" A Welcoming Community of Faith Rooted in the Catholic Tradition "


The Apostolic Succession and Episcopal Lineage
The Evangelical Catholic Church 






The history of Old Catholic and Independent Rite Catholic consecrations in the previous 300 years is very complex and convoluted. Many bishops were consecrated, and then later consecrated sub conditione numerous times in an effort to insure valid Apostolic Succession. Often they exchanged consecrations, as problematic as that practice is (this Church does not recognize the practice as constituting a valid conditional consecration). Consequently, great circular loops of consecrations will be found in this lineage, with several bishops’ names appearing over and over again.  

I have striven to keep this history as simple as possible. It proceeds from chronologically earlier consecrations to later ones, limited to principal consecrating Bishops, and listing co-consecrating Bishops only where necessary. I have attempted to illustrate the previously mentioned circular loops of consecrations, but consecrations that have occurred after a particular bishop consecrated another one have been omitted, since they are irrelevant to this lineage. In other words, if Bishop A. consecrated Bishop B., and at a later date Bishop C. conditionally consecrated Bishop A., Bishop C. will not appear in this lineage since his conditional consecration of Bishop A has no bearing on the consecration of Bishop B.  

As with any “family tree,” this Apostolic Heritage includes a large number of persons and characters, including Carlos Duarte Costa and Joseph René Vilatte, among the most important of the major figures in Independent Catholic history. Most were men of great caliber, dedicated to the service of God and humanity. Regrettably, a few were of dubious character, and a very few were manifestly heretical. Some are very well known, but many are virtually unknown. We are justifiably proud of most of these men, and embarrassed by a very few. Be that as it may, the historic record of this complex “family” stands as is, or at least as best remembered and documented.  

The Episcopal Lineage of the Evangelical Catholic Church brings together lines of valid Apostolic Succession from various Churches and Traditions. Several lines come from the Roman Catholic Church, including the Armenian Catholic Church; the Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate; and the Melkite-Greek Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch; which are Eastern Rites of the Roman Catholic Church, the Igréja Católica Apostólica Brasileria; the Old Catholic Church of Utrecht (Oud Katholicke Kerk van Nederland); and the Order of Corporate Reunion. The lines from the Orthodox Tradition come from the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow through the Syrian Orthodox Mission to North America; the Apostolic See of Saint Peter at Antioch through the Malankara (Malabar) Orthodox Church of India; and the Apostolic See of Saint Mark the Evangelist at Alexandria through the Greek Orthodox Church and the Iglésia Ortodóxa Apostólica Costaricense; as well as the Greek Orthodox See of New Justiniana and all Cyprus. The line from the Anglican Tradition comes from the See of Saint Augustine at Canterbury (The Church of England) through the Episcopal Church of the United States; and the Iglésia Filipina Independiente.  

Unfortunately, there is no central registry of Independent Rite Catholic consecrations and ordinations. Some are very well documented, others are completely undocumented or even disputed. Our Episcopal Lineage relies heavily on the history contained in Apostolic Succession in the Ecumenical Catholic Church by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Mark Steven Shirilau, Ph.D., Archbishop and Primate of the Ecumenical Catholic Church and His Excellency, the Most Reverend Floyd Anthony Kortenhof of the Old Catholic English Rite Church.

I would also like gratefully to acknowledge the assistance of His Excellency, the Most Reverend X Peter Paul Brennan, Prime-Bishop of the Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of America, and Bishop of the African Orthodox Church, who established the format for this Apostolic Lineage and shed much light on the Order of Corporate Reunion, and who highlighted several errors of names and dates in this Lineage, which have been corrected.  

Some persons may doubt our claim to be a part of the authentic Apostolic Succession due to the presence of several persons whose consecrations are admittedly undocumented or even disputed, but this would be an error. Apostolic Succession can best be viewed as a rope connecting the original twelve Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Bishops of today. Each Bishop in this Lineage represents one strand in that rope, and if a few of those strands are weak or even defective and broken, those Bishops whose Succession is undisputed keep the rope strong.  

Because of the lack of documentation of many Independent Rite Catholic consecrations, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of several parts of this Apostolic Lineage, especially events occurring more than two centuries ago. We welcome your comments and corrections.  

