Gnostically Ironically Iraneus

The Catechism of the USA says…

[quote]The Catholic Church retains the structures of episcopal leadership and sacramental life that are the gift of Christ to his Church (cf. CCC, nos. 765, 766) and that date back to apostolic times. At the same time, the Catholic Church recognizes that the Holy Spirit uses other churches and ecclesial communities “as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church” (CCC, no. 819; LG, no. 8). Depending on what and how much of the elements of sanctincation and truth (UR, no. 3) these communities have retained, they have a certain though imperfect com¬munion with the Catholic Church. There are also real differences. In some cases “there are very weighty differences not only of a historical, sociological, psychological and cultural character, but especially in the interpretation of revealed truth” (UR, no. 19). (The word church applies to those bodies of Christians who have a valid episcopal leadership or hierarchy, while the phrase ecclesial communities refers to those bodies of Christians that do not have an apostolic hierarchy.)/


Iraneus Wrote Against Heresies…found here…

a type of Gnosticism was born here…

The organization now called the Ecclesia Gnostica was originally organized in England under the name the Pre-Nicene Gnostic Catholic Church in 1953[2][3][4], by the Most Rev. Richard Jean Chretien Duc de Palatine with the object of “restoring the Gnosis - Divine Wisdom to the Christian Church, and to teach the Path of Holiness which leads to God and the Inner Illumination and Interior Communion with the Soul through the mortal body of man.”[5] Born Ronald Powell, Richard Duc de Palatine had served in the Liberal Catholic Church in Australia, before moving to England. Bishop Duc de Palatine was consecrated by the Most Rev. Msg. Hugh George de Wilmott Newman (Mar Georgius I), patriarch of the Catholic Apostolic Church (Catholicate of the West) who consolidated many lines of apostolic succession.[6][7]

with Churches found here…

Some claim to be part of the OHCAC, some claim Aposotlic Succession, and I don’t know if this group baptizes in the trinitarian formula…

Does anyone know what the stance is of this group is on

Marriage and Divorce

are they truly Christian???

I am not sure what part of your link applies to your question, nor why you are interested in this group.

I would say the likelihood of its having valid apostolic succession is low as they probably broke off from the Anglicans, which does not.

That bit from the Catechism mostly applies to the Orthodox.

St. Francis,

Then you would say that the Ecclesia Gnostica and Gnostics in general do not have Apostolic Succession and are not part of the OHCAC. Is this correct?

I would be more concerned with their theology than anything/

Is God this unseeable unknowable Aeon? ONly known through his one son who had a wife who bore ten or whatever the number of aeons is that eventually resulted in Sophia getting drunk and creating Material or something?

It seems there is a possibility that they are validly ordained, since their first bishop was ordained by a bishop of the Liberal Catholic Church, whose first bishop was ordained by a bishop of the Old Catholic Church, which does have valid ordinations, or at least did at the time. If they have not mismanaged the rite of ordination, then the ordinations of the Gnostic Church you are asking about may well be valid.

However, I think that what Ignacio Philo said is a pertinent comment. Why are you intested in the validity of their ordinations? And why are you interested in this community? (Not that you need to answer those questions, but you might want to reflect on them yourself.)

St. Francis…

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You appear to have understanding of Gnostic Theology. Is this correct?

A semi half remembered understanding of gnostic theology mostly from Iraneaus while recognising he wasn’t always right and often employed rhetoric at least in describing the character of teh gnostics.


This organization has a site…with a Catechism, stating that salvation is through knowing…

Having read the first two books of Iraneaus’s against heresies, they don;t seem to match any specific group, but have a hodge podge of ideas of the different gnostics groups iraneaus mentions.


I am beginning to see that this Ecclesia Gnostica is more of an invention than anything else. I cannot see what their stand is on important issues of morality. If they call themselves Christians, ie Gnostic Christians then the implication is that they follow Christ. If this is so, as we know…following Christ implies morality. I cannot find much on their stance on important issues such as…


Your input was valuable…:slight_smile:

Ecclesia Gnostica, like many so-called Gnostic churches today, have little historical relation to the ancient Gnostic groups although they do draw their inspiration from the texts that are available. In terms of their sacramental regularity I would argue that the ordinations and the sacraments of Ecclesia Gnostica and related groups are indeed ‘valid’ according to canon, though definitely ‘ilicit’ in the eyes of Rome.

