Thursday, May 18, 2023

Papa-Knyaz Makes Pilgrimage to Holy Sites in Gruzya (Georgia)

By Jean DuBois

TBILISI 18 May 2023 (NRom)

H.H. Papa-Knyaz 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 Papa-Knyaz 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 Papa-Knyaz 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 Papa-Knyaz 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 Imperial Roman 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 Imperial Roman 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, Papa-Knyaz of Rome-Ruthenia. The first liturgy in which the name of Saint Edwin was invoked was celebrated today also by the Papa-Knyaz. 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

H.H. Rutherford I visits the former Cathedral of St. Chad,
First Chair of the Catholicate 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 Orthodox Old Catholic Imperial Roman Church, please visit this page.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

New Honours of the Pontifical Court

 By Jean DuBois

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 25 April 2023 (NRom)

The Pontifical Court announced today that H.H. the Papa-Knyaz and Catholicos of Rome-Ruthenia has made the following appointments and concessions of honours.

His Beatitude Metropolitan Daniel Flores was named an Honourary Professor of the Pontifical Georgian College.

His Highness Daniel of Modanella was given the title of Archduke of Maritima, formerly held by the late H.S.H. Archbishop Norman Dutton.

Marc Kealey - Knight Bachelor of the Imperial Patriarchate and also appointed to the office of Foriere Maggiore (Major Herald) of the Pontifical Court

Statement of the Papa-Knyaz Regarding Anglican Mass at the Lateran Archbasilica

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 25 April 2023 (NRom)

H.H. the Papa-Knyaz and Catholicos of Rome-Ruthenia made the following statement about the recent celebration of the Holy Mass by Anglicans in the Lateran Archbasilica (the cathedral of the Pope-Bishop of Rome) at the invitation of the cathedral leadership. This brotherly event was followed by numerous vicious attacks online and in the media. Read more here:

Although I am not an Anglican, I am appalled at the vitriol and lack of Christian charity expressed by so many who claim to be of the "one true church." They forget brotherhood and charity while priding themselves on the alleged righteousness of their own position. Some converts from anglicanism are especially incensed, feeling they have been betrayed. Yet, love thy neighbour as thyself or do not call yourself a Christian. The religion is Christianity, not catholicism or orthodoxy or any other name. The authentic church of Christ is Apostolic and has many parts of the same whole -- many of whom tear themselves apart fighting each other and tear their souls to pieces in the process. If your brother is not welcome in your house, how do you expect to be admitted to the Kingdom of Heaven? We in Our See have the Anglican Rite among several others, for it is part of our heritage, and we remain Orthodox and Catholic. All are welcome in Christ.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

12th Anniversary in the Election of H.H. Rutherford I

By Jean DuBois

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 19 April 2023 (NRom)

Monday, 24 April 2023 is the 12th anniversary in the election of H.H. Rutherford I, Papa-Knyaz and Catholicos of Rome-Ruthenia. The anniversary falls between two important feast days for the Apostolic See of Sts. Stephen and Mark and the Pontifical Imperial State. On Sunday, it is the Feast of Saint George the Martyr and Bringer of Victory, Patron of Ruthenia and name saint of the Catholicos. On Tuesday, it is the Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist, Patron of the Metrpolitancy of Aquileia. This day also follows shortly after the 2776th Birthday of Rome on Saturday 21 April. 

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Blessing Ex Urbe Easter 2023

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 9 April 2023 (NRom)

H.H. Papa-Knyaz Rutherford gave his annual Paschal allocution and blessing ex urbe, with plenary indulgence, on the Latin Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord. 

The video of the allocution (text is below): 

English Translation:

 Carissimi, Christus resurgens est! Христос воскрес! Воистину воскрес! Today is a day of great joy, peace, hope, and fulfillment. It is the day that we celebrate the triumph of Christ over the grave. Without this day, our faith would mean nothing, and without the suffering of Christ on the Cross, this day could not exist. 

