The Living Church

Year Article Type Limit by Author

The Living ChurchJuly 1, 2001Non-Episcopal by (The Rev.) Bjorn Marcussen223(1) p. 19

Regarding the confusion over how a non-Episcopal priest can "hold" Eucharist in an Episcopal Church, I would like to draw the readers' attention to some ecclesiastical fraud by pseudo-Old Catholic clergy in the U.S.

While the Episcopal Church is in full communion with the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht in Europe, this does not apply to the numerous pseudo-Old Catholic clergy in the U.S. They often seek out Episcopal churches, claiming (falsely) to be in communion with the Episcopal Church and often succeed in persuading Episcopal clergy and even bishops to let them "hold" Eucharist. Sometimes they even get stipends.

I don't know if the clergy person referred to in the TLC article falls in that category. But it would be advisable for all Episcopal clergy to honor the full communion with the real Old Catholics by checking the credentials of anyone who claims to be an Old Catholic priest. Page 410 of the Episcopal Church Annual, 2000, has a list of Old Catholic Churches in communion with the Episcopal Church. Writing the real Old Catholic bishops to verify credentials seems to me to be the right thing to do. As a regular participant in European Old Catholic conferences, I am personally acquainted with all the European Old Catholic bishops and a number of Old Catholic theologians and clergy. If you have doubts about anybody's Old Catholic credentials, you may also e-mail me at for a 99 percent accurate evaluation.

(The Rev.) Bjorn Marcussen

St. Elizabeth's Church

San Diego, Calif.