- Archdiocese of the Old Catholic Church of America
Infobox Christian denomination
name = Archdiocese of the Old Catholic Church of America
Francis Xavier Resch
North American Old Roman Catholic Church
congregations = 14
members = 2,300 (as of 1984)
The Archdiocese of the Old Catholic Church in America is an
Old Catholic Christian denominationfounded in 1941 by Francis Xavier Resch. It is not a member of, or in full communionwith, the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches.
Resch separated from the
North American Old Roman Catholic Church, after being made a bishop of that church by its leader Carmel Henry Carfora. He started his own church, the Diocese of Kankakee, which was centered around the site of his parish in Kankakee, Illinois. The new church quickly grew to establish other parishes in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. These parishes, largely consisting of first generation immigrants from Eastern Europe, became inactive as the children of the congregants adjusted to life in America. cite book |last= Melton|first=J. Gordon |authorlink=J. Gordon Melton |coauthors= |editor= |others= |title=The Encyclopedia of American Religions |origdate= |origyear=1987 |origmonth= |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth= |edition= 2nd|series= |volume= |date= |year= |month= |publisher=Gale Research Company |location=Detroit |language= |isbn=0-8103-2133-5 |oclc= |doi= |id= |pages= |chapter= |chapterurl= |quote= ]
In 1963, Resch made
Walter X. Browna bishop. Brown would later succeed Resch as the archbishop of the church. He was responsible for moving the church's headquarters to Milwaukee, where it now has a seminaryand maintains a number of charitable organizations. It also maintains a monasteryin the Franciscantradition in Chicago, and two monastic communities in Milwaukee, one following the Eastern tradition and one following the Western tradition.
The Archdiocese accepts the traditions of Christianity as transmitted by the seven
ecumenical councilsthrough the Second Council of Nicaeaand the Church Fathers. It practices the seven sacraments, and their official statement of faith, the "Statement of Faith of the Old Catholic Church in America", closely resembles the Nicene Creed. The church has also taken a stand on nuclear disarmament, stating that all Christians must be committed to nuclear disarmament, whether multilateral or unilateral. The church opposes abortionand euthanasia, and has stated that the civil laws regarding these matters may not be as effective as they appear to be.
In 1984, the church reported total membership of 2300 in 14 congregations with 26 clergy. It has churches in
Dallasand Brownsville, Texas; Erie, Pennsylvania; Chicago; Racine, Madison, and Milwaukee Wisconsin, Brooklyn, New York; and Ottawa. It has affiliated branches operating in Germany, Belgium, and England.
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