Sunday, September 10, 2023

Renovated Private Chapel of the Papa-Catholicos Unveiled

By Jean DuBois

ROME-RUTHENIA 10 September 2023 (NRom)

The newly-renovated Chapel of St. George, the private chapel of H.H. the Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia, was formally unveiled today. A special liturgy was celebrated for the patron saints of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church and Pontifical Imperial State: Saints Peter, Paul, Andrew, Stephen, Mark, George, Vladimir, and Olga. 

H.H. the Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia
in the Chapel of St. George

The renovation was the result of a three-year project involving support and work of several members of the Pontifical Household and Court. The chapel includes both old and new icons -- some as old as the  19th and 17th century. It is specifically arranged for the celebration of the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine and Anglican-Byzantine liturgy. 

The Chapel of St. George

The icons include several of the Holy Mother of God of Kazan. The icons of the Holy Fathers of the Apostolic See, St. Leo X and St. Aftimios Ofiesh, are included behind the altar. Above the tabernacle is the icon of St. Edwin Caudill, Apostolic Founder and Confessor. To the right of the altar is a painting depicting the orthodox and catholic consecration of St. Edwin. The art had been specially commissioned by the Apostolic See of Sts. Stephen and Mark in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the consecration of St. Edwin. 

Artwork depicting the orthodox and
catholic consecration of St. Edwin

The relics housed in the chapel include a relics of the True Cross, the Holy Belt of Mary, St. Stephen the Apostle and Archdeacon, St. Peter the Apostle, the John the Baptist, St. Patrick, and more. 

The reliquary housing the relic of
St. Stephen the Apostle and Archdeacon
behind a reliquary containing relics of
St. Peter, the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph,
and St. John the Baptist.
The tronetto (small throne)
of the Papa-Catholicos.

H.H. the Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia giving the
solemn blessing at the end of the Divine Liturgy
in the manner common to bishops of the
Gallo-Russo-Byzantine and Anglican Byzantine Rites.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Legal Officers Appointed to the Pontifical Walsingham Guard

By Jean DuBois

ROME-RUTHENIA 30 August 2023 (NRom)

Pontifical Walsingham Guard announces establishment of the new Legal Division. The following legal officers were appointed: 

H.E. Baron David H. Tsubouchi, Kt.B. (Col., WG), Chief Legal Officer

H.E. Countess Luz Eliyer Cárdenas (Lt., WG)

H.E. Chevalier Richard Lewis (Lt., WG)

H.E. Chevalier Édgar Fuentes (Lt., WG)

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Recent Honours and Appointments of the Pontifical Court

Posted by A. DiNardo

ROMA-RUTENIA 29 August 2023 (NRom)

The following are recent honors and appointments made by H.H. the Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia.

H.E. Archbishop Howard Doe
Capitular Archbishop, Master of the Pontifical Palace, and Prefect of Faith and Doctrine (ex officio Chief Judge of the Supreme Holy Office)

H.E. Mgr. Edward Heywood
Prefect-General of the Pontifical Imperial State, and First Archdeacon of the Apostolic See

Chev. Mark Kealey
Foriere Maggiore (Major Herald) and Cavallerizzo Maggiore (Master of the Horse)

Maj. Gen.  James E. Hamby, ABN, WG
Commander of the Pontifical Ruthenian Palatine Guard

Col. Chev. Cosimo Sframeli
Deputy Master of Horse, Pontifical Ruthenian Noble Guard

H.E. Bishop David Nicholls
Knight Grand Cross of the Pontifical Order of the Eagle
Knight of the Order of Sts. George and Olga

H.E. Baroness Debra Powell Childress
Dame of the Order of Sts. George and Olga

H.E. Baroness Thelner A. Brooks
Dame of the Order of Sts. George and Olga

H.R.H. Grand Prince Hernán Alejandro Olano García
Knight Commander of the Order of the Pontifical Imperial State

Prof. Pellegrino Manfra
Knight of the Order of the Pontifical Imperial State

H.P.I.R. Grand Duke Ralph of Roma-Etruria
Member of the Pontifical Order of Merit

H.R.S.H. Prince Floyd Jack of Chiquiza
Knight Bachelor of Yugoslavia

Monday, July 24, 2023

Knight Bachelor of Yugoslavia (Jugoslavia)

Peter II of Yugoslavia

By Jean DuBois

ROME-RUTHENIA 24 July 2023 (NRom)

Among the most treasured aspects of the Slavic heritage of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church and the Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia is the legacy of Yugoslavia. The last King to reign there (albeit briefly) was King Peter II of Yugoslavia. The King, a second-great-grandson of Queen Victoria and also of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, came to the throne at the age of 11 upon his father's assassination in 1934. He was forced into exile by the Nazis shortly after coming of age. Peter II's godfather was George VI of England.

