Antiochian Catholic Church in America
The Antiochian Catholic Church in America (ACCA) is one of the Independent Catholic Churches. The ACCA is distinct from most of these churches in that it largely embraces the theology and much of the practice of the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Indian Orthodox Church, from which the clergy of the ACCA primarily derive their claim to apostolic succession via the lineage of Joseph Rene Vilatte. The holy orders of the ACCA also come through the Old Catholic movement, in this case by way of Arnold Harris Mathew. The ACCA, however, is not in full communion with the Oriental Orthodox churches because it ordains women and because it does not require celibacy of its bishops, allowing them, like priests and deacons, to marry. The ACCA states that its approach to theology and practice is a process of "critical reappropriation" which is open to influences from all sectors of trinitarian Christianity but is, at the same time, firmly grounded in the Syriac Christian tradition, particularly with regard to such basic matters as Christology, soteriology, ecclesiology, and ethics.
The current See city of the ACCA is Knoxville, Tennessee. It is led by a metran, or archbishop, Victor Mar Michael Herron (consecrated 1990, metran since 1996), who is the pastor of St. Demetrios Antiochian Catholic Church. While attendance at the Sunday Qurbana (Eucharist) at St. Demetrios is small, less than 10 (including three clergymembers), the congregation continues to operate a limited food bank and meal program. Avva (Father) Zakkai Patrick Pardee assists Mar Michael at St. Demetrios. Another small congregation, St. Elias, worships in nearby Kodak, Tennessee. In October, 2008, the pastor of St. Elias, Andreas Richard Turner, was made a bishop, taking the name Mar Cassian. As a suffragan bishop, Mar Cassian assists Mar Michael in his episcopal duties. Mar Cassian is chancellor of the ACCA.
Fr. Gregory Ned Blevins is the ACCA's Ecumenical and Social Concerns Representative. Amma Caitlin Turner is an itinerant missionary throughout the southeastern United States.
- Antiochian Catholic Church in America
- Newspaper article concerning St. Demetrios' ACCA church
- Another newspaper article about St. Demetrios' ACCA church