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Here is the second installment of my list of Orthodox Churches.

This is a list of "Non-Canonical but Historically Orthodox Churches". By "historically Orthodox" I mean that a given Church, even though unrecognized by any of the nine Patriarchates, continues to follow the liturgical and canonical traditions and the theological teachings characteristic of Eastern Orthodoxy. Furthermore, there has to be a demonstrably unbroken succession -- by episcopal consecration -- to at least one of the Patriarchates. (Obviously, I'm writing as a Roman Catholic).

Here goes:

Six Categories:

1. Popovtsy Old Believers / Old Ritualists
2. Unrecognized Patriarchates / National Churches
3. Greek / Balkan Old Calendarist Churches
4. Russian "True Orthodox" Churches
5. Western-Rite Orthodox Churches
6. Other independent jurisdictions



I. Popovstsy Old Believer / Old Rite Orthodox / Russian Orthodox Old Rite

1. Belokrinitskaya Hierarchy / Belokrinitskoe soglasie – tracing its roots to St. Ambrose of Sarajevo in 1846, comprised of two churches in communion with each other:

i. Russian Orthodox Old Rite Church – based in Moscow
ii. Lipovan Orthodox Old – Rite Church– based in Romania


2. Novozybkovskaya hierarchy / Russian Old Orthodox Church / Old Believer “Patriarchate of Moscow” (tracing its roots to Nikola of Saratov in 1923)

3. Slavo-Georgian (Iberian) Old-Orthodox Church (break-away from the Russian Old Orthodox Church)

4. Old Orthodox Church of Russia (break-away from the Russian Old Orthodox Church)

5. “Clementite” Old Believers (of doubtful apostolicity and probably no longer in existence)


II. Unrecognized Patriarchates / “National Churches” claiming Autocephaly / Autonomy

A. Claimants for Ukrainian Autocephaly

Two major claimants:

1. Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP)
2. Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) – Met. Mefodiy


Other, minor groups. The last two are active mainly in the diaspora.

3. UAOC Eparchies (Ihor Isichenko of Kharkiv and Poltava, etc.) that do not recognize Met. Mefodiy and commemorate Met. Constantine of the UOCOFUSA

4. Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church – Canonical / Sobrapovorna (breakaway from UAOC) under “Patriarch Moisey” (Oleh Kulik). – Despite its name, it is notorious for its canonical infractions and heresies. In 2008 its “Metropolia of France” together with several of its bishops, seceded and joined a truly vagante organization, the “American Orthodox Catholic Church”

5. (Autonomous) Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America (breakaway from UAOC, formerly formed one group with “Sobrapovorna” group)

Note: AUOCA has a Russian Orthodox Archdiocese of its own in addition to the Russian “True Orthodox” with which it is in communion

B. Other Unrecognized Patriarchates & National Churches

1. Macedonian Orthodox Church
2. Montenegrin Orthodox Church
3. Alternative Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church
4. Orthodox Church of Italy (under the late Metropolitan Antonio (Rossi))
5. Abkhazian Orthodox Church (breakaway from Georgian Patriarchate; currently has no hierarch, and is now seeking entrance into the Moscow Patriarchate as an Autonomous Church)
6. Autonomous Orthodox Catholic Church of Portugal (Portuguese bishops and most priests in schism from Poland since 2000)
7. Belarusan Autocephalous Orthodox Church (Met. Iziaslau)
8. Italo-Greek Orthodox Church (entirely US-based)

(note: the UOC-KP or Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kyivan Patriarchate is in communion with the Macedonian Orthodox Church, the Orthodox Church of Italy, and the Alternative Bulgarian Synod. They all were apparently in communion with the Montenegrin Orthodox Church until recently, when communion was broken due to certain allegedly uncanonical acts of the latter)

III. Greek Orthodox “Old Calendarist” Churches -- Paleoimerologites

A. Florinites -- via the Synods of Akakios and Auxentios

“Strict Ecclesiologists” / “Closed Communion” Groups

Note: All of these use the name "Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece" or "True Orthodox Church of Greece"

1.Synod of Chrysostomos (Kiousis) / Chrysostomites / Kiousites -- by far the largest Old Calendarist Synod, reputedly followed by 70% of all Old Calendarists.
a. Serbian True Orthodox Church -- no hierarch of its own; under the oversight of the Kiousite Synod.

