Apostolic Succession

The term “apostolic succession” refers to the doctrine in Catholic and Orthodox churches that holds that certain spiritual powers, who Jesus Christ first entrusted to the twelve apostles, is passed on in an unbroken line of succession from apostle to bishop to bishop, and from these bishops to the priests who assist them in their pastoral duties. The validity of apostolic succession is a key factor in determining the sacredotal powers of the Church.

The principal line of apostolic succession of the Catholic Church of Antioch comes from the Roman Catholic Church, through the Dutch Old Catholic Church and the Liberal Catholic Church in England. The validity of this line of succession is widely recognized, the earliest recorded member being Roman Catholic bishop Scipione Rebiba. More than 91 percent of all Roman Catholic bishops world-wide trace their own lineage to Rebiba (Bransom, 1990). The founder of our Church, Archbishop Herman Adrian Spruit, as you see below, is in direct succession.

In addition, the Catholic Church of Antioch has made an effort to unite eastern and western lines of apostolic succession. The Catholic Church of Antioch derives additional lines of succession from Archbishop Spruit’s co-consecrators (in addition to our name). These additional lines include the Syrian Jacobite Patriarchate of Antioch, the Chaldean Patriarchate of Babylon at Baghdad, the Catholicate-Patriarchate of Assyria, the Greek Melkite Patriarchate of Antioch, Patriarchate of Moscow, Armenian Catholicate-Patriarchate of Cilicia, the Metropolitan-Archbishops of Albania, the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, and the nonjurring Anglicans. Joseph Aneed, a Greek Melkite bishop with a claim to a patriarchate for North America willed his claim to Archbishop Spruit, thereby giving our church a similar claim.

We make our principal line of succession available for those who wish to gain a better understanding of the sacramental authority on which our independent branch of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is founded. All Christians are grafted into the one vine, the mystical body of Jesus Christ.



on 12 March 1566,

Cardinal Scipione Rebiba,

Roman Catholic Bishop of Troia consecrated

Giullo Antonio Santorio,

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Santa Severina

who on 7 September 1586 consecrated

Girolamo Bemerio, O.P.,

 Roman Catholic Bishop of Ascoli Piceno

who on 4 April 1604 consecrated

Galeazzo Sanvitale,

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bari

who on 2 May 1621 consecrated

Ludovico Ludovisi,

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bologna

who on 12 June 1622 consecrated

Luigi Caetani,

Roman Catholic Titular Patriarch of Antioch

who on 7 October 1630 consecrated

Giovanni Battista Scannaroli,

Roman Catholic Titular Bishop of Sidon

who on 24 October 1655 consecrated

Antonio Barberini (the younger),

Roman Catholic Bishop of Fr21scati

who on 11 November 1668 consecrated

Charles Maurice Le Tellier

Roman Catholic Bishop of Mieux

who on 21 September 1670 consecrated

Jaques Benigne Boussuet

who on 24 October 1693 consecrated

Jaques Goyon De Matigon,

who on 18 February 1719 consecrated

Dominicus Marie Varlet,

Roman Catholic Bishop of Babylon

who on 17 October 1739 consecrated

Petrus Meindaerts

Old Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht,

who on 11 July 1745 consecrated

Johannes Van Stiphout,

Old Catholic Bishop of Harrlem

who on 7 February 1768 consecrated

Gualterus Michael Van Nieuwenhuizen,

Old Catholic Arcbishop of Utrecht,

who on 21 June 1778 consecrated

Adrianus Johannes Broekrnan,

Old Catholic Bishop of Harrlem,

who on 5 July 1797 consecrated

Johannes Jacobus Van Rhijn,

Old Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht,

who on 7 November 1805 consecrated

Gilbert Cornelius De Jong,

Old Catholic Bishop of Deventer,

who on 24 April 1814 consecrated

Willibord Van OS,

Old Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht,

who on 25 April 1819 consecrated

Johannes Bon,

Old Catholic Bishop of Haarlem,

who on 13 November 1824 consecrated

Johannes Van Santen,

Old Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht,

who on 17 July 1854 consecrated

Casparus Johannes Rinker,

Old Catholic Bishop of Haarlem,

who on 11 May 1892 consecrated

Gerard Gul,

Old Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht,

who on 28 April 1908 consecrated

Arnold Harris Mathew,

Old Catholic Bishop for Great Britain

who on 28 October 1914 consecrated

Frederick Samuel Willoughby,

who on 13 February 1916 consecrated

James Ingall Wedgwood,

Presiding Bishop of the Liberal Catholic Church,

who on 13 July 1919 consecrated

Irving Steiger Cooper,

Liberal Catholic Regionary Bishop for the United States,

who on 13 September 1931 consecrated

Charles H. Hampton,

Liberal Catholic Regionary Bishop for the United States,

who on 22 June 1957 consecrated

Herman Adrian Spruit,

who became Archbishop/Patriarch of the Catholic Church of Antioch

(Catholic Apostolic Catholic Church of Antioch)

who on 7 October 1980 consecrated

Meri Louise Spruit

Bishop of the Catholic Church of Antioch and who was enthroned as

Archbishop/­Matriarch on 26 January 1986

    who  on 27 October  1990  consecrated

Richard Alston Gundrey

Bishop of the Catholic Church of Antioch

who was elevated to Metropolitan on 20 September 2004

and enthroned at Loretto Chapel as Patriarch/Presiding Bishop

on February 19, 2005

On 12 May  2002 Matriarch Meri Louise Spruit

assisted by co-consecrators Richard Alston Gundrey and Clifford Kroski consecrated

Mark Elliott Newman

Bishop in the Catholic Church of Antioch

who was elected to serve as Presiding Bishop

on April 25, 2009, and installed as Presiding Bishop on September 11, 2009.





Bransom, C. N. (1990). Ordinations of U.S. Catholic Bishops 1790-1989. Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

Van Campenhout, W. J. K. (1993). Apostolic Succession in the Catholic Apostolic Catholic Church of Antioch. Creswell, OR: Catholic Church of Antioch Press.


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