Effectual Episcopacy


A decree regarding Apostolic Succession, Formation, Authority and Acceptance Within the Universal Church

This Patriarchal office does this day April 25th in the year of our Lord 2021 hereby announces

Decretum de Effectualis Episcopatus


This decree, by order of the Patriarch of the United Episcopal Catholic Communion shall stand alone and dogmatic, inexorably linked to all aspects of Canon Law of this organization.


The catholic church (Universal Church) is the heart and soul of the Christian faith. Herein we discuss our effectual existence within the broad aspects of the denominational church today.

The core of the organization, henceforth denoted as the United Episcopal Catholic Communion (UECC) has roots in the ancient Catholic Church. That is to say, the church as operated under the Apostles and early church fathers previous to the First Council of Nicaea in the year of the Lord AD 325.

We hereby describe and in all aspects denote the UECC as a ‘Catholic (catholic)’ denomination within the context of not only valid Apostolic Succession in the ‘Catholic Line’, but also historic operation of the church previous to the Council of Nicaea. Our Bishops have succession directly from the ‘branch’ of the lines of Barberini, Alexander VII, Rebiba, Ignatius Peter III, Ignatius Jacob II and Nikon.

While this organization fully recognizes the Papal State and respectfully pays great respect to the Pontiff, we are autonomous of that stated authority just as the churches of Antioch, Jerusalem, Corinth and Alexandria operated autonomous of each other.

We do herein state that we, as is stated by many Independent Catholic, Old Catholic or Anglo-Catholic organizations, the actions of Papal Infallibility and Papal Supremacy set down in the council as doctrine in the year of the Lord 1869-1870 are outside the true actions exhibited by the Apostles and early church fathers. That not withstanding, we hereby respect the position of the Roman Catholic Church to internally hold those doctrines as sacred within their sphere of authority, and not without.

As an organization, we support our autonomous operation as a Catholic (catholic) denomination based both on historical and biblical precepts:

  • Scripture such as Matthew 16:21-23; Luke 22:31-33; and Galatians 2:7-14. They say Peter was not always protected from fallibility in matters of faith and that the keys given to Peter were likewise granted to all the Apostles in Matthew 18:18.

  • Acts of the Apostles chapters 1-2, 10-11, and 15 which confirms that St. Peter was a church leader, but places him in Jerusalem and says nothing about Rome. The Roman Catholic Church agrees but says that tradition placed him in Rome later than the Acts references. We decry ‘tradition’ as the bases for describing facts, or lack thereof.

    Biblical or historical proof of Peter in Rome is at best hypothetical, presumptive and/or fabricated on subjective traditions.

  • It is ‘tradition’ to make the claim The Roman Catholic view is founded on the verses in Matthew 16:18 and John 21:15-19. There is absolutely no mention of the Roman Church, the passage talks about ‘the church’. This passage describes what we call openly the ‘catholic church’ with a small ‘c’ – meaning universal.

  • The issue of church authority, apostolic succession and operation is very complex and confusing. As stated by Bart Ehrman in the History & Literature of Early Christianity:

But who was the first bishop of Rome? According to the second-century Irenaeus, it was a man named Linus, who was appointed to the office by Peter and Paul (Against Heresies 3, 3, 3). In one place the father of church history, Eusebius, appears to agree with this, to some extent, when he says that “the first to be called bishop after the martyrdoms of Peter and Paul was Linus” (Church History, 3, 2); but here Linus is appointed not by Peter, but by someone else, after Peter’s death. And to confuse things even further, just a few paragraphs later Eusebius phrases the matter differently, saying that “Linus … was the first after Peter to be appointed Bishop of Rome. Clement again, who became the third Bishop of Rome….” This makes it appear that Peter was the first bishop, Linus the second, and Clement the third. And the tradition becomes yet more confused when we consider the writings of Tertullian from the early third century, who seems to indicate that Clement was not the third bishop of Rome, but the first – appointed by Peter himself (Prescription of the Heretics 32).

If Peter did not start the church in Rome, who did? As it turns out, our earliest evidence for the existence of a church in Rome at all is one of Paul’s letters, the letter to the Romans (written in the 50s CE). This letter presupposes a congregation made up predominantly, or exclusively, of Gentiles (Rom. 1:13). It does not appear, then, to have been a church established by Peter, missionary to the Jews. Moreover, at the end of the letter, Paul greets a large number of the members of the congregation by name. It is striking that he never mentions Peter, here or anywhere else in the letter. Interpreters are virtually unified, on these grounds, in thinking that when Paul wrote this letter in the mid 50s CE, Peter had not yet arrived in Rome.

A later tradition found in the writings of the late-second-century church father Irenaeus, however, indicates that the church in Rome was “founded and organized by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul” (Against Heresies 3, 3, 2). As I have just argued, this cannot have been the case – since in Paul’s own letter to the Roman church, he indicates that he had never yet been there (Rom. 1:13).