2. Synod of Makarios / Lamian Synod / Lamians -- broke away from the Synod of Chrysostomos in the early 2000's

3. Bishop Niphon and another bishop -- broke away from Lamians in 2006

4. Synod of Maximos of Athens / Auxentites -- a tiny group, made up of the clergy and bishops who had remained loyal to the late Archbishop Auxentios of Athens after most of the Auxentite Synod ousted Auxentios and proclaimed Chrysostom Kiousis as Archbishop of Athens in 1986.

5. Holy Orthodox Metropolis of Boston (HOMB) formerly known as HOCNA (Holy Orthodox Church of North America). Known also as “Bostonites” and is classified as “Greek Orthodox Old Calendarist” but has a large “Russian True Orthodox” following and is actually in its origins a ROCOR break-away group. Following this group's schism from ROCOR in 1986 it went under Archbishop Auxentios's Synod, later headed by Archbishop Maximos. A few years later, following Auxientios' repose, the bishops of what became HOCNA broke away from the Synod of Maximos.

a. Georgian True Orthodox Church (no hierarch of its own, and is under HOMB)

Note: None of these five "Closed Communion" Old Calendarist groups are in communion with each other or with any other Church

B. Moderate / “Open Communion” Groups

1. Synod of Cyprian / Cyprianites / Synod in Resistance (includes the Diocese of Alania, which religiously dominates South Ossetia) -- is in communion with the Romanian and Bulgarian Old Calendarists (see below).

2. Holy Synod of Milan (Russian character)
a. Orthodox Church of Spain – actually a diocese of the Holy Synod of Milan

3. Metropolia of Avlon (Angelos) / Synod of Angelos of Avlon – broke away from Lamians then went into communion with Milan

Note: All these three groups trace their origins to the Florinite Synod of Auxentios. Milan and Avlon are in communion with each other

B. Matthewites

1. Synod of Nicholas
2. Synod of Gregory
3. Synod of Kyrikos (in communion with a splinter Romanian Orthodox Old Calendar group that traces its orders to ROCOR)
4. Faction of Chrysostomos of Salonika

(The Cypriot Old Calendarists are mostly Matthewites, splintered into supporters of Nicholas and – mostly -- Kyrikos)

C. Other Old Calendarist Churches

3. Old Calendar Church of Romania (in communion with Synod of Cyprian)
4. Old Calendar Church of Bulgaria (in communion with Synod of Cyprian)



IV. Russian “True Orthodox” Churches

A. Breakaways from ROCOR (see also “HOCNA” above)

1. Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC) under Metropolitan Valentine of Suzdal

2. Russian True Orthodox Church (RTOC) under Metropolitan Tikhon / Russian Catacomb Church / Tikhonites / Lazarites (after the late Lazar Zhurbenko)


3. ROCOR-PSCA – Agafangel (in communion with the Synod in Resistance and the Bulgarian and Romanian Old Calendarists)


4. Synod of Archbishop Gregory of Denver (breakaway from ROAC)

The following four churches are the splinters of the ROCOR-V that formed in 2001 around the late Metropolitan Vitaly.

5. ROCIE (former ROCOR-V) under Vladimir, Bartholomew (too sick to function) and Anastassy of Vladivostok
6. ROCOR-A or ROCIE-A (Anthony Orlov and Victor Pivovarov)
7. Breakaway from ROCOR-A group of Damascene (Balabanov) and Ioann (Zinoviev) of “Russian Orthodox Church-Archierarchical Synod”
8. ROCIE – Anthony of Belstk and Moldova and single-handed consecrations (allegedly with ROCOR-V Bartholomew’s consent)

B. Other Russian "True Orthodox" Churches

1. Russian True Orthodox Church – Metropolia of Moscow (under Metropolitan Vyacheslav and in communion with and originating from the UAOC of Met. Mefodiy)
2. Russian True Orthodox Church under Metropolitan Rafail
3. Russian Catacomb Church under Bishop Ambrose von Sievers / “Andrewites” (note: of doubtful apostolic succession)
4. Rusyn True Orthodox Church -- in western Ukraine
5. The small group of deposed MP Bishop Diomid of Chukotka

(There are many others)

Note: The Greek Old Calendarist Orthodox Synods of Chrysostomos, Makarios, Kyrikos and the HOMB have “Russian True Orthodox” parishes in the Russian diaspora. Makarios and Kyrikos have their own Russian dioceses.

