Intercommunion

EmblemGIFThe Apostolic Episcopal Church is at all times ready to express its solidarity with all who follow Christ. We aspire to fulfil the prayer of Christ in John 17:20-21 – “that all may be as one”.

Where significant common ground and agreement on fundamental principles exists with another church, the Apostolic Episcopal Church will consider entering into an agreement of intercommunion. Such an agreement does not imply that there may not still be some significant differences of practice and emphasis between the AEC and its intercommunion partners, but it indicates that there is far more that unites us than divides.

A list is provided below of those intercommunion agreements which, so far as the Apostolic Episcopal Church is concerned, continue in force today.

Many churches and clergy of the widest range of churchmanship make reference to the Apostolic Episcopal Church on their websites and in the discussion of their history and antecedents. Such reference does not constitute any form of ecclesiastical relationship, still less endorsement, by the Apostolic Episcopal Church, which in many cases is completely unaware of the clergyman or entity concerned. Only churches that hold a duly executed Instrument of Intercommunion signed by the authorities of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, or that have been established with the support of Metropolitan Synod, may say truthfully that they are in intercommunion with the Apostolic Episcopal Church.

The policy of the Apostolic Episcopal Church is not to repudiate agreements of intercommunion unless there is a pressing and definitive need to do so. However, the decision during the 1980s that the AEC should proceed with a rapid expansion of its intercommunion agreements has created a complex position whose present ramifications are still being resolved. Where possible, we indicate those situations where we are aware of changes that are likely to have an effect on our current intercommunion position in a separate section below.

Churches that are interested in exploring the possibility of intercommunion with the Apostolic Episcopal Church should read the information on this page.

>>Information for churches seeking intercommunion with the Apostolic Episcopal Church

List of churches that are in communion with the Apostolic Episcopal Church

Abbey-Principality of San Luigi and the Order of Antioch
Intercommunion entered 25 August 2011 when Archbishop John Kersey of the AEC was elected head of these bodies.

American World Patriarchates
Intercommunion entered through Patriarch Uladyslaw I (Ryzy-Ryski). See also Byelorussian Orthodox National Church in Exile below.

Anglican Independent Communion (Original Province)
Intercommunion entered 23-24 September 2000 by the Rt. Revd. Robert Loiselle, Suffragan Bishop of the AIC, via the Uniate Western Catholic Church (see below).

Association of Independent Evangelical Lutheran Churches
Co-founded by Archbishop Spataro in 1996 and in intercommunion from its foundation.

Byelorussian Patriarchate of St Andrew the First-Called Apostle
Intercommunion entered in April 2015 when Archbishop John Kersey of the AEC succeeded as Ecclesiast of this body.

Byelorussian Orthodox National Church in Exile
Intercommunion entered 23-24 September 2000 by Patriarch Yuri I (Emigidiusz J. Ryzy), also head of the American World Patriarchates.

Caribbean Episcopal Church
Established by the AEC in 1986 and in intercommunion from its foundation.

Catholic Apostolic Church (“Irvingites”)
Intercommunion entered under subdeacon Norman Priddle. This church is chiliastic in nature and no clergy in major orders are still alive.

Church of the Ascension
Intercommunion entered 28 May 1983 by Primate Archbishop George William Boyer.

Ethiopian Orthodox Coptic Church of North and South America
Intercommunion entered 13 October 1990 by Metropolitan-Archbishop-Primate Phillip Lewis.

Ethiopian Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America
Intercommunion entered 23-24 September 2000 by Abuna Nathaniel Williams.

Gesellschaft des Guten Hirten (Society of the Good Shepherd)
Intercommunion entered 22 May 1993 by Superior-General Bishop Victor Schoonbroodt.

Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Philippine Independent Church, Philippine Independent Catholic Church)
Intercommunion entered 15 June 1988 by Obispo Maximo Macario V. Ga. Since 1981 there has been a division in the IFI between the approximately half of the church that has remained loyal to the late Obispo Maximo Ga and those who have opposed him. The AEC has been allied throughout with the party supporting Obispo Maximo Ga and the Continuing Anglican missions which he established in the USA, Europe and the UK.

Iglesia Católica Anglicana del Ecuador
Intercommunion entered by Archbishop Frowell Ugalde as a result of union with The Anglican Church, Inc., since merged with the AEC.

North American Old Roman Catholic Church
Intercommunion entered 20 May 1978 by Archbishop Edgar Ramon Verostek.

Old Roman Orthodox Rite (and Exorcist Order of St Michael, chartered by the Byelorussian Orthodox National Church in Exile (see above))
Intercommunion entered by Archbishop Michael Kline, who was consecrated by the Primate of the AEC and other bishops in our intercommunion.

Old Catholic Church of Great Britain
Intercommunion entered in 2015 when Archbishop John Kersey of the AEC succeeded as Primate of this church.

Order of Corporate Reunion
Intercommunion entered 7 October 1933 by Archbishop Ignatius (Nichols), OCR Pro-Provincial for the USA.
>>Order of Corporate Reunion further information

Orthodox Catholic Church
Intercommunion entered 6 June 1946 by Archbishop John Sebastian Marlow Ward.

Reformed Catholic Church (UK) and Order of Christ Our Most Holy Redeemer and King
Intercommunion entered 6 August 1946 by Bishop Richard Kenneth Hurgon in his capacity as head of the Order of Christ Our Most Holy Redeemer and King; reaffirmed 1985.

