Catholic Life Church

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Catholic Life Church
Orientation Independent Catholic
Region Colorado
Founder A. L. Mark Harding and Peter A. Tonella
Origin 1971

The Catholic Life Church is a Christian religious denomination founded in 1971 by A. L. Mark Harding and Peter A. Tonella.[1]

Tonella had earlier been a priest in the Roman Catholic Church who had married in the 1950s. He left that church to join the Protestant Episcopal Church, only to leave that body for the Christ Orthodox Catholic Patriarchate, where he eventually became bishop of Saint Petersburg, Florida, under Bishop Peter A. Zurawetzky.[1]

The church grew quickly, particularly in the Denver area where it established several congregations. The church was supported in part by Harding, with funds he raised as the owner and operator of four pornography stores in Denver.[1] Harding was eventually consecrated bishop by Tonella and Walter X. Brown of the Archdiocese of the Old Catholic Church of America, later becoming the church's patriarch.[1]

Harding was later arrested and sentenced to prison. On his release in 1981, he resumed his earlier roles as Patriarch and Presiding Bishop of the church.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Melton, J. Gordon (1987). The Encyclopedia of American Religions (2nd ed.). Detroit: Gale Research Company. ISBN 0-8103-2133-5.