After some time in England, Peter II came to the United States in 1948 and settled in Chicago, where he lived more or less for the rest of his life. The king died on 3 November 1970 in Colorado after battling a long illness. He was buried at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Libertyville, Illinois, an area known for its Serbian ex-patriate community. In 2013, however, it was arranged for his body to be reinterrd in Serbia at the Royal Mausoleum of Oplenac.

While in the United States, Peter II, exercising his sovereign rights, established the honour of Knight Bachelor of Yugoslavia. This was organised into a society known as the Royal Association of Knights Bachelor, with the King as its Royal Protector. Today the Apostolic See of Saints Stephen and Mark is among those entitled to grant the title of Knight Bachelor of Yugoslavia - an honour rarely conferred. Various documents pertaining to the honour are also held in the Stephenian Archives.
Emblem of the Pontifical Order of
Knights Bachelor of Yugoslavia

The Pontifical Order of Knights Bachelor of Yugoslavia is a religious association serving as a successor to the Royal Association of Knights Bachelor of Yugoslavia founded by H.M. Peter II, the last reigning King of Yugoslavia. The order was founded under the protection and authority of the Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia, United Roman-Ruthenian Church. It counts among its foundational legacy a nobleman who is a Knight Bachelor of Yugoslavia and knew King Peter II. Coupled with the Stephenian Archives, it maintains rare records of Peter II and the honour of Yugoslavian Knight Bachelor.

See more online, including copies of documents held in the Stephenian Archives, at: 


Thursday, July 13, 2023

Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia named Fellow of the Institute on the Environment

By A. DiNardo

ROME-RUTHENIA 13 July 2023 (NRom)

H.H. Bishop Rutherford I of Rome-Ruthenia was recently named a Fellow of the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment (IonE). The Institute, based in St. Paul, is a multi-disciplinary, multi-campus group based on the philosophy that in order "to solve today’s complex environmental challenges, we must go beyond business-as-usual thinking." The IonE connects innovators from around the University and focuses on strong collaboration with external partners, "all with an eye towards being responsive, agile, and entrepreneurial in the face of a changing world." In addition to his ecclesiastical role, Bishop Rutherford professionally specializes in behavioral science applications and sustainability. 

Fellows are often tenured professors, though there are exceptions. They are "senior researchers and thought-leaders that form the intellectual foundation of IonE" and are selected not only as a recognition of scholarly output, accomplishment, and impact, but with an expectation of service through the IonE. They are expected not only to have demonstrated excellence in the areas of sustainability or environmental justice, but also are well-established in their careers with a proven track record of applying research to solve real-world challenges. Moreover, in order to fulfill the mission of the IonE, Fellows are expected to have a track record of engaging those outside the university, accompanied with a strong sense of community impact.

A social sustainability specialist, Bishop Rutherford's work includes contributions in rural quality affordable housing in the Hispanic community, ecotourism as economic development, behavioral analysis of police-public interactions, and psychological factors in strategic behavior of climate policy. His sustainability training includes a master's degree in the field from the Harvard University Extension School and a PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture. He was also elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London in 2018 and was elected to membership in the Explorers' Club in New York in 2005. He is also the author of Practical Economics in an Ever-Changing World, an economics textbook combining behavioral science, sustainability, and economic theory to better understand the reality of the world in which we live.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

In Revival of Ancient Rite, Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia Blessed Wax Agnus Dei Discs

H.H. the Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia
vested according to the ancient rite
for blessing the Agnus Dei wax discs.
By Jean DuBois

ROME-RUTHENIA 6 June 2023 (NRom)

On Trinity Sunday, following the Divine Liturgy, H.H. Bishop Rutherford I of Rome-Ruthenia blessed wax discs bearing the image of the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God). This is a revival of an ancient ceremony and done according to the current use of the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Rite in the United Roman-Ruthenian Church. Wax images of the Agnus Dei are blessed by the head of a Church and distributed to the faithful. This practice dates at least to the 9th century. The reverse of the discs (the ones used in this ceremony were around 3 inches in diameter) bears the name and coat of arms of the Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia. 

