APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION OF
BISHOP BRIAN J. KENNEDY, O.S.B.
JESUS THE CHRIST
THROUGH THE APOSTLE ANDREW
through the Apostolic See at Constantinople and through the
Russian Orthodox Church / Moscow Patriarchate
AND THROUGH THE APOSTLE PETER
from the Apostolic See at Antioch
AUTHOR: Bishop Brian J. Kennedy, O.S.B.
Date: March 25, 2001
The beginning of our line of Apostolic Succession in America is the story of Father Ivan Wolansky, a Ukrainian Catholic Priest who came to America in December of 1884. He came here with high hopes, great expectations and a wife.
Father did not expect to have any problem with the Latin Rite Catholic Bishops and Priest in the United States, however, they rejected him as not being a Catholic because he was married.
Father Ivan went to visit the Latin Rite Archbishop, +Patrick Ryan, in Philadelphia. He never was able to receive an audience with His Eminence because as soon as it was discovered he was married the doors were closed. After several attempts to build a bridge of cooperation and fraternal Christian charity he was told that the Latin Rite Bishop did not even consider Father to be a Catholic. There was no objection to Father, other than he was married.
The Latin Rite Bishop viewed Father Ivan as competition. The man made regulations of the West were seen as definitive of who is and who is not a Catholic. It was the arrogance of western Catholicism that was expressed and also the ignorance of the local Bishop regarding Eastern Rite Catholics. It is important to remember, all these men were in full union with Rome and when they rejected Father Ivan they rejected another Priest in full communion with Rome as not being a Catholic on the basis of his marital status.
In 1880, the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith issued a decree requiring all Priests who came to America to have faculties from the local Latin Rite Ordinary. It further mandated celibacy for all clergy. This obviously was a concerted effort to exclude Eastern Catholics and a denouncement of all Eastern clergy who elected to come to America. It also relegated all Eastern Catholics to a position of second class status. Orientalium Dignitas issued in 1894 by His Holiness Leo XIII, Bishop at Rome and Patriarch of the West, required subordination of Eastern Rite Catholics to Latin Rite authority but allowed the use of the Eastern Rite.
In 1889, Father Ivan established a parish church named Protection of Our Lady. Father Alexius Toth (Later St. Alexius Toth) became the administrator shortly thereafter. Father Toth presented his credentials to the Latin Rite Bishop, +John Ireland. When it was discovered that Father Alexius was a widower Bishop Ireland told him he also was not Catholic and even added that the Greek Catholic Bishop of Presov, +Ivan Valia, (also in union with Rome) was not Catholic either (So much for fraternal charity and the brotherhood of clergy). Not content to be personally insulting, Bishop Ireland further demonstrated his arrogance and unholy purpose by declaring that no Priests were to associate with Father Toth and issued a mandate to be read in all parishes that none were to attend Mass or receive the Sacraments from Father Toth. As a Professor of Canon Law, Father knew his rights under terms of the Unia and rejected the unlawful declaration of +John Ireland.
Father responded by gathering eight other Eastern Catholic Priests. They found that the Eastern Rite Catholic Bishops were no more disposed to help than the Latin Rite Bishops, so much did they fear the Latin Rite Bishops and Rome. Father Toth and his congregation, guided by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, made the decision to return to Holy Orthodoxy that was the religion of their ancestors.
In 1891, the last year of his Episcopal service, His Eminence + Vladimir Sokolovsky Russian Orthodox Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska received Father Toth, Mr. Paul Podany the parish Warden, and the congregation into Holy Orthodoxy. The people were the impetus for this glorious event, with no pressure or force from the Priests or others outside. In addition, the Holy Spirit led 304 local Greek Catholics to also embrace the true religion of their ancestors and were received into Holy Orthodoxy. The parish church established by Father Ivan Wolansky, Protection of Our Lady in Minneapolis, transferred into Holy Orthodoxy and became the center for the true light of truth and the blessings of the Holy Spirit in the area. So powerful was the working of the Holy Spirit, that in a short time, thousands were compelled by the truth of Holy Orthodoxy to embrace the ancient faith of the Apostles and were received into the Holy Orthodox Church. This was nothing short of another Pentecost.
Many of the Eastern Catholic Priests also embraced Holy Mother Church and were received into Holy Orthodoxy. Among the many Priests received into the Orthodox Church were Father Alexander Stephanovich Dzubay who would later be consecrated to the Holy Episcopacy on 7 August 1916 by Archbishop +Evdokim (Basil Mikhailovich Meschersky) and Bishop +Alexander (Alexandrovich Nemolovsky). Bishop +Stephen (Dzubay) served as Bishop of the Vicariate of the Aleutian Diocese from 1916-1917. So much were Orthodox hated by the Latin Bishops, they called Orthodox Priest vykroplenci which was a derogatory term meaning “pseudo priests".