Without Christ on the Cross, and without the Resurrection, the values would not exist. God is the source of all good, and therefore nothing without God can be called good. Although it is not easy, we who join Christ on the Cross received the benefits of the Resurrection must always and everywhere preserve and promote the values of our heritage, the values Christ. Today in the world, many have abandoned their values, heritage, culture, and faith. Instead they preferred to chase the ever-changing ways of the world. Almighty God created the world, and therefore the world is good. Yet, to follow the ways of the world instead of the ways of God, who created the world, is in fact to follow the ways of Satan. 

The world today says that absolute values under God no longer exist. Instead, there are these values and those values, which are said to be equal. The values of Almighty God that once were the core of Christendom are now pushed aside in favour of these false values of modernism. This is nothing more, however, then old heresies. We must, therefore, dear brethren, always and everywhere promote and preserve the values of Christ the heritage of Christ’s holy kingdom on earth. We must do so even when and even where it is not popular. We must serve as an example to others, that Christen-dom may be reestablished in its full glory, which is nothing more than the reflection of the glory of God. Indeed, we are nothing with-out Christ. 

Also, dear brethren, this day I wish to say again that Our See will have for the first time two celebrations of Pascha. This day is the Lat-in celebration of Pascha. Next week we will celebrate the Eastern Pascha. This is a great and historic moment for Our See as we collec-tively realise and employ the completeness of our great heritage, which is both Eastern and Western. Our faith and our heritage is Roman, Byzantine, Russian, Armenian, and Syrian. It is not right that we should forget this for any reason. Rather, we should and we must embrace it fully. 

Now, on this day of great and joyous celebration of the Resurrec-tion of Christ, We wish each of you a blessed and joyous Pascha.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

The Need to Incorporate Comprehensive Protection of Coasts and Oceans

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 22 March 2023 (NRom)

This research article by Papa-Knyaz Rutherford I addresses the ongoing issues of oceanic and coastal protection due to scarce oceanic resources and their benefits for humanity. In addition to being shepherd of the Orthodox Old Catholic Apostolic See of Sts. Stephen and Mark, the Papa-Knyaz holds a Master of Liberal Arts degree in sustainability from the Harvard University Extension School. 

Perhaps since the dawn of civilisation, the oceans have provided life-giving sustenance and transportation to humanity. With over 40% of the world’s population living within 60 miles of a coast, the oceans and coastlines are intimately connected with people’s lives (“Factsheet: People and Oceans,” 2017). Furthermore, with approximately 90% of goods being moved around the world via the oceans, it is scarcely possible to imagine anyone not depending on the oceans (“IMO Profile,” 2020). However, it gets even more fundamental than food and transportation. Humanity depends on the oceans for over half of the world’s oxygen supply, and oceans absorb approximately 50 times more CO2 than the atmosphere (“Ocean-Atmosphere,” n.d.). Also, the oceans regulate earth’s temperature (“The Ocean-Atmosphere System,” 2017). Without properly functioning, well-balanced oceans, humanity will be in dire straits.

Unfortunately, the situation facing the world’s oceans with respect to both its benefits for humanity and marine life has been steadily deteriorating (Harrabin, 2013). Competition for the ocean’s scarce resources have been compounded by the world’s population more than doubling since the Second World War (“Attitudes About Aging,” 2014). That has made those scarce resources even more scarce and more in danger of long-term, potentially irreparable damage.

Fortunately, just as mankind has contributed to the problems the oceans face, humanity can help to turn the tide and restore balance to the ocean and the coasts. Some of the contributions to problems are unwitting, while others are the result of intentional harmful behavior, such as toxic dumping and overfishing. Helping people to see the scope of the problem and how their actions have contributed to problems, as well as how positive action could contribute to solutions has the potential to reverse much of the unintentional sources of damage. Other mechanisms, from regulation to action by NGOs and industry leaders, can also help reduce and, hopefully, eliminate the intentional sources of damage to the oceans and coasts.

