Episcopal Succession of the Old Roman Catholic Church in GB


What governs the validity of Orders?

It is the teaching of the Church that 3 conditions must be met for a baptised man, who has been validly ordained as a deacon and priest, to be considered as a validly consecrated bishop.  They are:

I)He must be part of the Apostolic Succession.

II)A suitable matter and form must have been used at the episcopal consecration and at the consecration of all the bishops who form his Apostolic Succession.

III)Those bishops conferring holy orders and those receiving them must, at the time of consecration, have possessed a right intention.

There is no doubt that these conditions have been fulfilled in all of the consecrations in the following scheme:

a)The following scheme demonstrates the succession of the Bishops.

b)The Pontificale Romanum was used at all the consecrations in the scheme.

  1. c)The bishops in the scheme have all accepted the Church's teaching on the Sacraments.  There is, therefore, no doubt that they formulated the right intentions in the giving and receiving of Holy Orders.

Why is the validity of Orders important?

Only a validly ordained priest or bishop can offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass or absolve sins. 

Only a validly ordained bishop can confer Holy Orders.

So it can be seen that in the proper administration of these Sacraments the validity of the celebrant's ordination is of great importance if the Church is to continue its work and the people of God be nurtured with the Grace of the Sacraments.  

There have been those who claim to be bishops or priests whose ordinations have not been valid.  Such men are blasphemers and perverters of God's people. 

The people of God must have a certainty that they are receiving true Sacraments which will aid their spiritual growth.  This little booklet has been printed in order that the people of God may have confidence in the priestly and episcopal ministrations of the clergy of the Old Roman Catholic Church.

Apostolic Succession of the Old Roman Catholic Church

Howard Weston-Smart        Bishop Titular of Tintern, who on 13/8/1994 was consecrated by

Douglas Titus Lewins(1)Archbishop Titular of Lindisfarne and Metropolitan, who on 3/4/1991 was consecrated by

Carl HowardBishop of Michigan and Delaware, who on 14/2/1988 was consecrated by

Frederick Gilbert LinaleBishop in the See of Caer-Glow, who on 29/6/1969 was consecrated by

Gerard George ShelleyArchbishop of Caer-Glow, who on 25/3/1950 was consecrated by

Richard Arthur MarchennaBishop in New Jersey, who on 16/4/1941 was consecrated by

Carmel Henry CarforaBishop in Chicago, who on 4/10/1916 was consecrated by

Rudolf de Landes BerghesBishop for Scotland, who on 29/6/1913 was consecrated by

Arnold Harris MathewRegionary Bishop for Great Britain, who on 28/4/1908 was consecrated by

Gerardus GulArchbishop of Utrecht, who on 11/5/1892 was consecrated by

Gaspardus RinkelBishop of Haarlem, who on 11/8/1873 was consecrated by

Hermannus HeykampBishop of Deventer, who on 17/7/1853 was consecrated by

Johannes van SantenArchbishop of Utrecht, who on 13/11/1825 was consecrated by

Johannes BonBishop of Haarlem, who on 22/4/1819 was consecrated by

Willibrord van OsArchbishop of Utrecht, who on 25/4/1814 was consecrated by

Gisbertus de JongBishop of Deventer, who on 7/11/1805 was consecrated by

Johannes van RhijnArchbishop of Utrecht, who on 5/7/1797 was consecrated by

Adrianus BroekmanBishop of Haarlem, who on 21/6/1778 was consecrated by

Walter van NieuwenhuisenArchbishop of Utrecht, who on 7/2/1768 was consecrated by

Johannes van StiphoutBishop of Haarlem, who on 11/7/1745 was consecrated by

Peter MeindaertsArchbishop of Utrecht, who on 18/10/1739 was consecrated by

Dominique Marie Varlet(2)Bishop of Ascalon in partibus infidelium, who on 17/2/1719 was consecrated by

Jacques Goyon de Matignon Bishop of Condom, who on 16/4/1673 was consecrated by

Jacques-Benigne BossuetBishop of Meaux, who on 21/9/1670 was consecrated by

Charles le TellierArchbishop of Rheims, who on 11/11/1668 was consecrated by

Cardinal Antonio Barberini#Archbishop of Rheims, who on 24/10/1655 was consecrated by

