriarchate of Rome, and the Imperial Roman Church. Our priests in the Anglo-Roman and Gallo-Roman Rites pray for both the Bishop of Rome and the Archfather 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: Is the Anglican Patriarchate of Rome part of the Continuing Anglican movement?
A: No. While its parent diocese was originally part of the Continuing Anglican movement in 1978, it has since embraced the fullness of the Catholic and Orthodox Faith 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 and often of Orthodoxy.

Q: Why is the Anglican Patriarchate of Rome 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). The Anglican Patriarchate is, by right of Rome, the Anglican Rite of the Universal Church. Also, it is part of the Pontifical Orthodox and 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 Saint Leo X and temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle, 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 Papa-Catholicos (Anglican Patriarch and Coadjutor of Rome) 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 and Orthodox 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.

Q: How is the Archfather chosen?
A: The Archfather and Supreme Pontiff of the Imperial Roman Church is elected by the Patriarchal Electors in accordance with the Code of Particular Canon Law. The Electors are Cardinals or other prelates appointed by the Archfather.

Q: Can clerics, priests, and bishops in the Patriarchate, Catholicate, and Imperial Roman Church 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 both in the western and eastern churchs. 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 Imperial Roman Church teach and profess Catholic and Orthodox doctrine?

A: Yes. In particular, our principal Catechisms, the Southwest Anglo-Catholic Catechism (also known as the Catechism of the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church) and the Pontifical Orthodox Old Catholic Catechism, are based largely on the Baltimore Catechism, a standard catechism of the Roman Catholic Church before the Second Vatican Council. As Pontifical Old Catholics who received and inherited the true doctrine of Catholicism and Orthodoxy, the Imperial Roman Church 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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