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A Pastoral Letter for Christmas 2016

December 18, 2016 Leave a comment

Metropolitan William of Kentucky’s pastoral letter for Christmas to the clergy and faithful of North America.

willmyerscoaCHRISTMAS PASTORAL: 2016

DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST:

As we progress in this new Church year and this new calendar year we acknowledge that 2016 was a challenging year for Americans. A divisive election, violence throughout the world, and uncertainty made us reflect on our core values. Sometimes the problems of the world seem insurmountable. But we then remember that we are not of this world. In all things we must aspire towards sainthood and an eternity with God. This is not an easy path—it is a marathon and not a sprint. But we are comforted by the words of Saint Augustine “You aspire to great things? Begin with little ones.”

Let us then reflect on the littleness of an infant. Our Lord became “incarnate by the Holy Spirit, of the Virgin Mary: and was made man” first in the form of an infant. How easy it is to love a God who came to us as something so fragile, sensitive, and most in need of care. Infants, like God, give us hope and deserve our love and devotion. Through our understanding of Our Lord’s infancy we can grow to understand His progression to manhood and eventual suffering on the Cross. As Our Lord grew, so does our faith and understanding of the complexities of our faith.

It is understandable, then, why so many pious devotions like the Infant of Prague, the Holy Infant of Atocha, Santo Niño de Cebu, etc. have grown among the faithful with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Christ Child helps us to see God, as Christ Jesus, as vulnerable like us and helps us understand His mission as man. I commend you to the Christ Child and hope He will bless you and your family abundantly now and always.

willmyers2+William

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Metropolitan to attend new Chemin Neuf community inauguration

October 22, 2015 Leave a comment

Chemin Neuf logoBrighton, UK: His Grace, Metropolitan Jerome OSJV will attend the launch of a new Chemin Neuf community in Brighton & Hove. The invitation from the Anglican and Roman Catholic Bishops of Chichester and Arundel & Brighton respectively and founder, Fr Laurent Fabre, Leader of the Chemin Neuf Community, announces the inauguration of a new Mission based in St Patrick’s church, Hove welcoming the Revd Tim Watson, his wife and family and other members of the Chemin Neuf Community to Brighton.

The Chemin Neuf Community is an ecumenical organisation founded by Roman Catholics in Lyon, France in 1973 with a membership now of some 2000 members in over thirty countries. The Chemin Neuf Community has been active in the UK since 1993, with a presence in Liverpool, Storrington (Sussex) and Lambeth Palace in addition to the new community in Brighton & Hove.

The community focuses its action on the principle of unity: unity of Christians, unity of men, unity of couples and families. It regularly organises retreats for couples, families and / or engaged couples (“Cana”), for divorcees (“Cana Espérance”), for divorcees who have remarried (“Cana Samarie”), an international evangelization (Net for God / Fraternité Œcuménique Internationale (FOI)), as well as an evangelization in the neighbourhood (evangelization in the street, the Alpha course), sessions for young people, theological, philosophical and artistic training, and retreats following the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola.

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Chapel wall icons completed

July 1, 2015 Leave a comment

Brighton, UK: Local artist Shirley Veater has completed writing (term in iconography for painting) wall icons on the walls of the “Chapel in the Inn” of the Brighton Oratory. The chapel is located in the cellar of the “Cherubs Kitchen” apostolate in the centre of Brighton & Hove, and daily Mass is offered and broadcast from there by Metropolitan Jerome OSJV, founder of the apostolate.

The icons represent three local Sussex saints, all three of whom are patrons of the Sussex Mission, Sts Wilfrid & Cuthman of the Brighton Oratory and St Lewinna of the Buxted Oratory.

photo 2St Cuthman of Steyning is depicted in two icons, the first showing him with his mother who was converted to the faith by St Wilfrid’s preaching and who brought her son, Cuthman to the bishop for baptism. According to legend, he was a shepherd who had to care for his paralysed mother after his father’s death. When they fell on hard times and were forced to beg from door to door, he built a one-wheeled cart or wheelbarrow (with a rope from the handles over his shoulders taking part of the weight) in which he moved her around with him. They set out east, towards the rising sun, from his home and, even though the rope broke, he improvised a new one from withies, deciding that when that rope broke he would accept it as a sign from God to stop at that place and build a church. The withy rope broke at the place now called Steyning, upon which (according to his biography) he prayed:

“Father Almighty, you have brought my wanderings to an end; now enable me to begin this work. For who am I, Lord, that I should build a house to name? If I rely on myself, it will be of no avail, but it is you who will assist me. You have given me the desire to be a builder; make up for my lack of skill, and bring the work of building this holy house to its completion.”