Giovanni-Battista Scanaroli*Titular Bishop of Tyre and Sidon, who on 6/10/1630 was consecrated by

Cardinal Luigi Caetani(3)*Titular Patriarch of Antioch, who on 12/6/1622 was consecrated by

Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi*Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, who on 2/5/1621 was consecrated by

Galeazzo Sanvitale*Archbishop of Bari, who on 4/4/1604 was consecrated by

Cardinal Girolamo Berneri*Bishop of Albano, who on 7/9/1586 was consecrated by

Cardinal Giulio Santoro*Archbishop of Santa Severina, who on 12/3/1566 was consecrated by

Cardinal Scipione*Archbishop of Albano

* Prelates at the Papal Court

# Nephew of Pope Urban VIII


(1)Archbishop Lewins, on his reception into the Old Roman Catholic Church in Great Britain, at the insistence of the Archbishop and to allay any fears occasioned by the spurious rantings of Mgr Linale, was consecrated conditionally on 16/8/92 by Archbishop James Charles Hedley Thatcher.  Archbishop Thatcher had been consecrated on 9/1/83 by Archbishop Geoffrey Peter Paget King.  Archbishop King had been consecrated on 5/6/60 by Archbishop Gerard George Shelley (for whose succession see the above scheme).  Archbishop Lewins had received his ordination to the priesthood at the hands of Archbishop Linale on 6/12/86.

(2)Dominique Marie Varlet was consecrated in Paris on the instructions of Pope Clement XI.  He had reached Amsterdam on his way to his Syrian diocese when the clergy of Utrecht told him of their plight.  Their last Archbishop, Petrus Codde, had died nine years previously and the Pope had refused to appoint a successor.  This was mainly as a punishment for alleged Jansenist leanings.  There had been no ordinations to the priesthood for fifteen years and no confirmations for twelve years.  The See of Utrecht was dying.  As an act of Charity, Mgr Varlet was persuaded to confirm 604 persons on 19th, 21st and 23rd April 1719.  He then continued his journey and reached Khamache on the Caspian see.  Here he was handed his suspension.  Angered by this, Mgr Varlet made his way back to Holland where, after much soul-searching, he was persuaded by the clergy of Utrecht to consecrate a bishop for them.  In fact he had to consecrate four.  Cornelius Steenhoven was consecrated on 15/10/1724, but died six months later.  Barchman Wuytiers was consecrated on 30/9/1725, but died eight years later without consecrating a successor.  Theodore van der Croon was consecrated on 20/10/1735, but he too died without consecrating a successor.  Finally, Mgr Varlet consecrated Peter Meindaerts on 18/10/1739.  These 4 consecrations were declared unlawful, but valid, by the Pope, as his permission had not been obtained.  For 114 years, Meindaerts and his successors in the See of Utrecht considered themselves true and loyal Roman Catholics, unjustly separated from Rome through no wish of their own.  When, on 4/3/1853, Pope Pius IX re-established the Dutch hierarchy, he ignored the existing Archbishop of Utrecht and appointed another to the same office.  The Dutch people soon came to call the existing Archbishop and those who remained loyal to him, the "old Roman Catholics".

(3)On 6/10/1622, Cardinal Luigi Caetani consecrated Cardinal Ulderico da Carpegna, from whom have descended Popes Benedict XIV and Pius XI.

(4)On 1/9/1982, Archbishop Romolo Carboni, The Apostolic Nuncio to Italy, wrote to His Eminence, the Cardinal Prefect of the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church, document 1490/82, asking him to look into the Apostolic Succession of Mgr Linale.  This task was given to Mgr Annibale Ilari, who had access to the Vatican Archives.  In his written report to the cardinal Prefect, dated 8/2/83, Mgr Ilari ended with the conclusion:

"I have attached a brief scheme of succession which ties Mgr Linale to the Supreme Pontiffs Benedict XIII, Benedict XIV and Pius IX, with the aim of assuring him that his lineage truly links him to the See of Peter."