I didn’t leave the Catholic Church, the Catholic Church left me.

Filed in National by on December 16, 2012

Does that sound like something you could hear yourself saying? What about…? “I like the Catholic liturgy, but Rome’s take on homosexuality and the ordination of women is bullshit.” Or even…? “I still feel a strong cultural connection to Catholicism, but I’m not sure I believe in God.”

If any of those apply to you – this might be the Church you have been looking for: Holy Redeemer Parish, NAOCC, Wilmington, DE

What is NAOCC? I’ll let V. Rev. Patrick W. Gaffney and wikipedia describe it.

(In addition to what you wrote about Rome’s take on homosexuality and the ordination of women I would add) , we have married clergy as is our newly ordained transitional deacon here in Wilmington.

…though started in 2007, we continue to grow throughout the US. Many professionals, Phd’s, MD’s and JD’s, have joined us, some of whom have been ordained priests. One of whom is now our Archbishop Vicar Ubaldo Leli, MD in NY. Our presiding Archbishop Michael Seneco lives in Washington, DC with his partner and has a few times been invited and dined with the President with some social concerned groups.

Regarding the North American Old Catholic Church wikipedia says…

The NAOCC was founded in January 2007 at a meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. It is currently focused on training men and women with vocations to the independent priesthood in the Old Catholic tradition, as well as planting churches and parish ministries. As of January 2012, the NAOCC operates parishes in 21 locations, in addition to a primary care center and free medical clinic in Chattanooga, TN.

The NAOCC officially recognizes the Old Catholic Mass as its liturgy, but it allows local parishes to use traditional Western liturgies that are regularized in other churches, such as the Tridentine Mass, versions of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, and the Novus Ordo from the Roman Catholic Church.

The NAOCC is one of many LGBT-affirming Christian denominations which claim an inclusive character of the Gospel and count homosexual, bisexual, and transgender individuals as active parish members. Further, non-celibate LGBT individuals and women are equally ordained in Holy Orders and can participate in all areas of parish life

About the Author ()

Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (28)

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  1. cassandra_m says:

    Wilmington services are held at the First Unitarian Church, 730 Halstead Road, Wilmington, DE (right off of rt. 202)every Saturday at 4pm in the 1st floor library. The have a Facebook group too, if you want more information: https://www.facebook.com/holy.r.church

  2. Rev Patrick Gaffney says:

    Thank you for posting this. We are open to all and all are welcome at the table of our Lord! I would be more than happy to respond to any questions here, at our facbook (best to send me a message) or at my email pwjgaffney@comcast.net. As a small matter of note: though the NAOCC is fairly new, I have been a priest for 31 years. I was a RC priest where I last served as Pastor (1993-1999)at Our Lady of LOurdes in Seaford, DE. I took a leave for somce of the very reasons that are listed in this article and now have been a part of NAOCC for three years. Peace! Fr. Pat

  3. jason330 says:

    Thanks Cassandra and rev. Gaffney. FWIW, this one…”“I still feel a strong cultural connection to Catholicism, but I’m not sure I believe in God.” describes me. Except I’m sure I don’t believe in God.

  4. Rev Patrick Gaffney says:

    There is no exact answer to such a belief process but I most certainly would enjoy a continued discussion. Like all things that may or not be perceived “supernatural” a wanting to perhaps believe might be a good starting point. From my perspective: the starting torward it is love of one self and neighbor.

  5. Delaware Dem says:

    Father Pat, I am very interested in your church and hope to attend your Christmas services and then become a regular member.

  6. Rev Patrick Gaffney says:

    That sounds woinderful! Our Christmas service will be on Christmas Eve (Monday, 24th) at 4 PM. Hope you are able to make it at that time. I know it is a difficult hour for many on that day but it is the only time we could get the space for Christmas. Peace and many blessings….Fr. Pat

  7. JConnor says:

    DD good luck with the “bearing false witness” part:)

  8. cassandra m says:

    You need to check your own house before you hand out that bit of advise, JC.

  9. Jason330 says:

    I went through a long period of wanting to believe and was even a sincere evangelical Presbyterian for a while, but the required amount of willing suspension of dis-belief got to be too much.

    Also, what I perceive to be American Christianity’s lack of emphasis on the peace and social justice parts of the ministry of Jesus were off putting to me.

    From what you’ve said Reverend, I’d expect peace and social justice to be important to Holy Redeemer – which is good.

    Many scholars have suggested that peace and social justice is discussed from time to time in the gospels.

  10. Fr. Pat (Rev. P. Gaffney) says:

    Yes indeed, peace, social justice, equality and social needs are core to who we are at Holy Redeemer and the NAOCC (http://www.naoldcatholic.com ). Personally, I have for 30+ years been dedicated to be of service for all the people of God. As I work now as a chaplain to a full care senior residence for Presbyterian Senior Living in Dover or in the past when I spent a number of years caring for the hunger and needs of the homeless and poor in Wilmington, I am dedicated by word and action to others’ needs. I welcome all to share in this ongoing jurney through Holy Redeemer.

  11. Truth Teller says:

    After 12 years of catholic schooling And 5 years of traveling the globe while serving in the United States Navy.

