Independent and Old Catholic Churches
Independent and Old Catholic Churches
c/o Most Rev. George A. Stallings Jr., 10911 194th St., Ct. E, Graham, WA 98338-8142
The African-American Catholic Congregation was founded in 1989 by George A. Stallings Jr. (b. 1948), a former priest of the Roman Catholic Church. Raised a Roman Catholic, Stallings began his education for the priesthood at the age of 16. He completed his education in Rome and was ordained in 1974. In 1976 he was assigned to the parish church of St. Teresa of Avila, a predominantly black congregation in Washington, D.C. He served as a lecturer at both St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and the Washington Theological Union. He also emerged as an activist in the black community in Washington.
Although he was successful as a parish priest, Stallings became increasingly critical of the Roman Catholic Church and charged it with a deep-seated racism. In 1988 Abp. James Hickey removed Stallings from St. Teresa and made him an arch-diocesan evangelist with the special task of evangelizing in the black community. However, relations between Stallings and Hickey worsened; Stallings withdrew and Hickey moved to excommunicate him and those who supported the new congregation he formed, Imani Temple. Imani is a Swahili word for “faith.” Stallings subsequently established new churches in Philadelphia, Norfolk, and Baltimore, and a second congregation in Washington, D.C.
Following his break with the Roman Catholic Church, Stallings turned to the independent Catholic movement, and on May 12, 1990, was consecrated by Abp. Richard W. Bridges of the American National Catholic Church (formerly the American Independent Catholic Church). Stallings also adopted some of the distinctive perspectives of the Old Catholic Church: allowing priests to marry, accepting divorced and remarried individuals into full membership, and allowing artificial birth control. The church also allows women to make their own decisions about abortion, and has organized a variety of social outreach ministries.
Not reported. There are five congregations.
African-American Catholic Congregation. www.indmovement.org/demons/aacc_imani.html.
Grogan, David. “A Black Catholic Priest’s Renegade Church Stirs Up an Unholy Furor.” People 32, no. 5 (July 31, 1989): 26–28.
Historical and Doctrinal Digest of the African-American Catholic Congregation. Washington, DC: African-American Catholic Congregation, 1990.
c/o Bishop Vincent Lavieri, 124 S Lafayette, Greenville, MI 48838
The American Apostolic Catholic Church is a small independent Old Catholic jurisdiction founded in 1996.
American Apostolic Catholic Church. www.americanchurch.org.
Pruter, Karl. The Directory of Autocephalous Bishops of the Apostolic Succession. San Bernardino, CA: Brogo Press, 1906. 104 pp.
Ward, Gary. Independent Bishops: An International Directory. Detroit: Apogee Books, 1990. 524 pp.
c/o Reverend Sharon DiSunno, PO Box 725, Hampton Bays, NY 11946
Divine Mercy Parish, 861 Seneca Creek Rd., West Seneca, NY.
The American Catholic Church was formed in the mid-1990s following the consecration of Robert Joseph Allmen to the episcopacy in 1995 by William Donovan, a bishop in the lineage of Herman Adrian Spruit, the late patriarch of the Church of Antioch. The church sees itself as a post–Vatican II church that emphasizes the best of contemporary Catholic thought. It offers its ministry to those who have been alienated by their earlier contacts with the church, especially those who have been denied the sacraments because they have been divorced, or because the church disapproves of their sexual orientation or gender.
The church does not wish to be identified as Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant. It has an apostolic succession that has several lineages to the ancient church. It ascribes to the Nicene Creed and the Apostles Creed and practices the seven traditional sacraments of the western church. In its desire to overcome barriers to serving people, it offers baptism to any infants or children whose parents desire it, it welcomes married clergy and women to all levels of the priesthood, and it serves the Eucharist to divorced individuals and to gay men and lesbians.
The American Catholic Church has been the source of other similar bodies with which it is not to be confused—the American Catholic Church International, the American Catholic Church in the United States, and the American Catholic Church in New England.
American Catholic Church. www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/4136/shepherd.htm.
PO Box 119, Frederick, MD 21705-0119
The American Catholic Church in the United States is an independent jurisdiction under the leadership of its archbishop, Mt. Rev. Lawrence J. Harms. The church has its roots in the American Catholic Church (founded in 1995), through whom its orders are derived. Formed in the late 1990s, the American Catholic Church in the United States, like its parent body, considers itself a post-Vatican II church that is guided through the “sense of the faithful” as it seeks to transform the church into an institution that can provide a credible witness in the modern world. It also seeks to provide a special ministry to those who have been alienated from their prior contact with the Christian church, especially those who have been denied the sacraments due to their gender, due to being divorced, or due to sexual orientation. The church does not wish to be identified as either Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox or Protestant, and possesses an apostolic succession that has several lineages to the ancient church. It ascribes to the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’Creed and practices the seven traditional sacraments of the western church. In its desire to overcome the past barriers to serving individuals, it offers baptism to any infants or children whose parents desire it, it welcomes married clergy to the priesthood, and provides the Eucharist to divorced individuals and those of gay/lesbian orientation.
The American Catholic Church is divided into four Provinces, each headed by a bishop. They are the province of St. Mark (northwest), Province of St. Francis (southwest), Province of St. Luke (Midwest and northeast), and the Province of the Holy Cross (southeast). Work outside of the 50 states is directly under the presiding archbishop who is also the ordinary for the Province of the Holy Cross.
The clergy of the American Catholic church are secularly employed and operate in their clerical office apart from their gainful employment. While offering the common parish life of worship and pastoral care, the majority are engaged in non-parish ministries with the church’s Ministerial Outreach Program to nursing homes and hospitals, an internet ministry with outreach to people all over the world, and a ministry to people with HIV-AIDS. Clergy from other jurisdictions are welcomed into the church if otherwise qualified.
ACCUS Theological Institute, Frederick, Maryland.
American Catholic Church in the United States. www.accus.us.
c/o Mt. Rev. Sharon DiSunno, 38 Prince St., Elizabeth, NJ 07208
American Catholic Church International (also known as the American Catholic Church of Nevada) was founded in the late 1990s as an alternative to the Roman Catholic Church. The church has its roots in the American Catholic Church (founded in 1995), through whom its orders are derived. While generally accepting the Roman Catholic perspective growing out of Vatican II, the American Catholic Church International continues the emphases of its parent body on issues of gender and sexual orientation. It practices the seven sacraments, but sees itself as the bearer of a progressive trend in Catholic thought.
The church believes that gay and lesbian relationships are not sinful, and it is willing to bless gay and lesbian unions. It also affirms that birth control is not a sin and that parents have the right to determine the number of children they will bring into the world. Women may be admitted to all levels of the ordained ministry (deacon, priests, bishop) and ordained clergy may marry or be united in gay or lesbian unions.
The apostolic succession of the American Catholic Church International is derived from the Church of Antioch and its late partriarch, Herman Adrian Spruit (1911–1994). Abp. Robert Joseph Allmen, the presiding bishop of the American Catholic Church, was consecrated in 1995, and he consecrated the present (2008) archbishop, Sharon DiSunno, in 1997.
Not reported. The church has parishes or missions in seven states.
American Catholic Church International. www.americancatholicchurch.net.
Church of the Good Shepherd, 5230 Clark Ave., Ste. 9, Lakewood, CA 90712
The American Catholic Church—Old Catholic was established in 1986 by the Most Rev. E. Paul Raible (b. 1933). Raible was consecrated on April 24, 1988, by Bp. Forest Barber of the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church and Bp. Joseph H. Palumbo. He was consecrated sub conditione two months later by Abp. Francisco Pagtakhan (b. 1916) of the Philippine Independent Catholic Church, assisted by Abp. Emile Federico Rodriguez y Fairfield (b. 1912) of the Mexican National Catholic Church, Bp. Forest Barber, Abp. Bertil Persson of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, and Bp. Paul G. W. Schultz (1931–1995) of the Philippine Independent Catholic Church.
The American Catholic Church—Old Catholic is Catholic in faith and practice. It follows conventional Roman Catholicism, with a full sacramental ministry, but does not believe that infallibility can exist exclusively within the papal ministry. It allows priests and bishops to marry, welcomes remarried Catholics into membership, and allows the use of artificial contraceptives. Women are encouraged to take a more active role in the church’s lay ministry. The church is opposed to the ordination of women.
Eight priests serve 150 parishioners in a single parish in Lakewood, California. Several parishes recently withdrew from the jurisdiction.
Good Shepherd American Catholic Church. www.goodshepherd-church.org/.
Hackman, Peter. A Way of Being Catholic in Today’s World. Orange, CA: Saint Matthew Old Catholic Church, .
3138 S Parker Rd., Aurora, CO 80014
The American Old Catholic Church is an independent Old Catholic body that was founded in the 1990s and closely identifies with other Catholic communities that have become independent of the Roman Catholic Church. It considers itself to be an authentic Catholic community in that it possesses a leadership with apostolic succession back to the original apostles; maintains a faithful adherence to the apostolic tradition; and actively participates in the sacramental ministry of the historic Catholic Church.
The church believes that Jesus commissioned his apostles to be the first leaders of his church. Before they died, they appointed others to lead the church. These leaders were called bishops. This appointment was a sacrament called ordination. The Holy Apostles ordained the first bishops to be their successors. These bishops in turn ordained others to succeed them. This sacred line of leadership is called apostolic succession. The American Old Catholic Church derives its apostolic succession through the independent Catholic archbishop of Utrecht. The archbishop of Utrecht traces his apostolic succession back to the Holy Apostles.
The apostolic tradition began with the apostles who proclaimed and taught the message of Jesus. The tradition was passed on in the apostles’ written letters, which were collected into what we now call the New Testament and in an “oral tradition” that is to be found in the community. The Liturgy (the Mass and the sacraments) embodies both the written and oral traditions of the apostles.
The American Old Catholic Church practices the seven sacraments of the historic Catholic Church, including baptism, confirmation, the Holy Eucharist, reconciliation, the sacrament of the sick, marriage, and holy orders. The American Old Catholic Church does not accept papal infallibility and exists independently of papal jurisdiction. Both priests and bishops are permitted to marry. Women are encouraged to be more fully involved in the ministry of the church. Divorced people who remarry are able to be reconciled to the church through the grace of God and therefore are not excluded from the sacraments. A divorced person may remarry with the blessing of the church. Artificial contraception is considered an issue of conscience between husband and wife and God. Since each Catholic is seen as an equal part of the church, lay people are encouraged to play a prominent role in the church. No Christian is excluded from the sacramental ministry. All baptized Christians are invited to participate in the worship and sacraments of the church.
The church is led by Bp. Dan Gincig and is a member of the Ecumenical Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches.
American Old Catholic Church. www.aocc.org.
Pruter, Karl. The Directory of Autocephalous Bishops of the Apostolic Succession. Springfield, MO: Author, 2006. 78 pp.
318 Expressway Dr. S, Medford, NY 11763
Joseph J. Raffaele, a Roman Catholic layperson, founded St. Gregory’s Church, an independent traditionalist Latin-rite parish, in Sayville, New York, on August 28, 1973. Three months later he was ordained by Bp. Robert R. Zaborowski of the Archdiocese of the American Orthodox Catholic Church in the U.S. and Canada (now called the Mariavite Old Catholic Church). Raffaele developed a congregation among traditionalists who felt spiritually alienated from the post–Vatican II Roman Catholic Church. The parish grew slowly, and Raffaele and his assistants continued to work in secular jobs, devoting evenings and weekends to the church. The parish moved from Sayville to Shirley to Ronkonkoma, New York. During the mid-1970s Bishop Zaborowski insisted upon the acceptance of Mariavite (i.e., Polish) liturgical patterns by the congregations under his jurisdiction. Both St. Gregory’s and Father Raffaele left the Mariavite Old Catholic Church. Shortly after, Archbishop Zaborowski issued an excommunication decree.
Raffaele joined the Mount Athos Synod under Bp. Charles R. McCarthy (a bishop in the American Orthodox Catholic Church under Abp. Patrick J. Healy). On July 18, 1976, McCarthy consecrated Raffaele and raised his associate priest, Gerard J. Kessler, to the rank of monsignor. Six months later, in December 1976, St. Gregory’s and Raffaele, due to some personal disagreements with McCarthy, left the Mount Athos Synod and became an independent jurisdiction, the American Orthodox Catholic Church–Western Rite Mission, Diocese of New York.
The new jurisdiction continues as a traditionalist Latin Rite Catholic Church, though Eastern Rite usage is allowed. The jurisdiction accepts the Baltimore Catechism (minus the papal references) as a doctrinal authority and uses the 1917 Code of Canon Law (again minus the papal references). Clerical celibacy is not demanded, but female priesthood is rejected. No collection is taken on Sunday at worship services. Communion is open to all.
In 1978 St. Matthias Church, in Yonkers, New York, was begun as the first mission parish. In 1979 St. Gregory’s moved into a newly purchased building in Medford, New York. That same year, Raffaele consecrated Elrick Gonyo as an independent Uniate bishop in Stuyvesant, New York, and Raffaele and Gonyo consecrated Kessler as the auxiliary bishop for the jurisdiction.
The church sponsors three religious orders: the Society of St. Gregory the Great (for priests, brothers, and nuns); the Benedictine Order of St. Michael the Archangel, a community for Benedictine nuns in Colorado; and the Oblates of the Blessed Sacrament, a community of priests headquartered in Trenton, New Jersey.
In 1986 the church reported a significant spiritual renewal within the jurisdiction that led to the production of a new contemporary liturgy. The new mass was first used at the parish at Medford on Pentecost Sunday 1986 and now coexists with the Tridentine Rite. The renewal also launched an exploration of new non-parochial forms of ministry to extend the missionary outreach, including an intercessory prayer circuit, a healing ministry, and the use of lay ministers. Glad Tidings Ministries, a multimedia spiritual outreach, also arose out of the renewal.
In 1997 the church reported 987 members (including clergy). Besides the main parish in Medford, New York, there were ministry centers in Florida, New Jersey, Arizona, and Colorado.
The American Orthodox Catholic Church–Western Rite. www.aoccw.org.
The Inquirers Handbook. Medford, NY: American Orthodox Catholic Church–Western Rite Diocese of New York, n.d. 18 pp.
“Milestones,” American Orthodox Catholic Church. Medford, NY: St. Gregory’s Church, 1983.
104-11 95th Ave., Ozone Park, NY 11416-1808
The American Traditional Catholic Church (ATCC) is an independent Old Catholic/Anglican jurisdiction. The church follows the teachings and traditions of Holy Scripture as expressed in the Seven Ecumenical Councils, and the teachings and traditions of the Old Catholic Movement as presented in the Treaty of Utrecht, the Treaty of Bonn, the 14 Theses of the Old Catholic Union, and the Lambeth Quadrilateral. The Statement of Faith and Belief of the ATCC is expressed confessionally through the three ancient creeds: The Athanasian Creed (c. 296–373 c.e.), the Nicene Creed (c. 325 c.e.), and the Apostles’ Creed (second century c.e.). The ATCC is not in communion with Rome; it is subject neither to the jurisdiction of the pope nor the Roman Catholic Magesterium. However, it recognizes that the pope is “primus et patris,” that is “first among equals” among all bishops of all Catholic traditions. Pronouncements from the Vatican and the Holy Father are only binding on members of the ATCC provided that those pronouncements do not contradict the teachings and traditions of Holy Scripture and the Ecumenical Councils of the undivided church. The ATCC follows Old Catholic tradition in promoting the exercise of individual conscience. However, the exercise of conscience must be in accord with the teachings and traditions referenced above and must not bring scandal to either the church or its membership. This church, with a few exceptions, follows the canons of the Roman Rite of 1917, those exceptions being addressed in the documents of the Old Catholic Movement.
The ATCC is headed by the presiding bishop although no directive is issued without the concurrence of the church’s board of directors. The presiding bishop may, with board concurrence, appoint or entertain the nomination of a candidate as suffragan (auxiliary) bishop or vicar to oversee new missional enterprises. The ATCC follows the traditional practice of ordination of an eligible candidate to the four minor orders (Porter, Lector, Exorcist, and Acolyte) and the three major orders (Subdeaconate, Deacon, and Priest). The American Traditional Catholic Church does not provide for the ordination of women to Holy Orders, although recognizing that women have a viable role in the life of the church. The ATCC does not discriminate based on race, creed, color, lifestyle orientation, marital status, age, or national origin, and with exception of the ordination of women, does not discriminate based on sex/gender.
The church administers the seven sacraments of baptism, confession, Holy Communion, confirmation, holy matrimony, holy orders, and extreme unction. Of those seven, the administration of holy orders and confirmation is reserved to the bishop.
The ATCC sponsors an ordered community, the Discalced Carmelite Servants of Mercy-Disciples of the Blessed Sacrament, which exists as an Episcopal institute (i.e., accountable to the presiding bishop rather than a suffragan bishop or vicar forraine).
In 2002 the ATCC reported six missionary congregations worldwide with approximately 933 members including clergy.
425 23rd Ave. S, Ste. A204, Seattle, WA 98144
The Apostolic Catholic Church in America was founded as the African Orthodox Church of the Moors in 1984 by Frs. Paul David Strong, Robert Neuman, and Christopher Reynolds. It was originally designed to meet the particular needs of African Americans. Fr. Strong was elected bishop and consecrated in November 1994 by Bp. Tedi Weber, operating under the authority of Abp. Joseph Vredenburgh of the Mar Thoma Orthodox Church. The church was renamed the Orthodox Catholic Church of the Moor in 1995 and then adopted its present name in 1996, a reflection of its emergence as a multiethnic and multicultural body. Bp. Robert Withrow was elected bishop of the Apostolic Catholic Church in America on August 18, 2007, succeeding Bp. David Strong-Primate.
The Apostolic Catholic Church in America is an inclusive, multicultural, and gay-friendly church. It welcomes the divorced and remarried, and assumes that all baptized Christians are entitled to the sacraments of Christ’s church. The church accepts the teachings of the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the ancient creeds. It adheres to the Bible and Tradition. The church is organized with deacons, priests, and bishops. It practices the seven sacraments and allows both Eastern and Western rites, though the archbishop has published the church’s own liturgy, which is widely utilized throughout the church. The church also practices foot washing.
The church supports several ordered communities including the Servants of Saint Benedict the Moor, the Franciscan Order of Saint Benedict the Moor, and the Order of Saint John the Divine.
In 1997 the church reported six congregations worldwide with 70 members. There was one congregation in Milan, Italy, and one in Canada.
Apostolic Catholic Church in America. www.apostoliccatholicchurchinamerica.org.
Strong, Paul David, with Anthony P. Begonja. The Order of Mass. Seattle, WA: Apostolic Catholic Church in America, 1996. 33 pp.
1900 St. James Pl., Ste. 880, Houston, TX 77056
The Apostolic Catholic Orthodox Church is a small independent jurisdiction founded in 1990 by its presiding bishop, Diana C. Dale. It sponsors the St. Francis of Assisi Worship Community and the Institute of Worklife Ministry Center for Industrial Chaplaincy, both in Houston. It is a member of the Union of Independent Catholic Churches of the North American Old Catholic Church.
Apostolic Catholic Orthodox Church. www.apostoliccatholic.org.
80-46 234th St., Queens, NY 11427
The Apostolic Episcopal Church was founded in 1925 by Arthur Wolfort Brooks (1898-1948), a former Episcopal Church clergyman. Brooks was succeeded as presiding bishop by Wallace de Ortega Maxey (1902–1992), Harold F. Jarvis, John More-Moreno (d. 1958), Robert Ramm, and, most recently, Archbishop Bertil Persson, who resides in Sweden. Archbishop Ramm also served as Archbishop of the Province of the West. Upon his retirement, he was succeeded by Archbishop Paul G. W. Schultz, who passed away in 1995.
In the meantime, in 1992, Fr. Francis C. Spataro (b. 1936) was consecrated as a bishop by Archbishop Persson and designated as the Episcopal leader of the Western Rite Vicariate of New York City and the Hudson Valley, New York. The following year he became the rector of the New York chapter of the Order of Corporate Reunion, an organization formed in 1874 and dedicated to the reunion of the many jurisdictions of the Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Bishop Spataro also has been named a Bishop Emeritus of the Association of Independent Evangelical Lutheran Churches.
On September 23-24, 2000, in New York City, the Apostolic Episcopal Church signed Concordats of Intercommunion with the following Christian Churches: The Anglican Independent Communion, The Ethiopian Orthodox Coptic Archdiocese of North and South America, The Uniate Western Orthodox Catholic Church, and the Byelorussian Orthodox National Church in Exile. In effect, the Apostolic Episcopal Church thus became a Uniate Western Rite of the Orthodox Church of the East, using the 1928 book of Common Prayer. In 1905, under the guidance of Archbishop Tikhon Bellavin (later Patriarch of Moscow), the Holy Synod in St. Petersburg approved the use of the Anglican Liturgy for Western Rite Orthodox Christians. Today this usage is called the Rite of St. Tikhon and is in use among many Orthodox Western Rite Jurisdictions.
This pilgrimage to Orthodoxy among Anglicans began in 1712 with the Non-Jurors Anglican Hierarchy and faithful. These Non-Jurors were Anglican clergy who in 1689 refused allegiance to King William III and Queen Mary, the usurpers who had overthrown King James II. In 1712 Metropolitan-Bishop Arsenios of the Alexandrine Patriarchate visited England and received many of these “British Katholicks” into the Orthodox Church.
In 2002 the church reported a membership of 12,000.
The Tover of St. Cassian.
Apostolic Episcopal Church. www.cinemaparallel.com/AECSynod.html and www.cinemaparallel.com/HolyOrthodoxChurch.html.
1933 73rd Ave., Oakland, CA 94621
The Apostolic Episcopal Church, Diocese of California/Nevada, traces its history to the founding of the United Catholic Conference in 1973 by Bp. Donald Pierce Weeks, who was at that time the vicar general of the Old Roman Catholic Church (then led by Abp. Richard A. Marchenna [1911–1982]). Bishop Weeks served an Anglo-Catholic parish that wanted to withdraw from the Old Roman Catholic Church, which used primarily a Tridentine Roman liturgy. In 1976 Weeks was consecrated by Abp. Wallace David de Ortega Maxey (1902–1992), assisted by Abp. Ramon Verostek and Bp. Dwayne Houser, and established the Diocese of California/Nevada. The United Catholic Conference merged into the Ancient Christian Fellowship.
In 1993 Weeks established Holy Angels Christian Community of the Ancient Christian Fellowship to reach out to people affected by AIDS/HIV and those addicted to drugs and alcohol. In 1995 Weeks came under the jurisdiction of the Apostolic Episcopal Church International, headed by Swedish Abp. Bertil Persson, and the Diocese of California/Nevada was designated the church’s western province, with authority over the western United States. Included in the diocese are the Oratory of Saint Ambrose, Holy Angels Catholic Church; the Sanctuary of East Oakland, the Sanctuary of West Contra Costa County; and the Daniel Brockman House for Men, the Bishop Maxey House, and the Doris Powell Home for Women, all in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. Plans have been made for expansion into Nevada and southern California.
The Apostolic Episcopal Church was founded in 1925 in New York by Bp. Arthur Wolfort Brooks, formerly an Episcopal church clergyman. Over the years leadership of the church moved to England and eventually to Sweden when Archbishop Persson became the presiding bishop following the retirement of Abp. Robert Ramm.
The Diocese of California/Nevada has adopted a set of Thirty-nine Articles of Religion derived from those of the Church of England.
Weeks, Donald Pierce. The Apostolic Episcopal Church. Oakland, CA: Diocese of California/Nevada, 1997.
PO Box 2401, Apple Valley, CA 92307
The Apostolic Episcopal Church grew out of a missionary movement by a group of American churchmen in the state of New York to provide spiritual ministrations for the scattered adherents of the Near Eastern churches. The movement began in 1922, but it was not until 1924 that a group succeeded in forming the Anglican Universal Church of Christ in the United States of America (Chaldean). In 1925, through canonical authority, Mar Antoine Lefberne, as a special commissariat of the patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, consecrated Arthur Wolfort Brooks (1888–1948), who took the ecclesiastical name Mar John Emmanuel. Brooks, a clergyman of the Episcopal Church who at his own request had resigned in 1926, left the Anglican Universal Church in 1927, and formed his own jurisdiction, the Apostolic Episcopal Church (Holy Eastern Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church).
The new church initially spread by absorbing other independent missionary congregations such as the African-American parish in Manhattan headed by Fr. John More-Moreno (d. 1958). As the church grew, other bishops were added. In 1934, Brooks consecrated Harold F. Jarvis and Charles W. Keller. In 1946, he elevated Wallace D. de Ortega Maxey (1902–1992) to the office of archbishop. At the time Maxey was serving as the superintendent of the Caribbean Episcopal Church of the British Isles; chaplain of Scandinavia for the Patriarchal Order of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem of the Melkite-Greek Catholic Church under Patriarch Maximos V. Hakim; metropolitan bishop of Scandinavia of the Western Orthodox Catholic Church in America; and bishop of Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani.
Following Brooks’s death in 1948, he was succeeded by Maxey, who resigned in 1951. His successor, Lowell Paul Wadle, served for two years and, following his resignation, was succeeded by Metropolitian Abp. Hugh George de Willmott Newman (1905–1979), the patriarch of Glastonbury. Newman, commonly known as Mar Georgius, headed the church until his death in 1979. He was succeeded by William Henry Hugo Newman-Norman (Mar Seraphim) who served as patriarch of Glastonbury from 1979 to 1994. In 1994 he was consecrated as a bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church and resigned all affiliation with the Apostolic Episcopal Church. In the interim following his death the Most Rev. Paul G. W. Schultz, also at the time the apostolic administrator of the American Archdiocese of the Philippine Independent Catholic Church, assumed leadership. He passed away on September 13, 1995, and was succeeded by Abp. Donald E. Hugh, who has moved to reorganize and revive the American work.
The church is also intimately associated with the Order of Corporate Reunion (OCR), originally founded in 1874 in London, England, to confer valid apostolic orders on individuals it considered qualified with a particular emphasis on the union of Anglican and Eastern Orthodoxy. Today the OCR emphasizes the reunion of the various independent orthodox catholic groups. Rt. Rev. Francis C. Spataro is the current rector pro-provincial of the OCR.
The Apostolic Episcopal Church considers itself a conservative body in the Chaldean Orthodox tradition. It is guided by the Holy Scripture, the Apostolic Constitution, Teachings, and Creed. It accepts the rulings of the initial three Ecumenical Councils and recognizes the spirit of the remaining four. It accepts the seven sacraments and possesses an apostolic succession through the Order of Corporate Reunion.
At the time Archbishop Hugh succeeded to the leadership of the AEC, it was the American branch of the Apostolic Episcopal Church International headed by Swedish Abp. Bertil Persson. However, Hugh soon rejected the archbishop’s leadership and in 1995 reincorporated the Apostolic Episcopal Church and the Order of Corporate Reunion as a single entity, the Apostolic Episcopal Church–Order of Corporate Reunion. At that time, the church severed its relationship with Abp. Persson and Bp. Donald Pierce Weeks, whom Persson had consecrated as archbishop of California-Nevada.
In 1997 Bp. Francis Spataro, who headed the church’s Western Vicariate in New York, decided to return to Archbishop Persson’s jurisdiction. The Apostolic Episcopal Church–Order of Corporate Reunion now exists as a small jurisdiction under Hugh’s leadership. It has also established a concordat with its sister church, the Holy Celtic Church, also headed by Hugh.
Almost immediately after his consecration in 1946, Bp. Herman Abbinga returned to his native Holland and established the Apostolic Episcopal Church in that country. However, little more than a month after his original consecration, he accepted consecration from Hugh George de Willmott Newman (Mar Georgius), who had consecrated Mar David I. Over the next six years, his tendencies toward theosophy and the Liberal Catholic Church (in which he had been a priest) reasserted themselves, and he gradually drifted from the Apostolic Episcopal Church. In 1952, following his excommunication by Mar Georgius, he founded an independent jurisdiction, the Oosters Apostolisch Episcopale Kerk.
The Apostolic Episcopal Church. www.celticsynod.org/aec.htm.
The Divine Liturgy, Holy Eucharist. Queens, NY: Apostolic Episcopal Church, 1943.
Persson, Bertil. An Apostolic Episcopal Ministry: Archbishop Arthur W. Brooks and Christ’s Church By-the-Sea. In Memory and Inspiration. Phoenix, AZ: St. Michael’s Press, 1992.
———. Aramaic Idioms of Eshoo (Jesus) Explained. Solna, Sweden: St. Ephrem’s Institute, 1978.
———. A Collection of Documentation on the Apostolic Succession of Joseph Rene Vilatte with Brief Annotations. Solna, Sweden: Author, 1974.
2001 Middlebrook Pke., Knoxville, TN 37921
The Archdiocese of the Antiochean Catholic Church in America was founded in 1991 when the former Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky, of the Church of Antioch was granted autocephaly and became an independent jurisdiction. The Diocese of Lexington had been created in 1986 when the Most Rev. H. Gordon Hurlburt, a bishop of the Church of Antioch, moved to rural Compton, Kentucky, from Wichita, Kansas. Hurlburt, who assumed the ecclesiastical name Mar Peter, had been consecrated in 1981 by Abp. Herman Adrian Spruit, then primate of the Church of Antioch. In 1990 Hurlburt consecrated Victor C. Herron of Knoxville, Tennessee, as his coadjutor. Herron, who took the name Mar Michael, became the Antiochian Catholic Church in America’s metran, or archbishop, when Mar Peter retired in 1996.