Five major areas of concern regarding the sustainable future of coasts and oceans are interference with marine life by ships, degradation of coral reefs, depletion of fish stocks in certain areas due to overfishing, coastal erosion, and ocean discharge. This study will consider each of those problems and ways in which comprehensive protection programmes utilising legislation, industry, and private organisations can help to improve the situation for long-term sustainable success. Without such joint, cooperative efforts that not only seek to attack the problems directly, but are also aimed at widespread awareness within the general public, the current situation faced by the oceans and coasts will continue to deteriorate. The longer it the problem is left on its own, the more difficult it will be to reverse.

Ships and Impact on Marine Life

Shipping is important to transportation of both goods and people. Yet, commercial shipping, which is growing consistently in scope, poses a negative externality on marine life, especially in the form of noise pollution. Just as noisy construction sites and the like both provide benefits and cause noise pollution that irritates and can harm human beings, commercial shipping also causes noise that irritates and can do biological damage to marine life.

In the “Golden Age of Sail,” not only were there fewer ships, but they were also much more quiet. Even as the New World opened up and shipping boomed, the major shipping channels were far less busy than those of today. The primary source of noise for a sailing vessel is the movement of the hull through the water, which is, by comparison to underwater propulsion machinery, rather quiet (Bernardini, Fredianelli, Fidecaro, Gagliardi, Nastasi, and Licitra, 2019).

As steam and eventually diesel propulsion entered into marine engineering, the level of noise pollution increased (Erbe, Marley, Schoeman, Smith, Trigg, and Embling, 2019). As the population has expanded and the global economy spread and boomed, so too has commercial shipping expanded to keep pace with growing demand (“Global Freight,” 2019). Underwater noise pollution from shipping can cause organ and other physical damage to marine life, as well as alter animal behavior (Erbe, 2012). Some animals, especially whales and dolphins, are prone to being stranded due either to injuries or fear-based responses to noise (“Underwater noise: Causes,” n.d.; “Underwater noise: Consequences,” n.d.). Furthermore, noise may disrupt feeding and mating and cause marine animals to abandon habitats (“Underwater noise: Causes,” n.d.; “Underwater noise: Consequences,” n.d.).

Although some regulation does exist, there is actually very little effective regulation. In recent times, efforts to establish international cooperation to solve the problem of anthropogenic noise in the oceans have increased dramatically (“Resolution Adopted,” 2018; “Report from the Committee,” 2018). However, it seems very little progress in that regard has been made. Thus far the majority of progress has come from technical innovations in the maritime industry itself. Such efforts should continue and may indeed be the driving force behind ongoing positive change in the industry. Such efforts can be bolstered by effective regulations. However, legislation and regulations are complicated by the transnational, cross-border nature of the maritime industry and the international nature of the majority of oceans. Current efforts at multinational treaties to establish jointly-enforced regulations that prevent “bad behaviour” in the shipping industry should be continued with energy and a sense of purpose, backed by ongoing scientific research rather than being reactionary. That approach can help those trying to do the right thing from being thwarted by those who are determined to continue problems.

First Success Story

The cruise industry, often challenged for its environmental record, has taken steps to reduce carbon, sulfur, nitrogen, and particulate matter emissions, as well as reduce the impact of marine propulsion on marine life (“Turning Tides,” 2019). In response to bad press and growing government pressure around the world, many cruise ships are now outfitted with a propulsor known as an azipod, which is entirely electric and more efficient (“Azipod Electric Propulsion,” n.d.). Also, it is quieter, with fewer disturbances to marine life (“Potential Treatments,” 2012).

III. Degradation of Coral Reefs

At the present, coral reefs are suffering around the world. This is a significant problem especially because they support approximately 25% of all marine life in one way or another and provide valuable “coastal defence” by serving as buffers against wave action and protecting coastal wetland areas (“Importance of Coral Reefs,” 2020; “Coral Reefs Support,” n.d.).

