Sunday, December 3, 2023

Knights of Malta hold Investiture in Malta

By Jean DuBois

VALETTA 3 December 2023 (NRom)

In late November 2023, history was made as the Sovereign Order of Saint John (Knights of Malta of the Russian succession) gathered in Valetta, the capital city of Malta, for a momentous meeting. The highlight of this gathering was an investiture ceremony held at the magnificent Anglican Cathedral.

The solemn liturgy was led by the local bishop. Presiding over the investiture were two distinguished officials of the Order: His Most Eminent Highness Don Basilio Calì, Prince of Rhodes and Grand Master of the Order of St. John; and His Royal Highness Sire Rubén Gavaldá, head of the Merovingian French dynasty and Royal protector of the Knights. Sire Rubén also holds the honors of Knight of the Aquiline Order of Christ and Bailiff of the Pontifical Order of the Eagle from the Pontifical Imperial State. He is also the temporal hid and protector of the Gallican Rite of the Catholic Church, part of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church.
Sire Rubén addresses the Knights and Dames
present at the investiture ceremony and liturgy
The rich history of the Knights of Malta traces back to the time of the Crusades. Originally established as a religious order with a mission to provide care for pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem, they soon gained recognition for their bravery on the battlefield. Over time, their responsibilities expanded to include providing healthcare and humanitarian aid.
The Royal Protector and Grand Master during the investiture ceremony
Pavel I, Emperor of Russia, played a pivotal role in shaping the destiny of this noble order when he succeeded to the position of Grand Master. Under his leadership, he instilled an enhanced sense of duty and commitment that has been carried forward through generations. 
A meeting during the gathering in Malta
As history unfolded, after the Russian Revolution, the grand mastership passed from Nikolai II to the royal family of Yugoslavia. Thus it was Yugoslavia that became the custodian of the Russian succession. However, with the passing of King Peter II, a new chapter began. Today, the principal successor to this grand legacy is the Sovereign Order of St. John, led by the Prince of Rhodes in his capacity as Grand Master. The Prince also holds the honor of Knight of Saints George and Olga from the Pontifical Imperial State.
Valletta, Capital of Malta
The investiture ceremony held in Valetta was a testament to the enduring traditions and values upheld by the Knights of Malta. It symbolized their unwavering commitment to chivalry, honor, and service to humanity.
A scene from the investiture ceremony in Malta
As attendees witnessed this historic event unfold within the sacred walls of the Anglican Cathedral, they were reminded of the profound impact these noble knights have had throughout history. The investiture ceremony served as a powerful reminder that their mission continues to be guided by principles rooted in compassion and selflessness.

The gathering in Valetta not only celebrated the past achievements and contributions of this esteemed order but also marked a new era filled with hope and dedication. With leaders such as Don Basilio Calì and Sire Rubén Gavaldá at its helm, the Knights of Malta are poised to make an even greater difference in our modern world. As we reflect on this momentous occasion, let us honor and appreciate the timeless legacy of the Knights of Malta - an embodiment of virtue and nobility that has endured for centuries.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

The Pontifical Imperial State, United Roman-Ruthenian Church Releases 2023 New Coin of Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia

 By J. DuBois

ROME-RUTHENIA 26 November 2023 (NRom)

The Pontifical Imperial State, United Roman-Ruthenian Church has recently announced the release of the 2023 coin featuring His Holiness Bishop Rutherford I Ralphovich of Rome-Ruthenia. This historic coin not only serves as a religious item but also carries on the tradition of church-state coins as a symbol of the sovereign state.

The coin itself is a beautiful representation of the image of the Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia and features the flag of Rome-Ruthenia on the reverse. Text is in both international English and Russian/Cyrillic. 

