Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Patriarchal Encyclical on the Humanitarian Situation Facing Cruise Ships Stranded at Sea Due to Global Government Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

PATRIARCHAL SEE 31 March 2020 (ORCNS) - The following Patriarchal Encyclical was issued by HIRH the Archfather to the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation.


Qui Eunt ad Mare 

Patriarchal Encyclical on the Humanitarian Situation Facing 
Cruise Ships Stranded at Sea Due to Global Government Responses 
to the COVID-19 Pandemic 

To Mr. Kitack Lim
Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation
United Nations

Dear Secretary-General:

Those who go unto the sea follow a traditional code, and that includes the sacred duty that no person is left in peril on the sea when something can be done to save them. History is replete with selfless acts of heroism on the part of mariners in the rescue of others. We are, in addition to Our sacred and diplomatic office, a lifelong sailor and mariner, and the sea and her traditions are very much in Our blood. The naval-based humanitarian service of the Imperial Patriarchate, the Walsingham Naval Guard, with a naval heritage spanning back to the Imperial Italian Navy founded in the ninth century, likewise embodies, espouses, lives, and promotes those customs. Thus the situation facing over ten cruise ships and over nine thousand souls stranded at sea because governments refuse to allow them entry is particularly of grave and immediate concern to Us.

As the world governments continue to proclaim that their actions are to save lives and protect people, they have violated their own stated principles by not allowing cruise ships to dock. Contrary to their claims of humanitarian, benevolent, and public-minded action and purpose, they have slammed their doors shut and turned their backs on thousands of people who are stranded at sea. This vile, despicable, and revolting action is entirely unacceptable and completely indefensible. We reiterate Our demand that the relevant governments of the world permit cruise ships to dock immediately, and We therefore request Your assistance as Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation in achieving this vital humanitarian purpose.

That there are people who are ill on board some of the cruise ships, some of them apparently with COVID-19, should not and must not be permitted to be used as a reason to deny entry. A ship is typically a terrible place to quarantine people with contagious diseases, given the potential for rapid infection of other people on board. Leaving healthy people on board such ships may expose them to greater risk than if they were allowed to disembark. Certainly appropriate health measures and safety measures must be taken when ships with ill people disembark. However, We submit that it is a better humanitarian and public-minded practice to disembark ill people in a safe manner and quarantine them on land, providing them necessary medical treatment. Additionally, those with various other health problems who are stranded on a ship are placed at significant risk, given the limited medical facilities on board ships. Furthermore, that ships with no known illness on board are denied entry to ports is inconceivable, illogical, and reprehensible.

We are clearly dealing with fear-based mass hysteria, which can only be taken to be the driving force behind the government policies discussed herein. Yet, we as a society cannot abandon thousands of people while claiming to be for life, for health, and for humanity. Again, that the governments of the world have singled out cruise ships for denial of entry, even while they simultaneously work to repatriate their citizens to their own territory by other transportation means, is entirely unacceptable, shameful, inexcusable, and worthy of the highest and most strong condemnation. It is for that reason that, by Our holy authority, place under interdict all governments and persons who deny entry to ships and persons traveling by ship during this time of need. They are truly in peril upon the sea and are in need of help, yet they are being abandoned. We, therefore, now turn to the words of the naval hymn,

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm doth bond the restless wave,
Who bids the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.

We again call upon You to exercise Your office and all of its strength to help those thousands of people who are stranded upon cruise ships. We ask that You use Your office to insist that governments provide safe harbour for those ships and safe, healthy entry for their passengers.

Ego Archipater R.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Patriarchal Encyclical on the Humanitarian, Social, and Economic Implications of the Worldwide Government Reponses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

PATRIARCHAL SEE 30 March 2020 (ORCNS) - The following Patriarchal Encyclical was issued by HIRH the Archfather to Her Excellency the President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. 



