Friday, November 3, 2017

Les Comtes Royales

For some people, the title of Count conjures up images of Transylvanian vampires. For others, Medieval warriors. The image for most people, though, is typically something far, far less exotic. It is in fact an old title dating back to the Roman Empire. Today it comes in many forms. It can be a middle or high level of nobility. When held by a royal person, it usually is among the highest of all titles. 

Count Jean de Bourbon-la Marche

Count translates as Comes in Latin, meaning companion. It was used for high officials of the imperial court and for provincial rulers, for they were "companions of the Emperor." In the time of the early Holy Roman Empire, it became a common title for many rulers. In Italy, for example, some of the independent states were ruled by Counts, including Etruria (Tuscany). The last ruler of Tuscany in the ancient Holy Roman Empire was Countess Matilda, Margravine of Tuscany. She was a princess of the houses of Canossa, Lorraine, and Bar. 

In the Middle Ages, the Count of Flanders was one of the most powerful sovereigns in Europe. In the Kingdom of France, it was common for some of the royal family to hold the title of Count and were known as such. For example, some of the brothers of King St. Louis IX of France were Count Robert of Artois, Count Alphone of Toulouse, and Count Charles of Anjou. Count Charles later became the King of Sicily and Naples. Later royal counts of the House of Bourbon included Count Louis I of Vendome, Count Jean I de la Marche, and Count James I de la Marche, son of Louis I, Duke of Bourbon. Duke Louis I was the son of Count Robert of Clermont, a son of King St. Louis IX. 

Count Henri de Chambord

After the House of Bourbon lost rule of France in the July Revolution of 1830, Count Henri of Chambord, the grandson of King Charles X, became the "Legitimist" claimant to the throne. There began a division among the House of Bourbon for the French throne. The Orléanist pretender to the French throne was Count Philippe of Paris, son of the Prince Royal of France.  Count Don Juan of Montizón, son of Carlos V, Count of Molina and the "Carlist" claimant to the Spanish throne, was both the claimant to the Spanish throne and the Legitimist claimant to the French throne. 

A few of the royal counts of today include: Mgr. the Count of Paris (Orléanist claimant to the French throne), HRH the Count of Gevaudan (Merovingian claimant to the French throne), HIRH the Count of Valais (Grand Prince of Etruria), HIRH the Cardinal Count of Sainte Animie (Anglo-Italian Imperial Patriarch), HMERH the Count of Marmande (titular Elector of Trier), and HMERH the Count of Römerberg (titular Elector of Mainz). 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Patriarchal Address on the Feast of the Nativity of the B.V.M.

PATRIARCHAL SEE 8 September 2017 (ORCNS) - H.Em. Mgr. Rutherford Johnson, Cardinal Patriarch of St. Stephen, gave his annual address on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The text in Italian and English is given below. 


Dalla Casa Fiorentina al mondo, ed ai membri della Corte di S. Maria di Walsingham, grazia e pace, e la mia Benedizione Apostolica in questo Festo della Natività della Beata Virgine Maria, anno Domini

2017. È un tempo gioioso nel patriarcato. Viviamo nella luce di Cristo, con speranza della vita eterna. Ma, oggi nel mondo, è un tempo di sofferanza nelle tenebre. Quanti governi nel mondo sembrano volere una grandissima guerra. Sì, veramente la via alla pace non è una via d’acquietamento, non vedere gli azzioni dei nemici, ma anche è vero che predicare la guerra non guidarà il mondo alla pace. Preparare per la guerra è importante e giusto per la pace, ma non un discorso bellicoso.

Carissimi, speriamo in Cristo, e quindi siamo calmi. Ma, non possiamo solo restare in quella speranza, senza azzione, lasciando morire il mondo. Noi, i cristifideli dobbiamo per sempre usare la nostra forza – tutta la nostra forze – per migliorare le condizioni del popolo. È la responsibilità anche dei governi del mondo migliorare le condizioni del popolo e lavorare per il regno di Cristo sulla terra. Dunque la santa Chiesa certo predicare ai governi la verità di Cristo. La Chiesa ha quella sacra responsibilità e inoltre il sacro diritto. Pregate, carissimi, per il mondo, che tutti possano sapere la luce e l’amore di Cristo e venire alla vita eterna.