The Synod of Milan and the Synod of Gregory of Denver, although generally classified as Greek Orthodox Old Calendarist, are actually Russian in origin.

The Synod of Cyprian has a few Russian parishes and monasteries in the USA


V. Western Orthodox Churches

1. The Communion of Western Orthodox Churches, made up of the following Churches:

a. Celtic Orthodox Church of Bishop Maelruain
b. French Orthodox Church
c. Orthodox Church of the Gauls


2. L’ECOF (Catholic-Orthodox Church of France) – (originally canonical under the Russians then under Romania, became “vagante” in the 1990’s)

3. Lusitanian Orthodox Church
4. Milanese Apostolic Catholic Church


VI. Other Independent Jurisdictions

1. Former Exarchate of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in the USA
2. Apostolic Orthodox Church -- a small Russian group in communion with UAOC (very liberal)

Alternative Orthodox Structures: An Overview

As already seen, all canonical Orthodox Churches are in full or at least partial communion with each other. In competition or in parallel with this worldwide structure, some non-canonical Orthodox Churches have established their own intercommunion structures, as follows:

1)The UOC-Kyiv Patriarchate has been vigorously seeking intercommunion with as many other “non-canonical” Orthodox Churches as possible. At present, it is in communion with the following:

• Alternative Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church
• Macedonian Orthodox Church
• Orthodox Church of Italy

2) The UAOC – Met. Mefodiy is in communion with the Russian True Orthodox Church under Met. Vyacheslav as well as with the tiny “Apostolic Orthodox Church” of Fr. Gleb Yakunin in Russia.

3) The (Autonomous) Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America is in communion with the Russian True Orthodox Church under Metropolitan Rafail

4) Old Calendarist Inter-Communion

a) The Synod of Cyprian and the Old Calendar Churches of Romania and Bulgaria as well as ROCOR-PSCA are in communion with each other

b)The Holy Synod of Milan is in communion with the Synod of Avlon


5) Italo-Greek Orthodox, Milanese Apostolic Catholic Church and Lusitanian Orthodox Church are all in communion with each other (all use the Old Calendar but are not considered as part of the Old Calendarist – TOC movement)



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Dont forget the Turkish Orthodox Church.

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Originally Posted by Pavel Ivanovich
Dont forget the Turkish Orthodox Church.


It doesn't even have clergy.

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Originally Posted by asianpilgrim


Quote
The Center is operated by the Dominicans, together with St Basil's College. It continues its ecumenical activity.


However, Istina seems to be attended by Orthodox seminarians studying in Paris, and the liturgy is served by Orthodox priests and hierarchs.


Yes, Istina is attended by both Orthodox and Catholic seminarians - that is in line with its avowed mission of ecumenism. Attendance by seminarians of either Church at various seminaries and other theological institutes belonging to the other is hardly new. There are a not insignificant number of Orthodox clergy educated at Rome, including several who are now hierarchs. Catholic seminarians - both Eastern and Latin have attended individual courses and entire academic years at Holy Cross GO Seminary in Brookline, MA since the days of Cardinal Cushing and His Beatitude Iakovos, both of blessed memory.

As to who serves the Divine Liturgy there, I don't know. I haven't read the Center's material in quite some time but, last I knew, there were biritual Dominicans among others serving it.


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The Utica-based Italo-Greek "Orthodox Church" is in communion with no one (except in the mind of "Metropolitan" Stephen - if anyone else is acknowledging a tie to them, then he's done an excellent sales/snow job on them as regards what he represents).

It is a vagante ecclesia of the first order. Last time I swung by the "cathedral", it looked to be ready for a demolition crew - or that one had been there and left after finishing half the job.

I have never been able to track any of the dozen or so purported 'parishes' - none of which had street addresses the last time I looked. The original version of this entity actually did exist, having been established in Philadelphia back at the turn of the 20th century - about the same time that OLOG was coming into being in NYC and during a high point in Italian immigration from Sicily and the Greco-Italian regions.

