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AHH 24-Hr. News

IMAGE Breweries of Monmouth County: Belford Brewing Review
Friday, 30 January 2015
Last weekend, we went on a tour of Monmouth County breweries and after Kane and Carton we finally made it to Belford, but I wasn’t in a position to give an accurate opinion of this new outfit. You can read that review here,... Read More...
Northern Monmouth County Flood Risk Open House Feb. 20 at Henry Hudson
Friday, 30 January 2015
HIGHLANDS, NJ -  The Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management is announcing the dates of the Northern Monmouth County Flood Risk Open House, hosted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region II. During the open house, which... Read More...
IMAGE Three Arrested in Work Fall Insurance Fraud Scheme
Thursday, 29 January 2015
Manalapan Man Targeted Claims at Workers’ Comp, State Disability Pension FREEHOLD, NJ -  A supervisor at the former Monmouth County Youth Detention Center was arrested along with his wife and another woman on charges related to claims of an... Read More...
IMAGE Sheriff's Program Stresses Gang Prevention and Awareness Program For At Risk Juveniles
Thursday, 29 January 2015
photo: Corrections Officers Dennis Cleary & Kent Muller conduct gang prevention program. Ocean Township, NJ - Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden wants at risk youths to be aware of the dangers and negative impacts that come along with joining... Read More...
IMAGE Red Bank Police Report - January 29, 2015
Thursday, 29 January 2015
Red Bank, NJ - The following police report is provided by the Red Bank Police Department.  All subjects are presumed innocent; unless, and until, proven guilty in a court of law. January 22, 2015 – January 29, 2015 CRIMES: Theft occurring on... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Worst Storm Ever? (What’s up widat?)
by Woody Zimmerman
Thursday, 29 January 2015
Somehow – no doubt largely due to the vigilance and timely warnings supplied by our political and media guardians – we have managed to survive... Read More...
IMAGE Review - Into The Woods
by David Prown
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
I saw the Broadway version of "Into the Woods" in the 80's with Bernadette Peters just a few days after I saw "Les Miserables" with the original... Read More...
IMAGE Protest This Super Bowl Commercial
by Anne Mikolay
Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Sunday, February 1, the New England Patriots will face off against the Seattle Seahawks in NFL Super Bowl XLIX. Football fans will tune in to see the... Read More...
IMAGE What’s that Flock in the Bay?
by Joe Reynolds
Sunday, 25 January 2015
This was a week of counting wintering water-birds. The other day I looked out onto New York Harbor and saw a large raft of diving ducks. I counted at... Read More...
IMAGE Just Sayin...
by Anne Mikolay
Sunday, 25 January 2015
While watching this month's news broadcasts, I have concluded the world is steeped in irony. This tendency to fore-go common sense and do the... Read More...


Bishop George R. Lucey: ‘We are definitely Catholic but not Roman Catholic”

A Message of Hope and Inclusion

On behalf of the American National Catholic Church, I am taking this opportunity to respond to the June 22, 2011 statement by David M. O’Connell, Roman Catholic Bishop of Trenton, regarding the emergence of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Long Branch, N.J. as part of the American National Catholic Church.

The formation of Our Lady of Guadalupe was partly in response to the 2009 closing of St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Long Branch and actions by diocesan officials to have the police remove parishioners as would-be trespassers from their own church. The decision by these parishioners was also made to reclaim their identity anew as Our Lady of Guadalupe and join the American National Catholic Church.

While Bishop O’Connell characterizes the decision of Our Lady of Guadalupe parishioners as the action of “schismatic leaders,” and “false prophets,” the reality is otherwise. These actions are part of an international movement wherein legions of disaffected Roman Catholics are choosing to move beyond a top-down hierarchy mired in a worldwide sex abuse scandal and claim a unique Catholic identify apart from the Roman Church and responsive to their needs.

Equally amazing is the Bishop’s claim that “no Catholic church can be independent.” We reject the faulty construct that the Roman Catholic Church has the corner on all things catholic. Further, castigating the American National Catholic Church for perpetrating a charade to lead Long Branch parishioners “away from the true practice of the faith under the pretence of legitimacy” is an insult to the intelligence of these parishioners.

Following the Bishop’s reasoning, any Christian denomination not in lock-step allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church is “fractured,” “dangerous” and “schismatic.” This is not only inaccurate but undermines the tremendous work and positive gains of decades of ecumenical dialogue. While we share one common spiritual journey, clearly there are many paths.

While Bishop O’Connell intimates that independent Catholicism is a recent fad, we trace our origins to the 1850s solidified by a break from the Roman Church over papal infallibility. Independent Catholic Churches are Christian denominations with apostolic succession - continuous lineage directly from the Apostles - performing valid sacraments but not in union with the Vatican, nonetheless valid. Independent churches are worldwide and in nearly all languages.

We inherit and continue a rich tradition of grace-filled sacraments and a lived commitment to social action. In parishes and prisons, in hospitals and hospices, the American National Catholic Church is daily witnessing to the redeeming love of a welcoming God – a God whose love is beyond our wildest imagining.

We believe in a congregational or shared model of leadership where our parishioners join with locally-called clergy in discerning the movement of the Holy Spirit in the Church. This is decidedly different than the hierarchical model demanded by the Roman Catholic Church.

Like others in the Independent Catholic Tradition, the American National Catholic Church is built on the admonition of Christ to love one another.

From this flows an inclusive ethic. For example:

• Women Clergy: We embrace the wonderful gifts of women. While the Roman Church recently removed an Australian Bishop for daring to even entertain questions regarding women’s ordination, we welcome the movement of God in the ordained ministry of women.

• Married Clergy: We welcome married clergy and know that their lived experience provides an invaluable gift for ministry. The Roman Church has forever closed the option of married clergy with its claim of divine intention.

• Divorce and Remarriage: We empathize with the pain of a failed marriage and receive our divorced and remarried brothers and sisters as full members into our Church. The Roman Church maintains that marriage is indissoluble.

• Family Planning: We support a couple’s decision regarding family planning believing that they are in the best position to decide their most appropriate option. The Roman Church only permits natural family planning.

Gays and Lesbians: We affirm the dignity and worth of our gay and lesbian members recognizing in them unique gifts particular to our time. We are honored to officiate at sacramental gay marriages.

The Roman Church teaches that homosexuality is “objectively disordered” and all same-sex acts as sinful.

For even the most casual observer, there is no confusion between the American National Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church. Bishop O’Connell can rest easy.

We invite all who may be seeking a contemporary and inclusive expression of the best of an ancient Catholic tradition to find in the American National Catholic Church a welcoming home.

While we obviously disagree with Bishop O’Connell’s characterization of the American National Catholic Church and our work at Our Lady of Guadalupe parish, we assure our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters of our prayers.

I leave you with the promise of unity so beautiful expressed by St. Paul in his letter to the Galatians:

“There is neither Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend George R. Lucey, FCM

Presiding Bishop

www.theANCC.org