Western Liturgical Family: Intrafaith Organizations

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Western Liturgical Family: Intrafaith Organizations


Ecumenical Communion of Catholic and Apostolic Churches

Current address not obtained for this edition.

As its name implies, the Ecumenical Communion of Catholic and Apostolic Churches (ECCAC) is an ecumenical fellowship of churches of the Christian tradition. It was founded in the mid-1990s to bear witness through worship, ministry, and life to the essential unity that already spiritually exists among all the branches of the historic Catholic faith. It recognizes that the one true Holy Catholic Church includes equally the Roman Catholic communion and all those in communion with her, all of the autocephalous communions and jurisdictions of the Eastern Orthodox Church, those provinces of the worldwide Anglican Communion which hold to orthodox, historic apostolic faith and order (including the "Continuing Church" movements within Anglicanism), and the orthodox, valid communions of the Old Catholic Church and other valid and orthodox branches or autocephalous communions with true apostolic succession, faith and worship. It considers all ecclesial communions who can clearly trace their lines of apostolic succession and who hold to historic, apostolic, and Catholic order and practice in their faith and worship (as defined by the ancient and undivided Church and reflected in the teaching of the first seven Ecumenical Councils of the early Christian Church) as valid and orthodox.

In practical terms, the unity that is sought will be worked out whileembracing a diversity of historic, orthodox Catholic liturgies, as used by the major branches of Catholic and Orthodox Christianity from the beginning. These would include the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the Novus Ordo of the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican liturgies, Western Rite Orthodox liturgies, and others recognized as expressions of rites used historically within the broad scope of orthodox, Catholic Christianity worldwide.

The ECCAC believes that Christian unity can best be restored by the return of all Christian communions to the principles of unity exemplified by the undivided Catholic Church during the first stages of its existence that includes as an inherent component the affirmation of:

1. The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the revealed Word of God, "containing all things necessary to salvation" and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith

2. the creeds, i.e., the Apostles' Creed, as the baptismal symbol the Nicene Creed, as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith; and the Athanasian Creed, or Quicunque Vult, as of great value in articulating the essentials of true Catholic and orthodox Christian faith

3. the sacraments as outward signs which confer the very grace they signify. These sacraments were ordained by Christ and are at least seven in number: baptism, anointing the sick, confirmation, matrimony, the Holy Eucharist, holy orders, and reconciliation.

4. the Historic Episcopate, locally adopted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the people. 5. The Seven General or Ecumenical Councils only, which are recognized by the whole of Catholic Christendom, held respectively in Nicea (325 A.D.), Constantinople (381), Ephesus (430), Chalcedon (451), Constantinople (553), Constantinople (680), and Nicea (787).

At a meeting in Brooklyn, New York, in 1995, all of the bishops of the Ecumenical Communion consecrated each other subconditious, and subsequent newly affiliating bishops are free to mingle lines of apostolic succession with all members of the communion. At a meeting in San Antonio, Texas, in 1996, ECCAC members accepted a set of protocols or agreements by which the communion is governed. All members of the communion are considered to be in communion with all the other members. Intercommunion does not require members of the communion to accept all doctrinal opinions, sacramental devotions, or liturgical practices of the other, but each accepts the others as holding to all the essentials of the Christian faith.

Membership: Members of the ECCAC in 1998 were the American Old Catholic Church, the American Catholic Orthodox Church, Saint Matthew American Catholic Church, the Anglican Church of the United States, the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, the Ecumenical Catholic Church, the Free Catholic Communion, and the Diocese of St. Paul the Apostle.


Barrett, David B. World Christian Encyclopedia. New York: Oxford, 1982.


Independent Catholic Clergy Association

Box 6903
Glendale, CA 91205

The Independent Catholic Clergy Association is a fellowship of clergy from various Independent and Old Catholic jurisdictions. It was founded in 1986 to promote the spread of Christianity, to provide fellowship, to establish a forum for discussion of present issues, and to advance the cause of the Independent Orthodox and Old Catholic tradition. Among its first accomplishments was the attainment of television air time for one of its members during Pope John Paul II's visit to Los Angeles, California, in 1987.

The association holds monthly meetings in Southern California and promotes the formation of similar gatherings in other parts of the United States.

Periodicals: The Independent.


Old Catholic Churches

1307 Bethany Ln.
Gloucester, ON, Canada K1J 8P3

Formerly known as the Old Roman Catholic Church, tThe Old Catholic Churches was originated with Earl Anglin James who had been consecrated as bishop of Toronto by Abp. Carmel Henry

Carfora 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' 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 Litcht-enberger (Protestant Episcopal Church). 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.

Membership: Not reported.

Periodicals: 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, [1968].


Union of Independent Catholic Churches of the North American Old Catholic Church

℅ The Rt. Rev. Bill Peckenpaugh, OSFL
135 Fiske St.
Silverton, OR 97381-2012

Alternate Address: Most Rev. Diana Dale, Presiding Bishop, ACOC, 2311 Fountainview, No. 64, Houston, TX 77057.