Despite the importance of coral reefs to humans, human agency is nevertheless playing an active role in the global destruction of the reefs. Even something as simple as sunscreen, overall a valuable product to protect people from the sun, is believed to contribute to the destruction of coral reefs when it enters nearby sea water since some of the chemicals commonly found in traditional sunscreens can cause viral infections that result in coral bleaching (Danovaro, Bongiorni, Corinaldesi, Giovannelli, Damiani,…, and Pusceddu, 2008). Bleaching occurs ultimately as a response of the coral to environmental stress. When stressed, the coral loses a photosynthetic algae known as zooxanthellae, which are essential to survival and are responsible for the colour arrays of healthy coral (Bhagooli and Hidaka, 2004). Sunscreens need not even enter the water where the coral reefs are located, but merely need to be introduced into any water body that drains untreated into the oceans (Zachos and Rosen, 2019). Some areas, such as Australia and Mexico, have banned all sunscreen except “reef safe” sunscreen, which uses chemicals such as zinc oxide (McMahon, 2019).

It is not all due to humans, however. Changing ocean temperatures (though humans have a role in some of that) cause stress, which can lead to bleaching (Hoegh-Guldberg and Fine, 2004). Conflict with seaweed also is contributing to the bleaching problem (Zielinski, 2011).

Humans do also contribute to the problems facing coral by introducing pollution into the marine environment, as well as by certain questionable fishing practices, such as using explosives, which damages the coral (Actman, 2016). Even fishing practices that might seem common and harmless may be harmful to coral. One example is bottom trawling, in which nets with rollers dragged along the seafloor, even over coral, creating damage (Stiles, Stockbridge, Lande, and Hirshfield, 2010).

Many of the problems facing coral can effectively be solved with more stringent regulation. Regulation already exists that prohibits toxic dumping in oceans (Tornero and Hanke, 2016). More such legislation is needed on a global basis, given the interconnected nature of the oceans. Additionally, fishing practices can and are regulated. In the US, bottom trawling has been severely restricted (Fimrite, 2019). Of course, the problem is vast, and enforcement of both toxic dumping in the oceans and fishing naturally becomes logistically difficult. One way to help solve the enforcement problem is to commission parties within the fishing and maritime industry to help self-police, following a successful practice in Cuba that has helped preserve the reefs.

Second Success Story

The Parque Nacional Jardines de la Reina in Cuba has realised a great success in protecting their coral reefs. In fact, while coral reefs in the Caribbean overall have been suffering immensely, effective efforts by Cuba have created an environment that has resulted in reefs that are better protected and preserved than most in the Caribbean (Lippsett, 2017; Rader, 2012). One reason for this success is a high degree of tourism regulation, with tourism also generating revenue used for ecological management (Burke, 2014; Stearns, 2020; Puritz, 2017). The park also has a team of experts that the guide ecosystem management policies, as well as partnerships with NGOs and scientific organisations around the world (Whittle, 2011; Burke, 2014).

In order to deal with the problem faced by the park, i.e., enforcement, management derived a clever solution. They outsourced some of their enforcement to a private company that is also the diving service provider for tourists, with enforcement duties being a condition of the company’s monopoly rights (Burke, 2014).

Depletion of Fish Stocks

The rising amount of depletion of fish stocks around the world is an ecological problem, as well as an economic and humanitarian problem. Approximately 90% of fisheries are nearly depleted (Kituyi and Thomson, 2018). Given that fish is a major element of worldwide food supply, the depletion of the fish stocks has the potential to contribute to a major increase in global hunger and starvation.

One major cause of fish stock depletion is government subsidies for the fishing industry, most of which benefit large fleets rather than the small fishing operations, which employ approximately 90% of all fishermen (Kituyi and Thomson, 2018). This naturally impacts the livelihood of people employed in the commercial fishing sector (Kituyi and Thomson, 2018).

