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AHH 24-Hr. News

Lecture: Battery Lewis What’s Old is New Again
Tuesday, 02 September 2014
ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - Atlantic Highlands Historical Society presents Gail L. Hunton’s Lecture on Hartshorne Woods Park: Battery... Read More...
IMAGE Filmmaker Brings Documentary about the Rights of Immigrant Workers to Monmouth University
Tuesday, 02 September 2014
WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ - Filmmaker Rachel Lears brings her documentary The Hand That Feeds; a documentary about a group of New York City immigrant... Read More...
IMAGE RBR Buc Backer Foundation Presents “A Day at the Races” on Sept 21
Tuesday, 02 September 2014
PHOTO: Pictured in the winner’s circle at Monmouth Park are members of the RBR Buc Bucker Foundation with the winner of last year’s 50/50... Read More...
IMAGE Pushcart Players Announces Artistic Director
Tuesday, 02 September 2014
PHOTO: Paul Whelihan is named artistic director of Pushcart Players Pushcart Players, New Jersey’s award-winning theatre for young... Read More...
AH Mayor's Ball September 26
Tuesday, 02 September 2014
ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - Mayor Frederick Rast and the Atlantic Highlands Community Events Committee are excitedly preparing for the Seventh Annual... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Review - Frank
by David Prown
Monday, 01 September 2014
So as I nestled into my seat in The Showroom movie theatre, I was thinking about how lucky I am to live in an area with both the Red Bank independent... Read More...
IMAGE Slapping Myself Silly!
by Anne Mikolay
Sunday, 31 August 2014
Summer is winding down. I can't say I'm sorry to see it go. It hasn't been a very good season for me. I didn't visit half the places I intended to,... Read More...
IMAGE Skewed View - August 30, 2014
by Tom Brennan
Saturday, 30 August 2014
Want to watch your friends eye roll with useless facts you know?  "Like" Fact Jack on Facebook: http://bit.ly/FactJackFb I want a bathroom made... Read More...
IMAGE People with Autism Especially Vulnerable
by Daniel J. Vance
Friday, 29 August 2014
Perhaps like you, recently I read of an incident in Okeechobee, Florida, in which an 18-year-old man was recorded on video beating, choking, kicking,... Read More...
IMAGE Aging Rockers
by Woody Zimmerman
Friday, 29 August 2014
A curious phenomenon of our time is the aging rocker. This is not an old piece of furniture but a person frozen in a musical time-warp. Often it is a... Read More...

Upcoming Events

Tue Sep 02 @ 8:00PM -
Middletown Township Committee Workshop
Thu Sep 04 @ 4:00PM -
Special Preschool Storytime - AH Library
Mon Sep 08 @10:00AM -
Monday Mix - AH
Mon Sep 08 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
PFLAG Meets
Thu Sep 11 @ 3:15PM -
iBuild LEGO® Storytime League - AH Library


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