Florida Weddings By Bishop Richard White
The Independent Old Catholic Church
How did we get our name many people ask? Independent means we are independent of Rome. Old means we adhere to the ways of the early Church. Catholic because we were once part of the original Roman Catholic Church and have full Apostolic Succession. We believe where two or more believers are gathered together there is the church, no building needed. One of the hallmarks of the Independent Catholic Movement is its inclusivity. Following the example of Jesus, we welcome everyone. We are absolutely nondiscriminatory when it comes to welcoming people to the Church – and to the Lord’s Table. We welcome the skeptics, the confused, the agnostics, the atheists, and the "nominal" Christians. We don’t make them feel like outsiders by turning them away from the Lord’s Table. Jesus never did that. We give sacraments to people who would be refused by Rome. Such is the case when we give the Sacrament of Matrimony to a couple without requiring annulment of a previously divorced marriage, or when we give the Sacrament of Holy Orders to a woman or a married man, or when we give the Eucharist to a Protestant. We understand that not everyone may be “religious” and that their needs and requests may differ from the “traditional” Catholic/Protestant Christian services. We are flexible and are willing to work with couples to accommodate their individual needs. Papal infallibility as defined by Vatican Council I is a non-issue for Old Catholics, since we are independent of papal jurisdiction. In some matters of discipline we differ from the Roman Catholic. For example: clerical celibacy is optional (Saint Peter the first pope was married), married men may be ordained, and divorced Catholics may remarry within the Old Catholic Church. Private confession is not mandatory, though it is practiced, and decisions regarding the use of artificial contraception are individual and discretionary. We minister to all Christians and to the unaffiliated from all faiths. We offer Baptisms, Confessions, Confirmation, Eucharist, Marriages, Last Rites, and Funeral services.
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