Anche, siamo molto contenti nunciare ancora che l’anno 2018 sarà il decimo anniversario della successione al patrimonio temporale del Patriarcato di S. Stefano – precisamente il patrimonio di Etruria, Trevia, Erbipolense, Reichenberg, Frankfurt, e la nostra santa città, Firenze. È un piacere particolare servire il Signore nel mondo moderno tra questo antico patrimonio.

Allora, preparatevi ricevere la benedizione di nostro Signore.

Et benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris +, et Filii+, et Spiritus + Sancti, descendat super vos et maneat semper. R. Amen.


From the Florentine Household to the world, and to the members of the Court of Saint Mary of Walsingham, grace and peace, and my Apostolic Blessing on this Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a joyous time in the Patriarchate. We live in the light of Christ, with the hope of eternal life. However, today in the world it is a time of suffering in darkness. Several governments of the world seem to want a great war. Indeed the way to peace is not a way of appeasement, blind to the actions of enemies, but also it is true that to preach war will not lead the world to peace. To prepare for war is important and right for peach, but not warmongering dialogue.

Carissimi, we hope in Christ, and therefore we are calm. But, we cannot only rest in that hope without action, leaving the world to die. We, the faithful in Christ must always use our power – all our power – to improve the condition of the people. And the responsibility of the government is also to improve the condition of the people and work for the kingdom of Christ here on earth. Therefore, the Holy Church must certainly preach to the governments the truth of Christ. The Church has that sacred responsibility, but also that sacred right. Pray, brethren, for the world, that all may know the light and love of Christ and come to eternal life.

Also, we are very happy to announce again that 2018 shall be the tenth anniversary of the succession to the temporal patrimony of the Patriarchate of St. Stephen – specifically the patrimony of Etruria, Trevia, Wurzburg, Reichenbger, Frankfurt, Mainz, and our holy city, Florence. It is a particular pleasure to serve our Lord in the modern world through this ancient heritage.

And now prepare yourselves to receive the blessing of our Lord.

Et benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus + Sancti, descendat super + + vos et maneat semper. R. Amen.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Day the Earth Stood Still -- Walsingham Guard Officer Predicted and Promoted the Space Corps in 2001

WASHINGTON 31 August 2017 (ORCNS) - It pays to be ahead of the curve. Perhaps nowhere is that more true than in warfare. Satellites, however, which control so much of daily life on earth, could be the victims of a Pearl Harbor-style sneak attack. Daniel Coberly, Prz. v. Reichenberg, a senior officer in the Walsingham Guard and an official of the Patriarchal Curia, warned of this in an article written in 2001 (unclassified version of the article, published in the Space and Missile Defense Command Eagle). He argued for special troops to fight battles in defense of "space real estate" (such as satellites), and now in 2017, the United States government is finally beginning to put that idea into action. 

Photo Credit: NASA

Beyond military issues, an enemy disruption of satellite technology would have a major impact on daily life on earth for the target country and their allies. Cellular phones, credit cards, debit cards, ATM cards, and e-mail would potentially shut down. Banking, shipping, telemedicine care and other speedy electronic commerce could suffer world-wide interruption. The cost to trade would be likely significant, and the economy could easily take a nose dive. It is like something out of a James Bond villain's evil plot.

Humans today depend on space heavily. The trouble is that it is so much a part of normal, everyday life that it seems no one thinks much about it at all. Therein lies the Achilles heel. 

Military Nanosatellites.
Photo Credit: U.S. Army

Space is key in the military, just as in civilian life. Controlling the high ground in combat has taken on a new definition in the modern era. It means, above all, control of assets in space. Navigation systems, communication systems, guidance systems, among others, all depend on satellites orbiting the earth.

The United States and NATO are just now taking the major steps needed to put into action what was conceptualized by early visionaries, such as Coberly. As new threats to global stability continue to emerge and old ones persist, the new proposed U.S. Space Corps could not come at a better time.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Corpus Christi Address of the Cardinal Patriarch of St. Stephen

PATRIARCHAL SEE 15 JUNE 2017 (ORCNS) - His Eminence Rutherford, Count of Sainte Animie, Patriarch of St. Stephen have his annual Corpus Christi address to the Court of Saint Mary of Walsingham. The original transcript in Italian is first, followed by the English translation.




