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AHH 24-Hr. News

MidAtlantic Bulldog Rescue "Bully Bash" at Wonder Bar
Thursday, 30 October 2014
The non-profit will be hosting it’s dog friendly event to raise proceeds for the medical care of its bulldogs Asbury Park, NJ – The MidAtlantic... Read More...
IMAGE Borough of Keansburg, New Jersey Welcomes St. Bernard Project for 29-Hour Home Rebuild
Thursday, 30 October 2014
Photo Credit: Carrie B. Bonney – Farmers Insurance Keansburg, NJ – Officials in Keansburg, New Jersey held a media conference on October 28 to... Read More...
IMAGE Twin Lights Lecture Series Opens with History of Sandy Hook Pilots
Thursday, 30 October 2014
PHOTO: Twin Lights and New York Harbor Captain Ned Britton to Speak on November 8 Highlands, NJ —  The year 1694 was a good... Read More...
IMAGE Monmouth University Students Volunteer in Local Community at The Big Event
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
PHOTO: Monmouth University volunteers clean up Deal Lake at The Big Event on October 25 West Long Branch, N.J. - Over 600 Monmouth University... Read More...
IMAGE Bishop to Speak on Religion in Public Life at Monmouth U.
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ - Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., will speak at a Symposium on Religion in Public Life in Monmouth University, West Long... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE An Enemy Has Done It!
by George Hancock-Stefan
Thursday, 30 October 2014
In one of the well-known parables of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Wheat and the Tares (Matthew 13:24-30), the servants are surprised because when they... Read More...
IMAGE It's the Great Autumn Scrooge, Charlie Brown!
by Anne Mikolay
Thursday, 30 October 2014
According to Charlie Brown's friend, Linus, “On Halloween night, the Great Pumpkin rises out of his pumpkin patch and flies through the air with... Read More...
IMAGE In Long Branch, Jeff Bell Appeals to Republicans
by Dennis
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Long Branch is known for many things—the beaches, boardwalk, dining, and diversity—but being a bastion of Republicanism is not one of them.... Read More...
IMAGE Volunteers Bring Smiles to Peru
by Daniel J. Vance
Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Though a real estate agent the last 12 years, 52-year-old Kim Hammes of Le Sueur, Minnesota, used to be employed as a court-appointed guardian for... Read More...
IMAGE Review - Men, Women and Children
by David Prown
Monday, 27 October 2014
The other day, I went to see “Men, Women & Children” playing at the Bow-Tie in Red Bank and the 1:59 running time-line fit the slot.... Read More...

Upcoming Events

Thu Oct 30 @ 3:15PM - 03:45PM
School Age Programs Grades K and up
Thu Oct 30 @ 4:00PM - 04:30PM
Preschool Story Time Ages 3 – 5
Sun Nov 02 @ 2:00AM -
Daylight Savings Time Ends
Mon Nov 03 @10:00AM -
Monday Mix - AH
Wed Nov 05 @ 9:30AM - 10:00AM
Baby Story Time Ages 10 – 24 months


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