Monday, March 13, 2023

A look back on the first twelve years of the pontificate of Papa-Prince Rutherford I

By A. DiNardo

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 13 March 2023 (NRom)

The last twelve years of the pontificate of Papa-Knyaz Rutherford I of Rome-Ruthenia witnessed a substantial restoration of the traditions of the Orthodox and Old Catholic faith, of the promotion of Christian civil society, and a wealth of production of liturgical, ethno-cultural, and historical works. The autocephalous Orthodox Old Catholic Apostolic See of Saints Stephen and Mark provided and continues to provide a beacon of stability, reflecting the light of Christ, through some of the most challenging times in modern history.

The various branches, affiliates, and missions of the Imperial Roman Church are found on every continent except (currently) Antarctica. Its clergy and people have provided humanitarian support, medical care, spiritual comfort, education, and advocacy for many people across the socio-economic spectrum on a global scale. During the 2020-2022 global pandemic, the church was active in a wide array of service, not the least of which was oriented towards the most vulnerable people around the world and the impact the pandemic had on them.

The Apostolic See also revived its seminary, Pontifical Georgian College (formerly St. George Theological Seminary); established the Pontifical Apostolic Library to archive historical books, documents, artifacts, and other works; built the modern Pontifical Walsingham Guard on the long military heritage of the Church's temporal heritage, serving as a modern ceremonial and humanitarian organization; the development and expansion of the Noble Company of the Court of St. Mary of Walsingham as a cultural and charitable nobiliary association within the Pontifical Court; formalized and perpetuated an important part of the legacy of King Peter II of Yugoslavia; revived and established orders of Christian chivalry; and, most importantly, building on its history and heritage, re-built a spiritual and temporal nation without borders that unifies the Church's heritage, religious expression, and culture of both eastern and western Christianity, serving as an example of brotherhood to all. 

The Imperial Roman Church, as a sovereign entity, also provides both local and high-level government policy advice and engages in diplomatic activity around the world. The temporal patrimony of the Church was also restored, under the unified name of the Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia. This integrated state is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic nation today without borders that is heir to the Roman Empire and the Pontifical Kingdom of Ruthenia (Russia/Rus’). Its goal as an ethno-religious minority is the perpetuation of faith and culture. In 2019, the Imperial Roman Church, under the name of its non-profit foundation (Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church, Inc.) was admitted as an organization in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

The Papa-Prince said, “The accomplishments of Our See are due to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the faith and good works of Our team. We seek to build the Kingdom of God on earth for the greater glory of God. And, we preserve the ethnic and religious heritage of our culture, not as antiquarians, but to carry it into the future. Those who are here for their own mercenary interests or to promote the interests of some other group never last, while those who are here to serve God find a lasting home.”

The Imperial Roman Church is among those few churches in the world that are privileged to branch in Apostolic succession from the Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Old Catholic, Melkite Catholic, Syrian Antiochian Orthodox, Syrian Malankara, Armenian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Uniate, Melkite (Greek) Catholic, and Chaldean (Babylonian/Iraqi) Catholic Churches. The most recent Patriarchs of ancient geographical Churches from which the Apostolic See of Sts. Stephen and Mark descends are both from the 20th century: Sergei, Patriarch of Moscow (Russian Orthodox) and Yousef VI, Patriarch of Babylon (Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq). Part of the Church’s Roman succession is held in common with 95% the modern Vatican Church (Roman Communion) today, but the Imperial Roman Church also has much older lines as well, including the famous lines of Medici, Barberini, and Borghese. As a Church of united Apostolic heritage spanning East and West, it evokes memories of the Church before the Great Schism one thousand years ago and points to a Christian unity that often seems today like an elusive goal. On this, Papa-Prince Rutherford said, “Satan tries to destroy the Church from within, making Christians fight amongst themselves, often over silly trifles.”

Among its most significant spiritual, cultural, and historical successes, the Apostolic See reestablished the Gallican Rite of the Catholic Church, in collaboration with the Merovingian Dynasty, and, drawing on its joint Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Apostolic heritage and authority, established approved the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Rite and the Anglican-Byzantine Rite, all under the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate.

The accomplishments of the Apostolic See over the last twelve plus years also include compiling and publishing numerous liturgical books, with the See now publishing all of the books used in the liturgy throughout the entire Imperial Roman Church through its publishing house, St. George Seminary Press. That includes the entirety of the liturgical books and instructional material for the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine and Anglican-Byzantine Rites, as well as the earlier Anglo-Roman and Gallo-Roman (Gallican) Rites. 

Celebrating its 15th modern anniversary, with two millennia of history, the Imperial Roman Church is poised to carry the unified eastern and western Christian heritage and the model of traditional Christian society into the future.

