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Archbishop de Paulo's Coat of Arms

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Archbishop de Paulo


His Grace, The Most Rev. Dr. Craig J. N. de Paulo is Prelate of the Old Catholic Confederation. He is also Prior of St. Willibrord Priory, an Old-Catholic community of priests, oblates and associates active in education.

From October 2013 to 2018, he served as Primate and Archbishop of the United States and Bishop of Pennsylvania. As Archbishop, he worked tirelessly for the cause of unity among American Old-Catholics and brought theological clarity to the religious identity of Old-Catholics. He also registered the term "Old Catholic" in order to protect it from fallacious use. Likewise, he vigorously advocated for the religious rights of Old-Catholics as a religious minority in the United States; and most especially, against the discrimination toward American Old-Catholics by the Union of Utrecht. During his tenure, he also developed strong ecclesial relationships between American Old-Catholics and Anglicans around the world, and especially in Africa, signing agreements of full communion, based upon the canonical significance of the theology of the 1931 Bonn Agreement. In recognition of his relationship with the Church of Nigeria, he was created Episcopal Canon of the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew in Wusasa. Archbishop de Paulo likewise advanced ecumenical relations between U.S. Old-Catholics and other Christian churches, becoming elected to the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Council of Churches in 2015. He also defended the orthodox faith of Old-Catholics and developed relations with the Eastern Orthodox Churches in the United States. As a scholar and professor himself, he brought high standards of theological education and spiritual depth to priestly formation by establishing a successful ministry formation program affiliated with the small, independent college he founded and chartered in Florida in 2012. He argued for the necessity of a formal Code of Canon Law for the Old Catholic Church in the United States, providing rights and justice for the faithful and led the Commission on drafting the canons. He also brought high liturgical standards to the Church, and led the Commission on Liturgy to publish its own Altar Book. While archbishop, he also purchased an historic estate in Pennsylvania by his own generosity and founded St. Willibrord Priory that has become the spiritual center for Old-Catholics in the United States. Finally, the Archbishop was Ecclesiastical Endorser for Old-Catholic priests serving as Chaplains and Commissioned Officers in the U.S. Armed Forces and in the Veteran's Administration.

From December 2013 to 2018, Archbishop de Paulo served the Church of the Province of West Africa of the Anglican Communion in a Diplomatic appointment as Episcopal Commissary in North America, representing over one million Christians to the Episcopal Church in the United States. First appointed in 2013 by the late Archbishop S. Tilewa Johnson, former Primate and Archbishop of West Africa, and Re-appointed by His Grace, Archbishop Daniel Sarfo, former Primate and Archbishop of the West Africa, his work resulted in humanitarian aid to West Africa during the Ebola crisis and the advancement of dialogue between the Church of West Africa and the Episcopal Church in the United States concerning areas of controversy and dissent.

Elected a Bishop by the Synod of Bishops of the Old Catholic Church in the United States on July 14, 2013, he was consecrated to the Holy Episcopate by His Grace, The Most Rev. Peter Paul Brennan, assisted by The Rt. Rev. Rodney R. Michel (Assisting Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania) and The Rt. Rev. Dr. William J. Manseau, on September 14, 2013, the Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross, at the Episcopal Church of St. John in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. He was ordained to the Diaconate on March 24, 2007; and to the sacred Priesthood, at the Vigil of the Feast of St. John the Baptist on June 23, 2007 by His Excellency, The Most Rev. Robert M. Moskal.

A philosopher, theologian and respected scholar, Professor de Paulo holds the Ph.D. and Ph.L. degrees from the Pontificia Università Gregoriana in Rome, a M.A. degree in philosophy and theology from Villanova University and a B.A. degree in philosophy from La Salle University. His wrote his doctoral dissertation on the historical and philosophical influence of St. Augustine on Martin Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit, having the renowned Anglican theologian John Macquarrie as a guest reader. He also conducted doctoral research at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, working under the mentorship of the Rev. Professor Tarsicius van Bavel, O.S.A. While an undergraduate, he completed studies in philosophy and literature at the Universitè de Fribourg in Switzerland. Having earned his doctorate at the age of twenty-seven, Professor de Paulo has held several professorial appointments, having lectured at the Gregorian University in Rome, Fordham University, Boston College and Temple University over the last twenty-four years. He has also published many scholarly articles and books, and he continues to lecture widely in Europe and in the United States in various visiting and adjunct appointments.

In recognition of his scholarship and his dedication to the Church and the community, Professor de Paulo has received many honors and awards, including several decorations and Orders of Knighthood. He is a Knight of the Order of Merit of the Royal House of Savoy of Italy and a Knight of Merit with Star of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George of the Royal House of Bourbon of the Two Sicilies (Kingdom of Spain). He has been decorated as Chevalier of the Patriarchal Order of the Holy Cross of the Greek Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem. He was a Knight of Magistral Grace and an officer in the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta from 2002 until 2013; and a Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (a Vatican State knighthood), from 2003 to 2013, when he resigned from both Orders after over a decade of service upon reception into the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands by Bishop Rodney R. Michel, Assisting Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, acting as Special Delegate of Archbishop Joris Vercammen,

A social activist, Dr. de Paulo is a strong advocate for national healthcare, public higher education as well as the rights of minorities and immigrants. In recognition of his many years working as an advocate for the homeless and serving them in Philadelphia, then Governor Paul E. Patton of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, conferred upon him an honorary Commission as Colonel in the Kentucky State Guard and appointed him to the Governor’s Staff in 2002.

Retired from active ministry, Dr. and Mrs. de Paulo reside with their son, Christian, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.