The Archdiocese of the Antiochian Catholic Church in America largely embraces the theology and much of the practice of the Oriental Orthodox Western Syriac tradition. It accepts the Councils of Nicea (325 c.e.), Constantinople (381 c.e.), and Ephesus (431 c.e.) as being fully ecumenical; the pronouncements of these councils, including the so-called Nicene Creed and the status of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Theotokos (“God-Bearer”), are therefore dogma for the church. However, it is not in full communion with the mainstream Oriental Orthodox churches because it ordains women and because it allows married clergy members to serve as bishops. The church’s approach to theology and practice is a process of “critical reappropriation” that is open to all sectors of Christendom but is, simultaneously, firmly rooted in the Western Syriac tradition, particularly with regard to such basic issues as Christology, soteriology, ecclesiology, and ethics. The church’s liturgy, which remains a work in progress, is a redaction of the West Syriac Rite.
The See City of the Archdiocese is Knoxville, Tennessee. Its primate, the Most Rev. Victor Mar Michael Herron, presides at St. Demetrios Antiochian Catholic Church, whose pastor is Avva (Fr.) Zakkai Patrick Pardee. While attendance at the Sunday Qurbana (Eucharist) at St. Demetrios is small, averaging around 13 people (including three clergy members), the congregation, located in the inner city, operates a food bank that serves more than 50 persons weekly. Another small congregation, St. Elias, worships in nearby Kodak, Tennessee; its pastor is Chorepiscopus Andreas Richard Turner, chancellor and suffragan bishop-elect. Avva Andreas is slated to be raised to the episcopate in October 2008 at the annual clergy convocation.
Father Gregory Ned Blevins, the archdiocese’s ecumenical and social concerns representative, offers the Qurbana weekly at the Chapel of SS Perpetua and Felicity in his home near Columbia, South Carolina, for a small congregation. Amma (Mother) Caitlin Turner is an itinerant missionary throughout the southeastern United States. Avva Andreas and Avva Greg also conduct an annual three-day training event for junior clergy during Holy Week at St. Demetrios.
In 2007 the Cloistered Heart Franciscans, an ecumenical sisterhood headed by Mother Shirley Raper of Sparta, Tennessee, reorganized within the archdiocese as the Cloistered Heart Myrrh-Bearers. Mother Shirley, a deaconess, conducts weekly services for about 20 people at a small facility called Holy Adoration Chapel in the absence of a priest. Sister Jacqueline Dierring of Black Mountain, North Carolina, also a deaconess, conducts similar services at Holy Trinity Chapel, an oratory in her home. Priests occasionally offer the Qurbana in these venues when available. As of April 2008, the order had begun to accept brothers, called Cloistered Heart God-Bearers, under the patronage of St. Ignatios of Antioch.
The Antiochian Catholic Church in America. www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/7951/index.html.
Antiochian Catholic Church. www.myspace.com/orthoknox.
Blevins, Fr. Gregory Ned. “Vagante Priest: Life on the Ecclesiological/Ecclesiastical
The Publications of the Antiochian Catholic Church in America. www.geocities.com/rik_turner.
626 Rte. du Sanctuaire, Lac-Etchemin, QC, Canada G0R 1S0
The Army of Mary, an independent community in the Roman Catholic tradition, was founded by Marie-Paule Giguere (b. 1921). Marie-Paule was born in SainteGermaine-du-Lac-Etchemin (Quebec) and later married and became the mother of five children. At the request of four different authorities, among them her spiritual director and social worker, she separated from her husband in 1957 in order to protect her children from his unhealthy influence.
Her deeply religious formation opened her to the love of Jesus and Mary, the church and the Eucharist, and especially the sublime priesthood. At the age of twelve Marie-Paule offered herself as a soul-victim, and this marked the beginning of her life of intimate union with Jesus and Mary. After several years of progression along this path of intimate union and mystical formation, her spiritual director asked her to write her spiritual autobiography, which appeared as the 15-volume series Vie d’amour (Life of Love), published in 1979–1980. Five additional volumes entitled Vie d’amour, Appendice, which carried on with the history of the Army of Mary, were published between 1992 and 1994.
In 1954 the name “Army of Mary” was revealed to her. It was at the end of a day of prayer with a group of friends known as the Marian Group, on August 28, 1971, that Heaven informed her: “Today saw the founding of the Army of Mary.” A Catholic priest, Father Philippe Roy (1916–1988), joined the movement in 1972 and became its general director. Subsequently, in 1975, the archbishop of Quebec, Maurice Cardinal Roy (1905–1985; not a relative of Fr. Roy) recognized the Army of Mary as a Catholic lay association. The following year, a popular French author of books on prophecy, Raoul Auclair (1906–1997), become a member of the group. He moved to Quebec and served as the editor of the movement’s magazine between 1979 and 1982. The Army of Mary membership soon numbered in the thousands in Canada and hundreds in Europe.
The Army of Mary’s goal being the sanctification of souls, it promotes the spiritual renewal of its members through personal interior reform in accordance with the precise directives of Pope Paul VI and through its devotion to the Eucharist, Mary, and the pope. Over the years it has sought to promote renewal in other sectors of daily life. So it was that other works were born of the Army of Mary: the Family of the Sons and Daughters of Mary, a lay organization founded in 1981, for the renewal of family; the Oblate-Patriots, established in 1986, for the renewal of society through spreading Catholic social teaching; and the Marialys Institute, created in 1992, with the twofold mission of promoting the fidelity of priests to the Holy Father and coming to the aid of young people.
The Community of the Sons and Daughters of Mary, a religious order including both priests and nuns, was established in 1981. Pope John Paul II personally ordained the first Son of Mary to the priesthood in 1986. After her husband’s death in 1997, Marie-Paule formally became a Daughter of Mary and was subsequently elected superior general of the community following a unanimous vote of the sisters.
While having official support, the Army of Mary continually found itself in conflict with elements of the Catholic hierarchy. More liberal bishops in Quebec were suspicious of whether this movement was faithful with respect to Vatican II, and Cardinal Roy’s successor, Louis-Albert Cardinal Vachon, was hostile to Marie-Paule’s visions and revelations, some of which he regarded as theologically questionable. He was also critical of Army member Marc Bosquart, who wrote two books claiming that the Immaculate was now mystically inhabiting Marie-Paule. Vachon withdrew the recognition of the Army of Mary as an official Catholic organization. In 1987 the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (at the Vatican) judged Bosquart’s opinions to be “seriously erroneous.” Then, on March 31, 2000, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith informed all of the Canadian bishops that Marie-Paule’s Vie d’amour contained doctrinal errors. In 2001 the National Conference of Canadian Bishops published a statement saying that the Army of Mary should no longer be regarded as a Roman Catholic organization, without mentioning the congregations of the Sons and Daughters of Mary, who as priests and nuns remain in an ambiguous relationship to the Roman Catholic Church. They are both members of the Army of Mary, whose orthodoxy has been questioned, and highly praised Catholic workers scattered in many dioceses.
Because anyone is free to enter or leave the Army of Mary, there is no membership list.
Army of Mary. www.communauteqc.ca.
Giguere, Marie-Paule. The Community of the Lady of All Peoples. Quebec: Editions Co. Dame, 1998. 120 pp.
———. Vie d’amour. 15 vols. Limoilou, Quebec: Vie d’Amour, 1979–1980. English edition as Life of Love. Limoilou, Quebec: Vie d’Amour, 1979–1987.
———. Vie d’amour, Appendice. 5 vols. Limoilou, Quebec: Vie d’Amour, 1992–1994.
Introvigne, Massimo. “En Route to the Marian Kingdom: Catholic Apocalypticism and the Army of Mary.” In Stephen Hunt, ed., Christian Millenarianism: From the Early Church to Waco. London: Hurst, 2001, pp. 149–165.
c/o Bp. Joseph J. Gouthro, The Chancery Office, 925 Felix Palm Ave., North Las Vegas, NJ 89032
The Catholic Apostolic Church International was founded in the first decade of the twenty-first century by Most Rev. Joseph J. Gouthro, who continues to serve as its presiding bishop. Gouthro was originally consecrated as a bishop for the Independent Catholic Church by Robert Joseph Allmen, Lawrence J. Harms, and Sharon Di Sunno, bishops of the American Catholic Church, who were assisted by three bishops of the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America: Willard Schultz, Donald Buttenbusch, and Joseph Anderson Johnson. It was the lineage of the three latter bishops, which could be traced to Carlos Duarte Costa, a former Roman Catholic bishop in Brazil, that Gouthro emphasized when founding the Catholic Apostolic Church International. He identifies the Catholic Apostolic Church International with Duarte’s relatively successful Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil, though there is not an official organizational connection.
The Catholic Apostolic Church International is very close to the post–Vatican II Roman Catholic Church in belief and practice. Its major difference is its allowing of a married priesthood.
The Catholic Apostolic Church International has parishes in New Jersey, New Hampshire, Kansas, Maryland, and Florida.
Not reported. In 2008, the Church reported two bishops, and three priests ministering from five locations in five states.
On September 24, 2006, Joseph J. Gouthro joined three other independent Catholic bishops in a ceremony held in Washington, D.C., in which they were reconsecrated to the episcopal office by Abp. Emmanuel Milingo, the former Roman Catholic bishop of Zambia. Archbishop Milingo, a well-known figure in Roman Catholic episcopal life, had become controversial in the 1990s after he became associated with Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Movement, and eventually, in violation of his long-standing vows of celibacy, married a woman in one of the mass weddings conducted by Reverend Moon. This act led to a continuing series of events that have cost Milingo his standing within the Roman Church.
Widely misunderstood by the press, Milingo acted as a person with an indisputable lineage of succession from the Apostles and passed that lineage to four men who had previously been consecrated as bishops with apostolic lineages from different churches. Through the centuries, reconsecration has occurred in circumstances in which there was some doubt concerning the correctness of an earlier consecration. Because of the many questions that have been raised about Independent Catholic and Old Catholic lineages, independent bishops have at times been reconsecrated several times in order to receive multiple lineages of apostolic succession passed through both the Eastern and Western churches. It appears that Archbishop Milingo had developed a desire to pass the Roman Catholic lineage to the Old Catholics and by so doing force Rome to recognize them. For his actions, he was excommunicated.
Two months after the ceremony, the four bishops—Gouthro, Peter Paul Brennan, Patrick E. Trujillo, and George Augustus Stallings—joined Archbishop Milingo in addressing a letter to Pope Benedict XVI calling on him to solve the problem of the shortage of Roman Catholic priests by allowing married men to be ordained.
Catholic Apostolic Church International. www.catholicapostolicchurchinternational.com/.
7030 W. Diversey Ave., Chicago, IL 60707
The Catholic Apostolic National Church was founded in 1980 as the Apostolic Catholic Church of America, and in 1999 changed its name to the Old Catholic Church of the United States. In 2005, the church was received into the Worldwide Communion of Catholic Apostolic National Churches (ICAN) under the Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil (Igreja Catolica Apostolica Brasileira), and changed its name to the Catholic Apostolic National Church. The church derives its apostolic succession from Roman Catholic Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa of Brazil, who founded the Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil. The Most Reverend Robert M. Gubala, SCR, served as its current Archbishop-Metropolitan in 2008.
The Catholic Apostolic National Church is a community of Christians committed to Jesus Christ and his teaching. They accept and believe the testimony of his apostles, eyewitnesses of his life, death, and resurrection from among the dead. The faith of the Catholic Apostolic National Church is that the Ecumenical Councils clearly express their beliefs, and they affirm the ancient creeds of faith, the Athanasian Creed, the Apostles’ Creed, and the Nicene Creed. The church traces their apostolic succession through the ancient churches back to the apostles, and participates in the full sacramental ministry. The Rule of Faith of the Catholic Apostolic National Church is faithful adherence to sacred scripture and apostolic tradition, as protected by the teaching Magisterium of the church.
Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa was consecrated as the Roman Catholic Diocesan Bishop of Botucatu, Brazil, on December 8, 1924, and was the most outspoken Brazilian bishop in defending the poor. In 1937, at the insistence of the Getúlio Vargas régime in Brazil, the Vatican forced Bishop Duarte Costa to retire as Bishop of Botucatu, and he was appointed as Titular Bishop of Maura. Nonetheless, he continued in speaking out on behalf of the poor and, in 1944, was imprisoned for several months. Finally, in 1945, after protesting the Vatican’s helping several Nazis and Nazi sympathizers find refuge in Brazil, Bishop Duarte Costa broke with Rome and founded the Igreja Católica Apostolica Brasileira (ICAB). The Brazilian Church suffered persecution at the hands of hostile governments and others, even as it established educational and social programs designed to feed, clothe, house, and educate those in need. Bishop Duarte Costa died on March 26, 1967; he is revered by the Brazilian Church and her daughter churches as St. Carlos of Brazil.
In matters of discipline, administration, and procedure, the Catholic Apostolic National Church, which is not under papal jurisdiction, differs from the Roman Catholic Church. Clerical celibacy is optional in the Catholic Apostolic National Church: Married men may be ordained, as in the Eastern Orthodox Churches, and in many dioceses clergy may, with prior Episcopal consent, be married after ordination. Liturgical expression is also a matter of discipline determined by the local bishop. Consequently, many communities have adopted the liturgical renewal promulgated following the Second Vatican Council while still maintaining Tridentine liturgy, in Latin or direct translation into classical or modern English, in those parishes that desire it. Eastern Rite parishes exist as well. Catholic Apostolic National Church communities are small, and adhere to the Ignatian model of the Church. The Catholic Apostolic National Church describes itself as an understanding of the Western and Eastern traditions in one complete tradition. It promises to support Catholic faith without excessive institutionalism, promote full participation in the life and sacraments of the church, and provide a viable alternative and allow a person to be a part of Christ’s church, and be at peace with his/her conscience.
The church sponsors an order, the Society of Christ the King, which has responsibility for overseeing the church’s nonresident seminary program.
Christ the King Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois.
The Catholic Apostolic National Church. www.catholic-ican.org.
c/o Patriarch Michael, St. Jude Catholic Charismatic Church, 240 School St., Berlin, NH 03570
The Catholic Charismatic Church is a Western liturgical church that integrates the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including speaking in tongues, into its worship life. It accepts the traditional creeds of Christianity (Apostles, Nicene, Athanasian) as authoritative statements of belief and affirms the authority of the Bible as the written Word of God. It administers the seven sacraments of the Western church. It considers itself as the charismatic branch of the one true church of Christ. A variety of rites are used by the different priests in the church. The church accepts married priests, but does not admit either women or practicing homosexuals to the ordained priesthood. Priests are not permitted to officiate at same-sex unions.
The church is led by its patriarch, Most Rev. J. Paul A. Boucher, better known by his religious name, Patriarch Michael. The church reports nine dioceses functioning in the United States, each led by a bishop. In addition, the church reports work in Puerto Rico, the Congo, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, Germany, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. The expansive work in Cameroon is in cooperation with the Communauté Catholique Charismatique Saint Mathieu de Yaounde and the Autonomous Fraternity of the Holy Spirit. The work in Europe is in cooperation with the Autonomous Society of Saint George, which has six dioceses scattered across Western Europe.
The Catholic Charismatic Church emphasizes its independent existence and its lack of ties to other similarly named jurisdictions, such as the Catholic Charismatic Church of Canada or the Charismatic Catholic Church of America.
St. James the Elder Theological Seminary.
Catholic Charismatic Church. mysite.verizon.net/M-boyle/CCChurch.html.
La Cite de Marie Ste. Scholastique, 11,141 Rte. 148, RR 1, Mirabel, QC, Canada J0N 1S0
The Catholic Charismatic Church of Canada was founded in 1957 by the Mt. Rev. Andre Barbeau (1912–1994), the church’s archbishop, also known as Patriarch Andre the First, a former Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Montreal. In 1968, he was consecrated by Bp. Charles Brearly of the Old Holy Catholic Church, a small British Old Catholic jurisdiction. The purpose of founding the church was “to assist the Roman Catholic Church in its mission as a supplemental rite.” Since his consecration, Patriarch Andre has responded to statements in the reports of Vatican II inviting new rites and the formation of new patriachates as they are needed. The Catholic Charismatic Church is conceived as such a new venture, “a new stem, spouting out of the Church, a progressive-conservative sort of Patriarchate.” Immediately after its establishment, Archbishop Barbeau petitioned the pope concerning the status of the rite.
The church follows the teachings and practices of Roman Catholicism. It observes the seven sacraments and supports the papacy in all matters. It has offered the Roman Catholic Church its new rite, one written by the patriarch, which obligates itself only to the essentials of the Catholic faith. It seeks to preserve a proper freedom. Also, limiting itself to the essentials, the church sees itself as being a ready avenue for reconciling former Catholics to the church. The rite is also charismatic, meaning that it is a mystical liturgy.
The church is headed by its archbishop. Patrick Barbeau died in 1994. He was succeeded by Patriarch Andre II (a.k.a. Archbishop Andre Le Tellier), who had served as Coadjutor Bishop. There are other bishops and a number of priests. Though there are several parishes, such as the Holy Wisdom Community in San Diego, California, most priests are worker priests and are encouraged to create household sanctuaries. As mysticism and religious experience is emphasized over scholastic endeavors, priests are not required to have the seminary education usually expected of a Roman Catholic priest. Priests are not committed to celibacy, and may marry. Individuals not wishing to assume priestly duties are invited to become part of the permanent deaconate. While the church has not accepted women priests yet, it remains open to the possibility. The church’s headquarters, La Cite de Marie (the City of Mary), established in rural Quebec, was in part inspired by The City of God, a mystical classic written by Mary of Agreda.
Over the years, for purposes of establishing ecumenical relations, Archbishop Barbeau has received a number of reconsecrations, a common practice among independent Catholic jurisdictions. In 1973 he was consecrated by G. R. Armstrong (of unknown affiliation). In 1976 he was consecrated by Robert S. Zeiger, then of the Apostolic Catholic Church of the Americas, assisted by Gordon I. DaCosta. That same year he was consecrated by German Bishop Joseph Maria Thiesen of L’Eglise Catholique Apostolique Primitive D’Antioche et le Tradition Syro-Byzantine. In 1980 he was consecrated by Patrick McReynolds of the American Orthodox Catholic Church, assisted by Andre Letellier and J. Letellier.
Bethany Charismatic Church of Canada/USA. www.bethanyccc.org/index.html
Barbeau, Archbishop Andre. Liturgie des Saints Mysteres. Montreal, QC: La Cite de Marie, 1971.
290 7e Rang, PO Box 4478, Mont-Tremblant, QC, Canada J8E 1A1
The Catholic Church of the Apostles of the Latter Times, also known as the Apostles of Infinite Love of the Order of the Mother of God, has as its members followers of the Order of the Mother of God, which was requested by the Blessed Virgin Mary in her apparition at La Salette, France, in 1846. The order was founded in France in 1935 with ecclesiastical approval by the French priest Fr. Michel Collin (d. 1974). In 1960 he declared himself to be Pope Clement XV, the mystical pope named in the Third Secret of Fatima, the final, secret part of the message received by the children who communicated with the Blessed Virgin at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917. His followers, and those of Fr. John of the Trinity after him, frequently have been referred to as the Renewed Church of Jesus Christ.
Father Collin named Fr. John of the Trinity superior general of the order in 1962. In the 1940s Father John, then a young religious brother with the Hospitaler Brothers of St. John of God in Montreal, had several visions in which he was told to establish a community of new apostles to preach the Gospel as the biblical apostles had; he also saw the future Clement XV. Thus the Brothers of Jesus Mary came into being in 1952 near Montreal, and were granted a decree of foundation signed by Pope Pius XII in 1953. The brothers merged with the Apostles of Infinite Love in 1962, when Father John was ordained and consecrated a bishop by Clement, and the Mother House of the order of the Mother of God was transferred to St. Jovite, Quebec. The rule given by the Virgin at La Salette was adopted. Since then, the community has founded mission houses throughout Canada, and in the United States, Europe, the West Indies, Latin America, and South Africa. Members from all these regions have joined the order, taking traditional vows or becoming tertiary or lay members.
A crises occurred in 1967 when Father John was attacked by Canadian Roman Catholic priests because of his association with Clement. In 1968 he had visions in which he was chosen as Servant of the Church of Jesus Christ with the name Gregory XVII. Several mystics in Canada had confirmatory revelations. On May 9, 1969, Clement confirmed in writing that Father John was his successor with the name of Gregory XVII; Gregory concurred with Clement in saying that the official Church of Rome had fallen into aspotasy.
The faith, doctrine, tradition, and practices of the church are Catholic; in its desire to return to the evangelical simplicity and purity of early Christianity, it maintains a doctrinal unity with the traditional Catholic Church. A particular goal of the order is the preservation of the Deposit of Faith by religious teaching in all its forms to adults and children. Another specific goal is the struggle against all the abuses that have brought about the decadence of the clergy, the religious state, and Christian society. Besides perpetual adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, prayer, study, and work of all kinds, the order lends itself to all the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. It also labors toward the Christian unity so desired by Jesus Christ and His true disciples: unity in Truth.
The Order of the Apostles exists as a nonprofit corporation. In addition to its monthly magazine, the Magnificat, it publishes many books and brochures as one important means of apostolate.
In 2008 the Order of the Mother of God included approximately 300 religious brothers and sisters who had taken vows, and several hundred followers in North and South America, Latin America, French West Indies, Europe, and Africa, where there are several convents and monasteries.
Monastery of the Magnificat, Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada.
There is one other movement that derives from Clement XV (Collin), the Church of St. Joseph in Cicero, Illinois, which is not connected to the church led by Gregory XVII (Fr. John of the Trinity). Clemente Gomez, the leader of a movement based in Spain, also claimed to be Gregory XVII. That group has no connection at all with the Apostles.
Catholic Church of the Apostles of the Latter Times. www.magnificat.ca/english.
Barette, Jean-Marie. The Prophecy of the Apostles of the Latter Times. St. Jovite, QC: Editions Magnificat, 1988.
Cote, Jean. Prophet without Permit—Father John of the Trinity. N.p.: Pro Manscripto, 1988.
Cuneo, Michael. “The Vengeful Virgin.” In Millennium, Messiahs, and Mayhem: Contemporary Apocalyptic Movements, ed. Thomas Robbins and Susan J. Palmer. New York: Routledge, 1987.
de la Trinite, Fr. Jean-Gregory. Escaping the Shipwreck. St. Jovite, QC: Editions Magnificat, 1976.
The Eclipse of the Church. St. Jovite, QC: Editions Magnificat, 1971.
Gregory XVII. Peter Speakes to the World: Universal Encyclical for Christian Unity. St. Jovite, QC: Magnificat, 1989.
Gregory XVII. Universal Encyclical for Christian Unity. St. Jovite, QC: Editions Magnificat,
John Gregory of the Trinity, Fr. Escaping the Shipwreck. St. Jovite, QC: Editions Magnificat, 1976.
———. Questions and Answers on the Apostles of Infinite Love. St. Jovite, QC: Monastery of the Magnificat of the Mother of God, 1989.
———. When Bad Faith Hides Behind the Law. St. Jovite, QC: Magnificat, 1968.
St. Pierre, Catherine. Thou Art Peter. St. Jovite, QC: Magnificat, 1994.
When Prophecy Comes True. St. Jovite, QC: Editions Magnificat, 1972.
PO Box 74, Delia, KS 66418-0074
Pope Michael I is the leader of a small group of former Roman Catholics who feel that, after the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, the church moved into a state of apostasy that has invalidated the authority of all subsequent popes and bishops. Pope Michael I was born in 1959 as David Bawden. As a young aspirant to the priesthood, he became dissatisfied with the changes in the church following Vatican II and came to the conclusion, as had other Catholic Traditionalists, that the church was seriously committed to errors of doctrine and practice. He affiliated with the Society of St. Pius X, one of the leading organizations of the larger Traditionalist movement, and moved to Switzerland, where the society had a seminary. He transferred to the society’s seminary then in Armada, Michigan. However, he was dismissed without cause from the seminary. He then moved to St. Mary’s College, where he worked in various positions through 1980 until his resignation from the society in March 1981. He had concluded that the society and the whole Traditionalist movement was heretical.
On December 26, 1983, he issued a letter asserting that Traditionalist priests had no right to operate chapels or to confer the sacraments. He expanded upon this letter in a 16-page treatise, “Jurisdiction during the Great Apostasy,” in 1985. He teamed up with Teresa Stanfill Benns from Denver, Colorado, to produce a book, Will the Catholic Church Survive the Twentieth Century?, published in 1990. It included the 1985 treatise and additional material written in response to that treatise. The book argued that the majority of masses, baptisms, and confessions within the Roman Catholic Church are invalid due to the reform of Vatican II and the leadership of an invalid pope, and true Catholics should cease attendance at English-language masses. He also argued that the present day was the time of the Antichrist, whom he identified as Pope Paul VI. Paul died, but his authority was passed to John Paul I and John Paul II, thus giving the appearance of being slain, recovering, and living anew. Bawden suggested that in 1958 Cardinal Alfredo Ottavani may have been elected pope, but his place was usurped by Pope John XXIII.
Bawden further suggested that a precedent had been established for the election of a pope apart from the action of the College of Cardinals. Thus on July 16, 1990, six people, including Bawden’s parents, gathered in Belvue, Kansas, and elected Bawden as the new pope. A chapel and papal headquarters was initially established in their resale shop, The Question Mark, in Belvue. On November 1, 1993, Pope Michael I moved his papal office to its present location in Delia, Kansas.
Michael I is not ordained to the priesthood and thus does not say mass. He is awaiting the emergence of a bishop unaffected by the post–Vatican II changes to ordain him and believes that some such bishops have survived either in Russia or China. Meanwhile, he conducts Sunday services of prayer and preaching to those who have accepted his authority.
In the fall of 2001, Gordon Bateman of Australia called for a council to bring together all those who are of the sedevacantist view. This view was that John Paul II was not pope. He also contacted several of the claimants to the Papacy, including Pope Michael and Antipope Linus II, who resides in England. Following the precedent set at the Council of Constance, this effort to call a council was endorsed by Pope Michael, provided that all make the Professions of Faith, renunciation of any heresy they may have held, and take the Oath Against the Errors of Modernism.
In 2002 the group reported 59 members.
The Vatican in Exile. www.vaticaninexile.com.
Bawden, David (Pope Michael I). Truth Is One. E-book, 2005. www.vaticaninexile.com/downloads/truthisone.html.
Benns, Teresa Stanfill, and David Bawden. Will the Catholic Church Survive the Twentieth Century? Privately published, 1987.
Crumbo, Christine. “The Thrift Store Pope.” Wichita Eagle (July 19, 1990).
Pope Michael Web site. www.popemichael.homestead.com/index.html.
266 Tallaha Rd., Rte. 1, Box 114-E, Tillatoba, MS 38961
The Celtic Anabaptist Communion (CAC) is a diverse fellowship of ministers and churches founded by Michael Wrenn, the Communion’s presiding archbishop. Wrenn was consecrated as a bishop by Abp. Rodney P. Rickard of the Reformed Catholic Church, from whom he inherited several Old Catholic and Eastern Orthodox lines of succession. He defines the Communion as a combination of Celtic and Anabaptist ways, which shared, among a variety of characteristics, a less authoritarian approach to church life and a lack of division between the sacred and the secular. Furthermore, according to Wrenn, these traditions affirmed the spiritual equality of women and men, reflected a belief in the closeness of God to this world, and were missionary-minded. The CAC ardently advocates for the principle of “soul liberty,” or freedom of conscience. Wrenn conceives of his own role as archbishop in an anti-hierarchical fashion, in keeping with the Anabaptist and Celtic traditions. Archbishops are to serve as a pastor to the bishops, while bishops should be a pastor to the ministers in their dioceses.
Since being consecrated, Wrenn has been very active in recruiting men and women to the ministry and in locating experienced ministers to serve as bishops in his jurisdiction. He has been especially open to people who, like himself, seek both ordination and a new church home. Celtic Anabaptist Communion affirms the autonomy of the local church. Affiliated local churches own their own property and are allowed to call and ordain their own ministers. While Wrenn possessed a traditional lineage in apostolic succession, he does not require it of ministers licensed through the CAC, though he makes it available to them.
The church is in communion with the Reformed Catholic Church and the Christian Missionary Anglican Communion. Archbishop Wrenn sits in the House of Bishops of the Christian Missionary Anglican Communion. The CAC allows its clergy to maintain dual affiliations with other Christian communions whose teachings are not diametrically opposed to those of the CAC. It rejects churches that ordain practicing homosexuals or perform same-sex unions.
The CAC does not have a seminary of its own, but approves a variety of schools supported by other Christian bodies.
Celtic Anabaptist Communion. www.celtic-anabaptist-ministries.com/.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Charismatic Catholic Church: Independent Rite of America is a small jurisdiction founded in 1981 by Bp. Daniel C. Braun. It is a Western Rite church which is open to and encourages the charismatic gifts of the Spirit, including speaking in tongues, healing, and prophecy. The jurisdiction is based in the St. Francis of Assisi Church in Rocky Point, New York.
Ward, Gary L. Independent Bishops: An International Directory. Detroit, MI: Apogee Books, 1990.
c/o Most Rev. Karl Pruter, 405 Kentling Rd., Highlandsville, MO 65669
Christ Catholic Church was founded in 1965 by the Rev. Karl Pruter (1920–2007), a Congregationalist minister deeply involved in the liturgically oriented Free Catholic movement, a fellowship among ministers and lay people of the Congregational and Christian Churches. The movement did not fare well after the 1957 merger of the Congregational-Christian Churches with the Evangelical and Reformed Church to form the United Church of Christ. The subsequent splintering found leaders of the movement in different denominations. In despair, in 1965 Pruter made a pilgrimage to Europe, where he met with many Old Catholic leaders. Returning to the United States, he settled in Boston and searched for a Free Catholic Church or bishop. Finding neither, he turned to independent Orthodox Abp. Peter A. Zhurawetsky (1901–1994), and under his authority began a church in Boston’s Back Bay area. He emphasized the contemplative life, mysticism, and an experiential faith. The growing congregation soon opened a mission in Deering, New Hampshire.