The second icon continues the story; after building a hut to accommodate his mother and himself, he began work on the church (now St Andrew’s, Steyning, which in the 20th century instituted a Cuthmann chapel in his honour), with help from the locals (for those who did not help received divine punishment). As the church was nearing completion and Cuthmann was having difficulty with a roof-beam, a stranger showed him how to fix it. When Cuthmann asked his name, he replied:

“I am he in whose name you are building this church.”

photo 1

St Lewinna

The stranger is depicted by a gold hand lifting the other end of the roof-beam with St Cuthman on a ladder at the other end.

St Lewinna who was martyred in the late seventh century is also depicted, her arms in the “orans” prayer position. Once there no doubt existed an locally composed life of the saint but this has long ago vanished. Most of our knowledge now comes from an eleventh century account of the secret removal of her relics from a church near Seaford in 1058 to the monastery at Bergues (Berg) in Flanders by one of its monks.

The monk, named Balger, had intended to land at Dover but was blown off course and landed further west, most probably at Seaford. Inland he found a church dedicated to Saint Andrew where he was told the body of Saint Lewinna rested and where miracles happened “daily” because of her heavenly prayers. Balger seems to have stolen the relics by trickery and certainly from then onwards nearly every memory of the saint disappeared in England though she remained a much-loved intercessor in her new home. Bergues became part of France in the reign of Louis XVI and the monastery was destroyed in the French Revolution. As for the church of St Andrew where her relics had rested in Anglo-Saxon times, there is a lot of controversy concerning its identity, but the most likely candidate is Alfriston, an attractive village north of Seaford.

photo 3

St Wilfrid

Sussex was the last of the seven Saxon kingdoms to become officially Christian and east Sussex remained pagan longest of all. St Wilfrid several times experienced their extreme ferocity. There is no early evidence to support the idea that St Lewinna was a Briton, as some accounts state. She was almost certainly an early South Saxon Christian martyred by her fellow countrymen who were still pagan. The date of her death was during the period when St Theodore of Tarsus was Archbishop of Canterbury, probably about AD 670. This was before St Wilfrid’s missionary labours, though there would have been isolated Christians in Sussex at this time. About three centuries after her martyrdom, her relics were solemnly translated to St Andrew’s church so the place of her sufferings must have been nearby.

St Wilfrid of York, also known as the Apostle to the South Saxons, converted the last of the Saxon kingdoms to the Christian faith in the seventh century whilst in exile from his See of York. Saint Wilfrid asked permission from the Christian King Aethelwealh to preach the Gospel to the South Saxons. The King and his wife Queen Eafe were already Catholics and they willingly gave permission for Saint Wilfrid to preach among their people. One icon shows St Wilfrid preaching and in the background the church which he established as his cathedral, believed to be St Peter’s at Selsey.

Saint Wilfrid travelled about Sussex for many years. One icon shows the saint demonstrating to local fishermen how to catch fish with a net as a opposed to using a spear. He taught the South Saxons to fish as many were dying from famine and once he had earned their trust they listened to the Gospel.

King Caedwalla of Wessex invaded the Kingom of Sussex and killed the Catholic King Aethelwealh. Now King of the South Saxons, this pagan King was approached by Saint Wilfird who preached the Gospel to him. The King and his wife were converted and allowed Saint Wilfrid to continue his missionary work. When King Ecgfrith died in battle against the Picts, Saint Wilfrid returned to Northumbria.

The Chapel in the Inn is open daily 12pm-6pm as an oasis of prayer, a sacred space in the heart of the city of Brighton & Hove, located under and access via The Regency Tavern, 32-34 Russell Square. Daily Mass is offered at 1230 Mon, Weds, Thurs and Fri and at 0930 Sun, Tues and Sat and can be viewed over the internet at Daily Mass Online.