Other contributing factors to overfishing are intentional acts that are part of a tragedy of the commons. One egregious example Cape Cod was known as the Codfather. Although eventually stopped by the government, his fleet employed mafia-like tactics and overfished so much that the biomass may or may not recover (Farzi, 2019).

As these examples demonstrate, strong regulation is needed to help stop overfishing and give the biomass a chance to regenerate so that the ocean ecosystem is not disrupted, unnecessary contributions to global hunger may be avoided, and future generations in the commercial fishing sector may continue their profession. One legislative measure that could be employed is to end the present system of fishing subsidies, which could instead be diverted into sustainable ocean ecosystem management projects (Kituyi and Thomson, 2018). As with many regulations pertaining to the ocean, enforcement again becomes problematic. This is particularly true since some of fish may migrate, and overfishing in the waters of one nation may impact the situation faced by another nation. Additionally, the fact that most of the ocean is international compounds the issue. Therefore, regulatory measures are only as good for this problem as international treaties allow. Additional international cooperation must be sought. However, the potential near-term impact to the bottom line of fishermen must not be neglected in such discussions, since the industry support will make regulatory measures much more effective.

Coastal Erosion

As with the problem facing fisheries, coastal erosion is both an environmental problem and an economic problem. In the United States, for example, coastal erosion causes approximately $500 million each year in property damage (“Coastal Erosion,” 2019). Ecologically, coastal erosion also interferes with wetland environments, threatening the plants and wildlife in those areas (“Coastal Erosion,” 2019). Much of coastal erosion increases are caused by human agency. However, solutions have a potential for side effects, as solving coastal erosion in one location could lead to erosion and another coastal area (Labuz, 2015).

Though there is a definite need for strong regulation to curb coastal erosion due to human interference, care must be taken in the creation and enforcement of such regulations to avoid creating additional problems. Government regulation to help solve coastal erosion should be focused both on reducing the erosion in the first place and on mandating mitigation efforts such as land reclamation programmes.

Ocean Discharge

Discharge of waste into the ocean is an obvious problem. One of the classic examples is the soda can “sixpack” rings in which fish can become trapped (“This Brewery,” 2019). And, of course, toxic materials find their way, accidentally or intentionally, into the oceans (Tornero and Hanke, 2016). The problem is straightforward, yet it is ongoing and becoming worse.

The straightforward nature of the problem of ocean discharge, as well as the increase in its magnitude underscore the significant need for regulation and enforcement. Without regulation and careful enforcement, businesses are effectively free to dump whatever they wish directly into the ocean or into a body of water that flows into the ocean. Yet, it is not only a corporate problem. The trash discarded by private citizens directly into the ocean, into bodies of water that flow into the ocean, or even into storm drains that drain in some way eventually to the ocean is a major contributing factor (“Stormwater Runoff,” 2020). Therefore, regulation on such discharge is clearly something that is important to maintain and expand for the protection of the ocean. Public campaigns for awareness and active participation should accompany regulatory measures.


Interference with marine life by ships, degradation of coral reefs, depletion of fish stocks in certain areas due to overfishing, coastal erosion, and discharge other refuse into the oceans are five major threats to the ecosystem of the ocean, with additional second-order threats to humanity and the economy. Humanity depends upon the oceans for food and transportation, as well as for temperature regulation and oxygen. Not to protect the oceans is ultimately to point a loaded gun at ourselves. Unfortunately, as the population grows, a tragedy of the commons has resulted, coupled with selfish behaviour on the part of companies, individuals, and sometimes even governments. The scarce resources of the ocean are becoming even more scarce.

Due to the nature of the problems facing the oceans today, there is a definite need for continued and expanded strong regulation and protection programmes. There remains a problem of enforcement and implementation, given the multi-national and cross-border nature of the oceans, as well as the large international section of the oceans. Therefore, protection programmes and regulation must be accompanied by diplomatic efforts leading to treaties that indicate a shared goal of oceanic protection. Furthermore, heavy-handed measures against companies and individuals, especially where a real or perceived economic damage may happen, are counterproductive. Thus industry and public cooperation are essential, suggesting the need for a comprehensive industry and public relations effort to accompany any regulatory efforts. The problem impacts everyone, and therefore the solution should, as much as possible, involve everyone. 


