The Diocese of New England is comprised of the New England States, New York and New Jersey. The Archdiocese of Christ the King is comprised of communities and ministries in the Southeast US and Puerto Rico and Virginia.
Welcome to the website of the Independent Catholic Church of the Americas (ICCA). The ICCA is an inclusive and welcoming Catholic Church. We wholeheartedly believe that wherever you are on the journey- whoever you’re on the journey with- there is a place for you at His table.
So join us on Sunday at a Parish near you; and I think you'll discover that the same Spirit that burned in the hearts of the Apostles at Pentecost, continues to burn in you today! Come and share the joy!
Bienvenido al sitio web de la Iglesia Católica Independiente de las Américas (ICCA). La ICCA es una Iglesia Católica inclusiva y acogedora. Creemos de todo corazón que, donde sea que se encuentre en el camino, con quienquiera que esté viajando, hay un lugar para usted en su mesa.
Así que únete a nosotros el Domingo en una parroquia cerca de ti; ¡y creo que descubrirán que el mismo Espíritu que ardió en los corazones de los Apóstoles en Pentecostés, continúa ardiendo en ustedes hoy! Ven y comparte la alegría!
Who we are
The Independent Catholic Church of the Americas is a Catholic Church that functions outside the jurisdiction of Rome. The ICCA seeks a new way of living our Catholic faith. As an Independent Catholic Church, we enjoy the freedom of joining LGBTQ couples, and divorced couples, in the Sacrament of Marriage. We welcome women to pursue a vocation to the Diaconate, and we do not require that anyone in our clergy bind themselves to the commitment of celibacy.Christ is the Head The ICCA holds that Jesus Christ is the sole Head of the Church, which affects the relation of every member of the Body to its Head, as well as affecting the Apostolic Office of Bishop to Christ as sole Head, and also the relation of Bishops to one another under the One Head Jesus Christ.
As Independent Catholics, it is important to understand why there can only be one Head of the Church, and why that is Jesus Christ himself. The Church's one Foundation, Head, Great High Priest and Chief Shepherd as believed and expressed in the Independent Catholic Church of the Americas is Jesus Christ Our Lord; and that Bishops, Priests, Deacons are appointed by Him to lead the Church; and that the Guide, Pilot, and Advocate of this Church is the Holy Spirit. The ICCA believes and confesses that this Church is the Bride of Christ, and in it is our true salvation.
We affirm in the ICCA that the sole Head of the Church is Jesus Christ himself. No one shares this with Him. Only one choice can be correct, either there is One Universal Head of the Church in heaven an earth, or there are two heads, one who is head on earth as a vicar the other head in heaven, which Roman theology explains and we do not affirm. Which position is correct ? Since this affects not only our relationship to Jesus Christ, but also the relationship of the Church on earth to the Church in heaven, and the relationship of Bishops as the appointed local Shepherds of Christ to one another.
It is very clear in Holy Scripture that the Church has only one Head: There is no other person that is said to be head, but only “He is the Head of the Body, the Church, who is the Beginning, the firstborn of the dead, that in all things He might have pre-eminence” (Col. 1.18). Christ is the Head of the Church” (Eph. 5.23). “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ...that we should no longer be children, tossed to and from and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men...but speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head—Christ—from whom the whole Body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the Body for the edifying of itself in love” (Eph. 4.11-16). To misinterpret this principle by adding another “visible head” is to completely miss the point and abandon the principles of Christianity established by Christ and the Apostles. The term vicar implies a person’s absence or placeholder, Christ needs no vicar, or placeholder where He Himself is present.
Christ has not left the Church and therefore needs no vicar, for it was He Himself who said “lo I am with you always” and “wherever two or three are gathered there I am in their midst.” We are not to doubt, nor to look for any other Head, for God the Father put all things under Christ's feet, and gave Him to be Head over all things to the Church” (Ephesians 1.22). We are to disown any teachings that do not hold fast to the Head, from whom all the Body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase from God” (Col. 2.19). We also look to the other Scriptures that make it perfectly clear that Christ is the Head of the Church: Matt. 21.42; Mk 12.10 Lk 20.17; Acts 4.11; 1 Pet. 2.7 (“the head of the corner” or “chief cornerstone”).
The Scripture surely condemns looking to another Head, even among the Apostles themselves; in Paul’s address to the Corinthians; “I belong to Paul, or Peter, or Apollos” for “is Christ divided?” 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, Since Christ ascended into heaven and the Church was established at Pentecost when this was written by Paul why did Paul not point to Peter as the Vicar and Head of the Church? This declaration by Paul was made long after Pentecost.