In the ancient rite, a container of water is blessed with fragrances and the Holy Chrism. The Agnus Dei images in wax are then submerged in the water and thus are considered to be baptized. The various fragrances in the holy oils impart a pleasant scent that remains in the discs for at least some time. 

The Agnus Dei discs are typically given with a card attesting to the blessing and its virtues. According to the card, "the sight or touch of the image of the Agnus Dei in this disc of wax should inspire the faithful to dwell on the Mysteries of our Redemption, be moved to praise, venerate, and extol the goodness of Almighty God to us, in the hope of obtaining pardon for their sins, and to be cleansed from all stain of sin."

Agnus Dei wax discs after being blessed.

Many miracles and virtues have been attached to the Agnus Dei sacramental. These are: To foster piety, banish tepidity, deliver from temptation, preserve from vice, preserve from eternal ruin and dispose to virtue; To cancel venial sins and purify from the stain left by grievous sin after it has been remitted in the Sacrament of Penance; Protection against sudden and spiritually unprovided death; Banish evil spirits; Dispel fears occasioned by evil spirits; Protection in combat, and the power to ensure victory; Protection against poison; Protection against the snares of the wicked; Protection against false accusations; Protection against illness and an efficacious remedy against illnesses; Protection against the ravages of pestilence, epidemics and infectious diseases; Protection against bouts of epilepsy; Protection for mothers and babies against peril and provide for a safe and easy delivery; Protection against shipwrecks; Protection against lightning and floods; Protection against hailstorms, tempests, tornados, lightning and hurricanes which are circumvented or dispelled; Protection against poison and its effects; Through Divine Intervention, protection against the snares, wiles and frauds of Satan which should not prevail.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Jurisdictions Merge to form the single United Roman-Ruthenian Church

Bishop Rutherford I signs
the bulla Sedis Nostra
merging several
into the United Roman-
Ruthenian Church 

By Jean DuBois

ROME-RUTHENIA 29 May 2023 (NRom)

By the bulla Sedis Nostra issued on the Feast of Pentecost this year, the jurisdictions of the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate, Anglican Patriarchate of Rome (Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church), Imperial Roman Church, and the Coadjutorship of Rome were merged into a single jurisdiction under the name of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church. This permits a unity in Christian brotherhood with an organizational simplification and commonality of purpose. The previous liturgical rites, Gallo-Russo-Byzantine, Anglican-Byzantine, Anglo-Roman (Anglican), and Gallo-Roman (Gallican), are all continued in their present form. All are welcome. 

The United Roman-Ruthenian Church is successor to St. Mark in Aquileia and temporal successor to St. Peter in Rome. It is a canonical, autocephalous, Apostolic church of ancient origin, founded in the first century following both Orthodox and Catholic tradition, belief, and practice. It seeks to preserve the Christian Church prior to the Great Schism. Its historic Holy Fathers, who are key figures in the history and succession of the church, are Pope Saint Leo X and Saint Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh.

The United Roman-Ruthenian Church is also the direct continuation of the former Anglican Diocese of the Southwest, founded in 1978, which subsequently entered into Orthodoxy and Catholicism through its Apostolic Founder, Saint Edwin Caudill. (His episcopal throne is considered the First Chair of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church, which may be seen on this page.) That diocese, after long since no longer being part of the "continuing Anglican movement," was later renamed the See of St. Stephen and established as Coadjutorship of Rome (now the Diocese of Rome-Ruthenia following the unification) from 2011. 

With this unification, the principle title of the head of the Church is Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia, and the main "prenomial" is simply "Bishop." The single patriarchal title is Papa-Catholicos of the Catholicate of Rome-Ruthenia. The other principle ecclesiastical titles are Metropolitan of Aquileia and Supreme Pontiff of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church. All traditions and uses of the Church generally all continue, and the pontifical court and government structure otherwise remain the same. 

The United Roman-Ruthenian 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 Church 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 United Roman-Ruthenian Church also has much older lines as well, including the famous lines of Medici, Barberini, and Borghese. This is coupled with the Roman and Ruthenian temporal (secular) patrimony of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church, known as the Pontifical Imperial State.