This coin holds historical significance as it continues the long-standing tradition of church-state coins. Throughout history, these coins have represented both religious and political power. While considered a historic souvenir today, possessing one of these coins allows individuals to connect with their faith on a deeper level. It serves as a physical manifestation of their beliefs and provides an opportunity for reflection and spiritual growth.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Bishop Rutherford Receives Ghana Knighthood

Queen Adziwonor III and
Bishop Rutherford I
By M. Derosiers

ROME-RUTHENIAN 16 November 2023 (NRom)

His Holiness Bishop Rutherford I of Rome-Ruthenia was honored with the rank of Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Merit of Gbi-Hohoe-Ahado by Her Majesty Queen Adziwonor III of Gbi-Hohoe-Ahado (Ghana) for decades of distinguished global humanitarian service. As a token of gratitude and in recognition and appreciation of Queen Adziwonor III's own dedication to humanitarian work, the Bishop-Imperator presented her with the rank of Dame Grand Cross of the Pontifical Order of the Eagle. This honor is a testament to her significant contributions in promoting peace and well-being among her people in Ghana.
Queen Adziwonor III provides
humanitarian assistance to her
people in Ghana
Both Bishop Rutherford and Queen Adziwonor are passionate advocates for global humanitarian action, including clean water, education, good health, and human rights. Their shared commitment to improving the lives of people around the world has brought them together in a mutual pursuit of positive change.
Insignia of the Royal Order of Merit
of Gbi-Hohoe-Ahado
The Pontifical Imperial State, United Roman-Ruthenian Church, headed by Bishop Rutherford, recently signed a diplomatic accord with Queen Adziwonor and the Royal House of Gbi-Hohoe-Ahado (click here to read more). Queen Adziwonor and Bishop Rutherford are leaders dedicated to impactful change, aiming to create a better world for all individuals regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances. This partnership signifies a commitment to collaboration in Christian charity and cooperation in addressing common interests and challenges.

Diplomatic Accord with the Royal House of Gbi-Hohoe-Ahado

Queen Adziwonor III at 
a clean water project she
completed in Ghana in 2022.  
By M. Desrosiers

ROME-RUTHENIA 16 November 2023 (NRom)

The Pontifical Imperial State, United Roman-Ruthenian Church, and the Royal House of Gbi-Hohoe-Ahado in Ghana have recently signed a diplomatic accord. This agreement highlights the shared focus on education, clean water, and women's equality within both governments. The accorded was signed on behalf of His Holiness Bishop Rutherford I of Rome-Ruthenia and Her Majesty Queen Adziwonor III by H.Em.&I.R.H. Grand Duke Douglas, Chancellor of the Pontifical Court, and H.E. Tony Williams, Chancellor of the Royal House. 

Queen Adziwonor III has been dedicated to improving the lives of her people through many ongoing initiatives. As a recognition of her tireless humanitarian efforts to bring fresh water, education, and good health to her people, Her Majesty the Queen was awarded the rank of Dame Grand Cross of the Pontifical Order of the Eagle by His Holiness. 
H.H. Bishop Rutherford I
Hohoe, which serves as the capital of the Gbi State in Ghana, is composed of five Clans: Ahado, Tsevi, Torkorni, Trevi, and Gborxome. Among them, Ahado is the largest clan and holds historical significance as it was the first settlement in Hohoe.
Queen Adziwonor III (center in red)
\Legend has it that during a war in Ahado's history, a python coiled itself at the entrance to their "Black Stool," which symbolizes ancestral protection. The people interpreted this as a sign that their ancestors or gods were safeguarding their heritage. After praying with water as their only available resource, the snake eventually abandoned its post. From then on, they became known as "Hodoawo," meaning those who shut doors or entrances.

Another version explains that during King Agorkorli's reign in Notsie (the Ancestral Home of Ewes), Ahado was entrusted with protecting the entrance to the walled kingdom. Thus, they were responsible for opening and shutting the door, hence the name "H-doawo."

The Teletsu's families, including Bansah, Hehetror, Kpeto, and Dzandzo, are an integral part of Ahado. The Queen Mother of Ahado belongs to the Teletsu family. After six years of searching, Mama Adziwonor III was found in Germany and officially enstooled as queen on 25 October 2018. Her commitment to her people's welfare aligns with the Pontifical Imperial State's mission, making this diplomatic accord a significant step towards mutual growth and development. It is also a recognition of the Church's belief in the reemergence of Africa and its growing global prominence.