In 1967 Archbishop Peter, assisted by Abp. Uladyslau Ryzy-Ryski of the American World patriarchs, consecrated Father Pruter to the episcopacy as bishop of the Diocese of Boston. The next year, he designated the diocese as an independent communion. The two jurisdictions met in synod and accepted the constitutions and canons given to the new body by Archbishop Peter.
The church’s headquarters moved from Boston to New Hampshire to Scottsdale, Arizona, to Chicago, and finally to Highlandsville, Missouri, in the early 1980s. There Bishop Pruter served as pastor of the Cathedral Church of the Prince of Peace, a small chapel described as the smallest cathedral in the world. In 1989 Christ Catholic Church received into membership the Ontario Old Catholic Church, consisting of a single parish in Toronto, Ontario. The church’s pastor, Bp. Frederick P. Dunleavy, had been consecrated by Archbishop Pruter in 1988. In 1991 Dunleavy was elected to succeed Pruter as the new presiding bishop of Christ Catholic Church.
Under Archbishop Dunleavy, the church adopted an expansionist policy. The immediate fruit of that policy was the merger, approved in December 1992, with the Liberal Catholic Church of Ontario (LCCO). The merged body became known as Christ Catholic Church International (CCCI), and the presiding bishop of the former Liberal Catholic Church of Ontario became the new presiding bishop of the merged church. CCCI continued to grow in both Canada and the United States. However, Archbishop Pruter and the priests of the Christ Catholic Church began to question some of the actions of their new Canadian members, including their joining the Fellowship of Independent Orthodox Churches led by Matriarch Meri Louise Spruit of the Church of Antioch. This affiliation, though short-lived, seemed to indicate both a tolerance of heterodox theosophical ideas and an openness to females in the priesthood. Archbishop Pruter, by then retired, also objected to the use by many of the Canadian parishes of the St. Francis Liturgy, which contained controversial selections from the post–Vatican II Roman Catholic liturgy.
As complaints mounted, in 1995 Archbishop Pruter called for a dissolution of the merger between Christ Catholic Church and the former Liberal Catholic Church of Ontario. He came out of retirement and reorganized the former parishes under his leadership as Christ Catholic Church. Those who did not agree with Pruter continued as Christ Catholic Church International.
St. Willibrord’s Press, founded by Archbishop Pruter, is the major publisher of Old Catholic literature in North America. Pruter is the author of many tracts and pamphlets, as well books such as The Teachings of the Great Mystics (1969) and A History of the Old Catholic Church (1973). He also operates Tsali Bookstore, which specializes in Native American literature, and Cathedral Books, which specializes in peace literature.
Christ Catholic Church is Old Catholic in faith. It adheres to the Holy Scriptures, the ecumenical creeds, the seven ecumenical councils, and the Confession of Utrecht. The church uses the vernacular liturgy “The Christ Catholic Mass,” which follows the Old Catholic pattern.
Bishop Varlet School of Theology, Highlandsville, Missouri.
St. George Theologate, Highlandsville, Missouri.
St. Willibrord Journal.
On April 17, 1988, Bishop Pruter consecrated Frederick P. Dunleavy of the Ontario Old Roman Catholic Church to the episcopacy, and the two jurisdictions united.
Christ Catholic Church. www.christcatholicchurch.com.
Pruter, Karl. Bishops Extraordinary. Highlandville, MO: St. Willibrord’s Press, 2003.
———. The Directory of Autocephalous Bishops in the Apostolic Succession. Highlandville, MO: St. Willibrord Press, 2005.
———. A History of the Old Catholic Church. Scottsdale, AZ: St. Willibrord’s Press, 1973.
———. The Story of Christ Catholic Church. Chicago: St. Willibrord’s Press, 1981.
———. The Teachings of the Great Mystics. Goffstown, NH: St. Willibrord’s Press, 1969.
———, and J. Gordon Melton. The Old Catholic Sourcebook. New York: Garland, 1983.
c/o St. Lukes Cathedral, 5165 Palmer Ave. Niagara, Falls, ON, Canada L2G 1Y4
Christ Catholic Church International (CCCI) was formed in 1993 by the merger of several Old Catholic jurisdictions and has subsequently grown through further mergers and individual evangelistic outreach.
Among the constituent bodies of CCCI was the Liberal Catholic Church of Ontario (LCCO), which began in the 1930s with an independent Old Catholic parish, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, in Hamilton, Ontario, organized by a former Anglican priest, William H. Daw (1902–1986). Daw was consecrated in 1955 by Edward M. Matthews (1898–1985) and installed as the presiding bishop of the autonomous LCCO. Bp. John Henry Vincent Russell (1920–1985) succeeded Daw in 1974. Russell had been consecrated in 1960 and, along with several priests, had founded and established Blessed Trinity parish in Hamilton. During Russell’s term, oratories were established in Brantford, Ontario, and North Hero, Vermont, and a parish opened in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Bp. Thomas D. J. McCourt succeeded Russell in 1985, and was succeeded the following year by Bp. Donald William Mullan.
A second constituent body of CCCI was Christ Catholic Church, in 1993 headquartered in Toronto. Christ Catholic Church came into Canada in 1989 when the Ontario Old Catholic Church merged into the Christ Catholic Church based in the United States. The Ontario Old Catholic Church dates to 1962 with the consecration of William Pavlik by Abp. Richard A. Marchenna (1911–1982) of the Old Roman Catholic Church. In 1963 Pavlik created a separate jurisdiction and consecrated his successor, Nelson D. Hillyer (1912–1987). Hillyer was eventually succeeded by Frederick P. Dunleavy. Dunleavy was consecrated in 1988 by Bp. Karl Pruter (1920–2007) of the Christ Catholic Church and in 1991 succeeded him.
In 1992, negotiation between the Liberal Catholic Church of Ontario and Christ Catholic Church began and resulted in Dunleavy’s bringing his jurisdiction into what became Christ Catholic Church International. An election for bishop of the new church resulted in the selection of Most Rev. Donald W. Mullan.
The period immediately following the merger included further expansion. Rt. Rev. Gerard La Plante and the Old Catholic Church of British Columbia Society joined the CCCI and four former priests of the Mercian Orthodox Catholic Church were granted “Episcopal protection” by the CCCI.
The Old Catholic Church of British Columbia Society dates to the mid-1920s and the establishment of an independent Catholic parish in Vancouver under the leadership of Fr. J. P. Kirk. Kirk was succeeded by Fr. H. J. Barney, who served the parish for over 30 years. He was succeeded by Fr. Gerard LaPlante in 1975. In 1978 the church, finding itself no longer in full agreement, became independent, and Fr. LaPlante was consecrated as bishop. While autonomous, the church remained in full communion with the LCCO.
Issues that came to the fore in the early years of Christ Catholic Church International included some objections to the church’s St. Francis Liturgy that contained selections from the post-Vatican II Roman Catholic liturgy. The actions of the College of Bishops were questioned by several clergy who felt that the consecration of three of the Mercian priests had been premature.
The new church also affiliated with the ecumenical Fellowship of Independent Orthodox Churches. Bishop Pruter led the opposition to membership, which he saw as a major mistake by the church’s leadership. Pruter came out of retirement and reorganized Christ Catholic Church. CCC and CCCI have continued in dialogue, and hope for eventual reconciliation is high.
CCCI is both Old Catholic and Orthodox Catholic in faith and practice. CCCI holds to the teachings of the first seven Ecumenical Councils, the Declaration of the Old Catholic Union of Utrecht, and the creeds of the undivided church. As part of the mystical Body of Christ, CCCI affirms and teaches an apostolic succession vested in the bishops of the Catholic Church and passes that succession through Holy Orders. The holding of such Holy Orders is a prerequisite for the valid celebration of the sacraments. The CCCI further believes that each bishop has the teaching/administrative authority granted to the apostles by Jesus Christ, and that this authority is not limited to a single bishop regardless of office or position, but is equally and jointly held by all bishops.
Matters of faith and morals may be defined for the church only by the College of Bishops in light of Sacred Scripture and Apostolic Tradition.
CCCI is a founding member of the Federation of Orthodox Catholic Churches United Sacramentally (FOCUS), and during the period of its membership has been led to emphasize the Orthodox element of its faith and practice.
In 2002 the church reported more than 7,800 members worldwide of which 2,960 were in the United States, 3,880 in Canada, and 1,000 in Europe and Australia.
St. Mary’s Seminary, Niagara Falls, Ontario.
St. Luke Magazine.
Christ Catholic Church International. www3.sympatico.ca/dwmullan/HOME.HTM
St. Francis House, 2079 Harkness Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45225
Christ Catholic Orthodox Church, an American Orthodox Christian church, originally the Western Orthodox Church in America, was founded by then Rev. James F. Mondok, who was given a mandate to build the church. It was granted a charter in January 1984 by the state of Ohio. Reverend Mondok was consecrated in June 1984 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, by Abp. Charles David Luther, assisted by Bps. Alan Bain and Paul Brennan. He established his seat in Euclid, Ohio. The church traces its lineage through Carlos Duarte Costa and Stephen Meyer Corradi-Scarella, as well as the African Orthodox Church, among other lines of episcopal succession. The church’s name change occurred in 1988.
Christ Catholic Orthodox Church uses a modern Orthodox Divine Liturgy. Seminarians are trained at St. Seraphim’s Center for Theological Studies. Associated with the church is an Orthodox branch of the Secular Order of St. Francis and the Minor Order of Paduans, an order devoted to St. Anthony of Padua. The church sees itself as following the intention of Abp. Aftimios Ofiesh in building a broad American Orthodox church (as opposed to an ethnically based Orthodox church operating in the United States). The church teaches that in extreme cases, women may become ordained priests. Clergy may be married.
The church is headed by a council of bishops that includes Presiding Bp. James Mondok and Abps. Frank Vandeventer and Most Rev. Michael Hembree. They lead the church in participation in a variety of ecumenical outreach programs, including work in hospitals and in chaplaincies throughout the world.
St. Seraphim’s Center for Theological Studies, Cleveland, Ohio.
The Voice of the Fisherman.
Christ Catholic Orthodox Church. www.indmovement.org/denoms/ccoc_mondok/index.html.
1205 Thomas Blvd., Springdale, AR 72762
The Christian Catholic Church (Old Catholic) in the United States of America is an independent Old Catholic jurisdiction founded on July 9, 1988, by its present presiding bishop, Mt. Rev. Raymond E. Sawyer (b. 1946), assisted by Mt. Rev. Albert W. Smith, who serves as the church’s suffragan bishop. On May 10, 1988, the Synod of the Old Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City and Dependencies (now part of the Christian Catholic Church) named Sawyer bishop-elect, and he was consecrated in the Cathedral Church of Saint Luke the Evangelist on July 9, 1988, with immediate canonical release, by Abps. Andre Barbeau and Andre Letellier of the Catholic Charismatic Church of Canada. In 1990 he received consecration, sub conditione (with conditions), from Bp. Karl Pruter of Christ Catholic Church. Bishop Smith (b. 1951) was consecrated by Bishop Sawyer on July 3, 1989.
The Christian Catholic Church accepts the authority of the first Seven Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church; the ancient creeds, and the traditional mysteries or sacraments (seven) of the Church. It also accepts the Orthodox proscription against modification to the Nicene Creed (and hence does not include the filioque clause) in the text of the creed as repeated in the Mass. Western Rite liturgies are utilized, though with special permission; Anglican or Episcopal parishes that are admitted into the jurisdiction may use the Liturgy of St. Tikkhon (an amended liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer used by canonical Orthodoxy for that same purpose). Women may not be admitted to the priesthood.
The church is a member of the Federation of Independent Catholic and Orthodox Bishops.
United States Chancery Office, 795 La Playa St., No. 1, San Francisco, CA 94121-3258
The Christian Catholic Church was founded in 1988 by Most Rev. Richard P. Lane, its presiding bishop. Lane had previously served for 16 years as a priest in the North American Old Roman Catholic Church-Utrecht Succession and two years as Episcopal vicar to Abp. E. R. Verostek, the church’s presiding bishop. Verostek consecrated Lane in 1987. The Christian Orthodox Catholic Church was formed the same year that Verostek retired. It was Lane’s opinion that the more traditional approaches of the Church did not meet the needs of the people and he has taken the lead in developing an updated liturgy and offering contemporary forms of spirituality while remaining in the basic orthodox Old Catholic theological structure of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church.
The church adheres to the Apostles’and Nicene Creeds and the doctrines promulgated by seven Ecumenical Councils. It practices an open communion to which all baptized Christians, of any denomination, may participate. Seven sacraments are celebrated. Married men are admitted to the priesthood.
The church is headed by Bishop Lane. There is one diocese (California), two districts (Illinois and Arizona), and a protectorate (Florida).
St. Ignatius School of Theology, San Francisco, California.
c/o Most Rev. Ronald D. Nowlan, D.D., Chancery Office, 316 Hullett St., Long Beach, CA 90805-3424
Christ’s Apostolic Church of North America is a small Old Catholic jurisdiction whose primate, Most Rev. Ronald D. Nowlan, holds lines of apostolic succession derived from the Roman Catholic Church, the Old Catholic Church of Utrecht, and the Brazilian National Catholic Church. The church was founded with the intention of establishing independent ministries, most operating out of private homes, throughout the United States.
The church uses an Old Catholic liturgy, but others are acceptable. Archbishop Nowlan is assisted by the Vicar General for North America, Most Rev. Irwin Young, and the diocese’s chancellor, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Harvey Beagle. The church has good relations with the Independent Catholic Church of America headed by Most Rev. Maurice McCormick.
2307 S. Laramie, Cicero, IL 60650
The Church of Saint Joseph began as an independent traditionalist Catholic parish in the 1960s by Fr. Henry Lovett, a former associate of Fr. Gommar A. DePauw (1918–2005), head of the Catholic Traditionalist Movement. Lovett moved to Illinois from New Jersey with the intention of creating a parish to be aligned with DePauw’s efforts, but disagreements with him led to the founding of St. Joseph’s as a completely independent effort. Lovett looked at several other traditionalist groups (i.e., those opposed to the innovations of Vatican II), but rejected affiliation with any. In 1970 he met John Higgins, who had recently been consecrated as a bishop by Pope Clement XV, the traditionalist French priest who claimed to be the true pope. Higgins was consecrated soon after Bp. Jean de la Trinite, head of the Order of the Mother of God and Clement’s major North American supporter, had broken away from Clement’s jurisdiction. Lovett invited Higgins to come to Cicero as the episcopal leader for the parish.
Higgins first heard of Michael Collin, the French papal claimant, while studying in Rome. Higgins traveled to Clemery, Lorraine, where he concluded he had discovered the secret of Fatima. In 1917 at Fatima, Portugal, three children claimed to have seen the Blessed Virgin. Among the several messages she gave was one “secret,” which was supposed to be revealed in 1960. As of 1986, that secret, written down by one of the three children who saw the Virgin, is the private possession of the Vatican and has never been revealed. Speculation on its content has been a major object of speculation by Marian devotees. Higgins believed that the content of the message was that beginning in 1960, “There shall be no more conclaves for the election of the Pope.” Instead, each pope will choose his successor. Pope John XXIII, it is claimed, chose Clement XV.
Higgins saw Clement as the instrument by which the Roman Catholic Church could be returned to its pre-Vatican II state. However, following Clement’s death in 1974, Higgins broke with the French followers and refused to accept any of the several claimants to his position. The parish follows pre-Vatican belief and practice, except for its belief in Clement’s authority.
There is but a single congregation affiliated with Bishop Higgins, with several hundred members.
Blei, Norbert. “Catholics Reborn.” Chicago Sunday Sun-Times, Midwest Magazine (November 30, 1975).
2103 S. Portland St., Los Angeles, CA 90007
The Church of Utrecht in America, formerly known as the American Prelature, continues the ministry begun by Abp. Richard A. Marchenna (1932–1982) as the Old Roman Catholic Church. Marchenna’s consecration to the bishopric in 1941 by Abp. Carmel Henry Carfora (1916–1958) began a tumultuous career in Carfora’s North American Old Roman Catholic Church culminated in his deposition and excommunication in 1952. With several clergy and four parishes, he organized the Old Roman Catholic Church and entered into communion with Gerard George Shelley, originally consecrated by Marchenna. Shelley, while serving as bishop in England, had received the lineage of B. M. Williams, and claimed the direct succession of Abp. Arnold Harris Mathew, who had founded the Old Catholic Church in England.
Following Carfora’s death, Marchenna laid claim to Carfora’s succession through Cyrus A. Starkey (1932–1965). Starkey, Carfora’s coadjutor, who left the North American Old Roman Catholic Church after Carfora’s death, had asked Marchenna to become the supreme primate of the Old Roman Catholic Church.
Marchenna slowly put together one of the larger of the Old Catholic jurisdictions. Then, in 1974, he consecrated an openly homosexual priest, Fr. Robert Clement, head of the Eucharistic Catholic Church. That action led to his break with Shelley and the loss of many of his priests. Following Marchenna’s death, Derek Lang, formerly Episcopal vicar for Nicaragua and regionary bishop for North America at the time of Marchenna’s death, assumed the leadership of the now decimated jurisdiction. Among other offices, Marchenna had appointed Lang Titular Bishop of Middleburg (a sixteenth-century diocese that had ceased to exist). He began to reorganize it into the American Prelature, thus “replacing the less modest titles and structures used by his predecessors.” He also moved the headquarters to the West Coast. More recently, the American Prelature became the Church of Utrecht in America.
The Church of Utrecht in America follows the belief and practices of pre-Vatican I Roman Catholicism and the North American Old Roman Catholic Church, differing only in matters of administration. It accepts the decrees promulgated by the Council of Trent (1565) but does not accept the infallibility of the pope or other documents related to the excessive powers inherent in the pope’s teaching office.
The Church of Utrecht in America is headed by its archbishop. He oversees work in Los Angeles, California, and a hospital, seminary, and mission in Nicaragua.
In 1988 the church reported approximately 2,000 members (and some 20,000 constituents), mostly in Nicaragua. There were two centers in Los Angeles.
St. Martin’s Seminary, La Esperanza, Zelaya, Nicaragua.
Old Catholic Church (Utrecht Succession). Chicago: Old Catholic Press of Chicago
PO Box 7512, Alexandria, VA 22307
The Church Universal and Global was founded in 2002 by Bp. Daniel Clay. Ordained in 1980 in a Pentecostal church by Reverend Paul Dixon, Clay then obtained ordination from the Calvary Grace Church of Faith. He subsequently founded the divine assembly of the holy prophets. During the 1990s, he grew close to the Old Catholic tradition and was consecrated as bishop for that United Catholic Church’s Diocese of Virginia on July 22, 2001. He later left the UCC and founded the small independent body that currently serves as a vehicle for his widespread ministry.
Though an Old Catholic bishop, Clay is best known for his many prophecies, several of which were delivered in July 1996 and later compiled into a book, The Prophecies of His Divine Grace Daniel Clay (1997). According to the book, as a young child Clay had extraordinary healing and clairvoyant abilities. According to Clay, the prophecies were given so that people may have knowledge of forthcoming events and may use this information to advantage as the events occur. The prophecies are extensive and cover a host of topics. There is a set of prophecies specifically aimed at the various nations of the world. He also predicts a giant earthquake that will split the United States into two parts.
Clay also notes that all prophecies can be altered by the changing consciousness of humanity.
Clay, Daniel. The Fables and Parables of His Divine Grace Daniel Clay. Vincentown, NJ: Haas Publications, 1993.
——. Prophecies of His Divine Grace Daniel Clay. Vincentown, NJ: Haas Publications, 1997.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Community of Catholic Churches is a small jurisdiction formed in 1971 as a result of a group of Old Catholic priests and bishops deciding to abandon the traditional Catholic hierarchical structure. They removed the purely administrative functions from their ecclesiastical offices and formed a fellowship of clergy and parishes. Priests kept their sacredotal functions and provided priestly leadership for the parishes, most of which are house churches. The group is led by Sr. Bp. Thomas Sargent and Convenor, the Most Rev. Lorraine Morgenson.
The Community generally follows Catholic doctrine and practice, but sets no particular doctrinal standard for members. It also allows the option of dual membership in other churches. It differs from other Old Catholic groups in its willingness to ordain both females and homosexuals to the priesthood.
1718 Moseley Dr., Hopkinsville, KY 42240
The Continuing Apostolic United States Episcopacy was founded in 2001 by Abp. Maximilian-Anthony (Gregory Godsey, b. 1979). The future archbishop was raised a Roman Catholic. However, in 1998, he joined the Independent Catholics movement and was ordained as a priest by Bishop Ford of the Independent Catholic Church in 1999. Later that year he was consecrated as a bishop, also by Ford.
In June 2001, he left the Independent Catholics and affiliated with the Continuing Anglican Movement, specifically with the Diocese of the Holy Spirit, headed by Bp. Steven Murrell. However, four months later he left Murrell’s jurisdiction to found the Continuing Anglican United States Episcopacy. The Episcopacy assumed its present name in 2002.
The Episcopacy is a conservative Anglican body that affirms Christ’s true presence in the Eucharist, apostolic succession, a priesthood exercised exclusively by heterosexual males, and the teaching of the seven historic ecumenical councils. Outside of holy orders, women as lay people may exercise the office of deaconess as a form of ministry. The clergy are allowed to marry.
Through the Union of Traditional Apostolic Churches, the Episcopacy has relations with the Orthodox Catholic Church of America, the Vetro-Catholic Church in Brazil, and the Cistercian Order of the Holy Cross.
c/o Saint Matthew Church, 1111 W. Town and Country Rd., Orange, CA 92868
The Diocese of Ecumenical and Old Catholic Faith Communities traces its history to 1985 and the founding of Saint Matthew Old Catholic Mission Church of Tustin, Orange County, California, by Fr. Peter Hickman. The original congregation consisted of six people. The following year, the church relocated to Huntington Beach and growth continued at a slow pace, highlighted by the adherence of Fr. Jim Faris, a former Roman Catholic priest. In 1989 the parish relocated a second time, to Orange, California. Several other former priests associated with the church, and in 1992 Fr. Dan Gincig was sent by the church to Aurora, Colorado (a Denver suburb), to found a mission affiliated with St. Matthew’s. Later that year another parish was begun in Lakewood, California. In 1993 St. Matthew’s became a co-founder of Xela-Aid, a humanitarian relief organization assisting people in Guatemala, and continues that support.
In 1995 the congregation at St. Matthew’s voted to support Hickman’s consecration as a bishop. The idea was presented to the Ecumenical Communion of Catholic and Apostolic Churches (ECCAC) whose bishops approved of his candidacy. In the meantime, Gincig had been consecrated by R. Augustin Sicard, and his mission in Colorado had grown into the independent American Old Catholic Church. In 1996 he consecrated Hickman.
The diocese shares a common theology and liturgical tradition with the Roman Catholic Church, but identifies with the Old Catholic rejection of Papal infallibility. It also does not accept Roman Catholic canon law. It places a particular emphasis on the role of the laity symbolized by its polity of lay participation in the selection of bishops and pastors of congregations. The diocese allows priests to marry, allows couples the use of tools for birth control, and is open to the remarriage of the divorced. Women may be ordained to the priesthood and the church affirms “the dignity of all human persons regardless of race, national origin, religious affiliation, gender, or sexual orientation.”
The new diocese has grown both by the addition of older parishes and by opening new ones. Included among its parishes is a Lithuanian parish in Minnesota and a Spanish-speaking parish in Huntington Beach, California.
Not reported. As of 2002, the diocese had nine churches scattered across the United States.
Diocese of Ecumenical and Old Catholic Faith Communities. www.saint-matthew.org/.
PO Box 26414, San Francisco, CA 94126-6414
The Ecclesia Catholica Traditionalis “Conservare et Praedicare” is an independent Catholic Church community whose mission is “to preserve and to proclaim” the traditional Catholic faith. It holds all the truths, doctrines, and dogmata of the Catholic Church since its Apostolic beginnings and subscribes to all seven Ecumenical Councils of the Church, as well as subsequent councils in accord with the tradition of the church, the early fathers, and sacred Scripture.
The community is jurisdictionally independent of the Holy See, although it acknowledges the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) as the successor of St. Peter and spiritual head of the Church. The community received an Apostolic Blessing from Pope John Paul II on July 13, 1985.
The community undertakes as its special vocation to preserve and practice the traditional liturgy of the church as a living liturgy. The western rite of the community preserves in full the traditional Latin (“Tridentine”) rite, in addition to the Dominican rite. The eastern rite of the community preserves the East Syriac rite. The community preserves and administers the seven sacraments and sacramentals in their traditional form.
Originally founded on May 22, 1983, by the Most Rev. Thaddeus B. J. Alioto as the Ancient Tridentine Catholic Church, the community changed its legally registered name on May 29, 1990, to Ecclesia Catholica Traditionalis “Conservare et Praedicare.” The community’s Archbishop Primate Thaddeus was consecrated on May 22, 1983, by His Beatitude Mar David I (Wallace David de Ortega Maxey, 1902–1992), whose apostolic succession descends through His Eminence Antonio Cardinal Barerini, nephew of Pope Urban VII, and through additional Eastern lines.
In January 1992 the overall community consisted of five activity centers: the secular western-rite community of Sts. Dominic and Francis (San Francisco) and four religious communities: The Franciscan Mariavite Monastery of St. Mary of the Angels of the Little Portion (Kelseyville, California); the eastern-rite Mt. Izla Monastery (Curlew, Washington); the eastern-rite Valley Mission of St. Thomas (Fall City, Washington); and the western-rite third Order of St. Dominic (Glendale, Oregon). The community is served by a total of nine priests and eight other clergy and religious.
Mar David I’s career has carried him through a variety of ecclesiastical organizations and positions. In 1951 he resigned his position with the Catholicate of the West and joined the Universalist Church. In 1970 (at a time when the Catholicate had no American parishes or priests in the United States) he resumed his Episcopal role and consecrated Alan S. Stanford, with whom he founded the Catholic Christian Church. A few years later, however, he disassociated himself from Stanford.
c/o Rt. Rev. Senia Fix, 23 Atrium Way, Englishtown, NJ 07726
Ecumenical Catholic Church USA (not to be confused with the Ecumenical Catholic Church) was founded in the mid-1990s. Its presiding bishop, Carl Thomas Swaringim, was consecrated in 1996 by Bp. William Dennis Donovan, assisted by Grant Cover and Maurice McCormick as co-consecrators, who together represent several Old Catholic and Orthodox lines of succession.
The church is at one in doctrine and practice with the Western Old Catholic tradition, adhering to the seven sacraments and the creeds of the ancient church. It upholds the practice of the liturgy of the mass, the invocation of the saints, and the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It differs in that it welcomes women to the priesthood and episcopacy and allows priests to marry. No attempt is made to define the nature of the real presence in the Eucharist (such as the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation). In the tradition of British Old Catholic bishop Arnold Harris Mathew, the church leadership is largely in the hands of worker priests, meaning that during the week, the priests work at secular jobs from which they make their living.
In the matter of issues currently under discussion among various independent catholic churches, the Ecumenical Catholic Church USA allows the practice of artificial birth control and will offer the sacraments to divorced persons. In addition, while recognizing that celibacy may be the preferred state of life for a divorced person, the church acknowledges that few have the gift for such a life. Hence the church will marry previously divorced persons with its blessings. The church draws the line at homosexuality. It will neither ordain homosexuals nor perform weddings or union services for homosexual couples. The church practices open communion and allows any baptized person to participate fully in the service of the Mass, and to receive the eucharistic elements regularly.
The church is divided into two dioceses, one of which, serving the eastern states, is headed by a female. There are also a number of ministries supported by the church, including several ordered communities and an Internet correspondence seminary, Sanctus Theological Institute, a school jointly sponsored by a spectrum of independent Catholic jurisdictions. David Mark Kocka serves as the presiding bishop.
Sanctus Theological Institute, Mesa, Arizona
Vilatte Theological Seminary, O’Fallon, Missouri
Ecumenical Catholic Church USA. www.ecc-usa.org.
151 Regent Pl., West Hemstead, NY 11552
In 1984 a number of former priests of the Roman Catholic Church formulated a plan for responding to the unresolved problems of Vatican II. Growing out of a number of renewal groups, the priests sought a means to implement a practical ecumenism that would bring Christians together across denominational lines: equal rights for females; a more pastoral approach to divorce and remarriage; and a role for married priests. Many of the leaders of the new movement were themselves married. The priests called for an alternative church-like organization characterized by all of the features of institutionalized Catholicism, but flexible enough to respond to the major unresolved problems. Such an organization would provide a place for those not served by the Roman Catholic Church, such as married priests, former nuns, and dissatisfied Catholics who were having difficulty forming their spiritual lives.
Plans for the new diocese were implemented at a gathering in Chicago in August 1984 by representatives of four Catholic renewal groups: The Federation of Christian Ministries, Women Church Speaks, CORPUS, and Maryknoll-in-Diaspora. Prior to the gathering, Fr. Peter Brennan of West Hempstead, New York, received Old Catholic Episcopal orders and was chosen the diocese’s first bishop.
The Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of America considers itself a progressive Roman Catholic Church attempting to move the church in a progressive, rather than conservative, direction. Except for those issues that brought it into existence, the Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of America is in basic agreement with the Roman Catholic Church. It considers itself under the wider pastoral care of the pope and views the papacy as the center of Christian unity. While respecting the pope, the Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of America is jurisdictionally independent.
c/o Grace House, 7451 NW 23 St., Margate, FL 33063
The Ecumenical Old Catholic Church was founded by its bishop, John Hardy. Hardy had been raised as a Roman Catholic and later attended King’s College London and the London School of Economics. As a lecturer with the Faculty of Monastic Studies at Ealing Abbey he became familiar with the Western mystical traditions and as an editor for George Allen & Unwin he came to know Eastern traditions. At one point he spent half a year in Korea as a guest of the Chogye Buddhist Order. He was ordained a priest in the 1980s and consecrated a bishop on February 23, 1992, in the lineage of the Liberal Catholic Church through James Ingall Wedgewood.
The new church sees itself as a radical Christian community that is attempting to respond to the need some have expressed to move beyond denominational religion and its structures. It identifies with eastern orthodox mysticism, but rejects the allegiance to ethnic and political concerns.
The church perpetuates a traditional sacramentalism, but at the same time respects intellectual freedom and encourages members to think for themselves. The church attempts to respond to the post-modern world and speak to the present conditions of modern humanity. It also attempts to be global in its approach. The church identifies itself as Catholic in that it proclaims that we are what we are meant to be when we are “in Christ.” At the same time, it sees itself as a reformed community, hence Protestant, meaning that nothing must be allowed to come between the individual and God. In this light, the role of the Church is primarily therapeutic–to assist in the development of insights for growth and to help one overcome life’s obstacles.
The church differs from the Christian tradition in its belief that all the great religions of the world express God’s presence. The effect of that belief is an openness to looking for God’s presence in a multitude of contexts, not specifically Christian. The church also allows married priests, is open to female ordination, and has created a welcoming atmosphere for gay and lesbian members.
The single American congregation, in southern Florida, is headed by Henry Breitenkam.
In 2002 there were two congregations, one in London and one in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area in Florida.
PO Box 26824, Scottsdale, AZ 85255-0160
The Evangelical Catholic Church began as a movement to promote liturgical piety within the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod in Michigan and Indiana. In 1965 a small group founded the Order of the Servants of the Holy Cross. That society withdrew from the Missouri Synod in the early 1970s and in 1977 affiliated as a monastic order with the newly formed Evangelical Catholic Church under the leadership of Rev. Karl Julius Barwin. Barwin was consecrated in 1989 by the bishops Bertil Persson, Emilio Federico Rodriguez y Fairfield, Arthur J. Garrow, Carroll Lowery, and Howard Van Orden. Barwin’s apostolic lineage is Orthodox and, through Perrson, can be traced to Patriarch Alexy of Moscow.
Barwin affirms roots within the Lutheran community, and the Evangelical Catholic Church is seen as representative of those Lutherans who most closely affirm their place within the larger Catholic world. The church’s emblem incorporates Martin Luther’s coat of arms within it, and the Book of Concord is accepted as a doctrinal standard. The church has a high Lutheran understanding of the Eucharist. It is unique in its belief that the Eucharist should be given to infants and children who are confirmed at the time of baptism.
During the 1980s the Order of the Servants of the Holy Cross disbanded. The Confraternity of the Holy Sacrament of the Sacred Body and Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ is currently associated with the church. The confraternity is a devotional society that advocates a return to Catholic piety and the adoration of Christ in the Eucharist. It is headed by its secretary-general, Ronald A. Cross. In 1993 the Center for Christian Arts and Iconography in Republic, Missouri, affiliated with the ECC.
In 1995 the church reported three congregations serving 18 families.
The Intercession Paper.
Evangelical Catholic Church. members.aol.com/EvCathCh/index.HTML.
The Church. Phoenix, AZ: Evangelical Catholic Church, n.d. Brochure.
Infant Communion. Phoenix, AZ: Evangelical Catholic Church, n.d. Brochure.
1709 W 69th St. #3, Cleveland, OH 44102-2957
The Federation of Christian Ministries began in 1968 as the Society for Priests for a Free Ministry, an organization that lobbied for a role for married priests in the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church had refused to provide an opening for married priests within its Latin Rite, in which the overwhelming majority of priests functioned, though some married priests were present in the several Eastern rites.
Participation in that debate and reaction to the church’s refusal to accept married priests led the group to reconsider its position, reflected in its name changes in 1971 (Fellowship of Christian Ministries) and 1981 (Federation of Christian Ministries). Clergy members of the organization began to see their ministry as based in Christian communities, and saw the legitimacy of their ministry as based in their call to ministry and community in baptism, rather than in the formal ordination from church authorities. As the group evolved it began to sanction an inclusive sacramental ministry under the leadership of both married and unmarried priests, and to accept female priests.
Today the Federation has emerged as a renewal community and coalition of small faith communities that offers training and ordination to candidates for the ministry and sacramental services (including baptisms, weddings, and funerals). The Federation continues to use a Roman Catholic theological and sacramental format, and welcomes those who feel otherwise rejected and alienation by the church.
Among the best known of the priests associated with the Federation is Bridget Mary Meehan, one of eight women ordained as priests on July 31, 2006, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, by three women bishops who had been ordained by Roman Catholic male bishops. All involved in the original consecrations of the three women and in their subsequent ordinations were excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church, but their ordinations are considered valid, if irregular.
In 2008 the Federation reported 32 faith communities served by some 33 priests scattered across the United States. There is also an outpost in Peru, headed by Bp. Sean M. Walsh.
Federation of Christian Ministries. www.federationofchristianministries.org/.
Meehan, Bridget Mary, and Mary Beben. Walking the Prophetic Journey: Eucharistic Liturgies for Twenty-first Century Small Faith Communities. Sofia, 2007.
Meehan, Bridget Mary, and Regina Madonna Oliver. A Promise of Presence. Sofia, 2007.
PO Box 112, Garrisonville, VA 22463
The Fellowship of Independent and Global Churches and Ministries is an association made up of independent Christian congregations and parachurch ministries that wish to find partnerships in their pilgrimage of faith and service while retaining a high degree of local independence. The Fellowship affords such freedom to members, but at the same time creates a degree of accountability toward those churches with which members partner.
The Fellowship was founded in 2002 by Bishop William P. Brown, a former Baptist minister who founded a church in Stafford, Virginia, that grew to become the Mt. Zion Full Gospel Cathedral, a Pentecostal congregation. Through the 1990s, Bishop Brown had worked widely in ecumenical circles and headed several ecumenical organizations.
In January 2003, Bishop Brown was received into the World Bishops Council, whose president, Abp. Timothy Paul Baymon, is also the metropolitan bishop of the International Communion of the Holy Christian Orthodox Church. Baymon passed his lineage of apostolic succession to Bishop Brown in August 2003. Brown now also serves as prelate for the Fredericksburg, Virginia, diocese and as the titular bishop for North America of the Christian Orthodox Church.
The Fellowship is led by a College of Bishops, which is split into two boards (or houses). All of the bishops in the Fellowship together constitute the General Board. From them are drawn the Executive Board of Bishops, which includes the first presiding bishop (currently Bishop Brown), the first and second vice–presiding bishops, the general secretary bishop, and the ecumenical liaison bishop. The work of the Fellowship is currently divided into twelve dioceses and one archdiocese.
Faith University and Schools.
American Bible College of Oklahoma.
Fellowship of Independent and Global Churches and Ministries. web.mawebcenters.com/fig/about.ivnu.
c/o Most Rev. Perry Sills, 1213 N San Pedro St., San Jose, CA 95110-1436
The Evangelical Orthodox (Catholic) Church in America (Non-Papal Catholic) was originally founded as the Protestant Orthodox Western Church in 1938 by Bp. Wilhelm Waterstraat in Santa Monica, California. When he retired in 1940 he chose as his successor Fr. Frederick Littler Pyman (d. 1993). In 1943 Pyman was consecrated bishop by Abp. Carmel Henry Carfora (1878–1958), of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church (Rogers). Under Bishop Pyman the Protestant Orthodox Western Church remained an integral part of Archbishop Carfora’s jurisdiction until 1948, when Pyman withdrew and changed the name of the church to the Evangelical Orthodox (Catholic) Church in America (Non-Papal Catholic).
Bishop Pyman had hoped to create a “bridge church,” and he led his small denomination in adopting the Leipsic Interim of 1548, a document drawn up as part of a sixteenth-century process to reconcile Protestant and Catholic differences. But the twentieth-century promulgation under Bp. Wilhelm Waterstraat and Bishop Pyman drew no reaction from either Protestants or Catholics.
In most respects the church adheres closely to the Old Catholic position. The church recognizes the office and authority of the Supreme Pontiff, but only Christ is considered infallible. Clerical celibacy is optional. Oral confession is not required. Both the Latin and vernacular mass is said.
Upon Bishop Pyman’s retirement in the 1970s, the leadership of the church passed to Abp. Perry R. Sills, who had been enthroned as Bishop Pyman’s successor and Second Regionary Bishop on June 30, 1974. On the previous day he had been consecrated by Archbishop Pyman and Bps. Larry L. Shaver, William Elliot Littlewood, and Basil. In 1984 Sills affiliated with the Patriarchial Synod of the Orthodox Catholic Church of America, an association of independent bishops.
In the early 1980s the church reported six parishes and 10 clergy, but gave no membership figures.
Evangelical Orthodox (Catholic) Church in America (Non-Papal Catholic). www.evangelicalorthodoxcatholic.org/.
The Evangelical Orthodox (Catholic) Church. Santa Monica, CA: Committee on Education, Regionary Diocese of the West, 1949.
W5703 Shrine Rd., Neceda, WI 54646-7916
For My God and My Country is an organization which developed as a result of the visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Mary Ann Van Hoof (1909–1984) and the subsequent establishment of the Queen of the Holy Rosary Mediatrix of Peace Shrine, an independent Catholic shrine at Necedah, Wisconsin. Van Hoof had her first apparition of the Virgin on November 12, 1949, one year after a reported apparition in Lipa City, Philippines. Then on April 7, 1950 (Good Friday), a series of apparitions were announced by the Virgin and, as promised, occurred on May 28 (Pentecost), May 29, May 30, June 4 (Trinity Sunday), June 16 (Feast of the Sacred Heart), and August 15 (Feast of the Assumption). As word of the apparitions spread, crowds gathered. More than 100,000 people attended the events of August 15, 1950.
On June 24, 1950, the chancery office of the Diocese of La-Crosse (Wisconsin) released information that a study of the apparitions had been initiated. In August, Bp. John Treacy (1891–1964) announced that preliminary reports had questioned the validity of the apparitions, and he placed a temporary ban on special religious services at Necedah. He temporarily lifted the ban for the announced event on August 15. An estimated 30,000 people attended a final apparition on October 7, at which it was claimed that the sun whirled in the sky just as at the more famous site of Marian apparitions at Fatima, Portugal in 1917. On October 18, the group that had grown around Van Hoof published an account of the visions and announced that a shrine was to be built and completed by May 28, 1951, the anniversary of the first public apparition.
In spite of the negative appraisal by Bishop Treacy and an editorial in the Vatican’s newspaper in 1951 condemning the visions, the activity at Necedah continued, and people attended the public events at which Van Hoof claimed to be conversing with the Virgin Mary. Finally, in June 1955, Treacy issued a public statement declaring the revelations at Necedah false and prohibiting all public and private worship at the shrine. Approximately 650 pilgrims attended the August 15, 1955 (Feast of the Assumption), apparition in defiance of Treacy’s ban. In September, details of the exhaustive study of the shrine (by then operating under the corporate name For My God and My Country, Inc.) were released. The report attacked Van Hoof as a former spiritualist who had never been a practicing Roman Catholic. While the report of the diocese lessened support, worship at the shrine continued, and efforts were made to have a second study conducted. Finally, in 1969, Bp. F.W. Freking, Treacy’s successor as bishop of LaCrosse, agreed to reexamine the case. For a time during the study, the shrine was closed to visitors. In 1970 the commission again produced a negative report, and in June 1972, Freking warned the corporation officers to cease activities or face church sanctions. Such sanctions were invoked in May 1975, when seven people were put under an interdict. In spite of the interdict, the work at the shrine has continued although there were several problems in the intervening years. In 1979, leaders of the shrine affiliated it with the small independent North American Old Catholic Church, Ultrajectine Tradition. In the wake of the resignation of the bishops and priests of that church, it dissolved (see Remarks). Then on May 18, 1984, Mary Ann Van Hoof died. In spite of these setbacks, the group that has developed around the shrine, many of whose members had moved into the immediate area, have continued to pursue the program initiated under the direction of the visions. In line with a strong anti-abortion polemic, the Seven Sorrows of Our Sorrowful Mother Infant’s Home has been opened to assist unwed mothers and unwanted children. The construction of the St. Francis Home for Unfortunate Men has also continued, and work on the House of Prayer constructed at the Sacred Spot of the Apparitions has been initiated.
In the years since Van Hoof’s death, a large “House of Prayer” has been built over the site where the apparitions were said to have appeared. It sits in the midst of the shrine grounds that contain numerous statues of different saints, a replica of the Van Hoof home, and a God and Country Shrine featuring figures of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Jesus together. The shrine has developed its own annual liturgical calendar built around major church holidays and anniversaries of seminal events in Van Hoof’s career.
For several years the shrine was affiliated with the now defunct North American Old Roman Catholic Church, Ultrajectine Tradition. That affiliation was formally acknowledged in May 1979, with the presentation to the shrine’s supporters of Old Catholic Bishop Edward Michael Stehlik as archbishop and metropolitan of the church. On May 28, 1979, Stehlik dedicated the shrine, 29 years after the first public apparition. The church was at one in doctrine with the Roman Catholic Church, except in its rejection of the authority of the papal office. Stehlik has been consecrated by Bishop Julius Massey of Plainfield, Illinois, pastor of an independent Episcopal Church. Massey had been consecrated by Denver Scott Swain of the American Episcopal Church.
The North American Old Catholic Church, Ultrajectine Tradition faced one crisis after another. During 1980 Stehlik and the priests he brought around him came under heavy attack in the press for falsifying their credentials. Stehlik’s assistant, Bishop David E. Shotts, formerly of the Independent Ecumenical Catholic Church, was arrested for violation of parole from an earlier conviction of child molestation. Then in January 1981, Stehlik quit the church, denounced the apparitions as a hoax, and returned to the Roman Catholic Church. He was succeeded by Francis diBenedetto, whom he had consecrated. However, on May 29, 1983, diBenedetto, in the midst of a service at the shrine, announced his resignation, further labeled the shrine a hoax, and returned to the Roman Catholic Church. In the wake of diBenedetto’s departure, a large number of adherents also quit and returned to communion with the Roman Catholic Church.
Queen of the Holy Shrine. www.queenoftheholyrosaryshrine.com/
Swan, Henry H. My Work at Necedah. 4 vols. Necedah, WI: For My God and My Country, 1959.
Van Hoof, Mary Ann. The Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Necedah, WI: For My God and My Country, 1975.
——. Revelations and Messages. 2 vols. Necedah, WI: For My God and My Country, 1971–1978.
c/o St. Thomas the Doubter Free Catholic Church, 1010 University Ave., No. 158, San Diego, CA 92103
The Free Catholic Church was founded in the early 1980s by Most Rev. Thomas Charles Clary (b. 1927). In the early 1990s Clary had joined the Free Catholic Church International, an independent jurisdiction founded by Most Rev. Michael Sherwood Daigneault, formerly of the Church of Antioch. Clary founded and pastored the Free Catholic Church of SS. Mary Magdalene & Thomas, Apostles, in Washington, D.C. Then, on April 30, 1994, he was consecrated by Bps. Brian G. Turkington, Martha Teresa Schultz, and Judy Carolyn Adams. He subsequently moved to San Diego, California, and founded the Free Catholic Church.
The church is similar in faith and practice to the Church of Antioch. It keeps fraternal relationships with other Free Catholic jurisdictions, many of whom also have their roots in the Church of Antioch, and is affiliated with the International Council of Community Churches.
In 1997 the church reported 105 congregations and 20,000 members in the United States and an additional 5,000 members overseas in congregations in Germany, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.
Free Catholic Seminary.
The Free Catholic.
The Free Catholic Church. www.freecatholic.org.
Constitution, By-Laws, and Statues. San Diego. CA: Free Catholic Church, 1995. 52 pp.
c/o Rt. Rev. James R. Judd, St. Ignatius Center, 1624 Luella St. N., St. Paul, MN 55119-3017
The Heartland Old Catholic Church is a new Old Catholic jurisdiction founded by Rt. Rev. James R. Judd, who was consecrated as a bishop in 1999 by Most Rev. Donald William Mullan, the archbishop of Christ Catholic Church International. He is assisted by Rt. Rev. Charles F. Braun, who was consecrated in 2001 by Bps. William Harrison and Lawrence J. Harms. Like other Old Catholic jurisdictions, the church is based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, apolistic tradition and succession, the (seven) sacraments, the unanimously accepted decisions of the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the ancient church, and guidance from the Holy Spirit. Worship is conducted using either the Roman Missal (which includes both the English and Latin liturgies), the Old Catholic Missal promulgated by Bp, Arnold H. Mathew (1852–1919) in England in the early twentieth century, or the American edition of the Anglican Missal.
The church welcomes both women and married men to the ordained priest-hood. The church is described as affirming and inclusive, and offers the sacraments to all Christians baptized in a trinitarian faith.
In 2008 the church reported seven parishes in Minnesota and greater Washington, D.C.
Heartland Old Catholic Church. www.heartlandoldcatholic.org/.
1476 W Herndon, Ste. 104, Fresno, CA 93711
The Fundamental Evangelistic Association was founded in 1928 as the result of a controversy at the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (BIOLA), a bastion of fundamentalist thought. In 1927 John MacInnis was appointed BIOLA’s dean. Immediately thereafter, one of the professors, M. H. Reynolds Sr., charged MacInnis with being a purveyor of liberal theology in his book, Peter the Fisherman Philosopher: A Study in Higher Fundamentalism, which had been published BIOLA that same year. Reynolds was, at the time, also the pastor of the San Gabriel Union Church and one of the pioneer radio ministers.
Reynolds circulated a 30-page analysis of MacInnis’s work, “Is ‘Peter the Fisherman Philosopher’True to the Scriptures?” In response, BIOLA fired him, and he founded the Fundamental Evangelistic Association to continue what he saw as the straightforward, unyielding testimony to biblical fundamentalism. The incident also led to the split between Reynolds and radio colleague Charles Fuller (who sat on the BIOLA board). Reynolds went on to champion the fundamentalist cause on the West Coast against the development of neo-evangelicalism as it came to be represented in the National Association of Evangelicals, Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, California), and the evangelist Billy Graham. Reynolds was succeeded as president of the association by his son, M. H. Reynolds Jr.
The association affirms the authority of the Bible as inspired, inerrant, and infallible. However, it goes further to affirm that the “initial miracle of divine inspiration of the original autographs also extends to the divine preservation of a pure text to this day. We have, therefore, the very Word of God preserved through the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus. In the English language, the only Bible translated from the aforementioned texts is the King James Version.” A literal interpretation of scripture is noted in the belief that “God created all things in a time frame of six literal, twenty-four hour days.”
It affirms the major doctrines of orthodox Christianity, including the Trinity, salvation by the atoning work of Christ, and justification by faith. The association also holds to a fundamentalist position on separation from the world that includes separation from worldly and sinful practices, from apostasy and unbelief (that is, not identified with unbelief in, for example, joint religious activities), and from disobedient brethren and doctrinal compromise with respect to all ministry and service.
The association further holds that ministry is based in autonomous local churches. Its base is the Fundamental Bible Church in Los Osos, California, pastored by M. H. Reynolds Jr. until his death in 1997. The church and association continue to be engaged in a national ministry that includes the radio broadcasts What Does the Bible Say?; a periodical, Foundation; and the publication of a number of booklets and pamphlets dealing with issues of the decline of conservative Protestantism into apostasy. Pastor Reynolds expressed particular concern for the movement of fundamentalists into neo-evangelicalism, Pentecostalism, and cooperation with Roman Catholicism.
The association is not a membership organization.
FOUNDATION: A Magazine of Biblical Fundamentalism.
Fundamental Evangelistic Association. www.feasite.org.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Hispanic-Brasilian Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Saint Pius X, can be traced to December 8, 1958, when Fr. Hector Alejandro Roa y Gonzalez formed the Puerto Rican National Catholic Church as a Spanish-speaking Old Catholic body for the Commonwealth. The original intentions and hope were to affiliate with the Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC) and the new church adhered strictly to the Declaration of Utrecht of September 24, 1889, one of the definitive documents of Old Catholicism. Gonzalez opened negotiations with the primate of the Polish National Catholic Church in 1959.
The PNCC withdrew from the negotiations in 1960, in part due to the presence of the Protestant Episcopal Church (with whom, at that time, it was in full communion) on the island. Gonzalez then turned to Eastern Orthodoxy and in 1961 was received into the Patriarchial Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Americas. The next year his church was registered as La Santa Iglesia Catolica Apostolica Orthodoxa de Puerto Rico Inc. (The Holy Catholic Apostolic Church of Puerto Rico). The church for a time kept its revised Tridentine ritual, with a few necessary Orthodox alterations. However, within a short time, the Orthodox liturgy was translated into Spanish and introduced into the Puerto Rican parishes. Gradually other changes were introduced, and some members began to feel that the church had lost its identity and was being totally absorbed into Russian Orthodoxy, as its Spanish Western Rite Vicariate.
Gonzalez led the fight against the Russification of the vicariate, but after the replacement of Abp. John Wendland as head of the Exarchate, he found that he had lost his major support within the jurisdiction. In 1968, with his followers, Gonzalez withdrew and reestablished the Western Rite Vicariate. Parishes and missions were organized in the Dominican Republic, the United States, and Brazil. In 1977, for the sake of the future of the movement, the clergy and laity together decided to seek the episcopacy for Gonzalez. As a bishop, however, strict restrictions were imposed upon him. He was allowed to perform the minor episcopal functions, especially the rite of confirmation, and in some extreme cases the ordination of men to the diaconate and priesthood. However, he was not allowed to consecrate or assist in the consecration of anyone to the episcopal office.
Gonzalez received episcopal consecration from the hands of the Portuguese bishop Dom Luis Silva y Vieria. Bishop Vieria’s apostolic succession comes from a dissident Roman Catholic group in Brazil (the Independent Catholic Church in Brazil) formerly headed by Msgr. Salomao Ferraz. Ferraz was received as a bishop in the Archdiocese of Sao Paulo by order of Pope Pius XII. Pope John XXIII appointed him auxiliary of Sao Paulo. Later Pope Paul VI appointed him to one of the commissions working on Vatican II. Before his reception into the Roman Catholic Church, however, he had been consecrated a bishop by Dom Carlos Duarte Costa, leader of the Catholic Apostolic Church in Brazil and former Roman Catholic bishop of Botucatu. In 1979, in recognition of the geographical spread of the movement, its name changed to the United Hispanic Old Catholic Episcopate. The term “Old Catholic” created enormous confusion for the movement. The term was chosen to indicate its adherence to pre–Vatican II doctrine and practice and in no way implied the group’s association with the Old Catholicism that had appeared in protest of papal infallibility after Vatican I. Therefore, Msgr. Gonzalez and the jurisdiction’s clergy, with the approval of the laity, moved to change the official name to more accurately reflect its position. The episcopate became the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine with the name of its patron saint, Pope Pius X, added as a means of honoring the virtues of the late pope, known as a true defender of the faith and a champion against modernism.
The confraternity continued to use the Roman Tridentine Rite liturgy of Pope Pius V and the revised liturgy of Pope John XXIII. It accepts the seven traditional sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church and all the councils of the church including Vatican II. It recognizes the pope as the Vicar of Christ and bishop of Rome and acknowledges the See of Rome as the center of Catholic Christianity. Since the total separation from Eastern Orthodoxy, the church demands clerical celibacy. Many of the currently active clergy were ordained in the Roman Catholic Church in the years prior to Vatican II.
In 1992 the Confraternity reported 32,432 members in the Western Hemisphere. In the United States the confraternity was served by one bishop and 14 priests. There were 27 priests and members of religious orders serving overseas in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and Spain.
Actual Facts about the Russian Orthodox Church. Brooklyn, NY: Hispanic-Brasilian Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Saint Pius X, 1988.
Boyle, Terrence J. “Costa Consecrations.” www.tboyle.net/Catholicism/Costa_Consecrations.html.
The Hispanic-Brasilian Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. Brooklyn, NY: Confraternity Publications, 1989.
Welcome to Our Chapel. Brooklyn, NY: Confraternity Publications, n.d.
c/o Fr. Arthur Barrymore, St. Edward’s House, 4851 Anacacho St., San Antonio, TX 78217
International headquarters: Bishop Michael Wright, 18 Frenchfield Rd., Peasedown St. John, Bath, UK BA2 8SL.
The Holy Catholic Church (Western Rite) is a church in the Roman Catholic tradition consisting of a number of congregations scattered around the world who found some fellowship in the 1990s. It affirms the Western Christian tradition and therefore accepts the faith of the Seven Ecumenical Councils and Western catholic tradition and practice, and the Bible as the Word of God. It recognizes seven sacraments and holds to the Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian creeds. It does not use the filioque clause added by the Roman Catholic Church to the Nicene Creed in the eleventh century concerning the origin of the Holy Spirit. Devotion to the Virgin Mary is promoted.
The church is currently led by the metropolitan archbishop and ordinary of the Archdiocese of Europe, Most Rev. Leslie Hamlett, who resides in the United Kingdom. Its bishop stands in a lineage of apostolic succession. Additional bishops are found in India, South Africa, and New Zealand. The members and congregations view themselves as “refugees” from other churches and exist today as a number of small congregations scattered widely in different countries. The statement of Faith and Canons of the church was adopted in 2002. Work in the United States is concentrated in the state of Texas (El Paso and San Antonio). The church has a working relationship with the Holy Catholic Church (Anglican Rite).
Not reported. The church lists congregations in Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Korea, Colombia, New Zealand, and the United States. There is one parish in Point Edward, Ontario, Canada.
Holy Catholic Church (Western Rite). www.holycatholicchurch-wr.org.
Holy Catholic Church (Western Rite) Supplemental site. netministries.org/churches/ch15301/.
El Palmar de Troya, Archidona, Malaga, Spain
The Holy Palmarian Church began after apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary were reported to have been seen by Clemente Dominguez Gomez (1946–2005) of Palmar de Troya, Spain. Gomez began seeing the Virgin and having accompanying prophetic visions in 1968. The content of these visions, which included predictions of a number of cataclysmic events (a schism in the Catholic Church following the death of Pope Paul VI and a Communist revolution in Spain after the death of General Francisco Franco), was soon circulated internationally. In 1970 the Roman Catholic archbishop of Seville denounced Gomez’s visions as lacking any validity. During the 1970s, the messages were circulated in the United States and trips to America were sponsored by St. Paul’s Guild in Orwell, Vermont, and the Mount Carmel Center in Santa Rosa, California, though neither center was ever given formal status in the Holy Palmarian Church.
Other claims of Marian apparitions contemporaneous to those at Palmar de Troya took a decidedly traditionalist stance against the innovations introduced by Vatican II. In the face of continued rebuff by the Catholic hierarchy, Gomez’s followers formed the Carmelite Order of the Holy Face. Gomez came into contact with the retired Vietnamese archbishop Pierre Martin Ngo-Dinh-Thuc, formerly archbishop of Hue. Thuc was also a traditionalist, then living in Italy. On December 31, 1975, Thuc traveled to Spain and ordained Gomez and four of his associates. On January 11, 1976, he consecrated Gomez to the episcopacy, along with one of the other recently ordained priests and three additional priests from other dioceses. During 1976 Gomez and his associated bishops ordained and consecrated other priests and bishops. In September 1976, Thuc, Gomez, and all the affiliated priests and bishops were formally suspended from performing their priestly offices and excommunicated. Almost immediately Thuc repented his action, and the excommunication (though not the suspension) was lifted.
After the death of Pope Paul VI in 1978, Gomez was declared the new pope by his supporters and took the name Pope Gregory XVII. By this time the Palmarian Church had spread throughout the Roman Catholic world, particularly in the Spanish-speaking part. Following the death of Gregory XVII in 2005, Manuel Alonso Corral, one of the Palmarian bishops, was selected as his successor and took the name Pope Peter II.
Not reported. It appears that any previous work in North America has dissolved.
Holy Palmarian Church, Archidona, Malaga, Spain. www.geocities.com/palmardetroyaarchidona/1ingles.htm.
1750 Kalakaua Ave., No. 103-183, Honolulu, HI 96826-3795
The Inclusive Orthodox Church (IOC), formerly known as the New Catholic Communion (NCC), is an autonomous orthodox Christian jurisdiction established in Hawaii in December 1994 by Most Rev. Daniel J. Dahl (b. 1944). It has churches and clergy in the United States (Hawaii and California), and Mexico and provincial bishops in Honolulu by Most Rev. Randolph J. Sykes (b. 1951), and Veracruz, Mexico, by Most Rev. Daniel de Jesus Ruiz Flores (b. 1971). Bishop Dahl is the bishop and apostolic president.
The Inclusive Orthodox Church holds that eminent definition of the Christian faith is found in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed and recognizes as ecumenical the first seven councils held between 325 and 787. It prays for and acknowledges as equals the six patriarchs of the East and West: the patriarch of Jerusalem, the patriarch of Antioch and All the East, the patriarch of Alexandria and the See of Saint Mark, the patriarch of the Lateran and pope of Rome, the archbishop of Constantinople and ecumenical patriarch, and the patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. The IOC recognizes the pope of Rome as primus inter pares among patriarchs. The apostolic succession of the bishops of the IOC is traced through four primary lines: Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Episcopal. IOC clergy and members come from a mixed background of Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Episcopalian heritages. The IOC holds a particular devotion to Theotokos, the Mother of God in the icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe as patroness of the Americas.
