Welcome To My Homepage
CHRISTIAN COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY
The Most Reverend Lawrence M. Miller, DCCP, Retired Bishop of the United Catholic Church not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.
Welcome to my homepage. It is my hope that what you find on this site refreshing, informative and interesting. From the outset it is important to set some parameters and make sure that there is no mistaking us for the Church of Rome. Before retirement some years ago following a synod, I felt a very strong call to return to the Church of my childhood, the Roman Church. I did so despite the urgings of my fellow Bishops, Priests and Religious under my jurisdiction. It was good to be home and my former Diocese was most helpful in my making the transition. The only problem that developed was my longing for the disenfranchised Catholics who were in need of a Priest. The other issue that hounded me was the fact that my Holy Orders were valid forever. When I was initially ordained as a Priest in April, 1982 it was done in the strict Apostolic Succession. Our Archbishop was an absolute stickler when it came to this point. Every Priest and Bishop ordained or consecrated in this Rite of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church was given a copy of his Apostolic Succession, a formal Coat of Arms, Celebret and an assignment. Unlike Roman clergy our Priests and Bishops had to have a formal ministry which they served.
Understand my dear Sisters and Brothers that no Independent Catholic Cleric or Prelate was about the business of 'robbing' souls from Rome to 'enlist' in our Rite. To the contrary, our Clergy would usually by word of mouth find out that we would minister to their needs. Once their needs were met, we would refer them to a Roman Catholic Priest. They would reconcile with Rome or their Bishop as appropriate. Our ministries consisted of all Seven Sacraments. Never before had I experienced more rewarding ministry than with the Independent Catholic Church. Many of our Priests were ordained in the Roman Church and for one reason or another left and became an Independent cleric. We also have Religious Orders of Brothers and much like the SSPX. We are most closely related to the Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC) in Scranton, Pennsylvania. They received their Holy Orders from us. The matters of Liceity (Legality) and Validity (Valid) come up from time to time. Yes, we are all Valid - that is our Sacraments are totally Valid so long as there is Form and Matter and the right intention formulated. We do what the Church of Rome intends to be done. Liceity refers to legality. This is not an impingement to receiving the Sacraments from us. It is a term that means really that we are functioning outside of Rome which is a misnomer because the Orthodox Church, PNCC Church and all other churches are not under Rome.
Recall that in the early Church converted Jews and Gentiles to following Christ were not called "Catholic." They were members of what is known as "The Way." Use of the work "Catholic" came about through St. Iranaeous around the fourth Century or so. So everything was expanding so far as Followers of the Way." Jesus had left the Apostles and Disciples with His power over the Sacraments as He instituted each one. Now they were fully deputed to "Go forth and preach the Gospel to all people...Baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them all that I have commanded you."
Everything began to come together somewhat with various Christian Communities forming. More men were ordained Deacons or Priests and Bishops were elected to Teach and Govern. Let's move ahead a bit. In the year 1054, a major split took place in the Church between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Church. The split took place because of what is known as the "Filioque Clause." The big argument here had to do with the procession of Jesus Christ from the Father or Holy Spirit. I recall when I was studying for Old Catholic Orders in Brooklyn attending a Clericus where all the Priests and Monsignors were arguing. This left a lasting impression on me at my age and stage of development. I couldn't believe that grown men in cassocks and sashes could argue over something which I already understood. Jesus proceeds from the Father and the Holy Spirit. You'll hear it at every Mass folks. In 1517, a group of Reformers came about and they separated from Rome. Then came a major split. When the Pope declared in 1870 that he was Infallible, the Old Catholics of Eutrecht, Holland bailed out and formed their own Church. My valid Aportolic Succession came from the Old Catholic Church. My ordaining Archbishop, Marchenna was Consecrated by Archbishop Carfora and Carfora was a former Roman Priest who received Holy Orders from Utrecht and assigned as Archbishop of the North American Old Catholic Church. Again, Apostolic Succession was ensured to a fault. It is the one biggest issue with Priests and Bishops to ensure they are legitimate. There are an untold number of Bishops indiscriminantly ordaining Priests and other Bishops to Holy Orders and they are totally illigitamite. If in doubt, check them out. Do not fall prey to the fakes dressed in clerical robes. Saint John Paul II, The Great said about Old Catholics and Independent Catholics, "Even though they lack full communion with the Catholic Church, Christ is present and operative to us." No Church is Divine; only Christ is Divine. God Bless You, Bishop Miller (Ret)