Friday, November 10, 2023

Beyond Borders: The Sovereign Status of the Pontifical Imperial State

By M. Derosiers

ROME-RUTHENIA 02 November 2023 (NRom)

Caesar Augustus
In the vast fabric of history, the states associated with the Church hold immense importance that transcends time. The Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia stands as the secular representation of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church, embodying both the Pontifical Roman State and the Pontifical Kingdom of Ruthenia and All Rus'. The Pontifical Imperial State also includes several other territories associated with the Holy Roman Empire. Together, these historical entities have passed on their legacy through centuries.

Roman the Great, Tsar
and Autocrat of all Rus'
To foster a sense of unity encompassing all territories historically linked to the heritage of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church, it was decided to adopt the name "Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia." This unification under one banner strengthens the bond among diverse backgrounds within the church and opens a new chapter in their shared history. In addition, several other historic sovereign houses have been incorporated. Today, this state, under the leadership of His Holiness the Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia, serves as an ethno-religious cultural nation without political territory, representing people across various modern countries. 

And, while they may seem like glamorous relics of a bygone era, the United Roman-Ruthenian Church and Pontifical Imperial State still uphold titles of nobility. While some might dismiss these titles as outdated or pretentious in today's world, they actually play an important role in preserving tradition and ensuring continuity within the church, connecting the present church with its past and future. Critics argue that such titles are unnecessary in modern times, where meritocracy is often valued over inherited privilege. However, it is important to remember that these titles do not solely represent wealth or social standing. They symbolize dedication to service, devotion to faith, and commitment to upholding the principles upon which the Church was founded.

The Continued Claim over the Pontifical Imperial State
Emperor of the
Romans and
founder of the
Holy Roman

Despite no longer having control over any physical territory, it might be perplexing why the United Roman-Ruthenian Church maintains its claim over the Pontifical Imperial State. However, several factors contribute to this decision, including historical significance, autonomy from secular authorities, diplomatic recognition, and protection of church assets.

The Church's claim is deeply rooted in its historical connection and importance to the areas once encompassed by the Pontifical Imperial State, even though those territories now belong to other modern countries. By asserting its claim, the Church reaffirms its autonomy and independence from secular powers. This symbolic declaration solidifies the Church's position as a sovereign entity and serves as a reminder of its spiritual authority. It allows the Church to engage in diplomatic relations with other entities, participate in international affairs, and function as an independent state despite lacking territorial control. Additionally, this claim acts as a safeguard against potential challenges or encroachments on historical assets.

The Way to the Future

The Pontifical Imperial State serves as a reminder that history is not just an abstract concept, but a living force that shapes our present reality. By understanding our past, we gain insight into our collective identity and heritage. Today, while the Pontifical Imperial State may not hold political territory like its component states once did, its legacy endures through its contributions to history, art, philosophy, and spirituality, not to mention the profound influence it has had on religious practices.

The Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia encapsulates centuries of cultural exchange and religious significance. Its continuation, along with upholding the office of Bishop, Papa-Catholicos, and Imperator of Rome-Ruthenia, is a way of honoring the history of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church while looking ever forward. Perhaps viewed as archaic to some, remember that the Pontifical Imperial State is more than just words on paper. It represents an enduring legacy that connects us to our past and guides us towards our future. 

Friday, November 3, 2023

Why the United Roman-Ruthenian Church

By Alberto Hernandez, Staff Editor

ROME-RUTHENIA 03 November 2023 (NRom)

The United Roman-Ruthenian Church is a truly unique and diverse church of ancient heritage that brings together two distinct Christian traditions - Orthodoxy and Catholicism. This union not only fosters a sense of Christian brotherhood among its followers but also creates an environment where ancient traditions and cultures coexist harmoniously.