Lines of Apostolic Succession 

1. From the Apostolic See of Saint Peter at Rome through the Igréja Católica Apostólica Brasileira

2. From the Apostolic See of Saint Peter at Rome through the Old Catholic Church of Utrecht (Oud Katholicke Kerk van Nederland)

3. From the Apostolic See of Saint Peter at Rome through the Order of Corporate Reunion 

4. From the Apostolic See of Saint Peter at Rome through the Armenian Catholic Church

5. From the Apostolic See of Saint Taddeus at Edessa through the Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate

6. From the Roman Catholic See of Saints Peter and Paul through L’Église Johannite des Chretiens Primitifs and the Knights Templar

7. From the Apostolic See of Saint Peter at Antioch through the Malankara (Malabar) Orthodox Church of India

8. From the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow through the Syrian Orthodox Mission to North America

9. From the See of Saint Augustine at Canterbury (Church of England) through the Episcopal Church of the United States

10. From the See of Saint Augustine at Canterbury through the Episcopal Church of the United States and the Iglesia Filipina Independiente


Record of Apostolic Succession

(Western Succession –According to the Latin Rite)

Pope Leo XIII

Cardinal Rampolla

Cardinal Arcoverde

Cardinal Sebasiao Leme



Dom. Carlos Duarte Costa Bishop of Maura

(Dom. Carlos was ordained and consecrated in Brazil in accordance with the Latin Rite and in union with the papacy. He consecrated bishops before and after his break with Rome in 1945. All bishops of the Brazilian Catholic Church as well as all the following, derive orders from him.)

Dom. Antidio Jose Vargas

Dom. Luigi Mascolo

Dom. Cylmar Correa Baldoino Costa

Dom. Jose Elias Jacomo dos Santos.
(Iglesia Catolica Apostolica Reunida)

Dom. Paulo Jose de Jesus Maria Del la Espriella Torrens
(Archbishop of Central America and Panama residence in Costa Rica)

Dom. Michael Ronald Stienhardt Vogt and Dom. Raphael Byron De Ford
(Consecrated Easter 1992, April 18,19)

Most Rev. Dennis J. Finnegan, Most Rev. John N. Rubar and Most Rev. James Alan Wilkowski
(Consecrated July 7, 1997, Chicago Illinois)

Most Rev. David J. Doyle (Consecrated October 31, 1998, Albuquerque New Mexico)

Most Rev. Louis P. Serra (Conditional Consecration) October 11, 2017 Rumford Rhode Island

(Eastern Succession According to the Greek Orthodox Rite)

Bishop Dionisio
(Jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Church, the see of Saint Mark, Alexandria)

Archbishop Constantine
(Miami, Florida)

Archbishop Paulo de Jesus Maria de la Espriella Torrens

Bishop Michael Ronald Steinhardt and Bishop Bryon De Ford Solano
(Confirmed according to the Eastern Rite, Greek Orthodox October 24 1993, San Jose) Costa Rica)

Bishop Dennis J. Finnegan, Bishop John N. Rubar and Bishop James Alan Wilkowski  07/07/1997

Most Rev. David J. Doyle (Consecrated October 31, 1111, Albuquere New Mexico)

Most Rev. Louis P. Serra (Consecrated Conditional)