AI membri della Corte di S. Maria di Walsingham, grazia e pace, e la mia Benedizione Apostolica in questo Festo del Corpus Christi, anno Domini 2017. Oggi celebriamo il sanctissimo Corpo ed il sacratissimo Sangue di Nostro Signore Jesu Christo. È un gioioso festo dopo della Stagione Pasquale. Durante la Stagione Pasquale, ricordiamo le Resurrezione, l’Ascensione, e la Pentecoste – tutti molto importanti, il nucleo della Santa Fede. Subito dopo della Stagione Pasquale è il Festo della Santissima Trinità, l’unico Dio, tre Personi, ma indivisibili. In verità, è del nucleo della Fede che Jesu Christo è veramente Dio, non solo un uomo. Vero Dio chi ha venuto alla terra come un uomo, e morì per noi. Ma, il morte di Cristo non fu un evento solo! Il sacrificio viva ancora oggi, fratelli! Dunque, è giusto, dopo del Festo della Trinità, che celebriamo il Corpo ed il Sangue di Cristo. Proclamiamo che Cristus Rex vivat in saecula saeculorum. Veramente il Sacrificio sull’altare di Cristo è il stesso Sacrificio di Cristo sulla Croce. Oggi facciamo un grandissimo inchino al sanctissimo Corpo ed al sacratissimo Sangue di Nostro Signore.

Adesso devo dire ancora ed ancora che Cristo è l’unica luce del mondo, e senza di Lui, non abbiamo nessun speranza. Oggi la società scende rapidamente alle tenebre. La società dimentica la tradizione e la fede di Cristo, e senza Cristo e le sue sancte tradizioni, la società sarà caduta alle mani dei nemici della Chiesa, i nemici della bontà, i nemici della civilisazione, i nemici di Dio! Noi, fratelli, i cristifideli, noi dobbiamo combattere contra le tenebre. Non possiamo essere ratti, corriendo, scappiendo, e nascando! Certo dobbiamo avere corragio e metterci in resistanza come un esercito della Santa Croce.

Il combattimento di solito per noi, i cristifideli, è certo spirituale. Ma, siamo discenduti dei Crociati e quindi capisciamo bene che, quando siamo attaccati d’un forzo violento malevolissimo, è necessario difenderci. Non vi dimenticate mai questa cosa.

E, carissimi, come il mondo ha arrivato qui? Relativismo. Il relativismo è un forzo insidioso che poco a poco erode la fede del popolo. Senza conoscenza, dopo un tempo, il popolo si sveglia una mattina e non ha la fede di Cristo ancora. Il relativismo è la via all’infidelismo ed alla religione di statismo. Il repubblicanessimo è la manifestazione di teorie vecchie di relativismo. Gli attivisti politichi di solito non hanno nuove idee, ma solo vecchie idee inferiori. L’unica via politica è la via di Cristo. Noi, carissimi, dovremmo essere una forza non di falsa variazione, ma d’un gioioso ritorno alla tradizione. Solo in Cristo la gente può essere libero.

Ed in merito della violenza ricente negli USA, è un segno del risulto di relativismo. Un assassino ha sparato a diversi membri del Partito Republicano. Cinque sono stati feriti, comprese un membro della Camera di Rappresentivi. Questo vile e codardo atto è anarchismo, un figlio di relativismo. In un paese, i cittadini dovrebbero essere come fratelli. Disaccordo arrive, certo, ma non dovremmo sparare a coloro con chi non siamo daccordo. Coloro chi conoscono Cristo capiscono bene che dovrebbero parlare con i nostri oppositori. Questo tipo di violenza non è un diritto del popolo, e gesti come questo vile e codardo atto sono controproducente e contro di Cristo. Non possiamo dire che rispettiamo il Corpo di Cristo ed il Sangue di Cristo se fossiamo ammazzare coloro con chi non siamo daccordo!

