Succession

“Have you an Apostolic Succession? Unfold the line of your Bishops.” – Tertullian, 3rd Century.

A major work of the Apostolic Episcopal Church has been the creation of an Ecumenical Apostolic Succession as a means of aiding the reunion of the various churches of Christendom.

Caudill Philippine consecrationArchbishop H. Edwin Caudill is consecrated for the AEC by Macario V. Ga, Obispo Maximo of the Philippine Independent Church, assisted by Bishops Frank Benning and John Hamers, Holy Cross Polish National Catholic Church, Brooklyn, New York, 21 October 1993.

The Apostolic Episcopal Church holds that Holy Orders are a sacrament that is received once only. The reception of additional episcopal commissioning as an act towards the unification of Christendom was initiated during the 1930s by the Apostolic Episcopal Church in pursuance of resolution 9 of the 1920 Lambeth Conference: “Reunion of Christendom”. This stated that the “visible unity of the Church will be found to involve the wholehearted acceptance of…a ministry acknowledged by every part of the Church as possessing not only the inward call of the Spirit, but also the commission of Christ and the authority of the whole body.” The Resolution continues,

“May we not reasonably claim that the episcopate is the one means of providing such a ministry? It is not that we call in question for a moment the spiritual reality of the ministries of those Communions which do not possess the episcopate. On the contrary we thankfully acknowledge that these ministries have been manifestly blessed and owned by the Holy Spirit as effective means of grace. But we submit that considerations alike of history and of present experience justify the claim which we make on behalf of the episcopate. Moreover, we would urge that it is now and will prove to be in the future the best instrument for maintaining the unity and continuity of the Church. But we greatly desire that the office of a bishop should be everywhere exercised in a representative and constitutional manner, and more truly express all that ought to be involved for the life of the Christian family in the title of Father-in-God. Nay more, we eagerly look forward to the day when through its acceptance in a united Church we may all share in that grace which is pledged to the members of the whole body in the apostolic rite of the laying-on of hands, and in the joy and fellowship of a eucharist in which as one family we may together, without any doubtfulness of mind, offer to the one Lord our worship and service.”

The Resolution then goes on to propose directly the creation of an Ecumenical Apostolic Succession:

“We believe that for all, the truly equitable approach to union is by way of mutual deference to one another’s consciences. To this end, we who send forth this appeal would say that if the authorities of other Communions should so desire, we are persuaded that, terms of union having been otherwise satisfactorily adjusted, bishops and clergy of our Communion would willingly accept from these authorities a form of commission or recognition which would commend our ministry to their congregations, as having its place in the one family life. It is not in our power to know how far this suggestion may be acceptable to those to whom we offer it. We can only say that we offer it in all sincerity as a token of our longing that all ministries of grace, theirs and ours, shall be available for the service of our Lord in a united church. It is our hope that the same motive would lead ministers who have not received it to accept a commission through episcopal ordination, as obtaining for them a ministry throughout the whole fellowship. In so acting no one of us could possibly be taken to repudiate his past ministry. God forbid that any man should repudiate a past experience rich in spiritual blessings for himself and others. Nor would any of us be dishonouring the Holy Spirit of God, whose call led us all to our several ministries, and whose power enabled us to perform them. We shall be publicly and formally seeking additional recognition of a new call to wider service in a reunited Church, and imploring for ourselves God’s grace and strength to fulfil the same.”

In the absence of a full implementation by the Anglican Communion (although partial implementation was achieved by means of the Bonn Agreement of 1931, after which Old Catholic bishops assisted at some Anglican consecrations using a formulary that was designed to make explicit their intention to transmit the Apostolic Succession), the Apostolic Episcopal Church undertook this work on a comprehensive basis as an integral part of its mission as an ecumenical body, beginning with its incorporation in 1932 and continuing in the succeeding decades both through its own efforts and notably those of its intercommunion partner the Catholicate of the West, as well as further intercommunion partners in more recent decades.

In receiving additional episcopal commissioning, the bishop is not required to deny the efficacy of his previous consecration, nor to recognise the additional commissioning as a repetition of that sacrament (which would be blasphemous). The comparison to an ekonomia is more appropriate, whereby the effect of additional commissioning is merely to make effective the act of consecration within the context of the church concerned.

The work of the Ecumenical Apostolic Succession has today been completed through the unification of the major Successions from the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, and exists unimpaired within the Apostolic Episcopal Church.

Successions within the Apostolic Episcopal Church

Lines of succession from the following churches currently exist within the Apostolic Episcopal Church: Albanian Orthodox Church – Ancient Church of the East – Armenian Catholic Church – Chaldean Catholic Church – Roman Catholic Church – Church of England – Coptic Orthodox Church – English Nonjurors and the Scottish Episcopal Church – Melkite-Greek Catholic Church – Order of Corporate Reunion – Protestant Episcopal Church and the Iglesia Filipina Independiente – Romanian Orthodox Church – Russian Orthodox Church – Syrian Orthodox Church.

