- Worldwide Communion of Catholic Apostolic Churches
The Worldwide Communion of Catholic Apostolic Churches (WCCAC), is a COMMUNION of fourteen Christian church bodies. The Communion was born at the VI Worldwide Council held in Guatemala. WCCAC is the result of a long path, started by Dom
Carlos Duarte Costawho in 1945 organized the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church. The communion has as Symbols of its unity Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Méndez, who serves as Patriarchof ICAB and WCCAC and Dom Josivaldo Pereira de Oliveira, Presidet of ICAB and Honorary President of WCCAC. The President of the Board of Directors of WCCAC is Bishop Eduardo Cristián Aguirre Oestmann, Primate Bishop of ICERGUA.
SAN CARLOS DO BRAZIL AND THE BRAZILIAN CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC CHURCH:
Our Communion WCCAC recognizes that San Carlos of Brazil was chosen by God, through which we are connected sacramentally and historicaly with the same Apostles, for through him we have received the "APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION". And in the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church, organized by San Carlos, to answer to the Lord’s call, so that in his Church, the Apostolic Tradition was fully restored, we recognize our Mother Church.Therefore, although at WCCAC all churches are recognized as equals (see Art. 11); and in line with the Apostolic Tradition we respect the autonomy of each local church, ecclesiastical province and higher body of communion in their organizational, financial, liturgical, spiritual and testimonial aspects (see Art. 18), to the ICAB it is recognized an honorary precedence.
SAN CARLOS DE BRAZIL WAS CHOSEN BY THE LORD TO ORGANIZE THE ICAB. HE IS THE PATRON SAINT OF THE WORLDWIDE COMMUNION OF CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC CHURCHES
San Carlos of Brazil is known as the saint of the poor in South America.Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa was born on July 21, 1888 in Santo Antonio, Rio de Janeiro. At age 9, his uncle, Bishop of Goias, took him to Rome to study at the Latin American Pontifical College. Ordained a priest on April 1, 1911, he was consecrated as Bishop of the Diocese of Botucatu, December 8, 1924. He remained in office until, for expressing certain opinions about the abuses committed against the poor in Brazil on the part of both, the civilian government as well as the Roman Catholic Church, he was forced to resign. After his resignation, he received the title of Bishop of Maura.From the 1930's, Bishop Duarte Costa was a strong advocate of reforming the Roman Church; in fact, he faced many key issues, 35 years before the Second Vatican Council acted thereon. His commitment to the poor and his criticism of the Vatican policy, led Pius XII to separate him from the Roman Church, on July 6, 1945.As a result, he felt the call to start the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church (ICAB), in order to rediscover the real meaning of the Catholic and Apostolic Church. He remained as Bishop of Río do Janeiro and Primate of the ICAB, until his death in 1961.Dom Carlos was declared a Saint by the General Council of the Brazilian Catholic Church in 1970 under the title: San Carlos of Brazil. He is the patron of the independent Catholic Apostolic Churches.
OUR APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION
In the WCCAC we chose to adopt the concept and prospective of Apostolic Succession that comes from the Apostolic Tradition and the practice of the undivided Church (cf. Art. 7) For the Apostolic Tradition, the local church is the visible reality where the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church becomes sacramentally present; finding his sacramental summit in the Eucharistic celebration. The local church has to be structured in a synodical and participatory form, with diversity of charismas and ministries. Among these, there is the ordained ministry and the bishop is recognized as the visible sign of the unity of the local Church and the bond of communion with the Universal Church.Without the People of God consistently organized and chaired by a Bishop, actually it does not exist a local Church and as a result, there is not sacramental presence of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. The roll recognized to the bishop, is due to the fact that he is considered as successor of the Apostles. The first criteria that gives legitimacy and apostolic validity to the episcopate, is the fact that the same local Church, formed by the People of God, together with his presbytery, in an atmosphere of prayer and discernment, proceeds to the election of the man who, according to their “sensus fidei”, has received the charisma to exercise the ministry of bishop. After the election is made by the local Church, the same has to be recognized and endorsed by the bishops of other local churches that are nearby. Through this process, the link with the historic episcopate is established. This is known as the transmission of the "APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION". That implies that the elected bishop is ordained by other bishops who, in turn, have been ordained by other bishops and whose origins date back to the same apostles. Through the recognition and ratification of the election and the subsequent consecration, the elected bishop becomes part of the college of bishops, and by that, the local church enters in communion with the universal Church.If any of these steps is not observed, the historical bond of apostolic succession loses its original and genuine meaning and it’s seriously questionable if actually, the historical bond with the Apostolic Tradition is established.Through San Carlos Duarte Costa, we have received the "Apostolic Succession" transmitted by the Roman Catholic Church.
