Lutheran Orthodox Church
|Lutheran Orthodox Church|
The Lutheran Orthodox Church is a very small Lutheran Church in the United States. The church claims Apostolic Succession for its clergy. It does not consider itself a Protestant denomination but an Evangelical Catholic denomination, saying that this was the perspective of Martin Luther, the founder of Protestantism. The denomination views itself as a Lutheran-rite Catholic church. Women, however, are ordained as priests and may become bishops in the Lutheran Orthodox Church, unlike the practice of the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.
The Lutheran Orthodox Church sprang from a desire to have an evangelical catholic denomination. In 2004 Samuel Guido and Ray Copp of the Lutheran Evangelical Protestant Church were offered the opportunity to be consecrated in Apostolic Succession by bishops with Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglican lineages. The process began in January 2004 and culminated on July 11, 2004, when LEPC Bishops Samuel Guido and Raymond W. Copp, both from Pennsylvania, as well as Bishop Tan Binh Phan Nguyen, an Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church bishop from Atlanta, Georgia, were consecrated as bishops in Apostolic Succession in a ceremony held in New York City. The main consecrator, Archbishop Bertil Persson, Primate of the Order of Corporate Reunion, Presiding Bishop of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, Missionary General of the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church (ICAB) for Scandinavia, and Missionary General of The Philippine Independent Catholic Church for Scandinavia and all of Europe flew in from Sweden to conduct the ceremony. The co-consecrators were the Most Reverend Irl A. Gladfelter, Metropolitan Archbishop of The Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church, the Most Reverend Peter Paul Brennan of the Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of New York, Archbishop Francis C. Spataro of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, Bishop Paget E. J. Mack of the African Orthodox Church, and Bishop Patrick E. Trujillo.