Orbis Est

Patriarchal Encyclical on the Humanitarian, Social, and Economic Implications
of the Worldwide Government Reponses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

To Her Excellency Mona Juul
President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council

Your Excellency,

The world is in a state of confusion and turmoil over the situation pertaining to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic. Although there is an obvious health concern, as there is in any pandemic, the global response to the situation leaves Us with great and grave pastoral concern. The shutdowns and effective house arrest of millions upon millions of people in many countries around the world have created a serious situation of concern with both current and future implications. All can hardly help but be impacted in some way, but some people are clearly more impacted than others. For example, the innumerable poor and vulnerable around the world are in serious danger of starvation, particularly in countries such as India, where a large number of people depend on daily wages to eat. However, there are plenty of vulnerable people even in comparatively wealthy countries such as the United States, and food banks in the United States have warned that they may only have as much as two weeks’ worth of supplies. This is not a question of lives versus money, but of lives versus lives. The actions of governments around the world are quite simply putting many people at risk – likely more people than are at risk from the virus.

In addition to the direct physical threat to many, the government-imposed quarantine that is, in some countries, no different than home imprisonment has the significant potential to lead to both short-term and long-term psychological damage to many millions of people. That is an issue that must be considered and weighed heavily when weighing options in determining public health policy. Indeed, the very principle of government imprisoning or otherwise restricting the freedom of entire populations should be brought under the microscope, for it sets a tremendously dangerous precedent for the future. That is particularly concerning considering the specific nature of the threat relative to other threats to public health in the past, such as the swine flu, which killed approximately 200,000 people worldwide, yet there were no mass quarantine or economic shutdown. The threat to personal freedom and the potential for exploitation for tyranny are not points that should be taken lightly.

Also, the unprecedented forced shutdown of business and commerce, in which the economy of the world virtually was ground to a halt by order of government, cannot be ignored. It is not unreasonable to consider that the world will be dealing with the economic and social fallout from this for years to come. The poor countries will naturally reasonably be expected to suffer more. Sadly, in the face of this, it is also quite possible that some countries and corporations will actually profit from this chaos. The shutdown is placing people around the world in many socio-economic levels in grave danger through financial hardship – a state linked with increased health problems and lower life expectancy. Businesses are in serious jeopardy of bankruptcy, even with some degree of government help. Many of the most vulnerable employees, such as waitstaff at restaurants and other hourly employees in specific businesses that are not able to be open during this time, are simply out of work with no paycheck through no fault of their own. No reasonable attention seems to be paid to them, and no practicable solution seems at hand.

We would also be remiss in Our duty if We did not mention the restrictions some civil governments have widely placed on the clergy fulfilling their duties during this chaotic time. It is during times of trial and turmoil that pastoral duties become even more essential, and to deprive the people of spiritual sustenance is cruel, and We assert that it is a violation of their religious freedom. Restrictions placed upon clergy not by the Church but instead by the civil government furthermore represent, We strenuously assert, a severe threat to religious liberty and the historic sovereignty of the Church.

It is Our sincere pastoral position that this situation, seemingly unprecedented in history, is the result of a cacophony of competing individualist agendas. Such agendas exist on the national level, corporate level, organisational level, and individual level. It is Our belief that a critical mass of entities in the world are acting in their own self interests without concern for the consequences to others, while simultaneously preaching that others should act selflessly and proclaiming that their actions are indeed selfless. That is coupled with an intense amount of social media at which information flies at lightning pace, and which information is often incorrect, conflicting, or confusing. That further is coupled with a ratings-driven media and agenda-driven politicians. Altogether this has created mass panic and paranoia, and the entire situation has become a snowball that grows and grows and is difficult at this point to resist.

It is incumbent upon the United Nations and especially the Economic and Social Council thereof to consider and strongly promote the serious humanitarian, economic, and social considerations of the worldwide government responses to this current pandemic. Many of those who currently suffer and will suffer the most are the poor and vulnerable around the world, both in comparatively wealthy countries and especially in less affluent countries. Yet, the severe and wide-reaching impact is not limited to the poor and vulnerable alone. This same obligation falls upon the leaders of extant territorial governments of the world. The responsibility for the suffering and damage is entirely upon their hands.