In Dominus Iesus it is stated: "The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches. Therefore, 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 the Primacy.”

Since Ecclesia Gnostica, itself descended from the Pre-Nicene Gnostic Catholic Church, receives its episcopal heritage through the Liberal Catholic Church which, in turn, receives much of its succession through the Syro-Malabar and Old Catholic See of Utrech, the ordinations are likewise valid in spite of their non-desire to recognize the primacy of the Pope.

Having also researched a number of these churches myself as part of my religious studies training in comparative religions, I personally have no qualms with the individuals - in fact, I see many of them as fine upstanding individuals - and having witnessed their sacraments first hand I can also answer that, yes, they do use the Trinitarian formula and in many cases make use the the extraordinary forms that are not contemporarily used in most Catholic Churches. It’s really fascinating to watch, regardless of one’s opine of their theology.

Insofar as their understanding of salvation, the understanding of gnosis as having a salvific characteristic is not itself alien to orthodox Christianity. When Iranaeus wrote Adversus Haereses, he was primarily using the word ‘gnostic’ as a perjorative in the same way we would use, “know it all”. The specific group he was arguing against were the followers of the early church theologian (cum heretic) Valentinus. You will notice the emphasis on ‘falsely so-called’ in the title of his (Iranaeus’) works. That aside, both Iranaeus and Tertullian do speak highly of Valentinus’ theological capacity.

As Chevalier IX said, the Ecclesia Gnostica does have valid apostolic succession and valid sacraments according to the Roman Catholic Church.

IgnatianPhilo said:

I would be more concerned with their theology than anything/

Is God this unseeable unknowable Aeon? ONly known through his one son who had a wife who bore ten or whatever the number of aeons is that eventually resulted in Sophia getting drunk and creating Material or something?

God is considered the “Absolute”, “Ultimate Reality”, the “Source”, and the “Unknowable Father” (according to Ecclesia Gnostica. I’m listing what I remember from the Gnostic Catechism). It is believed that He can only be known through His Son. And no, according to the Ecclesia Gnostica, Christ did not have a wife. The Emanation that they call the Son did, however, have a “counterpart” or “consort” (not the same as wife. Since these are spiritual beings, their relationship cannot be a sexual one, so “consort” is certainly metaphorical). I don’t remember if it is supposed to be that She gave “birth” to the other Aeons or not. As for Sophia and the creation of the Material World is concerned, there’s many different accounts. But the basic outline is this: Sophia, the youngest of the Aeons (and thus also the furthest from the Unknowable Father, the Source) longed to see the Source, so She went searching for Him. But no matter where She looked, She could not find Him. Eventually, she found Herself in the Outer Darkness, further from the Source than She had ever been before. In Her despair, She emanated from Herself Yaldaboath, who would later become the Demiurge, without the aide of Her consort/counterpart (the reason for this may have been because of how alone she felt, I don’t know). The result was an abomination, described as a serpent with the head of a lion. When She saw what She had “given birth” to, she was horrified, and she cast it out into the Darkness. Yaldaboath awoke alone, and thought himself to be the one and only god. He saw a reflection of the Pleroma in the darkness below him, and decided to create the Material World based on the image he saw. However, because he was uneducated, his creation was, like himself, an abomination. It would have quickly fallen apart if it were not for the pity that Sophia felt for him (and possibly a little bit of guilt. It was Her fault, after all, that he was alone). She finished his “half creation,” allowing it to continue to exist. Yaldaboath then proceeded to create the Archons (his “angels”) who helped him to shape the world.

It’s actually a lot more complected than that, and I probably got some stuff wrong. Hopefully thomas will show up and correct whatever mistakes I made here. Lol.

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