HOLY SYNOD

THE ORTHODOX CATHOLIC COMMUNION OF THE EAST & WEST (OCCEW)

AND

THE SYNOD OF ORTHODOX CATHOLIC BISHOPS INTERNATIONAL (SOCBI)

A UNITED SACRAMENTAL COMMUNION & SYNOD OF EASTERN & WESTERN ORTHODOX CATHOLIC JURISDICTIONS AND BISHOPS. WE HAVE DETERMINED WITH ONE RESOLVE, TO LIVE OUT THE GOSPEL IN THE SPIRIT OF THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN FULL EPISCOPAL COLLEGIALITY.

The OCCEW and her sister organization SOCBI were formed in obedience to the expressed will of Our Savior God and in answer to the call of the Holy Spirit among us. In St. John 17, Our Most Holy Redeemer prays to the Heavenly Father, "that they all might be one". The only "liturgia" (service rendered) to organize and bring this to fruition among us, was to proclaim with a united voice the extant union we realized had already existed. In essence, the only effort any of us put forth was to conform to the perfect will of the Almighty and thank Him for His abundant grace and favor towards us. This is the work of the Comforter as promised by Christ-God to the Apostles prior to his glorious Ascension to heaven. We are convinced there are countless more concerned souls like us who share these same aspirations. All they need do in order to share in our Blessing is what we have done: proclaim as a witness in obedience to the Divine will that union which in fact has already taken place . This is precisely how the pre-denominational Church understood what and who constituted the Mystical Body of Christ. One only needs to prayerfully read the Book of Acts or any of the Pauline Epistles to become so enlightened. Union was not merely an idle concept to the undivided Church. The brethren lived this aspect of their spirituality daily in prayer, word, deed, Sacrament, unconditional love and mutual respect among all believers.

What is it this already accomplished organic union has for its source(s)? It is those holy vessels which form the Orthodox Deposit of Faith. They are the Sacred Scriptures, the three ancient Creeds, the Ecumenical Councils (325-787 inclusive), the wisdom of the Church Fathers, the Historic Episcopate, the Seven Sacraments and the historic Liturgies of the East and West. In addition and by way of summary, we have those Sacred Traditions which have born witness to the Church as a living tribute to "the Faith once and for all given".

We have adopted as a basic premise for union that which goes to the very heart of this Holy Spirit inspired "liturgia" among us. If a jurisdiction seek to join with us, its Bishops should have no need to change, add, or make concessions on articles of belief, of which they are convicted. It is not the intention of the OCCEW and its Synod of Bishops (SOCBI) to force union where it does not already exist. Neither do we expect others to follow us in blind docility in order to become members. It is entirely conceivable that such differences might exist, as for example, the recitation of the Nicene Creed with the "filioque". In all such matters, those wishing to join us would need to re-examine these theological differences and decide on their own a willingness to conform to our Orthodox Credo. This is something which we insist is done by the free will of those involved and not by the least amount of prompting on our part. We demand total honesty in such matters and not docility or lip service. Finally, if we are all truly Orthodox as defined by those "holy vessels" enumerated above, this union of which we speak would already have been accomplished between us. Either we are fully Orthodox or we are not. We are either in complete agreement or we are not. It is imperative that all of our membership (at all levels) "AGREE TO AGREE" with our principles. Prior to the Great Schism in 1054, Mater Ecclesia Orthodoxa lived (Eastern & Western) and breathed unity in Creed and freedom in Liturgy and local parochialism.

As we look back and reflect upon the writings of those we all hold to be the Fathers of us all, a sobering reality is brought before us. Tertullian, Origen, St Cyprian, St. Augustine, St. Basil, St. Ambrose, St. Irenaeus, St Ignatius, and St. John Chrysostom in particular stressed that unity in the Church was the true verity of her Orthodoxy. This unity manifests itself in its fullness among the members of the Universal Orthodox Catholic Episcopate when meeting in Council or Synod. All of the Church Fathers wrote extensively of this as an additional source of Orthodox verity. These same Church Fathers, as well as others, were also quick to point to the discord and chaos that prevailed among those who separated themselves from their Orthodox brethren. In unison they proclaimed collegiality and concord to be the only guarantee of Orthodox belief among brother Bishops. If any single Bishop fell away from the others, his ability to stay Orthodox either became highly questionable at the least or entirely impossible at the worst. History bears witness to the truth and wisdom the Fathers espoused in such important matters.