Ego Archipater R. 

New Walsingham Guard MMXX Health Service Medal Announced

PATRIARCHAL SEE 30 March 2020 (ORCNS) - The Walsingham Guard has announced the establishment of a new service medal, the MMXX Health Service Medal. It may be awarded to any member of the Walsingham Guard who renders significant or noteworthy service during the present worldwide health-related situation, regardless of the disease or condition involved, as well as to those who renders significant or noteworthy humanitarian service regarding the large number of individuals who are affected by government and organisational measures. The awarding authority is any of the Captains-General or the Chief of the General Staff. The medal is round with a gold caduceus within a gold wreath, pendant from a red and light green ribbon. The General Command has not yet announced when the first awards will be made.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Via Crucis to End Pandemic

Magistral Chapel of the
Grand Master, location
of the Via Crucis recitation.
BUENOS AIRES 27 March 2020 (ORCNS) - The Via Crucis was recited today in Buenos Aires for the end of the global pandemic. The event was hosted by the Order of Our Lady of Buenos Aires and led by the Grand Master, HMERH Don Rubén de Gavaldá, Count of Gévaudan, Crown Cardinal of France. HIRH Don Rutherford I, Florentine Archfather and Cardinal Count of Sainte Animie, gave the initial reflection in Spanish remotely. The text is below:

En esta Cuaresma estamos en un tiempo en el que muchos sufren de enfermedades. Está, por cierto, el coronavirus COVID-19, pero no debemos olvidar a las muchas, muchas personas que sufren por el gran número de enfermedades infecciosas y otras enfermedades en el mundo. Oremos por todos ellos y, en este tiempo de cuarentena, ofrezcamos actos de caridad para los necesitados. Recordemos las palabras de nuestro Señor, No temas.

Translation in English:
In this Lent we are at a time when many suffer from diseases. There is, by the way, coronavirus COVID-19, but we must not forget the many, many people who suffer from the large number of infectious diseases and other diseases in the world. Let us pray for all of them and, in this time of quarantine, offer acts of charity for those in need. Let us remember the words of our Lord, fear not.

The Facebook group for the event, with video, is available here: 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Patriarchal Constitution Omnipotens Deus

PATRIARCHAL SEE 25 March 2020 (ORCNS) - The following Patriarchal Constitution was promulgated by the Florentine Archfather for the tenth year of the modern Imperial Patriarchate.


Omnipotens Deus 


ALMIGHTY God is the sole supreme ruler of the heavens and the earth. The representative of God on earth is the Holy Church of Christ, which was given and continues to enjoy supreme authority. Above the Holy Church and her officials, no civil potentate or government may stand. We, the Anglo-Italian Imperial Patriarchate in memory of St. Stephen the Deacon and Protomartyr, likewise are, by privilege of the Roman See and Apostolic authority, have been, are, and remain in perpetuity a supreme and sovereign entity, independent of and not subject to in any way all civil governments on earth that have existed, currently exist, or will ever exist in the future. This is applicable not only within the traditional titular territories of the Imperial Patriarchate, Patriarchal States, and Legations, but in all geographical locations.

The Florentine Archfather, Legate of Christ, Custodian of the Apostolic See of Saint Mark in Aquilaea, successor of Pope Leo X, by right of ancient tradition and privilege, holds the Imperial dignity and co-imperial rank. He is subject to no earthly power, potentate, or authority, and is therefore subject to God alone. In dignity of precedence, he ranks below only two persons, viz., first, the Holy Father, and second, the Holy Roman Emperor of the First Reich.

