“We are an Ecumenical Catholic Faith Family!”
We are a Catholic Christian community that is committed to the person of Jesus Christ and to His teaching. We accept and believe the testimony of His apostles who were His first disciples and eyewitnesses of His life, death, and resurrection from the dead. It was these same disciples who passed on to the church their own testimony about the person of Jesus and the events of His life. Embodied in their testimony are the very teachings of Jesus Himself.
Some of the Independent Catholic communities, like the Worldwide Ecumenical Catholic Church of Christ, derive their Apostolic Succession through the Old Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht. The Archbishop of Utrecht traces his Apostolic Succession back to the Holy Apostles. The Ecumenical and Old Catholics therefore have a valid line of succession, a valid priesthood and episcopate with valid sacraments.
Our Communion unites authentic Catholic faith communities that stretch across the United States. We are a communion of communities which are ecumenical and catholic in that we celebrate a characteristically Catholic faith tradition that is not sectarian.
We share a common theology and liturgical tradition with the Catholic Church. Our deacons, priests and bishops participate in the same historic apostolic succession as do the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches , and other apostolic Churches. We share the same historical developments as Western Christianity.
We trace our modern roots to the emergence of the Old Catholic movement which began in 1870 as a response to the first Vatican Council's pronouncement of Papal Infallibility and the primacy of papal jurisdiction.
The Catholics of our faith communities, though recognizing the importance of the Pope in his role as a sign of unity and as an important source of leadership within the Church, view the dogma of papal infallibility as a reinforcement of authoritarianism within the Church, and a misuse of power which runs counter to the spirit, example and teachings of Jesus.
The dogma of Papal Infallibility, though an effort to create unity within the Church, has had the opposite effect. It now stands as an immense obstacle to the unity of the Church and diminishes the Pope as the successor of Peter and as a sign of unity. The dogma of Papal Infallibility and primacy of jurisdiction are, at best, sectarian and thus not truly catholic.
We recognize that each baptized person is an equal member of the Catholic Church. No bishop, priest, or deacon owns the Church, the sacramental ministry, or the grace of Christ. Therefore, lay people play an important and prominent role in the governance of the Church. All must respect, as well as actively seek to discern, how the Holy Spirit is motivating the faithful to act. In Catholic tradition this is called ascertaining the sensus fidelium - the sense of the faithful.
To emphasize the importance of the role of the laity, we practice a polity of participatory discernment and selection of bishops and pastors of congregations by the people who call them to service in those capacities. This practice has historic precedence and the legacy of Catholic tradition, and is confirmed in a letter from Pope Leo I in 450 on the election of bishops, in which he states, "He is to govern all and should be chosen by all." (Pope Leo I, Letter 10, no. 6)
As with all Christians, we seek reconciliation with Rome , and pray for the unity of the whole Body of Christ. Because we do not recognize the universal primacy of jurisdiction of the Pope, we do not participate in the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church. We uphold all persons in their discernment of the primacy of conscience over the law. We also support Catholics in bringing their lived experience to full participation in the formulation of church teachings and in choosing their leaders.
To seek and serve the Catholic and Ecumenical Faith of the One Church, to the end of visible Christian unity throughout the World!
WHAT WE DO
We minister to members of our christian Faith Catholic community through one-on-one counseling, Holy Sacraments, Liturgy of the Mass
Help good Catholics become better Catholics
Help bring former Catholics "home"
Help lead non-Catholics into the fullness of the faith
Continue as good stewards to the Ecumenical resources entrusted to us by our financial supporters.