Society of St. John of the Cross

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The Society of St. John of the Cross (SSJC) is a clerical society professing pre-Vatican II beliefs and practices but condemns no other traditional Catholic group for their views of the changes. They are not associated with the Roman Catholic Church.


Lawrence Miller was ordained by Archbishop Richard Arthur Marchenna of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church(NAORC) and continued with pre-Vatican II practices as he pastored to the St. Michael the Archangel mission.

After Archbishop Marchenna's death, the NAORC splintered into separate jurisdictions. Shortly thereafter, Fr. Miller's parish diminished. Bishop Robert Bowman of the United Catholic Church (UCC) consecrated Miller as a bishop on July 22, 2002, within the Costa and Old Catholic lines of apostolic succession. Miller later broke with the UCC and established the SSJC as a Traditional Catholic priestly fraternity.

November 18, 2002, Bishop Miller resigned from the Society and was succeeded in the office of Superior General by Fr. Gregory Bellarmine, saying "With your dedication to the Tridentine Mass and the old ways of the pre-Vatican II church, you are ideally suited to be Superior General. I look forward to hearing great things concerning the Society as you take the reins."[citation needed]

The society has expanded into the United Kingdom.


Members of the society take an oath against Modernism as well as the Profession of Faith before the Blessed Sacrament.

The SSJC concentrates on spiritual means rather than political ones to deal with the crisis of conscience for many tradition-oriented Catholics.

The SSJC are the only Traditional Catholic Society publicly to condemn the Society of St. Pius X's Bishop Richard Williamson for his stance on the Holocaust.

The special charism of the SSJC is a reliance on the pre-Vatican II Code of Canon Law, such that the Church requires the protection of the Jewish people.


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