An ecclesiastical sovereign state need not maintain current physical, territorial, geographical borders. Just as a corporation may not have physical property or a storefront, yet nevertheless it possesses all the rights and status of a corporation, so too does an ecclesiastical state without borders maintain all the rights and status of a sovereign nation. The Imperial Patriarchate has titular territory to which it rightly lays claim, but over which it does not exercise direct governmental administration. Nevertheless, the Imperial Patriarchate maintains by ancient right the rights to make and enforce laws, to raise and maintain a military, to coin money and stamps, to enter into treaties with sovereign states, and all other rights appertaining to a sovereign state.

It is noted that the concept of overlapping jurisdictions in neither uncommon nor new. There are adundant examples, past and present, of geographical territories that have multiple extant government authorities claiming and exercising legislative, judicial, and executive authority therein. Such authorities may conflict with each other. The Imperial Patriarchate, with authority under God, maintains rightful supremacy in any an all cases.

Given at the Court of St. Mary of Walsingham in the House of St. Stephen this 25nd day of March, the Feast of the Annunciation, feast day of the Court of St. Mary of Walsingham, in the year of our Lord 2020.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Private Mass of the Florentine Archfather for Laetare Sunday

PATRIARCHAL SEE 22 March 2020 (ORCNS) - HIRH Archfather Don Rutherford I celebrated a private mass in his domestic chapel for Laetare Sunday with commemoration of the mass in times of pestilence. The commemoration was added for all those who suffer not only from the coronavirus, but also from the many infectious diseases and maladies that exist in the world beyond the coronavirus and that claim so many more lives. The Archfather reminded everyone that we must not be blinded by agenda and ratings-driven news coverage and must not lose sight of all who suffer from illness, as well as the countless people who are severely harmed by being economically displaced during this time of government-mandated shutdowns. HIRH also stated that it is time for the people of the world to rise up and demand a return to rationality and sanity. Later in the day HIRH also granted a special plenary indulgence to all the faithful within the patriarchate or any of its apostolates and organisations, as well as those Christian faithful suffering anywhere in the world from any illness.

The following is an excerpted video of the mass:

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Plenary Indulgence Granted

PATRIARCHAL SEE 22 March 2020 (ORCNS) - By special faculties enjoyed by the Imperial Patriarchate, the Florentine Archfather granted a special plenary indulgence to all the faithful within the patriarchate or any of its apostolates and organisations, as well as those Christian faithful suffering anywhere in the world from any illness. The indulgence is given under the usual norms pertaining to indulgences.

The following video is of the blessing being given from the Archfather's domestic chapel.

Walsingham Guard Making a Difference During Global Uncertainty

PATRIARCHAL SEE 22 March 2020 (ORCNS) - During this time of confusion, the Walsingham Guard Division of Medicine and other elements of the government of the Imperial Patriarchate have been involved in helping to improve the global situation.

HIRH the Florentine Archfather said, "The Walsingham Guard, with its proud heritage rooted in the Crusades, is filled with people from all walks of life who are dedicated to serving others. This time is no different, and I am not surprised that our members are rising to the occasion."

In a Time of Confusion, ARRCC System Proves Its Resilience

PATRIARCHAL SEE 22 March 2020 (ORCNS) - In a time in which many churches closing their doors to the very people who need spiritual support the most, the primary non-parochial, mission-based model of the Imperial Patriarchate, Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church has proven itself to be resilient, flexible, and highly effective. Indeed, many churches and jurisdictions have mocked the approach used by the Imperial Patriarchate, yet are using the same or similar methods now. The focus is as it is always been, and that is on reaching the most people by the most effective means possible, and making the sacraments available to those who need them. In a time of panic, confusion, and uncertainty, the Imperial Patriarchate, Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church has been able to continue precisely as it did before.

HIRH the Florentine Archfather, Don Rutherford I, said, "Our system, which is quite ancient but with the augmentation of modern technology, has proven its worth. It is only as good as the people implementing it, though, and I am most thankful for the highly dedicated clergy and lay workers of the Imperial Patriarchate. In times of difficulty, just as in all times, we must rely first and foremost on the graces given through the Holy Church, the gift of God that we may never be alone."