There are some indications that their presbyter was ordained in Orthodoxy, but had schismed from his jurisdiction, and may have developed ties, albeit briefly, to the Old Catholics. The community did not survive long, but was followed up by a daughter mission in Utica, where there was a strong Italian presence - that foundation was of more dubious orders and not long-lived. The present entity is one of those reincarnations that so often arise in vagante circles, decades later, wherein some enterprising individual declares himself the legitimate successor to those who themselves were of questionable legitimacy.

Many years,

Neil


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And the Lusitanians are not significantly closer to canonicity. You'd be hard-pressed to find any serious discussion of them as a viable ecclesial entity since a time in the '60s when the Episcopalians were reaching out to establish communion with the Old Catholics, the PNCC, and anyone else who looked "high-church".

I have a vague recollection that the Lusitanians were among those bandied about at the time as a prospective party to whatever ecumenical venture was being suggested.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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Interesting topic.

As I've written here there are Byzantine churches out of communion with Orthodoxy but are still in the family and thus whose orders are in practice recognised. As asianpilgrim well put it:

Quote
A given Church, even though unrecognized by any of the nine Patriarchates, continues to follow the liturgical and canonical traditions and the theological teachings characteristic of Eastern Orthodoxy. Furthermore, there has to be a demonstrably unbroken succession -- by episcopal consecration -- to at least one of the Patriarchates.


These come in two versions, hard-line true-believer splits (the Old Believers and Old Calendarists) and nationalist ones (the Kyiv Patriarchate). All that's missing is communion with Orthodoxy.

Not to be confused with a vagante church that claims to be at least somewhat Eastern because of one or more 'lines of succession' to an Eastern church with which it is not in communion (which ISTM shows an ignorance of the Christian East).

I'm fairly sure the Antiochian Catholic Church in America is vagante, not really in the Oriental Orthodox communion. I know an independent-sacramental-church priest who read for orders at its seminary.

I don't know of a Lusitanian Orthodox Church, either actually Orthodox or extramural, or of any Episcopalian tie to them. There is a Lusitanian Church in Portugal as there is a Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church, members of the Anglican Communion which began in the 1800s as missions by very Protestant-minded Anglicans to a few receptive ex-RCs. The Spanish website looks like what you'd expect: Iberian anglophiles.

It's true that the Episcopalians and some other Anglicans - the Church of England's leaders - reached out to non-papal Catholic churches (churches that 'looked high-church') such as, at the time, the Old Catholics (Utrecht) including at the time the Polish National Catholic Church, as well as the Eastern churches as the Anglo-Catholic movement peaked in Anglicanism around the 1920s. Back then there were even the Malines conversations with Rome.

The Russian and Byelorussian Greek Catholic churches are still stand-alone canonical churches of the Roman communion but without bishops (or as one Russian Catholic puts it, 'we have bishops' - meaning the Russian Orthodox hierarchy - 'only they're not Catholic'). I understand the Byelorussian one in Byelorussia is a spontaneous small development of people converting on their own unsolicited by Rome (much like the Russian Greek Catholics' origins in late tsarist times). As in Russia this isn't pushed by the local RCs - they don't want to anger the Orthodox or the government.

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Originally Posted by The young fogey
I'm fairly sure the Antiochian Catholic Church in America is vagante, not really in the Oriental Orthodox communion. I know an independent-sacramental-church priest who read for orders at its seminary.


You're absolutely correct on that count. The ACCA was birthed from Herman Adrian Spruit's Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch - Malalbar Rite (which was neither Catholic, Apostolic, Antiochian, nor Malabarese] and, relying on those origins, lays claim to apostolic succession through both Rene Joseph Vilatte's Syriac lines and Arnold Harris Mathew's Old Catholic lines. It ordains women to both the presbyterate and episcopacy. Their geographic focus is in TN, KY, and the Carolinas, where they have a few small congregations. To their credit, one of those (in Knoxville, I think) operates a small food bank and meals program for the homeless and needy. I wasn't aware that they had a functional seminary.

