Imani Temple African-American Catholic Congregation
The African-American Catholic Congregation and its Imani Temples is an African-centered Catholic expression of the Christian faith. It was founded in 1989 by the Reverend George Augustus Stallings, Jr., a former Catholic priest.
George Augustus Stallings, Jr., a priest of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, founded the Imani Temple African-American Catholic Congregation as a single congregation in Washington, D.C. on July 2, 1989. It was an independent church for people who favored an Afrocentric but quasi-Catholic worship style. Within a few months, Imani Temple attracted ex-Catholic and ex-Protestant followers and former Roman Catholic clergy. It grew to a group of nine churches in several cities. Later it expanded to include 13 churches.
By renouncing the authority of the Archbishop of Washington, Stallings committed the canonical delict of schism. In recognition of this, in February 1990, the Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal James Hickey, officially recognized that Stallings had, through his actions, excommunicated himself from the Catholic Church. In May 1990, Stallings was consecrated as an independent Catholic bishop and adopted the title of "Archbishop".
In 2006, the excommunicated former Catholic archbishop Emmanuel Milingo performed a conditional consecration for Stallings and three other married independent Catholic bishops at the Imani Temple church in Washington.
Imani Temple teaching, in contrast to Roman Catholic teaching, allows women to be ordained and does not require celibacy of its priests.
The Imani Temple has headquarters in Washington, D.C. As of 2009, there are Imani Temple congregations in six cities of the United States and one in Lagos, Nigeria.
- Jerome Cramer and Richard Ostling (May 14, 1990). "Catholicism's Black Maverick". Time magazine.
- "Archbishop Repudiates Expulsion" Washington Post, September 28, 2006, p. A12