Christ is the sole Head of the Church in its entirety. Jesus shares this with no other. The Bishops are appointed as heads of the local Churches (Diocese) throughout the world, but on the universal level are bound together, including the Bishop of Rome, under one Head and that is our true and only Shepherd Christ the Lord. It is most clear from Holy Scripture, then, that there is only one Head of the Body. There is no visible head of the visible body and another invisible head of the invisible body as claimed by Roman theology. There is no doubt that not only the New Testament, but also the entirety of the early Church saw only one Head of the Church, visible or invisible.
Christ is the sole visible and invisible head of the Church. It is the belief of those in the ICCA that Christ rules and is the Chief Shepherd throughout the whole Body, in heaven and on earth. The parish priests pastors the parish community, and the Bishop Shepherds the Church locally in each Diocese, but there is only one Head of the Universal Church, with the Bishops collegially having “the mind of Christ” in the College confirmed by the whole Church.
Arched across the top of the graphic is the words of the Blessed Mother spoken at Cana, "Do whatever he tells you." With these words she advised the wine steward to be obedient to her son, who she knew had some plan in mind. Likewise these words were her last spoken in Scripture, serving also as her parting words of wisdom to us, who seek to follow her son in faithful discipleship.
Governmental Structure The ICCA and it's governance is modeled after the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Polish National Catholic Church, the Independent Catholic Church of Brazil, and the Old Catholic Church of Utrecht. The Particular Law for the ICCA is assisted by other historical works as guides. The Rudder, CCEO, and Roman Canon Law are considered when they apply to our unique Catholic identity. We are not bound to any of these however, they serve only as guidelines for the ICCA.
There are a number of Churches that are Catholic in identity and reality. The Eastern Orthodox Chucrch, Polish National Catholic Church, ICAB or the Independent Catholic Church of Brazil, the Old Catholic Church of Utrecht have very similar institutional structure to the ICCA.
The Presiding Bishops, Patriarchs, or Prime bishops of these churches do not posess juridical authority. Our Presiding Bishop similarly is not considered the head of the ICCA and does not possess juridical authority. He and is elected by the College of Bishops for a five year term. Any limited authority granted to him is through his election and the College of Bishops. The Presiding Bishop receives his authority from the College of Bishops and can not act unilaterally for the ICCA.
This model of governance was chosen because like these Catholic churches mentioned above the ICCA does not have a bishop who is the head of the church or holds universal jurisdiction.
The ICCA is a self governed church, sui juris. We are governed locally by the Ordinary and more broadly or Universally by the College of Bishops or Synod of Bishops. The structure of the ICCA has the likeness of a metropolitan or patriarchal church.
The ICCA is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church All documents are property of the ICCA All pictures are copy written and can not be used without permission of the ICCA.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The incredible support of all members of the Independent Catholic Church of the Americas helps each diocese, parish and ministry to spread the Gospel. Together we serve our brothers and sisters to build up the Body of Christ. The ICCA takes very seriously its responsibility for the careful stewardship and integrity of our ministries and parish communities.
There are never enough safeguards in place to ensure responsible and transparent administration of parish communities and ministries.
This Ethics and Compliance Hotline, 1-508-567-4229, helps to protect the ICCA operational health in all its facets. It allows anyone to report suspected misconduct, involving clergy, parishes and ministries.
Reports can be made anonymously. All reports will be taken seriously and promptly investigated by the Independent Catholic Church of the Americas. Chancellor Cheryl Epstein will be the point person for all investigations.
Please note that any concerns about potential abuse of children or vulnerable adults should be reported directly and immediately to local law enforcement, as directed by ICCA Child Protection Policy.
By working together, all of us can ensure the careful stewardship of transparent administration to continue the good work that is carried out every day in the ICCA.
Office of the ChancellorIncardination InformationAll ICCA Incardination Applications are processed through the Diocese of New England. The Independent Catholic Church of the Americas is a family of communities that expresses it’s Catholic faith. Deeply committed to maintaining our Catholic tradition that has been handed down to us through the millennia, the ICCA as an ecclesiastical body invests her time, energy, and resources into Ministerial Formation, the support of the clergy, and the growth of our faith communities. The ICCA is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.
“Father, they are to give their lives in your service and for the salvation of your people as they strive to grow in the likeness of the Risen Christ.”
The above quote is taken from the Preface of the Chrism Mass, and references a part of the celebration that was added by the Liturgical reforms of Paul VI: the renewal of Priestly promises.
The powerful symbolism of the blessing of the oils, the renewal of the Priests promises, and the gathering of the entire Diocesan Family, speaks to what lies at the core of our Catholic understanding of Holy Orders. This structure in the Church is not a system of management, but rather an expression of our understanding of unity in Christ, and his action in the world through the Sacraments of the Church.