    I only came across two religions that believe that their way of worshiping is superior to others that being the Muslim Religion and the so called Christian right wing in this country. Neither one I found meets my needs. Others my also hold this idea ,however, they tend to keep it to themselves. Which is what all of us should do.

    I find that Muslims and Christians invoke the phrase “IT WAS GODS WILL” when the incident meets their agenda.
    I myself find this excuse to be a presumption on their part.

    I have given up on the Fairy tail of the Naked Lady and the Snake,Virgin births, Noah being able to save every animal including Ants and bumble bees also birds with the exception of the Unicorns from the great flood when I wasn’t able to save my refrigerator when the garage got flooded during Sandy.

  12. Fr. Pat (Rev. P. Gaffney) says:

    Peace Truth Teller! The humbling fact that none of us, either by faith, creed or practice, is superior or better than another is a lesson that is daily learned. Each of us has his/her journey in life; may we work always to encourage and support each other.

  13. Fr. Pat (Rev. P. Gaffney) says:

    Just want to interject amidst this discussion a moment of prayer for the families who have begun to bury their loved ones after last weeks horror in CT. God’s peace today and the many pain filled tomorrows to come!!!

  14. Fr. Pat says:

    Please email me if u would like to join us this Sat. at 4 PM for our Mass on thte 4th Sunday of Advent… Good night all… Fr. Pat

  15. Bill Schatz says:

    Hi Father Pat,
    We met at a lecture you gave as a guest of recently ordained Carl. I thoroughly enjoyed your history of the OCC.

    Regarding the response by Truth Teller:

    “ I only came across two religions that believe that their way of worshiping is superior to others that being the Muslim Religion and the so called Christian right wing in this country”

    The next sentence reads:
    “I find that Muslims and Christians invoke the phrase “IT WAS GODS WILL” when the incident meets their agenda.”
    This is and always will be a basic problem in writing. The first sentence clearly states “the Christian right wing”. The second sentence says “Christians”.

    You have inadvertently shifted from the specific to the universal. I know it takes longer to type and be accurate but this is where problems arise.
    To just say “Christians” lumps a good portion of the earth’s believers into a bucket you have previously labeled “superior to others”.

    Christians come in all flavors, sizes, and variations of beliefs. As a former RC, I would tuck my tail between my legs and skulk away because we did believe we were superior to everybody else.

    But as an Episcopalian, that is no longer the case. True, there are Episcopalian churches at either end of the spectrum but for the most part, we tend to be inclusive. We also welcome people to open the bible, read it, and reach their own decisions. We don’t believe in spoon feeding religion. God gave us minds to use and we should use them.

  16. @Bill Schatz-

    God gave us minds to use and we should use them.

    I’ll quote Hitchens in response to your nonsense:

    “What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.”

    There is no god.

  17. JConnor says:

    And if there were no RDL life would be grand!

  18. JConnor/JPC,Jr./Just Some Guy/whateveryournameisthisweek-

    Run a web search on my user name. I did not choose it by accident.

  19. Fr. Pat says:

    Some of choose to believe because belief does not rely upon proof rather an experience and desire. In any case, let us try to respect each other whether one believes or not.

  20. Roland D. Lebay says:

    Fr. Pat-

    I have no problem w/ those who believe in Jesus, the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus or magical unicorns. I have a problem when those people force their beliefs on me. I’ve seen no evidence that you’re one of those people, so I have no problem w/you.

  21. Fr. Pat says:

    Thank you Roland. I have no difficulty with you as well. Have a great evening and tomorrow!!

  22. Bill Schatz says:

    “What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.”
    There is no god.
    Then by that logic we can assert that what can be dismissed without proof can also be asserted without proof. Isn’t circular logic wonderful? There is a God. And that is my belief. I can’t speak for others nor do I want to.

    Be that as it may, coming from one who speaks nonsense, I wish you well.

  23. Fr. Pat says:

    One of the main thoughts for this thread goes back to the beginning of it. There are so many that feel separated from, left behind or just out of place in churches such as the Roman Church. Starting Holy Redeemer is meant to afford those who enjoy the catholic “liturgical” style and can feel at home in a parish community that welcomes all, is inclusive and diverse. We are very small for we have just begun.

  24. Fr. Pat says:

    Just a note: we have Mass for all at 4PM this Sat. at the 1st Unitarian Church in Wilmington on Halstead Rd. right off of 202… join us this last weekend before Christmas… will also have a Mass at 4 pm on Christmas eve.

  25. Fr. Pat says:

    That is provided the world doesn’t end tomorrow on the 21st (Mayan calendar)

  26. Fr. Pat says:

    Just want to say that three new people joined us for Church today. One noted that he had read about it here. Thank you!

  27. puck says:

    A Catholic church was overrun by mice. They gnawed at the hymnals, and every Sunday they would scamper around the congregation’s feet. Nothing would make them leave. One day, another priest was visiting from another parish and heard about the infestation. He said “No problem, I’ll take care of it.” He went into the church and emerged ten minutes later, and said “Let me know what happens.”

    Next Sunday, the mice were gone. The church’s priest called the visiting priest and said “That’s amazing – they’re all gone! What did you do?” He replied “It was easy – I just baptized them all as Catholics. From now on you will only see them at Christmas and Easter.”