The Union of Independent Catholic Churches of the North American Old Catholic Church (UICC) is a cooperative fellowship established in the fall of 1993. Its existence was formalized by a Concordat of Intercommunion between the Apostolic Catholic Orthodox Church, the Agape of Jesus Independent Catholic Church (now the Independent Catholic Church of America (ICCA)), and the Apostolic Independent Catholic Church. The union attempts to strengthen its members in their unity of service to Christ, while allowing each to keep its separate identity. It promotes the sharing of resources (such as liturgical, educational, and pastoral materials and opportunities) and responsibilities for some projects (such as chaplaincy training and clinical pastoral education training) among members.

Each of the bishops, representing their own jurisdictions, have also affirmed mutual intercommunion among their churches. The specifics of this affirmation follow the form published by the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands, as follows:

1.Each Communion (jurisdiction) recognizes the catholicity and independence of the others and maintains its own.

2.Each jurisdiction agrees to admit members of the other signing jurisdictions to participate in the sacraments.

3.Intercommunion does not require from the jurisdictions the acceptance of all doctrinal, sacramental devotion, or liturgical practices characteristic of the others, but implies that each believes the others to hold all the essentials of the apostolic Christian faith.

Membership: In 1997 the union included the Apostolic Catholic Orthodox Church, the Independent Catholic Church of America, the Apostolic Independent Catholic Church, the United Catholic Church (UCC), and several independent Catholic and Orthodox bishops as members.




Union of Traditional Apostolic Churches (UTAC)

1718 Moseley Dr.
Hopkinsville, KY 42240

The Union of Traditional Apostolic Churches was founded in 2001 by Archbishop Maximilian-Anthony (Gregory Godsey, b.1979), presiding bishop of the Continuing Apostolic United States Episcopacy with a vision to uniting all Old Catholics, Continuing Anglicans, and Orthodox groups that teach and preach the faith once undivided. That undivided faith includes affirmation of the teaching of the seven historic ecumenical councils; Christ's true presence in the Eucharist (though the exact formulation of that presence is left open); apostolic succession; and a priesthood exercised exclusively by heterosexual males (meaning that women and gay/lesbian people are excluded).

Original signatories to the Union's charter were Archbishop Maximillian-Anthony, Most Rev. Brendan-Michael Hammacher of the Orthodox Catholic Church of America, Mt. Rev. Pauli Pereira of the Vetro-Catholic Church in Brazil, and Rev. Oscar Joseph Rivest of the Cistercian Order of the Holy Cross.

Leadership in the union is divided between the House of Bishops and a Council of Bishops. The House of Bishops consists of the presiding bishops of each participating jurisdiction. All matters concerning the UTAC must pass through this House. The Council of Bishops is made up of the other bishops in the participating jurisdictions who advise the house on all matters before it.

Membership: Not reported.


Union of Traditional Apostolic Churches. http://www.anglicanusa.org/UTAC/. 10 May 2002.


United Catholic Church

2066 Deercroft Dr.
Viera, FL 32940

In spite of its name, the United Catholic Church is not a new denomination. It is a free association of denominations, various interchurch fellowships, independent churches, and individuals. It does not form new parishes or ordain ministers, but carries out a program that includes the maintenance of a clearinghouse for the exchange of worship materials, liturgies, music, newsletters, press releases, etc.; providing assistance by arranging clergy exchanges; directing travelers to churches in areas being visited; and facilitating contact between member groups.

The genesis of the United Catholic Church can be traced to 1996 and the consecration to the bishopric of Robert M. Bowman, who had previously had a long career as a United States Air Force officer, space industry executive, and churchman. He was consecrated by five bishops including William Donovan and John Reeves, through whom he received various lines of apostolic succession now available in the independent Catholic world.

About the same time, a group of independent Catholic bishops from different jurisdictions meeting in synod asked Bowman to create a prospectus for their common life around the concept of "inclusivity." They asked him to deal with a range of questions such as: What is it that makes us Catholic? What are our core beliefs? How can unity be expressed given the differences of the various jurisdictions? How can unity exist without uniformity? The result was a lengthy paper "What Does It Mean to Be Catholic? (A Call to Unity)." He included a number of essentials including the authority of Scripture, faith in Jesus Christ, apostolic succession, the unity of the Church, and the Great Commandment to love God and love the neighbor. He also cited a number of nonessentials that includes beliefs about such issues as the Virgin Mary, abortion, praying to the saints, birth control, and homosexuality. He concluded that while these may be important issues, none of them involve essentials of the faith. He argued that concerning nonessentials, diversity should be allowed and that in all things, charity should operate. However important, they do not hold salvation in the balance.

The fellowship is open to Roman Catholics, Old Catholics, independent Catholics, Orthodox Catholics, Anglican Catholics, and Protestant Catholics. The United Catholic Church ordains without regard to gender, sexual orientation, or marital status; however, it does not tolerate pedophiles or promiscuous and abusive clergy.

Membership: The church consists of fifteen affiliated churches and ministries (including one each in Canada and American Samoa) and a number of additional churches and ministers. It considers as sister organizations the Ecumenical Communion of Catholic and Apostolic Churches, the American Association of Independent Catholic Bishops, and the Old Catholic Church of Canada.

Educational Facilities: The church recommends two seminaries for ministerial training: Sanctus Theological Institute, Mesa, Arizona; and St. Willibrord's Seminary, Ontario, Canada.


United Catholic Church. http://www.rmbowman.com/catholic/index.htm. 20 March 2002.

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Western Liturgical Family: Intrafaith Organizations