North American Old Catholic Church

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Bishop Thomas H. Hooker Jr celebrates the Eucharist at St. Mychal Judge Church
Old Catholic Mass
Archbishop Wynn Wagner celebrates the Eucharist. He was NAOCC's Vicar General and president of the Worldwide Conference of Old Catholic Churches.

The North American Old Catholic Church (NAOCC) was a community of 22 independent Catholic churches based in the United States. Although unaffiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, this Old Catholic Church branch of Catholicism described its faith tradition as being "rooted in the early days of Jesus and his teachings on peace, love, justice and equality."


The North American Old Catholic Church was formed in January 2007 in Louisville, Kentucky, as a community of independent Catholic churches, with Archbishop Michael Seneco being elected as the community's first presiding bishop.[1][2] This United States-based organization traced its history to an 1870 movement in the Netherlands that dissented from the Roman Catholic Church largely over the 1869 First Vatican Council doctrine of papal infallibility,[2][3][4] a dogma of the Catholic Church which states that the pope is preserved from the possibility of error in certain circumstances.[5]

In 2009, the group included twenty Old Catholic churches in the United States,[6] with Washington, D.C., Texas, and Maryland each having two parishes, Florida having three, and the rest located in other states.[4]

The North American Old Catholic Church was disbanded in 2013. It no longer exists as an ecclesiastical entity.[clarification needed] Member clergy founded other groups or joined already existing entities.


  1. ^ Amanda Abrams (October 15, 2012), Progressive Catholics find a home in breakaway group, The Salt Lake Tribune, p. 2, retrieved March 23, 2013 
  2. ^ a b Janae Francis (October 15, 2011), Archbishop visits Ogden church, Standard-Examiner, retrieved March 23, 2013 
  3. ^ Stephen Schwartz (March 18, 1993), Rev. Derek Stewart, San Francisco Chronicle, p. B7 
  4. ^ a b Janae Francis (May 12, 2012), From Around The World, Standard-Examiner, retrieved March 23, 2013 
  5. ^ "infallibility means more than exemption from actual error; it means exemption from the possibility of error", P. J. Toner, Infallibility, Catholic Encyclopedia, 1910
  6. ^ Hattie Bernstein (December 18, 2009), Catholic church eyes Brookline., The Telegraph (Nashua), retrieved March 23, 2013 

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