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.