The origins of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church can be traced back to the early days of Christianity, spanning from Rome and Byzantium to Syria, India, and Eastern Europe. Today, it stands as a remarkably unique branch of Christianity that incorporates both Eastern and Latin influences, embracing elements from both Orthodox and Catholic practices.

In the liturgy, the United Roman-Ruthenian Church integrates elements from Latin, Byzantine, and Syrian spirituality into its worship services, allowing followers to engage with their faith in a way that holds personal meaning to them. By combining elements from both traditions, this church offers a vibrant worship experience that resonates with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

What truly sets the United Roman-Ruthenian Church apart is its acceptance of cultural diversity within its congregations. It actively fosters a sense of belonging among its followers while recognizing their distinct cultural backgrounds. By bringing together different Christian traditions, this church promotes dialogue and understanding between various branches of Christianity. It serves as an example of how different traditions can unite in pursuit of a common goal - traditional worship and unwavering faith in the Holy Gospels.

Furthermore, the United Roman-Ruthenian Church goes beyond its services by actively promoting interfaith dialogue. This outreach serves to foster understanding and respect among different religions. In doing so, it has become a symbol of hope for those seeking peace and harmony in their communities.

The church also plays a vital role in preserving cultural heritage. Its designs, traditions, and customs beautifully blend Western European Gothic and Baroque influences with intricate Byzantine and Russian designs, creating awe-inspiring experiences. The traditional art within the church tells stories passed down through generations, connecting present-day worshippers with their ancestors' rich cultural tapestry.

In an era of division, the United Roman-Ruthenian Church stands as a testament to unity within diversity. Through its incorporation of Latin, Byzantine, Eastern European, and Syrian traditions, it provides a space where followers can engage with their faith in a meaningful way. This union not only preserves the rich cultural heritage of its congregations but also promotes dialogue and understanding among different Christian traditions. With its rich history and unwavering commitment to faith, this church serves as a beacon of hope that inspires countless individuals across generations.

For those seeking solace during hardships or guidance on their spiritual journey, the United Roman-Ruthenian Church offers steadfast support. Its clergy members are known for their compassion, wisdom, and dedication to helping others navigate life's challenges. The United Roman-Ruthenian Church's ability to bridge religious divides, preserve cultural heritage, and provide spiritual guidance makes it a cherished institution.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Columbian Prince Named to Rare Honor of Aquiline Knight of Christ

Coat of arms of the Prince of Chíquiza
with augmentations of the Aquiline Order
 of Christ, the Pontifical Order of the Eagle,
and the Order of Sts. George and Olga

ROME-RUTHENIA 02 November 2023 (NRom)

Yesterday H.R.S.H. Prince Floyd of Chíquiza was named by H.H. the Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia as a Knight of the Aquiline Order of Christ. Chíquiza is a native area in the Boyacá province of Columbia. The Prince, who resides in the USA, also serves as Majordomo in the Pontifical Court. Currently he is one of only two Knights of Christ outside the immediate Pontifical Household. According to the statutes, Knights of Christ also receive the hereditary honor of Bailiff of the Pontifical Order of the Eagle. Both are religious and dynastic orders of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church.

The Aquiline Order of Christ is a prestigious and venerable institution that traces its roots back to the 12th century. It shares history with the Portuguese Order of Christ still given by the Portuguese government and the dormant Vatican Order of Christ. The order was originally established as a military order during the Crusades and was known as the Knights Templar. However, over time, its focus shifted to promoting religious devotion and charitable works. The Aquiline Order takes its distinct name from the partial merger of the Roman-Ruthenian Order of Christ with the Order of the Eagle. 

From the Crusades to the present, the Order of Christ holds deep historical significance. Its Portuguese branch, for example, played a vital role in the exploration and colonization efforts of the Portuguese during the Age of Discovery. Many renowned explorers, such as Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan, were members of the Portuguese branch of this illustrious order.