Allora, preparatevi ricevere la benedizione di nostro Signore.

Et benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris +, et Filii+, et Spiritus + Sancti, descendat super vos et maneat semper. R. Amen.


TO the members of the Court of Saint Maria of Walsingham, grace and peace, and my Apostolic blessing on this Feast of Corpus Christi, in the Year of Our Lord 2017. Today we celebrate the most holy Body and the most sacred Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a joyful celebration following Paschaltide. During the Easter season, we remember the Resurrection, Ascension, and Pentecost – all very important, and indeed the nucleus of the holy Faith. Immediately after Paschaltide comes the Feast of the Holy Trinity, the only God, three parts, but indivisible. Truly it is very much a part of the nucleus of the faith that Jesus Christ Himself is truly God, not just a man. True God who has come to Earth as a man, and died for us. But, the death of Christ was not a single, solitary event in history! Brethren, the Sacrifice of then still lives today! Therefore, it is meet and proper that, after the feast of the Trinity, we celebrate the Body and Blood of Christ. We proclaim Cristus Rex Vivat in Saecula saeculorum – Christ the King lives forever. Truly the Sacrifice on the altar of Christ is the same Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. Today we make a great bow to the most holy Body and to the most sacred Blood of our Lord.

Now I must say again and again that Christ is the only light of the world, and without him, we have no hope. Today society descends rapidly into darkness. Society forgets the tradition and faith of Christ, and without Christ and his holy traditions, society will fall to the hands of the enemies of the Church, the enemies of goodness, the enemies of civilisation, the enemies of God! We, brethren, the faithful in Christ, we must fight against the darkness. We cannot be rats, running, escaping, and hiding! Of course, we must have courage and be a force of resistance as an army of the Holy Cross.

This warfare is, for us, the faithful in Christ, certainly spiritual. But, we are descendants of the Crusaders and therefore we understand that, when we are attacked by a vile and wicked force of violence, it is necessary to defend ourselves. Never forget this.

And, dearest friends, how did the world come to this situation? Relativism. Relativism is an insidious thing that little by little erodes the faith of the people. Without knowledge, after a time, the people wake up one morning to find that they do not have the faith of Christ anymore. Relativism is the way to the loss of faith, replaced with the religion of the state. Republicanism is the manifestation of old theories of relativism. Political activists usually do not have new ideas, but only old inferior ideas that do not work. The only political way is the way of Christ. We, dearest friends, should be a force not of false change, but of a joyful return to tradition. Only in Christ can people be free.

And now with regard to the recent violence in the USA, it is a sign of the very result of relativism. A murderer shot several members of the Republican Party. Five were injured, including a member of the US House of Representatives. This vile and cowardly act is nothing more than anarchism, a child of relativism. In a country, citizens should be like brothers. Disagreement certainly will happen, of course, but we should not shoot those with whom we do not agree. Those who know Christ understand very well that we should talk with our opponents. This type of violence is not a right of the people, and gestures like this vile and cowardly act are counterproductive and against Christ. We cannot say that we respect the Body of Christ and the Blood of Christ if we kill those with whom we do not agree!

And now prepare yourselves to receive the blessing of our Lord.

Et benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus + Sancti, descendat super + + vos et maneat semper. R. Amen.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Seminarian Ordained Deacon. Continues Road to Priesthood.

FARGO 29 April 2017 (ORCNS) - The Rev. Dom. Shane VanMeveren, TOR Mar. was ordained to the Holy Order of Deacons today during a low mass. The ordaining bishop was H.Em. Mgr. Rutherford Johnson, Cardinal Count of Sainte Animie, Patriarch of St. Stephen. The mass took place on a warm spring day following a late spring snowstorm that occurred a few days earlier. 

At the imposition of hands, the Holy
Spirit is transmitted to the ordinand,
who then becomes a Deacon. 

Dom. Shane is a seminarian at Pontifical Georgian College, the principal seminary of the Religious and Military Patriarchate of St. Stephen and is also pursuing a PhD at a secular institution. Additionally, he is a friar in the Franciscan Third Order Regular of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of the Blessed Virgin Mary (TOR Mar). 

