History of the
Apostolic See of Sts. Stephen and Mark
The Apostolic See of Sts. Stephen and Mark (United Roman-Ruthenian Church) is an Apostolic church of ancient origins and Orthodox and Catholic heritage. The Church, today an ethno-religious minority, is rooted in the ancient Apostolic Churches of Rome, Constantinople, Syria, Russia, Alexandria, and Armenia and represents a rare convergence of Apostolic faith and tradition that is both Orthodox and Catholic, both Western and Eastern. Though the Church stands on its own, it has received confirmation of its autocephalous and canonical status from various ecclesiastical and secular authorities over the years. (See also the legacy of the Independent Catholic Church International, Anglican Diocese of the Southwest, and multinational Orthodoxy.)
EASTERN AND WESTERN HERITAGE
The United Roman-Ruthenian Church is among those few churches in the world that are privileged to branch in Apostolic succession from the Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Old Catholic, Melkite Catholic, Syrian Antiochian Orthodox, Syrian Malankara, Armenian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Uniate, Melkite (Greek) Catholic, and Chaldean (Babylonian/Iraqi) Catholic Churches. The most recent Patriarchs of ancient geographical Churches from which we descend are both from the 20th century: Sergei, Patriarch of Moscow (Russian Orthodox) and Yousef VI, Patriarch of Babylon (Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq). Part of our Roman succession is held in common with 95% the modern Vatican Church (Roman Communion) today, but the United Roman-Ruthenian Church also has much older lines as well, including the famous lines of Medici, Barberini, and Borghese. As a Church of united Apostolic heritage spanning East and West, it evokes memories of the Church before the Great Schism one thousand years ago and points to a Christian unity that often seems today like an elusive goal.
A SPIRITUAL AND CULTURAL
FORCE FOR PAN-SLAVIC ROMAN UNITY.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Its modern history began with the restoration of the Anglican Diocese of the Southwest in 2008. The diocese was originally a part of the "continuing Anglican" movement, but joined the orthodox and old catholic Apostolic tradition as part of the Apostolic Communion of Anglican Churches. The diocese is therefore considered the historic First Chair of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church. Though of Roman-Syrian-Byzantine origins, the Apostolic See steadfastly keeps to the idea that all are welcome in Christ, whether Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, or any believer in Christ.
The active expression of our Roman heritage of Old Catholicism was brought to the forefront in 2011, and the Anglican Patriarchate was formally established and recognised the same year. In 2019, the Apostolic See of Saints Stephen and Mark was established through the joining of the See of St. Stephen (Coadjutorship of Rome) and the Anglo-Roman Metropolitan See of Aquileia, part of the Holy Roman Empire patrimony of the Church. Also in 2019, the United Roman-Ruthenian Church (under the name of its foundation at the time, the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church, Inc.) was admitted to special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
Finally, the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox heritage of our identity was brought into the forefront starting in 2020 with Byzantine Roman customs, in 2021 with the re-establishment of the Gallican Rite (a tradition in France and Spain with origins in Greece and Antioch now centred in Argentina and affiliated with the Merovingian Dynasty), and finally with the newly-compiled Gallo-Russo-Byzantine and Anglican-Byzantine Rites the following year. In 2022, the unification of our ethno-religious heritage was complete, and the dream had been realised, keeping with the wish of Our Lord Ut unum sint – that all may be one. Over the years, the Apostolic See of Sts. Stephen and Mark and its various jurisdictions and organisations around the world established religious orders, built parishes and religious communities, grew chaplaincies servings the poor and vulnerable, expanded vocations, built service organisations to facilitate and promote humanitarian work, carried out significant historical preservation work, engaged in extensive diplomatic work, and published an substantial collection of liturgical, theological, and historical books. In the words of Bishop Rutherford I, "Our mission is the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. Our method is to empower people to build on their strengths, achieve their full potential, and do good in the world."
See more here.
The United Roman-Ruthenian Church's principle lines of heritage and authority are:
Russian Orthodox (from Nikon, Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus'; Sergius Starogrodsky, Metropolitan of Nizhni-Novgorod, Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus'); and Saint Archbishop Abdullah Aftimios Ofiesh
Syrian Antiochene (from Mar Ignatius III, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch)
Syrian Malabarese (from Mar Ignatius Peter III, Patriarch of Antioch)
Syrian Gallican (from Mar Julius, Metropolitan
of Goa; Mar Athanasius,
Greek Orthodox (from Damian I, Patriarch of Jerusalem)
Coptic Orthodox (via Cyril VI, Pope of Alexandria)
Syro Chaldean (from Mar Shimum XVIII, Patriarch of Seleucia-Ctesiphon and Catholicos of the East; Mar Abdese-Antonios, Metropolitan of Malabar; and Mar Basileus, Metropolitan of India, Ceylon, Mylapore, Socotra, and Messina)
Chaldean Uniate (from Mar Emmanuel Thomas II, Patriarch of Babylon)
Armenian Uniate (from Archbishop Charchorunian, consecreated under the reign of Patriarch Antonios Peter IX)
Uniate (from Athanasius Sawoya, Greek Melkite Archbishop
Russo-Syriac (from Archbishop Evdokim, Archbishop of Nizhny Novgorod
and Archbishop of the Aleutians)
American Orthodox Catholic Church (from Saint Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh, Prince-Abbots Edmond I (Edmund Basile Walker-Baxter), and Edmond II (George Arvid Edmond Lyman) of San Luigi).
Edmond I, Prince-Abbot of San Luigi
African Orthodox Church (from Metropolitan Alexander I)
In addition, the United Roman-Ruthenian Church's Roman Catholic and Anglican lines of succession may be seen at this page.
The temporal succession of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church may be seen at this page.
also the heritage of the Independent Catholic Church International, Anglican Communion, Old Catholic
See of Utrecht, Anglican Diocese of the Southwest,
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