This organization also recognizes the document of the Papal State, signed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and approved by Pope John Paul II on the Lord’s day August 6, 2000. This doctrine, Dominus Iesus clearly states:

... reserves the word "Church" for bodies that have preserved a "valid episcopate and the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic mystery." Such bodies, which include the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and the Old Catholic Churches, "are true particular Churches,"[3] and the document affirms that "the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the Catholic Church, since they do not accept the Catholic doctrine of Primacy."

-- Dominus Iesus, 17

Herein we declare that the United Episcopal Catholic Communion is ‘such a body’ and henceforth reserve the authority, recognition and respect of said acknowledgments of the Roman Church, or recognition of any Apostolic Organization worldwide. We are all brethren of the original universal church as set down by historical data, not based on generalities or political aspirations.

We also declare that the Anglican Apostolic Church, an Ordinate of the UECC, is rightfully by valid Apostolic Succession founded as ‘such a body’ and shall deserve the authority, recognition and respect of said acknowledgments of the Roman Church, or recognition of any Apostolic Organization worldwide.

Within the context of Apostolic tradition, and certain aspects of the sacraments, also canons and rubrics of operation, we reserve the right of our own interpretation and beliefs as being valid and righteous in their own right.

We do accept that certain Canons, Papal Bulls and other decrees as being valid in content, and hence in context. Many of these documents clearly set a ‘path to exceptions’ for operations of the church.

Many aspects of the faith have reference in biblical text, none the less we also see many exceptions to the rule. Laying on of hands, communion on the tongue, rubrics of ordination and consecration are among those that present dichotomy.

Many exceptions are born from necessity, especially during great trials and tribulations; natural disasters, epidemics, pandemics or other disasters that effectively stops the operation of the church.

Herein we will present several examples:

a. The laying on of hands presents an interesting dichotomy.

First, laying on of hands was an ancient Jewish practice that was merely symbolic, and represented no transferal of power or authority. The action was a human factor of kindness and recognition to the recipient, one of honor and respect.

Second, there was absolutely no symbolic or other purpose for the laying on of hands of the original Apostles. Within biblical text, due to circumstances, they were in a locked and shuttered room. Without interaction from another individual, the spirit came to them unbidden. Acts 2:1-13

The probable first reference to the laying on of hands was the consecration of Apostle Paul.


b. Paul is an interesting dichotomy. The original Apostles set down three (3) rules for acceptance of another into their ranks.

The requirements that can be gathered are as follows:

The candidate was required to be someone who followed Jesus during his entire earthly ministry, beginning from Jesus’ baptism by John to Jesus’ ascension into heaven (1:21–22a).

The candidate was required to have seen Jesus after His resurrection (1:22b).

The candidate needed to have been appointed by the Lord Jesus himself (1:24–25).

Paul, depending on various interpretations, failed at least two if not three of these early canons. He was not appointed by Jesus. In the book of Acts 9:1–19; 22:6–16; and 26:12–23 describes the encounter of Paul with Jesus.

First, there were no witnesses, as people around the area only saw a light, but heard nothing.

Second, Jesus told Paul he would receive instructions, and the instructions were to "evangelize to the Gentiles". He was not ordered to present himself to the other Apostles, nor was he ordered to be one of their number. Hence no "appointment" took place. As seen in Acts, Romans and other texts there is no mention of being selected by Jesus as an Apostle:


Acts 26:15 – 18

“’I am personally selecting you from among the people and the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, To open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the authority of Satan to God, so that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified through faith in Me'"

Acts 9:15
"Go!" said the Lord. "This man is My chosen instrument to carry My name before the Gentiles and their kings, and before the people of Israel.

Acts 13:2
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."

Romans 15:16
to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.


Interestingly, there is a reference, maybe out of context, that declares Paul an Apostle. That is in the books of Corinthians, none the less we must understand that Paul was the author of stated text (we must also take notice of the controversy of the Apostles accepting Paul into their ranks):


2 Corinthians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia:


1 Corinthians 1:1
Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,


Paul also failed the first rule, he had never followed Jesus in the early ministry.

Now we fully understand the stance that During his three years of exile in Arabia he was personally taught by Jesus (Acts 9:20 – 25, Galatians 1:11 – 12, 15 – 18.

While significant, this was not the rules the Apostles set down, and there is no reference in those texts that Jesus indicated Paul should go to be one with the Apostles. This text flies in the face of tradition and dogma. If Peter was the ‘first Pope’ and presumed infallible, how could the rules the Apostles agreed upon be in error?

And biblical text does indicate Peter made mistakes. His relationship with the Jews that sometimes overshadowed his responsibilities to the early Christians resulted in a confrontation between Peter and Paul in what later came to be known as the ‘Incident at Antioch’.

Finally some added context; The word "apostle," used eighty-one times in the New Testament, simply means "a delegate, an ambassador of the gospel, or one that is sent" (Strong's Concordance #G652). Surprisingly, the Bible does not limit the use of this term to Jesus' innermost twelve followers or even to Paul. This adds much confusion to the discussion at hand. Paul may have been an Apostle but not necessarily a consecrated bishop as we understand the concept. Paul, along with Barnabas may have carried the title as an ‘ambassador to the Gentiles’, hence were not part of the Apostolic Team.