The Rite of the America—the IOC’s Service Book—incorporates essential elements of the Divine Liturgies of Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Basil, the Novus Ordo of the Roman Catholic Church and the Book of Common Prayer. The IOC administers the seven sacraments in accordance with the rubrics of the Rite of the Americas in conformity with the substance of Apostolic Tradition. The Rite of the Americas is available and services are conducted in both English and Spanish languages.
The inclusive nature of the IOC supports the diversity of liturgical practice as well as recognition of the responsibilities of one holy, catholic, and apostolic church to address systemic injustice as a result of poverty, illiteracy, health care, and discrimination against anyone for any reason. The IOC advocates unity among the Christian churches and respects the traditions of Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, Moslems, and the indigenous religions of all peoples. It holds that unity among the Christian churches is God’s will and the solution to the wars, genocide, mass starvation, discrimination, politics, and waste typical of the behavior endorsed by many. Separation of church and state is strongly supported by the IOC.
Ministries of the IOC emphasize spiritual and physical healing, education (especially literacy training), and publishing. Clergy hold advanced degrees in theology, philosophy, education, and foreign languages. While it accepts donations, the church has been self-supporting in having nonstipendiary clergy who personally finance their ministries through nonchurch employment. Deacons, deaconesses, and priests may be conjugal; bishops are celibate. Clergy are either monastic or independent, as their status befits.
In 2002 the IOC reported 1,250 congregants and 12 clergy and monastics.
Apostolic College of the Pacific.
Inclusive Orthodox Church. www.inclusiveorthodox.org.
c/o The Most Rev. Bruce E. Greening, 4105 Alton St., Capitol Heights, MD 20731
The Independent African American Catholic Rite grew out of the movement led by Rev. George A. Stallings who, in January 1990, established the African-American Catholic Congregation in Washington, D.C. During the years immediately prior to his excommunication by the Roman Catholic Church and his organizing his following in an independent jurisdiction, Stallings had developed a network of support which included Fr. Bruce E. Greening. Greening formed the second congregation of the African-American Catholic Congregation, the Umoja Temple, also in Washington, D.C.
In February 1990, Greening and the Umoja Temple left Stallings’s jurisdiction and attempted to reconcile with the Roman Catholic Church. They asked only that they be allowed a five-year period to experiment with the liturgy and that their pastor, Father Greening, be reinstated in the church’s priesthood. They were unable to obtain a response to their overtures.
The Umoja Temple then changed its name to the Church of St. Martin de Porres, the Black saint from Peru canonized in 1963. On June 15, 1990, it declared its independence from Rome and elected Father Greening its bishop. He was consecrated on September 28, 1990, by Abp. Stafford Sweeting, the present Patriarch of the African Orthodox Church. The church is committed to the empowerment of African Americans through the development of institutional ownership, the nurturance of an indigenous clergy and lay leadership, and the encouragement of Black-owned businesses. The church sees itself redressing the inability of the Roman Catholic Church to be inclusive by ministering to those who have been neglected.
Payne, Wardell J., ed. Directory of African American Religious Bodies: A Compendium by the Howard University School of Divinity. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1991.
c/o Bp. Maurice McCormick, 8701 Brittany Dr., Louisville, KY 40220
The Independent Catholic Church of America (ICCA) is an independent, sacramental church continuing the teaching and fellowship of the apostles through the particular tradition of the Old Catholic Church of Utrecht. The ICCA respects the Roman Catholic Church and also the pope as the bishop of Rome and the first among equals, but it does not adhere to a belief in the infallibility of the pope nor his universal authority. Although papal infallibility and jurisdiction were the two primary doctrinal reasons for the separation of the Old Catholic churches, since then several other doctrinal differences have arisen (such as the ordination of women).
The ICCA adheres to the essentials of faith and doctrine as expressed in the traditional creeds of the church (viz., Nicene, Apostles’), in various declarations, and in the doctrinal formulations of the ecumenical councils held prior to the Great Schism (between Rome and the Orthodox Church) of 1054.
While no one person is the “head” of the ICCA, Abp. George Le Mesurier serves as the primate, and Abp. Maurice McCormick is primate emeritus. Every bishop in the ICCA is considered an equal among equals. The ICCA recognizes that those who are married may receive a call to sacerdotal ministry, and that those who received a call to ministry while single may also be called to a life of marriage. There are no restrictions (such as married people being allowed to serve only as permanent deacons, or bishops being chosen only from unmarried celibate priests). The ICCA also ordains qualified women to all ranks of the clergy.
The ICCA does not consider divorce, or remarriage after divorce, a legitimate barrier to the reception of any sacraments. It does not prohibit using contraceptive devices. The ICCA abhors abortion, which it sees as the ending of a potential human life. It strongly encourages women with unwanted pregnancies to consider options to abortion but will not turn a woman who has had an abortion away from the church. The ICCA also accepts gays and lesbians as children of God and welcomes them into participation in church life and worship, but it will not ordain them. The ICCA is a member of the Union of Independent Catholic Churches of the North American Old Catholic Church.
The church reported 120 clergy and 4,000 members in 2002.
Agape of Jesus Seminary, Clearwater, Florida; Ottawa, Ontario; and Louisville, Kentucky.
Heed University School of Theology, Hollywood, Florida.
Independent Catholic Church of America. www.independentoldcatholicchurch.com.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Independent Catholic Church of America is a small Old Catholic jurisdiction founded by Mt. Rev. Patrick M. Cronin. Cronin was consecrated as a bishop of the Western Orthodox Church in America on June 4, 1988, by Luis Fernando Castillo-Mendez of the Igreja Catolica Apostolica Brasileira assisted by Richard J. Ingram of the Western Orthodox Church in America and Walbert Rommel Coelho of the Igreja Catolica Apostolica Brasileira. Cronin withdrew from the Western Orthodox Church five months after his consecration and subsequently formed the Independent Catholic Church in America. It is similar in belief and practice to its parent body, the issues leading to its formation being administrative, not doctrinal.
3460 Powerline Rd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
The Independent Catholic Churches is a small independent Old Catholic jurisdiction founded by Mt. Rev. Richard E. Drews. Drews had been consecrated in 1969 by William Andrew Prazsky of the Autocephalous Slavonic Orthodox Catholic Church (in Exile) and soon afterwards formed the Reformed Orthodox Church in America. The Independent Catholic Churches (also known as the Independent Catholic Archdiocese of Florida) superseded the Reformed Orthodox Church. Most recently, Archbishop Drews has been succeeded by Abp. Robert Caudill.
The church is Old Catholic in faith and practice and independent in administration. Included is an outreach to the Hispanic community of Florida where most of its congregations are located.
In 1997 the jurisdiction reported 600 members.
Barrett, David B. World Christian Encyclopedia. New York: Oxford, 1982.
PO Box 178388, Chicago, IL 60617-8388
Evangelical Catholic Diocese of the Southwest, PO Box 20744, Albuquerque, NM 87154-0744.
The Independent Evangelical Catholic Church is a sacramental liturgical church in the Western Roman tradition founded in 1997. It is currently led by David J. Doyle, its presiding bishop. The apostolic succession in the church is derived from various lines of succession currently available in the independent Catholic world that have been passed to it primarily by Most Rev. Mark Steven Shirilau, the archbishop and primate of the Ecumenical Catholic Church.
The Independent Evangelical Catholic Church adheres to the teachings and practice of the seven Ecumenical Councils (that includes those summarized in the Nicene Creed) and continues the celebration of the traditional seven sacraments in the Western Catholic Church.
The church differs with the tradition in that it does not require a vow of celibacy from its priests and bishops, both being allowed to marry. It has also opened holy orders and religious life to all regardless of gender, orientation, marital status, or racial/ethnic background. The church is open to divorced people and allows them to be remarried without the lengthy process of obtaining a statement of dissolution (as required in the Roman Catholic Church). The church also encourages family planning and sanctions the use of various birth control measures.
At its founding, the church divided the country into four regions, each designated a mission diocese. Work has begun in two dioceses: the Southwest, headed by Bishop Doyle; and the Northwest, headed by Bp. James Alan Wilkowski.
The church has defined itself as an open and affirming church, and in that regard it seeks to invite under its ministry those who have previously been condemned or injured by the Roman Catholic Church and unite with them in a quest for equality and justice. Bishop Wilkowski has especially called attention to the plight of women, gays and lesbians, and racial and ethnic minorities.
There are three centers of activity in the church: Chicago, Illinois; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Hammond, Indiana.
Independent Evangelical Catholic Church. www.iecca.org/.
PO Box 290261, Weatherfield, CT 06129-0261
The Independent Old Roman Catholic Hungarian Orthodox Church of America was founded in 1970 as the Independent Catholic Church by Bp. Edward C. Payne. Payne was consecrated in 1969 by Abp. Hubert A. Rogers (1887–1976) of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church (NAORCC) (Rogers). Originally, he rejected the liturgy used by the NAORCC and decreed that the Anglican Rite be used by his congregations as it most nearly corresponded to the Scriptural norm of St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians.
Soon after the establishment of the Independent Catholic Church, Payne was attracted to Eastern Orthodoxy. He met Abp. Peter A. Zhurawetsky (1901–1994), who was in communion with Payne’s consecrator, and through Zhurawetsky he met Abp. Uladyslau Ryzy-Ryski (1925–1978), who was consecrated by Zhurawetsky and who had been constructing the American World Patriarchs. It was Ryzy-Ryski’s goal to establish an international association of ethnic Orthodox jurisdictions by appointing archbishops over each national group. In 1972, he elevated Payne to be archbishop of New England, in an archdiocese affiliated with the American World Patriarchs. Three years later he elevated Payne to be metropolitan of Ugro-Finnic Peoples and patriarch of the Orthodox Catholic Autocephalous Church of Hungary in Dispersion.
At that time, Payne, who was Hungarian by birth, had about 20 Hungarian families in his Connecticut congregation, and other families in his archdiocese in Pennsylvania and Florida. During the intervening years, Payne has asserted the Hungarian roots of the church, both through the orders that can be traced through the NAORCC to the Austro-Hungarian Archbishop, the Duc de Landas Berghes, and the role assigned by Ryzy-Ryski. This heritage led to adoption of the jurisdiction’s present name in 1984.
The church is Old Catholic in doctrine and practice and accepts the Declaration of Utrecht. It rejects papal infallibility as well as the universal pastorship of the pope. It also rejects the recent doctrinal statements on the Immaculate Conception and Bodily Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Open communion is practiced. No ordination of homosexuals or women is allowed.
Independent Catholic Seminarium, Hartford, Connecticut.
The Independent Catholic. Send orders to 171 Colby, Hartford, CT 06106.
3442 W. Woodlawn St., San Antonio, TX 78228
The Infant Jesus of Prague Traditional Roman Catholic Chapel and Shrine was founded in 1979 by Msgr. John Gabriel (b. 1948). Gabriel was ordained in 1979 by Bishop Paul Gilbert Russell of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church. On June 11, 1983, Bishop Raymond E. Hefner, Archbishop Paul Gilbert Russell, and Bishop Thomas T. Peters consecrated Msgr. John Gabriel to Abbot Ordinary for the Religious Order of the Gabriel Fathers). The order was dedicated to Pope John Paul II.
Bp. John Gabriel claims the Apostolic line of succession from Dom. Carlos Duarte Costa and the present Patriarch of Brazil, Dom. Luis Fernando Castillo-Mendez. To lay to rest all doubts of the validity of John Gabriel’s consecration, Castillo-Mendez came to San Antonio and re-consecrated Bp. John Gabriel at the Infant Jesus of Prague Traditional Roman Catholic Chapel and Shrine on October 30, 1999. The Patriarch of Brazil is expected to return to San Antonio to elevate Bishop Gabriel to archbishop. Gabriel will continue to represent the Patriarch of Brazil in Texas and throughout the United States.
In 2002 the church reported 600 members.
Pruter, Karl. The Directory of Autocephalous Bishops of the Apostolic Succession. San Bernadino, CA: Brogo Press, 1906. 104 pp.
Ward, Gary. Independent Bishops: An International Directory. Detroit: Apogee Books, 1990. 524 pp.
c/o Juergen Bless, Presiding Bishop, Diocese of Los Angeles, 7561 Center Ave., Ste. 49, Huntington Beach, CA 92647
The Inter-American Old Catholic Church was founded by Rt. Rev. Juergen Bless, who was consecrated to the episcopacy in 1986 by Abp.p Paul G. W. Schultz of the Philippine Independent Catholic Church. Though possessed of orders that come through the Episcopal lineage, Bless identifies the church he leads with the Old Catholic tradition of continental Europe.
Bless holds that a valid Christian church must teach and practice the historic faith as passed by Christ to His Apostles (and as summarized in the historical creeds of the ancient church) and must maintain a free fellowship of Christians who believe because they may. The Inter-American Church attempts to serve those who have found obstacles to church relations in other bodies that adhere either to a “rigid dogmatism or a vapid liberalism.” The church claims its “catholic” designation as it follows the practice of the traditional seven Sacraments of the Western Church.
The church has one diocese, in southern California. Services are conducted in its single parish for German-, English-, and Spanish-speaking parishioners.
The Grand Cathedral, 207 Main St., Indian Orchard, MA 01151
The International Communion of the Holy Christian Orthodox Church was founded by His Eminence Timothy Paul Baymon, who serves as its metropolitan archbishop. A resident of Springfield, Massachusetts, Baymon served as pastor of the Praise and Glory Church of God in Christ in that city. In the 1990s he became involved in what is known as the convergence movement, a movement among people who expressed a desire to experience the best of what the three major traditions— the liturgical/sacramental, the Evangelical/Reformed, and the Pentecostal/Charismatic—could offer when brought together. His own pilgrimage led him in 1999 to be consecrated as a bishop by several independent Catholic bishops (Carl Jimenez, Peter Paul Brennan, James Lagona, and Joseph Grenier). While Baymon inherited several lines of success, the primary line derives from Carlos Duarte Costa (1888–1961), the Brazilian Catholic bishop who founded the Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil. Baymon subsequently founded the Holy Christian Orthodox Church and then the World Bishops Council, an ecumenical organization.
Originally directing its attention to peoples of color—African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Indians (in India)—the International Communion of the Holy Christian Orthodox Church (ICHCOC) grew to comprise approximately 230 parishes and missions, over 350 clergy, and approximately 500,000 faithful (its own estimates) by 2004, at which time it declared itself an autocephalous community of faith.
His Eminence Timothy Paul had developed a program of coalition-building as the center of the Communion and the World Bishops Council. He has brought a number of African-American Pentecostal leaders into the World Bishops Council, and through the Communion offered them apostolic succession as bishops and invited them to sit on the Communion’s board of bishops. Most notable of these new bishops are William Brown of the Fellowship of Independent and Global Churches and Ministries and Harris Clark of the Kingdom Life Fellowship International.
In 2007 the Communion purchased a former Masonic temple in Springfield, Massachusetts, which now serves as its headquarters.
Springfield Christian College and Theological Seminary, Springfield, Massachusetts.
As the twenty-first century began, His Eminence Timothy Paul’s rise in the religious world was signaled by two seemingly contradictory events. First, in 2001, Paul accepted the invitation of the Unification Church to introduce Rev. Sun Myung Moon at the beginning of one of Moon’s expansive lecture tours. Then, two years later, he led the World Bishop’s Council to condemn prominent Pentecostal minister Carlton Pearson as a heretic for his Universalist views.
International Communion of the Holy Christian Orthodox Church. www.ichcoc.org/Institutions.dsp.
1221 Good Hope Church Rd., Starr, SC 29684
Kingdom Life Fellowship International is a Trinitarian Pentecostal denomination founded by its bishop, Harris E. Clark. In 1995, Clark became the pastor of Holly Creek Baptist Church in Starr, South Carolina. Two years later, Clark, who had a Pentecostal background, led the church to join the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship then led by Bp. Paul S. Morton. Clark rose quickly in the organization and became district overseer a mere two years later. He also joined the Lord’s Churches, Fellowships, and Ministries International, and was consecrated a bishop by that organization in 2002. Two years later, Clark left the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship and founded the Kingdom Life Fellowship International.
The new fellowship is an expression of what is generally termed the convergence movement, a movement that began to appear in the 1980s among people who expressed a desire to experience the best of what the three major traditions—the liturgical/sacramental, the Evangelical/Reformed, and the Pentecostal/Charismatic—could offer when brought together. The Fellowship has become a notable manifestation of that movement within the African-American community. As part of that manifestation, Bishop Clark was reconsecrated as a bishop, this time with a formal lineage of apostolic succession, by Abp. Timothy Paul Baymon and the synod of the International Communion of the Holy Christian Orthodox Church.
During its short existence, the Kingdom Life Fellowship International has grown to include more than 20 congregations. The church is led by its council of bishops and dioceses have been established in Georgia and South Carolina.
Not reported. In 2008, there were 22 congregations.
Kingdom Life Fellowship International. www.klfii.org.
PO Box 16194, Rochester, NY 14616
The Latin-Rite Catholic Church is the American branch of the church aligned to Abp. Pierre Martin Ngo-Dinh-Thuc (1897–1984), the traditionalist leader of an international Roman Catholic movement that rejects the authority of the current pope, Pope Benedict XVI. Thuc was formerly archbishop of Hue, Viet Nam, who retired to Italy during the papacy of Pope Paul VI and the sessions of Vatican II. He was strongly opposed to the innovations introduced by the church council and in December 1975 ordained a group of men associated with the claimed apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Palmar de Troya, Spain. The following month he consecrated five priests to the episcopacy. Thuc, and all those whom he consecrated, were suspended from exercising their office and excommunicated by the papacy. Thuc repented, and his excommunication was lifted. However, Thuc’s suspension from his bishop’s office was not lifted. The other bishops and priests did not recant their actions but went on to form the Holy Palmarian Church.
Thuc remained in retirement until April 1981, when he again exercised his office of bishop by consecrating George J. Musey, head of the Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary, Friend-wood, Texas. In October 1981, Thuc secretly consecrated two traditionalist priests from Mexico, Moises Carmona and Adolfo Zamora. Formerly supporters of traditionalist Abp. Marcel Lefebvre (1905–1991), they rejected his leadership when reports surfaced of negotiations with the Vatican. After their consecration, Carmona and Zamora established the Union Catolica Trento (Tridentine Catholic Union), referring to the allegiance to the canons of the Council of Trent prior to Vatican II. In May 1982, he consecrated Fr. Gerard des Lauriers (d. 1988), a former supporter of traditionalist Archbishop Lefevre, who in turn consecrated Gunther Storch of Munich, Germany (1985); Robert McKenna of Connecticut (1986); and Franco Munari of Italy (1987).
Soon after the establishment of the church in Mexico, Thuc’s lineage was further extended in the United States with the consecration of Louis Vezelis, head of the Order of St. Francis of Assisi in Rochester, New York. Vezelis was consecrated in 1982 by Carmona, assisted by Zamora and Musey.
Soon after Vezelis’s consecration, the Latin-Rite Church was founded at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, by Abp. Francis K. Schuckardt (1937–2006) who had been consecrated in 1971 by traditionalist Bp. Daniel Q. Brown. Schuckhardt believed and taught that Pope John XXIII was neither a true nor false pope, but an interim pope, but he believed John XXIII’s successors (Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II) to be false popes. This position was based on an underlying premise that the Vatican had been taken over by Freemasons who had murdered Pope Pius XII in order to complete their infiltration of the Curia. John Paul II was seen to be an instrument of the Freemasons. By introducing the New Mass and the false pope, the Roman Catholic Church had moved into apostasy. Schuckhardt and seven people broke with the Roman Catholic Church in 1968 and began a new organization promoting traditionalist life and values. Within a short time the Tridentine Latin-Rite Church had grown to more than 800 members, and by 1980 there were approximately 3,000. Schuckhardt established the Congregation of the Mary Immaculate Queen, “and through it the Our Lady of Fatima Cell Movement,” the prime structure through which it reached out to traditionalist Roman Catholics around the United States. In 1978 the congregation bought Mount Saint Michael, a former Jesuit center in Spokane, which became its main headquarters. The 350-acre tract now houses the congregation, a seminary, the cell movement, two parochial schools, and several related organizations. The movement encountered stiff opposition from the Roman Catholic Church in the Northwest, which officially condemned the group. Former members accused it of cult-like practices and filed lawsuits, one of which resulted in a substantial judgment against the group. However, in 1984, Schuckhardt split with the remaining leadership of the Tridentine Latin-Rite Catholic Church and he, with a small number of followers, left. The Tridentine Latin-Rite Church then came under the episcopal authority of Bishop Musey.
Meanwhile, the Orthodox Roman Catholic Church Movement (ORCM), founded by Fr. Francis E. Fenton and led through the early 1980s by Fr. Robert McKenna, had developed some irreconcilable differences with McKenna who was moving into the influence of the movement developing around Thuc. After his consecration in 1986, the ORCM dissolved and McKenna took those who were willing into the Latin Rite Catholic church. In 1987 McKenna consecrated two other bishops, J. Vida Elmer of New York and Richard Bedingfeld, British-born leader of a traditionalist movement among the Zulus of South Africa. Musey consecrated Conrad Altenbach (d. 1986) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1984 and in 1987 consecrated a French priest, Michael Main, head of an Augustinian order in Thiviers, France.
Not reported. In 1986 centers were to be found in most of the United States, Canada, and New Zealand.
Mount St. Michael Seminary, Spokane, Washington.
The Seraph. • The Reign of Mary. • Salve Regina.
c/o Most Rev. Archbishop Robert R. J. M. Zoborowski, O.M., D.D., 2803 10th St., Wyandotte, MI 48192-4994
Mariavitism is a characteristically Polish confession emanating from the Father Honorat movement and was inaugurated within the bosom of the Roman Catholic Church. In the late eighteenth century, in the portion of Poland that had been partitioned by Russia, there began to arise numerous monastic congregations, based in the III Rule of St. Francis of Assisi. The initiator of these congregations, especially the female ones, was Fr. Honorat Kozminski of the Congregation of Capuchin Fathers. The principal aim of these monastic communities, which led a hidden life fearing the persecutions and repressions of the tsarist authorities, was the maintenance of the religious life, especially the monastic, as well as a widespread and understandable apostolate of social work among male laborers.
The Roman Catholic sister and foundress of the Plock Congregation of the Poor Sisters of St. Clare was Feliksa Magdalena (religious name Maria Franciszka) Kozlowska, later called Mateczka (Little Mother) by the Mariaviates. She came to Plock in 1886 at the recommendation of Fr. Honorat, as a visiatrix of the hidden congregations. She was occupied there with the factory sisters and organized a Congregation of the Clarisses (that is, a congregation of sisters based on the stricter Rule of St. Clare, known as the II Rule of St. Francis of Assisi).
The Congregation of the Poor Sisters of St. Clare was initiated on August 8, 1887. It comprised six sisters who later adopted the name Congregation of Mariavite Sisters of Perpetual Suppliant Adoration. Initially subsiding on voluntary contributions, the congregation later began making church linens and paraments and eventually artistically embroidered chasubles, copes, baldachinos, stoles, and pictures of religious and country scenes, some of which remain on permanent exhibit at the Plock Motherhouse in Poland.
The initiation and propagation of the Mariavite movement is strictly linked with the person of Maria Franciszka and is the inspired Divine Revelation given the foundress on August 2, 1893, known as the Work of Great Mercy. The purposes of both Mariavite congregations is demonstrated in the revelation transcribed by the foundress: “In the year 1893, on the second day of August, after hearing Holy Mass, I was suddenly separated from my thoughts and placed before the Divine Majesty. An unfathomable light encompassed my soul and I was then shown: the universal ruination of the world and the last times then the loosening of the morals within the clergy and the sins to which the priests subject themselves to. I saw the Divine Justice measured for the punishment of the world and the Mercy given to the perishing world, as a final salvation, the adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament and the help of Mary.” After a moment of silence the Lord spoke: “As the means of propagating this adoration, I want that there would arise a Congregation of Priests under the name Mariavite, their standard: ‘Everything for the greater glory of God and the honor of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary,’they will remain under the protection of the Mother of God of Perpetual Help, since as there are perpetual efforts against God and the Church, so is there necessary the Perpetual Help of Mary” (The Work of Great Mercy, p. 5). From that time the number of Mariavite priests grew, particularly within the Dioceses of Plock and Lublin as well as in the Archdiocese of Warsaw.
In August 1903 a delegation, including Maria Franciszka, went to Rome and presented Pope Pius X with a petition for the legalization of the congregation. They received papal promises of approval, but meanwhile the Polish hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church sent numerous documents concerning the Mariavites to Rome, with the purpose of no less than the complete liquidation of the Mariavite movement. In September 1903 the Congregation of the Holy Office issued a decree ordering that the society of Mariavite Priests be completely suppressed. Despite further attempts by the Mariavite delegation for legalization in 1905 and early 1906, on April 5, 1906, Pius X published the encyclical Tribus circiter, in which he confirmed the decisions of the Congregation of the Holy Office in 1904 and recognized the Mariavite society as illegal and invalid and one that should be suppressed and condemned; further, that it should be excommunicated if the decision was not honored. In response, the Mariavites relinquished their obedience to the diocesan church authorities.
In Poland, churches that had been built by Mariavites were confiscated; clergy and people were the target of ambushes; medals, scapulars, and pictures of Our Lady of Perpetual Help were taken from Mariavites; tens were killed and hundreds wounded. However, in December 1906 the Mariavites were recognized as a confession by the Russian tsar, and the Mariavites began forming their own hierarchy, eventually adopting the name Old Catholic Church of the Mariavites.
After the death of Maria Franciszka Kozlowski, the administration within the church was taken by Archbishop J. M. M. Kowalski, who initiated a series of volcanic innovations: marriage of priests with the sisters (1922–1924), Holy Communion under both species (1922), priesthood of the sisters (1929), universal priesthood of the people (announced 1930 and initiated in the Felicianow branch in 1935), suspension of auricular confession (1930), Holy Communion to children after baptism (1930), suspension of religious titles and forms of orders (1930), suspension of the religious state (1930), simplification of ceremonies and liturgical prescriptions of Lent and others (1931–1933), mitigation of the Eucharistic fast and reform of other fasts (1933), and other radical changes. The controversy caused by these actions resulted in several priests resigning from the church, and Archbishop Kowalski was deposed by the General Chapter of the Mariavite Priests in 1935. Kowalski rejected the chapter’s decisions and withdrew, creating a schism within the church. Three priests, approximately 80 sisters, and 25 percent of the faithful followed Archbishop Kowalski, who created a separate church in Felicianow near Plock and called it Catholic Church of the Mariavites. The remaining 30 priests, 280 religious sisters, and 75 percent of the faithful formed the Old Catholic Church of the Mariavites, with its historic seat of central authority in Plock. The schism continues to this day.
Many Mariavites emigrated to North America because of the partitioning of Poland by Russia, Germany, and Austria in the latter years of the nineteenth century and the outbreak of the World War I. Initially without their own parishes and clergy, some organized domestic oratories or chapels and strove to preserve their faith despite the obstacles; others associated themselves with the Old Roman Catholic Church of North America. In 1930 Francis Ignatius Boryszewski was consecrated as the church’s first bishop in North America by Bp. Roman Maria Jacob Prochniewski of Poland, assisted by Abp. Frederick E. J. Lloyd, Abp. Gregory Lines, and Bp. Daniel C. Hinton. With its own bishop and respective clergy, the Mariavite movement quickly spread among large and small communities within the United States and Canada, erecting churches, chapels, and domestic chapels. The strength of Mariavitism remained steadfast despite the contempt and animosity toward the movement by elements within the Polish National Catholic Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and diverse “Old Catholic” sects that began to appear across North America. Francis Boryszewski died in 1975 after 45 years as a bishop and was succeeded by Abp. Robert R. J. M. Zaborowski, who continues as second prime bishop of the Mariavites in North America.
The Mariavite Old Catholic Church–Province of North America bases itself on the ancient Catholic principles of faith and morals contained in the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments. It also bases itself on the Work of Divine Mercy received by Maria Franciszka Kozlowska, which teaches that the salvation for the world perishing in sins is in Christ as present in the Most Blessed Sacrament as well as in the invocation of the Perpetual Help of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. The church does not promulgate new dogmas and does not accept dogmas that were promulgated by the church after the separation of Christianity in the year 1054. It recognizes that only an ecumenical or universal council representing all Christianity can implement new dogmas that obligate all Christians. Clerical celibacy is mandatory except in individual cases of married clergy accepted and received into the church from the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, or other licit communions. Although it is accepted that God authors miracles in the soul of an individual, the church does not recognize so-called miraculous relics and iconography, though it does not reject the great respect that should surround iconography of religious content as well as relics and remembrances of the saints. Auricular confession before a priest is obligatory for children and youth to age 18. The church recognizes seven sacraments, distributes Holy Communion under both single species and both species, retains the use of liturgical Latin, and does not issue condemnations and interdictions.
The Mariavite Old Catholic Church has reported a spectacular rate of growth. From its modest beginnings (it reported only 487 members, in eight centers and 32 clergy in 1972), it claimed, by 1980, to have 301,009 members in 117 churches served by 25 clergy in the United States. An additional 48,990 members were claimed for the 58 churches in Canada and several hundred members were claimed for churches in France and West Germany. By 1990 the church claimed 357,608 members and affiliates, 48 clergy, and 159 parishes in the United States as well as an additional 31,104 members in several congregations in Paris, France, and Germany. In 1995 the church reported 356,034 members and affiliate, 48 clergy and 157 parishes in the United States and Canada as well as 1 bishop, 6 clergy, and 29,105 members in France and Germany.