Mgr. Rutherford, Cardinal Patriarch of Saint
Stephen, ordaining Bishop, reads the introduction
to the ordination, explaining the significance
of the Order of Deacon and its duties. 

During the formal introduction to the ordination, read by Mgr. Rutherford, Cardinal Count of Sainte Animie as ordaining Bishop, Saint Stephen the First Deacon and Martyr was invoked. This is particularly significant not only for Deacons, but also for the Patriarchate, of which Blessed Stephen is the glorious celestial Patron. Also during the introduction, Dom. Shane was reminded that it was stated that the "Office of the Deacon is to assist at the altar, to baptize, and to preach." He was also reminded of the seriousness of his new office and state in life by being told that the "...Church, always ready for battle, wageth an unceasing warfare against her enemies, as the Apostle sayeth: 'Our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.'" 

Dom. Shane reads the Gospel from the ambo
for the first time as a Deacon. Proclaiming the
Gospel and reading or singing it in the Holy Mass
is one of the chief duties of a Deacon.

The Order of Deacon is the first of the Major Orders of the Church and follows the Minor Orders of Porter, Lector, Acolyte, and Exorcist and the transitional Order of Sub Deacon. It derives from the ancient order of Levites in the Old Testament. The Christian Diaconate was instituted by the Apostles and is found in Scripture. Some clerics remain Deacons, being called to serve in that ministry. Others follow a different calling and continue to the priesthood. Dom. Shane is in the latter category, continuing intensive studies in theology, canon law, pastoral ministry, and liturgy necessary to be qualified for the priestly ministry. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Rarely Awarded Gold Medal Recognizes Lifelong Work and Distinguished Service to Conservation

WASHINGTON 25 April 2017 (ORCNS) - A rare William T. Hornaday Gold Medal for Distinguished Service to Conservation was recently awarded to HMSH Prince Dom Daniel L. Coberly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Boy Scouts of America. The Hornaday Gold Medal is a national level award that recognizes adults who render distinguished and unusual service to natural resources conservation and environmental improvement over a sustained period of at least 20 years. 

Coberly was cited for his life-long personal environmental accomplishments that span five decades, numerous countries, continents, and cultures. Less than 40 Gold Medals have been presented during the past 80 years. 

“From his boyhood work as a young Scout to control rainforest erosion in the Panama Canal Zone, to his Eagle Scout project to restore 30-acres of trees and shrubs for the benefit of patients at a military hospital in Germany, his life-long personal environmental ethic didn’t stop there,” said Dr. William Benson, Director of EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Laboratory. “His adult activities to protect children from unexploded civil war ordnance throughout the United States, his efforts to educate parents and children about the dangers of landmines in Iraq and Afghanistan, his work with Native American Tribal Affairs, his work on environmental restorations during military base closures, and his work to promote sustainability are just a few of the activities for which Dan is now recognized with this Gold Medal”.

Coberly is a senior advisor for national communication with the U.S. EPA. In 2016, he was presented BSA’s the Silver Buffalo Award for distinguished service to youth.

A retired military public affairs officer, he was inducted in the U.S. Army Public Affairs Hall of Fame in 2014. In 1997 he was named a Distinguished Eagle Scout. He also serves in the Walsingham Guard of the Religious and Military Patriarchate of St. Stephen, where he holds the honorary rank of First Marshal of the Guards. Also the Grand Master Emeritus of the Noble Company of St. Mary of Walsingham, his many honors and distinctions include the Order of Pius IX, the Legion of the Eagle, and the Imperial Teutonic Order of the Hospital of St. Mary. 

The Hornaday award was named after the director and founder of the Bronx Zoo in New York, and the National Zoological Park in DC, who was credited with saving the American bison from extinction.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Patriarchal Address at Easter 2017 - Allocuzione Patriarcale della Santa Pasqua 2017

PATRIARCHAL SEE - 16 APRIL 2017 (ORCNS) - H.Em. Mgr. Rutherford, Cardinal Patriarch of St. Stephen, gave his annual Patriarchal Address on Easter. The transcript of the Italian version is given first, followed by the English version. 