From the holy Apostle Andrew, Apostle to the Scythians, the direct line of Apostolic Succession Passes through the Patriarchs of Constantinople and the Metropolitans of Kiev, Vladimir, and Moscow to Metropolitan Nikon of Moscow, Russia.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON OUR LINE OF APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION LEADING UP TO THIS POINT GO TO
ARCHBISHOP AND METROPOLITAN OF MOSCOW
in 1884, in Moscow, consecrated
MACARIUS (MICHAEL NEVESKIJ)
ARCHBISHOP AND METROPOLITAN OF MOSCOW
who assisted by
BISHOP OF ST. PETERSBURG
Did on 13 December 1903, in Moscow, consecrated
EVDOKIM (BASIL MIKHAILOVICH MESCHERSKY)
RUSSIAN ORTHODOX ARCHBISHOP OF ALASKA AND NORTH AMERICA
On May 13, 1917 (O.S.) Archbishop +Evdokim (Basil Mikahailovich Meschersky), (Russian Orthodox) assisted by Bishop +Alexander (Nemolovsky) and Bishop +Alexander Stephanovich Dzubay of Pittsburgh, consecrated Father Aftimios Ofiesch in St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in New York City. Bishop +Aftimios was consecrated for Brooklyn, New York. In 1922, Metropolitan Platon (Rozhdestvensky) assumed leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in North America having received the appointment by Patriarch (Saint) Tikhon of Moscow and all Russia. In 1923, Metropolitan Platon, with the approval of Patriarch Tikhon elevated Bishop +Aftimios to the position of Archbishop.
Archbishop +Aftimios (Ofiesch) assisted by Bishop +Emmanuel (Abo-Hatab) Bishop of Montreal and Archbishop +Elias of Tyre and Sidon consecrated Bishop +Sophronios (Bashira) on May 26th, 1928 as Bishop of Los Angeles, California.
Archbishop +Aftimios (Ofiesch) assisted by Bishop +Sophronios (Bashira) consecrated Bishop +Joseph Zuk as the first American born Bishop for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on February 7, 1932.
With the consecration of Bishop +Joseph Zuk, the return to Orthodoxy was complete. Ukrainians who came under the secular control of the Roman Catholic Polish Kingdom were isolated from both Moscow and Constantinople and found themselves oppressed financially and legally. In order to preserve their Church in Polish lands, the Ukrainians proposed an agreement between Kiev and Rome, as between two Sister Churches by which the Ukrainians would recognize the primacy (not Supremacy) of Rome and Rome would allow the Ukrainians to maintain their own Hierarchy, Liturgy, Theology and customs (Union of Brest 1596).
Two years later in 1598, Rome had a change of heart and rescinded the Union of Brest issuing the Papal Bull, Magnus Dominum which nullified the Treaty (so much for written agreements and guarantees) and said that the Church at Rome and the Church of Christ are co-terminous and because the Church at Rome is the ONLY true Church and ALONE is the Ark of Salvation, those who desire membership cannot make preconditions but must make absolute submission. The Ukrainians had burned their bridges behind them and had no place to go, hence they submitted to the yoke of Rome. They were told they were repentant schismatic who were allowed to function according to their own Rites by dispensation and not by any inherent right of their own.
Archbishop +Sophronius (Bashira) of the Greek Diocese of Los Angeles with Albanian Metropolitan +Theophanies (Noli) of Boston consecrated Archbishop +Christopher (Contogeorge) on February 10, 1954 at the Church of Sts. Constantine and Helen in New York City. He was Consecrated Bishop of Philadelphia. In 1947 he became Metropolitan of Pentapolis and Exarch for the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, Egypt and all Africa in the U.S.A.
Archbishop +Christopher (Contogeorge) with Albanian Metropolitan +Theophanies (Noli) on August 25, 1934 at the Church of St. John the Baptist in New York City consecrated Archbishop +Arsenios (Saltas). In 1954, he was made Exarch of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, Egypt and all Africa in the U.S.A.
Archbishop +Christopher (Contogeorge) with Bishop +Ambrosius of Aman, Jordan, in accordance with orders from the Holy Synod of Moscow, on November 3, 1935 consecrated Archbishop +Nicholas (Kedroffsky) as Archbishop of North America and the Aleutian Islands. The Consecration took place at the Russian Cathedral of St. Nicholas in New York City.
Archbishop +Nicholas (Kedroffsky) with Archbishop +Arsenios (Saltas) and Archbishop +Benjamin (Fedchenkoff) of the Moscow Patriarchate in 1935 at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Nicholas in New York City consecrated Bishop+Joseph (Klymowycz) of Springfield, Massachusetts for the Russian Jurisdiction.
Archbishop +Christopher (Contogeorge) with Archbishop +Arsenios (Saltas) consecrated Archbishop +Konstantin (Jaroshevich) in 1949 for the Patriarchate of Alexandria.
