Apostolic Catholic Church (Philippines)
|Apostolic Catholic Church of Our Beloved Ingkong|
|Orientation||Apostolic and Paleo-orthodox|
|Leader||John Florentine L. Teruel|
|Associations||National Council of Churches in the Philippines|
|Founder||John Florentine L. Teruel and Maria Virginia Peñaflor Leonzon|
|Origin||July 7, 1992
Philippines Hermosa, Bataan, Philippines
|Separated from||Roman Catholic Church|
|Members||5,000,000 to 8,000,000|
The Apostolic Catholic Church (ACC) is a self-governing church that traces its faith and worship from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church that Jesus Christ and his Apostles established and claims 24 lines of apostolic succession. The church believes the Trinitarian doctrine that states that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three persons in one God.
The church's goal is to mediate and unite the Western Rite or the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Rite or the Orthodox Church to form a single Catholic Church. It is a conservative church because it observes the traditional attire of men and women. Especially during the sacrifice of the Holy Mass, veils and decent dress are worn by women while men wear white shirts and pants but mostly white soutanes. Attire such as mini skirts and jeans by women and sando shirts by men are strictly prohibited. These ancient church traditions were removed after the Vatican II Council by the Roman Catholic Church but were all retained by the Apostolic Catholic Church. Members of the church are also known for their discipline and piety, youths are not allowed intimate relationships with one another. Adults are prohibited alcohol, cigarettes, gambling and drugs.
The Apostolic Catholic Church is classified as an independent and autocephalous Catholic church because it is not in communion with the Vatican or the Holy See and the Bishop of Rome although it follows Catholic teaching and theology, such as Marian devotions and recitation of the 15 decades of the Rosary.
The church is currently headed by Patriarch John Florentine L. Teruel, P.P. It does not recognize the supremacy of the Pope as the head of the Catholic Church, although it includes the Pope in its prayer during Mass (in the canon) and respects him as a patriarch of the Western Rite.
The Apostolic Catholic Church was founded in 1992 by John Florentine L. Teruel. His mother, the ACC Matriarch, Maria Virginia Peñaflor Leonzon, became its honorary foundress. The church is based in Sacrifice Valley Ecclesiastical State in Hermosa, Bataan, Philippines. It has two main shrines: one is the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity in Sacrifice Valley and the other is the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Rock in Quezon City, with the first as its main cathedral. The church was registered with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on August 4, 1992.
The Apostolic Catholic Church has a patriarchate similar to Eastern Orthodox churches, and is located in Hermosa, Bataan, Philippines. The highest clergy of the church and the Patriarch, Dr. John Florentine Leonzon Teruel, reside and govern the entire denomination from what is officially called Barangay Sacrifice Valley Ecclesiastical State. Like other Christian patriarchates worldwide, Sacrifice Valley does not accept the authority of the See of Rome (but still generally respects it).
Its principal church is The Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, where the history and foundation of the church took place. There is also a One-of-a-kind outdoor church, called the Nature's Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which has circular structures that shelter the different images of Mary, the Theotokos. It is also known as the Pilgrimage Capital of Bataan because every year during Holy Week, thousands of people including Roman Catholics visit it for their devotion to Mahal na Ingkong, the title given by their leader to God as revealed to the Patriarch and St Maria Virginia. The Apostolic Catholic Church follows the Episcopal polity because it maintains a council of bishops that is headed by a sole leader, the Patriarch.
The Apostolic Catholic Church is a mainline Protestant denomination that can be classified as paleo-orthodox because its goal is to mediate Catholicism to revive the ancient traditions that Jesus Christ taught humanity. The church manifests itself as Protestant catholic because it does not accept the authority of the Pope nor the Doctrine of Papal Infallibility and the conditions approved in the Vatican II Council that removed some ancient Christian traditions.
The church is an active member of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines along with other Protestant and non-Roman Catholic churches whose goal is to achieve ecumenism. Today, the church is said to have more than five to eight million members worldwide, making it the third largest Christian denomination in the Philippines after the Roman Catholic Church as the first and the Iglesia Filipina Independiente or Aglipayan as the second.
Church governance and congregation
The Apostolic Catholic Church, as a self-governing autocephalous church, having two congregation and religious order which is the Order of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit (OMHS) and the Order of the Missionaries of John Florentine (OMJF) . The members of the congregation are the archbishops, bishops, priests, deacons, subdeacons, nuns, and third order members, bound by their evangelical vows of chastity, poverty, obedience, and acceptance of their immediate superiors, to the Patriarch, John Florentine L. Teruel, P.P., and to God the Holy Spirit, who is called by his new Name Ingkong. The lay governing body of the Apostolic Catholic Church is headed by the Parish Pastoral Council, with its own elected officers and committees, the working force of the church.
The Apostolic Catholic Church follows the doctrine of recognizing saints and holy people based on what they have done while still alive. Similar to the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, it recognizes all Roman Catholic and Orthodox saints. Currently, there is only one saint beatified by the ACC Patriarch. St. Maria Virginia Peñaflor Leonzon, mother of the Church and the Patriarch, Dr. John Florentine L. Teruel, PP. She is the honorary foundress of Apostolic Catholic Church and its Cursillo Movement. Having an elevated spiritual life, she was beatified and canonized a saint in 1995 by the Patriarch. Because of this, St. Maria Virginia P. Leonzon became the first Filipino non-Roman Catholic saint. When she was still alive, St. Maria Virginia was a living saint for all ACC members. She died at the age of 83 in Sacrifice Valley in 2005.
The official symbol of the church are two crosses with a dove between them. The Eastern Rite Orthodox cross is on the left and the Western Rite Roman Catholic cross is on the right with a dove that represents unity and peace between them in the center. The combination of the two crosses are viewed by the Apostolic Catholic Church as symbolic of the unity of Christianity, particularly the Eastern and Western Churches.
- "History of the Apostolic Catholic Church". Acc-ingkong.com. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
- National Council of Churches in the Philippines. "Our Member Churches". Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- "Governance". Acc-ingkong.com. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
- "at". Paleo-orthodoxy.com. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
- "Our Member Churches". National Council of Churches in the Philippines. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
- "Ingkong (The Holy Spirit)". Acc-ingkong.com. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
- Expert: The Ven. Dr. Brian A. Evans - 6/6/2006 (2006-06-06). "Anglicans: Saints in the Anglican Church, roman catholic saints, dietrich bonhoeffer". En.allexperts.com. Retrieved 2011-09-19.