Statement on Syria

A Statement from the Old Catholic Churches International concerning recent events in Syria:

The images of the innocent Syrian men, women, and children killed and injured by their own government in a chemical attack rocked many of us to our core. We can all agree that such an attack is morally wrong and indefensible.

However, the choice to launch missiles to cause further death and damage is also morally wrong. It does nothing to solve the underlying issues and will only serve to further agitate and embolden an already unstable leader.

For far too long the church and society have remained silent about the civil war raging in Syria. While government officials around the world argued about what to do or what not to do, millions of people lost their lives, many more were injured and even more were displaced from their homes and separated from their families.

We as a church and as a society have a moral obligation to assist those fleeing this horrific civil war. We have an obligation to speak out against the creation of more refuges because of retaliatory missile strikes. We have an moral obligation to demand that rather than turn refuges away and send them back to their deaths, that they be welcomed into our countries, homes, and churches.

Right now, silence is not an option. We must raise our voices and demand that our government do more than drop bombs. Now is the time for action to help save the lives of the refuges who are in danger of being killed by their own government.

Statement on Transgendered rights and freedom of the press

Sisters and Brothers,

This week we have watched as two major groups within society have been attacked. The first attack was the removal of protections of Transgendered individuals, and the second was the attack on the First Amendment of our Constitution when mainstream news outlets were barred from White House Press Briefings. Both of these attacks show a continued pattern of hostility from those in authority toward people they disagree with or dislike.

This is not a time to sit idly by while people are being hurt and our freedom of the press is being abridged; rather it is the time to make our voices heard. It is a time to stand up and to be counted. History will remember those who opposed such attacks in a favorable light.

We of the Old Catholic Churches International call on all people of goodwill to resist the attacks on our Transgendered brothers and sisters. We call on all people to stand up against the attempt to silence the press and to intimidate them into reporting only what the leaders of the nation want them to report on. This is a time to meet violence, hatred and intolerance with love, peace and understanding.

Join with us in a peaceful resistance to this attack on our brothers and sisters and our way of life.

The Feast of Blessed John A. Parker, Jr.

Today we celebrate the feast of Blessed John A. Parker Jr, former Bishop of the Anglican Rite of the Ancient Apostolic Communion. The Ancient Apostolic Communion is now part of the International Old Catholic Churches.

Blessed Parker, former head of the Diocese of the Anglican Rite for The Ancient Apostolic Communion, came from a life-long study of religion and service to the Lord. He was raised an Episcopalian, he left the Episcopal church in 1979, when changes in doctrine and liturgical practices made it impossible to continue with that church. Since then, he has been associated with several of the continuing Anglican churches in a lay capacity.

Born in Houston, Texas on March 23, 1943, he was educated in the South, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree from William Carey College, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He Was a student of Erskine Theological Seminary until his health failed. When his health decline to the point that he could no longer walk or speak, he took to the internet to help others who had learned they had cancer to deal with their diagnosis.

Blessed Parker was ordained a non-denominational minister in 1995, and he had served as the chaplain for Revolutionary History Interpreters throughout the Southeastern United Sates over the past several years.

He was consecrated Bishop and designated Ordinary of the Diocese of the Anglican Rite in the Ancient Apostolic Communion on August 11, 2002. He also served as Rector for Saint Peters Church, North Augusta, South Carolina, and was a life professed member of the Province of Saint Peregrine. Cardinal Parker served the Province as Prior General for a short time.

In October of 2001, Cardinal Parker was diagnosed with terminal Cancer. His prognosis was not good. Being a man of God, he threw himself into the service of the Lord, signing on with Erskine Seminary for a three-year degree program. The doctors had given him one year. He lived almost 2 years.

He tirelessly worked with people who needed support and prayers as they too battled cancer. He never turned anyone away and continued to minister to people right up to the hour before his death. He constantly told others that “Trust (in God) is not an option”.

On the feast of his patron, St. Augustine of Hippo, August 28, 2003; surrounded by his family and Bishop Gregory Godsey, Blessed Parker Passed from this life into his eternal reward. His words of wisdom will always ring in our minds and hearts. Witnesses to his departure from this life said that his final act as he died was to indicate that he loved those around him, then to make the sign of the cross before expiring.