Apostolic Succession

Table of Apostolic Succession by Principal Consecrator: It may be well to state here so that no misunderstanding may arise about ecclesiastical law. The question: “What effect is produced in the ‘Status quo’ of a Bishop when suspended?” The answer: “When a Bishop, or other ranking prelate of the church has been suspended, the validity of his consecration is in no way affected. Once a Bishop, no power on earth can invalidate that act. Furthermore, any consecrations which that Bishop may perform in the future, as long as such consecrations are performed with Matter, Intent, and Form (Ritual) of the Church, they are valid and binding.” The Roman Catholic Church calls such consecrations, ordinations and confirmations, which the suspended Bishop may perform, “illicit”, but the Roman Catholic Church has never denied their validity. Many times, however, she has authoritatively admitted that the Bishops of the “Old (Roman) Catholic Church of America”are validly consecrated Bishops, with all the power and authority which such validity invests in them. Since the history of the “Old (Roman) Catholic Church of America” and the “Roman Catholic Church” are identical up to the year 1702, it is unnecessary to give the Apostolic Succession before that date. Therefore, it is only necessary to give the Apostolic Succession from that year.

In 1669, Peter Codde was consecrated Vicar General with the title of Bishop of Sebaste in Partibus. In 1710, Bishop Peter Codde died. In 1702, Theodore Kock was appointed to replace Bishop Peter Codde. In 1723, the Chapter of Utrecht, in order to preserve the canonical succession of the Dutch clergy, elected Cornelius Stunoven as Archbishop. Dominique Varlet, Bishop of Bablyon in Partibus, consecrated him October 15, 1723. Upon the death of Bishop Stunoven, no successor having been named, the Chapter of Utrecht elected Cornelius Jan Burchman as its primate. Bishop Dominique Varlet consecrated Jan Burchman on September 30th, 1725. From the year 1725 to year 1892, the names and dates on record in the Vatican are as follows: Peter Jan Meindaerts A.D.1739; Jan van Stipout, A.D. 1745; Walter Michael van Nieuwenhuizen, A.D.1768; Adrian Brockman, A.D. 1778; Jan James van Rhizn, A.D. 1797; Gilbert de Jong, A.D. 1805; Willibrord van Oss, A.D. 1814; John Bon, A.D. 1819; John van Santen, A.D. 1825; Herman Heykamp, A.D. 1854; Gaspard John Rinkel, A.D. 1873; Gerald Gull, A.D.1892. On May 11th 1892 Gerald Gull (or Gul) was consecrated Archbishop of Utrecht, Holland May 11th 1892. On April 28 1908 Archbishop Gull consecrated Arnold Harris Mathew as Regionary Bishop of Great Britain and Ireland.

In 1908 the origins of the “Old Roman Catholic Church of America” were established in Great Britain. In 1911, Bishop Mathew was elected Archbishop. On June 29th, 1912, Archbishop Mathew consecrated Prince de Landas Berghes et de Rache as Regionary Bishop of Scotland, due to the outbreak of World War I, the Prince moves to America. In 1916 Bishop Prince de Landas Berghes et de Rache was elected Archbishop of North America. Archbishop Mathew also consecrated Bernard Mary Williams on April 14, 1914, who in November 4, 1920, was elected Archbishop of England, and James MacFall, consecrated July 21st 1916 as Bishop of Ireland. On October 4th, 1916, Archbishop Prince de Landas-Berghes et de Rache consecrated Carmel Henry Carfora as his Perpetual Co-adjutor and Regionary Bishop. On October 12, 1919, Bishop Carfora was elected Archbishop of United States and Canada. On March 19, 1923 Archbishop Carfora was made Primate of the “Old (Roman) Catholic Church of America.” Archbishop Carfora ordained the Rev. Francis X. Resch to the holy priesthood on August 15, 1933, and consecrated him to the episcopacy on December 8, 1940. Bishop Resch was later elected Archbishop. Archbishop Carfora died in 1958.

Upon Archbishop Resch’s retirement Archbishop Resch consecrated Rev. Walter X. Brown to the episcopacy with the right of sucession as Archbishop, on August 25, 1963, in St. Francis Church, Kankakee, Illinois. Bishop Resch died in 1976. Archbishop Brown cosecrated Rev. Henry Pleau as Bishop of Canada on September 21st, 1974. Archbishop Brown consecrated Rev. James Edward Bostwick as Auxiliary Bishop with right of succession on September 19, 1992, in St. Nicholas Cathedral, Watertown, Wisconsin. Bishop Bostwick assumed the leadership of the Old Catholic Church of America upon Archbishop Brown’s retirement effective November 1, 1997. Bishop Bostwick was installed as Archbishop Metropolitan at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Angels in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, on December 20, 1997. Archbishop Brown died on July 23, 1998. Archbishop Bostwick died in March of 2009. Bishop Henry Pleau assumed the position of Archbishop Metropolitan in December of 2009. He consecrated Rev. Charles Walders as Coadjutor Bishop with right of succession on October 15th, 2013. Archbishop Henry Pleau resigned Jurisdiction on May 29, 2014 and on that date was succeeded by Archbishop Charles Walders.

On August 9, 2014, Archbishop Walders consecrated V. Rev. David Persyn as Bishop of the Diocese of Louisiana, as mandated by the Synod in April 2014 and endorsed by the Old Roman Catholic Church of Europe and Witnessed by representatives of the Old Roman Catholic Church of Great Britain. On Nov. 9, 2017, at the Chicago Synod, Bishop Persyn was unanimously elected Metropolitan of the Province of the Americas and Pacific Rim for the Old Roman Catholic Communion.

As you see by the information presented the Old Roman Catholic Church of America received its apostolic succession and valid orders from Christ and the Apostles.