The OCCEW and SOCBI extend an open Invitation to those groups of Christians (and their Bishops) to journey together with us who share our understanding of Orthodox Faith and Ethos. Are you Orthodox in belief? Are you Catholic in Mission, Ministry and Orders? Do you celebrate a Liturgy recognized as Orthodox by the Historic Church Universal? If the answer is yes to the above, we look forward to your RSVP to our Invitation. In Christ there is no East or West. The Apostolic Church was neither Byzantine or Western Rite, this distinctive having been made much later on. Never was it the intent of those Godly men who formulated these various Rites to have them used as a means to cause schism within the Church. In fact, many of them shed their blood for the cause of Christ to avoid schism at all costs. Should we not honor their memory and follow their saintly examples in this regard? We stand with them in our various liturgical traditions as one voice in service to Holy Mother Church.

DEDICATION & APPRECIATION

We the clergy and laity of the OCCEW and Bishops of SOCBI stand united in our resolve to "walk worthy of our several callings". With these words, we dedicate our entire being in service to Christ and His Holy Bride the Church. For this noble cause and purpose we dedicate ourselves to the Holy Spirit led "liturgia" of establishing full organic sacramental union between all of our brethren who share our hearts desire. We would like to acknowledge our affection, admiration and appreciation to our organizing Metropolitans of blessed memory, ++James Toombs of the Orthodox American Church who reposed in the Lord in 1970; ++Peter Compton-Caputo of the Anglican Independent Communion who went to his eternal reward in 1999. It was their saintly examples in bringing the Gospel of Christ to all men with one accord that urges us on. These men were true Fathers in God to their respective clergy and faithful. Equally they were true brothers in Christ to all strangers who came knocking at their doors.
"Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them O Lord. And Let Perpetual Light Shine Upon Them. Amen".

Respectfully submitted with ONE VOICE - ONE WILL - ONE MIND IN CHRIST - WITH CHRIST - FOR CHRIST THROUGHOUT THE WORLD - WITHOUT END. AMEN. Witness our signatures on the this 22nd day of July in the year of the Lord 2011. This day being the Western Calendar feast of St. Mary Magdalene and the Eastern feast of St. Markella of Chios.

++Josephus Johannes Palumbo, OCR
Archbishop Metropolitan
The Anglican Independent Communion - Original Province

++John Charles Maier, OCR
Superior General of the Order of Christ the King

++James Johnson
Archbishop Metropolitan & First Hierarch
The Orthodox American Church

++John Schneyder
Archbishop Metropolitan
The Orthodox American Church

 

"UNA VOCA; UNA ECCLESIA PRO DEO ET HUMANITATE"

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ADDRESS ALL INQUIRIES REGARDING THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS TO:

Email: rexistbishop@juno.com
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REPORT & UPDATE FROM THE CLERGY CONFERENCE & SOBOR APRIL 2012

APRIL 19TH THURSDAY TIL TUESDAY THE 24TH 2012 CLERGY AND LAY DELEGATES FROM THE ORTHODOX AMERICAN CHURCH AND THE ANGLICAN INDEPENDENT COMMUNION - ORIGINAL PROVINCE, MEMBERS OF THE ORTHODOX CATHOLIC COMMUNION OF THE EAST & WEST (OCCEW) AND THE SYNOD OF ORTHODOX CATHOLIC BISHOPS INTERNATIONAL (SOCBI) MET IN CONFERENCE. IT WAS A TIME OF PRAYER, LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS, STUDY GROUPS AND CHRISTIAN FRATERNAL FELLOWSHIP. THE FOLLOWING DETERMINATIONS & AFFIRMATIONS/EVENTS WERE MADE/TOOK PLACE WITH THE UNANIMOUS APPROVAL OF ALL IN ATTENDANCE:

THE ANGLICAN INDEPENDENT COMMUNION - ORIGINAL PROVINCE HAS NOW BECOME THE ORTHODOX AMERICAN CHURCH - WESTERN RITE. EACH DESIGNATION BEING ONE AND THE SAME FOR PURPOSES ECCLESIAL, PRACTICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE! THE BYZANTINE METROPOLIA OF THE ORTHODOX AMERICAN CHURCH (FOR PURPOSES OF ORDER AND CLARIFICATION) WILL BE KNOWN AS THE ORTHODOX AMERICAN CHURCH - EASTERN RITE! THE TWO ARE NOW ONE FULLY CORPORATE, VISIBLE ORGANIC, UNITED WITNESS TO THE UNDIVIDED BOOK OF ACTS ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH! WE HAVE EVOLVED INTO A SINGLE CHURCH ORGANIZATION WITH SEVERAL LITURGICAL EXPRESSIONS.