Metropolitan +Joseph (Klymowycz) with Archbishop +Konstantin (Jaroshevich) on October 14, 1950 at Springfield, Massachusetts consecrated Ukrainian Metropolitan Nicholas (Bohatyretz) for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Metropolitan +Joseph (Klymowycz) with Archbishop +Konstantin (Jaroshevich) and Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolitan Nicholas (Bohatyretz) and Metropolitan +Joseph (Zielonka) and Metropolitan +Peter Williamowich on October 15, 1950 at Sts. Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Church in Springfield, Massachusetts consecrated Bishop +Peter Andreas (Zhurawetzky)
In 1978, Archbishop +Peter (Zhurawetsky) assisted by Greek Archbishop +Joachim (Souris) and Greek Bishop +Lavrentios (Maniatakis) consecrated Metropolitan +Nicholas (Llnyckyj) for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
May 13, 1989, Metropolitan +Nicholas (Llnyckyj) assisted by Bishop +Christopher (Jones) and Bishop +David (Quilliams) consecrated Metropolitan +Yuri (Spaeth) for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
On January 17, 1999 Metropolitan Archbishop +Yuri (Spaeth) assisted by Archbishop +Matthew (McCarthy) consecrated Bishop +Michael Damian-Benedict (Palladino) for the Latin Orthodox Benedictine Fathers of the Irish Orthodox Catholic Church.
On April 25, 2001, Metropolitan Archbishop +Michael Damian-Benedict (A Schema Benedictine Monk) assisted by Bishop +Martin-Benedict (Tindall) and Bishop +Brendan Nuadha (Donovan) consecrated Bishop + Brian Joseph Kennedy, (a Stavrophore Benedictine Monk) for the Celtic Orthodox Benedictine Fathers of the Celtic Orthodox Church.
On February 22, 2002, Bishop Brian Joseph Kennedy, O.S.B. was raised to the office of Schema Monk in the Celtic Orthodox Benedictine Fathers.
As shown above, our history is marked by a cooperation and fraternity with the larger Orthodox faith community.
Monseigneur John of Saint Denis said in Presence Orthodoxe de 1983 n.3, page 18, "It is necessary to be careful not to identify the Orthodox Church, the Mother Church, with the Eastern Churches. The one is universal, the others are limited geographically, culturally and Ritually; they are local." He goes on to say: The West must never forget to discern within Orthodoxy that which is universal and that which is local. If one desires that ones joining be organic, stripped of that which is exotic and artificial, it is necessary that one "MAKE ONESELF ORTHODOX BUT NOT TO THE POINT OF MAKING ONESELF EASTERN."
The challenge to the Western Rite is to sustain the true Orthodoxy handed down from our parents while building an American expression of the ancient faith of true Orthodoxy in such a way as to honor our parents, their faith and traditions. The challenge to the Western Rite is to build an American expression of the faith that is truly Orthodox and yet faithful to the promise that is America.
ARE PART OF WORLD ORTHODOXY IN GOOD STANDING
SEE IMMPORTANT LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE
THE OFFICE OF PATRIARCH WAS ESTABLISHED BY MAN, NOT BY GOD. THE HIGHEST OFFICE ESTABLISHED BY CHRIST IS THE OFFICE OF BISHOP.
THERE IS NOTHING IN THE CHURCH HIGHER THAN A BISHOP.
OTHER OFFICES ARE PART OF THE CHURCH CREATED BY MAN AND NOT PART OF THE CHURCH ESTABLISHED BY CHRIST. THOSE HOLDING THE OFFICE OF EXARCH, METROPOLITAN, PATRIARCH ETC ARE BISHOPS WITH A DEFINED FUNCTION IN GOVERNING THE EASTERN CHURCH BUT THEY ARE NOT SOMEHOW MORE OF A BISHOP THAN YOUR LOCAL BISHOP.
THE CHURCH IS NOT EASTERN OR WESTERN. THE CHURCH IS ORTHODOX AND IS LARGE ENOUGH TO ALLOW FOR ALL TRADITIONS OF THE EAST AND THE WEST. THE TERMS EASTERN OR WESTERN BEFORE THE WORD ORTHODOX DEFINE THE TRADITIONS BUT DO NOT DEFINE THE CHURCH AS THE CHURCH IS LARGER THAN ANY GIVEN TRADITION. SEE WHAT THE OLD WORLD PATRIARCHS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT US BY CLICKING THE LINKS BELOW.
REMEMBER AS YOU READ THESE LETTERS OF AFFIRMATION THE BISHOPS BEING ACCLAIMED AS PART OF WORLD ORTHODOXY WITH GRACE FILLED AND SPIRIT FILLED ORDERS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO ANY OLD WORLD PATRIARCH YET THE PATRIARCHS ACCEPT THEM AS EQUAL BISHOPS IN THE LARGER CHURCH WITH THE SAME APOSTOLIC MISSION.
LETTER OF RECOGNITION FROM THE O.C.A.
LETTER OF RECOGNITION FROM ALEXANDRIA
LETTER OF RECOGNITION FROM THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
WE ARE SUCCESSORS TO THE APOSTLES, IN UNION WITH THE ORIGINAL 12 AND ALL THOSE WHO CAME AFTER THEM AND WITH ALL THOSE WHO WILL COME AFTER US.
SECONDARY LINE OF APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION