This is probably your first acquaintance with The Evangelical Catholic Church. And that’s certainly understandable since She is an extremely small jurisdiction and has not received much publicity. She does not own any real estate or sanctuaries. Her congregations are all missions — struggling just to get off the ground. All of Her priests are tent-makes, i.e., they must find other ways in which to support themselves and their families. She is, all in all, a seemingly insignificant Lutheran Church body. But despite Her size and lack of worldly resources, She hopes — under the guidance of Our Lord — to make a salutary impact upon American Lutheranism.
The Evangelical Catholic Church seeks to do this — not by appealing to the latest theological gimmickry, not through liturgical buffoonery or relying upon ecclesiastical bureaucracies, not even by continuing in the numbing banality of so much of what passes under the name Lutheran in the U.S. — but by seeking something so old that it has become new. She has sought a profound reconnection with the ancient historic Church and a thorough appropriation of the ancient Catholic Faith. Her members are not inveterate romantics nor have they rejected modernity. Rather, Her clergy and lay members have come to know that it is only in that ancient Catholic Faith, at once so utterly simple and yet so utterly profound, that one can find rest and security for one’s soul.
The Evangelical Catholic Church takes the Catholic claims of Her 16th century Lutheran Fathers and Confessors most seriously. She believes that they were truthful and honorable men who meant what they said, that they wanted nothing more than to be in agreement with the ancient Fathers, to restore true Orthodoxy to Western Christendom and to remain within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Not much credence is placed by The Evangelical Catholic Church, therefore, in those moderns who assert that the claims of the 16th century Lutheran Confessors were really just public-relations puffery. The words and actions of the Reformers were the sincere products of their Catholic Faith.
We present to you, therefore, the following pages with the hope that they will enable you to better understand The Evangelical Catholic Church and Her members. But most of all we hope that they will assist in bringing to the fore those issues which all of American Lutheranism must address if She is to return to Her Evangelical Catholic roots.
Our Founder – The Late Mt Rev’d Karl J. Barwin, Th.D., Bishop
Metropolitan Archbishop +Karl Barwin died on or about the weekend prior to Holy Pascha. His funeral service was on Good Friday at 3:00 P.M.
He was one of the primary mentors of our Vladyka +Joseoph Thaddeus since 2004. Even thought Metropolitan Archbishop +Karl Barwin is in Thaddeus’ lines of Succession along with +Yuri Spaeth who was also consecrated by Metropolitan Archbishop +Karl Barwin, he was a man whose mentorship many desired and few obtained.