Home  What We Believe   Bishops and Dioceses   History   Intercommunion  Centering Prayer  Contact Us


Apostolic Succession of the

International Free Catholic Communion

Our Lord Jesus Christ chose and ordained apostles to guide the Church and to carry on His ministry after His Ascension. To this day, in an unbroken chain, their priesthood and ministry of oversight have continued through their successors, the bishops. The clergy of the IFCC are ordained to Holy Orders by bishops who trace their ministry in an unbroken line through the laying on of hands to the original apostles and, through them, to Jesus Christ himself.


All the Bishops of the IFCC can trace their Apostolic Succession through the following lineages which represent a convergence of virtually every part of the Ancient, Undivided One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by Christ and His Apostles:*



Old Catholic Lines


A.H. Matthew Lines (4)


I. Frederick Samuel Willoughby Line

(Matthew, Willoughby, Wedgewood, Cooper, Hampton, Spruit)

II.  W. H. F. Brothers Line (via R. A. Sicard)**

III. C. H. Carfora Line (via R. A. Sicard)**

IV. J. M. Kowalski (Polish Mariavite) Line (via R. A. Sicard)**



Roman Catholic Lines 


I. Brazilian Roman Catholic Line:


Carlos Duarte Costa Line, Roman Catholic Bishop (1924-1945), first of Botucatu , Brazil and later Titular Bishop of Maura

(via R. A. Sicard)**


II  Mexican Roman Catholic Lines (2): 


1. Eduardo Sanchez y Camacho Line, Roman Catholic Bishop of Tamaulipas, Mexico, 1880-1896, founding Bishop of the Mexican National Catholic Church (MNCC)

(Sanchez y Camacho (allegedly consecrated), Donkin, Herford & Heard, Newman, Maxey, Wadle, Spruit)



Anglican Lines


I. Samuel Seabury Line

II. J. Moore - William White Line



Syrian “Jacobite” (Patriarchate of Antioch)


Joseph Rene Villate Line

(Villate, Lloyd, Lines, Boyle, Wadle, Spruit)



Greek Orthodox


Joachim Souris & Walter Myron Propheta Line (via R. A. Sicard)**



Russian Orthodox (Patriarchate of Moscow)


Abdullah (Aftimios) Ofiesh Line



Coptic Orthodox (Patriarchate of Alexandria)


Mar Georgius I (Hugh George de Wilmott Newman) 

& Richard, Duc de Palatine (Ronald Powell) Line



Church of the East (Catholic Patriarchate of Assyria)


Mar Georgius I (Hugh George de Wilmott Newman) Line



Albanian Orthodox (Metropolitan-Archbishops of Albania)


Peter A. Zurawetsky Line



Melkite Uniate (Greek Melkite Patriarchate of Antioch)


Antoine Joseph Aneed Line



Chaldean Uniate (Chaldean Patriarchate of Babylon of Baghdad)


Mar Georgius I (Hugh George de Wilmott Newman) Line



Catholic Uniate (Armenian Catholicate-Patrichate of Cilicia)


Mar Georgius I (Hugh George de Wilmott Newman) Line



Order For Corporate Reunion


Mar Georgius I (Hugh George de Wilmott Newman) Line



* Except where noted above (as "via R. A. Sicard"), all of the above lines were passed on to the Bishops of the International Free Catholic Communion by Archbishop Herman Adrian Spruit, principal consecrator for Timothy Barker (April 23, 1989), who was principal consecrator for Michael Milner (July 28, 1991) assisted by Brian Turkington, Joseph Souza and Lewis Boynton. Bishop Barker & Bishop Milner are the founding bishops of the International Free Catholic Communion. 


** Additional lines (noted by a double asterisk** above) were conferred upon Michael Milner and passed on to the IFCC through subconditione consecration...


...by R. Augustin Sicard with Owen Augustin, Philip Lisuzzo, Heron A. Sam, Daniel Gincig & Michael Owen, September 17, 1995



All Bishops of the International Free Catholic Communion share in the richness and diversity of all these lines.








  Arnold Harris Mathew           Joseph René Vilatte             Dom Carlos Duarte Costa

(1852-1919)                          (1854 - 1929)                            (1888 -1961)



Appendix I

A reference on the Old Catholic Movement from:


(an official publication of the Roman Catholic Church)

Old Catholic - several groups, including: (1) the Church of Utrecht, which severed relations with Rome in 1724; (2) The National Polish Church in the U.S., which has its origin near the end of the 19th century; (3) German, Austrian and Swiss Old Catholics, who broke away from union with Rome following the First Vatican Council in 1870 because they objected to the dogma of papal infallibility.

The formation of the Old Catholic communion of Germans, Austrians and Swiss began in 1870 at a public meeting held in Nuremberg under the leadership of A. Dolinger. Four years later Episcopal succession was established with ordination of an Old Catholic German bishop by a prelate of the Church of Utrecht. In line with the "Declaration of Utrecht" of 1889, they accept the first seven ecumenical councils and doctrine formulated before 1054, but reject communion with the pope and a number of other Roman Catholic doctrines and practices. They have a valid priesthood and valid sacraments. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church notes that they have recognized Anglican ordinations since 1925, that they have full communion with the Church of England since 1932, and have taken part in ordination of Anglican Bishops.


Published with Ecclesiastical Approval


Huntington, Indiana 46750


Appendix II

Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith Declaration: Dominus Jesus
An excerpt…

17. Therefore, there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him. The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the (Roman) 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 (Roman) Catholic Church…


From the Vatican, August 6, 2000


Home  What We Believe   Bishops and Dioceses   History   Intercommunion  Centering Prayer  Contact Us


Copyright © 2003 Maclin R. Milner, Jr.

All Rights Reserved