For the ICCA, it is also about family. The Bishops of our Church serve not only as Pastors in their own Faith Communities and Ministries, but also as “Pastor to the Pastors.” All of our clergy work in a ministerial role of some sort, and as a Church family we share our resources, experience, and talent, to build the portion of the Vineyard that has been entrusted to us.PROCESS
Incardination into the ICCA is a process that is oriented toward a lifelong commitment to the Church, and the service of God’s holy people. The ICCA Application process includes informal meetings with the Bishop and the Director of Ministerial Formation. Necessary paperwork includes an application, a full background check, a guided essay, proof of education and Holy Orders.
The ICCA reserves the right to not accept the Apostolic Succession that is presented from another Church. If this is the only presenting concern, the Church is happy to regularize those orders for the Cleric in question. About the ICCAAll Clergy upon acceptance to the ICCA will gain access to our online platform where there are not only documents and forms for administrative use, but also academic resources that will prove useful to you in your ministry.
Regular in-services are offered through Convocation or Diocesan Retreat Days that address a variety of topics including:
- Signs of Suicide - The Safety and Protection of Vulnerable Persons - LGBTQ Awareness - Non-Profit Management - Tax Law - Parish Growth & Administration
The ICCA strives to equip all of our clergy with the tools they need for success, and as such, does not collect any “dues” or “assessments” from our Clergy or Parishes, and we never will. It has been a standing policy in the ICCA that income received in Parishes and Ministries should remain in those Parishes and Ministries.Any Priest functioning in the Independent Catholic Movement can attest to the unfortunate reality that sometimes a Jurisdiction may exist in name only, or simply as a website with a long list of names and elegant titles.
In the ICCA all clergy must maintain a tangible and quantifiable ministry of their own. For most, that is expressed in some form of Parish Ministry, but for some, that may not be the case.
We gather as a Church whenever possible. The most significant gathering of this sort is our Convocation, which is held every two years. Convocation is not a time to argue about Particular Law, but rather a time for us to gather and find new useful resources for our ministries, find respite, and enter into fellowship with our sisters and brothers in ministry. The ICCA promotes the growth of local Church: Parishes, and then organically, the Diocese.ExpectationsUpon acceptance to the ICCA, clergy are granted temporary faculties. In one year’s time, those faculties expire, and permanent faculties will be issued. During this introductory year, both the Church and the Cleric have the opportunity to get to know one another, and ensure that this is a “good fit.”
All Clergy in the ICCA are required to maintain a tangible and quantifiable ministry.
All Clergy, Seminarians, and Religious are required to have a Spiritual Director, with whom they communicate regularly. Seminarians may select their Spiritual Director from a list approved directors which can be supplied by the Office of Ministerial Formation.
All Clergy, Seminarians, and Religious are expected to make use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation regularly.
All Clergy are required to participate in continuing education by completing one course per calendar year. This requirement can be met either through enrollment at an outside University, or through MOH Seminary.
Clergy are not accepted on a “wholesale” basis. Each cleric must submit their own application
Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks.
By your Holy Spirit you anointed your only Son High Priest of the new and eternal covenant. With wisdom and love you have planned that this one priesthood should continue in the Church. Christ gives the dignity of a royal priesthood to the people he has made his own. From these, with a brother's love, he chooses men to share his sacred ministry by the laying on of hands.
He appoints them to renew in his name the sacrifice of our redemption as they set before your family his paschal meal.
He calls them to lead your holy people in love, nourish them by your word, and strengthen them through the sacraments.
Father, they are to give their lives in your service and for the salvation of your people as they strive to grow in likeness of Christ and honor you by their courageous witness of faith and love . We praise you, Lord, with all the angels and saints in their song of joy
Reclaiming Your Catholic Priesthood For a great number of reasons, while in this process of growing in the likeness of Christ, many Priests have discerned that the natural end of that growth for them meant leaving the Priesthood. There are 41,500 Priests (Diocesan and Religious) in the world today. Over the last half a century, 25,000 have left active ministry.
For many Priests, "growing in the likeness of Christ" meant finding peace and comfort with aspects of ourselves that the institution may tell us is incompatible with the Priesthood.
Do we ever truly "stop" being Priests? Ordination cannot be invalidated if it was validly received. What the Spirit has done to the soul cannot be undone with the swipe of a pen. Very truly, you are a Priest forever.
The Independent Catholic Church of the Americas welcomes Priests who have a desire to reclaim their Priesthood in active ministry. For more information, contact us directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Independent Catholic Church of the Americas and St. Joseph Cupertino Independent Catholic Church are not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church or the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River.
Sundays 10:30 AM Solemnities 7:00 PM Small Groups 6:45 PM on Thursdays