Traditional Catholic Christian Church (now Tridentine Catholic Church)
Intercommunion entered under Bishop Thomas Czernohorsky-Fehervary.

Uniate Western Catholic Church (an inner communion of the Order of Corporate Reunion)
Intercommunion entered 23-24 September 2000 by OCR Universal Primate Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan, when Archbishop Francis Spataro, Primate of the AEC, was appointed Primate of the UWCC.

Union Apostolique Gallicane
Intercommunion entered 2 November 2016 by Bishop Moderator Raphaël-Magnoald Steck.

Venerabile Confraternita (o Compagnia) detta del Buonconsiglio di Città di Castello and the OR.VEN. – Ordine Venerabile della Venerabile Confraternita di Maria Ss.ma del Buonconsiglio della Buona Morte e Misericordia, Città di Castello, Italy (Order of the Venerable Confraternity (or Company), known as of (Our Lady of) Good Counsel of Good Death and Mercy of Città di Castello).
Treaties of Collaboration and Partnership entered into 11 July 2017 by Grand Prior the Very Revd. Prof. Carlo Liviero Morini di Morin.

List of intercommunion agreements currently subject to clarification or revision

The American Catholic Church (Laguna Beach, California)
Intercommunion entered through Primate Lowell Paul Wadle (Mar Paulos) on 23 August 1945 (via the Ancient Christian Fellowship). Present status subject to clarification.

Byzantine Universal (Catholic) and Orthodox Church of the Americas
Intercommunion entered 23 August 1945 (via the Ancient Christian Fellowship). Present status subject to clarification.

Église de la Nouvelle Alliance
Intercommunion entered by Patriarch Stephanos (Roger Caro). This church was officially dissolved in 1992, but the AEC continued to have relations with a number of its former bishops for several years afterwards. Present status subject to clarification.

Igreja Catolica Apostolica Brasileira (Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church)
Intercommunion entered 22 November 1987 by Patriarch Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez. Since the death of the Patriarch in 2009, this church has undergone a number of changes and the status of the agreement is presently unclear.

Independent African Orthodox Church (of South Africa)
Intercommunion entered 4 October 1974 by the late Patriarch James II (Daniel Kanyiles). Since the death of the Patriarch in 2003, this church has undergone a number of changes and the status of the agreement is presently unclear. Until 2015, the Apostolic Episcopal Church also had a close relationship with another branch of the African Orthodox Church, the Diocese of Long Island, which was under the leadership of Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan, Universal Primate of the Order of Corporate Reunion (see above).

Methodist Episcopal Church
Following agreement with Bishop Odd Hagen, leader in Northern Europe of the United Methodist Conference, the AEC came into intercommunion with the remnant communities of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Present status subject to clarification.

Original Unitarian Church
Intercommunion entered by bishops Joseph Ferencz and Lajos Kovacs. Since the death of these bishops the status of the agreement has been unclear.

Relationships of friendship, recognition and dialogue

In addition to formal intercommunion, the Apostolic Episcopal Church has other ecumenical relationships with a number of churches. Its intercommunion with the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Philippine Independent Church, Philippine Independent Catholic Church), and the resulting consecrations of AEC bishops by their fellow bishops in the IFI, brought it into relations with a fellow Anglican church which has been in full communion with the Anglican Communion since 1960. The orders of the IFI are recognized under the Church of England’s Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure 1967. The IFI has also been in full communion with the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches since 1965.

The episcopal orders of the Apostolic Episcopal Church were first recognized by the Church of Sweden, which is similarly in full communion with the Anglican Communion, on 15 July 1951 in respect of Archbishop Perry N. Cedarholm of the AEC.

Between the 1970s and the 1990s there were close relationships between the Apostolic Episcopal Church and the Orthodox Churches; namely the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, the Ancient Church of the East, the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church, Eparchy of France. The AEC remains committed to seeking continued ecumenical relations with our Orthodox brethren.

Through the Order of Corporate Reunion, the AEC has a close relationship of friendship with the Old Roman Catholic Church at St Lucy’s Cathedral, Brooklyn, New York, whose Primate, Archbishop Louis Elias Milazzo, is North American Provincial of the OCR. Many ecumenical services have taken place through the kindness of the Cathedral authorities and the clergy of the AEC often join the ORCC for regular worship there.

For many years, the Apostolic Episcopal Church has had a relationship with the Catholic Apostolic Church, sometimes called “Irvingites”. The Catholicate of the West was, in part, an attempt to continue the mission of that church, whose public ministry came to an end with the death of its last clergy in major orders in 1972. During the 1970s, the community of the Catholic Apostolic Church in Sweden came under the care of the AEC. Subsequently an intercommunion between the Catholic Apostolic Church and the AEC was agreed by the late Norman Priddle, an underdeacon who served the Central Church in Gordon Square, London. In 1992, the only episcopal consecration to take place at Gordon Square since the Catholic Apostolic Church entered into the “Time of Silence” in 1901 occurred, when Archbishop Francis C. Spataro was consecrated for the AEC there.

Consecration of Francis Spataro, Gordon SquareConsecration of Archbishop Francis Spataro for the Apostolic Episcopal Church, Central Church of the Catholic Apostolic Church, Gordon Square, London, 31 October 1992.