ON THE CATHOLIC FAITH IN GENERAL (WCCAC Const. Art.2)WCCAC professes steadfastly and wholly the Catholic faith as it is witnessed in the Holy Scriptures, in the Apostles and Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creeds, in the first seven Ecumenical Councils and in the Tradition of the undivided Church. For that reason, with Vincent of Lérins, we affirm and embrace “that which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all people; it is truly and properly Catholic.”  All other doctrinal postulates, beliefs and practices, so long as they are not contrary to Catholic faith can be accepted by local churches and by the faithful on the understanding that these are not binding for anyone and for that reason should be considered as matters of private belief and devotions. ON THE CHURCH (WCCAC Const.Art.3)We recognize that the Local Church is the visible and sacramental reality in which is made present the totality of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, established by Jesus Christ. By “Local Church” we understand the people of God organized as a communion of communities that: Professes the faith in accordance with the witness of the Holy Scriptures and the Ecumenical Creeds and Confessions. Observes the liturgy through prayer and the sacramental life, reaching its culmination in the celebration of the Eucharist. Gives evidence of the reality of the Gospel such as fruit of the experience of the gifts of the Spirit that give new life and the capacity to love. Recognizes, as the visible sign of its unity, the bishop who in synodical form presides over it, with the participation of the presbytery and of all the people of God. Through the bishop is in communion with other local churches.
ON THE SACRAMENTALITY OF THE CHURCH IN GENERAL AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENTS (WCCAC Const.Art. 4)We accept and administer the sacraments of Baptism, of Confirmation, of the Eucharist, of Reconciliation, of the Extreme Unction, of Holy Orders, and of Marriage. We believe, consonant with the tradition of the undivided Church, that the validity and efficacy of each of the sacraments participates in and expresses the sacramentality of the whole Church. Given that the Local Church is where this sacramentality is expressed, the sacraments find their true significance and efficacy solely when they are administered within and for the edification of the Local Church. Each Ecclesiastical Province is able to determine its own ritual for the celebration of the sacraments in accordance with the situation and cultural context in which it lives, provided that: All the elements believed to be essential for the valid celebration of the same are maintained in their entirety, in accord with the Catholic tradition, Orthodox as well as Latin. The introduction of ambiguous elements is carefully avoided in order not to fall into any form of syncretism and to maintain the Christian tradition in its purity.The following are recognized as ministers who may validly administer the sacraments: For the Sacrament of Baptism: the bishop, the priest and the deacon are the ordinary ministers; the extraordinary minister, in case of grave necessity, is any baptized Christian. For the Sacrament of Confirmation: ordinarily the minister is the bishop. By exception, it can be delegated to a priest so that it may be carried out. For the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance: only the bishop and priest are the authorized and competent ministers. For the Sacrament of the Eucharist: only the bishop and priest are the authorized and competent ministers. For the Sacrament of Extreme Unction: only the bishop and priest are the authorized and competent ministers. For the Sacrament of Ordination: only the bishop is the authorized and competent minister. For the Sacrament of Marriage: the ministers are the bride and the bridegroom who publicly express their consent. In order to express the consent validly, there is the need for qualified witnesses. Official witnesses are the bishop, the priest and the deacon. In extraordinary cases, when the presence of an ordained minister is impossible for a prolonged period of time, two faithful members of the Church can be witnesses so that matrimonial consent may be validly expressed.
