WELCOME TO OUR CHURCH
Our faith community is here to serve you without condition, no matter your state in life, and openly professes the unconditional love of Christ. We hope that you learn something about us as we learn something about you and that in this process we are better able to serve your spiritual needs and desires.
What is the American Catholic Church?
The American Catholic Church, one of many autocephalous (self-governing) churches within the tradition of the Old Catholic Church was established in order to minister in the sacred, sacramental tradition of our Catholic heritage while offering a more personal, pastoral, approach and progressive ideology than that of the larger, and more well known, forms of Catholicism. (Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglo-Catholic.) We are a pilgrim Church, conscious of our time and place, journeying as a community in an ever-changing world. To this end, the Mission Statement of our church reflects our commitment to proclaiming compassion for all, the equal dignity of all, and the possibility for all persons to know and love God and their neighbor in a unique way. We are a community open to exploring new theological horizons while remaining grounded in the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic" tradition, and yet aware that God is too big to be contained or limited by human thought or organization.
We presently have priests anddeacons serving in California, Nevada and Oregon. Some are serving in parishes, while others serve in hospital, prison or hospice chaplaincies, as therapists, teachers or in other professional positions.
How Many Old Catholics are There?
are estimated at approximately 230,000 people in the United States compared
with 77 million Roman Catholics. However, in Europe, the Old Catholic church
is known well known.
In What Way Are We Catholic?
As members of the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church," we preserve an Apostolic Succession of Bishops which is of unquestioned validity and which is derived from Rome through the Episcopacy of the Old Catholic Church, established after the First Vatican Council in 1870. Other lines of succession extend from the African Orthodox Church deriving its succession from The Ancient See of St. Peter in Antioch, as well as through the Roman Catholic Church derived from the Igreja Catholica Apostolica Brasileria, The Chaldean Patriarchate, the Order of Corporate Reunion and L'Eglise Johannite des Chretiens Primitif's. In addition, lines also come from The See of St. Augustine at Canterbury and the Iglesia Filipina Independiente. As Catholic Christians, we celebrate the seven sacraments of the Church, and adhere to the essentials of Catholic doctrine and practice as these have been expressed in the traditional creeds of the Catholic Church, in various declarations, and in the doctrinal formulations of the Ecumenical Councils through to, and especially including Vatican II. Yet we also listen for the Word of God responding to the movements of today's world, and look to see the action and call of the Spirit in the lives of those around us.
Catholic Church was founded by Bishops at the time of Vatican I in the 1800s
who could not accept the dogma of Papal Infallibility. Even though we do not
believe the Successor of Peter to be infallible, we acknowledge the primacy
of the Petrine Office and render respect due to the Bishop of Rome as well
as to his authority when he speaks in union with the Catholic Bishops. The
primacy (not supremacy) of the Holy Father (Pope) is the focus of Old Catholics.
So how are we different from other Catholics?
Even as we are grounded in the essentials of Catholic Faith and practice, we believe we can offer to the world a new and hopeful Catholicism, a renewed and open Church, which is committed to furthering the noblest aspirations of the human mind and heart. In keeping with our respect for the full human dignity of all persons as well as our desire to offer a more progressive approach to sacerdotal ministry/ we welcome women and men, single, celibate, partnered and married persons into the clergy. We are committed to promoting a leadership of service rather than one characterized by domination and control. We see ourselves as a support and facilitator of the relationship between an individual and the Divine, rather than an intermediary. The American Catholic Church is not independent from or dependent on, but rather sees itself as interdependent with the Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Churches, and Protestant faith communities.
How is the Church governed?
We maintain a collegial ecclesiastical structure which, while preserving the traditional orders of Church governance, allows for greater equality/ for a more democratic process, for diversity in unity and unity in diversity, and which allows the voice of the people to be heard. We are committed to an ecclesiastical policy which genuinely allows the laity to take their rightful place in the governments of the local and diocesan Church and which gives due respect to their gifts, to their intelligence, and to their human rights.
Is anyone welcome to our sacraments?
committed to creating communities which are inclusive on the basis not only
of gender but also of age, race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, or
physical disability. We seek to embrace and to reconcile, rather than to condemn
and to alienate those whose circumstances have caused them to experience rejection
by churches as well as by society at-large. Thus, in accordance with our general
policy of ecumenical openness and of compassion for all our sisters and brothers
in Christ, we do not withhold reception of the Sacraments from any qualified
person who desires to receive them. In particular, we place no artificial
barriers in the way of reception of the Sacrament of Baptism. Not wishing
to impose additional hardships upon those who are divorced, we consider that
remarriage after divorce does not in itself constitute a barrier to the reception
of any of the sacraments. We are also committed to providing the Sacrament
of Matrimony to all couples who seriously seek it, regardless of sexual orientation
or gender identification.
Roman Catholic Church Consider the Sacraments of Old Catholics as Valid?