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Dichiarazione del Arcipadre della Situazione in Italia

PATRIARCHAL SEE 10 March 2020 (ORCNS) - SAIR Don Rutherford, Arcipadre Fiorentino e Patriarca Imperiale, ha fatto questa dichiarazione in merito della situazione attuale in Italia. 

"La situazione in italia, la terra molto cara al mio cuore, la terra storica del patrimonio del Patriarcato Imperiale, mi fa molto triste. Sono pleno di compassione per il popolo della peninsula italiana durante questo tempo di insicurezza e di confusione, durante questo tempo di quarantena nazionale. Prego al Santo Infante di Praga che Italia e tutto il mondo tornarà subito alla normalità. Questo non è tempo per il panico; invece è il tempo che richiede preghiere sincere ed azzioni logiche. Che Dio Omnipotente dia la sua benedizione al popolo d’Italia ed a tutto il mondo."

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Ash Wednesday Patriarchal Allocution

PATRIARCHAL SEE 26 February 2020 (ORCNS) - HIRH Archfather Don Rutherford gave the following Patriarchal Allocution on Ash Wednesday for the beginning of Lent. 

FROM the Florentine Household to the Christian faithful around the world and to the members of the Court of St. Mary of Walsingham, grace, peace, and Our Apostolic Blessing on this Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent in the year of our Lord 2020. First, let us turn our thoughts to those who are suffering from or af-fected in any way by the coronavirus, including those who have suf-fered significant travel disruptions. Similarly, let us turn our thoughts to those who suffer from any type of affliction or problem of health around the world.

As we begin our Lenten journey, we are reminded that this is a time of penance and preparation. We travel forward in the footsteps of our Lord towards the glory of the Resurrection that we experience on Easter Sunday. During this time of penance and preparation, it is all too tempting to focus on so-called acts of penance that are really quite empty because they are merely done for show. Such acts are of no avail, for they betray spiritual emptiness inside. Rather, we should focus on meaningful self-denial, such as acts of self-denial. These can take many forms, including small acts of charity, such as giving of one's time to help others.

During this Lenten season we should also reflect on the political discord that is plaguing so many areas of the world today. Far too often, people use their political differences as reasons to divide. Peo-ple place their political opinions often above more important matters, and the government leaders far too often are focused on political agendas rather than coming together, finding common ground and working towards the common good. On an international basis, we should seek a focus towards a community of nations – that is, each nation being a good citizen in the world. That is preferable to ex-treme nationalism, for nationalism places the interests only of one nation above that of the people of all nations.

Ahora, en memoria de nuestra sucesión de las casa españolas de Ivrea y Barcelona en Italia Imperial, quiero decir un saludo cordial y dar mi bendición Apostolica a los cristianos en las tierras hispanohab-lantes.

Anche, ricordando il nostro dovere come Custode della Sede Ap-ostolica di San Marco ad Aquileia, ed in onore di Nuova Roma, la nostra città di Firenze, imparto la mia benedizione Apostolica agli italiani in tutto il mondo.

And now, may Almighty God bless each of you as you go for-ward in faith in your Lenten journey.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Archbishop Dutton Named Titular Archbishop of the Patriarchal See

PATRIARCHAL SEE 23 February 2020 (ORCNS) - HSH the Most Reverend Norman Dutton, retired Metropolitan Archbishop of the Anglican Independent Communion Worldwide was recently appointed as a titular Archbishop of the Patriarchal See by HIRH the Archfather. The titular archbishops are part of the Anticamera Nobile of the Patriarchal Household. Members are not always regular clergy of the Imperial Patriarchate, but are often also clergy of other jurisdictions in the Roman and Anglican traditions. Archbishop Dutton, a native of the United Kingdom, has a long record of service on an international basis and is a highly-respected cleric and humanitarian.

