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: Are you an Orthodox Church if you are not affiliated with churches such as the Eastern Orthodox Church (Greek Church)?  

Because it is our faith and heritage. Not all Orthodox churches are in communion with each other. While they share a common faith and belief system, there are some that remain independent entities. Orthodox Christianity is comprised of various churches, each with its own hierarchy and jurisdiction. These churches can be categorized into two main groups: those in communion with each other and those that are not.

The Eastern Orthodox Church (officially the Orthodox Catholic Church), for example, consists of multiple autocephalous (self-governing) churches. These include the Greek Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church, Serbian Orthodox Church, and many others. They are united in their faith and share a common liturgical tradition but have independent leadership structures.

On the other hand, there are also independent orthodox churches (such as the United Roman-Ruthenian Church) that do not participate in the broader communion of orthodox churches. These churches may have historical or theological reasons for remaining separate from the mainstream orthodox community. While these independent orthodox churches may differ in terms of governance or specific practices, they still hold true to the core beliefs of Orthodoxy. They maintain sacraments such as baptism and holy communion and adhere to fundamental doctrines such as the Holy Trinity and veneration of saints.

It is important to understand that not all orthodox churches are in communion with each other. Some choose to remain independent due to historical factors or specific circumstances. Nonetheless, despite these differences, all orthodox churches share a common faith rooted in ancient Christian traditions.

Q: Are you a Catholic Church if you are not affiliated with the Roman Communion/Vatican Church?  

Likewise because it is our faith and heritage. When we think of the Catholic Church, we often envision a unified global institution under the guidance of the Roman Pope and the Vatican. However, it's important to note that not all Catholic churches are in communion with each other, or are even under the jurisdiction of the Roman Pope.

The term "Catholic" itself means universal, but there are various branches and independent churches within Catholicism. These variations stem from historical, theological, and cultural differences. One significant example is the Eastern Orthodox Church. While sharing many similarities with Roman Catholicism, including sacraments and apostolic succession, the Eastern Orthodox Church operates independently from Rome. It has its own hierarchy of bishops and does not recognize the authority of the Roman Pope. Also, the Eastern Orthodox Church's official name is the Orthodox Catholic Church.

Other examples include the Old Catholic Churches and the Old Roman Catholic Churches. The reasons for these divisions can be complex and multifaceted. They may arise from theological disagreements, cultural distinctiveness, historical events such as political conflicts or regional disputes. Regardless of their differences, these churches share a common belief in core Catholic teachings such as the sacraments and apostolic succession.

The United Roman-Ruthenian Church descends from Old Catholic and Old Roman Catholic Churches, as well as Eastern Orthodoxy and other Orthodox Churches.

Understanding these variations within Catholicism is crucial for fostering dialogue and respecting diversity within Christianity. It reminds us that while unity is an ideal goal among believers, differences can coexist peacefully within a broader faith tradition.
In conclusion, not all Catholic churches are in communion with each other or with the Vatican. Variations exist due to historical, theological, and cultural factors. Recognizing these distinctions helps promote understanding and appreciation for diversity within Catholicism while embracing shared beliefs at its core.

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?

In the rich tapestry of history, the states of the Church transcend time and hold great significance. 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, carrying a legacy that spans centuries. 

To foster a sense of unity and represent all the historical territories associated with the patrimony of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church (which include an empire, three kingdoms, several principalities, and more), the modern name - Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia - was chosen. Uniting these historic states under one banner of fellowship strengthens the bonds of collective heritage within the United Roman-Ruthenian Church and writes a new chapter in their shared history. Despite our diverse backgrounds, we are all part of a greater whole. Today the Pontifical Imperial States stands as an ethno-religious cultural nation without political territory that constitutes a state unto itself, representing people across multiple modern political countries.

Q: Why do the United Roman-Ruthenian Church and Pontifical Imperial State continue to use titles of nobility? 

In modern world, the use of titles of nobility may seem antiquated or pretentious to some. However, they provide a sense of tradition and continuity, linking the current church with both the past and the future. Critics argue that such titles are unnecessary in modern times, where meritocracy is often valued over inherited privilege. However, it is important to remember that these titles do not solely represent wealth or social standing. They symbolize dedication to service, devotion to faith, and commitment to upholding the principles upon which the Church was founded. (See also the Roman-Ruthenian Nobility Association.)