Monday, March 6, 2023

The Rarest of Honours - Grand Commander of Sts. George and Olga

By Jean DuBois


The most rare of all honours of the Pontifical Imperial State of

Rome-Ruthenia is the distinction of Grand Commander of the Order of Saints George and Olga. That honour ranks second within the honours of the Pontifical Imperial State, immediately following the Bailiff Knights of Christ of the Pontifical Order of the Eagle.

The order itself is given in one rank, that of Knight or Dame. The gentleman's division is headed by the Papa-Prince of Rome-Ruthenia as the Grand Master, and the ladies' divisions headed by the Grand Duchess as Grand Mistress – perhaps unique among orders of chivalry in that regard. It is given as a recognition for service to the Pontifical Imperial household and is also held by all Grand Dukes/Duchesses of Rome of the blood who are at least age 18.

The honour of Grand Commander is strictly speaking an office, and it is held by the Grand Master and the Grand Mistress automatically and can be conferred in rare cases on other gentlemen and ladies. Other than the Grand Master and Grand Mistress, currently the distinction has been conferred only twice. Grand Commanders are entitled to wear the sash/broad riband in the distinct colours of the order, orange and black – representing the traditional imperial colours of yellow and black, with yellow tinged with the red blood of the martyrs. For more about the Order, follow this link.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

New Lectionary and Table of Verses and Prayers Released for the Catholicate

By Jean DuBois

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 5 March 2023 (NRom)

A new lectionary and table of verses and prayers have been approved by His Holiness the Papa-Prince of Rome-Ruthenia for the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate, for use with the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine and Anglican-Byzantine Rite, as well as optionally for the Anglo-Roman and Gallo-Roman Rites. The books follow the liturgical calendar of the Imperial Roman Church and maintain the spiritual tradition and ethnic heritage of the Apostolic See of Sts. Stephen and Mark. 

Papa Rutherford I said, "This work represents a significant milestone for the Apostolic See of Sts. Stephen and Mark. No longer are we arbitrarily tied to what groups like the Vatican Church did in the past. Rather, we now stand on our own feet as an autocephalous church equal to all others and neither second nor subservient to anyone other than God. We have separated the wheat from the chaff. We do not worship the past, but march forward confidently in faith as we carry the religion and ethnic heritage into the future." 

The Book of Gospels (shown) is available to clergy of the Imperial Roman Church and can be made in a variety of sizes to accommodate metallic Gospel covers. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Ash Wednesday Address and Letter of H.H. the Papa-Prince


The following is the Ash Wednesday address of H.H. the Papa-Prince of Rome-Ruthenia.

Grace and peace as we begin this Lenten season during the 15th modern anniversary of the Imperial Roman Church. Established in ancient origins, we carry the Pontifical Orthodox Old Catholic faith forward today. Orthodoxy – right believing. Catholic – universal. Old – the continual faith of the Apostles and Church Fathers. Pontifical – linked to the historic Roman empire, both eastern and western. We are of several rites, but one faith.

     This day, Ash Wednesday, is an ancient tradition of the Church – one of a variety of such traditions that have different variations throughout Christendom. Its annual observation not only serves to begin this season of penance in preparation for the coming Paschal feast, but helps to tie us together with the Christian people who went before us over the last 2000 years and with the Christian people in different parts of the world, which God created in beautiful diversity. This, among our other traditions, speaks to the fact that the Church of Christ knows neither time nor space. Indeed, traditions may vary in different parts of the world, but at their core, they represent a common belief. Even these differences in tradition should unite rather than divide.

     Yet, it seems that the Christian people would prefer self-righteous bickering to humble, authentic unity. Some Christian communities are so arrogant that they demand complete and total assimilation and subjugation, wanting to absorb one and all like an amoeba. This is certainly a shame, for such communities are denied by their own actions the joys of fellowship with other Christians. If they think this is what Christ wanted, then I suggest that they are sadly mistaken.

     In Our See and in its affiliated organisations, I expect all people to promote an authentic unity. This does not mean one must compromise on elements of doctrine and tradition. Those matters will be resolved in God’s own time. Rather, we can be reconciled with one another by finding common ground and in seeking to cooperate and come together, in fellowship and service if in nothing else. That alone would be a major step, and it has been the cornerstone of Our pontificate.