A DAY TO COMMEMORATE THE LIVES OF OUR ORGANIZING METROPOLITANS OF BLESSED MEMORY ++JAMES TOOMBS (EASTERN RITE) AND ++PETER COMPTON-CAPUTO (WESTERN RITE) HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AS "METROPOLITANS DAY". THE EXACT DATE AND YEARLY COMMEMORATION OF THIS DAY TO BE DETERMINED PRIOR TO OUR NEXT NATIONAL GATHERING.

THE ANCIENT LITURGICAL RITES OF FRANCE (GALLICAN), ENGLAND (SARUM) AND BYZANTIUM (EASTERN) WERE CELEBRATED FROM THE SAME ALTAR ON 3 SUCCESSIVE DAYS.

ST. JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA WAS PROCLAIMED THE "OFFICIAL" PATRON SAINT OF THE ORTHODOX AMERICAN CHURCH - EASTERN & WESTERN RITES.

THE INDUCTION AND RECEPTION INTO THE 111 YEAR WITNESS TO THE ORTHODOX CATHOLIC MINISTRY AND CHRISTIAN SERVICE TO THE CHURCH AND COMMUNITY, "THE ORDER OF CHRIST THE KING" OF THE FOLLOWING PROFESSED MEMBERS:

.................... ++ JAMES MONROE JOHNSON - BISHOP "JOSEPH", OCR
.................... ANN JOHNSON - SISTER "JULIA", OCR
.................... MARYANNE MALONE - SISTER "HELENA", OCR
.................... BEATRICE BRENNAN - SISTER "ANASTASIA", OCR
.................... SHAWN LISA DOUTON - SISTER "SARAH", OCR
.................... HOLLY ANN DOUTON - SISTER "ANN", OCR
.................... CAROLINE ROSE DOUTON - SISTER "ROSE", OCR

THE NEWLY PROFESSED WILL ALL SERVE THE ORDER IN THE WATERFORD, CT CHAPTER IN CONJUNCTION WITH COMMUNITY SERVICE MINISTRIES.

CAMBRIDGE HALL THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY IS NAMED THE OFFICIAL THEOLOGICAL SCHOOL OF LEARNING AND MINISTRY OF THE ORTHODOX AMERICAN CHURCH.

THE ORDER OF CHRIST THE KING IS DESIGNATED AS THE EVANGELIZING ARM OF THE ORTHODOX AMERICAN CHURCH. COMMUNITY SERVICE MINISTRIES IS THE NON-SECTARIAN OUTREACH OF THE CHURCH UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE ORDER OF CHRIST THE KING. ++ JAMES "JOSEPH" JOHNSON, OCR IS THE CHAPLAIN GENERAL OF COMMUNITY SERVICE MINISTRIES NATION WIDE.

++JOSEPHUS JOHANNES PALUMBO, OCR AND SISTER MARIA GRACIELA PALUMBO, OCR WERE CROWNED (ACCORDING TO EASTERN CUSTOM) AND GIVEN THE ARCHIEPISCOPAL NUPTIAL BLESSING TO CONTINUE TO LIVE OUT THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY MATRIMONY IN FAITHFULNESS TO CHRIST AND FIDELITY TOWARDS EACH OTHER. ++ JAMES "JOSEPH" JOHNSON, OCR WAS THE WORTHY CELEBRANT DURING A GATHERING OF SYNOD DELEGATES IN CELEBRATION OF THEIR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY

SPECIAL WORDS OF THANKS TO ++JAMES "JOSEPH", OCR AND MOTHER ANN - SISTER "JULIA", OCR. FOR BEING THE WONDERFUL HOST AND HOSTESS FOR THE ENTIRE EVENT. A THANK YOU TO THE MEMBERS OF OUR SAVIOR CATHEDRAL FOR TAKING US INTO THEIR HEARTS AND HOMES DURING THIS BLESSED TIME.

