Peter Paul Brennan

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Peter Paul Brennan (November 1, 1941 – August 1, 2016) was an American bishop. He was archbishop of New York for the Old Catholic Confederation.[1] Brennan was also a bishop of the Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of the Americas (an "independent Catholic church"), bishop of the African Orthodox Church, primate of the Order of Corporate Reunion, and president of Married Priests Now!.[2]

Episcopal consecration[edit]

Although Brennan had previously been ordained in the Old Roman Catholic Church, in 2006 he was consecrated a bishop "sub conditione", with four other married priests, by Emmanuel Milingo, then Roman Catholic Archbishop of Lusaka in Zambia. As these ordinations were done without papal authority, Milingo was later excommunicated and was eventually also laicized.

Regarding Brennan's episcopal ordination by Milingo, the Vatican Press Office declared, in a carefully worded statement that "While expressing hope for their conversion, the Church reaffirms what was declared on 26 September 2006, namely that she does not recognize these ordinations, nor does she intend to recognize them, or any subsequent ordinations based on them, in the future. Hence the canonical status of the supposed bishops remains as it was prior to the ordination conferred by Archbishop Milingo."[3] This denial of canonical status means that Brennan has no authority to exercise any ministry in the Roman Catholic Church. The Reverend Ciro Benedettini of the Holy See Press Office, who was responsible for publicly issuing the press conference communique on Milingo, told reporters that any ordinations that the excommunicated Milingo had performed prior to his laicization were "illicit but valid", while any subsequent ordinations would be invalid.[4][5]

On June 11, 2011, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts issued a statement about illicitly ordained bishops, pointing out the canons which provide for an automatic latae sententiae excommunication for both the ordaining bishop and those ordained. Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta, Secretary of the Council, explained that the statement applied to the bishops ordained by Milingo as well as to more recent cases in the Chinese Patriotic Association.[6]

Brennan died on August 1, 2016.[7]


  1. ^ "Old Catholic Confederation - Old Catholic Church in the United States". Retrieved 21 August 2016. 
  2. ^ Peter Paul Brennan-obituary
  3. ^ In Lingua Inglese, release by the Holy See's press office, 17 December 2009, retrieved 17 December 2009
  4. ^ Frances D'Emilio (December 18, 2009). "Vatican dismisses defiant archbishop from clergy". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on May 10, 2012. 
  5. ^ John L. Allen Jr. (December 17, 2009). "Last act in the Milingo story?". 
  6. ^ Jesús Colina (June 14, 2011). "Vatican Calls China's Illicitly Ordained to Examine Hearts". ZENIT News Agency. Archived from the original on October 1, 2012. 
  7. ^ johnkersey (2 August 2016). "Death of Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan". Retrieved 21 August 2016. 

External links[edit]