Mariavite Academy of Theological Studies, Wyandotte, Michigan.
The Mariavita Monthly • The Mariavita Bulletin • The Mariavite Newsletter.
A number of factors have raised doubt about the accuracy of the facts and figures reported by the Mariavite Old Catholic Church. In spite of its reported growth from 1972 to 1980, observers have been unable to locate any of the congregations affiliated with the church except the small chapel in Archbishop Zaborowski’s residence in Wyandotte, Michigan. Zaborowski has consistently refused to share with inquirers the names and addresses of any of the claimed parishes or their priests. Doubts have also been raised about Archbishop Zaborowski’s ordination and consecration. During the early 1970s he circulated copies of his ordination (1968) and consecration (1972) certificates. They bore the names of Bps. Francis Mazur and Ambrose as prime officiants, and they were on forms bearing the title “Antiqua Ecclesia Romanae Catholicae” (i.e., Old Roman Catholic Church). It was supposed by observers (and claimed by Zaborowski) that he had been ordained by the same Bp. Francis Mazur who had been consecrated by Abp. Carmel Henry Carfora of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church. Later, Zaborowski circulated a different set of certificates bearing the title of the Mariavite Old Catholic Church—Province of North America (a name not used until two years after his consecration) and bearing signatures of Abp. (not bishop) Francis A. Mazur and Abp. Francis Ignatius Boryszewski as prime officiants. The signatures on the two ordination certificates do not resemble each other in the least. (Archbishop Zaborowski had claimed that he himself had confused the Bishop Mazur consecrated by Carfora and Archbishop Mazur of the Old Catholic Church of Poland.) The earlier ordination certificate also carries no signatures of any other bishops who might have assisted in the ordination. In like measure, Zaborowski claims that Archbishop Boryszewski wished his role in the consecration service suppressed until his death, and hence it was not revealed until 1975. However, the signatures of those bishops whose names appear on both consecration certificates vary in great detail. It should also be noted that even a third ordination certificate exists which claims that Zaborowski was ordained in 1965 by a Roman Catholic bishop, the Most Rev. G. Krajenski (living in exile) and signed by the Most Rev. Cardinal Wojtyla, ordinary of the Diocese of Krakow, who became of course none other than Pope John Paul II.
Peterkiewicz, Jerzy. The Third Adam. London: Oxford University Press, 1975.
Zaborowski, Robert R. Catechism. Wyandotte, MI: Ostensoria Publications, 1975.
———. The Sacred Liturgy. Wyandotte, MI: Ostensoria Publications, 1975.
———. What Is Mariavitism? Wyandotte, MI: Ostensoria Publications, 1977.
4011 E. Brooklyn Ave., East Los Angeles, CA 90022
During the presidency of General Plutarco Elias Calles (1924–1928), Mexico put into effect provisions of the 1917 Constitution aimed at curbing the political power of the Roman Catholic Church. With Calles’s tacit consent, a rival Mexican-controlled Catholic body free from any connection to foreign interests was formed. The leaders turned to Abp. Carmel Henry Carfora (1878–1958) of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church (Rogers) for episcopal orders. On October 17, 1926, Carfora consecrated successively Jose Joaquin Perez y Budar, Antonio Benicio Lopez y Sierra, and Macario Lopez y Valdez. Perez y Budar became primate and patriarch.
Before returning to Mexico, Bishop Lopez y Valdez visited his family in Los Angeles, California, and contacted Bp. Roberto T. Gonzalez, pastor of El Hogar de la Verdad, an independent spiritualist church operating within the Mexican community in East Los Angeles. Lopez developed a friendly relationship with Gonzalez. Gonzalez died in 1928, and two years later, Lopez consecrated Gonzalez’s successor, Alberto Luis Rodriguez y Durand. By this act the Mexican National Catholic Church was able to extend its territory into southern California. El Hogar de la Verdad gradually became known as the Old Catholic Orthodox Church of St. Augustine of the Mystical Body of Christ.
Over the next decades, as church-state relations improved in Mexico, the National Church, which by 1928 had claimed 120 priests and parishes in 14 Mexican states, began to dissolve. The largest remnant united with the Orthodox Church in America and became its Mexican exarchate in 1972. Its bishop, Jose Cortes y Olmas, was named exarch. The Los Angeles parish survived as the single U.S. outpost of the church. In 1955 Bishop Rodriguez, who was in poor health, consecrated Emilio Federico Rodriguez y Fairfield (b. 1912) as his successor.
In 1962 Fairfield decided to affiliate with the Canonical Old Roman Catholic Church, the U.S. branch of the Old Roman Catholic Church headed by British Abp. Gerard George Shelley. Following Shelley’s death, Fairfield joined Bp. John Humphreys in consecrating a new archbishop in 1982. When Shelley’s successor, Michael Farrell, resigned a month after his consecration, Fairfield emerged as the senior bishop of the church. Then in 1983, with the death of Jose Cortes y Olmas, Fairfield became the sole possessor of episcopal orders from the Mexican National Catholic Church. On September 13, 1983, he was installed as archbishop primate of the Iglesia Ortodoxa Catolica Apostolica Mexicana.
Only one parish of the Mexican National Catholic Church remains, in East Los Angeles, California. It has fewer than 100 members.
Mexican National Catholic Church. www.mncc.net
Schultz, Paul. A History of the Apostolic Succession of Archbishop Emile F. Rodriguez-Fairfield from the Mexican National Catholic Church, Iglesia Ortodoxa Catolica Apostolica Mexicana. Glendale, CA: Author, 1983.
c/o James H. Rogers, 118-09 Farmers Blvd., St. Albans, NY 11412
The North American Old Roman Catholic Church (Rogers) dates to October 4, 1916, when the Duc de Landas Berghes (1873–1920), in the United States to escape confinement in England during World War I, consecrated the Rev. Carmel Henry Carfora (1878–1958) at Waukegan, Illinois. The Italian-born Carfora had come to the United States to do Roman Catholic mission work among the immigrants in West Virginia, but by 1911 had broken with Rome. In 1912, he sought consecration from Bp. Paolo Miraglia Gulotti, who had been consecrated by Abp. Joseph Rene Vilatte (1854–1929) and proceeded to form several independent Old Catholic parishes. After his second consecration, he broke with Bp. W. H. Francis Brothers (1887–1979), also consecrated by Landas Berghes, settled in Chicago, Illinois, and began to organize his own jurisdiction, which he named the North American Old Roman Catholic Church. (Brothers organized the Old Catholic Church in America.) During his lengthy life, Carfora was able to build a substantial church that may have had as many as 50,000 members. He absorbed numerous independent parishes, many of an ethnic nature. He also consecrated numerous bishops (at least 30) most of whom left him to found their own jurisdictions, both within the United States and outside of it. In the mid-1920s, a short-lived union with the American Catholic Church was attempted under the name The Holy Catholic Church in America.
Even before Carfora’s death in 1958 the North American Old Roman Catholic Church (NAORCC) began to collapse, and remnants of what was once a growing ecclesiastical unit now exist as several small jurisdictions. Most have simply disappeared. Splintering began with Samuel Durlin Benedict, who left Carfora a few years after his 1921 consecration to found the Evangelical Catholic Church of New York, a small group that did not survive his death in 1945. In 1924 Carfora consecrated Edwin Wallace Hunter, who in 1929 assumed the title of archbishop of the Holy Catholic Church of the Apostles in the Diocese of Louisiana. This church also died with its founder in 1942. In 1931 Carfora consecrated James Christian Crummey, who, with Carfora’s blessing, founded the Universal Episcopal Communion, an ecumenical organization that attempted to unite various Christian bodies (with little success). Crummey broke relations in 1944 and died five years later. The Communion did not continue into the 1950s. This pattern continued throughout Carfora’s lifetime. More then 20 jurisdictions trace their lineage to Carfora.
The pattern of Carfora’s consecrating priests beyond any ecclesiastical substance to support them, followed by their leaving and taking their meager diocese to create an independent jurisdiction, continued throughout Carfora’s life. The major loss of strength by Carfora’s NAORCC, however, came in 1952 when 30 parishes under Bp. Michael Donahue moved, with Carfora’s blessing, into the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Donahue was received as a mitered archpriest.
Carfora was succeeded as head of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church by Cyrus A. Starkey (1932–1965), his coadjutor, but before the year was out, the synod met and set aside Starkey’s succession. It elected Hubert A. Rogers (1887–1976) who had served for five years as coadjutor but had been deposed by Carfora just a few months before his death. Rogers, while proving a most capable leader, was a West Indian. Most of the nonblack priests and members refused to accept his position and withdrew. This final splintering of the church left it a predominantly African-American membership, which it remained for the next years. H. A. Rogers was succeeded as head of the church by his son James H. Rogers (r. 1972–1990). Rogers was succeeded by Archbishop Herve Lionel Quessy (r. 1990–1991), Archbishop Edward J. Ford (r. 1991–2002), and Archbishop Edmund F. Leeman (r. 2002–2006). In 2006 Archbishop Ford assumed the leadership of the church for a second time and remains in that office to the present
The NAORCC advocates a faith in complete agreement with pre-Vatican I Roman Catholicism: “The Old Roman Catholic Church has always used the same ritual and liturgy as the early Church practiced, abiding by the same doctrines and dogmas; following the exact teaching given by the Apostles of Christ, and continuing through valid historical succession down to the present time.” In one point it follows Old Catholic rather than Roman Catholic practice: Carfora married, and a married priesthood is allowed at all levels in the NAORCC. The practice has been passed on to those churches that derived from it.
In 2008, the Church reported eight parishes in the United States, five in Canada and three in Haiti.
The Augustinian. Send orders to Box 021647, G.P.O., Brooklyn, NY 11202.
North American Old Roman Catholic Church. www.naorcc.org/
Trela, Jonathan. A History of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church. Scranton, PA: The Author, 1979.
4200 N. Kedvale, Chicago, IL 60641
The North American Old Roman Catholic Church (Schweikert) is one of several Old Catholic jurisdictions that claims to be the legitimate successor to the North American Old Roman Catholic Church (NAORCC) formed by Abp. Carmel Henry Carfora (1878–1958). Abp. John E. Schweikert (d. 1988) based his claim upon his consecration by Bp. Sigismund Vipartes (d. 1961), a Lithuanian bishop who had served in Westville, Illinois, under Bishop Carfora beginning in 1944.
Archbishop Carfora died in 1958 and was succeeded by Cyrus A. Starkey (1932–1965), his coadjutor. However, the synod of the NAORCC. put aside his succession in favor of Hubert A. Rogers, who had been coadjutor until a few months before Carfora passed away. Starkey left the NAORCC. in 1960, and Richard A. Marchenna (1911–1982) claimed that Starkey named him as his successor. According to the records of the NAORCC, Schweikert was consecrated by Marchenna on June 8, 1958.
Following Starkey’s death in 1965, Schweikert asserted a claim to be his successor against that of Marchenna. He also claimed that Vipartes, not Marchenna, consecrated him in 1958. Through Vipartes (consecrated by Carfora in 1944) and Starkey, Schweikert claimed to be Carfora’s legitimate successor.
Headquarters for the church are in Chicago, Illinois, in a building complex that also houses a sisterhood of nuns: the Order of Our Most Blessed Lady, Queen of Peace. The sisters operate a school for mentally disabled children. Belief and practice follow that of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church, though Bishop Schweikert discontinued the practice of an unpaid clergy and promoted a more democratic church structure. In 1962 Schweikert consecrated Robert Ritchie (1907–1999) as bishop of the Old Catholic Church of Canada, founded in 1948 by the Rt. Rev. George Davis. The two jurisdictions remain in communion.
In 1986 the North American Old Roman Catholic Church (Schweikert) reported 133 parishes and missions, 62,611 members, and 150 clergy, figures that reflect the continuing increase in numbers reported during the last decade.
It must be noted that during the past decade researchers have been unable to locate any parishes under Archbishop Schweikert’s jurisdiction other than the single parish and affiliated mission, both in the Chicago area, over which he serves as pastor. Archbishop Schweikert consistently refused to reveal the names of any priests or the addresses of any parishes under his jurisdiction.
19230 Mallory Canyon Rd., Salinas, CA 93907
The North American Old Roman Catholic Church–Utrecht succession dates to 1936, when Bp. A. D. Bell, who had been consecrated in 1935 by Abp. W. H. Francis Brothers of the Old Catholic Church in America, accepted reconsecration from Abp. Carmel Henry Carfora of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church. In 1938 Bell consecrated his successor, Edgar RamonVerostek. In 1943 Carfora commissioned Elsie Armstrong Smith (d. 1983) as abbess of a new order, the Missionary Sister of St. Francis, and he was succeeded by Archbishop Verostek, who in turn was succeeded by Abp. Joseph Andrew Vellone in 1994. Abp. Chris Hernandez of Detroit is coadjutor archbishop with rights of succession. The church is an independent autocephalous church. As an independent order, the sisters have conducted a ministry of visiting the sick, offering intercessory prayers, and serving the church by making vestments and publishing pamphlets and prayerbooks. Over the years the congregation separated from the main body of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church, though it continues to follow its lead in theology and practice. The Missionary Sisters are headquartered in Mira Loma, California, where they maintain a chapel.
In the early 1980s the church reported six parishes with fewer than 200 members.
North American Old Roman Catholic Church–Utrecht Succession. www.naorc.org/.
Most Rev. John Charles Maier, 489 Jasmine St., Laguna Beach, CA 92651
The Old Catholic Church (Anglican Rite) was founded in 1951 as the Old Catholic Episcopal Church by Jay Davis Kirby (d. 1989), a chiropractor and priest. Kirby had been consecrated in 1970 by Abp. Herman Adrian Spruit of the Church of Antioch. Affiliated to the church is an order community open to people of other similar church jurisdictions, the Old Catholic Order of Christ the King (Ordo Christus Rex). The order was founded by Fr. Alban Cockeram of Leeds, England, and brought to the United States by Bp. E. Vance Harkness of Atlanta, Georgia. Kirby brought the charter for the order to California. Both the church and the order follow traditional Catholic Christian values and doctrines. During the 1980s, because of its more ecumenical position, the order was the more active structure, developing a ministry through social service in hospitals and other care-providing facilities.
In 1978 Kirby consecrated John Charles Maier as his suffragan. In 1988 Kirby retired and entrusted the work to Maier.
In 2002 there were 638 members, four congregations, eight priests, and two sisters. There are two congregations in Mexico, served by one priest.
Chapman College, Orange, California.
Cambridge Hall Theological Seminary, Webb City, Missouri.
Old Catholic Church (Anglican Rite) Newsletter. Send orders to Box 367, Laguna Beach, CA 92652-0367.
Old Catholic Church (Anglican Rite). www.aicamericas.org.
c/o Metropolitan Hilarion, 1905 S. 3rd St., Austin, TX 78704
The Old Catholic Church in America is one of the oldest independent Catholic bodies in the United States, founded in 1917 by W. H. Francis Brothers (1887-1979). Brothers, prior of a small abbey under the patronage of the Protestant Episcopal Church, began to move under the umbrella of several independent Catholic bishops. He was ordained in 1910 by Abp. Joseph Rene Vilatte (1854–1929) and the next year took the abbey into the Polish Old Catholic Church headed by Bp. J. F. Tichy (d. 1951). Tichy resigned due to ill health, and in 1914, Brothers became bishop-elect of a miniscule body that had lost most of its members to the Polish National Catholic Church. Then Brothers met the Duc de Landas Berghes (1873–1920), the Austrian Old Catholic bishop, spending the war years in the United States. He consecrated Brothers and then Carmel Henry Carfora (later to found the North American Old Roman Catholic Church) on two successive days in October 1916.
Brothers broke with both Landas Berghes and Carfora, renamed the Polish Old Catholic Church, and assumed the titles of archbishop and metropolitan. He began to build his jurisdiction by appointing bishops to work within ethnic communities. He consecrated Antonio Rodriguez (Portuguese) and attracted Bishops Stanislaus Mickiewicz (Lithuanian) and Joseph Zielonka (Polish) into the church. Most important, former Episcopal Bp. William Montgomery Brown (1873–1920) joined his college of bishops. The church grew and prospered, and in 1927, the Episcopal Synod of the Polish Mariavite Church gave Brothers oversight of the Mariavites in the United States. In 1936, the church reported 24 parishes and 5,470 members.
By the 1950s, the once prosperous church began to suffer from the Americanization of its ethnic parishes and the defection of its bishops. In 1962, Brothers took the remnant of his jurisdiction into the Russian Orthodox Church and accepted the title of mitred archpriest. However, five years later he withdrew from the Russian Church and reconstituted the Old Catholic Church in America. He consecrated Joseph MacCormack as his successor. Brothers retired in 1977, and MacCormack organized the synod that administers the affairs of the church. He also began the slow process of rebuilding the jurisdiction. An important step was the acceptance of the Old Catholic Church of Texas, Inc., an independent jurisdiction formerly associated with the Liberal Catholic Church International, and its leader Robert L. Williams, Metropolitan Hilarion, into the church in 1975. Archbishop MacCormack died in 1990 and has been succeeded by Metropolitan Hilarion.
Metropolitan Hilarion serves as resident leader of Holy Name of Mary Old Catholic Church and Saint Hilarion’s Monastery in Austin, Texas. The monastery has three resident members and follows the rules of Saint Benedict. The liturgical use is that of Sarum, the restored and historically accurate text which has been published along with its Gregorian music, by the monastery. The Texas church stresses Western Orthodoxy, in remembrance of Abp. Arnold Harris Mathew’s union with Antioch in 1911 and in honor of Metropolitan Hilarion’s visit with Elias IV, Patriarch of Antioch, in Oklahoma City in 1977.
The Old Catholic Church in America follows the Old Catholic tradition passed to it from Bishop Mathew. The Julian calendar is used and kept in publication by the monastery in Texas.
In 1984, Metropolitan Hilarion consecrated Ivan Divalakov as Archbishop of Belgrade (Yugoslavia).
In 1992 the church claimed four congregations, 500 members, and 12 clergy. Affiliated congregations in Yugoslavia have approximately 2,000 members. In 1992 the parish in Austin reported a membership of 55 and an additional 20 constituents.
Brothers, William H. F. Concerning the Old Catholic Church in America. N.p. 1925.
———. The Old Catholic Church in America and Anglican Orders. N.p. 1925. LoBue, John. “An Appreciation, Archbishop William Henry Francis Brothers, 1887–1979.” The Good Shepherd (1980).
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Old Catholic Church in North America was established in 1950 by Grant Timothy Billet (d. 1981) and several Old Catholic bishops. Billet had been consecrated by Earl Anglin James of Abp. Carmel Henry Carfora’s North American Old Roman Catholic Church. Billet established headquarters in York, Pennsylvania, and organized the interdenominational American Ministerial Association, which attracted a wide variety of clergy under its umbrella. During the 1970s he reported a membership of the church at approximately 6,000, a highly inflated figure. Billet died in 1981. He was succeeded by Abp. and Patriarch Charles V. Hearn, a psychotherapist and noted counselor on alcoholism. He reorganized the church and reincorporated both it and the American Ministerial Association in California. The church generally follows Roman Catholic doctrine and practice. However, celibacy is not a requirement for the priesthood. Dr. Orlando Hyppolitus Francis Dominic Lima now serves as archbishop patriarch.
Trinity Hall College & Seminary, Denver, Colorado.
The Old Catholic Church in North America (Catholicate in the West). www.danielclayministries.org/OCCNAHome.htm.
715 E. 51st Ave., Vancouver, BC, Canada V5X 1E2
The Old Catholic Church of British Columbia was established in Vancouver in 1921. That year Bishop Irving Cooper (1882–1935) from Los Angeles, while returning from Australia, celebrated Holy Mass, baptisms, and other liturgical and social functions.
Rev. J. P. Kirk, ordained by Bishop Cooper in 1925, served until 1930. The mission grew under the leadership of Rev. Fr. H. J. Barney, O.M.I., a Roman Catholic priest of the Oblate of Mary Immaculate order. He opened St. Raphael’s Old Catholic Church in 1934. Fr. Barney died in 1964 and was succeeded by Fr. John Carey, who had been an assistant since 1956. Fr. Carey retired in 1975, and that same year Bp. Ernest R. Jackson ordained Rev. Fr. Gerard LaPlante, who continued St. Raphael’s Old Catholic Church and was consecrated as bishop on September 30, 1979, by Bp. Joseph H. V. Russell and Bp. Donald M. Berry. The Rt. Rev. L. M. McFerran, an ordained Anglican Church of Canada priest for more than 40 years, was consecrated auxiliary bishop for the Old Catholic Church by Bishop LaPlante, Rt. Rev. Donald William Mullan, Rt. Rev. John Brown, and Rt. Rev. Seraphim MacLennan in 1998 at Blessed Trinity Cathedral, Niagara Falls, Ontario.
The Old Catholic Church of British Columbia has two bishops, six priests, and two deacons. Church history has been featured in local, provincial, and national newspapers, publications, and television and radio programs. In October 1993 the National Film Board of Canada filmed a documentary on the church and Bishop LaPlante for the 1994 Year of the Family.
The church is Old Catholic in faith. It adheres to the Holy Scriptures, ecumenical creeds, seven ecumenical councils, and the Confession of Utrecht, and uses an Old Catholic liturgy. An autonomous body, the church does not receive funds or grants from any government branch, yet it has provided room and board for more than 250 people in need over the past three decades. Clergy hold outside employment and are not paid by the church. The majority of its members are ethnically, socially, and religiously diverse. The Lord’s Prayer is recited in five to eight languages every week.
In 2002 the church reported a membership of 2,000. Parishes and missions are located in the Greater Vancouver area in British Columbia and Montreal, Quebec, in Canada; and Bellevue, Washington, in the United States.
The Old Catholic Church of BC. www.oldcatholicbc.com.
Mississauga, ON, Canada
The Old Catholic Church of Canada was founded in 1948 by the Rt. Rev. George Davis. In 1962, Davis’s successor, Robert Ritchie (1907–1999), was consecrated by Abp. John E. Schweikert (d. 1988) of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church. The church follows Old Catholic doctrine, rejecting papal infallibility and such recent additions to the Roman Catholic Church dogma as the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. An English-language translation of the Latin rite is used in worship. Celibacy is optional for all clergy. Most Rev. David Thomson, archbishop, retired in June 2001 and was appointed presiding bishop emeritus. The Most Rev. Dr. Arthur Keating was elected third presiding bishop that year.
Old Catholic Church of Canada. www.netministries.org/see/churches/ch05841.
c/o Most Rev. Paul Combs, PO Box 260473, Tampa, FL 33685
The Old Catholic Church of North America is an Old Catholic jurisdiction formed in the first decade of the twenty-first century by its current presiding bishop, Most Rev. Paul Combs. The church sees itself as continuing the Old Catholic movement that began in the 1870s. It rejected the dogma of papal infallibility. Old Catholics continued with the doctrines and practice of the pre–Vatican I Roman Catholic Church, but subsequently developed worship in the vernacular and welcomed married men to the priesthood. More recently, most Old Catholic jurisdictions have accepted women into the priesthood and even into the office of bishop.
The Old Catholic Church of North America accepts women into the priesthood, and in 2007 consecrated its first female bishop. The church stops short of ordaining homosexuals to the ministry. The church does not view divorce and remarriage as a sufficient reason to exclude individuals from the sacraments, most notably the Eucharist.
Bishop Combs possesses multiple line of apostolic success, which he has passed to the two bishops who now assist him in leading the diocese: Rt. Rev. Pamela “Pam” LeClerc and Rt. Rev. Ted William “Will” Smith. The Old Catholic Church of North America is primarily based in Florida and Texas, where all of its parishes are located.
In 2008 the church reported seven parishes and missions.
Old Catholic Church of North America. www.oldcatholicchurch.org/index.html. 2008.
1307 Bethany Ln., Gloucester, ON, Canada K1J 8P3
Formerly known as the Old Roman Catholic Church, the Old Catholic Churches was originated with Earl Anglin James who had been consecrated as bishop of Toronto by Abp. Carmel Henry Carfora (1878–1958) of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church in 1945. The following year, however, he associated himself with Hugh George de Willmott Newman (Mar Georgius) of the Catholicate of the West. During the summer of 1946, Mar Georgius had extended the territory of the Catholicate to the United States through Wallace David de Ortega Maxey. In November, by proxy, he enthroned James as exarch of the Catholicate of the West in Canada. James was given the title Mar Laurentius and became archbishop and metropolitan of Acadia.
Mar Laurentius led a colorful career as an archbishop of the Old Roman Catholic Church. He claimed a vast following, at times in the millions. He collected degrees, titles and awards, and as freely gave them out to those associated with him. He became affiliated with a wide variety of international associations. In 1965, he consecrated Guy F. Hamel and named him his coadjutor with right of succession. After James’s retirement in 1966, Hamel was enthroned as the Universal Patriarch and assumed the title of H.H. Claudius I. Hamel became one of the most controversial figures in Old Catholic circles. He was ordained in 1964 by Bp. William Pavlik of the Ontario Old Roman Catholic Church. However, before the year was over, he went under Mar Laurentius. After becoming head of the Old Roman Catholic Church, Hamel began to appoint an international hierarchy, a list of which was published in the April 1968 issue of C. P. S. News, the church’s periodical. The list included not only most of the Old Catholic bishops in the United States and Canada (many of whom have taken pains to denounce Hamel) but also many people who were never associated with him–the Rev. Arthur C. Piepkorn (Lutheran theologian), Archbishop Irene (Orthodox Church in America), and Bp. Arthur Litchtenberger (Protestant Episcopal Church). After the publication of this list, which enraged many whose names were listed and amused others who recognized the names of many long-dead prelates, Hamel continued to lead the Old Roman Catholic Church, more recently renamed Old Catholic Churches.
The Old Catholic Churches follow the creeds of the early Christian Church and the Pre-Vatican II rituals. All seven sacraments are administered, and devotion to the Virgin Mary, as well as the veneration of images and relics of the saints is espoused.
C. S. P. World News.
Disciplinary Canons and Constitutions of the Old Roman Catholic Church (Orthodox Orders). Havelock, ON: C.S.P. News, 1967.
Hamel, Guy F. Claude. Broken Wings. Cornwall, ON: Vesta Publications, 1980.
———. The Lord Jesus and the True Mystic. Toronto: Congregation of St. Paul .
c/o Most Rev. Jorge Rodriguez-Villa, PO Box 3221, Montebello, CA 90640
The Old Catholic Orthodox Church, formerly known as Apostolic Orthodox Old Catholic Church, is a Spanish-speaking Old Catholic Church founded in 1985 in Chicago, Illinois, by Rt. Rev. Jorge Rodriguez. Rodriguez was born in Colombia, then moved to Chicago, where he was raised a Roman Catholic and decided to go into the priesthood. He came to oppose what he saw as a common problem in Latin America—the dominance of much of the Roman Catholic Church by repressive, right-wing bishops.
Rodriguez was consecrated in 1985 by Most Rev. Victor Herard of the Haitian Eglese Apostoloque, assisted by Abp. Roberto Toca of the Catholic Church of the Antiochine Rite and Abp. Carl St. Clair. Since its founding, the Old Catholic Orthodox Church has established a ministry to the elderly in Chicago and a mission to Latin America, where the church, known as the Ecclesia Catholica Apostolica Orthodoxa, establishes congregations as alternatives to the less progressive dioceses of the Roman Catholic Church. The church has 50 bishops throughout South America, Europe, Africa, and the United States. Their laity is in excess of 25,000.
St. Moses, the Black, Theological Seminary, West Monroe, Louisiana.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Old Catholic movement began in the Netherlands in the former Roman Catholic dioceses of Utrecht, Deventer, and Haarlam. The Old Holy Catholic Church of the Netherlands (Oud Heilig Katholieke Kerk van Nederland) is one in faith with the Old Catholic Church, but administratively is distinct and is not recognized by the Old Catholic Church of Utrecht. It was founded by Abp. Theodorus P. N. Groenendijk. Groenendijk was ordained as a priest in 1971 by A. J. A. Materman of the Liberal Catholic Church International. He was consecrated five years later by Abp. Josef Maria Theissen of the Alt Romanisch Katholische Church (Old Roman Catholic Church), an independent jurisdiction in Germany.
The Old Holy Catholic Church of the Netherlands was established in North America in the mid-1970s by Abp. Rainer Laufers, a French-Canadian whose headquarters are in Montreal. The church operated as the Old Holy Catholic Church of Canada. Under Laufers’s direction a United States vicariate, The Vicariate of Colorado, was established by William H. Bushnell, who had been ordained by Laufers in 1979. Bushnell administered the vicariate for two years before moving to the Philippines for a year. Bushnell was consecrated in 1988 as bishop for the Diocese of Pennsylvania, currently the only diocese in North America.
Ward, Gary L. Independent Bishops: An International Directory. Detroit, MI: Apogee Books, 1990.
1722 N 79th Ave., Elmwood Park, IL 60635-3505
A single church body with two corporate names, the Old Roman Catholic Church (English Rite) was headed by Bp. Robert W. Lane (d. 1999). Lane, a priest in the Old Roman Catholic Church (English Rite) headed by Abp. Robert A. Burns (d.1974), was consecrated by Howard Fris on September 15, 1974. Both Burns and Lane perceived that Fris had failed to follow the correct form for the ceremony, and later that same day, Burns reconsecrated Lane.
Burns died two months later. Lane left Fris’s jurisdiction and placed himself under Abp. Richard A. Marchenna of the Old Roman Catholic Church. It then became clear that during the last year of his life, Burns had allowed the corporation papers of his jurisdiction to lapse; when Lane learned of the situation, he assumed control of the corporate title. He was at that time serving as pastor of St. Mary Magdelen Old Catholic Church in Chicago.
