Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is the official status of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church?

The United Roman-Ruthenian Church is a canonical autocephalous patriarchal Apostolic Church of ancient Orthodox and Catholic origins.

Q: Some of your traditions look similar. Is the United Roman-Ruthenian Church a counterclaimant to the Roman papacy? 

A: No. The United Roman-Ruthenian Church is its own unique autocephalous Apostolic patriarchal church. It is not and has never claimed to be the Roman papacy. Given that the two churches share common origins and heritage, man of the traditions of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church are similar. Like any Patriarch, the authority of the Pope of Rome is only within his own church, and he does not have exclusive use of any particular tradtion -- not even to the title of Pope (for example, the Pope of Alexandria, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, used the title before the Roman Pope).  The United Roman-Ruthenian Church considers the Roman Catholic Church to be a sister Catholic Church. 

Q: Is the United Roman-Ruthenian Church a counterclaimant to the jurisdiction of any other Orthodox or Catholic Church? 

A: No. Although they share the same origins and soures, the ecclesiastical authority of the Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia is distinct from any claims made by other autocephalous Patriarchs, including the Roman Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch, among others. The United Roman-Ruthenian Church considers the the other autocephalous patriarchal churches to be a sister Orthodox and/or Catholics Churches.

Q: Is there is only one successor to St. Peter the Apostle, and it is the Pope of Rome?

No. The Pope of Rome is *one* successor, but *not* the only one. As historical sources easily show, there are several successors. First, St. Peter founded the See of Antioch *before* he founded the See of Rome. So, the Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch is also a successor to St. Peter. So is the Syrian Patriarch of Antioch. Then there are eastern rite Catholic Patriarchs of the same lineage who are likewise successors to St. Peter's See. In Rome, the Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia is a *temporal* successor to St. Peter, as well as a successor to St. Mark in Aquileia. But, then the Roman Catholic Patriarch of Venice is also a successor to St. Mark, as is the Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria. As another example, there are multiple successors to the See of St. Thomas the Apostle. There are plenty of other examples. The simple fact is that there are *multiple* direct successors to the Apostolic Sees. Fighting over who is the "one and only" successor to any particular Apostle is unfortunate, denies simple historical fact, offends the rights of others, and destroys Christian unity. 

Q: What are the main parts of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church?

The main divisions of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church are the Diocese of Rome-Ruthenia and the Catholicate of

Q: What liturgical rites are used by the United Roman-Ruthenian Church?

The United Roman-Ruthenian Church currently has four primary liturgical rites: the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Rite, the Anglican-Byzantine Rite, the Anglo-Roman (Anglican) Rite, and the Gallo-Roman (Gallican) Rite. Usually any traditional Orthodox or Catholic liturgical rite may be used.

Q: What is the Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia?

The Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia is the titular secular wing of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church. It is the combination of the historic Pontifical Roman State and the Pontifical Kingdom of Ruthenia and All Rus' to which the Church is heir. It constitutes an ethno-religious cultural nation without borders rather than a functioning civil state.

Q: What is the Apostolic See of Saints Stephen and Mark? 

This name is used interchangably with the Diocese of Rome-Ruthenia. It refers to the Diocese of Rome-Ruthenia (whose patron saint is St. Stephen the Apostle and Archdeacon) and the Metropolitan See of Aquileia (whose founder and patron saint is Saint Mark the Apostle and Evangelist). These are the diocesan and metropolitan jurisdictions of the Supreme Pontiff of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church.

Q: Is the Church in the United Nations?

The United Roman-Ruthenian Church is an autocephalous ecclesiastical sovereignty with an independent government. It is accredited with special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. 

Q: How is the United Roman-Ruthenian Church the temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle?

Also, the church is the temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle and thus to the Roman Empire claimed historically by right of the church. The Church by its heritage and rights is fully Catholic and Orthodox, holding the same canonical authority as the Roman Communion (Vatican) and other autocephalous Patriarchates. St. John Paul II renounced the temporal claims of the Bishops of Rome other than to the Vatican City, and St. Benedict XVI renounced the Patriarchal title. The succession to the temporal heritage of Rome passed to the United Roman-Ruthenian Church after Benedict XVI by rights dating to the Renaissance, with the Bishop and Papa-Catholicos of Rome-Ruthenia with autocephalous patriarchal and papal authority as temporal successor of St. Peter. (The Pope-Bishop of Rome is spiritual successor of St. Peter and de facto sovereign of the Vatican City-State.)

Q: Are you a canonical Orthodox and Catholic Church? 

Yes. We are a canonical Orthodox and Catholic Church through adherence to the historic and constant faith of the Church as taught by the saints and the Church Fathers (St. Vincent of Lerins) and the faith once delivered for all unto the saints (Jude 3). Neither affiliation with this See, nor with the Bishop of Rome, of Constantinople, or of any other ecclesiastical jurisdiction is required. We accept as canonical all who accept the traditional faith. Those who insist on being members of a particular "church club" (for example, communion with a particular patriarch) act against the unity of Christian people that Christ desires. 

Q: Who is the Apostolic Founder of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church? 

The Apostolic founder is Saint Edwin Caudill. He brought his Anglican See (Diocese of the Southwest) into Orthodox and Catholic Apostolic heritage. That diocese evolved in time into the Diocese of Rome-Ruthenia. Find out more here

Q: Who are the Holy Fathers of the Apostolic See? 

Pope Saint Leo X and Saint Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh are known as the two Holy Fathers of the Apostolic See. Find out more here

Q: Who are the Patron Saints of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church?

Diocese of Rome-Ruthenia
St. Stephen the Deacon and Protomartyr - 3 August and 26 December

Metropolitan See of Aquileia
St. Mark the Apostle - 25 April

United Roman-Ruthenian Church and Catholicate of Rome-Ruthenia
Sts. Peter and Andrew, Apostles - 29 June and 30 November

Pontifical Imperial State
Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles - 29 June

Pontifical Kingdom of Ruthenia
St. George, Martyr - 23 April

Apostolic Founder
St. Edwin Caudill - 25 October

Holy Fathers
Pope St. Leo X and St. Archbishop Aftimios - 1 December and 25 October

Q: Are other churches or governments formally affiliated with the United Roman-Ruthenian Church?

No, except where explicity stated. Although administratively independent and sovereign, the United Roman-Ruthenian Church embraces as brethren other Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican bodies, such as the current Roman Communion (commonly referred to as the Roman Catholic Church), the Anglican Ordinariate, Eastern Orthodox Churches, and the Anglican Communion. The governments of the modern republics of Italy, German, France, Switzerland, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and the United States, and of the modern kingdoms of Great Britain and Spain, as well as the European Union and all other civil states, are not affiliated with the Pontifical Imperial State government or the United Roman-Ruthenian Church.

Q: Who is the head of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church?

The Bishop and Papa-Catholicos of Rome-Ruthenia is Supreme Pontiff of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church.

Q: Are your clergy married or celibate? 

A: Both states are permitted, both for bishops and other clergy, in accordance with the Apostolic Canons and early Church practices. For more information on canonical married bishops and clergy, please see this article


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