Benedictus PP XIV ( Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini, 1675-1758 )
Vicarius Christi (1740)
Pope Benedict XIV consecrated on March 19, 1743
Carol della Torre Rezzoni (1693-1769)
Vicarius Christi as Clemens PP XIII (1758)
Pope Clement XIII, assisted by Archbishops Scopio Borghese and
Ignatius Reali, consecrated on April 26, 1767
Bernadinus Giraud (1721-1777)
Cardinal, (1771)
Assisted by Archbishop Marcus Antonius Conti and Bishop Iosefus
Maria Carafa, Cardinal Giraud consecrated on February 23, 1777
Alexander Matthaeus ( 1744-1820)
Cardinal (1779)
Assisted by Bishops Geraldus Macioti and Franciscus Albertini,
Cardinal Matthaeus consecrated on September 12, 1819
Petrus Franciscus Galeffi (1770-1837)
Cardinal (1803)
Assisted by Archbishop Ioannes Franciscus Falzacappa and Iosephus
della Porta Rondiana, Cardinal Galeffi consecrated on December 8, 1822
Iacobus Phillipus Fransoni (1775-1856)
Cardinal (1826)
Assisted by Patriarch Joseph Valerga and Bishop Rudensindus Salvado,
Cardinal Fransoni consecrated on June 8, 1851
Carolus Sacconi (1808-1889)
Cardinal (1861)
Assisted by Archbishops Salvator Nobili Vitelleschi and Franciscus
Xaverius Fredericus de Merode, Cardinal Sacconi consecrated on June 30, 1872
Eduard Howard (1829-1892)
Cardinal (1877)
Assisted by Archbishops Alessandro Sanminiatelli Zabarella and
Bishop Guilio Lenti, Cardinal Howard consecrated on December 8, 1882
Mariano Rampolla Marchese del Tindaro (1843-1913)
Cardinal (1887)
Cardinal Rampolla del Tindaro consecrated on October 26, 1890:
In Brazil, for the Roman Catholic Church in Brazil:
Joaquin Arcoverde de Albuquerque-Calvacanti (1850-1930)
Cardinal (1905)
Cardinal de Albuquerque-Calvacanti consecrated on June 4, 1911
Sebastiao Leme de Silveira Cintra (1882-1942)
Archbishop (1921)
Assisted by Dom Alberto Jose Goncalves and Dom Benedito Paulo
Alves de Souza, Archbishop de Silveira Cintra consecrated on December 8, 1924
Carlos Duarte Costa (1888-1961)
Ordained Roman Catholic priest ( April 1, 1911)
Roman Catholic bishop ( 1924-1945 )
Patriarch, Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church ( 1945-1961 )
Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa consecrated on May 3, 1948
Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez ( 1922- )
Ordained Roman Catholic priest in Spain on August 10, 1944
Patriarch of the Church since 1961.
Consecrated a bishop on 06/05/1960 by Msgr. Carlos Duarte Costa, former Titular Bishop of Maura. He was a bishop of the Igreja Católica Apostólica Brasileira 1960-196x; since 196x he has been a bishop of the American Orthodox Catholic Church.
06/05/1960 Milton Cunha [who consecrated only one person to be a bishop

Milton Cunha
....1) Giuseppe Santo Eusebio Pace
........a) Michel Staffiero
............ Charles Richard McCarthy
...................A) Joseph Raffaele
...................B) Patrick J. Healy
...................C) Charles David Luther
...................D) Lawrence François Pierre
........b) Vittorio Maria Francescone
............I) Helmut Clemens Kyrillus Minihofer-Windisch (see below).
........c) Helmut Clemens Kyrillus Minihofer-Windisch
............I) Donald Lawrence Jolly-Gabriel (see below).
........d) Ignazio Antonio Teodosio Pietroburgo
.............I) Helmut Clemens Kyrillus Minihofer-Windisch (see below).
............II) Donald Lawrence Jolly-Gabriel



The Most Reverend Mark Shirilau, The Most Reverend Robert W. Martin & The Most Reverend Floyd A. Kortenhof


06/25/1980 Donald Lawrence Jolly-Gabriel
........1) 05/19/1991 Mark Steven Shirilau
............07/08/1995 Richard John Cardarelli
............07/08/1995 Michael Robert Frost
............07/08/1995 Denis Armand Martel
............07/08/1995 Robert Wayne Martin
...................a) 07/07/1997 Dennis Joseph Finnegan
...................b) 07/07/1997 John Nicholas Rubar
...................c) 07/07/1977 James Alan Wilkowski

07/07/1997 James Alan Wilkowski
...........10/31/99 David John Doyle
...........10/11/15 Louis P. Serra  (conditional*)


* The Most Reverend Michael Frost, The Most Reverend Floyd A. Kortenhof, the Most Reverend Michael Ronald Stienhardt Vogtand and the Most Reverend  Raphael Byron De Ford were co-consecrators at the consecration for Bishops Finnegan, Rubar and Wilkowski.

Researched by James Cwan 


* In the matter of Louis P. Serra in 1995, the two visiting bishops who agreed to serve as co-consecrators failed to attend.  Bishop Wilkowski agreed to consecrate Father Serra as Bishop with the proviso that at the next ECC National Conference, two bishop would attend and would place hands upon Bishop Serra to complete his consecration.   Because of internal forum issues, no conferences took place.