Why are we planting an Old Catholic Church in Memphis? Well, that's a very good question and it's not a simple answer.
First and foremost it's because we believe that God is calling us to plant this church here and now. After prayer and discernment, we believe we have a genuine call to share the Good News as the Old Catholic Church has received it with Memphis.
But isn't the Catholic Church already here? Well, yes the Roman Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church, and the Orthodox Church all have churches here (and they are all Catholic). Catholic simply refers to a church that traces its founding to the first century and places importance on Scripture and Tradition. There are 5 sister Communions (groups) that are considered Catholic 1. Roman Catholic, 2. Anglican/Episcopal, 3. Eastern Orthodox, 4. Oriental (Coptic, Syrian, Nestorian), 5. Old Catholic. These sister churches, relating to each other in love, hold that through baptism, celebrated in our churches according to the faith handed down to us from the Apostles, we are each made members of the one Mystical Body of Christ.
For the most part, the sister churches interpret God's plan of salvation essentially the same. But like all sisters in a family, there are differences: mostly administrative and disciplinary, and some theological. Certain differences are expected and accepted. Nevertheless, each of the five churches is united with all or most of its sisters through the closest bonds, that is, by Apostolic Succession and a valid, mutually recognized Eucharist.
The Old Catholic Church holds to the ancient faith yet is progressive in social issues. We celebrate the 7 Sacraments just as the 4 other sister churches. Our Tradition and church government is different in that Old Catholics insist that lay people (non-clergy) should be involved in decision making for the church at all levels. The Church is not a building but the people of God gathered together in a location to celebrate the Eucharist. The Old Catholic Church follows Jesus' practice of being welcoming to all who approach wanting to grow closer to Christ. We welcome all Baptized Christians to our Altar to partake of Christ's Body and Blood in the Eucharist. We treat gay people the same as straight people. While divorce is discouraged, we acknowledge that we live in a fallen world and sometimes it happens. It does not prevent one from partaking in the full fellowship of the Church and Sacraments. Marital status, sexual orientation, or gender prevents a person from becoming a priest.
We believe that Memphis needs a Catholic church that is traditional in worship and practice yet progressive in social issues. If you do as well, join us as we work to plant this ancient and progressive church here in Midtown Memphis. You can register here to join the team.