International Catholic Bishops Conference of the Union of Scranton

2018 Convocation group picture

The PNCC and the Declaration and Union of Scranton - for Union of Scranton Webiste

Old Catholicism, the Nature and Promise of the Union of Scranton - Prime Bishop Mikovsky

Moving forward towards a renewed Catholicity - Bishop Roald Flemestad

The Union of Scranton (the Polish National Catholic Church and the Nordic Catholic Church) hosted a Convocation for Restoration and Renewal of the Undivided Church: Through a renewed Catholicity.

The purpose of this gathering was to invite selected bishops, mostly from Anglo Catholic Churches in the United States and Africa, and a representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch, to discuss the preservation and the strengthening of ecumenical catholicity within non-papal aligned traditions.

Confronted with the present crisis of faith, the desired goal is to create the foundation blocks for a united witness so that the doctrinal and historical coherence can be saved for the future. It is our conviction that Old Catholicism, based on "The undivided faith of the first millennium", stands out as the best platform to address not only the crisis of faith but also the present challenges from aggressive secularism and militant Islam.

Fr. Sr. Rob NemkovichIn this call to restoration and catholicity, possible paths for such a restoration were examined with the following presentations given in this order:

  • Very Rev. Robert M. Nemkovich Jr. of the Polish National Catholic Church Introduction to the Convocation: The Polish National Catholic Church and the Declaration and
    Union of Scranton
  • Bishop Roald Nikolai Flemestad of the Nordic Catholic Church:
    Moving Forward in the Spirit Towards a Renewed Catholicity
  • Prime Bishop Anthony Mikovsky of the Polish National Catholic Church: Old Catholicism, the Nature and Promise of the Union of Scranton
  • Bishop Kevin Donlon of Diocese of Dunkwa (Province of the Anglican Communion): Ecclesiology at the Crossings: Developing Hybrid Ecclesial Models for an Ecumenical
    Catholicity in the 21 st Century

Twenty participated in this Convocation from the PNCC, Nordic Catholic Church, Missionary Diocese of All Saints, ACNA, Diocese of the Holy Cross, Diocese of Dunwka (Anglican Communion Africa),
Anglican Mission in America, the Missionary province in Sweden and the G4. After presentations time was spent in small break out groups to discussion the papers and find consensus to move forward towards a renewed ecumenical catholicity. The formal papers presented can be found on the Union of Scranton Website: TheUnionofScranton.org

Bishop Roald NikolaiA Convocation Prayer adapted by Fr. Geoffrey Neal from William Laud was offered during Morning and Evening Prayer:
Gracious Father, we humbly beseech Thee for Thy Holy Catholic Church;

fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace.
Where it is corrupt, purge it; where it is in error, direct it,
where it is superstitious, rectify it; where anything is amiss, reform it;
where it is right, strengthen and confirm it; where it is in want, furnish it;
where it is divided and rent asunder, make up the breaches of it,
O thou Holy One of Israel, for the sake of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Here is the official statement of the Convocation from the Union of Scranton – it was agreed to by all who participated therein:

A Call to Missional and Ecumenical Fellowship

-March 8, 2018-
The Great Commission

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.    Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and
of the Holy Spirit,   and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”– (Matthew 28:18-20)

Leaders from the Polish National Catholic Church and the Nordic Catholic Church under the Union of Scranton invited Anglican Leaders representing various Churches and Provinces along with The Mission Province of Sweden, gathering in Dublin, Ireland March 6-8 for a Convocation for the Restoration and Renewal of the Undivided Church through a renewed Catholicity.

During this Convocation those attending heard presentations on Moving Forward in the Spirit Towards a Renewed Catholicity - based on Pauline Ecclesiology; The Polish National Catholic Church and the
Declaration and Union of Scranton; Old Catholicism, the Nature and Promise of the Union of Scranton and Ecclesiology at the Crossings. (For the texts presented go to: TheUnionofScranton.org)

Through the history and formation of the Polish National Catholic Church and the Nordic Catholic Church, attendees were introduced to the Union of Scranton which binds these two Churches, and any
other jurisdictions that may join the Union in the future, in full Communion. A presentation was also made reflecting the current state of relationships between Anglican Churches in the world today. The Church leaders present affirmed their mutual reception of the Old and New Testaments as the revealed Word of God; the Ecumenical Creeds; the Historic Episcopate; and the historic liturgies of the Western Church.

Moreover these leaders whose heritage rests with the historic catholic faith of the undivided church have recognized and affirmed in Dublin the essentials of common doctrine, discipline, and worship as represented in Statements of our traditions such as the Lambeth Quadrilateral 1888, the Declaration of Utrecht 1889, the Bonn Agreement 1931, Road to Unity 1987, the Porvoo Statement, 1992 ,(sections 32 a-l) and the Declaration of Scranton 2008.

Therefore as a result of our call to seek a renewed catholicity based on the undivided Church, the fellowship in Christ we share and the Standards of Faith that we each cherish and safeguard among us,
we pledge....

  1.  To enter into a process whereby a delegation of observers from each ecclesial body may be sent to participate in each other’s Convocations, Conferences and/or Synods.
  2. To mutual dialogue, study and implementation of common missional objectives in our countries to the non-Christian and post-Christians found in the post-modern western world.
  3. To each explore practical and pastoral missional objectives that each of these ecclesial entities could explore for a mission partnership that would advance the cause of the Gospel in their settings, through discipleship, stewardship, and ministry training.
  4. To work together in the same great purpose of the Great Commission of Christ, and on the same basis, pledging to each other our mutual cooperation and support by agreeing to foster growing fellowship and commitment to find a path for a renewed ecclesial community based in principles of ecumenical catholicity among our ecclesiastical leaders through joint prayer, study, conferences, mission and ecumenical initiatives and worship services, along with other godly activities.

We look forward to a second gathering next spring hosted by the Polish National Catholic Church in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

In the meantime, we will engage each other to continue our conversation as per point two above.

We are scheduling a second gathering for April 23-25, 2019 in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Respectfully submitted in Christ,
Very Rev. Robert M. Nemkovich Jr.
Ecumenical Officer,
Polish National Catholic Church