There is also text that leads many to believe that Paul was an Apostle.

Acts 13

2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them on their way


Many misleading interpretations are prevalent here. First, the Holy Spirit came totally unbidden and was present well before the laying on of hands. Hence, within the context of the actions at that time, the laying on of hands did not bestow power as such, the Holy Spirit was already with Paul and Barnabas.

So it may be construed that the laying on of hand was one of honor and respect.

Within the context of ‘separate me Barnabas and Saul (Paul)’ signifies that they were chosen for a special mission; to evangelize to the Gentiles, mirroring the word of Jesus in earlier texts. There is no reference to the Apostles, the word of Jesus or the intent of the Holy Spirit to make Paul and Barnabas Apostles in their own right.


It may be construed that Paul had absolutely no proof of any interaction with Jesus on the road, seeing the light and that interaction with Jesus. There was no individual to verify the encounter. So from the perspective of the Apostles, Paul may have also failed the second rule. They had no direct proof, other than Paul’s own words, that he met Jesus on the road and later was under the tutelage of Jesus.

Yet, Paul was inducted. This may have been the first example of sub conditione.


Those who staunchly support Apostolic Tradition (of which most documented facts were lost, or never recorded) direct us to believe that the laying on of hands is required to pass on power and authority. There are many references in biblical text that do show times hands were laid on individuals during healing, general miracles or other activities. Yet, there are many more references where that did not occur. In all cases, the Holy Spirit still made itself manifest.


c. Biblical text does not record the receipt of the host on the tongue. The biblical text is clear;

1 Corinthians 11:24-27 - And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

Matthew 26:26-28And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

The key here is the word “Take eat” and “gave it to the disciples”. No mention of the process to take the sacred host by ‘tongue only’.


d. The Apostolic Tradition declares the process of consecration requires two (2, 3) or more bishops to perform the act. If we look at biblical text literally, we can indicate exceptions.

Within biblical text, due to circumstances, they were in a locked and shuttered room. Without interaction from another individual, the spirit came to them unbidden. The probable first reference to the laying on of hands was the Apostle Paul, and as stated earlier, did not impose the power of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit was already present.

That not withstanding, while the ‘rule’ for multiple bishops to oversee a consecration came from the early church, the act has finite exceptions that the canons of many organizations realize.


This organization accepts that certain Canons, Papal Bulls and other decrees as being valid in content, and hence in context; as mentioned previously. In context of the three (3) examples above;


Pope Gregory IX left eleven rules and Boniface VIII eighty-eight for the true interpretation of the law. These rules, according to Canon 20, can supply the defect of the rule in a particular case, as in the case we presently find ourselves. Consequently, the fourth rule of Gregory IX expressly states: Propter necessitatem, illicitum efficitur licitum — “Necessity makes licit what is illicit.”


Rule 88 of Boniface VIII also expressly states Certum est quod is committit in legem qui legem verbum complectens contra legis nititur“It is certain that one sins against the rule who adheres to the letter and leaves aside the spirit.” Therefore, it is unjust to impute to the legislator a desire to greatly harm the Church during a need to SERVE God and the faithful, forbidding the ordination of bishops and priests and the administering of the sacraments to the faithful who ask for them.


At the very least, especially in time of ‘great trial and tribulation’, traditional acts may be required to be put aside for the benefit of the faithful and the church. This includes but not limited to; a single bishop for consecration, foregoing the laying on of hands, using virtual technology to maintain church operations for the faithful and stability of the church itself and applying special actions for all sacraments in general. The church simply cannot ‘stop’.


At the very least, the practice of sub conditone comes into play for these non traditional actions. This is fully supported by Roman Catholic Canons 953 and 2370. This ‘exception’ manifests itself with the Anglican Ordinates with the Roman Catholic Church.


Out of necessity to create the Anglican Ordinates, the Roman Church followed the precept Propter necessitatem, illicitum efficitur licitum - “Necessity makes licit what is illicit.”

We hereby state that our organization is autonomous in operations, is liable for it’s beliefs before our Lord and not to man. We reserve the right of interpretation in the same vein as the early church fathers. We hold true, based on biblical interpretation and historical references, that from the inception of the early churches by the Apostles up to current time, there were differences of opinion on the precepts the church operates under. We accept these exceptions as required to serve the faithful and maintain the solace of the church to all humanity.

We hereby state that we respect and embrace the beliefs, canons and rubrics of all organizations within the faith. That not withstanding, that is a two way road; the same respect must be reciprocated.

This decree, by the hand of the Patriarch of the United Episcopal Catholic Communion, is hereby declared binding to our canons and rubrics. This decree is effective this day April 25th in the year of our Lord 2021.


Most Reverend Brian K. Putzier

Patriarch – Presiding Archbishop