Ai membri della Corte di S. Maria di Walsingham, grazia e pace, e la mia Benedizione Apostolica in questa Domenica della Santa Pasqua, anno Domini 2017. Christus resurgens est! Oggi, celebriamo la vittoria di Cristo sul sepolcro. Celebriamo la gloriosa resurrezione di nostro Signore Jesu Christo. Il Sanctum Triduum è un tempo di morte ed un tempo della vita. È un tempo delle tenebre ed un tempo della luce. Il magno mistero è che per vivere è necessa-rio morire. Dobbiamo morire al mondo e vivere solo in Cristo. Cristo fu l’agnello perfetto per pagare il grandissimo debito del mondo. Ma, non possiamo credere solamente, senza opera, senza sofferenza. In verità dobbiamo appenderci alla croce come Cristo, poichè Cristo ci ha detto che dobbiamo prendere la nostra croce e seguirlo.
Oggi il mondo cammina nelle tenebre. Nonostante, in Cristo abbi-amo la speranza della vita aeterna per tutti chi credono veramente in Lui. Chi crede veramente in Cristo è ligato altamente alla vera Chiesa di Cristo, l’unica, santa, cattolica, ed apostolica Chiesa di Cris-to. Anche chi crede veramente in Cristo vive in accordo colla veris-sima dottrina cristiana. Il cuore della dottrina viene del Santo Cuore di Cristo.

Come sempre, esiste una forza grandissima contro la Chiesa e contro il popolo cristiano. Quella forza è una forza dell'anticristo. Questa è una grandissima guerra, la guerra aeterna tra bene e male. Amici in Cristo, dobbiamo combattere come soldati della Santa Cro-ce! Ma la nostra arma la più forte non è la pistola, non è la fucile, ma è la Santa Messa. Un sacerdote celebrando la Santa Messa fa più con-tro i nemici della Chiesa e della pace di tutti gli eserciti fortissimi del mondo.

Anche, come vi ho detto l’ultima Pasqua, sempre comportarvi, in abito appropriato, con parole appropriate, come ecclesiastici e come nobili di questa corte patriarcale antica. Sacerdoti, celebrate la Santa Messa per la pace e per la vittoria. Tutti di voi, orate il sacratissimo rosario. Sempre avete corragio di dire la verità dei Santi Vangeli, an-che se significa la vostra morte o un danno a voi. Prego, nonostante, che Dio ci preserva da ogni caduta!

Per proclamare il santo Vangelo non è l’odio. La verità è l’amore. Tutto l’amore nel mondo è trovato nel santo Vangelo di Cristo. Lo proclamiamo precisamente perchè amiamo tutti!
Oggi anche sono molto contento informarvi che abbiamo adesso una missione in Africa, ed i seminaristi stano avanzandi all’ordine dei Sacerdoti. Anche l’apostolato della Guardia di Walsingham, una con-tinuazione moderna del Gran Balivato e delle due Grandi Priorie dell’Ordine Teutonico Inperiale conferite al nostro Patriarcato e liga-ta alle diversi unità del patrimonio del patriarcato, continua di pros-perare e crescere. La Dichiarazione d’Intenti della Guardia è “Ispir-ando le vite di forza, compassione, e pace.” La Guardia è veramente un ministero religioso ed una vocazione religiosa.

Allora, torniamo alla Santa Pasqua, questo tempo gioioso. Ringranziamo per nostro Signore che ha appeso sulla Croce, quello legno benedetto, e che ha vinto il sepolcro e l’inferno stesso. Allora, preparatevi ricevere la benedizione di Dio.

Et benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris +, et Filii+, et Spiritus + Sancti, descendat super vos et maneat semper. R. Amen.


To the members of the Court of Saint Maria of Walsingham, grace and peace, and my Apostolic blessing on this Easter Sunday A.D. 2017. Christus resurgens est! Today, we celebrate Christ's victo-ry over the tomb. We celebrate the glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Sacred Triduum is a time of death and of life. It is a time of darkness and of light. The great mystery is that in order to live you must die. We must die to the world and live only in Christ. Christ was the perfect lamb to pay the enormous debt of the world. But, we can't merely believe and stop there, without work, without suffering. Truly we must hang on the cross like Christ, because Christ told us that we must take up our cross and follow him.