     This division within the church is mirrored in the division in the world today. Just as we see certain branches of the church, so too do we see certain countries, bloated with blind, self-righteous arrogance, attempt to force assimilation of other countries around the world into their beliefs and customs, and ultimately under their dominion. This is promoted both by governments and by corporate interests. Neither government nor corporations are inherently evil but are only as good or evil as the people managing them and the philosophies that they promote. Much of the world has lost its values, which we can only hope is temporary. A society without values is as a ship without a compass, floating aimlessly to be taken wherever the waves take it or wherever another vessel directs it. Fortunately, there is a glimmer of hope, a beacon of light, in those who are willing to fight and risk all to preserve traditional Christian values. Let them be our inspiration as we begin this Lenten season.

     And, I will remind each of you as I frequently do that penance and denial need not be what you eat or what you do not eat. There are those who are hypocrites who make great show of fasting and abstinence, but harbour hatred and egotism inside. Culinary denial can be beneficial spiritually if done with the right mindset and intent. Yet, it is not the only way. My favourite method of penance and self-denial is to give of yourself to others, quietly serving through small acts of charity, expecting nothing in return. Ultimately let God be your guide in penance through this Lenten season, and do not be judgmental of others whose path of penance in preparation may be different from your own.

     Lastly, may God bless each of you through this Lenten journey, that we may be entirely ready to receive and experience fully the joys of Paschal feast and season.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Death of Principessa Donna Giuseppina Sacchi d'Epiro

By Alessandro DiNardo

BADIA PAVESE 18 February 2023 (NRom)

The Royal House of Epirus announced the death of H.R.H. Princess Donna Giuseppina Sacchi, Princess of Nicopolis, Duchess of Epirus, Countess of Lisio on 16 February 2023 after battling a long illness. The Princess was 84 years old and was the mother of H.R.H. Don Davide di S. Sofia, Grand Prince of Epirus. H.H. Papa-Prince Rutherford I, Catholicos of Rome-Ruthenia said, "The pontifical and imperial household joins in sympathy with the Royal House of Epirus in this moment of intense sorrow and mourning. The Princess was a grand lady and distinguished aristocrat of the old order, dedicated to faith and tradition." 

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Change in Grand Master of the Noble Company

Pontifical and Imperial Collar
of the Papa-Prince, combining
the collars of the Supreme
Florentine-Roman Order
of Christ and the
Pontifical Order of the Eagle,
and the Patriarchal collars
of the Noble Company.
By Jean DuBois

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 28 January 2023 (NRom)

The Pontifical Court has announced that the office of Grand Master of the Noble Company of St. Mary of Walsingham is permanently vested in the Papa-Prince of Rome-Ruthenia. Thus, as of Fall 2022, His Holiness Rutherford I became Grand Master. This brings the Noble Company's practice in line with that of the other orders of the Pontifical Imperial State and Apostolic See of Sts. Stephen and Mark. The Noble Company has been led by several other Grand Masters over the years, each appointed by Apostolic Mandate of the Papa-Prince and Catholicos. 

The Noble Company is an ecumenical Christian nobiliary association. Both by its charter and mandate, under the perpetual spiritual leadership of the Imperial Roman Church. However, Christians, regardless of denominational affiliation, are welcome in its ranks. Membership by heredity is based on descent from a noble family of any country or by descent from a member of the Noble Company. Membership by personal merit is based on a record of professional achievement, community work, and humanitarian service.

The Noble Company's website has also been recently updated, which may be seen here:

Monday, January 16, 2023

Royal and Serene House of Chíquiza incorporated into the Pontifical Imperial State

By Alessandro DiNardo

BOGOTA 16 January 2023 (NRom)

His Holiness the Papa-Prince of Rome-Ruthenia recently incorporated the Royal and Serene House of Chíquiza into the nobility of the Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia (Stato Pontificio). The title Prince of Chíquiza is a sovereign subsidiary title, with rights of fons honorium (the right to grant other title and honors). The title was ceded to the Archduke of Alcazar, Pontifical Majordomo, from the Grand Prince Hernán Olano Garcia of Altai and Hyrcânia, whose house is also an incorporated sovereign house within the Pontifical Imperial State. The Grand Prince is also a descendant of the great chief Sugamuxi, within the indigenous nobility of modern-day Columbia. The incorporated houses of the Pontifical Imperial State are sovereign houses, often of formerly-ruling states or dynasties, that are not part of the direct patrimony of the Papa-Prince, but are under his ecclesiastical patronage and spiritual protection.

Sugamuxi, last Chief
and ruler of Suamox

Sugamuxi lived in the 16th century and was the last chief and high priest of the sacred City of the Sun Suamox. Their people lived in the Altiplano Cundiboyacense in the Columbian Andes before the arrival of the Spanish. The incorporation of both the Royal House of Altai and Hyrcânia and the Royal and Serene House of Chíquiza serves to strengthen the ties of the historic Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia to Christian people around the world, and especially to the indigenous people of South America.