The United Catholic Church was founded and incorporated in the state of Florida in 1996 as both a denomination and an inter-church fellowship. We embrace ecumenical Catholicism and welcome all Christians to our Communion rail, and serve all, but our primary outreach is to three groups: first, to people who hold that worship and the sacraments need to be validly apostolic in terms of historical belief and succession, but who are unchurched; second, to the increasing number of Christians who have no single tradition background from childhood and who feel they can comfortably be neither Roman Catholic nor Protestant; and third, to the isolated, individuals who through age, sickness, or other impediment can no longer reach out to participate in a faith community and now find themselves alone. To the outcast, we offer inclusion; to the rejected, acceptance; to the afflicted, comfort; to the sinner, forgiveness; to the despondent, hope; to the troubled, peace. In pursuit of this healing mission the United Catholic Church actively sponsors both congregations where people can grow in Christ, and missions/chaplaincies following traditional and emergent church models.
The United Catholic Church is a recognized denomination by the National Council of Churches, and was listed in their Yearbook of US and Canadian Churches while that was being published, and remains on their list of recognized churches today. Computing membership numbers can be a bit difficult since a part of this church’s mission is to reach out to in a non-traditional, post-denominational and emergent church way. As such, while the church has individuals that can be counted as members of the United Catholic Church in the traditional church counting fashion, due to its mission, it also has a large and active group of members who are unlabeled because they see themselves as post-denominational in some way. The church also has a sizeable and growing emergent church model group of persons who are regularly supported by, and identify with, this church.
Historical Background Snapshot
The United Catholic Church is an outgrowth of the Old Catholic Church, which broke with Rome in 1870 over the declaration of the infallibility of the pope. We are thoroughly catholic. How this came about is traced in the History Section of this website. Our Apostolic Succession, the validity of our orders, and the resultant efficacy of our sacraments are recognized as being present in both key dimensions: we hold firmly to the faith of the Apostles that has been passed down through time, and we hold a traceable line of witness back to that same time; this is mapped out in the Lines of Apostolic Succession page.