Apostolic Succession

The Church was founded by our Lord Jesus Christ, of which He is the head, and it is the living manifestation of His presence in the history of mankind. The most conspicuous characteristics of Churches which consider themselves “Catholic” are a rich liturgical life and faithfulness to the apostolic tradition. The Evangelical Anglican Church in America (EACA) is a contemporary manifestation of the preservation of tradition and continuity of the ancient Church.

The EACA asserts an unbroken episcopal succession in the Old Catholic Church through the Roman Catholic Church in Holland, organized in 696 AD, later to become an Arch-Episcopal See and subsequently, in 1125, to receive from Pope Eugene III the right to elect its own bishops independently of Rome. (This partial autonomy was affirmed by the fourth Lateran Council in 1215 and subsequently in 1520 by Pope Leo X through De Vito Pastoralis). This branch of the Church separated from Rome to form, in 1739, the Old Roman Catholic Church. Following the 1st Vatican Council in 1870, several Catholics protested “Papal Infallibility” and separated from Rome to establish the Old Catholic Church establishing its episcopal succession from the Old Roman Catholic Church at Utrecht.

An Old Catholic Church was established in Great Britain and Ireland in 1908 when, for fear that Anglican Ordinals were deficient, the Earl of Landaff (Arnold Harris Mathew) was consecrated as its first bishop. In 1910 Bishop Mathew severed connection with the Union of Utrecht due to growing modernist heresies, which was to see, in 1932, Utrecht establish inter-communion with the Anglican Church. Then, in 1914, Prince-Bishop Rudolph de Landas Berghes, an Austrian nobleman, ordained an Old Catholic bishop in Great Britain but being unable to return to Austria due to the outbreak of World War I, settled in America where he established the Old Catholic Church here.

Secondary lines of succession present in the EACA arise from Roman Catholic (Brazil), Orthodox (Antioch, Constantinople, Alexandria and Russia) and Eastern Uniate (Armenian, Chaldean, Greek Melkite and Syrian-Malabar) Churches. Taken together these several lines guarantee the Catholicity and Sacramental Validity of the EACA. From this tradition Bishops delegate to the priesthood inherited powers, act as their pastors, and hold a particular teaching office with respect to the wider Church. With the consecration of Bishops, Champion and Chapman in 2017 the line of the New American Catholic Church was added to our denominational lineage.

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Presiding Bishop
Presiding Bishop Emeritus
Founding Bishop
Paul McRight
Canon to the Ordinary


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