Today the world walks in darkness. Despite that fact, in Christ we have the hope of everlasting life for all who truly believe in Him. Those who truly believe in Christ's will strongly align themselves with the true Church of Christ, the one, Holy, Catholic, and Apostol-ic Church of Christ. Those who believe in Christ live according to the true and authentic Christian doctrine. The heart of the doctrine is derived from and of the very essence of the Sacred Heart of Christ.
As always, there is a great force aligned against the Church and against the Christian people. That force is a force of the Antichrist. This is a great war, the eternal war between good and evil. Dear friends in Christ, we must fight as soldiers of the Cross! But our strongest weapon is not the pistol and not the rifle, but rather the Holy Mass. A priest celebrating mass does more than all strongest armies in the world put together.

Also, as I told you all last Easter, always conduct yourselves properly, in appropriate dress, with appropriate words, as clerics and nobles of the ancient and Patriarchal Court. Priests, celebrate the mass for peace and for victory. All of you, pray the Holy Rosary. Always be brave and preach the truth of the Holy Gospels, even if it means your death or harm comes to you. I pray, however, the God will preserve us from all harm!

To proclaim the holy Gospel is not hatred. The truth contained therein is love. All the love in the world is found in the Holy Gospel of Christ. We proclaim the Gospel precisely because we love all the people of the world!

Today also I am very pleased that we have now a mission in Af-rica, and seminarians are diligently progressing towards the Order of Priests. Even the apostolate of the Walsingham Guard, a modern continuation of the Grand Bailiwick and the two Grand Priories if the Imperial Teutonic Order vested in our Patriarchate, joined with the various other units that comprise part of the patrimony of the Patriarchate, continues to thrive and grow. The Mission Statement of the Guard is "Inspiring lives of strength, compassion, and peace." The Guard is truly a religious ministry and vocation.

So, returning specifically to Easter, this time of great joy, we give thanks unto the Lord that He hung on the Cross, that blessed wood, and who conquered both the grave and hell itself. Therefore, prepare yourselves to receive God's blessing.

Et benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris +, et Filii+, et Spiritus + Sancti, descendat super vos et maneat semper. R. Amen.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Hereditary Bishops - Dynasties of Christ

(Adapted from Knightlife Magazine, Winter 2017) - Today most of the faithful are used to appointed Bishops. However, that is not always the case. Hereditary Bishops were not at all uncommon in antiquity, and some still exist. These Bishops held jurisdiction over an ecclesiastical diocese and sometimes also over temporal titles. Although the Holy Orders themselves were not hereditary, jurisdiction was. The hereditary Bishops still had to be consecrated in order to exercise the sacramental office. However, there were instances of Bishops, hereditary and non-hereditary, who held jurisdiction without ever being ordained as a cleric. In this article, some examples of hereditary Bishops are given, but the list is by no means exhaustive or complete. 

One of the most famous examples of this was the Hereditary Bishop of Armagh. That See remained hereditary until 1129, when Saint Ceallach chose to appoint his successor. 

The Armenian Patriarchate was also hereditary from AD 301 - 428, being held by several dynasties. 

Saint Gregory the Illuminator,
Hereditary Catholicos (Patriarch) of Armenia

Crinan of Dunkeld was Hereditary Lay Abbot of Dunkeld and was t he progenitor of the House of Dunkeld, which ruled Scotland from the 11th century through the 13th century. Crinan was married to the daughter of Malcolm II, King of Scots, and it was from that marriage that he obtained his claim to the throne of Scotland. 

Duncan I, King of Scotland
Son of Crinan, Hereditary Lay Abbot of Dunkeld

In the Chaldean Church, hereditary Bishops and Patriarchs were the norm, usually passing from uncle to nephew. It was not until 1976 that Mar Dinkha IV became the first non-hereditary Patriarch. 

In Rome, a form of hereditary succession for the Papacy was not even uncommon, with the Papal nipoti (nephews) sometimes becoming Popes themselves (though only after an election in the conclave). Giugliano della Rovere, nephew of Pope Sixtus IV, for example, became Pope Julius II. Indeed, "Cardinal-Nephew" was long an honored position within the Papal Court.

