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Apostolic Lines of the Church

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto

The Apostolic Succession of St Alcuin's Catholic Church is part of the unbroken succession of bishops from Our Lord Jesus Christ and his Apostles down to the present time. Our joined lines of succession come from the great and holy Patriarchates of Christianity: Jerusalem, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Rome, and Moscow.

Our Roman Catholic Lines of succession come through two outstanding sources: The Roman Catholic Church of Braz il and the Old Catholic Church of Utrecht. These lines are called "Rebiban" by scholars because they both trac e back to Scipione Cardinal Rebiba who was consecrated a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church in 1541 A. D. In the Brazilian line there are many cardinals, apostolic nuncios and several Popes, including, Benedict XIII, Benedict, XIV, and Clement XIII and for this reason it is one of the strongest lines of succession in the Church. It is the same line of succession held by Pope John Paul II. The Utrecht line includes Antonio Cardinal Barbarini, Archbishop of Rheims, whose uncle was Pope Urban VIII.

One of the Orthodox lines of succession comes from the Ancient See of St. Peter at Antioch through the Malankara Orthox Church of India where Archbishop Vilatte was consecrated in 1892. Another Orthodox line of succession is through the Russian Patriarch of Moscow, Tikhon, who had been the Archbishop of America before he was elected patriarch. Patriarch Tikhon approved the election and consecration of Aftimos Ofeish in 1917 as the Syrian Orthodox Archbishop for America. We hold the Russian line of succession through Archbishop Ofeish.

It is interesting to note that the Archepiscopal See of Utrecht had a unique privilege given in 1145 by Pope Eugenius II to allow the election and consecration of bishops. This privilege was ratified by the Fourth Lateran council in 1215. Pope Leo X. in 1520 in the papal bull, "Debitum Pastoralis", extended the privileges and made the Church of Utrecht autonomous in all its affairs. Thus, the Church of Utrecht became the first independent Catholic Archdiocese and remained so until the First Vatican Council. At that time Rome appointed new bishops to the sees of the Netherlands, and the Church of Utrecht began to call itself the Old Catholic Church. In England and the United States, independent Catholic Churches were often called Old Roman Catholic Churches. There are many independent Catholic Churches in the Ultrajectine Tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. Ultrajectensis is the Latin word for Utrecht and it signifies the minority party of the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. We hold the same faith, sacraments and orders and we are part of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Lord. Our succession in holy orders is from the ancient apostolic sees. We give glory to God for this great gift.

Relations With Rome

At the Vatican on 16 June, 2000, Pope John Paul II ratified and ordered the publication of Dominus Iesus.

This Declaration of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was signed and published by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) in August of the same year. In this Declaration, the Roman Catholic Church recognizes the validity of Orders and Sacraments of other Catholic denominations.

"These Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the (Roman) Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, and are true particular Churches."

"Therefore, these separated Churches and communities as such...have by no means been deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church." IV Unicity and Unity of the Church, 17

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