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The Aegisian See

 

THE ART OF MISSION | Philip Jenkins

 

An Exposé On the Particular Churches of Distant Lands

By Msgra. Josephine Augusta 

 


 

Any Canonist of a certain age is familiar with our people’s collective curse, which was delivered after the incurable corruption of the Kingdom of Oren: that we shall never live long in one continent (Silence 5:50).

 

However, it may not occur to laymen (or even theologians) that this curse appears to apply only to the group of descendants who trace their lineage to Aegis at the time of its fall. Aeldin, for example, has been wracked by as many wars and depredations as Asulon or Almaris, but still remains continuously inhabited since the time of its first colonization.

 

It is beyond the scope of this essay to theorize on God’s purpose for our generational curse. Instead, I seek to record what little information we have about the relationship of distant Canonists with our own Church.

 

First, a matter of terminology: in relation to foreign continents, our own native Church can be referred to as the Aegisian See. It is the church with the most proximate connection to the original High Priesthood from Aegis, the cradle of mankind. Further, without exception, the title of High Pontiff has passed from priest-to-priest among the Aegisian nomads; Aegisian High Pontiffs have occasionally visited other continents, but they have never permanently moved their administration to them. This is probably helped by the fact that to do so would be considered an implicit abdication by the colleagues whom they left behind. It is also salient that all foreign Canonists of any significant population still recognize that apostolic relationship with Ex. Owyn’s High Priesthood and our own High Pontificate; groups contesting the Aegisian descendants’ right to the title High Pontiff are extremely rare, and because they are inherently hostile, they tend not to last long. 

 

As a side note, the author counts immigrants from other continents to our home as ‘Aegisian’. The generational nomadic curse appears to apply to the population as a whole, not to each Aegisian individually. Even when a High Pontiff has been foreign-born, the Aegisian See still suffered the generational curse of exile (see: St. Lucien of Ulmsbottom).

 

It is difficult to speak definitively about these distant Canonists because most have had no contact with the Aegisian See in decades. They tend to organize themselves along similar lines to the mainline Canonist Church, and to accept the same Holy Scrolls and Prophets as us. If they acknowledge being part of the Church of the Canon, then it is necessary for them to have a theoretical administrative connection with her; namely, they must have a representative of the High Pontiff to preside over the local pastors. Our own Church refers to that representative as a Pontiff (not the Pontiff), but he may take any number of titles according to the local rite. When it is necessary to speak of the collective parishioners of these Pontiffs, the term ‘particular church’ is appropriate. The Holy See has historically declined to appoint such Pontiffs or interfere too much with their administrations, because they often die of old age before their reign can even be announced to the Aegisian See. It is considered a matter of form to simply assume that they acquired authority by appropriate processes. 

 

The most orthodox and familiar of the particular churches is the Aeldinic Church, which has had the most significant (relatively speaking) contact with Aegisian descendants; Aeldin was once subject to a mass migration and conquest by Anthosian exiles shortly before that continent’s fall. As recent and somewhat zealous exiles, the colonists tried for longer than normal to stay in lockstep with their home church. This attitude had the consequence that, as the exiles conquered Aeldin, they enforced orthodoxy upon local cults of the True Faith. Unfortunately, it was simply not possible to maintain regular contact with Aeldin in the long term-- both for reasons of distance and of our own frequent migration. The Aeldinic Church’s absolute harmony with the Aegisian See ended only two or three generations after the annunciation of the last prophet, Ex. Sigismund. Perhaps, having received all the books of scripture they were promised, the local pastors decided they were capable of governing themselves without the inconvenience of decades-long missions to our nomadic church. Nevertheless, the coasts of Aeldin tend to be more orthodox than inland regions, as do the areas ruled by descendants of Anthosian exiles.

 

Aside from Aeldin, there is also the particular church of Rhen, which is the second-most orthodox of the larger particular churches (potentially, there may be others so nearby that they are effectively an extension of the mainline Church, but they are ill-recorded). Probably the Rhenyari Church’s most familiar variance is that it encourages the practice of magick among laymen and clerics alike; many Rhenyari priests are mages, using their talents to the benefit of their flock. This church also expresses the most interest in maintaining contact with our own Aegisian See, likely because Aegisian Rhenyari are the ethnicity who most commonly travel between our continents and their own native land. e.g. During the reign of St. James II, Fr. Griffith of Gwynon (an Aeldinian, notably), wrote a letter requesting that the Holy See issue an official cause for veneration of certain individuals with local cults in Rhen. Among these were V. Fyodor Carrion and Bl. Seraphim; the former was originally Aegisian but died in Rhen, while the latter was from Rhen but traveled as a missionary to our continent. While the Holy See has traditionally declined to venerate informal saints of distant churches, in this case, the individuals were apparently familiar enough to be venerated. St. James II further took a specific interest in Bl. Seraphim because he had acquired a copy of the Aengulica Hierarchia, one of the lost works of Ex. Sigismund. This text was recognized as a deuterocanon during his reign.

 

Outside these two major groupings, the story becomes less clear. As a consequence of our constant migration, it is often difficult to tell whether other inhabited continents actually exist, or whether they are merely mythical homelands created by fanciful children of immigrants. If such continents do exist, it is probable that their churches differ very greatly from our own, as they would have had no bilateral contact with the Aegisian See since they were first colonized. Some of these may still practice the original True Faith from before the last two prophets were revealed, and others may recognize an entirely different set of prophets. Certainly, we have seen similar groups in our own homeland, such as the Rashidun, who venerate multiple revelators in addition to the four Exalted. 

 

For these distant cousins of our faith, we must trust that God has some place for them in the divine plan; there may yet be many more centuries before the last battle, and we may someday be reunited with our brethren for long enough to evangelize them of all they have missed.

 


 

MAIOR E LONGINQUO REVERENTIA

“Greater Reverence from Afar”



 

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Father Griffith of Gwynon remarked to James II and Father Pius of Sutica as he raised his margarita in the Seven Skies, "Hated that woman. Keeps talking about us like she's obsessed about you and me, Godric. Freak!" He sent some blessings down to Bl. Seraphim of Leora as he saw him roaming around Savoy. What a handsome Akritian!

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"I suspect the Owynists will have quite the bit to say about this, themselves having frequent contact with those from Aeldin." remarked Father Basil.

 

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