ON THE EUCHARIST (WCCAC Const. Art. 5)We acknowledge the Eucharist to be the center and culmination of the Church’s worship. In celebrating it, the local church becomes actual and concrete as the sacramental presence of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. We steadfastly believe that by the action of the Holy Spirit within the Eucharistic celebration, presided by the bishop or a priest, the bread and wine are, through the Anamnesis and the Epiclesis, sacramentally transformed, in reality and in efficacy, into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. We confess that although Christ was offered once for all time as the expiatory sacrifice for all humanity on the altar of the cross, nevertheless the Eucharist is a true sacrifice because in it the one sacrifice of Christ not only is commemorated but also is actualized and, by the action of the Holy Spirit, the Kingdom of God is made present, and the new creation of love and communion continues to manifest itself in the history and the life of our communities.
ON THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS (WCCAC Const. Art. 6)The sacrament of Holy Orders has three levels: as deacon, as priest, and as bishop. It is indispensable that one be ordained on the lower level in order to be able validly to receive a higher level of the sacrament of Holy Orders. Consonant with the ancient tradition of the undivided Church, WCCAC acknowledges that only Christians of the male gender can be validly ordained as deacons, priests and bishops.
ON THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE (WCCAC Const. Art. 8)WCCAC acknowledges that the sacrament of marriage is the public and solemn covenant that is brought about between a man and a woman. The matrimonial covenant has the purpose of establishing the exclusive and permanent communion of life for the spouses, with the view of forming a family. The sacrament of marriage takes place through the mutual consent of the couple, lawfully manifested and confirmed by the pouring out of the Holy Spirit.
The Communion is governed by the International Bishops Council. For organizational purposes the Communion has a Board of Directors, an Honarary Advisory Committee and an Executive Secretariat. The International Bishops Council meets every two years.The coucil of the communion met at San Lucas Sacatepequez, Guatamala on August 12-18 2008. Bishop Eduardo Cristian Aguirre-Oestmann was elected president of the Worldwide Communion of Catholic Apostolic Churches, see http://www.icergua.org/cicam.wccac/. At WCCAC all the Churches are recognized as equal, but because of historical reasons, an honorary precedence is recognized to the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church. His Excellency Bishop Dom Luis Castillo Mendez who is the Patriarch of ICAB, and Bishop Dom Josivaldo Pereira de Oliveira who is the president of ICAB are recognized as Symbols of our unity.
The Communion was born at the VI World Council celebrated recently in San Lucas, Guatemala.There are only 14 Ecclesiastical Bodies which are part of the Communion.Every Ecclesiastical Body is formed by several local Churches, presided by a Bishop.The 14 member bodies are:
*Argentina: Iglesia Católica Apostólica Argentina
*Argentina: Provincia Eclesial de la Exaltación de la Cruz
*Australia: Catholic Apostolic Church of Australia
*Brazil: Igreja Católica Apostólica Brasileira - founded 1945
*Canada: Église Catholique Apostolique du Canada - Fraternité Sacerdotale Saint Jean l’Évangéliste
*Colombia: Iglesia Católica Nacional
*Egypt: The Holys Synod of St. Athanasious for the Christian in the Middle East and USA.
*France: Ëglise Catholique Apostolique de France
*Guatemala: Iglesia Católica Ecuménica Renovada en Guatemala
*Mexico: Iglesia Católica Apostólica Mexicana
*México: Provincia Eclesial en formación Católica Ecuménica en México.
*España: Iglesia Católica Apostólica - Diócesis de Tarsis.
*United States: Evangelical Charismatic Catholic Church
*United States: Mexican National Catholic Church
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