From 6 February 2015 the following changes have been in effect:
Scandinavia and Continental Europe (including Hungary)
There are no authorized AEC missions in these areas at the present time. All future activity will be under the direct authority of the Primate for the time being.
Dr Bertil Persson
Dr Persson served as Primate of the AEC between 1986 and his retirement in 1998 on health grounds. Between 1998 and 6 February 2015, Dr Persson was designated Emeritus Primate and held the titles of Archbishop of Scandinavia and of Continental Europe.
On 31 December 2014, Dr Persson submitted a request to the Primate that he should retire from all clergy duties in the AEC, and this request was duly accepted. A copy of the document issued by Dr Persson is given below.
As of 6 February 2015, Dr Persson has not been a member of the AEC and has no authority to represent the AEC in any capacity. Any ordination, consecration or clergy appointment undertaken by him after this date will not be recognized within the AEC.
Dr Bertil Persson är inte medlem i den Apostoliska Episkopala Kyrkan efter den 5 februari 2015. Han har inte tillstånd att vidta några åtgärder på uppdrag av den Apostoliska Episkopala Kyrkan. Eventuella åtgärder som han kan ta (samordning, invigningen av biskopar, etc) kommer inte att erkännas av den Apostoliska Episkopala Kyrkan. Den Apostoliska Episkopala Kyrkan har några godkända uppdrag eller präster i Sverige eller Kontinentaleuropa.
Although the AEC appointed a titular bishop for Scandinavia and Continental Europe until February 2015, in practice there has been no authorized ministerial activity in these areas for some years, with the exception of Hungary (see below).
Excommunication of Bertil Persson
The actions of Dr Persson during the period before and after 6 February 2015 have caused Metropolitan Synod of the Apostolic Episcopal Church to formally excommunicate him. The reasons for this are as follows:
- His repeated disrespectful comments towards the Primate and Emeritus Primate of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, and latterly the promotion of schism against them.
- His open and public endorsement of the Church of Scientology, a sect whose beliefs are completely incompatible with the Orthodox Faith professed by the Apostolic Episcopal Church.
- His open and public endorsement and holding of office in the Universal Peace Federation, an organization affiliated to the Unification Church (“Moonies”) of the Revd. Sun Myung Moon, a sect which again is considered completely incompatible with the Orthodox Faith as professed by the Apostolic Episcopal Church.
As evidence for the second point, let us cite the following reference from a journal of the Church of Scientology, one among many such references. The reference pertains to the erection of the “European Church of Scientology” in Malmö, Sweden: http://www.freedommag.org/special-reports/sptimes/scientology-malmo-speakers.html “Dr. Bertil Persson, Professor of Religion and Scandinavia’s Permanent Representative at the UNESCO University for Peace: “With the opening of this Church, we are really at a turning point. The future activities based on Scientology are, in fact, predestined for great success for humanity.” This statement and the beliefs and practices of the Church of Scientology are anathema to our Church and to the Orthodox Faith.
As evidence for the third point we cite the reference http://www.upf.org/chapters/sweden where Dr Persson is described as “National Peace Council Member” for the Universal Peace Federation. Whilst our Church endorses work for global peace, it cannot extend such an endorsement to an organization that has been described as a “Moonie peace group” since the beliefs and practices of the Unification Church (“Moonies”) are anathema to our Church and to the Orthodox Faith.
By resolution of the Metropolitan Synod, ordinations and consecrations conducted by Dr Persson between his episcopal consecration for the Apostolic Episcopal Church in 1971 and his resignation as Primate in 1998 will continue to be recognized within our Church. Ordinations and consecrations undertaken by Dr Persson between his resignation as Primate in 1998 and 6 February 2015 at the commission of the Primate of the Apostolic Episcopal Church only will also be recognized. However, any consecration or other episcopal act performed by Dr Persson after 6 February 2015 will not be recognized within our Church, and likewise any “private” ordination or consecration from before that date that was not endorsed by the Primate of the Apostolic Episcopal Church will also not be recognized.
Mission activity was recommenced in Hungary in November 2014. Due to the situation that had developed there by February 2015, it was decided that it was not appropriate that this work should continue to be a part of the AEC. For the purposes of clarification, as of 6 February 2015, the AEC has had no authorized missions in Hungary and no authorized clergy. No Hungarian website has been authorized to use the distinctive emblems or logos of the AEC. Nor have any Hungarian book or pamphlet publications, whether liturgical or discursive, been authorized by the AEC.
The position of Tamas Szeles, who was appointed to the office of AEC Archbishop of Hungary in November 2014, was reviewed in the light of subsequent developments, and it was decided that his Faculties as a clergyman of the AEC should be withdrawn for cause. As of 6 February 2015 he has not been a member of the AEC and has no authority to represent the AEC in any capacity. Any ordination, consecration or clergy appointment undertaken by him after this date will not be recognized within the AEC.
Szelés Tamás nem tagja az Apostoli Egyház Episzkopális után február 6 2015. Ő nem eljárásra felhatalmazott az Apostoli Egyház Episzkopális semmilyen módon. Minden olyan cselekmény történik vele (teszi papok, püspökök stb) készülék nem ismer az Apostoli Egyház Episzkopális. Jelenleg nincs engedélyezett missziókon és weboldalak közé tartozik, és nem engedélyezett könyvek magyar nyelven.
Excommunication of Tamas Szeles
The actions of Dr Szeles during the period before and after 6 February 2015 have caused Metropolitan Synod of the Apostolic Episcopal Church to formally excommunicate him. The reasons for this are as follows:
- His promotion of schism against the Primate and Emeritus Primate of the Apostolic Episcopal Church by the establishment of a sect “Magyar Apostoli Epizkopális Egyház” (supported by Dr Bertil Persson) that illegally uses the name and symbols of the Apostolic Episcopal Church.
“Magyar Apostoli Epizkopális Egyház”
This Hungarian body has been formed by Tamas Szeles and Bertil Persson, former bishops of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, following their departure from our communion. Both men are excommunicates and neither possesses any form of jurisdiction or authority from our church. The use of the name and symbols of the Apostolic Episcopal Church on websites or videos by these men is illegal and fraudulent.