THE LEGACY OF THE
INDEPENDENT CATHOLIC CHURCH INTERNATIONAL

Part of the Heritage of the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate
and Imperial Roman Church.

Among the most important historical elements that the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate succeeds is the Independent Catholic Church International. That Patriarchal and Apostolic See was formed in 1981 as the unification of various Old Catholic and traditional Anglican churches and also brought them together with significant Apostolic lineage of and affiliation with the Eastern Rite Christian Churches. It was led first by H.E. Most Rev. Peter Wayne Goodrich as Primate. Then H.E. Most Rev. Robert Vincent Bernard Dawe, previously the church's international legate, became Primate in 1983. Several churches around the world today are in the Apostolic Succession via the Independent Catholic Church International. 

Among those Apostolic descendants is the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate, the senior jurisdiction of the Imperial Roman Church. It realises the dream of unified western-eastern Christianity envisioned by Archbishop Dawe and other predecessors and maintains its own distinct liturgy built upon the 1600-year-old Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom with elements of the Roman Tridentine Rite. In addition, the Catholicate maintains several important documents and records of the late Archbishop Dawe in its Pontifical Apostolic Library. 

Additionally, even though it is not formally a member of other ecclesiasl bodies, the Catholicate and entire Imperial Roman Church has historical communion and shared heritage with the Anglican Communion and the Philippine Independent Church (also known as the Philippine Independent Catholic Church) via the historic First Chair of the Catholicate and Anglican Patriarchate, as Bishop of the Southwest, located at St. Chad's Cathedral. Both are in turn in communion with the Old Catholic See of Utrecht

His Grace H. Edwin Caudill was consecrated by Macario V. Ga, Supreme Bishop of the Philippine Independent Church, and Bishops Frank Benning and John Hamers. 21 October 1993, Holy Cross Polish National Catholic Church, Brooklyn, New York. His See, the Diocese of the Southwest, was eventually succeeded by the last Bishop of the Southwest, who was subsequently succeeded by H.H. Papa Rutherford I (then Archbishop Johnson), at which point it became a Metropolitan See. Thereafter its territorial boundaries changed as it became the Coadjutorship of Rome and Apostolic See of the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate and Anglican Patriarchate of Rome.

The Stephenian Archives (the archives of the Apostolic See of the Imperial Roman Church) and the Pontifical Apostolic Library maintain extensive records pertaining to the history of the former Anglican Diocese of the Southwest, the Philippine Independent Catholic Church, and the Independent Catholic Church International and their relationship to the modern Imperial Roman Church (Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate and Anglican Patriarchate of Rome). Just a few of those documents, excerpts, and fragments are provided by the Pontifical Apostolic Library below in the interest of preservation of history and the legacy of the Imperial Roman Church. 


Attestation of communion with the Anglican Communion
via the First Chair of the Catholicate (Anglican Diocese of the Southwest).


Document of consecration from the Philippine Independent Catholic Church.


Letter from Archbishop Dawe regarding the Synod of the
Independent Catholic Church International and the
election of its Primate.


Excerpt from an appointment letter signed by
Archbishop Dawe.


Letter acknowledging affiliation with the Episcopal Synod of America
on the Diocese of the Southwest (later the Coadjutorship of Rome in the Imperial Roman Church) under Bishop H. Edwin Caudill


Letter from Bishop H. Edwin Caudill to his clergy


Letter from the Very Reverend John Vornholt, here as Curate of
the Parish of the Nativity, later as Dean to the Metropolitan
Archbishop of the Southwest (later H.H. Rutherford I)


Handwritten letter from Bishop H. Edwin Caudill to
one of his priests.

The Old Roman Catholic Apostolic heritage of the Catholicate also historically enjoyed an intercommunion with the ancient Orthodox Patriarchal Sees of Antioch and Alexandria, the first See of the Apostle Peter and the second See of the Apostle Mark respectively. These agreements were achieved by Archbishop Arnold Harris Mathew. The intercommunion with Antioch was signed on 5 August 1911, and the intercommunion with Alexandria was signed the following year. 


 Photius, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria

The following is the text of a letter to Archbishop Mathew on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, Gregory IV:

Monseigneur,
 
Colleague and brother in Jesus Christ, with open arms in the love of the Savior, I receive you among us, and I accept your oath of fidelity to His Beatitude the Orthodox Patriarch and his Holy Synod of Antioch, since those who hold our Faith and wish to be united with us have never been prevented from joining us. Praying God to bless you, and not only you but all those who come to us with you, we bless you in the name of His Beatitude the Patriarch and of the Holy Synod of Antioch.

Your Colleague and Brother in Jesus Christ,

GERASSIMOS MESSARRA,
Prince Archbishop and Metropolitan,
Orthodox Church of Beirut
5th Aug. 1911


L-R: Archdeacon Anthony Baehir, Metropolitan Gerassimos Messarra, and Archimandrite V. Abouasly


Patriarch Gregory IV of Antioch

These agreements in practical terms have lapsed, but they have never been rescinded. They remain an important and valued part of the heritage of the Catholicate, Anglican Patriarchate of Rome, and the entire Imperial Roman Church. Combined with other historic agreements, they solidify the historic and current canonical status of the Imperial Roman Church.

Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Rite
Pontifical Orthodox Old Catholicism
The website of the Catholicate
Anglican Patriarchate of Rome


The Stato Pontificio Romano constitutes an ecclesiastical sovereignty by right of Rome as heir to the Roman Empire with an independent government in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (as the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church). Additionally, the church descends from the See of Utrecht, which was granted autonomy in 1145 by Pope Eugene III and confirmed in 1520 by Pope St. Leo X in the Bull Debitum Pastoralis. As the sole successor of Pope St. Leo X and temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle, the Catholicate and Patriarchate are fully Catholic and holds the same canonical authority as the Roman Communion (Vatican). The Catholicate and Patriarchate are the ecclesiastical successor to temporal Rome, the temporal patrimony of the Roman Empire claimed historically by right of the papacy. The succession passed to the Catholicate after Benedict XVI by right of Rome and Florence, with the Papa-Catholicos of Rome-Ruthenia with papal authority as temporal successor of St. Peter, and the Pope-Bishop of Rome as spiritual successor of St. Peter and de facto sovereign of the Vatican City-State. Although administratively independent, the Apostolic See 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 Imperial Roman Church is defined as the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate, the Anglican Patriarchate of Rome, and the churches of all Bishops recognised by the Catholicate. 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 Stato Pontificio government in exile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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