According to Lane, in 1978 Marchenna offered him the position of coadjutor with right of succession. He had, however, developed some disagreements with Marchenna, and both men refused the position and left the Old Roman Catholic Church. Lane had previously incorporated his work for Marchenna in Chicago as the Roman Catholic Church of the Ultrajectine Tradition. Upon leaving the Old Roman Catholic Church, Lane formed an independent jurisdiction that continues both former corporations.
The Old Roman Catholic Church (English Rite) and the Roman Catholic Church of the Ultrajectine Tradition are thus two corporations designating one community of faith that maintains a Catholic way of life. It is like the Roman Catholic Church in most of its beliefs and practices. It retains the seven sacraments and describes itself as “One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, and Universal.” It differs from the Roman Catholic Church in that it uses both the Tridentine Latin mass (in both Latin and English translation) and the Ordo Novo. It has also dropped many of the regulations that govern Roman Catholic clergy, most prominently the provision prohibiting the marriage of clergy.
During the mid-1980s Lane established six vicariates that function as proto-missionary dioceses. Within each vicariate are one or more quasi-parishes, that is, communities of the faithful that have not yet attained parish status. Vicariates are located in Racine, Wisconsin; St. Charles, Missouri; Elmwood Park, Illinois; and Carlsbad, California. In 1992 most Rev. Floyd Anthony Kortenhof was named bishop coadjutor of the jurisdiction with right of succession to Bishop Lane.
In 2002 there were three congregations.
Seminary of St. Francis of Assisi, Chicago, Illinois.
1207 Potomac Pl., Louisville, KY 40214
The Old Roman Catholic Church in North America is an ecclesiastical descendent of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church (the Old Roman Catholic Diocese of America). It was organized by Abp. Robert A. Burns (d. 1974) in 1963 during the period of fragmentation of the parent body after the death of its metropolitan primate, Abp. Carmel Henry Carfora (1878–1958). Bishop Burns, ordained in 1948 by Archbishop Carfora, served as vicar general to the Mt. Rev. Richard A. Marchenna (1911–1982), archbishop of the North American Province of the Old Roman Catholic Church under the jurisdiction of the Mt. Rev. G. George Shelley (d. 1980), archbishop of Caer Glow and primate of the Old Roman Catholic Church. Bishop Burns was elected bishop-auxiliary to the metropolitan during the Second Synod of Hamilton on May 22, 1961, and consecrated in Chicago on October 9 of the same year by Archbishop Marchenna, assisted by Bp. Emile Rodriguez-Fairfield (b. 1912) and Bp. John Skikiewicz.
Bishop Burns departed the jurisdiction of Archbishop Marchenna in 1963 and affiliated with the English Rite, Old Roman Catholic Church in Great Britain. He was elevated to metropolitan of the Midwestern Province (USA) of that ecclesiastical body by Abp. W. A. Barrington-Evans. Archbishop Burns died in 1974, and the Mt. Rev. Andrew G. Johnston-Cantrell was elected to succeed him. That same synod, held in Chicago on November 1, 1974, elected the Mt. Rev. Francis P. Facione as suffragan bishop. Archbishop Cantrell consecrated Facione on November 30 in Toronto. In early 1975 Johnston Cantrell resigned due to health reasons and the Synod of the Midwestern Province elected Facione titular archbishop of Devon and presiding bishop. The same synod, held on April 12, 1975 in Detroit, voted to terminate its affiliation with the English Rite, Old Roman Catholic Church in Great Britain and change the corporate title of the jurisdiction to the Old Roman Catholic Church in North America, adopting North Old Roman Catholic Church as a subsidiary title. The synod also created the Diocese of Michigan and the Central States and elected Bishop Facione as first ordinary of the diocese.
At the synod of the Diocese of Michigan and the Central States held on December 3, 1988, the Right Rev. Raphael J. Adams, vicar-general of the diocese, was elected suffragan bishop with the title of bishop of Selsey. He was consecrated on February 4, 1989, by Archbishop Facione, assisted by Abp. John J. Humphreys, archbishop of Caer Glow and primate of the Old Roman Catholic Church, and Abp. James H. Rogers, archbishop of New York of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church.
In addition to the Diocese of Michigan and the Central States, two other dioceses are part of the Old Roman Catholic Church in North America: the Western Regionary Diocese, whose ordinary, the Mt. Rev. Patrick H. King, was consecrated on June 5, 1993, by Archbishop Facione and Bishop Adams to succeed Abp. Frederick Littler Pyman (d. 1993); and the Diocese of the French Caribbean (French West Indies), under the jurisdiction of the Mt. Rev. William Francis Luke Amadeo Izzi, who was consecrated to the episcopacy by the Mt. Rev. Joseph Vellone, archbishop of California, North American Old Roman Catholic Church.
In 2002 the church reported 1,100 members, 10 parishes, and 12 clergy.
St. Thomas Aquinas Old Roman Catholic Seminary, St. Petersburg, Florida.
New Perspectives. • Journal of the Old Roman Catholic Church.
Old Roman Catholic Church in North America. www.orccna.org.
5501 62nd Ave., Pinellas Park, FL 33565
The Old Roman Catholic Church (Shelley/Humphreys) emerged out of a dispute between Abp. Gerard George Shelley (d. 1980), primate of the Old Roman Church in England and America, and Abp. Richard A. Marchenna (1911–1982), head of the jurisdiction in the United States. In 1974, Marchenna consecrated Fr. Robert Clement (b. 1925) as bishop of the Eucharistic Catholic Church, an openly homosexual jurisdiction. As a result, Shelley, acting as Marchenna’s superior, excommunicated him and those who followed his leadership.
Both those who followed Shelley and those who stayed with Marchenna continued to use the name Old Roman Catholic Church. Following Shelley’s death, Fr. Michael Farrell of San Jose, California, was chosen as the new primate. On June 13, 1981, he was consecrated by Bp. John Humphreys, formerly the church’s vicar general in the United States, who had been consecrated by Shelley soon after the split with Marchenna. Farrell resigned after only a brief time in his office, and in 1984 Humphreys was elected the new primate.
The church follows the doctrine and practice of the Roman Catholic Church prior to the changes of Vatican II.
In 1997 the church reported eight parishes.
In the 1960s Archbishop Humphreys had briefly worked with Fr. Anthony Girandola, one of the early married Roman Catholic priests. Girandola, who had become somewhat of a celebrity after his founding of an independent parish in St. Petersburg, Florida, interested Humphreys in sharing leadership of the parish so that he could respond to media appearances.
Humphreys, John J., ed. Questions We Are Asked. Chicago: Old Roman Catholic Information Center, 1972.
c/o Roy G. Bauer, 21 Aaron St., Melrose, MA 02176
Abp. Roy G. Bauer was consecrated in 1976 by Bp. Armand C. Whitehead of the United Old Catholic Church and Bp. Thomas Sargent of the Community of Catholic Churches, but served as a bishop under Abp. Richard A. Marchenna (1911–1982) of the Old Roman Catholic Church. In 1977, he, along with Bps. John Dominic Fesi (b. 1940), of the Traditional Roman Catholic Church in the Americas, and Andrew Lawrence Vanore, accused Marchenna of usurping authority, and resigned their positions in the church. Bauer, together with Vanore, went on to found the Old Roman Catholic Church-Utrecht Succession, following the faith and practice of the parent body. Bauer was elected presiding archbishop in 1979.
The church accepts the Baltimore Catechism and, in general, pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic theology with the exception of the dogmas of papal infallibility, the Immaculate Conception, and the Bodily Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The doctrines on the Virgin Mary are acceptable as pious belief. The church is headquartered in Boston, and parishes are located in Denver, Colorado; Orlando, Florida; Pennsylvania; California; Texas; and several locations in Massachusetts. In 1984 Bishop Bauer affiliated with the Patriarchal Synod of the Orthodox Catholic Church of America, an association of independent Orthodox and Catholic bishops. Archbishop Bauer is assisted by two auxiliaries: Bishop Andros (Andrew Lawrence Vanore) and Bp. Patrick Callahan.
In 1995 the church reported approximately 900 members in nine congregations. The archbishop is assisted by two bishops and 16 priests.
Chancery Office, 409 N Lexington Pky., DeForest, WI 53532
The Orthodox Catholic Church in America, until recently known as the Archdiocese of the Old Catholic Church of America, began in 1941 when Bishop Francis Xavier Resch (d. 1975), who had been consecrated by Abp. Carmel Henry Carfora (1878–1958) of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church, broke with that jurisdiction and began the independent Diocese of Kankakee, centered upon his parish in Kankakee, Illinois. In a short time he had parishes in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. However, these parishes, consisting primarily of first-generation Eastern European immigrants, developed a more broadly based constituency as the second generation became Americanized. In 1963 Resch consecrated Father Walter X. Brown (b. 1931) to the episcopacy. Brown moved the headquarters to Milwaukee, where the church developed a seminary, several programs for the treatment of alcoholism and drug abuse, and several new parishes.
During the 1980s, under Brown’s leadership, the church moved steadily from an Old Catholic to an Eastern Orthodox position. The church accepts both the Eastern and Western Orthodox tradition of the seven ecumenical councils and the unanimous opinion of the fathers of the Christian Church. The faith, practices, and discipline of the Eastern Orthodox churches have been adopted. The seven sacraments are practiced, and the Nicene Creed is followed in the church’s own statement of faith. Individual parishes may use either the Western Gregorian or Eastern Byzantine rites.
In 1997 Brown retired and was succeeded by Most Rev. James E. Bostwick (b. 1949). Bostwick had been ordained by Brown in 1976 and consecrated to the bishopric in 1992, at which time he was also named bishop coadjutor with the rite of succession.
The church supports two monastic communities, one Eastern and one Western, in Milwaukee.
Not reported. In 1988 the church reported 2,100 members, 10 congregations, and 16 clergy in the United States. In 2008, the church was led by four bishops, with 16 priests in the United States, two in Canada, and one in Peru.
Holy Cross Theological Seminary, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Priestly Fraternity of Saints Peter and Saint Paul House of Studies, Galloway, New Jersey.
In 1986 the Orthodox Catholic Church in America entered into an agreement of intercommunion with the Orthodox Catholic Church of America, headed by Abp. Alfred Louis Lankenau. The two jurisdictions jointly formed the Holy Orthodox Synod of America, a confederation of independent Orthodox bishops for the purposes of sharing and fellowship.
Orthodox Catholic Church in America. www.oldcatholic.org/.
Holman, John Cyprian. The Old Catholic Church of America. Milwaukee, WI: Port Royal Press, 1977.
Resch, Francis X. Compendium Philosophiae Universae. Lake Village, IN: The Author, 1950.
c/o Our Lady of Rosary Chapel, 15 Pepper St., Monroe, CT 06468
Among the first efforts to organize traditionalist members of the Roman Catholic Church was the Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement (ORCM), founded by Fr. Francis E. Fenton. Fenton began holding traditional Latin masses in a private home in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, in 1970. In 1972 the group was large enough to purchase a chapel in Brewster, New York. Later they purchased another chapel in Monroe, Connecticut, which has been the headquarters of the movement ever since. Fr. Robert McKenna was installed as pastor of the Monroe church in 1973. Four additional priests joined the ORCM in the fall of 1975, and with the aggressive outreach of the movement, the church began to grow, with congregations emerging in Florida, Colorado, and California, as well as in a number of locations in the Northeast.
The movement was controversial even among traditionalists who shared the opinion that the new mass was unsound. Father Fenton was a vocal member of the John Birch Society and was continually criticized for this affiliation. Leaders and members approved of his anticommunist stance but not of his membership in a non-Catholic organization. When disagreement among the OCM priests arose over its administration, Fenton and four others left the movement to found the Traditional Catholics of America 1978. Fenton died in Colorado in 1995.
The departure of Fenton and his supporters essentially destroyed the Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement as a national organization. Only the single congregation at Our Lady of Rosary Chapel in Monroe, Connecticut, remained. In 1986 its pastor, Father McKenna, was consecrated as a bishop by Gerard des Lauriers, a bishop in the lineage of Apb. Pierre Martin Ngo-Dinh-Thuc (1897–1984). McKenna has continued to be active in the circle of traditionalists in the Thuc lineage, primarily through the sporadic publication of a newsletter, Catholics Forever.
Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement. www.rosarychapel.net.
The Essential Roman Catholic Catechism. Monroe, CT: Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement, 1973.
Fenton, Francis E. The Roman Catholic Church: Its Tragedy and Its Hope. Stratford, CT: Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement, 1978.
Gasquet, Francis Aidan. Breaking with the Past. . Stratford, CT: Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement, n.d.
Box 611052, Bayside, NY 11361
Our Lady of Roses, Mary Help of Mothers Shrine emerged from the visionary experiences of Veronica Vera Lueken (1923–1995), a Bayside, Queens, New York, housewife and mother of five. Lueken experienced her first heavenly manifestation on June 6, 1968. St. Therese of Lisieux made many appearances preparing Lueken for a visit from the Blessed Virgin Mary, which occurred on April 7, 1970. Lueken was told that Our Lady would appear on the grounds of the parish church, the old church of St. Robert Bellarmine, on the eve of designated feast days. Our Lady requested a sanctuary on this spot and gave directives for the first vigil, June 18, 1970, but clergy who had been notified at the request of Our Lady ignored her requests. Our Lady announced that she would return on the eve of the major feast days of the church, especially those dedicated to her. She requested a shrine and basilica be erected on the grounds occupied by St. Roberts. She revealed herself as “Our Lady of the Roses, Mary Help of Mothers” and Veronica was to be her “voice-box” to disseminate future messages.
More than 300 messages were relayed from 1970 to 1995 through Lueken and recorded on audiotape. Many of the messages focused on trends in modern life: abortion, euthanasia, surrogate motherhood, artificial life and experimentation in all forms, the disintegration of parenthood and family life, immodesty and impurity, homosexuality, and the practice of the occult and witchcraft. Some messages predicted the seating of an anti-pope in Rome.
The messages denounced the taking of communion in the hand, changes in the Bible and catechism, and the watering-down of faith teachings, and they predicted the eventual loss of the sacraments and the closing of churches. They predicted a chastisement comparable to Sodom and Gomorrah or Noah’s flood, which consist of World War III and a fiery comet colliding with earth.
As the apparitions continued, Lueken’s following grew. The neighborhood was incited against pilgrims attending the vigils, and by a court order in May 1975 they were moved to Flushing Meadows Park on the site of the Vatican Pavilion. The vigils continue today. Unknown clerics of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn took offense at the messages and sent two monsignors and a seminarian to evaluate the situation. No investigation was ever carried out, but the diocese of Brooklyn printed an unfavorable report in their newspaper, citing expensive publication as proof of “spurious” events. When the pilgrim who had offered the publication came forward, the diocese printed a buried retraction. The Blessed Mother predicted opposition among the clergy, and requested Sunday Holy Hours on the Sacred Grounds for the clergy, which she promised to attend. The monsignor who blocked the investigation of the apparition and messages died suddenly and unexpectedly on the Feast of St. Michael.
Messages from Our Lady declared that the bishop will receive a sign that the basilica will be built on the grounds of St. Robert Bellarmine, that both sites of prayer vigils will be future sites of pilgrimages, that miraculous waters will erupt on the grounds of St. Roberts, and that the clergy will try to cap it. The vigils continue, and although many pilgrims are unable to attend physically, they do join in the vigil times with prayers from their homes.
Many groups that had supported the shrine split upon the death of Lueken, refusing to accept her husband as legitimate successor. A court battle ensued, and Arthur Lueken was recognized as the legitimate one to carry on the work of the shrine, as Veronica Lueken had requested. Several groups refused to obey the court order and began to carry on their own vigils, claiming that theirs was the legitimate shrine and causing much confusion. These groups were ordered not to use the titles and properties of Our Lady of the Roses, Mary Help of Mothers, by constraint of the same court order.
Our Lady of the Roses produces a series, The Urgent Message from Bayside, on public-access cable channels in various cities.
International. Formal membership is not required. As of April 7, 2008, membership was reported at 35,000. All are invited to attend and pray for world peace; religious affiliation is immaterial. Vigil schedules are available by mail from the above address or from the organization’s website.
Our Lady identified the Bayside Vigils as her seminary. Books and messages can be ordered through the shrine. Secondary institutions are expected to be established through the Roman Catholic Church, to include two religious orders: Our Lady of the Roses (cloistered nuns and a lay order) and the Order of St. Michael.
Our Lady of the Roses. www.ourladyoftheroses.org.
De Paul, Vincent. The Abominations of Desolations: AntiChrist Is Here Now. St. Louis, MO: Author, 1975.
Grant, Robert. “War of the Roses.” Rolling Stone no. 113 (February 21, 1980): 42–46.
Our Lady of the Roses, Mary Help of Mothers. Lansing, MI: Apostles of Our Lady, 1980.
1006 Pittston Ave., Scranton, PA 18505
In the last decades of the nineteenth century, nationalistic enthusiasms engulfed the Polish communities in the United States. Tension developed because of the assignment of non-Polish priests to predominantly Polish parishes, and movements for autonomy developed in Chicago, Buffalo, and Scranton. In Chicago an independent Polish parish, All Saints Catholic Church, had been established under Father Anthony Kozlowski (d. 1907). In Buffalo an independent congregation was formed and later called Fr. Stephen Kaminski (d. 1911) as its priest. Other independent parishes developed in Cleveland and Detroit.
All of these churches were autonomous. On November 21, 1897, Kozlowski was consecrated a bishop by Bishop Herzog of the Old Catholic Church in Switzerland. Kaminski was elected bishop and sought consecration from Abp. Joseph Rene Vilatte. Vilatte consecrated Kaminski on March 20, 1898, and two factions, often bitterly rivalrous, developed.
A third group of Polish nationals emerged in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where the issue was local control of church property. In consultation with Fr. Francis Hodur (1866–1953), their former priest, the Poles constructed an independent church, and in 1897 Father Hodur accepted the pastorate. After unsuccessfully attempting to remain within the Roman Catholic Church, Hodur was excommunicated in September 1898. A second church was founded in nearby Dickson City.
Other independent congregations followed, and in 1904 a synod met in Scranton. At that time the Polish National Catholic Church of America (PNCC) was organized and Hodur was elected bishop. On January 14, 1907, Bishop Kozlowski died. The Old Catholic bishops consented to consecrate Father Hodur; the consecration was held in St. Gertrude’s Old Catholic Cathedral in Utrecht on September 19, 1907. Most of Bishop Kozlowski’s followers aligned themselves with Bishop Hodur and the Scranton movement. Bishop Kaminski died in Buffalo on September 19, 1911, and three years later, the cathedral parish entered into communion with the Polish National Catholic Church.
The Polish National Catholic Church of America differed little from the Roman Catholic Church because its establishment predated the changes brought about by the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s. It added some feast days and teaches that the preaching and hearing of the Word of God has sacramental power. Bishop Hodur emphasized the love of God, and the church hopes and prays that all will be saved. There is local control of property and the congregation does have some say in naming its pastor. The liturgy, which for many years was said in Polish, has been translated into English. Today English is used in most parishes for the church services.
In 1914 Hodur helped to establish a Lithuanian National Catholic Church, and in 1924 he consecrated Fr. John Gritenas as its bishop. The body became independent but was eventually reabsorbed. The Polish National Catholic Church of America grew steadily through the first half of the twentieth century. It became the only official Old Catholic jurisdiction in communion with the Union of Utrecht in the United States. For many years it was in intercommunion with the Episcopal Church, but broke communion after the Episcopalians decided to ordain female priests. During the last two decades the Polish church has suffered greatly from Americanization, especially the abandonment of the Polish language by younger members, and the mobility of its members, many of whom have moved into areas not served by a PNCC parish.
The PNCC is organized into four American dioceses: Central (Scranton, Pennsylvania); Eastern (Manchester, New Hampshire); Western (Chicago, Illinois); and Buffalo-Pittsburgh (Lancaster, New York). There is also a Canadian diocese with its see in Toronto. An active mission begun after World War I produced a national church in Poland, the Polish Catholic Church. A bishop was appointed in 1924. In 2008 there were three dioceses in Poland, in Warsaw, Krakow, and Wroclaw. The PNCC is a member of both the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches, and is in ecumenical dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church and the Episcopal Church. Bishop Robert M. Nemkovich was elected as sixth prime bishop in 2002.
In 1998 the church reported a membership of approximately 60,000. There were about 150 parishes and missions in the United States and Canada. An Anglican parish and several Hispanic parishes came into communion during the 1990s.
Savonarola Theological Seminary, Scranton, Pennsylvania.
God’s Field (Rola Boza) • Polka • PNCC Studies
Polish National Catholic Church. www.pncc.org.
A Catechism of the Polish National Catholic Church. Scranton, PA: Mission Fund Polish National Catholic Church, 1962.
Fox, Paul. The Polish National Catholic Church. Scranton, PA: School of Christian Living, .
Grotnik, Csasimir J., ed. The Polish National Catholic Church of America: Minutes of the Supreme Council, 1904–1969. New York: East European Monographs, 2004.
Janowski, Robert William. The Growth of a Church, A Historical Documentary. Scranton, PA: Author, 1965.
Orzell, Laurence. Rome and the Validity of Orders in the Polish National Catholic Church. Scranton, PA: Savonarola Theological Seminary Alumni Association, 1977.
Wielewinski, Bernard. Polish National Catholic Church: Independent Movements, Old Catholic Church, and Related Items: An Annotated Biography. New York: Columbia University Press, 1989.
Wlodarski, Stephen. The Origin and Growth of the Polish National Catholic Church. Scranton, PA: Polish National Catholic Church, 1974.
c/o Archbishop Rodney P. Rickard, PO Box 3165, Pinellas Park, FL 33780
58 Aqua Cir., Parkersburg, WV 26104
The Reformed Catholic Church was founded and is led by its present archbishop, Rodney P. Rickard, who in 1997 was consecrated to the episcopacy by Maurice McCormack of the Independent Catholic Church of America. McCormick passed to Rickard multiple lines of apostolic succession, most of which pass through Abp. Adrian Spruit of the Church of Antioch.
The church places itself firmly within the Western Catholic liturgical tradition, but adds strong elements of reform from the Lutheran tradition. It accepts the 1530 Augsburg Confession as a guiding document for church life. The church administers the seven sacraments of Baptism, Confession, Eucharist, Chrismation/Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, Ordination, and Marriage, but accepts the Lutheran emphases on the scripture as the primary, sufficient, and reliable written source of belief; on salvation by grace through faith; and on the belief that all things are made new by the Holy Spirit.
The church differs from the Roman Catholic Church in its acceptance of women and married men into the ordained ministry. Priests in the church will not perform same-sex unions or marriages, nor ordain or license practicing homosexuals to the ministry. Priests may remarry members who have been divorced.
Reformed Catholic Church of America. www.reformed-catholic.net/.
50 Coventry Ln., Central Islip, NY 11722
The Servant Catholic Church first convened on the Feast of All Saints in 1978 and finalized its polity in January 1980 with the election of its first Bishop-Primate, Robert E. Burns, SSD (d. 1994). Burns was consecrated on July 13, 1980, by Abp. Herman Adrian Spruit (1911–1994) of the Church of Antioch. A second bishop, Patricia duMont Ford, served the church from 1980 through 1986, at which time she retired from active ministry to pursue feminist theological studies. In 1993 Ford resumed active ministry due to the failing health of Burns, and succeeded him as Primate the following year when he died. The core teaching of the church, termed “eleutheric theology,” is rooted in the perception that the essence of the Christian kerygma (preaching of the gospel of Christ) lies in the proclamation of freedom. All the church’s ministries–liturgical, pastoral, sacramental, and social action–reflect this belief system. The church’s three-year theological training curriculum centers upon the study of eleutherics. Resonances of this teaching are found in the church’s liturgy and in its code of canon law. The church recognizes the sacraments of initiation (baptism), restoration (penance and healing), union (holy, Eucharist), instruction (proclamation and teaching), and holy orders. Confirmation and matrimony are designated as sacramental rites.
Though receiving orders from Liberal Catholic sources, the College of Bishops of the Servant Catholic Church has rejected theosophy as “inauthentic teaching.” The Servant Catholic Church reaches out ecumenically to other ecclesiastical bodies that share its commitment to peace, justice, effective pastoral ministry, sound theological education, and the admission of women to the three-fold, Catholic-ordained ministry. As of August 2000, the Servant Catholic Church signed an Agreement of Affiliation with the American Catholic Church of New England.
Vilatte Institute, Margate, Florida.
The Sacramentary and Daily Office of the Servant Catholic Church. Central Islip, NY: Theotokos Press, 1981.
Saint Benedict Center, 282 Still River Rd., PO Box 1000, Still River, MA 01467
The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary emerged in the 1940s as one of the first groups to protest the growing accommodation of the Roman Catholic Church to liberal ideas, particularly the acceptance of the possibility of salvation outside of the Roman Catholic Church. The leader of the group was Fr. Leonard Feeney (1897–1978), a Jesuit priest who had become a popular Catholic writer in the 1930s. Feeney taught at Weston College in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Trouble began in the late 1940s when Feeney began to attack the Jesuits who sat in classes taught by openly atheistic professors at Harvard University. He broadened his attack to include the liberalism of the church. Feeney charged that some were moving away from the traditional Catholic position that outside the (Catholic) church there was no salvation. Fortified by Feeney’s rhetoric and leadership, his followers became a committed group of dedicated conservative Catholics. The church moved to quiet Feeney by ordering him to take a position at the College of the Holy Cross.
Tension increased when four teachers associated with Feeney, who also taught at Boston College (a Jesuit institution), accused some of the faculty colleagues of the General of the Society of Jesus of heresy. The college fired the four for promoting intolerance and bigotry. When Feeney defended them, Abp. Cardinal Richard Cushing silenced him and then forbade Catholics to associate with the Cambridge center. Feeney and his followers interpreted Cushing’s actions as another blow to traditional Catholic faith.
Feeney was dismissed from the Society of Jesus and in 1953, excommunicated. His excommunication marks the establishment of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as a group independent of the Roman Catholic Church. They saw themselves as a small remnant still holding to the true faith. The group established a residence compound, purchasing several adjacent homes and erecting a high fence around the property. The school lost its accreditation, and thus its funding from the post–World War II G.I. Bill, and eventually it closed. The Slaves made money by publishing a series of popular books on Catholic themes and selling them door-to-door in the Boston area. They generally spent their Sundays in Boston Commons defending their position within the heavily Catholic community.
In 1958 the Slaves moved from Cambridge to a farm near Still River, Massachusetts. There they followed an ascetic lifestyle, and eventually all of the adults accepted a vow of celibacy. Children, who made up half the community’s membership, were raised collectively.
After a period of relative quiet, the community went through a series of changes that ended its life as a separated community. In 1974 Feeney led 29 men and women of the community back into communion with the Roman Catholic Church. In 1988 the 14 remaining sisters of the group were formally received back into communion and the order regularized. The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary began a new life as an order recognized by the Roman Catholic Church.
From the House Tops.
Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. www.catholicism.org.
The Communion of Saints. Still River, MA: Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 1967.
Connor, Robert. Walled In. New York: New American Library, 1979.
Feeney, Leonard. The Gold We Have Gathered: Selections From the Writings of Father Leonard. Stillwater, MA: The Center, 1989. 122 pp.
The Holy Family. Still River, MA: Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 1963.
Our Glorious Popes. Still River, MA: Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 1955.
8 Pond Pl., Oyster Bay Cove, NY 11771
Fr. Clarence Kelly (b. 1941) was among the first American priests to graduate from the seminary established by traditionalist Abp. Marcel Lefebvre (1905–1991) at Econe, Switzerland. In 1973 Lefebvre ordained Kelly, who returned to the United States with four other priests to found the U.S. branch of the Society of St. Pius X. Kelly served as U.S. superior of the society and as superior of the Northeast District, when the territory was divided in 1978. In the early 1980s Kelly and Fr. Donald J. Sanborn, superior of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Ridgefield, Connecticut, became concerned about Lefebvre’s contacts with Pope John Paul II and his attempts to accommodate the innovations introduced since Vatican II, innovations that had led to the formation of the seminary and the society.
In March 1983 nine society priests, including Sanborn and Kelly, sent a letter to Lefebvre calling his attention to their objections on a number of issues, including:
- The introduction of liturgical changes at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary;
- The use of doubtfully ordained priests in missions in the Southwest;
- The archbishop’s desire to introduce the liturgical changes of Pope John XXIII throughout the society;
- The improper dismissal of priests;
- The society’s usurpation of teaching authority;
- The need to subordinate loyalty to the fraternity to loyalty to the church; and
- The liberal acceptance of marriage annulments by Lefebvre.
Lefebvre responded to the letter by dismissing Sanborn from his post at the seminary and dismissing all the priests from the society.
Despite disagreements with Lefebvre, the society continued its activities as before, publishing its two periodicals and performing services at its churches and missions. In 1984 four priests previously ordained by Lefebvre joined the society, further expanding it. That same year, Father Kelly founded a congregation of sisters in Round Top, New York, known as the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Our Savior. In 1988, the community had 22 members. The society also operates four elementary schools and two high schools.
The society operated under its founding name until the fall of 1987, when it adopted its present name.
The Bulletin. • The Roman Catholic.
Society of St. Pius V. www.sspv.net.
c/o Regina Coeli House, 11485 N Farley Rd., Platte City, MO 64079
Of the several groups of traditionalist Roman Catholics, the Society of St. Pius X claims the largest number of adherents. Prior to the 1980s, the society was the only traditionalist group that had orders from, and the support of, a Roman Catholic bishop with undisputed episcopal orders—Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.