Quote
I don't know of a Lusitanian Orthodox Church, either actually Orthodox or extramural, or of any Episcopalian tie to them. There is a Lusitanian Church in Portugal


The group has styled itself variously through the years. Last I knew, they were reportedly serving according to the Bragan Rite. I don't believe that they ever formalized any ties with the Episcopalians, but they were among those (also including the Spanish Episcopalians) to whom a tentative outreach was being considered in the early '60s. A quick web search just now turned up this Time magazine piece from 1961.

Many years,

Neil


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Thanks for the confirmation on the ACCA; that's what I thought I remembered. Their seminary AFAIK is not accredited but it exists or used to.

(To be fair, do you need accreditation for an in-house clergy-training scheme? Even an accredited M.Div. I understand is useless outside of church jobs. The Metropolia/OCA did fine at St Tikhon's without accreditation for years.)

Yes, 1961, about when Anglo-Catholicism, though still a minority, peaked in the Episcopal Church and was a spanner in the works of reaching the goal of one mainline Protestant mush (wanting to identify with those 'déclassé' Romans and Orthodox instead; how dare they). The Lusitanian Church referred to are the what are now the Portuguese Episcopalians, who were admitted to the Anglican Communion later.

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I think the Celtic Orthodox Church is vagante as well; the British Orthodox Church (the name of a denomination, not Britons who are Eastern Orthodox) started off that way (claiming succession from the Syrians via Jules Ferrette) but is now in the Coptic Church (but is not Coptic Rite; I think they kept their home-grown one).

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Originally Posted by The young fogey
I think the Celtic Orthodox Church is vagante


It is certainly "uncanonical", but has been trying to garner respectability under their current bishop, Mael or Maelruain. At the very least it seems to be striving for theological and liturgical "seriousness". If only for that reason I put it on my list. It certainly isn't going around ordaining bishops everywhere, and some of their clergy and monastics have been accepted into canonical Orthodox Churches. (The "British Orthodox" have a common history with the Celtic Orthodox)

Curently the Celtic Orthodox Church is one of the three churches comprising the "Communion of Western Orthodox Churches".

Now, as for the so many other "Celtic" Churches, I think none of them have any serious claims to be considered as "part of the family" of churches with genuine apostolic succession.

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Mael's Celtic Orthodox Church is effectively a remnant of the larger body that was received into the Coptic Patriarchate and is now styled as the British Orthodox Church. Some of the original body chose not to accept the decision to come under Alexandria's omophor; others did so initially but, in time, became disaffected for reasons which I never saw explained and drifted back to what was, by then, the Celtic Orthodox Church.

I'm not sure what numbers are currently being bandied about, but my recollection is that Mael's is the smallest of the 3 (the other 2 being the French Orthodox Church and the Gaulish Orthodox Churches, neither of which is itself of much size) that comprise the Western Orthodox Church (L'Eglise Orthodoxe Occidentale).

As AP notes, the other "Celtic Orthodox" and "Celtic Catholic" Churches, the majority of which are headquartered in the US, are unquestionably vagante. Is Mael's ecclesia as well? A matter of opinion, I suppose.

They are usually spoken of as being of the "Independent Movement" - although I doubt they would accept that styling or so describe themselves. But, that "movement" is primarily a homegrown American phenomena (understanding "American" in this instance as spanning "the Americas"). However, it has reached out to the Philippines, to a lesser extent Australia, and to African nations - with many such posting photos of their resident hierarchs in the latter as proof of their globalized mission. In truth, it most proves that one needn't be a Midwestern American with a hankering to play dress-up in clerical vesture, or have a Lazy-Bob recliner as a cathedra to call oneself 'bishop', 'archbishop'. 'prinmate' or 'metropolitan'.

Many years,

Neil


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Originally Posted by asianpilgrim
Originally Posted by The young fogey
I think the Celtic Orthodox Church is vagante


It is certainly "uncanonical",


Were this matter to be considered in a traditional debating society, one might phrase the topic for debate as 'held: that an ecclesia must, at some time, have been "canonical" to subsequently be deemed "uncanonical"'.

I've never given it any thought until now, but is any entity that has no valid or licit historical claim to canonicity anything other than an interloper, unless or until some canonical body acknowledges it?

Many years,

Neil


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What makes a Church "vagante"? What is the criteria that should be used in discerning between merely "uncanonical" Churches, and vagante ones?

