WE Jerome Lloyd OSJV by the grace of God, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Old Roman Catholic Church in Europe, ever desiring to fulfil our duty as a guardian of the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church necessitating sometimes the exercise of charitable correction, do hereby require that Monsignor George Papathanasiou, emeritus bishop of the Diocese of Haemus and Titular Archbishop of Phillipi, Greece, is found guilty of the following actions,
in seeking incardination without just cause into another jurisdiction without having first sought excardination from his canonical superior1 despite being notified of his transgression, thus nullifying any presumed canonical position or charge granted him, and rendering him in breach of Apostolic Canons2, and
by declaring an intention [via email October 17, 2013] to consecrate as a bishop, Alessandro Landerset [aka Giovanni Catullo] without an apostolic mandate from any canonical authority nor by election of any recognised Old Roman Catholic Episcopal College, and to propose to do so with co-consecrators alien to the communion of the canonical Old Roman Catholic Church and without letters dimissorial nor of excardination from Fr Landerset’s canonical superior, Mgr Douglas Lewins, and
declaring an intention [via email October 17, 2013] to ordain clerics, Liborius Demennites [aka Antonio Matasso] and Paulo Raccanelli to major orders without letters dimissorial nor of excardination from their canonical ordinary, Mgr Douglas Lewins3,
and thus is he required to make contact with us and give account of his uncanonical behaviour and of the propensity to commit acts counter to the responsibility of other bishops in their respective jurisdictions, contrary to ecclesial communion, and damaging for the unity and peace of the Old Roman Catholic Church.
For these reasons and following consultation with the respective aggrieved hierarchs of the canonical jurisdictions of the Old Roman Catholic Church operative in the continent of Europe, namely HE Mgr Boniface Grosvold of the Old Roman Catholic Church Latin Rite and HE Mgr Douglas Lewins of the Old Roman Catholic Church Great Britain; We declare that Mgr George Papathanasiou be under a general suspension and personal interdict4 and forbidden from exercising the sacrum potestas of holy Order until such time as he makes formal submission to Us, his canonical superior, in accordance with universal canon law and custom, within one week of the date of this decree; this counting as the second warning following previous correspondence.
Dated the Feast of St Luke the Evangelist 2013AD
1 The Council of Trent is most clear in its legislation on these matters, as will be seen from the following: “Whereas no one ought to be ordained, who, in the judgment of his own bishop, is not useful or necessary for his churches, the Holy Synod, in the spirit of what was enjoined by the sixth canon of the Council of Chalcedon, ordains that no one shall for the future be ordained without being attached to that church, or pious place, for the need or utility of which he is promoted, where he shall discharge his duties, and may not wander about without any certain abode [cf “ovis quasi perdita et errans” (Decret. Grat., can. i, dist. 72)]. And if he shall quit that place without having consulted the bishop, he shall be interdicted from the exercise of his Sacred orders. Furthermore, no cleric, who is a stranger, shall, without letters commendatory from his own ordinary, be admitted by any bishop to celebrate the Divine mysteries and to administer the sacraments” (Sess. XXIII, “De Ref.”, cap. xvi).
2 Apostolic Canons: Canon XV. If any presbyter, or deacon, or any other of the list of the clergy, shall leave his own parish, and go into another, and having entirely forsaken his own, shall make his abode in the other parish without the permission of his own bishop, we ordain that he shall no longer perform divine service; more especially if his own bishop having exhorted him to return he has refused to do so, and persists in his disorderly conduct. But let him communicate there as a layman.
Canon XVI. If, however, the bishop, with whom any such persons are staying, shall disregard the command that they are to cease from performing divine offices, and shall receive them as clergymen, let him be excommunicated, as a teacher of disorder.
3 Apostolic Canons: Canon XXXI. (XXXII.) If any presbyter, despising his own bishop, shall collect a separate congregation, and erect another altar, not having any grounds for condemning the bishop with regard to religion or justice, let him be deposed for his ambition; for he is a tyrant; in like manner also the rest of the clergy, and as many as join him; and let laymen be excommunicated. Let this, however, be done after a first, second, and third admonition from the bishop.
Canon XXXV. (XXXVI.) Let not a bishop dare to ordain beyond his own limits, in cities and places not subject to him. But if he be convicted of doing so, without the consent of those persons who have authority over such cities and places, let him be deposed, and those also whom he has ordained.
4 Ref Canons 2268, 2275, 2279, 2283-2284 CIC 1917 (1332, 1333, 1335 CIC 1983)
UPDATE (05/11/2013) On Monday 4th November 2013, Mgr George Papathanasiou resigned from the Old Roman Catholic Church Latin Rite and thus from canonical and orthodox Old Roman Catholicism.