Marcel Lefebvre (1905–1991) was raised in a pious Catholic family and spent much of his adult life in Africa as a missionary. After World War II he steadily rose in the African hierarchy as vicar-apostolic of Dakar (1947) and then apostolic delegate for French-speaking Africa (1948). In 1955 Pope Pius XII appointed him archbishop of Dakar. Pope John XXIII appointed Lefebvre to serve on the Central Preparatory Commission of Vatican II. The Council’s rejection of all the work prepared by that commission, and the initiation of a number of changes and reforms, disturbed Lefebvre. In 1962 he was appointed by Pope John XXIII as bishop of Tulle (France) and shortly thereafter was elected superior general of the Holy Ghost Fathers, the religious order of which he was a member. However, Lefebvre found the ruling elite of that order quite accepting of the liberal decisions of Vatican II, and in 1968 he resigned his post and retired from public life.
Lefebvre’s retirement was soon interrupted by several theological students who, knowing of the archbishop’s opposition to the decisions of Vatican II, sought his assistance. There was no seminary where they could receive traditional Catholic training in theology and spiritual formation. Reluctantly Lefebvre responded to their overtures for help and in 1969 opened the Fraternite Sacerdotale de Saint Pius X, attached to the University of Fribourg. Fribourg was like other universities, and the Fraternite soon moved to Econe, Canton of Valais, Switzerland, to create a full seminary curriculum. In this venture Lefebvre had the full approval of local bishops. As word spread that a seminary built on pre–Vatican II patterns existed, enrollment increased and growth was rapid.
In 1974 the official attitude toward Econe changed; in November the French bishops issued a joint statement against adherents of the Latin mass. Informally, the statement was tied to a policy of no longer accepting graduates from Econe into the French dioceses. On May 6, 1975, official approval for Econe was withdrawn by the bishop of Fribourg, charging that the seminary opposed the teachings of Vatican II and the authority of Pope Paul VI.
In the wake of the new attitude toward his work, Lefebvre continued his efforts, frequently staying but one step from excommunication. The next major battle began in the spring of 1976 as Lefebvre prepared to ordain some graduates of his seminary. Paul VI publicly rebuked him, but Lefebvre persisted with his plans and ordained 13 seminarians in June. On July 22 Paul VI suspended him from exercising any further priestly functions. Lefebvre responded by traveling to Lille, France, on August 29, 1976, and publicly celebrating mass and denouncing some of the “uncatholic” practices of the Roman Catholic Church. His actions led to a personal meeting with Paul VI the following month, which lessened, but did not end, the tension between the two.
Shortly after the meeting with the pope, Lefebvre traveled to England for his first mass there, and the next year he went to the United States. His continued activity inspired the outstanding French theologian Yves Conger to write a book attacking Lefebvre and led Paul VI to threaten excommunication. After Paul VI’s death, Lefebvre continued to promote the Society of St. Pius X and to negotiate with Pope John Paul II, viewed by many as a conservative pope. Those negotiations, which produced concessions from Lefebvre, led some to reject his leadership of the movement.
The Society of St. Pius X had its origin in the United States when several Americans traveled to Econe to study. Upon returning to America, they established centers in East Meadow, New York; Houston, Texas; and San Jose, California. They were soon joined by Fr. Anthony Ward, ordained at Econe in 1975, who founded St. Joseph’s Seminary at Armada, Michigan. Fr. Clarence Kelly, one of five Americans ordained in 1973 by Lefebvre, began a periodical entitled For You and For Many. It tied together traditionalist supporters around the United States.
By the end of 1975 there were more than 50 congregations served by the priests of the society, and the search for permanent chapel sites was begun. In March 1978 Frs. Kelly, Donald J. Sanborn, and Hector Bolduc met with Lefebvre and decided to divide the work into two districts. Kelly remained superior of the Eastern and Northern Districts and Bolduc was appointed head of the new Western and Southern, headquartered in Houston, Texas. In the Houston suburb of Dickinson, Bolduc founded Angelus Press, which became the major source for literature about Lefebvre and the work of the society.
That same year the society was split by a bitter conflict over the relationship between Lefebvre and the pope. Since the beginning of the society, Lefebvre had continually acknowledged the pope to be the leader of the church and tried to obtain the freedom to keep the traditional liturgy and doctrine within the Roman Catholic Church. However, some of his followers in America, including nine priests led by Frs. Kelly and Sanborn, took a more conservative stance. They tended to reject all changes since Vatican II and even some liturgical adjustments made by Pope Pius XII. In 1983 they outlined their complaints in a seven-point letter that included a request for independence from Lefebvre, superior general of the order. In response, Lefebvre, who interpreted their action as evidence of constant disobedience, expelled them from the order. The following year Father Bolduc also left the society. A court suit ensued, in which the expelled priests tried to retain the property of the Northeast District of the society, over which they had previously had control, and bring it into their new organization, the Society of St. Pius X. In 1986 the court returned all the major property, including the seminary, to the society.
In 1987 Archbishop Lefebvre, realizing his aging condition, made a last approach to the authorities in the Vatican and initiated negotiations looking toward the formation of a commission of traditional Catholics that included a provision for him to consecrate three traditionalist bishops to care for the members of the society around the world. These negotiations continued through the winter of 1987–1988 but gradually fell apart. Unwilling to delay further, Lefebvre informed the pope of his intention to consecrate four auxiliary bishops, which he, assisted by Bp. Antonio de Castro Meyer of Brazil, did on June 30, 1988. The four bishops were Bernard Fellay, Alfonso de Galarreta, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, and the American Richard Williamson. Both the consecrating and consecrated were immediately excommunicated.
The four bishops were not assigned jurisdictions and there has been no attempt to establish dioceses or to give the appearance of establishing a rival church. Although Roman Catholic officials consider the bishops and members of the Society of St. Pius X to be in schism, the members of the society consider themselves good Roman Catholics and acknowledge the authority of the pope conflicts with church authorities they believe to be in error following the “reforms” of Vatican II. The society adheres to all Roman Catholic dogma. At each mass said by the society, prayer is offered by name for the pope and the local diocesan bishop. The society’s seminaries follow all of the regulations for seminaries as handed down by Vatican II.
The society has avoided all connections with the Old Catholics who deny papal infallibility. They affirm that the pope is infallible when speaking ex cathedra but is not inerrant (protected from errors of judgment) or impeccable (protected from committing sin). The society also avoids contact with those independent Catholic and Orthodox jurisdictions that deny various tenets of Catholic dogma or traditional practice (such as the ordination of females to the priesthood).
The American District of the society is headquartered in Kansas City, where Angelus Press is also located. There are two seminaries in the United States and a number of elementary and secondary schools. There is also a separate Canadian district.
St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary, Winona, Minnesota.
Jesus and Mary Seminary, El Paso, Texas.
St. Mary’s Academy and College, St. Mary’s, Kansas
The Angelus • Si Si No No.
Conger, Yves. Challenge to the Church. Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 1976.
Davies, Michael. Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre Part I, 1905–1976. Dickinson, TX: Angelus Press, 1979.
———. Pope Paul’s New Mass. Dickinson, TX: Angelus Press, 1980.
Hanu, Jose. Vatican Encounter: Conversations with Archbishop Lefebvre. Kansas City, KS: Sheel, Andrews and McMeel, 1978.
Lefebvre, Marcel. Liberalism. Dickinson, TX: Angelus Press, 1980.
———. Open Letter to Confused Catholics. Dickinson, TX: Angelus Press, 1999.
Box 49314, Chicago, IL 60649
Thee Orthodox Old Roman Catholic Church is one of several bodies that claims to carry on the work of the Old Roman Catholic Church (English Rite) headed by the late Abp. Robert A. Burns (d. 1974). It was founded by Peter Charles Caine Brown, generally known by his ecclesiastical title, Archbishop Simon Peter. Brown was originally ordained in 1972 by Bp. Anthony Vruyneel of the Orthodox Old Roman Catholic Church of Bellgarden, California. In 1973 he met Mar Markus I (Leo Christopher Skelton) and was consecrated by him. On August 14, 1973, he was enthroned as archbishop. On December 18, 1974, he was appointed chancellor of the jurisdiction headed by Burns. He succeeded to the role of metropolitan on December 31, 1974.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Traditional Catholic Church was founded in 1983 by Thaddeus B. J. Alioto (b. 1934) as the Ancient Tridentine Catholic Church (Catholicate of the West) with the aim of preserving Tridentine Latin liturgy and Gregorian chant, practices then under attack with the spread of changes in the Roman Catholic liturgy following the precepts of Vatican II. The present name was adopted in the late 1980s. The church follows conservative Roman Catholic pre-Vatican II beliefs and practices.
Alioto, the brother of San Francisco’s former mayor, had been ordained by Wallace D. Ortega Maxey (1902–1992), who carried orders from both Arthur Wolfort Brooks (1898–1948) and the Apostolic Episcopal Church, and Hugh George de Willmott Newman (1905–1979) of the Catholicate of the West. Bp. Robert Ramm, who carried a similar lineage, assisted Ortega Maxey when he consecrated Alioto in 1983.
In 1987, Alioto consecrated Ignatius Mack, who heads an ordered community within the Traditional Catholic Church, the Order of the Holy Spirit.
Pruter, Karl. The Directory of Autocephalous Bishops of the Apostolic Sucession. San Bernadino, CA: Brogo Press, 1906. 104 pp.
Ward, Gary. Independent Bishops: An International Directory. Detroit: Apogee Books,
1990. 524 pp.
425 E. 11th Ave., Apt. 215, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5T 4K8
The Traditional Roman Catholic Church in the Americas was formed in June 1978 by John Dominic Fesi (b. 1940), a bishop consecrated by Damian Hough, head of the Old Roman Catholic Church in the U.S. Fesi had begun his ecclesiastical career as a Franciscan friar in the Franciscan Provine of Christ the King, a community within the Archdiocese of the Old Catholic Church in America (now known as the Orthodox Catholic Church in America) under the leadership of Archbishop Walter Xavier Brown (b. 1931). In 1972, Brown created the Vicariate of Illinois and consecrated Msgr. Earl P. Gasquoine as its bishop. Gasquoine in turn appointed Fesi as Vicar of Religious with the title of reverend monsignor. As part of his duties, Fesi managed Friary Press, which printed a quarterly periodical, The Franciscan, and pamphlets for the Archdiocese. The community dissolved shortly after Fesi’s leaving the Archdiocese in 1973.
After his departure from Brown’s jurisdiction, Fesi was approached by Damian Hough, with whom he became associated. On June 30, 1974, Hough, assisted by Bishops Joseph G. Sokolowski (1903–1989) and John Skikiewicz (1893–1983), consecrated Fesi as a bishop. During this time, Fesi also worked at the Church of St. Mary Mystical Rose, an independent Polish Catholic parish in Chicago. It had originally been founded in 1937 in response to a vision of Maria Kroll, a young Polish immigrant. The parish was, in effect, an independent Catholic jurisdiction headed by Skikiewicz, who had pastored the church for many years. During the 1970s, as his health failed and he could no longer handle the parish work, Fesi was appointed his successor. Though once a strong congregation, support had dwindled and services were being held in the rectory basement hall. After Skikiewicz’s death, support further dwindled until the church’s board sold the property (which is today the site of a parish of the Polish National Catholic Church). Fesi founded the Traditional Roman Catholic Church a short time later.
The Traditional Roman Catholic Church follows the doctrine and liturgy of the pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic Church. The Tridentine Latin mass is celebrated, and the Baltimore Catechism is used in teaching. The seven sacraments are kept, and baptism is considered essential for salvation. Veneration of the images and pictures of the saints is promoted. Abortion is condemned.
Bishops Sokolowski and Hough consecrated Fesi on June 30, 1974. Fesi took his friars into the Old Roman Catholic Church headed by Richard Marchenna (1911–1982). Though The Franciscan was discontinued, Friary Press became the church’s major publishing arm.
During his years with Brown and Marchenna, Fesi and the Franciscans assisted at the Church of St. Mary Mystical Rose, an independent Old Catholic parish in Chicago. Bishop Skikiewicz pastored the congregation that had been founded in 1937 in response to a vision of Maria Kroll, a young Polish immigrant. The church was in effect an independent Old Catholic jurisdiction. Eventually, Fesi was appointed associate pastor. Marchenna appointed Fesi head of the Vicariate of Illinois and eventually the Church of St. Mary Mystical Rose became part of the vicariate. Though a strong congregation, after Skikiewicz’s death the support dwindled and the building was sold.
The Traditional Roman Catholic Church in the Americas follows the Old Catholic tradition. It keeps the seven sacraments and teaches that baptism is essential for salvation. Veneration of images and pictures of the saints (who are present in a mystical manner in their image) and especially the Blessed Virgin Mary (whose intercession is essential to salvation) is promoted. Abortion is condemned. The church is organized hierarchically. Under the bishop is an ecclesiastical structure which includes priests, deacons, subdeacons, acolytes, exorcists, lectors, and doorkeepers. Priests are allowed to marry. The priests are organized into a synod that meets annually.
In 1987 the church reported 14 parishes, 26 priests, and 981 members.
Our Lady of Victory Seminary, Chicago, Illinois.
The Larks of Umbria.
Fesi, John Dominic. Apostolic Succession of the Old Catholic Church. Chicago: Friary Press .
———. Canonical Standing of Religious in Regards to the Sacred Ministry. Chicago: Friary Press, 1975.
———. Reasons for Divorce and Annulment in Church Law. Chicago: Friary Press, 1975.
1740 W. 7th St., Brooklyn, NY 11223-1301
In the 1960s Archbishop Thomas Fehervary (1917–1984), a Hungarian exile in Montreal, Canada, established the Traditional Christian Catholic Church there. In 1974 the archbishop moved to extend the jurisdiction of the Canadian-based church to the United States by ordaining Fr. Leonard J. Curreri and two other priests. In 1975 the archbishop ordained Fr. Peter Seghizzi to the priest-hood to work with Fr. Curreri. On that occasion he also chose to convene a synod, at which it was decided to call the American branch of the jurisdiction the Tridentine Catholic Church because it best symbolized the affirmations for which the church stands. However, within two years the American clergy, their correspondence with the archbishop having gone unanswered, assumed that he wished no further communication with them. It was then decided that, either the jurisdiction would seek Episcopal oversight elsewhere, or one of the three priests would be chosen to provide this oversight by accepting Episcopal consecration.
Fr. Curreri was consecrated by Abp. Francis Joseph Ryan (d. 1987) of the Ecumenical Orthodox Church of Christ on April 23, 1977, thus bestowing on Fr. Curreri the Old Calendar Greek Orthodox Succession. His co-consecrators were Bishops H. Bennett Dayhoff and John Basilo. Because of Abp. Ryan’s unwillingness to sign the consecration documents and for the sake of lineal continuity with the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop Curreri was consecrated sub conditione (with conditions) by Abp. Andre Barbeau of the Charismatic Catholic Church and three other bishops, including Abp. Rainer Laufers of the Old Holy Catholic Church (of Canada), thus bestowing on him the Brazilian Roman Catholic line of apostolic succession. In January 1991 new articles of incorporation were drawn up and filed, thus establishing the church as the Traditional Catholic Archdiocese in America. However, some requested a return to the original name. A compromise was reached with the combination of the two names into one. Thus the church is known as the Tridentine Catholic Church Traditional Catholic Archdiocese in America.
The Tridentine Catholic Church follows the doctrines and practices of the pre–Vatican II Roman Catholic Church. It rejects the Novus Ordo Missae (the New Order of Mass that developed from the changes initiated by the Second Vatican Council) as invalid. The church accepts infallibility as an article of Divine and Catholic Faith, as proclaimed by the First Vatican Council. It rejects the ordination of women in toto. Clerical celibacy is the rule, but exceptions are made.
The church views birth control as a matter requiring the response of a well-formed conscience, keeping in mind the constant teaching of the Catholic Church pertaining to conjugal relations and the responsibilities stemming from them. Contraceptives or willful sterilization are not valid measures for the prevention of unwanted children. By “birth control” the church means “self–control,” affirming that if a couple does not want more children than they can reasonably afford to support and educate they should agree to abstain from conjugal relations for a period of time to be determined by them.
The church teaches that abortion is the willful killing of a human fetus, an act that is never allowable for any reason whatever. It does not recognize divorce, but it does recognize that for a variety of reasons a couple may not want to cohabit and may seek a church annulment. The Tridentine Catholic Church does not feel it has the authority to grant such annulments; however, if a couple has obtained a canonically valid annulment it will be recognized.
In 2002 the church reported four priests in the United States.
Tridentine Catholic Church. www.mrtrid.com.
Curreri, Leonard J. De Sacramentis. Brooklyn, NY: n.d.
——. More Questions and Answers on the Tridentine Catholic Church. Brooklyn, NY: n.d.
——. Questions and Answers on the Tridentine Catholic Church. Brooklyn, NY: n.d.
——. Seccessio Apostolica. Brooklyn, NY: 1984.
c/o Most Rev. Jacque A. Jones, Fisherman Orthodox Catholic Church, 10446 Highland Ave., Bellflower, CA 90706-4123
The Tridentine Old Roman Community Catholic Church was organized in 1976 by Fr. Jack Alwin Jones, generally known by his church name Jacque A. Jones. Jones was consecrated as a bishop in 1980 by Bishops Lawrence E. Carter of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church–Utrecht Succession and Thomas Sargent of the Community of Catholic Churches. In the mid-1980s, however, Jones resigned his leadership of the single parish of the jurisdiction, St. John the Apostle Church in Bellflower, California, and turned the corporation over to Bishop Charles T. Sutter, who had recently moved to southern California from Ohio.
Sutter, founder of the American Orthodox Catholic Church, Archdiocese of Ohio, was consecrated in 1979 by Mar Apriam I (Abp. Richard B. Morrill), head of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church, Eastern and Apostolic. During the early 1980s Sutter’s jurisdiction included parishes and a religious order in Florida and a school in Arkansas. However, in the summer of 1982 the corporation was dissolved, at which point Sutter moved to the West Coast.
In 1988 there was one small parish in Long Beach, California.
c/o Papal Office of the TCC, PO Box 133, Springdale, WA 99173
The True Catholic Church is among a spectrum of groups that have at one time declared the office of pope of the Roman Catholic Church vacant. Many of the more conservative groups considered the office vacated by the death of Pope Pius XII (1876–1958); for them, the death of the cardinals whom Pius XII had named put an end to the possibility that the College of Cardinals could elect a new valid pope. Invoking the rule that a lapse from the faith carries with it resignation from the office, those who constitute the True Catholic Church believe that Pope John XXIII (1881–1963) was not a true pope because of his membership in Freemasonry and his promotion of the teachings of Vatican II, especially the new liturgy. He and the subsequent popes, in this view, have all promulgated heresies.
As the True Catholic Church sees it, the Papal Office was vacant from 1958 until 1998. In that year the College of Electors, a worldwide body of the faith with the assumed authority and duty to elect the pope in the absence of a valid College of Cardinals, elected Earl Pulvermacher (b. 1918), a Capuchin priest ordained in 1946, to the office as Pope Pius XIII. In the absence of the cardinals, “natural law” is invoked to elect the pope, using a remnant of loyal Catholics (the remnant church) as the electorate.
The electors submitted their votes electronically to a central committee, which administered the conclave. Pulvermacher was elected on the first ballot as a result of his receiving two-thirds of the total plus one vote. When informed of the results, he accepted the election and became the Pope of the Holy Catholic Church, with all the powers therein. He was consecrated in July 1999 in services led by Gordon Cardinal Bateman of Victoria, Australia, held in Kalispell, Montana. After his election every attempt was made to announce the new pope’s existence; but his residence, as a matter of security, has not been published.
During the mid-1970s, Pulvermacher had associated with a variety of priests who supported the continuance of the Latin mass, but he concluded that most were not truly Catholic. In August 1976 he withdrew from participation in the Traditional movement. He worked alone until the 1990s, when he began to associate with those who would eventually create the conclave that elected him to the Papacy.
The new pope set as his priorities the reestablishment of the pre-Vatican Church, the reinstitution of the Latin mass, and the appointment of new cardinals (who can elect his successor). He has invited Catholics to associate with the one parish that now exists, headed by the one pastor, the pope. Further, he has suggested that all true Catholics should write to him, and upon recognition he will send them a letter recognizing their association (an encyclical).
Not reported. As of 2002, one bishop and one priest had professed obedience to Pius XIII.
True Catholic Church. www.truecatholic.org/.
612 Crows Nest Ct., Virginia Beach, VA 23452
The United American Catholic Church was founded in 2002 by the Most Rev. Anthony Hash, its presiding archbishop. Hash was consecrated to the episcopacy in 1995 by Bp. Catherine Adams of the Friends Catholic Communion, who passed to him several lines of apostolic succession that reach back through Bp. Martha Schultz of the New Order of Glastonbury to Abp. Adrian Spruit of the Church of Antioch.
The church is an independent Catholic church, free of the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church. While respecting other Christian churches and even other religions with a positive message, it has chosen the Catholic tradition as it wishes to preserve apostolic succession and perpetuate the Gospel of Christ and its call for love, forgiveness, and healing. The church accepts the Bible as the Living Word of God and administers the seven sacraments. The church also values individual freedom and wishes to allow all to grow with God as they feel led to by the Holy Spirit.
The Church is led by its bishops and national synod, which together oversee a number of semi-autonomous ministries. Men and women are welcomed into the church’s ordained ministry without regard to gender, marital status, ethnic origin, social status, sexual orientation, or upper age.
The United American Catholic Church is in communion with the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America, the Contemporary Catholic Church, and the Independent Catholic Christian Church.
United American Catholic Church. www.uacatholicchurch.org/.
PO Box 603, Cheshire, CT 06410
The United Catholic Church (UCC) is a nonpapal Catholic jurisdiction whose apostolic succession derives from the Old Catholic Church and other lineages. It was founded by Most Rev. Dr. Robert M. Bowman, retired; the Presiding Bishop, Most Rev. Rose Tressel, was elected in March 2006. The UCC’s mission is threefold: first, to serve those who seek a church that holds that worship and the sacraments must be validly apostolic in terms of historical belief and succession; second, to serve the increasing number of Christians who seek both a Catholic and an ecumenically driven church home; and third, to serve isolated individuals who are unable, or feel they are unable, to reach out to participate in a traditional faith community. In pursuit of this healing mission the UCC welcomes all people seeking to come closer to God and actively sponsors both congregations where people can grow in Christ and specialty outreach missions and chaplaincies.
In addition to being a denomination, the United Catholic Church is also an inter-church fellowship that strives to offer a source of unity to other churches in the independent Catholic movement. UCC Associate Churches and their clergy are full members of the United Catholic Church while also maintaining their own identities, canons, and means of organizing. Through the established Associate Church covenant relationship, responsibilities and rights are both given and received, by each church to the other, enabling all the churches to work together as a family to build up the Body of Christ.
The UCC is an Orthodox Christian body in the Western tradition that recognizes the importance of the Sacraments and affirms the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. It relies on the Scriptures and the early creeds of the church as its authority but does not recognize the canonicity of the Apocrypha, or require belief in any doctrine lacking biblical support. Similarly, it does not require belief in purgatory, indulgences, and prayers for the dead. The UCC also utilizes the pre-1054 form of the Nicene Creed, without the “filioqure clause”(“and the son”), out of respect for the churches of the East.
In August 2006 the church reported approximately 2,300 members, 57 clergy, 14 churches, 3 cross-denominational pastorates, and 7 chaplaincies.
United Catholic Church. www.united-catholic-church.org/index.html.
PO Box 1058, Kane’ohe, HI 96744-1058
The United Reform Catholic Church International was founded and is led by its archbishop, M. J. Kimo Keawe. Raised a Roman Catholic in Hawaii, Keawe began a ministry after being ordained in the Church of Gospel Ministry. Over the next years, while managing the Christian Life Ministry, Keawe attended a local Catholic parish church, where he was an active member. He acquired a master’s degree from the St. Luke Evangelical School of Biblical Studies, sponsored by the First International Church of the Web. In 2001 he was accepted into the United Catholic Church, ordained, and appointed vicar of that church’s newly formed Hawaii Diocese, which was drawn to include all of Hawaii, California, Samoa, and Tahiti, and the entire Polynesian Rim. Keawe also served as the pastor of the United Reform Catholic Church of Honolulu. In the latter part of 2001, he was consecrated by Abp. Robert Bowman as bishop of the Hawaii Diocese of the United Catholic Church.
In 2002 Keawe led in the formation of the United Reform Catholic Church International, as a new jurisdiction independent of the United Catholic Church. An initial synod was held in 2003 at which time Articles of Faith, a Code of Canon, a Mission Statement, and liturgy were approved. As it has developed, the United Reform Catholic Church International (URCCI) is a Western Catholic church but differs from a Roman Catholic church in several important regards. It is administratively independent of the Roman Catholic Church and does not accept the notion of papal infallibility.
The church accepts the traditional three levels of ministry, but permits priests to marry and welcomes women to all levels of the ordained ministry. The church has opened its sacraments to divorced persons who have remarried and does not ban contraceptives for use by married couples.
The new church moved to establish intercommunion with the Open Episcopal Church of Great Britain, headed by Bp. Richard Palmer, and the Ecumenical Catholic Church of Australia, headed by Bp. Ron Langham. In 2005 the United Reform Catholic Church International merged with these two churches and the new united church took the name United Ecumenical Catholic Church. After working within the United Church for a year, Archbishop Keawe and the North American work decided to withdraw amicably and once again become the United Reform Catholic Church International. Since then, the United Reform Catholic Church International has developed cordial relationships with several American-based jurisdictions and has created a college of bishops with their leaders. That college of bishops now includes Bp. Mark Newman of the Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch-Malabar Rite, Bp. William Wettingfeld of the National Catholic Church of North America, and Bp. Rusty Clyma of the Inclusive Celtic Church, as well as Bps. Ron Langham and Terry Fynn, and Br. Jack Isbell of the United Ecumenical Catholic Church.
United Reform Catholic Church International. www.urcci.net/index.html.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
In 1947 the Universal Christian Apostolic Church was founded in Vancouver, British Columbia by William F. Wolsey. Wolsey received apostolic succession eight years later when he was consecrated by British Old Catholic bishops Hugh George de Willmott Newman (Mar Georgius) of the Catholicate of the West and Harold Percival Nicholson (Mar Joannes), who had left Mar Georgius to found the Ancient Catholic Church. Wolsey claimed a degree in Bio-Psychology from the Taylor School of Bio-Psychology, out of which he claimed to have developed a psychiatric method compatible with Christianity.
The Universal Christian Apostolic Church believes in the “usefulness” of the original Christian doctrine, but attempted to be nonsectarian in its interpretation. Unique to its perspective are beliefs in Christian doctrine as a living philosophy best manifested in the work of the Christian Ministry and in Jesus as a perfect manifestation of the “Christos,” the Christ-Spirit. The Christ-Spirit is thought of as enthusiasm plus, “that something more.” Those who are anointed with it reveal the actual presence of Jesus that gives life to worship and ritual.
Since Wolsey’s death in the 1980s, there has been no sign of the church’s continuance. It may be defunct.
Wolsey became known during his career as a collector of degrees and a member in a number of honorary societies and orders. These, along with a number of open membership organizations which he had joined, were duly noted on his lengthy curriculum vitae.
Shyam Sundar Agarwal Sarad. The World Jnana Sadhak Society and Its Founder. Jalpaiguri, W. Bengal, India: The Author, 1966.
Somanah, Meernaidoo T. Mahatma Gandhi and Other Dedicated Souls. Port Louis, Mauritius: 1968.
———. The Philosophy and Spiritual Teachings of the Modern Saint, Patriarch-Archbishop Dr. William F. Wolsey. Port Louis, Mauritus: Standard Printing Establishment, 1971.
Wolsey, William Franklin. Vivesco. North Burnaby, BC: Universal Life Foundation, 1957.
c/o Most Rev. Robert M. Dittler, OSB, Box 27536, San Francisco, CA 94127
The White Robed Monks of St. Benedict is an Old Catholic ordered community that functions as an independent ecclesiastical jurisdiction. It was founded and is led by its abbot, the Most Rev. Robert M. Dittler, who was consecrated a bishop on November 19, 1991, by Bishop Carlos A. Florida of the Orthodox Catholic Church. Dittler was granted the title of Titular Bishop of Bodhgaya, India.
Members of the order follow the Zen Rule of St. Benedict. The White Robed Monks include clerical and lay monks, affiliates, and associates. As a jurisdiction, the White Robed Monks formally accept ordained (generally Roman) Catholic clerics who are currently without a bishop and who wish to serve. The group has developed a ministry of providing the traditional Catholic sacraments and the Word to all who seek them. Members have attempted to remove any obstacles in their adherents’spiritual path and have found a particular calling to those Roman Catholics who for whatever reason are no longer able to receive the sacraments or a spiritual presence from the church of their origin.
The White Robed Monks envision their mission as letting the world be a more compassionate place. They have adopted a monastic practice of Soto Zen meditation, as they consider the Earth, rather than a building, their monastery. They teach meditation to any who wish to learn. Their motto is the first word of the Rule of St. Benedict, “Listen”; by practicing listening they aim to shed their allusions, delusions, and illusions so as better to appreciate God’s message as offered.
In 2002 they reported a membership of approximately 3,800, of which 3,690 reside in the United States, 21 in Canada, and 89 in Central and South America, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
White Robed Monks of St. Benedict. www.whiterobedmonks.org.
"Independent and Old Catholic Churches." Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/independent-and-old-catholic-churches
"Independent and Old Catholic Churches." Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions. . Retrieved February 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/independent-and-old-catholic-churches
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