Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Amy has an interesting post with links up concerning splinter groups breaking off from the Catholic Church, yet still referring to themselves as Catholic. But be sure to also read the comments posted below by readers...an interesting discussion is taking place.
A former Des Moines diocese priest, citing the priest abuse scandal and the conservative direction of the Roman Catholic Church, has left the church and become a pastor in one of about 100 splinter Catholic organizations in the United States.

The Rev. Ray McHenry, who served as a parish priest in West Des Moines, Carter Lake and Council Bluffs, has renounced the Roman Catholic Church and joined a small group of disenchanted Catholics who seek more inclusive beliefs and are part of a growing independent Catholic church movement.

McHenry, 52, of Bellevue, Neb., is now a priest in the National Catholic Church of America, a denomination that has no pope, ordains women, marries couples regardless of gender and makes celibacy optional.

The National Catholic Church of America began as a Catholic religious community in 1944 and became a church in 1998. It has fewer than a dozen parishes in eight states and no count of members. It is among more than 100 "expressions of Catholicism" in the United States, some more conservative than the Roman Catholic Church, some more liberal, McHenry said.


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