[quote=St.Eric]has anyone ever heard of “The apostolic Catholic Church of the East?”
Are they in communon with Rome? Are they schismatic or heretical?
It sounds suspect to me. The priests can marry after or before they are ordained (I know, the eastern church priests can marry before they are ordained- but I don’t think after as well). They administer the eucharist to anyone regardless of faith. They do not have the sacrement of reconciliation.
Any info on the group would be appreciated. Thanks.
First, let me clear up some misconceptions that have been raised in posts here regarding my brothers and sisters of the Assyrian Churches.
The Assyrian Church does permit marriage post-ordination, altho it is relatively uncommon. Its hierarchs, however, are drawn from the celibate secular and monastic clergy.
The name you ascribe to this Church resembles but is not the name of either of the Assyrian Churches. Cestus is, presumably, thinking of the common older name “Assyrian Church of the East” or the present name of the Church’s separated counterpart, the “Ancient Church of the East”. Neither has ever been commonly known by the name you cite.
As to Mike’s characterization of Mar Bawai as a “former bishop” and his suggestion that Mar Bawai is in the process of establishing his own church, such speculation is unsupported, likely unfounded, and should not be propogated by anyone without a lot more proof than something that they “think”, based on what they heard was happening “wherever he goes”. This would be significantly out of character for a man whose efforts for many years have been directed toward a hope for reconciliation by the 3 Churches among which the Assyro-Chaldean peoples are presently divided. It would also be completely counter to the stance that he has taken before the Assyrian Holy Synod and in a current court case.
Semper Fi is incorrect in his statement that the Assyrians practice “open communion”. The Assyrians have a pastoral agreement with Rome and the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch, under which each Church will provide pastoral care, including the Mysteries, to the faithful of the other Church whenever circumstances demand it (i.e., the unavailability of one’s own clergy). The Assyrians are also open to communing Eastern and Oriental Orthodox and Catholics, on request, but that is a far reach from “open communion”.
To return to your original query, if you can come up with any additional info - particularly the name of the “archbishop” - I can likely tell you more about the church in question. From the description that you have provided, the “archbishop” styled himself accurately as a “roving bishop” - a term that perfectly translates episcopus vagante, the label that I would have applied to him.
The likelihood is that his “Church” is a new iteration of an existing ecclesia vagante (that he “tested” to become a hierarch tells me that somewhere out there is whatever entity tested him and conferred this title on him). It’s fairly common in the vagante genre for new hierarchs to strike out on their own with a new ecclesial name, since one of their hallmarks is the unwillingness to be subservient to another hierarch - including the one who “elevated” them to the “episcopate”. Even if this “archbishop” is new to the so-called “independent Catholic/Orthodox movement”, it’s almost a certainty that I’m acquainted with the body and hierarch from which he and his “Church” blossomed.
For those who would like to better understand the term vagante, I suggest you read this thread, particularly post 15, but also 12, 13, and 18.