This series of dialogues will include the leader of every religious body legally operative in the Dominion of Lambda. The first such interview is with the Most Rev. Norbert Breault, DD, LLD, the primate of the Lambda National Catholic Church, and the Uniate Eparchical diocese, the Catholic Apostolic Diocese in Lambda. Archbishop Breault is same-sex married and the father of several children.
In a recent interview, Archbishop Breault commented upon his life in the ecclesial closet and the angst it created internally, and of course, the "mixed outcomes" of approval and denigration he received from many different populations.
THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH
The elected primate of the Lambda National Catholic Church ( male and female clergy ) and its uniate, Catholic Apostolic Diocese (male clergy only), was the choice for both disciplinary and theological camps. The unity of "Catholic faith and practice" was a "bridge too far" between liberal and conservative Catholic camps freed from Papal authority and obedience. However, the archbishop saw a "uniate option" that satisfied both camps. A male-only Apostolic Succession without compromise defines the Catholic Apostolic eparchial diocese.
At the present time, only the LNCC bishop ordinary of Toklas Provincial diocese is a lesbian. Bishop Ellen Townsend-Beauregard was a former Roman Catholic nun with appropriate theological training. To show his commitment, Archbishop Breault ordained her deacon, priest and was the principal at her episcopal consecration. To satisfy those Toklas parishes who still believe in an all-male clergy have Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Callahan for sacramental confirmations. Callahan is a former Roman Catholic priest who accepts women in Orders, but who was consecrated a bishop by Archbishop Breault and two other male bishops.
Like the Greek Orthodox, the Roman Catholics now refer to the ordination of bishops as "episcopal ordinations" as opposed to the now archaic term " episcopal consecrations." The LNCC still uses the term "consecration" however.
The Roman Catholic Church is forbidden to ecclesiastically operate within the Dominion of Lambda. The Vatican does not recognise the legitimacy of either the nation or the validity of the Catholic jurisdiction who ordain women or openly gay men . It has indicated that the Uniate Diocese has "sacramental validity" due to provable Roman Succession. Archbishop Breault says that he wears Roman opposition like a" badge of honour." " Like the Great Schism and the Reformation," said Breault, "the third millennium schism will end Patriarchalism and Homophobia forever within both branches and twigs of the Mystical Body of Christ, and the Catholic Faith as we retain and practice it."
Roman Catholic chaplains attached to foreign embassies are given diplomatic visas to serve the needs of embassy personnel only. Any Roman Catholic cleric or layperson who attempts to practice Papal Catholicism in any form outside embassy property will be dismissed from Lambda. In fact, any person attached to any religious or philosophical body who advocates the promulgation of laws contrary to the Lambda Constitution are in contravention of federal law.
THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT AUGUSTINE, REDUX.
Archbishop Breault is a 64 years old Canadian native. He began his theological studies following the completion of his undergraduate studies in philosophy. The young theological seminarian educated himself at the Roman Catholic seminary in Paris, when a chance meeting with a French Christian Catholic priest (Old Catholic) changed his life. Breault left the Roman obedience in his freshman year and transferred to the University of Berne, Switzerland - the principal Old Catholic seminary in Europe or elsewhere. Old Catholic Churches of the Utrecht Union are in France, Austria, Germany, Poland and Switzerland as well as the Nederland. Father Breault served in both French and Swiss diocesan parishes for a decade or more.
Returning to Canada in 1981, Father Breault met and partnered with Ian McCullough, a Scottish immigrant. Without a canonical outlet other than the Polish National Catholic Church, Father Breault met bishops with Old Catholic jurisdictions outside Utrecht, and bishops in communion with the Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil, and bishops consecrated by the Vietnamese archbishop of Hue and brother of the late South Vietnamese president, namely Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc. Forming a Canadian Old Catholic jurisdiction with conservative views, Breault was episcopally ordained or consecrated by bishops and archbishops from all known Roman and Orthodox Church Apostolic Succession in diaspora at that time, including the Thuc and Duarte Costa lines. " The purpose of this Succession interest was to assure all clergy and laity that the validity of all seven sacraments were beyond disputation by any mainline Apostolic Church."
THE SELF-LOATHING OPEN CLOSETED YEARS
Archbishop Breault spoke openly and candidly about his years as a closeted chaplain in the Canadian Armed Forces and as a bishop in an Old Catholic jurisdiction. " The Roman Catholic bishop and I were friends, and my true nature and relationship was a 'nod and wink' unspoken acceptance between us", Breault asserted. " In my defence, if any is permitted or accepted", is that we were still considered sick when I was ordained in 1970 and certainly Canadian law was not accepting at that time. The Churches, including Old Catholic and National Catholics, were as homophobic as Rome remains today. It is also true that SCOBA Eastern Orthodoxy is also homophobic."
THE ROAD TO ACCEPTANCE AND "OUTNESS"
Archbishop Breault suffered a heart attack in 2003. A quadruple cardiac arterial bypass graft followed. To add more to misery, a recuperative Breault suffered advanced stage non-Hodgkins Lymphoma with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation a year later. It was during this time that Breault came out, and married. He had retired from armed forces chaplaincy, and regardless, the Marriage Act in Canada was signed by Royal Assent in 2005.
Breault and his husband and children moved to Lambda last year, and was present at its birth.
He humbly served as an auxiliary bishop of Wilde Diocese until his election and elevation as archbishop of Jamestown and LNCC/CAD primate earlier this year.