The Anticamera Nobile is the higher division within the traditional organisation of the Patriarchal Household. It is divided into two segments. The upper portion is known as the Chapter and is comprised of the Electoral Bishops, titular bishops and archbishops, honourary Deans, and Canons. The lower portion is known as the Camera, or Chamber, and includes the Patriarchal Chamberlains, as well as several traditional offices held by clerics or laity.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

IP History -- Traditional Titles of the Florentine Archfather

FLORENCE 22 January 2020 (ORCNS) - The heritage of the modern Anglo-Italian Imperial Patriarchate, now in its tenth year, evolved from a history spanning more than 2000 years, involving several historical European states. The traditional shepherd of the Imperial Patriarchate is the Patriarch. Formally known as the "Archfather" or "Florentine Archfather," the office retains a number of other historic titles, each referring to a specific element of the patriarchate’s complex history and heritage. This article explains select meanings, history, and modern use.

Florentine Archfather & Cardinal Count of Sainte Animie

Leo X
The principal style used by the Archfather, is Florentine Archfather & Cardinal Count of Sainte Animie, an ancient title synonymous with chief priest and patriarch. Historic Florentine Archfathers were those with both secular authority in Florence and ecclesiastical patriarchal authority. The first four Archfathers began with Leo X (1513), one of the founding fathers of the heritage of the Imperial Patriarchate. Each were also "Roman Archfathers," by virtue of their status as Popes. The fifth Florentine Archfather is the current Bishop of St. Stephen as Anglo-Italian Imperial Patriarch; titular Prince of Florence in the Holy Roman Empire by virtue of that office.

The title of Cardinal Count of Sainte Animie is concurrent with that of Archfather as a personal union. It is of Merovingian* origin tied to the Burgundian royal house of Arles and the Spanish royal houses of Ivrea and Barcelona, to which the Archfather is heir in Imperial Italy. The title provides a link between the Spanish Empire and Florence, Tuscany, and the Kingdom of Italy in the Holy Roman Empire. The style refers to the title of Cardinal Deacon of Santa Maria Antiqua in Rome, held ex officio by the Imperial Patriarch.

* The Merovingian dynasty was the Frankish (German) ruling family from the mid-5th century until 751. They were known as Kings of the Franks, and their territory included much of modern-day France, and parts of Germany. They were the precursor to the Holy Roman Empire and were succeeded by the family of Charlemagne.

Clement VII
Archprince-Bishop of St. Stephen

The Archprince-Bishop of St. Stephen is the principal episcopal title of the Archfather. It refers to apostolic authority as a bishop and secular authority based on the specific patrimony of office. Its scope includes Florence and Italy in the Holy Roman Empire, and titular elector of the Holy Roman Empire.

Anglo-Italian Imperial Patriarch

The Anglo-Italian Imperial Patriarch refers to patriarchal authority over the Imperial Patriarchate, which extends beyond the direct patrimony of the Archfather himself. The historic territories of Westphalia, Würzburg, Trier, Mainz, and Frankfurt in the Holy Roman Empire, and portions of North America are included. 

Prince of Florence in the Holy Roman Empire

Church of St. Stephen al Ponte
The Archfather is Prince of Florence in the Holy Roman Empire by virtue of office. Florence was founded by Julius Caesar, who also founded the original Legion of the Eagle and is one of the founding fathers of the heritage of the Imperial Patriarchate. It was conquered by Charlemagne (another founding father) more than two decades before he was crowned Emperor and King of the Romans, and it became part of the Margraviate of Tuscany. Today the titular spiritual and secular seat of the Imperial Patriarchate is Florence, and the titular seat of the Archfather is the Church of St. Stephen al Ponte in Florence.

Vice-King of Italy and the Holy Roman Empire

The title of Vice-King of Italy in the Holy Roman Empire and Imperial Vice Chancellor of Italy is ecclesiastical successor of the ancient Margraviate of Tuscany in the Holy Roman Empire, in descent from the ancient Margraves of Tuscany and Kings of Italy in the Holy Roman Empire. The first known Vice-King of Italy was Bosone d'Arles, King of Lower Burgundy, one of the founding fathers of the heritage of the Imperial Patriarchate.