About the

American National Catholic Church

The American National Catholic Church is a contemporary expression of an ancient faith. There is a firm commitment to the sacraments and we embrace the Novus Ordo liturgy that is revered by so many in the Americas. We are also guided by the Spirit as a community which embraces a broader faith where all are welcomed and affirmed. We understand the importance of embracing and supporting each other, while continually challenging ourselves to embrace the Gospel calling of Jesus Christ.

The ANCC is a Catholic community outside the institutional church, dedicated to making the world a more compassionate place. Guided by its own bishop we celebrate the same sacraments and follow the spirit of reform initiated in Vatican Council II. During much of the first eleven hundred years after Jesus, there was only one church that developed different traditions. Everything from the way the Mass and sacraments were celebrated to the date of Easter and celibacy were interpreted differently.  Read below to learn more about who we are and what we believe.

No, the American National Catholic Church is a valid expression of Catholicism outside of the Roman Church and the Vatican.

We are radically different as follows:

  • Power/decision-making: congregational model
  • Bishop, elected (presiding model)
  • Priesthood, ordained (married/women/GLBT)
  • Full sacramental participation by all
  • GLBT, fully-inclusive; gay marriage
  • Family planning
  • Disagreement regarding the absolute authority of the Pope
  • Full implementation of Vatican II
  • Respect and value of individual conscience
  • Novus Ordo, Roman Missal, 2nd Edition

We share the following beliefs with the Roman Church:

  • Radical monotheism of God
  • Apostolic Succession
  • Contemporary biblical form criticism
  • Nicene Creed
  • Salvific Act of Christ
  • Economy (i.e., plan) of salvation
  • Ecclesiology
  • Marian theology
  • Seven Sacraments

Women Clergy: We embrace the wonderful gifts of women. While in Spring 2011, the Roman Church 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 knowing 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 and tradition.

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 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons 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.

“Upon all the laity, therefore, rest the noble duty of working to extend the divine plan of salvation to all [persons] of each epoch and in every land  Consequently, may every opportunity be given them so that, according to their abilities and the needs of the times, they may zealously participate in the saving work of the Church.” (Lumen Gentium #33)

Taking our lead from the wisdom of the Second Vatican Council, ANCC laity and clergy join together in the Priesthood of Jesus Christ. 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, top-down model demanded by the Roman Catholic Church.

At the national level, the ANCC has a laity-led governing council providing essential guidance and leadership for the Church.  At the local level, parish councils provide the same level of leadership. In addition, the financial control of the ANCC is in the hands of the laity.  All assets, including bank accounts, are both owned and controlled by the pastoral lay leadership.