Q: Why does the United Roman-Ruthenian Church continue to claim the Pontifical Imperial State if it does not control any actual territory anymore? 

The Church's continued claim over the Pontifical Imperial State may seem puzzling to some, given that it no longer possesses any actual political territory. Historical significance, autonomy from secular authorities, diplomatic recognition, and protection of church assets all are contributing factors.

The Church's claim is rooted in its historical significance, for the Church still recognizes its historical connection and significance to the areas that once comprised the Pontifical Imperial State, even though they now belong to other modern political countries. Also, by maintaining its claim over the Pontifical Imperial State, the Church asserts its autonomy and independence from secular authorities. This symbolic declaration reinforces the Church's position as a sovereign entity and serves as a reminder of its spiritual authority. That allows the Church to maintain diplomatic relations with other entities, participate in international affairs, and to function as a sovereign state unto itself, despite lacking political territory. Furthermore, this claim acts as a safeguard against any possible challenges or encroachments on historical assets.

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: Is the United Roman-Ruthenian Church the temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle? What about other Apostles? 

The United Roman-Ruthenian Church is in hereditary descent from Rome and Russia and is considered the temporal successor of St. Peter. St. John Paul II relinquished the temporal claims of the Bishops of Rome, except for those pertaining to Vatican City, while St. Benedict XVI renounced the Patriarchal title. The succession to the temporal heritage of Rome now rests with the United Roman-Ruthenian Church as the next-closest heir in recognised and documented succession from St. Leo X in the Holy Roman Empire. 

The United Roman-Ruthenian Church also has direct Apostolic succession from other key Apostles such as Andrew, Thomas, Thaddeus, and Bartholomew. It is an ethno-religious community that does not have its own political territory but functions as a separate entity -- a state unto itself. The Church represents people across various modern countries and holds historical claims to the Roman Empire as the temporal successor of St. Peter, granting it specific rights. The temporal heritage of the Church today form the Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia (see above). As a fully Orthodox and Catholic autocephalous (independent) institution, the United Roman-Ruthenian Church possesses equal authority to other independent Patriarchates, including the Roman Communion (Vatican)

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 United Roman-Ruthenian Church is not established by people, but rather it is part of the continuous Church founded founded by Jesus Christ. However, the Apostolic founder of our principle diocese 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, Papa-Catholicos, and Imperator 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

Q: The United Roman-Ruthenian Church uses certain customs. I thought only the Roman Pope could do such things? 

There seems to be a common misconception among many that only the Roman Pope can lay claim to certain traditions, vestments, titles, and so on. However, this belief couldn't be further from the truth. The reality is that there are other churches that maintain similar traditions due to their own unique heritage. The United Roman-Ruthenian Church has its own set of traditions, vestments, titles, and other ceremonial elements that are an integral part of its faith. 

Q: Why do some people (especially online) feel the need to put down Christians in other churches (denominations)?

It is an unfortunate reality that some individuals feel the need to put down others in general. This is also seen in the form of insulting people in other churches (denominations). This behavior can stem from a variety of factors, including insecurity, a desire for superiority, and a lack of understanding or empathy. For example, when people feel unsure or uncertain about their own beliefs or practices, they may try to diminish those of others in an attempt to validate themselves. By putting down others, they hope to bolster their own sense of significance and confidence.

Also, some individuals believe that their church is the only correct one, leading them to see those who follow different paths as inferior or misguided. This belief can create a sense of self-righteousness and a need to assert dominance over others. This often goes along with a lack of understanding or empath. People may hold misconceptions about other churches due to limited exposure or biased information. Without taking the time to learn and empathize with different perspectives, individuals are more likely to resort to putting others down rather than engaging in meaningful dialogue.

In the United Roman-Ruthenian Church, we promote understanding and respect between Christian churches and even between religions. Education plays a vital role in breaking down stereotypes and fostering empathy among different groups. Additionally, cultivating an atmosphere of tolerance in Christian charity can help combat the need for superiority and promote both unity and personal growth.

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