Building on its rich history, the United Roman-Ruthenian Church's Aquiline Order of Christ continues to be revered today for its commitment to upholding Christian values and principles. It serves as a symbol of dedication to faith and acts as a catalyst for positive change in society.

The Order is given to members of the immediate Pontifical Household and, rarely, to others of princely rank chosen based on their outstanding contributions to the Church and to their communities, as well as their unwavering commitment to serving others. They have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, moral integrity, and a genuine desire to make a difference in the lives of those around them.

One notable aspect that sets the Order apart is its emphasis on humility and modesty. Despite their distinguished rank, knights and dames of the Order are encouraged to remain focused on service. 

Today the Aquiline Order of Christ stands as a testament to Christian tradition, faith, hope, and charity, embodying timeless values in the modern era. Its long legacy serves as an inspiration for individuals seeking guidance in their pursuit of spiritual growth and meaningful contributions towards creating a better world for all.

Why We Should Remember All Souls Day

By Marie Derosiers, Staff Writer

ROME-RUTHENIA 02 November 2023 (NRom)

All Souls Day, also known as the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, is a day dedicated to remembering and praying for our loved ones who have passed away. While it may not be as widely celebrated as other holidays, such as Halloween or Christmas, it holds great significance in many cultures around the world.

One of the main reasons we should remember All Souls Day is to honor and show respect for our ancestors and those who came before us. It is a time to reflect on their lives and the impact they had on us. By remembering them and asking our clergy to remember them at the liturgy, we keep their memory alive and ensure that they are not forgotten.

Another important aspect of All Souls Day is the opportunity to pray for the souls of the departed. Many believe that on this day, our prayers can help ease their journey in the afterlife. It is a way of expressing our love and care for them even though they are no longer with us physically. This is the point for the special divine liturgy of All Souls' Day! 

Another benefit is that observing All Souls Day helps us come to terms with grief and loss. It provides a designated time for mourning and remembrance, allowing us to process our emotions in a healthy way. By acknowledging our feelings and honoring those who have passed away, we can find solace and healing.

Additionally, All Souls Day reminds us of the fragility of life and encourages us to cherish every moment with our loved ones. It serves as a reminder that death is inevitable and prompts us to make the most out of our relationships while we still can.

This day in the liturgical calendar holds great importance in remembering and honoring our deceased loved ones. By taking part in this tradition, we not only pay tribute to those who have passed away but also find comfort in knowing that they will forever hold a place in our hearts.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

The Importance of All Saints' Day

By Alberto Hernandez, Staff Editor

ROME-RUTHENIA 01 November 2023 (NRom) 

The Importance of All Saints Day

All Saints Day, celebrated on November 1st each year, holds great significance in the Christian calendar. This holy day is dedicated to honoring all the saints, known and unknown, who have lived exemplary lives and are believed to be in heaven.

One of the main reasons why All Saints Day is important is because it reaffirms the belief in the communion of saints. It reminds us that we are not alone in our faith journey; we are part of a larger community that spans across time and space. On this day, Christians come together to remember and venerate these holy men and women who have gone before us.

All Saints Day also serves as an inspiration for believers to strive for holiness in their own lives. The saints provide us with role models, showing us what it means to live a life centered on God's love and grace. Their stories teach us valuable lessons about faith, perseverance, compassion, and selflessness.
Moreover, All Saints Day offers comfort and hope to those who have lost loved ones. It is a time to remember and honor those who have passed away, knowing that they are now among the heavenly host. This day provides solace by reminding us that death is not the end but rather a transition into eternal life with God.

In addition to its spiritual significance, All Saints Day has cultural importance as well. In many countries around the world, this day is marked by various customs and traditions. People visit cemeteries to clean and decorate gravesites with flowers and candles as a way of paying tribute to their departed relatives.

All Saints Day holds deep meaning for Christians worldwide. It strengthens our faith, encourages us to follow in the footsteps of the saints, brings comfort in times of loss, and fosters a sense of community among believers. This day serves as a reminder that holiness is attainable and that we are part of a larger, eternal family.