Until it was secularized, the Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück was largely hereditary. The last Prince-Bishop, who was actually Protestant (Osnabrück actually passed back and forth between the Catholics and Protestants during the time of the Reformation), was Prince Fredrick, Duke of York and Albany, son of George III, King of England and Hanover. He held that office from 1764-1803.

Fredrick, Prince-Bishop of Osnabrück

More recently, sources suggest that, during the Second World War, Pope Pius XII had arranged as a contingency to transfer the papacy to Liechtenstein, much like the transfer of the papacy to Avignon in antiquity. In exchange for this transfer, the Prince of Liechtenstein apparently would have been given an hereditary Cardinal's hat. 

Prince Franz Josef of Liechtenstein, whom
sources say may have received an
hereditary Cardinal's hat if  he had
given his lands to the Pope.

In the modern era, two examples are the Principality of Miensk and San Luigi and the Patriarchate of St. Stephen. The offices of Patriarch and Governor-General, due to their patrimony rooted in the Holy Roman Empire and the Merovingian Dynasty are both hereditary, with formal succession confirmed by the Patriarchal Electors. The present Patriarch succeeded to his titles via his father, the Count of Valais, who, as a Protestant, preferred to decline the Patriarchal office. The Principality of Miensk and Abbey-Principality of San Luigi are likewise  hereditary and stem from the Eastern Roman Empire, with ties to the late King Peter II of Yugoslavia. The present Prince-Bishop is the adopted son of the late Bishop and Prince of Miensk and San Luigi. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Chev. John Refieuna, Imperial Chief Scout, Passes Away

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. 15 December 2016 (ORCNS) - The Patriarchal Household of the See of St. Stephen is deeply saddened to report the passing of Colonel the Chevalier John V. Refieuna (16 December 1946 – 12 December 2016), age 69, in Huntsville, Alabama, USA. While awaiting surgery, he suffered a massive heart attack. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Antonette Durkee. He is survived by his wife, Lady Cynthia Refieuna; son, Michael; and daughter, Karen. "John Refieuna was a devoted Catholic dedicated to service to others; and he was a good friend whose kindness will never be forgotten," said the Cardinal Count of Sainte Animie. 

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Chev. John Refieuna addresses the congregation at an
event for papal knights and other Christian knights.
Seated behind him are the Prince v. Reichenberg (L)
and the Cardinal Count of Sainte Animie (R).

Chev. Refieuna was a graduate of St. Joseph Catholic High school and the University of Wisconsin Parkside. He was a member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Huntsville, Alabama, and was a Past Grand Knight of a local Knights of Columbus Council. Among his many offices held in service to others, he was the Chancellor of the Most Honorable Legion of the Eagle, a Companion Aide-de-Camp of the Noble Company of Saint Mary of Walsingham, and the Imperial Chief Scout of the Patriarchate's religious outreach ministry to the World Brotherhood of Scouting, the Imperial Scouts and Guides of the Holy Roman Empire. He was also active with Boy Scouts of America for over 60 years and served on a number of Scouting committees and was the Chairman for Catholic Committee on Scouting for the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama. He received many awards including the Catholic Adult Scouter's Saint George Emblem, the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church's national Silver Saint George Medal for Christ and the Nation, the District Award of Merit, and the Silver Beaver for service at the council level. He had also been nominated for the prestigious Silver Antelope award for Scouting service on the regional level at the time of his unexpected death. 

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Chev. John Refieuna (second from left) with other recipients
of the Imperial Distinguished Scout religious award. 

His many honors includes Knight Commander of the Pontifical Order of Saint Gregory the Great, Companion of the Most Honorable Legion of the Eagle, Knight of Honor (Civil Division) of the Royal Order of Saint Stephen, and Distinguished Imperial Scout of the Holy Roman Empire. He held the rank of Colonel in the Walsingham Guard and the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Civil Air Patrol. Professionally, Chev. Refieuna was a retired Engineering Department Manager supporting NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center and also served as an Adjunct Instructor of Mathematics.