Here is an incomplete, arbitrary and very provisional list of criteria that I use:

A Church can be defined as vagante if:

1) Its orders are not specifically recognized as theoretically valid, and treated as valid in practice, either by the Roman Catholic Church, or by at least one of the Eastern or Oriental Orthodox Patriarchates. (This proviso saves the Polish National Catholics, the Utrecht Union Old Catholics, the Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil and its Worldwide Communion, the Eglise Sainte Marie, and the main group of Mariavites from "vagante" status. As to why I specified that the Orders should not only be recognized as valid, but should be actually treated as such, I made this criteria in order to account for the fact that while Constantinople and some other Orthodox patriarchates give theoretical recognition to Anglican Orders, none of these have actually applied their theoretical approval of Anglican orders into practice!)

1) It traces its origins to any of the following:

a) A.H. Mathew
b) Joseph Rene Villate
c) Aftimios Ofiesh
d) A. J. Aneed

The extreme disorder that characterize the "episcopal succession" from these bishops is such as to cast doubt on the validity of those consecrated in their line. It is telling that Villate's consecrations of other bishops were apparently considered as of doubtful validity by the Holy See, while Mathew was buried as an Anglican layman.

3) If it claims to be Eastern Rite or "Orthodox" but allows for married bishops and women clergy.

4) It has no apparent discipline in conferring sacred orders, and makes little attempt to observe the relevant canons concerning the proper elevation of men to the sacerdotal and episcopal state

5) It likes to change its name once every few years

6) Its website details elaborate "lines of succession" from bishop X and Y

Regarding messy lines of succession: The convoluted lines of apostolic succession from Pierre Ngo Dinh Thuc -- from whom many sedevacantist Traditionalists derive their orders -- are more difficult to judge. I am of the opinion that the strictly Traditionalist Catholic line of succession that began with the Thucite consecrations of 1982 should not be considered as vagante, given that the Traditionalist bishops who flow from these ordinations are a relatively disciplined lot and strictly adhere to pre-1962 Catholic doctrine and liturgy. On the other hand, the vast majority of Thucite "churches" that trace their "succession" to consecrations performed by Thuc between 1977 and 1982, are most doubtful (and in any case most of these consecrations are not properly documented -- unlike the 1976 and 1982 consecrations).

The Palmar De Troya consecrations of Ngo Dinh Thuc in 1976 are tacitly recognized as valid by the Holy See -- at least one of those ordained as a priest then as a bishop at that time, was received into the Catholic Church a few years ago as a priest -- but the Palmar De Troya sect of today has become such a deranged and lunatic cult that it cannot by any stretch of the imagination be considered a real Church! Its sacraments seem to have lost validity as well due to their liturgical reforms c. 1980 and their outlandish theology (e.g. the Real Presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Holy Eucharist).

The "Old Roman Catholics" who trace their orders to A.H. Mathew also seem to be worth re-evaluating, given their theological and liturgical conservatism and the modicum of ecclesiastical order that they have tried to maintain in the century since Mathew.

There are many "Catholic Apostolic Churches" floating around, but not all of them are recognized by the mother-Church in Brazil (which certainly has valid orders and is a real church, with real congregations). The mother Church itself, while maintaining a steady existence in Brazil, has had a turbulent and confusing relationship with its supposed daughter churches all over the world.

The Liberal Catholics -- who dabble in theosophy and Gnosticism -- are reputed to be very strict in transmitting the apostolic succession according to orthodox Catholic doctrine, but their strange liturgy and doctrine cannot but raise a thousand questions about the continuing legitimacy of their orders.

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Very helpful, asianpilgrim. Thanks.

I’ll add that independent anglican (although they are not Anglican, which means being recognised as such by Lambeth) and small unofficial episcopal Lutheran churches are not necessarily vagantes (a phenomenon that’s been on the fringes of Anglicanism for about 150 years — opportunistic crossover with Anglo-Catholicism). You can argue that the real and respected Maronite Church (under Rome since the Middle Ages) started off as vagantes from the Syrian Church. If something has a consistent doctrine and practice, even if I don’t agree with them, and a real ministry (people actually going to church) I tend not to call it that.

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