Monday, October 9, 2023

King David of Israel, King Solomon, and the United Roman-Ruthenian Church

King David of Israel
By Jean DuBois

ROME-RUTHENIA 9 October 2023 (NRom)

King David of Israel and his son Solomon, of the Tribe of Judah, are two of the most important historical figures in the Jewish tradition. They are ancestors of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, and therefore of the Incarnate Jesus Christ. They also are part of the historic ancestry of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church, among the few churches with such legacy.

The story of David and Goliath is a well-known Biblical account. Later, while King, David fathered Solomon with Bathsheba, the wife of a general, Uriah the Hitite. Solomon went on to build the famous temple on Temple Mount in Jerusalem and was known for his leadership abilities and great wisdom.
Jerusalem. The gold dome of the Dome of the Rock near
the centre marks the location of Temple Mount, where
once stood the temple built by Solomon. It was also the
location of the headquarters of the Knights Templar
during the Crusades. (Photo from the archives of the Church.)

As given in Scripture, the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph were of the House of David, and it was into that genealogy that Christ was born in His earthly Incarnation. The Davidic line went around the world by the Jewish diaspora, in particular through the Exilarchs of Babylon (an exilarch was a ruler of a group or nation in exile). Centuries after the Resurrection of Christ and the Jewish dispersal, the Davidic line came to Europe and certain royal houses. This would eventually come into the lineage of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church and the Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia.

The Apostolic See of Sts. Stephen and Mark (United Roman-Ruthenian Church) is an Apostolic church of ancient origins and Orthodox and Catholic heritage. The Church, today an ethno-religious minority, is rooted in the ancient Apostolic Churches of Rome, Constantinople, Syria, Russia, Alexandria, and Armenia and represents a rare convergence of Apostolic faith and tradition that is both Orthodox and Catholic, both Western and Eastern. Though the Church stands on its own, it has received confirmation of its autocephalous and canonical status from various ecclesiastical and secular authorities over the years. The church's historical temporal wing, the Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia, is in hereditary descent from Rome and Russia and, like the United Roman-Ruthenian Church, in Apostolic Succession from Saints Peter, Andrew, Thomas, Thaddeus, and Bartholomew. It is ecclesial heir to the Roman Empire and Old Russian State. Through the Pontifical and Imperial Household and through the Merovingian Dynasty, protectors of the Gallican Rite of the Church, it descends from King David of Israel and King Solomon, ancestors of the Incarnate Jesus Christ. Today the United Roman-Ruthenian Church and Pontifical Imperial State constitute an ethno-religious nation without political territory and a state unto itself, representing people across multiple modern political countries. Its Davidic heritage remains a treasured part of its legacy.

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.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia Makes Pilgrimage to Holy Sites in Gruzya (Georgia)

By Jean DuBois

TBILISI 18 May 2023 (NRom)

H.H. Bishop Rutherford I of Rome-Ruthenia recently made a pilgrimage to several important holy sites in Gruzya (Georgia). These sites included some of the most ancient in Christendom, dating to the times of the Early Church. Among these were the Jvari Monastery at Mtskheta, the original capital of Georgia. That site was the location where St. Nino, Equal-to-the-Apostles placed the first cross in Georgia. The church was built around it, and the central cross reliquary still contains a piece of the original cross. St. Nino was from Cappadocia and was a cousin of St. George the Martyr and Bringer of Victory, a major figure in the history of the Apostolic See of Saints Stephen and Mark. She is credited with bringing the Christian faith to Georgia. 

At the Jvari Monastery, where St. Nino
placed the first cross in Georgia.

Visiting the Bodbe Cathedral, where the grave
of St. Nino is located.

The Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia also visited the current Patriarchal church of Georgia, Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi, as well as the original cathedral, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta. Contained within that church is the Life-Giving Pillar, which contains the seamless tunic of Christ. A Georgian Jew went to Jerusalem and was there at the Crucifixion. He bought the robe of Jesus from a Roman soldier and brought it back to his home. Sidonia, his sister, touched the robe and was so overcome with emotion that she died. The robe could not be pried out of her hands. So, it was decided that she would be buried with it. The Life-Giving Pillar was built on that site. 