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Attitudes About Aging: A Global Perspective. (January 30, 2014). Pew Research Center.

Azipod Electric Propulsion: The driving force behind safe, efficient and sustainable operations. (n.d.) Retrieved from

Bhagooli, R. and Hidaka, M. (2004). Release of zooxanthellae with intact photosynthetic activity by the coral Galaxea fascicularis in response to high temperature stress. Marine Biology, 145.

Bernardini, M., Fredianelli, L., Fidecaro, F., Gagliardi, P., Nastasi, M., and Licitra, G. (2019). Noise Assessment of Small Vessels for Action Planning in Canal Cities. Environments, 6(31).

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Danovaro, R., Bongiorni, L., Corinaldesi, C., Giovannelli, D., Damiani, E., Astolfi, P., Greci, L.,  and Pusceddu. (2008). Sunscreens Cause Coral Bleaching by Promoting Viral Infections. Environmental Health Perspective, 116(4). 

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Erbe, C., Marley, S.A., Schoeman, R.P., Smith, J.N., Trigg, L.E., and Embling, C.B. (2019). The Effects of Ship Noise on Marine Mammals — A Review. Frontiers in Marine Science.

Factsheet: People and Oceans. (2017). The Ocean Conference. United Nations. 

Farzi, A.N. (August 20, 2019). The ‘Codfather’ was a seafood kingpin, until fake Russian mobsters took him down. Now he’ll never fish again. Washington Post. 

Fimrite, P. (November 20, 2019). Bottom-trawling fishing severely restricted off West Coast starting in January. San Francisco Chronicle. 

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Harrabin, R. (3 October 2013). Health of oceans 'declining fast'. BBC News. 

Hoegh-Guldberg, O. and Fine, M. (2004). Low temperatures cause coral bleaching. Coral Reefs, 23.

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Kituyi, M. and Thomson, P. (2018). 90% of fish stocks are used up – fisheries subsidies must stop emptying the ocean. World Economic Forum. 

Labuz, T.A. (2015). Environmental Impacts—Coastal Erosion and Coastline Changes. Second Assessment of Climate Change for the Baltic Sea Basin.

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Note: This article first appeared in Telicom, 34(1) in 2022. 

Monday, March 13, 2023

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

By A. DiNardo

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 13 March 2023 (NRom)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, March 6, 2023

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

By Jean DuBois


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

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

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

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

Sunday, March 5, 2023

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

By Jean DuBois

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 5 March 2023 (NRom)

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

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

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Death of Principessa Donna Giuseppina Sacchi d'Epiro

By Alessandro DiNardo

BADIA PAVESE 18 February 2023 (NRom)

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

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Change in Grand Master of the Noble Company

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

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 28 January 2023 (NRom)

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

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

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

Monday, January 16, 2023

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

By Alessandro DiNardo

BOGOTA 16 January 2023 (NRom)

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

Sugamuxi, last Chief
and ruler of Suamox

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

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Orthodox Old Catholic Apostolic See Canonised Benedict XVI

By Jean DuBois

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 11 January 2022 (NRom)

Earlier today the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicos in his capacity as Supreme Pontiff of the Imperial Roman Church defined the late Pope Benedict XVI as a saint, adding him to the roll of the saints of the Church. Benedict was canonised for his importance to the autocephalous Orthodox Old Catholic Apostolic See of Saints Stephen and Mark and their efforts to re-unify eastern and western Christian traditions. His feast day was set at the day of his death, 31 December, with the rank of double. The Vatican Church, of which Benedict XVI had been Supreme Pontiff, has not at this time begun a cause for canonisation themselves, despite calls for that to begin.