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Franciscan Profession

February 26, 2015 Leave a comment

8869511_origChicago, USA: Congratulations to Br. Jamie (Alaniz) who was professed into simple vows in the Missionary Franciscans of Christ the King on February 8, 2015. His vows were received by Canon Kelly at St. Anne Old Roman Catholic Mission in Chicago.

The Missionary Franciscans of Christ the King were founded on the feast of the Baptism of Christ in 2004 by Bishop Raphael Adams and Father William Myers. The name Christ the King was chosen to emphasize that Christ is our King rather then the vanities and power structure sought by the world. The Missionary Franciscans are properly considered a third order. Although tied to the Old Roman Catholic Church in America, members may be from diverse backgrounds. However, it should be emphasized that the focus of the Missionary Franciscans of Christ the King, as a Catholic entity is the Eucharist.

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Holy Synod 2014

June 7, 2014 Leave a comment

The first ever international holy Synod of canonical orthodox Old Roman Catholic jurisdictions since the time of Archbishop Arnold H Mathew, took place on Saturday, July 5th at the Brighton Oratory in Sussex, England. Clergy and members of the Old Roman Catholic Churches in Great Britain, Europe, and America joined together in prayer, in fellowship and in conference.

The day began with a sung votive Mass of the Holy Ghost offered by Metropolitan Jerome OSJV of Europe who urged Synod in his homily to recall Christ’s promise of the Holy Ghost to the Apostles and the continuance of that promise manifested in the Apostolic succession of the Church. His Grace urged all present to join him in offering their spiritual intentions of the Mass for the guidance of the Holy Ghost for the Synod Fathers and for the unity of the Church.

The holy Synod discussed both the history and future of canonical Old Roman Catholicism and mandated the bishops to formulate the necessary structures for unity between the jurisdictions.

hsmass-tile

Synodical addresses were given by Metropolitan Douglas of the UK, Metropolitan Jerome OSJV of Europe and Metropolitan William of America and a lively discussion about the future. Absent members of the Synod were even able to participate through Skype and hear and share in the discussions!

Metropolitan of Europe’s Easter Message

April 20, 2014 1 comment

 AbpLloydSelseysmall

Carissimi

With great joy we greet all the clergy and faithful of our Province this Paschaltide! Having commemorated the salvific events of the Sacrum Triduum, once again we rejoice in the remembrance of ourselves as an “Easter people and ‘alleluia’ is our song!”  (St Augustine of Hippo)

Our Lenten and Passiontide fast being over, let us heed the sage advice of the Apostle (1 Corinthians 5. 7, 8) and temper our feasting moderately that we do not lose the benefit of all that we had achieved in spiritual discipline! Though it was important for us to interiorly reflect upon our spiritual condition, now we should focus on the hope that Our Lord’s resurrection affords us, remembering to live as those qualified to “share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:12). Let us strive to remember that though we sojourn here “in this vale of tears” (Salve Regina) and there are many events affecting our faithful across the Province, economically and politically, yet our citizenship, by virtue of our baptism, is in heaven (cf Phillipians 3:20).

Therefore, “let us keep the feast” (1 Cor.5:8) and recalling our baptism, let us seek to fulfill the great commission of Our Lord, to preach the gospel and bring others to baptism in the Name of the most holy and Blessed Trinity (Matthew 28:16-20) by the witness in our own lives to the love of God made manifest in Christ whom we saw “lifted up” on Good Friday, that we, being vessels through whom He “may draw all men to Himself” (John 12:32) remembering ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28), may ourselves bring about in the hearts of others a true awakening to the origin and purpose of our existence; to love God and each other (Matthew 22:36-40).

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.

‡Jerome OSJV
Metropolitan of Europe

zipposbaptism

His Grace baptizes Alessia Ottilia Rastelli of the internationally renowned Rastelli clown dynasty in the Big Top of Zippo’s Circus, Easter Monday 2014

Bishop interdicted

October 18, 2013 Leave a comment
DECREE OF SUSPENSION & PERSONAL INTERDICTION
Of Mgr George Papathanasiou

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,

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

‡Jerome OSJV

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.

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