At the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Tbilisi

The Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia at the Life-Giving Pillar,
containing the Robe of Christ. 

A picture of the complete Life-Giving Pillar.

Also within the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is a symbolic copy of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. It was built in the 13th and 14th centuries to commemorate the Robe of Christ held in the church. Thus the cathedral and Mtskheta are called the "Second Jerusalem." 

The miniature replica at the Svetitskhoveli
Cathedral in Mtskheta, Georgia, 
of the
Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

Lastly the Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia visited the ancient cave city of Uplistsikhe in the shadow of the Caucasus mountains, which dates to the early iron age and was known to classical writers. He also climbed the hills there containing ancient cave dwellings to visit the 9th century basilica of St. George, his name-saint. The basilica survived many earthquakes without sustaining any damage. 

At the Basilica of St. George, Uplistsikhe, Georgia.  

Georgia contains some of the oldest and most significant Christian sites, and its heritage is linked with that of the Russian Empire, Byzantium, and the Roman world, and therefore with that of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church and the Pontifical Imperial State. In addition to Byzantine succession, the Georgian Orthodox Church also claims descent from Saints Bartholomew and Thaddeus. Those saints came from Armenia into Georgia and were the founders of the Armenian Apostolic Church, which in turn also is part of the Apostolic succession of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church. Georgia, from ancient times to being a major stop on the Silk Road to the present, not only maintains its own unique culture, but is a crossroads of many cultures. It is a place that all from Christendom should visit. 

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Bishop Edwin Caudill Canonized

Original icon of Saint Edwin Caudill
by the Apostolic See
of Sts. Stephen and Mark
By A. DiNardo

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 30 April 2023 (NRom)

Today Howard Edwin Caudill, Bishop of the Southwest and Apostolic Founder of the Apostolic See of Saints Stephen and Mark, was canonized by H.H. Rutherford I, Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia. The first liturgy in which the name of Saint Edwin was invoked was celebrated today also by the Supreme Pontiff. The cause for canonization was opened in 2008.

Saint Edwin was Bishop of the Southwest. Sometime after his death, his diocese went into a schism. The remnants went into the Apostolic Communion of Anglican Churches, with H.H. Rutherford I (then-Bishop Johnson) becoming its Bishop Ordinary as the eventual successor to Bishop Caudill. It subsequently became a Metropolitan See and then was renamed the See of Saint Stephen in recognition of its evolution as an Orthodox Old Catholic diocese. After its merger with the Anglo-Roman Metropolitan See of Aquileia, it became the Apostolic See of Saints Stephen and Mark, the principle diocese of the Imperial Roman Church, Anglican Patriarchate, and Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate. Those jurisdictions merged in 2023 to form the United Roman-Ruthenian Church. 

H.H. Rutherford I visits the former Cathedral of St. Chad,
First Chair of the Roman-Ruthenian Church and Patriarchate, as the cathedral
of Saint Edwin Caudill as Bishop of the Southwest

Although Saint Edwin Caudill was not the first Bishop of the Southwest (in fact he was the second), he was consecrated not only in succession from the Episcopal Church of the USA, but also in diverse Orthodox and Roman Catholic Apostolic succession through the Philippine Independent Catholic Church. He was consecrated in succession from the two Holy Fathers of the Apostolic See, Pope Saint Leo X and Saint Aftimios Ofiesh. Through him, the diocese also branches in Apostolic succession from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem (through Patriarch Damian I) and the Coptic Patriarchate of Alexandria (through Pope Cyril VI of Alexandria). This is the legacy of unified Christianity that the modern Apostolic See perpetuates, and it began with Saint Edwin as Bishop of the Southwest. 

For more information about Saint Edwin Caudill, please visit this link. Additional information is also available on this page. For more about the Unite Roman-Ruthenian Church, please visit this page.