In some cases, multiple lineages from these communions exist. The Apostolic Episcopal Church also holds episcopal (non-Apostolic) lineages from several of the Protestant churches. Currently, a new book is in preparation that will address this subject and exemplify these lineages in full. The reader should be aware that although other websites often make reference to the successions of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, this information is often significantly out of date or inaccurate.

Principal lineages

Several lineages from the parent bodies of the Apostolic Episcopal Church are given here as exemplars. The first is the Primatial lineage of the Apostolic Episcopal Church from the Chaldean Catholic Church, which is an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with Rome. The second shows the descent of the Apostolic Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion, via the Iglesia Filipina Independiente which entered into intercommunion with the Apostolic Episcopal Church in 1988. The third shows the descent of the Apostolic Episcopal Church from the Union of Ütrecht of the Old Catholic Churches and from the Polish National Catholic Church. Each lineage is traced from the nearest Primate of the church concerned, since the Apostolic descents for those primates are common knowledge.


The Succession of the Apostolic Episcopal Church from the Chaldean Catholic Church

Yosif Khayatt (Maran Mar Yosif Emmanuel II Thoma) (1852-1947)
Patriarch, The Chaldean Catholic Church (1900)
Assisted by Bishop of Salmas and Patriarchal Vicar Pierre Aziz Ho, Maran Mar Yosif Emmanuel II Thoma consecrated on 27 May 1917:

Antoïne Lefebüre [Leberne, Lefberne] (Mar Antoine) (1862-1953)
Member, Ordo Antonianus S. Hormisdae Chaldaeorum
Patriarchal Exarch of Western Europe (1917)
Delegate and Special Commissary in the USA (1917)
Assisted by Mar James (Fernand Portal) and Mar Evodius (Edward Robert Smith), bishops of the Chaldean Catholic Church, Mar Antoine consecrated as Titular Bishop of Sardis on 4 May 1925:

Arthur Wolfort Brooks (Mar John Emmanuel) (1889-1948)
Archbishop-Primate, The Apostolic Episcopal Church (1930)
Assisted by Rev. David Leonarides and Rev. Stanatios Jongsoudis, both of The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Archbishop Brooks consecrated on 13 July 1946:

Wallace de Ortega Maxey (Mar David I) (1902-92)
Archbishop-Primate, The Apostolic Episcopal Church (1948)
Assisted by Archbishop-Primate Ronald R. Ramm, Patriarchal-Archbishop, The Apostolic Episcopal Catholic Church and the Ancient Christian Fellowship, Archbishop-Primate Jürgen W. Bless, The German Old Catholic Church in America, Archbishop-Primate Emile F. R. Fairfield, Iglesia Ortodóxa Católica Apostólica Méxicana, Archbishop-Primate Arthur Garrow, The Tridentine Old Catholic Church of the Americas, Bishop Daniel N. McCarty, The Apostolic Catholic Church of the Americas, Bishop Paul G. W. Schultz, Iglesia Ortodóxa Apostólica Méxicana and Apostolic Administrator of the USA of The Apostolic Episcopal Church, Archbishop Maxey consecrated and enthroned as the third Archbishop-Primate of the AEC on 7 November 1986:

Nils Bertil Alexander Persson (Mar Alexander) (1941-)
Archbishop-Primate, The Apostolic Episcopal Church (1986)
Assisted by Metropolitan-Archbishop-Primate Phillip Lewis, the Ethiopian Orthodox Coptic Church of North & South America & Europe, and Archbishop Paget E.J. Mack, AEC, Archbishop Persson consecrated and enthroned as AEC Archbishop of Great Britain on 23 November 2008:

John Kersey (Mar Joannes Edmundus) (1972-)
Archbishop-Primate, The Apostolic Episcopal Church (2015)


The Succession of the Apostolic Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion
Numbers indicated thus: # follow the practice of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the USA in allocating a number to each of its bishops.

John Gardner Murray (1857-1929) PECUSA #243
Presiding Bishop, Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA (1926)
On 3 December 1928, Bishop Murray, assisted by Bishop John McKim, Missionary Bishop of North Tokyo, PECUSA #167, and Bishop Henry St George Tucker, Bishop of Virginia, PECUSA #258, consecrated:

Norman Spencer Binsted (1890-1961) PECUSA #357
Missionary Bishop of the Philippines, Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA (1928)
On 17 September 1950, Bishop Binsted, assisted by Bishop Robert F. Wilner, Suffragan Bishop of the Philippines, PECUSA #403, and Bishop Harry Sherbourne Kennedy, Missionary Bishop of Hawai’i and Taiwan, PECUSA #444, consecrated:

Macario Ga y Vilches (1913-2002)
Obispo Maximo, Iglesia Filipina Independiente (1972)
On 21 August 1993, Obispo Maximo Ga, assisted by Archbishop Frank Benning, Anglican Episcopal Diocese, South, and Archbishop John Hamers, United Episcopal Church of North America, and with the approval of the Supreme Council of Bishops, IFI, consecrated:

Howard Edwin Caudill (1932-98)
Archbishop of the Central and Western Provinces, USA, The Apostolic Episcopal Church (1993)
On 12 July 1997, Archbishop Caudill with Archbishop Francis Spataro, AEC Provincial of the East, USA, and Bishop Frowell Ugalde, Iglesia Católica Anglicana del Ecuador, assisted Archbishop Bertil Persson, Archbishop-Primate, The Apostolic Episcopal Church, and consecrated:

Paget Elkanah James Mack (1954-)
Archbishop ad personam, The Apostolic Episcopal Church
On 23 November 2008, Archbishop Mack and Metropolitan-Archbishop-Primate Phillip Lewis, the Ethiopian Orthodox Coptic Church of North & South America & Europe, assisted Archbishop Bertil Persson, Emeritus Primate, The Apostolic Episcopal Church, and consecrated:

John Kersey (Mar Joannes Edmundus) (1972-)
Archbishop-Primate, The Apostolic Episcopal Church (2015)


The Succession of the Apostolic Episcopal Church from the Union of Ütrecht of the Old Catholic Churches and the Polish National Catholic Church
Numbers indicated thus: # follow the practice of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the USA in allocating a number to each of its bishops.

Gerard Gul (1847-1920)
Archbishop, The Union of Ütrecht of the Old Catholic Churches (1892)
Assisted by Bishops Johannes Jacobus van Thiel and Nicholas Bartholomaeus Petrus Spit, Oud-Katholieke Kerk van Nederland, Archbishop Gul consecrated on 29 September 1907:

Frantiszek Hodur (1866-1953)
as first Prime Bishop of the Polish National Catholic Church
On 26 August 1936, assisted by Leon Grochowski (1886-1969) and John Zenon Jasinski (1888-1951), both bishops of the PNCC, he consecrated:

John Misiaszek (1903-72)
Coadjutor Bishop of the Central Diocese of the Polish National Catholic Church
On 6 November 1946 he assisted Charles K. Gilbert (PECUSA #374; Bishop of New York) with Henry Knox Sherrill (PECUSA #372: Emeritus Bishop of Massachusetts) and Norman Burdett Nash (PECUSA #468: Bishop of Massachusetts) in consecrating:

Horace William Baden Donegan (1900-91)
PECUSA #472; PECUSA Bishop of New York (1950)
Assisting Arthur C. Lichtenberger (PECUSA #503; Presiding Bishop XXI of PECUSA (1958) and J. Reginald Mallett (PECUSA #450; Bishop of Northern Indiana) on 1 October 1962 he consecrated:

 Albert Arthur Chambers (1906-93)
PECUSA Bishop of Springfield (PECUSA #588) (1962); Primate, Anglican Church in North America (Episcopal) (1978)
Assisted by Francisco Pagtakhan of the Philippine Independent Church and Charles Dale David Doren (1915-) of the Anglican Catholic Church, on 28 January 1978 he consecrated:

James Orin Mote (1922-2006)
Bishop of the Holy Trinity, Anglican Catholic Church
Assisted by William Francis Burns (1918-2000), Bishop of the Resurrection, Anglican Catholic Church, and William O. Lewis (1922-), Bishop of the Midwest, Anglican Catholic Church, on 19 April 1980 he consecrated:

Robert Condit Harvey (1916-2014)
Bishop of the Southwest, Anglican Catholic Church (1980); subsequently Bishop of the Southwest, American Episcopal Church (1983)
Assisted by Anthony Forbes Moreton Clavier (1940-), Primate of the American Episcopal Church, and John M. Hamers (1924-), Bishop of the Anglican Episcopal Church,  on 26 March 1983 he consecrated:

Howard Edwin Caudill (1932-98)
Archbishop of the Central and Western Provinces, USA, The Apostolic Episcopal Church (1993)
On 12 July 1997, Archbishop Caudill with Archbishop Francis Spataro, AEC Provincial of the East, USA, and Bishop Frowell Ugalde, Iglesia Católica Anglicana del Ecuador, assisted Archbishop Bertil Persson, Archbishop-Primate, The Apostolic Episcopal Church, and consecrated:

Paget Elkanah James Mack (1954-)
Archbishop ad personam, The Apostolic Episcopal Church
On 23 November 2008, Archbishop Mack and Metropolitan-Archbishop-Primate Phillip Lewis, the Ethiopian Orthodox Coptic Church of North & South America & Europe, assisted Archbishop Bertil Persson, Emeritus Primate, The Apostolic Episcopal Church, and consecrated:

John Kersey (Mar Joannes Edmundus) (1972-)
Archbishop-Primate, The Apostolic Episcopal Church (2015)