SISTER MARIA GRACIELA, OCR AND I (THE ARCHBISHOP OF THE WESTERN RITE) FIND IT INADEQUATE TO EXPRESS OUR HUMBLE THANKS TO SISTER "HELENA",OCR (OUR DEAR MOLLY) FOR HER HOSPITALITY AND OVERWHELMING GENEROSITY IN OPENING UP HER HOME AND ENTIRE BEING FOR US. OUR STAY WITH HER WAS TRULY REMARKABLE. OUR CELEBRATION OF THE LITURGY OF ST. HIPPOLYTUS ON HER DINING ROOM TABLE WAS TRULY AWESOME AND HUMBLING. THE AGAPE FEAST WHICH FOLLOWED THE EUCHARIST BROUGHT US BACK IN TIME NEARLY TWO CENTURIES!

THESE ARE BUT A FEW OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR ALL TOO BRIEF TIME TOGETHER.

A FINAL WORD OF TRIBUTE AND APPRECIATION TO MERLIN, NEUTIE, SHALACO AND PEACHES. THEY SERVED AS THE MASCOTS OF OUR MANY MEETINGS. PERFECTION MIGHT HAVE BEEN AMISS BETWEEN US EVEN DURING OUR MOST PRODUCTIVE AND THANKFUL TIMES; SAVE DURING THE DIVINE LITURGY OF COURSE. HOWEVER, IT WAS UPON GAZING AT THESE FRISKY CANINES, BEING THE BEAUTFUL CREATURES THE DEITY FASHIONED THEM TO BE, SOME WONDERFUL REALITIES MANIFESTED THEMSELVES TO THOSE WHO TOOK THE TIME TO OBSERVE. WE BEHELD THE AWESOME PERFECTION AND WONDER OF THE ALMIGHTY FATHER IN HIS CHRIST, WHO BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT CALLED US TOGETHER IN BLESSING, LOVE, JOYFUL THANKSGIVING, WORSHIP AND THE PEACE WHICH PASSETH ALL UNDERSTANDING. "ONLY THE FOOL HATH SAID IN HIS HEART, THERE IS NO GOD".

MARANATHA!

 

CLERGY CONFERENCE & SOBOR – APRIL 2012

An Important Announcement & Invitation to All Traditional Orthodox Christians of the Historic Eastern and Western Patrimony. This is for all Clergy and Laity involved in Parochial Ministry, Community Service, Corporal Works of Mercy or Chaplaincies.

Are you a Traditional Eastern Orthodox Catholic who fully embraces the New Testament Church (the Book of Acts) as espoused by the Church Fathers of the East and West? Are you sick of hearing the word "canonical" bandied about in order to exclude others and reduce the Holy Orthodox Church to that which would appeal to the Pharisees of Christ's day?

Are you a Traditional Western Rite Orthodox Catholic Christian who embraces the Anglican Patrimony and Sarum Liturgical Expression? Have you concluded that those groups who identify themselves as "continuing Anglican" are not what they really claim to be? Do you see such groups as either in a frenzy looking to convert to "papal Catholicism" or in the other extreme, looking for recognition from, fundamentalist protestant groups?

Are you a Traditional Orthodox Catholic Christian whose Liturgical Patrimony is none of the above? Is the Liturgy you celebrate an Ancient one, which has been recognized and embraced by the Universal Church? Are you looking for a spiritual home, wherein the Liturgical Tradition you celebrate will be honored and respected by other Orthodox Christians who believe exactly as you do? Are you willing to accept and respect the various Liturgical Traditions represented among us? Can you share our vision of union, "where the Liturgical roads called East and West come together and meet at the Highway to Heaven?" If yours is the Christ Founded Orthodox Church of the Book of Acts? If you have answered in the affirmative to the heart and thought provoking questions listed above then.....................consider joining us, as we gather together to share our commonality in Christ as one Eastern & Western Liturgical expression of Orthodox Faith & Ethos.

This is an open invitation to all like minded Christian Folk to join us as we worship using the ancient Liturgical Formularies of the Sarum Rite, the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and the Gallican Rite. We will pray together and discuss various topics of the Faith, Ministry and Daily Spiritual Walk we all share in common.

We have tentatively scheduled this Conference – Synod – Sobor sometime after Easter of 2012 in latter April.

Metropolitan ++James Johnson, First Hierarch of the Eastern Rite and his dedicated wife Matushka Ann have graciously agreed to host the event at their Church Residence and Cathedral Chapel located in Waterford, Connecticut.

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PLEASE DIRECT ALL INQUIRIES CONCERNING THE ABOVE TO:

Email: rexistbishop@juno.com
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